Wednesday, December 30, 2009

get low

This is a scene from The Proposal. It just makes me laugh. Enjoy!

Today's Small Victories
1) I ate at Venus, my favorite breakfast place today. There are three things I love about breakfast at Venus: the latte (it's the best I've EVER had; I blame it on the organic whole milk), the home fried potatoes and the morning glory muffin. When I ordered my rancho omelette, I replaced the potatoes and muffin for fresh fruit. I also opted out of the latte. I was trying to be a good girl. fathlete confession: Though it seemed like a tough call, at the end of the meal, I was happy I made the replacement. An omelette doesn't always have to go with potatoes and muffins! Ordering the fruit made the whole meal feel lighter. Plus, the fruit was way prettier than the potatoes!

2) I cut and bound my old food journal and am actively using it as we speak.


CrossFit One World WOD
Complete seven rounds for time of:
10 sumo deadlift high pulls 42#
10 ring dips (modified)

Joanne's Final Time - 9:55

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I REALLY need to work on the ring dips. I did them on the bars today with my feet on a box. I had to cheat a little because I had pain in my shoulder. I was also a little disappointed that I didn't push the weight. Eric said to go 42# and I did. I do wish I pushed it to 53#. Thing is, I have a hard time with the SDHP because if my hips aren't extended, then the bar just crashes into my bust. Also, on the way down, the bar is supposed to be as close to the body as possible. Well, again, this causes problems when one's breasts are in the way.

I've asked numerous people about avoiding hitting your bust during the oly lifts (like this one and the clean). It's the weirdest thing because again, I have to really extend the hips or my bust suffers. No one has given me a valid answer as to what I can do to save my boobies. Yes. I even asked several trainers a while back when I volunteered for the Level II cert. They just looked at me with blank stares - until I showed them my issue with the lifts. They usually responded with, "Yeah, I can see how that's a problem. But I don't know what you're supposed to do about it." Apparently, CrossFit chicks aren't supposed to have breasts. Boo!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

pet peeves

OMG. There are actual stuffed animals called pet peeves. I'm so in the wrong business. Why didn't I think of this?!

Er. Um. After yesterday's post, I should note that I don't mean to be Miss Negative. Some days are just better than others, I guess. Yesterday someone's comments just rubbed me the wrong way and I don't appreciate disruptions in my otherwise cheerful nature. Earlier, I was sitting in a cafe where this random woman decided to take the chair from my table (without asking) to set her computer, book, and jacket down. Granted, it's just me, but she should have at least asked. What if I was waiting for a friend?!

Admittedly, I have a ton of pet peeves (e.g bad drivers who talk on their cell phones, careless people who don't replace the toilet paper when they're the ones who finished the damn roll, ignorant people who make unnecessary judgement calls about things they don't know about.... this list could go on and on). My pet peeves usually involve someone being inconsiderate to others. I'm not perfect. But I do my best to care for the people around me - even if I don't know you. I like to think it's human nature to be nice. Unfortunately, I have yet to learn that my philosophy is not universal.

Today's Small Victories
1) I came up with a GREAT idea for New Year's and goal planning.
2) I showed up to the gym.
3) I worked on hanging on the bar. I'm getting pretty good! Starting tomorrow I'm doing band work. I'm getting that damn pull-up!

1000 meter row
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD: Grace
Complete 30 reps of clean and overhead for time. 73#

Joanne's Final Time - 6:25

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I hate myself for forgetting my ipod. AGAIN! I actually like Grace. According to my search, the last time I did Grace I did it with 68# and finished in under 8 minutes. I'm really happy with tonight's time. Eric says that if he were coaching me through it, I could have shaved off a minute. I think he may be right. But we won't tell him that. For the next Grace, I think I can push it to 78# or 83#.

Monday, December 28, 2009

the vegetarian myth

Ever since I saw the review of this book on MDA, I've been curious to read it. However, it's going to take a little time because my reading list is out of my eyeballs right now. I like how The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith appeals to people who currently are or have been vegetarian or vegan for moral purposes (e.g. The idea that killing is bad). In fact, Keith is a former moral vegetarian who is now a full on meat eater. The book seems to be a journey as to why she decided to switch over. I love that Keith uses this book as a personal journal and political manifesto about food and the environment. She seems to have a enviro-feminist edge, which I totally dig!

I like MDA's review of The Vegetarian Myth because he differentiates the moral vegetarians and the elite vegetarians and explains where this book falls. Yes, MDA recognizes how vegetarianism can be about class as opposed to actual health! Keith (the author) seems to make a compelling argument about morality, the environment, and health with respect to eating meat. Granted, I'm not advocating that people give up being vegetarian or vegan, but Keith's work seems to shed some light on the situation. This is what makes this book a compelling read to me, and one that I'm listing on my amazon wish list!

Don't get me wrong. I have no problems with vegetarians. In fact, my roomie is a vegetarian and we get along wonderfully. My problem is when vegetarianism becomes a thing of the elite. In fact, I did a veggie rant here. For me, food is culture. So when obnoxious people like this decide it's cute to make throw-up noises when we're talking about Filipino food, please don't be mad when you find me throwing my f--king shoe at your ignorance. (That's how mad stuff like that makes me: I'll throw my f--king shoe as opposed to my plain old shoe at you!)

fathlete confession: I have issues with ignorant people who make borderline racist statements about food they feel is uncivilized. I hate it even more when they mask their borderline racism under the guise of moral vegetarianism. Can the cool vegetarians (like my roomie) please stand up? 'Cuz I have faith that there's way more of you out there. Thanks!

When I think of this book, I also think of this story that Robb Wolf posted about Lara DeMarco going from vegetarian to paleo. What I take from DeMarco's story is that food is ultimately about relationships (as opposed to the idea that killing is bad). At the end of the day, for me, food is culture. Food is health. Food is what feeds your mind, body, and soul. Food is what connects people (hence why elite obnoxious judgy-wudgy veggies get under my skin). You eat yours and I'll eat mine. Ideally, we should be sharing many wonderful meals together.

Today's Small Victories
1) I showed up to the gym.
2) I stuck to eating at home.

THREE rounds of:
1 minute jump rope
10 slow squats
10 squat jumps
squat stretches

CrossFit One World WOD
Run 400m and row 500m for time. Rest one minute and repeat four more times for a total of five rounds. Record each individual round.

Joanne's Final Time - 5:15/5:15/5:19/5:29/5:32

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
I stupidly did not record my official times, so the above times are estimates. Row/run WODs suck and they suck more in the cold rainy weather. The good thing is that I managed to conquer 100 meters in 12 strokes over my usual 14 strokes. I'm still trying to master the the row.

Life sucks when I workout with no music. Never again will I forget my ipod. Bleh.

tools of the trade: food journals

It's official. I have failed miserably. Up until Christmas eve, I was doing great with sticking to my "primal as possible" eating plan. I even cooked a gangload of veggies to bring to the family parties. However, if you put me near some homemade lumpia, I'm a goner. Then there was the red velvet cake, lo mai fan, pancit, and shrimp patties. Bleh. Thank heaven the challenge doesn't officially start until after January. There's time to beg for forgiveness.

With respect to the Look Better Naked Challenge, a crucial tool for weight loss is keeping a food journal. I can attest to this because during the very brief time I did keep a food journal consistently, it made me think twice about my food choices. There's even research about the importance of keeping a food journal. Check it out here.

I've ranted and raved about Color Code Mode products here, here, and here. Big apologies because I usually encourage people to give them out as gifts. With the holidays over, it kind of defeats the purpose of talking about their products. But here it goes anyway.... Besides, you can always give out or buy yourself a New Year's gift or an on-time, late, or early birthday gift. You can also give an "I care about you" gift!

It's no secret that my favorite of the bunch is the monthly calendar. I've been using them since 2006 when I bought it on clearance at Lucy. It was the best clearance item I had ever invested in. Since then I've been a devoted fan of the monthly calendar. I find that it's easy to use and the visual progress is just amazing! They have a weekly planner as well. I'm not a big fan of it, but I can see how other people would totally dig it.

The other item I'm totally in love with but wished I put it to better use is the Lean Mode Color Code — Not Your Usual Food Diary. I bought it last year and I kept up with it for about two months and it was great. Thing is, I made it more complicated than it needed to be by using way too many colors and codes. Also, I didn't like how bulky it was and wished that it was spiral bound like the calendar.

Well lo and behold.... there is a spiral bound version available exclusively on the Color Code Mode website. DAMN! I wish I noticed that detail because I would have added it to my monthly calendar order. Note: You can get this food journal at a better price on amazon. Please know that this is NOT SPIRAL BOUND! Trust me. You want the spiral bound!

For the Look Better Naked Challenge, I'm going to use this as my food journal. Unlike last year, I'm keeping it simple. Below is a sample page from their site. I like this journal because they have daily pages and then they're broken up with a weekly goal page. You can use it to track your food and exercise and other things you wish. It can be as simple or detailed as you like. Because you color in your progress, it's also fun! Check out the Color Code Mode site for more info.

Money saving tips: If you plan on purchasing from Color Code Mode, I recommend that you buy them in pairs because it's cheaper that way. Also, if you sign up for their email list, it will knock off $2 from your order. Please let them know that I sent you! (No, I do not get any perks. But in my annual order Jennifer Luhrs, who owns the company with her daughter Alexis always sends a nice note. I like supporting good businesses like this!) Finally, these products are WORTH EVERY PENNY!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

you didn't think i was joking, did you?

Per our tongue-in-cheek conversation last night, I told Cheryl "Girl Crush" T. that I was going to post photos of her in my kitchen to help motivate me for the Look Better Naked challenge. Yeah Girl Crush... and you thought I was joking!

Here's the story.... Yesterday I mentioned that my chiropractor inspired me to go balls out and do the challenge. Dr. Jones said that staying motivated is the key in doing any sort of challenge like this. (As someone who has dropped 50 pounds in the past year, I trust his advice.) He suggested that I think about examples of bodies I think are healthy and fit - bodies that inspire me. I should collect photos of these examples and post them in strategic places like in front of my refrigerator and such. Immediately, I thought: "OMG. I need photos of Girl Crush!" Laugh all you want Girl Crush ('cuz I know you're reading this!), but I'm doing it. I'm sure the One World flickr page has some photos of you in your cop uniform. That one's going straight to my fridge! ha ha! I'll post one more of Girl Crush on my goal board... maybe one more in my wallet in case I decide to head over to Sprinkles and have a cupcake. Hey, a sense of humor is key in getting through the agony of giving up cupcakes, right?!

Joking aside, I think it's actually a good idea as long as your goals are realistic. I have no desire to be built like Angelina Jolie or our very own Jolie G. for that matter. It's just not possible for my body type. Also, I'm not inspired or motivated by celebrities, ce-web-rities, and such. In fact, most celebrities bore me. I also know that 99% of the time, what I see in magazines is fake. I'm a real gal and I'm inspired by real people.

With that, I choose Girl Crush as my inspiration because I think Girl Crush is just an awesome lady. Granted, I don't aspire to have her exact body. Her body is hers and my body is mine. I'm sure those six pack abs have no place on my body. For as much as I'd love to have her guns, I don't think I have the strength to carry them. I do know that my body will develop as it will. Girl Crush motivates me because she's an island gal like me and though I didn't know her at the time, rumor has it she was forty pounds heavier before CrossFit and could barely run 800 meters without stopping (Though slow, I've never had a problem running. Victory!). I think of that relative to where she is now and I'm just amazed! This is why I'm using her as my motivation guru. (I don't care if Girl Crush objects to the objectification. I really don't!)

I'm also going to use my little bro Jerry L. (Okay, technically we're not related. But I call him my bro because he's like a brother to me. Also, my real brother is named Gerry! Um, but with a "G" of course!) Jerry L. is another amazing athlete who inspires me. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love lifting sessions with him. I'm sometimes driven to tears when I see how much he can lift. I'm also inspired by the coaching that Eric G. gives during these sessions. Don't believe me? Watch this:So there you have it. In case you come to my house and are wondering why Girl Crush and Jerry L. are plastered on my fridge and goal board, you all know why! (wink followed by cheeky grin)

I know the challenge doesn't officially start until after the new year. But as I've mentioned, I'm slowly preparing. It started on Monday when I tried to make peace with the photo thing. My chiropractor suggested I look at this site to understand why the photos are important. It documents this guy's journey - where he goes from couch potato to uber-fit guy! I don't have the patience to look through them, but I thought this image was good to see. Today, I started to keep a food journal. I'm also adding a "Today's Small Victories" section to my posts. They're just personal notes - mostly silly - that remind me of the small changes I'm making to improve my health and get on with this challenge!

Today's Small Victories
Victory #1: Though I ate at Great Khan's while picking up my mom's Christmas present with my siblings, I only ate half of my order. fathlete confession: I can usually chow down a whole plate of the stuff and not bat an eyelash. I packed the leftovers and right now, I'm not even sure I want to finish it.

Victory #2: My brother ordered a strawberry-banana-chocolate crepe and for as much as I wanted to take a bite, I didn't. Resisting the crepe was easier than I thought.

Victory #3: I spent the day at my sister's office getting some work done. It's quiet and filled with LOTS of sweets - See's candies, Mrs. Fields cookies, caramel popped corn, Ghiradelli chocolate squares filled with caramel.... (Did I mention that I love anything with caramel?) It's tough being six feet away from an abundant supply of yummy goodness. I really wanted to tear into some chocolates. But I didn't. Yea me! fathlete confession: I had half a piece of James's rocky road because he made it and gave it to me as a gift. I took my bite and gave the rest to my bro and his wife. I also shared my bag with Miss Lori!

For ten minutes:
jump roping; each time you mess up on the ropes, you have to do 15 abmat sit-ups

CrossFit One World WOD
Deadlift 1/1/1/1/1/1/1

Joanne's Final Weight:
95# - 8 reps / 135# - 5 reps / 185# - 3 reps / 210# / 245# (PR!) / 250# (PR!)

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I hit a 10# PR. That's always good news. I knew I had more in me. But the last time we did deadlifts hitting a 10# PR wrecked me. I've decided to go on the conservative side because I'm really trying to avoid injury. I like a challenge, but I don't want to end up hurt. Tonight felt good. For my next deadlift max, I'm aiming for 260#!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

does this mochi make me look fat?!

This was taken on my birthday a few weeks ago. Please don't let the sweets fool you. I swear that I eat good, nutritious food. Thing is, I find that taking photos with healthy food makes me look fat. Junky, deliciousness such as mochi and cupcakes actually makes me look thin in photos. Seriously. ha ha! (insert cheeky grin)

Back Squat 3/3/3/3/3
My weight: 95/135/140/145/150

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete seven rounds for time of:
5 burpees
5 sprawls
5 jump squats
200m run

Joanne's Final Time - 20:36

Notes (to myself) about this workout: This was way worse than it looked on the website. Though I kind of liked warming up with some heavy weights, I didn't really like warming up to a max three rep lift. For me, a warm up should be lighter, but challenging weight with lots of reps. But that's just me...

Burpees suck. Kudos to Jason K. because I can't remember the last time I gave him kudos. Also, kudos to Roya. Hang in there lady. You can do it!

balls to the walls, bitches!

Before I begin, I must thank Lori for giving me this eggnog cupcake from Sprinkles. Cupcakes are a thing for me. Granted, I can go long periods without them. However, when they're in my presence, I need to have a tiny bite. Since I'm mentally (emotionally and physically) preparing for the Look Better Naked challenge, I decided to split the cupcake with my sister. Oh yummy cupcakes!

Ever since Freddy posted the Look Better Naked challenge, I've been in love-and-panic mode. For the record, I have already agreed to commit to the challenge. However, the whole semi-naked photo thing is freaking the hell out of me! Seriously. It is! It's to the point where I can't get it out of my head. I've thought of 1800 different ways to get out of the photo thing. Freddy says that I can opt out. But that inner voice in me says that I need to take photos because it's part of the rules. So this is the post where I rationalize doing this challenge.

- I'm not in it for the money. Sure having the extra cash is nice. But it's not enough to motivate me to taking a semi-nude photo of myself.

- I'm not in it to actually look better naked. I like me. I like my body. I just feel like my body does not need to be a public affair. Even if I had a body like Cheryl "Girl Crush" T. I'd still keep my body under strict wraps. Really. My body is my business. It really doesn't have to be any of yours!

If it's not about the money and it's not about looking better naked, then what is it about?!

- By my 35th birthday I'd like to get rid of at least one of my diabetes medications. I don't mind the meds, I just prefer to not take them.

- I'd like to huff and puff less. In CrossFit, I don't care about the time I take to finish a WOD or the amount of weight I'm lifting. I just want to feel better doing it. These days I feel like I've been in a plateau... that's lasted about three years. I want to push through that plateau. I don't care if I have to stay in level one forever in order to do it. I just want to feel better doing the WODs.

- I'm hoping that actively changing my body inspires those around me to do the same. Truth is, I'm concerned. It makes me nervous to see my brother struggle to get up from sitting on the couch. I'm concerned about my mom who has recently put on weight because of the blood pressure meds she's taking. I care deeply about my sister whose stress is bottled so tightly that I'd hate to be there when it explodes. I feel like we're all too young to be this damaged!

- I'd like to reach a point where making better food choices is second nature to me. Granted, I'm not willing to completely give up cupcakes or a burger. But I want to crave less junk. Actually, I just want to have a different relationship with food.

- Ultimately, it's about feeling better. It's about getting closer to being the person that I want to be. Period.

I'm realizing that the only problem I have with the challenge is the damn photo. After a good conversation with my chiropractor, he helped me realize that in taking this silly photo, I'm going to have to face some major demons. So be it. If the end result means that I can conquer the latter part of my list, then the actual photo means nothing. Besides, it's just five weeks of my life, right? It's just a photo, right?

So here it goes. I'm doing the f--king challenge. Balls to the walls, bitches! I'm doing it! Photo and all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

meet you half way...

fathlete confession: I love food. The holidays is when my love for food really comes out. It's also when I love to throwdown my cooking skillz! However, I've been trying to figure out how I can hold on to my cultural sensibilities while still be healthy. Isn't it terrible that I associate Filipino or Islander food as unhealthy?! I just remember all the yummy, fatty food we used to eat at fiesta and family gatherings. Now that I'm older, the health issues have kicked in (like the type II diabetes) and I'm trying to be mindful of good eating. In the spirit of the holidays, I'm sharing my tips on how I compromised culture, health, and good eating. Enjoy!

I couldn't go without making my infamous Chamorro shrimp patties. These bad boys only come out during the holidays because they're expensive, time consuming, and deep fried. Admittedly, I make these so good that my Chamorro friends and relatives agree that they're the best they've tasted! In fact, you haven't lived until you've tried my shrimp patties!

I meant to make a healthy green bean dish with a balsamic vinegar and garlic dressing. However, my brother specifically requested green bean casserole (an American tradition that I still don't understand). Granted, the fried onions and canned cream of mushroom means that this isn't the healthiest thing around. I did make it as clean as possible by using fresh green beans and adding fresh mushrooms to the mix. In fact, I over veggied it so the cream of mushroom wasn't so overwhelming. For Christmas, I'm opting to make some brussels sprouts (inspired by the ones they serve at Angeline's). You know, the kind you'd actually eat! On to the healthy stuff....

I don't know what your family is like. But my family gatherings consist of meat, meat, and more meat with rice, pancit, and other yummy-licious carbs. Unless they're deep fried, veggies are still fighting for their right to be at my family gatherings. For Thanksgiving, I made this very simple concoction of mushrooms and zucchini tossed in EVOO and herbs. Seeing that there weren't many leftovers, I'd say this one was a hit!

Finally, I love potatoes. Mashed potatoes are my favorite part of the holiday meal. However, I opted to do a cauliflower mash, which was inspired from MDA's Shepherd's Pie recipe. It was so easy to make and was tastier than I had imagined. I didn't miss mashed potatoes at all!

For Christmas, I have faith that my family have the meat and carbs covered. Therefore, I've decided to focus on veggie dishes again. For my aunt's lunchtime gathering, I'm doing miso coleslaw and green beans with a balsamic and shallot dressing. For my brother's dinner gathering, I'm doing those same green beans, brussels sprouts (as mentioned above), and a mushroom medley (I bought FOUR kinds of mushrooms from the farmer's market!). If I can find some decent cauliflower, I may do the cauliflower mash again. I'll let you know how it goes!

Pause Rowing
Prep for the WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete nine rounds for time of:
5 thrusters 42#
5 jumping pull-ups

Joanne's Final Time - 8:40

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Truth is, I've been a bit injured. Well, not injured, but just plain sore. Last week really did a number on me. Therefore, I decided to go light. REALLY LIGHT on this one. I'm so glad that I did. My body is still recovering and right now I just need to treat it with some TLC. It also helps that Freddy posted this rant on the difference between pain and discomfort.

I haven't been as consistent with my WODs, so I need to back off and ease in slowly. I know what I can do, but I just need to be gentle and let my body do what it needs to do in order to get where it needs to be. Make sense?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

running scared?

There have been a lot of odd things on my mind. First off, I know I've mentioned that I'm a fan of the film America the Beautiful. Recently, they spearheaded a boycott against Ralph Lauren and the distorted imagery they've been using in their campaigns. In particular, this image if Filippa Hamilton caused a major stir. (Yeah. There is something wrong when someone's hips are smaller than the size of that same someone's head. Seriously Ralph, what were you thinking?!) Oddly enough, Hamilton was fired from Ralph Lauren recently because at 5'10" and 120#, she was told that she could no longer fit into their clothing. Bleh. I recommend that you all check out Darryl Roberts's blog (the director of America the Beautiful blog for updates on these issues.

I know Darryl Roberts has become a major advocate of improving media imagery for women. This weekend CNN did a story about the Ralph Lauren boycott and media imagery. Here is the clip:

I find it amazing that in both France and England, they are considering legislation that limits re-touching or asks that disclaimers be printed on photos that have been re-touched. I'm not sure where this is going to take us or how this will impact American media imagery. I will say that these are interesting developments. In England, an Oil of Olay ad caused a ruckus when former supermodel Twiggy (the model who started the whole uber-thin look that just never went away) was shown with absolutely no wrinkles. She's fifty-nine!

Sigh. I miss the days when pin-up girls were the thing. Ahem. Not that I was alive then. I just imagine the era of the pin-up girl being fabulous. Actually, I just wish I lived in a time where it was okay for a woman to have a little meat on her bones. Period. fathlete confession: Yes. I still have my body issues. Sue me. I'm not trying to hate on women who are thin. If that's your thing, that's your thing. I just hate that your thing has to be mine. As said before, it's always about health for me.

So Freddy just announced the Look Better Naked Challenge. A food challenge is always good. It's definitely the kick in the pants I need to get into better eating habits. Here are some of the rules:
The Look Better Naked Challenge is six weeks long. Cost to enter the challenge is $30. On the first day, all participants are photographed. There is a full body frontal shot, a full body back shot, and a full body profile shot. Men are photographed in shorts. Women are photographed in shorts and a sports bra. On the last day of the challenge, each participant is photographed again. All the participants in the challenge look at all the before and after photographs. There is a confidential vote and the man and woman with the most votes wins the challenge! You may participate in the challenge and not have your photos voted on (you just can’t win any prizes).

But. Er. Um. Here's the thing.... I'm so not good about being naked or even semi-naked. Can I just tell you that my stomach nearly turned when I read that we had to be photographed in sportbras and shorts?! In fact, I'm still on the verge of throwing up in my mouth. Hmph. I don't know what I'm going to do about the challenge now.

Actually, I've been feeling like a little bit of a CrossFit loser lately. My shoulders and upper body are still recovering from last week's workouts. They're starting the new level I and level II classes soon and though I know the technique for the level II classes, I'm nowhere near as fit as I need to be to get to level II. I'm okay at level I, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel like a loser for it.

And now the food challenge, which I'm looking forward to. But the photo thing just isn't my cup of tea. Bleh.

On an up note, I just wanted to give some mad props to CrossFit Parker in Colorado. It looks like I'm not the only one who loves the pin-up girl era. I found this on some random affiliate blog where they were asking for opinions on the logo. I'm the first to admit that CrossFit is definitely not about waif-like women. However, I do think that in advocating lean bodies, there tends to be some anti-fat sentiment. This is why I was completely taken aback by this logo and it's fuller, curvier, softer woman representing their box. Love it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

meeting grok

Recently, I went to Mark Sisson’s nutrition seminar at Catalyst Athletics. I saw Chris and Rita there, but was surprised that more One Worlders didn’t show up. Note: I got my book signed. Woot! But I spaced out and forgot to have my photo taken with Mark. Boo! I had the greatest photo opp too since I was one of the first ones there. Double boo!

I’m a Primal fan (thanks to Gladys) and have now decided to commit to it (as best as I can). I learned a lot in the seminar. For example, to help conquer going primal, I’m going to tackle the big monster first, which is eliminating grains. Yes. That means no bread, baked goods, pasta, rice, etc. I know. No cupcakes. (Tears.) From there, I’ll get to the nitty gritty details. For now, we’re focusing on no grains.

What I like about going primal is that Sisson has an 80/20 ratio. He says that you should aim to go primal 80% of the time, which allows you a 20% cheat. Therefore, I don’t have to give up cupcakes completely. I can have one every now and again. Whew! He also allows this cheat because eating should be enjoyable and easy to follow. Uh, yeah. Take that zoners!

Since I arrived early, I was able to have a lengthy conversation with this nutritionist I met there. I think her name was Janelle or Janine. She runs her own nutrition advising business near Lake Tahoe. She also gave some very encouraging advice about nutrition.

I’ve been thinking of going primal for a while now and have been making slow, but sure changes. First off, I’ve cut down on rice a lot! It’s a big thing for me because I’m Filipino! I’ve also cut down on coffee and drink mostly tea. I haven’t let got of dairy, but have cut down on my cheese intake. I’ll say that these small changes are what led to my good numbers at my last health check.

Another thing I decided after going to the seminar is to hold off on the half marathon in February. It’s just too damn cold to train and as Sisson points out, the body just wasn’t meant for that kind of endurance. I think I’ll do the Kaiser 5k instead. I know my body can do that with not a lot of intense training.

The road to getting back on track is slow, but sure. Cheers!

Run 400 meters
Row 500 meters
Ball games...

CrossFit One World WOD
Perform three minutes of shoulder press for max reps. Rest three minutes. Perform three minutes of push press for max reps. Rest three minutes. Perform three minutes of push jerk for max reps. If you rack the weight or rest longer than three seconds during any of the three attempts, you must do three burpees before starting up again. Your score is total reps for all three movements. Weight for women is 45#. (Note: I did five squats instead of three burpees.)

Joanne's Final Count - 29/37/33 = 99 total reps

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Monday's WOD really did a number on me. My entire upper body is sore. In fact, I'm not sure how I was able to dress up in gym clothes considering I could barely reach my back or over my head. I had a very good reason for not showing up tonight, but I did anyway despite my own resistance. The WOD wasn't bad. Thing is, with being uber sore, Eric allowed me to sub the three burpees for five squats. Bless your soul Eric. I knew this WOD would put me over the edge in soreness, but I hoped that it would also help shake off some of that lactic acid. Er. Um. I was wrong. I'm definitely taking a day off tomorrow. Woot!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

get fitted

If talking about women’s breasts bothers you, I recommend that you skip reading this entry. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big believer in breast health. Boobs are no laughing matter. So ladies, do go to your annual appointments. Do have a healthcare specialist examine your boobs. Do engage in monthly self-examinations. In short, do the things you need to do to ensure good breast health. I don’t care if you’re a AAA cup or a DDD cup. Take care of your boobs.

Lately I’ve been feeling out of my body. Like things don’t feel right or fit right. I’m sure it has to do with needing some new support gear. Every year I go for a bra fitting. I heard somewhere that you should do this because our bodies are constantly changing. For me, the best place to get fitted for a bra is Nordstrom. They definitely know what they’re doing! Note: The key to a good fitting is don’t be shy. Yes, a stranger may end up seeing your boobs. But they’re professionals. There’s nothing you have that they haven’t seen already!

After years of wearing the same bra size, I discovered that I had to switch gears. (I'll spare details. But this is more tragic than I care to admit.) I must say that the right bra makes a difference. You don’t have to go pricey, you just have to find ones that fit. For the past few months I’ve been feeling like I’ve been having back problems and during the fitting, I realized it was my bra! On average, depending on how much you use them and how busty you are, it’s best to replace your bras every six to twelve months. Also, it’s good to have three to four bras on hand to rotate. That way, you don’t have to switch them so often. I also learned that it’s best to hand wash your bras and lay them flat when storing so that the wires don’t go crazy.

So there you have it. For more info on bras, see below. Enjoy!

The Breast Chronicles
Breast Advice
Buying the Right Bra
Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

Row 500 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD: Michael
Complete three rounds for time of:
800m run
50 back extensions (as per the board, not the site)
50 sit-ups Abmat

Joanne's Final Time - 39:25

Notes (to myself) about this workout: The first time I did this WOD I did it in over 45 minutes. Today, I shaved off two seconds from my previous performance. Note: my fastest on this is a little under 39 minutes. Today was tough. Running at night sucks. My body is sore and I'm upset with all the overhead work we have to do tomorrow. Bleh.

Monday, December 14, 2009


There are very few people who I think are actually Fit as F**k. Jerry L. is definitely one of them. Tonight he pulled a 355# deadlift. Mind you, he's like 135# and not that much taller than me. It's amazing! Congrats on the lift! I took a video of the lift, which I hope Freddy posts on the website. I also want to send some kudos to Eric G. because he's been coaching Jerry through his lifts. Amazing coaching, Eric G.!

I took this from Freddy's post. I thought this as appropriate for the upcoming new year and all the goal making that comes along with that. Sound advice from a sound coach. Enjoy!


Not having goals, both short term and long term. A fitness regimen with no goals is like driving to a destination you have never been to before without a map or directions. Goals keep you on track. You seek out guidelines and information on how to achieve them. Make those goals!!!

Avoiding your weaknesses. Why is it everyone and their mother shows up on the days we do some crazy workout, but when weightlifting days or running days come up, people suddenly don’t feel so well??? Weaknesses stem from a series of issues. Suck at an Olympic lift? It is probably tied into deficiencies in the strength and flexibility department. Can’t get through that whole 5k run? You need to eat better and build up your cardio/respiratory endurance. Attack your weaknesses and your strengths will improve.

Poor nutrition. Food completely controls how your body functions throughout the day. It is the gasoline for your engine. An engine needs gas to run, and it runs better with good gas than it does with crappy gas. Start simple. Make changes in the quality of what you eat then fine tune it from there.

Alcohol consumption. Alcohol is good for only one thing: getting buzzed. Unfortunately, getting buzzed causes a bunch of bad things to happen, mostly lack of control. You don’t sleep well (despite possibly even passing out). It dehydrates you. You tend to succumb to eating crap. You are damaging brain cells and your liver. But did I mention that alcohol is really good for getting buzzed??

Lack of sleep. You can never get “too much” sleep. Our bodies are actually wired to go to sleep when it gets dark and wake up at the crack of dawn. Electricity has jacked up our internal clocks, so no matter who you are and how much you sleep, it is never enough. Sleep is a huge component in the body recovery system. Get more of it!!!

Not taking proper rest/recovery time. Rest is different from sleep. You need to let the body rest from your training regimen. Take a rest day every few days. I would even recommend that every few months you take at least a week off from high intensity training. Your body needs time to heal, along with your brain. You will come back rip roaring ready to go both physically and mentally. Recovery simply means listening to your body. Pain is different from the discomfort of training. Pain needs to be respected. Pain takes time to heal. Turn your ego off and let your body heal up proper. The dumbest thing I ever heard anyone say was, “It hurts to train, but I have to workout.” (That was me by the way....)

Poor hydration. Water is often an overlooked ingredient in a good training regimen. Water makes up about 60% of the human body. Lean muscle tissue is about 99% water. Bone is made up of about 22% water and even your skin contains water. There is not one system in the entire body that does not depend on water. You will be hard pressed to drink to much water in a day. Drink up!!!

Lack of consistency. It’s not easy to stick with a workout program. You can get very positive results working out only two to three days a week if you really work hard and follow a solid nutrition plan. Start small...commit yourself to two days a week and build up to three. Once you start training three or more days a week, you will make leaps and bounds in reaching your athletic potential.

Lack of a proper warm-up/cool down. Sure, argue all you want that when the shit hits the fan in life, you don’t get the chance to warm up. Very true, but a training session is not life. You are attempting to improve your athletic ability. You can’t do jack if you get hurt. Warm up those muscles, joints and connective tissues by doing active stretching in full range of motion. Take the time to do some good static stretching when you are done working out. Flexibility will increase. Injuries will decrease. Your workout performance will improve dramatically.

Not listening to your coach. An experienced coach knows what he is talking about. For the most part, I know I can judge a person's athletic ability watching them perform a few simple tasks just within a warm-up. Why is it when I tell someone they should scale a movement or a rep count or the load, they don’t want to listen to me? The road to better athletic performance is a path easier traveled when you listen to an experienced coach. Trust me.
Here is the latest addition to my CrossFit video collection. Enjoy!

Row 1000 meters
Prep for WOD

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete 21/15/9 reps for time of:
Dumbbell squat clean and jerk 25#
Paralette bar dip/push-up pass throughs. (Modified on boxes)

Joanne's Final Time - 24:25

Notes (to myself) about this workout: This wiped me out! Anything that requires me balancing body weight is my weakness. Bleh!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

they say it's my birthday

Damn right it is! I'm celebrating the big 3-4 today. I don't care what people say. I'm more than happy to share my real age because every year I'm glad I made it this far. For my birthday, all I ask is that you have a great day and send some good vibes to the world! Thanks!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

wish list

One week from today I turn the big 3-4. As a kid I used to hate having my bday so close to Christmas because it meant that people only gave you one gift! (Ahem. We're talking about me being a kid here!) It also meant that your bday wishes were delayed until Christmas. I just sucks.

Now that I'm older, I actually like having my bday, Christmas, and New Year's so close because it's a time of reflection for me. But I'll spare those mushy details...

Today I'm going to post a fathlete's wish list 2009. Please don't take it as a list of things I expect to have on my bday or Christmas. Rather, think of it as a great holiday gift giving guide in case you're looking for ideas and such. Enjoy!

1) WORLD PEACE. You didn't think I was shallow, did you?

2) GIFT CARDS. I know this is debatable. A lot of people I know can't stand gift cards because they feel it's not personal. I completely understand. However, as a struggling grad student, gift cards to me are the BEST gift ever! They're the gift that keeps on giving! My favorites are: itunes (this is the most under-rated of all gift cards; itunes gift cards rock my world!), Target, Costco, Nike, Macys and Nordstrom. Some other ones I recommend are: lululemon, lucy, and lucky.

3) KNIFE SET. I'm big on cooking and I've been dreaming of this set or this set for a while. Santoku knives are amazing!

4) FOOD SAVER. I think this makes a great gift. The original one is a bit expensive and bulky. But if you get the handheld sealer that works with their bags, I think it's perfect and affordable!

5) GREEN PRODUCTS. I'm all about saving the environment. In particular, I'm all about steel water bottles. I love this insulated kleen kanteen 12 oz bottle with the loop cap. I'd like to have one for my purse. Now if only I could find a place that sells them!

6) RED PRODUCTS. If you're going to give a gift, how about making it a double with a charity item?

7) TEA! Recently, I decided to switch from coffee to tea. I'm in love with Teavana teas. Personally, I prefer white and green teas. I'm not high on all their other ones. My body is liking the switch so far.

8) BOOKS. For the health nut on your list, The Primal Blueprint. I already ordered mine and am waiting for it to come in. I'm a nerd, so books are always a great gift. I know a lot of people (including me) have wish lists on amazon, so check it out for your friends and loved ones.

9) SKINS. This is on my fantasy wish list. I've been eyeing the long tights since the CrossFit games in July. I wear a size large and prefer the ones in all black in case any of you wanted to play my santa-sugar-daddy (or mama).

I'm sure there's a lot more to the list. I'll add as I see fit. However, I hope this works out for you and that this give you some great gift giving ideas for the holiday season!

Row 1000 meters (I finished in under 5 minutes and I wasn't even trying. Woot!)
Jump rope work (I still suck!)

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete five rounds for time of:
20 wall balls 14#
15 box jumps 12"
10 knees to elbows
5 burpees

Joanne's Final Time - 24:42

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I was seriously considering not coming in tonight. However, I've been feeling a little chubby lately and decided to just bite the bullet and do it! Er. Um. I was the only one who showed up to class. That's fine. I think I'd rather be the only one than be stuck with forty other people fighting over equipment.

I was really proud of me tonight. I rx'd the wall balls, but didn't exactly hit the grey square. I have to work on the strength and technique of that. For box jumps, I've scaled back to the 12" box because when I jumped up to 18" before, I've always managed to fall or get into my head and leave the class crying. For now, I'm sticking to 12" and learning to jump on and off (I usually jump on and step off). I plan on working my way to 18", but it will take time and mental toughness for me. I just HATE box jumps!

My crowning glory tonight were knees to elbows. Just six months ago I could barely hold on to the bar, let alone get my knees anywhere near my body. (In truth, my knees did not touch my elbows, but they did reach somewhere below my bust). Tonight I was able to hold on to the bar, do my version of knees to elbows, and do all ten reps without stopping. WOOT! (insert me doing a fancy dance) Even Eric was impressed because he remembered how bad I was at doing them. What's even better is that worked on my hip movements to help me prepare for the kipping pull up.

Yeah. On the goal board, I wrote that my goal was 1 kipping pull-up by 3/1/2010. Let's hope I get this right.

The major difference tonight was the grip! Taping the bar makes a total difference. I don't care what Freddy says. I do know that I plan on buying tape and taping my bar each time I work on the pull-ups. The tape makes gripping easier. Also, I didn't have any problems with callouses.

I give major kudos to Eric because tonight I was such a whiney, heavy breathing bitch. (Oddly, I was actually better than usual. ha ha!) However, I don't think I was nearly as bad as this guy (see below). Yeah. Don't let those hot abs fool you. Even Mr. Ninja Assassin himself is a whiner during a WOD!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

i never said i was perfect...

In my own life, I firmly believe that it's better to be an honest bitch than to be a hypocrite. This is why I think I need to clarify some things...

In the midst of my current rants about women, beauty, and loving your body, I do think it's seemingly hypocritical of me to post gratuitous photos of Rain. Apologies. I should know better. But please allow me to take a second to explain my contradictions.

First off, I never said I was perfect. I'm not one to deny myself or anyone else their fantasies and desires. I hope I made it clear in my last post that the gratuitous photos were fantasy. In my personal life, I'm hardly impressed by celebrities. Seriously. I think I may be the only woman alive who does not find Brad Pitt attractive. There's indulging in fantasy, and living in reality. I do not require that my partner have rock hard abs.

This brings me to my next point. I don't want anyone to have the impression that I am not concerned about men and their self esteem issues. Do I think pop culture is harsh on men? Yes. Do I think men face beauty pressure? Absolutely.

However, I don't think beauty pressure for men is anywhere near what it is for women. This is why my research (and some of my blog posts) focuses mainly on women. Granted, my future research will change. I've already mapped it out. Right now, especially in the media, I find that there is a larger range of men. They are as conventionally gorgeous as George Clooney to goofy as Seth Rogan. I don't see a lot of female Seth Rogans, you know? (Ahem. Nothing wrong with Seth Rogan. I'm just sayin'.) I do think media needs to step it up in terms of racial/ethnic diversity. But that's another rant...

For now, I'm tackling the big monster. I'm concerned with how women are affected by media imagery. I want to emphasize that it is important to raise young women with a strong self of self. I hold on to the values that my father taught me. He always said, "Anak, if you're going to build anything in this world, build your character first." I'm not always good at building my character, but at the very least, I work on it everyday. And I share my journey with everyone around me.

So there. I never said I was perfect. I'll allow myself to gawk at celebrities as a way of indulging in fantasy. However, in my real life, my standards of beauty are very different. The way I help the men around me embrace their beauty is different. I know where I stand and what I stand for. Even if it means embracing my own contradictions. With that, I'll leave you with one last (not so) gratuitous photo from Ninja Assassin (insert tongue-in-cheek). Enjoy!

Run 1.1 miles

CrossFit One World WOD
1 rep max deadlift

Joanne's Final weight - 240# (10#PR. Woot!)

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Big kudos to Eric G. the lifting king! I wouldn't have done the PR without him. Woot! Also, kudos to Lori who also hit a PR today. Nice work!

My only regret about the deadlift is that I feel that with my build, I should be lifting more. I was hoping to reach or break 250#, but my back was a little tweaked. Therefore, Eric suggested that we just stop at 240#. Fine by me. Hitting a PR on a rest day is good news. Also, I did it without using a weight belt. Woot!

I remember the first time I did the deadlift I was trying to establish my 1 rep max. I made it to 180# and boy was it a struggle! I had to use the weight belt for support and I'm sure it was not a pretty 180#. Tonight, that weight was part of my warm-up. Yea me and small victories. Wa-hoo!

enough of this bullshit!

Beauty is always on my mind. It's the nature of my research. However, you can imagine the outrage when my dear friend Lori posted information about this story. A former Miss Argentina died recently due to complications from plastic surgery. I'm sure you all remember the big hoopla when it was announced that Donda West, the mother of Kanye West, passed away from similar circumstances. I write in frustration, with a hard lump in my throat, and with the strength of a thousand horses that will keep me from throwing a chair out the window right about now. It really pains me to hear stories like this - where perfectly wonderful women put themselves under the knife, and ultimately pay the highest price for it.

In no way am I judging people who go under the knife. In a free market economy, do as you please. But I do urge you to weigh your options and consider the consequences. Sometimes surgery can get out of hand and atrocious things like this happen.

With that, I'd like to propose something to you (yes, all five of you who actually read and follow this blog. ha ha!). Sometime in either mid December or after the new year, I would like to host a screening of America the Beautiful, a documentary by Darryl Roberts at my home in Union City. My roomie has a projection screen and our living room is big enough where we can have about 15 or so people in the house. Nothing spectacular. Just a small screening. Some delicious eats (I'll provide some goodies and encourage you to do the same). With some good company. This film isn't just for women. Bring the guys along. Bring the kids along. We can watch. Discuss. Eat. Be merry and aware.

This is a serious offer. If you're interested, please post to comments or email me directly: Let's make this happen!

Finally, I'd like you to check out the Darryl Roberts blog. He often posts stories related to beauty obsession and the things we can do to create better images - in the media and for oneself. Enjoy!

P.S. I highly encourage you all to invest in the film for only $25. You can throw similar parties too (as encouraged by the filmmaker). If you live near my neck of the woods and want to host, I'll consider allowing you to borrow my copy (but if you lose it, you have to give me a pint of your blood and hand over your retirement savings).