Thursday, September 30, 2010

Week 3 - Day 5 of 6 Treadmill - 1000+ calories burned

Today was great.

I got up at 4:50 am and was on the road by 5:15 -- and then, traffic. Ah, fellow travelars on the road out of Antioch -- please sleep in tomorrow so I can high tale it out of here!

Made it to the gym near my work and got on the treadmill. You know the drill. 15% incline, and go! I was walking at a brisk pace and tried out the Prevention Magazine Interval Training free iTunes download. Awful music, but compelling to have someone saying, "Okay now the music is going to speed up for the first 60 second high speed interval." and then, "Only 15 seconds to go!". The first interval I ran at 4.5 miles, second interval 5.0, and third interval briefly ran at 6.0 then slowed back down to 5.5. What I love about this is 1) you can do almost anything for 60 seconds... and 2) if 5.0 feels fast, and you go 6.0, suddenly 5.5 doesn't feel so bad.

I listened to Podrunner "Dark Designs" also free on iTunes, and then at 600 calories burned hit stop and went upstairs to the weights. I love the weight room upstairs at Emeryville InShape. It is a brick building with exposed brick, high ceilings and skylights. There are windows on three sides, and you can see the sun rise over the train station. There were four guys upstairs lifting weights and they left me alone. I went to the Lat Pull down and did drop sets. 15 reps at 55lbs, then 15 at 50 lbs (the first one at 60 by mistake - ouch) and then 20 reps at 45. Then took a quick rest and did the same weight /reps Rowing. It felt good. Then, over to the leg press and it was already set at 90 lbs, and I haven't done those in a while, so I just stuck with that 10 x 3 sets.
Then back to the treadmill for another 400 calories brisk walking.

At the end of that I felt good. Not exhausted just awake and strong.

Tomorrow I will wrap up day 6 of 6 and then will kick off Week 4 on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week 3 - Day 4 of 6 Treadmill - 1000+ calories burned

Today was a battle.

After the first 30 minutes I was thinking, hang in there till an hour or 600 calories whichever comes first.

I was out of energy and feeling worn out.

Then as I got to an hour and 795 calories burned I jumped onto a new machine and did another 205 calories to get me to 1000 and then I stopped. I went about 4 miles. It wasn't easy but I slowed the pace down and I knew if I kept going I'd get there eventually, and I did.

Some days are harder than others. That's okay. Each day is it's own fresh start. Tomorrow I may wake up and find the strength to go another 1000, or I may just take a rest day and regroup.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 3 Day 3 of 6 Treadmill - 1000+ calories burned 5 miles

I woke up at 5:20 this morning and contemplated whether or not to go back to sleep.
This little voice rang in my ears, "Get Up!" I didn't need more prompting.
I dressed in my gym clothes and headed out the door.

I stayed on the treadmill for 70 minutes walking at 4.4 miles per hour. I didn't even think that was possible. Nothing like slowly building up endurance to stretch your comfort zone, I was sure I could have kept walking at 4.5 or 4.6 -- but I want to take it easily, gently and not get hurt (again).

I set the incline at Max 15% and watched the Star Track lap red blinkie light move slowly around the oval track. I can count to 11 before it goes to the next blinkie light.

I took two steps per second and that equates to 14,000 steps.

At the end of it, I felt good but was left thinking about how the Star Track Calories burned is about 200 calories different than the other Treadmill at the gym. The other one uses a weight calculation. I looked briefly for a good calories burned calculator. Wow, there is a huge range of calculators, probably best to take that little number with a grain of salt.

That said, if it motivates you to walk longer because you want to see a four digit Calorie Burned number, then who cares how precise it is. You walked a little more because of it, and that can't hurt.

One way I was able to keep up the fast pace was listening to a new Podcast I discovered on iTunes. It's called Podrunner. I listened to Staring At The Sun and part of The Engines of Distraction. They are free. They are 140 and 180 bpm and they wander and meander. I felt like I was at a giant rave, in my mind. It was really easy to lose track of time, even as I counted the seconds.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week 3 - Day 2 of 6 Treadmill - 1000+ calories burned 4.55 miles

Woke up this morning, slipped into gym clothes and stole from the house before the kids were awake.

I set the Treadmill incline 15% 4.0 miles per hour for the whole hour, at the end of the hour I had burned over 900 calories so I sped up and increased the "cool down" time and waited until I saw the 1000 calories burned milestone.

One question that occupies my mind is what is more appealing to me than whatever food I may find tempting? The answer lately is a dream vacation. I don't know if not spending money on edible treats would make that dream easier to achieve, but it is a decision that can make me reflect upon what I really want, and if it isn't always a cookie, that's a good thing.

Listened to New Moon and Eclipse Soundtracks. Craving some new music though, well, not necessarily new -- just different. I don't own any Police, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, Paul Simon, Joy Division, and my budget for music right now is null. It won't always be like this.
Maybe a CD Mix Lending Library could be arranged?

This afternoon it will be hot out here so I am planning on taking the kids back to the pool. They are water babies, just like me.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 3 - Day 1 of 6 Treadmill - 805 calories burned 4 miles

Today I got to 600 calories burned and kept going.
For most of the hour I was walking at 4.0 miles per hour. Once I hit an hour, I was so close to finishing the 4th mile I set that as a short term goal and kept going.

Over the course of an hour a lot of random thoughts can go through your head. I am really enjoying this time first thing in the morning where I am walking and just letting my mind wander.

Last night I had a terrible nightmare. 1st I dreamed a bunch of people who had lost their houses to foreclosure came and took over our house... and then somewhere in trying to navigate that Eric and I realized we'd been away from the children for over two hours, and we raced back to the house to check on them. I woke up with a flood of adrenaline, terrified out of my mind. I was able to relax and fall back asleep quickly. In the past I would have tried to replay the dream to work out a happy ending. This time instead I just repeated gently over and over again to myself. Somehow that word was just what I needed to hear and I fell back into a really restful fearless sleep.

Somewhere on the treadmill at about 40 minutes in I felt a muscle twinge. I slowed down the treadmill a bit and took really deliberate careful steps. I focused on how I felt, knowing that if I needed to stop, I would have to just to protect myself. After a minute I felt fine. Instead of continuing at the slower pace, I accelerated back to 4.0 and finished strong - and pain-free.

It would have been really easy to stay at the slower pace and worry that I was going to get hurt, but instead I focused on how I was feeling in the moment and didn't let the fear get in the driver seat.

I got home and Caitlin was tucked in on the couch watching her favorite cartoon "Horseland". I fed her the cereal and then gave her a peach. She then requested another peach, an apple, and orange, applesauce, and a pickle. I told her to wait and let the food settle a little first. She was really enjoying me sharing food with her, so I need to give her my full attention so she doesn't equate love and attention with food.
Gotta Go!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 2 - Day 6 of 6 Treadmill

Yesterday I did my 600 calories/60 minutes

Today, I walked at 4 miles an hour for an hour, and burned 750 calories.

Then today at lunch I walked over to Emeryville Market with a friend and we split a Medium Mocha Freddo. I did the calorie calculation and the 378 calorie drink, split into two cups minus the 1.5 miles we walked (approx 100 calories per mile on flat incline) -- the treat was less than 40 calories.

I printed the draft of my weight loss book tonight, and am working on layout.
Somewhere around 100 pages the toner ran out, so I have about half of it to work with -- but that is more than enough to edit.

The past two weeks of this walking 6 days a week plan has been wonderful. I am definitely going for Week 3 starting this Saturday. Tomorrow I will take a day off.

At the end of my 750 calories burned walk I did go upstairs and do some rows and lat pull downs. It felt great.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You're Hired!

I wanted to find a picture that would capture what waking up in the morning could be like at it's best. If I were staying at the resort pictured to the right, I'd wake up in the morning happy to be alive.

Most mornings I wake up before the sun and I know if I laid in bed and stared at the ceiling and said, "Do I feel like going to work today?" I'd probably find the answer would be no more often than not. It's not that I don't love my job -- it's just getting out of a nice warm bed can be less appealing than sleeping in.

I don't ask myself if I feel like going to work because I know most days I would be able to think of at least one hundred things I'd rather do among them "sleeping in, staying in bed, reading a book, playing with the kids, hanging out with my husband, going to the beach, going for a walk, going shopping..." and on and on. I don't give myself the option not to get up, get out of bed and go to work. It used to be called having a work ethic. Maybe you've heard of it?

Maybe you do this too. If you do have to get out of bed every morning like it or not and do something, then I know you can change your habits in the kitchen, regarding snacking, eating out, and going to the gym.

How do I know this about you?

Well, if you have a job, then you know how to find things you enjoy about working and hopefully you show up happy to be where you are, you do the stuff you need to do, and you'll do it today, and you'll do it again tomorrow. If the drive to earn a salary and have money is one that motivates you to go to work, if you have to pay the bills or if you stay home and raise children, if you have to watch the kids; then you understand that there are some choices that aren't really choices.

If you want to hire yourself to take on a new million dollar project called, how to do less and have more happiness, be healthier, look better, and live longer... then guess what "You're Hired!"

Yes, that is right, why not hire yourself to be your own best friend? Decide that there are a few things you are doing that aren't helpful to your longer term goal of being healthier and happier. This is your personal performance review. You're great. You're amazing. We think you are doing a great job... but you aren't taking wonderful care of yourself and that needs to change. I like Debbie Reynold's, "It doesn't matter how good you look, you can always look better, you can always feel better." as she starts her "Doing it Debbie's Way" exercise video (yes video before the invention of DVDs).

So, hire yourself and come up with some short term goals.

There are a lot of different goals you could have regarding your health and/or weight-loss. Think about what motivates you and start collecting a second income -- called health, beauty, happiness, and longevity. And it is TAX FREE!! Gotta love that.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You Were Born Thin!

I have been looking for images that inspire me. I find that the better I feel, the less stressed I am, and the less likely I am to think eating too much is tempting. It's not -- eating when I am full just sounds unappealing -- but this is something I am working like a muscle. Instead of pumping iron, I am collecting positive thoughts, feelings, and images.
I had this flash a while ago -- we were all born to be in good shape. I have a belief that we are all born to be a healthy weight. I believe we all have the innate ability to maintain a healthy weight. I think if anyone who is currently skinny had to deal with everything you have dealt with in your life, and ate all the foods you do, they would weigh roughly what you weigh now.

Whether or not this hypothesis is true, what would it get you to imagine that it is? Would it mean that you could start seeing yourself as someone who has the ability to change your life? I think you can. I know I did.

I believe you can lose the weight you want to lose. I believe you can make more loving choices and increase the amount of pleasure and joy in your life.

Week 2 - Day 4 of 6 Treadmill

Another 3 miles, another 600 calories burned this morning.

I was on the treadmill that shows laps, I did 12 laps. I was going a little faster than yesterday and feeling good about what I was doing. Boredom could be a danger to this program, but by changing the music I am listening to, how fast I am going and racing myself, seeing how long I can run at 5 miles an hour before I feel like my heart is going to jump out of my chest keeps me on my toes.

This afternoon at the office I served pie and ice cream to about 50 co-workers. I had asked the group I am part of that hosted the event to bring some apples too -- which they did! I had an apple and skipped all the pie, ice cream. I noticed my serving sizes were smaller than the servings of the other people who were serving. I didn't think badly of anyone that wanted the pie, didn't raise my eyebrows and say "are you sure you want apple and pumpkin, and ice cream, and whip cream..." The point was to offer a "treat" on an otherwise uneventful Tuesday. It was nice that the treat was expanded to include apples, and I did hear a few people comment that they liked that option.

This reminds me of some great party advice I heard on Beyond Diet podcast. When you go to a party, if everyone is walking around with a glass in their hand, grab a cup and get some water. People don't care if you're not drinking alcohol, but there is a lot of pressure to have people participate. "Are you sure I can't offer you something to drink?" Also, if you are going to a party, a sneaky trick Keith Kline has is to make a low calorie healthy dish and bring it. That way when everyone else is loading up their plates, you aren't sitting off in a corner not eating.

Looking forward to tomorrow for Day 5 of 6.

You may wonder why Wednesday is Day 5... well, no matter what day you start your exercise routine you can call that Day 1.

Is today your Day One?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week 2 - Day 3 of 6 Treadmill

This morning my son Christopher woke up at 6:30 and chirped, "Mommy, look the sun is up! It's Good Morning Time!" and proceeded to bring me a stack of books to read to him.

I didn't make it to the gym first thing, and spent a nice leisurely morning at home. (Vacation Day). This evening I headed to the gym and accomplished Day 3 Week 2 of Treadmill 15% incline. I went over 2.5 miles and burned over 600 calories.

It felt great, and I finished running at 4.5 miles an hour keeping time to Billy Joel's My Life which was playing on the gym sound system.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Falling In Love

Love is essential.

I don't have to know you to know that what you want, deep down is to be happy. What you want, deep down is to look the best you can look, pain free and enjoyably. We all want that.

Falling in love isn't about making a plan to only eat dessert on the weekends, or promising to never eat your favorite foods again. Instead, finding things to say yes to things that are new and good should be your daily goal.

When you decide to marry someone - one of the biggest questions you have to answer is, "Can I imagine spending the rest of my life with this person?" often answered romantically as, "I can't imagine my life without you."

Over and over again I had read of people falling in love with exercise. I thought of them as weirdos like those people who intentionally eat tofu. What you are really falling in love with isn't the time you are spending in the gym – as much as the way it makes you feel over the course of the day. On days where I exercise I am in a better mood all day, no matter what unfolds. We were made to move and though our lives now don't generally require us to do a lot of walking, running, jumping – that is what our bodies are designed to do. I could give you a can opener and ask you to hammer a nail into a wall. You could either beat the heck out of the nail or tell me you'd like a better tool. If I recommend walking on a treadmill, and you hate treadmills – don't get on one. What do you prefer to do? This is all about you – what you want, what you prefer.

You may say you prefer to sit on the couch and do nothing. Well, what if you did something crazy like use a tiny size serving bowl and if you are going to snack in front of the TV you only serve yourself 4 chips at a time? And then you walk to the kitchen to get 4 more during the commercial. You make a game of it. If at the end of it you got up 20 more times than you would have and eat 10 less chips, you've done better than you would have. Raise the bar higher tomorrow but celebrate your victory today. It isn't all or nothing when it comes to losing weight. It's just doing better more often than not.

The less you are willing to do anything the more just doing a little something could start to open the door. For people that feel completely stuck, there is hope. I have been there. I felt totally hopeless, yet despite feeling like there was nothing I could do, miraculously I was able to escape to health and happiness. I have a truckload of good tricks up my sleeve and I am sharing all of them.

Saying "I do" to a diet that forces you to do things you can't commit to for the rest of your life is like marrying someone you're not crazy about. It may work for a while, but it's not going to work out. Thinking of a diet as a temporary thing that you do until you reach a goal may make it possible to say "yes" to all kinds of unappealing things for the short term, but it is nearly impossible to condemn yourself to saying yes to a lifetime of pain and discomfort. Although, ironically, if you aren't at your healthy weight you are inadvertently saying yes to just that.

By intentionally inching your behavior toward better and better choices, you gradually begin to think, feel and behave like a healthier happier person. If you have a lot of motivation to make bigger changes, you'll make faster progress. But maybe you are just at the butterfly stage, the tiny flap of the wing that will eventually spawn the tsunami. Take head unwanted pounds, your days are numbered. This body is going to transform before your very eyes. Growing muscles and shedding fat and becoming lighter and happier.

Give yourself credit for everything you do that is better for you to reinforce that you are making new choices and improving your health - every day.

Making the process of losing weight about finding greater happiness means you are falling in love with yourself. Loving yourself is a wonderful thing. It isn't vain or selfish. If you don't love yourself, you are not able to give love to others. We are meant to live loving happy lives. The happier we are, the more happiness we can share. When I am feeling happy, it is easier for me to give my husband, my children, my family, friends, and strangers on the street more kindness. Being centered in a healthy happy way makes life easier. This better feeling can happen now, and does not need to wait until you are at the "perfect" weight.

Week 2 - Day 2 of 6 Treadmill - chance encounter with a woman in a wheel chair changed my outlook this morning

Woke up at 7 and headed to the gym.
I walked 2.69 miles and burned 630 calories.

Breakfast - Coffee with whole milk, and some of Eric's homemade whole wheat bread (with cinnamon, cardamon, and raisin) with an amazing scramble: eggs, shredded zucchini, peas, spinach, and lentils... and a little bacon.

Now planning to head to Alameda this afternoon for a walk around Crab Cove and to take the kids to the playground.

Tomorrow I am taking the day off work and planning to go to the gym before starting the rest of my day.

Today I listened to Bob Dylan, Cake, Go-Go's, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Elastica, Depeche Mode, White Stripes and Chris Isaak. The four televisions in the "ladies only" workout room were tuned to Lifetime Drama, Joel Osteen, and two crummy news channels. I did listen to Joel (christian evangelist) for about 10 minutes. He spent the whole time talking about the farmer who sowed good seeds but had an enemy plant weeds in his field. He was trying to explain the concept of keeping faith when bad things happen to good people. I don't know if he has figured out for himself that no matter what happens in life, you have a choice about how to think and feel about it. When I had reached my limit of having an incredibly basic concept explained about 10 different ways, I hoped the rest of his audience got it, and I switched back to music.

Moments later a woman in a wheel chair glided into the workout room. She obviously knew her way around and had her routine down, she got the free weights from the rack and started doing her exercise routine. I had been looking at the time display on my "Lifecycle" machine and I had twenty minutes left to walk and was feeling like maybe the 60 minutes/600 calories plan should be re-thought. I had been getting bored on the treadmill. There is nothing like imagining what it would be like to be confined to a wheel chair to make you remember what a joy it is to walk. I finished my routine strong and with a smile. No sense in being ungrateful for the opportunity to walk and get into better shape.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 2 - Day 1 of 6 Treadmill

Woke up at 5:50 and headed to the gym. In Shape Gym has many locations and I have one at the bottom of the hill and one near my work.

I prefer the upstairs at the work gym, it usually has low music and sometimes the two TVs aren't even turned on.

Today I set the pace at 2.5 miles and started re-reading Karen Andes' "A Woman's Book Of Strength" Karen Andes' book is categorized as "Fitness/Spirituality". I was trying to figure out if she still co-owns Gold's Gym. I couldn't find that answer but I did find this nice quote, "The reason I call the dumbbell a spiritual tool," says Andes, "is it makes us stronger through resistance training. We meet resistance in many areas of life -- work, marriage, even traffic jams. By facing resistance physically, you learn to deal with it otherwise. You can flow to it gracefully and not dread it or fight it. In doing so, you learn much more about yourself."

After 3 chapters, I ran for a little while at 4 miles an hour, and then finished my 600 calorie workout by walking at 3.5 miles an hour.

Day 1: An hour, 600+ calories, 2.39 miles, and off to a great start for the day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ready for tomorrow Kick Off Week 2

Today was my day off the treadmill.

I stopped at Lafayette Peet's for a cup of coffee on my way into the office.
I had looked up the calorie content of the Petite Lemon Curd Scone (140 calories 50% from fat with 3 grams of protein) and compared it to the Lemon Poppyseed Muffin (280 calories, but less fat and had 11 grams of protein).

I renewed an old weight-loss trick of mine. I ordered the Lemon Poppyseed Muffin and as I was walking to my car past a trash can, I tossed the bottom half away. I don't feel bad about wasting it -- the alternative was my eating the whole thing, and that wouldn't help anybody.

Now I had effortlessly created a 140 calorie treat with more protein than the alternative on the menu.

The point of sharing this is not just to prove that I my brain is not normal, but rather, or additionally -- that saying yes to something you want isn't a Yes or No, Good or Bad choice. There is a large gray area between Good and Bad and that is where change happens. Lasting change is unfolding, developing, growing, evolving and isn't happening in one big burst where you say, "No more pastries, ever!" Because even if you do succeed in saying no to the lifetime of pastry opportunities, which can be a very long arduous task (if you like pastries)... you will feel the sacrifice of the saying no, and will most likely use that to justify saying yes to something else later in the day. That is what I have observed most of us behaving day to day.

Tomorrow I start Day 1 of 6 Week 2 Treadmill Experiment.
I have my gym clothes laid out and tomorrow I'll get up before the kids and head to the gym. I'll listen to some music and walk for an hour 15% incline somewhere between 2 and 5 miles an hour. Then, home for a morning cup of coffee ready to greet the new day.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 6 of 6 - Week 1 of Treadmill Experiment

To recap the week -- I have been walking on a treadmill an hour a day for 6 out of the last 7 days. I have burned a total of 3600 calories, and walked between 2 - 3 miles a day, so at least 12 miles more than I would have walked if I wasn't doing this.

I'm walking because I am sick of being so close to my next goal line. I have been working on a plan to do something consistently. Many of my recent attempts got derailed by injury. To learn from my mistakes, instead of running, I am walking. To see bigger impact faster I am extending how far I am walking to I see some real benefits. In 6 days I've lost 5 pounds. From what I have studied, some of the weight I have lost this week is fat, and probably mostly water, and who knows maybe some muscle too.

I have noticed differences in how I feel just after exercise and over the course of the day. I don't know why it is, maybe because I haven't felt super exerted, I am less likely to crash. This cascades to keep me from thinking I need to eat something to keep from crashing. I am less hungry in the evening. It is easier to pass on unhealthy options, in part because looking at a calorie burn counter is something that moves in slow motion. It takes me anywhere from 1 to 8 steps to burn a calorie depending on how fast I am walking/running.

The fact that I can see real results in the first week, makes the commitment to Week 2 easy. So, next week I am going to repeat Week 1. Sticking with the Treadmill at 15% for another 6 days.

I will plan to do 6 days in a row, and know if something dumb happens like oversleeping I can still salvage victory for the week.

I have been working out in the morning, on weekends sneaking out to the gym before the kids wake up (leaving Eric in charge as usual) and on workdays getting out the door and onto the road by 6 so I have an hour to work out before work.

Working out in the morning is best for me, because once I finish, I feel more alert. I also feel happier, stronger, and walking on flat ground feels like I am floating.

If you are interested in making a plan to work out Saturday through Thursday 60 minutes may be too much if you haven't been active. Try 10, 15 or 20 minutes and see how it feels to make a commitment to yourself for your health that you can easily stick to 6 days in a row. And if you blow a day or 2, it's still 5 or 4 more days than you would have done -- so you have nothing to lose.

What type of exercise would you like to do every day?


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Treadmill Day 5 of 6 plus Strength Training

Today was awesome! Got to the gym by 6:45, incline Treadmill at max 15% for 60 minutes. I went over 3 miles and did run a little at 4.5 miles an hour. Then, I had a little time left to lift some weights. Lateral Pull Downs 3 sets of 15 reps at 55 lbs, and then Seated Cable Row, at this point I had been exercising over an hour, so I set the weight at 40 and did 3 sets of 20.

Most of the walking today was really a hybrid march. There is a difference when you lift your feet up. I haven't had cable in a few years, so without Style Channel I never randomly stumble upon models walking down the runway, but I have noticed that they do kind of pick their feet up and stomp down the walk (or at least that was a style about 6 years ago).

At 9:45 I finally realized I should eat something. I grabbed a power boost smoothie at Jamba Juice (en-route to a meeting). I only drank 1/2 of the "Sixteen" which is their small. I must be allergic to a pesticide they spray on berries. I thought it was just Blackberries and Raspberries, but I started having the same reaction with the Strawberries, so I am pretty much out of options at Jamba - which isn't a bad thing. If I could completely re-invent their menu to have actual good choices without sugary juice it would be so much fun.

Lunch was chicken breast (skinless) with roasted onion, carrot, sweet potato, and green beans and lettuce. Complements to the chef. I didn't marry a chef on purpose, I just totally lucked out.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Treadmill - Day 4 of 6 picking up speed/distance

Yesterday I overslept. I must have turned the alarm off, but I have no conscious memory of that. When I looked at the clock I knew I had blown my perfect 6 days in a row.

I briefly contemplated calling in sick, but quickly ruled that out. Although perfection can be a heady temptation.

This morning I was back on track. I woke up and got on the road by 5:45 and made it to the gym by 7:00.

I put on a great mix of music to keep me moving:
Indigo Girls - Dairy Queen, this song is great for warming up.
Simon & Garfunkel - A Hazy Shade of Winter -- it was so fast and relentless I listened to it twice, getting up to walking at 3.5 miles an hour.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand - great for a good strong stride
The Amps - Empty Glasses - which always cracks me up "where's my waitress? where's my other shoe..."
I was so happy and before I knew it an hour had gone by -- and I wasn't treading along or tuning out. I was focusing on getting the most out of each step. It is amazing how just simply paying attention can change something boring and tedious into an adventure/joy.

I walked/ran over 3 miles and burned over 600 calories, and am planning for Day 5 tomorrow.

What music do you like to listen to when you work out?
Post a comment and share some inspiration!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Treadmill - Day 3 of 6 Hills of Connemara

I had been walking about 35 minutes, starting out at a brisk pace with some Huckleberry Party songs. It is hard to walk slowly to the happy child geared tunes. Plus, you feel immature and so walking fast on a 15% incline at 3.5 miles an hour doesn't feel daunting.

Then, I listened to a little of the Rachel Gichert interview again. I realize I misquoted her, because her reason to not run is that running tears down muscle and burns lots of calories. Well, that could be a good thing. But, I like the idea of walking at 3 - 3.5 miles for an hour. I feel like I am less likely to hurt myself and more likely to stick with it.

Then I put on Shilelagh Law again. The Hills of Connemara is a great song. I think I would need to record a video of what I did next, because it is very difficult to describe. If you were standing in place and you have any experience in ballet you'd be doing something that I've seen in the New York Ballet Workout DVD. But, on the treadmill you have to be careful because when you place your foot down and pick your other leg up to gracefully kick it up as you're moving. Probably dangerous if you aren't focused but I was fully intent on the combination of music and how I was moving to it. Music can have a profound impact on the quality of my workout. I am thankful for having so much great music at my fingertips. I can remember when I would have had a walkman and how inflexible that could be to my mood. Although, I have logged many hours over my life listening to mix tapes.

Shilelagh Law's CD is available on CD Baby -- the one I've been wearing a hole in is 1&9

Happy Sunday,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

7% Body Fat - Treadmill - Shilelagh Law

Planning to get up tomorrow and head to gym for Day 3 of my current kick.

This one was inspired by listening to Rachel Gichert interviewed by nutritionist Keith Klein. Rachel spent 45 minutes talking through what she does to get into shape. She just earned her Pro Card taking 1st in her class at the 2010 USA Fitness Competition. Now, I know for sure I would never like to get down to 7% body fat -- yikes. There are pictures of her on the Beyond Diet website. That isn't my dream shape by any stretch of the imagination -- but she does know how to sculpt her body. Rachel answered all Keith's questions about through her exercise routine and it inspired me to re-think cardio.

Her cardio routine is 6.5 hours a week. Give or take a few hours. She doesn't run because she is trying not to build muscles in her quadriceps. That got my attention. She walks at 2 miles an hour for an hour 6 days a week. She also does 500 lunges in one day once a week to burn out her quadriceps so they won't grow. I highly recommend listening to her interview -- it's free on Itunes search podcast, Beyond Diet.

So Friday morning I got up and headed to the gym. I set the treadmill incline at 15 (which is the maximum) and then started out at a little over 2 miles an hour. I walked until I had burned 600 calories (just under an hour). I felt great all day.

Then, today, I got up and headed to the gym and did the same thing in a little less time by listening to some Shilelagh Law and my workout mix (Bob Dylan's Things Have Changed, White Stripes Little Room, Go Go's Get Up and Go, and Throwing Muses Fish) 600 calories burned and again, that feeling I've accomplished something. Glowing health and strength.

600 x 6 = is a nice round 3600 -- which is right around that magic 3500 calories number. Eating 3500 calories less (or burning 3500 calories more) over the course of a week translates to about a pound of fat lost. So here goes plan #29 for this year as I try to beat these last ten pounds into submission. And I know this time will be the charm.
1) Discipline
2) Commitment
3) Determination
If I have the will to yield three things as I know I can, I will achieve my goal.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Don't Tell Yourself You Can't Have Something

I don't know how many times I will need to learn this simple truth: "Don't tell yourself you can't have something." At the moment you say something is off-limits you've declared war. It's the worst kind of war too -- an internal civil war. When you approach changing your behavior by pitting what you know intellectually against what you feel emotionally you create a battle in your mind. This struggle leaves you feeling depressed and destroyed and is the reason why deciding you want to change can be so hard, that you don't even want to try.

Focusing on what you can't have doesn't work for a couple of simple reasons.

1) To be able to not do something, you have to think about it.
We are not able to accomplish the following mental feat. Don't picture a purple elephant with green stripes. To be able to understand what you are being asked not to do, you first have to create the image. If I hadn't asked you not to think of a purple elephant -- odds are almost everyone reading this would have been able to not think of the elephant. Even if you're a huge elephant fan, you probably don't often have herds of purple elephants with green stripes running across pink fluffy clouds in your mind. Uh oh, now you're seeing hundreds of purple elephants, do they have wings too?

When we embark on a new diet we usually flip to the "Don't Have" list to see if there is something on it that we can't live without -- at least that is my modus operandi when skimming diet books. Please don't say no chocolate, wine, or bacon. Whew, ok.

2) Focusing on not having something, is only hard if it is something you really want.
We typically don't waste time saying, "Ok, whatever you do, don't eat celery." If we did, can you imagine how much we'd start sneaking into the fridge to grab a stalk of celery? Right now, I can imagine the taste of the celery and the way it crunches when I chew it. While I am sure I could develop a Don't Eat list that would include all the healthy foods that I really wish you would incorporate into your daily list -- the idea is, if it wasn't something you really wanted, it wouldn't be a big deal. Just like, not thinking of purple elephants wasn't a big struggle because you don't love spending hours thinking about them. Shoo elephants, shoo... You don't spend time thinking about how to avoid eating celery because you don't feel like it would be hard to do. You're already not thinking about eating crunchy delicious celery, so the idea of not going to the store and buying some pre-cut sticks isn't a big hardship. If however you were someone who loves chocolate and I asked you not to eat any -- you'd suddenly have this strong reaction somewhere deep inside that would rebel against me.

So, you need to stop thinking your choices are between Good and Evil. Chocolate and No Chocolate. What if the choice was a million dollars or a piece of chocolate? How hard would it be to resist the piece of chocolate? On a scale of 1 to 10, less than zero. Hello Fellow Millionaires! And I'm not suggesting you couldn't buy a million dollars worth of chocolate if you chose the million dollars.

Every choice you make can be that much of a no-brainer. What if you decide that instead of saying no to chocolate ever again, that instead sometimes you are just trying to expand your imagination to say yes to something better than chocolate? And, as hard as it may be to imagine that there are things you could say yes to that would be better than chocolate -- we already have the million dollar example. What else could be better than chocolate? Well, really -- a lot of things. So make it easy on yourself and stop saying no to things you "shouldn't" have -- and seek out the things you'd rather say YES!! to.