Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Catching Up

I haven’t written in quite a few days now. I had intended to post daily, but I've just been too stressed, busy, and distracted. I've definitely been feeling like I've taken on more than I can handle at this point - I should be at home, with my research, behind my computer and just getting this thing done -- everything needs to be put on hold while I finish up my PhD. I've got a month left - that's not long. From October, I get most of my life back ... but that's not reality at the moment.

I'm not at home. I'm away from most of my resources ... but there is still work to that needs to be done. I've got a conference to present at tomorrow, a draft that should have been handed in a few days ago (luckily it wasn't a fixed deadline, but still ...), a mock viva to prepare for ... and that's just what's happening over the next few days.

Anyway. I guess I'm just in a bit of a panic. My exercise routine has not been going as planned though I’ve managed to squeeze in a few short walks here and there. It’s been rainy and chilly – not the ideal (summer vacation) weather! Still, the cool, crisp air does make me feel energized.

Today I’m off to Bristol to attend the BAAL conference. I’m nervous about tomorrow’s presentation. I feel like there’s extra pressure on me this time as I won a scholarship from the association for this conference so it feels like I really have to deliver a stellar performance. That’ll be tough as I’m feeling quite a bit less than stellar at the moment. Oh well. At least I’ll be in Bristol – a small city, but one I enjoy being in. I hoping to get in at least one long walk by the river and perhaps attempt a short jog in one of the nearby parks … We’ll see. The priority is the presentation – mustn’t lose sight of that!

I hope to be back to my regular posting schedule now … but if I do miss a day or two here and there, not to worry – I’m around somewhere!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dreaded Workout

Today was my 'core' day. I decided, what better way to distract myself from the stress of my writing than by adding a bit of abdominal pain? LOL

I started off with burpees. I absolutely hate these exercises. I remember last summer I would refuse to do them properly. I'd be able to jump into plank position but pure fear of falling/failing was preventing me from jumping my legs back ... Finally one day I said to myself - Enough is enough. What's the worst thing that can happen? So I fall, big deal. Try it!!! So I tried it ... and I did it! I'm still amazed at how much fear plays a role in keeping me from pushing to my potential. Anyway. I'm pleased to say that I can do 20 burpees in a row without too much difficulty - it sure does get my heart rate up!

The burpees were followed by plank position variations. How can such a simple looking exercise cause so much pain and be so tough? I hate this exercise but I was determined to do the variations and get past the dread. So I started with the basic plank position, followed by keeping the same position but with one leg raised up. Then side plank followed by side plank with a raised arm twist (you twist the raised arm under your torso then back to starting position) and finally normal plank position but with both one leg and opposite arm raised/extended - I only did 15 per side. (Obviously all the positions were done for each side). In between each variation I did the regular plank pose. I held each position for 30 seconds. There were a few positions - namely the side planks - ithat I couldn't hold for 30 seconds straight but I did do a total of 30 seconds. Can I just say OUCH??!!! I never imagined so much sweat from an exercise that basically requires you to stay still ... Well I did wobble quite a bit, but you know what I mean!

I finished off the routine with my third least favorite and absolutely dreaded exercise - bicycle crunches. I did 100 of those and wanted to burst into tears.

Well, that's another workout on 'holiday' done ... I have to admit it does help relieve some of the anxiety I'm feeling over my thesis draft ... Still, pushing through as always :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Making Do

I spent most of today stuck behind a desk trying to work on the draft of my thesis that I should hand in by Friday. It's not coming along well. I'm definitely having a difficult time focusing in a new/different environment. Also trying to sort through data on just my Netbook versus my iMac makes a huge difference. In any case, I got a few hours of wok done but I still have days of work to cram into the upcoming 36 hours!

To take a bit of a break I decided to go or a quick walk just before dinner. It was my first proper outdoor walk since being here - and I loved it! It made such a difference to walk outside and not on a treadmill ... and breathing in the cool, crisp fresh air versus the dusty, dry air of Kuwait was such a treat! After my walk (only half an hour) I did some resistance work - tricep dips, lunges, bicep curls, side bends etc.

I know it's good that I'm doing something while I'm away but I have no idea how effective it will actually be. We'll see ...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Good news/Bad news

I'm still processing what I learned at my medical assessmentvtoday so I'm going to keep this short.

The good news: my overall health is excellent. All my levels of glucose, cholesterol, etc. are perfect. The doctor said that he wouldn't have believed I came from a long line of hypertensive, diabetics plus a family history of breast cancer and osteoporosis.
More good news: My fitness level is excellent - except for my BMI/weight. I beat their predictions of my cardiovascular and lung function by 15%. The exercise program I've been following is working though they want me to focus more on cardio now to help with fat loss.

The bad news: A few years ago I had surgery for a medical condition and it seems like that condition has come up again and is a bit serious. The doctor doesn't see how I'll make any proper achievement in weight loss until after I resolve this problem. I know it's a bit evasive at the moment but as I said, I'm processing it all. Hopefully I'll get to see a specialist before I leave London.

It's never fun hearing that you have health issues. I'm trying to tell myself not to let it distract me from all the good news.

For now, I'm just telling myself that I should be pleased with the positive points and embrace the fact that knowledge is power. It's still full steam ahead!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Resting for Tomorrow

I've been feeling exhausted all day today. I think part of it is mild jet-lag and the exhaustion I was feeling before traveling that has added up. Plus the weekend in London with all the walking and excitement didn't help me rest either. Anyway. Today I'm catching up on my sleep and preparing for tomorrow's official fitness test.

I've booked a full fitness test and health evaluation for tomorrow at one of the private hospitals here in London. I've been at this plateau weight for so long that I thought it would be worth getting a full check-up to see what's happening and hopefully get some advice on how to make my workouts more effective and also get some tips about improving my nutrition. I know I put in the time and effort and I am conscious of making healthy choices and doing exercise -- but I feel like I'm stuck. I figured since I have changed my routine up it was a good idea to have a proper health evaluation. I really hope the tests go well tomorrow and that I come out with some good advice.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Biggest Loser

I usually download a TV series or two to watch while I'm away on vacation for those times when I'm just lounging in the hotel room. On this trip I started watching The Biggest Loser Couples (season 7). I've only ever watched 3 seasons (and not in order) since they don't show it regularly in Kuwait. I think it's been a great show to watch on vacation for many reasons.

Mainly, you really can't watch that show and make extremely bad food choices. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy your food, but I think what it's done for me (yes I know I've only been traveling for 2 days) is serve as a reminder - you don't need to eat junk food, you don't need to gorge on chocolates etc. It's just helping me be conscious of what I'm doing - and more importantly where I want to be. If I do have dessert (which I do), I know that I'm going to put in the effort to walk a little faster or watch what I'm eating at my next meal.

People always say - I can treat myself. I'm on vacation. I absolutely agree -- but I think my definition of what a treat for myself is changing. The treat now is that I'm trying on clothes 2 dress sizes less than the last time I was here. Screw those chocolate cupcakes. I want that smaller sized dress!!

Feelin' motivated and energized ... and totally Lovin' London!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Walkin' and Shoppin'

Today was my first full day of vacation. Like many other people, the worrying question while on vacation is - How will I keep up with my routine while I'm away?

I'm usually not too worried about my London trip because walking is pretty much automatically worked into my daily routine. I think just that extra activity from hardly any extra movement aside from the gym in Kuwait to walking to the tube station, walking in parks, etc. makes a difference. This time, I was going try to work in a bit extra into my routine ... But also give my body some much needed rest.

That rest started on the plane where I scored a free upgrade to business class -- bliss! I stretched all, the way out and SLEPT! My muscles were unbelievably sore from the consecutive weight training pre-travel so this was a real unexpected treat! I didn't do anything except relax for the rest of the day.

This morning I headed off to see a friend who is actually one of the trainers at my gym. Our London tip just happened to overlap. On our agenda was SHOPPING! I already knew we would be doing major walking - so I wasn't too worried about getting exercise for the day ... But I still did some before leaving. I've come up with a mini exercise routine to do while I'm here. It's basically a total of 500 reps of various exercises ... So 200 sit-up, 50 leg raises, 50 squats; 20 push-ups etc etc until I reached 500. I'm going to try and do a similar routine every other morning just to help keep up with some training I did before traveling.

Anyway. We did a ton of walking throughout the day and evening. It felt so good to be walking outdoors in the crisp, cool air - such a difference from the dusty air of Kuwait. So far, a great start to this holiday :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

So how did NROL4W Stage 1 Measure Up?

I've been diligently posting about my workouts and journey through stage 1 of NROL4W. I've definitely become stronger and my clothes fit better ... but what about the numbers?

The last time I measured and weighed myself (and noted the numbers down) was July 12, the day I started the NROL4W workout ...

I have weighed myself in the meantime but I didn't note the numbers down as I knew that I wanted to wait and see how I progressed over a period of time.

So, the results are in ...

I know it's not about the number and muscle weighs more than fat ... but I was expecting to see a bit of a loss - instead, I saw a 700 gram gain. Normally I would have been furious and complained about the program - how could it work when I've gained etc. etc. but I kept calm and just wrote the number down and went on to the measurements.

The good news - no increase in measurements.

The ok news - most measurements remained the same.

The great news - 3 inches lost around my waist, 1 inch around my calves, 2.5 inches on my thighs, 0.5 inches around my neck.

Whew! I'm relieved.

After weighing myself I thought - I must've be kidding myself when I've been saying that I see changes or that my clothes fit better. How could that be possible when I've gained? Well, I'm glad to see that it wasn't all in my mind and there actually have been physical changes. I'm quite pleased. I know that there are quite a few things I could have done differently, but I'll get into that another time.

For now, I'm happy that I completed all of Stage 1 and that I have lost a few inches here and there ... now, to get on that plane and catch up with some much needed sleep!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stage 1 Challenge B

That's it! I did it! I completed all of Stage 1 plus the two bonus workouts at the end ... and I.Am.Exhausted!!

I'm flying out tomorrow morning so I have a zillion errands to run, but there was no way I was going to miss this last workout. My original plan was to get to the gym by 7 a.m., do the NROL4W workout, and then do RPM (class starts at 8:00 a.m.) as my last cardio.

Things didn't go exactly as I had planned. I was so tired this morning - had a late night last night and I think the stress of the past few days (weeks) is really catching up to me. Anyway. I didn't want to rush myself and end up having a bad workout so I decided to just make it for RPM and then do the challenge workout afterwards.

I sure did feel the effects of yesterday's squats and step-ups during RPM. I really gave it my all - kind of had that 'last chance workout' (from The Biggest Loser) idea in my head. You know that favorite quote of mine from Jillian? 'Unless you puke, faint, or die - keep going!' Well I had that running through my head especially for tracks 5-7 ... I honestly thought that in the middle of track 7 I was going to throw up - but I didn't and I didn't lower my resistance either - I just kept going. Whew! Cardio over ... now on to Workout B.

I used the same strategy as yesterday - as many reps as possible in 2 minutes using the starting weight from the first workout.

Dead lifts @ 30 kg -- damn they felt heavy! I only managed to do 30 reps.
Shoulder presses @ 5 kg (dumbbells) -- 45 reps (wish I had hit 50)
Lateral pull @ 34.05 -- 30 reps
Lunges with 6 kg dumbbell in each hand - 50 reps per leg (Ouch!!! My legs were burning!)
Swiss ball crunches -- 75

I definitely felt tired and a bit strained while I was doing this workout. I know I should have rested more, but I know I would have been very disappointed if I hadn't tried.

So that's it. I finished all of Stage 1. I'm not going to have access to a gym until I'm back, but the good thing about being in London is that I walk so much - a huge contrast to living in Kuwait where we drive everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. So I'm looking forward to some daily walking plus I've been working on a mini-exercise routine that I hope I can keep up with while I'm away - will share it in the next post or two.

Ok. On to the other zillion errands!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stage 1 Challenge A + Reward

I was so sore last night after my workout. Those lateral pulls at 41kg really got to me. I was worried that I had overdone it which carried on to a worry that I wouldn't be able to complete my Challenge workout ... but I knew that if I didn't make it today, then that would only leave me tomorrow - and there was no way I was going to do both challenge workouts in one day. It's bad enough that I'm doing 3 weights workouts in a row.

Anyway. I should have checked the NROL4W book before I left for the gym just to make sure I knew what to do. All I remember was - use the amount of weight I had for workout 1A and do as many reps as possible ... but I couldn't remember is it as many reps until I can't do them continuously anymore or is it as many reps within a certain time period. [FYI: The book just says to do as many reps as possible so I'm assuming it's until you can't do any consecutive reps in good form.]

I decided to just do as many reps as possible for two minutes per exercise. So how did I find the workout? Challenging!

The first thing I discovered was actually how strong I had become. When I picked up the bar for squats with KG 15 on them (I later realized my starting weight for squats was actually 12 – bad math again on my part!) I had absolutely no trouble putting it on my shoulders and starting. The bar actually felt light! Anyway.

So here’s a quick breakdown

(1 set/as many reps as possible in 2 minutes)

Squats @ 15 kg. – 65 reps

Push-ups – 25 in good form (with some rest)

Seated row @ 20.43 kg – 60 reps

Step-ups @ 5 kg & 4 steps under base step – 45 reps/leg

Prone jackknife – 40 (20 continuous and then 10 + 10)

So that’s it!

The start of each exercise was fine – but the final reps (or rather, the final minute of each exercise) became more difficult as is expected, right?

I was really hoping that I would have been able to do more push-ups. Why are push-ups so tough? I only managed to do 10 in full proper form before taking a rest and somehow completing the next 15. It was frustrating, but I’m definitely going to keep practicing to improve them while I’m away.

However, did you notice the prone jackknives? I did 20 in a row!! I was very happy with that. I kept telling myself – come on, you can do this! I would have loved to have done 50 … but I think 40 is a pretty good number considering that it was only just over a month (July 12) that I could barely do 8 in a row without serious difficulty!

I’m glad I chose to have a 2-minute limit. This way when I get back from holiday I can try the workout again and see where I stand before I start Stage 2 …

I’m nervous about tomorrow’s workout because I have had no rest days in between my strength training (and barely any sleep). Still, I’m so close to hitting my pre-travel workout targets … I have to make it.

Since I was so sore after yesterday’s workout and I knew that finishing two more weight training sessions would be taxing on my body I had booked a massage at the spa that is attached to my gym. It was a great hour to have for myself to just try and relax plus the masseuse I go to is phenomenal! I hadn’t been to her in a while and I was really happy when she said – Wow, you have so much muscle now! She also did say – You have lots and lots of tension (surprise, surprise). She did a great job and working out some of those tense knots in my back and shoulders … I really should make a point of going to her more regularly … anyway, it was a nice little treat and hopefully that bit of relaxation will help me through tomorrow’s workout as well!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NROL4W – Progress: Workouts 7&8

That's it!! I've completed Stage 1 of NROL4W!

My goal was to complete these 16 workouts before traveling ... I can't believe I did it. I usually get frustrated so quickly and then go off plan out of frustration and lack of patience to actually wait and see if a program (exercise or diet) works ... and now finally, I did it, and I feel great.

Here's the breakdown of Workouts 7 and 8:

Workout A: 3 sets of 8 reps
Squats: 45/45/50; 50/55/55 [increase 43 kg since workout 1]
Push-ups: using body weight - but my form has improved big time; going much deeper now
Seated row: 41/41/41; 41/41/41 [increase 27.38 since workout 1]
Step up: 7/7/8; 8/8/8 [increase 4 kg and 5 steps since workout 1]
Prone jackknife: 2 sets of 12 & 2 sets of 15; 3 sets of 15 - no stopping; much better than 1st time
Workout B: 3 sets of 8 reps
Dead lifts: 40/40/45; 45/45/45 [increase 20 kg since workout 1]
Shoulder press: 9/9/10; 10/10/10 [increase 6 kg since workout 1]
Lateral pull 41/41/41; 41/41/41 [increase 13.76 since workout 1]
Lunges: 8/8/8; 8/8/8 [increase 2 kg since workout 1]
Swiss ball crunches: 3 sets of 25 for both workouts

So that's it! Stage 1 complete. I won't be starting stage 2 until I'm back in September, but I'm going to try and figure out what I can do to make sure I don't set myself too far back while being away for 3 weeks.

The numbers I'm most proud of -- my squats (can't believe I'm squatting 55kg!!) and my shoulder presses -- I could barely lift 3 kg before I started and now I'm lifting 10?! I really feel proud of that.

The exercises I had most difficulty with -- seated row and lateral pull. The exercises themselves were not that difficult, but the jump between 34 kg and 41 kg was a bit much so I found it difficult to do the sets with the heavier weights. At the same time, 34 kg was not challenging enough. At least I know that I've been working with a weight that is challenging and that my final sets of the exercises were much better than the first ones I did in workout 7.

Prone jackknives: I have to take a moment and just mention this exercise again. The first day I tried these I really thought they were impossible. I didn't think that my body could handle doing such an exercise. However, I think it's with this exercise that I noticed the most improvement. I noticed the increased strength in my arms as I held myself up for stability. I felt more confident and strong in my core as if I could stay in plank position on the stability ball for quite a while, and then the steadiness in my legs when bringing the ball in. The exercise really made me stop and think about how all the muscles were working together and how different I feel since I started this program just over a month ago. I never thought I'd be able to do 15 prone jackknives in a row. I sure did prove myself wrong!

So the NROL4W Stage 1 program ends with two challenge workouts. I'm going to attempt Challenge Workout A tomorrow even though I won't have taken a day off to rest, but I really don't have time and I want to use the challenge workouts to both measure my overall progress and use as a benchmark for when I get back to the gym in September.

I know I've listed my progress related to how much weight I'm lifting ... on Friday I'm going to measure and weigh myself to see how much weight I've lost. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Motivation Monday -- Led by Desire

This week, the motivation is a bit difficult to pinpoint. I'm kind of running on autopilot right now -- I'm still making it to the gym, but I'm just doing my basic workouts, and I'm still eating well, but I'm not taking as much time and care to prepare each meal - it's more like throwing together a few veggies and some fish, quick fixes without the care.

So my motivation this Monday stems from the desire not to let the hard work and discipline of the past month go to waste. I really have been working hard at the gym and conscious of my food. I'm making progress, but I still have a long way to go -- I don't want to make that journey any longer (than it's already been) ...

The days approaching a trip are always difficult to manage because there are so many things to do! Add the draft of my thesis that I'm working on (and need to finish very, very soon) and it's stress city at my house.

Still, I'm still doing what I have to do -- I made a promise to myself that I would not give up and that I would keep trying my best ... it's that promise that's fueling my motivation this week.

FMM - Driving Force

I love this week's FMM question - What is the driving force behind your weight loss?

I have constantly been going back and forth between keeping my future goals in mind and making sure to move past the struggles and fears of the past ... so what is it that keeps me moving forward? Sometimes I honestly don't know how I make it to the gym to workout - because when i look at the scale I'm still unsatisfied ... when I look in the mirror I still don't like what I see ... when I reflect on all the work I've put in I just don't feel like the results = the effort ... and yet I still go ...

Part of it is sheer bloody determination. I will get this right. I will lose the weight and reach my goals ... I'd love to say that the number one reason is my health (especially with a family history of diabetes) ... but really, it's just so that I feel good about myself. Having that added mental weight and strain just makes everything that much more difficult.

I know not everybody gets it, and I'd say they're lucky that this is not something they need to worry about ... the bottom line is, it's an issue that is real for me and something that I need to deal with, regardless of what anybody else says.

So, to more clearly answer the question ...
The driving force behind my weight loss is my desire to feel better about myself ... followed by the desire to lead a healthy and active life.

I'm definitely making progress in terms of leading a healthy and active life ... I just can't wait for everything else to fall into place!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Spicy Salmon

I've really been enjoying experimenting with different recipes high protein, low carb recipes.
I baked some salmon the other day and it turned out really good. It was unbelievably easy - definitely a recipe that I'm going to keep handy.

I served up the salmon with some steamed veggies ... and though I've been really good at watching my carbs lately, I decided to treat myself to some roast potatoes as well --- here's the recipe. It makes for a very, very filling meal.

Baked Salmon with Steamed Veggies and Roast Potatoes

Salmon {serves 4}
4 4 oz. salmon fillet
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon brown sugar (Splenda blend)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and coat the salmon fillets. It can be baked right away, but the longer you marinate it, the better the flavors will blend together. (I marinated it for 24 hours)
Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Nutritional info:
Salmon (baked with the marinade):
245 calories
2 g. carbohydrates (0.1 g. fiber)
25.5 g. protein
14 g. fat (2.8 g saturated fat)

The extras ... steamed veggies & roast potatoes

Steamed veggies (1 cup broccoli and 1/2 cup carrots):
81 calories
17.6 g. carbohydrates (7.5 g. fiber)
4.4 g. protein
0.8 g. fat (<0.1 g. saturated fat)

Roast potatoes (1/2 cup diced + 1/2 tsp olive oil & 1 tsp Parmesan + 1 tablespoon mixed dry herbs):
85 calories
15 g. carbohydrates (1.5 g. fiber)
2.3 g. protein
1 g. fat (0.25 g. saturated fat)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


My anxiety about my writing has gotten worse. I know that I'm making (very slow) progress, but I just fear it's too little too late. I was at my desk by 4:15 a.m. and immediately got to work. I find it's always good to work with a target in mind, but then I fears of not meeting my target by the end of the day keep infiltrating my mind - along with mental sobs laced with panic. Still, like the attitude I've been having with my workouts, I am refusing to let the words 'I can't do this' enter my mind - I'm just going to keep at it until I get it done. I have no choice.

I took a study break and went to the gym. My friends think I'm insane that I'd go to the gym to unwind and de-stress instead of vegging on the couch or sleeping ... but I know that would just make me feel worse. Going to the gym helps me relieve some tension, gives me a change of scenery, and keeps me on track with my exercise routine.

I ended up not doing weights today - I was too distracted and tense to try and squeeze it in. Last summer, just before one of my PhD paper deadlines, I continued going to the gym - forcing myself to do weights and ended up getting injured which set me back. Not this time. I'll definitely do workout 8A tomorrow ... but for today, cardio was the only real thing on my schedule, so I warmed-up on the treadmill before heading to RPM class.

The thing I like most about cardio classes is that they go by so quickly. Even though it was a 50 minute class, it didn't feel like it took that long. I love the fact that within that hour I know that I've completed an intense cardio session without having to think too much --

At this point, I really am just on autopilot. I wake up. Study. Workout. Study. Eat. Try to Sleep. Then start the cycle all over again. I can't wait until this is all over so that I can actually LIVE my life instead of hastily rush through while trying to squeeze in as much as I can.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rolling with the Punches

I did not make it to the gym today. I had a cardio session planned, but the stress of my PhD deadline approaching fast had my heart racing quite quick enough. The good news is I was on a roll. I had two tasks that I wanted to complete and I was determined to get through them. I tried to limit my distractions - it's amazing how much time ends up being spent on commenting on other blogs, checking my Facebook, browsing through online shops (all fabulous procrastination techniques) ... and I also tried to settle my mind with the thought - it's ok if you don't make it to the gym, you can go tomorrow. Watch what you eat, and get your work done.

The whole munching while studying thing had me worried at the beginning of my PhD (4 long years ago) ... you know how it is, you're sitting and reading or writing or editing and you just want to munch on something, especially comfort food. I think I've been really good at limiting that. In the beginning I might have grazed a bit more than I should have, but this past year and a half - pretty much nothing. If I do have something, then it'll be some type of protein/nutrient bar to satisfy a bit of that crunchy, sweet craving -- and in my absolute weakest of moments - I'm ashamed to admit this -- Flamin' Hot Cheetos. I know. I know. Artificial colors, preservatives, empty calories etc. etc. But the good thing about the flamin' hot Cheetos is that they're so damn hot that I could (though sometimes I didn't) just have a few to satisfy that craving ... (plus they're messy, who can type with orange/yellow Cheetos fingers?) Anyway. Even those cravings haven't happened as much as they could have, so I'm happy that the snacking has pretty much been under control.

Anyway. I got my two tasks done. Tomorrow (which is normally my day off from the gym) I'll work on my cardio and maybe even squeeze in Workout 8A. Let's see how it goes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Making Progress

Today was a good day!

It started off in a bit of a rush as I tried to get myself organized and out the door in time to make it for the 8 a.m. RPM class. I really should have got my stuff ready last night, but time just got ahead of me. In any case, I made it for the class just in time ... it was a tough one. Really worked up a sweat and I realized that I hadn't done a straight 50-60 minutes of cardio in quite some time - possibly since my last RPM session. Anyway. It was quite a challenge.

I wasn't sure if I was going to do Workout B today or not - mainly because I did the long cardio session, but I decided to go ahead with the weights workout.

It went really, really well too. I upped a few more of my weights - even hit 10 kg for my shoulder presses today!! Yay!! I'm very proud of that number. It really makes a difference knowing that I'm only doing 3 sets of 8 reps ... I really want to make sure that I push myself to lift as heavy as I can for the last two workouts before the 2 challenge workouts. Doing only 8 reps doesn't feel too overwhelming. Hopefully I'll be able to hit good numbers next week as well. Overall I felt really good.

My workout was followed by a great study session with my BFF who is also doing her PhD at the moment. We definitely stopped to laugh and chat a few times, but overall we were very productive - much more than if I had been working at home alone. Hopefully we'll be able to squeeze in another study session or two before I head off to London.

It's finally the weekend - unfortunately, not much planned except for a workout and lots and lots of studying/editing/writing/reading ... it's ok. It'll be vacation time soon enough!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Perfecting my Playlist

I took today off from the gym to get some much needed rest and to spend some much, much needed time on my PhD. I definitely feel better after taking a bit of a break, and I'm ready for tomorrow's big workout.

During my study break I took some time to work on my playlist. I seem to be stuck in a rut with my gym music lately ... I know I shouldn't be completely dependent on music to motivate me through my workouts, but it is a very, very important part. In fact, the days that my battery has run out on my iPod or some other mishap occurs, I feel totally off sync. Anyway.

Here's the new playlist that I've put together for my cardio session tomorrow --

1) When Love Takes Over (feat. Kelly Rowland) - David Guetta
2) We Belong - Strange Attractors & MC Scooter
3) True Believer - E-Type
4) Voodoo People (Pendullum Remix) - The Prodigy
5) It's Not Over (Club Mix) - Paffendorf
6) Blade (Jon Doe & Kutski Remix) - Warm Brothers feat. Red Monkey
7) Let the Music Take Control - Darude/Ville Virtanen
8) Painkiller - Freestylers feat. Pendulum
9) My Life Would Suck Without You (Bass Force Remix) - Kelly Clarkson
10) Thunderstruck - Blizzard Brothers
11) Jump that Rock (Whatever you want) - Scooter vs. Status Quo
12) Never Cry Again - Dash Berlin

[1 hour cardio playlist]

I'd welcome any other favorite gym workout songs. I need to mix things up a little!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mental Block

It was so tough to go to the gym this morning! I was so sore from yesterday's boxing lesson - my arms and torso were killing me. Still, I had to go. If I want to finish Stage 1 of NROL4W before traveling, then there as no way I could miss today's workout.

As soon as I walked into the gym I saw H, my boxing coach. I kid you not, my muscles immediately tensed. I was like 'Please, stay away. My muscles are crying!' He laughed a bit and then reminded me that I had to cut my nails before our next session (protest!) and that I needed to make sure to cool down properly after our workouts to ease the soreness. Points noted H. I'll see what I can do about cutting my nails.

Since I've been doing a bit more cardio than I had planned I thought I'd take it easy on that front today and just focus on the weights. Doing squats on the new free weights machine is a bit tough - you've really got to watch your balance -- I was grateful when M put the neck cushion the bar - it really helped. My poor math ability really comes out when trying to calculate how much weight I should add ... for example, it wasn't until I got home and I was entering my sets into the computer that I realized - wait a second, I didn't lift 35/35/40 today like I thought I had ... the bar weighs 20. There were 2 10-kg weights on either side -- in my mind, I didn't think about the other side and just wrote down that I did a set of 30 ... then I added a pair of 2.5 kg plates -- and wrote it down as 35 ... for the last set I thought I'd push myself and decided to add another pair of 2.5 kg plates ... and I thought I was just lifting 40 ... Wait a second - that wasn't 40 kg - it was 50! So I did a warm-up set at 40 kg. Then went on to do two sets at 45, and the final set at 50 ... wtf. How did that happen? I knew the bar felt heavy ... but I pushed through it ... once again, making me realize what a major effect mental preparation has on my workouts.

I continued the rest of my workout - my push-ups are definitely getting better, I'm having a tough time with the 41 kg seated rows. I increased my step-up set by 1 kg ... and then the prone jackknife ... I was a bit freaked out because this is the last phase ... will I really be able to complete 3 sets of 12? I did the first two sets and struggled a bit with balance during the last 2 reps ... and then, just before I started my third set I realized - wait a second, I'm not supposed to do 3 sets of 12. I'm supposed to do 3 sets of 15! How the hell will I be able to manage that? I was so disappointed - I already struggled a bit with the 12 reps ... and now 15? I paced around the workout studio a bit (another benefit of working out in the women's only section - you pretty much have it all to yourself!) ... and then thought - no, if the program says 15 reps for Workout 7, then I'm going to do 15. So I braced myself and did the set of 15. It was all about concentration and sheer determination of getting at least 1 set of 15 done today ...

My legs were feeling a bit achy so I decided to just walk for 15 minutes to kind of loosen them up. While I was walking I thought - just 1 set of 15 is not enough. You've got to do at least one more set. If I could do it once, then I can do it again ... so after I finished on the treadmill I went for it - and managed to complete my 2nd set.

I would be (should be, perhaps?) happy that I managed to do it - but I guess I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't complete 3 sets of 15 ... I also can't help but wonder if I'm getting the most out of my workouts doing them on my own? I guess that's part of the challenge.

Anyway. I'm glad that I completed workout 7A though I do think that I maybe I should have taken today off to rest a bit. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2011

FMM - Future vs Past

I've been spending quite a bit of time examining and reevaluating my past - choices I made, habits I developed, fears I've held on to, memories I've suppressed ... it hasn't been the easiest of times and it has definitely unleashed quite a few internal demons that I was not prepared to deal with at the moment ... that being said, perhaps this week's FMM is a good opportunity to look forward and visualize what I hope the future will hold for me? I'm not very good at looking verbalizing what I hope for the future ... I'll give it a shot.

... ... ... ...

Hmmm ... it's not happening. I thought that I could do it, but I can't. I just can't seem to visualize anything past what's happening in my life right here, right now. I'm not saying it's a good or a bad thing - it's just how things stand.

I'm a bit disappointed that I couldn't bring myself to write anything - perhaps I have a lot further to go emotionally and mentally than I realized. I know that there are things that I want to let go of, and indeed things that I need to let go of ... but I'm just not at that point yet. Am I fooling myself by saying that it's a good first step to at least acknowledge this? I'm not sure.

Maybe all I can really say is --

Dear Future Self --
I know you've been making strides in the right direction. I hope that you've made it to where you want to be and that the past no longer haunts you. I hope that you are finally able to stand still and be calm.
-- Ay.

Not the most cheerful letter, is it? Well, I guess I managed to write a little something after all ...

Motivation Monday -- Lose Yourself (Eminem)

This song totally gets me pumped up for my workout -- you only get one shot.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

NROL4W – Progress: Workouts 5&6

Today I completed workouts 5 and 6 of NROL4W. I am really happy with how the program is going so far. I'm a bit tense because I've got less than 2 weeks to complete the remaining 4 workouts as well as the two challenge workouts at the end of the program ... still, I'm sticking to the plan and moving forward.

These two workouts felt like the went by quickly. I was completing 3 sets of 10 for all the exercises except for the prone jackknife and the Swiss ball crunches which were 3 sets of 12. Prone jackknife is going to go up to 3 sets of 15 in the next phase -- I'm nervous!! Anyway.

I think that I've made good progress. I think this is one of the problems with doing the program on my own; I've only have myself to rely on to push forward and get the work done. Sometimes the trainers help me or give me pointers, but they also want to get involved and perhaps tell me to do a different type of dead lift or to do more reps on my squats. Still, I've been firm in telling them that I'm working on this specific program and I don't want to stray - they've been cool.

Today was the first day that I could not complete a set without stopping. The lateral pulls in workout B are really tough at 41 kg. The thing is, the weight below is 34 kg and that's relatively easy - so I don't want to lower the weight. I wish there was some way I could just do 37 ... in any case, I managed to do two whole sets of 10 at 41 kg though the last 3 reps of each set were really tough. When I got to the third set, I could only do 6. I tried. Honestly, I tried. I did not want to let go of the bar, but I just couldn't pull it down ... so I let go, took a few seconds to pull myself together and finished the last 4. I was hoping I would have been able to do more than 4, but I think I was just knackered! Anyway. At least it's something to work towards these last two weeks.

Other than that, I think I've done quite well. My prone jackknives are getting better; I've moved over to the bigger weight room and am using the squats rack to do my squats; I've added 1 more pair of steps for my step-ups ... and today, I did shoulder presses with 9kg! I'm definitely proud of that!!

So, here's my progress so far.

Workout A in Workouts 5&6 [3 sets of 10]

Squats 30/30/30; 30/35/35 [increase 23 kg since workout 1]
Push-ups body weight
Seated row 34/34/34; 34/41/41 [increase 27.38 since workout 1]
Step up - 6/6/7; raised by 1 pair of steps 7/7/7 [increase 3 kg plus added steps since workout 1]
Prone jackknife - body weight; quite steady for my 3 sets of 12 & boy did I feel it in my abs afterwards!

Workout B in Workouts 5&6
Dead lifts 40/40/40; 40/40/40 [tough in workout 5, but better in workout 6 - increase 15 kg since workout 1]
Shoulder press 7/8/8; 8/8/9 [increase 5 kg since workout 1 - very happy with this!]
Lateral pull 34/41/41; 41/41/41 [very difficult at 41!] [increase 13.76 kg since workout 1]
Lunges 7/8/8; 8/8/8 [increase 2 kg since workout 1 - but definitely going lower with each lunge]
Swiss ball crunch - body weight [3 sets of 12 - not difficult]

So that's where I'm at. I'm so happy to see the amount of weight that I've increased. I'm assuming that I'm making the right amount of progress. I guess I'll find out once I'm in London.

Today my boxing trainer finally caught me for some sparring practice. I haven't boxed in ages and had to wait longer than I would have liked due to my bronchitis. I got to wear my new boxing gloves! They felt great! He really put me through a workout and I must have had a look of utter panic on my face at one point as I saw his fist a bit too close to my face for my liking. Serves me right for letting my guard down. Was totally stoked when he said that he's noticed an increase in my strength through my punches. It felt great, but oh my goodness - I was exhausted afterwards! We're training again tomorrow - I definitely need to make sure I get a good night's sleep tonight!

Oh, and one more little success - I've cut my 1 km warm-up time by 1 minute and 18 seconds. I'm trying to be more brave with my sprint speed and duration. I'd love to be able to run 1 km straight before leaving for London -- will keep at it and see how it goes!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Standing Still

Today is my day off from the gym. I hate taking days off, it really irritates me and makes me feel restless, but I know that I have to. Plus I have discovered that these rest days do help me improve my workouts overall. Once again, it's just a psychological battle. I feel that not exercising = gaining weight/being unproductive/being lazy etc. etc. These thoughts continue despite the evidence that I do feel stronger and that I can run faster after my muscles have had a chance to rest. Is it weird to say that I find my stubbornness frustrating?

Well, aside from my stubbornness, I feel like I'm so close to reaching a point where I can face those inner demons, but I can't yet ... and it's bugging me. For the past two days there's been a kind of underlying angst and it's exhausting. Why can't I just confront these thoughts, memories, and fears and let them go? What is holding me back? Do I know the answers to these questions and I'm just fooling myself by telling myself I don't? I don't know. I honestly feel like I don't know. I just feel stuck.

The only thing that I can do at this moment is keep moving forward. Sometimes you've just got to fake it till you make it ... the last thing I'm going to do is let these feelings of frustration keep me down - I've got things to do, places to go, people to see ... life doesn't stop just because I'm feeling out of sync ... so I'm just going to keep moving forward until I'm ready to cope with standing still.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baked Haddock with Steamed Vegetables

I never thought so much flavor could come from such a simple recipe. This will definitely be a weekly meal at my house.

1 6oz. haddock fillet
1 cup broccoli chopped
1/2 cup carrots chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 tablespoon dry basil
3/4 tablespoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon parmesan
pinch black pepper

1) In a bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard, basil, oregano, parmesan, and pepper
2) Coat the fish with the mixture
3) Place fish on a baking tray sprayed with fat free cooking spray and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes
4) While the fish is baking, steam the vegetables

You're good to go! See, so easy! [For additional taste you can sprinkle some salt and add 1 tablespoon of butter spray -- but these calories are not included in the nutritional breakdown.

Nutritional info:
Baked haddock:
260 calories
45.5 g of protein
3.9 g carbohydrates
2.4 g fiber
3.4 g fat (1.1 g saturated fat)

Steamed vegetables:
50 calories
2.6 g. protein
10.4 g carbohydrates
4.3 g fiber
0.1 g fat (0 g saturated fat)

(The picture shows 2 3oz. haddock fillets.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Battling those Demons

I woke up in the middle of the night with a start - I was drenched in sweat and my was heart racing ... The images from the nightmare I just had were still fresh in my mind and so were the feelings that accompanied them. I got out of bed and went to walk around the apartment a bit and splash some water on my face to cool down. I had to wonder why? Why did I have a nightmare tonight? I haven't had one in such a long time (and I did go through a few phases where I would have nightmares night after night).

It wasn't a scary dream, but rather an emotional one. I was being abandoned and rejected by all those around me (in various ways) and was just feeling alone. It was a haunting feeling.

It wasn't until later in the day when I was talking to MC that I realized why it had happened. A huge part of this whole journey to health and happiness has to do with dealing with those emotional triggers and mental obstacles that have prevented me/caused me to be where I am today. I know that eventually I will have to openly deal with these factors - but I've never been that type of person who is really honest with herself. I'd rather just sweep things under the carpet and wait for the feelings/emotions/thoughts to pass.

I do know, however, that that's not the way to go. I have to be able to forgive and forget. I have to deal with all the negativity that has been a part of my past and just let it go. But that's easier said than done ... anyway. I think that just putting myself in that situation - of acknowledging that I need to do this emotional/psychological cleansing has unleashed some of those mental demons. So even though I'm not consciously ready to deal with them, apparently my subconscious is unearthing them during the night.

I haven't come up with any solutions yet, but I am relieved to have pinpointed what I believe to be the source of the nightmare. Change doesn't happen overnight, but I do feel like I'm taking steps in the right direction.

On a more positive note:
I had another good day at the gym. Today was my easy day - just half an hour of HIIT on the treadmill. I've upped my sprint times to 10 km/hr (again with the constant mantra - I know I can, I know I can), and it felt great. I can definitely feel myself getting stronger. I mean part of why my cardio is getting better I think is directly related to my legs getting stronger. Anyway. I'm feeling positive about the program so far and I think I really needed that in order to keep my motivation for the next two weeks. I leave for London exactly two weeks from today - there's lots of work to be done!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I know I Can. I Know I Can.

As I drove to the gym this morning, I had one thing in mind - I will not doubt myself. I will push myself a bit harder, and I will not let fear hold me back. When I did Workout 5A two days ago, I kept thinking about the squats I did (not that I could forget because my thighs were still burning). It wasn't about the exercise, it was about the weight that I used. If T hadn't put 30 kg on the bar, I would have just gone to 27 ... that's when I realized, maybe I'm not working to my potential. That was something that I was going to try and change today.

The first thing was my warm-up cardio. I used to do just 0.5 km to get my heart rate up. Today I decided to increase it to 1 km and just focus on trying to improve my speed over the next two weeks. It was just a warm-up so I didn't want to overdo it - 1 km was totally manageable and throwing in a few 30-second sprints wasn't a problem either.

Now, on to workout 5B ... dead lifts. The last time I did dead lifts I went up to 37 kg. This is
what the bar looked like ... obviously there wasn't enough space for me to add a 1 kg weight to the bar ... I already had a 10, 5, 2.5, and 1 kg on there ... so I thought f*ck it - I'm putting 40 kg on. I went ahead and loaded the bar and told myself - you can do this. You can absolutely do this ... and I did. I have to admit the last three reps of each set were tough - mainly because I felt the bar slipping from my hand, but I just took a deep breath and held on - I was determined to finish my three sets without faltering in between reps. It felt great. I felt like I was using just the right weight - not impossible, but still quite challenging. I'm can't wait until I get to the point where 40 kg won't be a problem and I can move on.

Anyway. I then went up to do the rest of my weights. I started all the exercises with the same weight I did last week ... and then for the second and third sets, I increased the weights.

I feel like I've got the weakest shoulders in the world. Before I started this routine, I could barely use 3 kg dumbbells to do the shoulder presses -- today I used 8 kg dumbbells! I was stoked! The next challenge was the lateral pull. Now, last week I did 34 kg ... this week, well, the next weight on the machine is 41 kg ... that's a big jump. It was quite intimidating but then I paused again and said - you can do it. Push yourself. You have to take it up a notch. So I adjust the weight to 41 and went for it. Like the dead lifts, the last three reps for each set were really, really tough. I paid attention to my posture, but I wasn't able to pull the bar as low as I would have liked. Still, I kept telling myself - Come on, you've done 5, you can surely do 6. Ok, now you've done 6, let's wrap this up and do the final 4 ... anyway - you get the picture. So again, I'm pleased that I tried and I definitely feel like I'm using a weight that is appropriate as it's giving me something to work up to.

I carried 8 kg dumbbells for my lunges as well - my thighs were still burning from before so the lunges were tough! Still, I'm definitely getting better - going lower, feeling more steady - now I've just got to get used to the weight. Finally - Swiss ball crunches - no problem!

I finished up my workout today with 4km on the cross-trainer. I haven't been on the cross-trainer since my bronchitis hit, so I was a bit nervous, but I went for it anyway -- it was good. I cut my time down by 2 minutes! I hadn't expected that ... I'm going to keep pushing to work on increasing my intensity/resistance and building my speed.

Overall, I felt really good today. I felt strong. I felt like I had accomplished something. I actually felt proud of myself for not letting any doubtful thoughts sway me from taking it up a notch. Now I just have to apply this positive thinking to all the other aspects of my life!

Workout 5 complete -- Three more workout sets before the final challenge!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nuts over Nutrition

Food scale, calculator, measuring cups, Glad/Ziplock bags and containers … these are the things that have taken over my kitchen.

Since I’m now in the second half of this training challenge, I figured it was time to double-check my nutrition. I knew I was eating healthily. I even knew that my portions were fine. However, there were two big problem areas – first of all, I was not hitting my calorie target for the day. I would usually be running 300-600 calories under what I was supposed to be eating, even though I felt like I was eating enough and I wasn’t hungry. The other problem was my carbohydrates – I was clearly consuming too many carbohydrates – and falling short on my daily calorie, protein, and fat intake (is it just me, or does anybody else think it’s a bit weird to say I need to increase my fat intake to lose weight) … anyway, it’s all about balance, right? Getting the right amount of everything. Getting the nutrients from healthy food.

So … I’ve been measuring, calculating, noting, editing, modifying, packaging, freezing, etc. etc. etc. Whew! It’s exhausting – but definitely worth it. The one thing that I still have to get a handle on is how much time this all takes – it’s not easy. Finding out proper nutritional information and then doing all the calculations – making sure that they’re accurate and not just somebody’s personal guess … plus the time it takes to double (triple) check my calculations. Yes, it takes lots and lots of time.

At first I thought I could just spend a bit of time before each meal and prepare everything, but now I realize that I need to set aside a good chunk of time two days each week in order to figure out my meal plan, do the counts, and do as much prep as possible.

Now, I’ve got a list of my frequent foods for each type of meal and I’ve done the nutritional breakdown for those foods. My breakfasts are not that interesting, nor are my lunches. It’s my dinners that I’ve been trying to get a bit more creative with. I’ve got a whiteboard in my kitchen and it’s got nutritional info written. The good thing about the list is that I’ve also included various quick snacks that I can eat without having to worry about the nutrition factor. Plus, thank goodness for freezer bags/containers – I’ve got my fish fillets weighed and packed, my vegetarian chili measured out and stored in containers, and I’m gradually adding the calorie breakdown of different foods to add it to my collection. I hope that soon enough I’ll be able to choose my foods without going into so much detail, but for now, I think I’ll have to put in the time in order to get it right.

Here’s a picture of my board – calorie breakdown of my frequent foods + a reminder of how many calories & nutrients I should be consuming each day, and my list of quick snacks and healthy foods with their nutritional info. J

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kenlie's FMM - Girly Questions

Well, I certainly didn’t think I’d be sharing this info with anybody today! Still, following Kenlie’s FMM – here are my answers J

1. Do you like to shop? Absolutely!! Love to shop for anything, but I’m particularly obsessed with shoes!

2. How often do you wear makeup? Everyday – at the very least eyeliner and lip gloss whenever I leave house – whether I’m heading out to buy groceries, go to the gym, or go out with friends – it’s the minimum I always have on.

3. How do you feel about nail polish? Love it! I like to be creative with different types of French manicure combinations. Today I put on a dark coral color and I love it! Very summery J

4. Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? Yes, in the sense that I believe in equality for men and women. To me feminism does not = anti-men. It’s about embracing every aspect of being a woman – the good, the bad, the ugly … and the beautiful (Read Katie’s blog entry on feminism and watch the video she’s posted – it’s great)

5. What’s your biggest challenge as a woman? That’s a tough question. I don’t know if I have any big challenge because of my gender …

6. Do you wear skirts and dresses? I don’t wear dresses often, but I do love my skirts.

7. How do you feel about high heels? Love them. Love them. Love them. Hate flats.

8. Do you subscribe to magazines? If so, which ones? I subscribe to Women’s Health, Shape, and Cosmo

9. Do you shave your legs/wax/ use depilatory creams or go au naturale? I feel completely blessed that this is not something I have to worry about – but when I do have to take care of any issues, I’ll shave

10. What do you like most about being a woman? I love the fact that I am capable of doing whatever needs to be done. I am proud of being able to work, workout, study, take care of my house, socialize, and take time for myself. Sometimes the tasks can be overwhelming – but they’re never impossible & I think that strength comes from being a woman.

Motivation Monday -- Favorite Jillian Michaels Quotes

For today – a few motivational quotes from Jillian Michaels. I absolutely love her intensity and the passion she has for helping people make healthier choices and live happier lives.

"The past does not define you, the present does.

"Why choose fail when success is an option?

"Be brave and be patient. Have faith in yourself; trust in the significance of your life and the purpose of your passion. You are strong enough to sit in the space between spaces and allow divine inspiration to shed some light. when you put positive energy and productive effort into the world it will come back to you. Occasionally in ways you might not immediately understand and on a time frame you didn't expect. Look. Listen. Learn. Stay open. Your destiny is awaiting you."

... and my favorite (something I keep in mind whenever I'm doing cardio)

"Unless you puke, faint or die, Keep Going!"

All quotes taken from

Prone Jackknife Success!

Today marked the halfway point of this workout challenge. I hope that I’m able to complete the remaining workouts before my progress is properly evaluated. I have definitely found that in the first three weeks the mental battle has been tougher to fight than the physical one (aside from my bronchitis of course).

Workouts 5 and 6 are up to 3 sets but only at 10 reps. I hope that I’ll be able to increase some of the weights. I know that I’m having most trouble increasing my weight with the seated row and lateral pull – I’ve tried the next weight up and my form is totally off, so I guess I just have to gradually build up to that.

Today I completed Workout A of Workout 5. I think it went really well. I’ve now moved over to the bigger weight room since I can’t do the squats on my own anymore. I was going to just do 25 kg, when the trainer that was with me said – No, you can do 30. So I did. It just reminded me, once again, to take a few moments and try and assess – am I not lifting more because I’m scared or because it’s really not something I can do at this point in time without compromising my form/risking injury (notice that I didn’t say ‘is this something I can’t do) J

I went upstairs to the women’s section of the gym to complete the rest of my workout. It was lovely being the only one there … until someone else came in. It was actually a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in over a month so it was nice to catch up – but all of a sudden I felt self-conscious … only because I knew that 3 sets of 12 reps of the prone jackknife were coming up and I was dreading it!! I almost considered skipping it (as I type this I’m thinking – why would I let someone else’s presence affect me so much? It must be a fear of failure and fear of looking stupid. I need to get over this.) … but I didn’t – and in fact, I completed those 3 sets with no hesitation at all. As soon as I steadied the ball, I was able to balance my feet on it without any unsteadiness. My arms felt strong and steady. My core was tight. Away I went. All three sets completed and I felt great. So different from my first try! I was very happy.

I wanted to write a bit more about nutrition today, but I think I’ll save it for tomorrow’s post as I still need to put up Motivation Monday and hop over to FMM to see what’s happening.

Today was a good day J