All Good Things…

…must come to an end, and so it is with my 30 days of maintenance.

Time sure flies when you are eating 1800-2000 calories a day. 😆

Some people say that maintenance is tougher than losing weight. I think it is tougher…because it is too easy.

  • It is too easy to say, “Hmm, I can afford the calories in that cookie since I get to eat 500 more per day than when I was cutting.”
  • It is too easy to sleep in instead of hitting the gym bright and early for cardio since you don’t need to build up quite as much of a deficit through exercise.
  • It is too easy drop your water intake to 6 cups a day from 16 since you no longer need to flush out your system for maximum fat loss.
  • It is too easy to expand the 300-350 calorie maintenance meal you are supposed to eat into a 600 calorie double meal and miss others later in the day to make up for the earlier lapse.
  • It is too easy to fall back into the “normal” eating patterns of your friends and family, especially in this holiday season.
  • It is too easy to depend only on the scale and convince yourself that you’ve only gained a pound or two even when an objective look in the mirror and squeeze of a bicep tells you that you have clearly lost a some of the firmness in your muscles and definition in your abs.
  • It is too easy to let inertia take over once the slide into laziness has begun; suddenly–for no logical reason–going to the gym and sweating seems hard all over again.

Maybe that is why so many people who have made fitness a lifestyle alternate between cutting and bulking with very little time in actual maintenance mode.

🙄

Another good thing that has come to an end is the life of Pee Wee the eggplant. I snipped him off of the main plant Sunday night, took a few pictures of him next to my tape measure, sliced him up, and sauteed him in some hoisin sauce with dried red peppers. Divine! I can’t wait until the other little eggplants are big enough to munch. Growing your own veggies rocks. 😀

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

1: 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 slice carrot raisin bread
2: Free meal
3: 3 oz. Cajun chicken, 1 c. raw yellow squash, 1/4 c. SF mushroom marinara sauce, 1 orange
4: 3 oz. chicken, 3 c. salad, 1 slice carrot raisin bread
5: 1 scoop whey/1 scoop dextrose PWO shake
6: Chicken, egg, tomato and spinach stir-fry, 1 c. globe grapes

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 PM YF Cardio (30 minutes)
9:00 PM Legs/Abs (45 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Got to bed a little later than planned at 12:30 am.

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Brownie Points:
1. Moved frozen foods to the house.
2. Moved plants from patio to the front of house.
3. Cooked half of remaining chicken.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Read two chapters from NASM book.
3. Work on holiday cards.
4. Pay rent and phone bills.
5. Cook other half of thawed chicken tonight.
6. Get gym ID card.
7. Drop off library book.

Why I do what I do…

Have you ever wondered why you enjoy certain activities or hobbies more than others? Why do some people drift toward sports while others pick up scrapbooking? Why do some people have no discernible hobbies at all, but spend most of their free time socializing and maintaining a huge network of friends and acquaintances?

As a child, my favorite toys were Play-Doh, Legos, a set of paper craft books from my grandparents in Taiwan and a Crayola art set. I remember trying to draw a realistic horse with brown crayon in kindergarten art class when the other little girls were doing the usual house with curlicue flowers and stick figure family members and the boys were either scribbling non-representational modern pieces with black and blue crayons or boxy cars and trucks in profile. I made cool toys out of paper and cardboard, folded many origami animals, drew my own paper doll clothes, crocheted a bag full of yarn scarves, hats, and potholders, built a fleet’s worth of improbably Lego vehicles, made my own soft-sculpture dolls, and randomly planted marigolds and zinnias all over my father’s garden.

When I hit my middle school years, I taught myself to sew by making a Tudor-era costume for my sister (No cheesy little pillow project for me!), spent a whole school year drawing nothing but faces on the brown bag book cover of my spelling book until my efforts no longer looked like fugly aliens from outer space, and took up creative writing. In college I got into computer games–specifically, I got into epic roleplaying sagas that let me put together my own teams of adventurers and mold them into the most powerful group of badasses to ever blast, hack, and puzzle their way through a dungeon full of evil minions of the Dark Lord–computer graphics, costuming, and web site creation.

I look at all of my other hobbies, and I realize that they all involve making something one way or another. My college friend Emily Jiang claims this is because I like the control factor in creating things. I suppose this is true–I like measuring things precisely, setting things up properly, performing the required steps competently, and then seeing the final product pop out…perfectly, or nearly so. I even count my current obsessions with personal finance, fitness, and gardening as part of this Make-It-Myself fetish because once again I am taking a limited supply of raw materials and turning it into something greater than its component parts.

I like activities with tangible end-products and, preferably, financial reward. I am competitive to some degree, but I never went for sports because a) I was sweat-o-phobic until last year, b) I am awful at all of them except for archery, and c) you don’t get anything tangible to show off or use for your efforts.

When I do an illustration, I have a pretty piece of art work I can stand back and admire, then sell for profit. When I sew an evening dress from a designer Vogue pattern and $15 worth of materials, I am getting a $500 dress for under $20. When I make a Halloween costume for $10, wear it to a party to bask in the praise of friends and family who cannot believe I made it myself, and then turn around and resell it on eBay for $75, I am getting both the cheapskate rush of having a perfectly-fitted costume at a fraction of the price of shabby storebought outfits and the Scrooge McDuck glee of banking $65 of profit the next year. When I pop a few seeds into some potting soil and watch them grow into enough veggies to keep me away from the produce department at Publix for the entire summer, I get the thrill of producing my own food and saving more bucks. When I take $30 worth of whole food groceries and turn them into 42 healthy 40/40/20 meals for the week, well, I can barely contain my glee. When I set aside money in my IRA, 401(K), and savings accounts, I’m essentially growing my money just like I grow my plants. When I write up a workout and nutrition plan for myself and follow through on it, I focus my efforts on achieving specific visible and measurable changes to my body.

I also save money on health care, make up, and food (by NOT dining out) as a byproduct of staying fit and eating well.

Gaming is probably my only non-productive hobby, but hey, at least I’m actively doing something with my brain and hands when I’m playing instead of just zoning out in front of a TV, and, given my current career, gaming can be listed as “industry research.”

Oh, oops…I guess I’m occasionally guilty of a bit of vegetative TV watching, too. I do love me some CSI and Law and Order!

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

1: Strawberry vanilla yogurt shake
2: 1 scoop whey, 2 slices carrot raisin bread
3: 3×1 spinach omelette, WW pancakes
4: 3 oz. chicken, SF mushroom marinara sauce, 2 oz. reduced carb spaghetti
5: 3 oz. chicken, 3 c. salad, 1 orange
6: 1/2 c. FF cottage cheese, 3/4 c. strawberries

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

Water: 16 cups minimum

===========
Workout:
9:00 AM Back/Biceps/Abs (45 minutes)
12:00 PM HIIT Bike/Run (20 minutes)
8:30 PM YF Flexibility (30 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Didn’t get workouts done yesterday after work due to another moving trip.

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Brownie Points:
1. Baked carrot raisin bread.
2. Moved all office/paperwork and other assorted items to the house.
3. Knocked out 2 of 3 planned workouts today.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Read two chapters from NASM book.
3. Work on holiday cards.
4. Pay rent and phone bills.
5. Cook remaining chicken breast.
6. Get gym ID card.
7. Move frozen foods to the house.
8. Move plants from patio to the walled garden.

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Holiday Jumpstart

Like most Americans, I spent this past week eating, sitting around, visiting, shopping, and cooking. What I didn’t do was count calories, work out (much), or stress about hitting 6 meals a day. I got in two 30 minute runs, and that was about it for my Birmingham vacation.

I had candy.
I had cocktail nuts.
I had cake.
I had pecan pie.
I had vanilla ice cream.
I had pizza.

My abs are nowhere to be found at the moment, and I slosh with every step from all the water I’m retaining from the carb overload.

Could I have done better with my food and workouts? Yes.

Am I kicking myself for NOT doing better? Nope.

:jester:

It’s the holidays, and I am in maintenance mode this month. I cannot lose 5 lbs of real fat in a week, and neither can I gain 5 lbs of legitimate fluff in a week, either. My fridge is stocked with healthy eats once more, and I should be getting my Bally membership card this week. I’ve had a fun month of maintenance–hellz yeah!–but all good things must come to an end. With my move almost complete, I can focus on re-establishing a regular workout and food prep routine. I’ve got two months before the next Orlando Megacon; time to get back into booth babe shape!

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

1: Strawberry vanilla yogurt shake
2: 2 oz. TVP, 3×1 spinach omelette, 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1 T. raisins, 1 T. wheat bran, 1 t. brown sugar
3: 1.5 oz. Cajun chicken, 1/4 c. yogurt cheese with 1/2 T. SF blackberry preserves, 1 c. carrots and squash, 1/3 c. rice, 1/2 c. grapes
4: 1/4 c. yogurt cheese with SF blackberry preserves
5: 3 oz. chicken, 3 c. salad, 1 orange
6: SF mushroom marinara sauce, 2 oz. reduced carb spaghetti, 1 oz. TVP

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:
7:00 PM Back/Biceps/Abs (45 minutes)
9:00 PM YF Cardio (Optional-45 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Took a complete vacation from tracking during Thanksgiving weekend.
2. Ate all kinds of evil foods.

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Brownie Points:
1. Cooked 2 lbs of chicken.
2. Moved cats to house.
3. Moved plants to house.
4. Ate my first homegrown eggplant!

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Read two chapters from NASM book.
3. Pack 2 boxes of stuff, remaining clothing, towels, and assorted kitchen stuff.
4. Pay rent and phone bills.
5. Bake carrot raisin bread.
6. Get gym ID card.

Turkey Day Greets

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m in Birmingham, AL with my boyfriend’s family this weekend. I got in a 30 minute run-walk this morning up and down the hills near the house and about half of a light UBWO with the free weights in the exercise room, but food is definitely going to be free day style today.

:claphigh:

My month of maintenance is almost up, and I am more than ready to kick it hard with a 2 month cut starting December 1!

W00t!

Half In, Half Out

My blog posts, nutrition, and workouts have been all over the map this week because I am half in and half out of my apartment. Since I decided to accelerate my move to the new house, most of my cookware has headed north to Casselberry while the bulk of my perishable foods are still hanging out in southwest Orlando. I haven’t done my usual round of organized grocery shopping, and suddenly I am limited to salt, pepper, and red chili pepper flakes as seasoning in my apartment.

I just need to face the fact that piecemeal moving only drags out the torture, borrow Daddy Wang’s pick up truck this Saturday, grab Chris and his Forerunner, and bulk move the rest of my stuff out of the apartment in one or two big trips, leaving just the bed, a few clothes, disposable dinnerware, a nonstick wok, some cooking spray, and cleaning supplies. I’m an unabashed creature of habit. I like having all of my familiar cooking gear, exercise equipment, and stuff in general around me. Every day I find myself looking for some item that just happens to be at the OTHER domicile.

I can’t stand it!

Goals for the rest of the month will be modest:
1) Finish moving.
2) Establish new routine and schedule for cooking, working out, and commuting to work.
3) Keep scale weight under 140 lbs, including post-Turkey Day and PMS bloat week.
4) Talk to apartment complex to find out when to cut off electricity and water service.
5) If following the original November workout plan is not possible, at least use YF for 30-45 minutes five times a week.

Anyhow, I have just made the final break. I called up Brighthouse Networks and told them to cut off my cable Internet on Dec. 1. I can live with all kinds of deprivation and hardship, but no Internet at home will drive me out of the apartment faster than an infestation of giant Florida mosquitoes. 😉

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

1: 3 oz. chicken, 2 squares corn bread
2: 3 oz. TVP, 1/2 c. sugar-free pasta sauce, 2 oz. low carb spaghetti
3: 3 oz. chicken, 1 slice pumpkin bread
4: 2/3 c. low fat cottage cheese, 2/3 c. peaches and strawberries
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:
7:00 PM YF Cardio or Core (45 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Overdid the carbs yesterday; trying to clear out the remaining food in the apartment and could not face chugging any more whey.

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Brownie Points:
1. Cleared out scary stuff from fridge.
2. Did the dishes.
3. Cooked chicken.
4. Took new IKEA catalog to the house to show Chris, who was so in love with the contents that he carried the catalog all over the house.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Read two chapters from NASM book.
3. Bake new batch of carrot/pumpkin raisin bread.
4. Pack up 4 more boxes of stuff to take over to the house.
5. Clean the bathroom.
6. Clean the kitchen.