Competing in Figure Chat Tomorrow Night

PinkDumbbells.com Event

Want to know what it’s like to train and diet for a figure competition? Thinking about doing it yourself, but want to learn more first?

Join us at PinkDumbbells.com for a hosted chat with Amyella, a PDB regular and notorious member of the online fitness blog community who competed in her first figure contest this past July. The chat will take place in the PDB “Gym” chat room at 10 pm EST/7 pm PST on Wednesday, October 19. (That is tomorrow night, folks!)

To enter the room, log into the site (registration is free if you aren’t already a member), click on the Chat button to the left, and type the following command: /join Gym

To learn more about our hostess, check out her blog at http://amyella.blogspot.com and her web site at http://www.amyella.com!

Note: The chat is definitely Wednesday night, not tonight (Tuesday) in case any of you saw my earlier post with the wrong information. I could have sworn it was Wednesday already…. 🙄

LL C2W7D1: Weekend Fun

This weekend my younger sister Carolyn was in town for a visit. She was supposed to go to her 10 year high school reunion, but she bailed at the last minute due to the cost ($110) and the fact that she only wanted to see two of the people attending. They all met up after the event instead. 🙂

Yes, the frugal Wang blood runs through her veins, too.

I dragged her out to karaoke with me at Big Daddy’s, where we met up with two of my regular K fiends, Ed and Damon. I was late arriving, so I only got to belt out two songs, Train’s Drops of Jupiter (I know…I do this one just once at every club I visit because I am always able to OWN this song) and Steve Perry’s Oh Sherrie. I don’t know if I should be pleased or vaguely insulted at how surprised Miss Caro was that I was actually pretty good. :tongue:

I also loaned Ed my spare karaoke machine (acquired from Sharper Image with a Discover Card double-your-cashback-b0nus gift certificate for the princely sum of $4) so he could attempt to assimilate his girlfriend Erin into karaoke junkiedom. According to Ed, she sang for a total of 7 hours this weekend, so I have high hopes that we will soon have another active singer in our clan.

Saturday was more family time with a dim sum lunch at Chan’s with my mother and my sister. (Free meal, for sure.) It was also my 1 year anniversary with my boyfriend Chris, who was considerate enough to cook me dinner straight out of the Eating for Life cookbook, thereby sparing me an extra splurge meal. :love:

Sunday, Miss Caro came over for some quality time at my pool while I did an easy 30 minute run in the fitness center while Chris played Half-Life 2. We made omelettes and whole wheat pancakes for brunch, then headed out en masse a bit later to meet up with my former high school buddy and now n-Space co-worker Tyler and his lovely wife Tiffany at the Cheesecake Factory for a late lunch. I stayed relatively on track with an order of grilled fish tacos I split with my sister, but then semi-splurged on a dessert of strawberry, banana, and pineapple smoothie while everyone else hit up the cheesecake menu. I must say, even though I loathe cheesecake and cannot process cream cheese at all, some of those cakes looked pretty darn tasty.

Pity they were cheesecake.

Afterwards, the two C’s and I checked out furniture at Living Quarters and washers, dryers, and freezers at Best Buy for the townhouse. Sad, I know. Once upon a time Best Buy trips would have been all about video games and computer upgrades. Now I am scoping out 7.5 cu. ft. chest freezers and semi-dreading the need to share my precious refrigerator space with another person on a permanent basis. :eekb:

I finalized my workout plans for the next few months, too. I’ll be doing 4 week blocks with a week off every 4-8 weeks depending on how bonked out I feel. 🙂 I’m starting off with 4 weeks of a custom set of exercises pulled from Supervixen, then 4 weeks of the tried-and-true Femgenix workout that came with my SGX plan, 4 weeks of higher volume/weights to bulk a bit, and then, assuming I have gym access again, maybe a 12 week run of the Muscle and Fitness Hers periodized plan from a few months ago. If I don’t have gym access, P90X might be used instead of the M&F plan.

Here’s an Excel 97 workbook with my training sheets and schedule for those of you who are curious or want to give it a try.

http://maggiewang.com/bfl/Maggie-Winter2005-Workouts.XLS

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

1: 1 slice carrot-raisin bread, 3×1 spinach omelette
2: PWO dextrose/whey/Creastack shake
3: 3 oz. steak and shrimp with angel hair pasta and 3/4 c. veggies
4: 2 slices protein brownies
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

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM Back/Biceps/Abs (45 minutes)
10:00 PM YF (45 minutes)

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Too much rice at dinner with my family last night.
2. Tropical smoothie at the Cheesecake Factory during lunch on Sunday.
3. Didn’t do Plyo on Saturday.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. 12/31 Perfect LMH Challenge Days
2. Cleaned the apartment.
3. Made Excel training sheets for the workouts for the rest of the year and printed them out.
4. Took some brownies and orange ATW whey to the house for sister.
5. Vacuumed the apartment.
6. Cleaned the bathroom.
7. Didn’t have any bagels, cheesecakes, cakes, pies, danishes, or other commercially-prepared baked goods this weekend despite many opportunities to do so at Panera Bread and the Cheesecake Factory.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Organize desk.
3. Read a few chapters from NASM book.
4. Choose pattern and sew Halloween costume.
5. Defrost and grill more chicken breast and legs.
6. Make some TVP burger patties and freeze them.
7. File new papers.

Brownie with Protein Kick

This recipe is from p. 134 of the December 2005 issue of Oxygen. I baked it last night and must say that while it doesn’t exactly taste like brownies–more like a chocolate-flavored fruit bread–it wasn’t bad at all. Think banana or zucchini bread vs. sugary, oily brownie.

BROWNIE WITH PROTEIN KICK

Servings: 18 slices
Calories per slice: 103
Carb: 13 g
Protein: 9 g
Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 7 mg
Fiber 2 g

INGREDIENTS:
(Dry)
1 1/4 c. granular Splenda (~27 packets)
1 c. all-purpose unbleached flour (or whole wheat flour)
3/4 c. cocoa powder, sifted
1/3 c. isolated whey protein powder, vanilla or plain
2 T. semi-sweet mini morsels
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/3 c. chopped walnuts

(Wet)
2 egg whites
2 c. baby food, prunes with apple puree (or unsweetended applesauce)
3/4 c. light vanilla yogurt
2 T. fat-free milk
1 t. vanilla extract

nonstick cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients, reserving 1 T. of the mini morsels for later.
3. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients.
4. Slowly add dry mixture into wet mixture and blend thoroughly using a spatula.
5. Spray two 8- by 8-inch square pan (or two 8″ round pans) with nonstick cooking spray and pour mixture into pans.
6. Top mixture evenly with remaining 1 T. of mini morsels. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool, cut each pan of dessert into 9 slices, and serve.

LL C2W6D5: Letterboxing!

A co-worker of mine posted a link to a nifty pastime called letterboxing the other day, and I was tickled enough by the idea that I wanted to share it with a wider audience.

Letterboxing is a combination treasure hunt/collecting game where one person hides a waterproof box containing a rubber stamp and a notebook in a public place, then posts a list of clues leading to the box for others to follow. When you locate a letterbox, you pull out your own stamp and stamp the notebook to let the owner know that you found the box, and stamp your own little notebook with the stamp in the box as a souvenir of the experience.

Letterboxes are hidden all over the U.S. by hobbyists. There are probably some right in your town now. 🙂

Check out http://www.letterboxing.org to learn more about the hobby and to get a list of letterbox clues in your city.

It’s a great way to get out of the house on the weekends and explore your cities and parks, and a fun, cheap activity you can do with your kids, on trips, or even on a picnic date.

I’m heading out to a park near my parents’ house this weekend to do the park fitness running course and find the box hidden at the end. I hope the owner doesn’t mind my cheesy stamp. All I have besides my Chinese signature chop is a collection of Disney Pocahontas stamps from my stint as a Disney Store cast member in 1996. :prop:

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

1: 2 slices protein brownies
2: 1 slice protein brownie, PWO Dextrose/whey/Creastack shake
3: 3×1 spinach broccoli omelette and 1/2 oat bran pita
4: 4 oz. pepper-crusted eye of round in raspberry marsala sauce, 1 c. broccoli, 1 apple
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

===========
Workout:
7:00 YF workout (30 min)
12:00 PM FBB workout 12 (45 minutes)

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Nothing to report! :claphigh:

===========
Brownie Points:
1. 11/31 Perfect LMH Challenge Days
2. Did the dishes.
3. Baked some protein brownies from the Dec 2005 issue of Oxygen.
4. Folded laundry.
5. Fixed email notification hack for MyPMSII at PinkDumbbells.com

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Organize desk.
3. Read a few chapters from NASM book.
4. Choose pattern and sew Halloween costume.
5. Defrost and grill more chicken breast and legs.
6. Make some TVP burger patties and freeze them.
7. Take some brownies and orange ATW whey to the house for sister.
8. Vacuum the apartment.
9. Clean the bathroom.
10. File new papers.

LL C2W6D4: Fitness as an Investment

Psychologically, I think it is extremely important for me to get my workouts completed in the morning. I believe that exercise has become Step 1 in my mental checklist of what comprises a good day. When I don’t work out in the morning, the rest of the day feels off somehow, and I am more likely to be lax with my food choices up until the moment I DO complete my workout.

I’ve heard other people mention the same thing: There’s something about hopping right onto the exercise horse as soon as I pop out of bed that just sets up the day for success. Maybe it’s because after I work my butt off for 45-90 minutes in the morning, there’s no way I am going to waste that effort by having a Dunkin Donut at work. I know exactly what I’d have to do on a treadmill to burn that French cruller off my booty since I just did cardio this morning, so the temptation is greatly lessened by my memory of those 20 minutes of pure High Intensity Interval Training Hell. 😈

There’s also a personal finance analogy for this.

It’s like being a smart budgeter: I work (out) in the morning to “earn” a precious, limited daily wage in a currency called “Caloric Deficit.” I have until the end of the day to decide how I want spend that currency–Shall I use it to buy out the leases of some of the fat cells that have taken up residence on my body and force them to move out, or shall I use my earnings to merely negate the effects of that office doughnut impulse buy with no net change to my body?

An overweight person is essentially a debtor who has charged thousands and thousands of calories worth of excess food over his lifetime, overspending a little bit here and a little bit there, and then storing his acquisitions in various vaults called fat cells in his private residence/body. This physical debt also accrues interest in the form of increased health issues which affect both the person’s quality of life and their wallet. The more fat debt the person accumulates, the less enjoyment they derive from physical activities. If they find exercise unpleasant, they are less likely to engage in it, and as a result of this and the natural ageing process, they start to lose lean muscle mass, which drops their metabolism even lower. This has an effect akin to having one’s credit card APR raised: You can still charge up more stuff, but you have to pay more interest (or store more fat) than you did before.

Now the logical thing to do when you realize that you’ve overextended yourself financially or physically would be to cut back the spending and apply your earnings to your personal debt, right?

Unfortunately, too many people handle exercise and food the same way they handle their wages and spending: The currency that comes in is used to pay for more new and unnecessary goodies (e.g. that gratuitous doughnut at work) instead of paying down the already existing debt.

When I work out in the morning, I am much more aware of my diet for the rest of the day. I may crave some junk food, but most of the time, the savvy personal finance nerd in me wins. I want the very best returns for my currency of sweat and discipline, and that boils down to eschewing the overinflated junk food stocks like pizza, desserts, and fries and wisely buying the value food commodities like lean meats, veggies, fruits, and whole grains.

From now on, I am going to think of junk food as an overpriced stock whose price to earning ratio is sky-high. I wouldn’t entrust my 401(K) and IRA retirement funds in such a stock, so why should I entrust my body (which, arguably, is the most important asset I own, as I would like to be a buff and appallingly hale and hearty grandma when I do reach retirement age, not a squishy Asian dumpling woman with multiple health complaints) to it?

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

1: 2 apple oat bran muffins
2: EFL veggie mozarella quiche
3: Apple oat bran muffin and carrot-raisin bread
4: 3×1 spinach omelette and carrot-raisin 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

===========
Workout:
7:00 AM HIIT run (4.5-9 mph / 0% incline / 20 minutes)
7:20 AM LISS incline walk (3.5-4.0 mph / 10% incline / 30 minutes)
8:00 AM YF Core (30 minutes)

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Nothing to report! :claphigh:

===========
Brownie Points:
1. 10/31 Perfect LMH Challenge Days
2. Did the dishes.
3. Baked more carrot-raisin bread and apple oat bran muffins.
4. Updated MS Money again.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Organize desk.
3. Read a few chapters from NASM book.
4. Choose pattern and sew Halloween costume.
5. Defrost and grill more chicken breast and legs.
6. Make some TVP burger patties and freeze them.

LL C2W5D3: Observations on the Biggest Loser

I watched a full episode of The Biggest Loser last night while pedaling on my mini-bike after dinner. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I feel a bit ambivalent about the weight loss numbers the players were posting. It just doesn’t seem right to be sad that you ONLY lost 5 lbs in a week. No wonder there are so many impatient n00bs who get frustrated 2 weeks into any plan.

You know the ones–they tend to post things like “I haven’t lost a single pound or inch and even gained some in my THIIIIIIIGHS! My jeans are even tighter this week! WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

🙄

Thank goodness I don’t have to read that stuff anymore. It makes me want to :yuck:

Back to the show…

Okay, did anyone else notice that the men work out a lot harder than the women? Some of those fellows are around 300 lbs, and every last one of them was running or jogging on a treadmill at a decent clip last night. Cut to the women’s workout room, and you see slackers hugging the rails on a stepmill moving so slowly that you could use it as a stadium seat for a Sox game with extra innings, and everyone else on ellipticals that aren’t nearly as efficient at burning calories as a treadmill.

And the women whine to their trainer. WTF?!!! Nothing could induce me to show that kind of weakness to a trainer in front of my peers, male or female. Nothing!

So why the difference in the workouts? I have some theories.

1) Men are afraid of showing weakness in front of other men. Women are taught that being a frail flower is attractive and acceptable. So in the context of the show, each of the guys will keep going with his workouts as long as he sees the others doing the same. The gals fall out whenever they feel like it because they do not tie their egos into their performance the same way that the men do.

2) Men are, by nature, competitive. In this show, they are competing against the women, which makes them work out harder, and against each other, which also makes them work out harder. Women tend to be more cooperative, which is nice, but not very useful when it comes to going faster and longer on a treadmill. The ones on the show aren’t even that cooperative.

3) The men have a female trainer who can clearly outrun and out-exercise them hands down. Failing in front of her would be unthinkable. The women have a male trainer who is too nice and sympathetic, and they revert to their “Poor, weak, girlie me” mode when it comes to exercise.

I think that pairing the male trainer with the women’s team is doing them a disservice. While I have no doubt that the trainer is very good, when it comes to toughening up a bunch of crybaby chicks who need to be whipped into shape, nothing beats a female taskmaster who will not accept the umbrella excuse of “I can’t do it because I’m a girl.” A female trainer in incredible shape proves that it IS possible to do every bit of a workout even if one does carry two X chromosomes.

I whined ONCE during a 5:30 AM run in the first week of basic training. “I can’t do it,” I wheezed after one mile. The one female drill sergeant in the company heard me and said, “If I did it, you can, too.” That shut me up on the subject for good. You can’t argue with that kind of bone-deep truth. I had all kinds of respect for Drill Sergeant Williams. The women in the company could cry all they wanted to about PMS, cramps, not being able to wear make up, and missing their husbands, boyfriends, kids, parents, friends, dogs, cats, or whatever; she just raised an eyebrow and made them feel like the silly little geese they were, and, eventually, every last one of us straightened out, toughened up, got stronger and faster, and graduated from basic more fit, confident, and humble than we had ever been.

What it boils down to, whether you raised your hand and swore that you’d serve your country for four years, or signed a stack of contracts and non-disclosure agreements and agreed to let NBC film your weight loss efforts for a few months, is that you voluntarily agreed to have your ass kicked with exercise. Nobody forced you to do so, therefore the only right thing to do is to suck it up and drive on.

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

1: PWO Dextrose/whey/Creastack shake
2: 3×1 spinach omelette, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 T. raisins, 1 T. wheat bran, 1 t. brown sugar
3: Chinese chicken salad with orange slices and ginger-sesame vinaigrette
4: 2/3 c. LF cottage cheese, 1 T. oatmeal, 1 apple
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

===========
Workout:
7:00 AM YF Upper Body (30 minutes)
7:30 AM Full Body Blitz no. 11 & Abs (60 minutes)

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Didn’t get full points for yesterday since I bailed on running. 😡
2. Left wrist is starting to feel a bit twingy again.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. 9/31 Perfect LMH Challenge Days
2. Mixed salad dressing and chopped Romaine for lunch salads.
3. Did the laundry.
4. No cavities at dental exam yesterday.
5. Pedaled on the mini-bike for 45 minutes while watching the Biggest Loser.
6. Made nifty buttons for Pink Dumbbells.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Organize desk.
3. Read a few chapters from NASM book.
4. Choose pattern and sew Halloween costume.
5. Defrost and grill more chicken breast and legs.
6. Make some TVP burger patties and freeze them.

LL C2W6D2: Clearing up Confusion

Just to clear the air regarding the photos up at Vizual Xcellence, there was a bit of confusion when the before/after SGX pics were pulled from my gallery and the shot of me below with the left photo showing me in the spring of 2004 before I had done ANYTHING to get fit after 4 years of being a blobby civvie and the right photo showing me now after:

  1. 16 weeks of Body-For-Life at 1200-1450 calories, 40/40/20 c/p/f macros
  2. 6 weeks of Leanness Lifestyle at 1150-1300 calories, 40/40/20
  3. 3 months of Max-OT bulking at 1800-2200 calories, 40/40/20
  4. 6-7 weeks of Swolegenix
  5. 8 weeks of P90X at 1700-1900 calories, 50/30/20
  6. another 5 weeks of Swolegenix
  7. 5 weeks of Leanness Lifestlye/Swolegenix hybrid at 1300-1500 calories, 3-4 meals at 40/40/20 and 2-3 meals using SGX ratios

Stage 1 through Stage 7
May 2004 - Oct 2005

This second picture shows me at stage 4 just after my bulk, and now, after two rounds of SGX. You can see that my legs were already pretty strong at that point though I’d put on a few pounds of fat along with the muscle during my bulk.

Stage 4 through Stage 7
Feb 2005 - Oct 2005

The correct image should be up at VX soon. 🙂

I’ll be writing up an overview of each of the stages in my fitness journey this weekend for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing.

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

1: BFL Turkey chili
2: 2 Apple Oat Bran muffins
3: Cajun grilled chicken breast, rice congee, and 3/4 c. veggies
4: 1 1/2 c. lite soy milk, 1 slice carrot-raisin 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

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM YF Flexibility (30 minutes)

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Only got 5 hours of sleep last night
2. Did not get treadmill cardio done due to dental appointment and exhaustion

===========
Brownie Points:
1. 9/31 Perfect LMH Challenge Days
2. Stocked up on super cheap spices and herbs.
3. Picked up cooking wine, eggs, veggies, apples, and yogurt.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Organize desk.
3. Read a few chapters from NASM book.
4. Choose pattern and sew Halloween costume.

Hosted Chat with Amyella: Competing in Figure

PinkDumbbells.com Event

Want to know what it’s like to train and diet for a figure competition? Thinking about doing it yourself, but want to learn more first?

Join us at PinkDumbbells.com for a hosted chat with Amyella, a PDB regular and notorious member of the online fitness blog community who competed in her first figure contest this past July. The chat will take place in the PDB “Gym” chat room at 10 pm EST/7 pm PST on Wednesday, October 19.

To enter the room, log into the site (registration is free if you aren’t already a member), click on the Chat button to the left, and type the following command: /join Gym

To learn more about our hostess, check out her blog at http://amyella.blogspot.com and her web site at http://www.amyella.com!