Comparing Yourself to Others: Always Great for the Self Esteem

1 04 2008

Here is a great program for young girls that uses running to help with character development and self esteem. Click here to check it out.
So health benefits motivate me to work out, blah, blah, reduced cancer risk, blah, blah, stress relief, but what motivates me to push through each individual workout when I am at the gym is completely selfish and superficial. And that’d how I like it.
1. I always do my Cardio next to FloJo. I have never been an endurance athlete; the longest I would ever need to be working full out would be a 1 minutes 30 second floor routine, or the 5 second sprint down the vault runway. I get bored very easily and need something to keep me going. I wouldnt say I am competitive, but I will definately go for longer if I think someone is watching. I walk up to cardio machines, survey the runners/ellipticalers/bikers and find the sweatiest, fittest looking one. I hop on the machine next to them, if it is available,  peek over, make a mental note of how long they have been going, smile sheepishly when they give me the stink eye after inevitably catching me looking, and  start peddaling/running/ellipticalling. My pride keeps me from getting off before they do. I can’t start after them and quit before them. That’s ludacris.
2. I stretch and do floor work next to Olive Oil and Cisco Morris. I dont know if anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest knows who Cisco is so here is a sampling.


Imagine that face with a mild speech impediment and a love for ferns.

I actually met him once when I got lost in the U-District and had to stop at a Starb’s for directions. He gardens on TV. I garden and Im not on TV. I’m bitter. Anyway: the stretching area is next to the main walkway and is always lined with old men in tiny shorts doing their junk-exposing stretches or “pilates” and younger women doing abs and stability ball work because they dont want to “bulk up.” Stretching is relaxing, and for some reason my affect screams, PLEASE TALK TO ME OLD MEN, I AM JUST LIKE YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER, so a conversation is almost always struck up, despite the i-pod in my ear. Stretching should take a while, 10-30 seconds per stretch, so the conversation helps pass the time so I get in a nice good stretching session. And no other time in the real world can you just get up and walk away from someone you were talking to without being “rude” or “verbally abusive” or “not a good friend.” I have a short attention span. A real friend would know that.
3. I lift weights next to know-it-all men with no testicles. Everytime I walk into the free weight room at the gym, it gets about 8 times louder. Men sniff female, and the sounds of hurling weights, grunting and tendons tearing away from bone fill the air. I cant make fun of them too bad because thats the exact reason I go back there, everyone starts showing off. Not many women go into the free weight room because it is full of juiced up guys with awful form, gawking. I make it my personal mission to show them that little girls can lift weights, too. It helps me keep proper form and lift more challeneging weights to really stick it to ’em. Show off? Maybe, but it keeps me in there longer and atleast I keep quiet about it.
Whatever motivates you to work out harder/better/faster/stronger (Daft Punk reference anyone? If you say anything about Kanye West I will hunt you down) harness it and use it. Just dont tell people what it is because then they will think you are full of yourself, like all of you think I am right now. But, hey, I get my workout in everyday. 


20 03 2008

So here’s something sad.  A new client of mine’s husband works at the middle school across the street from my house.  Thats a huge coincidence because i work about 30 minutes away from home. Anyway, he is the orchestra teacher and complains because the students have to choose between PE , art, or music.  Since hes the orchestra teacher, his students obviously all chose music, and he is noticing most of them are overweight.  Early stages of planning here, but maybe I can implement some afterschool fitness program so they can get a little exercise.
That’s sad.  No child should have to choose between the arts and physical education.  I didn’t have a choice, you had to do all three.  They should have to fake “feminine problems” and twisted ankles to get out of running just like I did.
Tonight’s agenda is full of cleaning, visiting the ‘rents, and nutrition seminar preparation.  Thank goodness my last session for the day was at 9:00am. We had a meeting at 12, so that gave me some free time to fit a workout in at work. 
We have a machine called a functional trainer with arms that go anywhere from straight up, to straight down and swing all the way out and in. There are cables attached to the arms and then we have all kinds of handle attachments.  You can basically do anything and work any body part on it. 


My arms were killing me today from the gym last night so i kept it pretty mild.
I did:

  • 2 sets of 10 resisted step ups.  I used a block and placed the FT handles thusly:


              I stacked the weight to 15 on each side, held the handles, stepped up on my right and lifted my left leg behind me to work the glutes. I did 10 on each leg. they weight just added about 30 lbs to my body weight for extra resistance.

  • 2 sets of 10 standing rows; 20 pounds
  • 2 sets of 10 tricep pulldowns; 15 pounds. I put one arm of the FT pointing toward the ceiling, put on a rope attachment so I could hold on with both hands, kept my elbows in at my sides and just pushed the rope down from my chest to my waist and back
  • 2 sets of 10 bicep pull ups; 15 pounds. Same as the triceps but exactly opposite. FT arm is pointing towards ground, pull rope attachment from waist up to chest
  • 2 sets of 10 upside down (black side) bosu squats.  Having the bosu upside down makes it super unstable so it works the core and lateral stability of the legs very well.
  • 2 sets of 10 kettlebell swings. You stand feet shoulder width apart, holding the kettlebell in both hands between your legs. bend your legs, swing the kettlebell up above your head, and back down between your legs.  You have to try and slow it down and obsorb the momentun of it. Suprisingly, its more more of a leg workout than arms.

This little guy (compared to a 5lb dumbell) weights 18 pounds. Kettlebells are all about absorbing the kettlebells momentum with your body, so it involves a lot of swinging and then slowing down the kettlebell.  I highly recommend taking a kettlebell class. Hoo, boy, you get a GREAT workout and amazing muscle definition. 

  • 2 sets of plate drags down the hall.  These are great for your core and shoulders.  Put two weight plates (or magazines or dinner plates, etc. The more they weight the more resistance) on the ground.  Place your toes in the center of the plates and get into push up position: core tight, hips down.  Use your arms to “walk” down the hallway, keeping everything tight and being careful not to let your legs swing from side to side, like a seal.  I always threaten to sit on clients if they dont keep their hips down, thats what makes this work.

And thats about it. Im going to try and go for a short run later tonight, but other than that, I am done workout wise. It feels good to get it out of the way. i wish i could work out in the mornings but then I would have to wake up around 2:15, which, um, no.
So I am going to be SWAMPED at work for the next while. In addition to the three part nutrition seminar, I am also going to be the “nutrition consultant” for my work. (What’s funny is I don’t know what to call my work, its not a gym, but its not a studio either. None of us can figure out what to call it) All of the other trainers are men, and arent very nutrition savvy. So it falls on me. We have an online program that no one does so in order to make the clients more accountable we are going to set up nutrition consultations probably every month to get them in and really looking at the decisions they make. We have over 50 clients. I know some of them will tell us to shove it because they just want to get their butts kicked during a workout and don’t care about food, but geeze. I love nutrition and I am excited about doing this, I think it will be really fun and beneficial for them, but it just means lots more work. Fun work, but more work nonetheless.

I tried to size down the pics to make them easier to load last night, but it didn’t quite work, it just made the pictures blurry. Ill keep trying though, I promise.

Laziness is the Mother of Invention

20 03 2008

Just a reminder that trainers aren’t perfect when it comes to fitness: I CANNOT do the stairstepper. I always trip. Its one of those revolving ones and i always miss judge and clip my toes.  And you better believe people notice. Its hard for them not to because the machines are about 8 feet tall so Im up on this pedestal, stumbling away. I still do it though. I must be a glutton for public humiliation.

So i did 20 minutes on the stair thing at the gym today,  stretched then did a ton of abs and a lot of arm work with free weights. Then I went on the elliptical for about 10 minutes, some stability ball work and then went home.

So I know everyone is on this oatmeal kick (thanks Kath!) and it just so happens I need to restock my breakfast supply, so here’s my spin.

 I wake up every morning at 4:15 am.  Suffice it to say, I’m rarely in the mood, or have the time, to cook breakfast. The breakfast is even too much work for me. Oatmeal holds me over glamorously, so I needed a way to get it in unless I want lunch at 9:00 am.  I love oatmeal cookies, so i thought I’d spin that ion to something portable I could have for breakfast.

Its nothing fancy, i just make oatmeal like I normally would,  then bake it on a cookie sheet.

I use:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey

You can use anything really: apples, cinnamon, any kind of nuts, etc. I put everything in a bowl and pour boiling water from the kettle over it until it looks like enough. Sorry, i cant be more specific than that. You want the resulting oatmeal pretty dry, but still able to stay together when you mix it all up.



Then you just plop them onto a baking sheet, and put them in the oven for 30ish minutes at 350 degrees. You can fit a lot on a plan because the size they are when you put them in is the same size as they are when they come out.


And then the finished product:


You can just put them in a tupperware and eat them as you want them.

And just for fun, here’s a video of my dog, Porkchop, attacking my stability ball.  His arms do this weird T-Rex thing that gets me every time. Video featuring The Boyfriend’s Feet.

Jeers and Cheers

17 03 2008

Well, its Sunday which means I have been running around all day trying to get as much stuff done as possible before the work week. I got to the gym today and did about 20 minutes on the eliptical until Aunt Flow stopped by for a visit and punched me in the uterus. So I did some heavy duty stretching, then some upper body work and went home to watch a movie with the boy. Im only at about 6000 steps right now, so I will take the dog for a walk later and call it a night.

So I bought this little balance board thing at Marshalls, thinking it would be like the poor woman’s bosu:


it was not.

So I pull it out of the box and see these little “massaging” nubs.


 I figured they couldn’t massage me if I had shoes on, so I took them off. They just hurt. So I put them right back on. It seemed kind of flimsy so I stepped on it and there was barely any air in, but no pump to fill it up further. Its also no bigger than a record, so I couldn’t do any sort of squats with it because I couldn’t get my feet shoulder width apart.

Needless to say, I am taking it back tomorrow.

I was just looking at the NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) website and they have an interesting program they call “Media Watchdogs.” They write letters either praising or protesting the companies or different advertisers for their portrail of body image in the media. I think this would be a great idea of something to do with a young child, especially a girl. It would be empowering for her to tell those magazines or tv shows with stick thin girls that they are wrong for how they are showing beauty, not the child, and they should never appologize for how they look.

They also lobby to make sure that treatment for eating disorders is covered by insurance, because it is a disease.

If you want to donate or find out how you can be involved, visit the website.

I will get the FAQs page up and running tomorrow. I know, but try and get some sleep.