I have had a really crazy busy long weekend, my husband takes painting contracts in his spare time (beats working overtime) and I have been helping him. A friend of his just bought a house (2 stories + basement) and it was painted the most god-awful rainbow of purples, so the whole house had to be masked, primed and painted. It is a bit easier since my guy is an aeronautic painter by trade, and we have a fancy-pant spray gun, but the house is huge, and the temperature inside the house was ridiculous - add in the humidity from the paint (we did have a few dehumidifiers running, but you cannot open the windows when using a spray gun to paint), it was a long weekend full of ladder climbing, squats (I had to mask chair rail that was at waist and chest height in three rooms - that's a lot of squatting!), and sweat. With 12-14 hour days, there was little time to get in trouble (food wise) but there was beer afterwards, so I imagine it all balanced out.
While it might sound harrowing, it was actually a lot of fun.
Posted on 2012-05-23 by velix
I have always been a creature of habit. I like routine and repetition. When I get into a groove, I like to keep things just the way they are. I like to eat the same thing every day for breakfast, and since I know that one needs to 'shake things up' at the gym to keep things going, I usually have at least 2 - 3 different programs that I can keep in rotation. I have had the same trainer for almost 2 years. Sadly (for me) he got a job as the conditioning trainer to the jr. MLS soccer team and has since left the gym, but I still had 2 more sessions paid for.
With the Spartan Sprint only 22 days away, I decided I needed to cash those sessions in for some proper redirection. They paired me up with a girl (maybe in her mid-twenties) who is signed up for the Spartan Race (10k w/obstacles as opposed to the Sprint's 5k w/obstacles). I was apprehensive at first. I have not had the best track record with female trainers. I know that there are good ones out there, but I have yet (until last night) to meet one. I am very ambitious in my training. I absolutely adore weight training, and take pride in the amount of weight I can lift. Sometimes, this drive to lift weight has come into conflict with my desire to "lose weight".
As I explained to the trainer last night, I know the science and logic behind more reps/less weight, but something in my brain tells me that if I am not pushing weight boundaries every time I work out, I am not "really working out". I know this is not true. But it is how I feel. And if I am going to be honest about it - it comes from a lot of judgement from others. For example - I have read on these forums (and many other places) "if you can read while doing cardio, you're not really working out". I was one of those people who thought that for a long time. Until my last trainer explained to me the different types of cardio training, and the "lipides/glucides" (sorry, french trainer) require different types of cardio for different results. So sometimes, I HAD to do 60 minutes of slow burn cardio with a HR of no more than 130... it KILLED me to go slow... I felt that people were looking at me and saying "she isn't sweating or 'pushing hard', what kind of workout does she think she's getting" ... and again, if I am going to be honest, I am a lot more impressed by the slender woman at the gym pushing 100 lbs weights (even if its only 5 reps) than the woman who can do 100 reps with 5lbs weights. Yet rationally, I KNOW that both women are kicking ass and are working out two different things!
So ya, my new trainer. ... I really liked her. She was attentive, not condescending, seemed to respect the knowledge I had gained over the last 2 years of working solidly with a trainer (and losing 68lbs), but still injected her knowledge into the session in a way that felt helpful and productive (instead of the "I'm the trainer, I'll tell you what's best" attitude I have received in the past). The other thing I really like about her, and that was different than my last trainer (he was great though!!) is that she pushed me in a way that he didn't. He was very positive, and helped me get to where I am now (or at least to where I was in November), but looking back on it, I realized he didn't "push" me in that he would count me through my reps, maybe add some weight to my exercise or whatnot, but he didn't push me past my comfort zone too often.
Last night, Camille (the new trainer) had me really questioning my conditioning state. I didn't think I had slid that far back from January, but she really put me through my paces. And really made me work hard for every drop of sweat. She would have me do my 15 reps, then say - aw, I know you can give me 2 more. Then I would, and so she would say - oh, that looked great, I am pretty sure you can give me 3 more... then 2 more .. then a few more next thing I knew I had done 25 reps and my arms were BURNING. But she could see that I could push further (partially because I am competitive in the sense that I hate looking like I cannot do sometime that is asked of me. I will always do my absolute best to do what is asked, but if I am not asked to do more (like Alexis - old trainer - always just counting me out to 15 - and not asking more of me), I will simply stay in that zone...
Also, she has faith that I can get my 5k in under 35 minutes (she said at 30 mins, but I am not quite so sure) within the 22 days if I work out as she instructed every day between now and then. I see her in 2 weeks again to show her where I am at. For now, her regime is 1min @10km/hr and one minute @ 6.5km/hr until 5k is done. and then to decrease my recovery time. I am scared as hell, but it was exhilerating to have her there push me past the point of comfort (hell, past the point of wanting to cry - but in a good way).
On my bike ride home last night, I realized that change is good. I KNOW this. I am a smart girl, but I didn't really embrace it. I woke up this morning ready to embrace it.
Have a fantastic weekend MFPeeps. And remember, you can always find 30 minutes to get some exercise in even if its doing squats while preparing dinner or some lunges while walking down the hallway (my girls find it hilarious when I do this to go from the living room to the kitchen - but hey - its exercise and gets me to where I want to go!).
Posted on 2012-05-18 by velix
A challenge of a weekend that bled into Monday morning. It is 3pm and I am only now getting my head out of the trappings of a pity party. After struggling all day with myself, I decided a hard look in the mirror (both figuratively and literally) was necessary. While I have been weighing myself consistently, I have stopped measuring myself - as I checked in my training files, the last time I did so was in November. The only way to steer this ship right is to start from the beginning again. So, out came the measuring tape... Along with my 16lbs, I've gained 3" on my bust, 2" on my waist, 2" on my hips, and 2" on my thigh (I measure individual legs)... arms have stayed the same. It was an eye opener....
This late in the day, I really don't feel like going to the gym - or leaving the house for that matter. But I just put my workout gear on, and have a back yard (well, a fenced in area full of rocks and dirt...), a jump rope and an HRM. I will see what 30 minutes of jump rope will do for my mood (and my body).
Remember, it is a battle but you can't win if you quit fighting. Here's to another Monday guys and gals!
Posted on 2012-05-14 by velix
Day four was a rest day. After three days of full on working out again, my body hurt. It helped that my daughter was home sick from school too. Everything was fantastic until it came to supper time and we ordered pizza from our favorite 2 for 1 pizzeria. I ate 4 pieces. It was pretty much my only food yesterday (besides my coffee). So while the calorie intake may have balanced out - it was not a "good" day per se.
Today is Day 5. The sun is finally shinning. I spent the morning working on some research I've got going on, and almost decided to stay home since I was on a roll work-wise. I tweeted this sentiment, and happily, the professor I work with (who is also an avid runner) sent me this link: http://news.runnersworld.com/2012/04/20/more-evidence-running-makes-you-smarter/
It convinced me to get off my butt, put my work aside and head out to the gym. My favorite treadmill was available (the one tucked into the corner), and I set it for 5km. Took me 41 minutes of 5 minute intervals (with 3-5 minute rest periods). Max speed was 10km/h but mostly I ran between 8 and 9.5km/h. Average was 8.36km/h (5.2mph) and burned over 500 calories thank you HRM. I waddled my way to the mats, did my abs exercises as I let me legs recover, then did 20 minutes of weights and 2 types of squats (I am the weirdo who loves doing squats... I do olympic, wheelbarrow and on the balance discs every time I go to the gym)... I wanted to do more upper body (only did 2 diff. exercises) but I was pretty tired.
This is what I looked like after my workout. Now I know why no one talks to me when I am at the gym, I look like I might kill someone (or drip all over them!)
And I made an appointment with a new trainer who is training for the Spartan Race herself with a special group (I am doing the Spartan Sprint). I have one month to go - June 10th is just around the corner. SCARRY!
P.S. IF ANYONE KNOWS HOW TO SHRINK PICS PLS LET ME KNOW!! (i've tried in photobucket, but they always post to the same size!)
Posted on 2012-05-11 by velix
Woke up really early this morning - my husband works for 6am, so he is up at 5am. You would think that would be a good thing, but I only wake my daughter up at 7am for school. So I spent a good part of my morning just lollydawdling around the house. I prefer to go to the gym in the early afternoon (part of what will make having a 'real' job really conflict with working out someday). By about 11am, I was tired and crawled into bed... my duvet was so so comfortable. I laid there for about 10 minutes and then it hit me. WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING? hello, sabotage!? I got up, got my stuff together and made the trek to the gym. I sandwiched it with errands again (had to pick up a nice bottle of merlot for dinner tonight as we are having company) and had to pick up items for dinner from the butcher.
So, off I went. Today, I decided to do 5k on the treadmill. Not looking to build cardio (since the goal is to be able to sprint between obstacles at the Spartan race next month), I started out relatively slow, doing intervals at 4mph working my way up to intervals of 7mph (there is a kilometer to miles chart right in front of the treadmill I use). It took me 42 minutes to cover 5km reaching peak heart rate in each interval of 185 and a low 155 in my recovery intervals... I was embarrasingly drenched - and imagine that's why the guy next to me finished his run early lol.
When I stopped and walked to get the towelette to wipe the machine, I was a bit dizzy and quite a bit nauseous. I think I might need more than an instant breakfast in my stomach before working out...
I was hoping to do a full weight training session, trying to get my arms back in shape since a lot of the Spartan obstacles are arm-centric... but my nausea won and I limped over to the mats and did 2 sets of 3 different ab exercises. After some stretches, I just laid there with my wet arms over my face until I had the energy to get up and drag my tired body to the locker room. The whole time I was on the mats, I kept thinking to myself: Girl, you might look like a fool, but you look like a fool that worked out hard...and that made me smile.
Day three feels pretty good.
Posted on 2012-05-09 by velix
I almost didn't go to the gym today. It is wet and cold out and the day started out quite badly, not being able to find my tax refund that I had to deposit before I could buy my plane tickets for a work trip in July...but I found the check, bundled up and made the trek to the bank and then the gym (since I have to walk past the gym on my way home...).
As I was walking, I realized that I have a lot of travel coming up in the next few months, a few conferences (in Paris, St Galen, Switzerland in July, and Manchester UK in the fall) and my PhD defense in June - and as much as I hate to admit it, but vanity trumps health. I want my pictures to look fantastic unlike my last trip to London (the picture of my on the bridge in my other before/after pic)...
Today was a full on cardio day. 45 minutes walking, 30 minutes on the elliptical (lvl 10, resistance 10 for 10 minutes, lvl 15 resistance 14 for 5 minutes, lvl 20 [max - where it's like climbing stairs 3 at a time] resistance 16 for 5 minutes then down to 10/10 for the last 10 minutes). Then 30 minutes on the bike lvl 12 for 10 minutes, 10 for 10 and 8 for 10. By 6 minutes into the bike, I wanted to quit. I was the only one in the gym dripping wet - (my hair is more dry after I get out of the shower!) sadly, I am that girl in the gym that sweats like a banshee no matter how 'in shape' I am...
My legs were wobbly on the walk home. But I feel great. I even stopped at the grocery on the way home, bought a seasoned chicken, some new baby potatoes and broccoli...I forgot that I always picked up dinner on my way home from the gym - no wonder we have been eating so much take out over the last two months! Never any food in the house...
Here's to looking forward to day three tomorrow!
Posted on 2012-05-08 by velix
With the warm weather creeping in, it is getting harder and harder to hide from my own body. The tshirts that looked good last summer all snug and uncomfortable. Through much self-loathing, I got off my backside and made the trek to the gym and paid off my past-due amount for last month (which I have been using as an excuse not to go) and paid next month up front.
My workout today was hard. It wasn't any different than before. I did the same exercises. The same incremental cardio workout, but instead of exhilaration, I felt winded and nauseous (sadly, all the while working out next to one of the few men I find attractive at the gym... ). I have a pretty grueling cardio where I start at 50% difficulty for 10 minutes, then I increase the resistance/difficulty up by 2 for 2 minutes each until I max out the machine, and then decrease by increments of 2 for 2 minutes for the last 10 minutes. Usually I can hold a conversation through to the end - winded of course at the peak, but today, I could hardly breath and wanted to puke, but of course with mr. cutey mc-cutey next to me, peaking at my machine, I had to force myself through my workout...Maybe that's a good thing...
Then I decided to (try to) do a full weight training session. Lats pull downs + squats on the balance discs, wheelbarrow squats (w/90lbs) + 2 hand bench press w/25lbs each hand, chin-ups + dips and then I quit... I was exhausted and felt sick... I had to omit a handful of leg exercises so that I could be able to walk home ...
But I didn't die.
I still had a few beer today (hot sunny weather kills me). But I know, if I can make it to the gym consecutively over the next week or so, the eating of junk and alcohol consumption will naturally decline. If history has taught me anything, its that the better I treat my body with exercise, the better I treat it with food. The food first thing has never worked for me, not sure why I thought this time would be different.
Four weeks to the Spartan Sprint.
Posted on 2012-05-07 by velix
As most of you know, I deposited my Phd dissertation two weeks ago. I cannot defend for another 6 weeks. In the meantime, I have embarked on a new research project with with Dr. Mia Consalvo and Irene Serrano Vazquez.
We have two projects in the works at the moment, one looking at how and why people play Facebook games with family, and the other on Facebook player’s perceptions of cheating in Facebook games. We put together a short survey combining the two projects and would love for it if you could take a few minutes (the survey does not take more than 10 minutes – we’ve tested it!), and if you could pass the link along to anyone you know who plays Facebook games, we would be really appreciate the feedback!
Your participation is anonymous.
Posted on 2012-05-01 by velix
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