It's been along time since I've made and entry! Well, I haven't stopped exercising! Although, my diet has been on vacation since I've started my summer job. I am amazed that I never gain weight when I go off my diet. I beat myself up thinking I must have put on a few pounds, only to discover that I haven't gained a pound. There is something to be said about building muscle over enduring long hours of cardio.
My main emphasis with training is rebuilding and maintaining muscle. The reason is that muscle is our calorie burner! Over the past 3 years  I have managed to maintain my current weight of 115 pounds. This was possible only by eating sensible meals and continuous weight training. I don't do a lot of cardio, althought I know the benefits and how it could further remove my excess body fat, thusly revealing my sculpted muscles, lol. I've witnessed women spending hours on cardio equipment and spending very little time on the weights. And when they do use  weights the resistance isn't enough to stimulate muscle growth.  I've given up trying to help women understand the importance of chanllenging their muscles by lifting more. They just aren't interested. I now just focus on myself because I can only control ME! I'm not where I want to be yet, but I will one day. As for now, I am content with my level of health, not bad for a woman almost 50! 
    In conclusion, if I had to choose between doing an hour of weight lifting over an hour of elliptical training...I'd do the weight lifting =)
 
 
I recently got a gym membership to the Y. I like that it's not to big nor to small. The facility is very clean, with cleaning supplies located throughout so you can clean up your sweat after your workout. There are plenty of senior citizens at the Y...which I enjoy because they are very friendly.
So, I did my first official workout this morning and...I worked my butt off! Ouch!!! Although I've been working out at home, I didn't have the resistance needed to challenge my lower body...and man did I feel it today! My thighs feel like jelly! There is something to say for doing weighted squats, I only did 45lbs, but that was all it took to show me how out of shape I have gotten. Just 6 months ago I was squating 150lbs easily. It takes only 2 weeks of inactivity to begin losing strength gains, so if you want to take a break from weightlifting don't go longer than 2 weeks. Now I have to start light and build up again.
Overall I'm back in the gym again and got a new strength building workout. I've tightened up on my diet...for real this time! I look forward to showing off my accomplishments in the next 3 months! =)
 
 
 Lately I've been craving more salt and less sweetened breakfast foods. So, I've come up with some alternative meals. Each meal has a balance of fat, carbs, protein, and fiber (I always add a teaspoon of wheatbran to my oatmeal and grits). You can find my recipes under the new breakfast subtitle I created with the recipe page.
 The cost of eggs have gone up! I know longer can afford to buy several dozen eggs. But, coincidently there was a sale on tofu and cottage cheese, $.99 each. So, I stocked up on the tofu (put in the freezer) and purchased a few tubs of cottage cheese. What I like about these foods is the amount of protein per serving. A 1/4 cube of tofu supplies 10g and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese is 12g. You can't beat that!
I went back to my old favorite dried fruit this week...Dates! These are much better than raisins (to me). They do cost more, but, the flavor, texure, and sweetness is irresistable. This is a better alternative to candy.
 
 
The holiday is almost over and I'm feeling fluffy. I've eaten so much  forbidden food that I refused to weigh myself... until yesterday. I knew I must have gained some weight because I was eating like there was no tomorrow (of course I'm exaggerating alittle). Anyways, I took the plung and got on my pink bathroom scale...and the gage was stuck! So I jumped on it until it moved. That should tell you how often I use the thing. Well, it finally moved! I fearfully stepped on expecting to have gained at least 3 pounds! I didn't gain anything!! Man! I was disappointed and relieved at the same time. I am trying to gain muscle, so I was looking to put on some weight. I'm hopeful that the fat loss is equal to the muscle gain, that could be why I weigh the same after many months of training. I just have that body type that doesn't gain weight easily (good) Well, I'm looking forward to making more strength gains in 2012! Not worried about getting cut, just glad to be healthy and strong =)
 
 
Oh My Gosh...another holiday to over eat! Well, I'm going to be good and just eat smaller portions of my favorite foods =)

Exercise  has been consistant for me but, I'd have to say the mode has changed. I've found myself leaning towards calisthenics and ditching the weights. Not only is the form of exercise natural, you don't need a gym membership! All you need is a great workout and commitment. Being able to balance your own body weight using a wide variety of exercises is the ultimate goal. Once you've accomplished that challenge then you can add additional weights. But I doubt that will ever happen to me.
Longterm commitment is the only obstacle to achieving any goal. But I find obtaining fitness is a huge problem in America. Every year there is a new get fit fad that many struggling individuals are eager to jump on board. My goodness, how many times can we reinvent fitness? It's been around forever and many still can't find the right program for themselves. They bounce around like a ping pong ball trying new programs relentlessly and never achieving true fitness.
How about those that believe that special diets are the way to fitness. They go on detox diets, go vegan, and drink crazy mixtures in hopes of melting the extra pounds away. I just sigh as I watch them abuse their bodies internally knowing that they will eventually quit and move onto a new weight loss fad. Never reaching their goal!
Fitness is sensible, realistic, healthy eating and exercise! Why do we make something simple soo hard to do?


 
 
Boy did I eat and eat and eat...That food was soo good I pigged out for 4 days! Well, the holiday is over now and I'm back on track. Yep, I created a 7 day meal plan worksheet with 5 meals a day (I just can't seem to get 6 meals in me a day) I'm on a roll! I've incorported 2 vegetarian meals to cut back on my grocery bill. I keep my vegetarian meals simple by sticking with legumes plus a grain. I am actually very satisfied after these meals, must be the fiber in the beans.
I've been rebounding and balance boarding instead of running outside...hey, it's cold outside! The truth is I haven't cleaned the mud off my shoes since my last run, lol. I'll get it together, it's not like I haven't done anything =)
Over the holiday I pulled myself away from football long enough to exercise. I did a circuit so I could finish quickly. You can convert your regular exercise program into a circuit if you're pressed for time. This is done by doing one set of each exercise with no rest. You can do 1 or 2 circuits depending on how much time you have.
 
 
Well I did it! Added those body weight exercises...my body is sore, lol. It's a good sore though. The body adapts to new stimuli very quickly, that is if you don't wimp out. I'm challenged to push my body progressively to each new level. My muscles have gotten firmer, especially my biceps! I just got to get those triceps in the same shape...I guess I'd call that temporary muscle imbalance. I've only been at it 3 weeks, so I've got to be patient.
My cardio hasn't faired to well. Can't seem to get myself up in the morning to run, nor can I pull myself away from my family at night to do it. I got issues =) I'd better work them out soon before it becomes a habit. At least my resistance training is on cue.
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Homemade trail
Bricked off my path, now I just need some mulch =)

 
 
I completed my first week at home training. Decided to incorporate more body weight exercises to make up for the lack of weights. Those Bar-Starr guys that exercise on playground equipment inspire me because they use only body weight.  I'm looking forward to seeing my accomplishments within the next 8 weeks.
My weight remains the same after 24 weeks of training, that could only mean that I am gaining muscle and burning fat at the same rate. That's what happened the last time I checked my BF%.

I love getting stronger and alittle bigger. Not worried much about the BF for now because my focus is on hypertrophy! Plus it hasn't been a full year yet and I know it takes athletes years to sculpt their bodies from scratch. So why would I think I'm going to do it in 90 days, lol. Oh yeah, those crazy trainers in the infomercials promise the public if they do their workout they will look like them in 90 days, haha!
 
 
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Muddy Shoes!
Well, it rained on my mini track yesterday and turned it into mud! I had to cut my run to 20 minutes because I had 2" of mud caked on my shoes! My feet got soo heavy and clumpy I just couldn't keep on going, plus the sun came out because I started at 6:30am instead of 6am (my bad).
There is no more rain in the forecast, thank goodness. So, to prepare for the next rain I'll be putting down a layer of mulch =o) I don't mind running in alittle rain, but I can't handle all that mud sticking to my shoes! 
I cleaned my shoes off and then thought about taking a picture, my bad =D

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My Backyard
I have until the next rain to lay down some mulch!
I got to get busy!

 
 
I've always exercised at home, but the past 2 years I took advantage of my campus gym membership. The advantage for me was only the free weights. I miss having a real bench press stand, a power rack, roman chair, chin up bar, and a hex bar! Not having this equipment forces me to rely more on body weight exercise when neccessary. I'm sure that my upper body workout will be fine, it's the lower body that will one day be the problem. Because our legs are so strong it takes more resistance to stimulate muscle growth. I figure doing single leg exercises will do until I can get a squat stand.
I take pleasure in using my homemade Fartlek jogging trail. That's right, I created a mini track in my backyard. I stopped using it last year when it got cold and wet. I got up this morning at 6am, put on my sweats, turned the porch light on, and ran for 30 minutes(jog/power walk). The temperature was nice. The reason I don't run throughout my neighborhood is safety. Plus, my mini track is all dirt which makes running easy on my feet!