Diarrhea of the Mouth, Constipation of the Brain

Here's an important injury prevention tip for some of my fellow gym goers:

Keep your mouth shut. Please.

Unsolicited commentary that I can do without:
"That makes my back just hurt looking at you do that." - from the man doing abs while I was in the course of doing "DT" yesterday,
  • suggested response from Mr. Diva "If your back hurts, then you might be doing it wrong".
"Manly woman" - from gym trainer, in reference to my not using gloves while doing pull-ups.
  • suggested response from Mr. Diva "Better than being a (expletive deleted) pussy".
"You're doing great- much stronger. Getting lean. I remember when you first started coming here" - girl translation: "You used to be fat".
  • suggested response from Mr. Diva "Who asked you? Go to hell." and "Stop talking to my girlfriend".
The same way I don't comment about the 4 kg Kettlebell you're using (or the fact that your range of motion makes my grandmother look sprightly), you need to keep your thoughts to yourself. Please. Even the well meaning ones - if I don't know you, then I don't know how to take your comment. And since I'm a girl, I'll most likely give it an uncomplimentary spin (unless you tell me flat out that I'm hot. That I'll understand). But to be on the safe side - shhh.

Really. Use your inside voice and we'll all get along. I promise.

Donut Float

Sometimes I hate having free time. Mind you, I don't have an awful lot of it - I'm just no longer working 80 hour work weeks (and somehow, I'm less productive this way - go figure). But here I am, with snippets of free time. And doing nothing with them.

Well, except for trying to figure out what to do.

For the first time in years, I have no big goals for the immediate future. No races lined up, no training plans to follow. I'm just now getting back into CF Main Site WODS after two weeks of little to no lifting - so no times to beat, no PRs to set.

I'm just floating around (especially where my training is concerned), and let me tell you - I don't like it one bit.

Since I don't have anything on the horizon, let me live vicariously through you! What are your goals for the next 3 months? What do you hope to accomplish during the warmth and blinding sunshine of the summer?

Tuesday's Tip - April 28th

"Time is an illusion. Lunch doubly so." - Douglas Adams
Speaking of which, sorry for the late post :) I find it incredibly difficult to tear myself away from lounging in the backyard, morning coffee and book in hand.

Monsters and Mortals, Dan Broughton

Dan Broughton may not know it yet, but he is most definitely a Monster.

Dan (a CrossFit coach in Woodbridge, Virgina) was at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Qualifiers for the 2009 CrossFit Games this past weekend.

And kicking some serious CrossFit butt.

First WOD:
2k row for time


Second WOD:
3 rounds for time:
10 deadlifts at 275 lbs
50 double-unders


Third WOD:
For time:
400m run
21 overhead squats at 95 lbs
21 box jumps 24"
400m run
15 overhead squats
15 box jumps
400m run
9 overhead squats
9 box jumps


Total for Day 1 - 0:25:22

Sunday's workout was featured on the CrossFit Main Site:
Three rounds, 21-15- and 9 reps, for time of:
95 pound Squat snatch
Chest to bar Pull-ups


At the close of the qualifiers, Dan placed 49th out of 120 competitors. If this is what he can accomplish training while on active duty overseas with minimal equipment, just imagine what a beast he'll be next year!!

For more information about this past weekend's events, please visit Mid -Atlantic Qualifiers or 2009 CrossFit Games.

Look Ma! No Tanlines!

Why is it that when the weather is beautiful out, all I want to do is read a book and bask in the sunshine?

Can we make that today's WOD?

Vitamin D for time.

3, 2, 1 GO!

100 Reasons I Run, #92

  • Because now I can appease my inner mileage whore at any time, just by hopping on my brand-spanking-new treadmill! Yesterday, I watched two episodes of Chuck! Which, sadly, winds up being about 40 minutes a piece, once you fast forward through the commercials.

Don't forget to Check the Air

Somebody stole my bicycle.

Last night, I went out back to walk the dog. As I stood there waiting for Doc to do his business, I looked at my patio, and mentally started to furnish it (we have a deck and a patio, but never use it - very sad). As I rearranged the virtual loveseat (all-weather wicker, of course), I realized that the patio looked different. The random window screen was there, enmeshed in the beach chair that I left out there over the summer, but that was it. No bike.

For a good twelve months, my bicycle has been sitting on the patio. Right where I left it after wheeling around from the car. Every rainstorm and snowstorm I told myself that once it dried off, I'd bring it inside and put it into the crawlspace. As it got rustier, I made a mental note to bring it in to get tuned up, and maybe put some road tires on it (in case I get around to doing that sprint triathlon).

My first thought, as I stood looking at the spot where the bicycle used to be was that I had taken it inside and just didn't remember it (I do that often). So, Doc and I came inside and I first checked my room (when we moved, I set up a practice room for myself that has since become my version of a garage full o'crap. Urgh). OK. No bike. Next stop - the crawl space in the laundry room, where luggage and my bicycle are supposed to live. No bike.

Somebody stole my bicycle.

But when? A short time ago Mr. Diva bought a coiled cable lock for our upcoming vacation, and commented the other day that he shouldn't have, because he noticed that we had one on my bicycle. So it was there at least a week or so ago. The weather has finally broken, so the lawn care guys have just now mowed for the first time. Did they take it? Or was it a snot-nosed kid? Or a group of kids, going around stealing things off people's patios (don't laugh - they stole the emblem off my car a few years back).

The real injustice in all of this is that it's entirely my own fault. I had a bicycle, and I neglected it. I had the best of intentions, and always meant to use it - but I didn't it. And now it's gone.

By a (very wide) stretch of the imagination, our bodies are really no different. We have the best of intentions to take charge and learn a new skill, get stronger, faster, leaner - but often we just forget. Or we put it off until tomorrow.

I caution you against continually putting your goals aside until you have more time or the weather is better - you might just find that someone else is riding your purple dirt bike with the "I Love My Bike" bell on the handlebar.

I hope they're short, otherwise it's going to be a mighty uncomfortable ride....

Make a Wish

It seems that everyone I know turned 30 this weekend, and had parties to celebrate!

The past few days have been incredibly food-oriented. Despite my best intentions, I spent the weekend with Stuffed omg I Need a Nap. We were tight. And this time around, he brought a friend. Her name was "Urgh". As in, "Urgh - I don't feel so good". The pronunciation is a little tricky - it sounds just like it's spelled, but the placement is very low in the voice, and down in the back of the throat. You kinda have to stretch out the first vowel sound, too. In the end, I guess that it sounds more like a groan than a name.

One more birthday party tonite, and then everyone I know is old. Whew. Thank goodness.

In through the Nose, Out through the Mouth

Fridays. It's kind of like you hold your breath all week long, and the exhalation is in the form of the weekend.

Sadly I have over extended myself for the next few weekends, (who, me? How out of character!) so it will be a while before I get to experience an all encompassing exhalation of stress and dictatorial scheduling. But Fridays are still relaxed, no matter what the next two days have in store.

So I'm breathing, and releasing.

Have a great weekend.

SPF 60

It's shaping up to be a beautiful day here in NYC. It's April 16th (tax season is over!), the sun is shining, and the the little buoys are finally in the water at the 79th Street Boat Basin. Spring is finally here :)

With that in mind, turn off the silly computer, go outside and play!

100 reasons I Run, #93

  • Have you seen all the Mr. Softee trucks outside? Running is the fastest way to get past them without buying something!

On a side note - today is April 15th. We can all breath a sigh of relief - no more cranky Staci. OK, fine. Be that way. No more constantly cranky Staci, but rather a return of the mostly cranky Staci (don't come near me when I'm tired or hungry - I'm worse than a toddler).

Tuesday's Tip - April 14th

"Impossible things are simply those which so far have never been done." - Elbert Hubbard

Happy Anniversary - Embrace the Suck!

Today marks One Full Year that I've been recording my silly blatherings, and One Full Year that people other than myself have actually taken the time to read them.

It's also 2 days until the 15th (Tax Day), so y'all are getting a rerun!
Yesterday, I met the mountain. The mountain had some friends – the trails. Together, they kicked my ass and used it as a hackey-sack for approximately 10 hours and 50 minutes.

I may have enjoyed it. Only time will tell.

Start to 1777 Aid Station:

The total distance on this portion is 5.3 miles. This section is likely the most difficult section of the course. After a 2 mile warm up, this leg quickly turns vertical. There is an aggressive climb up the Yellow Trail, then a descent before climbing up The Timp Trail. Once you reach the top of the Timp Trail, it’s an easy run to the first Aid Station, 1777.

I got to the start around 6:15 am. It was nice not to have to schlep to a race for once, or look at directions! I pulled into the lot, next to Scott and Garth - with whom I’d attempted to scout the race course a few weeks earlier. After dropping our gear bags and hitting the rest room, we lined up for the pre-race speech. I kept an eye out for Emmy, who was going to be starting out with me before meeting up with Anthony to pace him for the final 11 miles of the 50 mile race. The weather was clear and getting warmer every minute. I debated the wisdom of wearing my windbreaker, but chose to keep it on for a bit. As we gathered around for the official start, Emmy was nowhere to be seen. At 7 am, we were off.

2 mile warm up my ass. It was 2 miles that gave runners a false sense of security. Sure, it was mostly uphill, but the pathway was wide and fairly easy to run, save for the massive amounts of mud left from the early morning storms. You think, “OK – I can do this”. But I knew better. From my earlier scouting trip of the trails, I had an inkling of what lay before me. So I took my time and kept an easy pace, settling into my position at the back of the pack. By the time we came to the two climbs in this section, I was the back of the pack. I didn’t find the climbs particularly difficult, compared to what I experienced a few weeks back when we tried to run the trail. They were definitely time consuming, and slick, but altogether I thought they were fun. I had by this point met up with the rest of the runners that made up the back of the pack. We were a motley crew, made up of a few very experienced ultra runners and some newer to the sport. One gentleman, who was a frequent contributor to UltraRunning magazine, said that of the hundreds of ultra marathons he’s participated in, this was by far the most difficult. We finally breezed into the first aid station at close to 9 am, 30 minutes past the first cut off.

1777 to Lake Welch Dr. Aid Station:

The total distance of this portion is 5.2 miles. Runners will set out on the Blue Trail and descend the South side of The Timp Trail. Runners will need to use caution as the last part of the descent is a rock staircase (extreme caution if it is wet). The Red Cross Trail follows this section with a climb over The Pines. Circumnavigate Pingyp Mountain as the descent on the South side is too dangerous. You’ll be following Pines Rd, then a newly marked route along Stillwater Brook which will lead you to the shoulder of the Palisades Parkway. Remain on the shoulder down to the police-assisted crossing and wait for the police to signal you across. Once across Palisades Parkway, runners will hit the Lake Welch Dr. Aid Station.

I think this is where I took my dirtiest spill. In the previous section I had slipped and caught myself with my right hand. Naked as it was, I managed to give myself a lovely cut that bled profusely until I hid it with my gloves. As we made our way down the steep rocks, yours truly slipped and went splat! into the mud. I had a very purdy tush for a while. At some point, I also had a run in with a tree branch that left a lovely scratch and bruise all over my right thigh. During this section, I also pulled away from the back of the pack fairly early on. I made some nice gains while power-hiking some of the rockier portions, and soon I was all alone. It was here where I also found my “trail legs” for a while. I realized that if I just let go, I could navigate the rocky sections of trail, hopping this way and that. It was exhilarating, and I can honestly say that I was enjoying myself. I bounded through the woods, completely alone, and headed towards the Palisades Interstate Parkway. Where I promptly stopped short. Oh, look. A stream crossing. Hmmm, how to best get across? I wandered to the left and to the right, searching for an easy (dry) place to cross. I may as well have saved myself the trouble. The only way to cross and still manage to climb up to the shoulder of the road involved stepping across onto a submerged rock. So, I bit the bullet, dunked my foot, and made it to the other side.

After that it was smooth sailing as I ran down the grassy shoulder of the PIP (the weirdest sensation, as it’s the highway I drive most often) and headed southbound to the waiting State Trooper for my “police-assisted crossing”. In reality, the assistance amounted to him saying “If you can cross before that car gets here, you can go now”. Thanks, officer. From there I jogged into the aid station, refilled my hydration pack, had a snack and was on my way. By this point it was close to 11 am, and I was now at least an hour behind their suggested cut-off times

Lake Welch Dr. to Camp Lanowa:

The total distance of this section is 5.2 miles. This leg includes several moderate to hard climbs as you ascend Pound Swamp Mountain, Irish Mountain, Jackie Jones Mountain, then up to Big Hill. This section is mostly single track running. Use caution on the final descent into the Camp Lanowa Aid Station as the trail is extremely steep. This is, also, the separation point for the 50 Mile and Accelerade 50K course.

It was during this leg of the race that I had my first bleak moments. Around mile 13 or so, I decided that I didn’t like running long distances, and perhaps I should return to my days of 3 miles on the treadmill in the gym. Screw that, maybe I just shouldn’t run at all. Period. I passed another runner who seemed to be even less enthused than I, who lamented that it just wasn’t fun anymore. He was the first person I had seen in hours. As I made my way to the next aid station, the time was coming up upon 1 pm. It had taken me 6 hours to go 15.7 miles. The idea that I was just now halfway through the course was daunting, and it was difficult to envision another 6 hours navigating the lonesome course. I found myself hoping that they’d pull me at the next aid station – that way I could go home, shower, have a bite to eat and head back into work. Anything would be better than this sorry excuse of a race performance.

Camp Lanowa to Tiorati Book Rd. Aid Station:

The total distance of this portion is 4.9 miles. This section is fairly easy with the first 3.0 miles running mostly downhill on single track. Runners will then face a 1.9 mile climb on old rocky roads before reaching Torati Brook. The 50 Mile course rejoins the Accelerade 50K during this leg.

OK, so they weren’t pulling us slugs off the course – I had no choice but to continue on.

Which is good, because if I dropped out I’d certainly have hell to pay for taking the day off from work 3 days before the end of tax season! I took it slowly coming out of the aid station – it was a paved road and somewhat uphill. I ate my sandwich, drank my water and merrily went on my way. Once I was back on the trails, I took off at an easy jog and found my trail legs once again! They hadn’t deserted me! The bleakness of the previous section left me, and my spirits were once gain buoyed by the sights surrounding me as I made my way through the mud and water to the next aid station. I arrived at approximately 2:30 pm, almost a full aid station behind the original cut-offs. As I was refilling my water and refueling my belly, who should drive up but Emmy! She had (quite smartly) opted against starting the 50k with me earlier that morning, and chose instead to run the half marathon option. I spent far too much time lollygagging at the aid station (Meri would have been so disappointed in me), but it was the first human contact I’d had in over two hours!

Tiorati Brook to Anthony Wayne Aid Station:

The total distance of this portion is 6.1 miles. This section is perhaps the nicest section of the race. This is a long stretch of trail that is wide, with several stream crossings and passing multiple waterfalls. There is a short climb up the 1779 Trail before descending to the Anthony Wayne Aid Station.

I made my way from the aid station with Emmy, chomping on an apple and feeling as though I were out for an afternoon stroll. Brennan, running the 50 milers, quickly zoomed past us, effortlessly bounding through the stream that Emmy and I had tentatively crossed. That’s why he’s a rock star and I’m just a groupie J About 10 minutes in, Emmy headed back to the aid station to wait for Anthony, and I moved onward in my quest. But what started out as a great leg quickly descended into my very first truly unpleasant race experience. The bloating that had started to plague me a few hours earlier had escalated to the point where my hands resembled those of a fat man (I kept thinking of Artie Lange, “hmm, this must be what Artie’s hands look like”) – my fingers were as thick as sausages, and flushed with pink. I could feel my flesh stretching as I continually flexed my fingers into a fist. Looking down, I could see that my stomach was distended – it looked like I had just gotten up from the Thanksgiving table (or that I had eaten a small child, along with one of those big bouncy balls they keep in a huge cage at Toys-R-Us).

It certainly didn’t help that this section, while touted as one of the nicest sections of the race, was boring. It was flat and I could see the trail stretching out in front of me. Add that to the beginnings of some low level nausea and I just didn’t want to run anymore. I had tried so hard to be responsible, drinking water and supplementing with S Caps. Either I didn’t do it well enough, or the unexpected heat had taken its toll. I managed to jog for a while, but when after I stopped to reapply some anti-chafing crème, I found that I just didn’t have it in me to bounce anymore. The sloshing noise of my hydration pack (I hadn’t done the cool anti-slosh thing that Meri taught me at the last aid station) was not helping the nausea. As a fresh looking 50 miler jetted past me and asked if I was ok, I realized that I must look as lousy as I felt. It was a tough mental blow – I usually manage to stay strong and positive, even in the most miserable of conditions. How could I be so weak? I continued to walk the remainder of this leg, mentally berating myself for giving in to physical weakness, lack of motivation and staying power. I was questioning my desire to run ultra distances, and decided that if this was how the 50 and 100 milers felt, then they could keep those races for themselves! I wanted no part of it.

The solitude that I had been so proud of myself for embracing soon become burdensome, I had been running/hiking/climbing for close to 4:30, and save for a few brief moments I had been completely on my own. I soldiered on - alternating brisk power-hiking with some admittedly relaxed strolling. I was feeling altogether “off” and having some trouble with my balance. I had some pretty impressive burps, too, but kept the nausea at bay. About a mile from the next aid station, two of the runners I had started the race with over took me. Once again, as we made our way to the final aid station before the finish, I was at the back of the pack.

Anthony Wayne to Finish:

The total distance of this portion is 3.9 miles. Following a short climb right out of the Aid Station, runners will clear the first ridge and begin the last stretch which is mostly downhill and double wide rocky trail the rest of the way home.

Breezing through the final aid station, I sipped a bit of flat soda, used the porta-john, and ducked back into the woods for my final 4 mile stretch.
The end was in sight. I had never had any doubts about my ability to complete the distance, just the style and manner in which I would. The short climbs were taking a disproportionate toll on me, but I was excited to be so close to the finish. About 2 miles to the finish, I heard a runner approaching. Thinking it was yet another fresh-looking 50 milers, I moved aside to let him pass. To my surprise it was another one of the runners I had started out with. He’d suffered a bad leg cramp at mile 7, rested a bit, and was now back on track to finish. When I offered to let him pass, he said he’d been planning on stopping behind me and walking – he had no motivation to run at the moment. He and I stayed together until the end, where he sprinted to the finish. Amazingly, he wasn’t a runner at all. Just a hiker. He said that every so often he did something to test his endurance. Prior to this, it was 175 mile bike ride. All in preparation to climb Mt. Everest in 4 years, his ultimate goal. His company pulled me through those last miles, and I began to think that maybe this wasn’t such an awful day after all.

By my watch, I completed the race in 10 hours and 50 minutes.

Total distance = 30.6 miles

Final thoughts:

  1. I like hiking and climbing, even though the steep ascents petrify me (the descents are even worse). This is something I’d like to become more proficient at.

  1. I don’t like cut-offs. Neither the daisy duke kind, nor the race kind. Feeling as though I were always behind, racing this imaginary time constraint was the number one mind fuck that I had to deal with throughout the race. Had the cut-off not been an issue, I would have been able to find more enjoyment in my surroundings – savor the vistas, take some pictures.

  1. My trail shoes suck.

  1. Don’t bother trying to go around the mud or over the streams. Dive right in and keep on going. It’s faster, easier, and infinitely more fun.

  1. I am perfectly capable of running for 11 hours with neither live company nor audio distractions.

  1. It is entirely too easy to give in to physical and mental pain when you’re alone – I understand now why pacers are such a boon to ultra runners.

  1. If you think you’ll need to catch yourself, wear gloves, even when it’s not cold out. More importantly, don’t leave said gloves at an aid station halfway through the race.

  1. Don’t bother looking for toilet paper in the porta-potty.

  1. Singing “The Hills Are Alive” has more impact on top of a mountain than in the midst of one.

Embrace the suck, but don’t lose sight of the joy. There is something about this sport, as masochistic as it can be at times, that calls to us. Explore that and revel in it. It makes us special.

Whew, that was a mouthful! Here's to another year of bumps, scrapes, torn hands and sore muscles!

Food Find, April 10th

Today's Food Find isn't actually a food. It's a feeling. From what I've been told, this feeling goes by the moniker of "Full".

Now, apparently we're really never supposed to make Full's acquaintance. Rather, the goal is to stop just short of meeting him, and hang out with his girlfriend "Satiated" instead. She must be pretty freakin' cool, because everyone that I know who's in with her doesn't even bother with Full.

Now me, I'm not terribly familiar with either Full or Satiated. I see them from time to time - we're kind of like those acquaintances you have whom you know, but would be hard pressed to give either a last name or an identifying feature if you had to fill out a missing person's report.

But "Stuffed omg I Need A Nap"? He and I are best buds. We go together like PB&J. Bonnie & Clyde. Tom & Jerry. Remember the Playskool doll "My Buddy"? That theme song seriously plays as the underscoring to our meals together.

Full and Satiated are my dates of choice when it comes to my day-to-day meals. But Stuffed omg I.N.A.N? He's my go-to guy for holiday meals (at least the ones that my mother cooks). I swear that I didn't even invite him over last night, but there he was in all his resplendant glory. He even brought me a bottle of kosher for Passover Cabernet. It was good. I drank it (all). And aside from a slightly numb nose (that's my "tell" when I'm drinking), it had no inebriatory effect on me. That's how tight Stuffed omg I.N.A.N and I are.

So today I'm going to spend time with Satiated and Full, tell a few stories and get to know each other better. Who knows? If things go well, they may even stick around for the weekend :)

The Water Fountain Parade

Lately, my training partner and I have been hitting the gym at odd hours. Normally we're all about 11 am - but these past few weeks have seen us there at noon, 1 pm, and even 5. It's amazing to me how different the vibe is depending on when you wind up walking through the doors!

We love our mornings. The guy who works the front desk is wonderful to us, and the manager on duty has gone above and beyond in catering to our bizarre requests. Aside from the Tuesday and Thursday morning circuit class (very CrossFit-esque), the gym is quiet. Familiar faces, all busy doing their own thing. We can set up and blow through our workout with little to no interruption or aggravation. It's truly heavenly.

And then there's the afternoon - busier. A bit rowdier. Lots of trainers on the floor, equipment being utilized, mirror space occupied. Until we find our groove, we're a bit testy. There is a bit of growling going on under our breath, a few rolled eyes, plenty of sighing.

Early evening is all about jeans. Jeans. MEN WEARING JEANS and doing bicep curls. Doing squats that have less range of motion than my grandmother getting up and down from her chair. Overhead presses that look more like "raising the roof" than a weightlifting movement.

But the worst part, the absolute worst is that the two squat racks are along the pathway to the water fountain. And it seems that men who wear jeans to workout must be thirstier than others, because they're always walking back and forth and back and forth. They manage, somehow, to time all their travels to coincide when I've just stepped back from the stands with the weight racked. And I know that I'm on the little side, but they have to be able to see me - right? I mean there I am, in all my 4'11 1/2" glory, barbell and bumper plates precariously balanced, moving up and down and they just saunter on by behind me. Squeezing past to congregate at the the water fountain.

And then they make the return trip.

I swear, it can make training 5 x 5 take HOURS.

So consider this a PSA to all you dungaree wearing, roof raising, granny squatting gym boys out there:

Wait a f'ing minute until the person moving heavy weights is finished.

And now for a word from our sponsors:

But, Butt and Butte

How's this for the pinnacle of asinine? Yesterday, I did my first full dead hang pull-up. Or 5 (ish) singles, rather. After the initial shock and awe wore off, it was replaced by a feeling of dissatisfaction. Why? Because I was using a neutral grip, rather than an overhand/underhand grip.


Here I am, 1 year and about 3 weeks after dipping my toes into the CrossFit Pool, two months after getting a kipping pull-up and less than a year from my Elements Graduation Anniversary and I get a DEAD HANG PULL-UP and I'm not happy??? Not only am I not happy, but I'm feeling foolish for being excited initially and telling everyone (anyone) who would listen.

Idiot, party of one, your table is ready.

Somehow, I feel that my inability to perform this movement under a different circumstance negates the accomplishment. Which (I think?) is dumb. Right? Is my neutral grip dead-hang less of a pull-up because I can't turn around and do one with an overhand grip?

I did a pull-up. But.


Did anyone else try to contradict my pull-up with a "but". Nope. Just me.


I wrote this last night, sitting in my office sometime long past my bed time. This morning, I jumped up onto the pull-up bar in my house, and did a dead hang pull-up with an underhanded grip. After some rest, I then did two dead hang pull-ups with a mixed grip. So, apparently, the skill and strength do transfer. And I feel much better about it all. But the question remains, why did I need to know that I could do a pull-up on a straight bar in order to feel that the accomplishment was real? I said it before, and I'll say it again: Butt-Head.

Today In History - Dead Hang Pull-Up!!!!

7-11 Coffee must be magic! Or else it was the 87.5 hour work week....

Ah, the law of diminishing returns :)

Now to find a pull-up bar that I can use with an overhand or underhanded grip (rather than a neutral one) and work on doing dead hangs as such. In the interests of full disclosure - I don't think I can do it on a straight bar. YET.

Tuesday's Tip - April 7th

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monsters and Mortals sit down to a Meal

Today, I'm passing along an article written by a very wise woman, who happens to be an incredibly inspiring Weight Watchers leader. If you didn't already know - Weight Watchers Leaders and receptionists are all people who've worked the program, achieved their goal weight and maintained it (it's called Lifetime). When you attend a WW meeting, you really are amongst peers - people who have been where you are, faced what you've faced, and have figured out how to make it work. It's a wonderfully balanced program when done correctly, and I recommend it to anyone who is looking to manage their weight and take charge of their dietary health.

Many thanks for allowing me to reprint this here!

Here’s What I Know.

Or, What I’ve learned in 4,018 days (11 years – 96,432 hours)

Tons. My weight loss knowledge is now encyclopedic in scope. The question is, do I apply that knowledge with the virtuosity it demands to remain at goal? Mostly, yes. Oftentimes, unwillingly.

It’s my anniversary. This week, April 1, 2009, marks my 11th completed year as an active participant in fixing my health. On that day, in 1998, I joined an At Work Weight Watchers meeting in Greenwich, Connecticut, and I haven’t been the same since. I’ve improved orders of magnitude over what I was when I walked into that conference room, coffee in hand, at 7:30 that Wednesday morning weighing in at a colossal 197 and some fraction of pounds.

You know what’s remarkable about the eleven years? That I probably still don’t have it 100% perfect. How do I know? Because last week I lost my mind in an Indian restaurant and I still don’t get it. Admittedly, I had an epiphany – salad covering the plate rather than the veritable vindaloo. Or the tantalizing chicken tikka. As soon as Anoop asked if I’d have more, I jumped at the chance to continue enjoying the sitar music playing in the background (I love Ravi) and eat along with the strums of his instrument.

Does it get easier? No. But you get better at it. I’ve gone from unconscious incompetence to 95% unconscious competence – most of this is second nature to me. Just like brushing my teeth, walking, and stirring my tea.

During the 65 weeks it took me to lose less than that in pounds, (including a 16 week plateau only 2 pounds – 32 ounces – one quart! from goal) tragedy struck and life got in the way, but I didn’t let any of it keep me from my appointed rounds of changing my own rounds, as they were. My mother was in a car accident that totalled the vehicle (she was fine – but needed stitches only to her left hand, miraculous-ly); I had foot surgery (Morton’s neuroma) making activity painful for a time, and very limiting; I changed jobs once on my own, and was also laid off in a separate incident. From April 1, 1998 when I joined, to July of 1999 when I hit goal, life most certainly did challenge my efforts to ditch the chins, thighs, and other fluffy anatomical parts that I couldn’t look at in the mirror. I joined one year after my father’s death – and if I stopped to think about all the things that could have prevented me from coming back (for the fourth time) I’d be about 900 pounds now.

In the years since reaching goal and becoming a Leader, I’ve changed jobs, been laid off (yes, again); I’ve had a major knee reconstruction (a procedure far worse than a replacement that long time members may remember having named my walker and partner for 3 months, Fred Astaire); I’ve been rehired, lost another job, and my mom died. My husband has been under or un-employed for part of this journey, had spine surgery--myriad reasons I could have regained my weight.

At no time in this 11 years did I allow anything to impede my progress. Not my weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight success. Jor-El is not inventing a new form of kryptonite to make weight loss easier – so I know there’s no magic pill. But I figure, for all of us, the worst part of life really is over. We’ve come through junior high, or middle school – or whatever your district calls it. Right? I mean, what is harder, crueler, or more angst ridden than seventh grade!?

I don’t know if those life changing head knocking aHA moments ever happen with the struggles of weight loss, whether permanent or fleeting. It’s been my experience as a Leader that we go in and out of consciousness apologizing for our varying degrees of competence and stick-to-itiveness. We waver between Unconsciousness incompetence – neither understanding or knowing how to do something, to the consciously incompetent – recognizing the shortcoming but not addressing it yet. And then ultimately arrive at conscious competence: understanding or knowing how to do something with concentration (and of course, doing it.)

I learned that you won’t wake up tomorrow morning with a new butt. I learned that change only happens when you’re willing to take action to make change.

I learned that if you wait, the hunger really does go away; and anything you cook yourself is not only more delicious, but more rewarding, and better for you. NO Matter What It Is. Including oatmeal. I also learned that emotional eating never makes it “feel better.” Not even in the short term.

I learned over time that I will not expire from lack of food if none is readily available between meals. I learned that if I play the game according to Hoyle that I’d get to goal, and stay at goal. WW’s rules are much better than mine – since my rules resulted in having to rejoin a pizzillion times. I learned that their choreography is a nicer dance and I really do dance like Elaine Benes.

I learned that you’re going to have to give up the idea that you’ll eventually be able to eat what you want, when you want it. I learned that because I watch closely my civilian friends, and none of them can do that. They have an automatic sensor that’s very reliable--they actually stop eating when they’re full, close to full, or not even near full. It’s akin to the sensor in the gas tank. All the gas caps say, “Do not top off.” We need that same label.

I’ve watched, coached, and cajoled many of you reach goal and attain your Lifetime status with us. I want to see more. I’ve learned from each and every one of you.

I’ve learned that you can’t hurry love – no, you just have to wait. And, you can’t hurry weight loss. You just have to wait. And work at it.

Food Find, April 3rd

In BlogLand, it seems as though this week has been pretty food-centric. Two blogs in particular had some really thought provoking conversations going on in regards to eating, eating too much, eating too little and the fine line we all walk when it comes to our relationship with what goes into our mouth. Check them out, read, digest and contribute:

  • Byers Gets Diesel - read March 31st, March 28th, and if you're a subscriber (and you should be!) - the CrossFit Journal article found here.

My particular thoughts on food will have to wait for another time, when I can actually focus on the words that flitter past my eyes on the screen. Until then, I'll let these well-spoken ladies lead the way. Give them some link love, and keep them on your auto-dial.

100 reasons I Run, #94

  • Talking publicly about bodily functions, with no adverse reactions from the company you keep....

Is it Football or Soccer?

Always in search of the next new sports toy, I came across this!

Introducing the gBall™

Now I just need to figure out how much shipping from the UK will cost!