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April Newsletter

SuzyPnutTop.JPGMonday March 27, I started my diet for real. About one month earlier than planned, but I just couldn't wait to start. I was getting tired  of all that food and no cardio. Don't take me wrong, I love to eat, but because I had a good excuse to eat (hey, I was trying to put on some more muscle), I sure did eat, and of course I feel fluffy. More muscle, more fluff, and now it's time to reveal what is under. I will be competing July 15 in Los Angeles Bodybuilding Championshipe and August 12 in either Ironman Naturally or Team Universe in New York. I will decide for the Team Universe later during the dieting, when I really see what body is coming out from the fat shell. Also, I decided to join the EAS Transformation Challenge. They are supposed to have a class for experienced athletes, so why not to do it. If I transform my body nicely, in 12 weeks, I might win a trip to Hawaii, wouldn't that be great?  Now, the tough part was to take the "before" picture. I must look really bad and nasty and fat. I was getting ready for it for whole 10 days. Eating only carbs... If something looked like a protein or smelled like a protein, it went back to the fridge. So all these carbs started to make me very full, rounded and smooth. I even enjoyed my favorite ice cream, Peanut Butter Fantasy. Friday, I ate 3/4 of a gallon, and the day after another 3/4 of a gallon... good job, wasn't it? I just love the peanut butter pieces and peanut butter cups in the ice cream. My neighbor even had to bring me one more half gallon when I discovered he went for grocery shopping. I couldn't move from my sofa  :-)  So, the pictures were taken on March 27. Sorry, they are not publishable.  :-) I did an amazing work! Looking almost like 300 lbs and very unhappy. Who wouldn't, huh?

My Training and Nutrition

SuzySplit2.JPGAnd now I am dieting and doing my cardio. Oh, I love it! In the morning I jog and walk my pitbull girl Peanut,  on (almost) empty stomach. I just get in some protein, whey powder mixed in the water, to have enough amino acids swimming around so my body doesn't chew on my hard gained muscle. At noon (after my small three meals) I do my weight training, followed with 20 minutes somehow intense cardio on the stairmaster. All training is finished in about one hour (plus 10 min warm up, my lovely lunges), so it's very intense. And sometimes, not every day, I do another short walk/jog, or a little tennis game. On the weekends, I do my rollerdancing thing on the beach, about 2-3 hours of grooving and moving. Interrupted only by a protein shake and then back to the bootie shake.

My weight training split is the same like last month: Monday - biceps, triceps, abs. Tuesday - shoulders and some Olympic lifting. Wednesday - back, lower back. Thursday - chest, Olympic lifting. Friday - legs, calves. I squeeze in my abs now and then when I have some extra time. I might even do another day of training, just abs and some more calves.

Eating about 2500 calories spread over 7-9 meals. Daily intake of macronutrients is  about 330 g of protein, about 130 g of carbohydrates and 60 g fat. Almost all my carbs are eaten after my weight training and cardio, at 1:15 PM. And a little mini meal with mini carbs and some protein about 60 minutes later. The rest of my meals is anything else. Gosh, I dislike chicken breasts more and more.  I also get in a couple of table spoons of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids.


My little special treat, that tastes like a melted chocolate... yum, yum, to satisfy the sweet tooth. Take your favorite whey protein powder, chocolate flavor, or put in some cocoa. I normally make a serving that gives me about 50 g protein. Put in a table spoon of your omega 3-6-9 fatty acids (flax seed oil, olive oil, Udo's oil) and just a minimal amount of warm water. So little so you can mix the thing with a tea spoon in something thick, that looks like  a melted chocolate. And just eat it, and lick it and play with it. It's pretty delicious. Another good flavor is a vanilla whey protein with some cinnamon in it, and the rest is the same.

And surprisingly good snack that is easy and fast to prepare and easy to carry around for later use. Take one green bell pepper (or your favorite color). Cut it in two halves and clean. Put 2 oz sliced Mozzarella cheese in each half and heat in microwave oven for about 1:30 minutes. The cheese just starts to melt, and the pepper is still fresh and crunchy... It's delicious and refreshing. About 250 - 300 calories, depending on what cheese you are using.

Notes from the research

Have you ever noticed all these heavy people at the gym, either in the aerobic room, or on the stairmasters, treadmills or bikes... ? Day in and day out. They are there 5 days a week and they look the same like six months ago. Why  don't they lose any weight??? First, let me make this clear. Losing weight (fat) is not about coming to the gym or the beach and run for an hour and happily expect the fat melt away. Losing weight is about changing the life style, with three main components. 1) The first and most obvious component of losing
body fat is of course changing what you put in your mouth. Diet is a key component to body composition changes and most everyone knows  this. They simply make a decision to dedicate themselves to reaping the benefits of a healthy diet or enjoying the short-term pleasures of a poor diet. This is a decision we all make each day and however you choose will to a large degree determine the product of your efforts in  making a change in your body. 2) The second component is doing cardiovascular work. Most people who want to lose weight realize this. The people who were going to aerobics class each day realized this and knew that they had to dedicate themselves to participating in a good cardiovascular workout to burn calories. Cardiovascular workouts burn calories while you are doing that specified activity. While you are running on the treadmill you are burning many calories, but when you get off the treadmill, your heart rate slows down, you stop  sweating and your body quits burning the calories at that high rate of speed. Less demand is being placed on your body, so fewer calories are being consumed. What we need is to be able to burn calories when we aren't on the treadmill and that is where resistance training plays its role. 3) The third component is resistance training. This can include lifting free weights, using selectorized equipment or a variety of other methods. The key is to establish lean muscle in your body. Although your body slows down when you get off the treadmill, if you have plenty of lean muscle, greater demands are being placed on your body throughout the day while you sit at your desk, while you watch TV and while you sleep. Muscle demands more calories from your body to exist and to grow. So if  you can establish more lean muscle, you are not only stronger, look better and feel better, but you have the ability to burn more calories.

And how about the cardiovascular work? So often we see people literally creeping on a treadmill, so they stay in the "fat burning" zone... For years we have been told that there is a low-intensity, fat-burning zone, and that if we train in it we'll lose weight. Is that really true??? The point is that it really doesn't matter how much fat you burn during exercise, but how much is burned during recover following exercise.

For example, a study reported in 1994, examined the relative benefits of low- and high intensity exercise for fat loss (Tremblay A., Simoneau J., and Bourchard C., 1994. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism. Metabolism 43 (7); 814-818.) In the low-intensity group of subjects, eight men and nine women pedaled four or five times each week for 20 weeks. Their intensity, based on heart rate, could be described as easy to moderate the "fat-burning zone." The high-intensity group, made up of five men and five women, pedaled the same number of days each week, but for only 15 weeks. Their sessions were rather brief, lasting just long enough to include a warm-up, intervals, and a cool down. The intervals were 15 to 90 seconds long and done at a very high effort with long recoveries between the intervals. The low-intensity group used more than twice as many calories during each of their exercise sessions as the high-intensity group. Yet when it came time to check body fatness with calipers, the high intensity pedalers had lost significantly more fat. In fact, when expressed in relation to energy expended during exercise, the interval-trained subjects' fat losses were nine times greater. The reason for this is that following the interval sessions their metabolism stayed high for much longer than that of the moderate pedalers. So more total fat was burned with most of it melting off during rest. The scientists confirmed what was happening by measuring the enzymes that burn fat. They were greatly elevated in the high-intensity subjects, but there was no change in the low-intensity folks. The bottom line for all of this is that you should forget about the "fat-burning zone" during exercise. Such thinking is counterproductive for getting rid of excess suet. If your goal is to lose a few pounds, you would be far better off doing intervals two or three times each week than to simply exercise slowly. Make such a change gradually over a few weeks. Don't jump right into doing multiple days of hard intervals right away.

Mental Notes

SuzyPnutDown.JPGHave you ever observed how successful people work? They were not born successful, they mad themselves successful by using their minds and positive thoughts  that led to positive actions towards their goals. Success and failure both begin in your mind. You have to begin with the goal in your mind, and then work backwards to identify all the steps necessary to reach your goal. Maybe you already do like that in your profession? The similar rule goes for the development of your physique.  You must begin by picturing the end results, the ultimate physique  which you desire.  Then, you must think through and write down the necessary steps that you need to take.

Last month I was writing about you writing down the desired goals that you have for your physique and keep them nearby, where you can see and reconfirm them every day.  I hope you have already done that! If not, take a little time for yourself to determine what it is that you want out of your training and nutrition program.  Don't just say "I want to get into shape."  What is that??? Be more specific, for example a better goal is to  "lose 10 lbs. of body fat" or  to "gain 5 lbs. of lean muscle mass". Writing down your goal is very important.  Put the little reminder about your goals on different places, maybe on your bathroom mirror where you will see it every morning when you wake and every night before you retire, and at your desk where you can see it throughout the day, and on your refrigerator, as a reminder every time you reach for something to eat... Hey, I would see this one hundreds time a day  :-)

Also, to reinforce your goals, look through all different fitness and muscle magazines, and even clip out pictures of individuals having the type of physique that you so desire. You can put the picture close to your written goal, so you also visualize your ultimate physique.

Now, the next step is that you have to  believe that your goal is possible.  Positive self talk, or self affirmations. You must be careful to guard your thoughts, because they are constantly being monitored and absorbed by your subconscious.  What you think is eventually what you will believe, to the very core of your being, and this will in turn determine what you become and what you achieve.  It's important to keep thoughts positive all the time. If some negative thoughts of insecurity and disbelief creep in sometime, just push them out of your mind and replace them instead with positive,  reinforcing thoughts. A little example of a positive self affirmation for a 200 lbs person, who wishes to lose 20 lbs of fat: "I weigh 180 lbs and have 7% body fat." It is stated like the goal is already achieved. Belief is key.  If you believe that you have already achieved your goal, your mind will lead your body to elicit the desired results. Always, try to avoid negatives. In stead of saying "I will not eat junk foods,"  say, "I eat only lean foods."  See the difference?

Use your positive affirmations in the morning, upon awakening when your mind is still in a sort of  "twilight zone" between consciousness and sub-consciousness, and until it is fully awake,  is very receptive to thoughts. The other good time is in the evening, before you go to bed. Repeating your positive self-affirmations and visualizing what you want as you fall asleep is a powerful way to program your subconscious mind to work throughout the night.

Try this technique for a month or more, and see how it starts changing your mindset and strengthening  your will to accomplish your goals. And practice keeping your thoughts positive and just watch the results in your life.

Funny Notes

One of my clients has five cats. As a good dog owner, I always smile when I listen to her stories about these independent feline animals.  For all of you who are cat lovers, here is a very helpful tip in a case of emergency. For all of you who are dog lovers, just be happy they you own the dog!   :-)

How to Give a Cat a Pill

1.  Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.  Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand.  As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth.  Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2.  Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.  Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3.  Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.

4.  Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand.  Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger.  Hold mouth shut for count of ten.

5.  Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe.  Call spouse from garden.

6.  Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws.  Ignore low growls emitted by cat.  Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth.  Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7.  Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap.  Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains.  Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from the hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8.  Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible below armpit.  Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9.  Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away.  Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10.  Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed.  Get another pill.  Open another beer.  Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing.  Force mouth open with dessert spoon.  Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11.  Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges.  Drink beer.  Fetch bottle of scotch.  Pour shot, drink.  Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus jab.  Apply whiskey
compress to cheek to disinfect.  Toss back another shot.  Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12.  Ring fire brigade to retrieve the f*****g cat from tree across the road.  Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat.  Take last pill from foil wrap.

13.  Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed.  Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak.  Be rough about it.  Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14.  Consume remainder of scotch.  Get spouse to drive you to the ER, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnant from right eye.  Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15.  Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and ring local pet shop to see if they have any  hamsters.


How to Give a Dog a Pill

1.  Wrap it in bacon.

See you in May!!!!
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