Tag Archives: Motivation

Smoke’s KB 556 Challenge Results

Smoke’s KB 556 Challenge Results

Posted on 12. Jul, 2009 by .


When I woke up this morning, I instantly knew that this is not going to be one of my usual lazy Sundays. After all, I have agreed to do Smoke’s KB 556 Challenge. At first glance, this challenge did not look bad at all. In fact, I thought I was going to smoke it (no pun intended). But, after I did my first round, I started writing this on my workout journal: “what did I get myself into?” I guess I agreed to this challenge because I wanted a little push today. This is also a great way to keep up your motivation when you don’t feel like working out.

So, here is how my challenge went down:

KB555v2.0 (fasted i.e. before eating breakfast)

*100 One hand KB Swings with 12 kg Kettlebell
*50 Prisoner Squats
*25 Stability Ball Rollouts
*50 Bodyweight squats
*35 Pushups (it’s not a typo, 35 pushups was my max this time)

….faints and falls on the living room floor

Total time: 8 minutes, 47 seconds

I was so “smoked” that I was not able to do a second round of this.

Run 2 miles non-stop on the treadmill –> total time: 22:08

I’ve got to be honest that I’ve been so focused on my Kettlebell training for the RKC that I haven’t been doing much body weight exercises unless I have to teach it to my boot campers.

The same thing goes for running. Since KB swings and snatches can be considered “cardio,” I decided that I didn’t want to potentially overtrain so I had to forgo running altogether. But, I realized that it won’t be too bad if I did intervals twice a week for conditioning. I was just glad that I foam rolled my calves and TFL before I ran because I probably would’ve experienced some cramping while running if I didn’t.

Lessons Learned

Having realized that I’ve neglected to perform some of the most basic exercises, my plan is to put them back into my routine even if I have to do them on my off days. Basically, I would perform push ups whenever I have some down time or want to take a break from anything that I’m doing.

Another thing that I started doing yesterday is putting up my Iron Gym at the top of the bathroom door. In this way, every time I pass by it, I would perform a chin up or two. I want to continue doing this until I can bust out several chin ups in succession.

My Reward

Since I did this challenge in the fasted state, I was so looking forward to my breakfast (or brunch at this point)

  • One Eggland’s Best Omega-3 Egg
  • One Protein Pancake
  • 3 slices Hormel Natural Choice Ham

Overall, it was a great start to a day. Now, I’m off to the dog beach in Berkeley to spoil my dog for a few hours.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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Better than Prozac?

Posted on 09. Mar, 2009 by .


The other day I woke up feeling like blah. It was one of those days when you don’t feel like doing anything or getting up from bed, especially if the first task of the day is to go to the gym. It was a Sunday after all and, to me, there’s something about Sundays that makes me just want to chill. I gotta admit that it’s not my favorite day of the week. Yes, most of us don’t work on Sundays but, this day is not like Friday or Saturday which are days when you don’t have to go to work the next day. Maybe it’s also the fact that my Sundays are pretty much filled with a bunch of things that I need to finish to get ready for the upcoming work week.

So, the all too familiar debate of whether or not to go to the gym ran in my head for several minutes until I found myself getting dressed and drinking my protein shake before I can even convince myself that it’s ok to take the day off from the gym.

I was glad that I did.

This was what I was feeling before I went to the gym: tired, thinking that life sucks, overwhelmed by all the things I needed to do, dreading the day ahead etc.

Now, this was what I felt after I left the gym: energized, life is great, looking forward to doing all the things that I need to do etc.

In fact, I felt so good that after my usual strength training and intervals, I went home and walked my puppy for a mile, I baked some yummy (but healthy) muffins, cooked dinner, cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen, and the dishwasher, gave my puppy a bath, packed my food for Monday and a bunch of other things. Wow! Seeing all that written down makes me seem like the Energizer bunny. What’s more amazing is – that is really how I felt.

Is it better than Prozac? Well, I can’t say that for everyone because some people really need prescription medication to treat certain problems but, it certainly wouldn’t hurt a lot of people if they just add some form of exercise to their lifestyle. Besides the possibility of having a nice, lean body, the mood elevating effects of exercises can be very gratifying — that is, if you worked hard enough to get the HGH flush (read this post by Rusty Moore for more info about the HGH flush).

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like pain. I’m not a masochist in any shape or form but, working hard and kicking my butt in the gym gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure while Adrenalin gives you that feeling of satisfaction. Taking the geeky terms out of the equation – this just means that I drag myself to the gym because of its mood enhancing effects while taking into account that these effects are completely different from the leisurely act of giving in to a craving. But, it is a healthier and enjoyable alternative nonetheless.

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Weight Loss and Social Support

Posted on 21. Jan, 2009 by .


Weekends are, by far, my worst enemy when it comes to eating unhealthy foods. Sometimes, my nutrition during the week would be spotless – lean proteins, vegetables, good carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, eat 5-6 meals a day, etc. Then, the weekend comes. All of a sudden, I lose my self-control. I give in to cravings and want to eat everything that I see on t.v. and on the restaurant menus.

Does this sound like you too?

Help is out there. Don't give up!

Help is out there. Don't give up!

It is a pretty common phenomenon among people who just started (heck, even long-timers like me) eating healthy or dieting for weight loss. Also, cravings are particularly difficult to resist if you are on a reduced-calorie diet. In addition, there is this idea in our heads that we want to reward ourselves for “being good” throughout the week that we want to have dessert, pizza, or whatever your cravings might throw at you. While one slice of pizza or sharing a dessert with a friend is fine, one cheat meal turns into a cheat day most of the time.

I have had a good two weeks of having good nutrition even over the weekends. But, this past weekend was just a disaster. Yes, I am guilty of the weekend binge. This just goes to show that motivation and will power can only take you so far. One important thing to realize is the value of social support in your quest to become leaner and healthier.

Don’t get me wrong, my husband is definitely supportive of all my efforts. I even enlisted him to keep me away from junk foods and sweets. However, because he loves me, he can’t help but give in to my whining sometimes…haha. Also, he can not completely relate to my situation because he is not going through it himself. So, when support at home is not enough, it is time to look for support outside of it.

After being upset at my actions and uncontrollable cravings, I immediately went to my virtual support group at ttmembers.com. In the members forum, I wrote a gloomy thread about my disastrous nutrition over the weekend. I did this because I needed somebody to pull me back up and say that I can do it even though I was sure that I can. Sometimes, I just had to hear it from people who are going through the same thing and have survived the dilemma. After only a few hours of writing on my thread, other members (who I feel are like my good friends already) responded with their words of support. It was then that I realized how valuable these people are to me because I immediately felt that I was ready to start another week, get back on the health and fitness wagon, and not let another weekend ruin all my efforts. At the same time, when I read other people’s posts and see that they are doing great with their workouts and nutrition, I tend to want to do the same. I just wished that I had posted about my weekend sooner rather than later – at least, not after I had my cheat weekend.

Even if I never meet any of my virtual friends personally, the level of accountability in the forums is high. People really do care to the point that they want you to succeed. I also experience the same thing when I post on the discussion boards at Sparkpeople which is also a great web site to find people who are probably experiencing the same problems/issues as I do.

You can even get more support other than the online forums from your relatives and friends. Although some of them may be truly supportive of your weight loss efforts, others may sabotage them (directly or indirectly). Very few of my friends and relatives were supportive. Having said this, my success was moslty met with a hint of jealousy. For instance, if I haven’t seen people after awhile and they noticed that I lost some weight, they usually point out the negatives. They would say things like, “your butt looks smaller” or “you look like you’re too skinny for your height” etc. Note that they are saying all these things when I had about 21% body fat but I looked skinnier because I was more toned (less fat, more muscle). I used to take their words seriously and even get hurt but now I know better. Now, I take their comments as a validation that I’m doing something right for my health and my body because I can see it through their eyes and I hear it through the words that they are not saying.

If you have the same situation with your friends and relatives as I do, you can find more support if you go to places where people try to live healthier lifestyles. You can meet people at the gym fitness classes, swimming classes, dance classes, etc. Heck, I even befriended my personal trainer! Help is out there and it’s easy to make friends. All you have to do is start the conversation.

That is it for my bit on social support. I can not stress how important this is to my past weight loss success and most likely my future struggles. So, I’ll leave you with this question then, where do you get your social support?

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How to Motivate Yourself to go to the Gym

Posted on 10. Jan, 2009 by .


It is the cold season once again and when sickness hits you, you’re more likely to miss workouts. While I was on the verge of getting a cough and cold on top of an upset stomach on Wednesday, I decided to skip my usual Thursday workout. In this case, I didn’t feel bad about missing my gym workout because I knew that my body needed some rest to recuperate so that it does not give in to sickness.

Missing that workout meant one thing for me, I would have to make it up somehow within this week. So, today I got my butt to the gym and hammered the workout like there’s no tomorrow.  It hasn’t been that difficult for me (lately) to motivate myself to go to the gym because I’ve gotten used to doing it (although I hate going to the gym on Fridays – it’s the end of the week and all I want to do is relax).  But, when I first started out, it was so tough to do that. I usually end up missing 1-2 workouts a week which pretty much as good as not going.

So, tonight I look back at my train of thought when I try to motivate myself to go to the gym.


You’ve probably heard of this strategy over and over again but it’s a strategy worth mentioning.  I visualize myself having the abs that I’ve always wanted.  Specifically, I want some abs that I wouldn’t mind showing off in a nice bikini while vacationing somewhere exotic.  I don’t want six-pack abs.  I’m ok with a little pouch in my lower abs just not a balloon!  Being specific really helps out a lot here because it makes the image more clear in your head which makes you want it even more.


Before I went to bed yesterday, I wrote in my online workout log in the TT Members Forumthat I was going to make up for my workout tonight. Knowing in the back of my mind that I have people to be accountable to and are waiting for me to deliver my promises really does make me want to fulfill this particular promise.  The same goes for nutrition as well but that is a totally different story which will require a LOT more posts.

One Workout at a Time

This is a big motivator for me.  My mindset right now is this: each workout that I perform leads me closer to my goals, help me burn more fat, and makes me stronger.  On the other hand, each workout that I miss sets me back.  Now, if you have a deadline such as a transformation contest or maybe you set one for yourself, time is ticking!  Another reason may be that you want to wear that smaller size bikini or a hot looking wet suit by summer. Whatever your reason is, a deadline helps a lot. 

Post-workout Shake

Many scientific studies have proven that eating/drinking foods with a combination of carbohydrates and protein help your body recover from an intense workout especially if they’re consumed at 2-3 hours after it.  So, I make myself a nice strawberry, banana, and chocolate protein powder smoothie (ala Jamba Juice) which I look forward to every now and then.  Even a cup of low-fat chocolate milk is a satisfying reward after a nice gym session. Be creative by making a smoothie concoction of your own with your favorite fruits and protein powder. The possibilities are endless!

I can tell you many other things that I use to motivate myself to go to the gym but the point is to find a process that works for you.  While some people can wake up one day and decide that they’re not going to miss one workout for the next 3 months, most people (like me) had to go through a long process of developing these mindsets.  It isn’t impossible but it definitely is not easy.

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