Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rest & Recovery

We never stop. We go to school, we go to work, the kids soccer game, cruising youtube, cleaning the house...does it ever stop???? Granted, I'm the worst at stopping but I am a big proponent of rest and recovery in diet and exercise.

For those over-achievers out there, hitting the gym twice a day, working full-time and all the other commitments you have, don't you just feel burnt out? I know I did last summer. I was bordering on over-training syndrome (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/overtraining/a/aa062499a.htm). I was cooked, nothing left it, it wasn't fun, I wasn't proud of myself! I was violating one of my very own cardinal rules~~~REST AND RECOVER. When we push ourselves, in particular in the gym, we tear ourselves down. In lifting weights, we make micro tears in our muscles in the negative phase of the lift. This isn't building our muscles, this is damaging them. The way we increase and improve our muscular strength is from the recovery. The rest day after a hard lift is when these tears are healed together creating a larger and stronger muscle fiber. It's absolutely essential to have a recovery day when lifting.

I also find the "free" day or diet free period is as important as the diet itself. I hate feeling like I can't or shouldn't have something but if I know that I have a "free" day coming up, I can usually talk myself into waiting. It is similar in the concept that I posted with the zig zag diet. By not providing a level, steady state amount of calories/nutrients, the body has to work harder to metabolize and digest them. If you stay in a low carb state for long periods of time, your body will begin to work more efficiently with less carbs and you'll see your diet starting to slow. If you throw a high carb day in there, your body is suddenly working harder to process the new way eating and thus kicking you back into a more efficient calorie burning machine!

So take this as your permission slip to take a break! Enjoy a day off and find a renewed sense of optimism.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Down A Pound and a Half!!

Mark Sisson, Ilove you!!! (Don't worry honey, it's for his diet!) Weigh in this weekend was 137.5, not bad for a chick that struggles to drop a 1/2 pound a week.

As you know from my last post, I've stumble across Mark Sisson's Primal Diet. The concept harkens back to the caveman days when we were hunters and gatherer. Yes, the concept is about restricting starchy and sugary carbs (some of my favorites and definitely my weaknesses).

Here's what I've mapped out for my first 2 to 3 weeks on my version of the primal diet. I'm not counting calories but I am counting carbs. I am not doing the goofy fiber v. carb content right now. For the kick off, a carb is a carb is a carb. My daily goal is to eat near (usually slightly above) 100 g/carb/day. My protein is around 1 g/pound a day also. I am monitoring my fat intake but not restricting it. I am making sure that my fat choices are healthy ones (olive oil, avocado and my new favorite, Kraft Light Mayo with Olive Oil). Do I miss all the bread and cheez its that I chow down on, oh, my yes but I'm so impressed with the weight loss it just seems to click. I love my veggies and my salads so I'm still enjoying things that I would eat every day anyway!

In addition to my macro nutrient change, I'm also being sure to have my Omega 3 supplements 3 x day, 1 multivitamin x day and 1 calcium/vita D 1 x day.

My exercise hasn't really changed much. Since I teach 3-4 x week and then I take yoga, it's fitting the exercise goal. The big difference (and really thanks to the daily apple for this) is that I don't feel guilty for not doing MORE. Coming from the gym rat, competition mind set, the philosophy was hours in the gym, grunting, sweating and straining. I've released that and instead I'm using my teaching as my intervals and those peak moments and I'm making a point of the low level continuous activity as being prominent. What freedom.

I'll keep you posted but I'm actually excited for bathing suit season!!! Still rockin it at 40!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm going PRIMAL.....

I felt like I found my home a couple of days ago when I was searching the internet on ways to bust a diet plateau. As many of you many know, this year was my year for balance. I'm looking for a natural way to live, to find ways to restore and maintain not only my health, but my sanity (good luck with that and having 5 kids and 2 dogs!). I've been feeling like I've been swimming upstream and that my homeostasis had very little to do with 3 hours a day in the gym and crazy calorie/macronutrient tracking. I've fallen in love with yoga and I've scaled way back on my workouts. I've been drawn more to the mind body rides in our spinning class but my weight is still sticking around my gut. I just don't have the heart to do the competition or cut diet that I did last year; I felt like I was losing my mind!

Low and behold...Mark Sisson and his amazing blog....http://www.marksdailyapple.com

The thing that I appreciate with Mark's information is the simplicity and the level of gut reaction I had while reading it. It felt right, it felt balanced and it felt natural. Mark's premise is that our genetics have not morphed that far from when we were primal beings hunting and gathering. Diabetes, obesity and a host of many other ailments are stemming from our highly refined and processed diet. Now don't go getting all organic and freaked out on me. This isn't why I LOVE his primal diet. The thing that sold me is the fact that he talks about filling his 6 cup tupperware container up with his 20 veggie salad and chows down...NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!! Give me the grub! I'm quite happy with giant greens and veggies with my side of beef!

I admit that lately due to dashing between work, teaching, T's karate and J's cough I've been eating way too much processed foods. (I ate 2 poptarts for dinner last night-vanilla milkshake flavor~yum but oh so bad!). So I've decided to jump on board the primal eating project. I'm going to try and limit my carbs to 100 g/day with the idea that some days may be higher and some lower. Mark also recommends the calorie and muscle confusion that I hold near and dear to my heart...(see my post on zig zag calories and muscle confusion is coming soon!). I'll keep my protein at .8- 1 g/1 lb of body weight per day and keep my fats healthy.

So here's my jumping off point...Today I weigh 139 pounds and the weight lingers on...I'll keep you posted. Better yet, join me on the primal path!!!!