Tuesday, September 25, 2007

reflections on my 30 day challenge: NO FRIED FOOD!

I want to say that this challenge sucked. However, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. There was no magic formula. I just gave up fried food. I knew there was an end, and that was that. I did blow it after two weeks because of my best friend's wedding. However, when I went back on the challenge, I did it for 30 days straight.

Some important lessons learned:

The fried food I love so much doesn't taste all that great. For example, I recently had some french fries and they just weren't as yummy as I had remembered. Maybe it's because I also have Dr. Hans's analogy about french fries being equivalent to cigarettes. Ew!

I can actually feel how it affects my body.
My workouts are slower and I don't look forward to doing them as much as I'd like to. It's true that food does affect your performance. Although the challenge hasn't made me the perfect eater, it's made me aware of the food choices I make. Granted, since the challenge has been over, I've been devouring bad food like a bandit. However, I'm aware of what's available, what alternatives I have and the choices I now consciously make.

There is life without deep, battered fried food. Granted, this life may not be as fun :) But if you need to, you can easily find non-fried food alternatives. It's important to note that those alternatives may not be healthier, which is why eating well entails more than just cutting out something really bad like fried food. When I ate out or was out with friends/family at social events, I just pretended that I was allergic to fried food and that eating the stuff would make me break out in hives. This is a pretty good strategy :)

Discipline will take you far. Yeah. That's what it takes for someone like me to stay away from fried food for 30 days. UGH!

On October 1st, I'm starting my next challenge. Part of my next challenge is incorporating the previous one. What I'm trying to do is ultimately incorporate better eating habits. I'll talk more about my next challenge in another post. For now, on October 1st I will limit my fried food intake to just once a week - a cheat day, if you will. And that's just to prevent me from feeling deprived. I'm going to hold on to this fried food only once a week policy for as long as I can. I'm going to maintain it by keeping a food journal.

By the way, I finally upgraded my planner system and did the daily pages. Since the pages start in October, that's when my food journal starts :) Granted, I'm not much for endorsements, but I have to say that I'm lovin' my Covey planner. It's helping me gage my daily activities and making me feel more functional. I'm also feeling more accomplished because I begin and end each day with my nerdy checklists. Thank heaven for nerd gear! ha ha ha!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

Row 1000 meters
Deadlift Therapy

Complete 7 rounds for time of
10 deadlifts (bodyweight)
15 tuck jumps
Run 100m

Joanne's final time - 15:32 95# deadlift
Theo's final time - 11:32 65# deadlift

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
This was a pretty short workout. I'm sure my back is going to pay the price because deadlifts just do that to me. Again, this is one of those WODs where I wish there wasn't a time factor going on because I really want and need to practice on my form. Jolie taught the class and I thought she did a great job because she really mixes it up by incorporating stretching and is a stickler for form, which I really need.

Nikko didn't think much of this workout. He likes workouts that are a little lengthier and harder. I told him that this is one of those workouts where form is important. Plus, it changes things up after having so many longer workouts in a row. The day before, he did the Blackjack workout with push-ups and sit-ups. He hated it. ha ha ha!

Monday, September 17, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

1000 meter row
THREE Rounds:
Samson Stretch
10 Deadlifts
10 Shoulder rolls
10 Push press
10 Thrusters

WOD: Kelly
Complete five rounds for time of:
Run 400m
30 box jumps 12" box
30 wall balls 8#

Joanne's final time - 41:47

And then...
Three Rounds:
25 Sit-ups
25 Back Extensions

100 Twisters

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
This was a tough workout! As Brad says, it's never as easy as it looks on the board. Not that I thought it would be easy. This was definitely tough. It took me longer than I anticipated to finish. I think I chose a good box height and wall ball weight. I usually do 10# wall ball, but with this many reps, I knew I had to scale it down. 8# was perfect. I don't think I need to go heavier on the box jumps. This is primarily because I'm afraid to fall with a higher box. Also, I'm not a big fan of plyos. Maybe if I were smaller I'd feel differently. For now, 12" is plenty to jump 150 times!

I was way too tired to do a proper "And then..." My legs hurt so much that I plopped off the GHD machine and did stuff on the floor. Even then, I only did two out of the three rounds, and didn't do twisters at all. I'm not that bummed because I usually skip the "And then..."

OWMA Quotable Quote
"This f---ing sucks!"
- Joanne

Thursday, September 13, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

FIVE rounds of:
Run 100 meters
5 sprawls
Samson stretch
30 second cobra
30 second bent over stretch

WOD: The Crossfit One World Circle of Death
Complete the following circuit TWICE for time. You may start at any exercise, but you must follow the prescribed order.

Row 500m
20 kettlebell swings 20#
20 band assisted pull-ups
20 push-ups (on knees)
20 knees to elbows (on back)
20 wall balls 10#
20 d-ball slams 12#
20 GHD back extensions

Joanne's final time - 26:37

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
This was a tough workout. I wasn't even going to go. However, I missed my spin class because 5:30am is just too freakin' early. It used to start at 5:45 am, but those 15 minutes really make a difference! Anway... Instead of being a lazy ass, I decided to get my ass up and get to the WOD. This is my fourth WOD this week. I realize that there was a time when I went as often as 4-5 times a week! The past year I've been nothing but a lazy ass. It's true. CrossFit is a great workout system because it covers so many bases. It's also great for cross-training if you're training in a particular sport. Nikko can attest to this.

Anyway... I've decided to try to commit to 3-4 CrossFit workouts a week. If I do anything, it's CrossFit with my yoga and dance. To me, that's a balanced routine.

Again, the workout was tough, but I think I can push certain areas like: kettle bells (I'll try 25# next time) and wall balls (I'll try 12" next time). At some point, I need to try full plank push-ups and as I said this week, get better at the pull-ups. Right now, I've got that CrossFit soreness. UGH!

OWMA Quotable Quote
"This CAN'T be good for you!"
- newbie Shawn complaining about the workout

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

1000 meter row
THREE rounds of:
Samson Stretch
10 Shoulder rolls
10 Shoulder presses
10 Push presses
10 Medicine ball deadlifts (6#)
10 Medicine ball sit-ups (6#)
10 Supermans

Complete five rounds for time of:
Run 200m
10 25# push press
40 mountain climbers
25 Abmat sit-ups

Joanne's final time - 20:27
Theo's final time - 13:38 (12# dumb bells)
Marc's final time - 15:41 (12# dumb bells)

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
This was one of those workouts where I wished I did no time clock because I wanted to push the weight and work on form. The site prescribed 25# dumb bells for women. I used the bar because (1) I don't like using dumb bells and (2) there weren't enough dumb bells to go around. It would have been better if I did a 45# or 50# bar. There were only 10 reps, so I think I really could have pushed it, adding a few minutes to my final time, which is not a big deal.

Ideally, I like to take at least 25 minutes to finish the WOD. If the WOD is easier, I like to take time to work on pushing weight and focusing on form. It's just hard to do that when everyone else is speeding through the workout. I just need to remember this for the future.

I took Nikko and Marc to the workout. I was glad to see Marc there because his first WOD devastated him. They both did great. This WOD gave Nikko a sense of what kind of weight he can push. I get the feeling that he likes the workouts more and more as he does them.

OWMA Quotable Quote
"The size of the ball doesn't matter."
- Freddy

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

Row 1000 meters
THREE Rounds of:
Samson Stretch
10 Shoulder rolls
10 Overhead squats
10 GHD sit-ups
10 GHD back extensions
10 Dips

Complete as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes of:
5 band assisted pull-ups
10 push-ups (on knees)
15 squats

Joanne's final count - 13 rounds + up to 6 push-ups
Nikko's final count - 16 rounds (as RX'd with full pull-ups and push-ups)
Margaret's final count - 10 rounds + up to 4 squats (modified with jumping pull-ups)

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
I'm proud of my performance today. I definitely need to work on those band assisted pull-ups. I'm having a hard time getting my chin over the bar. This just tells me that I need to develop my upper body strength. At some point I need to practice doing full plank push-ups. This will happen when I get back on a more consistent CrossFit groove. According to my site, I've done this workout at least twice before. Both times I did it with jumping pull-ups which go a little faster than the band assisted pull-ups. Today's performance is the most I've completed. Though I felt winded afterwards, during the workout I didn't take too many breaks, which is a good sign :)

Today I brought Nikko and Margaret to the workout. They both did great! It gave Nikko the chance to work on his pull-ups, which is what he's been wanting to do. Margaret really pulled through and I'm hoping this gets her out of the workout funk she says she's been in.

OWMA Quotable Quote
"F--k you, Joanne!"
- Margaret realizes who she should really be mad at!

Monday, September 10, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

Row 1000 meters
THREE rounds of:
Samson Stretch
10 Shoulder press
10 Shoulder rolls
10 Overhead Squats
10 Sit-ups
!0 Back Extensions
10 Push-ups

WOD: "Nancy"
Complete five rounds for time of:
Run 400m
15 overhead squats 35#

Joanne's final time - No time recorded.

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
As with all CrossFit workouts, this one was difficult. I thought that the 35# weight was good enough for me. This workout taught me the importance of form. Jolie warned that my shoulders may be sore the next day because I kept leaning forward. In fact, during the second round, I unexpectedly dropped the weight because of bad form. I didn't want to decrease the weight because I knew it was heavy enough. For next time, I know that I need to be better at keeping my back arched and sticking my butt out more. This will help me avoid leaning forward. Also, I need to keep my arms wide and try to grip with my four fingers over the thumb for better stability. Keeping a relaxed grip is also important because my fingers were a little numb from by death grip!

For this workout, I had the pleasure of bringing Margaret with me. She did great, finishing an entire round ahead of me. She modified by using a 4# ball and squatting on a red box. No time was recorded for Margaret. Congrats to Margaret for surviving the workout and for saying her infamous words to Freddy :) Yea!

OWMA Quotable Quote
"F--k you Freddy!"
- Margaret claims that one of the reasons why she wanted to check out CrossFit at One World is to have the right to say "F--k you Freddy!" I'm glad her dream came true yesterday. Freddy's response? "Damn! You are Joanne's friend!"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Five Absolute Worst Foods You Can Eat

I received this in an email from my chiropractor. This is good advice. Also, just to remind you all, I am ONE WEEK away from accomplishing my 30 day challenge of NO FRIED FOOD! Woo hoo! Though the information below should be a warning to me about pigging out on the fried food, I'm going to have to announce that on September 17th, and possibly the 18th, I'm going to have to go on a fried food binge. I can't even begin to tell you how hard 30 days without fried food has been. (It's actually been longer because remember the two weeks before I failed and had to start over? UGH!) Anyway... cheers to health and less fried food in our systems!

The Five Absolute Worst Foods You Can Eat
There are no "bad" foods, right? Only food you should eat in moderation? Well, not really. The following foods are so bad for your body that I really can’t see any reason to eat them. Not only do they have zero nutritional value, but they also give your body a healthy dose of toxins, which should make the idea of eating them really hard to swallow.

Doughnuts are fried, full of sugar and white flour and most all varieties contain trans fat. Store-bought doughnuts are made up of about 35 percent to 40 percent trans fat.

An average doughnut will give you about 200 to 300 calories, mostly from sugar, and few other nutrients.

It’s too bad that Americans view doughnuts as a breakfast food as, nutritionally speaking, eating a doughnut is one of the worst ways to start off your day. It will throw off your blood sugar and won't stay with you so you'll be hungry again soon. You are better off eating no breakfast at all.


One can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites. I can't think of any good reason to ever have it. The diet varieties are also problematic as they are filled with harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

Studies have linked soda to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease, yet the average American drinks an estimated 56 gallons of soft drinks each year. Plus, drinking all that sugar will likely suppress your appetite for healthy foods, which pave the way for nutrient deficiencies.

Soft drink consumption among children has almost doubled in the United States over the last decade, which is not surprising considering that most school hallways are lined with soda-filled vending machines.

Schools often make marketing deals with leading soft drink companies such as Coca-Cola from which they receive commissions--based on a percentage of sales at each school--and sometimes a lump-sum payment, in exchange for their students’ health. School vending machines can increase the consumption of sweetened beverages by up to 50 or more cans of soda per student per year.

If you routinely drink soda--regular or diet--eliminating it from your diet is one of the simplest and most profound health improvements you can make.

French Fries (and Nearly All Commercially Fried Foods)
Potatoes are bad enough when consumed in their raw state, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to glucose that raises insulin levels and can devastate your health. But when they are cooked in trans fat at high temperatures, all sorts of interesting and very unpleasant things occur.

Anything that is fried, even vegetables, has the issue of trans fat and the potent cancer-causing substance acrylamide.

Foods that are fried in vegetable oils like canola, soybean, safflower, corn, and other seed and nut oils are particularly problematic. These polyunsaturated fats easily become rancid when exposed to oxygen and produce large amounts of damaging free radicals in the body. They are also very susceptible to heat-induced damage from cooking. What is not commonly known is that these oils can actually cause aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer and weight gain. You can read the article "Secrets of the Edible Oil Industry" for more information.

It is theoretically possible to create a more "healthy" French fry if you cook it in a healthy fat like virgin coconut oil. Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is extremely stable and is not damaged by the high temperatures of cooking. This is why coconut oil should be the only oil you use to cook with.

I am fond of telling patients that one French fry is worse for your health than one cigarette, so you may want to consider this before you order your next ‘Biggie’ order.


Most commercial chips, and this includes corn chips, potato chips, tortilla chips, you name it, are high in trans fat. Fortunately, some companies have caught on to the recent media blitz about the dangers of trans fat and have started to produce chips without trans fat.

However, the high temperatures used to cook them will potentially cause the formation of carcinogenic substances like acrylamide, and this risk remains even if the trans fat is removed.

Fried Non-Fish Seafood
This category represents the culmination of non-healthy aspects of food. Fried shrimp, clams, oysters, lobsters, and so on have all the issues of trans fat and acrylamide mentioned above, plus an added risk of mercury.

Seafood is loaded with toxic mercury and shellfish like shrimp and lobsters can be contaminated with parasites and resistant viruses that may not even be killed with high heat. These creatures, considered scavenger animals, consume foods that may be harmful for you.

Eating these foods gives you a quadruple dose of toxins--trans fat, acrylamide, mercury and possibly parasites or viruses--with every bite.

If you have a taste for seafood, there’s an easy solution. It’s best to avoid your local fish fry and try the only fish I now eat--the delicious wild red Alaskan salmon that was proven through independent lab testing to be free of harmful levels of mercury and other contaminants.


On Friday after my yoga-belly dance routine, I stayed after to chat with some of the gals there. One of the gals (she's one of the best dancers in the room; though green with envy, I can give props when deserved) mentioned that she was going to do the Nike Women's Marathon in SF. I was hoping to sign up for the half this year, but I didn't because I stupidly thought I was going to be in the Philippines. (Yeah. Long story. If you're that curious, write me and I'll tell you the uninteresting details!) Anyway... I asked the gal how her training was going, and she said that she's been training since May. I asked her what her mileage was so far and she said that she hasn't run more than 5 miles.

5 miles?! Does she not realize that a MARATHON is 26.2 MILES?! It's over a month away and she hasn't run over 5 MILES at a time so far?! Is she f---in' CRAZY?!

This conversation sparked the rant that is about to come up. To her credit, I don't know what the gal's situation or circumstance is. Therefore, I will preface this rant by mentioning that what I say may not be fair. Oh well...

I'm irritated by her training because she seemed to be so dismissive of what a marathon is. For your information, it's 26.2 miles of blissful hell. Ya feel me folks?! Also, the glory of training for a marathon - your first one at that - is the training process, not the marathon itself. In fact, the actual race is like the cherry on a sundae. You've already gone through the good stuff. All that's left is that one last cherry. So I feel sorry for the gal. But more so, her approach simply irritates me. A marathon is a bonafide sport. To me, when you commit to a race, you have to respect it. You have to honor the sport, commit to the training, and simply do it. Even Lance Armstrong trained for his marathon. And this gal thinks she doesn't have to? Where the hell do people come off?!

To me, it's not a matter of winning, it's a matter of honoring and respecting the sport, that's all. So her leisurely 5 mile runs and her leaning on the hope that (1) the organizers will let her do the half marathon instead of the full marathon (2) that she's in shape, so a marathon isn't that big a deal, truly bothers me. It insults me as a former marathoner and fathlete. Plus, she thinks she can go down to a half marathon with her 5 mile training. Hello! It's still a f---in' sport! There's still a huge distance between 5 miles and 13.1 miles! In our conversation, she seemed to be under the impression that the pace you start with is going to be the same pace you have throughout the race. Hello?! At some point, your body loses its energy and stamina, so your starting pace is usually slower than your end pace (the exceptions are the elite athletes). Some folks just don't get it. Such blasphemy and disrespect. UGH!

This is obviously a lost cause and a waste of my energy. However, it's hitting me that the reason why this conversation really bothered me is that (much to the dismay of "true" athletes) I consider myself an athlete. To me, being an athlete is a state of mind and body. I workout on a regular basis. Though I don't specialize in any particular sport, I respect the sports that I do engage in - be it CrossFit, spinning, yoga, dance, running, martial arts... I respect those sports and the role I play in those sports. Exercise is a part of my everyday lifestyle. That my body is still soft has nothing to do with me being an athlete. At the end of the day, I consider myself an athlete. This is why this gal irks me. Anyway... end rant. Here's a treat for you.

Blast from the Past: Can you believe it's been two years since the marathon?! This is me with coach Rex during our trial marathon in San Francisco.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


So yesterday I was choppin' it up with some folks after yoga and belly dance. Among the list of riveting topics was running because one of the gals was going to do the Nike Women's Marathon in October.

One of the things we talked about was how running made us gain, instead of lose weight. When I did the marathon, I gained 10 pounds. Although people told me that I looked like I lost weight, the reality was I actually gained weight. I jokingly told the gals and my yoga teacher that, "Underneath all this fat is some lean mean muscle. The fat is just there so you all can feel normal."

We had a good laugh about my silly joke. But my yoga teacher chimed in and said, "It's true. I believe that about you, Joanne." Huh? She continued, "Yes, when I see you dance, I'm always expecting to see more jiggling from you. But I don't see as much flesh moving. It tells me that you have a really solid build underneath."

Yeah. I know this is a really odd thing to share. But my yoga/belly dance teacher's comments were striking to me in a few ways. (1) She paid more attention to my body than I thought she did. (2) She understood and saw my body in ways that even I don't see it. This is what I appreciate about her.

So yes. Though I bitch and moan about my fleshy body all the time. I'm glad to know that someone thinks that I'm not nearly as fleshy as I think I am. Make sense? Hmph.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

5 Rounds of:
Run 100 meters
5 burpees
Samson Stretch
30 second bar hang
30 second bent over hang

WOD: Row, Row, Row from hell...
Row 500m for total calories burned five times. Rest no more than three minutes between attempts. Post total calories burned for all five rows to comments.

Theo's Final Count - 31/32/32/32/32 Total - 159
Joanne's Final Count - 26/26/26/27/28 Total - 133

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
I had a lot of fun working out with my nephew, and wish he could train more with me. I forget how great it is to have a training partner, since I do all my workouts alone. We both agree that working out is about doing, and not about winning or beating everyone. It's great to hear that from someone who is so competitive. I brought him and Marc to last week's workout, where they had to do walking knee lunges for 400 meters. They asked me why I didn't workout with them and I said, "Because I need you two to still respect me!" Much to my surprise, Theo was happy that I worked out with him today. Good times.

It had been a while since I worked out in the afternoon and I forget how popular CrossFit has become. Also, the folks are still great! By the way... though I haven't been doing full-on burpees with the push-ups, I've been doing sprawls, which is a big thing for me because I hate those things - or anything related to burpees. Yea for me!

Finally, Freddy posted the top three male and female performers of the day. Though it didn't last long, there was a 30 minute period where I made the top 3. It was the most glorious 30 minutes of my CrossFit life. ha ha ha!

OWMA Quotable Quote
"Konichiwa Motherf---ers!"
- Joanne screaming for joy when she reached 28 calories

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

CrossFit One World W.O.T.D.

Apologies. Forgot to record.

Complete 5 rounds for time of:
Run 400m
20 d-ball slams (12# for the first 4 rounds, 8# for the last round - someone put my 12# ball away and I didn't have the time to reclaim it.)
20 knees to elbows (on the floor)

Joanne's final time - 29:46