Are trainers allowed to give homework? It doesn’t seem quite fair does it?

Amanda has given me homework since day 1 of our workouts.

Keep a food diary.

Fail. I have probably started 5 or 6 of them since we started working together. I lose them or I forget to write in them for weeks at a time, and ultimately, I just stop.

I’ve never been a good diarist. Even as a kid, I didn’t keep a diary or a journal. I think once I might have had one, and was bored quickly after two days:

Day one:  Today my brother was mean to me.

Day two:  My brother was mean to me again.

See, day in and day out, that gets boring.  So now I am trying again. The hardest part is trying to actually writing what I have eaten just after I have eaten it. And often my diary gets left at work on Friday, so once I forget one day, the pattern is set.  When I try to go back and fill it out for past days, I always forget something. A donut or two. Half a pizza.  This week I am challenging myself to actually write as I eat. Of course I started typing this before entering the english muffin I just ate, but at least it will get written in today. If I leave out a day, then I am not letting myself go back and try and recreate it. I will just leave out something anyway – see the aforementioned donut and pizza.

Trainer tips

A couple weeks ago Amanda gave me a printed sheet to read. She is working with a “Biggest Loser” type of group and had put together a list of tips for them and decided to share them with her clients. And so I shall share them with you!


No syrup (fructose), sugars (simple), flour (white), saturated fats (red meats) and trans fat

Probably the hardest part for me is the sugar.  I drink an Iced Americano every day and I just can’t find a sugar substitute that I like as well as good ol’ sugar. This week I have been working on weening myself off of sugar in the drink, and today put maybe only half of what I normally put in it. We’ll see if that last.

Red meat is also a hard one for me. I have started doing a lot of stir-fry and so when I do beef, I am buying these small steaks (sold 3 for $5) and use one.  So I am limiting my portion. I have been eating a lot more chicken though since I started my stir fry kick.

Do eat whole foods which include: Fresh Fruit, Veggies, lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish), whole grains.

I fail, of course, on the fruit and the veggies, but I am trying (or so I keep claiming). I do only eat whole wheat bread, pastas and rice, so I am getting my whole grains in there.

Eat 25 mg of fiber every day to help fill full and digestion.

A couple weeks ago I had some Thomas English Muffins Whole Grain with double fiber. And yes, it certainly helped with digestion!

Use smaller plates to help with portion control. Plates should be no larger than 9″.

I collect Harlequin plates which are a “poor man’s” fiesta ware.  It is a line that was started in the 30s and sold at Woolworths, so since they are older then tend to be  smaller in plate size.  I also have all my mom’s old china which is from the 50s, I imagine, and have been meaning to ask my brother (who really isn’t that mean anymore) to help me get the box down and maybe I will get out a few of those plates to use.  Also, I recently saw some plates in a magazine for portion control but instead of dividers or verbage that would let clue a guest in, they had a floral design. One large orange daisy for your main course and two small ones for your sides. This way you could serve them to guest who would just think they are pretty plates. I tried to google it but can’t find it. Oh well.

Journal all food and liquids you consume as well as your exercise and how you are feeling that day. This will help you learn more about yourself and make you more accountable.

True, I tend to only eat donuts when I know I have left my diary at work!

A typical day of eating should look like this: Breakfast, snack, Lunch, snack and dinner.

I have an easier time with this when I am having a structured day like a workday.  On a weekend or a day off, I struggle to get anything but an afternoon snack and dinner in.

Make sure you have protein at every meal to help support lean muscle growth and help you stay fuller.

This is why I recently added peanut butter back into my diet.. to give me a protein on my english muffin, though I only put it on one of the two slices.


Cardio (treadmill, elliptical, swim, walk, classes etc) 6-7 days a week, 30 minutes minimum every day.

Wow right? Yep. Wow! Well that is now my goal. Last week I made it to the gym 5 times, and if I hadn’t fallen and hurt my knee, I would have been there 6 times. I am trying to set myself in the mindset that even if I can’t do a full workout,  I should be able to get 30 minutes in.  I also think it is easier on me

now that is isn’t dark when I get off work, and I think that it will get even easier IF winter ever ends.  When it is dark and cold.. I just want to go home. This week will be another week of making it 5 times, as I had a candle party to go to last night (anyone want to order some candles??).

Resistance (weight bearing exercises) 3 times a week with a day in between.

I am there. I prefer strength over cardio so even if I only make it 4 days a week, I will do three strength.  We are starting to work with Kettleballs and I am looking forward to do more. Amanda said that a good kettleball workout can burn upto 20 calories a MINUTE! Count me in!

Stretch every day (yoga counts)

Does a stretch while yawning count? No? Then I need to work on it.  I have a series of 4 stretching exercises that I am supposed to be doing but truthfully, if Amanda doesn’t actually write it on my sheet, I don’t think about it. So I have to start working on that.


Drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. Water keeps you hydrated so your body functions properly. It helps flush out  toxins in the body and gives you a feeling of fullness.  Drink a glass of water before you eat. You will be sweating more so you need to be drinking more.  You are properly hydrated when your urine is clear or light yellow.

This is something I struggle with as well. I bought some water bottles that are 20-24 ozs. I bought Brita water pitchers for both work and home. I do best on days I work when I go to the gym. I probably get close to 60 oz on those days, however Amanda has told me she would like me to have about 70+ oz of water so I am not there. One days off, if I don’t go to the gym, I might be lucky if I get in 20 ozs. I had gotten back on a Diet Dr. Pepper kick and that was causing me to drink less water, but I haven’t had one of those for about 5 days so my water drinking is increasing due to not drinking 20 oz a pop at night.


The average adult should be getting 8 hours of sleep.  Our body needs time to recover physically, mentally and emotionally. We need a consistant sleep pattern to keep hormones in check. If we don’t get enough sleep or are stressed, our body actually produces a hormone that promotes fat.

I am a fat promoter. The sleep thing is really hard for me. For 20+ yrs I was a night person and stayed up all night. Now I go to work at 7:30am. I am lucky if I get to bed by 12:30am. By Thursday and Friday evening, I am so tired that I often fall asleep on the couch watching TV by 10pm. On weekends I can easily get 12+ hrs of sleep a night.  So my sleep pattern never becomes a pattern. This is something that people who aren’t night people do not understand.  Everyone tells me “Just go to bed earlier” but it is far from that easy. A 20+ pattern in your life is hard to break. I would love to break it so that I am not sleeping on the couch every friday night, and it is something I struggle with weekly, daily. And buying a laptop didn’t help!

New Assignment: Sugar Overload

Last week Amanda gave me a six page handout called Sugar Overload. I have thumbed through it, but I need to set down and read it, since it is my next “homework” assignment..and it’s probably due on Friday.  Maybe my next blog post will be all about it, but it seems like a little bit of  Homework Overload to me!


The Enemy Returns: The Bosu is back!

Why won’t this thing leave me alone!!!

It’s back.. and it’s mocking me…

BOSU Balance Trainer Home

Look at it. It’s the face.. or at least the half-ball… of evil.

So I go to meet Amanda. Weigh in day, you know. My best guess is that maybe the new exercise plan will be flexibility. However  Amanda has other plans.  Like the Bosu of Death.

Amanda was recently featured in a local weekly newspaper as she for one of the teams in a “Biggest Loser” type contest this paper sponsors. In her interview, when asked what one of her favorite things in the gym to use, she said those evil words. The Bosu.

Now, okay.. I didn’t meet my weight loss goal this month. I missed it by
.4 lbs. Yes, 4/10 of a pound. I wouldn’t have thought that would lead to
this.. not this workout! Ack!!!
This new workout has BOSU written all over it. ALL OVER IT.  Literally.

Okay here is the plan:

1 One the mat: Modified Planks & Modified side planks.
2- The Bosu. I have to do a single arm chest press while standing on one leg on
the bosu.  Yes, your read that right! I have to get up on the bosu, my back
to the cable machine, stand on one leg, and pull my arm forward.
Here’s the deal. Last time I had to do this, it was on two legs and I still couldn’t
successfully stay on the bosu for 20 reps.  Because your back is to the machine and the stack of weights,  it pulls you backwards and because you
are standing on a half ball full of air, it often succeeds. Now do it on one foot.
Needless to say, by the end of the first set, Amanda crossed “one foot” off my
3- Next, because we don’t want to leave the bosu lonely, we are going to do
lunges with the bosu.  So step on the ball with one foot, lunge, step back.
Easy enough.  Sure okay..
4- Back on the bosu and back on one foot. Arg. This time it is for one arm
rows, so  the cable machine, and luckily, facing the machine.
I didn’t fall off twice for ever rep this time, but I didn’t trust myself to put
my foot too high up, and I didn’t trust myself to leave it up longer than two
reps at a time.
5- And then we finally get to walk away from the bosu (for now!) and go to the
stability ball, roll out on my back and do skull crunches with a 20 lb bar bell.
Doing 20 reps this time instead of 10 like last time. Whew..
6- Now lets take that ball to the mat and do ham string curls. Lay down
on your back, feet planted on the ball and hips in the air. Roll the ball towards
you and then back out. I could really feel that in my hamstrings today!
7- And lastly, because you don’t want to say goodbye to your enemies
too soon.. back to the bosu.  This time I am getting on the floor, laying with my back on the bosu, so my lower back hits the top of the bosu, and doing

So that’s the plan. For the next two weeks. It can’t end soon enough.

Also Amanda told me that they are running a February special for personal training and since I see her twice a month for 30 minutes at $30 a session, she can offer me an additional 5 sessions for $15 each, so that I could meet with her once a week, instead of every other week.  So by taking that package, I would get to work out once a week for approximately 2 and a half months. I am certainly going to do it. I have tried to ramp up the number of times a week I workout (tomorrow will be day #5 this week) as well as ramping up my cardio, I think this is something that will really help push me also.

I am now 20 lbs away from the lowest I hit when I did weight watchers 5 years ago, and I really want to get past that mark, and get on with it.

That’s the plan. I’m ready. Bosu or no Bosu.

The Workout Whine

I haven’t been blogging much because I feel like a failure. A big fat (literally!) failure.  Full of impending doom! And gloom! And more doom!

Maybe that is because it’s weigh-in week. Arg. Friday is the day.  I need to dress in nothing but chiffon that day.. or is there an even lighter fabric I could wear?

Do they make workout clothes in Tulle?

I remember when I was in Weight Watchers, they had a little sign at each weigh-in station “You must leave your clothes on to weigh in”. Really? Do I gotta?

Maybe I will weigh all my work out clothes Thursday night to make sure I am wearing the least weight.

Maybe I need to quit obsessing so.

I am looking forward to Friday though because I will get a new workout.  This current one is “strength” and it is a killer. Literally! I am sure by the time I get to the end of each set and go to do skull crushers I am going to crush my skull! She moved me from a 15lb dumbbell to a 20 for them. Wow. Luckily when it is strength week, I only have to do a set of 10 instead of 20. This is sort of what I am talking about except with a single weigh, hands on each end:

She also has me using a 20 for my chest press, and I am thinking I might drop that 20 on my chest and bruise a lung or two. One these I am doing one arm at a time:

That’s not the worst though. I have to do this one exercise  where I step up on a step platform, do a bi-cep curl and then move one arm over my head. Not only did she move the weight up to 15 this time, but she added a riser on to the step so now I do it with three risers.

11-26-09 013


So for me, I am leading with the right leg, stepping up to a platform up on 3 risers, doing my bicep curl, and then extending the right arm up over my head. Bring that down and step down, then repeat but lead with left leg and extend  the left arm. I have a weaker left leg from a fall a few years ago, and so leading with the left is hard for me.

Here’s the style of step, this one has 2 risers:

See full size image

Most of the other stuff I have is just normal, nothing too much to whine about.

Single leg press -like this except laying flat and only one leg at a time- 70 lbs:

See full size image

Hamstring curl:

A standing row:

Body Solid G1S Standing Row

Oh and my pre-strength stuff is 30 mins of cardio (elliptical) and then 60 seconds modified plank:

30 seconds a side on side planks:

Side Plank Exercise
And then after my strength, I do crunches with a 15 lb kettle ball

And then my reverse crunches

After doing two sets of everything (I do set of 20 of the two crunches) I am one exhausted and sweaty chick! My cats are lucky that I don’t come home and crumple in a little ball.  No, I feed them and then crumple in a little ball.

I don’t know what Amanda has on schedule for me on Friday, but I fear it’s going to be one of those weeks were I do cardio intervals after every two exercises. I was lucky I was able to walk after those last time!

Well I hope I didn’t get too Copy and Paste happy with the pictures. I just like to actually show what it is that I am doing. I also don’t know why that step picture took so much white space, but it won’t let me delete it. *sigh*

If I survive Friday, I will report in!