Monthly Archives: August 2011

Threes…whew, it passed us by!

This isn’t fitness or health related, but I still wanted to write about it! A few days ago, a fire truck pulled up outside our house late at night. Our immediate neighbor to the left had a false alarm trip, but the cancel never made it to the fire department. Luckily no fire. Whew!

2 days ago, it was a very crazy and strange day. 2 of my coworkers were in accidents, one on a motorcycle, nothing broken, but scraped up to hell. The other rear ended a pregnant lady pretty hard and totalled her car. So she’s hurt, she ruined her car, and she’s horribly guilty for having hurt another person. Then at work, I came to find out that another coworker got in a fistfight with a previous employee (that I had fired a year go) the night before. Crazy all the way around!!! Ok, the world is insane, I thought to myself, and then when I got home, it was worse – my immediate neighbor on the other side had had their house broken into that afternoon. In broad daylight, right on the main road, they tried kicking in her door and then went through an open window. Fast, and fairly professional. Ugh!

Last night I told J that bad things come in threes. We dreaded what would come next. Well, today was number three and it was more scarey than both of the other events with our neighbors!!!!! We went downtown today and had fun strolling around the city. When we got near home, we found a whole bunch of fire trucks. Not just one, not just two, not just 5, a LOT. And on every street there were fire hoses. And then as we got closer and closer to our house the streets became blocked and impassable!!!! What the hell!? At this point J was freaking out, what was up, this was near or at our house, were our kittens ok?! We found out that there was a 2 alarm fire at a house 1 block away, directly across the street and over 1 block. Crazy scary. No one knows yet what happened, but the owners were not home, and unfortunately, they had pets. No further details are available.

So, while I’m glad that the bad things that come in threes have left us unscathed, I feel for the family that lost their pet family members and all their belongings, and their home (the house is burnt to the ground). My thoughts are with them. Be thankful you are alive and well tonight, everyone.

dietmaven out.

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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Trying new things


First time back since my big March failure! I’m happy to report that I was able to make it through the entire class. All those downward dogs were fine – plenty of ab strength to make it, along with the (forgive me, I forget the name of it) transition that is like a plank/push up thing to go down into a cobra position. We did those over and over and over (and over again).

I wore a tighter fitted shirt, so my belly was not flapping around all exposed either. However, the shirt did ride up a bit and I had to continualy tug it down. That is always annoying. I hate wondering if everyone is looking at me, even though I know they aren’t. I wonder if that’s why larger people don’t do yoga. You have to wear tight fitted clothes and only slim people look good in that type of clothing???

The thing I’m not sure I’ll overcome is the sweating. I’ve said this before – yoga is HARD! You really engage a lot of muscles. Sure it moves the body and you stretch and twist and breathe, but you also work and move and hold, slowly, and repeat, and repeat! I dripped so much sweat. The problem is, when your body is slick with sweat it makes it really hard to grab and hold a body part in a tenuous position (like a foot when it goes way off to the side or up in the air). And doing downward dog (an inverted V, hands and feet on the mat, butt up in the air), my hands kept sliding on the yoga mat – I had trouble maintaining the position and all I did was try and control my slip sliding after about 10 minutes into the class.

I know I sweat a ton, always have. I wondered if this is just my lot in yoga, or if it would get better as I get more in shape and used to the class, but then I noticed this super fit guy in front of me that had a sweat towel and there were drops of sweat on his mat, so now I don’t feel so bad. But if there’s no chance I will stop sweating, how do other people handle holding all the positions? I’m confused, maybe time will give me more answers.

The day after, I was ok. Definitely felt it, but not in any one muscle group, and not enough to stop me from general activities. My stomach doesn’t hurt, so obviously my core/abs are in a much improved state from March. I’ll go again. I felt a lot more limber/loose after, which is what my main goal is at this point. Not the meditative aspect, but the physical ones. I don’t stretch enough, I have limited flexibility, and this one class may be the best thing for that.

New Trainer

I just swapped to a new trainer – my old (and incredibly wonderful last one) was just fired for saying she’s opening her own gym, so she’s no longer there. I wasn’t too happy about having to get a new trainer for my remaining 3 sessions. But I switched over to a new trainer and had my first session last night. I’m not totally sold on her yet, but I will reserve judgement.

* New approach
* New exercises
* New routines

* We actually had DEAD TIME! We took a break between sets, and didn’t do anything while I rested. I really felt it was such a waste! What, no super sets with another activity? I don’t even have dead time when I work out on my own, unless I take a break to drink water!!!
* Doing 3 sets* (see below)
* Less charismatic/awkward

Ok, I have to give it some time, we are both new to each other, and I think she’s still new to this gym. I’m sure we’ll get more familair with each other, have something to relate to/talk about, and be less reserved.

In training with my old trainer, I was always sad we only did 2 sets of everything, but now, having done 3 sets last night, I see it allowed us to do a lot more different exericses. Plus it left me wanting to do more, and when I have tried doing the routines on my own, I do 3 sets. Doing 3 sets reduces the number of exercises  you can do, so maybe it’s not a good thing.

I talked the manager into getting my 3 remaining sessions turned into 4. After all, if I have to spend time talking and getting to know a new trainer, that will lose me training time. I guess he felt he owed me something to swap trainers this far along, because he readily agreed. So my 3 remaining sessions has become 4. Last night was the first and I have 3 weeks remaining.

Overall? Not impressed, but I’ll see where it goes. I am sure I will learn some different techniques and exercises. Even if I don’t love it, there are only 3 more sessions.

Afterwards? I very well may go to my old trainer’s new training gym (it’s in my neighborhood), and work with her. It won’t cost any more, and I can still go to my gym for the other stuff (classes, regular access to gym equipment).

Again about the changes in routine

I just posted last about how changes in routine are A  Bad Thingtm. I have to say I wasn’t talking about a new trainer when I wrote it (as I hadn’t had my session yet), but I will say I don’t like having a new one (as of yet). I feel uncertain and unmoored. But as I decided in May, when I rededicated myself to going to the gym after a brief hiatus – I’m doing this for the long haul. This is a lifestyle change. And regardless of who helps, it’s my journey that I have to do primarily by myself. Yes, I can rely partially on the expertise and focused attention of a personal trainer, but in the end, it’s my dedication the other 6 days of the week that really matter.

If the new trainer doesn’t work out, then I have to l need to look into alternatives. Taking more group classes, maybe going to classes at a different 24 hour gym (such as downtown, on the weekends). Maybe I need to formulate a workout routine before I go to the gym and research it on my own on the internet. Maybe I need to upgrade to a fancier gym and try other options for trainers/classes. There’s a lot I can do. I just have to stay focused and do it.

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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Gym


Changes in routine = BAD!

Well, it’s a good thing to have a partner in crime. They keep you accountable. Today I got out of work at 5 pm, so early! I’m so used to getting home at 7 pm, that getting home so earlier, with a full 2 hours to go before the yoga class tonight, left me completely at wit’s end. So I caught up on some blog reading, and started to get that overly comfortable feeling, sitting in a chair, all cozy, on the internet, with a cool breeze coming in the window, getting chill and relaxed… And then I no longer felt like going to the gym!!!

It’s so funny. The later I work, the less fuss and nonsense I have room for. I get home, give my lovely kittens their 10 minutes of pettings, feed them a treat, and then immediately get ready for the gym. I change, get my clothes all folded into my gym bag, grab a towell, and off I go! There’s no room for getting tired, getting distracted, only complete and utter focus. I don’t have to think about whether or not I want to go to the gym, it’s just a given! Without time to have those thoughts, I don’t think about it, and don’t talk myself out of going. I go, it’s as simple and concrete as that!

Here’s a typical day: get up, make lunch, go to work, work for 8.5 to 10.5 hours (on average), go home, get changed, go to the gym, shower, go home, pet the cats, make dinner, watch something on netflix for an hour, go to bed. That’s my weekday, almost every day. Throw me a curve ball, like 2 hours of down time between home and changing for the gym, and there’s a good chance I’ll talk myself out of going. Except for, oh yeah, my live-in gym partner and personal motivator.

I have always heard how much better it is to work out in the morning. Get it over with, blah blah… Rev your metabolism more fully, blah blah, blah… But you know what? It doesn’t work for me. I can’t even get up 10 minutes early!!! I roll out of bed 30 or 40 minutes after my alarm, with only enough time to give the rudimentary 10 minutes of dedicated pettings to my cats (they are very high maintenance), get dressed, play with the cats again, make my breakfast and coffee, and get to work, hopefully not more than 5 minutes late. Anyway, the point is, I don’t do mornings well. Somehow, however, I’m able to work late, be worn out from work, and still have the energy to go to the gym, and not have dinner until 9:30 or 10 pm. It’s my routine, I’m used to it, and I don’t mind working out late. I typically don’t get to the gym before 7 or 7:30. I guess tonight wouldn’t have been an issue…if I went straight there after getting home. Unfortunately for me, I was waiting for a class, and for a change was able to leave work at a normal time, thus had a full 2 hours to kill!

I was going to talk about yoga last night, but this blog post got derailed. I didn’t even know I was going to write about this until it happened – I guess I just needed to talk about this. I’ll have to save the yoga results for later, grin!

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Gym


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Weigh in and gym buffet

Haven’t officially “weighed in” in a while. Still don’t have a scale at home, so I use the weights and lever one in the locker room at my gym. Tonight? 208!!! I’m down 1 pound from last week. I worked out super hard last week, but after soreness/issues with a hip muscle, the upsurge in heat and humidity (which sucks all vitality out of me), and eating just waaaay too much this weekend, I only have 1 pound to show for the work,  instead of more. Oh well, at least I’m going down and working at it!!

In other news, my trainer was “fired” from the gym. She is opening her own place, also in my neighborhood. That sucks, since I have 3 more sessions to use up and I don’t want to just switch to a new trainer for only a short while. I may stick with her, and train at her place, soon to be opened in 1-2 months, and pay less than at 24 hour fitness.

I haven’t switched yet, so my normal training day, which is tomorrow, is now empty. I never make it into the gym when there’s a manager to facilitate this, as I don’t show up until 7:30 or later any evening! I think tomorrow, I may try out some of the gym’s other class options, particularly a class that I haven’t taken since February…Yoga!

Last time I took that I hurt so bad for 3 days that I couldn’t laugh or sneeze without intense pain. That’s what I got for having avoided any core muscle work before having my ass handed to me after an hour long extremely grueling experience that I swore off until I was in a lot better physical shape. If you have never taken yoga, let me tell you – it is HARD! Anyway, with all the strength training I’ve been doing, including abs/core, I think I may have a chance to make it through an hour without leaving, or sitting out the last 10 minutes (like last time!!). I may try and run tomorrow for a half hour or so, THEN go to yoga. Depends on how nastily muggy and humid it is.

So, that’s the news, the plan, and my current status. Be well… dietmaven out.


Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Gym, Weight loss


Oh no! My first injury?

In the past week, I have had recurring pain in a muscle on the left side of my hip. It all started that night I ran my furthest to date (6.5 miles in 90 minutes). The musle started to hurt the last 15 minutes, but it wasn’t severe enough for me to stop. I pushed through the discomfort, knowing I’d be hurting the next day, but not thinking it would be anything to worry about.

Since then, I’ve had this pain regularly. It’s on the very side of my hip, and in the thick muscle over the hip joint (so not the IT band, not the groin, and not the glutes). The muscle is just plain aggravated. I’ll take a day off (from running), and the next day it will be ok. So I’ll then run and it start to hurt after. I’ve been on this schedule for the past week, running every other day, and having the muscle be sore every day after. I’ve never had this problem before, because I’ve never run this much or this consistently before.

Last night I got some good news. I had my weekly session with my trainer and she helped me figure out that it was my (and forgive me as I have no idea how to spell this) pera forma muscle, which is deep, and not a surface muscle. The pain I’ve been feeling is caused by overuse, specifically running, tightness, and lack of flexibility. All of these describe me 100%! I run a lot, am very inflexible, and do not stretch nearly enough.

And even better, all I have to do is stretch consistently, before and after, and this should go away. I now have 3 stretches she showed me how to do, all of which are straightforward, and definitely gave some immediate relief after doing them. I’m very excited that this isn’t a severe injury. It’s just an indication that in order to push and continue growing as a runner, which I like to think of myself as becoming, I just have to plan better, and take better care to do this activity safely.

So the plan is today, take the night off, catch up on person things, and stretch. Tomorrow I hope to do a solid hour+ run, with lots of stretching before and after!


Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Injury


Week 22

Ok, my last recap was from week 8. Please ignore my absense from weeks 9 – 21 (a minor glitch, I assure you!). Anyway, on to the past week.

Exercise recap:
Did very well with my goal to step up all workouts. As of Weds, I bumped up my physical activity from 60 minutes to a minimum of 90. I think I can continue to do this, so will plan on 90+ minutes, going forward.

Food-wise, I continued to bring lunch every day. I am starting to get tired of the same foods, but they are sustaining me. Sometimes the boredom is making me not eat it, so I have more leftover than I otherwise have had. I have been indulging in popcorn a bit too often, however. I typically air-pop it, add olive oil, salt, peper, paprika, nutritional yeast, and parmesian cheese (fresh grated).

I was bad and bought a bottle of St. Germain. Add 1 part liquer to 3 parts sparkling water, and you get a tipsy dietmaven. But it’s oooh, so tasty. I have had 2 drinks this past week. Why oh why did I buy that bottle?!?

Mon 8/8: 1 hour weights: did my own hour long resistance training, based on previous PT training sessions. I have no idea how many calories are burned during weight training, but I did lots of super sets with very few breaks, for a full hour.

Tues 8/9: Step class: 1 hour cardio, probably about 500-600 calories burned.

Weds 8/10: 1 hour trainer session (all weights/resistance)

Thurs 8/11: Day off (as of NEXT week my regular Thursdays commitment will be ended, so I may try and do an additional work out then, or I may have this be my fun evening off, who knows)

Fri 8/12: 90 minutes cardio: Ran on the treadmill for 90 straight minutes, 6.5 miles, 900 calories burned. Whoo hoo! Furthest distance/longest run ever!

Sat 8/13: day off, super sore hip muscle, decided to let it heal and be a sloth at home for the day (and I more than made up for it the next day)

Sun 8/14: OMG 3.5 hours at the gym!!!! (1800 calories burned I think) – 1 hour Powerpump class, 30 minutes running, all starting at 9 am – if you knew me you’d give me a gold star for going so early! Went home and J asked if we were going to the gym at 7 pm to watch Iron Chef. Ok, I can handle an extra hour, it’ll be fun! So we went. And then iron chef wasn’t on (some stupid food truck race was). Grr. We were already there and stayed. Then half way through, they said Iron Chef was on in the next hour. WTF? Well, we decided to stay for 2 hours to watch it. I walked on a mid-incline and ran during commercial breaks. I didnt’ want to run the whole time due to my agrivatedly sore hip muscle. I left with blisters, sore feet, and wondered if I overdid it and really pulled the muscle or not. It was kinda like hiking, but shorter and without all the bugs (and think of all the gas I saved!)!

Estimated total calories burned: 4200*
Miles run/walked: 14 (approximately)
Days of activity: 5
Hours of activity: 8

* (estimating 1 hour of weights = 500 calories)

I’m happy to report that while I was pretty achey last night, I’m no worse for wear. I have a general fatique in all my muscles, particularly low back from the weight class, and leg muscles since they are much abused these days, but my hip is doing ok. I think tonight is going to be another night off, which I will use to recover, rest, and heal. Plus I’m stuck late at work (by an extra 2 hours), AND have to go shopping at Costco, so that’s 3 hours lost. And I need to wash all 4 pairs of sports bras or I can’t work out again. So I am taking an enforced day off. Which means if I do that, I should probably work out on Thursday.

Weigh-in coming up soon. Fingers crossed…

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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Weekly recap


Public validation

Everyone that has ever lost weight has wondered if people notice. You’ve all been there, right? You go from couch potato/slacker to intense gym athlete. You shift your mental image of yourself, and in your head you’re this buff, athletic, ripped, healthy person. But your body is still covered with a thick layer of fat. You still wear the same clothes, maybe a tad loser, or maybe in a size smaller. You power on, and keep up with the many nights (or mornings) of gym visits and sweat.

And then the miraculous happens. Someone makes a comment. “Have you lost weight?” or maybe “You look really good by the way!” The day you’ve been waiting for, for weeks, or even months (in my case), has finally arrived. Someone else validates all your hard work.

In the past week this has happened not once, but twice. It helps that it has happened with people I either haven’t seen regularly, or for several months. It hasn’t been with my closest friends, or coworkers, but it finally happened!!! (insert happy dance)

Now, remember, I’m at virtually the same weight I was in March. I weighed 211 then. I weigh 209-210 now (or I did last week…. haven’t officially weighed myself yet this week). My clothes still fit the same mostly. But I know I have significantly increased my muscle mass. So while this is amazing to me, and makes me giddy, I also wonder, “huh?” In 4-5 months I’ve lost 2 pounds. Yet 2 sets of people (one I haven’t seen since March, the others I see about every month or so) both said I looked really really good since they saw me last. Again, “Huh?”

I think this goes to show that weight alone is not a good indication of health. If I weigh 2 pounds less, but look loads better, that must mean that I’ve lost more weight and just put on more muscle. Either way, I’ll take it!


Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Inspirations