LL C2W4D4: Yourself Fitness Test #2

After a bit of a delay, I took my first fitness test in Yourself Fitness yesterday since my initial assessment.

My push-ups (maxed–and I even did full push-ups, not the kneelies they let the chicks do), crunches (maxed), squats (maxed), and flexibility (not even close to maxed) remained unchanged, but both my resting and elevated heart rates were down from last time. Resting heart rate came in at 61 BPM this time from an initial value of 68 or so, and my elevated heart rate after 2 minutes of very vigorous jumping jacks was 158 BPM, down from 166 two weeks ago.

Yay!

I also switched my long-term goal from Cardio to Weight Loss to see if the program changes in any way. The workouts are getting tougher because I keep telling Maya that her exercise segments were “No sweat” when she asks me for input. I actually wheezed a bit this morning when I did the regular workout. :prop:

Ye Gods…if they ever make a kickboxing/plyometrics version of Yourself Fitness, I’ll probably die of cardiac arrest.

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Nutrition: Non-Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 1/2 c. FF cottage cheese, 1 apple, 1 T. oatmeal
2: 3×1 spinach omelette with oatmeal
3: 1/2 can tuna and small apple
4: 1/2 c. FF cottage cheese, 1/2 apple with cinnamon, 2 T. oatmeal
5: SGX Meal
6: SGX Meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter
Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
8:00 AM Y!F Flexibility workout (30 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Bailed on plyometrics. Got home too late and didn’t want to piss off my downstairs neighbors by leaping about like a crazy woman at 10 pm.

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Brownie Points:
1. Still on track with diet.
2. Cooked chicken breast.
3. Improved cardiovascular endurance!

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Short-term Goals:
1. Upload HandBase workout module.
2. Go grocery shopping.
3. Defrost chicken leg quarters.
4. Cook all sweet potatoes and Napa.
5. Buy cheap plastic shelves from Target or Ghetto-Mart and move plants to balcony.
6. Re-do PDA schedule for the next month.

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Maggie’s Lean, Mean Halloween Plan

Challenge Dates: October 1 – October 31, 2005
Program: Leanness Lifestyle/Swolegenix

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Goals:
1. Reach a scale weight of 132 lbs, or 17% body fat.
2. Do not miss any scheduled morning workouts unless I am injured or too ill to exercise.
3. Log all meals and workouts on the Leanness Lifestye site and in my PDA.
4. Take photos and measurements at least once a week and post them here and on my personal blog to keep myself honest.

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My Stumbling Blocks:
1. I don’t wake up in time to work out in the morning.
2. I snack when playing video games or working on the computer.
3. I lose track of meals and miss workouts on weekends when I am away from home.
4. I get on the computer immediately after waking up instead of getting busy with my workout!

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My Solutions:
1. Get to bed by 11:30 pm every weeknight and wake up at 7 am.
2. All meals taken at home must be properly set out and eaten at the breakfast bar. Do not eat on the couch, at the computer desk, or at the drafting table.
3. Prepare and pack all meals needed for the entire weekend and take P90X, Powerstrike and Yourself Fitness with me to my boyfriend’s house. Always have a spare set of gym clothes and shoes in my car.
4. Remove my laptop from the bed, and bar it from returning ever again.

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Workout Plan:
– All primary workouts will begin at 7:00 AM in the morning on weekdays and 9:00 AM on weekends.
– (Mon/Wed/Fri Primary Workout) 45-70 minutes of resistance training using the audio-guided Full Body Blitz workout series through workout 12. Once I have completed the series, I will switch to the Femgenix workout split from my SGX program until the end of the challenge.
– (Tue/Thu Primary Workout) 20 minute HIIT run followed by 25 minutes of LISS cardio
– (Sat Primary Workout) P90X Plyometrics or Powerstrike (60 minutes)
– (Mon-Sat Secondary Workout) 30 minute Yourself Fitness workout (45 minutes on FGX lifting days) to be performed immediately following primary workout, or during lunch.
– (Sunday Optional Workout) Powerstrike 3, Kenpo X, Yoga X, or 60 minute Yourself Fitness session

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Nutrition Plan:
– Eat 5-6 small meals a day at an average of 1300-1400 calories per day.
– Meals 1-4 will be in the BFL/LL 40/40/20 carb/pro/fat range except for the post-workout shake (meal 1) on lifting days.
– Meals 5-6 will follow Swolegenix ratios.
– One splurge meal may be taken per week, but the total for the day may not exceed 2000 calories.
– Absolutely NO commercially-produced popcorn, cake, candy, pie, brownies, cookies, boxed/processed cereal, frozen desserts, doughnuts, or chips during this challenge.
– I may have healthy homemade versions of the above if they fit my stated ratios and calories.
– No raisins or nuts not in a recipe.
– Drink 16 cups of water per day.
– Take one multivitamin and calcium supplement each day.

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Tracking/Accountability:
– Take measurements and photos once a week starting Oct. 1.
– Track all meals and workouts in my PDA using Diet and Exercise Assistant and my own custom training module for HanDbase and online at the Leanness Lifestyle site.
– Keep a tally of the number of perfect days I have–consecutive/total.
– Read this entire plan EVERY SINGLE DAY of the challenge.

LL C2W4D3: Lean, Mean Halloween Challenge

To fire things up at the new PinkDumbbells.com site, we are doing a one month mini-challenge for October patterned after my Progress AND Perfection challenge from this summer. The challenge is open to all registered members of PDB, and all programs are welcome.

The basic framework of the challenge includes writing down your goals, exercise program, and nutrition plan, and then trying your damnedest to follow your own rules from October 1-31. Personally, I am adding a few extras in there for myself, including weekly measurements and progress photos, a handful of good behavior modifications, and the consecutive/total perfect day counter.

If you are interested in joining the challenge, please visit the Lean, Mean Halloween challenge sign up thread at Pink Dumbbells. You will need a free account at PDB to participate.

Come on…you can handle just four and a half measly weeks of turbo mode, can’t you? Best of all, you will bask in the happy, warm and fuzzy knowledge that at least ten other women are suffering–er, I mean kicking ass!–right beside you!

Join up now! We start this Saturday!

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Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 1/2 c. FF cottage cheese, 3/4 c. blueberries, 1 T. oatmeal
2: 2 oz. unsalted yogurt, raisin, seed and nut trail mix
3: 1/2 can tuna and small apple
4: 1/2 c. FF cottage cheese, 1/2 apple with cinnamon, 2 T. oatmeal
5: PWO Dextrose/whey shake
6: Chicken and vegetables in tomato sauce with 4 oz. sweet potato

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter
Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
8:00 AM Y!F Fitness Assessment 2 (20 minutes)
7:15 PM MAP Full Body Blitz workout #6 (60 minutes)
8:30 PM Y!F Workout (30 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Took a rest day yesterday due to lack of sleep.

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Brownie Points:
1. 18.0% body fat at a whopping 139.2 lbs this morning. Still fit into skinny jeans.
2. Almost finished with PDB set up.
3. Wrote up my plans for Lean, Mean Halloween challenge.
4. Turned in library books.
5. Got blog function working properly at PinkDumbbells.com
6. Deposited new FSA check.
7. Put car registration back into glove compartment.
8. Created logo/banner for PDB.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Upload HandBase workout module.
2. Cook chicken breast.
3. Defrost chicken leg quarters.
4. Cook all sweet potatoes and Napa.
5. Buy cheap plastic shelves from Target or Ghetto-Mart and move plants to balcony.
6. Re-do PDA schedule for the next month.

Coupon Codes for Handheld Software

Handango.com has a 15% off any purchase code that is valid through September 30, 2005: SEPTSAVINGS

Useful fitness/diet applications at Handango:

Meanwhile, Palmgear.com also has a coupon code for 10% off (valid through September 30, 2005): COOLDOWN

Finally, if you are looking for a decent Palm OS food and exercise application, Keyoe’s Diet and Exercise Assistant is on sale for $14.96 through September 26 at Palmgear.com. This is the Palm OS version only. If you need Pocket PC or desktop, pick it up from Handango at 15% off. 😉

Unfortunately, the 10% off code is not stackable with the sale item. :grumpy:

LL C2W3D6: Entering the Evil Empire

I have a “free guest pass and trainer consultation” with the local Bally Total Fitness in Winter Park at noon today. Bally is one of the gyms I am thinking about joining in December/January after I move from my convenient little apartment just 2 miles away from the office to a townhouse 26 miles to the northeast. At that point I’ll need a gym with locations close to both work and home, and so far only Bally and LA Fitness fit the bill.

I’m leaning toward the newer and slightly cheaper LA Fitness right now, but I’m willing to let the Bally people try to talk me around as long as they are willing to match or beat the rates at the other gym. In any case, I’ll get access to a gym today while I’m away from home, so it’s all good. I hate to give money to the evil empire that is Bally, but hey, a girl’s gotta work out somewhere, and Gold’s doesn’t practice the reciprocity between locations in the same hassle-free manner.

On a more grim note, I missed my Leanness Lifestyle Lean Account goal for last week of 136.5 lbs, so my negative leverage kicked in: No splurge meals until I hit my target. I’m down to 137 today, though, so perhaps this will only last for a week or two. It’s a good thing I didn’t put down “Will not work on Pink Dumbbells until I reach my weekly weight target” for my leverage!

UPDATE: I toured the local Bally (which I’ve already seen before since I went in as my father’s guest last Christmas week–it’s one of the older gyms in the area and the equipment is kind of old school compared to the shiny MTV Gold’s Gym in Dr. Phillips) and heard the sales pitch. They tried to sell me the regional package for $47/month + $149 enrollment fee for a month-to-month membership, or $42/month + $149 enrollment fee for a 3 year contract at first, but I nipped that in the bud by showing them the print out from Globalfit.com, a subcontractor that negotiates reduced month-to-month membership rates for people qualified through their employer’s health insurance plans. Globalfit’s regional plan for Bally is $36.95/month + $118 enrollment fee. I also “accidentally” allowed my printed LA Fitness guest pass with that club’s $34.99/month + $149 enrollment fee price quote to be seen.

The regular sales associate sent for the assistant manager at this point as I no doubt appeared quite perturbed at the outrageous membership fees he was quoting me. 😉

After I pointed out that it would be cheaper for me to join Bally through Globalfit or just go with LA Fitness, the assistant manager offered to reduce the enrollment fee to $99 and suddenly recalled that they were running a special free regional membership upgrade for this weekend only, so the 3 year contract would only be $36/month instead of $42 ($36 base local club membership + $6 for the perk of being allowed to work out in any of the Orlando area gyms).

I then asked about the special paid-in-full deal on the original price sheet–Pay for 2 years up front, and get a 3rd year free. Was the regional upgrade applicable to that deal?

The assistant manager trotted off to check with “corporate” about this question.

When he came back, he said that he could extend the upgrade to the paid-in-full contract for a total of $924.48 for three years of regional club access, or $25.68/month with NO enrollment fee.

I then made an even bigger pain of myself by pointing to the “Add a family member for just $16 more per month” clause on the price sheet.

“Hey, my father is a member of Bally with a national plan. Could he add ME to his membership for $16/month? Wouldn’t this give me the national access plan, too? Do I get any perks for signing up as a new account for $25.68 versus just having my father add me to his plan?”

The poor manager looked pretty sad and resigned then. He admitted that he couldn’t really beat that deal and even gave me the phone number for the corporate headquarters so my dear Daddoo could call in and get me added if I decided to go that route. I also got him to write down the paid-in-full rate with the free regional upgrade just in case the family add-on thing doesn’t work out. Overall, I thought that was a pretty productive meeting.

Then I motored over to LA Fitness down the road to check out their facilities and get their rate quote. Unfortunately, LA Fitness is a flat rate establishment, and they could care less if you sign up or not. The desk clerk took me on a quick 3 minute tour of the place, then waved and told me to have a good workout. I spent the next hour and a half there getting in both cardio and workout 5 in the Full Body Blitz Muscle Audio Professor series.

The gym was quite a bit prettier and newer than the Bally, but it didn’t really offer anything more than the older facility. My gym needs are pretty modest: squat rack, free weights, a handful of cable/lever machines, 2-3 different cardio machines, and a functioning shower. Bally may not be the newest gym around, but they’ve got the basics and they will be cheap. They also toss in a free monthly physical assessment and body fat measurement with a trainer.

I shall go ask dearest Daddy Wang about putting his elder daughter on the gym plan tomorrow. (Pity I can’t get HIS deal–$110/year. He quit Bally after his initial contract was up a few years ago, and they wooed him back last year by offering him the national plan for $110 a year. Now THAT’S a deal!)

Don’t look at me like that. I do plan to set up my billpay to send him a $16 check every month to cover my membership fee. I may be a tightwad, but I don’t freeload!

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Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 1/2 can tuna, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal with 1 T. raisins
2: 1/2 can tuna, 1 pear, 1/2 T. peanut butter
3: 2/3 c. low fat cottage cheese, 1/2 c. blueberries, 1 T. oats
4: 3 oz. Caribbean jerk chicken breast, 1/2 c. rice, 2/3 c. sauteed Napa cabbage
5: 2/3 c. low fat cottage cheese, 1/2 c. blueberries, 1 T. oats
6: SGX meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter
Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
1:00 PM Cardio – Run (6 mph / 0% incline / 20 minutes)
1:20 PM MAP Full Body Blitz workout #5 (60 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Took a break from Yourself Fitness today. Will do fitness assessment tomorrow first thing in the morning.

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Brownie Points:
1. Stayed on plan today while away from home.
2. Got decent price quote from Bally.
3. Had a great workout at LA Fitness.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Turn in read library books.
2. Get blog function working properly at PinkDumbbells.com
3. Deposit new FSA check.
4. Put car registration back into glove compartment.
5. Create logo/banner for PDB.
6. Upload HandBase workout module.

LL C2W3D4: The Inverse Relationship Between Muscle and Make-Up

A funny post Tigger made at Muscletank.net about the dolled up, decked out, expertly-painted women at his gym got me thinking about how my own make up habits have changed over the years.

I remember the middle school days when even a bit of lip gloss or eye shadow was a big deal and the high school years when I rarely left the house without full foundation, concealer, powder, lipstick, eyeliner, and a touch of shadow. I also made a lot of my own clothes back then–anything from formals to fitted dresses and suit jackets–so I tended to dress in full outfits that would have looked right at home on a young business pro vs. the comfy BoHo, grunge, and skater clothes that were popular in the early 90’s. I must have looked like a nerdy female Alex Keaton minus the conservatism. 😆

Through senior year and my first two years of college at Rice, I favored deep burgundy or plum matte lipstick and lipliner (always!) with liquid black eyeliner on a pale, but perfectly smooth and matte face. I had a huge assortment of hair products and heat styling tools in my bathroom designed to weigh down and iron straight the bejeezus out of my mop of frizzy/wavy/crazy hair, too.

Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t GOTH in any way. I just never went out in the sun because I was/am a bookish geek, so the foundation and powder that matched my pasty skin just happened to be pretty pale.

(It’s true that I also had the black hair and favored black clothing, but that’s just a universal Asian thing. :tongue:)

Then came the Army and two months of basic training sans make up, jewelry, hair products, and contact lenses. For eight weeks I settled for Missouri mud and sweat, dog tags, a handful of black bobby pins, and a pair of BCG glasses…and two types of outfits–woodland camo BDU’s with combat boots and cap, or heather gray ARMY PT t-shirt, matching gray shorts with built in undies, and running shoes.

My skin cleared up like magic, and for the first time in over 10 years I had a tan. When I got my civilian clothes and gear back, I dispensed with the foundation and eyeliner and just got by with some powder and non-flashy lipstick most days on the job. The heavier war paint would come out at night, but even then it was nothing like the old days.

Once I got my discharge and headed back to school, some of the make up–just like some of the body fat–came back. Lipstick and liner were musts, and I used light, partial applications of foundation and powder to even out my (once again pasty white) skin and a bit of shadow to fill in my sparse eyebrows.

It took my BFL transformation last year to finally break me of nearly all make up usage.

I know it probably sounds weird, but I am beginning to think that my make up usage is inversely related to how much muscle mass I have on my body at a given time. (Or, conversely, it varies directly in proportion to how much excess body fat I’m carrying. More fat and less musle = More make up and hair gunk)

When I was not in shape (high school, college), I subconsciously tried to take the focus off the parts of me that I didn’t like (e.g. everything from the neck down) by playing up and enhancing my face and hair. As I started to whittle away at the layer of fat I’d had since birth while in the Army, I started to shift away from make up and hair products and toward more fitted, body-conscious clothing. When I finally got my body fat into the teens last fall, I hardly ever remembered to put on even a swipe of lipstick and my hair was often in goofy but convenient pigtails or simply clipped back with two barrettes. My collection of tank tops, short skirts, and gym clothes sure did expand, however!

And now…I am lucky if I slap on a bit of SPF 15 moisturizer and a dab of clear Chapstick once a week before I go to work. I haven’t purchased a new make up item in over 9 months.

Who cares if you don’t have the latest fall 2005 make up colors or hair highlights when you look buff, firm, and all around kickass awesome in two-piece swimwear, cute gym outfits, all halter tops, hiphugger jeans, short skirts, bare summer outfits, and sassy little black dresses?

Good-bye Mr. Revlon, and ta-ta Ms. Maybelline. I don’t need you to boost my confidence or run interference for my flabby thighs anymore. Mr. Squat and Ms. Treadmill have done more for my overall appearance, energy level and physical confidence in one year than you or any of your fellow panderers of paints and powders have in nearly three decades.

If I have to choose between artificial prettiness from a tube and compact available to anyone with a credit card or the bone-deep grace of a leanly-muscled physique paid for with hours of sweat and dedication, I will ALWAYS pick the latter.

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Nutrition: Non-Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 3×1 spinach omelette with salsa and pear
2: 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggies, apple
3: 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggies, apple
4: 3×1 spinach omelette with salsa and 2 slices lite wheat bread
5: SGX meal
6: SGX meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter
Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
7:30 PM P90X Kenpo X
10:00 PM Y!F workout (30 min)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Probably only slept for 4.5 hours last night due to OCD urge to keep tweaking PinkDumbbells.com

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Brownie Points:
1. Cold is barely there.
2. Took my vitamins every day for the past three weeks.
3. Cooked some chicken breast.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Turn in read library books.
2. Grill more chicken for salads.
3. Clear out fridge.
4. Clear off desk.
5. Clean up loose ends at PinkDumbbells.com site.

Pinkdumbbells.com

The side project I mentioned last week is pretty much up and running although I still need to transfer some useful content over from my own blog and Kyra’s MSN Bfl Women group.

I’m still waiting for co-administrator Kyra to jump in and add her two (or 50) cents worth as well, but I think her computer issues are hindering her.

Anyhow, I’d like to announce the beta test of PinkDumbbells.com, a non-program specific fitness community for women who are flouting the ridiculous notion that females can’t lift anything heavier than a fuschia hand weight.

PinkDumbbells.com
http://pinkdumbbells.com

The forum, chatroom, link submission, news submission, and self-registration are already up and running, though I may go with a different chat script in the future. Suggestions for what to put in the banner graphic would be welcome!