Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weight lifting update

So I've made it up to:

Squat 125lbs
Overhead press 55lbs
Bench press 75lbs
Deadlift 165lbs

Then I hurt my back so I have had to back off a bit while I recover. I plan to take an Olympic weight lifting class next month.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm loving the weight lifting

Wow, I'm loving this weight lifting. It makes me feel so good. I'm increasing my weights each time, which is typical for someone new. It gives me a sense of "hey, this is working!" to see progress every time.

I love doing squats. My legs look awesome when I do them. Just standing in front of a mirror I don't see much muscle, but do some squats in front of a mirror and my legs are like all muscle.

Weight lifting makes me very hungry. I eat meat, meat and veggies or meat and potatoes or meat, veggies and potatoes at every meal. Including breakfast. That does the trick. Nothing else keeps me feeling strong, healthy and not hungry.

I can't wait until I can put more weight on the bar. I think my friend from high school might be right. She told me long ago that I had a body made for body building. I'm not doing exactly body building, just strength, but it's pretty close to the same. I might not win any contests, but I think I can get pretty strong. That's what I want: to be strong, to have visible muscle, to never feel weak, to stop being so sore all the time whenever I bend over to pull a weed or clean the tub.

I think I will run this afternoon, unless this morning's weights make me too sore. Then I'll just walk. It's super foggy outside today. Running in the fog might feel good.

Meanwhile, in other news, I finally got my butt into the tattoo shop to make an appointment. I have an old, faded ankle tattoo that I want spruced up. Ed hat recommended the tattoo shop that did my PCT tattoo. (I have a map of the PCT and the PCT logo on my leg.) My appointment is five months from now. That's how in-demand the artist is. He said it would be fun to do my tattoo because it's at the stage where it's light enough he can take some creative license with it. I will definitely encourage that. Better to have an artist make the design than me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weight lifting

I decided to learn how to lift weights. I joined the Rec Center at UCSB. Weight lifting is really fun. It also makes you really hungry!

I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to do the lifts. Then hopefully I can just take it from there and get strong.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Chronic cardio

A lot of people in the paleo world think that jogging is "chronic cardio." According to them, cardio exercise causes you to raise cortisol levels, increase oxidative damage, systemic inflammation, depress the immune system and decrease fat metabolism.

The trouble with believing this is that I spent the last 9 months doing the kind of exercise paleos advocate and I ended up feeling that I was getting all those negative things. Since paleo is all about looking to the paleolithic for how we might best eat healthy and exercise, how did anybody come to think it's natural for humans to do burpees and planks and avoid running?

What I really found enlightening about Maffetone's Big Book of Health and Fitness was that he explained "chronic cardio" not with blanket statements about some exercises being better than others but in concrete terms that overtraining is bad. Overtraining leads you to raise cortisol levels, increase oxidative damage, systemic inflammation, depress the immune system and decrease fat metabolism. And you can overtrain doing burpees and planks, lifting heavy and sprinting like paleos say is best. You can also over train by running and biking if you push too hard.

I continue to run slowly most days, ride my bike slowly and generally not work quite so hard, yet I put in the time. I feel happy and healthy when I do it this way. The 9 months I spent doing twice weekly burpees and the like was just too much. Always hiking at high speed was too much. Always pushing hard when I rode my bike was too much. Easing up is so much better.

Monday, October 01, 2012

I ran up the bluffs today

I continue with my slow Maffetone running. Today I ran up the bluff to the university from Goleta beach. It's the first time I've been able to do that since I began this.

Last week I noticed I was running around 127bpm most of the time. Today it seemed to be around 126. It was a hot day, too. I make a little bit of progress every day. Seeing real progress so quickly spurs me to continue.

Yesterday I ran like this for almost 3 hours. I ran from my house to Arroyo Burro beach and then through Hope Ranch along the horse trail that parallels the scenic drive. The horse trail is nice and shaded. My feet were super dusty. I enjoyed the run immensely even though it was very slow as always. It was a fun adventure. I did this run without any breakfast. I ate a big "fruit" salad afterward of avocado, tomato, fresh figs, pesto and olive oil and vinegar. So refreshing!

I am looking forward to when I can run out my door and up to Inspiration Point. Or on some of the other trails. I'll pack just my collapsible cup to drink from small creeks (the ones that dogs don't go in) and drinking faucets. I won't need to bring any food with me. The beauty of this kind of running is you train your body to use your body fat for energy so you don't run out of energy or bonk and you don't have to worry about eating.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Long time, no post. Here's what I've been up to.

I haven't written anything here in a long time.

One thing I have been up to is I recently started Maffetone fitness training. You can read about the Maffetone method on his website. Here are some links on his site that I recommend:
  • Overtraining (PDF) - I felt I was suffering some of the earlier symptoms of overtraining. So far following his methods, I am actually getting more exercise each day but feeling less overtrained.
  • Mediterranean Diet - I continue to eat a low carbohydrate, natural foods diet. I like his description of the Mediterranean Diet. My low carb diet is quite similar.
  • Why do I follow a low carb diet? - This page offers a test to determine if a low carb diet is beneficial to you. I did not do this, but instead just dove into the paleo diet. But the result for me was the same. I feel better with less than 100 grams of carbs a day, and I feel best, extremely vibrant, energetic, happy and alive on less than 60 grams of carbs a day, even as little as 20 grams of carbs.
  • Low heart-rate training - The part of the Maffetone Method I actually do
  • Aerobic exercise - What it is and how it works
I continue to try to work my low carb, natural foods diet around The Man, who is adamantly opposed to it. He actually told me the other day that he is the exact opposite of me and that's why he can't eat the same foods as me. I thought about that, and he is correct. He is the opposite of me:
  • I feel young, he feels old
  • I am healthy, he is unhealthy
  • My chronic aches and pains are gone, he takes pills and applies ice packs every single day for chronic pain
  • I am happy and cheerful, he is depressive, moody and irritable
  • My mind feels clear and focused, he complains of brain fog
  • My health improves more and more, he has a cardiologist now
  • I usually sleep well, he cannot sleep without psychiatric medications and even then he says he can't sleep
  • My digestive system works great, he claims he has not had a normal bowel movement for as long as he can remember (it sounds like IBS to me)
  • My skin looks pretty good and I feel healthy, he complains every day of chest pain or back pain or digestive problems or upset stomach
I am no longer going to try to convince him to eat the healthy foods I prefer. A grass-fed lamb chop is completely wasted money if I serve it to him. He honestly believes he can attain better health through a diet rich in refined and processed foods. The above are the results he has achieved vs the results I have achieved. More details of my own results:
  • Lost 30lbs
  • Uncontrollable hunger gone
  • Sugar cravings gone
  • Blood pressure went from 110/80 to 104/65
  • Chronic pain in my feet (from hiking PCT) is gone
  • Depression gone
  • Personality issues greatly improved (I'm not flying off the rails for no reason anymore)
  • Skin looks better (I've actually gotten compliments, it never was that bad, but it's better)
  • Posture improved
  • Physical strength improved
  • Greater endurance
  • I have an appreciation for organ meats and off-cuts. It's kinda fun.
  • I can cook

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beef heart jerky is yummy!

Recently I made beef jerky from beef heart. Wow, is it good! It's the best jerky I've ever had. I marinate it in red wine vinegar with cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. I dehydrate it in my crappy Ronco dehydrator that works great despite being the most low-budge, low-tech dehydrator you can buy. Jerky isn't cooked. The heart is raw when I place it on the dehydrator racks. Mmm mmm good!

Here's the recipe:
marinate 3lbs heart as slices in:
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper for at least twelve hours
Then dehydrate!

Recently, on recommendation from a random man I was talking to at Whole Foods, I went to Santa Cruz Market. Santa Cruz Market has been there as long as I can remember. I remember it from way back as a little girl. They still have the G & H Blue Chip Stamps sign on the side of the store. Do you remember blue chip stamps? That was a looong time ago. You got stamps with every purchase to put into a book. Once you had enough stamps, you could order something from a catalog. The more stamps the better the thing you could order.

Santa Cruz Market is now an ethnic grocery. Many of the items are in Spanish or bilingual, including the meats. I asked the butcher if they had heart. He didn't know what that was so I pointed to my own heart. Oh yeah, we have that! He sold me "Corazon de res" for $2.59 a pound. I pay $8 a pound when I buy the grass fed stuff on the Internet. I can't even find it anywhere else.

They had all kinds of meat there. Pork belly, pork liver, even goat. They probably had beef brains, but I didn't see any. I think Santa Cruz has become my meat market now. I know grassfed is better for you, but I can get organ meat and specialty meat. Grassfed meat is only available as chuck roast, ribeye and NY strips and ground, which I imagine is just the chuck, ribeye and NY steaks they couldn't sell, and it's minimum $7 a pound and up to $25 a pound. You have to buy CAFO meat if you want organs and any thing else.