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Weigh-in today was an exciting 163lbs.  This means that I have worked my way below the 165lbs plateau I had been at for a few weeks.  This is due to my paradigm shift from “just enough to get by” to “just whatever it takes to get it done“.  Rode hard all week last week.  This Sunday, a 46 mile ride.  This morning 20 miles on the bike & 3 mile run. 

Bathing suit/ surfing at the beach countdown  is at 39 days and counting.  I did not do my core or surf workout Friday or Saturday.  Yesterday I did part of it.   I have scheduled time for later this evening, but if it’s like last night… I was so drained by the ride, I was way too tired. 

I made a huge mistake last Thursday.  I lifted & moved 6 heavy boxes.  While I was moving them, I kept thinking “you’ve gotta stop picking up heavy stuff like this”.  Sure enough, at about mile 32 of Sunday’s ride, I was faced with the most excruciating pain in my back that I have ever felt.  I have a really strong back, and I’m usually careful to take good care of it.  As a result, I never have back pain like that.

Sometimes on longer rides, my back will get a little sore, so completing the ride becomes a little uncomfortable.  But, OMG, this was totally different.   My back felt like it had seized up, and something was pinching sharply back there.  Not fun.  So I’m going to have to include some lower back strengthening moves each day this week.  I didn’t feel it riding & running this morning, but I’m starting to feel it now sitting at my desk.  Lucky for me, I dropped below 165lbs, which means I can treat myself to weekly massages starting today.

How to do “Good Mornings”:

Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart, directly under the bar. Maintain the lordotic curve in your low back with your chest up. Look straight ahead or slightly upward. Do not look down. The body follows the head.aagood morning

Take a deep breath, and slightly flex your knees. Under control, start to bend forward, maintaining the normal curvature of your lower back. As you lower your torso, keep looking straight ahead. This will help keep your back in its proper position. Lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor and then reverse directions and raise your torso to the starting position.  These can be done with dumbells held at the top of your shoulders, or you can do them with no weights.  If you are new to cycling, this is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your lower back. 

Wow, in an hour, I get to have a massage, I’m so excited.  I’m going to have her do a combination of Swedish & Deep Tissue.  It’s always scary having a regular massuese do a deep tissue massage.  Your muscles are very vunerable to the skill of the massuese.  If they don’t really know what they are doing, they can damage your muscles.  I’m hoping the weekly massage begins to detoxify my muscles.  

Here is some info:  Swedish massage –  uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness and improving function in people with osteoarthritis or with poor circulation. 

Deep Tissue Massage – is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or facia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is recommended for individuals who are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes. It is not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to become sore or even bruised over the next few days, though there should be no pain to the client during a session if the therapist is doing the work correctly.

A detoxifying massage can help to purge the body of toxins, improving your physical and mental wellbeing. It increases the strength of your immune system, improves circulation and reduces stress!  I’m using this as part of my weight loss efforts, along with cleaning my diet.  This should help me overcome my metabolic resistance that much better.

aadetoxmassageA detox massage is a deep tissue massage & can remove toxins like artificial additives, pesticides and other foreign nasties that are stored in your muscles. Massage of any sort helps to perk up the circulation, sending the blood pumping around the body with renewed vigour. With it go oxygen and the fuel we need to function in the form of nutrients, which are turned into energy once they reach our muscles. Our organs benefit too – improved blood circulation encourages them to do their best work, particularly those concerned with the elimination of toxins.

The lymphatic system, along with the liver, is your body’s natural detox system, acting as our own internal waste disposal unit. Having no natural ‘pump’ of its own, the lymphatic system is dependent on strong muscles, efficient breathing and exercise for its function. An overload of toxins can prevent the lymphatic system from working properly, leading to lethargy or illness, but a detox massage stimulates your lymphatic system so waste can be eliminated more easily.

Off to go eat 200 more calories & get massaged….

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Weigh-in 167lbs.  Well, at least I’m consistant.  And at least I’m not whining about how I “just can’t lose the weight, no matter how much I do“.  My ride schedule is going well, now I need to get control of my eating.  However, I am not going to sabotage my efforts thus far by not holding myself accountable for the bad choices I’m making.

I want to talk about training.  Training starts by building a strong mental foundation.  It starts by making a shift in our thinking.  In my mind, I have to go from being a fat woman to being an athlete with a weight problem.  Somewhere in proverbs the Bible states “As a man thinketh, so he is“.  Our minds are powerful, we can use them to achieve more than ever before or allow them to hold us captive in our bad choices for a lifetime.  It is always our choice.   That is what people mean when they say being fat is a choice.

I wish many of you that struggle with exercise could believe me when I tell you that where you are mentally determines the success of your workouts – EVERY SINGLE TIME.  When I ride my bike, it takes me about 1hour, 15 minutes to do 20 miles.  Some days, it is the longest hour I’ve ever felt.  Other days, the time goes by & I don’t even notice.  I figured out what was bothering me the most about FA last week.  It’s the language.  They consistantly feed themselves negative language, making the actions of losing weight that much harder.

I see this all the time while training cyclists to climb hills.  It isn’t the hill that takes them out.  They defeat themselves long before they get to the hill.  The moment they have the hill in sight, all of them say “ugh, a hill, I don’t think I can make it“. (or it’s going to hurt, or I hate the hills, or a hundred variations of that statement.)  Then they ride on & struggle tremendously with the hill.  Now, when I get them to the point where they approach the hill & think “it’s going to be hard, but I know I can make it”, that is when I have a trainable hill-climber.  [let me take a minute and give you some insight to who these cyclists that I train are.  Many of them are middle -aged, struggling with weight & hormone problems, several are recovering from serious illnesses like cancer or heart desease.  All of them have very busy lives & demanding jobs.  But every week, they gather all their biking gear and become athletes.  They show up.  They get the work done.  I love each one of them!]

The reason for the defeat is you can’t achieve what you don’t believe you can achieve.  That’s it, bottom-line, every single time.  So achieving my weight-loss goals becomes all about my belief that I can.  Removing the negative & increasing the positive in thought & action.  I’m not talking about spewing a bunch of meaningless “Positive Mental Attitude” statements.  I’ve been in sales all of my adult life & I always disagreed with making blanket positive statements over & over & over again as a means to improve your mental outlook.  Your statements have to be real, and have some meat on them.

I’m talking about visualisation.  This is a truly powerful tool that is used for everything from sports to business success.  To make it more effective, I’m going to focus it very specifically.  Visualisation is the process of  creating detailed visual pictures of yourself being what you want to be.  For our example, I want us to visualise ourselves as an athlete.  When I do this, this is what I usually see:

lance 1 crop

You imagine yourself doing that thing you visualise, and your brain then knows exactly what you want and finds a way to make it happen.  Now, I don’t want to be Lance Armstrong.  But I do want to be strong – a hard rider – an athlete – cancer free.  Seeing this image in my mind, I can feel his strength in my legs, his lung capacity in my chest, I become the amazing hill climber that he is, in my mind.  And I start to believe I am healthy!

The down side of the “My life as a fat woman” blog was that I let it turn into me visualising myself as a fat woman – a victim, instead of using it for accountability.  I embrace it differently now.  I have lost 15 pounds, so my life as a fat woman is talking about a past event, not something I am now.  I still have weight to lose, but at 167lbs, I am no longer fat – just overweight.  And I move on from here, reaching forward, striving to achieve my goal.

Here is what you can do to build that strong mental foundation:

Follow through your actions. Tell yourself through-out the day, every day, that you are an athlete, that eating is just fueling your body. That healthy food intake is what keeps you, the athlete, strong.

Focus on what you want to achieve.Give it details, give it life. Later in the day after a run, when I stand up and my legs are sore, I make myself smile, feeling the sensation in my quads & hamstrings – and think to myself “you are getting stronger”. I do this instead of getting up and thinking “omg, I am so sore from this mornings run, gosh, I am weak”. (or old, or fat or out-of-shape or whatever negative thing used to pop into my head.)

Adopt a specific, clear vision of how you want your body to look. Spend time imagining how your new body will look, imagine that body, going through the activities you andrea ms croppedenjoy – riding, running, dancing, etc.  Be optimistic. Be realistic. Be empowered.

Practice in your mind.  Athletes practice their success in their minds. They see themselves achieving their goal. Rehearse overcoming temptation. Rehearse not feeling like working out, and mentally overcoming it. Picture yourself working out at a moment of enjoyment, experiencing the positive feeling that occurred. By regularly focusing on successfully accomplishing your goal, you greatly increase your potential to make it a reality.

Guard your mind. You are the gate-keeper. You choose what you think. (and if you are fully, mentally embedded in your excuse for not losing weight, you will never lose the weight. Like I discussed before, the excuse is irrelevant. Example: “I’m genetically obese, all the women in my family were fat.” This is not a scientifically accurate statement.  Barring a metabolic disorder, obesity is 100% choice.)

Every time a negative or defeating thought comes into your mind, speak out loud a counter statement.  My mind says “I’m too old to be a competitive athlete”. I say, out loud “There are competitions for athletes in my age group, I am strong, I will train for it.  I can do this” My mind says “I will always be fat, there is nothing I can do”. I say, out loud “my poor choices got me where I am, every day I am making healthier choices, I will lose this weight”.

What you eat, what you drink, how you train, what you do with your body and your health – your whole life, really–is all in your power. The most important factor is in what you think. 

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