Lioness' Literatim

Letter for letter, the thoughts in my head.

YAYOG Day 4 and lazy meals

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

My pepper seeds are sprouting! My pepper seeds are sprouting! And my pansy plant has baby buds! And my chocolate mint plant is still alive! Still can’t see any progress on the herbs, but hopefully something will poke through the soil soon!

YAYOG Day 4 – Legs/Core

Today’s workout felt great, for the most part. The side lunges were a little awkward because the stance is wider than I’m used to, but I hear it gets easier, and the side crunches just felt awkward in general, but I’m going to chalk that up, at least in part, to my general dislike of crunches. Once I master the extra wide stance on the side lunges, I think they’re going to be amazing. Most of the ones I did today were stationary – I stayed in the wide stance instead of returning to the starting position after each rep – because getting into and out of the wide stance made me come very close to falling flat on my face a few times. Will definitely be working on that. The 1L RDLs felt amazing today, but I seemed to be having some issues with balance today. I’m expecting my hamstrings to protest getting out of bed in the morning. The squats – oh lord the squats. Today’s squats came with the instructions to pause for 1-3 seconds at the bottom. So I did. A full 3 seconds on each rep. So much pain, but damn they felt good. As for the side crunches, I think next week I’ll replace them with something else, because they really did just feel awkward. I felt like I should’ve been doing either full fledged oblique crunches or bicycles instead of the hybrid version that the book calls for. No matter though. I’ll change it up a little and it will still be good. Tomorrow starts week 2 of this journey into body weight, and I’m ready for it.

Food:

Today was not the best day, food wise. Breakfast was a chocolate chip muffin. You know, the kind you buy in a 4-pack at the grocery store? Yeah….I forgot I bought them yesterday, but there they were this morning, sitting on the counter just waiting to be devoured. After breakfast I had to go on post to do laundry because my dryer is still out. While I was waiting for it to finish, I walked over to starbucks. Grande white chocolate mocha with an extra shot. On the plus side, after the laundry was done I went to the commissary and everything that I bought is healthy. I have fresh fruit and veggies, a couple of chicken breasts, a salmon fillet, and peanuts to make another batch of boiled peanuts with. I got home and did my workout, then followed it with a banana. A few hours and a couple glasses of juice later, I had a handful of strawberries, then decided it was dinner time and I didn’t feel like cooking. Cue beanie weenies.

25 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

New Gear and Unnecessary Sweets

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

Today, I ordered a pull up bar. Unfortunately, there’s not enough room to the sides of any of my doors to get one of the over-the-doorframe varieties, so I’m going to test out a tension bar. I ordered a cheap one, so I’m not expecting greatness, but I want to see if a tension bar will actually stay up before I invest too much in a good one. Also, I finally bought a jump rope! I’m excited to start incorporating that into my new body weight routine. Maybe on leg days? Or perhaps on an in-between day. I’m also going to start stretching a lot more. All of my non-YAYOG days are going to focus on stretching for at least 10 minutes, though 20 is the goal. I’ll be following the guidance of Viperid on Fitocracy. He posted up a blog about some of the stretches that he does for flexibility: How to Become Flexible: A Practical Guide. So, I’m excited. Pull up bar should be here by Wednesday or Thursday, so I can start working on my pathetic lack of pull strength, and I finally have a comprehensive guide by a trustworthy source on stretches for flexibility. This should keep me very occupied for the next week and a half while I’m anxiously awaiting the long weekend where I finally get to go home and see my mom for the first time since I’ve been home from this deployment. I’ll also get to see my little brother, my sister, her mom, my grandparents and my best guy friend. And did I mention it’s Florida? Because that means some beach time! And then, I drive home on Monday and pick up my soldier from the airport! I’m so excited! Wanna make bets on when I start getting the excited jitters? Oh wait…I was talking about fitness gear…talk about going off on a tangent…So anyway – new fitness gear. If the pull up bar is a success I may look into getting some straps so I can do some TRX suspension training, ’cause that just looks fun.

Food:

Oh boy…I should have known it was going to be a rough day when I started the morning by finishing off that damn bag of Whoppers…granted, I followed it up with eggs and toast, and some delicious coffee, but the whoppers were still the start of it all…Lunch was good. I’m proud of lunch. It was a sandwich. Turkey, smoked gouda, and granny smith apple slices. Oh. My. God. The gouda and apple combination was….amazing. It’s like they were meant to be paired together. I will definitely be doing that again. Tomorrow, if I remember to pick up more apples…and gouda…So then I was good until I decided to go to Wal-Mart to look at pull up bars. While I was in there I ended up remembering a few other things that I wanted to get, so between that and spending entirely too much time in the fitness aisle, I was there longer than I had intended. Which meant I got hungry. In my defense, most of what I got is actually healthy. Yogurt, juice and the like. But then I saw the frozen dinner aisle. More specifically, Stouffers Manicotti. Now, manicotti is one of my all time favorite meals. And it was delicious. Not as good as home-made, but it served its purpose, and it wasn’t the least healthy option. At least it wasn’t a TV dinner. What I REALLY didn’t need to get though, were the Mounds ice cream bars and the pack of York peppermint patties. I’ve had one ice cream bar, and actually forgot about the Yorks until I just mentioned them. Crap. Will now do everything that I can to stay away from them. I’m going to the commissary tomorrow for actual grocery shopping, so the fridge will be restocked with fruits and veggies, and I can start up another batch of boiled peanuts, because they turned out SO well last time. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to stay away from the sweets….

25 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness, Long distance love, Surviving a deployment, That thing called Love | Leave a comment

YAYOG Day 3

Friday, 23 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

YAYOG Day 3 – Push/Pull

I’ll admit that when I saw day three was exactly the same as day one, I lost a little bit of motivation. My wrists hurt so bad after day one that I was kind of scared to attempt the same thing again. But I did. With a high rate of success. I did my incline push ups on folding chairs instead of my gorilla box, and I think that made a big difference for my wrists. The padding on the seat isn’t as slippery as the plastic on the box, so I was able to have my hands flat instead of gripping the edge, but the height was still low enough that it was a challenge. Let Me Ins were a little bit easier, but my hands were still in a great amount of pain by the end. A buddy on Fitocracy suggested I use a towel to hold onto instead of the actual doorknobs (because I’m not smart enough to take the suggestion straight from the book…) so I might give that a try next time. Good news is that I was actually feeling my muscles work on these today. Dips still hurt my wrists, which I really don’t understand. The height of the folding chairs is the same height as the benches that I did them on in the gym in Kuwait, and I never had this problem there. Maybe it’s just a result of not working out for a few weeks and then suddenly jumping back into it? I don’t want to stop doing dips, because I love them, but if this pain keeps up I won’t have a choice. I surprised myself with the Let Me Ups today. Better form (still not perfect, but I’m working on it) and more reps. And they felt amazing. By the time my timer went off, I could barely lift my arms to grab the edge of the desk. I’m looking forward to being sore tomorrow.

Food:

Breakfast was a large grapefruit and a cup of coffee again. I didn’t want to get back in the habit of drinking coffee everyday, but I love it so much. Is it really so bad if I’m drinking it because I love it and not because I need it? Maybe I should switch to decaf to emphasize that point… Lunch was two Nathan’s hotdogs and a big scoop of sauerkraut. I know hotdogs aren’t the healthiest things, but they’re quick and easy and I was in a rush. Got home from running errands, did my workout, and dinner consisted of an apple, a banana, and a handful of raspberries. ‘Twas quite delicious, and I succeeded in not touching the open bag of Whoppers Robin Eggs.

Upcoming additions to this lovely training log: Action shots of workouts, links to Fitocracy so you can see the workout in all it’s point gaining glory, links to other relevant things perhaps, pictures of food, and recipes when I really start cooking again. Other things you’d like to see? Let me know.

23 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

It’s all in the details

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg, NC

Surprisingly not sore today. Legs and lower back have been a bit stiff and needed some thorough stretching, but no deep reaching soreness like what followed my first push/pull day.

 

Today wasn’t really a training day, but with the amount of physical labor I did today, it might as well have been. I got tasked for the detail to set up and clean up for a corps retirement ceremony today. Which meant, setting up tents, chairs, podiums, flags, refreshments, blockades, etc, and then taking them all back down again, all in 80-degree, sunny weather. I have bruises all over my body from being hit with tent poles or flying debris (gotta love those leaf blowers), tripping over this that and the other, carrying too many chairs in exactly the same position, etc. I carried so many chairs today I feel like they should count as dumbbell shrugs! But it was good. The ceremony went off without a hitch, everything looked great and ran smoothly and aside from a few minor bumps and bruises, no one got hurt. It was fun, and I can definitely say that working out steadily and gaining some significant muscle makes being on details like this a lot more fun. I actually enjoyed the physical labor as opposed to sitting in the office all day. That’s something that I couldn’t have said before I deployed. I used to hate details, but I may actually find myself volunteering for them now. Within reason, of course.

 

Food:

Today has been full of healthy food, though given how much I was working, I probably didn’t eat enough. Breakfast was three fried eggs sprinkled with crushed red pepper and two pieces of toast. Lunch I’ll admit was nothing more than an apple. Dinner is actually still in the oven, but I’m hoping it’s as delicious as it looked when I was making it. A chicken breast on a bed of spinach, surrounded by onion chunks, carrots, tomato and garlic with some spices thrown in on top, wrapped in foil and stuck in the oven. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Edit: It was delicious. Carrots need to be cooked separately and longer so they actually get soft, but it was definitely good.

22 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness, This Army life is crazy | Leave a comment

YAYOG Day 2

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

YAYOG Day 2: Legs/Core

I’ve got to be honest here. Today didn’t feel like much of a challenge. I didn’t reach the top of a ladder of any of the four exercises. Lunges and squats I may have been getting close, but I still hit the top of a 12 set ladder before the timer went off. 1L RDLs took a few tries to get used to, but I think I love them. As prescribed by YAYOG, 1 rep consisted of touching each hand to the ground once. However, the YAYOG Basic Program specifies alternating 1L RDLs, which I did not do. I did 7.5 minutes on my left leg, then 7.5 minutes on my right leg, reaching the top of a 10 set ladder on each. On all of the first three exercises, I could have kept going. I wanted to keep going. But I listened to that damn timer and stopped. The swimmers though….how I hate them. I thought I’d never see them outside of PRT. I don’t get the point of them. I feel nothing but annoyance when doing them. I reach set 6 on my ladder and stopped because I was bored. I will definitely be looking for something to substitute here for upcoming weeks where swimmers are included. I’m actually surprised that I was able to do as many of the back lunges as I did. Lunges are normally a bit of a weakness for me, between my terrible balance (how did I not fall flat on my face doing 1L RDLs?) and my bum knee, but although I was starting to sweat a bit, I wasn’t struggling with them. My knees were popping every time I did a squat though, and I’m pretty sure they were going further forward than they’re supposed to. I’ll have to do a form check next time I do them. Actually, on that note, I might try to take some “action” shots of my workouts to include in my journal. But, between this morning’s 4-mile ruck march carrying about 41lbs (I thought it was only 25!) and this evening’s YAYOG experience, I’m curious about how much pain I should expect to be in when I wake up. Hopefully not too much – I’m on a detail tomorrow that I have to be able to move around for.

 

Food:

I started the morning off with a large grapefruit and a cup of coffee – the breakfast of champions. Delicious and nutritious, and only two spoonfuls of sugar between the coffee and the grapefruit. Lunch was leftovers from the Thai restaurant I went to last week. Not the healthiest, but it was delicious and I didn’t want it to go to waste. At least I didn’t eat the whole meal in one sitting though, right? Dinner was…kind of non-existent, and my stomach will remind me of that in the morning. I got home from work and made a smoothie: banana, strawberry and pineapple. Even though I’ve gotten to where I like eating bananas, I apparently still don’t like them in things. I couldn’t even get through a quarter of that smoothie. So then I just ate a few strawberries and bites of pineapple, then remembered I had coconut hiding in the cupboard. Yes, I made a virgin pina colada. With chunks of pineapple and coconut flakes. And milk and coconut extract. And ice. It was delicious. And actually, rather nutritious! Needs some refining, but I think I’ll definitely be making it again. I do have a confession though…I stopped by the store on my way home this afternoon to get fruit, and I also came home with a bag of Whoppers Robin Eggs. Freaking Easter candy, catching a ride home with me. I’ve had a small handful of them, and right about now I’m wishing I was strong enough to throw away the rest of the bag instead of reaching in for another one. And yes, it was stress that drove me to buy them. It’s just been one of those days, and what do you know, I’m just not strong enough yet to resist the urge to eat sweets and junk food when I’m stressed.

21 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

New training approach, YAYOG/Food Journal day 1

Monday, 19 March 2012

Fayetteville, NC

I’m starting You Are Your Own Gym (YAYOG) today. I’ve been back from Kuwait for two weeks and haven’t worked out at all with the exception of morning PT, and that doesn’t even begin to count as a workout. Between living in a hotel for my first week back, trying to find a place, get settled in and unpacked (which I’m still working…as indicated by the multitude of still-packed boxes crowding the living room), and readjusting to the time difference, changes at work, and the culture shock of being around the average American again, I haven’t had the motivation to drag myself to the gym. I’ve thought about it; nearly every day, actually. Then I’ve looked around, seen everything that I still had to do, and didn’t go. Morning PT is practically a joke. That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with it sometimes – especially the runs, as I’ve never been a strong runner – but it can’t stand alone as my workout. I need more than that, but I realized today that I need something that I don’t have to drag myself to the gym for. As much as I love lifting, I know that when Pikachu gets home, I’m going to be even harder pressed to find the motivation to spend time at the gym if he’s waiting for me at home. So, I decided today that I’m going to start focusing on bodyweight routines. I’m going to work on mastering my own body. If I get the urge to go lift something heavy, I’ll do it. In fact, I may use the two extra hours that I have on Wednesday afternoons (we get off at 1500 on Wednesdays for “family time”) to go to the gym and get my lifting fix. But for now, the rest of the days, I’ll be following the Basic Program in YAYOG. And, now that I have my own kitchen again, I’m going to be very conscious about what I’m fueling my body with. I’m also going to work on keeping a detailed workout and food journal, because writing is something that I care a lot about and haven’t done nearly enough of lately. Hopefully, combining it with fitness and health – two other things I care a lot about – will help me get back into it, full swing.

Post-workout thoughts to follow.

YAYOG Day 1: Push/Pull

YAYOG may actually kick my ass. I’ll admit that I was expecting the program to be easy at first. You know, nothing my prior workouts haven’t prepared me for. I was pleasantly surprised. My arms are shaking, and I have a feeling I’ll be more sore in the morning than I’ve been in a while. The incline push-ups were surprisingly difficult. I need to find a better place to do these though. I’m not sure if I was doing them lower than I should have, or if I’m really just that weak, but by the end of it my palms were on fire and my wrists were killing me. Let me ins took some getting used to. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t actually feel these in my arms or back at all. Initially, I felt them in my quads, but that stopped after a few of the lower sets. Muscle wise, I probably could have completed higher ladders, but my hands were sweaty and slippery and not strong enough to hold that grip any longer. Bench dips started hurting my wrists again. By the end of the ladder, my whole body was shaking from trying to keep perfect form throughout the set while trying to accommodate my screaming wrists. I had to do the let me ups with an underhanded grip from under my desk. It felt odd doing them with bent legs, but I can definitely see why the program starts you out that way. I think it’s safe to say that I would not have been able to complete the ladders that I did if I had to do them with my full body weight.

So the verdict is, YAYOG may actually kick my ass, and I’m looking forward to it.

Edit: 20 MAR 2012 – OW! So freaking sore this morning! But it’s a good pain! It means I did something right yesterday!

19 March 2012 Posted by | Health + Fitness | Leave a comment

Because you get what you work for, so do it right.

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an action, but a habit.” – Aristotle

It’s almost 2012, and we all know what that means; Millions of people around the world making resolutions to start something, change something, do something, be something.

But why wait until the new year gets here? Why not start today?

My ‘new years resolution’ is to make a better me.

To be the girl that I was too lazy to be yesterday.

To know, everyday that I am better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I’ll be tomorrow.

To do something every day that my future self will thank me for.

My resolution is to commit.

How many resolutions every year get started, only to be abandoned because it’s ‘too hard’ or there’s ‘not enough time’ to do it? I won’t become one of those people. If there’s time for facebook and pinterest, if there’s time for Bones and How I Met Your Mother, there’s time to workout. ‘It’s too hard’ isn’t a valid excuse and neither is ‘I’m too tired.’ Even on my worst days, I can do something. I can always do something.

I’m going to run. And not only will I run, but I’m going to run like I stole something. Why? Because running might be a pain in the ass, but it sure as hell gives you a nice one. I’m going to stop feeling sorry for myself and hit the road, because running is cheaper than therapy and the road is an excellent listener. I’m going to run, and I’m going to earn the downhill. I’m going to run through the fat days, through the frustrations and loneliness. I’m going to run through the fits of self doubt, because I’m stronger than I think I am, and I’m going to prove it.

I’m going to lift. I’m going to work muscles I didn’t know I had. I’m going to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because it’s the ones that hurt that count the most. I’m going to make the iron beg for mercy, but I won’t give it any. I won’t be afraid to lift heavy – to be ‘that chick’ in a gym where the guys lift and girls stick to abs and barbie weights. They may laugh at me now with my muscles shaking on the lower weights, but it won’t be long before they’re staring in awe. I will take the pain, and I will push through it because pain is just weakness leaving the body – pain is essential, but suffering is optional.

I will stop competing with others and start competing with myself, because I am my greatest adversary. I will not allow myself to become my own obstacle. I will not limit my challenges – I will challenge my limits. I will push a little harder and hold a little longer, because the harder you work, the better you get. I will redefine my ‘impossible.’ I will wake up each morning and work for the success that others will only dream of. I will sweat like a pig and work like a horse so I can look like a fox.

Today, I will do what others won’t, so that tomorrow, I can do what others can’t.

It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up, but if I am beaten, I will return better.

At the end of the day, my feet will ache from kicking so much ass.

I won’t stop when I’m tired; I’ll stop when I’m done.

Quitting is not an option, because I know it’s mind over matter, and when my mind tries to tell me it’s had enough, I’ll shut it up with more.

I will be unstoppable.

I will be a beast.

Perfection isn’t the goal – excellence is.

10 December 2011 Posted by | Health + Fitness, Life's what we make it | 1 Comment

I could kill you.

Outside of the endless sea of the mediocre faceless nobodies, there really are two kinds of motherfuckers out there. People who start shit and think they are strong, and people who train, and KNOW they are strong.

You see this shit every day. On the subway, on the street. In bars, in your classes. The loud pretenders. They talk loud, they wear loud clothing, flashy shit that’s supposed to say “Don’t fuck with me.”

They walk loudly, they stomp and strut with a mean face on. They hang out with their loud friends, listening to loud fucking music. Laughing obnoxiously. They are SO QUICK to start shit. SO QUICK to prove how fucking tough they are:

“Yeah bitch, keep on walking fucker. You don’t want any of this you piece of shit Try me, I’LL FUCK YOU UP CUNT!!”

They may even go to the gym, maybe YOUR gym. But they don’t train. They go to the gym to be loud and intimidating.

Only doing exercises that don’t compromise their carefully manicured image of toughness.

Then there are the people who train. Who earned their strength through weeks and months and years of training. Who have bled real blood on the iron. This is a completely different animal.

They are calm and cool. They walk with an ease of intention. They never look irritated or angry in public.

They wear whatever the shit they feel like wearing, or whatever’s comfortable.

Why?

Because they don’t need a flashy jacket or an angry fucking look on a subway train, or an obnoxiously loud laugh that causes everyone else to look with nervous irritation.

They don’t need a posse of other pussies to parrot everything they say and “back them up.” Because underneath all of the fake bullshit you deal with, there’s a terrifying power ready to be unleashed at any moment.

The coiled calm power of ten thousand deadlifts, 15 thousand squats and 25 thousand power cleans. It all screams one thing more impossibly loud then all the shit talk in the world…

“I could kill you.”

Source unknown.

6 December 2011 Posted by | Health + Fitness, Random findings | Leave a comment

Dedication vs. Obsession

Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.

I showed a friend the notes I made when I was planning out my workout schedule yesterday. First she called my crazy as she shuffled through the pages. Then, when she realized how detailed the notes were, she said I was obsessed with working out.

I shrugged it off, thinking to myself that she’d understand if she ever set foot in a gym. But then I looked at the stack of notes in my hands and started thinking.

I go to the gym every day. I’m on week three of the Strong Lifts 5×5 program. I’ll be starting the 100 push up program and 200 sit up program in a couple of days. I spent my day off outlining my workout schedule so that I could get everything in without overloading on a single day.

I’ve stopped eating junk food, save for a few bites to satisfy a craving. I’ve added things into my daily diet purely for the health benefits (the fact that I like most of them is just an added bonus). Much of my free time at work is spent reading health and fitness journals and pouring through ‘Top 10 __ workouts’ lists.

So, where is the line between dedication and obsession? I love working out and I’m dedicated to bettering myself, but have I crossed the line into obsession?

28 November 2011 Posted by | Health + Fitness | 1 Comment

Awesome stuff #1

That post-workout high that lasts anywhere from thirty minutes to five hours.

You know the one I’m talking about.
– You just PRed a power lift and
– Ran a 5k under your goal time
Or hell, maybe you just finished! You don’t have to make a new personal best for it to be a good workout, though there is an extra shot of adrenaline for that!

But it doesn’t really matter what you did. Whether you’re new to working out or an experienced vet, you know what I’m talking about.

You finish your workout, wipe the rivulets of sweat from your face and neck with the borrowed gym towel and walk out the door. Your muscles may be shaking from the recent exertion, but you stand a little straighter, carry yourself a little more confidently and move with a purpose. Your blood is still pumping and you almost feel like running because walking is just too damn slow. Almost feel like running. Hell, you might give in and run. Kudos to you if you do. Either way, you’re hyped up and, quite possibly, ravenous.

If your workout is at the end of the day and you find yourself at home afterwards, those chores you never really feel like doing, finally get done because you don’t want to sit still yet. If your workout is before work or during the work day, you’re more productive because your brain is being super-powered. And, if you have a desk job or similar, you’re likely rather fidgety.

You’ll likely be asked how much coffee/soda you’ve had. Perhaps get some strange looks. Maybe even a tranquilizer.

But god it feels good and when it wears off, you’re just itching to get it back.

27 November 2011 Posted by | Awesome Stuff, Health + Fitness | Leave a comment