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Top 10 Must Reads

1. Mark’s Daily Apple/Primal Blueprint/21 Day Total Body Transformation – I love just about anything and everything Mark writes. While I definitely don’t follow his workout plan, I think his diet is perfect. His website and books not only tell you what to do but they also explain why you should do it. If you follow the Primal Blueprint, you aren’t just blindly accepting something, you are being fully informed as to WHY it is the right thing to do! Bye Bye conventional wisdom, hello Mark’s Daily Apple!…My only question is…why Daily Apple? Mark doesn’t believe in eating fruit every day!;-)

2. Good Calories, Bad Calories – So people always cite their doctors as their source of information, but my question is…does your doctor really keep up with the latest studies or does your doctor just prescribe the medication that makes him or her the most money? I think I’d rather have Gary Taubes, a research journalist with no ulterior motives, telling me what is good and bad for me. Taubes looks at the facts, which makes for a very informative, if not sometimes dry, read. If you’ve read this book and Primal Blueprint and still think carbs are key and fat is bad…I think you have issues (no offense).

3. Be Heavy – I just found this blog through My Athletic Life (which is another great blog). Dana is AWESOME! Recently her posts have been spot on to what I’ve been thinking and feeling. I really loved her post yesterday about giving yourself permission to fail. I think this happens more often than we even realize!

4. Men’s Health – Yep…that’s right…a men’s magazine. No women’s magazine made the list, but Men’s Health did. Men’s Health has some great workouts as well as good nutritional advice (they promote Primal/Paleo/low carb!!). They really try to relay the most current information to their readers!

5. 4 Hour Body – Tim Ferriss is the definition of a human guinea pig. Talk about self-experimentation. I love this book because it SHOWS you what works. You know he isn’t just trying to sell you a fad diet, but something that he has tried and that has WORKED for him!

6. Strong Lifts – One of the best lifting sites out there (AND he really promotes women lifting!!!). His 5×5 program is something that I really want to try at some point! Great information if you are interested in gaining strength or even size!

7. The Great Fitness Experiment – I love the name of Charlotte’s blog! Personal fitness really is just one big experiment. AND Charlotte really has tried it all so she is a great source of information!

8. Fit and Feminist – I’ve recently added this blog to my daily reading list. While Caitlin definitely likes running more than I do, she is definitely a Man Biceper! She is a strong woman who doesn’t seem afraid to tell it like it is! I loved her post the other day about weight training as feminist resistance.

9. Leangains – A program to get super sexy that goes against conventional wisdom – of course I love this blog!!! Again another person that does more than just regurgitate information – Martin has actually experimented to find out what works! Check out Intermittent Fasting the Martin Berkhan way!

10. MAN BICEP – DUH! I mean come on… 🙂

By the way, I wrote an earlier post about how there weren’t any good women’s lifting blogs. While I’m still disappointed by most of what is out there, I have found a few great ones which are on this list (and I check every day!).

Full of excuses and just about everything else…

I’ve been slacking on my diet recently and making excuses for it. I haven’t stuck to my diet consistently since going on vacation. I’ve eaten just about everything Boston has to offer and lots of it.

This wasn't one of my excuses, but it's close.

My excuses have been:

  1. I’m tired and just don’t have any self-control today.
  2. It’s someone’s birthday so I just need to go with the flow and eat whatever.
  3. I just want to have fun.
  4. Oh well…I’ll get back to it next week.
  5. I’m upset and I just want bad food because it will make me feel better.

But food hasn’t made me feel better. It hasn’t really even made the birthday celebrations that much more fun!

And today…I feel like the marshmallow woman. I feel disgusting. And I’m upset with myself for making up excuses and letting myself slack for like 3 weeks straight. Not one week or even two…but THREE.

I’m especially upset since I think that all of my slacking has started to effect my lifting. But…I WON’T LET IT CONTINUE!

I know these dieting setbacks are going to happen.  It’s ok to slip up every once in a while. Everyone does it. But you can’t let minor setbacks lead to a downward spiral.

Figure out why you are struggling to stick to your diet – figure out the issues behind the excuses. Realize where you behavior is leading and decide if that is really the way you want to be heading.

And then remind yourself of your goals. Remind  yourself of why you were on the diet, workout plan, lifestyle in the first place.

Here is my reminder of my overall goals for the Primal/4 Hour Body Diet:

  1. Gain muscle.
  2. Keep from gaining a ton of fat while adding strength for the Powerlifting meet.
  3. Look AWESOME!!
  4. Be healthy – eating only whole, good for me foods. (This is honestly probably the most important although sadly not as motivating as looking amazing!)

Once you’ve reminded yourself of your overall goals, set some measurable goals that you can track over the next few weeks to keep yourself dedicated and get yourself back on track.

It is even helpful to look back at all the progress you have made. It can motivate you to get back on track and it can help you set some realistic and measurable goals for the future.

So don’t let a slip up spiral out of control! Don’t keep making excuses. There is no time like the present to get back on track!!

Slow Carb Diet Update

So I’ve now done just under 4 weeks of the slow carb diet prescribed by the 4 hour body. As I said before, I put a primal twist on the meals during the week and didn’t indulge in beans, but instead ate nuts.

I’ve definitely seen results. I’ve lost about an inch off my waist and everything is looking leaner. A LOT leaner. I’ve overall felt pretty good and have really enjoy having the one day to binge. It makes the very restricted diet during the week easier to tolerate.

Of course during my vacation next week, I won’t be following the diet AT ALL, BUT I do plan to go back on it as soon as I get back. In the 4 hour body, he gives tips to minimize the damage you do on cheat days. I may try to use some of them during the vacation. We will see though.

The only downside to this diet for me was the little bit of “low carb flu” that I’ve felt on and off on Fridays. This was the first week that I really didn’t feel it at all (which is good because today I’m not indulging in my usual binge since the vacation is so close!)

I definitely recommend this diet if you are looking to get off the last little bit of fat!

Stepping off the Scale

Scales can seem mean.

So with the slow carb diet in the 4 hour body, you are supposed to do one cheat day each week where you pretty much eat everything and anything you want.

WHICH IS AWESOME!

BUT the one hard part for me is not getting down on myself when I step on the scale tomorrow and see that I’ve gained about 10lbs from water weight (yes it is very possible for a 120lbs woman to gain 10lbs of water weight from one day of bad eating).

Usually when I see massive gains from cheat days, I freak out even though I know 90% of that is probably water weight. That number on the scale sometimes even governs how I feel that day about how I look.

Sometimes you just curse it or cry.

And it is just plain stupid that one silly little number that can vary up to 10lbs should govern how I feel I look.

I know I’m not the only woman who does this, but I think it is something that has really hurt my dieting in the past. I get so focused on reaching a number that I lose sight of what my true goals are. I look at day-to-day fluctuations instead of weighing only once in a while to sort of get a feeling for where I’m at.

I mean if I just wanted to lose weight then the number on the scale should be of utmost importance. BUT I DON’T. I don’t want to end up 110lbs again with no muscle and be “skinny-fat.” I want to maintain the wonderful muscle I have now and just lose fat – I want to change my body composition.

Since I just want to change my body composition, the number on the scale may never change OR may even go up! Muscle does weigh more than fat!

So I’m challenging myself and every woman out there who focuses too much on the number she sees on the scale – STEP OFF THE SCALE NOW!

No Coffee :-(

I NEED CAFFEINE RIGHT NOW!!!! BUT I can’t drink coffee black, and I’m trying this new slow carb diet from the 4 hour body, which doesn’t allow you to really indulge in artificial sweeteners.

No more than 16 oz a day of diet, artificially sweetened anything!

Yep, Splenda and such can have a negative effect on fat loss. I didn’t believe it at first. I mean how can something without calories keep you from losing fat? I mean I know losing fat isn’t simply about calories in vs. calories out and is affected by the quality of calories you eat, BUT STILL! I WANT MY MORNING CAFFE VANILLA LIGHT FRAP!

But no! I will exhibit some self-control, which is difficult when I haven’t gotten much sleep and was up at 4:30 a.m. again. I just keep reminding myself that I can have a Frap on Saturday since on the 4 hour body diet you are allowed one cheat day each week! YAY for Saturday! Just another reason to look forward to the weekend!

On a different note, box squats are really really good. What a great way to increase the amount you can squat! Yesterday the man bicep group did them. It is really tough sitting down past parallel, pausing and then standing back up with the weight on your back. Candy and I managed to do box squats with 165lbs. Not too shabby! 🙂

Today we will be doing the Filthy 50, which is always a tough one. You try to complete all of the reps and exercises as quickly as possible.

Filthy 50:
50 Box jumps
50 Jumping Pull ups
50 KB swings
50 Walking Lunges
50 Knees to Elbows
50 Push Press (45lbs)
50 Back Extensions
50 Wall Ball
50 Burpees
50 Double Unders

Give it a try!

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