You Can Get Fit!

Archive for the ‘strength training’ Category

Hola, Amigos!

I hope those in the Southwest and the Northeast are doing OK! It seems that once we finally got our perfect weather, the rest of the country started going to shambles. Be careful, OK?

As for me, I’ve been playing around with different workout routines (why not…) and started experimenting with a Jamie Eason lifting routine this week. It’s supposed to give me a “whole new body”, but I imagine the “new body” would appear more quickly if I were to follow the nutrition plan (too regimented for me). Anyway, the lifting has been different and challenging–good stuff!

Also, a few home improvement projects this week… but that leaves me wondering: is today’s hamstring strain from 1. more weight lifting, 2. two rounds of pressure washing, 3. back-to-back spin classes and working the second one extra hard (I know, baaaadddd…), or 4. using a Peak reformer (heavier springs) to do Pilates last night? Toooo many variables.

Today’s recipe involves changing only one variable in a recipe I’ve made several times previously–yielding entirely different flavor! Fortuitously, I’d run out of quinoa, so–what the heck–try it with bulgur and see what happens!

The result was a sensory illusion–almost creaminess, despite no dairy at all in the recipe!

So, here’s my rough translation of what I did.

Warm Bulgur, Roasted Corn, and Caramelized Onion Salad
very loosely based on a Mark Bittman recipe

2 c bulgur
2 c mushroom broth
canola oil
2 onions, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1 c corn (either fresh if you can get it, or thawed from frozen)
salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

1. Place the bulgur in a large bowl. Warm the mushroom broth (not to boiling) and pour over the bulgur. Stir, and allow the bulgur to sit for 20-30 minutes until chewy (it will soak up the liquid).

2. Meanwhile, roast the corn: in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add (thawed) corn, Cook/roast, stirring frequently, until some spots of brown appear on the outside and corn is fragrant, ~7 minutes. (Don’t let it burn!) This should smell good!

3. Also meanwhile, caramelize the two onions using the best caramelized onions technique. Triple multi-task!!! (These things don’t need constant stirring, so it’s easy.) **If you use oil and not butter in the onions, you can keep the dish vegan!

4. When the bulgur is hydrated to your level of doneness, pour off any extra liquid (push it through a strainer so you don’t lose any precious bulgur!). Place it back in the bowl, and stir in the roasted corn and caramelized onions. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

I just finished off what was leftover of this to fuel our day’s hike! Go, complex carbs!

So, we’ll see how the hamstring does during the hike… and Sunday, in honor of those who can’t, I’m going to try to (run a minute or two–yikes!) for the first time on my post-op hip and leg. I promise not to do anything stupid… but at the same time, wish me luck!

Tuesday Tuesday……. so it was just last week that I wrote that “I’m going to save the world despite my current limitations” post. I have been doing a lot of writing toward the Big Goal, true.

But… deep sigh. I’ve been getting conflicting advice on how to deal with my medical issue (and I’m definitely out of time to save my college teaching job for the fall). Adding to that, just a few hours ago, I found out that what I thought was “just an old crown falling off an old root canal” is really a tooth that needs an implant. (I’m not that old, yet!!! And I won’t tell you how much it costs, since I’m still in denial.)

I’m just having so much trouble letting all of this sink in…. productivity, while not a standstill, isn’t too great. Sometimes I just need to be in the backyard and pluck weeds. Don’t we all?

Meanwhile, why not kick back for a few laughs and good things to think about:

1. When I’m in charge of the world, I’m going to paste this sign on doors everywhere.

2. This one’s hilarious!!! Batman!

3. 20 ice cream recipes. One of them is the easy and healthy frozen banana puree–I can vouch that it tastes fantastic!

4. Have trouble motivating yourself to exercise? Here are 5 ways to exercise even if you don’t like to exercise.

5. A push in the right direction for our educational system?

On a better note, today, I took a Bodypump class for the first time since my second hip surgery. I held up great! The lunges were the only thing that bothered me a tiny bit, and I just eased up. I’m going to try and add this to my weekly routine! This, plus two spin classes, plus swimming once a week, plus a short hike once a week… wait, wasn’t it just a month ago that I could only handle easy cardio and upper body weights? I have made big-time progress in recovering my body!

If you’re a Pilates diehard like me, and you’re on Facebook, search for the event 30 Day Challenge. It’s led by Mo Wolfe of Evolution Pilates on Long Island (in Bruce’s hometown!)–she’s challenging us to do some Pilates every day for the month of August. We’re a little over halfway there–come join us, if you can!

See you Friday with a yummy recipe!

Long time, no see! It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen you last–sorry! All of those writing prompts totally burned me out…

But I really want to share with you my progress over the past month! Remember a month ago, when I set that big goal to lose 10 pounds and tighten up overall? (I’d just finished 3 months on crutches after a major hip surgery, so I was feeling really out of shape…)

I took some follow-up pictures yesterday to compare with those I took a month ago. I can’t believe I’m posting swimsuit pics on the internet… scary… but here goes:

This was me on May 21, 2011:
me in may 2011

Compare that with me on June 24, 2011:
me in june '11

(Apologies for the wet, just-out-of-shower hair!!)

So, a little slimmer, maybe? I’m down the 3 pounds that I gained after the surgery–some days, the scale registers 4.

In any case, things are moving in the right direction! I’ll continue towards my goal of 10 pounds down total (meaning, 6-7 more pounds lost) and firming myself up in general by following the same plan:

  • Cardio daily, at least 30 min. I’m restricted in terms of what I can do, but as my strength builds, I can (and have been!!) increase intensity.
  • 3 upper body weight sessions per week
  • Daily Pilates, at least 30 min
  • I’ll add in some walking as it feels OK–it’s functional exercise!
  • Cut back on, but not eliminate, fats and simple carbs
  • 5+ servings fruits and veggies daily.

I’ll revisit this a month from now with more photos! It’s a great non-scale way to measure your progress (in addition to seeing how clothes fit and taking measurements).

How are you all doing with your health and nutrition plans?

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you all are doing something nice. I was raised by my grandfather, so I just posted some fun memories of him on Facebook. He was a small business owner, too, and taught me a lot!

The past two days’ Trust30 prompts have also been about “the one goal you want to accomplish in life”. Perhaps if they want to hold this challenge again, they should take a read through the prompts for redundancy prior to publishing them… unless one of them is totally different, I’ve had it!

So now, remember my goals lists from before? (Those were so long ago! part 1 part 2) I’ve been listing these in parts, so that I can tell you why each one is important to me. So, here goes with the next 10!

Goals 21-30
21. Post (and hopefully sell) and item on etsy.com I’ve done a bit of fairly simple painting and artsy things here and there, and recently, I’ve gotten ideas for how to create products/monetize my talents. Why not at least try? What does it hurt?
22. Finally finish the plan at 100pushups.com This was a fad on a lot of the running and fitness message boards for quite some time. I’ve tried so many times and give up partway through, because about halfway through, their plan ramps up too quickly (unless you’re an 18-year-old boy). This is not only a lesson in strength, but also a lesson in patience. I need to learn that it’s OK to repeat weeks in the plan.
23. Create videos for Pilates project… Not saying too much about the project yet, but I’ve gotten some advice about videocameras that are good to use. I’ve made progress on this goal!
24. Compete in a Sweet Adelines competition Nerd alert! OK, I sing with a young, vibrant female barbershop chorus. They compete each year, and I missed this year’s due to my surgery. I want to go to next year’s, so this goal should be easy! The only thing that I imagine might hold me back would be money… so, work work work!
25. Attend a unique small-town festival Kinda vague, eh? And I haven’t put my finger on it. I went to the Fremont Solstice Festival yesterday, but other than some naked folks in the parade, it didn’t feel that unusual.
26. Finally finish the kitchen remodel This will make me happy, to have a space that looks complete.
27. Make a list of “10 things that made me happy” every week for 3 months Awww, crap. I guess I have to start this, now, eh? (how’s that attitude? hee hee!!)
28. Eat vegan for a week See, my gut would LOVE for me to eat vegan. It’s not quite happy with dairy, and also not thrilled with meat. But I like these other foods… (and I believe that humans need nutrition from omnivorous sources) I’d like to challenge myself to plan my nutrition from vegan sources for a week. This will probably be one of the hardest of the 40 goals.
29. Participate in the Global Reading Challenge—start with easy I realized that most of my–and probably most Americans’–reading is American/European. I’m trying to expose myself to more and different viewpoints.
30. Take a trapeze class Both from a “facing fear” and an “it looks fun” viewpoint–and also, because my body can do it!

Now, since the first 20 have been out there for a month, what have I done?

  • I’m in the middle stages of planning a yoga/Pilates retreat for late August!
  • I’ve been working on losing 10 pounds. The scale fluctuates between 1-3 pounds down, but my clothes are definitely a lot looser!

I guess that’s all I’ve done, so far. I’ve had lots of business-growing tasks that have overwhelmed my life–also not a bad goal!

How are all of you doing with your goals? List them here, on your own blog, or somewhere public–be accountable!

Finally–again, happy Father’s Day!

After yesterday’s drive-by post, I’m slowing things down a bit today.

Especially since… TOMORROW is the first birthday of the blog! (No, I don’t like that “blogiversary” word. Birthdays are more fun!)

happy birthday!

I love giving gifts to others… so as my treat to you, the readers, here’s a collection of some of my favorite YCGF posts from the past year!

First off, check out my first post. It’s not as embarrassing as I thought it would be! I talk about the importance of a food diary in weight loss.

Here’s a fruit dessert that I just discovered last summer: sauteed nectarines. It’s become a hit with friends (and with me!!!), and it’s so easy to make!

What is your motivation for eating healthy and/or losing weight? Make sure that you are doing it for you.

This one isn’t fitness-specific, but I sure think it’s important to make every day count.

We all have this day on our calendar that doesn’t exist.

Discover more about an interesting self-discovery writing challenge–and learn a whole lot more about me!

And, finally… the story that started my fitness journey, and keeps me in this industry motivating others.

Thanks to those who’ve stuck with me, reading for the past year! There will be many more interesting days to come, especially since I’m getting stronger. I no longer look despairingly at old issues of Runner’s World–the little voice in my head is saying, “Yes, I might!” What a journey I’ve gone through this year!

Keep strong, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

So, I’m setting a Big, Audacious Goal for myself. A year ago, I woulda thunk this was nothing. But things happen (and I’m not just talkin’ ’bout “hey, I felt like coming home from work and watching Jersey Shore and eating pork rinds for months on end” things…) that we can’t control, and we have to work around those things. In the end, those of us who do something to correct our deviation from the path are better people, no matter how far off-course we’ve gotten. It doesn’t matter where you start, you can always get stronger!

you can do it!

As for me–if you’re just joining the blog today, you probably aren’t aware of the ongoing hip saga. My “thing that happened”. Between a work injury (cartilage tear) and congenital problems (femoroacetabular impingement) I’ve ended up with two hip surgeries over a ten-month period. My last surgery was at the end of February, and I’ve just gotten back on my own two feet over the past week or so.

You can imagine that rehabbing from all of this is going to be a long road, but considering my fitness level going into it all (and between the two surgeries!), I know I’m strong enough to conquer this, physically and mentally. I am still a Pilates and fitness instructor (though considering the lingering pain after this last surgery, I had my moments of doubt that I’d ever get back at it, again!)

I went from “that girl who thought nothing of teaching 4 spin classes in a day” to “ten minutes on the elliptical”. But from here on out, every day is a new day. Each day presents opportunities to get fitter and stronger, assuming that I make the right choices (and believe me, I have the motivation to do so!).

Here’s my new mission: to lose 10 pounds healthfully. Meaning, it won’t happen by the end of this week, or even by the end of the month! But I’m feeling a little… fluffy after the layoffs here and there. The scale’s actually only up 3 pounds since the second surgery, but my clothes are definitely tighter. But–10 weeks of not being able to do any cardio??? (Now I can do it! So pleased!)

My safe’n’sane methods to help shed the grease and tone up:

  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. I’ve been doing that for a while!
  • Limit fatty foods and sugar. I don’t want to eliminate, because life would be no fun!
  • Pilates daily, at least 30 minutes. I am a Pilates evangelist and believe that I wouldn’t be able to move half as easily in my body otherwise.
  • Cardio per my PT protocol at least 6 days per week, and follow my PT strength exercises.
  • Upper body weights in the gym twice a week, with a third round at home.

There… I think I can handle that!

While I’d really love to lose the weight, my main goal is to get strong again and be back doing the activities I love. So–keep on reading and following along… and I’ll tell you how I’m doing!

Happy dyed eggs and bunny ears!

Time for the twice-monthly list of interesting posts and articles I’ve found on the web… all helping YOU get fit physically and mentally!

Fellow Pilates instructor Karin Singleton talks about maintaining a strong foundation in your body even if you’re working out other parts of your body. One of my favorite Pilates metaphors: if the trunk isn’t strong, the branches cannot be supported!

A great post from Melinda’s Fitness Blog on overcoming 10 common workout distractions. We can do it!

I read Janetha’s blog all the time, and this (garbanzo bean turkey bake) is going to be one of the next things I make. It looks so yummy! 🙂

OK, this one isn’t fitness-related, but it’s good for the soul (and the dessert is bite-sized, therefore portion-controlled… kind of…) Have you tried cake balls? They’re like truffles, but with cake inside! Easy to make, too! I made my batch with homemade cake and frosting (because that’s my style) but store-bought works just as well. Great party food! (For spring, you could do a yellow cake with colored white chocolate, flavored with peppermint oil… now I want some!!)

Hope all of you are having a joyous holiday!


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