Thursday, December 8, 2011

you shouldnt be running for an hour with atrial fib!

the longer i work at the gym the more fitness tips i get asked.  i love it, it makes me feel like i'm actually working there for a reason.  and i also like getting some credit for the shape i'm in.  i'm not just trying to occupy a desk job and be void of knowledge.  i swear i know a thing or two!

anyways i had a member ask me for advice the other day.  he used to be an avid runner--like an hour a day.    crazy/kudos.  but he has had surgery on his heart, knee, and neck within the last few years and has been told that he shouldn't even be running.  well, from personal experience, i know that you can't stop doing things that you love just because you have a set back.  it's something you have to work with really.  so he has gained some weight since his surgeries and wants to get back into shape, but with his heart problems (he goes into atrial fib and can get to the point where he needs the paddles to come out to set him back on a regular beat) he isn't going to be able to work up to his hour of running a day, unless he wants to die, as i told him.

so he wanted to know what he could do to lose weight a different way.  i told him he could still run maybe half an hour a day a few times a week; he has a heart monitor so he can keep track of his heart rate and we figured out he shouldn't go past about 70% of his max heart rate (you can figure this out roughly by subtracting your age from 220, but, especially for women, this isn't really accurate and probably too high for most).

i told him his best bet would be to try some interval training as well as different strengthening exercises.  i figured i'd share some of the ideas i showed him because i'm sure there are a lot of people out there with similar issues or who are just looking for something to give there workouts a little boost.

Workout #1 - Core Strengthening

  • Front Planks 3 sets x 30 sec. each
  • Side Planks 2 sets x 30 sec. each
  • Basic Pushups 3 sets 15 reps 

  • V-ups 1 set 15-25 reps

  • Back Bridges 3 sets of 20 w/ 3 sec. hold at top of bridge

  • Russian twist 1 set of 50 w/ medicine ball

  • Wall Ball Squats 3 sets of 10

  • Lunge w/ a twist 3 sets of 10

all of the reps at sets can obviously be tweaked based on your ability and if you're beginner, intermediate, etc.  core strength is really important to life in general so doing something like this three times a week in addition to some sort of cardio or by itself would be a great way to tone up and even help with posture as well as joint stability.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

dear america: skinny is the new obese

so i'm feeling badly about myself after a few days of completely gorging myself on food. thanksgiving is never all that bad...i clearly eat too much...but at least it's healthy choices for the most part.  then comes black friday and saturday weekend where we must have a smorgasbourd of food to keep us going the entire 24 hour shopping extravaganza.  this leads me to my point; why must everything revolve around food?  this is what i hate about america, and no i'm not blaming my eating disorder on it, but seriously.  i'm pretty sure i read some stat that was like we eat (guesstimating the number here) like 30% more than we used to in the 50's.  WHYYYEEEEE.  i don't completely agree with blaming fast food, mcdonalds has been out there for decades, it's always been available.  although i do hate hearing people talk about how much they love fast food and how they eat it like 5 times a week.  that actually makes me want to throw something at them. to me that's like saying "omg i love eating plastic covered in lard".  once again don't get me wrong, i am guilty of "indugling" due to circumstances usually revolving around working 12 hour days, or being drunk, but when i'm hungry i NEVER think, "gee, a double cheeseburger and fries sounds really good right now".  i don't understand how people think they're A. going to be satisfied, and B. going to feel good about themselves after eating that.

anyways, this isn't about fast food, it's the emphasis our country puts on eating huge proportions.  like why is that the cool thing to do?  if you can't eat a 5 pound fat-ass challenge sandwich and a 2 pound milkshake in 15 minutes YOU ARE A FAILURE.  THIS IS AMURICA.

i am bitching because when food is present, i feel like i can just graze all day.  and it takes like 3 days of that and prob at least like 2 actual non water weight pounds, to realize, wow wtf am i doing.  i feel awful.  it is not cool to eat like, and excuse my reference, not trying to be offensive, but a concentration camp victim who's been starving for months.  i mean seriously, that is how i look back on it.  i ate breakfast, i don't need to eat lunch and dinner like i haven't eaten in 2 days.

food is here to keep us alive.  and yes, at times, for celebrations and maybe just to make us feel better.  but my point is something's gotta happen to change the way food is portrayed in america.  i plan on figuring that out. and also to stop grazing like a hippopotamus. the end.

Monday, November 21, 2011

what would i be doing if i could work out right now...

im starting to have work out withdrawal. how tempted am i to throw on my running shoes and fashionable new under armour running outfit and hit the road. SO TEMPTED. rawr. i dont even care that it's cold as much as i loathe winter; i'd be running all over that shit. for whatever reason whenever i am injured and i go a while not being able to really do any cardio (of choice) i always go through like running withdrawal.  i'm not even really supposed to be running and i wasn't running hard core before i had this surgery but i still feel like i need a fix.  it's actually really annoying especially since i'm not supposed to run after this's not recommended anyway. i don't think i'll be able to just give it up completely ever. i don't feel like anything, besides sports of course, has ever made me feel so good. i hate the eliptical because i don't feel like it does anything, i'm adjusting to the bike but i prefer to do it on a real bike outside which i can't do yet, and i guesssss i'm gonna start trying to swim eventually but i am so not excited about putting a bathing suit on to work out.

so if i could work out i would head down to the college track.  i would probably do interval distance running.  whenever i was trying to get into shape in the summers and increase my endurance i would start with oh, say, after a warm up lap, 4 laps of running, 1 lap of walking, 3 laps of running, 1 lap of walking, 2 laps...and so on. and eventually i could get up to like 8 laps and all the way down.  i also liked to use the bleachers every other lap and sprint up them and i would also incorporate walking lunges, usually doing the straights of the track.

notice how everything involves my legs being able to function. i am clearly so over my upper body and lifting. not that i'll be able to stop that now because i have seen good results just in doing that, but it gets so boring.

so remember when you don't feel like working out that there are people out there who physically can't work out and would trade body parts with you anyday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

take a knee: the life of an injured athlete

i've been feeling really nostalgic lately. it's kind of embarrassing but it has led to my motivation to be stalled and therefore lack of desire to blog. i know not many people prob read my first post--embarrassing in a nut shell background of why i started blogging--so i feel like reflecting on what has gotten me here in the first place.

i always tell my parents they had a boy and 2 girls.  in reality they had 2 boys and girl but my older brothers were both into art and writing, always dressed well, where as i have always been the jock and my wardrobe contains a 3:1 ratio of sweats/gym clothes to nice clothes. i never wanted to wear pink or dresses even when i couldnt dress myself. i always wanted to be one of the boys; i still prefer it actually, but in a i'm definitely a girl i just hate bitch drama kinda way. so with all that said, naturally i was big into being active and somehow i was granted with the ability to be good at almost anything athletic.

i cant remember how i got into sports exactly per say, but i know it started out with basketball. i LOVED basketball. i started playing in camps when i was 8 and my heart was set on being in the WNBA someday...yeah i know, i was 8. my coach always said i was a natural, although how good can you actually be when youre 8, but i never felt like i wasn't one of the top players. i miss the days where i had confidence now that i think about it. i continued summer camps until 5th grade when we could actually start playing on an organized team. i loooooved being part of a team and i loved actually playing to win.

going into middle school i was one of the few chosen to play up for the 8th grade team. i was usually a top scorer and rebounder (i've always been one of the tall girls).  basketball was my main focus, but i also started getting into volleyball.  once again, i was just naturally good at it and learned to love playing it as well.

probably sometime in 8th grade i sort of made the switch from basketball being my main focus to volleyball.  i was good at basketball, but i guess i was exceptionally good at volleyball. going into my freshman year of high school, i can remember my coach asking me and one other player to come to a varsity summer tournament. i was so excited. and i didnt just go and sit on the bench, i got a lot of playing time. this was probably my peak confidence year of my life. i was going to start varsity as a freshman and i ended up getting to play all around too.  not only that but i also ended up playing/starting varsity in basketball too...mostly due to an injury of one of the seniors though.  it was still great; there hadn't been many people who had gotten to do that. i also played softball (the first year of my life i ever actually played) and i ended up lettering in all 3 sports as a freshman.  it was such an honor.  i wouldnt have been able to talk about it like this back then, i have never been a cocky asshole about my athletic ability, ive actually always been really hard on myself, but now that i miss it so much and have lost most of my ability to injury i have absolutely no problem bragging a bit. dont judge me.

so i continued to be a starter through my junior year.  that was probably my peak performance year as well as my most in shape year, but since i had more experience in playing varsity the pressure was really on to be a leader and always be a top performer.  i was probably the hardest on myself this year to always be the best and this is the year that i would say my eating disorder started.

i had a lot of pressure to be a certain size. i'm not going to go into detail on that; certain people will know exactly what im talking about.  i started running every day, in addition to practices, and i wouldn't admit it then, but i definitely restricted my eating a lot.  at first i would say i thought i was just being really healthy, and in a sense i was, but i dont think i was eating enough for how active i was.  anyways, i was really happy with my weight loss and i definitely got the attention for it, but i was also struggling with the pressure to stay thin and the pressure to continue restricting my diet. regardless, i was still accelling at my sports and i was determined to get a scholarship to play volleyball in college.

junior year is also when my athletic career was semi-ruined. in the spring at a volleyball tournament i came down from a hit on my right leg and i had a "ive fallen and i cant get up moment".  i would describe the feeling as an electric shock in the middle of my knee. it was unlike anything i had ever felt before and i knew something serious had happened.  wouldnt ya know it i had torn my acl completely and had a partial meniscus tear. surgery was necessary to continue playing sports and with surgery came a 6 month rehab package. awesome! by the time i got surgery, i would miss my whole senior year of volleyball and half my season of basketball, not to mention i was only going to get to come back at like 60% (i didn't know that at the time, i found it out the hard way). so i went through with the surgery. with all that considered i was already beginning to become depressed. my boyfriend broke up with me that summer. and my eating disorder soared. i gained pushing 30 pounds, yes 30. and that didnt help with the depression at all considering my past of working hard to lose the weight that i had.

so i missed and avoided my senior year of volleyball. i couldnt face watching my team (and we had a really good team) play without me. it was way too hard, as selfish as i knew it was.  i had a little bit higher hopes for basketball season since i knew i would get to play a little bit anyway so i was more dedicated to my season.  when it came time to be able to play, i was excited and nervous. i had to wear an awful brace and at that point i knew that i wasnt going to perform anywhere near what i used to. i had a little mini cheer section for my first game back, and it was away too so that felt nice, but i was also putting pressure on myself to play well. well, once i got on the court i basically felt like i sucked. and i became so discouraged. i was even less of being close to what i thought i could perform. i got a little better, but by the end of the season it hadnt been enough time of play to get back to the old me.

my senior year was a really hard year for me. i struggled through every bit of it. i didnt think i would be playing a sport in college and i wanted to go to school as far away as possible.  well that didnt end up happening.  last minute i got an offer to play volleyball at penn state behrend (the coach knew me from summer camps during high school) and i hesitantly decided to give it a shot.

i worked on getting in shape over the summer and played on a JO team and my ability started to come back.  one of my best friends from high school played at behrend and i was familiar with erie so adjusting there wasnt too hard.  i was a somewhat consistant starter as a freshman and i started gaining a little confidence back anyway. by the end of the season i felt like i was getting way more comfortable with my knee.  then came spring season. i swear mother nature hates me in the spring.  i was actually starting to feel almost 100% at this point. i made it through all the practices. we had one big tournament at the end and i was excited to play.  well i made it through the tournament until the very last game of the last match. went up for a block, landed like a normal person, and my left knee just buckled to the left. the minute i fell in my head i was like omg not this again. i instantly knew what had happened. i was balling. and not because of the pain, but because of how hard i had worked to get to where i was just for my other knee to be a dirty bitch and do the same thing to me all over again. i can remember saying "i cant do it again, i cant".  well i did it again, but this time my athletic career was officially officially over, and i struggled with depression again.  my grades started getting worse and i had no motivation in school.  i distanced myself from the team once again and i kind of felt like i was just out of place there.

i ended up transferring to penn state main campus. in a nut shell, not knowing anyone and going to a whole new place, and being depressed all at the same time didn't make my transition go well. i did okay at first, but eventually started failing and not going to any of my classes, and so i "medically withdrew" aka i dropped out. i dont feel like sugar coating it.

which brings me to where i am today.  when people ask me if im in school i hate answering it. and im not going to tell everyone i meet that i had to drop out because i was depressed. i dont want to say school isnt for me, because i know it is, i just dont think it was the right time. since all of that i have had my third surgery obviously.  and with this one i have been able to come out of it with a much better attitude. dropping out of school was my best decision yet that i have made and if anyone wants to judge me they can go eff themselves.  okay sorry haha that was harsh, but seriously.

i dont think ill ever forget about my past. it has made me who i am today. im still struggling with accepting that and i think that i always will. i guess i kind of live by the saying "what doesnt kill you makes you stronger", but it took 3 surgeries and 2 sport career enders to get me to that place.

this is super long and i feel like no one is going to want to read it, but it explains a lot about who i am. even if no one reads it i feel really good about getting it out of my system a bit and maybe ill have a normal person blog about working out later :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

chipotle style stuffed peppers and mousse!

well i had a whole day off and decided to have some fun in the kitchen.  i love stuffed peppers and got a hankering to make some and add my own twist. i did mine vegetarian style because soy crumbles are way easier to cook than ground beef and they're healthier anyways. as i've said before i like to wing my cooking so i'll give you a rough estimate of what i used and in what amounts.  but this is a pretty easy and super healthy dinner.  the rice i used was legit organic brown rice so that took the majority of the cooking time or i would say it's a quick fix meal too.  substitute instant brown for the real deal and it's def quick fix. due to lack of money and ingredients i only made enough filling for 2 peppers which can be inconvenient or convenient depending on who's reading this.

2 green bell peppers
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce (i used one can sauce and one can soup because that's all we had)
1 can black beans
1 cup rice (before it's cooked)
1/4 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 bag of crumbles
seasonings of choice--i used red pepper flakes and cilantro and a lotta shakes of chipotle tabasco (my faaaave)

after my rice was cooked and steaming, i sauteed my garlic and onion in 1 tbsp. of olive oil.  then i added my crumbles--they were mostly frozen so i turned the heat down to let the big chunk break apart.  then i added my tomato sauce, black beans, and rice.  once everything was combined i filled the bottom of the baking dish with part of the mixture and then wedged my peppers into it.  i overflowingly (i made that word up) filled the peppers with the mixture and put the remainder around the peppers.  my mixture was sort of dry; i probably could have used more sauce or less rice but it still tasted good anyways.  cook them at 350 for about a half an hour.  i sprinkled some 4 mexican cheese mix on top at the very end and ta-da you have yummy chipotle stuffed peppers. mmmm

and for dessert. the best part obviously.  i wasn't going to make anything originally but while getting my ingredients for the peppers ready i saw that we had a box of jello mousse temptations that needed made up.  and for 110 calories a pop why the hell are they sitting in there not getting made and eaten! crazy.  so it took about 5 minutes to whip those bad boys up.  all you need is milk.  it calls for 2% but we have skim and it worked out fine.  i topped a couple of mine with some crushed up andes mint because god forbid i dont have 5 of those incorporated into my day. and wallah! a low cal chocolatey goodness dessert. you cant go wrong.

i love cooking healthy because it makes me feel really good about myself and what i'm eating because i know what's going into it. it also makes me extra excited about eating healthy too which is always good especially when i'm in a rut which i somewhat am right now...mainly just the new schedule adjustment and because i'm a girl and this is what happens once a month.  sigh.

bon appetit!

Friday, November 4, 2011

how not to be a hunchback

i am still alive!  i feel i have been neglecting my blog and it's had me feeling pretty guilty.  i'm back to working 12 hour days, aka i'm back at under armour. i definitely missed it but my body is not used to jumping into my old routine so i've been very bed-attached when i get home and thinking is the last thing i feel like doing.  but i'm working at the gym and i was inspired today because whenever i'm doing physical therapy (i do pt at the same place i work--super convenient for an accident prone person like me) and this has been happening for years now, i get yelled at for my posture.  so my excuse is that rounded shoulders run in my family, and they do, but obviously there are ways to fix it so it doesn't get me very far here.  so with that said i figured i'd do a back workout today...i've been quite lazy work out wise so any kind of work out would have done...and why not share it because i can't be the only one who needs to do something about my hunchback and it's not like you have to have a hunchback to do a back workout anyway. fun for all!

so here is what i've come up with:
3 sets of 15 for each exercise--

lat pull
reverse flys
dumbbell side raises

floor cobra - throw this in at the end of ur strengthening exercises.  it's also a strengthening exercise but also like a stretch so it's a good transition move
    • lay on your stomach on the floor
    • lay hands to your side and raise chest and head up as far as you can go
    • squeeze your butt muscles and tighten your abs
    • hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times

strengthening the muscles is important but so is stretching, so here are few good stretches to work on your posture:

wall stretch:
  • stand in a door way and place your hands on either side
  • keep your feet in place and lean forward
  • the farther you lean forward the more stretch you'll feel
  • 3-5 reps 20 seconds each
pelvic thrusts:
  • lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent and palms down
  • lift your butt of the ground and hold for a few seconds, drop, and repeat
  • this is a great exercise to strengthen your hips, and core as well
chest stretch:
  • stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • reach your arms back behind you and interlock your fingers
  • reach as far as you can and you can bend over as well to feel more of a stretch
  • hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times
the stretches can be done everyday if you really feel you have a problem that needs corrected, but a few times a week following your upper body work outs will be preventative.

happy friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

do what i say not what i do

so this is like my motto in life. although i'm finally starting to get away from it.  when i was studying nutrition while really suffering from an eating disorder i would always say that. i guess it was my way of defending myself from myself because i would always think like why would anyone want a nutritionist who can't even handle food herself?  so its not really a healthy motto but i still struggle with it from time to time.

like right now for example.  i've lost some weight since my surgery and i feel great.  im back to one of my earlier high school weights and it's the lowest i've been since then.  but now that i'm gaining more energy back as i'm able to do more things i notice myself eating more, which of course is exactly what is supposed to happen.  the higher your metabolism, the more you need to fuel yourself.  i struggle with this mentally because i become paranoid that i'm just going to gain the weight back when in reality i'm probably burning exactly what i was before in comparison to what i eat because my metab. is faster.  ah it's all a continuous cycle but after struggling for 6 years and going to therapy for this and that i definitely can realize what i'm doing and talk myself out of, for example, restricting myself or not letting myself eat something that i really want because i know i'll just end up over eating to compensate anyway so it's basically lose lose.

todays one of those days i'm struggling. and ranting on and on about it kind of helps bring me back to reality.  but i think a lot of people, more than i'll ever realize, deal with the same thing on a day to day basis too.  you just have to remind yourself that as much as you don't believe it, it is normal.  thinking of yourself as not normal makes you normal.  if you think you're normal then you've got bigger problems.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

sprint your ass off--literally

so one of the hardest treadmill work outs i have ever done is this 20ish minute sprint work out.  i wouldn't recommend it to a beginner although it could be tweaked a little bit to make it possible. it's a lot easier for me to post hard work outs when i know that i can't do them so i won't be suffering.  so this is what this ass kicking work out is all about:

  • start out at a flat grade on the treadmill walk/run for about 3 minutes to get your muscles warmed up.  i would recommend running at least half of it so your muscles don't go into shock when you start sprinting.  you can lengthen the warm up if you have the time and feel more comfortable that way
  • after your warm up, you're going to do intervals of 30 second incline sprints and 1 minute walking breaks
  • if you have two available treadmills, it's a little less of a hassle to use one for your break period and one for the sprints but i know that's not going to be the case in most gyms
    • sprint #1 - 30 seconds at 1.0% grade and at least an 8 mph speed
      • your speed is definitely going to be determined on what type of shape you're in.  if you work out on a regular basis and include some type of running or more intense cardio you should be able to do at the speeds i recommend if you really want to push yourself
      • you're going to increase your speed as you increase your incline as well which is why i recommend starting around 8 mph for those bad asses out there that are thinking "this work out is for wussy's". suck it trebek
    • walk for 1 minute at 0% between 3 and 4 mph
    • sprint #2 - 30 sec. at 3.0% grade 8.5 mph
    • walk
    • sprint #3 - 30 sec. at 5.0% grade at 9 mph
    • walk
    • sprint #4 - 30 sec. 7.0% grade at 9.5 mph
    • walk
    • sprint #5 10.0% grade at 10 mph or the highest speed you're able to go without feeling like you're going to fall off
    • walk
    • sprint #6 - 30 sec. 7.0% at 9.5 mph
    • walk
    • sprint #7 - 30 sec. 5.0% at 9 mph
    • walk
    • sprint #8 - 30 sec. 3.0% at 8.5 mph
    • walk
    • sprint #9 - 30 sec 1.0% at 8 mph
  • at the end i usually run at a steady pace for a minute or 2 and walk for a total recovery time of 5 minutes. 
  • once again, this whole workout can be tweaked for any level of fitness.  you can increase or decrease number of sprints, keep your inclines lower or higher for those treadmills that go higher than 10.0% grade, etc.  you can also adjust this work out to how much time you have to complete it.  if you have more time spread it out and if you're in a hurry, lower the amount of sprints/walks but definitely make sure you warm and cool down!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

its my birthday-day workout -- boxing!!!

its my birthday. i am 23 and it's super lame. i've compared it to like that first christmas you have when you already know santa is really just your parents and rudolph is totally not real. just like super disappointing and the presents aren't as cool anymore.  that is how i feel.  so here i am at work.  i agreed to work because what the hell else was i going to do. and i'm poor so what the hell.  so anyways, workout for today is one of my favorites that i've done here.  once again i can't do it just yet, but i did put 3 old guys through it today and even just doing that my arms are shaking and i kind of feel like i have epilepsy.  so it's good on either end of the spectrum.  so it's a boxing work out which means you need another person to do it with you.  it's possible to do on your own just probably not as effective.  you'll also need a heavy bag and/or hand mits and a jump rope. so you won't be surprised but this is also an interval workout. i mean i never do those so i figured i'd mix it up...durrr. and it goes a little something like this:

1 minute on the heavy bag
1 minute jump rope

1 minute hand mits
1 minute abs

...and repeat. mix up your combinations with bag/mits and include some kicks or knee-ups if you can.  we usually do 12 sets and it'll kick your ass but i believe i started with 8 so you can tweak it to your tolerance, but definitely push yourself! it's one of the more fun workouts you may get to do in my opinion even though it does suck; i always come back and that's the work out of my choosing.

do it for my birthdayyy :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

H(ealthy)DL Cholesterol > L(azy)DL and V(ery)L(azy)DL Cholesterol

so i chose to blog about cholesterol today because my mom informed me that last time she went to the doctor they said her cholesterol was high. normally doctors put you on some sort of medication to lower it but she doesn't want to take any pill because of all the side effects they can have. so i figured id talk about the different kinds of cholesterols, what the levels should be (when you get a blood test), and foods that can help lower them.  i'm sure most of my young buck friends will be bored by this post but whatever we all get old at some point.

LDL (low density lipoproteins): aka bad cholesterol causes build up in the artery walls which leads to heart problems.  a healthy level for LDL would be <130 mg/dL.  but it's also tricky because it depends on a persons heart disease risk factors.  if a person has no risk factors then it can be as high as 160mg/dL, but if a person has more risk factors and/or already has heart disease it should be lower than 100 mg/dL.

HDL (high density lipoproteins): aka good cholesterol because it helps get rid of bad cholesterol.  HDL levels should be 40 mg/dL or higher.  the higher the better with this one.

VLDL (very low density lipoproteins): also bad cholesterol similar to LDL as it is made up of mostly fat and very low protein.  VLDL should be less than 150 mg/dL

total cholesterol levels should be less than 200 mg/dL

foods that can lower cholesterol:

  • oatmeal
  • high fiber foods
  • oat bran
  • olive oil
  • fish and omega 3's (salmon, tuna)
  • nuts (walnuts, almonds)
despite the stigma on fat, your body does need fat to function and although some of the above items are higher fat items, eating an appropriate portion and not combining all of them at once will keep you from gaining any weight and still help lower your LDL and increase your HDL cholesterols.

another tip as far as eating goes is to keep your saturated fats low.  eating a lot of red meats is not a good thing.  america is a meat country but that is half the problem with all of the obesity and unhealthy problems we see.  keeping red meat consumption to a minimum and incorporating fish and/or vegetarian proteins in your diet will also help with cholesterol as well as other problems such as weight.

exercising is my final suggestion.  obviously exercise is always going to increase health (without injury...i am not a good example) and in combination with a healthy diet cholesterol can be lowered with time and your body will also benefit as a whole.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

7 Exercises and Gym Machines to Skip

7 Exercises and Gym Machines to Skip

found this on and thought it was interesting. i've always been way more into free weights over machines anyway so it's cool to find something that supports my brain for once.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

hump day work out

and no i don't want you to violently hump something/someone.  i at least don't plan to. do what you want just don't tell me about it.

mmkay. so work out for the day. i can't do this one because i'm a crip but a friend is at the gym doing it and i have done it before and it is TOUGH :) my fave.  it's an interval workout...also my fave...and it incorporates a form of cardio in bursts with different exercises to work all the major muscle groups.  it usually takes me a good 45 minutes to finish so if you don't have a lot of time it may not be the right one for you, but it'll kick your ass for sure if you ever do it.

4 Circuit Routine:

Circuit 1:
*Do 5 Rounds, then rest for 2 minutes
Sprint on treadmill at 10% gradient or use stairclimber – 40 sec
Dumbbell Squat  (in rounds 1, 3 and 5 only) – 10 reps
Body-weight Squat (in rounds 2 and 4 only) – 20 reps
In Round 1, do a front bridge – 40 sec
In Round 2, side bridge on left arm – 40 sec
In Round 3, side bridge on right arm – 40 sec
In Round 4, front bridge - 40 sec

In Round 5, hold bottom of a push up – 40 sec

Circuit 2:
* Do 3 rounds, then rest for two minutes
Run or climb at top speed – 80 sec
Rest – 20 sec
Push Up – 30 sec
Dumbbell Bent-over Row – 10 rep

Circuit 3:
* Do 4 rounds, then rest for two minutes
Run or climb at top spped – 60 sec
Single Leg Rotation Squat – 5 reps each leg
Ab Exercise of choice – 60 sec

Circuit 4:
*Do 3 rounds, then stop
Run or climb at top speed – 40 sec
Rest – 40 sec
Hold bottom of a push up – 40 sec

i hope you cant walk tomorrow byeee :)

i work out

i'm in a really weird mood today...i'm assuming it's because i've been listening to LMFAO and the lonely island all morning.  i attribute that to having a photo shoot with myself as well but hey my blog looks like wayyy cooler.

i also think i'm in a really good mood because the more time that goes on that i'm dealing really well with the whole eating disorder thing the more back to my normal/desired size i get! i love it.  i've been weighing myself and actually noticing a change...normally nothing happens which is super annoying.  but i really go on like how clothes fit over numbers.  and i know i've been eating and being healthy but still letting myself eat like tortilla chips (they're fried but whatever they are delicious and the only chips i eat) and of course my sweets.  so it's really cool to see that you can lose weight and not deprive yourself because that's what i always thought i had to do before.  and believe me, as slow as this has all been, it's such a good feeling to do it this way!  once you start seeing results you feel like 1000x better than when you're really restricting yourself and working out like a maniac.

so i know no one will really care about this post. it's boring but i'm bored and being a weirdo.  i'll have a workout up later. PEACE

Monday, October 17, 2011

you are what you eat, so what am i?

well the day is almost done and since ill be waking up at 530 tomorrow i can say that my eating is done too.  so i really wanted to kind of share what i eat and what i would think of it if i ever graduated with a nutrition degree...i mean i learned something give me some credit.  so here's my meals:

eggs are my absolute favorite thing to eat for breakfast and i wish i had time to make them every morning.  so on the days that i get to sleep in i usually have a sunny-side-up egg and toast but today i felt like making scrambled which overall is probably my favorite way of doing it.  so for my scrambled eggs i'll either do 2 whole eggs or 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites.  i think having that yellow coloring makes them much more appetizing. as of late, my choice of bread is that of the gluten free kind.  i was on a kick for about 4 days where i wanted to try being gluten free...long story short, especially if you don't have to eat that way due to health complications, it's really hard to keep it going.  but i did however learn that i do enjoy me some rudi's whole grain gluten free bread.  this however is "udi's" gluten free...i couldn't find rudi's so this had to do...unfortunately less fiber in comparison but lower calorie.  i'd say fiber>calories when it's only 15 calories though.  anyways, and i was feeling optimistic so i decided to incorporate some tomato slices.  might as well get a veggie in when ya can!

so how nutritionally sound was this meal.  well for those with a smart phone/ipod touch if youre me, i have an app called "MyNetDiary".  i've tried a few different apps for keeping track of what i eat and this has been the best one thus far and i only have the basic (free) version too.

the first box shows the nutritional values for breakfast.  I would have to say that as yummy as it was, it was too low in calories and 0 fiber in a breakfast is a no-no!  Otherwise, it was a healthy breakfast--low in sugar and high in protein.  One of my favorite things about the app is that it gives you the ratio of your carbs, fats, and proteins.  For this meal mine was 36:29:35.  I would say there that my protein was good, almost high as far as ratios go, but my carbs should be higher and my fats should be a little lower.  I normally struggle on my protein though so this wasn't bad to me.

for lunch i had a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup (yum!) and instead of having a sandwich, i knew i'd be having a burger for dinner, i just chose to take some roast beef, swiss cheese, spinach, and horseradish sauce and make little bread-less rolls.  This was a pretty sound meal with multiple vegetables and protein(s).  however, once again i am low in fiber which isn't good, especially two meals in a row.  if the noodles in the soup were made with whole grain i would have been better off.

so after lunch i was headed to physical therapy and work.  it's much better to eat every 3 - 5 hours to maintain your metabolism, so i took a dannon all natural yogurt and a banana.  i figured i didn't need a picture for this because it's boring and i'm pretty sure everyone knows what a yogurt and a banana look like.  i would say a+ for the calcium and the fruit (already at +4 fruit and veggies for the day!), but probably a little high on the calories for a snack.  given my meals were lower calorie it works out, but if you eat bigger meals you definitely want smaller snacks.

work over, dinner time!  dad grilled up some organic free range burgers (the best kind) with a piece of swiss on top.  threw on some ketchup and mustard (i was starving there was no need to be fancy, this is america after all) and put it on a sandwich round.  mom made some brown rice with sauteed vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, zucchini) for a side.  i would say a good meal, but not the best idea to have your biggest meal at the end of the day.  my body definitely need the calories though because my other meals were pretty low.  if you're eating less calories than your body naturally burns your metabolism is going to slow down because your body moves into starvation mode.  that's one thing i can't stress enough to people and i will argue to the death about.  starving yourself and working out all the time may produce physical results, but your body burns muscle before it burns fat. when i learned that anorexics have BMI's of up to 40 (their skinny little bodies are almost half fat!) i think i was shellshocked into never wanting to starve myself again.  i have been probably double the weight of an anorexic in my life but i've never had a BMI near that, so it definitely makes you think.  That's probably my fun fact for the day.

anyways, i must include my last picture.  these are basically staples to my diet.  i am obsessed with anything mint chocolate.  andes mints...well duh who doesn't love an andes mints.  my dad leaves me 2 a day and if not he leaves york peppermint patties...just as good!  its our little thing, cute right?  and the other skinny cow desserts!  i love the truffle bars especially--only 100 calories but definitely satisfying.  the caramel is really good too.  so i usually have the mints with my coffee in the morning and a skinny cow after lunch or dinner, i mean sometimes you just can't wait.

so all in all it was a good day.  a bigger breakfast would have been better and i definitely needed more fiber--25 g a day AT LEAST for women.  and with that i am cuddling up in my bed and going to sleep. goodnight!

get your swell on

workout of the day is part of the "maximum growth 8-week continuation program".  you can easily print the whole thing out at this site:

it's a good program not only for "maximum growth" -- i've done it twice and i'm not a huge man girl -- but just to increase strength in general.  i tweak some of the repetitions and exercises but it gives you a nice idea of what to put into your lifting workout day by day to work all of the muscles in your back, chest, and/or legs.

i usually use this workout for when i don't feel like coming up with something on my own, that and if you have an idea of what you're doing you can incorporate what you really wanna focus on.  it also doesn't have you doing the same things for each chest, back, or leg workout.  each time you come to legs for example, it has different variations for each muscle groups and even incorporates drop sets and super sets.

drop sets - workout sets where the weight is dropped with each subsequent set.  your starting wait should be a failure weight or basically the max weight you can do

super sets - sets of exercises to work opposing muscles, ex. triceps and biceps

so i'm going to do back today and here is what a typical set up looks like:

Group Exercise Goal F/D Rest Actual
Back Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown x 8 75 sec. (rest period between sets)
(Machine)                             x 8 120 sec
                                           x 6 150 sec.
                                           x 6 F 150 sec.

Close-Grip Seated Cable Row x 10 60 sec.
                                            x 8 90 sec.
                                            x 8 120 sec.
                                            x 8 F 120 sec.

Shoulders Reverse Dumbbell Flye x 12 60 sec.
(Rear Delts)                                 x 12 60 sec.
                                                  x 12 60 sec.

Triceps Triceps Pushdown (Machine) x 15
Incline Dumbbell Curl                        x 15 45 sec.

Triceps Pushdown (Machine) x 12
Incline Dumbbell Curl            x 12 60 sec.

Triceps Pushdown (Machine) x 12
Incline Dumbbell Curl            x 12 60 sec.

Triceps Pushdown (Machine) x 12
Incline Dumbbell Curl            x 12

F = failure or do as many as you can till you can't do anymore

its a convenient work out program to do and will you give you results.  how you fuel your body and what your ultimate goals are will determine if you gain size or tone up and increase strength.  i don't usually print all 63 pages or whatever out but if you do there are example daily meal suggestions for gaining mass.  happy working out
0 sec. 0 sec. 0 sec. 0 sec.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

there's no sober in hockey or football

i know it's 7 am and I'm already talking about not being sober but i swear i'm not an alcoholic. alcohol equals calories after all c'mon.  anyways, who doesn't love a good drink after a stressful day?  and if you're me and don't have enough of a life to be stressed at the moment, who doesn't like to get loose, go out with their friends, maybe get it down on the dance floor.  i'm all over that scene when i can be.  but other than those "occasions" if you will, what better excuse to drink than sports? 

now i'm not one to sit around at home by myself with a six pack and a football game on, but when i'm with friends it always makes for a good time.  i happen to be leaving my cave and going to pittsburgh to see my best friend since middle school ERAH (we have caveman names don't judge) and it just happens to be a hockey night in pittsburgh, so we're obviously going to get all decked out and go to a bar to watch.  so how to keep the calories low with drinks.  well since i'm on blood thinners at the moment (yes i am a grandma and have already managed to have multiple blood clots) i get goofy after about 3 beers and since i'm obviously going to drink labatt blue light DUH i should be under 400 calories.  but most people my age and above don't have my problems so what to drink to keep it low cal?  this is not a blog for minors and prudes so please don't tell me to stay sober.  i never drink anymore and i want to have a good time mmk?! and someone needs to spike your drink.

anyways, some of my usual options--depending on occasion and amount of money i want to spend:

anything with diet - usually just keep it uncomplicated and do a rum and diet but sometimes i'll throw something yummy in there
vodka tonic with lime - boring and basic but tasty
wine - red is good for your heart! but i prefer whites of course--mmm reisling and pinot grigio
michelob ultra - my beer + food choice
skinnygirl cocktails! definitely a girly drink but yummy and low cal!  and apparently besides the margarita, they now have a sangria and a cosmo.  someone get me to the liquor store!

other than that i'm drawing a blank.  if anyone has any suggestions i'm definitely open to try new things!

happy saturday and go pens :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

i cant associate with non breakfast eaters

gooooooood morning san francisco!  i clearly got to sleep in this morning, as i am not starting my post with six bajillion complaints.  okay so with morning comes breakfast. and thus introduces one of my biggest pet peeves about people: those who don't eat breakfast.  when people say that i just want to slap them and walk away. it is not only my favorite meal and personal preference that i must eat breakfast, it's just really stupid not to.  facts about breakfast eaters:

-starts up your metabolism and lessens hungry cravings throughout the day
-wakes your brain up and increases concentration as well as energy to perform
-overall weigh less throughout their lives than non breakfast eaters

this isn't saying go eat a bagel or donut though.  definitely incorporate some sort of protein so you don't just  explode your blood sugar and crash an hour later.  protein + fiber = healthy breakfast. so go eat your damn breakfast or you shall be shunned!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

quick fix din-din

living with your parents has it's perks.  one of those being that i usually don't have to cook my own meals (i love cooking i'm just lazy and poor).  well tonight everyone has abandoned me and i'm left to fend for myself.  our kitchen is often lacking ingredients for making anything super creative so i've learned to throw things together to make healthy, satisfying meals.  and when i say satisfying i suppose i mean to the point where i only insist on one dessert instead of three. so here's tonights feature:

so this basic dish started with olive oil (my staple fat and source of omega's) and i sauteed a clove of garlic and red and white onions roughly chopped. threw some zucchini and crushed tomatoes in there and followed with some pre-cooked shrimp.  had a small serving of barilla plus noodles in the fridge that i combined it with and topped it off with some parmesan cheese.

if i had to guess, the year of my attempted nutrition degree would tell me it would be roughly 500 calories.  if i was good at portion control i would have saved some of the sauce/veggies/shrimp topping and saved myself 100 calories or so but since i'm not i justified eating it all because my noodle portion was so low. and i was hungry. so sue me!

sit and be fit--band workout

sit and be fit.  have you ever watched that show? it's a funny concept to those of us with two working legs, but now that im basically a peg legger for the time being, it's something i'm going to have to incorporate into my life if i want to work out.  today i'm going for an upper body band work out.  band work outs are good for anyone because they are easier on the joints.  they also give your muscles endurance as opposed to strength and even those whose goals are mainly to become stronger, it's a good way to mix up your workouts during the week.  it can also help with everyday pain in the shoulders or back as long as the movements are done right.  the way i plan on doing it, i will use short timed intervals to give it a cardiovascular feel.  this is good for those of us who can't walk/run/eliptical/bike.  so here she blows:

each exercise will be done for 4 minutes.  20 seconds on and 10 seconds off which comes out to 8 reps.  i've had beginner clients do 4 reps instead and work there way up as well as increasing the resistance level on the bands.  you'll know your own strength after doing a set or two.  form is more important than level of resistance, so keep it where you can perform properly through all the reps.

chest press
reverse fllys
shoulder press
lateral raises
lat pull
straight arm pull downs

enjoy your soreness :)

the skinny on coffee

so here i am. it's only 7 am and i've been at work since 6 am which means i have been up since 530 am. just typing these numbers kind of makes me throw up in my mouth a little. but nonetheless i am here and there's nothing i can do to get out of it.  i work in a fitness center (job A--of 2 jobs; my knee can only handle sitting in a desk at this point). so you'd think it'd be like an ideal job for me right? wrong. not at 6 am. and no i don't want any cheese with my whine. if i was allowed to work out, which i am when my knee lets me, it would be a different story.  getting paid to work out basically makes it okay to be awake this early, so most of the time i'm only complaining when the alarm goes off.

ANYWAY. so obviously i wouldn't be functioning this early without magical caffeine.  let's face it i wouldn't be functioning at 9 am without caffeine; it's basically a staple to my daily nutrition even though it doesn't supply me with a whole lot of nutrients. so i'm curious as to what other people are putting in their coffee. cream and sugar are the basic staples.  my average additions are one truvia sweetener and a tablespoon of powdered creamer...and okay when it's available which is usually always, at my house anyways, i put a lovely dollop of cool whip light on top.  i'm a sucker for sweets you'll learn.  here at work i have my powdered creamer and my sugar of choice is splenda.  i used to be a splenda junky...i try not to use it unless i have nothing else.  i like to stick to more natural things if i can.  so i basically carry truvia or sun crystals in my purse at all times...ya never know when you're gonna need sugar in something.

now back in the day of my "super fit" days (ahhh high school) i used a no calorie sweetener and kept it black.  i had a clear mentality about calories at this point.  then came starbucks.  i mean i had loved starbucks since like middle school, but when it became a more prevalent money sucker in my life i got used to the idea of a creamier sweeter drink.  drink of choice: grande java chip frappacino light. every time. i mean it's light!  but usually a splurge because the closest one to home is a good half an hour away.  probably a good thing.  but it doesn't hurt to treat yourself once and a while.  and why not make it something that has such an impact on my day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

first post of my first blog YAY!

well here i am. learning to blog; who woulda thunk it.  i basically want to start out by introducing myself.  my name is jenna and i am 22 years old and not getting any younger.  i grew up being quite the athlete and then ruined my college career path by blowing out my knee(s) playing volleyball.  that was my junior year of high school...flash forward 6 years and i am up to a total of 4 knee surgeries.  that's right, i said it, FOUR.  intertwined with all of that, i have also dealt with an addiction to food.  now this may sound cliche but it is to be taken literally.  after my first knee surgery, at which time my first true love ripped my heart out and put it in a blender for a protein shake, i gained 30 pounds.  combine that with a broken heart as well as being a borderline anorexic pre-surgery, and i developed an ongoing eating disorder.  it went from anorexia, to multiple forms of bulemia, to just a plain old binge eater...aka my addiction to food.  i have struggled with that to this day and i'm sure i always will.  with that said, i'm slowly coming to a point where i'm overcoming my addiction and learning to love food but also loving the way food can make my body beautiful and strong in combination with fitness.  you cannot be fit without food.  you can be skinny, but you can't be fit.  my goal is to be skinny, fit, healthy, and happy.  and if there is anyone who can relate, i'm hoping the documentation of my ups and downs gives somebody else the push they need to get through the bad stuff.  there's gotta be good stuff.  i just know it.