1/17/08 Log: FURMINATOR!

Hmm…not much to talk about today on the fitness front. I woke up too late for an AM skate, and I had a lot of work to do at the office. I stayed until almost 9 PM to finish up my tasks for a milestone build going out Friday in order to take my birthday off.

Eats were clean. AM weigh-in was 143.2 lbs.

Now let’s talk about the wonderful new gadget I received yesterday, the Furminator de-shedding tool. I caved into the impulse to order this from Amazon on Monday when cleaning out the lint trap of my dryer and home after a load of sheets and a duvet cover produced a 1″ thick mat of tabby hair that could honestly be used as a mattress for a guinea pig. Cleaning up one of Slinky Wang’s hairball surprises last week was also pretty motivating.

I have two cats. They have short, black and brown tabby fur that seems to wind up on everything no matter how much I brush them. When you give Neville a head scratch, about 30 loose hairs from his undercoat get worked up to the surface and are summarily left behind in a drifting cloud when he finally has enough and bolts away. Slinky is my fastidious groomer. He is always washing himself AND Neville, which is probably why he is also my primary hairball culprit.

Regular brushing with a slicker brush helps, but not enough. The boys still left kitty-shaped silhouettes of shed hair in all of their favorite lounging spots.

I was a bit skeptical of the claims on the Furminator site that shedding was reduced by 90% by the tool, but the rave reviews of the Furminator de-shedding comb on Amazon and Stuffonmycat.com convinced me to shell out the money for it.

I rushed home after my art class Wednesday night and immediately attacked Slinky with it. He started purring immediately and rolled around like he always does when I just the slicker brush on him. Clearly the Furminator was a winner with my older cat. He let me work on him for almost 10 minutes, even turning over to his other side to let me get those areas, too. Neville also seemed to enjoy his first Furmination, but he got squirmy after about 2 minutes and had to run around the house like a hyper 2-year-old.

Kitty enjoyment aside, did the Furminator work?

Well, check it out:


Slinky’s pile is on the left, and Neville’s is on the right. I think Neville has more of an undercoat than Slinky since that pile had come from only 2 minutes of combing. I am waiting to catch him napping to finish the job.

Who knew that sleek, short-haired cats had so much loose, trapped hair on them?

– Walk (30 min)

M1) 60g oatmeal and raisins, 3 egg whites, 5 slices chili radish
M2) Homemade trail mix (1/2 oz. walnuts, 20 g raisins, 1 dried apricot, 1/4 c. Fiber One cereal)
M3) 3 oz. tilapia, 1 whole egg, 1 c. veggie mix, 1/2 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf
M4) 3 rice cakes, 1.5 T. ANPB
M5) 4 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. spinach, 1/2 banana
M6) 1 c. Go Lean Crunch, 1/3 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop protein powder, 3/4 c. veggies

Est. Calories/Ratios: 1617 calories; 49.3% carb / 31% pro / 24% fat

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

1/16/08 Log: Maggie’s Artistic Renaissance

I only got in half of my workout this morning due to time constraints (I have to get to work early on Wednesdays for the next 6 weeks in order to leave early enough to get to the colored pencil drawing class I’m taking with my dad on the other side of town), but I have brought my bokken with me to work so I can do 30-45 minutes of Forza during my lunch break. If the class tonight doesn’t run too late, I’ll finish up the rest of my TT workout when I get home.

I’m pretty hyped about this class. I haven’t taken an art class in over 6 years (and have always been largely self-taught anyway as my practical parents wanted me and my sister to focus on “real” studies like math and English through high school), and I’ve always wanted to give colored pencils a try. While I have always done some traditional pencil drawing, all of my coloring is done digitally in Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. I also bought Painter a few years ago, but still haven’t gotten around to learning the software. Around 2001, I took Painting I in college and was told that I wasn’t too horrible at oils considering that I had never painted before, but I haven’t picked up a paint brush since then. I think I am color-phobic with real, non-digital media.

I hope that taking this class with my father in tow will inspire both of us to pick up a portable, rewarding new hobby. I’ve been pushing only pixels around too long now at work. It’s time to relearn the joy of taking a pencil to real paper again.

Here are some pieces from my past:

Eagle (Charcoal on 11″x14″ paper)
Eagle (charcoal)

Aspect of Fate (Graphite drawing; Photoshop colors. Available as stationery products from Ellen Million Graphics.)

Still Life (Oil on canvas. This was my first painting…EVER. It’s not very exciting, but I still like it for nostalgic reasons.)
Still Life

Summoned Creatures Concepts (Graphite on paper)
Summoned Critters

– TT 2K3B (40 min)
– Forza (30 min)

M1) 53g Go Lean Crunch, 1/3 c. light soy milk, 3 egg whites
M2) Homemade trail mix (1/2 oz. walnuts, 20 g raisins, 1 dried apricot, 1/4 c. Fiber One cereal)
M3) 4 oz. Creole seasoned chicken breast, 1 c. veggie mix, 1/2 c. Kashi 7-grain pilaf
M4) Chocolate banana protein smoothie
M5) 4 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggie mix
M6) 2 protein fudgsicles, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Est. Calories/Ratios: 1429 calories; 40% carb / 41.5% pro / 23.4% fat

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

1/14/08 Log: Challenges are everywhere!

I was a good little eater this weekend, staying within my targets both days instead of losing my mind and discipline without the regimented schedule of a work day to keep my stomach in check.

At 143.8 lbs, I’m down 2 pounds from last Monday and continuing to drop now that I am back to my normal meals and workout routine.

My goal for this summer is to BE at maintenance at 130 lbs, 16-18% body fat, and to sustain it until it’s the holidays when I will wisely embark on a slow bulk November-December. I’ll have my legs from 2005, and more lean mass on my back, shoulders and glutes than I’ve had before.

Looking at my own photos this weekend when I was upgrading my blog gallery really put everything into perspective for me when it comes to my weakness–justifying extra bites of food because “I’ve worked hard for it”. If I want to get this done, I can’t be lackadaisical about nutrition even if I *do* use twice the weight of the other women in the gym when I perform most exercises. Others may be able to get away with sloppy nutrition, but I have never been like that, and no amount of wishful thinking will change this truth.

So clean eats, daily logging, and more intense exercise it is!

I’ll even have some support at work for a change since some of the guys have decided to do a 12 week fitness challenge starting today. There are four teams of 4-5 so far, and I’ll be representin’ South Building with some guys from the handheld game development team against the three teams from the Wii development side of the house. I’ve also got the Turbulence Training 12-week transformation contest going on for the next 11 weeks, so that’s a double dose of commitment on top of the challenges here!

Anyway, I ran 30 minutes of intervals using Cardio Coach v.6 during lunch, and will be hitting the gym for TT weights, core, and some elliptical time after work. I printed out a copy of Alwyn Cosgrove’s interval cardio guidelines from Afterburn last night and will be giving that a shot on my off days from TT workouts/intervals.

This Week’s Workout Plan
Mon) Interval Run (30 min); TT Weights + Interval Elliptical (60 min); Yoga + TT Core (30 min)
Tue) TT Weights + Interval Stepper (60 min); Yoga + TT Core (30 min)
Wed) TT Weights + Interval Bike (60 min)
Thu) Skating (30 min); Yoga + TT Core (30 min)
Fri) TT Weights + Interval Run (60 min)
Sat) Forza (60 min); Yoga + TT Core (45 min)
Sun) Rest and recreational skating (30 min)

M1) 1/2 c. sauteed spinach, 3 egg whites, 60 g oats and raisins, 5 pieces chili radishes
M2) Pineapple soy protein shake
M3) 3/1 spinach omelette, 1 large navel orange
M4) Homemade trail mix (1/2 oz. walnuts, 20 g raisins, 1 dried apricot, 1/4 c. Fiber One cereal)
M5) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 c. strawberries, 1/2 oz. walnuts
M6) 4 oz. sauteed garlic ginger whiting filet, 1 c. asparagus veggie stir-fry

Est. Calories/Ratios: 1406 calories; 45% carb / 33.6% pro / 26.1% fat

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

1/13/08 Log: Gallery troubles, photo deals, and Dexter

No workout today, but eats were good!

I had some issues updating my Gallery 2.2 installation to 2.2.4, so I spent a couple of hours today troubleshooting my .htaccess files to get everything working properly again. I also got around to uploading the photos from my reception to Clark Photo since they have a great deal for new users right now: 40 free 4″x6″ prints (use this link to sign up) and a free shipping code (SHIPITFREE).

There’s also a great freebie deal at Snapfish.com if you sign up for a new account there: 20 free 4″x8″ photo cards and 30 free 4″x6″ prints (sign up at www.snapfish.com/nestle4) and get free shipping with code PRINTFREE.

…And oh yeah, I rented (using a free Blockbuster rental coupon I earned via e-rewards) and thoroughly enjoyed Season 1, Disc 1 of the Dexter TV series from Showtime since my old standby, CourtTV, has now been turned into a collection of redundant and uninteresting reality shows. An “edited for mature content” version of the series will start airing on CBS starting February 17 for those of you who, like me, are too cheap to pay for premium movie channels.

M1) 1/2 c. sauteed spinach, 3 egg whites, 60 g oats and raisins, 5 pieces chili radishes
M2) 1 cup Fiber One cereal, 1/2 c. light soy milk
M3) 3 oz. grilled salmon with honey lime glaze, 1 steamed Mandarin roll, 1/2 c. spinach
M4) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 c. strawberries and blackberries, 1/2 oz. walnuts
M5) 4 oz. sauteed garlic ginger whiting filet, 3 c. garden salad, 2 T. low fat light sesame ginger dressing, 1/2 oz. walnuts
M6) 1 protein fudgsicle, 1/2 oz. walnuts, 20 g. raisins and dried apricots

Est. Calories/Ratios: 1433 calories

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

1/12/08 Log: Just the nitty-gritty

Lazy day today with just yoga and TT core, but the good news is that my right arm is 100% again, and I don’t have any DOMS at all in my lower body. All hail l-glutamine and proper rest!

I will do workout A in the morning.

– TT Core (15 min)
– Yoga (30 min)

M1) Light banana strawberry pancakes, 1 T. honey, 3 egg whites
M2) 8 whole wheat crackers, 1/2 oz. roasted walnuts
M3) 4 oz. grilled salmon with honey-lime glaze, 4 oz. sweet potato wedges, 2 c. garden salad, 2 T. low fat sesame ginger dressing
M4) 8 whole wheat crackers
M5) 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, 2 dried apricots, 1 T. raisins
M6) 1 mandarin roll, 6 chili radish pieces

Est. Calories/Ratios: 1500 calories

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

1/11/08 Log: Me…Only Better

My right bicep still felt off this morning, so I am moving my 2K3 workout A to Saturday morning to give it one more day to heal. Instead of the 2K3 workout, I did 45 minutes of Plyo X (only got in around 15 minutes of this workout because my knees were not happy about it…) combined with the Learn and Burn portion of the first Turbo Jam DVD. TJ feels utterly silly, but I admit that I found it sort of fun after I got the hang of the moves. Calorie burn was only 311 calories for the combined workouts, but at least I got moving this morning.

Eats will be clean through Meal 5, which is my planned early birthday cheat of sushi at Amura’s and a bit of birthday cake followed by four lovely hours of karaoke.

I’m down another pound today to 143.4 lbs just from clearing the crap from my diet and getting back to a regular workout routine. I took a look at my progress photos from a few years ago when I was between 17-18% bf and decided that I really want to get back there in this challenge. I know some people like to choose a celebrity physique as a goal for themselves, but I find it more motivating to just look at my own photos at goal body fat and just imagining myself like that again…but with better arms, shoulders, glutes, and lats! (The legs were already fine at 17% back then…I just didn’t have enough upper body mass for my taste.)

Anyway, I just find it more realistic to shoot for ME…only better.

– Plyo X/Turbo Jam Learn & Burn (45 min)
– Outdoor walk (30 min)

M1) 60g raisins and oats, 3 egg whites, 5 pieces preserved radish with chilis
M2) 1 small banana, 3 egg whites
M3) 3 oz. grilled peppered chicken breast, 1 large orange, 1 c. asparagus veggie mix
M4) 1 T. ANPB, 2 unsalted rice cakes
M5) Sushi @ Amura’s (~12-15 pieces) + 1 serving birthday cake (Planned cheat meal
M6) None

Est. Calories/Ratios: 1500-1600 calories

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

1/10/08 Log: Down with the Babydoll!

Sleepy morning for me. I woke up at 6 am, took care of the kitty litter, took the trash out before the truck came by, then fell back asleep until 8:30.


Off-topic to my fellow cat-loving readers: Does anyone else’s cat impatiently wait directly behind you when you are scooping, and immediately step inside the newly-cleaned litter box to stake his/her claim, or is that just my Neville? He also, immediately after taking care of business, spends about 10 minutes spazzing out and tearing around the house, through the kitty flap, around the patio, and back again yodeling “Ow-ruh! Ow-ruh! Ow-ruh!” like something scary attacked him while he was in the box. I suspect that his own poop baffles and terrifies him.

Crazy feline.

Well, I stayed clean on food today as penance, and I did run/walk intervals for 30 minutes during my lunch break in lieu of the missed skate this morning. Yoga and TT core to follow tonight when I get home from work.

Chris gets back tonight from Tallahassee, so my blissful solo evenings at home watching LA Ink and Project Runway while doing crunches and planks on the living room carpet are over for now.

Speaking of Project Runway, does anyone else watch? I cannot believe they booted Kevin last night (his dress wasn’t as disastrous as Christian’s or Ricky’s…or even the winner’s) AND gave the win to that hideous bubble-skirted, electric blue, bejeweled babydoll monstrosity that Victorya put out. BLARGH! Bubble skirts and babydoll silhouettes are not hot on anyone, no matter how in shape, stick-thin, or confident they are. That dress made her client (a slim high school track gal) look like a boobless, slouching blue popsicle complete with two sticks coming out of the bottom.

Victorya’s dress

I think this one by Chris (whom I am soooo glad they brought back the other week)…

Chris’s dress

or this one by Sweet P…

Sweet P’s dress

were much more worthy of a win.

The rest of the prom dress designs can be found here.

– Outdoor interval run/walk (32 min)
– YF Yoga (30 min)
– TT Core Beginner (15 min)

M1) 60g raisins and oats, 3 egg whites, 5 pieces preserved radish with chilis
M2) 1 small banana, 1 mandarin roll
M3) 3 oz. grilled peppered chicken breast, 1 mandarin roll, 1 c. asparagus veggie mix
M4) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 15g walnuts, 1/2 c. mixed berries
M5) 3 oz. BBQ pork tenderloin with diced tomatoes, 3 c. garden salad, 2 T. low fat dressing
M6) Chocolate soy protein shake and 15 g. walnuts

Est. Calories/Ratios: 1440 calories, 43.5% carb / 36.9% pro / 21.3% fat

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

My $7 Ghetto RoadID

I’ve been meaning to order a RoadID for myself for a while now since I started to take some of my runs back outside, but the $19.99 price tag for what amounts to an engraved stainless steel plate on a velcro wrist strap just made me balk. I know it’s important to have some sort of identification with emergency numbers and basic medical information on it when exercising outdoors some distance away from home in case something happens and one becomes incapacitated or unresponsive, but sigh…I am a tightwad.

I am, however, planning on going on longer inline skating forays in the near future, and my chances of randomly falling down and stunning myself into unconsciousness are a lot greater now than they were when I was just trotting around in running shoes, so I decided to look into the ID tag thing again.

Then I thought…”I wonder if I can get some cheap dog tags made up with the same information?”

Out of nostalgia, I checked on military ID tags first, but those are limited to 15 characters per line, including spaces, which was just a little bit too short for my needs. Then I took a look at pet tags. Bingo!

Behold, the 1″ slide-on aluminum pet collar tag in your choice of seven sweet colors! These can fit 18 characters in each of the five available lines, and they are significantly cheaper than a RoadID at $7 with free shipping. Add your own velcro strap or slide it onto your shoelaces or watchband and you are all set!


If you prefer brass ($7.50) or stainless steel ($7.25), you can check out the same company’s shoe tags for just a bit more. These styles also accommodate 18 characters per line and five lines per tag.


If you decide to order your own ghetto roadID tag, the recommended info to include is:


So a typical tag might be:

DAVE 123-456-7890
MOM 123-456-7899
NO PCN/ O+ / DOB 76

(See other sample text examples)

Me? I went for the pink aluminum pet model, just because.

Of course, there is always the option to make a TRULY ghetto roadID like so:

1) Print out a label with all of the desired information on regular paper, self-stick address label paper, or a sturdier cardstock

2) Cut out a rectangle the same size as your label from the throwaway plastic lid of something like a butter tub, canister of raisins or oats, etc. and glue or stick your printed label to the plastic tag

3) Seal it with clear packing tape, laminating sheets, or other sealant.

4) Trim around the tag if necessary, making sure that you leave enough of a border on your laminating medium to form a full seal around the tag and keep any moisture out. You’ll be sweating and/or otherwise getting water on this doohickey, so make sure it’s waterproof.

5) Punch a couple of holes on each end, tie some string through them, and tie around your wrist or thread through your shoelaces. If you want to get fancy, you can attempt to cut longer slits on each end of the label like the collar and shoe tags above.