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December, January, February, March, April... MAY!!!  2003 Newsletter

Playing tennis in Brentwood Happy New Year 2003! Did you miss me? Let me see now... where is December 2002 newsletter? And January, February, March... April? Oh my my, isn't it a long delay? I've been receiving  emails from many of you, what's up with the newsletter. Summer is coming, everybody wants to get motivated to get in shape, and no newsletters. So I finally "broke down" and finished my work... Actually, about two thirds of this newsletter have been done since about February/March, I just couldn't finish it... but here we go. I don't even know where to start first. In my last newsletter, I mentioned that I started to play a lot of tennis. Working with a coach. Since I was born, I've had an amblyopic (lazy) left eye. And +4.5 diopters. I don't have any 3D vision. Amazing that I can play that well without the left eye... It would be very difficult to play tennis on a high level, so I decided to do something about my eye... And here comes my story:

During my lasik surgery Saturday, November 16, 2002, at 3 PM  I arrived to Phoenix, AZ to get ready for my lasik surgery. For 2 days, lots of different eye examinations were done and I was ready to get my eye corrected. Tuesday 10:43 AM, I laid down on the laser table. It was an amazing experience (which is well documented on the photographs and videos. Hopefully in the next newsletter, you will be able to read about the whole procedure - in case you are thinking about a lasik surgery). Thank you, Dr. Granberry, for taking a great care of me and making it an unforgettable experience. Imagine new eyes...  So now, my optics of my left eye are great, but because my brain was not using the eye for 37+ years, it still doesn't know, what to do... So now the next step is coming - since the surgery and still ongoing - I am going twice a week to a visual therapy, and the rest of the days I am practicing my "eye home work" at home. It is still very amazing to me, how the brain functions. The eye can see the picture, but the brain supresses it. I have to teach it to accept the picture and fuse it with the right eye picture... After 4 months of therapy, I can fuse  and I start seeing baby steps of 3D... hard work, isn't it? But I like challenges, and this is one of them...
 Tennis lesson with the coach
Training... I've been training without any major breaks all the time. Changing a little bit my splits, for a while, I've been doing the whole body workouts, 3 times a week, 44 sets of everything. Nice and intense, lots of supersetting. It took about one hour to finish the workout. The last few months, I split: day 1 upper body, day 2 lower body... Bikram's yoga the 3rd day, day 4 upper body again, and lower body day 5. Then I take off from weights for two days... All days, I do 1 hour cardio, early in the morning, on empty stomach... If I am on or off  with the weights, the cardio is always on... and then, I have another cardio session in the afternoon, sometimes it's tennis 1.5 hour, sometimes it's another cardio. So it's a lot of activities... No wonder I eat so much! By the way, I got my RMR (resting metabolic rate checked), and I love the results... Just to get up and function - breathe, digest, move around - I need 2900 calories a day. All the activities are excluded. I love it! Because you know (you who's been following my newsletters), I love like to eat. Now I can happily add my lovely cashew nuts in all my meals. My diet is about the same, 5 meals a day, 40-50 grams protein each meal, 30 grams carbs, and maybe 20 grams cashew fat.. I might sneak in some extra apple here and there, so it's going to be more carbs, but I am not strictly dieting, yet. I haven't planned my bodybuilding shows yet... It's not going to be in the spring, that's for sure... I plan to lean out for the summer though, so maybe it's going to be a start on my contest diet. Now, I am juggling around 189 lbs and I think I would move faster on the court if I would be around 180 lbs.

My parents before their surgeries My parents were visiting me for 3 months, arriving early December, until March. They live in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia (ex Czechoslovakia, the country I was born)... They were living with me and Peanut-the-dog and it got nicely crowded in my 2 bedroom apartment. My parents loved it in California, going for walks to the beach every day. I just wish they would learn some English and would dare to drive the car here in LA, that would make their visit more exciting. We went for many trips to Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ and they loved the desert. The first time they've seen something like that... Dr. Granberry performed lasik surgery on my dad. He got mono vision, one eye for reading, one for distance, so at his age of 72, he doesn't need any glasses and he's loving it. My mom, who's had a really bad prescription all her life (around +10 diopters) got a cataract surgery and sees perfectly, like never ever in her life... on a top of all this, they were eating the healthy california diet, joined the gym and trained every day... They returned back home feeling and looking 15 years younger... I just hope they didn't go back to the habits of eating a duck in the lard (supposed to be delicious, so I tried and my stomach almost turned around, so MUCH fat, I am just not used to it anymore... and imagine,  that's the cashew nut lover talking!).

Ostrich meat might be yummy, but who eats whom? Besides all this, during these past six months, I've been going away almost every, or every other weekend, for nice relaxing short trips. Visited Seattle/WA which reminded me a lot of Sweden, beautiful nature, lakes and trees. It was great to run on the trails through the woods... A trip to  Minneapolis/MN back in February was also almost like in Sweden: so cold, that I was stuck in the hotel room for 3 days... actually was working on this newsletter - high speed, and wireless  :-). Trip to Vail/CO, wonderful. Snow and sun, and believe it or not, I haven't skied. I've spent all my life competing on skis and I didn't even feel like skiing. Again, it  looked a bit like in Europe, somewhere in Germany with all these pubs and beer and loud people. Trip to Tuscon/AZ was definitely not like Europe... All the cactuses and desert and beautiful mountains... Most often, I go to Scottsdale/AZ and I am loving it over there. So nice and warm, clean  and fresh and green and cute cactuses around. Hikes on the Camel Back Mountain. And my favorite: the Todai sushi buffet!

Suzanna standing over the waterfall And now a few news about some business... Finally my picture-page is updated... It will be more and more pictures coming, because I have a huge database now. From all my trips, surgery, tennis practice.. any theme you could wish (almost...  LOL). I will add them on slowly, so just keep visiting. If you read Women's Physique World, check the April 2003 issue. There's a nice long article about me with a few pictures. Also in the May issue of MuscleMag, you can see me together with Bill Dobbins in his great feature article. Last but not least, the movie Surplus male is finally out. I will watch it in a few days, so I don't have any comments yet.  It's going to be available to buy from the movie website, or if you want it signed (or not signed), you can get it from my web site as well... soon...

Thoughts about life...

A few minutes before the surgery Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there... to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but then you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower or heart. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to.
If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but also because they are teaching you to love and to open your heart and eyes to little things. Make every day count.
Lover girls... Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create your own life and then go out and live it.

Misconceptions about weight loss

If you feel like you need to lose some weight, whatever the number is, 5 pounds or 125 pounds, you need to lose your weight the smart way. Often  we make mistakes that actually work us... here are a few common ones. Next time you start your little diet, try to avoid them.

How does the weather affect your health?
From www.weather.com

Happy Peanut in sunny weather For as long as people have been aware of weather, they've pondered its impact on their health. The Greeks noted the effect of "hot and cold winds" on pain and illness 2,400 years ago. During the Civil War, physicians wrote about amputee soldiers sensing pain in their "phantom" limbs when the weather changed. And folk wisdom tells of people who "feel the weather in their bones."
In modern times, doctors continue to explore the connection between weather and pain, especially in relation to chronic conditions such as migraine headaches and arthritis.

While many people maintain that the weather affects how they feel, scientific studies linking weather to chronic pain don't always agree. Some doctors say it's a matter of perception; patients might feel worse on a rainy day, they say, just because it's gloomy. But others say the pain is very real. Not all people who suffer from chronic pain feel effects from the weather. Among those who do, reactions depend on the individual and can be hard to measure.

For those people who are sensitive to weather, changes in weather are generally more likely to affect them than specific weather conditions. Doctors who specialize in chronic pain sometimes suggest that patients keep a detailed journal of weather conditions to establish a possible relationship to their pain.

In particular, the following weather factors may contribute to aches and pains:

Barometric Pressure

Barometric pressure is the weight exerted by the air around us. Rapidly falling barometric pressure generally signals the onset of stormy weather, and is believed to have a strong correlation with the potential for feeling aches and pains. Rising pressure may also affect some people.

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. It can be expressed as "absolute humidity" (the amount of water vapor per unit of air) or the more familiar "relative humidity" (the amount of water vapor relative to the amount of moisture the air can hold at a given temperature). An increase in absolute humidity, especially in the summer, can lead to an increased potential for aches and pains. Some research also finds a correlation between dry, cold air and migraine headaches.

Precipitation includes not only rain, but also snow, sleet, hail or any other form of water that reaches the ground. It is considered a factor in aches and pains because stormy weather accompanies changes in barometric pressure and humidity. For those sensitive to hot weather, such as some people with multiple sclerosis, rain can cool the atmosphere and may bring some relief.

Hot and Ready Rapidly rising or falling temperatures are a hallmark of big weather changes, indicating underlying shifts in barometric pressure. Extremes in temperature, not just changing temperatures, can also affect the potential for feeling aches and pains. Low temperatures may trigger migraine headaches, exacerbate circulatory conditions such as Raynaud's phenomenon and contribute to arthritic joint stiffness. Cold weather has also been associated with an increase in asthma-related hospital admissions.

Wind often results from big shifts in weather, indicating that barometric pressure and other factors may be changing rapidly. Wind is also a health consideration because it can carry pollution and allergens far distances, therefore affecting people with respiratory ailments such as asthma.

Beauty tips
Poem by Audrey Hepburn

Topf of the South Mountain in Phoenix For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Protein for a great physique

Suzanna's photo shoot for WPW If you want to build a beautiful, strong physique, you need to build some muscles, gain some weight. For that purpose you need to eat high quality protein, evenly spread out over 4-6 of your daily meals. It is very personal how much protein you need, but some basic guide lines could be following:

1) If you want to build muscles, you need to eat about 1.5-2 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. If you train heavy, you need more.
2) If you are happy with your physique and want just to maintain what you have, you should eat 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound. Again, it depends on how hard and how often you train.

Excellent sources of protein are egg whites, skinless chicken and turkey breasts, lean beef, low fat cottage cheese, fish, eggs, protein powders and shakes. Even nuts and fatter fish are great, but beware of the higher amount of calories... Add vegetables and some fruits and grains to your protein meals and you will feel how your physique is going to change. Drink a lot of water and get enough rest.

Tips for healthy life style

On the Funny Note - Dr Seuss for seniors

Dr Seuss for adults

See you in the summer!!!
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