Sierra and his mom, Robin - three days and 23 years!
Rapscallion Pandemonium (tortie) and CK (black and white).
RIP, CK, we miss you.
"Once a lap-puppy, ALWAYS a lap-puppy!" Shadow, about seven months old.
Shared Fitness Tracker
SHADOWPUP is a SparkPeople Motivator!
There is a time for building, adding accomplishments to what's already in place. There is also a time for refinement, removing what interferes. My year 2007 goal continued on into 2008, and I feel it is still the right approach in 2009: to act as my own sculptor, consciously chipping away at the attitudes and behaviors and material things that I've accumulated over the years, but which no longer serve a positive purpose. One can accumulate a lot of baggage in 47 years of life, and even positive habits an attitudes can stand to be taken out, dusted off, and polished a bit.
By improving my focus, I will be better able to see, understand and act in harmony with what is important in life. This year continues a lifetime's work. It feels great!
I'm in maintenance, which has it's own special challenges. Still, the lessons from year 1-2 and all the new things I am learning now will see me through!
Addendum in 2009. It is such a temptation to always add. More hobbies, more tasks, more obligations. That makes it very difficult to do justice to the most important things, which tend to become pushed aside by the urgent, or even the important and good things that are still secondary. Many days, even the good things in my life are too numerous to tackle - and I am left with a feeling that I never do enough, for enough people, or even myself, as I ought. It is hard to know what to keep, and what to let go. But closing one's eyes to these choices will not make them go away. A clear lesson from the past two years - clutter does not equate to bad. GOOD things can also overwhelm.
2010: not quite ready to set a goal here yet. In planning for 2010, Iím going back to basics and reassessing what health, fitness, and clutter removal. While I feel that my approach has been working, I want to make sure it isnít becoming Ö dusty and cluttered : )
Since December 2007, I've become a podcast addict! I normally listen to half an hour's worth of fitness/health oriented material a day while I do my moderate intensity cardio; it's an excellent way to stay on top of recent developments, and to stay motivated. Did you know that the health benefits of exercise can begin appearing within two weeks of starting a program - and that you will improve your life expectancy, reduce your risk of heart failure, stroke, and type II diabetes about that fast? You get all these positive changes before the scale even starts to budge.
My favorite fitness podcasts are all free, and I've listed them below. If you have never used a podcast before, take a look here (these are two separate links). The first link talks about general ways to download podcasts, the second focuses on Apple and the itunes program. Please notice that the SP sparkpage software is causing the links to break in unusual places which I can't seem to get fixed - they each display in two lines. Make sure you type in the whole thing, or just use a search program to search for podcast software downloads.
Top pick, Fitness Rocks. It's a great one for those who enjoy scientific articles on fitness and nutrition! Dr. Monte does this for free; he both comments on health/fitness articles and brings in guests. The science is sound (unlike most reports in this area) and he does an excellent job in making the material understandable to nonspecialists. 2/1/09 addendum. Lately the format has been shorter, without some of the verve of the first 100 shows ... and I'm not enjoying it as much. Sigh. But let Dr Monte stay here at the top of the list. Shows 30-110 or thereabouts are probably his best.
Others I like:
Strength Coach: This one is fast becoming my favorite! Itís geared towards athletes and their coaches, as opposed to home exercisers. See StrengthCoach.com and Michael Boye. Highly informative for those who want to understand more about designing a fitness program, particularly from a functional training perspective. Shows are structured loosely around functional fitness and usually begin with an interview with Coach Mike Boyle, and there are frequent appearances by Gray Cook, who did the functional movement screen thatís used extensively by pro football teams and others.
FitCast: this one appears to have begun as a kind of informal college student plus coach round table discussion, and itís been around a long time. Irreverent and offcolor, not polished like Strength Coach, this one gets real! There are many fascinating interviews, too, with people like Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove, Coach Boyle, Mike Robertson Ö many of those who do body building or strength coach work. Itís another that has grown on me over time. I like the feel of real people talking about their workouts, and bluntly expressing opinions. There is considerable off-topic conversation here, and you may want to stick with the episodes that focus on an interview. Later podcasts put the offtopic parts at the end.
SuperHuman Radio. I still donít know if I love this one or hate it! Certainly itís given me a different perspective about what people in strength training and body building think about Ö the pluses are that you get excellent guests and a wide range of information, and the shows are never boring. The minuses are the constant commercials and a tendency to overhype or exaggerate Ö Iím not confident of the science behind the discussions. Still, often whatís said is true even when it seems weird, and itís not a bad thing to have oneís assumptions challenged. Just take it with a grain of salt, and listen when youíre able to fast forward through endless adverts for protein supplements and so no. And be willing to be offended from time to time.
The Brain Science podcast, with Dr Ginger Campbell: good for those who enjoy learning about the science behind the body/mind connection. She is dryer than Dr Monte - but she does an outstanding job describing developments in a tough subject. Her shows are usually a mixture of article reviews, and interviews of academic paper/popular science book authors. Practically everything we learned about the brain when I was in school is wrong!
Reality-based fitness, In The Trenches Fitness, Iron Radio. All three of these talk about practical matters related to fitness, especially strength training. Interview style, mostly (Iron Radio often has a round table too). Iíve enjoyed every one. Reality-based fitness does not come out as regularly as In The Trenches or Iron Radio. Very good for those who are looking for more detailed discussions of modern professional coaches (both team and personal trainer styles represented).
Ask Leigh. This is one by Leigh Peele. I really like her! I first Ďmetí her on FitCast. She does a monologue, usually, sometimes answering reader questions. Leighís emphasis is on weight loss and the problems people often have with the process Ė more specifically, fat loss and nutrition, though there is some discussion of exercise too. She is well informed and has plenty of handís on experience to share. You might like her downloadable books, too. Leigh reminds me of a smart friend who isnít afraid to call a spade a spade. She had a previous podcast with a name like Fat Loss Troubleshooter, and you may like that one also. She often gets quite heated about a subject Ė itís not a polished radio show, but more of a straight talk conversation.
Dr Susan Mitchell: this is shorter than the others; good content, with a focus on nutrition. She's fun, and has many good tips for eating and health.
Lady Diet/Diet.com: short, usually three minute segments on a variety of health topics. Upbeat and easy to listen to.
YOU: The Owners Manual with Dr Roizen. An excellent talk-shown overview of the materials in the book. Most of the recent episodes feature call-in and email-in questions. If you like the book, this is a good way to get more help about how to apply the principles to your own life. Discovery Health also has a four part series by Dr Oz, but it doesn't seem to be a regular feature. You can also find YOU docs on Oprah and Friends.
For those who prefer a lighter/interview approach to fitness topics:
Fit2Fat: conversations on health/exercise topics. The two hosts are good about getting their facts right, and they talk about real problems and approaches that should work for a variety of people.
StrengthCast: this is similar to Fit2Fat, with a single host. The discussions are usually around strength training. The tips remind me of what a coach might give for working out in a gym.
"Dr Fitness and the Fat Guy": a chatty, light-hearted talk-radio discussion with many of the in-the-news health and fitness players; this one is fun and has good content, though it may annoy people who want content without "chat". I disliked it at first Ė the banter seemed a little offensive, until I got to Ďknowí the people better - but it has grown on me, and I regularly take this series with me to listen to on travel. Shows are about an hour. Interviewees tend to be drawn from those who are popular, with a show, dvd, or book. Geared towards the home exerciser.
Jillian Michaels had a talk show that repeats on a podcast: a talk-radio style approach to fitness, with updates on the Biggest Loser. You will have to pick her episodes out of a list stored under SUNDAY on her radio station, rather than subscribing. Or, subscribe, and set up a smart playlist to pick out the episodes for you. http://www.kfi640.com/podcast/SUNDAY.xml or search for KFI640 radio show and go to the SUNDAY broadcasts. This show ended in Aug/July of 2009, but past episodes were still there when last I checked.
General podcasts on science:
* The Naked Scientist. I almost skipped this one because of the name, which would have been a real shame! It is funny, accurate, and delivered in a British tone of voice. They cover all kinds of science, including health topics. Most shows feature an experiment that can be done at home, as well as a serious discussion of some element of science, and listener call-in questions
* Science Friday. Another quick source of scientific topics, and you can even listen in through Second Life.
Others have recommended these - thanks for the suggestions! I enjoyed all of them. Phedippidations is especially appropriate for runners.
* The Reasonable Diet with Sandra Ahten
* Inside Out Weight Loss with Renee Stephens.
* Logical Weight Loss
* Health Related Fitness
You might also like:
* www.OnTheHomeStretch.com ; in Dec they featured our very own SparkPeople Stepfanie Romine!
I enjoy measuring things! Here's a good place for calculators of all kinds.
... AND SOME SPECIFIC FITNESS TARGETS FOR 2009!
GOAL 1: Pull ups - 20 in one set
-12/31/08: one. Barely.
-01/01/09: two reps. Well, three, with momentum :(
-01/17/09: Nine! Had to fight to get that last one in :)
-02/01/09: TEN. Two sets of ten, an hour apart.
-03/21/09: TWELVE!!!. Used momentum to start. Over half way there!
-04/27/09: 14, then 12, then 10. No real momentum needed.
RESTARTED earlier this month ... and now ...
-01/18/10: 12, then 12, then 15! NEW RECORD.
GOAL 2: Toe Pushups - 100 in drop sets
-01/01/09: 70 drop set reps using 6 inch stair, first drop set 16 so eight sets altogether.
-01/15/09: 50 in three sets decline on the ball, then 16 toe pushups.
-03/19/09: 30 toe in a row, after doing two sets of ten on toes, then a break, and drop set totalling 50 on toes. Over 100 on toes total within a one hour period. Getting closer ...
-04/24/09: 40 toe in a row!
1/1/10 - retested these yesterday, and did 28 toes in a row ... sigh. Added incentive for doing them again!
1/16/10. 30 in a row. Equalled 3/19/09.
GOAL 3: Kettlebells - get to intermediate level skill
- 01/01/09: doing swings, single and double, 15lbs x 20 reps
- 01/15/09: AOS Providence, first half. midair transfer. No flip or TGU yet.
-03/18/09: AOS Providence all the way, 15 lbs. Very doable.
-12/05/09: working on Turkish Getup
Goal 4: Complete STS, 6 month rotation
- preordered in 2008
- shipping on 1/27! Starting soon after.
- 3/21: Meso 1, week 3, second round
- 4/29: Meso 2, week 2, first round
- note, finished Meso 3 in August!
12/31/09: started round two, STS 3 month rotation.
Eliminate body clutter - junk foods, junk attitudes, junk behaviors!
I do regular food tracking, with a product I selected before the SP tracker was improved.
* "real", foods like fresh fruits, whole grains and veggies
* Regular meals and snacks
* Balance carbs, healthy fats, and proteins
* Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast!
Strength training improved my BMR from 1200 to almost 1400. In maintenance I average 1900 cals/day, higher activity .
* Daily walk. Always.
* Strength training - using STS Cathe Friedrich. Wow!
* Cardiovascular 3-4 x/week: steady state biking, CardioCoach workouts, interval dvds
180 to 162 (achieved)
162 to 146 (achieved)
146 to 132 (goal met 8/31/07)
* maintained 128-133
* body fat below 23%
* maintain 126-129
* body fat 17-19%
* regular fitness goals
Secrets of Success