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Katerina

The Holiday Special

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Blame my husband for the reference. My husband subjected me to part of this "movie" a few years back. 

 

Overall goal: The song remains the same, namely change my body composition. This will take a bit due to a few years of inhuman schedules and life changes. (Returning to the dating world, getting remarried, and then going to grad school--> not helpful for disciplined eating/exercise habits.)

 

Quest 1: Carryover from last challenge--move deliberately daily. I may actually have to commute this to a gym to make sure it happens. This whole dark, cold Midwestern winter crap and I do not get along. But we will see. Maybe I will just do yoga more often.

 

Quest 2: Ditch social media and other online time-wasters in favor of reading. I don't know what my problem has been of late, but I have been griping about not having enough reading time and then spending 30 min or more farting around online at a go. This feels like a focus issue, and I am not sure why it is suddenly rearing its head, but it needs to be evicted. This means no social media at all for the month and keeping real reading material near me at all times. 

 

Quest 3: Advance in my beginning adventure with weight training. I am quite new to this world, but I started working with a personal trainer to cut to the chase. By the end of this challenge, I should have a solid, prescribed routine that I can carry out 3x/wk. This will include stretching, (God help me) HIIT (pt has not introduced this yet--ran out of time 1st session. . .He said it was going to be "fun," but I don't usually associate THAT f-word with HIIT.), and lifting.

 

Quest 4ish: I don't know how to make this into a quest that is measurable, but I need to take up arms against the Malaise of Winter. (It hasn't really started yet, but I think getting out ahead of it will help.) The increased hours of darkness sap my energy and my motivation, and cabin fever brought on by my hatred of true cold kicks in fast. Everyone else gets excited about the holidays; I just want to hit fast forward to, say, March. I would like to learn to find some kind of pleasure in this time of year (as I do the others). 

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(My thought process)

 

The holiday special? Nice title, very festive.

12 hours ago, Katerina said:

Blame my husband for the reference.

What's wrong with holiday time? *is confused*

 

12 hours ago, Katerina said:

My husband subjected me to part of this "movie" a few years back.

Subjected... "movie"... No. NO. NOOOOOO!

Star Starwars GIF - Star Starwars GIFs
 
*dies*
Star Wars GIF - Star Wars Starwars GIFs
 
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16 hours ago, Katerina said:

Malaise of Winter.

Not sure what part of midwest and your definition of true cold is, I know my winter's tend to be milder than other parts of the country, but cold is cold.

 

What tends to help me the most is sticking to my routines, and finding beauty in what I'm able. Yea, with the time changes, I only see the sun during work hours...so that mean a lot of night walking. The benefit, I see a good number (at least in the past) of shooting stars (not sure about new neighborhood), which always just makes me smile (also, I can get frosty beard...which is kinda fun).

 

I'm also committing to just saying 'f  it' and going outside regardless of the weather. I can't hibernate. I've gotta get out and DO something! I can see in the dark.. plus I've got headlamps :D.

 

And bravo on the anti-social media goal. As I moved away from social media...I've found that I've got...TIME...for like everything! 

 

Good luck!

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9 hours ago, Grumble said:

LOL

Image result for winter los angeles funny

Where I come from, Christmas day is so hot and sticky, no one really wants to eat the terrible potato salad. Or anything. We just sort of drink wine and languish. But last Christmas was awesome because me, spouse, bro, bro's partner, and our dad got away from the family lunch (all uncles and aunts, lasted all day, too hot to eat) and suddenly decided we were hungry after all. Then there was a sudden thunderstorm and we got wet, and surprised, and chilly, because we were completely soaked from the 45 second dash from the car to the restaurant (especially our shoes, since the gutters were suddenly bursting with rainwater), which had air conditioning. 

Anyway, what I was going to say is your goals sounds excellent. Changing body composition is the dream. Oh, and getting less addicted to faffing about online. Good luck! I'm watching your lifting journey with interest, too :)

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On 11/19/2018 at 8:20 PM, Katerina said:

 

Quest 2: Ditch social media and other online time-wasters in favor of reading. I don't know what my problem has been of late, but I have been griping about not having enough reading time and then spending 30 min or more farting around online at a go. This feels like a focus issue, and I am not sure why it is suddenly rearing its head, but it needs to be evicted. This means no social media at all for the month and keeping real reading material near me at all times. 

 

 

Quest 4ish: I don't know how to make this into a quest that is measurable, but I need to take up arms against the Malaise of Winter. (It hasn't really started yet, but I think getting out ahead of it will help.) The increased hours of darkness sap my energy and my motivation, and cabin fever brought on by my hatred of true cold kicks in fast. Everyone else gets excited about the holidays; I just want to hit fast forward to, say, March. I would like to learn to find some kind of pleasure in this time of year (as I do the others). 

 

Ah - brava on the social media fasting! I usually do "no FaceTwitGram November" but this year I couldn't because I'm moderating a group that is most active this month. But it is a brilliant way to give yourself more time and bandwidth, so YAY!

 

I don't have anything to offer on the Malaise, but if it helps to know you are not alone, I'm right there with you. I am liking @farflight's suggestions, though, so I will probably be working with some of that myself. 

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On 11/20/2018 at 11:45 AM, farflight said:

Not sure what part of midwest and your definition of true cold is, I know my winter's tend to be milder than other parts of the country, but cold is cold.

 

What tends to help me the most is sticking to my routines, and finding beauty in what I'm able. Yea, with the time changes, I only see the sun during work hours...so that mean a lot of night walking. The benefit, I see a good number (at least in the past) of shooting stars (not sure about new neighborhood), which always just makes me smile (also, I can get frosty beard...which is kinda fun).

 

I'm also committing to just saying 'f  it' and going outside regardless of the weather. I can't hibernate. I've gotta get out and DO something! I can see in the dark.. plus I've got headlamps :D.

 

And bravo on the anti-social media goal. As I moved away from social media...I've found that I've got...TIME...for like everything! 

 

Good luck!

 

Thank you for the inspiration :)

 

Wait. . .there's a Midwest other than the Chicago area? (Kidding, sort of.)

 

I am fine into the 30s and maybe even 20s (windchill included), but teens and below, particularly with wind=not inviting. Plus, I swear the cold saps my energy. Perhaps the Slavs are descended from bears, and my family isn't that far removed. Winter just makes me want to hibernate.

 

Nevertheless, when the lazy came over me yesterday, I made a point of buying myself a new scarf (Yay for pretty things. Grumble, you're a bad influence--lol.) and going for a good walk in a pretty place. It made a difference in my mood. I still got sleepy way earlier than I wanted to (which I resent), but getting out did counteract the slide into early-onset cabin fever. I suspect my neighbor's dogs will help with this on the weekends. :) (As pitties, they are athletes. Also, I am a sucker, so when they look at me and ask to be taken for a walk, I am incapable of denying them.) But yeah, a little tough love talk may be required otherwise. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Gemma said:

don't have anything to offer on the Malaise, but if it helps to know you are not alone, 

It does. Thank you :) I will make a point of being accountable on this, so maybe we can encourage/inspire each other to put Old Man Winter in his place.

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On 11/20/2018 at 10:17 PM, Harriet said:

Where I come from, Christmas day is so hot and sticky, no one really wants to eat the terrible potato salad

That sounds terrible. I never really thought about menu choices, but because Thanksgiving is cold here, mashed potatoes are doctrinally mandated. We do potato salad for everything from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but yeah, potato salad in the winter would be odd. (Though I have friends who are from the South who made reference to potato salad for Thanksgiving. I thought it strange--why on earth would one prefer potato salad to mashed potatoes--but your remark about temperature makes it make sense.)

 

As for the journey, I am going to struggle with impatience. I want what I want a week ago Tuesday. Oddly enough, this is more of a problem with physical goals than intellectual ones. When I was pursuing my M.A., I never questioned that I was actually making progress. Also, the workouts don't make me miserable, which I think plays into this. (A few years back, I did the couch-2-5k thing. I was proud of myself for the increases in stamina, but it made me miserable. While I will actually break a sweat and catch my breath now, I am not miserable. Perversely, this makes me question if I am doing enough.)

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Ok, so prelude to the Challenge:

 

Trainer kicked my ass again today.  :)Did everything for the first time since last Saturday's Encounter with Folly Featuring a Fall. He introduced me to the HIIT circuit. It was challenging, and I am definitely out of my element (He had me using this ball that looks like an overgrown volley/soccer ball with a nearly nonexistent bounce. Is this what people call a medicine ball?), but it is much more "fun" than being parked on a treadmill, and it is certainly more challenging than my leisurely stationary-bike-excuse-to-read. 

 

I am still (frustratingly) stuck at just the bar for squats, and I am struggling a bit with switching between legs and hips in my deadlift, so he is going to have me practice just the hip hinge this week. But I will do so at 85#, so that is a bit of progress. I am also struggling to feel the proper place for a bench press (tend to go too high or too low, but usually too high), but I will get there. Shoulder presses (dumbbell) went from 10 to 15, so progress there. 

 

For Harriet: 

download.jpeg

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21 hours ago, Katerina said:

 

download.jpeg

 

Awesome. I want to be a viking cat when I grow up :D

 

The trainer sounds like they're really useful, giving immediate feedback on lift mechanics. I just watch youtube videos of the lifts and hope/think I'm doing it right. 

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On 11/24/2018 at 11:16 AM, Katerina said:

Ok, so prelude to the Challenge:

 

Trainer kicked my ass again today.  :)Did everything for the first time since last Saturday's Encounter with Folly Featuring a Fall. He introduced me to the HIIT circuit. It was challenging, and I am definitely out of my element (He had me using this ball that looks like an overgrown volley/soccer ball with a nearly nonexistent bounce. Is this what people call a medicine ball?), but it is much more "fun" than being parked on a treadmill, and it is certainly more challenging than my leisurely stationary-bike-excuse-to-read. 

Medicine ball/slam ball. Same beast.

 

I love doing HIIT, especially as a finisher to a slower lifting session.

 

On 11/24/2018 at 11:16 AM, Katerina said:

I am still (frustratingly) stuck at just the bar for squats, and I am struggling a bit with switching between legs and hips in my deadlift, so he is going to have me practice just the hip hinge this week. But I will do so at 85#, so that is a bit of progress. I am also struggling to feel the proper place for a bench press (tend to go too high or too low, but usually too high), but I will get there. Shoulder presses (dumbbell) went from 10 to 15, so progress there. 

So, what you're saying is you've upgraded to doing a full size barbell consistently. Sounds like a win to me.

 

How is he having you practice hip hinge? Using Romanian or Stiff leg deadlifts? And struggling how on the bench, I'm not following the too high or too low.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

So, what you're saying is you've upgraded to doing a full size barbell consistently. Sounds like a win to me.

 

How is he having you practice hip hinge? Using Romanian or Stiff leg deadlifts? And struggling how on the bench, I'm not following the too high or too low.

 

Thank you. That makes me feel better. :)

 

Yes, Romanian (if I understand the term correctly--hingeing from the hips but stopping at the knees rather than going all the way to the floor) so I can get used to the ROM. I tend to either not bend my knees *at all* or bend them too soon.

 

Ok, bench . . .he hasn't said this as crassly as I am about to (going for clarity, not trying to be salacious) but it seems that proper placement is about nips level. For some reason, though I know that in my head, in a supine position, I tend to bring my hands up too high (closer to shoulders), or I over-correct and go too low. It's like I lose my own geography. It's bizarre. 

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1 hour ago, Katerina said:

Ok, bench . . .he hasn't said this as crassly as I am about to (going for clarity, not trying to be salacious) but it seems that proper placement is about nips level. For some reason, though I know that in my head, in a supine position, I tend to bring my hands up too high (closer to shoulders),

 

This motor pattern is extremely common in beginners - it's usually the bodies way of using the stronger pectoral muscle (and taking advantage of the way they stretch over the chest) and not the triceps (which are often weaker in beginners)... I've found that it corrects itself over time without too much fussing over it.

 

 

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So this challenge has been off to a decidedly less than awesome start. 

 

Sunday: started to get sick (heating pad on high under me, a blanket and two comforters on top of me, and still cold), but. . .

Monday: ended up being a snow day, so I got to sleep in and recover a bit. Didn't do much else (like move, for example).

Tuesday: I did get to the gym and go through my routine. Steps didn't quite get to 8000, so that's a little pathetic, but still, I got the workout in, so there's that. (Probably should have stayed at the gym to do low grade cardio, but stomach was being meh.)

But then last night just sucked. I got a roaring 3 1/2 hours of sleep which has blown my

Wednesday to bits. The windchill is in the teens today, and we are going to get snow changing to ice tonight, so outside is probably not going to happen. I shall try to marshal my will to get to the gym for movement's sake. But mostly, I am just looking forward to the day being over and hoping tomorrow will be a reset.

1248261.gif

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56 minutes ago, Katerina said:

So this challenge has been off to a decidedly less than awesome start. 

 

Sunday: started to get sick (heating pad on high under me, a blanket and two comforters on top of me, and still cold), but. . .

Monday: ended up being a snow day, so I got to sleep in and recover a bit. Didn't do much else (like move, for example).

Tuesday: I did get to the gym and go through my routine. Steps didn't quite get to 8000, so that's a little pathetic, but still, I got the workout in, so there's that. (Probably should have stayed at the gym to do low grade cardio, but stomach was being meh.)

But then last night just sucked. I got a roaring 3 1/2 hours of sleep which has blown my

Wednesday to bits. The windchill is in the teens today, and we are going to get snow changing to ice tonight, so outside is probably not going to happen. I shall try to marshal my will to get to the gym for movement's sake. But mostly, I am just looking forward to the day being over and hoping tomorrow will be a reset.

1248261.gif



Arghhh 3.5 hours is terrible. Maybe cut yourself some slack. Tomorrow will definitely be better. Here is a rabbit eating a banana, for luck.

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bff0cb53365745045

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2 hours ago, Katerina said:

I shall try to marshal my will to get to the gym for movement's sake. But mostly, I am just looking forward to the day being over and hoping tomorrow will be a reset.

 

Maybe just do some bodyweight stuff at home?

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On 11/28/2018 at 5:15 PM, Grumble said:

Maybe just do some bodyweight stuff at home?

Laziness won the day. 

 

But I atoned for said laziness yesterday. . .maybe a bit too enthusiastically. Nothing drastic on the weights (added 10# to squat and did ok with that--8-10 per set x 3); everything else the same (though I moved up on tricep press and bicep curls after Saturday--again, nothing drastic). Where I may have made a small error in judgment was doing 4 rather than 3 HIIT circuits. (I am just starting this--1st day was Saturday; goal ultimately is 6 rounds.) I am not hurting, but I was ridiculously tired yesterday (Good news--slept well last night!), and I went through today semi-zombified. I have thus put off tomorrow's meeting with the trainer; that appointment is in the morning, and since I am still a bit groggy, I do not want to assume I will be back in the saddle in the morning. I will return to the gym either tomorrow afternoon or Sunday, depending on when the hungover-without-the-headache feeling passes. :)

 

Social media ditching has been a good thing. I haven't touched it this week. This has allowed me more reading time. 

 

Daily movement has been MEH this week, generally on account of cold or lack of sleep. I hope and plan for better compliance this next week. 

 

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36 minutes ago, Katerina said:

Laziness won the day. 

 

But I atoned for said laziness yesterday. . .maybe a bit too enthusiastically. Nothing drastic on the weights (added 10# to squat and did ok with that--8-10 per set x 3); everything else the same (though I moved up on tricep press and bicep curls after Saturday--again, nothing drastic). Where I may have made a small error in judgment was doing 4 rather than 3 HIIT circuits. (I am just starting this--1st day was Saturday; goal ultimately is 6 rounds.) I am not hurting, but I was ridiculously tired yesterday (Good news--slept well last night!), and I went through today semi-zombified. I have thus put off tomorrow's meeting with the trainer; that appointment is in the morning, and since I am still a bit groggy, I do not want to assume I will be back in the saddle in the morning. I will return to the gym either tomorrow afternoon or Sunday, depending on when the hungover-without-the-headache feeling passes. :)

 

Social media ditching has been a good thing. I haven't touched it this week. This has allowed me more reading time. 

 

Daily movement has been MEH this week, generally on account of cold or lack of sleep. I hope and plan for better compliance this next week. 

 

 

Nice work moving up on the squats. Is the HIIT new for you? A whole day being tired doesn't sound like a good result, but maybe one gets used to it quickly? IDK as I have never done it.

Also great work reading instead of social media. That is a seriously excellent thing I also want some of. 

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On 11/30/2018 at 7:01 PM, Harriet said:

Nice work moving up on the squats. Is the HIIT new for you? A whole day being tired doesn't sound like a good result, but maybe one gets used to it quickly? IDK as I have never done it.

Also great work reading instead of social media. That is a seriously excellent thing I also want some of. 

Thank you :) Yes, HIIT is new for me. Very new. But in retrospect, I think I was fighting something. I felt crappy Saturday (and so did not work out). But more on that momentarily.

 

Social media: the abstinence (Disclaimer: I did post a recipe to my private recipe group but didn't even look at anything else.) not only helps me not waste time, it actually helps me like people better (because I can't "hear" them say stupid things from their moral high horses). I realize that's not nice, but it's the truth. 

 

Saturday was more meh (because not feeling well compounded by drive to hell and back with GPS that kept fading due to weather--precisely when I had no clue where I was), but yesterday was a good day. I got things done around the house and spent the day in "active rest"--I got to play with my neighbor's pitties. That was worth a 2 mile walk and a few rounds of tug-of-war, plus bonus points for being outside, too. :) I spent 15 minutes doing rather crappy yoga yesterday, but I did learn that I should make a point of doing yoga at least once weekly. I think I need it for mobility. 

 

Although my gym days are usually T/Th/Sat, this week it has to be M/W/Sat because of goofy schedule. So I marched off to the gym tonight. All went well. I have gone back to trying to do regular deadlifts at 85. I am trying to watch form. Jose can yell at me on Saturday if he wants to. ;) I am definitely feeling more comfortable in the weight room, so that's a good thing. I pushed my 2nd set of tricep presses up from 20 to 25. I only got to 7 (rather than 10), but I am ok with that. Dumb bell shoulder presses were not fun today. I don't know if I slept funny, but one arm just made life more difficult than it should be. Sets were at 8 rather than 10. Oh, well. I went through the circuit 4x again, chalking up Friday's exhaustion to a sneak attack from some mystery virus.

 

And. . . I decided to approach the Captain's Chair (I think that's what it's properly called. I refer to it as the assless chair, but that's probably not its real name.) after not having used it for a few weeks. (Just realized it was there in my new gym.) Because my abs were so trashed (abdominal surgery in 2016), getting to 10 bent leg lifts used to be hard. Well, I got through 10 today, and then I saw a woman significantly older than me do straight leg lifts. Half out of shame and half out of envy, I decided for my 2nd set to see if I could even do one. AND HOLY COW,  I MANAGED TO 7! Whaaaat? :) They weren't a perfect 90 degrees - I'd guess maybe 80. But having been unable to do 1 past, say 45 degrees maybe a month ago to being able to do 7 at 80 -- I am in a state of delighted shock. 

 

 

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Ok, so end-of-semester madness is in full swing :) 

 

I did get to the gym again on Thursday. Got through everything (Squats 55; Deadlifts 85; Bench press 45; Dumb bell row 20 then 15 [form]; Dumb bell shoulder press 15; [all aforegoing 10x3 except db row] Dumb bell curls 15; Overhead tricep extention 20 [previous two 10x2] ; then The Punishment [HIIT routine 4 exercises x 10 x 4 sets]) and was fairly pleased. Dumbell rows are in transition. I should have lowered reps with the 20 but then stayed at 20, but live and learn. 

 

No gym on Friday, but I did walk outside (! @farflight and @JustCallMeAmber ) for over an hour with my son. Our town had their Christmas Walk this weekend. It's super cute and kind of a family tradition. The bakery downtown makes cinnamon sugar donuts fresh and hands them out as a gesture of goodwill. I don't normally eat donuts, but I eat one of those annually. Random groups of carolers and musicians -- good times. The walk comes in because traffic/parking is a nightmare. It was blasted cold outside (real temp in the 20s; wind chill probably teens), so I was proud of myself for not being a baby. :) (The wind wasn't too blustery or frequent, or I probably would have been a baby, if we are going to be honest.)

Image result for homemade cinnamon sugar donuts

 

Saturday was a different beast. On a good note, Jose said my deadlift form is now good -- so yay that. :) He also told me that my new squat weight (55) was making me sometimes lean too far forward, so to stick up my big toes to prevent that. (Squats were a form check, as were the deadlifts -- 10/ea.) But he decided to introduce me to unilateral training. I totally get the WHY, but DAMN was that a frustrating day! He tried to get me to do Bulgarian split squats, but between plantar f. . . (sp?)--foot problems!, a long walk in the cold the night before that woke me up in the night with foot cramps, and still healing knee from the fall a couple of weeks back, that was just not going to happen. So he switched me to dumb bell lunges. The disparity was awful. The one-arm db presses were ok. Yes, difference between sides, but not as humiliating. Db rows, fine. Db lateral raises are going to be something to get used to (totally new exercise for me). Tricep kickbacks, ok. Concentration curls were tougher than just regular curls, but ok. Got through the circuit 4x again. I may try to kick that up to 5x on Friday, but we will see. Yesterday also involved lots of walking (over 17k steps!) between errands and walking my neighbor's pitties. 

 

Image result for pit bull meme

 

Yeah, that ^ happened. :) At one point, both of them were on my lap (trying to get away from my son, who wanted to put them in their cages). Guess who the sucker is? ;)

 

Today will be another walk with the pitties. House cleaning is not happening. Which I need to find a way to fix this week (insert maniacal laughter here, in light of the week's schedule) as all of my college kids are coming home, and there are plans afoot to have a game night. Maybe I should get off my arse and clean the house now? Nah. . . .

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On 12/3/2018 at 4:55 PM, Katerina said:

Social media: the abstinence (Disclaimer: I did post a recipe to my private recipe group but didn't even look at anything else.) not only helps me not waste time, it actually helps me like people better (because I can't "hear" them say stupid things from their moral high horses). I realize that's not nice, but it's the truth. 

 

And. . . I decided to approach the Captain's Chair (I think that's what it's properly called. I refer to it as the assless chair, but that's probably not its real name.) after not having used it for a few weeks. (Just realized it was there in my new gym.) Because my abs were so trashed (abdominal surgery in 2016), getting to 10 bent leg lifts used to be hard. Well, I got through 10 today, and then I saw a woman significantly older than me do straight leg lifts. Half out of shame and half out of envy, I decided for my 2nd set to see if I could even do one. AND HOLY COW,  I MANAGED TO 7! Whaaaat? :) They weren't a perfect 90 degrees - I'd guess maybe 80. But having been unable to do 1 past, say 45 degrees maybe a month ago to being able to do 7 at 80 -- I am in a state of delighted shock. 

 

 

Lol at not hearing people say stupid things. Certainly, reading the comments section on any topic I care about is basically practice in learning to dislike humanity.

What on earth is the captain's or arse-less chair? Regardless, congrats on getting 7 of whatever things you do with them :D

 

3 hours ago, Katerina said:

I don't normally eat donuts, but I eat one of those annually. 

Image result for homemade cinnamon sugar donuts

 

Saturday was a different beast. On a good note, Jose said my deadlift form is now good -- so yay that. :) He also told me that my new squat weight (55) was making me sometimes lean too far forward, so to stick up my big toes to prevent that. (Squats were a form check, as were the deadlifts -- 10/ea.) But he decided to introduce me to unilateral training. I totally get the WHY, but DAMN was that a frustrating day! He tried to get me to do Bulgarian split squats, but between plantar f. . . (sp?)--foot problems!, a long walk in the cold the night before that woke me up in the night with foot cramps, and still healing knee from the fall a couple of weeks back, that was just not going to happen. So he switched me to dumb bell lunges. The disparity was awful. The one-arm db presses were ok. Yes, difference between sides, but not as humiliating. Db rows, fine. Db lateral raises are going to be something to get used to (totally new exercise for me). Tricep kickbacks, ok. Concentration curls were tougher than just regular curls, but ok. Got through the circuit 4x again. I may try to kick that up to 5x on Friday, but we will see. Yesterday also involved lots of walking (over 17k steps!) between errands and walking my neighbor's pitties. 

 


You eat one doughnut per year? That's amazing moderation. That's extreme moderation. Hmmm. I hate single leg squats and lunges. But I suppose things that are hard point out weaknesses, and are therefore good to do more of. 

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