Sunday, January 31, 2010
Somebody asked in a comment about people pushing each other, and whether the staff asks us to do this. The answer is that there are great people here. Both guests and staff want you to succeed. People encourage and push you in class and on the hikes, and when you’re successful they cheer and clap for you. We’re all going through the same thing, and are happy to see the success of others.
I’m trying to think of some tips for those readers who are planning to visit Fitness Ridge soon. All I can come up with are things that I read on other people’s blogs. Duct tape has been my savior. Don’t forget to bring scissors to cut it with. Bring VERY comfortable shoes, two pair or more would be best. Most people don’t wear actual hiking boots/shoes on the hikes. Check the weather report, and if you think there might be rain then bring a poncho. Know that if you dislike a meal, there is always another option. If you don’t want what is being served for breakfast you can have cereal or toast. The toast is served with a tablespoon of peanut butter and jelly. The alternative for lunch and dinner is a Boca burger, which has a patty made with soy, veggies and grains. It sounds weird, but tastes pretty good. Try to get to sleep early on Sunday night. Monday will be tough.
The vast majority of the people here are women, making up about 90% of all guests. Of the 10% who are men, half of them are here with their wives. I asked one husband if he was having a good time and he said, “Absolutely not!” He said he thought he and his wife were coming to a spa, the kind where you get massages and facials and lay around by the pool all day sipping cocktails. Ha!
On Friday I was too tired to write about my favorite class called Cardio Disco Jams. It was a really fun class where we all did these 70’s style dance routines to great disco music. The instructor, the only male instructor here, made all the men come to the front of the room for the second half of the class. Then, someone came up with the idea for the men to do the last 1 or 2 minutes of class by themselves. They were all great sports, and nobody dashed out of the room (like I would have done if I were one of only 5 people dancing in front of 60 women). Anyway, I’m glad that I didn’t write about this on Friday when it happened because the wife of one of the guys posted a video of the thing on youtube.
The link to the video is below. The guy doing the break-dancing at the very beginning is funny and super nice. His name is Seth Word. He lives in Salinas, and was in second place on season 2 of The Biggest Loser. The tall guy in the middle of the front row is an NFL football player and is here with his wife. His wife is the one that posted the video on youtube. The man in the back row, all in black is the husband that thought he was going to a spa. The two other guys are Eric Chopin and his brother Doug Chopin. Eric, in the front row won season 3 of The Biggest Loser. The man in front is of course the instructor, John. Most of the women are standing at the front of the room, so you can’t see them. And I think near the beginning I walk right in front of the camera. I didn’t know she was video taping this thing.
Cardio Disco Jam Video
7:00AM Breakfast (parfait with fruit yogurt and granola)
8:00AM Hike (stop sign, shaved two minutes of Monday’s time)
11:15AM Stretch class
12:45PM Lunch (Carrot soup which wasn’t bad and two soft tacos made with turkey and which tasted pretty good)
5:45PM Dinner (Teriyaki chicken and rice bowl, not bad even though I’m not a fan of teriyaki)
From 6-8PM was graduation, where everyone gets to talk about what they learned, or loved or gained from their week at Fitness Ridge. I just thanked the boys for being such good sports in that class, because watching it was the most fun I had all week. We all also got our gift for attending all the classes. First-weekers get a t-shirt. After that we had karaoke. I didn’t sing, because I can’t, but some people were really good. I didn’t stay for the whole thing because I wanted to get to bed.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Oh, I found out something very interesting / funny about the chocolate mousse that I mentioned a couple of days ago. It’s not chocolate mousse at all. It’s a chocolate and TOFU pie. Can you believe it? TOFU! It tasted so muck like mousse, but the major ingredient in the recipe is tofu. Weird huh? Tonight we had something similar for dessert, which I took a picture of and posted it below.
7:00AM Breakfast (Egg and sausage muffin)
8:00AM Hike (bad for my knee)
11:15AM Stretch class (good for my knee)
12:45PM Lunch (potato and broccoli soup and sloppy joe with turkey not beef)
1:15PM Lecture: preparing for next week
3:30PM Cardio Disco Jam (super fun. I’ll write about that tomorrow)
4:30PM Pool (really good for my knee)
5:45PM Dinner (salmon burger, pretty good even though I hate fish)
Thursday, January 28, 2010
On the way back for the hike we saw a roadrunner. I had never seen one of those before, and almost thought that they were just a cartoon character. But no, they’re real. I put a picture of that below.
My hardest class today was called treading. The way it works is you pick a cardio machine and go as hard as you can for 5 minutes, then recover (meaning go slower) for 5 minutes. Then go as hard as you can for 4 minutes then recover for 4 minutes then go as hard as you can for 3 minutes then recover for 3 minutes, then 2 then 1. By the time this class came around it was 3:30PM (my next to last class) and I was tired. I figured I would sweat a little but not overdo it because I wanted a break already. But the person who was on the machine next to mine challenged me to go all out. So I pushed myself SUPER hard. I really thought I was going to pass out during the 5 and 4 minute hard parts.
Tomorrow is Friday, and that means the last full day of the week. On Saturday we just do the hike and one class. Then, after lunch we get to rest until Monday morning. I’m looking forward to the rest, especially if my foot is still hurting. As long as that’s as bad as it gets, I’ll be okay. Some of the people here have had a terrible time with blisters, something that I have been able to avoid so far. Yay for duct tape! One girl has had a ton of blisters. And another girl had a blister that she popped and got infected with a Staph infection. It got super swollen and turned black. She’s leaving early because the poor thing also hurt her knee.
7:00AM Breakfast (fruit smoothie and a whole wheat English muffin)
11:15AM Gym class (lots of weights)
12:45PM Lunch (turkey sandwich)
1:15PM Cooking demo
2:30PM Ball works (a lot of arm and leg work using a balance ball, super hard)
3:30PM Treading (my hardest class today)
4:30PM Pool (fun, but still hard)
5:45PM Dinner (stuffed bell peppers, too bad I forgot my camera because it would have been great to show a picture of that)
Here’s the black ice. It’s kind of crazy that it’s called black ice because it’s the only part of the pavement that’s not black. The black part is actually thawed out, so is just wet. The “black” ice is actually kind of white. The red stuff is dirt... yep the dirt is red up here.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
It’s raining here in Utah today, and I almost wimpped out on the hike because of it. A lot of people were choosing to stay on campus and work out in the gym, and I almost let that sway me, but, the thought of spending ALL day in the gym was not an appealing one. Plus I brought a rain poncho so I had no excuse to stay behind. And, I really wanted to do the stop sign hike again. So I did it. Believe it or not, it felt a little easier this time.
I was wet and freezing when I got back, so I came to my room and changed all my clothes before my next class, which was a Core Workshop. That class was mostly lecture and not hard at all, but someone in the class actually puked into a trash can during the class. It would be cool if she puked because she was working out so hard but I really don’t think that could be the case since what we were doing at the time wasn’t very hard.
My favorite class today was kickboxing. I had never taken a kickboxing class before but now I’m going to try it at home. It was SO fun. We put on little gloves with padding in the knuckle area, and spent the entire class kicking and punching a punching bag. Really cool!
Right after kickboxing was another Mountain class, which I mentioned before. You pick a cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical or bike), start off at a low resistance or slow pace then increase resistance or pace every 3 minutes, 13 times. Right around the 10th increase I was thinking that I was just NOT going to make it. I guess I must have said that out loud because the girls on either side of me both said some encouraging words which made me stop the negative thinking. That is the power of coming to a place like this. Everyone is in the same boat, feeling the same pain and wanting to just give up, but then somebody says something to you, maybe one of the trainers or one of the other guests and it motivates you to dig deeper.
It was a good day, and now it’s time for bed.
7:00AM Breakfast (Italian frittata, I tasted it and hated it so asked for toast instead. I added a tiny bit of peanut butter and jelly, and a banana for a tasty breakfast)
11:15AM Core workshop (with a puking side-show)
12:45PM Lunch (BBQ pizza, which I also passed on because I hate BBQ sauce. I had a veggie burger instead)
1:15PM Lecture (breaking barriers)
2:30PM Kickboxing (first time I ever took a kickboxing class)
3:30PM Mountain (I worked REALLY hard on this class)
5:45PM Dinner (Café salad, kind of like a taco salad. It had rice, beans, chicken lettuce and tomato all on top of a whole wheat tortilla)
6:15PM Lecture (Intuitive Eating)
Here’s a picture of the frittata that I sent back. It looks good but was mostly veggies, and if you know me you know that I’m not big on veggies.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I’m so glad that I started preparing (by working out) for this trip a few weeks ago because although I’m sore, I don’t feel like I’m on my death bed. However, everyone says that Wednesday is THE worst day for soreness. So I’ll blog about that tomorrow.
I got to meet a few people of note. Sara from Sara Is Off Her Rocker, and Dee Dee from Dee Dee's Weight Loss Journey are both on their 4th and last week here. I’ve been following their blogs religiously, well at least up until I got here. I’ve been too tired to keep up with blogs lately. During their first 3 weeks they shared a lot of helpful info on their blogs and it was nice to meet them in person. Also, I met The Biggest Loser Season 3 winner Eric Chopin and his brother Doug Chopin. They are both super nice guys and have agreed to pose for a picture with me sometime this week before they leave.
Today I did a different hike (not the stop sign), which was nice in a way because I got to see some of the pretty scenery around here (pictures below). But I’m going to go back to stop sign tomorrow because even though the hike today was 4 miles and we were gone for 25 more minute, I burned about 500 more calories on the stop sign hike then I did on today’s hike. I know this because I’m wearing a heart rate / calorie counting monitor.
Time for bed. :-)
6:00AM: Open gym
7:00AM Breakfast (Oatmeal and fruit)
11:15AM Yoga / Strech
12:45PM Lunch (Squash Soup [surprisingly good once I added salt and pepper] and Italian Herb Tomato Sandwich)
1:00PM Calorie Challenge (Did you know that a single poptart has 200 calories in it? Neither did I.)
1:30PM Lecture (Cooking demo)
2:30PM Cardio intervals (pick a cardio machine, start low, increase resistance or speed every 30 seconds, then decrease every 30 seconds and repeat the entire thing)
3:30PM Total toning (my toughest class today)
5:45PM Dinner (Ostrich Stew [also surprisingly good once I added salt and pepper, tasted like beef stew] and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries for dessert)
6:15PM Lecture (Spending your calories wisely part 2 which I skipped and will take next week)
Some of the many petroglyphs that we saw on our hike this morning (From Merrian-Websters dictionary: a petroglyph is a carving or inscription on a rock). These are supposed to be between 800 and 1,200 years old.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I survived my first day at Fitness Ridge! It was hard work, but also sort of fun in a way. Actually, I only thought it was fun during my last class which was water aerobics. The hike was a killer, 4.3 miles up 1,000 feet. I went very slowly, but I made it to the top!
The food is actually pretty good. I’ll include pictures of our dinner and dessert for today below.
One thing that people really have to be cautious about here is their feet. People tend to get blisters very easily, what with all the hiking and aerobic exercise going on all day. I have to mention how people recommend you taking care of a “hot spot” (an area where you start to feel friction that may turn into a blister), because it’s so weird. They say as soon as you start to feel a hot spot you should tape it up with… Duct Tape?!? Can you believe it? I thought it was weird, but tried it anyway after my hike because I felt a hot spot. I put the duct tape on the balls of my feet and went about the rest of the day without a problem. IT WORKED!
Well, I’m beat, and it all starts over again tomorrow. :-)
6:00AM: Intro to Circuit (not a workout just a description of the class)
7:00AM Breakfast (fruit, egg and beacon on English muffin)
11:15AM Mountain (choose treadmill, elliptical or bike, start low pace/resistance increase resistance every 3 minutes, 13 times)
12:45PM Lunch (chili and cornbread)
1:15PM Lecture (calorie budgeting)
2:30PM Circuit training
3:30PM Step-and-puke (I mean step-and-pump, which was the hardest class)
5:45PM Dinner (Baked chicken over purple mashed potatoes [yes I said purple picture below as proof] and asparagus, grilled pineapple for dessert)
6:15PM Lecture (Spending your calories wisely)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
However, I am now at Fitness Ridge (just arrived today) and will be here for the next 2 weeks. I’m pretty sure over the next couple of weeks I'll make up for my lack of exercise this week. Tomorrow the real hard work starts.
So far I don't have much to report about Fitness Ridge except the food. Dinner was awesome. We had baked penne pasta with turkey (I think) meatballs. And dessert was a lovely chocolate mousse. Mmmmm!!!
Friday, January 22, 2010
The second great news that I want to share is that I’ve actually lost weight this week eating beacon cheese burgers. Like most people who have weight issues, I’m no stranger to fast food, and I loves me some hamburgers. It really is a bummer to me to think that a lot of the food that I love is now off limits. But like I said before, I’m learning that I can still have the foods I love if I tweak the recipe in healthy ways. My beacon cheese burger is a perfect example of this. It’s made with ground turkey (mixed with a little teriyaki sauce and spices), turkey beacon (mmmm, who knew this was so good) and low fat cheddar, all on whole wheat sandwich thins.
I made this for dinner on Monday and fell in love. My hubby is not big on burgers so for dinner on Tuesday I made him a roasted chicken. But I had to use up the rest of that ground turkey so have continued to have burgers for dinner the rest of the week. It tastes so decadent and bad for you but I can’t help myself. It’s so yummy! I figured out that this lovely deliciousness is less than 350 calories, and since I’ve continued to lose weight this week I allowed myself to enjoy my current favorite food.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Well, one of the questions was, “What characteristic do you despise?” and I didn’t even have to think about this one. I despise dishonesty. I try to keep it real… no it’s more than that. I think I’m honest to a fault sometimes, one of the character flaws that I’ve put a conscious effort into changing over the years. Anyway, re-reading my blog got me thinking that, though I find dishonesty in others detestable, and take pride in being an honest person myself, I’ve had no problem being dishonest with myself over the years, at least when it came to my weight-loss attempts. Why is it that I can be honest with everyone else but not with myself. Hmmm… I really don’t know. I need to think about that one.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Regardless of my wishes for speedy weight-loss, this time is different. I’m not on a diet. I’m changing my lifestyle. I had always heard that the best way to achieve and maintain a weight-loss is not a diet but a lifestyle change. Though I understood what “lifestyle change” meant, I don’t think I was really ready for that before.
Change my lifestyle? You mean eat healthier? But I don’t like health food. I’ll just eat less, cut-out lunch for example. Be more active? But I’m so busy already. I’m a graduate student you know. I spend 12 or more hours a day in the lab. How am I supposed to fit a workout into my schedule?
Well, now things are different. I’m learning that I can eat healthier without turning into a granola-head (not that there’s anything wrong with granola, I love it personally). And, not having enough time to exercise in grad school was a crock. There was plenty of down-time between experiments, and I’m nowhere near as busy now as I was then. So that excuse is, and really never was a valid one.
If I’m being honest with myself, I just was not ready to make a lifestyle change. I was younger and just wanted to have fun. At the time, eating fattening food and drinking alcohol was fun. Shoot, it is fun. But now I’m trying to be conscious of the bigger picture. I’m going to be 40 years old in a couple months. It’s time for me to grow up and stop lying to myself about what I can and cannot do. It’s time for me to see what’s really important in life, my health is more important than that fried food and bottle of wine. It’s time for me to WORK for what I really want in the long-term, health, fitness, looking and feeling good about myself and being a person that I can be proud of. And it’s time to stop living in the freakin moment.
My eating for the week was pretty good. I tried out a few new recipes; some great, some need a little tweaking. And though my husband still wants, “a side of steak” with a couple of them, I think he’s adjusting. If he gets hungry at night he’ll have a bowl of cereal.
My exercise was also okay last week. I did my week 1 running program 2 of the 3 suggested days, 60 minutes on the elliptical 3 days and one day of weights. I feel like I need to step it up, but I’ll be at Fitness Ridge in less than a week and will have no choice but to “step it up”.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Week one: Walk for 6 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times. Aim for three sessions with that same sequence for week one.
Run for one minute. No problem right? I mean one minute, that so easy! Yeah right!!! I hadn’t run in years, and I was feeling it. It felt like I weighed a ton and like things were jiggling and jangling that shouldn’t be. I was at the gym, and though it was pretty empty I was still embarrassed that anyone was there to see this horrid sight. After the first minute of running I actually thought that I couldn’t do this and that I need to lose some weight before I attempt this again and that I’m too heavy to be running. Pathetic!!! But I’m not pathetic. I was determined to get through it, and I did. That is, I did day one on Monday. I’ll be repeating the whole thing on Wednesday and Friday. Also, I did the walk/run after an hour on the elliptical. Maybe I should’ve done the walk/run first, but I really like the elliptical and don’t want to skimp on that, so I am choosing to do that first.
Friday, January 8, 2010
On another note, I don’t know how it happened but I’ve gotten myself into something that I’ll probably live to regret. I was on Facebook chatting with a couple of old buds from high school (actually one of them goes all the way back to junior high) about fitness and exercise. When I wasn’t looking I somehow agreed to set a goal of running a 10K. It’s the Wharf To Wharf in Santa Cruz CA on or around July 26th 2010. That sounds like a long way off, but I CAN’T RUN!!!
So, on top of the exercise goals I have already set for myself, I am going to start training for a 10K. :-? ::Shaking head:: There’s a lot of great information online about how to start training for these things. My program will be a three step process beginning this coming Monday, January 11th. I would have started already but I need to go out and buy another pair of shoes, this time I need a good pair of running shoes.
My running program:
An 8 week Get Started With Running program
An 8 week Train for Your First 5K program
An 8 week Train for Your First 10K program
I'm not sure how I'll keep up with these programs during the 4 weeks that I'm at Fitness Ridge, but I'll work it out.
That leads to the second part of the Friday wrap-up. I lost 3.4 pounds this week. That’s also not great but considering the above, I guess it could be worse. I don’t know if I retain water during TOM but it’s a good excuse for not losing more weight, don’t you think? :-?
My eating has been okay. I’m sticking to my assigned points, and haven’t spent much time hungry. I finally figured out how to find recipes on the WW site and have cooked a couple of new ones this week for dinner. I made a delicious chili, which I’ve never done before. The taste was wonderful but it’s a high-points recipe for a relatively small portion. So, to make the meal filling I served it over a large bed of lettuce and called it chili salad. I’d never served my husband a salad for dinner and he was a little put-off by it. All through dinner he kept giving me dirty looks, and asked for “a side of steak with that.” Hahaha!!! Please don't get the wrong idea about him. He's very supportive. He was only kidding. We joke around a lot.
Monday, January 4, 2010
As for my exercise, well I’m going to start with my elliptical, 60 minutes Monday through Friday. Also I’ve been reading a woman’s blog who loves The Firm Body Sculpting System DVDs. So, I ordered a bunch of those and will incorporate them into my workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I hope that will suffice for the weight/resistance portion of my workouts for now.
I’ll weigh-in on Fridays and will be sure to post at least weekly until I leave for Fitness Ridge. Once I’m at FR I’ll try to post daily, though I may be too tired sometimes.