Stadium Circuit + SMART Motivation

Shocker Fitness kicked my butt.

Sitting literally hurts.

I joined the party a tad late. After staying up until 1 a.m., I was not moving too quickly at 6:15 a.m.

Could not fall asleep = explanation.

Oh, well! I got in most of the warm-up and every second of the dreadful workout.

Oh, dreadful, you say?

Quite.

For lack of a better way to explain…

Warm-Up

Fast Runs (Sprints)
8-60’s

Stadium Circuit
Round 1

20 seats // 15 arm dips

30 seats // 20 split squats (10/leg)

40 seats // 30 abs*

Full stadium

15 butterfly crunches

30 leg raises (15/leg)

15 mountain climbers

15 pushups

up/down incline running**

Round 2
30 seats // 10 incline pushups

40 seats // 20 lateral squats (10/leg)

50 seats // 30 double-leg raises

Full stadium (approx.)

10 double-leg thrusts

…and this is where we stopped.

In its entirety, the workout consisted of three full rounds – all of which are strikingly similar in butt-kicking abilities.

Exhibit A: My butt. (Ouch.)

We stopped because we ran out of time. No one made it to Round 3, and I think only one woman made it all the way through Round 2.

(In the 5:45 a.m. session, one guy made it almost through Round 3, according to Coach Em. Holy cow. Two of the women in my session had just finished Shocker Fit Xtreme… which just makes them crazy to do the circuit, too, in my opinion. Power to you.)

*I do not remember what these are called, but it where you sit on your butt and your legs go in and out. Like a V-up, but not so much V.

**Under the stadiums, there is a path people use to get up and down to different sections. It is a slight incline, and we had to walk down, run up twice. (For lack of a better term?)

All of that. All of that was death. I’ll be sore in the morning, but it was a good workout!

As a continuation to my blog about motivation on Monday, I would like to add more specific tips from Find Your Motivation by Greg Presto for Livestrong.com.

In the beginning, the article focused on dopamine and chocolate and habits, which had nothing to do with motivation that I could tell.

I kept reading out of curiosity.

Presto connected the ideas by stating that motivation is the driving force behind our bad habits, and that we need to refocus our motivation to good behaviors (which I ‘spose you cannot call a habit).

I only liked one of the tips. I think, for people who do well with rules, it could be effective. (Plus, I have totally heard this in grad school as what researchers need to do to accomplish big research projects. There! Education for the win.)

The article said to be S.M.A.R.T. about our goals.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely – all of which should describe goals.

Going in to detail…

Specific – I want to work out three days a week, or I want to eat a vegetable-based meal three nights a week.

Measurable – I want to lose X pounds, inches, etc., or lower cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Remember to measure before and after!

Attainable – Don’t set goals that are physically, mentally or emotionally impossible for you to do. (I used to do this. It’s not fun. It feels like failure every day. Don’t do it.)

Realistic – You will not lose 10 pounds in two weeks. Instead, try: I want to lose 10 pounds in three months, which is much more realistic (and attainable – I did it!)

Timely – Short-term goals are more specific, measureable, attainable and realistic than long-term goals. Think about it! Is anyone really following their five-year plan? No! Five years is a long time just like losing 20 pounds is going to take a long time.

How effective tips like this are I don’t know.

However, my advice: “Shut up and go” is not specific or measurable. Most of the time it’s not remotely attainable. Plus, it is always good to get a second opinion (and third and fourth and…).

News: 2011 Prairie Fire Race Volunteer! Well, you’re lookin’ at one!

I’m not running in the race, although, I wish I was, but I will be at Mile 11 on Sunday, Oct. 9, with the DietsinReview station filling water cups! Runners get thirsty. :)

Check out Prairie Fire here, and I’ll see you at the race!

Skinny shopping list

Today is grocery day! Another chance to save money, use coupons and still eat healthfully.

Let me tell you… Not easy, but I’ve got to do it, and I usually don’t do the best job. I just keep trying.

I found a skinny shopping list – the groceries of skinny people – to “follow” on my trip today. I wonder how well I’ll do…

Skinny Shopping List
Apples… are full of fiber and uber delicious. Similar to the sugar boost of a large candy bar, apples can boost your energy while filling you up with enough fiber to keep your full for far longer than a Snickers. Pears have more fiber, but “they’re ripe for half an hour!” (Eddie Izzard). Both fruits are rich in pectin, which lowers blood sugar.

I pick up five or six green apples every shopping trip. Better or worse than red or pink? I’m not sure. Green apples are sweetly tart!

Berries… are high in fiber and packed with antioxidants. Naturally sweet and filling, berries are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Plus, Women’s Health Magazine once advised that you should stuff your face with them.

Berries are expensive and do not come in portion sizes that I desire. For instance, a package of blueberries QUICKLY rots from the bottom up. If I do not eat ALL of the berries (huge package) the same day I bring them home, I cannot eat any of the berries.

Crunchy veggies… such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are low in calories, high in fiber and full of potassium and calcium. Green leafy veggies are loaded with calcium – some even more than milk.

Broccoli and cauliflower are pretty much “banned” from the house. Husband hates broccoli, and I hate cauliflower. I’m willing to eat as much cabbage as I possible can, though. LOVE cabbage. Green cabbage on the list!

Mushrooms… blech! Low in calories but unfortunately disgusting. No mushrooms in my house!

Nuts… awesome! Protein, fiber and healthy fat found in almonds, walnuts and peanuts! LOVE! However, I cannot keep nuts in the house for very long. Husband covers them in peanut butter for double the yum and devours them in one setting. All of them.

Have you ever fed a behemoth? It’s hard. (Behemoth is one of my GRE words!)

Oatmeal… We have oatmeal, I just need a recipe for oatmeal that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Beans… are not glamorous, of course, but they are super nutritious. Dana @mylittlecelebration puts them in brownies! My next mission in baking? Putting protein and fiber filled beans in something sweet and sneak feeding it to my family or husband.

Beans on the list!

Quinoa… is too expensive for my wallet, but it is a protein-filled whole grain of goodness! No quinoa for us this week.

Fish… is on the menu at least once a week at our house. Easy to flavor and quick to thaw and cook. Check out my baked tilapia! It’s so yummy.

Our frozen store is running low. Tilapia is needed!

Lowfat yogurt… is filled with all the good things you’re supposed to get from dairy products. Buy plain or Greek yogurt and sweeten naturally with berries or nuts.

Husband and I tried Greek yogurt… twice… and we really wanted to like it, but it’s just so gross. We have Yoplait Lite! in the fridge. No yogurt this trip.

Eggs… Oh. My. Goodness. I love eggs. Eggs are good with everything, just like apples or crackers. Spicy eggs, sweet eggs, savory eggs, you name it, I’ll eat it. And we’ve only got three left! :( Eggs on the list.

Olive oil… should be used to cook everything. It’s just that awesome. But we’re stocked so no olive oil for me this week.

What’s the first step?

Finding recipes/food that we’ll eat for the next two weeks, and then I will gather my coupons, make my list and go hunting for the best and healthiest deals.

Wish me luck! Update when I get back from the store.

Clean bill of health!

On Monday, I went back to my doctor to get this checked out. (Caution Male Readers!)

For the past six weeks, I struggled to reduce the (overly) large amount of caffeine I drink on a daily basis by MORE THAN HALF.

Well, I did it!

My doctor told me she could really tell I cut back on the caffeine, and then she said that I had to keep it up.

I believe her exact words were: “And not a pot of coffee a day.”

And she said it with a “doctor glare.” You know the one.

Weird thing: We discovered I have one big rib on the right side. It’s just larger than all my other ribs. (I checked.) Fantastic.

I promised. Of course, I might have to break that promise come August.

School is soon! I’m excited, but only because I need to accomplish things. I need to accomplish papers and speeches and teaching.

Ugh. I’m not good without school, I suppose!

Unfortunately, with school comes Ramen Noodles and all-nighters, which leave me too exhausted to workout.

I’m gonna get fat. Boo.

Currently, my workouts and diet are going… OK.

Dieting is just no fun, and daily I learn that I eat too much by counting calories. Counting calories is impossible.

I did Pure Cardio of Insanity today, and it went well. I pushed my body until my legs went out and I fell on my butt.

Twice.

Yeah, I went back for more.

And I died! (Eddie Izzard)

Well, my computer is acting weird, and I have studying to do… Hate on the GRE with me!

Also, I have a gross giant zit on my face. I would show you but the picture wouldn’t turn out right.

WEIGHT DROP!

While I truly believe that I will gain weight by the end of Insanity instead of lose weight…

I LOST 4 POUNDS!

Woo hoo!

I’m so excited! Can’t you tell?

I feel good today! Good workout today! Still bites on the dieting front. :)

I’m a busy bee right now, but when I get a break, I’ll let you know how my six-week checkup for this problem went.

The bane of my existence…

I worked out today!

Of course, it was only Cardio Recovery, filled with exercises I’m good at. Squats, plank, yoga, etc.

No cardio.

Maybe I hate cardio… No. I still think I hate it all.

Anywho! We’re not going to talk about that today because I hate it, and I’m in a good/sleepy/goofy mood! (Plus, I got a lot of stuff done at work today, too, so I feel accomplished at something.)

Instead, we’re going to talk about one of the many banes of my existence: cellulite.

Did you shudder? I did.

Cellulite: Hold the Cottage Cheese, Please
By Stephanie S. Saunders

(Apologies. I cannot find the original link to this article)

One of the most hated words in the English language must surely be cellulite.

For the 90 percent of women who are plagued by the “cottage cheese” dimples that can run across the backs of arms and the entire lower body, it can seem like the ugliest thing in the world. Sure, you can hide it beneath clothing, but once bikini season hits, it’s all over.

From a self-consciousness point of view, it’s as if you’re back in middle school. You might as well make it a trifecta of humiliation by slapping on some braces and a lime-green prom dress.

While there’s no way yet to completely rid your body of cellulite, there are a few ways to help improve its appearance.

(Fantastic! Lay it on me.)

The term cellulite refers to the dimpled appearance of skin that can occur at any point on the body where the skin is thinner. Under the upper layer of skin, there’s a layer of connective tissue that holds fat into place. In most women, this connective tissue has gaps in it, which allow the fat to push through, creating a bumpy appearance. The difference between fat and cellulite is simply where the deposit lies in relation to these gaps in the connective tissue. That, and the fact that even with weight loss and muscle gain, so-called “normal” fat may disappear, while cellulite seems to want to continue keeping your thighs company indefinitely.

(So far, dear article, you continue to depress me.)

Cellulite can occur in the thinnest of women and men and doesn’t seem to discriminate based on nationality, financial standing, age or weight.

There are believed to be hormonal and hereditary issues that can contribute to causing cellulite. Other causes may include poor circulation, lack of exercise and even too-tightly fitting undergarments.

But no one really knows for sure why 10 percent of the female population is gifted with not having to deal with cellulite, while the rest of us have rear ends that look like a giant golf ball.

(I hate those… lucky… freakin’… not fair…)

So when faced with the appearance of orange peel (orange peel?) on your thighs, what should you do?

Well, there’s good and bad news. The bad news is that there is no actual way, surgical or otherwise, to get rid of cellulite completely at present. No amount of vacuuming, injections, creams or painful massage will eradicate it permanently. But there are many things that can potentially improve the appearance of cellulite. The following is a list of options, ranked from the least to most invasive and/or expensive.

Diet. There are several diets out here that claim to remove cellulite from the body. After a bit of research, you’ll find that most of them are just healthy eating plans that tell you to reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption, avoid processed foods, and drink plenty of water. This, of course, doesn’t really bring anything specific to the table for cellulite. It might help you lose overall body fat, which will reduce the appearance of the lumpy stuff, but no amount of pineapple consumption will completely remove it.

(Darn liars…)

Exercise. Magazines are full of articles on exercises to ban dimpled thighs. Again, these exercises are designed to promote muscle growth and fat loss. Unfortunately, a lot of them are exercises that only target very specific areas, which will not benefit your overall fitness level and are fairly pointless, considering that you can’t spot-reduce fat. Hard cardio and a toned physique will go just as far, if not farther, for reducing the appearance of cellulite. Overall, continuing with your P90X or INSANITY® workout plans will do more for you than will any number of leg lifts alone.

(Of course…)

Tanning. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has again come out with studies on how horrible the effects of tanning beds and baking in the sun can be. Tanning has now been compared to cigarettes and arsenic. Which is unfortunate because a little color on your skin can do more to mask extra bumpy tissue than just about anything else. Luckily, there are an abundance of tanning creams and spray-on tans out there that can give you a similar effect without the risk of skin cancer. Just be careful with application, and if you go the professional route, make sure the folks you choose know what they’re doing. I once attended a black tie event with hands the color of a pumpkin. Not pretty.

(Totally not me… it was the author. I don’t attend black tie events. I don’t look good in ties.)

Creams. There are thousands of topical treatments available that can cost anywhere from $10 to several hundred. Most of them have the common “active” ingredients aminophylline, caffeine and theophyilline. Sad to say, none of these creams can deliver the needed concentration to the necessary depth to make much of a difference in the connective tissue. They’re promoted as increasing circulation, but ultimately, you’re just using a very expensive moisturizer.

(Celtrixa is a lie. Wait… that’s for stretch marks. Still a lie.)

Massage. Massage is another attempt at breaking down connective tissue and increasing circulation in the area. Unfortunately, cellulite is a tougher problem than can be fixed by a single day at the spa. However, there have been studies that consistent, rather aggressive massage techniques can really assist in the cottage cheese reduction process. Before scheduling a daily visit from your massage therapist, though, try intensely rubbing the affected areas on your own with a moisturizer for a few weeks and see if there’s any change in appearance. Thankfully, most cellulite appears on areas of the body you can actually reach.

(…areas you can actually reach? Back cellulite! The itch you just can’t scratch… lol.)

Wraps. (What? I’ve not heard of this.) Wraps have been around forever and still have devoted followers all over the world. The idea of the body wrap is to dehydrate the area, removing all excess water, supposedly creating a leaner appearance. Wrestlers and ballet dancers alike are infamous for wrapping themselves in plastic and sitting in a sauna for ridiculous amounts of time to try and drop “weight.” These results are temporary and will usually return to normal with any intake of water. Wraps may in fact moisturize the skin, but so will a bit of inexpensive aloe vera cream.

Supplements. Supplements can be extremely effective in helping you achieve fitness goals, but like all things I’ve mentioned thus far, no combination of herbal remedies has been proven effective in the fight against cellulite. Most contain some sort of ginkgo biloba, sweet clover, grapeseed bioflavinoids, oil of evening primrose, fish oil and soy lecithin. All might assist your metabolism, and possibly your immunity and brain function, but none will make the dimples disappear.

(Lies, lies, lies…)

Injections. Here’s a cellulite remedy that can cause actual discomfort. Mesotherapy is a series of injections to the cellulite-affected area. Very similar to Botox® for your back end, it’s highly controversial and can require up to 10 visits to see any results. The medication injected has been approved by the FDA for other cosmetic issues, but wasn’t designed for use on cellulite, and is so new that all potential side effects haven’t been discovered yet. Before you choose to go this route, make sure to discuss it thoroughly with your medical practitioner.

(No thank you.)

Suction massage. (Say what, now?) Endermology was created in France about 15 years ago for the temporary reduction of cellulite. The machine creates suction, pulling and squeezing affected areas, which eventually seems to redistribute the fat somewhat, but in truth, it doesn’t change the fat’s makeup. Sessions last about 45 minutes, require 10 to 12 visits, and are rather expensive. Without regular maintenance visits, the appearance of cellulite will simply return.

Lasers. The FDA has approved two different laser options, both used with either a suction device or massage therapy. A low-level laser is radiated on the skin as some type of massage is administered. Both TriActive and VelaSmooth® require as many sessions as Endermology, in addition to continued follow-up maintenance, and can cost thousands of dollars. The effectiveness of laser treatments on cellulite is still unclear, but for individuals with enough cash to spare, this presently seems to be one of the best possible options for cellulite reduction.

Remember, while many of these approaches can improve the appearance of cellulite, none seem to remove cellulite completely or permanently. Until a method is found that will accomplish the total eradication of cellulite, it might be better to spend less money on expensive creams and injections and more on nutritious foods and activities that support a healthy lifestyle. Not only will this help to improve your skin tone, but it’ll make you feel better about your whole body, inside and out. And isn’t that more important than a few extra dimples?

(The answer to that question is most obviously… no. Ditch the dimples!)

Now, to all you ladies out there with perfect skin and cellulite-free thighs, I sorta hate you. Don’t take it personally.

The bane of my existence! Cellulite! We’ll talk about armpit hair and stretch marks on another day.

Remember: Don’t buy the creams!

A better workout

It’s true.

I did not have workout anxiety today.

In fact, I had workout excitement.

MOSTLY because I had to sit on my butt all day, and didn’t have quite as many opportunities to get up and move around.

I was stuck there.

Don’t get excited for me! It’s not that much of an accomplishment. I still did not really enjoy the workout much or at all.

Cardio Power and Resistance is HARD. Why? Because it feels like you’re running and doing a squat at the same time for 30 minutes, which is not a feeling I enjoy.

Who knew? Ha!

I have to be careful, I’ve noticed, on my left leg/foot/ankle. During hard landings, I feel like I’m pinching something that makes my leg spasm. Uncomfortable. (Hard landings as in stomping the floor during High Knees or Hurdle Jumps. I’m trying to land softly.)

Good news: I discovered an “enjoy your workout” trick.

“Oh, do tell!”

Yell at the TV.

I yelled at the television like 50 times in my 42-minute workout DVD. (The first 10-12 minutes are warm up, and then stretch, and then about 25 minutes total of working out.)

So, if you hate working out in your living room to Insanity DVDs like I do, yell at the TV. Scream at it.

It pretty much worked.

More good news: I’m doing well with eating this week!

Next thing!

I thought I’d show you my “gym.”  :)

Working Out in Living Room
My program/trainer/DVD!
Need a Yoga Mat for Insanity Workout DVD at Home
My mat! I do not technically need to use a mat, but there is dog hair all over my floor, so...
Keep Cool with a Fan during Workout at Home
A fan to keep me cool because it gets hot. And a dog bone for my suddenly missing workout partner.
skinnyshae ready to workout to Insanity DVD
And THAT is my stellar headband. :)

So that’s me getting ready for my workout. I’m dead right now. No. You don’t get a picture. It’s time for a shower.

Is this positive? Is this a positive attitude? I’m trying!

Here’s something positive: Husband is cooking dinner tonight! :)

Symptom: Tight muscles, Cause: Running, Cure: Yoga

Power Yoga on Saturday morning revealed to me how extremely tight my poor, poor muscles are.

My right leg malfunctioned.

However, I know that yoga is good for tight hips and cramping thighs. Off to Power Yoga I went!

Bad idea. I couldn’t do anything, hence the following…

Yoga For Runners
by Nicole Kwan
(An article to help you loosen up – click the link for the full article.)

If you want total body fitness, not just strong legs, you need upper body strength. Running can lead to tightness in the neck, shoulders, hamstrings and hips. Huh, who knew? Yoga, by comparison, is more relaxing than running -especially for the neck and shoulders. Yoga also builds upper body strength! (Tell that to my back…)

The experts suggest using side plank to build upper body strength while working your core at the same time.

If you want pain-free running (and we all do), you need increased strength and flexibility, which yoga provides. Yoga opens joints, leading to increased flexibility; yoga also builds all-muscle strength.

However, the experts warn us to be safe! If you are super tight, you are in danger of pulling a “hammy.” (Is that not the cutest word ever?)

If you want to prevent injuries, you need perfect posture. You also need perfect posture to look taller, thinner and more confident. Guess what yoga does for us? Perfect posture! :) Mountain pose, tree pose… pretty much any one-legged pose… builds balance and posture.

If you want agility, and I most definitely do, you need to stretch correctly. Remember this sequence: Warm-up, stretch, workout, stretch. Doing yoga after a workout, especially a run, will help you feel better in the morning. (I’m always sore in the morning…)

Do you want to recover faster? You need consistent yoga practice. Power Yoga this morning was my first day back after the final three hellish weeks of the semester. I couldn’t do anything… remember? Consistent yoga practice prevents build up of scar tissue. Working out breaks you down; you have to rebuild, and no one wants to build scar tissue. Gross.

Attention, runners! Take a break from the track! Get on the mat!

Just because yoga did not go well for me this morning, it does not mean I won’t be going back. I need yoga as much as I need Bikini Boot Camp.

(Plus, I’m still paying for membership on top of personal training. I am taking full advantage.)

Unfortunately, I will not be at Bikini Boot Camp on Monday morning :( I have a good reason! I have a job interview when class is being held… and I really need a job.

Hopefully, Casey Jo will let me sneak in her evening class so I can get a good workout in. If not, or I forget, I’ll do… an… Insanity workout… GAH! I must hate myself. :)