Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snatching the 24kg

My hands are "tore up", lol The last set of this workout was the same as the first set of this workout....100 snatches w/12kg, 5 min set. (10/10 x 5)

set #1 10/10 x 5 w/12kg, 50 reps each side = 100
set #2 5/5 x 5 w/16kg, 25 reps each side = 50
set #3 5/5 x 2 w/20kg, 10 reps each side = 20
set #4 3/3 x 1 w/24kg, = 6 reps

Repeat sets, #2,#3,#2,#2,#2,#1

Total reps and points
w/12kg, 200 = 200 points
w/16kg, 250 = 500 points
w/20kg, 40 = 120 points
w/24kg, 6 = 30 points

Total points today 850
Running total 2770

Of the 5 sets of 50 reps with the 16kg, the last 3 were 10/10, 10/10, 5/5. I just wanted to get them done without extra transfers! The sets lasted about 2 1/2 minutes, which I feel great about, since my 16kg snatches on Friday were totally off. It must of just been a weak day for me...and I used the competition bell, which was not a good choice. No excuses though, sometimes you're "on" and sometimes you're not!

Snatch Race

Well, it looks as if a race is on. Adam Glass came up with an idea of a 50,000 snatch challenge. Of course I'm in!

Here's Friday's short snatch workout,

200 snatches w/12kg, 10 min work, 2 min rest,
5 L, 5 R x 3, (15/15), x 2 sets = 60 snatches w/16kg

I haven't sat down and figured out a "master strategy", only that I'm thinking I'll snatch everyother day. But more important is basing that strategy on Adams point system. After watching Fawn snatch the stinkin' 24kg, Fawn has reminded me to work smart and not hard!

Points so far, 1800 w/12kg = 1800 points. 60 w/16kg = 120 points

Total 1920

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Opposite of Rock Bottom

I was reminded in a conversation with a client this morning about what it was that motivated me into losing over 100lbs. I've had many people ask me this question, and many times it was followed by...."Did you finally hit rock bottom?" I swear I want to slap everyone that asks that question. It's so insulting to me, as if weighing 250lbs is "rock bottom" (or however much a person is over a healthy bodyweight). My weight was such a small part of who I was, and nothing about me, or my life could be defined as "rock bottom".

In fact just the opposite......

I was having the time of my life, (little did I know how much better it would continue to become). At the time I was starting to really appreciate how good things were. I was in a position to cut back my professional work hours, because I was lucky enough to not have to work for a living. I loved where I lived, not only my home, but geographically where I live...does it get much better than the SF Bay Area in CA? I had hobbies I loved, cooking being one of them, and the time and money to practice my hobbies. My boys were almost grown, and my husband realizing the success he deserved in his field of work. I mean, how could it get better?

I've never had any self esteem problems, I've always felt good about myself. I've always known I was smart, sometimes funny and witty, talented, competent and I was always at the top of my chosen profession, winning awards for my talent in that area. I always felt fairly attractive and pretty, no matter what my weight was. I knew who I was and what I was about. I didn't care about any judgements because of my weight...screw anyone that thought otherwise!

Oh sure, sometimes it was frustrating and hurtful, knowing that I was being judged badly by my appearance, but ultimate the only opinions I cared about were from the people in my life that I loved and that loved me. So, why did I finally decide it was time to do what I already knew how to do...lose the weight my body didn't need.

I think it was because I wanted to live as long as possible to enjoy this amazingly good life I had started to appreciate, and I was getting a little scared that I was going to die before having as much fun as I wanted to! I started to feel as if everyday I was "dodging a bullet". The bullet of a heart attack, the bullet of diabetes, the bullet of a blood clot or stroke, etc... That would suck...big time! And it was under MY control! I wasn't a victim of my fat...I was choosing to be fat. So I decided to chose different.

Not because I hit rock bottom, but because I hit the opposite of rock bottom.

So I've started a new blog, titled Tracy Reifkind's Food and Thought. In my additional blog I want to write, and reflect about food, eating, and positive thinking, therefore positive living. Not to judge, and not to be judged, but to appreciate all the goodness in myself and my life. All the goodness in every one, regardless of what we weigh or what and how much we eat, (or don't eat).

We are living miracles, and we need to nourish our bodies, respecting these physical bodies, with the very best foods we can afford, and nourish our souls with our very best thoughts. At least that is what I believe.

I believe that life is supposed to be good, I believe that my life is good.

(Second photo taken of me in Rome, 1999, I weighed about 230?. Top photo was taken 03/08 weighing 133)

I'm good for 600!

I decided to do a snatch only workout after yoga this morning, because I'll be swinging with clients this afternoon.

6:30am Bikram yoga
9:00am KB snatches

Warm up

misc. swing snatches w/12kg, 3 minutes (about 10 snatches & multi swings)

Work sets w/12kg

7 snatch L, 15 sec rest, 7 snatch R, 15 sec rest

8 snatch L, 15 sec rest, 8 snatch , 15 sec rest

7 snatch L, trans, 7 snatch R, 30 sec. rest,

8 snatch L, trans, 8 snatch R, 30 sec rest

4 exercise sets = 4 min. rotation, x 10 = 40 min. 60 snatches per rotation = 600 snatches

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tracys All Day Lunch 3/26


coffee/ cream 100 cal.
celery / red bell / PNB, raisins 350 cal.
cabbage, broccoli, tuna salad w/mayo,peanut dressing 500 cal.
butternut, collard green soup w/chicken 350 cal.

Total calories 1300

Add in AM oats w/sugar 250 cal., and the day is not over yet!

Well, I knew the day wasn't over yet! I went for an afternoon walk, between clients ( I had a cancelation), and when I got back to work....leftover Easter candy everywhere.....need I say more? Chocolate, jelly beans, taffy, Reeses eggs, blah, blah, blah. Mmmm, tomorrow's KB workout will benefit from all of these extra calories! (I've got to stay out of the kitchen at work, seriously!)

PS I never got to my soup for my dinner meal...are you kidding, after the candy? So I left it in the fridge for my next work day, one less thing to pack!

Tuesday CL / PR / SQ

well, it seems as if I'm settling in to 1000 swing Monday, and clean/press/squat Tuesday. I alternated 3 swing/clean/press exercises, going up in intensity using, first, the 12kg, then the 16kg, and finally two 12kg's.

The first exercise was a 2 minute set of 1 swing, clean/press L, x 5 before switching R, and then repeating the combination twice each side before a 30 sec rest. I don't like to bore anyone with 2 minute + video! Here's the rest of the workout;

Warm up

20 reps misc swings w/12kg, 30 sec work, 30 sec rest x 6 sets = 3 min.

Work Sets

sw, cl, pr, L x 5, trans, sw, cl, pr, R, repeat x 2, w/12kg, 2 min work,
30 sec rest
cl, pr, trans, x 10 w/16kg, 1 min work,
30 sec. rest
dbl sw, dbl cl, dbl pr, w 2 12kg's, 1 min work,
1 min rest

alternating these 3 exercises 5 x = 30 min.

Squat ladder w/16kg

1 2 hand swing, 1 2 hand swing, catch, squat,
2 swings, 2 swing catch squat,
3 swings, 3 swing catch squat,
4 swings, 4 swing catch squat,

1 min work, 30 sec rest x 10 sets (5 uphill, 5 downhill) + 15 min.

Total workout 48 min.

I loved this squat ladder, but my cameras battery died so I couldn't tape it! I'll definitely do it again another time.

This workout was done after my 90 min. Bikram yoga class.

Monday, March 24, 2008

1000 Swing Monday

I'm really diggin' this 1000 swing workout....the key, for me, is to make it hard enough. The point is not to swing a light (for you) bell just to get the number, you have to take it to where the weight/work sets/rest periods will keep your heartrate on a certain target. Mine was consistent @ 160-170 after the 3 set rotation, lowering down to around 140 during the last rest period.

Warm up

20 misc. swings w/12kg, 30 sec work, 30 sec. rest x 5 sets = 5 min.

Work sets

40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work,
30 sec rest
40 2 hand swings w/20kg, 1 min work,
30 sec rest,
20 2 hand swings w/24kg, 30 sec work,
1 min. rest

100 swings / 4.5 min. per rotation, x 10 sets = 1000 swings, 45 min.

Total workout 50 min.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Use It or Lose It

I don't like wasting food that I've purchased, so I took inventory of the fridge, and after last weeks Sunday veggie haul and the first delivery of my CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture), I didn't need much this week. I always need onions, carrots, celery and cabbage, so I only added, italian broccoli, green garlic, turnips w/greens, watermelon and daikon radish, and 2 bunches collard greens.

The produce I didn't use from my Farmers Market trip last week was 1 of the 2 bunches of pea shoots. I cooked one, the stems were tough, and I didn't take the time try a different cooking method, chives, 1 of 4 cabbage (not to worry, it will be used!), 3 sm carrots (from 2lb pkg.)

I still have 1 head of escarole, parsnips, and, up until about 1pm, 3 small butternut squashes from my CSA box. I loved, loved, loved the green garlic so much ( I had never used it before) that I bought some more at the FM this morning.

I peeled the parsnips for a puree I never did yesterday, so I'll finish that up tomorrow, and maybe chop some parsley and chives to mix in (?). Mark ate 1/2 of a butternut and the rest will be eaten on it's own, or in soup. I was so busy this last season trying all sorts of different squashes, ( thanks to Fawn Friday), that I think I only bought one butternut! I made Fawn's Citrus Dressing, so I'll tear up the escarole for some sort of salad, and then I'll be ready for another delivery on Wednesday.
I used the end of the radishes (plus greens, 2 bunches from the market and 1 bunch from CSA) for a quick saute w/brown rice, quinoa, and chicken for my first meal of the day. I used about 2 t. olive oil and then splashed some rice vinegar and fish sauce for seasonings.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Different Day

I wish I had a picture of the food I ate yesterday, but I don't, so I'll write it down, because I want to make a point.

Friday AM weight 135.2
5:30 am Bikram yoga
7:30am 1000 snatches
2:30pm 20 min swinging w/12kg w/clients


3:30am-9:30am coffee w/cream 100 cal.
10:30am Lg veggies/escarole soup w/chicken 350 cal.
11:30am plain yogurt/honey/quinoa 850 cal (16oz., 2tbl., 2 c. )
12:00noon fig yogurt/almonds 800 cal. (16oz., 1/4c.)
1:00pm 1/2 bag chocolate covered, peanut butter filled pretzels, denial!

So there it is. I didn't even look at the calorie count on the bag of pretzels.

Here's my point. I haven't been journaling my food, but I know what I've been eating and I'm OK. Although I might start journaling again, it will not be to "police" myself, it'll only be for data. The reason for this blogpost is because I realized that I did not want to represent, via my "All Day Lunch" pictures, that I eat that way all the time, everyday. If I did, I would weigh less! Yesterday was not a "bad day", it was just a different day. It was not the rule...but the exception.

However, what I'd like to express is that this is what I know,

I eat really good, healthy, homemade, nutritious food most of the time, but I always know how to make good nutritious choices...AND, I always have good nutritious choices available to me...always.

I never miss a workout.....KB's, yoga, and walking. I train to my potential.

I am strong, I feel strong. I am smart, I feel smart. I am lucky, I feel lucky all the time. And I currently weigh 135lbs., and I can change that if I want to.

At 135lbs. I feel strong, round, soft, curvy, sexy, pretty, happy! So wonder I don't want to change it...until I do!

My life is so good.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Done! 1000 Snatches, 48 minutes w/12kg

Never one to resist a challenge, I had to just "get er done!" Here's the breakdown;

Set #1

12/12 x 20 = 20 min.
10/10 x 1 = 1 min.
500 snatches, 21 min.

3 min rest

Set #2

12/12 x 10 = 10 min.
240 snatches, 10 min.

1 min rest

Set #3

10/10 x 13 = 13 min.
260 snatches, 13 min.

1000 snatches, 48 min.

I wasn't sure about the rules, so I did put the weight down twice. The first time after a 21 minute set...I probably could've slowed down and kept going. The second, for only 1 min. between sets 2 & 3. Next time, if there is a next time, I'll do it with someone's very difficult to concentrate and do the math, in fact, I was lucky to have met the goal prefectly. In actuality I thought I overshot it, to my surprise I hit it on the nose....Thank God!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Believe it or not, I put a serious dent in my veggie haul from Sunday. Todays soup was my second batch for the week, and I had to actually go and get another bunch of collard greens! The celery and carrots came in my CSA box that I picked last night...more to come about that!


oats/sugar 400 cal.

collard green/veggie soup with roasted brussels and turkey (4oz) 400 cal.

celery, carrots, PNB, almonds, raisins, 350 ca.

fuji apple 120 cal.

Add in morning coffee w/cream 100 cal., and 5 Reese's easter egg candies 150 cal.

Total 1520

Tomorrow I'll be making bean and escarole soup, and whipped parsnips.

3rd workout, Mark and I "snatch vo2"

Well, it's my 3rd KB workout in as many days, and I got a chance to workout with Mark (I usually work on Wednesdays, but I had the day off). Since I was working in with him, I had to adjust to what he was doing, and he was doing 50 sets of max v02. I still haven't found my groove with my snatches, but here's what I did;

AM weight 133.4
9:15 Bikram yoga
1:00pm KB
7:0pm 1 hour walk

Snatch v02

10 sets ( 5L, 5R)
7/7 snatch w/12kg

40 sets alternating
7/7 w/12kg,
5/5 w/16kg

50 sets total = 25 min.


3 min sets w/16kg = 15 roundabouts, 120 reps,
1 min. rest periods, x 6 sets = 28 min
2 min set w/16kg = 10 rndabt, 80 reps
30 min total, 800 reps

total workout 55 min.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Don't Complain

Man.....I am getting to the point of barely being able to stand hearing people complain....and that includes me! I swear I'm going to try and stop complaining (I almost said "ever complaining", but that's my old all or nothing attitude that used to get me in trouble, lol).

I was at Peet's Coffee getting some beans and the employee asked me how I was doing, I always answer, "Well, thank you, I'm always doing well!", and then I asked him (Also, something I always do, is return the question), and he said, "Well, I can't complain!" Hmmm. I said, "Well, when you think about it, we could never complain, life is so good, we don't really have anything to complain about." He agreed.

Since that day I've become more sensitive to hearing people complain. You hear it everywhere, and all the time. At the bank today, one of the tellers is 5 months pregnant, complaining to a co-worker how bad she had been sleeping since her 2nd trimester. After Yoga class today one of the other students was complaining about 5 lbs. she needed to lose. A client of mine complaining about the school her kids go to. A friend of mine always complaining about her husband....etc.

People even complain about good stuff, for example, like planning a wedding or party, "having" to get ready for a vacation, or eating too much! I guess, even some of my latest blog posts are another way of complaining! Words I Don't Like, Sabotage, The Chicken, or The Egg......can we really never complain? Hmmm, maybe I should re-think this, lol.

Well, I promise to try and complain less!

Life is good, don't complain!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

High Volume in 30 minutes...or less

900 reps

Tuesday morning during 6:30am Bikram yoga I started to calculate combinations for some high volume 30 minute workouts. One just stuck in my head, and that was for a 45 sec. set (30 reps), with a 15 sec rest....x 30. I came home and started swinging.

Work sets w/16kg

10 2 hand swing, 10 one hand transfers, 10 2 hand swings, 30 reps, 45 sec work,
15 sec rest

x 30 sets = 30 minutes 900 reps (600 2 hand swings, 300 1 hand transfers)

It was my intention to alternate the same combination with the 16kg and the 20kg, but after the first set w/16kg, I knew I just didn't have the strength today. My heartrate was consistent throughout @ 160-170.

Monday, clean/press/squat

After doing a workout with my client @10am, I got distracted....ran couple of errands....and by the time I got home I was so hungry, I ate, and then had to wait a couple of hours to finally get to my own workout! Man, with a full belly and it being so late in the afternoon, it was harder than usual!

Warm up
750 swings w/12kg earlier in the day!

Work sets

18 dbl swings, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
7 dbl clean press, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
8 clean, squat w/16kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work,
30 sec rest

these 4 sets alternating 8 x 4.5 min roatation = 36 min.

40 2 hand swings w/16kg x 5 sets = 10 min.

Total workout 46 minutes

I chose not to do a high volume swing workout, instead this morning I'll go to yoga class and then if I'm feeling it, I do a high volume 30 min, or 1000 swing workout....if I'm feeling it! I'll have the chance to do it tomorrow if I'm not! (feeling it, that is, lol )

I had never worked with collard greens before...can you believe it? I bought them for the very first time at the FM yesterday, because they looked so fresh. I love them! Not only do I like the texture, but I like the look of many times is about eye appeal, for me....I like how striaght you can cut the leaves, stack them, and then slice into ribbons accross the width, after cutting the stem away. I want to buy more today for my soup, only I'll use 2 bunches instead of one, and less cabbage.

I added the sliced collard green leaves to my veggies soup, at the same time as the rest of the veggies. I didn't use any seasonings except for salt, because I just wanted to taste fresh and clean flavors of the veggies, especially the collards. (photo is soup before I added the stock)

Warm Up

In the past couple of weeks alot of focus has been on this "high volume" style of training. I have been swinging high volume almost since being introduced to KB's, in fact I do consider it "my style". I started by combining all of the movements I knew, together, for long 2-2 1/2 min. sets, for 2 not be bored, and to get in the time/sets/reps. I didn't know it at the time, but the effect for fat loss and conditioning was something that I had never experienced before. Little did I know I was on to something.

I don't believe I do anything special and believe that most people can build up to high volume workouts fairly quickly....I know my clients do. Here's an example.

Monday I decided to, instead of my usual 10 min warm up before my own workout, swing with a 10am client, "I go, you, go" style, and then go home and do my actual workout. My client is a man my exact age (44), that, in his description, would like to lose about 20 lbs. He is a golfer, but had not done any regular "workouts" in a long time.

Yesterday was his 14th workout with me in 8 weeks, his first workouts, while learning the swing, consisted of maybe 10-16 sets of 10-14 reps, along with various drills to get his swing form down. Here was our exact workout together;

Warm up

20 2 hand swings w/12kg, 30 sec. work,
30 sec rest x 5 sets = 2.5 min
30 transfers w/12kg, 45 sec work,
45 sec rest x 5 sets = 4.5 min
Total 7 min. (250 swings)

Work sets (alernating)

40 reps w/12kg, 1 swing 1 transfer (20 x), 1 min work,
1 min rest
40 2 hand swings (alternating w/16kg & 12kg as needed), 1 min work,
1 min rest
x 5 sets each, 10 sets total
Total time 20 min. (400 swings)

10 sets of 10 reps various swings
, 15 sec work, 15 sec rest,
5 min. (100 swings)

Total workout 32 min. 750 swings

I got him up to 1 minute swing sets within about 5 weeks of training....he showed me yesterday where his "love handles" used to they're gone!

I'll be posting more about how I start a beginner out to progressively work up to "high volume".

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sundays Haul

After wiping out my fridge, my trip to the Farmers Market and Whole foods looked like this;

Celery, carrots, broccoli, jalapenos, cabbages (4 sm green, 1 red), mustard greens, daikon radish, watermelon radish, 2 bunches radishes, pea shoots (2), green onions, brussels, red bell, shitake mushrooms, garlic, fennel, cilantro, chives, thyme, fuji apples, PNB, turkey sausage, heavy cream, 2 cheeses, (1 smokey blue, & Taleggio).

I resisted the asparagus, turnips, strawberries, more raisins, italian broccoli and chard at the Farmers Market, because I knew with all of this other stuff, I just won't have time to cook and eat everything!

Besides, I'm going to the Monterey Farmers Market on Tues. afternoon, and my CSA box comes on Wednesday.

10am Bikram yoga
6pm 45 min walk


coffee w/cream
spicy soup, sm
stir fried peas shoots and watermelon radish
fuji apple w/bleu cheese
cabbage salad, lg, with peanut dressing and rice vinegar

Life is good.

A Day Off from KB's.....spicy bean soup, yes, cooking, yes, KB's, no! I had to take a complete day off from any kettlebell swings to recover from this last week. Not only did I personally have my own workouts, but I routinely swing with clients all week...I was tired!

So, I got up early, as usual, and decided to clean out my fridge. I had made 3 quarts of turkey stock (and cooked some neck and thigh meat), the day before, and I soaked some beans, for chili, but I was too tired to do anything with the beans. I was so tired I had even considered throwing out the pre-soaked beans....but I knew at the very least I could cook them in the pressure cooker for 20-30 minutes, with just water, and use them another time.

But since I was in "clean out" mode, I took inventory of all of the veggies that had to be used up, added some barley, split peas, and lentils to the beans (red and white), and made a spicy soup with turkey stock, and turkey sausage, (hot and mild).

Spicy Soup with Sausage

Variety of beans 1 1/2 - 2 c. total (pre-soaked)

barley 1/4 c., split pea 1/2 c., lentils 1/2 c. (not soaked)

Saute in 1-2 tbl. oil, onion, celery, carrot, peppers (variety of red bell, jalapeno, Anaheim...whatever!), and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 5- 10 min, add garlic the last minute of cooking.

I add the spices next, just before I add in the liquid ingredients.....dried basil 1 tbl., oregano 1 tbl., thyme 1/2 tbl., 2 bay leaves.

Now the bean mixture, 1 can diced tomatoes (sm or lg), tomato paste (2 tbl.), 1 tbl sugar, a good splash of red vinegar (or balsamic), and water or stock to cover by 1-2 inches.

(You can add about 2 t. salt at this point, or season after cooking)

Bring to high pressure, cook for 25 min. letting the pressure come down naturally, OR bring to a boil on 5 quart pot, turn down heat and simmer partially covered for 2-2 1/2 hours. I added the cooked italian sausage at the end, because I had to go to the store and get it! (I made the soup @ 6am, before the markets opened!) I used turkey sausage because I was using the turkey stock I had made the day before, but you can use any ground meat, cooked sausage (chorizo, andouille) or no meat!

I have seen a "soup" bean mixture at the stores for about $2.79 lb., but beans only cost $.79-$.99 lb...ridiculous, since I have an assortment myself I just made my own!

I finished up the veggie "clean out", by shredding and chopping salad.....the end of cabbages, 1 carrot, green onions....bummer, I used all my jalapenos in the soup! Time for yoga, then the Farmers Market, and one last stop.....Whole Foods for sausage.

PS If I do this soup again, I will make it more "soupy" by adding a little more water or stock. That's part of what cooking is all about, making adjustments, first, by doing and then's just cooking, lol!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday KB Snatch Ladder

8:30am KB Snatch

Warm up w/12kg

5 sets x 40 reps, misc swings, 1 min. work, 1 min. rest = 10 min.
snatch transfers, 1 min work, 1 min rest x 2 sets = 4 min.

Work sets w/12kg

Snatch uphill ladder, 1-6, 2 min. work, 1 min rest

Snatch downhill ladder 6-1, 2 min work, 1 min rest

I alternated these 2 sets in this order 6 times each, for a total of 12 sets. Each rotation took 6 min. to complete x 6 = 36 min.

Total workout 50 min.

I thought I would do some sort of "snatch Vo2" workout, but I wanted to do some longer snatch sets, and after going through some old blog videos I was reminded of a similar workout. Also, I knew I was going to swing at least 20 min, with a client @ 10am.

Brave, or Proud

Mark mentioned to me the other day that someone had commented on "how brave" I was to make so public pictures I took when I was fat.

I have never thought about needing bravery to show an example of how far I've come, what I've accomplished, and how proud I am to be able look back at it all. Wow! How lucky am I?

I have never, for one second been ashamed. I have never, for one second, been afraid of what anyone else thinks of me, about how fat I used to be, I don't care. I know who I am. I know where I've been, but more importantly I know where I'm at right now and the direction my life is now going.

The destination is not important, the journey is. And being fat was part of my journey. It was only a place I visited. But what I saw there and what I learned made my life better, and isn't that something to be proud of?

2 More Words....

I thought about titling this post "Disgusting and Pathetic", but I thought that would be using sensationalism and I didn't want to participate in giving these words more energy than they deserve. So there they are....two words. Words that people just throw around when talking about how they feel about themselves, or others, that have eating habits that cause overweightness, or some other habit that contributes to bad health.

Here's something I wrote almost one year ago about the word "disgusting";

Kirstie Alley was on the Oprah show. It was the first time she had been a guest since losing, supposedly, about 75 lbs.. ( I think it was more 90, because I think she lied about only weighing 213 originally. That woman was at least 245 if she was a pound! And it looks as if she has gained a portion of that back)Oprah showed her a "before" picture of herself and asked her how she felt when she saw pictures like that. Her response was, "OH MY GOD, I WAS SOOOO DISGUSTING!!" And she went on, and on, and on, and on about how disgusting she had been. I was appalled at her response.

Even though I had already lost my weight, I could still indentify with people that hadn't yet. All I could think of was all of the people in the audience (in person and viewers) that were overweight hearing her go on an on about how disgusting she thought she was. Did that make them disgusting? That was what I felt she was implying. She wouldn't shut her mouth about it, even Oprah started to get uncomfortable. Since then I have ceased to be a fan of hers (Ms. Alley).

When talking about that show the next day at work, I was explaining how mortified I was at her response and said, "Doesn't she know that there are people still out here fighting the fight?"And that included me.I never once felt that way about myself....that I was disgusting. Yes I was fat, and I wasn't as attractive as I could be, but that was such a small part of who I was. My "fatness" was a reflection of my emotional struggles with food, not a reflection of my heart and soul, my intelligence or talents. When I see people overweight, I never think that they are disgusting, they're just eating too much of the wrong foods and probably not exercising and they haven't come to the point of wanting to something about it yet. That's it.

And although I've changed some of the words I now use, and think about, like "struggle", "issue"...I have even changed my opinion of this "fight" I used to think I was fighting, (maybe I was at the time) I feel about the word "disgusting" is the same.

Who decides what is disgusting or pathetic? We do. I choose to not think of myself in those ways, or think of others in that way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Words I Don't Like to Use

This blogpost has been on my mind for a while. I thought the original title would be, "Three Words I Hate", and those three words were.....problem, struggle, and issue. And then I realized that another word I hated was, hate! So let me try and get this right.

I am more aware now than ever not only of the power of our thoughts, but the power of words. I routinely do what I call "re-phrasing". What I mean by that is I continually listen to what I say, and if I hear myself say something that is negative, or something that is not true, I change it. I not only want to think positively, I want to speak positively. So let me start with these first 3 words...because there are many more!

Problem. I don't have any "problems". Struggle. Struggle implies a problem, which I don't have I don't have any "struggles". Issue. Issue implies a problem, or struggle, which I don't have any, so I don't have any "issues". I refuse. Problems have turned into reflections, struggles have turned into opportunities, and issues have turned into experiences, or habits I may want to change.. I believe that if you say you have problem, struggle, or issue, then you do....I don't....I choose not to. So if, or when, these words slip out of my mouth, I change them. I change what I say, and then I change how I feel.

So, since my conversations often revolve around weight loss or getting fit and healthy, these words come up often in regards to food, eating, bodyweight. And I used to use them regulary, but not anymore. In fact not to long ago I bought into these words...I owned them, but now I won't. I have the choice. And what a relief.

Food is not a problem, it is a joy. Eating, and what I eat or don't eat is not a problem, it's just a choice....a choice that I can feel good I think I'll feel good about my choices.. And what I weigh is not a problem, it's just what I weigh, and I can change it, or not, but...right now at this moment, it is what it is and I can change it if I want to, because it's not a struggle, it's not an issue. Worrying about food, or eating, or what I weigh doesn't change anything, except how I feel, and worrying usually makes you feel bad....I am not bad...and I don't feel bad.

Life is supposed to be is good.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

1000 one hand swings in 30 minutes (1010 actually)

Well, it seems as if I''ve been "called out", by a man no less, LOL. And, since I can't stand to let a challenge go, but I do have a life outside of swinging a stinkin' kettlebell all day, everyday, I only had 30 minutes after 5:30 yoga, this morning, to do some sort of KB work, so here's how I broke it down....

100 swings w/12kg, 10R,/10 L, x 5, 2 1/2 min. work,
30 sec rest,
100 swings w/16kg, 100 transfers, 2 1/2 min. work,
30 sec rest

I alternated these two 100 rep sets x 10 (5 each)= 1000 one hand swings. Each rotation took 6 minutes to complete x 5 = 30 min. total.

First off, I chose one hand swings, because I have been doing so many 2 handed, I don't think I have ever swung the 16kg for 2 1/2 minutes at a time, so this was a first, and transfers are much easier than reps R then reps L, so I stuck with switching every rep. I didn't video any of it for a couple of reasons...the first being that I didn't want to bore anyone to death with 2 1/2 minutes of just swinging, second, with only 30 minutes to work out, and only 30 sec between sets I didn't want to take the time to set up the camera, etc...

I started with the intention of swinging the 12kg for the whole 30 minutes, making it a 1200 swing workout, but as usual, I never know how I'm going to feel until I start and I just wasn't feeling it out that way. I wanted to make it I added in 100 rep sets w/16kg, those sets were tough!

Realizing after set #9 that to make the workout 30 minutes long, it would be ending with a rest period of 30 sec., I chose to take 15 secs. of that last rest between sets #9 & #10...and then I just kept swinging the remaining 15 sec for an additional 10 reps, making it 1010 reps. in 30 min.

I liked this high volume combination enought o try it another time, but for 60 minutes, or maybe I'll just keep this combination for those times when I just need a 30 minute workout...Adjusting the weight (maybe more sets with the 16, until I can do all sets w/16kg!) as I get stronger.

Whew....what's next????

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bonus KB Workout

Tuesday AM weight 133.8
9:15am Bikram yoga
11:30am KB
6:00pm 60 min walk

10 sets, 8 double clean/press/hold, 1 min. work,
1 min. rest= 20 min

5 sets, 5 R/5 L/5 R/5 L clean/bottoms up clean, 2 min work 30 sec rest= 12.5 min

Total workout 32.5 min.

Free Greens

I love vegetables, I love greens.....I especially love free greens. If I buy a veggie and it has an edible stem or leaves, you better believe I'm going to eat them! So when I come across a fresh looking, in season vegetable, at the market with greens attached, and I've never used it before, the first thing I do is look up recipes on the internet.
I'll start by googling the name of the veggie green followed by the word "recipe", for instance, "radish greens recipe". Next I'll cruise recipes to see if there is a common theme....traditional flavor pairings. There is always a salad or pasta recipe, and if I can eat it raw, uncooked, then I'll usually go for that first.

I would never buy beets without the greens attached...that's the best part!

Japanese turnips from Cosentinos Market near my home. I used the leaves, not the stems.
If push comes to shove I can always throw the greens in my hot soup to wilt, ( a close friend teases me that greens in soup is my "signature"). In fact I threw some turnips in my veggie soup this afternoon and then the greens after it was done, but still was so good that I went to the market to get more veggies to make another batch! The turnip greens were chewy...I liked them! And I have yet to find turnips with the greens attached at a market....usually only at the Farmers Market.

You can almost always bring wilted, not dead (!), greens back to life by simply cutting off the bottoms in most cases and submerging them in cold water...
leave them for a few minutes for a good drink! Then shake the water off, wrap in a dry towel (paper ot a thin cotton towel), and refrigerate.

I got lazy after the Farmers Market on Sunday and I didn't wash my celery, turnips or green onions right away and they went limp (first photo). So I brought them back to life( second photo)....the celery and turnip greens went into my soup after being refreshed...there was no way I was going to throw them away!

Greens are good. Greens are life.

Monday, March 10, 2008

1400 swings, 60 minutes

Well, it seems as if Monday has turned into "high volume" day.....I'm digging this new approach! I love that it makes me swing for 60 minutes, because I had forgotten I had stepped up my workouts, pre-surgery, consistently, close to an hour long, from 45-50 min. Here's how I broke it down:

11:30am KB (no warm up)

40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work,
30 sec rest

20 2 hand swings w/20 kg, 30 sec. work,
30 sec rest

10 2 hand swings w/24kg, 15 sec work,
15 sec rest

I rotated these three sets in this order 20 times. Each rotation took 3 minutes to complete, x 20 sets = 60 min. Each rotaion had 70 swings x 20 = 1400 swings.

What's worse than 5:30am Bikram yoga? 4:30am Bikram yoga....stinkin' daylight savings time, lol

I haven't missed a yoga class or a KB workout. Life is good, high volume swinging is good!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Salad Bowl

I eat a salad almost everyday, if not everyday. I like to have one raw vegetable meal, and one cooked vegetable meal daily, so I always have fresh veggies in my fridge. There is rarely, or never, lack of salad ingredients and I'm so used to making my single serving, maindish salads, dressings and all, that it takes, most times, less than 15 min to put together.

I use a large metal mixing bowl and alot of times I start by making the dressing first at the bottom of the bowl. I place the bowl in my sink underneath were my cutting board is, so I can just cut and scrape right into the bowl. Usually, first the main green, cabbage most often, and then the rest of the veggies, one on top of the next, fall into the bowl. I cut enough to match the amount of dressing...S&P and toss, That's it! Sometimes I'll prep enough for 2 salads, one for the next day. ( I won't dress a salad until I'm ready to eat it)

Vegetables I never go 24 hours without having in my fridge (or pantry)

Green cabbage

48 hours

red cabbage
red bell pepper
green onion


And I always have some sort of cooked protein ready to add to make it a whole meal,

salmon (in season)

Shrimp (summer)

Seasonal and other goodies


sprouts (bean)




dried fruits (raisins, dates)



boiled egg brown rice


grilled squashes

roasted veggies (brussels)


Salad is good.

(Top salad, broccoli, red cabbage, carrot, red bell, green onion, and jalapeno. I dressed this one with Trader Joes Spicy Peanut dressing and added canned tuna. Bottom Salad, green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, broccoli (just a small amount, because I had it!), jalapeno, green onion, cilantro. I dressed this salad with my curry dressing and added leftover diced pork tenderloin. Bottom photo is grilled squash and chard on a stovetop grill)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cathy's first one minute sets.

I went to Monterey on Friday and Cathy got her first sets of one minute duration with the 16 kg! We alternated some snatch max vo2 sets with these 16kg, 1 minute sets,

10 2 hand swings, 20 transfers, 10 2 hand swings.

Friday, March 7, 2008


OK, so I didn't mean to come accross so uncompassionate in my last post. As I've mentioned in a recent post I'm just writing on let me finish...try to finish, my feelings about my own weight loss and how important it is to me to extend a message of compassion and hope.

So, I think we all agree that when it comes to the physical part of losing weight, we all know how to do it....stop doing what is making us fat. Live within our calories, and move our bodies more. But a comment left from my last post brought to mind that the challenge those of us have with weight loss isn't's mental. And if you've never been fat, you really can only approach it from the physical....and that's why I'm different. I can relate to the part that's mental.

And the mental part, because we all have our own history, our own "stories", our own lives, is as different and individual as each one of us. So what is really meant when some one asks the question..."How did you lose all of that weight?"

Upon further reflection, it is my opinion that what is really meant by that is not, how did you physically do that, but what changed in your head? The question really is, "What finally motivated you to make the physical changes?" Motivation is not a physical thing it is a mental thing. Again as different and individual as each of us.

The reason why we ask the questions, the reason we read blogs and watch programs, read articles about weight loss is that we are hoping that something, what, we don't know exactly, but something, that will trigger motivation. Something that is said, something that is seen, that turns that light bulb on.

For me the exact moment was when my coworker told me about a weight loss bet, based on the TV show Biggest Loser, (I hate, I mean I dislike, the name of that show BTW), that triggered something in my head that turned on that light bulb, that somehow gave me the motivation to get up the next morning...go on a 2 mile walk, start making and eating all of my own foods. That was my trigger.

Triggers can be an example we want to duplicate, like success stories. Maybe how some one eats or what they eat can trigger desire to do better. How someone looks or performs athletically will trigger a desire to do better. Or maybe it's just a happy positive outlook on life that triggers us to want more, to do better.

Or, triggers can be examples we don't want to duplicate, like illness and depression. Again, seeing unhealthiness in others, loss of mobility, or misery. Those triggers can motivate us to want better for ourselves too.

So I conclude, that if I can say something, do something, show something that can or will potentially trigger positive change, then I feel grateful. And that's what it's about for me. And I'll talk, and I'll write and I'll continue to live by example, and I'll keep sharing what all of this means to me in the hopes of this continual forward journey in knowing and recognizing my good life.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"How did you lose all that weight?"

Well, it's been over 3 years since I started this weight loss journey...this transformation, not only of my body, but my life and spirit. And the further away I get from the time I was fat, the fewer people, even my friends, remember when I was fat! But I remember. Very clearly, and I have no regrets.

No one "told" me how to lose weight. No one had to. In fact I can't tell you how many people over the years offered me weight loss advice, (how stinkin' annoying), and I always said the same thing.....I know how to lose weight, I don't want to...I'm not ready to...I don't care why not, I just don't want to yet. I knew exactly why I was fat, and I dind't want to change it...I didn't want to stop overeating......until I did.

And when I did, when I made the decision to stop feeding my face with too much food, too much of the wrong foods, and start exercising. For the longest time when people would ask me, "How did you lose all that weight?", my answer was always, "I stopped doing what was making me fat!"

I'm the first person to tell anyone that they already know how to lose weight. In fact when I get that first question, "How can I lose weight?", my question is always, "Well, what are you doing that is making you fat?" I can't make anyone give me an honest answer, most people don't want to look at it, and if they don't want to look at it, I don't want to waste my time digging for their answer. I already know...they're eating too much....they're drinking too much....they're not exercising. No rocket science.

I never want to be that annoying person with unwanted diet advice. I try and only offer my experience when asked, and even then, most times, I feel as if I'm wasting my breath. I can be, and will be, the biggest positive cheerleader for anyone who wants to believe that they can have a beautiful, functional, athletic, healthy body, because I'm living proof that it can be done. I've lived it, I live it everyday. Beyond my dreams even, and I know it's possible.

My life is so stinkin' good.

Picture on right is me at my RKC, April 2006, 132lbs., 14 months after the first day of my transformation, starting weight 250lbs. approx.

KB Doubles

Sorry for the bad video, it seems I did this workout headless!

5:30am Bikram yoga
9am KB

Warm up 6 sets, 1 min on, 1 min rest w/12 & 16kg, one and two hand swings (40 reps per) 12 min.

Work sets

8 double clean, press, 30 sec work ( a little more 35 sec.),
30 sec rest x 10 sets = 10 min. ( 80 dbl cl pr)


dbl swing, dbl cl, dbl sw, dbl cl pr,
x3, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest x 10 = 10 min. (12 dbl sw, 6 dbl cl, 3 dbl pr)

dble sw, dbl cl, dbl sw, dbl cl pr, dbl sw, dbl squat, 1 min work,
1 min rest x 5 = 10 min. (13 dbl sw, 9 dbl cl, 3 dbl pr, 3 dbl sq)

#4 (just to get an extra 10 min more work in)
40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min work,
1 min rest x 5 sets = 10 min.

Total workout 52 min.

I added the additional 10 minutes because many times I'm already in the groove and I'd rather be 10 minutes late for whatever is next in my day, than cut my workout short! What the heck, right?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The subject of sabotage came up while talking with a friend. Now, I think most of us have been guilty of this in regards to food with friends, family or co-workers. Co-workers probably get the worst of it because it doesn't seem so personal, unless you are the target. How many times have we taken "treats" to work? Donuts, bagels, M&M's, etc.. But if you are a person that has lost weight or is currently on a diet and someone brings your favorite food....what's that all about?

Well, it's all about insecruities...isn't it?

The other day I was at work and co-worker brought in leftover birthday cake. It wasn't specifically for any one person, she just wanted to get it out of the house....and she didn't want to throw it away, (that's another blog post!). Well, birthday cake icing is pretty tempting for me and I asked another fellow co-worker if she was going to be able to resist. She said yes, she would resist, and I said, "Well, you might be a stronger woman than me!" But then she said to me...."Oh, go ahead, have a piece." WHAT! She was actually encouraging me? I guess I was so surprised because she is a friend I've talked intimately with about losing weight...she herself has over 100 pounds to lose.

After my initial surprise I immediately thought, "oh....she's feeling insecure. But I wonder why? Because I've been nothing but supportive of her. That's too, I'm really surprised."

At this point I made a decision to never take crappy food to work. And to never encourage anyone, dieting or not, to eat something they don't want to.

Life is good. Food is good, but we don't have to eat all of it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monday 1500 + swings in one hour

I really wasn't ready to swing the heavy weights again so soon, and my original plan was to swing longer and's my compromise. I decided on and uphill weight ladder, but a downhill time ladder.....

7am - 8am KB

3 warm up sets of 1 min work, 1 min rest w/ 12kg = 6 min.

Work sets

set #1 w/12kg
160 reps, 20 roundabouts, 4 min work,
1 min rest

Set #2 w/16kg
80 reps, 10 roundabouts, 2 min work,
1 min rest

Set#3 w/20kg
40 reps, 5 roundabouts, 1 min. work,
1 min rest.

It took 10 min total for each rotation of these 3 sets x 6 = 60 min., 1480 + 20 = 1500 reps

After doing the math, (about rotation 4) I realized I would be 20 reps short of 1500/hr, so I added 20 reps w/20kg.

I don't know if I made up this combination of movements I call my roundabout...but I'm claiming it! It's a fun movement to learn, and once you get it down, it creates a nice rythym as well as a nice progression of weight....IMO!

Finally....Fawn's Soup

Yesterday was a day filled with cooking and KB's. First my own workout, (over an hour ), and then on to Jen's house for cooking class, ( turkey and lentil soup, red and green chili, and pork roast), more KB's in the afternoon (2 clients) and then finally at Jill's house to recreate Fawn Friday's pulled pork, chick pea, veg soup w/ mussels, shrimp and grilled chard (recipe below). Jill and I also did some red chili w/pintos and ground beef. My pressure cooker, once again, to the rescue! ( I used it 4 times!)


Pulled Pork, Chick Pea, Vegetable Soup with Mussels, Shrimp and Grilled Chard

Technique;In your pressure cooker brown your pork shoulder roast. Remove roast when browned add in onion, carrots, celery and fennel. Sweat veggies with salt and dried sage. Add in presoaked (see something about beans) Chick Peas, cover with water, or if you are lucky enough to have it, chicken or vegetable stock. Add in Shoulder Roast. Pressure cook at 10lbs for 40 minutes. Remove the shoulder roast and separate flesh from fat and bone. Add in raw shrimp and muscles and Chard stems. When the muscles pop open, soup is done. Grill or pan flash chard with salt, then squeeze a half a lemon for your soup garnish.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Is it Free, or is it Stealing?

I have written many times on my feelings regarding "free food" (Free Food, posted Dec 20 2006, and recently, Don't Put off Tomorrow... Dec 23, 2007) and I think I may have had my eyes opened up a bit more about how to change what I think about it.

Mark and I attended an event that offered lunch...for free....but he didn't have time to eat his (fair share), so I packed some up for him to eat at another time later that day. Innocent enough, right? I did that for a number of the ususal reasons....I didn't want him to miss out.... after all he was entitled to it.....and, it was there for the taking......and, someone else might take it and there would be none left...etc. Later that day, when we got home, I said to him, "Oh, I packed up a sandwich (from the event), and brought it home for you to it's here in the fridge."

You won't beleive what he said next.... He said, " You mean you stole it! I can't believe you stole food." WHAT! I was shocked. Did he just accuse me of stealing? Was I shocked because there was a ring of truth to that? Yes....

I stopped eating the samples of free food at Whole Foods as part of my New Years Resolution, which I have so far succeeded at, BTW, because I had to admit I was only taking them because they were free, not because I was actually considering purchasing any of the foods offered up for sampling. If I knew I wasn't going to buy any of those foods, then I was, in actuality stealing them. Especially if I took more than one sample of the same food...who can only sample one chip, or one chocolate truffle, or one piece of cheese, etc.? And who am I kidding when I actually search out a napkin so I can wrap some up to put in my handbag. LOL If you find yourself looking around to see if someone is watching you take more than you know you should, then your stealing. If you're taking food (extra, that you don't need) to eat another time (s), then you're stealing.

OMG....I can't believe I'm writhing this stuff, LOL

Don't steal food!

(Picture above, Jordan Vezina, 2/23, enjoying lunch provided for free @ Axis)

The Chicken, or The Egg?

Recently I've been reflecting on my eating habits. I've had alot of thoughts and have made some new discoveries, but my life is a work in progress, isn't that the point? The important part is that progress is a forward movement. But let me get to the subject.

Sometimes I wish I could eat whatever I wanted, and as much as I wanted, as often as I wanted....and that would be alot! I mean ALOT! And that feeling brings with it a sense, sometimes, of unfairness. And sometimes I even feel sad that I can't eat that way, or that I know I can never eat that way. Why can some people eat that way and not suffer becoming overweight? Maybe those kind of people can stay slim (metabolism, blah, blah, blah), but are really unhealthy, maybe doesn't matter. The point is why do I want to eat like that?

When I have those thoughts and feelings of sadness and unfairness, I remind myself that I would rather, instead of eating massive amounts of food, be the kind of person that doesn't feel like I want to overeat....does that make sense? I would rather be the kind of person that can enjoy, all foods, but smaller amounts. The kind of person that can be satisfied, or feel satified with less. Can I be the kind of person that can eat just one cookie, instead of the whole bag? Do I need to?

So what comes first? Needing more, or being satisfied with less?

Whatever answer I conclude, I want to be the person that is happy about how much I eat or don't eat. I want be happy about the kind of foods that I eat,(and I am!) Eating is not meant to make you feel bad. Food is not meant to make you feel bad. Eating and food can be, and is joyful.

Food is good. Eating is good. Life is good. Feel good.