Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 61, phew!

oh man, i'm tired.
in the spirit of pcp productiveness, I sucked it up today and did two back-to-back make-up shifts that I owed at the food co-op. That's 5 hours and 15 minutes of working at the store (admittedly the first half I had kind of an easy job, but it was still tiring). But I feel so good! I've been putting this off for weeks, and I'm so glad i just went and did it and stopped procrastinating.
Anyway, that's that. Not my favorite way to spend a Saturday, but as it turns out I'm not going out to dinner these days so I had the time!

Workout notes and questions:
Another super-focused workout, took me more like 56 minutes today - awesome! Maybe a couple days of these more intense workouts is also making me extra tired right now. I got 9 hours of sleep last night and planning on another luxurious night again starting soon!

Bicycle - I'm not feeling it at all in my abs! but my legs KILL (my quads, mostly). What's going on here?? I'm going to fiddle with the angle I'm sitting at. Really annoying!

Shoulder exercises - This is the toughest set of exercises for me. They make me feel bad and uncoordinated and weak, and it's the closest i get to crying. But that must be because I really need to build strength in my shoulders, so I try to focus on that.

Chest Dip - I feel this so much more in my arms than my chest (and yes i'm looking down). What's the deal?

I guess that's all for now. I'm so exhausted, I can hardly think of what else to type! I guess a final thought is that I find it AMAZING that we're at day 61. When Team SEXAAAY started the group at day 60 seemed so far ahead, in this whole phase of the project I couldn't even imagine. When I decided to do PCP one of the final decision making thoughts that I had was "these 90 days will fly by regardless of what I do, so why not emerge with a whole new body and outlook?!"
I certainly predicted that one right - it's flying by, and the body is new and so is the outlook. So amazing that all we needed was to commit to doing it, and here we've done it! wahooo!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 59, Woke up to...a wake up call!

So after Patrick's email yesterday I gave myself a little talking to. I've been a little too lax on rest time between sets and between the different exercises. I think the workouts have been taking me 65 minutes lately, maybe even 70 minutes!!!

This morning, despite being super tired, I got up and committed to being diligent. I set the timer on my watch to 5 seconds less than the designated rest time, to account for pressing to reset it and get in position after it went off. And I plowed through the workout!

Reactions to strict timing on the workout:
  • First, it only took me 53 minutes. Whoa. I was wasting major time before. it added up, apparently! (just like all those bites of indulgent food and sips of beer I used to have added up to the 15 pounds I've lost!)
  • Second, I definitely got more burn. Not world-of-difference more, but enough that I felt I was really doing a top-notch workout, not a medium-notch one like I had apparently been doing before.
  • Third, around 12pm I could really feel it (I do my workouts at 7am). I got up to do something at work and suddenly felt muscle fatigue that I haven't felt since the beginning of PCP.
  • Fourth, I felt very productive and energetic during the workout! Something about staying on task and on a very strict timeline made the whole thing feel better and filled it with the focus and energy that I've been enjoying all around lately. I've found, especially these past few weeks, that I'm procrastinating less. If i get home at 10pm from a work meeting I don't plop down and chill out right away if there are other things that need to get done (like, ahem, washing dishes). Overall I'm more prone to the DOING of things rather than the putting off that I used to do more often than I'd like to admit. That feels good! And, it felt good to feel that kind of focused energy during the workout!
  • Fifth, it was nice to be finished in 53 minutes. Of course this still did not translate to me being on time for work, but that's a separate issue I haven't quite figured out yet...
Ok, that's all for today, people.
(No update yet on mystery bicycle man, p.s., but I'm having a lot of fun looking around during my commute, trying to see if anyone matches the list of characteristics he revealed in the post. So far no one has, though what do I when someone does, shout HEY DID YOU WRITE A MISSED CONNECTION ABOUT ME?! Well, I guess I'll do whatever I'm motivated to do. Or, maybe the mystery bicycle man will remain at large...)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 58, New pictures of the bod & food!

Finally uploaded this week's set of pictures. And here's a bonus shot of my breakfast this morning:

Sourdough toasts with avocado, tomato and 1 poached egg split 3 ways!

(p.s. it's almost 10pm and I just realized that the only carb i have for breakfast tomorrow is pasta... well, a first time for everything I suppose!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Real-life Sex and the City, you say, Patrick? I raise you this...

So this isn't completely PCP related, but it is fairly newsworthy and I guess it has to do with my current looks, so there is some correlation.

As follows the old adage, when it rains it pours. Voila! The third date with The Unhealthy Heart Surgeon was a flop, I restocked my milk, and here I have another potential romantic situation!

Ok, does everyone know what craigslist missed connections is? Well if not, it's this page on where you can send out messages to the world about people who you notice or think of but who, for whatever reasons, you weren't able to contact in real life. I think the idea of it is romantic at best - it shows, especially in a city like NYC where sometimes people can be so closed off, that we're all going around noticing people far more than we let on, and that many of our thoughts about others are kind, or at least flattering (and sometimes x-rated!). At its worst it's a bit creepy, and sometimes people are just nuts. Eh, what can you do?

So anyway, to make a long story short, check this out:

It's about me! Isn't that crazy?!

Now, I don't read this missed connections site, because I have had not one but TWO experiences on it already (!!); one involved catching an ex-boyfriend in a long-term crush situation and then enacting sweet revenge, and one was a post someone wrote about me that turned into a very romantic and ultimately somewhat heartbreaking and existential-crisis-causing experience.
So by those descriptions alone, you can probably see why I stay very, very far away from this site.

But then today one of my volunteers sent me the posting, as he had been volunteering at said letter writing and knew that I had written a letter, worn a blue dress and ride a fuchsia/purple single speed bike. The catch? He also sent it to TWO HUNDRED of our East Side volunteers! How embarrassing!! But of course also how funny. All the staff at my office then saw it, there were many jokes and some funny/awkward pats on the back.

Of course all I could think was, WELL IT'S TOTALLY BECAUSE OF PCP! And it really is - I mean, yeah, the bod is looking way better than it was before, but also I can feel that I'm existing differently. I'm putting a different energy out into the world. I've always had a fine time with confidence, so it's not as simple as that, it's more of a subtle change that I've felt especially in the last few weeks. Peacefulness is playing a part - maybe because I've finally removed myself from a cycle of guilt and self-chastisement after every "not good" food choice or indulgence? I'm not sure the exact origin, but it's definitely PCP related and it feels much clearer and calmer than the berating that I think I used to do to myself much of the time.

Anyway, pretty funny stuff.

(updates on what happens with this go around to come, I'm sure. Let's all hope that dude isn't a freaky troll!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 56, Onwards!

I keep looking at the group that started after us and thinking: but wait, aren't we still at the beginning??!?
I'm shocked that we're almost 2/3 of the way to the end, but of course as we approach that elusive day 90 it looks less and less like and endpoint and more like a starting point. Similar to graduation from college or high school - yes, you're finishing one thing, but it's a means to move forward to the next thing. By finishing PCP we're starting our new, mindful, healthful, HOT BODYFUL lives. That's pretty exciting! I was thinking today about how, once PCP proper is over, it'll be so nice to just have an apple, egg white and glass of milk for dinner from time to time, especially in the middle of a week where there may be a few indulgences. What a comfort all this knowledge will be when we go back out into the big bad world of non-food foods and excessive indulgence!

Ok, phew. mini-lecture over.

Soooo, anyone wondering about Date #3??
Well wonder no more!
It was.... a TOTAL FLOP!

Yes friends, alas, the third date test revealed a big whopper of a zero on the fun scale.
First, to let you know that I'm not just a huge judgmental jerk, here's my approach to dating (i've done a lot of it, fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it):

First date - everyone is too nervous to be able to see clearly. Now of course the flop can happen on date #1 but I'm very forgiving on what happens at this point. Most things that can go wrong here can be chalked up to nerves, so I have a 2-date minimum (this rule was only broken once when I went out with a sweaty-handed smarmy sneaky guy who tried to trick me into going to his apartment and wouldn't stop trying to stroke my hands DURING DINNER! Ok, anyway...)

Second date: This is when I'm at my most optimistic. I see potential everywhere, even between the food stuck in your adult braces.

Third date: This is where those rose-colored glasses come off and either the view is fresh and clear and lovely, or dim and grey and putrid. This date is most helpful if NO alcohol is consumed!

Ok, so the recent gentleman suitor. Date 3 was a telltale 'yech', involving almost no smiles, many snarky remarks, and a lack of a plan (his actions, not mine!). I was very happy because it was a daytime date and we went for a sushi lunch where I could stick to PCP. This, however, was not a great idea because I have a hard time putting up with picky eaters or people who aren't adventurous about their food. When a dude gets teriyaki and tempura and makes a gross face at my beautiful sashimi he is not scoring points with me. Another lady, maybe, but not this one!

Alright alright so i sound like a jerk. But mostly it was gross - he obviously just wanted to somehow get me back to his apartment (only 3 dates! i'm no prude but come on man!), and with the new PCP body maybe I don't blame him so much for that, but we just didn't jibe so I was extra prudish.

Now here's where this whole long nonsense relates to PCP:

So, by the time I had an opening to cut my losses and head home, I was pretty annoyed and kind of skeeved out. I have learned the art of patience, but mostly at work, so in my free time I'm probably a less patient person than normal people. Combine that with being very straightforward. The result? Here's how the final exchange went down:

The Gentleman Suitor: Well, ahhh, we could go back to my place and drink some port.
Me: ummmm
The Gentleman Suitor: [eyebrows raised in freaky anticipation]
Me: You know, I really have to get back to Brooklyn. I have too....ummm.....oh! I have to go buy some MILK. I need to buy A TON of milk! I love milk. I'll probably have to get a gallon.

Seriously. That's what I said.

hahaha, i wanted to laugh, thinking of how my PCP friends would giggle at this one-of-a-kind date-ender.

Naturally I had to jump on the bike and flee. I felt bad, but then I didn't. Life's too short!
When I got home (after stopping for milk, of course) I was so happy and content to have my milk and my life.
...and then I wanted more milk.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 55, where I meet ANOTHER pcp'er!

Yes, it's true!
I was just at the food co-op, buying a shocking amount of eggs and milk (as usual) and who did I meet? Shivani! More real life pcp action happening, and it was great.

First, she looks INCREDIBLE. Man, if there is any motivation to keep going strong it's running into a PCP Graduate / KFB Student because that lady is ripped!

Second, I couldn't stop talking! We launched right in (after the squealing and admitting we'd been reading each others' blogs) and it was so refreshing to talk PCP with someone who doesn't need an explanation.

We are going to try and meet up with Emily (also PCP/KFB) next week, and we agreed that we'll take an awesome picture of us all flexing, so stay tuned for that!

Speaking of meeting - Tara, when are you coming to NYC??

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 54, Moving On Mindfully

Thankfully, the bagel & chocolate incident is behind me. I hunted around our fellow PCP and Kung Fu Body blogs after my slip-up for some guidance, and as usual I found some! Emily (KFB) recently took a "vacation" for a day from the strict diet. One of the comments left for her struck a chord with me - when we veer off and have big indulgences it can help us appreciate the healthy, conscious choices we're making the majority of the time.

So true! I spent all this energy beating myself up for one day of sloppy behavior, and in the meantime I have had 54 days of unprecedented commitment to healthy, conscious choices. A little more appreciation for the positive here, Elena!!

A huge pat on the back to everyone here on PCP - the choices we're making every day (to do the workouts, to resist unhealthy food choices, to prioritize food prep, to try and get quality rest, etc.) are TOUGH, and they're CONSTANT, and we all deserve the party of the century for deciding to take this journey and live our lives mindfully, rather than easily.

I'm happy to report that yesterday I adhered to the diet down to the last gram again, and planning to do so today as well. I keep coming back to the sense of appreciation for these small but drastic choices that we're all making, and I'm trying to tap into that pride more often.

Also, date #3 with the gentleman suitor today! We are heading to a flea market and then I hope to suggest a sushi lunch. Yay! No dinner temptations! I have a feeling he will suggest wine (he seems to do this), but I'm going to politely decline, despite the strong temptation to take the dating edge off (Deborah I'm thinking about your comment re: being aware of the experience!)

in other news, some workout notes:

I loved the tricep extensions today!

jumping rocks my world. again today i couldn't believe it when 15 min was over. if you're looking for good tunes, here's what i've been listening to lately: (david byrne posts a playlist each month, not usually of his music, rather it's what he's listening to. sometimes they're weird, but mostly they're AWESOME).

I can almost do 1 full pull-up! I'm close! Really close!

Kung Fu sit-ups are crazy hard, yo! But I could do them better today than earlier this week.

Excited to have jump-only day tomorrow and get a little extra sleep.

Goal for the upcoming week: prioritize sleep!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 53, Unlawful Indulgence Disaster Day

Alright, so I think I’ve had a sudden taste of the valley and I’m now desperately trying to climb out and run for my life!

The day started with…jumps! As usual! Awesome jumps, actually, as the playlist I’m jamming to lately is fun and upbeat. Also, I had a very nice date #2 last night with the gentleman suitor and I woke up feeling tentatively giddy. So the jumps were good, but I was feeling way, way, waaaay too tired. Because of an extremely late bedtime (Tara, you probably know this drill: dating a doctor can lead to later-than-normal meet-up times!), I did not have time for the rest of the workout (will be completing that upon arriving home from work). I used to have this problem, where if I didn’t work out hard in the morning I would kind of give up on eating healthy during the day (I’d think to myself something like “well, this day is already shot, health-wise, now that I didn’t work out, so WHATEVER!”). I don’t think that would’ve been a problem today, since there have been a couple days during PCP when I had to wait until later to do the strength training, and I’m learning that this new body is 80% thanks to maintaining the diet. Plus, that was total crap logic to begin with!!!!

So I would’ve been ok, I think…EXCEPT that I was so tired, and 53 days without a bagel or some chocolate is a lot of time for me, and there have been so many temptations this week (for example, this is what's behind my desk at work right now:

(if you don't know this beer, this is expensive Local 1, Brooklyn Brewery Belgian-style ale; used to be a big favorite of mine, and it's free and readily available at my PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT!)

So, I had a bagel.

And some chocolate. A lot of chocolate (a whole chocolate bar!).

The bagel I nibbled at as the day went by, so at least I didn’t have it in one sitting, but still, I had it. (no cream cheese or anything on it, though, and it was ½ pumpernickel and ½ whole wheat, so at least not plain white. but still.)

What’s surprising about this uncontrolled behavior, is that I’ve been stressing out BIG TIME, all week, about the dating and how I don’t want to have unlawful things, and blah blah blah. Then I caved with stuff that didn’t even matter; it wasn’t a social outing, it wasn’t the date, it was just normal nonsense food that I’m around all the time. Admittedly, the bagel tasted really fracking good. nothing like a fresh NYC pumpernickel bagel…but it didn't taste any better than a delicious banana or a big ripe peach. the satisfaction was momentary and came from a bad place, not the good healthy place we're coming to know so well with the PCP.

I guess I kind of worked myself into a frenzy about the diet this week. It doesn’t feel strict, but then again it kind of does. I was telling a friend this week that it’s not about drastic gestures, rather the PCP diet is about is having the ability to make dozens of small decisions, all day, every day. Even on my best days it feels like a constant struggle, or something to constantly be mindful of. Maybe poor eating habits are more like addictions of other kinds than I ever thought. My problem was never that I ate junk, I just ate A LOT. Prosciutto for breakfast. A bagel if there were some at the office. A huge lunch. Snacks in between. Chocolate. Decadent dinner. Beer. Wine. evening snacks (not 160g vegetable snacks, mind you…). I know a lot of people in the food world in NYC; I have access to free food at amazing restaurants. For someone with a non-profit salary and a high-regard for luxury food this is a recipe for health/weight/body disaster. It's also a recipe for lots of fun...

And today my will power just broke. If it hadn’t been the bagel and the chocolate it would’ve been something else, I suspect. I’m really tired physically, but I’m also tired from a week of anxiety about how to reconcile my PCP goals and my social life. I know I have to find some kind of balance, but I just don’t quite know how to do that yet, and as others in the group have written about lately, it’s hard to maintain this project and these goals while also maintaining the kinds of social interactions we’ve all been in the habit of having our entire lives. This week I started landing on the premise that maybe I actually can have the body i've always fantasized about having. What an exciting thought! The flip side, however, is that I trade some of the ways I used to relax and interact with people and with the city. I'm not sure how to be ok with that trade-off.


I’m not beating myself up too badly (though maybe I should…?). I’ll go home and finish the workout, I’ll clear my head during my ride there, I’ll go out to celebrate a friends’ birthday and enjoy an order of ceviche and I might even have a glass of wine, and then I will go home and get a bazillion hours of sleep. The important thing will be to then get enough hours of sleep in the next few nights as well! I need to prioritize it, or else my strength –mentally as much as physically—just can’t hold up as well to the inherently non-comforting comforts of my pre-pcp coping mechanisms. I haven't ascended to a level of nonchalance about those vices yet, and I need to have all the strength I can muster to keep trying to get to that point.

So anyway, I think that was my foray into the valley. I haven’t wavered an inch with the workouts; I’m feeling so strong and excited about working out lately – I get almost catatonic during the jumps, in a good way, and can’t believe that the 15min is going by so fast. I’m trying hard to embrace failure as a goal for the strength sets (still a counter-intuitive thing for me, but I’m trying), and generally I’m loving all the quality alone time that morning workouts give me in my apartment. But the dinner part of the diet is bumming me out. Like Kowhai, I’m often hungry when I’m going to bed, and I think that has been building fuel toward today’s rebellious act.

Enough analysis. Moving on now (trying to at least)…

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 51, Pictures and vanity

Ok, I'm letting myself enjoy some vanity today. I went hog-wild with the pictures and posted 4, including a fun hardcore muscle pose! Here it is:

This was the first week where, when I looked at all the pictures, i couldn't find one that I thought looked bad. Amazing! Here's how I've been describing how I feel to people, lately: It's as if someone has swapped my schlumpy old bod with a new avatar! So far I've lost 13 pounds, and as you can see, there's some serious muscle developing under there! Part of me really never believed I could make this kind of drastic change, but it seems to be really happening...

Congrats to Team SEXAAAY! Day 50 and we're all so different already. Woop wooooop!!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 49, the post-date up-date!

in short: pcp + dating = harder than the workouts, but also satisfying!

long version:
so the date was pretty good! i'm a little negatron on it today, but I think that's just a convenient little defense mech, compensating for me putting myself out there.
OK, backing up.
so we met for wine and cheese (i prefer beer with cheese, similar fermentation/aging processes, etc. but that's for another post - anyway, beer puffs me up like mr.staypuff marshmallow, so i'm staying away from it whole hog during these 90 days).
on an emotional note, i got all nervous! he was cute and i just haven't dated in a while (it's been a year since i went on a first date, and about 6 months since breaking up with "jerky mc.jerkerson"). I'm not usually nervous in any situation, so it threw me for a loop, but i managed. good for the ego, and the soul - both of mine can use some humbling from time to time.
so i had a nice glass of rose, and we chose 3 cheeses. it was delicious! the wine was spectacular and the cheese was only a few bites (note: a proper cheese plate should allow for roughly 1 oz of cheese per person. this one offered a bit less, but i was not complaining about that on this outing!).
we stayed at the place for a long time, chatting and chatting and getting over the nerves (at least on my end). it's so odd to get to know someone new. i have a hard time enjoying the slight awkwardness of it - i want to just fast forward to the part where we're comfortable! but i know there's something important about the uncomfortable beginnings (who knows if this particular beginning will develop, but it's still some kind of a beginning I suppose). then we went on a nice long walk, thru one particularly charming street that we'd aimed to stroll down. eventually we went into another hidden little place on the edge of soho and i had a second glass of wine! this time red, and it was incredible! A Spanish Granacha in tribute to the World Cup champs. now, this was about 2 hours or so after the first glass, but get this - no buzz from either one. can you believe that?! what the what is that all about?! no alcohol for 48 days and I don't even get a nice light feeling to take the edge off a first date?! unfair. but in the end probably a good thing.

anyway, we ordered these little bruschetta things and i was a tad concerned that they'd be greasy or something but they weren't! very small, with some more cheese (not much), some fresh veggies and truly delicious.

it felt good to have the indulgence and to enjoy it. I don't necessarily want ALL my old favorites to taste bad now, and natural things like wine and cheese are not my problem anyway.

here's the rub: i didn't really explain PCP fully. i tried to... i was nervous! i couldn't figure out how to impart the basics without sounding like a wack-o. it's extra silly because this guy is in medical school - he's going to be a heart surgeon for god's sake and I'm still worried he won't understand the PCP. well, i'm also still undecided on whether or not I CARE that he understands it, so I'm not going to get too bent out of shape [yet]. He asked me today if I'd go for an evening bike ride this week, so that's nice. but then the invitation ended with "and then grab a beer", which is less nice. argh!
i'm going to suggest we ride to a park and stop at a store nearby, where i will get sparkling water and he can get a beer.

here's the funny thing: i feel like there's this clock ticking, like my time is running out, and if the second date goes well then the timer will ring: 'i'd like to take you out to dinner.' How is it that my reaction to the possibility of a cute, chatty, southern, taller-than-me, soon-to-be-heart-surgeon asking me to dinner is: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!


i heart pcp. but i also heart my heart, so i've got to figure out how to get thru at least another date or two to see if there's a spark here!

ok back to downer mode. i feel like i just got too excited there.
i'm going to focus on how great the wine and cheese were, for now.

(i tried to find a picture of me doing a downer face, to put in this post. the only one i could find is this, of me and my sister last year. it's kind of blurry but pretty funny, I think.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 47, Workout Notes

Almost everyday, during the workout, I remind myself to blog about workout-related things. But then the day starts and by the time I write to you all I'm not really thinking about it anymore. I think this is probably a good sign, showing that I'm really just taking the daily workouts as they come (just part of my daily routine! the floss approach, if you will).

But there are a few comments/questions I need to share!

Jumping: now that we're doing it by time, I find that I don't need to stop. Is it ok if i just do 14 minutes (or whatever the time total is) without stopping? I figure the answer is yes, but just want to ask the guru if it's kosher. (note: i do stop a few times because of tripping, especially if i haven't gotten enough sleep, but that's only a moment as i start up again, not a rest.)

Chest: on these triple-whammy chest days I'm finally feeling it here! Yesss! Because of the chairs I have, i can't totally lift and dip my full body weight on the chest dips. but I'm just putting my tip-toes on the floor and trying not to compensate too much. hope this is ok...

Lunges: still hate them, purely just for the amount of time they take! took me 9 minutes this morning to do the lunges alone! uggg.

shoulders: kill me. but in a good way, and this is where I'm seeing the most visual progress lately.

pull up update: can do 75% of one full, wide-arm pull-up! (this is progress) so i'm still stuck in incline land, but i can feel that it's helping.

abs: i have a question about the water 'pro tip'. Here in my 80 degree apartment, i'm sweating like a dog during the workouts, and i get out of control thirsty. i don't think i physically can get thru the whole workout with just a few sips of water! i'm having one glass of ice water thru the whole workout - will this REALLY be detrimental to the ab work??

more abs: i confess i haven't done 8 minute abs since i left wisconsin. i want to get into a routine where i'm doing it in the evening a few nights a week, but not there yet. maybe this week...

and more abs: kung fu sit-ups were awesome today! My pull-up bar isn't high enough to do with straight legs for the whole thing though. should I do it all with bent legs, or should i straighten out legs in front and lift? i have a feeling the answer is for the latter, since that one seems harder to do.

Finally, on a body note:
Similar to Patrick talking about something he noticed on his shoulder (?) once he got into Peak Condition, I had a crazy moment the other day. I was in bed ready to go to sleep, and admittedly I was checking out my abs to see if i could feel ridges yet, with my hand. I found a scar, and scar tissue just below my belly button, and was thrust back into a long-lost memory of when I fell once in Wisconsin and ripped a deep flap of skin off my lower stomach. I remembered the whole experience so vividly, once I felt the scar. It may have been my first time trying to 'save face' in life! I was playing with some kids I didn't know that well, and I think I was showing off climbing on something, and I slipped and cut myself very badly. I remember the feeling of the pain, and how it was so bad I couldn't breathe very well. The kids were scared (I think there was a lot of blood) and I remember--so vividly! it's crazy!--that I forced myself to talk and say that I was ok, and maybe even pretend to laugh a little bit. I asked them to go get my dad, and then I remember that I sat on the ground, alone, feeling this terrible pain and feeling relieved that I was alone to be honest with the feeling of it and not try to act like it wasn't so bad.

WILD! I haven't thought of that in probably 18 years (since around when it probably happened) - what an amazing thing it was to be taken back to that experience, and all because of PCP and my shrinking waist. very cool.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 46, TGIF! Seriously!

phew. made it thru that week. i don't know why this week was so hard for me - I had my first emotional workout, all day today I felt kind of fat and schlubby, I had some sleep troubles (i.e. not enough), and yesterday morning as I dragged my groggy self out into my kitchen i spotted a wee little mousey mouse scamper behind the stove. !!!

I was suddenly totally alert and shouted: "I SAW YOU, FIEVEL!!!"

I don't blame the mouse, I blame myself.

So, I haven't cleaned off the stovetop in a while. And I'm getting a little lazy about doing the dishes after EVERY meal, and the one place I didn't shove steel wool when I moved in is...behind the stove. uggg.

I could get all complain-y and talk about how there aren't enough hours in the day and blah blah blah but you know what - we all have the same 24 hours! it's not about being efficient, it's about being effective (and kind of about being efficient). If I choose to spend an hour being picky about writing and editing and rewriting an email I'm sending a friend, that's not time being cruel to me, that's me choosing to do that instead of choosing to clean the kitchen!

Can you tell we had a Time Management brown bag lunch this week at work? The guy was kind of smarmy, and there were a shocking number of typos in his presentation (I personally think it's a good use of time to correct typos!), but some of the principles he talked about rang true. Time is not the enemy! We have total control over how to spend our time! There's no such thing as "saving" time!

Ok, so anyway, I need to re-adjust my priorities.
In that vein, on this Friday night, I came directly home from work [did not pass go or collect $200], finished the workout--I only did jumps this morning, because of staying up too late last night (!!), then went head to head with little Fievel and his friends behind the stove...

Did I mention it's something like 90 degrees here? So I'm sweating from the workout (which was hard, indeed, but felt good to do after feeling schlubby all day), and I'm sweating because I'm mad at Fievel, and I pulled the stove out to find a whole lotta nothing. At least I was prepared for the worst (i'd been expecting a putrid layer of mouse poop). There were some crevices, so I'm hoping I solved the problem, but the floor was gross in a general way so I vacuumed the area and washed it on hands and knees. I needed a nice cold shower so bad that I decided to also do a superclean of my tub (which I've also been ignoring), which lead to superclean of whole bathroom. I was SOAKED with sweat, running around in filth trying to whip this place back into it's proper shape. How anyone (Jenny!) manages a space more than a 1-floor narrow apartment is beyond me. I spent the whole time fantasizing about how my next apartment will be a 2 bedroom and the second room will be the workout/study room! (my floors are getting gross from all the sweating that's happening in here...)

Anyway, it's all finished. I still need to vacuum and mop the whole apartment, and do my laundry, but I think I can manage those chores tomorrow. The gross stuff is finished, and I was rewarded with a nice cold clean shower - and an apple, egg white and some milk (lol).
I also got to call my grandma, which is another priority I've let fall off the list for some ungodly reason.

Finally, as a little aside to my fellow Team SEXAAAAYs, I'm going to reiterate what I wrote earlier on Tara's blog, as an answer to the encroaching Valley feelings that we all seem to be starting to have:

I'm also having some not-fun feelings about the everyday workouts. Maybe we're all feeling it now also because they've gotten longer, and we've done them for a while and we're still going to do them for a while more. I don't know about you but it's taking me around 50 minutes to do the whole workout. That's a pretty big chunk of time!

Here's my advice: start to frame your thinking about the workouts like you do with brushing your teeth, or putting on your deodorant, or jewelry or makeup or clothes. In fact, add up the time it takes to do all those daily routines that you've always done. My guess is it'll take as long as the PCP workout (maybe longer, even!), and look at how much you're getting from these workouts. So, I think just accepting it as part of what you do everyday, and not as something separate from the other things you do everyday, will help.
(caveat: I still resent flossing and I've done it everyday for 15 years, so I haven't even quite conquered this mindset myself... but I still always floss!!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 45, advice needed!

The good news is that I have a date next week!
The bad news on earth do I do a first date on PCP???

Here are the challenges:
  • I don't know this guy very well (it's a first date after all), so I'm not totally comfortable with explaining the whole PCP thing even before we go on the date.
  • I already suggested a coffee & walking date, or an early morning date (i.e. trying to avoid dinner plans), but he has a very demanding schedule, so it looks like dinnertime is the only time!
I am kind of at a loss of what to do. I wanted to wait until after PCP before I started dating again, but I've been feeling very confident and I've been practicing flirting (such a nerd, I know, but I need to actively think of these things, as it doesn't come naturally). I think the confidence and new bod are showing, as I might have another date with someone ELSE (!!) but luckily that one seems like it's going to just be coffee and bike riding - phew.

Anyway, back to the main date (which I am getting excited about). Do I just go for it and be as PCP friendly as possible, but not make it an issue? I obviously want to prioritize PCP, but I need to "get back out there" as mothers and friends like to say, and the clock is ticking!

One final incentive:, uhhh, remember that libido question Patrick posed? Well, let's just say I think it's important I get out there and, errr, get that taken care of...!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

PCP Pancakes - simple version

This is, quite possibly, the easiest recipe of all time. And while you won't have any "oh my god what is this amazing taste" moments while eating these, you WILL be satisfied and feel special for the fact that you're achieving peak condition while also eating for-real pancakes!!

PCP Pancakes - simple and satisfying
[disclaimer: I designed this recipe so that it includes my breakfast carbs/milk/eggs for 2 days, and the batter will keep well overnight I'm sure. You may have to adjust for your diets, but the proportions worked very well so try to keep them close to this.]

200g whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
7 oz milk
1/2 tsp salt (a shallow half-tsp)
1/2 tsp cinnamon or cardamom or nutmeg or whatever spices you want! (i would say a generous half-tsp for this one)
blueberries sprinkled on top of the 'cakes
maple syrup drizzled super sparingly

  1. mix all ingredients (except the blueberries and maple syrup) enough so that the batter is uniform but still very, very lumpy. love the lumps!
  2. heat skillet on medium for a few seconds on the stovetop and use as tiny a dab of butter as you can (i think i used equivalent of 1/4 tsp, but I have a very well seasoned skillet - this is key).
  3. use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop batter and dollop into the skillet. sprinkle blueberries if you forgot to throw some in the batter as i ALWAYS forget to do.
  4. watch the 'cakes get a bit bubbly (they won't bubble as much as white-flour buttermilk pancakes do) and after a minute or so you should be able to flip no problem.
  5. flip and cook another minute, max, et voila!
  6. transfer to a plate, strategically sprinkle a modest little bit of maple syrup around the pancakes and DIG IN.

I got 3 generous pancakes out of half the batter, to fulfill my breakfast diet guidelines (with a side dish of veggies, lol).

YUUUUUM. can't wait for tomorrow!

[second disclaimer: because these seem decadent, and because there is that tiny bit of salt and butter and the blueberries aren't exactly mandated for breakfast, I am going to think of these as a guilt-free pcp INDULGENCE and i have a feeling Patrick will agree. I think I can make a single morning's batch easily and only have it once every few weeks when I need a pickmeup. In this case, it worked perfectly as such.]

Day 44, Mmmm...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

oh my god...

breakfast diet: carbs, egg, milk....

I CAN MAKE PANCAKES!!!?!!??!!?!!

I can't believe it didn't occur to me until now!
I can make them with some grated zucchini in the batter, to add some veg and also some sweetness!
I can have a teeensy treat of maple syrup on them!
I can sprinkle each with a few blueberries (ok I don't have fruit allotment with breakfast but I think a few blueberries is acceptable!).

I can't wait. My god i probably won't be able to sleep tonight.

Obviously, pictures coming asap. This is some strong motivation to get thru that workout and make a super special breakfast!

Has anyone else tried to make them?

i'm going to use whole wheat flour, baking powder, 1 egg, some milk and a nominal amount of salt. will report back on proper recipe guidelines once i have a final product!

AAAAHHHH so excited!

and you know what this means - FRENCH TOAST IS ALSO AN OPTION.
i've been living under a breakfast rock for 43 days! the shame!

Day 43, New week & Naoko!

Biggest news: today I met Naoko!!
It was wonderful - Naoko is even more spirited in person than on her blog! She looks amazing - Naoko, I would swear you're not a day over 35 years old!! - very fit, great posture, ready for anything. (she took the picture of us with her camera, so check back on her blog to see us together!)
And it's the first time I've seen someone visiting NYC wearing such high heels, and not complaining about it! Incredible! haha

In other news, today I finally got emotional during the workout. For some reason I felt that today was the hardest day yet. Maybe it's because of the recent climbing (went twice this weekend) that my body didn't feel quite up to the challenge, or maybe it's just getting harder, but whatever it was I was groaning and almost-crying all over the place (and i'm not much of a crier). I think I need to be focusing on getting to the fail point more, in all the exercises. Sometimes I don't get there, and I think i'm getting too used to that. I certainly got there with shoulders today, and with push ups my goodness! the chest dips are difficult for me because I can't tell if i'm working my chest or my arms. i'm trying to focus on the chest but I've never worked that muscle in the past so it's a bit foreign to me.

Also, new pictures up! I'm so glad I realized how I can prop up the camera in my bedroom. the lighting is so much better! what a moron that I was doing it in the dining room before. moron.
Another pound lost this week - puts me at 11 pounds total gone. pretty cool.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 42, Exhale

Phew. Thank goodness that week is over.
I think that was the worst post-vacation week ever! Rather than try to ride out the wave of relaxation and rest that I had going after the glorious 8 days in Wisconsin, I came back to long work days and evening meetings, lots of running around trying to do a few favors for people, not nearly enough time for sleep or food prep, and it all cumulated in yesterday's Tour de Queens bike ride that my organization produces.

Yay for Queens!
Boo for exhaustion!

So the tour was fine, went well and everything, and there were a few really great parts.
First, it was very tough to wake up at 4am after a midnight bedtime (hyperscheduled on Saturday too!). But, I do love riding before sunrise, so that was nice (though a fast ride for an hour at 4am after 4 hours sleep isn't exactly ideal). The best thing about the tour was that I was super smart and brought my pcp stuff to do the workout between when we see the riders off and wait for their return! Aside from organizing the site a bit, we have about 2 hours of downtime (where I wait nervously by my phone for any emergency calls), so despite my exhaustion I did it, and I think I didn't freak my coworkers out too much...

After the tour I had a blast watching the world cup final, though I had a kind of salt crisis during the game. I think I was severely dehydrated (had been outside ALL day in 90+ degree heat, plus bike sprint in the AM and PCP workout in the middle of it all), and I had a few big handfuls of salted nuts/goldfish/chex mix. I felt desperate for salt, and I was also chugging water all day. I was kind of in a food desert situation, but I also managed to have 2 bananas and milk. I know none of that is PCP ideal but it was a rough day and earlier I had a great breakfast wrap, a good fruit snack and some fish and veggies for lunch - the main problem is that I hadn't had any carbs for lunch - i purely ran out at home and had zero time to figure it out before I had to get myself to bed.

So then finally after the match (and after consoling my devastated Dutch friend a bit), we rode leisurely back to Brooklyn where I promptly showered (best. shower. ever.) and collapsed. Smartest move ever to do the workout earlier! There was negator chance of me doing anything physical when I got home 14 hours after departing for the day.

Interesting situation, however: I still wanted the salt and something crunchy. I thought on this for a little while and I decided that what I should do is develop a good homemade water cracker recipe for times when I need a bit of a crunchy treat. It's way better than going nuts and having any dangerous tortilla chips, or any other processed/packaged items, and that way I can satisfy the craving in a way that still helps me to achieve my goals. Obviously I'd like to get over this craving completely, but maybe this will help me do so? I dunno, but worth a try I think.

So I made my first attempt! Check it out:

Ok, now that picture doesn't exactly look appetizing. But, they are good! First attempt at save-me-from-my-craving crackers involved:
whole wheat flour
dried thyme
a little salt (1/2 tsp)
a little olive oil (1 tbsp)
sprinkled sesame seeds on top

I mixed it all together, spread the dough out on a greased cookie sheet, baked for 13 minutes, et voila! I broke the crackers up after cooling and they were fine. I think I can improve a bit on the dough and I will post updates, but it was a great start, as I had a couple and felt satisfied and I still have a ton left. I think I will have some for part of my lunch carbs today, as a treat.

Finally, check out my other new favorite thing:

I miss wine glasses as much as I miss wine, so this is how I'm enjoying my evening milk these days (and yes, those are ice cubes in the milk - it's hot out here in nyc, yo!).

Ok, off to re-enter the world. Thankfully I have the day off today, and it's a jumps only day (which I've already done). I'm going to go climbing again, then to a city pool to float around, then some serious grocery shopping (food co-op will be empty - score!), and finally --glory of all glory-- at 4pm I have my massage. YESSSS!

Happy Monday to all - here's to the start of a new PCP week!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lesson learned, point taken

Apparently I still can't be trusted around tortilla chips.

Despite my intention to only have 2 or 3 at this guacamole party tonight, I think I had more like 10 or 12.

Now, granted I normally would've probably had 40, so this is an improvement on pre-PCP life. But, it wasn't what I had mindfully set out to do and therefore it was not a peak condition situation!

So, that's ok. Life's too short to get upset about 10 or 12 tortilla chips, and it's good to know that I still need to get myself in some mental peak condition too. Also the chips weren't spectacular, as I could've predicted. It was more about the salt and the crunch and the feeling of eating them. I should've thought back to Indulgence #1 and remembered how powerful this sensation is for me, and how hard it is for me to stop once I start. Especially when I'm at a party where I don't know a lot of people, and especially when I'm over tired, and especially when I have a weekend of many hours of work ahead of me that I'm resenting and dreading a bit. I'm more aware of myself than this!

Ok, enough of berating the self. I think I'll give myself some kudos in the end because I DID stop eating the chips and I did reign myself in and I did NOT let it send me into a whirlwind of unlawful eating (there's that word again...). Instead, I biked home, which felt good. I literally and figuratively moved on.

Day 39, I Heart PCP, and weekly anecdotes

A variety of drifting thoughts, coming to the surface here:

Workouts this week are killer, but while feeling that they're more intense I also feel like I'm doing a better job of getting thru them in a fluid, efficient way. Before PCP I used to do pilates a lot, and it was always a goal to be fluid and graceful and to have more of a constant flow in my exercising, rather than starting and stopping and being jerky. It's nice to see that I'm getting to that point with our PCP workouts too. Yay for progress!

Another turning point: I've had these mini moments this week where I hear that mean voice ("Why does it have to be this hard and restrictive to get the body you want?! uhhh!"). The funny response that has been helping me quickly move on from those thoughts is thinking of the creep exercises. I've really embraced this sentiment: getting to Peak Condition isn't something that happens in big strides, or with huge drastic gestures (though of course in the end the whole process looks like a huge drastic gesture). The key to getting out of the unhealthy yo-yo diet/exercise labyrinth is the creep. Creep toward the goal, little by little, and before you know it you're 2 dress sizes smaller, you don't recognize your legs, and you sneak into your office bathroom to check out the definition in your shoulders. Woop woop!

Next, update on gas: I have a lot of it. My friends and family can attest to this always being an issue for me, but now it's so much different! usually it isn't as stinky anymore! And now it doesn't signal stomach trouble the way it used to. A friend once said to me that she likes having gas because it makes her feel like she's losing weight and deflating. Meditate on that one next time you're annoyed with all the flatulence!

Work Challenge: this sunday is our Tour de Queens. I have to be up at 4am to scarf down some food and bike furiously to the start. Unlike Tour de Brooklyn, I won't have time to do my exercises before the whole ordeal, but check out my plan! Once the tour leaves the start there is about 2 hours of down time when we prepare for the finish and reorganize the set-up and mostly wait around praying that no one calls to report a crash. I'm going to bring my rope, resistance bands and the exercises and do them there! Score! Who cares if i'm sweaty - i'll be sweaty anyway, and this way I can shower and collapse when I get home and not worry about it.

Ok, I'm off to a rooftop sunset margarita guacamole party that friends have every year. I'm going to have 2 tortilla chips with the guac, zero margaritas, and lots of seltzer with lime. Mostly I'm excited to catch up with my sous-chef bff (wink wink, M.S.!) and watch the sun set over the Hudson River.

Oh one more thing!
I think I've mentioned it but one of my "after PCP" ideas for staying in peak condition while also having FUN is to start climbing. I'm jumpstarting that plan tomorrow and going to a climbing gym in Brooklyn to check it out - so excited! Maybe it will help me with the pull up goal, too.
Bonus: I scored 50% discount for me and a friend, and I might make a great business connection with the owners and start a cool partnership for members of the organization I work at. Peak Condition all around!

Happy weekend to all.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 37, Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Today was my mom's birthday - yaaay!
Unfortunately, we've all been so crazed since returning from Wisconsin on Monday that we didn't really plan anything. We didn't even bake our family birthday cake!! Though, better for me in the end that we didn't have the cake, as the cake that our family makes for birthdays has a firm, never-relaxing grip on my heart (PCP can't touch this, which I think is fine). Here's a photo of one I baked earlier this year:

It's a German poppyseed cake (no lemon or any nonsense!) with dark chocolate frosting, 2 layers with a generous middle frosting layer. It is my favorite thing to the point where I refer to the longest time between our family members' birthdays as "The Dark Ages" because we have to go so long without the cake. It's intense, and it's probably best for me to stop thinking or writing about it NOW.

Anyway, the good news is that my mom loved the gift we got her - a framed print of her favorite New Yorker cartoon - and I did a fun feat of strength by rigging up the huge box onto my bike so that I could ride uptown with it and not go into the sweltering subway tunnel. Success! My bike ride home was lovely, after the birthday "festivities" - it's cooler along the river so I took the greenway and it was a pretty, long, relaxing ride.

In other news, I'm loving the workouts this week! The jumps are getting a little monotonous, but I think I'm also just coming down from how awesome the pier jumping was, so it'll take some getting used to to be doing these workouts in my apt again rather than out on the open water. Pistol squats are killer, but they feel good (in that bad/good way), and I'm rocking the planks. they're hard, but I did a lot of planks before PCP so I've had the mental part of it figured out for a while - that's the key to getting thru them.

Pull-up update: I still can't do one of the damn things. But I can do about 1/3 of one, at least!

Cool thing to look forward to: I made a massage appointment for day 42! wahoooo! I love my masseuse (she is a HEALER, seriously), and I usually try to get a massage every 6 weeks (i think of it as Patrick explained our sleeping - it's part of the training!). Unfortunately, I can't afford to get one once a week as I'd like to, but that's an eventual life goal. Anyway, this Sunday is the next big bike tour that my organization runs (remember the last one?); this time it's the Tour de Queens! It'll be another crazy exhausting day, so I scheduled the massage for the next day, to give some well-earned relief on the work front but also to celebrate being roughly half-way thru the PCP by then. I haven't had a massage since just before the PCP began - I wonder if she will notice the change!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 36, New Photos and back in BK

Well the vacation is most certainly over!
Returned back to Brooklyn late last night to this insane heat wave we're apparently having here. 100+ degrees F! F is right! Me and my moral condescension are sweating together in my AC-less apartment and I'm really missing that lake right about now...sigh.

But I still did the workout (despite having a heat-induced nightmare that I would miss day 36 workout, for some reason)! I was sweating buckets but it felt good, and I just imagined I was on the pier still, rather than looking out my window at the 4 hair salons across the street.

So, most exciting thing is that new pictures are up and I'm very pleased with the results of vacation PCP week! Remember the jeans I mentioned weeks ago? The ones I've only ever fit into for a day or two, during an emotional time in life, years ago? Well, tried them on first thing this AM and they fit! comfortably! I was going to take a picture in them but it's too fracking hot to stay in them for more than a minute, so maybe next week.

Anyway, very excited to see what the next 54 days bring, after all this change that we're all experiencing after only one measly month.

P.S. Check out my "just got back from vacation to an empty fridge" PCP breakfast today:
(it was actually pretty delicious!)

And one last aside:
As our family vacation came to a close, my dad told me yesterday that he's going to dig his jump rope out of his closet and start jumping! Then, my cousin told me that she tried 2% organic milk and liked it (I'd been raving all week about how delicious the milk is). While it feels wonderful to change my own habits, it's awesome to see others taking an interest, too!

Ok, must go to work now. Back to regular life...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 33, Abs and whatnot

Today Patrick's email came at the perfect time. I was lounging in the hammock, already having finished my jumps and exercises earlier, and it was a good time to get up and go do the 8 minute abs. But, I had that "oh but you already worked so hard" feeling, and thought "you could just do it tomorrow..." So I decided to check in on the pcp email and immediately after the lesson on all that muscles do for us I jumped up and went to conquer the 8 minute ab guy. Best part about it: I invited my sister to join me, and she did! It was much more fun doing it with her, and I think we got a double ab workout at times from laughing at the cheesy video and music (bonus!).

Not much else to report. So far on this vacation I've finished 3 novels and 1 New Yorker. I'm in deep relaxation mode and that feels good, especially in conjunction with PCP workouts and eating fabulously. The weird dinner continues to be a bit sad, as we sit down to family meals every night, but I'm starting to not really care anymore so that's good. Plus, on Monday it's back to life in Brooklyn so I'll be able to be weird all by my lonesome. mwhahaha!

I'm loving all of your blogs, you PCP lovies out there. Glad to see everyone forging ahead despite hiccups and mood swings along the way - it's funny how much this community helps me as this project continues. Love it love it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 32, Jumping faster skiing stronger

Revelation: I can jump faster.
Yesterday, on the pier, I watched more bald eagles doing some very cool flying and I got all energetic and randomly started jumping faster without thinking about it. Soon I realized I could keep it going and it wasn't that hard, just required a little bit more focus. I'm a jumping machine! Try it if you haven't yet - double time, little jumps, it feels sexaaaayyy!

Ok, back to my overall PCP theme of living an Active Life in today's post, with some highlight pictures of Wednesday's waterskiing fun!

My sister and I love to double ski (we sing as we ski...very fun). Here we are, ready to go!

Up up and away!

Show offs.

And here's me out there, solo.
I love skiing!

Yearly water skiing is always a good test of how strong/fat/thin/tired/energetic I am. Not surprisingly, this year I shot out of the water easier than ever before - it truly pays to be getting so strong!! My legs got pretty tired when i slalomed, but I had done the PCP workout before skiing so i was a little tired to begin with.

All in all, a great ski outing for 2010. Let's hope I have an even better showing next summer too!

P.S. Welcome to the new PCPers!!! I can't believe we're already welcoming the new group, when I feel like we're still in our infancy - so crazy how this project is flying by. I'll get around to reading and commenting on all your blogs soon!