10/25/07 Log: Cardio Denied

I think I overdid the dairy yesterday because I am puffy, stuffed up, gurgly, and itchy (dairy sometimes makes existing eczema flare up more) today. Blargh. No dairy, wheat, or refined sugar for me today. I need to flush the allergens out of my system.

I was on my way to the gym for 45 minutes of LISS on a stationary bike with my borrowed copy of You: On a Diet in hand when I recalled that I had a dental cleaning appointment this morning before work. I had to turn right around, pack up everything I needed for the day, and go directly to the dentist.

The good news: No cavities and my teeth are in good shape. Also got another free Oral-B toothbrush, travel size mint toothpaste, and travel size floss to keep at my desk at work.

The bad news: No LISS cardio got done!

I won’t be able to get it in tonight either, since I am meeting DH at the Disney Grand Floridian Resort for a bday dinner for the the president of my company at 6 pm. I’ll see if I can sneak in 5 minute blocks of exercise throughout the day on top of my usual walk, assuming it isn’t pouring later. The clouds are out in force today.

Dinner will be on-plan at least. I chose: Pan Seared Salmon with Rosemary-Lemon Honey, Grain Pilaf, Grilled Asparagus

Anyhow, if I can’t get the workout in today, I will pull another double tomorrow morning. Eats are clean through M2 so far, and I’m working on my 4th cup of water for the day.

And now for a bit of nostalgic inspiration, courtesy of my good friend 9mmEd:

Running is not my Zen

Here are some UCF 2-miler pics from this past Sunday!

Notice how NOT zen I am feeling during the run. This pretty much sums up why I am not a runner.

Other, GOOD runners float peacefully through their runs. I force myself to power through every single session with a combination of sheer, bloody-minded stubbornness, stored up rage, and the slow-building but inexorable momentum of a herd of stampeding mammoths.

(I am told that I wear this same expression at the gym whilst doing cardio, squats, pull ups, pulldowns, rows, deadlifts, bench presses, pushups, and ab work as well. No wonder no one ever pesters me.)

Airborne annoyance!

The only good part about a race (and running in general) is the bit where you get to stop at the end.

Hurray!  I'm finished!

10/24/07 Log: I’m not being conceited, I’m leveling up!

139.0 this morning and still slightly poufy. I didn’t quite get in a gallon of water yesterday, but I will do better today. Water weight is so annoying.

This morning I did the Shapeshift relative posterior chain workout followed by six sets of bw interval circuits. It literally kicked my butt because by bum is so sore from yesterday’s first SS session. The max reps on the single-leg bodyweight deadlifts today were just one long OUCH. I could only do 30 on each side with good form. This quick onset of DOMS (under 12 hours) completely reinforces my determination to follow the Shapeshift program instead of returning to the Body By O split. Clearly my posterior chain has been lagging behind the glamor muscles in the front of my body, and I am glad that this program specifically addresses the issue.

Technically I should have had a recovery day between the workouts, but I cannot afford to move my training schedule down by a day this week due to the upcoming weekend LA trip. Besides, I have hit 100% of my workouts this challenge and will not let a bit of DOMS ruin my streak.

Note: If I am not violently sick or injured, I suck it up and just do the workout. I tell myself that I always feel better afterwards and another 1/7 lb is gone.

I am a little tired because I didn’t get off from work until almost 11 pm. I had my cheat item last night, an Olive Garden breadstick that came with the lasagna the company ordered for dinner. I packed the lasagna away for DH to have tonight. Yay me!

Speaking of DH, he laughs and accuses me of being conceited because I keep admiring my delts, back, quads, abs, and tris in the mirror now that I’ve burned off enough fluff to see some definition again. He clearly doesn’t understand that what I do is no different than him leveling up a roleplaying character’s strength, stamina, charisma, and agility in a video game or D&D. I just do it in real life–to myself.

😉

Food will be 100% on plan today and I am shooting for 20 cups of water. Four are down so far; one gallon to go!

(And I *AM* glad I did the full planned workout this morning instead of subbing something easier. I think that missing a workout that has been scheduled causes me nagging, low-level stress throughout the day and even through the rest of the week until I finally get caught up. In You: The Owner’s Manual, the authors say that this sort of constant, subconscious stress from unfinished tasks can weaken your immune system and age you prematurely.)

Oh, and there are flats of Krispy Kreme doughnuts in every room of the office today to celebrate our project being in beta at last, including one flat that is just 5 feet away from my desk. But I’m not particularly tempted because I am bolstered by my workout session. It’s amazing how much stronger my drive is to stick to my clean eats when I’ve worked out first thing in the morning.

KK doughnuts make me nauseous anyway. I’m more of a Dunkin Donuts French cruller fan. At 150 calories a pop, you can almost convince yourself it works as a carb portion. 😉

====================
WORKOUT
====================
– Shapeshift Relative PC with 1-leg Deadlifts (40 min)
– Bodyweight interval circuits (6 sets) (18 min)
– Walk (15 min)

Microwave Apple and Pear Crisp

Apples are one of the cheapest fruits available, but I get sick of eating them in their natural state pretty quickly. This recipe from the Weight Watcher’s Simply the Best cookbook is YUMMY. I usually break it down into 6-8 servings instead of four. Perfectly suitable as a carb portion, and the “normals” in your life won’t even realize it’s healthy food.

Microwave Apple and Pear Crisp
(4 servings)

Ingredients:
– 2 Empire or other firm apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
– 2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
– 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
– 3 T. all-purpose flour or ground oatmeal
– 1 t. cinnamon
– 1/4 t. grated nutmeg
– 4 t. cold reduced-calorie margarine, diced

Directions:
1. Spray a 9″ square microwavable baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Place the apples and pears in the pan; with a vented cover, microwave on High, stirring once, until the fruit is tender-crisp, around 6 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oatmeal, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit mixture.

4. Microwave on High, uncovered, until the fruit is tender and the topping is cooked, about 6 minutes.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:
206 Calories
3 g Total Fat (0 g Sat Fat)
0 mg Cholesterol
51 mg Sodium
44 g Total Carbohydrate (4 g Dietary Fiber)
3 g Protein
36 mg Calcium

10/23/07 Log: First Shapeshift workout

Nutrition was good yesterday but on the high end of my carb range. Back up to 139.6 as a result, but that will drop by tomorrow.

I’m nearly caught up on my workouts. I took yesterday off, so I pulled a double today, getting in my missed SS workout from yesterday, intervals, and 25 out of 45 minutes of today’s lower intensity cardio. I will make up the rest during lunch with some extra walking and maybe some stairs in the next building. I’m tempted to take my bokken to work and do a 20 minute Forza workout, but I don’t know if the ceiling is high enough.

I need to get all of my gym workouts done before Saturday since I will be in Cali (yes, in SoCal fire country) for a wedding this weekend. My sister says her apartment complex in Pasadena has a decent gym, but I would rather just do cardio there.

I’m working until 10 tonight so meals 2-5 will all be at work.

But let’s talk about my first Shapeshift workout!

The structure of a Shapeshift strength workout is very similar to Turbulence Training–not too surprising since TT author Craig Ballantyne is one of the people behind the Shapeshift program along with Alwyn Cosgrove of Afterburn and New Rules of Lifting fame. Each workout begins with a bodyweight 3-exercise warm up circuit that is performed twice with 8 reps per exercise, then goes straight into a posterior chain exercise which may or may not be weighted. Today’s workout was a “top effort” posterior chain day, so the Romanian deadlifts I performed used progressively higher weights until the 4th, top effort set. I’m still easing my way back into the program and only did 115 lbs on set 4. The rest of the workout consisted of two pairs of non-competing supersets that also used muscles in the posterior chain. (See my SS Excel log sheet for more details.)

The session wrapped up with 6 sets of intervals which I chose to perform on a treadmill, warming up with an incline walk at 3.5 mph/5% incline for five minutes, then launching into blocks of 9 mph for 60 seconds + 3.5 mph for 90 seconds. My total workout time was 51:28, which wasn’t too shabby. I was already dripping sweat midway through the first complementary superset, so even the lifting was a bit aerobic. I didn’t feel like I’d worked myself to failure during the workout, but those aforementioned posterior chain muscles all felt nice and zingy afterwards, like they were all saying, “Finally! It’s about time we got some attention!”

I think this program is just what I need at this stage in my training.

————————–
WORKOUT
————————–
– SS Top Effort PC + interval run (6 sets 9 mph x 60 sec/3.5 mph x 90 sec.)
– LISS incline walk (3.5 mph @ 7.5% incline, 25 min.)
– Walk (30 min)

My Impulse Buy Savings Plan

One of my unspoken personal vows to myself this year (call it an early New Year’s resolution) was to stop buying so much crap on impulse. More specifically, I am battening down the hatches on gazingus pin spending. I have mentioned before that I have enough frivolous crap acquired throughout my 20’s and even (alas) within the past 2 years as I crossed into my 30’s to entertain me for at least two years without the need to buy newer, shinier crap.

The majority of the crap I have accumulated falls into the following categories:

– Books, non-fiction (usually computer, cooking, craft, exercise, writing, or art instruction)
– Books, fiction (fantasy, sci-fi)
– Magazines (cooking, DIY projects, fitness, gaming)
– Video/Computer games
– Ebook/Audiobook downloads
– Clothing (clever, amusing t-shirts are my particular weakness)
– Fabric
– Clothing patterns
– Art supplies
– Computer stuff (computers, parts, peripherals, software)

While nearly all of these purchases were made at less than retail price since I do love a bargain and make full use of ebates.com, fatwallet.com, slickdeals.net, and google for the best deals on everything I buy, few were actual “needs” versus “wants”, and a good 80% of them probably have not been utilized at all within the past year. I hate to admit this, but I’d further estimate that 75% of the media items (books, magazines, games, and software) probably never got truly used for more than 10-20 minutes total each since I bought them.

I’m sure I would be fighting down nausea if I were to total up all the money I have spent on my underutilized crap.

That’s why I have been cutting back so much on my discretionary spending for the past three months, only allotting myself $20/month for fun money. I transfer this exact amount from my primary Wachovia checking account to my ING Direct Electric Orange checking account, and use the Electric Orange debit Mastercard to make non-essential purchases and to pay for the occasional lunch out with the guys at work. I don’t touch my primary checking account or any credit cards for this sort of stuff anymore, and it’s been amazing how much I haven’t been spending on crap since I switched to this method of enforced economy.

I’m taking this a step further now, however, with my Impulse Buy Savings Plan.

This is how it works:

Anytime I am gripped by a strong and legitimate desire to buy non-essential crap of any sort, I will transfer the full cost of the item including tax and shipping from my primary checking account into my Emigrant Direct personal savings account with a memo in Microsoft Money to remind me what item the money is for and let it sit there for one month. If I STILL want the crap a month later, I can, if I desire, transfer the money to my Electric Orange checking account to buy it. However, if the burning need for the piece of crap in question has subsided, I simply leave the transferred funds in my savings account to accrue more interest.

What exactly counts as a “strong and legitimate” desire to buy?

Though this guideline is subjective, crap that I am not actually serious about buying doesn’t have to be counted in this plan–so the cost of stuff like random Slickdeals.net bargains on Wii or Xbox 360 systems that I might look at but not really intend to buy won’t be transferred into savings. I have to have the crap in my online shopping cart, researched best prices and any savings codes for the merchant, filled in my payment info, and be on the cusp of hitting the “Confirm Order” button in the case of online purchases, or have been toting the item around for at least 20 minutes in a brick and mortar store with the full intent of purchasing it for the purchase price to make it into my savings account.

In this manner I plan to save up enough money to cover the expense of my ticket to the Pink Dumbbells/John Stone Fitness cruise next year.

I am morbidly curious about how long it will take me to build up the $350 needed for the cruise in this way.

I only started this plan two days ago, and already I have scheduled a $33 transfer to the savings account–$10 for NOT buying a copy of Patrones magazine (an imported Spanish pattern magazine) from a fellow sewing enthusiast, $13 for NOT buying two ebooks at Fictionwise.com despite the 100% Micropay rebate on one of them (the 2 ebooks are still sitting in my cart), and $10 for NOT going to see a vampire movie tonight with Chris that I KNOW I would hate. (I debated about the movie for a good 30 minutes, visited Rottentomatoes.com to research it, and seriously considered going just to be social, so I count this as “toting around the store” time.)

I’m almost 10% to my savings goal already!

How scary is that?

PDB Mega Challenge 2007 Progress

This challenge is a bit convoluted as far as workout plans go, so here is a handy chart of my progress with bi-weekly progress photos, notes on the kind of workouts I perform in each phase, and any diet changes I make to my baseline plan (posted below the chart) along the way.

Photo/Week Training/Nutrition Measurements
9/17/07 - Day 0 of the challenge

Week 0 – 9/17/07

N/A

  • WT: 142.0 lb
  • BF%: 21.1%
9/30/07 - Mega Challenge Week 2

Week 2 – 9/30/07

Weeks 1-2 (Body By O + 5K Training)

  • Mon: Back & Abs; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Tue: Legs; Run (10, 15, 20 min); Incline Walk (20, 15, 10 min)
  • Wed: HIIT Bike Sprints (30 min); Recumbent Bike (30 min)
  • Thu: Shoulders & Abs; Run (15, 20, 25 min); Incline Walk (15,
    10, 5 min)
  • Fri: Chest & Arms; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Sat: Forza (60 min)
  • Sun: Outdoor Run (2, 2.5, 3.0 miles)

Nutrition: Baseline

  • Wt: 141.8
  • Bf%: 20.6%
  • Arm: (Flexed)
    • R-12.5"
    • L-12.25"
  • Calf: 15"
  • Chest: 34"
  • Forearm: 9.5:"
  • Hip: 38"
  • Thigh: 23.25"
  • Waist: 26.5"
10/14/07 - Week 4

Week 4 – 10/14/07

Week 3 (Body By O + 5K Training – Same as Weeks 1-2)

Week 4 (Femgenix + Runner’s World 5k Plan )

  • Mon: Upper body – Chest emphasis; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Tue: Run (25, 30 min); Incline Walk (20, 15 min)
  • Wed: Lower body; HIIT Bike Sprints (30 min)
  • Thu: Run (30 min); Incline Walk (15 min)
  • Fri: Upper body – Back emphasis; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Sat: Forza (60 min)
  • Sun: Outdoor Run (3.5 miles and 2-Mile race on 10/21)

Nutrition: Baseline

  • Wt: 139.0
  • Bf%: 20.7%
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-12.5"
    • L-12.25"
  • Calf: 15"
  • Chest: 34"
  • Forearm: 9.33"
  • Hip: 38"
  • Thigh: 23"
  • Waist: 26.25"
  • Shoulders: 42"
Week 6 – 10/28/07

Week 5 (Same as Week 4)

Week 6 (Shapeshift)

  • Mon: Top PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Tue: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Wed: Relative PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Thu: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Fri: Repetitive PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Sat: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Sun: Rest
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
Week 8 – 11/11/07 Weeks 7-8 (Same as Week 6)
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
Week 10 – 11/25/07 Weeks 9-10 (Shapeshift + Advanced Athletic
Training)

  • Mon: Top PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Tue: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Wed: Relative PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Thu: Advanced Athletic Training (60 min)
  • Fri: Repetitive PC (60 min)
  • Sat: Advanced Athletic Training (60 min)
  • Sun: Rest
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
Week 12 – 12/9/07

Week 11 (Same as Weeks 9-10)

Week 12 (Turbulence Training + Martial Arts)

  • Mon: Turbulence Training w/Intervals (45-60 min)
  • Tue: Martial Arts or DVD Workout (60 min)
  • Wed: Turbulence Training w/Intervals (45-60 min)
  • Thu: Martial Arts or DVD Workout (60 min)
  • Fri: Turbulence Training w/Intervals (45-60 min)
  • Sat: Martial Arts or DVD Workout (60 min)
  • Sun: Rest
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders
Week 14 – 12/23/07 Weeks 13-14 (Same as Week 12)
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
FINAL – 12/31/07 Week 15 (Same as Week 15)
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
10/14/07 - 4 week back progress

Back comparison Weeks
0, 2, and 4

Baseline Nutrition Plan

(Changes to the baseline plan will be noted in the weekly notes above.)

  • 95% compliance
  • 6 meals/day
  • (Sun-Fri) 1400-1600 calories/day
  • (Sat) 2000 calories/day
  • One complete cheat meal on Saturdays only
  • One other cheat ITEM (this would be a carb or protein portion not on the
    list of clean foods) permitted per week, to be used at any time. Total daily
    calories must still be under 1600 including cheat item.
  • Macros between 50/30/20 and 40/30/30 c/p/f
  • 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day
  • Processed carbs allowed only in PWO window (boxed cereal), as mid-week
    cheat ITEM, or Saturday cheat meal. No manufactured processed bars at any
    time. They are a waste of a cheat opportunity.
  • 1 gallon of water or green tea per day
  • Supplements: Multivitamin, 1 calcium + D, and 6 fish oil caps daily