Change in Plans

Exercise Monday: Change in Plans – The Ballet Beautiful Body

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Hello People,

When I started this blog, about my third post in, I talked about not wanting to develop muscles like a teenage mutant ninja turtle, and I still don’t want to do that. Unfortunately (for people like me), this seems to be the type of training that is extremely popular today with exercise.  Or, at least if you really dedicated yourself to being consistent with those types of workouts, that is the type of body you will develop. Look on YouTube; most of the workouts are squats, presses, pushups, lunges, etc., etc.  These are all well and good, and please don’t confuse my statements for thinking that I am against building muscle!  Creating more muscle tone  is the only way to develop a more shapely physique.  Otherwise, a dieter risks losing weight/fat, along with muscle, and becoming a much smaller version of their former fat self only just, well, smaller.  No way man!  I want muscle definition in my legs and butt.  I want to have the look of a race horse in the heat of the gallop. I just don’t care for that that stocky line-backer shoulder look that some of those popular trainer gurus (and I have featured a few here) have.

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For clarification, I am not speaking of the physique of a competition body builder.  That is an entirely different animal and I will never go there because it requires the use of illegal drugs, and, not to mention, hours in a gym everyday. It doesn’t matter if they claim they don’t take enhancements, there is no images-2possible way on the planet that a woman can develop muscles like that and not be half a man.  The testosterone levels in these gals is through the roof.  It comes at a cost too, it messes with fertility and all kinds of hormonal stuff. But, I’m sure you already knew that.

You know when you go to hug an old lady and she feels like a marshmallow pillow?  Or, if she doesn’t have a lot of plush on her, like one of my grandmas, she is bony and feels almost hollow to the touch?  Yeah, well that’s the effect of a person losing muscle tone as they age. It has been said that after around age 30 humans can lose up to a pound of muscle every year until we die.  No wonder these women feel like you are hugging a down comforter!  They literally don’t have any muscle in their bodies. In order for one to not have this happen and look like a misshapen rag doll, one must do weight or resistance bearing exercises to build and keep muscle.  It will help in your older years for balance as well, and I’m sure we allimages-3 know an old person who fell down and broke a hip because they have lost all sense of balance.

Well, back to the workouts.  You see, I sing in a trio and one of the people in the trio is a trained ballerina who now owns her own dance studio and teaches dance for a living.  She has been griping about having to go to a physical therapist to heal her broken knee (long story – it involved her falling off of a parade float) and the therapist doesn’t understand why she refuses to train her legs to move parallel to the floor (squats).  Her legs have developed over the years, through ballet, into a certain shape:

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This is not to be confused with this:

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She is complaining (due to the healing process) that her legs don’t match anymore and wants to develop the lame leg to match the normal leg.  This can only be done with movements done for development in ballet – lateral motion, or side to side.  And it got me thinking, ballet dancers do have the best bodies around, in my opinion.  Do I want to look like this?:

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Or this?:

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So, my point is, decide what kind of physique looks good to you.  Research it.  Don’t just go to the gym and hop on the machines.  What do you want to look like for reals?  Cut some pictures out or print them out and design workouts that will get you that look.  For me, it is a lot of barre work, floor exercises, and tons of lateral movement with nary a squat in sight.  All movement in ballet has the feet “turned out” from the hips:

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This develops those dreamy long thighs dancers have.  What do you think?  Do you like this type of look? If not, what then?

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I’m Back….!

Hello People!

So sorry it took forever to get back here. Uhhh! Too much was happening, but that is over now.  My computer is fixed and I am back from a stressful 2-week trip back east (Jersey Shore/Cape May area) singing.

So I weighed myself yesterday thinking that, due to my stress on the trip, I would have gained a ton of weight due to some not so amazing food choices I made a few times.  Well, I did ok, and for that I can be proud.  I am down 5 pounds from my initial weight and have 21 more to go.  I also re-measured myself and wrote down those numbers on a chart that I keep in a binder.  Everyday I am reading an “Agreement of Resolution” that I wrote to myself making myself promise, on a daily basis, that I stick to my goals.  I have my goals clearly written in it and it is signed and dated.  Here is a pix of it:

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I borrowed/used this idea from Brenda Leigh Turner’s online book that I bought directly from her on her website http://www.leansecrets.com.  I encourage anyone who needs a major kick in the pants for a re-boot on losing weight to buy it (it’s only $27.00).  There is valuable info in there.  It was my reward that I promised myself that I would buy when I returned from my trip.  I love her ideas, especially drinking a gallon of water a day…that’s right!  It helps with cravings like nothing else.

I hope you are on your weight-loss/healthy lifestyle way and not letting anything stop you.  Keep going, and when the going gets tough: pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!

5 Things

Think It Through Thursday: 5 Things

Hello People!

It has been a few months….6, to be exact, that I have been a blogger.  My weight hasn’t really gone down a whole lot during this process, but I have been discussing the reasons why here periodically.  Particularly, I think most of my issues relate to blood sugar problems, and I’m currently working those out.

So I wanted to do a post that was upbeat and positive today because there isn’t enough positivity in the world, in my opinion.  Therefore, I want to discuss 5 things I have learned during these 6 months of blogging that I will continue to implement for the rest of my life regardless of weight-loss or not.  They are healthy habits that I wish to pass on to you, dear reader.

5 Things

1. What You Eat Matters

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This means that it doesn’t matter if a “calorie is a calorie.” The quality of the food is utmost important.  Forget the counting calories bit.  Look to the nutrition of the food/meal/snack first.  Calories matter too, no doubt about it, but there is a hell of a big difference between the nutritional makeup of two foods with the same amount of calories: a snickers bar vs. a  a few pieces of fruit.  Those nutritional qualities differ in that one of those items your body will store most of it’s calories as fat because of the high sugar content, and the other will be used by the body for re-building, supporting, digesting, etc.  Now which one do you want?

2. Vegetables & Fruit Are Your FRIENDS!!!

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You’re hungry?  You want to binge out? Have a tangerine.  Still hungry? Have a cucumber.  Still hungry? Have a bowl of cherry tomatoes.  Still hungry? No?…..Well even if you were, the calories in these foods are so small in comparison to junk foods that even if you binged on them, the worst case scenario would give you gas and bloating.  Junk Foods? You will be seen wearing them on your thighs the next day for sure.

3.  All Exercise is Not Created Equal

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The older you get, the more muscle you lose (up to a pound a year!!!).  This is key to understanding why your treadmill antics ain’t working like they were at 20.  Don’t do tons of cardio.  Do tons of weights/strength training/bodybuilding workouts.  Then do some cardio – but no more than 20 minutes (HIIT would be optimal).  You can start burning your muscles right off if it’s any more than that.  EEEKK!

4.  The G-Free Life is For Me

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Gluten was giving me blood sugar spikes. Why? Mostly the gluten was in the form of bread which has flour.  Flour, in any form, 100% whole wheat or otherwise, digests fast.  Gluten was also coating the villi in my intestine causing me to have skin irritation problems.  Going gluten free is not easy, but it is doable and I am not starving like I feared I would be.  It definitely has cut down on the carb consumption in my life.  I am not a no-carb preacher, but I would advocate low-carb (220 grams or less a day) eating. I am eating approximately 120 – 100 grams a day now.

5. Plan Meals For the Week

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Not planning what to eat is planning to FAIL! If it is 12:00 noon and you don’t know what you are eating for lunch…you are doomed friend.  Your hunger will override any will you had to stick to a calorie regime.  Don’t fool around, designate 1 day a week to prepare, cook, and portion out your meals for the week.  No second guessing, no last minute drive-thru runs, no excuses. (Video on this subject to come!)

Pay It Forward

Inspirational Sunday: Pay It Forward

Hello People!

Happy Easter Eve if you celebrate it.  I was thinking of posting a few thoughts I have on why I started this blog.  You see, it all started with a certain 16-year-old that I’ve never met before, and probably never will.

I really love to watch YouTube if you haven’t noticed.  I am a real junkie and don’t even watch T.V. anymore because of it and Netflix.  Anyways, I was on YouTube looking for dance workouts, specifically ballet, and came across a channel that featured the workouts designed by the people who trained Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Those were rigorous training circuits she went through to achieve a “dancer’s body” in such a short period of time. I knew that one could buy the program, but it is super expensive.  Then, lo and behold, there it was on a certain YouTube channel, uploaded by a sweet unassuming teenager. (If you know anything about uploading to YouTube, you are strictly forbidden to upload anything that you did not create yourself 100%).  She got away with it mostly because the workouts are awesome and she was demonstrating them herself; actually doing them in real time.  The workouts were brutal, but just what I wanted.

In the description box she had listed her blog link.  Now I had been reading a few blogs at this time.  Mostly they centered around fashion and makeup, but I wanted to check out her blog to see what else she had up her sleeve in regards to exercise and nutrition. I clicked on it and immediately was taken to a site that flashed high-def pictures of super models, one right after the other at the top of the blog page.  All of the pictures were of the same body types -very tall, and THIN-THIN-THIN! No muscle tone or workout gear involved.  Just a bunch of thin twigs standing around (no faces, interestingly).

As I read through her description page and started reading her posts, I realized that she was after the model-thin physique and would do anything to get it.  She talked about models she obsessed over, models she had zillions of pictures of, and models that had her “ideal body shape.” She also addressed the critics and said that this was her goal and if you don’t like it, you can take your comments elsewhere.  She herself was not an overweight person. She was average build, average height (taller than me), and pretty “thin” for my standards.  To think that she wanted to thin down even more made me a bit queazy.  I also noticed in her tag lines, the words “thinspo, thinspiration, pro-ana, and anorexia” appeared, despite many posts written insisting that her hopes were to inspire girls her age to eat healthfully and exercise appropriately. Her mantra was to get thin the healthy way not resorting to “extreme diets or anorexia.”  She posted pictures of food she ate, and it looked well balanced and healthy, just like she was pro-porting.  Her exercise routines, however, were rigorous at least, grueling at worst, again at least by my standards. Her tone was upbeat and extremely positive.  You should have seen her responses to her subs.  Always so supportive and encouraging. She had hundreds of subscribers, all very vocal and grateful.  They told her that she was their inspiration and how happy she was there to post almost everyday to keep them on track.

When I stumbled upon this blog, it was about late October of last year (2012). I had noticed that she posted a flurry of posts, sometimes 4 in day in  June and July, when it started; almost everyday in August, and only about 5 in Sept.  Then, nothing.  Also, her YouTube videos suddenly vanished with that irritating unhappy face looking at you when you want to watch a video and it has been yanked off the airwaves.  Who knows what happened. I kept checking her channel and her blog everyday to see if she had updated about anything and it was a complete void. A bit disappointing, I must say since I had just discovered it and they were both in some odd way inspirational to me too, but also intriguing.

It got me thinking, how desperate people are for inspiration to keep their goals going (specifically me).  I started looking around for other blogs like hers or in-the-vein-of, but wasn’t really coming up with anything I liked.  Most of the blogs I read were of people who had already accomplished their goals 3 years ago and were just hanging on continuing to write because of their 50,000 subs paying their bills for the rest of their life. (Not bitter, no, not me.) Or the blogs were pathetic and ridiculously un-inspirational. So, what does one do when you can’t find what you are looking for? You make it yourself and you do the best job you know how to do.  That was my intention and it will continue to be so.  Wherever 16seekingskinny is, I hope she is well and not doing anything damaging to herself; because despite her short stint on the blog scene, she did inspire at least one person to keep going and giving back to also help others just like her.

Kettle Bells: Beginner

Exercise Monday: Kettle Bells: Beginner

Hello People!

Today I thought I would break out my new Kettle Bell I bought a few months ago and see if it really is worth all the hype.  I often give in to hype and usually it ends in disastrous results (just ask me about my niacin and 5-HTP experiments!).  I am a sensitive sort, you see.  What works for the masses doesn’t necessarily translate to me.  However, I am always curious and want to expand my horizons no matter how off the beaten track a new idea may be.  One thing that I am slightly concerned about, however, is my right hand wrist.  Since acquiring my Master’s Degree, I have carpel tunnel in it from holding the mouse for hours on end (I got my degree 100% online), and it makes things very difficult for me when I must use the wrist for most of the work (think: Push-Ups, Planks, T-Stands, etc.) I usually just put that hand into a fist to support the excess pressure, but with the Kettle Bell, that will not work.  We’ll see.

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“Like” this post if you work out with Kettle Bells!

Here is the work-out I want to experiment with:

Aerobicize!

Exercise Monday: Aerobicize!

Hey there all,

Today I want to just pass along a cardio workout I did last week when it was an off-day of strength training.  This means that I needed to have a workout, but since I do all body parts on my strength training days, this was a day only meant for cardio.  I also was feeling a bit low energy, so I pulled out good ol’ Denise Austin from the DVD shelf.  Here are the two cardio workouts I did back to back. Enjoy!

P.S. These are good for beginner/intermediate exercisers.  It isn’t vigorous, but will require a little coordination. I also used 1 1/2 pound dumbbells (extremely light) during the interval training portion.

And just for kicks, here is the Ab workout I did after the two Aerobic Workouts (I like how she says “Welcome to the BEST Ab workout EVER!” Weelll, I don’t know about that…..

Tough Workout

Today’s Exercise Monday Post:

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So I wanted to share with you a workout I did this past Saturday that kicked my ass. Let’s just say I ended up with rug-burn on my knuckles and a broken blister on my knee (???).  I may end up sharing a lot of these, but some may already know about them.  Let me explain:

If you haven’t already, meet Suzana Light or sometimes she is known as Zuzka or Zuzana, or….other things. She is,images-2 unfortunately, a former porn star (with another name I might add) who got out of the business without too much damage.  She married a guy named Freddy and they started a website called BodyRock.Tv.  It was highly successful, and if you go to YouTube and look for videos of theirs, you will find plenty with views in the millions. I first noticed her on the front page of YouTube in these, shall we say, UBER sexy shots with her booty up in the air and all.  Then I realized that it wasn’t just a marketing ploy, they really were images-1legit workouts designed to give you a booty like hers. Well, good luck is all I have to say if you dare try them.  The story continues though; last year she and Freddy divorced bitterly, and BodyRock.Tv is different with different faces and much tougher workouts (do try them though!).  Suzana kept going and now does her own thing called ZWOW.  When I first found her after the marriage debacle, her workouts were under different names.  The one that I did on Sat was under the name ZWOD #2.  It is in two parts, but I will only paste the first video because it has all the info that one would need.

The Saturday Weigh-In: 2

Mmm-k, here is the second installment of the exciting adventures of my weight loss. It was a good week, thank God, or I would have been peeved! I gave it my best college try folks.  I sprained my back in the process too and now smell like an old person’s medicine cabinet while it heals.

A couple of notes:

1. Still working on the “I hate vegetables” problem.  This will take a while.

2. Sunday is going to be my Cheat Meal day. Yes, I believe in that IF IT FITS INTO YOUR CALORIE ALLOWANCE!

3. If you think any of my meals sound yummy, please leave me a comment and I will give you the recipe.  Most of my meals are prepared by myself.

4. “Total Cals” factors in what I ate minus my workout calories spent; remember, I am aiming for 1350 total daily calories

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Current Weight: 141     Pounds Lost: 2

Measurements In Inches: Arms 12 3/4; Bust 34; Waist 28; Hips 40 3/4; Thigh 24

 

Saturday Jan. 18, 2013

Breakfast: Omelette w/ Roasted Pork, 1/2 oz Asiago Cheese, Coffee w/Cream

Lunch: Tuna Wrap, small Tangerine

Snack: 2 Tbsp Almonds

Dinner: Vera Cruz Snapper, Rice, Wine 4 oz.

Treat: 2 Marshmallows, Coffee w/Cream

Workout: Strength Training App – Arms 7.5 minutes; Abs 10 minutes; Butt 7.5 minutes (100 cals spent)

Total Cals: 1340

 

Sunday Jan. 19, 2013

Breakfast: Sourdough Toast, Masala Omelette, Coffe w/ Half & Half

Lunch: Double Stack Burger, small Chili, small Frosty (from Wendy’s)

Dinner: Thai Green Curry w/ Chix, Rice 1 cup

Treat: 1 Marshmallow

Workout: Long Walk (670 Calories Burned)

Total Cals: 1235

 

Monday Jan. 20, 2013

Breakfast: Sourdough Toast, Masala Omelette, Coffee w/ Cream

Lunch: Chix Salad on 1 cup Spinach, Crackers

Snack: Goldfish Crackers, Almonds 2 Tbsp

Dinner: Cereal w/ 1/2 cup Berries, 1/2 cup 1% Milk

Treat: 2 Marshmallows, Coffee w/Cream

Workout: N/A

Total Cals: 1205

 

Tuesday Jan. 21, 2013

Breakfast: Sourdough Toast, Masala Omelette w/ 1 oz. Asiago Cheese, Coffee w/Cream

Snack: 1 oz. Goldfish Crackers, 2 Tbsp Almonds, Coffee w/ H&H

Lunch: Chix Salad on Spinach, Crackers w/ 2 Wedges of Laughing Cow Cheese

Snack: 1 Wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese on Celery, Carrots

Dinner: Miso Glazed Salmon 4 oz., Lemon Sauce, 1/2 cup Basmati Rice, 4 oz. Red Wine, 1/2 cup Steamed Zucchini

Workout:  N/A

Total Cals: 1300

 

Wednesday Jan. 22, 2013

Breakfast: Same as Tue. w/ small Tangerine

Snack: Same as Tuesday

Lunch: Same as Tuesday

Snack: Same as Tuesday

Dinner: 3 oz. Miso Glazed Salmon, Lemon Sauce, 1 cup Basmati Rice, 4 oz. Red Wine

Treat: 2 Marshmallows

Workout: N/A

Total Cals: 1535

 

Thursday Jan. 23, 2013

Breakfast: 1 cup Kashi Go Lean Cereal, 1/2 cup 1% Milk, 1/2 cup Mixed Berries, Coffee w/ 2 Tbsp H&H

Lunch: 1/2 Turkey Panini and small Black Bean Soup at Panera Bakery

Snack: 1 oz. Goldfish Crackers, Coffee w/ Cream

Dinner: Chix Thigh, 1/2 cup Lentils

Treat: Marshmallow (last one, thank GOD!)

Workout: The Firm DVD (354 cals spent)

Total Cals: 1091

 

Friday Jan. 24, 2013

Breakfast: Sourdough Toast, 1/2 small Avocado, Egg cooked in 1 tsp Butter, 2 Slices Canadian Bacon, Coffee w/ H&H

Snack: 1 oz. Goldfish Crackers, Coffee w/ H&H

Lunch: Roast Beef 3.5 oz. Wrap w/ 2 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges & 1/2 cup Spinach

Treat: 3 small Chocolates

Dinner: Same as Thursday

Workout: Jillian Michael’s Kickbox DVD (185 cals spent)

Total Cals: 1300

 

Reference Posts: The Sat Weigh-In: 1

Workout Apps

Today’s Exercise Monday Post:

App IconHappy Christmas Eve to all!  As I write this, it is indeed Christmas Eve at 9:30 at night.  I’m just about to finish wrapping my last present and go into the kitchen to make some special treats that I also give as gifts.

I didn’t want to let the day go by again without posting something important that I feel I should share with those that read this little blog.  Today it’s about my favorite Apps (right now) that I downloaded from iPad Apps.  I’m not sure if these Apps are also for the iPhone or Mac, but it works great on my iPad because the screen is the perfect size to see all the moves. Nevertheless, try to find them because they are such a great tool to use especially if you are traveling like I currently am.

They are called Daily Workouts and they are produced by Daniel Miller. At first I downloaded the FREE versions and they were a great incentive to get the full version.  The FREE ones work great, but I wanted a little bit more variety and more options. Actually, truth be told, I initially got the Yoga App and decided to check out the other types after I had been using it for a few months.  I would label these workouts as beginner to intermediate in terms of difficulty.  But you could add extra weight to the exercises and make them more challenging. I have the Ab Workout, Butt Workout, Leg Workout, Workouts (whole body and stretching), Cardio, and Simply Yoga programs. You can choose between 5 minutes,  7.5 minutes or 10 minutes for each body part.  You can also mix up the workouts so that you don’t do them in the same sequence every time.  If you want to buy the full version of these, they cost around $1.99 each.  I think that is a good price for shaping a body while on the go. They have programs that use kettle bells and exercise balls too.

Sample of CardioJust for the record, today after my long walk to CVS, I came home and did the Leg and Butt Workouts and then did 7.5 minutes of Stretching.  Tomorrow I will do Upper Body and Abs in addition to some undecided cardio.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!