Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My motivation

Got my sweat on this morning - ran 45 minutes. Rest day for weights. 13 straight days of exercise!

My neck is really sore today, I need a rub.

I feel sort of drained. Hope I'm not getting sick. It's probably just my neck making my whole being feel crappy. I'll get over it.

Anyway, the point of my post is motivation. Do everything and anything in your power to motivate yourself. Here is what I look at while I'm running:

This is on the wall directly in front of my treadmill. These are big motivators for me.

And this is my workout calendar. I write everything on this thing. Type of exercise, reps, sets, load, amount of time, low/high carb day, anything that I was having trouble with or doing great with:

And this is my workout room. Nothing fancy, horrible 90's colors, but I'm happy to have it. It's my best friend. It invites me, it challenges me, it supports me, it kicks my butt. I love this room!

I think I need some artwork on the walls, it's a little bare!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Going Strong

Today is the 12th day in a row I've done some form of exercise, no rest days. I have still been lifting 4 days per week but I've increased cardio to every day. I'm feeling so great too, I just love it.

Monday - lower body #1
BB Squats 3 x 12 @ 65lbs
Stiff Legged Deadlifts 3 x 12 @ 65lbs
Leg Ext. 3 x 12 @ 65lbs
Abs - 15 hip lifts, 22 dead bugs, 24 bicycle kicks
Treadmill - ran 45 minutes
(low carb day)

Tuesday - upper body #1
Bench Press 3 x 8 @ 55lbs
Bent Over Row 3 x 8 @ 22lbs - each arm
BB Shoulder Press 3 x 9 @ 35lbs
BB Bicep Curl 3 x 8 @ 30lbs
Skull Crushers 16lbs (8lb DBs) 12, 12, 8
Treadmill - ran 30 minutes
(low carb day)

My carb cycling is going great. Haven't gotten off the track, I'm in the zone!!

My wrist is almost back to normal although I can feel in on the bicep curls. There is still a little bulge under my skin. But I still wrap in when I lift and I'm hoping that little bugger will be A-OK very soon.


Monday, March 29, 2010


One week has past since I first took my "official" measurements and decided to try carb cycling & increasing cardio. Well, that was the golden ticket for me because my plateau is officially BUSTED! Check it out:

weight: 117.6
hips: 37"
thighs: 21"
waist: 25"
belly button: 27"

weight: 115.4
hips: 36.5"
thighs: 20.5
waist: 25"
belly button: 26"

How's THAT for progress!! I am totally stoked! Plugging my stats into the equations given in the Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle book, it shows more of a lean body mass loss than a fat loss (which is typically bad), that's okay for the first week. He says that tends to happen at first (probably because more water is lost at first). But, I need to watch it, and if the trend is a steady decrease in lean body mass I'll need to eat more on my high carb days.

Anyway, you can't argue with the tape measure. Half an inch off the hips! I am feeling total bliss today. And it's just fueling me to work just as hard (if not harder) to reach my goal. Because I know it is attainable. Naysayers, EAT THAT!

This past weekend was off days as far as weight training was concerned. But I did cardio both days - 30 minutes Saturday & 45 minutes Sunday. Then I had my first cheat meal that week. It consisted of french fries and a crispy chicken sandwich from Space Aliens. It was good but I was SO dehydrated afterwards. I must have drank a gallon of water. I think it served as a good reminder of why I don't eat that crap anymore! It just makes you feel so lousy. Next time, I'm going to go for a big chocolate covered donut instead :)

I'm one step closer to my goal! Awesome! I wish you all the same great results with your fitness endeavors!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Body stats

It's Friday, and I've done miraculously well! OK, maybe it's not miraculous. But it is my determination, my drive that has gotten me through this week. And every day that I continue to follow my premeditated steps to goal, just motivates me more. Because every day that I follow my carb cycling rules, every day that I give 110% with exercise, every day I'm able to pass on the cakes and pizza that everyone else is eating, is a success! It's the small successes we make every day that add up to the BIG success that we want to achieve in the end.

When I'm on the treadmill after I've already spent a half an hour training my legs, I tell myself "I might just do 20 minutes and THAT'S OK! Because I'm not an all or nothing girl, every little bits counts." And then I hit 20 minutes and I can go 10 minutes more. Because I have a positive frame of mind. An I CAN DO attitude, that pushes me through.

It feels great. I feel great! This is what it's all about!

Exercise & nutrition for the past week:

Sunday: cardio 45 minutes - LOW CARB
Monday: lower body workout #1, cardio 20 minutes - LOW CARB
Tuesday: upper body workout #1, cardio 30 minutes - LOW CARB
Wednesday: cardio 45 minutes - HIGH CARB
Thursday: lower body workout #2, cardio 30 minutes - LOW CARB

Oh oh oh, I forgot to mention that I have taken all my measurements with tape measure, scale and body fat caliper (did it on Sunday) so when I take the new stats this coming Sunday, I'll be able to tell where I'm headed!


total weight: 117.6 lbs
body fat%: 15.4%
lean mass: 99.5 lbs
fat: 18 lbs
waist: 25"
hips: 37"
thighs: 21"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My promise

Well, I have successfully completed one cycle in my leaning out phase. 3 low carb days and 1 high carb day (today).

It wasn't bad! I didn't have any starchy carbs since Saturday and today I had bread for breakfast, a quesadilla for lunch and a multi grain pancake for dinner (of course I had other things too, just mentioning my carb intake here). I also had a few Nutgrain crackers and tortilla chips for snacks. Which aren't the best choices. Obviously food in it's raw state is always the best. It could have been far worse. I didn't treat the day like a "cheat" day, which means it was a success for me. And I'm ready for the next low carb cycle to begin tomorrow.

I've been amping up my exercise as well. I have spent the winter trying to add as much muscle mass as I possibly could, which meant I had to shy away from a lot of cardio. I did some every now and then, nothing major. But now that spring is here and it's time to shed the extra fat, I need to focus on the cardio.

I've been keeping up with my same weight training routine (gotta maintain that muscle) and adding some time on the treadmill to the end of those training sessions (30 minutes). And on off days, I'll do 45 minutes (like I did tonight). I gotta say, it feels pretty good. And I can do nothing but smile when I think of the changes I will make to my body by summer, just by implementing the zig-zag method and more cardio.

In fact, I'm so certain that I will love my results, I am willing to post some bikini pictures in June (which is my goal deadline). There it is, it's out there, can't take it back now! I'm owning this!

Let's shed that winter fat people! Who's with me???

Bikini pictures....that's a promise!! THAT is how confident I am that I will reach my deadline with a met goal.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pep Talk

I was giving myself a little pep talk in the shower this morning. I'll tell you why...

(FYI - this could be a long post)

Yesterday I started carb cycling again. I've been consistently weight training and carbing up to build as much muscle mass as possible for the past two months and now it's time to lean out. Summer isn't that far out, if I start now, I should get there.

I've noticed a gain in weight, and my arms are NOTICEABLY more muscular. I don't see it in my legs, but theory tells me that if I built it in my arms, I also did so in my legs. Problem is, the fat layer on top is preventing me from seeing my progress.

The only way for me to lose fat is going to be to cycle carbs. That's it. No magic to it. Just plain and simple. I have done this before and I definitely feel leaner after doing it. The problem is I've never been able to last more than 2 or 3 cycles. Because it's hard. DAMN HARD!!

I need to cycle 3 days low carbs (nothing starchy like bread or pasta) then up 1 day. Then back to the 3 low days, and so on. This is done for a period of 12 weeks. I can actually call this a "diet" because it's not a way of life, just a temporary solution.

After this leaning out process, I can go back to a normal baseline of healthy eating, carbs and all. See, maintaining is the easy part. It's getting there that's hard. But I can do it. It's a sacrifice, yes, but it's only temporary. I can sacrifice eating bread on most days because my end goal is more important than bread. If I ask myself, would I rather eat what I love; bread, oatmeal, cheerios, rice (oooooh sushi), OR would I rather have my goal body by summer? I would say HELL YEAH I would rather have my goal body! It's THAT important to me.

Remember, it's only temporary. I can do temporary.

Remember those billboards that used to say something like, "Screw your diet, I want my cheese!"? I loved them because I can relate. It's how I feel some days. I freakin' LOVE cheese! But what do I love more? The insane bliss I get for 5 minutes while I indulge in the cheese, or the insane bliss I get ALL THE TIME from being fit and lean and able to walk down the beach in a bikini KNOWING I look smokin' hot? Um....DUH!!! No brainer!

How can I get there? My body, right now, is happy with it's current weight and body fat percentage. How do I know this? It hasn't budged in months!!! Maybe even longer! Sure, the scale may fluctuate 3-5 pounds now and then due to many things, but I don't count that. I've plateaued. And restricting calories is not the answer because I simply cannot function when I'm running on empty. I just don't have the energy it takes to raise 3 kids and take care of the duties I have as a house wife on a restricted calorie diet. I'm impatient the way it is, throw in a diet that's seriously depriving me of calories and you don't want to know me!!

So what is the solution? It would seem as though I'm stuck the way I am. Wrong. I can shock my body with carb cycling. It's the ONLY way I will be able to lose FAT while retaining precious muscle. And it ain't easy partner! But everything in life worth having, is worth working for! And I'm ready to DO WORK CREW!!

When I told my husband this morning that I was carb cycling again he just kind of laughed and said "I thought you were fasting?". He was referring to IF. And it's true, I was. He said, "How do you know if any of this stuff you try is going to work if you don't stick with it longer than a week?". And he is absolutely right. But I also absolutely KNOW that carb cycling works.

If you have not already, I suggest you read Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle by Tom Venuto. This man, simply put, is a genius. He is (in my opinion) one of the smartest, most honest people you will find in the fitness industry. He tells it like it is - and he doesn't promote bars or shakes or whatever it is on the market that everyone and their brother is trying to get you to buy. Because you don't need it. He gives you all the information and he doesn't sugar coat it. He says, hey, it's hard work. You gotta DO THE WORK. There will be some sacrifice.

And if you aren't willing to sacrifice a little, you don't want it bad enough.

And I tell you what, if Tom Venuto is going to suggest that to bust through a fat loss plateau, you have to carb cycle, than you bet your sweet ass that's what I'm gonna do! He's smart, people. VERY smart. You read him, and you'll find that out for yourself. It will probably change your life.

Everyone has different goals. My goals are written on index cards and placed strategically around the house, where I am sure to see them multiple times a day. I am keeping my goal in front of my eyes at all times. I think, eat, sleep, breathe my goal. Eventually, I will internalize it. It will be ingrained in my subconscious like breathing and blinking. And just try to stop me from achieving my goal then!

Some people will try and tell me that what I want is unattainable. "You're already fit" "You're skinny enough" "Girls can't build muscle" and my all-time favorite "Just relax, you're working yourself too hard" .....B.S.....ALL of it! Sure, I'm fit. But I want more, and it sure as hell isn't unattainable. You gotta want it, you gotta work for it. I may be skinny enough, but I want to be LEAN and MUSCULAR. And yes, girls can build muscle. Not like a man, but we CAN build muscle. I certainly don't think that moving my body is working too hard. That is absurd.

People like this are dream squashers. They lack the ability to reach their own goals. They don't have the drive or determination to get what they want so they will try and stop you from being a success. Because that will only make their own failures that much clearer to them.

I'm on another one of those Monday morning motivation surges, can you tell? That's good. Motivation is like a roller coaster. Sometimes it's up and sometimes it's down. That's life, isn't it? I'll take my high motivation days, I need them! This is going to be tough. I'm going to be faced with temptation. I'm going to have pity parties. I'm going to question how important my goal really is to me. That's what makes it tough. But I'm tough, baby, and I can do this!

Am I ready to do the work? "HELL YEAH! DO WORK!"

Am I ready to sacrifice? "I am. It's going to be HARD, but sooo worth it."

Is this forever? "Carb cycling is only temporary."

Is it going to be easy? "NO WAY! But maintaining at the end of the journey is!"

Tom Venuto also says that you should see progress EVERY week. So if I'm not seeing the results I want, I need to tweak what I'm doing. I need to ask myself, did I cheat? Did I eat too much? Did I slack on the cardio? Did I miss workouts? And if I'm doing everything I know I'm supposed to do, I will see results every week.

Oh, and I worked out today too. I'll post that later :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Ran a bit today. Did 45 minutes - 2 minutes @ 4 and 2 minutes @ 6, alternating. It felt good!

I have this stupid brace on my wrist and it's VERY hard to type so I won't say much today.

It's a beautiful sunny afternoon and my husband is asleep on the sofa AGAIN (he did the same thing yesterday). Wish he was more energetic. I feel like we have no similar interests some days. He avoids exercise of any kind like the plague. And the more into it I become, the more he seems to pull away from it. Not sure what that is all about.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Got some done

Gettin' REAL sick of this wrist injury!

Saturday March 20th
Deadlift 3 x 8 @ 85lbs
Ham curl 12 @ 42.5
One legged ham curl 15lbs 8, 10, 12
Lat. Raises - tried 24lbs but wrist didn't like it, backed down to 16lbs 3 sets of 8
Bicep curl (right arm only) 15 lbs 3 x 12
Tricep kickback (right arm only) 8 lbs 3 x 12
100 bodyweight squats
50 bodyweight lunges
15 crunches, 10 hip lifts, 8 side crunches (each side)


But I know that being smart and not doing what I know I shouldn't will help me heal faster so I can get back at it in full force.

Friday, March 19, 2010

lift, don't lift??

My husband instructed me NOT to lift weights this morning.

Actually, he said, "You aren't going to lift weights today, are you?"

ME: ".......uhhhh"

HIM: "You aren't going to.....are you?"

ME: ".......uhhhh"

HIM: [stares at me]

I didn't know what to say. My wrist is definitely not 100% but it feels better and there is no swelling. Today is just legs day so I'm not going to be straining it, just using it as a little "helper".

I would not be good in a serious injury situation. I just don't think I could handle the waiting. I know that is probably really stupid.

But on the upside, he DID give me permission to run. Oh joy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a rant!

I woke up to a very swollen hand this morning. I thought it might just be because I had it wrapped up all night but it's been unwrapped now for 3 hours and it's still puffy. Dang! I'm thinking it's probably a low grade sprain and I'll be better in a day or two. However, my training will probably suffer for a few weeks until I'm back to normal. I'll just keep wrapping it real good. I guess if it doesn't get any better by tomorrow or gets worse, I'll go to the doctor.

Oh, and I guess I've been forgetting to mention that the IF is going pretty well. I did it all week last week (excluding the weekend) and went back to it on Monday.

I've also gained 3 pounds. That's a plus, I'm adding muscle. Well, at least I hope it's muscle gain. I haven't been very good at keeping my measurements with the caliper. Had I been, I could be certain what the weight gain was, either way. I'll have to start keeping track weekly again.

I know that trying to add muscle while trying to lose fat at the same time is a slow and hard process (heck, adding muscle or losing fat on their own are tough!) and I'm starting to get frustrated. I'm not a patient person. I know that this stuff takes time, but I'm not changing my body composition as quickly as I had hoped.

See, I was under the impression that once I started consistently lifting heavier weights that I would easily build up the muscle mass. And once I've got some bigger leg muscles pushing against my skin, the appearance of fatty lumpiness would sort of disappear. Well, that is not the case. In fact, it seems that I'm not really losing fat at all. I didn't realize how hard this whole process would be.

I thought it would be easy. Well, not easy, because weight training is hard work (and I'm not talking about lifting little 5 pound dumbbells here). But, I at least thought that I would see some benefits from all my hard work. That's what everyone preaches on their websites. "Do this for this long and you'll see results!" Well, we aren't all made from the same cookie cutter and I guess I'm not one of the lucky ones who comes to those desirable results easily.

So it seems as though I'm no closer to my goal than I was a year ago, when the heaviest weight I had to work with was a set of 15 lb dumbbells. Now I have this weight bench (had it since October 2009 maybe?) and I've been religiously training with it. Started out just kind of doing whatever but then moved into a strict 1 heavy set 3 times a week plan for a month or two. Then I switched it up to 3 sets (not quite so heavy), training the lower half and upper half of my body on different days. And still, nothing.

Sure, I've got this weight gain now which leads me to believe that I have in fact added muscle mass, which is what I wanted, but I still don't see the difference that I was hoping for.

I'm always over analyzing everything, which is annoying. Weight training, building muscle, losing fat, eating properly....these things consume me on a daily basis. I irritate my husband because it's all I talk about, I rearrange my life to fit this obsession and it still feels some days like I'm a hamster in a wheel. What is the missing element for me? How long do I have to try this method and that before I FINALLY find one that works for my body?? Why is it SOOOOOOOOO hard to figure out???!!!

Fat loss should be as easy as calories in versus calories out! I should absolutely KNOW that if I decrease my calorie intake, over time I WILL lose weight. And I might, but will it all be fat? Probably not. And I should absolutely KNOW that if I lift weights consistently and add calories, over time I will gain muscle. I've done both, and am I any closer to my goal? No, it wouldn't appear to be so.

I've tried carb and calories cycling (supposedly the secret to how fitness models cut fat miraculously fast), I've tried timing meals every 3 hours to rev up my metabolism, I've tried low carb altogether, I've tried cardio, cardio more cardio, I've tried cutting out ALL bad foods including but not limited to: sweets, fried food and anything with trans fat. Believe me when I say NOTHING is the golden ticket for me. I just don't know what to do anymore.

Doing any ONE of those things should work for me. I just don't understand why it doesn't. What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? Do I cheat too much? I don't think so. I eat good for me food probably 80 or 90% of the time. Do I not exercise enough? I can't see how, I lift weights 4 days a week.

Sometimes I wonder how my body would respond if I just didn't give a shit. If I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, with blatant disregard for calorie content or ingredients. How plump and soft and jiggly would I be right now? I mean, obviously I wouldn't be fit or look fit, but if all that I do only amounts to maintaining what I already have, what the HECK do I have to do to change?? And, my sisters and brothers (all in their 40's - even one that's 50) aren't fat, and they don't workout or watch what they eat like I do. So, it's not like I'm destined to be obese if I weren't careful. I think my metabolism has to be running fairly high.

So WHAT GIVES!!!!??????!!!!!

Despite the frustration and feeling that I just can't win, I will continue to plug away. I'll never give it up. I have been a fitness enthusiast ever since my third child was born and I was heavier than ever. That was almost 4 years ago. Do I look better? Hell yeah, I do. Have I reached my ultimate I'll never stop trying because I feel it is absolutely in the stars for me to reach my goal. I know it will happen, some day. I just wish I knew how to get there faster. I wish I knew which approach was going to be the one to work for ME, right NOW.

Giving up this dream is not going to make me happy either. I just have to keep trying and trying. It happens for a lot of people, achieving a fit and muscular body, who's to say it can't happen for me? I mean, if they did it, why can't I? What makes them any different or any more special? They had determination, so do I.

Well, I'll keep you posted on my struggles. This must just be one of those days where I'm having a pity party for myself and I feel that I should have a greater reward for all of my efforts. But I could be WAY worse off than I am. There are people who are struggling to lose fat to save their life, and I'm sitting here, probably leaner than 90% of 35 year old women with 3 kids, whining about losing a little layer of fat for mere vanity.

It's all part of the ride, baby!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I did it!!

I told you I would! I just decided right after my last post to go for, hurt wrist or not. I did the last two days in one workout, upper & lower body. Here's the workout:

bb squat 3 x 8 @ 65lbs
stiff dead 3 x 8 @ 65lbs
leg ext. 3 x 8 @ 65lbs
standing calf 3 x 8 @ 65lbs
ball crunch 3 x 12
Bench press 3 x 8 @ 55lbs - hurt the wrist a bit
Bent over row 3 x 8 @ 25lbs each arm
db shoulder press 3 x 12 @ 30lbs
skull crushers 20lbs 10, 6 - this was HARD today for some reason, I didn't push it
bb bicep curl 3 x 12 @ 30lbs - hurt the wrist a bit

I wrapped my wrist really good and tight so it wasn't bad. I normally wouldn't lift weights injured but I'm pretty sure it isn't serious. I babied it, my form might have suffered slightly on certain moves but, at least I worked out! Go me!

Holy hiatus!

I've really been slacking with the posting! The last 4 workouts, actually! My, my...I need to be punished for this. Something along the lines of being sprayed with mud and forced to stand in soaking wet shoes for hours. Oh wait, I did that yesterday!


OK, OK, so it wasn't forced upon me, but it did happen. Our community just happens to be fighting a flood right now so I was helping with the sandbagging efforts yesterday. Of course that didn't stand in the way of my posting, I just thought I would throw that out there.

I still need to post my last four workouts.

I will also mention that I did NOT do my weight training sessions scheduled for Monday or Tuesday. I won't tell you why I didn't since it will just sound like excuses, and it would be true that my reasons ARE excuses. I feel a tad guilty about it because I have done extremely well being consistent with it up until this point. And I sort of don't feel guilty....because I've been consistent up until this point. Make sense?

Excuses: so I was intending on working out Monday evening since my day was busier than usual, but it just so happened that I was exhausted by evening and it didn't get done. I was going to workout yesterday, before sushi with my sister, but then my sister called and cancelled (again), so I was a little bummed and just didn't feel like it. Plus, I knew I was sandbagging later in the day and wanted to save my energy.

Now, today I'm a tad sore (but not terrible). And as I tell my mom, I'm no stranger to being sore (because I lift weights), so it won't affect me really. The worst is my wrist, which I have wrapped up right now. I had gotten my hand bent way back a few too many times yesterday. It hurts to twist and there is a funny popping noise. I'm hoping it's nothing serious. But I'll baby it for a day just to be sure.

Let's get on with it...

Lower body #1 - Monday March 8th
bb squat 3 x 12 @ 60lbs
stiff dead 3 x 12 @ 60lbs
leg ext. 3 x 12 @ 60lbs
standing calf 3 x 12 @ 60lbs
lying ball raise 3 x 12
ball crunch 3 x 10

Upper body #1- Tuesday March 9th
bench press 3 x 12 @ 50lbs
bent over row 3 x 12 @ 44lbs - 22lbs each arm
db shoulder press 3 x 10 @ 30lbs
skull crushers 3 x 10 @ 20lbs
bb bicep curl 3 x 10 @ 30lbs

Lower body #2 - Thursday March 11th
deadlift 3 x 12 @ 80lbs
ham curl 3 x 10 @ 42.5lbs
lunges 3 x 10 @ 60lbs - each leg
seated calf 3 x 12 @ 60lbs - each leg
db shrugs 3 x 12 @ 40lbs
decline crunch 3 x 12

Upper body #2 - Friday March 12th
dips 3 x 10
bb pullovers 3 x 12 @ 20lbs (and here is where I first messed up my left wrist)
lat raise 3 x 10 @ 24lbs
tricep ext. 3 x 10 @ 20lbs
conentration curls 3 x 12 @ 15lbs - each arm

And so that was last week. I was scheduled to take Saturday and Sunday off, which was a nice break (and perfect timing), then I had to screw up my rhythm this week. Oh well, stuff happens. Moving on...

I'm going to try and get back into it today. NO, I'm not going to TRY, I WILL!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New idea

But first, the exercise log...

Lower Body #1
BB Squat 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Stiff-legged Deadlift 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Leg Extensions 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Standing Calf Raise 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Lying Ball Raise 3 X 12
Ball Crunch 3 x 10

So I happened to stumble across this website

The content is about Intermittent Fasting for Strength Training and Fat Loss.

I was fascinated to say the least. At first I sort of cringed when I read the word "fasting", because I'm not one to enjoy missing meals. But as I delved further into the blog, I realized that it doesn't seem a whole lot like fasting when a majority of it is done while you sleep!

This idea (referred to as IF - intermittent fasting), spoke to me because I have been like a hamster in a wheel, spinning and spinning without getting anywhere!

Einstein said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result." --My husband reminded me of this quote, and I saw it again that night as I read the leangains blog, I HAD to find out more!

Surprisingly, what he says in this blog (backed up by scientific research and testing, of course) is that eating frequently has no more of a beneficial effect on your metabolism than eating 3 bigger meals a day. WHAT? You mean ALL this time I have been timing my meals to eat every 2-3 hours, and it hasn't done a thing to stoke my "metabolic fire"??

The basics of IF are: you fast for 16 hours, then feed for 8 hours (for women though, the "sweet spot", as he says, is fasting for 14 hours rather than 16). My example would be to break the fast at 10am and my feeding window would be from 10am to 8pm, in which I would eat 3 bigger meals. I tried it yesterday, I didn't eat breakfast until 10am, I ate lunch at around 1:30pm after my weight training session, then ate dinner at 5pm and was done for the night by 6pm. Now, technically I could have eaten until 8pm but I was so satisfied that I didn't want to!

It wasn't surprising to find out that getting to eat 3 good sized meals, instead of 5-6 mini meals that always left me wanting more, made me feel incredibly satisfied. All while staying within the perfect calorie range! No kidding, after my second meal, I still had 1 whopping 1000 calories left to consume!! HELLO pasta dinner!

I really think that this is worth giving a try. For me, anyway. My problem these days is that I'm pretty lean, yet I had those stubborn areas where fat loves to hang on, no matter how hard I try to get rid of it. And I'm human, so no matter how good I do at eating pretty "clean", I manage to slip now and then. So, I am at a point where I've been eating not enough calories to build lean muscle and not few enough to lose fat. Hamster in a wheel.

It was time to try something new and this fell into my lap. So I am giving it a go. One day down and I'm really excited that it seems to work very well for me. Eating big meals keeps me from being hungry and snacking in between, therefore, resulting in fewer unnecessary calories. And being I will be eating most of my calories after my workout, my muscles (hopefully) won't suffer. I am going to find out if the elusive "lose fat while gaining lean muscle" holy grail of fitness, is attainable ;)

Please, if you get a chance, check out the website There is so much more to IF that I cannot mention. He gives all the details, how it works and how to implement it. Worth the read!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

workout for Friday & Saturday

Friday 3/5/10

Deadlift: 10 @ 80lbs X 3
Leg Curl: 12 @ 40lbs, 8 @ 42.5 X 2
Lunges: 8 @ 60lbs X 3 (each leg)
Seated Calf Raise: 12 @ 60lbs, 12 @ 90lbs X 2
DB Shrugs: 10 @ 40lbs X 3
Decline Crunch: 10, 12, 10
Hyperextensions (supermans) 10 X 3

Saturday 3/6/10

Dips: 8, 10, 8
BB Pullovers: 10 @ 20lbs X 3
Lat. Raise: 9, 8, 8 @ 24lbs
Tricep Extensions: 11, 8, 8 @ 17lbs
Concentration Curls: 10 @ 15lbs X 2, 12 @ 12lbs (each arm)

Pretty boring, nothing new to report.

Today is my hubby's birthday. Last night, we went out to a fabulous Italian restaurant where I threw caution to the wind and ate lobster ravioli, bread dipped in oil and wine. OH LORD, I was in heaven. Today, I'll have a small piece of cake and then it's back to the grind.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Arms Day

Remember, all of these exercises are performed in 3 sets of 8-12 reps. If I can get higher than 12 reps, I need to increase the weight. If I can't make 8, I decrease the weight. I think I found a pretty good range for me right away. It helps to keep a log of the exercises that I do, reps, poundage, etc. That way, when I need a point of reference, I can just look back to previous days and find what I need!

Bench Press: 50lbs x 10, 10, 10
Bent Over row: 40lbs x 13, 45lbs x 10, 10 (see, I needed to increase there because I was able to get 13 reps)
DB Shoulder Press: 30lbs x 11, 8, 7
Skull Crushers: 20lbs x 8, 7, 5 (my arms were just shaking at this point)
Barbell Curl: 30lbs x 8, 8, 5

And afterward, my biceps felt just HUGE and tight from all the blood. It's such a crazy awesome feeling. Seriously, they felt like twice their normal size. Like, if I flexed they would just pop open! LOL

*And once again, I should note I got this routine from the website.

Legs Day

My new 4 day split routine is as follows (the lower body portion):

Lower body:
Squats 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Leg Extensions 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Lying Hamstring Curls 2 x 10 @ 40lbs 1 x 10 @ 35
Standing Calf Raises 3 x 10 @ 60lbs
Lying Leg Raise 3 x 10
Ball Crunches 3 x 10

I got the routine from but I plugged in the appropriate weight...which I am still positive is too easy. BUT, I know it is important to incorporate some lighter weight/higher reps too. As long as I'm still lifting, I'm happy.

I haven't seen as much progress as I would like this past month with eating more carbs along side the heavy lifting. So, new month, new approach. I'm going to start to watch what I eat more. I think I had a more free attitude about what I ate since I knew my goal was to "carb up" and feed my muscles for growth. However, I tend to get carried away with that and start eating more junkie carbs than I'd like (i.e. garlic bread sticks, white buns, crackers, etc.).

So yesterday I spent a good portion of the afternoon going thru my healthy cookbooks and trying to make a list of all my options that I can choose from when I have NO idea what to make for lunches and dinners. I've got a pretty good start on the list. And I think I pretty much have breakfasts DONE....right down to the appropriate portions of proteins (which, by the way, I figure I was not eating enough during this past month). When I sat down to actually figure out the numbers, I realized I had been guessing all wrong.

Apparently, I need about 115 grams of protein a day (although this, along with everything else in the diet/fitness world, is debatable). Some believe that you need 1g per pound of body weight, some think it's 1g per pound of lean muscle mass, who knows what is really right. I guess since everyone is different, experimenting on your own is really the only way you'll ever find out the surest thing for you.

But I needed a starting point, and since I'm now aware that I am actually eating far less protein than I thought, coupled with the fact that I have not seen much gains in muscle mass, I will bump up my protein intake. I'm shooting for 115 grams.

I started picking apart the breakfasts I most often consume. For me, breakfast is the easiest meal of the day, mainly because I alternate between the same 3 items and I like it that way. I discovered that if I'm going to get in 115g of protein a day, I will need to try and get between 19-25g in each meal (depending on if I'm eating 5 or 6 times that day - and I make that decision usually based on whether I'm weight training that day).

So, my breakfast options are as follows:

#1 4 egg white omelet w/ 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1/4 cup onions and 1 tsp oil. Approx. 21.4g protein, 184.5 calories (calories a bit low, could add more oil)

#2 3 egg whites 1 whole egg scramble w/ 1 glass skim milk. Approx. 24.8g protein, 216 calories. Just about perfect!

#3 packet plain instant oatmeal w/ 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp wheat germ, 1 packet truvia, 1 cup skim milk, 2 egg whites on the side. Approx. 21 protein, 286 calories.

#4 FiberOne cereal, 1 cup milk, 2 egg whites. Approx. 20 protein, 284 calories.

#5 1 slice Breadsmith 100% whole wheat bread, 3 egg whites 1 whole egg scramble. Approx. 20.8 protein, 236 calories (more calories when adding butter)

#6 Home-made muesli, low-fat yogurt, berries...(haven't figured the macro nutrients in this one yet, but I thought it was worth adding since this is supposed to be the breakfast of champions, one that will energize you and fuel you for hours afterward)

And those are MY choice breakfasts. Today I had #3. One thing worth noting, eggs REALLY fill me up nicely without adding tons of calories. I would eat them for every meal if I wasn't afraid of the horrid gas I'd probably get. LOL - And speaking of gas, this might be a bit too personal but I think the flax is responsible for my nightly bout with awful gas. I am only adding 1 tbsp to my diet daily and I thought after a while my body would get used to it and I could add another tbsp later in the day. But so far, it's still causing me a bit of gastrointestinal distress :( I still eat it though simply because I know how good it is for me.