Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Get What You Give

I have been on more job interviews in the last two years than I have ever been on in my entire life. What always puzzles me are companies that treat job applicants badly either by ignoring them, miscommunication, dishonesty, or just plain rudeness. It baffles me that companies forget that every applicant is an opportunity to create a brand evangelist. Even if they aren't offered the job, the applicant can come away feeling respected and therefor positive about that company.

If you are a manager or in the HR department of your company, I implore you to remember these things when dealing with job applicants. Treat each other with honesty and respect, and you will get it back in droves.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Forget Faux Fitness Magazines

I recently decided to cancel my subscriptions to Shape, Fitness, and Women's Health magazine. And I have three basic reasons for doing so.

1. The majority of the magazine is devoted to shopping/hair/make-up
2. The models shown are not realistic and tend to all look the same
3. The workouts are not hard core enough

I will renew my favorite fitness magazine, Oxygen (which has solid workouts and crazy fit fitness models), and I have added a subscription for Men's Health. MH has solid, inventive workouts, has simple recipes and since I will never, ever, look like the models in the magazine, I can just enjoy them as eye candy, I mean, instructional aides.

I believe in doing what works best for me. What works best for you when it comes to fitness inspiration?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crank Up Your Body

We will be leaving for a German holiday soon, and I don't want to leave my fitness program behind. It helps my muscles, my heart and my mind. So in preparation for our departure, I have created and practiced a quickie routine I can do every day of our trip, if I so wish.

All you need is an interval timer (my Timex Ironman T59201 watch has one) and a towel or semi-soft surface (for cushioning for push-ups, etc.).

Quick Body Crank
Warm up for 5 minutes by jogging in place/dancing around

Set the interval timer to 30 seconds and start it.

Jog in place*
Single leg burpee
Jog in place
Side leaps
Jog in place
Jog in place
Jog in place
Dancing crab

Every time the interval timer beeps, I move on to the next exercise. I do that exercise as fast as I can safely do it until the timer beeps again. I repeat this whole circuit for a total of 30 minutes. Because of the speed of these moves, I consider this a mostly aerobic workout.

I've done it inside and I also had a lot of fun doing it outside among the apple blossoms. It's fun, it's fast and it kicks my butt!

* Can be replaced with jumping jacks or marching in place depending on your energy level and/or knees.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Make Your Own Weight Vest

About a month ago, I was frustrated with the fact that my quest for fat loss kept stalling. As I lost weight, my body burned less calories, which meant I was having a harder time losing weight. If you want to constantly burn more calories, you basically need to weight more. This is often why people will wear weight vests. As I was contemplating my options for burning more calories, I realized there was another: build more muscle. And as I looked over my workouts of the past few months I was shocked to see that somehow I had transitioned to Barbie (lightweight) weights. I had gotten caught up in the fancy "core training/balance" workouts that require you to stand on one foot, thus guaranteeing I could only lift Barbie weights.

So I made the decision to begin lifting heavier weights. The kind that require me to rest for a minute between sets because they are that heavy. (I always, always err on the side of safety. )

After only a week, I started to feel a difference. My back was stronger and I immediately thought of the scene in the movie, X-Men: Origins, where Wolverine is injected with the (fictitious) metal, Adamantium.

Because I could now feel a strong network of muscles, tendons and ligaments holding me up. But, I kept snapping at my poor husband before our meals. So for the second week, I decided to add an extra 100 calories of protein to each meal of the day (400 calories+1200 calories I was already eating) and that both quelled my snapping and fed my muscles.

My weight has gone up a bit, which can be nerve racking when you have been focusing so much on wanting it to go down, but I keep reminding myself of my goal: strength and fat loss. I know for a fact that I have built muscle, because I can lift more weight than I could in the beginning. And I can see it in my biceps, shoulders and back. I seem to be losing weight in my back and butt, as there are now craters where fat used to be.

My hypothesis is that eventually, I will lose enough fat so that my total weight goes down to the range I have been shooting for. I don't know how long that will take, so I am focusing on enjoying the current positive changes in my body.