Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ready, Set...GO!

I too want the COMPLETE stamp!
so despite wanting to put it off for longer, here's my end-all-be-all pcp post (no pressure, or anything!):

Ok, I don't know how to organize this post! But I'm taking Tara's cue and I'm going to at least start with some fundamental lessons learned/pcp topics:

The Bod
Starting off with the "core" of PCP, some info on what happened to my body these 90 days. I know you want to see it, so let's start with the tell-all visuals:

PCP Day 1 Photos:

PCP Day 90 Photos:

So obviously I'm pleased, heeheehee!
I feel light and upright and I no longer worry about backfat rolls or any rolls at all. Every part of my body has taken on some lovely new shape, and while my genetics aren't very kind when it comes to having any semblance of butt, at least it's a bit rounder and not square! (haha! seriously, it was square before. so weird!)
Ok, getting serious. What's amazing about this new body is yes, it looks good, but really to the touch it's even more drastic. There is serious muscle under my skin now, and I still can't get over how different it feels to put my hand on my waist - instead of fatty fat layers I have this super strong core. It's comforting, and pretty thrilling. I'd still like to lower my body fat % a bit to be able to see the muscles a bit more, but I'm not going to stress it. One thing I've really learned is to connect with how my body feels, and if i'm happy with that then i don't care what size clothing i'm wearing or what any scale says.
In short, I always knew there was a rocking body within me, and it's awesome to see it for myself and get to show it off a bit to others!
Ok, moving on - but don't worry, there are more pictures to reward you at the end of this post!

So in the beginning of PCP I thought that this would be 90 days of boring, non-cooking cooking. I even had this whole long post where I said goodbye to kitchen things I thought I wouldn't be using (a photo tribute to my kitchen). But what I discovered was a deeper, more astute way of cooking than before. I hardly consulted any recipes, and let my creativity and basic skills take over. And, if you've been reading this blog, you've seen that I ate a ton of delicious stuff this summer! It helped to have some basic skills mastered, so that I didn't have to just steam everything or use only one method, and then i could focus on getting fresh food that looked good, cooking it in the best way to highlight its natural flavors, and then devouring it!
Also, I used a ton of spices (thank you Talia, for the Israeli spices!!) and I think my next kitchen project is going to be to make my own signature spice mixes. Fun!

Now this is the part of PCP training where I don't think I did very well. I have a crazy job, and I try to have some human interaction, and I like to read and relax, and while I tried to prioritize sleep this summer I often failed at getting as much as I need to. This is an ongoing struggle, and one I'm really not sure how to master with my current NYC lifestyle, but I'm working on it.
(Check out my crazy rant on the topic, to see details.) The basic takeaway is, however, that sleep is an integral part of being at peak. Not only does it help muscles grow and build and rest so that they can achieve full potential, for me it directly effects my tendency to overindulge, to self-hate, and to turn into a very negative, masochistic version of myself (aka Schlump Girl).
So anyway, must sleep more.

Social Life
PCP and the NYC social scene are not natural bedmates. During this summer I spent more weekend nights at home alone than I'd like to admit, but I feel okay about that. This was a time to commune with myself, a self-indulgent time, and it's hard to do that and be out socializing all the time. Not to mention, the food/drink focus of most socializing was a challenge that i never quite conquered. This will be part of the balance I try to strike now that the project is over, and one good thing is that now a night out lasts me a week or two, since I'm used to staying in. So, I guess meals and drinks and late nights should all be done in moderation like everything else.
Luckily, I've become very comfortable with getting seltzer at a bar and not thinking twice about it. I think some friends see me as a downer because I go home earlier than everyone else, but when you're not drunk and everyone else is it's just not that fun to keep the party going for hours and hours. If I'm a sexy, healthy, strong downer I can deal with that label :-)

Some little secret pcp side-effects:
  • No processed/packaged foods = beautiful skin. I completely stopped using any facial products other than a light spf moisturizer and I have had the clearest skin these 3 months in my whole life. It's amazing! If you want to save money on those nonsense products, quit the industrial food machine. That's been a big revelation.
  • Clean, easy bowel movements: you too can enjoy these by eating only fresh, real food. I won't elaborate, but it's pretty fantastic. (haha!)
  • Any money saved from not eating out or drinking will probably be spent on clothes or accessories. And that's great! I never put much stock in what I wore, before PCP, but now I see (and feel) the importance of looking great and presenting a strong, healthy, put-together self in front of the world. During this project I have upped the anty on looking a bit more professional at work, and I think it's paid off in my interactions with people and my success. It might sound vain, but it is a physical representation of deeper confidence and strength and it's awesome.
  • Once I learned to shut up a bit about the project (I didn't fully learn this, but I'm working on it), I got great satisfaction out of knowing all that I know about health and strength and letting my body speak for itself. As a person who has a tendency to be on "a high horse" (as my mom likes to point out), this is a good lesson to continue to learn!
  • There are definitely dozens more of these little anecdotes, but I've got to cut this list off. Read all my blog posts to find them - they're all in there!

Demons & Heroes
Finally, PCP revealed to me that I am my own demon and my own hero. The narrative of Schlump Girl vs. The Pink Lady will continue, undoubtedly, throughout my life, but now I have a fantastic framework with which to deal with these two and help TPL come out on top more often than not. Understanding what makes Schlump Girl tick, and having this great visual of The Pink Lady are hugely helpful tools for moving forward from the unhealthy pre-pcp cycle that these two had me spinning in, before. Here's a final tribute to The Pink Lady (her signature pose), that I took on Day 90:
So, I think I've got to end with that, no?
I have all the gratitude in the world for you people out there - my real life family & friends, Patrick and Chen for being the best gurus I could've possibly found, the universe for aligning at the perfect time to get me on this program, and Team SEXAAAY. Oh, Team SEXAAAY what will I do without your amazing support, fantastic personalities, hilarious anecdotes? Well, I'm moving you all into 'real life friend' category (and maybe even into the family sector, since you have felt like this wonderful kind of family all summer). I cried on day 90, thinking about how I won't hear from you all as often, but I will be thinking of you all, all the time. I'm so glad we've supported each other through this process, and know that I'm sending my regards to you around the globe every time you cross my mind.

I heard recently a quote that applies to PCP: When you set out to help yourself, you end up helping others.

I think that's what happens with this program, in many more ways than one, and it's a touching, deeply transformative process - both the helping yourself and the helping of others. If you're reading this and you're thinking about trying the PCP, just do it. 90 days will fly by, do you want to emerge as Schlump Girl or The Pink Lady? You know which one I chose.

(those are some coveted small jeans I've never really been able to fit into... until now!)


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 90, HOLY SHIIIIZ! Woot wooooot!

Ok ok so I want to take a couple days to reflect and organize my thoughts for my final post (also, this way I can extend the final goodbye a little bit!), but for now know this:

I'm so happy to have gone thru this process. When we began this project, 90 days ago, I remember my final decision making thought was something like, 90 days is going to fly by either way, so either I'm ripped and healthy at the end, or I'm schlubby and unsatisfied. The prediction was true - this summer FLEW by, and here we are, in our new avatar-like bodies, armed with an incredible wealth of knowledge and self-awareness to help us sift thru the nonsense out there in the real world, and possessing a sense of purpose and willpower that many people never tap into.

This is a little saccharine, but I'm still going to share...
Here's the image I'm meditating on today, day 90: Team SEXAAAY all standing side-by-side (in swimsuits, to show off our bods!) on the edge of a big lake; we're all holding hands, feeling nervous and excited and we can't help but break into smiles every few moments. Then, from the background (hidden in the woods somewhere, haha) comes Patrick's voice, shouting, GO! YOU'RE FREE!
We take one last long look at each other, smiling, and have a good hand squeeze. Then we each reel back and take our own running jump into the abyss.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 89, Secret Agent Mission

I finally made it to a gym for this week's assignment (to look at what's happening at the gym, what the people look like, what the deal is in comparison to how we've trained these past 90 days). To start, let me just say that I had a lot of fun with this assignment. I've always said that if my family was tragically killed or something I would toss in my lot with spies or CIA or whatever, and become a trained killer machine, fighting for American ideals or somesuch nonsense. Part of why I chose Jennifer Garner for the image bar up there is because I think she's so badass in Alias, and I saw SALT a few weeks ago and it was so fun! Anyway, this little trip to the gym was as close as I'm getting to a real life spy mission, so I had fun.

Ok, here's my report!

Gym: Crunch
Today being the first day I've had time to do this, I went at a weird time - 2pm on one of the most beautiful Saturdays NYC has seen in a while. So, the gym was pretty empty. BUT, I realized that the people there are probably your classic 'gym rats', since they're opting to be inside working out instead of outside enjoying the pleasant temp and sun.
So I had to go thru the whole process of pretending that I want to look around and potentially join, which turned out to be really funny. The poor guy who showed me around was very confused (more on why), and I almost wanted to tell him about the whole ruse by the end, but then I thought better of it.

He started by asking me what I currently do for fitness. This was funny, and I decided to act totally nonchalant about it. My answer: "oh, well I workout at home, alone." That kind of threw him, and of course he wanted to know more. Second answer: "well, I jumprope and I use my own body weight and resistance bands to do strength stuff. [shrug]" At this point he was obviously perplexed by me. He then asked how it was going for me. I shrugged again, but then flashed him a big bicep flex and I think the man almost fell off his chair. HAAAAHAHAH! I wanted to laugh and then bounce out of my clothes in the Pink Lady bikini and be all like "SUCKERS! GET OUT OF THIS GYM!"
But instead I just smiled.

So then we went on the tour! This is where i had to tell more lies (lies! lies! lies!) and say I was interested in using the elliptical (a machine that, as far as I can tell, seems to work people on it as hard as napping does), and spin classes, and all kinds of things that I never want to think about anymore. This is where I got to check people out though. Now I will say that there was one woman who was in serious shape. She had super low body fat % and was just ripped. BUT, I wouldn't say she was in peak condition - she was sprinting on this treadmill, looking at 6 different flat screens, listening to music, all on this gorgeous day when running outside would be easy (not too hot). Far from peak, little muscle woman was, in this respect at least.

Other than that, no one else looked great. Lots of flabby mid-sections, not much sweating. This morning during the PCP workout (which, ahem, KILLED ME), I made an extra point of looking at myself tortured with pain during the shoulder exercises. When I'm struggling with the damn DaVinci's I almost look like a different person because i'm making crazy faces and squealing. No one at that gym was even close to failing at anything, I can tell you purely from their relaxed faces and lack of discomfort.

So we tour, it's fine, the bathroom/locker room is gross. I did like that the place was filled with light, and has big windows, so that was nice. but that's about all. He told me about all the classes they have, which actually did sound like fun classes, but I'd rather play sports as a fun active thing, not go to a gym to take a class (though a dancing series is the exception to this!).

Through the whole tour he kept asking me things, and I would reveal little PCPisms but in such a chill way that he continued to be impressed and confused. I think the guy gave me 10 fist-pumps during the tour, I noticed that he wanted to give one for every time I said a PCPism. yet, here he was trying to sell me on a place where many PCP habits can't be practiced effectively. funny!

On top of all that, we then sat down and he revealed to me that they also have...PARTIES. To which I immediately wanted to know more. What kind of parties? and, of course, what's served at these parties at the GYM???
So every month they have a party (the whole gym was very scene-y, so I'm thinking the party is a way to hook up with the people you've been making eyes at over the staff-infection-infested rowing machine), and at this party they serve "all kinds of appetizers" and "tons of liquor/booze". I raised my eyebrows to this, at which point he just kind of nervously laughed.

Now, there was 1 cool thing about this gym:
they have a live DJ spinning in the workout area on Tuesdays! I like this because it's hard for me to stay on top of music choices, and as we've recently learned, the right music helps pump up the workout.
And, it wasn't a terrible place or anything - people were nice and I remembered how good it feels to join a new gym and have that sense of promise and optimism about your goals. But, inherently, the whole place got in the way of helping people to get fit - the main thing the place at least SAYS it's there for. So, that's the ultimate fail I suppose.
won't be joining Crunch anytime soon.

However, I did used to love going to the YMCA. I would swim there with a friend of mine and we were true regulars in the pool - we had fun and got to know SO many characters, and we stayed relatively healthy. I think the Y is a different place though - there are so many kids and families, and it's a community space as much as a gym, and that's what it's trying to be. It still has the flaws I saw at Crunch, but I can respect a place like the YMCA in a way that i could not at all respect this thinly veiled nightclub called Crunch.

At the end of my little meeting with the sales guy, he said something like, "well, you seem like you're in pretty good shape already, so you'd be great here," and I wanted to say "you have no idea, so no thank you CRUNCH!"
But I did one final shrug, just to continue confusing the man, and I thanked him for his time.

what a fun mission!
what a strange place I discovered.

Soooo, then I moseyed down to the beloved food coop and reflected on the other pcp component - our new way of eating. I filled my basket with fruits, veggies, trying to find new fruits and veggies for this week - so fun! I got two new grains to try - amarynth and red quinoa! and I got these post-pcp treats:
I felt so happy and healthy and excited at the fact that, when I thought of getting some stuff for after day 90 that I wouldn't have bought before, I didn't reach for ice cream or packaged chips or candy or anything like that. Instead, I got all weak in the knees for delicious dates, dried unsweetened cherries, dried figs and garam masala cashews. Y-U-M! These are mini indulgences that I'm glad to start having back in my life. They're not unlawful (definition here), but they're still treats, and I'm really glad to move forward with this kind of thinking.

Plus, I still also got all this stuff:
YUUUUUUMMMM. I will always be eating these types of foods from now on!

and then I made these for lunch:
Such a great pcp lunch! and I swear, all that food equates to 150g carbs, 120g protein and as many veggies as I want! These little sandwiches were so tasty!

Day 89 Mini Sammies
6 slices whole wheat bread (small oblong loaf)
1/2 avocado, distributed onto all the slices and spread
spoonful of sauteed peppers and onions onto each bread
1/2 large tomato, cut up with a slice for each bread
Chicken sauteed/poached with onions, garlic, spices

Smash each mini sammie together and consume!

Oh, and on the side I broiled a portobello mushroom and spooned some of the onions and garlic on top.

still full, and veeeery satisfied!

p.s. The workout today was insane! I was a maniac with crazy grunts and sighs and whines, but I got thru it. planks with the arms wide are way harder! v-sits without touching legs back to the floor are way harder! no rest b/w sets are way harder! but it all felt great, in that painful inexplicable way...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 88, Daze Days

Well, I can't believe that we're this close to the end.

I once ran a marathon. That was a different health/fitness time in my life - an interesting one, and a good one, but not one I'll be revisiting again as I move forward after this project. There are many mental strengths I developed during the training for that marathon, however, and I draw from them all the time. Right now, these final days on our PCP, I feel the way I did about 100 yards from the finish line of that marathon. The thought that went thru my mind when I could actually SEE the finish: Wow, I did this. I did it! The finish is RIGHT THERE! I could get shot now, maybe even twice, and STILL I'd make it to that line. WOOOHOOOOO!
Then, I crossed the line and burst into tears.

That's kind of how I feel now, as day 88 comes to a close. I'm thrilled to have done this project, I'm so thankful that a friend just happened to mention it at a time when I was looking for just this kind of thing (thank you Jane!!!), and I am shocked that it's already coming to a close. I want to hoot and holler and celebrate... but I also want to burst into tears.

The cool difference, I suppose, is that I feel energized and not exhausted. And, I know that the last thing you have to do to be lean and healthy is train like a maniac and then pound your body into pavement for 26.2 miles (though there are many benefits to running, I know and understand most of them!). So I'm all empowered and filled with knowledge and experience to keep on the peak path, but I'm so sad to graduate from this 'boot camp' so to speak, and move on without the daily touchstones that come with this project (emails from patrick, and all the incredible Team SEXAAAY blogs).

I'm sappy tonight. But change is good! Pain is good!

p.s. one thing I'm forever thankful to PCP for: the advent of my 2% milk love affair. just had a glass. mmm mmm goooood.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 86, Hey-Yoooo!

1st Plank today: 2 min, 46 seconds


(of course the subsequent 4 were total shit-shows, but I was excited about #1!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 85, Pink Lady vs. Schlump Girl - an interesting truce

Ok ok ok so I'm going to use the words "unlawful" and "indulgence" in this post.
I'm just preparing you all for that. But don't freak out and call this round for Schlump Girl just yet - The Pink Lady has triumphed in a new way tonight, people! Read on to find out how!
Before a full report, I want to offer up some 'then' and 'now' definitions to those words.

Pre-PCP "Unlawful" = nothing. Nothing's unlawful, because I can eat and drink anything I want, anytime! I run and do pilates and ride my bike for transportation, I deserve to eat delicious things all the time!

Post-PCP "Unlawful" = food that does not make me feel good, physically and/or mentally/emotionally.

Pre-PCP "Indulgence" = lunch. dinner. snack. daily beer. full full stomach. every meal.

Post-PCP "Indulgence" = something delicious and extravagant that I would only eat or drink once a month or so. does not at all equate to quantity, rather this is all about quality, decadent foodstuffs.

So I've learned many things during this project, and rather than save them all for one post i'll probably wax poetic throughout the week as they come to me. Today's lesson is about unlawful things, and about indulgences.

In my previous life (before THE PROJECT) I had unlawful food snacks all the time. Mostly they were tied to my emotional state (fueled mainly by tiredness and boredom and anxiety); my office is a minefield of unlawful snacks, if I'm looking for them, so I could easily be constantly snacking on terrible, non-food junk all day and still think I was a healthy person who ate quality meals. What these unlawful, non-food junk items do (to me, at least) is whittle away at a crater of dissatisfaction. Each bite leaves me searching for something that will outdo that last taste, so I'd mindlessly hunt around for something saltier, sweeter, crunchier, smoother. Naturally, when I'd start down that path, nothing would quite ever hit the mark.

Now stepping away from the dark world of Schlump Girl, we have the idea of the indulgence. What a wonderful word that is - INDULGENCE. It's so luxurious and filled with promise, but the key thing for me at least is that it's a fancy word. A gross pita chip can't be part of a true indulgence! A black truffle is an indulgence; fresh salted butter from a local farm is an indulgence; cheese, beer, wine, chocolate - these are indulgences. An indulgence can't happen every day, or even every week, because the essence of indulgence implies being somewhat of a rarity in and of itself.

Over the past week or two I've inched back into unlawful snacky land (aka Schlump Girl's playland). Little bites here and there have turned into too many, especially this past week --after my failed indulgence #3. Today, I noticed the problem growing a bit too much for my svelte PCP self to condone. What's the deal? I'm not even tired today! I'm not bored! I'm not even really anxious (though I kind of am). So, why did I eat 10 of those gross non-food "honey wheat pretzels" that probably have no honey or wheat in the ingredient list? Why did I go back for 5 more??
I confronted the inner, rebellious adolescent, who was obviously doing this to be stubborn and resentful from something.
What's the deal Schlump Girl? What's your beef this time? Your regular conditions don't exist today, so tell me what bee got up your uglyass bonnet?
Answer: Waaah! Woe is me! I didn't have a good final indulgence! it's not fair! i work so hard and weigh all the stupid grams and have no life or relationship except for the one with my dishpan and my iron skillet! i deserve SOMETHING!

Ahhhhh, I see what you're doing, Schlumpy! You're so transparent. And for the record, you DO deserve something - but something more than 15 honey wheat pretzels. I'm just saying...

So here's the big reveal: the indulgences are important. REALLY important. I get it now. They offer these respites from being so gosh darn responsible and healthy, and yet they are both responsible and healthy, because we don't need a break from that, we just need a little acknowledgment of the hard work. A nod from the other side that signals, hey - enjoy this. it won't derail your efforts and the memory of it'll keep you going thru a couple weeks of more simple, yet still satisfying foods.

When I landed on this conclusion today, it was as if Schlump Girl had worked herself into this whole fit, and here came The Pink Lady, all comfort and rationale. No fighting between these two today, just some understanding and compromise. Now, you could call this whole thing a wonderful rationalization for me to gorge myself on unlawful foods, but I feel really peaceful and aware of something new with all of this.
Once I decided on the fact that what I just needed to do was NOT slip down this consistently-caving slope, but rather decide on a really satisfying indulgence and mindfully have it, I felt much better. I thought about what to have.
Some tapas from local restaurant?
Mexican? (NOOOO!)

Here's the funny part: what did I want? did I want to go out? to have "fancy" restaurant food? Nope, I wanted to cook something for myself. I didn't want to go out and have something be needlessly greasy or salty or sweet. I wanted to make something decadent that I knew would be delicious.
So I bought the ingredients for a carbonara twist, came home, and whipped up this:
It was, without a doubt, the most glorious thing I've made since 2009. Seriously. I had so much fun making something other than veg-protein-carb, and it was indulgent to not think about how many meals this would last me or how many grams i'd get out of it. It was cooking-to-relax, which is something that I used to do fairly often but I've not been able to have that mindset about cooking these past months, due to PCP planning and time constraint issues. It was so relaxing, so ZEN to just make this singular dish for this singular taste-focused meal (a new cuisine? Zen Indulgence cooking!!).

Make it for your next indulgence. Please do. PLEASE. You'll be so happy. Here's all you need:

Elena's Mindful Indulgence Carbonara Twist*
*The twist refers to a liberal swapping of cheeses, pasta shapes and pork cuts used by my ancestors. Some might slap me for still calling this a carbonara, but at least I'm not a heathen who adds cream!

  • a couple handfuls of Pasta of your choice (a penne-like shape works best, in my opinion)
  • 1 TB high-quality olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • thin slice of pancetta or 1 slice bacon
  • 1 oz hard swiss cheese of your choice (get wild with this! sometimes I go with a standard gruyere, but today i tried Montagne de Jura and it was divine. just make sure it's a good melting cheese, with a nutty, swiss-essence taste.)
  • 1/2 oz pecorino of your choice (standard version: romano, but today I got this Bianco Sardo and it was craaaaaazy good)
  • 1 egg, as fresh as possible

  • Boil large pot of water (unsalted!) for the pasta; in meantime, heat olive oil in an iron skillet.
  • Mince garlic and pancetta, set aside.
  • Once oil is warm, add garlic and the whole sage leaves and heat on low for a few minutes, moving the leaves around with a wooden spoon. After a few minutes take the leaves out and discard.
  • Sprinkle red pepper flakes into the pan, to toast (not too many! you only want a hint of heat in this dish or else the other delicate flavors will be tragically masked!).
  • Add pancetta and continue to heat on low/medium so that pancetta firms up and the garlic starts to brown. Stir occasionally as you wait for the pasta to cook.
  • In meantime, once the water boils pour pasta in and reduce heat to a rapid simmer/almost boil. Stir! Be sure it doesn't stick, but don't bother the pasta too much! Taste it to be sure you take it out 30 seconds before it's perfectly al dente. Preserve a small cup of the pasta cooking liquid - you may need this, though I never use it. But better safe than to see it all disappear down the drain when you needed it...
  • Crack the egg into your serving dish!
The next steps should be done with a quick hand:
  • Spoon the drained pasta onto the egg and pour the pancetta/oil/pepper/garlic mixture over the pasta & egg (if some of the garlic has browned too much, try to get that out with a spoon first).
  • Grate the swiss cheese over the pasta as well.
  • Using tongs or two forks, quickly toss all this delicious stuff! Mix the raw egg with the hot pasta and hot oil and the cheese and it won't scramble, but will turn into a most delicious, wonderful sauce. (If for some reason it's not wet enough, now's the time to splash in that pasta cooking liquid you smartly saved.)
To finish, grate the pecorino on top, sprinkle with freshly grated pepper, and ENJOY YOUR INDULGENCE!
A warning: after consuming bowl of indulgent extravagance, you might look like this:
Next step:
Wake up the next morning, do your jumping, and enjoy eating your clean diet foods. Meditate on the physical and emotional purity of this indulgence! Be happy that you can relish life's pleasures and still look SEXAAAY.

that's all.

oh, and p.s. no bathroom disaster aftereffects! BONUS!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 83, phew

Well, I finally got some rest. Thank the heavens!!!!
Friday night I slept 9 hours and last night i slept another 9.5 hours. I needed that so so so much!
And the good thing is that it wasn't nuts like last Friday when I slept 11 hours - it's enough that hopefully I'll be able to hit the hay early again tonight and have a week of 8 hour sleep nights (this is my last week PCP goal!).

So, I didn't realize it'd been so long since I last blogged! sometimes when i read and comment on everyone else's blogs I forget to write my own. Well, here I am anyway, blogging it out!

A few quick anecdotes and then I'll post again later today (with my notes from Patrick's latest assignment!).

1: ABS.
I can't believe it but the long planks the other day didn't kill me! It helped that we had one less set than last week (I'm taking Tara's cue and being vague on how long and how many planks, so as not to frighten those earlier on in the program). They are hard, don't get me wrong, but they also really tap into my badass feeling, so I kind of like them in a weird way.
Also, love the kung fu sit-ups! hanging like that makes me feel like I'm a kid, and i really love it. Most times when we have them I'm smiling all the way thru! I was thinking about how strange this is when i remembered a funny memory (this is the second flashback that PCP has stirred up, which I haven't thought about in decades). When I was little (like, 8 years old little) my dad and I would walk thru this little park between the subway and our apartment. there was a playground, and it had jungle gym type things, including the ladder bars, you know? picture a ladder, now put it horizontal and about 4 ft. off the ground. oh! I think this is called MONKEY BARS.
So at some point I got it into my head that my goal was going to be to make it from one end of the monkey bars to the other. I was not a small child (let's just say that food has always been a problem for me - or, better put, a great passion of mine!). Anyway, I dedicated myself to this goal for weeks. everyday I'd make him stop so I could practice, and eventually I did do it.
it was like a precursor for my dedication to PCP! haha!
But odd, right? for an 8 year old to decide on this random fitness goal, and then to benchmark it every day. i think my dad was bewildered, or maybe too tired to really notice how strange it was. i'll have to ask him what he thought of the whole thing!

ok, off to walk with a friend. more anecdotes later. happy sunday to all you PCP lovies! I don't know about you, but I just finished my morning milk and i'm feeling goooooood.