Monday, September 28, 2009

Allow me to introduce myself...

Here's my intro video for the TC Competition. It took a few takes for me to get through the first few lines that I wanted to talk about. Thank goodness Nathaniel was patient with me.

Filthy 50 - fun workout :/

Muti-tasking right now... in a group project meeting and quietly recovering from my workout today (modified).

Today I did the Filthy 50, a CrossFit WOD.

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

If you haven't already, try it out! It's definitely a mind over matter workout. Back extensions which I thought would be one of the easier exercises ended up being one of the more difficult ones. My lower back definitely needs some strengthening.

Different ways to modify could be to do 25 reps rather than 50, lowering the box jump height, lighter weights, jump roping rather than double unders...

Anyone have any other suggestions for fun workouts or exercises?

Week 2 Recap (from my Tight Curves blog)

Sunday's weigh in was disappointing - no weight loss to report. This weigh-in reminds me of the "dreaded week 2" on The Biggest Loser when contestants are expected to have very little weight loss or to even have gained weight. I know my body has to get used to the changes that I'm incorporating. Instead of cooperating with the changes, my body's asking what's going on and tries to remain status quo... eh, just more excuses...

Looking back on this second week, I have found ways to improve my weight loss goals...

- Now that my group project meetings are scheduled for the next 2 weeks, I have designated Monday and Wednesday nights as cooking and food prepping nights. I need to have those snacks and meals with me as I go from work to school to the gym.

- Work has been super stressful. I'vSunday's weigh in was disappointing - no weight loss to report. This weigh-in reminds me of the "dreaded week 2" on The Biggest Loser when contestants are expected to have very little weight loss or to even have gained weight. I know my body has to get used to the changes that I'm incorporating. Instead of cooperating with the changes, my body's asking what's going on and tries to remain status quo... eh, just more excuses...

Looking back on this second week, I have found ways to improve my weight loss goals...

- Now that my group project meetings are scheduled for the next 2 weeks, I have designated Monday and Wednesday nights as cooking and food prepping nights. I need to have those snacks and meals with me as I go from work to school to the gym.

- Work has been super stressful. I've transitioned full-time into an Engagement Management role at work, which involves lots of driving around to client sites and lunch with clients. Lunch with clients isn't bad. Usually we take them out to pretty decent places, which I am noticing have excellent healthy options such as grilled white fish and salads with balsamic and vinegar based dressing. Again, having the prepared snacks and Top Secret should help out with not snacking on breads and appetizers.

- In general, I need to take time out to relax. Running around from one stressful situation to another isn't helping my mental sanity. I've decided to leave the office this week during lunchtimes to get away from everything. I need to give myself time to breathe and put together my thoughts.

How is everyone else doing?e transitioned full-time into an Engagement Management role at work, which involves lots of driving around to client sites and lunch with clients. Lunch with clients isn't bad. Usually we take them out to pretty decent places, which I am noticing have excellent healthy options such as grilled white fish and salads with balsamic and vinegar based dressing. Again, having the prepared snacks and Top Secret should help out with not snacking on breads and appetizers.

- In general, I need to take time out to relax. Running around from one stressful situation to another isn't helping my mental sanity. I've decided to leave the office this week during lunchtimes to get away from everything. I need to give myself time to breathe and put together my thoughts.

How is everyone else doing?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fun with hamstrings


I had fun with this new move. With heels touching, curl hamstrings. When hamstrings are fully contracted, raise your hips straight up. This means that your glutes will have to tighten to raise up your hips. Slowly bring hips back down and lower legs to starting position. 12 reps.

Then superset wtih 12 regular ham curls on the machine.
Try it out to spice up your legs days.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's on...

Hurrah! I've been accepted into Tight Curves' Brownie Diet Challenge! I'm super excited about this! This is my second chance to really kick some butt in a challenge.

For this challenge, the competition is really against one's self. 12 women have been choosen to lose weight between the ranges of 20-80 lbs, depending on what each person's current & goal weight. Challengers who reach their goal weight at the end of 14 weeks will recieve prize money and will be featured in TC promotions!

Tight Curves will equip us with a sample diet, delicious protein powder (for drinks and for the TC Brownies), Top Secret Fat Burners, and, of course, Kristal and Tom's support. I can't wait to see if Nathaniel will like the TC brownies. Definitely going to be a huge score, if he does :)

We'll have to submit regular video blogs (not sure where to yet) and also have to weigh-in each Sunday morning... I've gotten started on the video taping section. I've been wanting to start a video blog for quite sometime now and this is the perfect outlet to do so...

I'm still waiting to recieve the products and for the official start... wish me a strong finish!
Friday, August 28, 2009

Power of Verbal Praise

Huong can be a tough cookie. She definitely knows how to motivate me by giving me her death look when I complain or start to doubt my strength. I admit that I'm one who pushes to see how far I can get with slacking off when I'm lazy or tired. Huong puts a quick stop to that. So when she says things like "You look good today" or "You are so wide" or "You need to take advantage of your natural athletic build," my self-esteem just shoots through the roof. Inside, I'm thinking, "Alright! My hard works is paying off!" and I lift that much more.

6 weeks out til the October 10th show and this morning Huong said that I looked good! Hurrah! Way to start the weekend! My goal tomorrow is to get 2 compliments out her during the group track workout… This will be tough as I'm not one for running :)

Yeah... I listen to what she says. She definitely knows what she's talking about.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Building momentum

Since the Transformation Contest, I had a medical set back. I was hospitalized for a week with perforated diverticulitis and was on doctors' orders to not return to the gym for the following four weeks. Five weeks off track, I was unable to compete in the Contra Costa show in early May. I rested most of June until I started regaining energy. Hitting the gym the first day back was painful because I had to start with the small weights since I had lost so much strength. The good thing is I'm pretty much in remission and only have a diet void of nuts and seeds (you don't realize how many things have seeds on them, until you can't eat them).

I've been getting in the mental mode of preparing for competition - figuring out a nutritious diet with lots of fiber, protein, non-starchy cards, and snacks that didn't consist of handfuls of almonds (I'm going to really miss Miss Mae's Almond Clusters!). For the most part, I have a very good idea of what and when I should be eating. Now need to work on consistency of my diet and timing of meals.

For training, I'm back to pushing myself to the limit. Strength is back. Training 2-3x per week with Huong (www.fithuong.com). To keep working out fun, I'm taking a beginner's hip hop class and possibly a beginner's breakdancing class (holla!) a couple nights a week. Being a GOOD dancer has definitely been on my to-do list. Very excited that I can incorporate it into my weekly routine! I'm also doing Huong and Wendy's "Hard-Core Bootcamp" on Saturday mornings in Campbell. I love traning, but I still dislike conditioning aka cardio. I think Huong just calls it conditioning in hopes of getting me past the negative associations I have with "cardio." Evil, but very necessary (oh… I made a Salt 'n Peppa allusion :) I was secretly estatic inside when Huong said that my running had improved during one of our track workouts… too bad that was just the first 200yd sprint that we did.

All the prep is so that I can step on stage for bikini (I know, not my first choice, but these girls are getting harder with each show) on October 10th for the SF show. Wish me luck!

Tight Curves Transformation Results

So I didn't ending being the "biggest loser" or "most transformed" at the end of the TC Challenge. Here are some photos from our fun photo shoot at Thi studios in Palo Alto.

the team
June did an amazing job as our official team photographer!
I can't find the original copy of the photo. In the small one, you can't see how my awkward expression :) "Looking natural" is tougher than I thought.
After a long day of make-up, hair, and pictures, we ventured out to Palo Alto. We found one restaurant that would take our party without a wait.


Monday, February 2, 2009

One month to go...

Wow, how quickly this competition has passed. All the times that I put off the extra cardio sessions have really slapped me in the face. At 144, I'm still battling the belly fat. Huong's advice to squeeze in 20 minutes of cardio anytime is really resonating with me now. I'm need to (ie. not "try" to) make time for it.

Today, I did fairly well. With my recently inherited work responsibilities, my Mondays and most of my Tuesdays are booked with back to back meetings. Hence less time for me to wander to the kitchen to eye the chips and sodas. I confessed to Huong today that I've been sipping diet sodas at lunch. Oh, how sweet they taste after not having them for so long. I know, the sodium, the carbonation, the spike in blood sugar... mmm... so good. The thought of her look of death will now be stopping me in my tracks.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Half finished

This upcoming Wednesday marks the half-way point of the Tight Curves Challenge. Huong took pictures of us in our bikinis on Saturday before our mini-bootcamp workout. Wait, let me rephrase that because "mini" will not do this bootcamp justice. She took pictures of us in our bikinis on Saturday before our condensed bootcamp day.

Here's the results, I weighed in at 147lbs - not bad considering that I officially started at 156. My body fat is down to 25%. Huong said that it's probably lower because we didn't use the same method of measurement as we did at the start of the challenge. So almost 9lbs of fat lost. What's important is that I'm starting to shape out. My body is overall looking leaner, and my muscles are bulking up.

Once I get the pictures back and learn how to black out my eyes, I will consider posting them.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Measuring success

I know, this is a body transformation contest. Inevitably the transformation of your body will include losing weight. BUT, that doesn't mean that the numbers on the scale have to determine your self-esteem for the day. Easy to say, but difficult to practice.

Nothing is more de-moralizing than stepping on the scale after a week of sweaty work-outs and decently clean eating, only to read the same numbers as last week. When this happens, I feel the look of hope slide off my face and my inner voice asking me, "What did you do wrong?"

Nowadays, the CrossFitter inside of me is emerging with a vengeance to fight off those self-injurious thoughts. When CrossFitting, success isn't measured through weight loss. Beating your last time and completing that extra round in 20 minutes is. To me this attitude is healthier. My thoughts are focused in a positive direction. The side effects of demonstrating increased strength and cardiovascular health will be weight loss.

Pre-occupation with losing weight can be unhealthy and doesn't always drive the intended behavior. When the scale reads an unsatisfactory number, I don't want to work-out more and I don't want to eat less. I actually want to do the opposite - eat a hearty #1 at McDonald's or have that piece of cake. I want to have a bad reason for why I didn't cut weight. With a CrossFitter-type of mentality, at my next work-out, I try a little harder so I can get in the extra push-ups or be 5 seconds faster. And I end up burning the extra 10 or 20 calories that add up throughout the week.

In applying this to universal gym work-outs, completing the 15 reps with good form or pushing through the first sign of extensive lactic acid build-up are good ways to measure success. With clean eating, I give myself a pat on the back, when I pass on chips and cookies in the lunchroom or when I reflect on my day and realize that I didn't stray off of my prescribed diet. I am only helping myself transform quicker when I celebrate my successes.

Creating realistic, obtainable, and challenging measures of success get me through daily work-outs. Having successful work-outs each time motivates me to want to be better than the last time, so it drives me to consistency in the number of work-outs per week and with a particular exercise. In the end, I achieve my desired end goal to feel good about myself and to transform my body.