Thursday, May 29, 2008

day ?...lost in the london abyss

so this trip has been crazy and i literally haven't stopped since i left madrid. traveling is always tough on my diet and exercise plans, but i've really rallied this time around and have managed to get in every tt workout so far. i even ran stairs for intervals at the hotel i was staying at. i've also made a good effort with my diet and have stuck to my planned eat stop eat days as well. but it definitely requires so much more effort to stay on track when i'm away from home. i leave london in a few days and when i get to vancouver i'm staying with a friend so at least there i'll have access to a kitchen and will be able to cook my own meals. i can't wait!

in other news, i read a very interesting article on the precision nutrition forum about alternative sweeteners...being a big user of stevia, i found this intriguing. you can check it out here: battle of the sweeteners.

also, don't forget that there are only a few days left to join the next turbulence training transformation contest. use the trial offer to get your copy of turbulence training and get your transformation started! the next twelve weeks are going to pass either way, so use the challenge as an accountability tool to help you make some great progress in the meantime.

Friday, May 23, 2008

day 12...into the abyss

today is my last day in spain. i can't believe that it's finally here. had an awesome, if not nostalgic, last workout at my gym today. tomorrow i'm off for two weeks of travel, homelessness, fridgelessness, and gymlessness. from here on out it will be bodyweight workouts in the space between hotel beds and, as always when i travel, lots and lots of walking. travel is always my ultimate downfall when it comes to compliance with exercise and eating well, but i'm determined to do well this time. probably wont be blogging daily, but will check in when i can. wish me luck!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

day 11...the loose ends

today was the end of another successful eat stop eat day. i find that if i go for a little while without fasting the first fast or two are always harder, but once i get into a rhythm with weekly fasting, they pretty much become a breeze. and today was definitely one of those days i was really happy not to have to stop and eat because i am running all over the place trying to tie up so many loose ends before my last day tomorrow. tomorrow i close my bank account and cancel my cell phone and it's weird how that makes me feel like i am withdrawing from civilization or something like that. strange how dependent we tend to become on all these aspects of the modern lifestyle.

also with all the craziness, i forgot to mention that craig is running a great promotion where you can try turbulence training for less than $5! just go sign up for the trial offer and you get 21 days to put turbulence training to the test. you still get all the regular bonuses, plus you get access to the awesome forum. if you've been on the fence, this is a great opportunity to see if turbulence training is right for you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

day 10...need a deep breath

my head feels like it's going to explode today with everything i'm trying to do to get ready to leave and all of the emotional ups and downs that comes with that. goodbyes are such strange and nebulous things and i've had my fair share of them over the past few days. i have this incredible sensation of incompleteness, of wait that can't be it, and it's so weird to me that i'll get on a plane on saturday and boom a two year chapter of my life will be closed just like that. all the people and the places that i've become so accustomed to will no longer be a part of my everyday life (and many of them i may not ever even see again). i've been reflecting on all this quite a bit in the past few days and i've decided that i just don't think we are wired for goodbyes as human beings. it never seems real until after the fact because people, experiences, and places leave their marks on us in such subtle and yet complex ways that it is impossible to draw all of that influence into a single moment and to end it just like that. feeling like i'm in for a bit of a roller coaster in the coming weeks and although i know it might be difficult to stay on track, in a way i'm glad that i started another challenge because i'm hoping that it will be something that will feel familiar or routine in the midst of all this change...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

day vez en cuando

okay, well moderation went out the window yesterday as ALL of my favorite spanish foods somehow magically managed to appear on my dinner table. yesterday was a feast featuring empanada, tortilla, queso manchego, queso gallego, queso de cabara, gambas al ajillo y, por supuesto, VINO. i actually feel really good about my one last indulgence before leaving though and it made me reflect today about how i think i really have made a shift into lifestyle change. because, as much fun as it is to go overboard every once in a while, in my everyday life i find myself really craving the simple foods that i know make my body feel good and i seem to have finally made the connection somewhere in my subconscious that going overboard on a regular basis definitely does not feel good. and the other thing is that i finally feel like i'm to a point where i can indulge every once in a while without all of the mental admonishment i used to put myself through. it's pretty nice for a change. and, as an added benefit, i felt unusually strong and well recovered in my yoga practice today...proof that large amounts of cheese and wine do a body good every once in a while :).

Monday, May 19, 2008

day 8...breakthrough challenge week 1 progress

this evening i'm hosting a little going away gathering, so it will be my first full on planned cheat of this challenge. usually i'm eat stop eat-ing today, but i moved it to yesterday instead and finished this morning before i went to the gym. i will definitely be having some wine and tortilla espanola (one of my mostest favoritest spanish dishes) and who knows what else, but i am going to be focusing on moderation. wish me luck!

in other news, today was weigh-in day. here are the results:

day 1 --> day 8
weight: 134 lbs --> 130.7 lbs (-3.3 lbs)
% body fat: 20.5 --> 20.1 (-.4)
bicep (unflexed/flexed): 11/12 --> 11/12.5 (nc/+.5)
thigh: 21.75 --> 21.5 (-.25)
waist: 29.5 --> 29 (-.5)
navel: 31.5 --> 31.5 (nc)
hip: 35 --> 35 (nc)
chest:30.5 --> 30.75 (+.25)
bust: 34.75 --> 34.5 (-.25)

very pleased with my first weeks results. as suspected, my body does good things when i give it clean food and exercise . i do think it's an ironic trick of nature though that many times my progress seems to be most visible from the back. moral of the story...take more pictures of your backside!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

day week down

another good day. good yoga practice, but what really caught my attention were the hill sprints. this is the one place where i still feel like, yeah, i definitely had pneumonia. my lungs just do not feel the same, and i'm way more winded and working way harder than i was before. i don't know if it's that my lung capacity decreased or that i still have stuff in them that's preventing oxygen from getting to my blood, but i was completely, utterly, and totally worked by hill sprints today.

the thought for the day is kekich's credo # 74: "patience is profitable. achievement comes from the sum of consistent small efforts, repeated daily." i love this quote as it is essentially the recipe for body transformation but is also applicable to pretty much anything you might be after to accomplish in your life. i had heard of dave kekich before but hadn't read all 100 of his credos until recently when i found them on fellow turbulence trainer darryl's blog. if you haven't seen them before, i'd say they are highly recommended reading. you can check them out for yourself here: kekich's credo. good stuff.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

day 6...losing my callouses

finished up my first week with the turbulence training bodyweight phase I today with workout c. i didn't find this one quite as challenging as workouts a and b, but it definitely did still get my heart pumping. the hardest part was at the end moving from the inverted rows to elevated push ups. i'm beginning to notice a marked improvement in my endurance when it comes to push ups. i haven't tried lately to see how many i can do without stopping (last time i tried it was 30), but the sets of 8 to 10 don't kick my butt nearly as much as they used to, and the variations are becoming somewhat easier. the bodyweight workouts have an incredibly different feel to me from the non-bodyweight tt workouts. when i'm working out with weights i feel the "turbulence" immediately. with the bodyweight exercises, as i mentioned before, it kind of creeps up on me...i don't sweat as much, it takes longer for my heart rate to get up, but the interesting thing is that after the workout, and especially the next day, i feel equally as worked. it's definitely been fun to mix it up a bit and to give the weights a rest. on a side note bodyweight workouts are good for my vanity as the weight lifting callouses on my hands are disappearing.

nutrition was on today as far as food quality (100% clean food!) but i feel like i ate a lot. it was just one of those days where i couldn't get full and i ate. my nutritional approach definitely feels different this time around. i think i am eating more right now than i was in my last challenge (of course i don't know for sure b/c i'm not counting anything) and i'll be interested to see where the numbers come in on monday. my nutrition probably also feels different right now because my meals are even more redundant than usual since i'm trying to use up what i have in the cupboard/freezer before i leave. can't believe that my two years in spain are so close to being over. adventures await me in london in only one week!

Friday, May 16, 2008

day 5...the social support shield

i had a really interesting exchange with one of my roommates the other day. she wanted to know why there was a newspaper taped up on the wall and when i told her that i was starting my second transformation contest she gave me a strange look and said in a defensive tone that she thought i might be going overboard. she voiced her concerns that people get too obsessed with losing weight and that i didn't know when to stop. being that i feel like i currently have the healthiest relationship with food and exercise that i've ever had in my life, i found her concerns to be somewhat ridiculous. i mean, honestly, by looking at my before and afters it's pretty obvious that i am improving my health. but if you decide to start making major changes in your life, even if they're for the better, don't be surprised if the people around you suddenly become resistant to or resentful of your improvement. sad but true, there is this strange phenomenon that seems to occur when you begin to make positive changes in your life...there you are feeling great about your progress and all of your hard work and then you get sideswiped by negative or less than supportive comments from people in your everyday life. this is where, once again, i really have to reiterate the importance of a strong social support network. my roommate's opinion on my decision to continue my transformation might have seriously discouraged me in the past. but, this time i had two major things working in my favor. number one, i got really clear in my mind about what it is i'm working towards and why before i ever began. having a clear reason why helps me to feel confident in my decisions despite any external resistance i might encounter. in addition, since i've read about so many other people on the forum having similar experiences, and i've got such a great group of people backing my up efforts there, it barely phased me. no matter what it is you're trying to achieve, you'll greatly improve your chances of success by connecting with people who are at the very least supportive of your efforts or ideally working towards a similar goal.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

day 4...why i love green beans

another good day so far except that i talked to brian on the phone this morning instead of doing yoga, so i've gotta practice tonight to keep a clean tt conscience. also had another unplanned run in with the museli and cashew butter (is cereal a serious trigger food for anyone else?), but i am definitely noticing progress and i refuse to freak out until i take first week numbers. i'm easing into the challenge this time around to avoid burnout and figure i can always tighten things up towards the end as that is also when i'll be working off that last bit of fat that loves to stick around. and although raisins and dried fruit have a lot of sugar, there are definitely less healthy things that i could be "cheating" with than museli and i get such an immense amount of pleasure out of a few handfuls. besides, if i can get to where i want to be without having to be so neurotic about my nutrition (isn't that the point of ese anyway?) then all the better. and i feel like i eat enough vegetables to feed a small country so i'm not worried about getting the proper nutrition. interestingly enough, i usually go grocery shopping with my roommate because he has a car and it's almost a little embarrassing the difference in the quantity of food that we buy. usually we end up with a 2:1 ratio of bags (keep in mind that he is 1. male and 2. bigger than me) and i often leave pondering how in the world i can consume so much food. then i always have this ah ha moment that more than half of what i'm bringing home is vegetables. sneaky, eh?

seriously though, increased veggie consumption is a pretty easy way to fat loss. i was reflecting on this the other day when i made a super low maintenance meal of green beans, chickpeas, and tahini (um, i was in a hurry). i was sitting down to an enormous plate of food, which is really psychological satisfying for me. but as most of it was green beans i was able to fill up on few calories. i know this is sort of common knowledge ( can eat more of foods with less calories...really!?!) but i kind of still forget sometimes. but when i'm making a really solid effort to eat clean i it always hits me that, hey, it's pretty cool to be able to put two more cups of food on my plate guilt free, even if it's all green :).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

day 3...the bodyweight slow burn

stealthy. that's how i would describe bodyweight workouts phase 1. today i tackled workout b and had a very similar experience to monday's workout. after the first circuit i was feeling like it was a pretty easy run but somehow those bodyweight exercises sneak up on you. by the end of the third circuit i was definitely feeling worked...i think i'll call it the bodyweight slow burn. plank on the stability ball was soooo much harder than it looks. it was my first run in with those coupled with a reunion with the stability ball rollouts which i love to hate. the offset push-ups were also new, and i actually really liked them. i am definitely starting to hit my stride. most of the soreness from the other day is gone and i even attempted my first assisted chin-ups with the help of my gym's owner today. he apparently had high expectations of me because it didn't feel like he was helping too much, and it took everything i had to make it to 5 reps (manual calls for 8 so we'll see if i can hit that before the end of four weeks). i even found myself smiling for no reason in the middle of my, i think i missed my turbulence training.

nutrition today was spot on. all clean food and i discovered that oatmeal, amaranth, egg whites, cinnamon, and cashew butter with a little stevia is a divine combination. or at least if you have my taste buds...of course i also love plain cottage cheese and canned tuna so i might just be weird.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

day 2...DOMS make me smile

so as i had predicted arms are officially jello. i'm definitely sore today, but i'm getting some satisfaction out of my pain after so much time taking it easy while recovering from pneumonia. i feel like i'm almost back to 100% (still have some tightness in my chest when i push hard) and it feels so good to be able to do intense workouts again. i was able to open things up a bit with yoga today but definitely took it easy during my practice to allow for recovery. even if i don't do a heavy-duty physical practice it always feels so good just to breathe and move my body and get some blood flowing to my muscles. my head is all over the place lately with everything i need to do before i leave and all the transition i have coming up. i was highly tempted to put off starting my transformation until the end of may so that i could get all the craziness out of the way at the beginning of my challenge, but i think it's good practice for me to learn how to keep up "the lifestyle" when there's so much going on. if i can stick to the plan over the next month, i can stick to it i'm just going to try to keep reminding myself that in the week and a half ahead of me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

day 1...the breakthrough begins

off to a good start, with my first bodyweight workout under my belt, but an important lesson learned today. never underestimate the power of craig's bodyweight circuits. i was going around in my head as to weather i should start with phase 1 or phase 2 and by the end of the first circuit i was thinking this is too easy. yeah, that was just me orienting myself and learning the sequence. i definitely began to feel the burn in the next two circuits as i moved through the exercises with no rest between them and finishing off with a solid minute of pushups just about killed me. my arms are pretty much jello so wondering if i'll be able to do any sun salutations with yoga tomorrow...might just have to make it a yin practice. nutrition was pretty much on target today, although i had a slightly unplanned run in with some museli. not too worried about it though, full speed ahead.

breakthrough challenge day 1 pics and stats

here are my starting stats and pics for the breakthrough challenge as of may 12th 2008. although i lost a wee bit of ground in the last month due to aforementioned challenges, i'm not bothered because despite having been off track a bit in the past month, i never felt like i had lost the lessons i learned in the last challenge and my motivation to continue my progress is as strong as ever. i'm back at 100% and it won't be long until i'm surpassing my final results from the last challenge. yay!

height: 5'5
weight: 134 lbs
% body fat: 20.5
bicep (unflexed/flexed): 11/12
thigh: 21.75
waist: 29.5
navel: 31.5
hip: 35
bust: 34.75

blast off

today is day 1 of my brand new shiny breakthrough challenge and i'm so excited to be getting started again. spent some time yesterday evening and this afternoon getting my goals in order and getting connected to my reasons for doing this and here's what i've come up with:

2nd transformation contest goals...

1) achieve 15% body fat. this was my main goal in the last challenge and i naively chose this number without knowing that it was a bit unrealistic from my starting point of 24.2%. this time around though i believe that it is a realistic goal and i expect to get there within the next 84 days.
2) don't miss a turbulence training workout in the next 84 days and successfully stick to my plan during travels to london and vancouver bc. this challenge will present some interesting hurdles for me as i will be moving out of my apartment in spain on may 24th and probably wont arrive in portland until june 8th or so (ie--two weeks of homelessness and traveling limbo). when i get home i have to find a place to live and get a job and basically re-start my life after a two year hiatus. so there will be lots going on and being a total creature of habit, i always do really well sticking to my plan when i can create a routine and i always crash and burn when anything interrupts that routine. i am determined to break that crash and burn habit during this challenge and be super diligent with my plan in the midst of all this craziness.
3) practice attentive eating at every meal. this is one of my biggest challenges as i always seem to be rushing off to the next thing and tend to rush through my meals in the same way. this is definitely something that needs to change and so will be a big focal point for me in this challenge.
4) shift towards more intuitive eating with less rules. in my last challenge i went from strict calorie counting to relaxing things a bit when i shifted to eat stop eat, but was still being incredibly strict with myself. i want to find a balance in this challenge between holding myself to high nutritional standards and making the majority of my food choices center on clean foods, while at the same time allowing myself the occasional cheat and simply learning to listen to my body and enjoy every bite of food that i put into my mouth guilt free. this will be a space that requires a bit of experimentation, but i feel as though if i can figure this out i will truly be where i want to be in terms of my relationship with food. i recently read that "the body is wise and the rewards for trusting it are great." this is a philosophy i want to learn to integrate into my get to a point where my trust in my body's wisdom allows me to treat it as an ally instead of a foe.
5) blog progress daily for increased accountability
6) visible abs by day 84...i have never seen my abs before and i think it's about time.
7) and, of course, make turbulence training history by being the grand prize winner two times in a row!

the daily action steps that i will take to get me there are as follows:

1) drink at least 4 liters of water
2) avoid processed sugar
3) eat mindfully
4) feel good about my food choices
5) get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
6) get the vast majority of my calories from clean foods
7) review my goals and visualize their achievement

and finally my tentative nutrition and exercise plans, subject to change as results dictate:

my nutrition plan: i will be sticking with eat stop eat incorporating two days of fasting per week combined with a clean foods diet and will probably incorporate carb tapering as well (less carbs at the evening meals). focus here will be on mindful eating and enjoyment of all food consumed.

my exercise plan: since i'm going to be traveling and transitioning so much during this challenge, i decided that bodyweight workouts are probably the way to go. however, i might change this up a bit depending on how quickly i find/join a gym when i get back to portland and how much i'm digging the bodyweight manual.

weeks 1-4: 6 month bodyweight manual phase I
weeks 5-8: 6 month bodyweight manual phase II
weeks 9-12: 6 month bodyweight manual phase III

monday, wednesday, saturday will be turbulence training workouts. tuesday, thursday, sunday will be yoga (with hill sprints on sunday just for fun). friday is my glorious rest day.

so that's the plan, now it's just a matter of following through and putting it into action. starting stats and pics will be up next...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

i'm back!

sorry that i've been MIA these past few weeks. didn't mean to disappear but i had a bit of an unexpected emergency. my boyfriend's mother suddenly became extremely ill and was in the hospital and i ended up catching a very last minute flight to california to be with him and his family. due to the somewhat intense and highly emotional aspect of the trip i didn't really have time to post. but i'm back in spain now and will officially begin my transformation challenge round 2 tomorrow. i have to admit that i have fallen off the wagon a bit between pneumonia and crazy last minute cross-continent trips and being in someone else's kitchen and dealing with some crazy emotional ups and downs. i know...excuses, excuses. but these setbacks have actually infused me with a huge dose of motivation and i'm really excited to get back into the groove and ramp things up for my second challenge...although i'm a bit nervous to see what the scale has to say tomorrow. it will be an interesting 12 weeks this time around as i only have two weeks left in spain and i have a crazy journey back to the states that will leave me in travel limbo for about two weeks (first stop london, 1 week; second stop vancouver bc, five days; third stop seattle, three days). sticking to my plan when traveling is always my downfall, but i am determined to do it this time around and to continue to progress through my travels. tomorrow i'll be back with day 1 stats and goals so stay tuned as my journey begins again!