1/31/08 Log: The Revenge of the Chocolates

No workout this AM because I wanted to give my body a full 24 hours to recover and rehydrate from donating blood yesterday. I should be fit to go by tonight for my postponed 2K3 upper body workout. DOMS from this weekend’s upper body work has completely gone away, and I think I will attempt to do my incline db bench press with 40 lb dbs this week. I’m planning on a living room workout, so intervals will be my usual “OMG, I’ma throw up now” bodyweight circuit with squat thrusts, jacks, mountain climbers, and jump squats.

Art class with my Dad is turning out to be pretty cool. I think he’s wanted to draw for a while (I kept seeing pencils, sketch pads, and other art paraphernalia around the house recently), but hadn’t quite figured out how to get started. He’s done Chinese calligraphy for a while, but no formal art lessons. We started fall-themed landscapes last night based on a rather Impressionistic looking reference painting. Both of us are going to try to finish our drawings before the next class so we can draw something based on our own photos next Wednesday.

Eats, alas, were not so clean for meal 6 last night, which was eaten at Mom and Dad’s after class. I had:

1/2 c. rice, ~1 c. misc. super salty, not low-fat Taiwanese stir fries and dishes at my parents’ house, 5 1″ pieces of assorted chocolate, 1 chocolate truffle that was NOT worth the 70 calories, and 2 T. peanuts

Clearly this was a cheat meal. I have one more cheat left for the week, but I don’t know what it will be yet. Most likely I will end up having a burger or hotdog on Superbowl Sunday, but geez, that feels like a total waste of a cheat meal, doesn’t it? I might make myself something that I actually WANT for my official cheat and take healthy nibbles to DH’s friend’s incomprehensible football thingie. (I have never EVER watched a whole football game in my entire life. I’d like to keep my record pristine.)

Weight was 142.8 lbs this AM, primarily due to water retention from all the salt in last night’s dinner. TTOM is pretty much over, so the scale will start moving down again over the next day or two.


– TT for Fat Loss 2K3 Workout A
(Will post actual weights/sets after workout)

– Shapeshift Bodyweight interval circuit x 6

M1: 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1/2 oz. cashews, 2 T. raisins, 1/2 c. sauteed spinach
M2: Pineapple soy protein shake
M3: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1/4 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf, 2 oz. sweet potato wedges
M4: 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 oz. cashews, 70 g blueberries
M5: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 c. spinach and cucumbers, 1/4 c. crushed pineapple, 3 oz. sweet potato wedges
M6: 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 c. light soy milk, 1/2 oz. nuts

To prevent further unplanned chocolate intrusions upon my diet, I am baking these brownies from an Eating for Life meal plan this weekend:

Walnut Brownie*

1/2 cup soy flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular sweetener
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup canola oil
6 egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
5 tbsp. chopped walnuts
4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Serving size is one muffin; this recipe makes 12 muffins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8”x 8” baking dish with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix together, soy flour, whole wheat flour, Splenda, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites (soft peaks); then add canola oil, applesauce and 1/4 cup water to beaten egg whites. Pour applesauce mixture into flour mixture and stir until well combined. Pour batter into baking dish and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake until edges spring back when touched gently (center will be soft), about 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut into 12 equal portions. Remove one portion (brownie) for this snack and you can wrap the rest individually in plastic wrap, and place in freezer bag in freezer for later use.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 110

Calories from Fat 70
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 45 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 5 g
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %

Cardio Coach Hotness

Check it out:

CC All

CC Autographed

My six Cardio Coach guided workout CDs from the 2008 New Year dealio I wrote about the other day just arrived via Priority Mail today!

I even got a personal Sharpied autograph from the Cardio Coach himself, Sean O’Malley. 😉


This was the $30 + $7.50 s/h special that included actual CD versions (usually $19.95 each) of volumes 1, 1 revised, 2, 3, 6 (with Candace), and 6 (with Sean) and a $20 gift certificate for a friend (or yourself) that can be used to snag MP3 downloads ($14.95 each) of the remaining three CC workouts: volumes 4, 5, and the brand new 7. There is a concurrent Buy 2, Get 1 Free deal going on, so those three extra downloads only cost you $9.90 out of pocket if you use that $20 gift certificate. ($14.95 + $14.95 + $0 – $20 gift certificate).

So for $47.40, you are pretty much getting the entire Cardio Coach workout library that normally goes for $164.55. The sale ends on 2/1/08, so check out the workout overviews at the Cardio Coach web site now if you are even vaguely interested in the package.

Personally, as a confirmed cardio-hater, I’ll take all the help I can muster to get me through the required treadmill, stationary bike, and elliptical time I need to put in during a cut. The CC workout audios work equally well outdoors when you take your cardio sessions on the road, too, and serve as creative alternatives to the usual BFL or TT style intervals when looking at your watch and counting down every 60 second block of time starts to get tedious.

Hurray! I can’t wait to fire up my entire collection over the next couple of weeks. I’m almost looking forward to cardio now.


1/30/08 Log: Donation Day

I skated for 30 minutes after snarfing my lunch, then noticed that the vampiremobile was back in the parking lot for January and decided to donate blood in exchange for $20 in Darden restaurant gift certificates, an Atlanta Bread 50% off coupon, and an XL red t-shirt that says “Are You My Type?” on the front. (Imagine refashioning that into a workout top or running skirt for the gym, bwahahahaha!)

No TT 2K3 A workout for me until tomorrow morning in case I spring a leak, alas. I’ll do some snoozy yoga and core work instead.

I gave the free pack of Grandma’s Chocolate Chip cookies to an ultra-skinny male co-worker in the worldbuilder room who will probably burn them off in half an hour of hyper fidgeting while seated at his desk.

So unfair. 😛

I seriously considered dropping them off in the north building to sabotage one of the competing teams, but that would have been too conspicuous.

– Inline skating (30 min – avg HR 155 bpm)
– Yoga (30 min)

M1: 3 egg whites, 60 g raisins and oats, chili radishes
M2: Peanut butter banana smoothie (1/2 banana, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 1/2 T. ANPB)
M3: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies in oyster sauce, 1/4 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf, 2 oz. sweet potato wedges
M4: 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 oz. cashews, 70 g blueberries
M5: 1 c. Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein
M6: 1/2 c. rice, ~1 c. misc. Taiwanese stir fries and dishes at my parents’ house, 5 1″ pieces of assorted chocolate, 2 T. peanuts (Clearly this was a cheat meal)

1/29/08 Log: More on the New Rules of Lifting for Women

I really like the exercise plan from New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROL4W), and if I didn’t have to stick with TT lifting workouts exclusively for my current challenge, I’d probably be doing the program now. I’ve never tried any of Alwyn Cosgrove’s programs, but the format is similar to Turbulence Training in that 3-4 pairs of non-competing supersets are used in each workout, and all workouts are full-body with compound lifts. There is also more focus on the posterior chain muscles which are generally weaker in females due to physiology and (sigh) the wearing of high heels. In other words, these exercises will probably make your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and back look fabulous. (The Shapeshift program I used last fall/winter was also heavy on the posterior chain exercises, and after 9 weeks of them I could actually see and feel a difference in my hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. For one thing, I sprint faster now…AND have broken some personal, long-standing strength barriers in back squats and deadlifts.) Cardio is performed interval style, just like the Afterburn, BFL and TT programs.

All in all, it’s not a bad deal for around $17 from Amazon.com. It’s certainly cheaper than picking up Afterburn or the full TT program, and you are getting a lot more information. 😉

I’m working a bit late today to get a prototype combat interface done for one of our new Nintendo DS projects. I’m 5 meals into the day already, and sort of pondering whether I want one of the chewy toffees in the break room. I’m thinking…no. It may only be 30 – 50 calories, but that’s 3-5 minutes of cardio I won’t have to do in the future.

I didn’t skate today since my legs were a bit wobbly after last night’s lower body workout and interval run and this morning’s YF cardio session (lots of bodyweight squats, lunges, jumping jack variations, etc.), but I will get in another 30 minutes of exercise when I get home. I am leaning toward Turbo Jam or the NYC Ballet workout at the moment. I’d do Forza again, but tomorrow is upper body TT, and I want my arms, back, and shoulders to be at 100% since this will be the last upper body session in my 2K3 program. I’d like to hit some new maxes.

– YF Cardio (30 min)

M1: 3 egg whites, 60 g raisins and oats, chili radishes
M2: Homemade trail mix (1/2 oz. walnuts, 20 g raisins, 3 dried apricots, 1/4 c. Fiber One cereal)
M3: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies in oyster sauce, 1/2 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf
M4: 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 c. Kashi Go Lean Crunch Almond & Flax cereal
M5: 3 oz. Korean BBQ burger patty (Cooking Light recipe), 1 c. broccoli and cauliflower in oyster sauce, 4 oz. baked sweet potato fries with Creole seasoning
M6: 1/2 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 1 oz. cashews

1/28/08 Log: TT for the Next 8 Weeks

I overslept this morning, so I had to complete my TT 2K3 lower body workout and intervals after work. I dutifully hit the gym on the way back from work instead of pretending I’d do it at home. I COULD have done it at home…but I needed more weight for my sumo squats and deadlifts than my Powerblock set could provide.

Besides, I know myself well enough to admit that I wouldn’t do intervals outside in the cold, dark night anyway, and as soon as I stepped inside the house I would be distracted by my computer, my cats, meal prep, L.A. Ink on the idiot box, my latest book acquisition…and so on.

Despite it being Monday night (the busiest evening at my gym), I was able to get to all the equipment I needed for workout B because none of the dozens of underage jocks that hang out in the free weight area after 5 PM ever seem to use the squat racks! If I needed a bench press station on the other hand, I’d be totally SOL. 😉

I claimed squat rack #2 by the water fountain as my own, and monopolized it for almost an hour without a single person asking me when I’d be done. Squat rack #1 was used by two different fellows for about 2-3 sets each, but was abandoned for most of my workout. All four of the bench press stations, on the other hand, had at least two guys waiting to take their turns.

Motivated by the sight of all those chicken and toothpick legs around me, I managed to squeeze out my final set of sumo squats at a respectable 200 lbs without a spotter. I know I can go higher, but since I workout alone, I have to play it somewhat safe. Still…200 lbs Olympic barbell squat! Go me!

I loaded up Cardio Coach vol. 4 today for my interval run following the leg workout and was engaged enough by the new workout sequence to get through my 20 minutes of hills and sprints without once looking at my watch.

Okay, okay, I wasn’t actually *wearing* a watch today, but you know what I mean.

I had hoped to do my belated 330 birthday pushups today, too, but my arms were completed toasted after this weekend’s workouts – 2K3 upper body, YF upper body, and an hour of Forza. No pushup challenge or bday pushups for me for at least another 2-3 days. I foresee lots and lots of l-glutamine though…definitely.

I need to change TT workouts next Monday, so I’ve been skimming through my library of TT manuals to find something a bit more appealing than the TT for Fat Loss 2K4 workout, which, sigh, looks way to similar to 2K3 for my taste. After some research and a helpful tip from Amyella (if you aren’t an existing subscriber to her now private blog, send me an email via my Contact form, and I’ll pass on your email addie to her so she can invite you), I’ve decided to do the following workouts for 2 weeks each through the end of my TT 12-week challenge:

– Get Lean/Gain Mass + Abs/Shoulder day
– TT Ultimate Mass
– TT for Mass (12-Week manual) Phase 1
– 30-Day TT for Maximal Fat Loss

All of these are 4-day splits which I will do Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday with intervals. Wednesday and Saturday will be reserved for yoga and inline skating, or possibly intervals and inline skating with yoga on two of the TT days. We’ll see how crippled I am by the new workouts.

Whew…SO much better than 2K4.

And in company fitness challenge news, my team is still leading this week! The coder team is closing in, though, so we’ll have to step up our game some more. Everyone “lost” about 3 lbs automatically this week since the official contest scale was declared defective and a new one was acquired to replace it. The original Taylor scale used in the starting and week 1 weigh-ins added 3-4 pounds to my weight compared to my Tanita at home, which caused the Omron handheld body fat analyzer we use to track body fat percentage to give me higher readings. So this week, despite the fact that I am UP a pound from TTOM water retention, my scale weight showed a loss of 2.5 pounds, LOL, and the Omron blessed me with a lower score as well.

The atmosphere at the weigh-in was a lot less adversarial this week since everyone has agreed to let bygones be bygones and stop griping about my team’s week 1 numbers. I think that as the guys all start to look and feel better with every week of increased activity and lower body fat, the monetary aspect of this contest ($80 per person buy in) will start to matter less and less. Yes, $80 is not chump change, and it would be nice to win the average $250 or so per team member for being the top team, but in the end, I think everyone will consider their money well spent in exchange for the support and motivation this competition has provided them in their return to fitness.

– TT 2K3 Workout B
A1) Sumo Squat (3×8 @ 185, 195, 200 lbs)
A2) DB Lateral Raise (3×8 @ 15, 15, 15 lbs)
B1) Barbell RDL (3×8 @ 115, 135, 135 lbs)
B2) Stability Ball Jackknife (3×15)
C1) BB Forward Lunge (3×8 @ 95 lbs)
C2) Stability Ball Leg Curl (3×15)

– Intervals (Run)- Hills and sprints using Cardio Coach vol. 4 – Speed 3.0-8 mph, Incline 0%-12% – 22 minutes

M1: 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 c. spinach
M2: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies in oyster sauce, 1/2 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf
M3: 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 c. Kashi Go Lean Crunch Almond & Flax cereal
M4: 3 oz. Korean BBQ burger patty (Cooking Light recipe), 1 c. broccoli and cauliflower in oyster sauce, 4 oz. baked sweet potato fries with Creole seasoning
M5: PWO 1 c. Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 1/2 c. light soy milk
M6: 1/2 c. light soy milk, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein, 1/2 oz. cashews, 1/2 c. diet V8 Splash

1/27/08 Log: Next Turbulence Training Phase

I had planned on taking belated week 2 (now week 3 I guess!) TT challenge photos this morning, but my husband made some low-fat pancakes for us, and I had already eaten a full breakfast before I remembered that I was supposed to take some pics WITHOUT a full belly.

Oh well…maybe tomorrow!

Today’s workout was 30 minutes of YF upper body with lots of lovely pushup variations and 60 minutes of Powerstrike Forza in the living room.

I have just one more week to go on the 2K3 plan, and frankly, I just don’t want to do 2K4 next. I am not crazy about the exercises in 2K3, and 2K4 looks too similar for my taste. I’m rifling through all of the monthly TT workouts and core manuals to see if there is something that will provide a bit more challenge and novelty…and no front squats, LOL.

Currently I’m leaning toward doing one of the TT for Mass workouts, either Phase 1 of the TT for Mass 12-Week program or the 8-week TT for Mass Fusion workout. I’m in the mood to lift heavy, frequently, and with more variety, and it seems that the mass programs have more of all of these elements than the fat loss programs. I have no interest in workouts that utilize too many bodyweight moves at this time since BW work doesn’t seem to provide my muscles with enough resistance to grow, and unlike most of the women in the TT challenge, I will NOT be happy if I wind up lean but not visibly muscular at my goal weight. I’m not just trying to burn off the last 10 pounds of fluff here, I am determined to be somewhat jacked, too.

I tend to lean out better with higher volumes of lifting combined with intervals and strict nutrition anyway, so I think I can make this work.

I’m cleaning up my diet even more for this week and really going for new maxes in my intervals, too. Nine weeks left…time to refine my plan based on current progress.

– YF Upper Body (30 min)
– Forza (60 min)

M1) 2 low-fat Bisquick mix pancakes with bananas and walnuts, 1 T. honey, 3 egg whites, 1/2 c. spinach
M2) Homemade trail mix (1/2 oz. walnuts, 20 g raisins, 3 dried apricots, 1/4 c. Fiber One cereal)
M3) 3 oz. Korean BBQ bee burger patty, 1 c. broccoli and green peppers in oyster sauce, 1/2 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf
M4) 1/2 c. Go Lean Crunch, 1 scoop protein powder
M5) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 10g almonds, 1 packet Splenda, 1 T. cocoa powder
M6) 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg omelette with 1/2 c. sauteed spinach

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600 mg + D, vitamin C, 5g l-glutamine, 3 fish oil caps, 3 Digest-All caps

Cardio Coach 2008 New Year Sale (Ends 2/1/08)

Cardio Coach is running a 2008 New Year’s special for $30 plus shipping that includes six of the Cardio Coach workout CDs, a free MP3 download of any one of the CDs in the set so you can get started right away, and a $20 email gift certificate that you can send to a friend.

The workout CDs included in this package are:

* Volume 1 CD (original version with music score by Jeff Order)
* Volume 1 CD (revised with music score by Todd Washburn)
* Volume 2 CD (original version music score by Jeff Order)
* Volume 3 CD (music score by Todd Washburn)
* Volume 6 CD (Guest Coach, Candace Grasso)
* Volume 6 CD (Coach, Sean O’Malley)

The two Volume 1 CDs feature the same workout, but the music tracks are different. The other volumes all feature different workout sequences.

I really enjoyed using the free sample low-fi download of Volume 6 with Sean O’Malley that was available a while back when I had to knock out the longer training runs for my 5k program last year, and I still load up the audio at least once a month to get me through otherwise tedious cardio sessions. Time just seems to go by a lot faster when you are focused on achieving the intensity levels recommended by Mr. O’Malley’s yummy voice instead of obsessively staring at the timer on your treadmill and wondering if a lean physique is really worth another 20 minutes of this heinous torture.

So check out the sample Volume 6 download (it’s the full workout, just at a lower MP3 quality) during your next cardio session, and if you want more, snap up the Cardio Coach New Year Special before it goes away on 2/1/08.

1/25/08 Log: $150 Billion Stimulus Package

I weighed in at 142.0 lbs flat this morning, so the fat is definitely burning off again, albeit slowly. I’m starting to notice the changes in my arms and midsection now, so I’m happy. PMS water retention is most likely at play right now, too, which means that I’ll very likely be sub-141 in a week.

Yesterday’s meals were right on target, and I got in 30 minutes of inline skating during lunch for my workout. Today I will have the house to myself when I get home, so I plan to do my TT 2k3 workout A there with bodyweight circuits for my intervals. During lunch I think I will take a shot at doing my annual birthday pushup challenge of 10 pushups per year of life, so I have 330 reps to do this year. Maybe when I turn 50 I’ll start REDUCING the number by 10 every year, hehe.

So it seems that the House has cobbled together a $150 billion economic stimulus package that they hope to get signed next month that will affect some 117 million families.

Washington Sets $150 Billion Plan To Jolt Economy

Senate Pressured To OK Stimulus Deal

From the first article in the Wall Street Journal:

One important provision temporarily raises the dollar limit on mortgages that can be bought or guaranteed by government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The current limit of $417,000 would rise above $600,000 and perhaps as high as $730,000 in the most expensive areas, congressional leaders said.

The centerpiece of the package is $100 billion in tax credits for an estimated 117 million families this spring. Most individuals who pay income taxes would get $600; working couples would receive $1,200. Workers who make at least $3,000 but don’t pay income taxes would get checks of $300 to $600. People in both groups would get $300 credits for each of their children.

Top Democrats said they intend to send a bill to President Bush by Feb. 15. If that happens, rebate checks or electronic transfers would probably arrive between May and July.

Businesses would be able to deduct an additional 50% of the cost of certain investments in 2008. In addition, small businesses would be able to write off more expenses from their taxes: $250,000, up from $125,000.

The checks would be gradually phased out for wealthier taxpayers. Couples with income of more than $174,000 would get nothing, unless they have children.

The Internal Revenue Service expects to be able to begin mailing out checks and making electronic transfers by May, said Mr. Paulson. He told reporters the “lion’s share” of payments would be completed within the following 10 weeks.

Until the plan is final, it is difficult for congressional budget experts to estimate the impact it will have on the federal deficit. But Senate Budget Committee Democrats said Wednesday that a $140 billion stimulus package would add about $100 billion to the deficit in fiscal year 2008, which began in October, bringing the total budget shortfall for the year to about $350 billion.

There you have it. Most of us will be eligible for the $600 per working adult rebate in May, assuming the president signs the bill, but our country as a whole is going to go another $100 billion in debt to pay for it.

What will you do with your $600, $1200, or more (if you have kids)? Do you plan to spend it and stimulate the economy, save it for a rainy day, or pay off existing loans and debts?

– TT for Fat Loss 2K3 Workout A (40 min)

A1) Chin-ups (3×6 @ Bodyweight)
A2) DB Chest Press (3×6 @ 40 lbs)
B1) DB Row (3×10 @ 37.5 lbs)
B2) DB Low-Incline Press (3×10 @ 37.5 lbs)
C1) Decline Push-ups (3×12)
C2) DB Incline Biceps Curl (3×12 @ 17.5)

– Bodyweight circuit intervals x 6 (20 min)

M1) 60g oats and raisins, 3 egg whites
M2) Homemade trail mix (1/2 oz. walnuts, 20 g raisins, 3 dried apricots, 1/4 c. Fiber One cereal)
M3) 4 oz. whiting filet, 1 c. veggie mix, 1/2 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf
M4) 1 c. Go Lean Crunch, 1 scoop protein powder
M5) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 10g walnuts, 3 strawberries
M6) 4 oz. whiting filet, 1 c. sauteed spinach, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600 mg + D, vitamin C, 5g l-glutamine, 3 fish oil caps, 3 Digest-All caps