Monday, September 29, 2008

How Clean is Clean?

Of course I'm talking about food clean is clean? There's no denying food you pick out of the ground, or from a tree that hasn't been treated with chemicals, is as clean as a food can get, but we all can't, want or need to eat only raw natural foods. But let's say we could.....

What is the purpose of eating clean? Is it just about our bodies, and health, or is it about the health of our planet, and environment? So much about organic farming and local eating is about using less fossil fuels to transport unseasonal, unregional foods. So is a organic bell pepper shipped and then ground transported from Holland, to your local Trader Joe's, that's been wrapped in plastic for weeks, clean? What about that organic leg of lamb from New Zealand?

Until I write a blog post about the differences between commerically raised chicken (or should I say commercially caged chicken), organic chicken, free range chicken and pasture fed chicken, does eating any of these choices affect how clean a homemade meal is? Is a homemade roasted, un-organic chicken "cleaner" than a organic roasted chicken from Whole Foods, that has been brined or marinated in salt, un-organic spices, and sometimes sugar?

And since I'm on the subject of chicken..... Right now I have homemade chicken stock in my freezer, three kinds, one made with completely organic, pasture fed, chicken bones, and organic veggies from the farmers market, one made with industrial organic chicken bones, and some industrial organic veggies, and one made from chickens grilled at the Mexican market that had been marinated in who knows what, but for sure not organic chickens....(I just couldn't bring myself to not use the left over bones!) Is one homemade chicken stock "cleaner" than another, and would organic chicken broth from Whole Foods be better than my un-organic homemade stock?

And what about the homemade soup I make from my un-organic chicken stock. Is it still less clean if I use organic veggies? Or is my homemade soup made with organic stock, less clean if I use industrially grown veggies? What if I add meat to my soup? Is it less clean if I use anything but pasture fed, orgainic animal protein? (meat) How does any un-organic homemade soup compare to orgainc canned soups?

The difference between a processed dry cereal, no matter how "healthy" it is and oatmeal is obvious, but are highly processed"quick oats" better and cleaner than dry cereal? Quick cooking oats are more processed than old-fashioned oats, that are more processed than steel cut oats, so what level of clean do you choose? What if you pour un-organic milk over your oats, or God forbid use white sugar in your oats (one of my favorites, lol!) All are still better than a breakfast burrito, even most dry cereals!

What about juice? Can you buy an orange juice as clean as picking the oranges and juicing them yourself? Does it really matter that much, or does how much juice you drink more important for your health?

What is the difference between clean eating and healthy eating? Is there a difference? I, personally don't think using ingredients like real butter, or cream, makes a meal unclean, or unhealthy. Does the freshness of a food make a difference? Like I mentioned earlier, does storing or heating foods in plastic make a difference? For that matter does cooking food at all versus eating raw make a difference? How about the cooking method? Grilling, roasting, boiling, about using a microwave? Do unseasonal, unregional foods make a difference? How many levels of "clean" are you willing to break it down to before you jump on the "I only eat clean" bandwagon? What is your personal philoshoy or ranking system?

What ever it is, unless your standards are through the roof, then don't judge, less be judged, lol! I managed to lose over 100lbs without ever eating an organic veggie, much less a pasture fed chicken! Lets not forget what's really important. Eating fresh live foods. Making and preparing your own foods. Using quality ingredients, and eating healthy portions. If you move toward healthy foods, you also move toward cleaner eating practices, and visa versa! Whatever choices you make feel good about them.....we all do our best, until we learn to do better, then we do better.....right?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

200 rep Workout, 12, 16, 20, 24kg

Reading blogs is an invaluable way to stay inspired and motivated. I recently described my blog, at our workshop in Healdsburg, as a "free personal trainer"'s the same with anyone else that posts actual workouts. If someone is doing it, then it can be done! I noticed that Franz and Yoana tested their swings with the 24kg, to see how long it would take to do 200 reps......

I never really know what my workout is going to be until I get into the gym, but during Bikram yoga Saturday morning the number 200 was stuck in my head. I knew I could swing the 12 and the 16 for 200 continuous reps, I had done that many times. But I had never swung the 20kg, or the 24kg, continuous, for more than 40 reps, until Saturday.......

6:30am KB swings with client (10-15 min, I go, you go)
7:20am 45 minute walk w/client
10:00a, Bikram yoga
1:30 KB 200 rep workout

20kg 200 rep roundabouts (2 hand and 1 hand swings)

Work sets

200 reps done in "roundabouts" w/12kg, 5 min work
2 min rest= 7 min set
200 rep roundabouts w/16kg, 5 min work,
3 min rest= 8 min set
200 rep roundabout w/20kg, 5 min work,
4 min rest= 9 min. set
200 rep 2 hand swings w/24kg, 4 min work (160 continuous reps), 30 sec rest, 1 mim. work (40 reps), 3.5 min. rest= 9 min set
200 rep roundabouts w/12kg, 5 min. work, 1 min. rest x 3 sets = 18 min.

24kg, 200 reps (2 hand swings)

Total workout 51 min. 1400 swings

Roundabouts are a combination swing exercise I developed to progressively work from 2 hand to one hand swings with heavier weights.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Clean Eating, and my Inner Snob

I've been wanting to write about the subject of "eating clean". Eating clean will, if it hasn't already, be the next bandwagon to be jumped on....thank goodness the catch-phrase"core training" is winding down, lol! I would love to write all of my thoughts and opinions about eating clean, but that would take too long, and very quickly become boring in a pretentious kind of way. So, instead I'm simply starting this post with the question of "What does eating clean mean?"

This is where my inner snob starts to show.....

In a perfect "eating clean" world, any food that processed, in any way, is not "clean". Any food that comes in a package, and all you have to do is open the package and eat, is not eating clean.
So on a scale of 1-10, #1 being ready-made, ready-to-eat, processed foods, and #10 being fresh, live, raw, natural and truly organic foods that you prepare yourself, where do your foods rate?

I keep, and have been keeping a hard copy food journal for months now, and I'll start to post my daily menu again on Food and Thought, rating my own food choices and why I make the choices I do. The trade-offs that are sometimes acceptable, and the hypocrisy my inner snob has to answer to, lol!

I have an interest and desire to keep improving the foods I chose to eat, building a strong, resilient body, and maintain a quality of health that gives me the physical freedom to enjoy this good life. I see and hear a similar desire with the people I connect with everyday and I thought this would be a good way of expanding, and sharing ideas of awareness.

There is so much information, but more importantly so much personal experience, not just mine, on how to move toward health. That's my "thing", Move toward health.....(another blog post, for another time!) I look forward to any comments.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday, heavy 2 hand swing ladder

6:30am KB
9:15 Bikram yoga

Warm up

40 rep per min. pace, 1 min work / rest x 4 sets w/12kg, 1 set w/16kg = 10 min.

Work sets

40 2 hand swing w/20kg, 1 min work,
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swing w/24kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swing w/28kg, 30 sec work,,
30 sec rest,
40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min. work,
1 min rest
repeat x 6 rotations in this order = 33 min.

10/10/10/10 x 2 botooms up swings w/12kg, 2 min work, 1 min rest = 5 min.

Total workout 48 min.

I've been putting my workouts as the priority in the mornings, scheduling clients starting @ 6:30am, which means I have to start my KB's an hour early, on time, to get a good workout in myself! Life is good, and getting my workouts in first is great!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I didn't come to play

Geez, I never did Max Vo2 in sunglasses and earrings before, lol. 40 sets of 9 reps per set, after the five minute snatch ramp up.

Every two years you have to retest the snatch to recertify, so I decided to try it all on one arm when I got home. The first set of 70 was done with my strong side, this is my weak side....71. The hard part was getting it done before the 3 minute video capability was over...the first set took about 3 1/2 min.

Snatch workout

10/10 x 5 (5 min. set)
380 snatches

One hand speed swings

20/20, 1 min work/rest
24/24, 1 min work/rest
x 5 rotations = 20 min.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wow, What a RKC weekend!

I just got back from assisiting at my second RKC, being assigned to Doug Nepodals Team, (I assisited Geoff Neuperts team in Arpril 07), and what an experience! The best part was, I was so much more appreciative to have the honor of assisting. I joke about attending Certs to simply ride coattails of my brilliant husband Mark, Master Instructor, acting as "unofficial" photographer, etc., but I will never miss an opportunity to assist again, and will do so anytime if they invite me back!

I didn't take many pictures, so I apologize to my team, they deserved a few photos of such an event, and now that I'm home I realized I should've made more of an effort. (I have had other things going on lately.....)

The top photo is one of maybe 6 photos of the whole weekend, taken at the beginning of day 2. Part of Team Nepodal, Dustin, Matt, Kerry (co-assistant), Al, Derek and James.
More to come.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Good Lord, can it be? Am I making Mark and me one of those obnoxious matchy-matchy couples? Yes! And so what, it's kind of fun, lol! I try and wear the same color as Mark when we go to yoga's not bad enough that we hold hands during savasana!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Which is the Enemy? Sugar or Fat?

Anything in modertion, right? Well, this is not a scientific blog post, Mark would have to write that one, lol, this is just something from my experience.

Sugar is so overconsumed in this country it scary, or it should be scary (and sweeteners in general...even Splenda). I'm not sure how everyone can walk around so oblivious, so unconsciuos to the fact that practially everything we eat, especially processed foods, has sugar or is sweet, not to mention the obvious stuff like sodas and desserts.

Mark and I stopped in Peet's coffee after yoga the other morning, about 10:30 am, and this man next to me was stirring cocoa powder, that he brought from home, into his coffee. Now, I suspected I already knew why he was bringing his own cocoa powder with him, because Peet's uses a cocoa syrup for their mocha drinks that contains high fructose corn syrup, (something I was aware of because I'm a crazy label reader!), and after asking him I found out I was right. We had a conversation about how unbelievable a trendy coffee house like Peet's could use such an Starbucks you expect that kind of thing, but Peet's?

Anyway, after our conversation he sat down at a table next to us with his wife and young daughter, about 7 years old (I hate to talk about a little girl, but she probably weighed around 70-80lbs, not a judgement, just an observation), and they all had a croissant, or pastry of some sort, in addition to their semi-homemade mochas with real sugar, the little girl drinking hot chocolate. Mark and I discussed how crazy it seemed that this man gave so much care to whether or not his mocha drink had high fructose corn syrup, but disregarded the high fat, white flour croissant...he was also carrying around 20-30 extra pounds. hmmn.....

So this brings me to this last April when I tried to cut sugar out of my diet. Can you believe that I gained this last 5 lbs, that I've been carrying around for almost 6 months now, during that month! I gained the weight because I was eating more carbs and way more fats than I normally would, ususally in the form of nuts and nut butters. I truly believe that sugar is not my enemy, but neither is fat....overeating is, lol! Sugar is not a everymeal option for me, and when I do add sugar (or sweeteners) to salad dressings, marinades, breakfast meals, like oats, or even my coffee or tea (honey), I'm aware of it, and because I make most of my own foods I know exactly what goes into everything. I don't cut out sugars or fats, but I chose what, when, and how much of it I eat, trying to eat at least one full meal without sugar or sweetness.

It's not the sugar it's the shear volume, the overdose of sugar consumed as an everyday practice, that's the problem. I might add 1 t. of honey to my tea , or 1 tbl of brown sugar (3 t.) to my morning oats, but a soda has 12 teaspoons, maybe more.

It's not the fats, it's the quality of fats. The difference between an avocado, or good olive oil to the vat of hydrogenated oil potatoes are fried in, and consumed by millions everyday.

Now, I'm the first one to try and be a snob about fake foods, sweeteners or, not organic, seasonal and or locally grown foods, but I'm not perfect, especially, and specifially when I start to eat compulsively. I don't think a little bit of anything is bad, (even "carbs") or alot of everything, every once in a while is bad, lol....balance can be key. We all do our best until we learn better, then we do better, right?

Monday Doubles

6:00am KB
9:15 Bikram yoga

Warm up
40 2 hand swings w/12kg, 1 min work/rest, x 5 sets = 10 min.

Work sets

20 dbl sw w/12kg's, 30 sec work/rest,
8 dbl cl,pr, w/12kg's, 30 sec. work/rest,
10 dbl snatch, ng pr w/8kg's, 30 sec work/rest,

Rotated in this order x 10 sets each = 30 min.

20 dbl sw, w/12kg's, 30 sec work/rest,
15/15 snatch w/12kg, 1 min work/rest,

Rotated in this order x 5 sets each = 15 min.

Total workout 55 minutes

Friday, September 12, 2008

Because I Could....

I had a great workout on Tuesday, so I didn't need to train on Wed., but Mark was doing Max Vo2 36/36, and I thought....what the hell, I haven't snatched casually in a while, I won't train Max Vo2 "officially", but I'll pick a moderate speed and just go for it. My "official" 36/36 speed would be 19 reps per, I slowed it down to 15 reps.


15 snatch R, 36 sec/36 sec work /rest
15 snatch L
x 31 sets

I didn't keep count during the workout I just followed him, but I admit I started getting antsy near the end!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Own Too Much Food! Or Does My Food Own Too Much of Me?

I own too much food. How could that possibly be? I don't shop nearly as much as I used to, I wait long periods of time, trying to use food I already own, in new and different ways, so as not to waste. I started throwing away any foods less than perfect (old produce) but I still own too much. This should be my worst problem!

I cleaned out my pantry months ago, only stocking basics like beans, grains, oatmeal, pastas, anchovies, tuna and other canned protein, dried fruits (coconut for Mark), canned chipotles, and even these things I only have a few at a time, my whole pantry takes up barely 2 shelves. My freezer is so full of ready made foods, like quarts and quarts of soups, chilis, and stews, not to mention roasted tomatoes, chicken stocks, and fruit (strawberries I get weekly CSA), in fact I almost bought a melon yesterday until I asked myself, "But why? You have frozen fruit and an abundant fig tree right across the street calling your name! Do you have to spend $2 on a melon you don't need?"

My fridge already has at least 3 days worth of preportioned meals....I could tell you exactly what I'll be eating for each day. AND I picked up my CSA box last I have 2 bunches of chard, turnip greens, more fresh strawberries, more tomatoes....I still have at least 10lbs of roma tomatoes, even after making 5 quarts of tomato soup, and eating it everyday....white and green string beans, fresh basil, that I have to use today because it doesnt' keep, AND I just blanched the purple cauliflower and 2 bunches of kale from last weeks CSA, for a salad I didn't need to make, and last but not least I still have a bulb of fennel from 2 weeks ago that will probably end up in the trash (sorry Fawn...she loves to use fennel!) Geez!

I would love to eat all of this food, really I would, and I could! But I can't really. I've just recently started throwing food away, against my nature. I got too excited picking figs (free figs! you know they can cost as much as $4 a basket!).... but did I need 5-10lbs of figs? Everytime I overshop fresh food (25lbs of tomatoes is kind of extreme, lol) I feel as if I have to cook it, or make it into a salad, and then of course eat it.

Another example is when I put together a new recipe, and it comes out fabulous, I feel as if I need to repeat it...right away.....afterall, it was so good I must need more!

I did decide that I don't need to learn how to can, I mean why? That's a huge relief. But I had to slap my "inner Martha Stewart" to get to that conclusion! It's bad enough that my freezer is full, but guess what? I don't live out in the boonies with barely enough food to survive the winter, I can go to the stinkin' store whenever I want. Geez.

I've got to stop letting too much food control my life. Owning too much food takes advantage of my love to cook. Buy less, cook less (darn!), eat less, (double darn!).
Fresh Tomato Soup recipe on Food and Thought soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday double cl/pr...just get in the gym and warm up

It seems as if I have to take my own advice lately and just get my butt out to the gym, put my hands on the bell and start swinging.

I used to always (for over 1 year) start my workout with basically the same warm up of 40 two hand swings w/12kg, 1 min. work, 1 min rest for 5 sets. And although that weight, with 2 hands, is light for me the full minute of swinging kind of forced the blood moving through my body, settling me in for the long haul, while having a full minute break allowed me to get the music started, get water ready, my socksleeves, etc. By the time my 5 sets were done you couldn't drag me out of the gym, I was ready for my workout and 10 minutes of swinging had already beeen done! So, I've gone back to that basic warm works for me.

Warm up

40 swings, 1 min work/rest x 5 sets = 10 min.

Work sets

8 double clean/press w/12kgs, 30 sec. work/rest,
10/10 x 2, 1 hand swings w/12kg (40 reps), 1 min work/rest,
8 double clean/press w/12kgs, 30 sec. work/rest
40 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min. work/rest,
8 double clean/press w/12kgs, 30 sec. work/rest
40 2 hand swings w/20kg, 1 min work/rest
x 4 rotations

Each rotation of 6 combinations took 9 minutes to complete x 4 = 36 min. 96 dbl/cl/pr, 480 swings (not including warm up)

Bottoms up swings w/12kg

15/15 x 2 (60 reps), 3 min work, 1 min rest
10/10 x 3 (60 reps) 3 min work, 1 min rest
8 min.

Total workout 54 min.

Pictures and video of Team Rif Workshop coming soon!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Team Rif in the Wine Country

Mark and I just got back from our first ever workshop together, held in Healdsburg (CA) this past weekend, and we had a great time, (more on that later!) Gayle Hunter and Ross Allen were gracious enough to let us stay with them overnight in their beautiful home overlooking the Russian River, and treating us to some lovely wines, as well as local foods like, olive oil, beautifully baked breads, artisan cheeses, fresh tomatoes, figs, etc. (and Ross makes the best coffee BTW)

Gayle Hunter (Russian River Kettlebells) and I walking to dinner at Scopa, in downtown Healdsburg. Saturday night was perfect for dining outside. Next time we have to get some "sliders" as an appetizer at the resturant in the Healdsburg Hotel. I've never had one (mini 'White Castle' type hamburger that melts in your mouth!), but I can't wait to try....afterall that's why I diet all week, so I can eat up on the weekend, right?

If you're ever in downtown Healdsburg you have to get some gelato at Powell's candy was crazy good! (Try to avoid the candy though, lol)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

40 minutes, Friday's workout

Mark did 80 sets if Max V02 in Wednesday, and it took 40 straight minutes, set after that was tough! So when I realized that Friday's swing/snatch combinations took 4 minutes per rotation I knew I had to do 10 rotations for a 40 minute workout (not including 10 minute warm up). I couldn't let Mark out do me, now could I?

Warm up w/12kg, all sets 1 minute work to rest ratio

40 2 hand swings x 2 sets
40 trans x 2 sets
1 swing, snatch, trans x 12 reps x 1 set

Work sets

9/9 snatch w/12kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
20 trans w/16kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
9/9 snatch w/12kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swing w/2o kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
x 5 rotations = 20 min (90 snatches w/12kg)

After 5 rotations I switched the 9/9 snatch w/12kg snatch sets to 7/7 snatch w/16kg, same work to rest ratio and everything else in the same order for another 5 rotations.

7/7 w/ 16kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
20 trans w/16kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
7/7 snatch w/16kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swing w/2o kg, 30 sec work,
30 sec rest
x 5 rotations = 20 min (70 snatches w/16kg)

Man I was sucking wind with only 30 sec rest periods. That's exactly what I want....that kind of intensity. Great workout!

Now off to the Team Rif Workshop.....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

If This Applies To You........

Listen, I know it's hard. I know it feels hard sometimes, especially when we are high energy and the world looks bright and positive, and then for whatever reason we get distracted and one little thing can break our momentum, and then we give up, at least for the day, waiting until the next day for more energy and motivation.

Remember what it's like when nothing can get in our way? Like your bike ride last night, you made the time for what was more important.

We tend to do things that make us feel good, and being in our bodies when we feel heavy and unhealthy is not a place we like to hang out. So your bike ride was a huge "win" because you chose to reconnect with your body when you had so-called valid excuses not to.

It's no coincidence you haven't made the time to talk with me, only you know what you're avoiding. I don't chase anyone down, it's not my job to try and force anyone to possibly look at things they don't want to....I can't even force myself to look at things that I let get in my way.

Being of a healthy bodyweight is more than swinging a kettlebell. When you first had the idea that maybe I could be the one to help you, by simply writing a KB routine, or suggesting a diet for you, instead of looking inside yourself for the answers. I don't know why God, The Universe, whoever, or whatever gave me this particular way of connecting with people, all I know is that we all have the potential to love our bodies and ourselves, by respecting our health, and maybe that love and respect can only be appreciated after suffering the loss of it.

Can you imagine what health feels like? Can you remember? Remember the freedom? How long has it been? Do me a favor until next time we talk.....remember that freedom of health. Remember.....even if you were 4 years old at the time. No worries about food, no worries about how we looked, not a care in the world. Everytime you move toward health you move toward freedom. I know you felt it on your bike ride, especially after your bike ride, looking back at how uncomfortable it was going to be, but ending feeling good. Feeling good because although you have not reached your true potential, you still chose to reach for it. And guess got it! You get it everytime you reach.

The important thing is you keep reaching, because, even though you shoot for the moon and miss, you still land among the stars. Keep shooting, keep reaching, and remember......

1400 swings, more high volume

Abandoning Max V02 this week in exchange for high volume swinging, in preparation for Team Rif Workshop,his weekend, where I'll be talking and demonstrating (as well as putting students through) my philosophy on high volume progressive swing training, (wow, that's a mouthful, lol!) I've learned some seriously important training strategies for myself in regards to weight loss, losing 5lbs over the last 2 weeks, which I'll document on Food and Thought.

OK is it just my imagination or is this shit hard? Using only the 12kg for 1/2 of this workout, alternating w/16kg, this workout kicked my ass......the last rotation of these 6 progressive work sets was brutal. There's nothing like interval timed sets, I loved it!

Warm up

20 2 hand swings w/12kg x 5 sets, 30 sec work/rest = 5 min
20 trans w/12kg x 5 sets, 30 sec work/rest = 5 min
total warm up 10 min. 200 swings

Work sets

20 2 hand swings w/12kg, 30 sec,
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swings w/16kg, 30 sec,
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swings, 20 transfers w/12kg, 1 min.
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swings, 20 transfers w/16kg, 1 min,
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swings, 20 transfers, 5/5/5/5 1 hand swings w/12kg, 1.5 min.
30 sec rest
20 2 hand swings, 20 transfers, 5/5/5/5 1 hand swings w/16kg, 1.5 min.
30 sec rest

Repeat in this order (same 3 progressive sets alternating the 12kg, and the 16kg) x 5 rotations. Each rotation took 9 min. to complete = 45 min. 1200 swings

Total workout 55 min. 1400 swings

I wish I had been ready with our video camera because I would have loved to have taped one rotation of this workout for a "real time training" demonstration. With only 30 sec rest between sets of up to 1 1/2 min long by the time I got to the last set, starting again with the 12kg was like being on vacation!

If anyone 'gets' this workout and would like to give it a try, I dare you. Adjust the rest periods as needed, and of course do only as many rotations as possible...5 was my limit, but I wasn't being challenged, lol!

Kettlebell Max V02, kettlebell high volume swings, it's all good!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to Kill your Appetite

Sweets. Sweets kill your appetite. There might be other foods that can kill an appetite, but for me it's sweets, in fact that's one of the things I like about sweets.

If I liked to eat a cookie here, a piece of candy there, I could easily fit sweets into my daily menu, from a caloric standpoint, but my sweet tooth has no "shut off sensor", once I get started I have a hard time stopping. I can consume 1200-1800 calorie dense sweets in no time flat. Considering that 1 cup of premium ice cream has 500-600 calories, although I've never been to a place like Cold Stone Creamery, can you imagine a big waffle cone (300 cal), at least 1 c. ice cream (500 cal), and nuts, sprinkles, & whipped cream (300 cal), that can total 1100 calories, and that's not a meal, that's after a lunch or dinner. But if you ate it first, guaranteed, you would not even want dinner, that's why desserts are after meals! I like not being hungry, really I do, it's such a relief (and probably why I loved appetite killing diet pills in the 80's, remember Dexatrim? I do, lol!).

In the past few weeks, it's been interesting how the choices I've been making have changed. Easily 5 days out of 7, in a weeks time, I feel like bingeing on sweets, and until recently, the past few weeks, my logical brain has taken over (thank goodness) and I'm able to weigh the pros and cons in a less anxious way. Here's what I think:

If I start to eat sweets I know I will not "be happy" until I get my fill. And "my fill" is way more full than the average person. It is not a serving of cookies or cake, it's an entire bag of cookies, or 1/2 cake, and then I would have to throw the rest out to keep myself from eating the rest later. And that's no joke. This I know. So, I don't try and fool myself into thinking I can eat just one cookie, or just 2 pieces of candy, that would just not make me happy.

I remind myself of all the good foods waiting for me at home (usually I have these feelings away from home, in fact, now that I think about it, almost always when I'm away from home), and I have more good quality nutritious foods, ready made, or practically ready made in my fridge or freezer everyday, always! And, if I kill my appetite with sweets I won't feel like eating any of the good foods I already own, and have waiting for me.

If I ate the amount of sweets I needed to feel satisfied, I would far exceed my daily calories within 20-45 min., and although it would kill my appetite for the rest of the day, or most of the rest of the day, it also robs my body of the nutrients of the good fresh foods it needs and wants to be healthy and strong. I define strong here, as the strength my body needs to resist disease. Sugar never protects me from disease, in fact it causes disease.

Being able to calmly weigh the pros and cons doesn't mean I don't give into the cons, in fact yesterday I let the candy studded trail mix, in the bulk section of Whole Foods, get me and that's what prompted this blog post! I chose candy, nuts, and raisins, over a whole days worth of good foods, AND I had to go to 4:30pm yoga feeling like super crap. But not today, and not the day after, or the day after that.....that I know. This weekend, next week, I don't take anything for granted, except that I do my best all the time, like we all do.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Motivation and Lifestyle

If you are currently losing weight, or wanting to lose weight, do you know what you'll be eating at each meal the rest of the day? Do you know what you'll be eating at each meal tomorrow, or the day after, because you're prepared to make your own foods, or you know where to purchase healthier, more nutritious foods? If you want to change your bodyweight,(or body composition) you have to change what and/or how much you are eating. How you do that, and to what extent, is determined by your motivation and lifestyle.

Motivation comes first because I don't care how busy you are with, spouse, family/friends/job, etc.....if you don't have the motivation to establish new habits, you will not be able make the changes you know you need to make, to do what you say you want....which is to change the weight of your body. If you insist on being a victim of "not having the time", you will indeed be a victim of not making the time. I often use the example of asking people if I was to give them $500 every morning at 4am sharp, but they would have to drive accross town to collect it, do you think they might have their asses up at 3am to make sure they were on time to get it? I think so, I know I would! So 'time' is never an excuse, anything you want in life you make the time for, we have all experienced making time for things we want.

Lifestyle is another contributor. We can make time, but how much time can we squeeze out of our busy lives to make the changes we know we need to make? I, personally, have made the time to cook and prepare the majority of my own meals....but I have the motivation to make that happen (not to mention the interest and desire). I don't expect everyone else to have the same motivation, but if you do then great! But the good news is you don't have to! You don't have to cook and prepare all of your own foods, there are plenty of great "ready made" options or ways to turn less than great options to better, more nutritrious foods. At the very least just stop eating as much as you are currently eating and you can lose bodyweight.

You would think that motivation is the most important part of staying healthy fit, and in control of your bodyweight, but in the long run your lifestyle can, and will determine these things. Our lifestyles are simply the daily habits we have established. The habit of eating crap, and/or not taking the time to move our bodies enough, are just that, habits. And we can change them if we want to (that's where motivation comes in).

I was lucky enough to have established new habits over the past 3 years, I'm in the "habit" of never missing a workout, going to yoga, walking and most importantly, training kettlebells even when I don't 'feel like it'. I'm in the habit of cooking and preparing most of my foods, and I'm in the habit of making better choices most times, and although I currently weigh 5-10lbs more than I say I want to, I don't weigh 120lbs more.

I may have not had the motivation to lose 5-10lbs, but my lifestyle, the new lifestyle that I've established, by creating new habits, will never support weighing 250 lbs again, it can't. As long as I train as hard as I do, eat the amount, and types of foods that I do I will look and feel exactly as I do.

Life is good. Motivation is great. A healthy, fit lifestyle is better!

1000 swing w/24kg....this is how it started!

Inspired by Britt Buckingham 6 months ago (almost to the day), I swung the 24kg for 100 sets of 10 yesterday in preparation for the Team Rif workshop this weekend, in Healdsburg (CA), where I'll be talking about, and sharing my experience and technique for building up to high volume swing training. (as well as my progressive swing combinations) I will not be training any Max Vo2 this week.

9:15am Bikram yoga
1:15 KB

Warm up

10 reps per 15/15 w/12kg, 16kg, 20 kg, 1 set only = 1.5 min.

Work sets

10 2 hand swings w/24kg, 15 sec work,
15 sec rest
x 100 = 1000 swings, 50 min.

Total workout 51.5 min
1030 swings

I knew right away this was going to be a long one! Geez, looking at the clock in the beginning and realizing the I had to do the same thing over and over for 50 minutes....5-0! Only 10 sets every 5 minutes, working my way up to 100 sets was brutal. It seemed much easier last time I did it, but after reviewing the video, this time my swings were stronger and higher, both times I was winded though (see video on my blog 2/29). Another difference was I believe I had gone 5:30am yoga, and then came directly home and started KB around 7-7:30am, this time I went to a late yoga class (9:15), and didn't start KB until 1:15, way later than when my energy peaks.

PS I also did 100 squats! I had to really use my legs to get that weight off of the floor to start the first swing of each set. Swinging the 24kg was all about my legs, that weight would of killed my back had I not used my legs to get the weight going and catch the weight with my legs on the downstroke, using them as shock absorbers.