Monday, November 29, 2010

color code mode

I have no idea how in the world I forgot my most favorite fathlete tool EVER! For years I've been bragging about how much I love my streaming colors monthly calendar! I need to place my order soon. I'm so thankful that they're out early this year. FYI - These things, paired with some highlighters make an amazing gift!

Today's Small Victories
I'm back on track with my bday challenge. It's been tough because I don't do well with the cold. Gah!

I did one hour of yoga. And then... we did a very cold run around the building. It was topped off with "The Perfect Warm-up"

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete six rounds for time of:
6 overhead squats 63#
6 push-ups (on knees)
6 handstand push-up on box

Joanne's Final Time - 10:24

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I should have pushed the weight on the OHS. However, I didn't realize it until the WOD was over. I finished three minutes before everyone else in class. Not that it's a bad thing, but it would have been good to push the OHS. It used to be one of my favorite movements. Now, I struggle with it. Ugh!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things...

Hello everyone! I hope you all had an amazing holiday. Though I've been working my ass off this year trying to incorporate healthy habits into my life, I do firmly believe that the holidays are a perfect time to loosen up and have a few of those naughty treats you've been craving for. Granted, I did have some of those treats. However, I had way less than I normally do. Translation: I didn't gorge on holiday eating as much as I used to. This is mainly because I can't stand the post-sugar coma. It makes me feel like crap!

As for the bday challenge, I completely slipped this week, logging in only two workouts. I'm not sad though because overall, I'm only down by two workouts. I suspected this would be a tough week to train, so I "deposited" as many workouts as I could before this week. That way, I wouldn't fall way behind. I have a plan of attack for next week and I should be on track in no time!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, people are in a mad frenzy trying to get some Christmas shopping done. In the spirit of that, I've decided to list some cool gift suggestions for the fathlete in all of you. (Also, I'm kinda hinting that I wouldn't mind getting a few of these things too. Did I mention that my bday is coming up soon? haha!) So here it is. My list of cool things to give and get for Christmas (in no particular order).

This is the new ipod shuffle. Small,
convenient and amazing!
ipod shuffle. There is nothing cooler and more convenient than an ipod shuffle for your workouts. I live, die, and swear by mine. I'm overjoyed that they went back to the old style shuffle. That way, you can use your own headphones. Speaking of which...

airdrives earphones. I think the ipod shuffle would go great with a pair of these earphones. These are fantastic because it gives you your music as well as your safety. For those of you who run outdoors, you can run and still be aware of your surroundings. In CrossFit, you can listen to your tunes and still hear the trainer's instructions. These things are amazing!! (I personally own the original airdrives, but I'm curious about the Fit airdrives. If any of you have any input, I'd love to hear from you!)

itunes gift cards. When people ask what I want for my birthday or Christmas, this is always the first thing that comes to mind. This is one of the best gifts EVER (especially since I can buy iphone apps with it too)!

I'm sure I love Nike Free way
more than Oprah does!
Nike Free. Oprah isn't the only one who loves Nike Free shoes. I adore mine! My only complaint is that they're way too expensive for what they are. Luckily, I bought mine during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in July. If I were in my right mind, I would have bought two pairs! These are perfect for CrossFit and other gym type workouts.

lululemon gift card (or pretty much anything from lululemon). My goal is to one day own a pair of groove pants, lulu's signature "my ass looks amazing" pants. Though they're worth every penny, $98 is still a bit steep for me. Still, a girl can dream, right? I recently scored on the groove shorts (they were marked down to $19) and I LOVE them! Guys, if you wanna please your athlete gals, lulu is definitely the way to go! (I hesitate to write "fathlete" gals because lulu only goes up to about a size 12, sometimes a size 8 on certain items. BOO on you, lulu! Note: I would have added a lulu jacket to the list, but since they run small and only go up to a size 12, it's a no-go for me. The bust is way too uncomfortable. BOO!)

lucy gift card (or pretty much anything from lucy). I've written about lucy before. I find that their stuff is more affordable (especially since they have better sales and offer 20-30% discounts, depending on the promotion). Also, they're totally underrated. I was a lucy gal before I was a lulu gal, so lucy definitely has a special place in my heart. In particular, I'm all about the hatha power pant (in the short length, of course). It's pretty awesome.

I have have to remind myself
that this isn't edible! 
charity shower gels by philosophy. fathlete confession: I have a special relationship with philosophy. Regardless of that, I do think these shower gels are amazing. Besides, if you have to wash away the stinky, don't you want to shower for a good cause? The proceeds from purchasing these shower gels (and lotions) go to some fantastic charitable foundations. Note: I only linked the charity shower gels. However, philosophy has an amazing shower gel collection (that are not charity items)! Currently, I'm all about the hot buttered rum!

purity made simple cleansing cloths. fathlete confession: When I first used these, I wasn't a fan. However, I've definitely grown to love them. I keep them in my gym bag to clean my face before a workout. They're fast, convenient, and I'm in LOVE! another fathlete confession: My biggest pet peeve is watching women workout with a fully made-up face. It makes my stomach turn. Seriously.

Oh tea, how I love thee.
You put me in such a
zen state.
teavana gift card. I haven't mentioned this yet. But as of today, I'm officially trading my coffee and latte habit for tea. (Note: My personal deal is that I'll only have a latte if I have a certificate from Starbucks for a free drink!) In particular, I adore green and white tea from teavana. I have some tea at home and I've been dying to get their tea maker. If you know someone who is all about their tea, this is an amazing gift! (I know because I bought this for my sister a while back and she LOVES it!)

sports bras. Granted, this isn't exactly something you would give as a gift. However, as I've mentioned before, I do recommend getting a good bra fitting and I think Nordstrom is the best place to do it! (Maybe a gift card to Nordstrom so that your person could get a sports bra? I don't know. Use your imagination.) I think every fathlete needs a good sports bra. My recommendation is this one by Donna Karan and this one by Freya. fathlete confession: When it comes to sports bras, every person has her own favorites. I like these two because they're built for a bustier frame. A tip to save money is to get fitted at Nordstrom and maybe buy one bra from them (it's good to support the workers there; it's also good to form a relationship with a good bra fitter). From there, go online and see where you can get the same thing for less. That way, everyone wins!

For now, that's it for my gift suggestions. In truth, I haven't really hit the mall to see what's hot in all things shopping. However, I'll let you know if I find other cool things!

Today's Small Victories
I hit the gym and did better than I thought.

Row 800 meters

CrossFit One World WOD: Barbara
One round is the following for time:
20 pull-ups (band assisted)
30 push-ups (on knees)
40 Abmat sit-ups (feet unanchored)
50 air squats
Rest three minutes and repeat for a total of five rounds.

Joanne's Final Time - 5:38 / 6:17 / 8:27 / 7:36 / 7:28

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I was feeling really bummed about this WOD because I was beyond dead last in class today. I knew I'd be really slow because I did band assisted pull-ups. Since I have TERRIBLE upper body strength, I knew it would slow me down (I had to use two bands - the blue one and the beige with green one). However, I really wanted to start doing more band work with the pull-ups. For the most part, it wasn't pretty. But I'm okay with that. I need the practice. I got home feeling defeated because I took forever! However, I looked back at my previous Barbara times here and here. Turns out, today was really good! I logged in my fastest round time even though today was more challenging than I've done it in the past. Wa-hoo!

Monday, November 22, 2010

i'm rooting for ada!

I'm not usually into watching The Biggest Loser. However, for some reason, I got sucked in this season. It's not a bad show. Granted, I disagree with some of the health advice and some of the form is off. But that's not my business. I just wanted to take some time out to say that I'm rooting for Miss Ada! Take it home, sister! (And shame on your family for not sending you a video!)

Today's Small Victories
I had every reason to not show up today. But I did it. Yea!

Run 800+ meters; Stretching

CrossFit One World POWER HOUR
Back Squat 5x3

Overhead Squat 3x3

Press 5x3
55/65/75x2 +2fail

And then...
8 minutes jump rope work
30 GHD sit-ups
30 GHD hip extensions

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I got to class late. Therefore, I opted to do the power hour. It was a blessing in disguise because I really wanted to do some lifting. Overall, I was happy with all my lifts. I do wish I could go heavier on the OHS, but my grip is off. It's just an unnatural lift. Gah!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

ode to young coconut

In case you haven't guessed, I was totally inspired by this post and decided to reclaim the coconut. (Note: I stopped paying attention to the coconut in high school when I discovered that "fat makes you fat." Now I now better!) I'm a HUGE fan of the coconut. I'm from Guam. It's in the blood. However, I've also witnessed first hand how beneficial it is to add young coconut to your diet. (If you don't want to take my word for it, check out this article from MDA.) While living in the Philippines, my mother drank young coconut juice every day. It was accessible and cheap (we're talking less than fifty cents for young coconut juice that was placed in a plastic bag complete with the meat inside - no sugar added!). My mom is always swollen and while we were in the Philippines, the swelling was minimal. She attributes this to the coconut juice. In fact, coconut has a ton of uses - both for cooking and non-cooking. Currently, I eat about 4-5 young coconuts per week, usually after a tough WOD. It's very refreshing and coconut water is nature's version of gatorade. Plus, the meat makes me feel like I'm having dessert without all the guilt. You can buy young coconuts at your local Asian grocery store for under $2.

Friday, Nov 19th
Today's Small Victories
I didn't mean to show up to the box. But with my challenge going on, I have to be strategic about making sure I hit my 30 workouts in 30 days. This meant having to go to the box. I fought it tooth and nail, but I decided the challenge was more important than lying in my warm bed watching TV.

Today's Workout
One hour of yoga in the morning. And then...

CrossFit One World WOD
Complpete five rounds for time of:
10 squat snatches 33#
20 wall balls 10#; 10ft. shot

Joanne's Final Time - 17:33

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I failed to stay for belly dance this morning because my shoulder just wasn't agreeing with me during yoga. This was another reason why I opted to workout tonight. Let's face it. Tonight just wasn't my night. I had to scale the scaled version of the WOD! It's been ages since I've done the snatch and my left side just couldn't shrug 53#, so I just went for the bar. It was good practice, but I felt like a schmuck going so light. Gah. Don't get me started on those damn wall balls! Originally, I was going to do 30 wall balls per round. However, it didn't take long to figure out how much those things suck. Usually, I do 14# for the wall ball, but only hit the 8' mark. I've decided to go lighter and hit the 10' mark. I'll then go heavier as I progress. My shoulders are still tight, so is the back of my right leg. I'm not sure if it's because it's been so cold or if it's because I'm getting old. Bleh!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

playing catch-up

Oh hot cocoa. How I miss thee... Actually, I should stop lying. I haven't exactly given up on coffee and hot cocoa. However, I don't drink them nearly as much as I'd like to. When you're adopting the paleo/primal eating lifestyle, there are some major changes you'll find in terms of eating. For me, I found that sweet things are WAY SWEETER than I remember. This is why I don't really mind opting out of the sweet drinks.

fathlete confession: I'm in LOVE with eggnog lattes. Don't get me started on my love for eggnog. Unfortunately, I won't be drinking many of them this season - and it has nothing to do with the carb count. Simply put, I can't handle the sweetness anymore. Gah!

For now, I still have a love for hot cocoa - the gourmet kind. It's because the sugar content is much lower because they use high quality extra dark cocoa to make it. I don't have it much. But when I do, it's a real treat. Also, I love lattes. They don't have much sugar, but they satisfy my coffee fix. Again, I don't have them often, but when I do, it's a treat. The above photo is of a lovely latte from The Summit, a new favorite hangout of mine.

In fathlete news, here are some articles of interest:
10 Ways Guys Lose Weight
How to avoid holiday family fights
7 Weight Loss Tips from "The Biggest Loser"

Finally, in lieu of yesterday's post, I'm listing the workouts I did since I started myself on my challenge. They're not as detailed as I usually like them to be, but here it goes. My challenge started on Wednesday, November 10th and will conclude on Friday, December 10th. (Note: you don't need to read further. The rest of this entry are notes to myself. Thanks!)

Wednesday, Nov 10th
Today's Workout: 1 hour of Zumba

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I "invested" in this DVD set. While it does the job if I need a workout in a pinch, it's not as rigorous as I'd like it.

Thursday, Nov 11th
Today's Workout: 

Notes (to myself) about this workout: 

Friday, Nov 12th
Today's Workout: 1 hour of yoga; 1 hour of belly dance

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I always enjoy yoga. This was the first time in a long time that I did belly dance. Sadly, there are certain things my body (for now) can no longer do. It was frustrating because I had a hard time keeping up. Bleh.

Saturday, Nov 13th
Today's Workout: 1 hour of Zumba

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I did a different DVD this time. Again, it's not as rigorous as I like. But it did the job. Like belly dance, there are certain movements I'm having problems with. It's just a matter of re-visiting them in the basic DVD. I'm not used to my rhythm being off-beat. It's new to me.

Monday, Nov 15th
Today's Workout:
Complete 21/15/9 reps for time of:
Power Clean 65#
Band assisted ring dips

Joanne's Final Time: N/A (I can't remember.)

Work on back squats

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I still need to work on the band assisted ring dips. I didn't go as low as I need to because my right arm just wouldn't bend for some reason. However, I am happy that I'm finally challenging myself by using the actual rings. I should have gone heavier on the clean - like about 5#-10# heavier. I was so spent that I whimped out on the now optional strength portion.

Tuesday, Nov 16th
Today's Workout: 1 hour of spin. And then...
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
400m run
500m row

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I completed a 1600 meter run and a 2000 meter row (4 rounds total). The row/run sucks. Period. In the morning, I did my first spin class in about two years. OMG. It was great. But getting used to the bike seat is weird. Right now, I feel like I lost my virginity... in the wrong place. Gah!

Wednesday, Nov 17th
Today's Workout: 1 hour of yoga. And then...
One cycle is as many rounds as possible in four minutes of:
3 front squats 85#
5 push-ups (on knees)
7 knees to elbows
Rest two minutes and repeat for a total of four cycles.

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I completed 14 rounds. This was WAY more than I had anticipated. Next time, I need to bump up the weight. 85# was good and was over the sx'd recommendation, but I should have pushed it to 95#. This was a great WOD, I must say. Also, I had to change the grip on the knees to elbows so I was holding on with my palm instead of my fingers. There was less pinching that way. To note, my form on the front squat was great! As always, yoga is great.

Thursday, Nov 18th
Today's Workout:
Complete the following tasks within the one hour training session time:
Run 2.2 miles (around the block twice)
100 hip extensions
100 Abmat sit-ups
100 air squats

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Believe it or not, I actually like days like this because you just have to finish. No time (unless you want to), but finish. I did the run first and the broke up the rest of the WOD like so: 25 hip extensions; 50 Abmat sit-ups; 25 hip extensions; 50 Abmat sit-ups; 25 hip extensions; 50 air squats; 25 hip extensions; 50 air squats. I'm not sure if this was allowed, but it's how I had to do it. The muscle behind my right knee started to stiffen, which made the latter part of this WOD extremely painful. However, I stopped, used some of the torture devices to mend it, and then went right back at it. I finished within the hour with about 10 minutes to spare. This is because I didn't really rest in between exercises. I'm really happy I was able to make it in to OW today. With the 7:15 class getting cut, Thursdays are a challenge.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthday Challenge: 30 days to 35!

I'm turning the big 3-5 next month. In order to celebrate the milestone, I've decided to participate in a special birthday challenge. I'm calling it "30 Days to 35!" Here are the parameters of the challenge:

- In thirty days I will complete thirty workouts.
- The workouts will consist of things I love: CrossFit, yoga, dance, and spinning.
- Each workout will be at least 45 minutes long.

I am participating in this challenge for the following reasons:

Reason #1: At One World, I know it's customary for a birthday WOD to be designed for the birthday person at hand. While I like the idea of a birthday WOD, some of the WODs have been insane. Seriously. If you're going to honor me with a birthday WOD, please let it be a WOD that I actually look forward to doing. It doesn't have to be a whimpy WOD, but it can't be as brutal as 235 burpees for time. Really.... Design a WOD that will push and challenge me, and allow me to feel accomplished. Ahem. Thanks. With that, I decided to push myself. Instead of having one major birthday WOD, I'm celebrating the big 3-5 by committing to thirty workouts in thirty days. I want to celebrate my new age with a new outlook on working out.

Reason #2: I've been in a workout funk for a while now. If you give me permission to be lazy or not show up for a workout, I'll do it. I'll be a lazy ass. This challenge should help me get out of my funk and back into workout mode.

Reason #3: As a self-described "casual CrossFitter," I'm trying to explore the other things I like to do to stay healthy. CrossFit is not gospel. I can't stand these narrow-minded people who, in their love and passion for CrossFit, decide to write off every other form of exercise out there. Love CrossFit all you want, but do you have to shit all over globo gyms in the process? Ahem. When you start naming your children after WODs, you're insane and I refuse to be a member of your crazy club! Different strokes for different folks, people. I love CrossFit, but I acknowledge that it has its limitations. This challenge is helping me touch base with these other interests while allowing me to add more tools to my workout toolbox.

Reason #4: I want to see how this affects my new way of eating! I'm taking my official blood test a few days before my birthday in order to see if eating with a new sense of purpose makes a difference in the numbers.

My challenge started last week and ends on my birthday (12/10). So far, I'm on track, averaging one workout (sometimes two) per day. I'll let you know how it turns out;)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

inspired! (continued)

Hello all! Yesterday I posted a story written by someone named Andrew Pogai, who runs a blog called Polynesian Weight Loss. My dear friend Fui posted his story on facebook, and it led me to a facebook group called the Pacific Health Club (PHC). (If you're on facebook, check them out!) According to their page, the mission of PHC is this:

PHC is a collaboration of Pacific Islander health and fitness professionals working to fight obesity through specialized and effective fitness and nutrition programs and events designed for Pacific Islanders by Pacific Islanders.

Though it's under construction, the PHC has a website that can be found here.

As I mentioned yesterday, I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this gem. Reading their sites and the challenges that they design to inspire a healthier Pacific Islander community is really inspiring to me. In particular, I was struck at how this article prompted the formation of the PHC. Of course, I am also struck by the idea of Pacific Islanders tackling health within the community. Often times, it's helpful to consult with people who you can really relate to and can design an eating and exercise program that is conducive to your own interests. (Hel-lo! I love that the PHC is doing hot hula and boot camp courses! And reclaiming the coconut into your diet?! I'm ALL about it!)

Call me a nationalist (or ignorant depending on where you're coming from), but I think it's important to tailor health interests to fit specific community needs. When I think about the alarming rates of heart disease and diabetes in the Filipino and Pacific Islander community, I find it disturbing that within (and outside) the community, cuisine from this part of the world is thought of as unhealthy. In turn, people think that we are, by nature, doomed to fail at having good health. This is because our cuisine is often defined by our massive consumption of corned beef, spam, and vienna sausage. Ahem. Take note. This cuisine is not indigenous to our respective cultures. Rather, they are products of colonization - a project whose goal is to literally kill indigenous people across the world. (Okay. I digress. Back to my point.)

I would like to give my deepest respect to the folks behind PHC. I thank you for recognizing that eating well and maintaining good health is not only vital to the survival of our communities, it is also a political act. Bravo to you!

Today's Small Victories
I came up with my "30 days to 35" Challenge.

8 minutes of jump rope work

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete 9 rounds for time of:
5 deadlifts 115#
5 handstand subs
5 burpees

Joanne's Final Time - N/A (but I think I took about 15 minutes)

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Since I missed Tuesday and Wednesday, I decided to combine the two WODs. (For the record, I think doing 235 burpees to honor the USMC is pure insanity. I settled on doing just 45 burpees.) I kinda liked this WOD. Yes, I'd do it again:)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I must thank my dear friend Fui for sharing this post on facebook. It's basically one guy's paleo approach, but Pacific Island style! I'll write more about this person, the organization he is involved in, and why I think they rock in another upcoming post. For now, please enjoy the entry that I copied from their facebook fanpage below. (Note: I did make some formatting changes so it would be viewer friendly for this blog. None of the content or text were changed, however.)

Polynesian Diet Strategies - 7 tips to help you lose weight permanently
By Andrew Pogai

I am constantly amazed when I hear stories of Polynesians who suddenly passed away from heart attack, diabetes, and even colon cancer, at such a young age. My grandfather was very young when he died from colon cancer. My mother who is now 62 has suffered from a long history of chronic illnesses, arthritis, stroke, and now has diabetes. Outside of my immediate family, I see other Polynesians suffering from diet induced diseases, and I fear they will not live to see their grandchildren. So what is happening to our people, and what can we do to stop it?

I am going to give you seven of the best tips you can implement to lose weight, and get back your health starting right now, but first I want to tell you a little about myself.

I am a Polynesian male in my late thirties. I was born and raised in New Zealand to loving parents of six children. I came to the United States in the late nineties to attend school. After the first year of College, I had gained some extra weight, about 15lbs. No big deal right, wrong. As each year passed I was gaining more and more unsightly body fat.

This was extremely abnormal for me, since I was fairly active and played a great deal of competitive sports, such as rugby, basketball, tennis and volleyball. I have always had a good sense about being in shape and was growing frustrated at the elusive body fat accumulating day to day. I ignored it for a long time until one day I was flipping through some photos I just developed. I saw a shot of myself where my back was facing the camera. For a brief moment I was confused as to who that was. I didn't even recognize myself. I was embarrassed and ashamed to realize that the way I thought I looked, and how I actually looked were completely different. Is this what people were seeing?

At this point I bought a pair of scales to assess the damage. After three years of denial I weighed a hefty 246lbs. I was stunned. This wasn't the worst part. I was beginning to have bad chest pains, and experienced dizziness and shortness of breath. I felt tired all the time. I was also becoming more and more depressed. So what was going on? Well, in a nutshell, I was eating the wrong foods, at the wrong times, and way too much of it.

I decided I was going to embark on a mission, to lose 30lbs, after all how hard can that be right. I mean I am a hard worker, should be a snap. So I did what most people do, head out to the local gym, sign up for a membership and personal trainer, bought all the protein bars, shakes and supplements they recommended. I even subscribed to a fitness magazine and purchased products they recommended. All in all I had spent a small fortune in order to get started, but this was fine because I was really committing myself.

I spent the next 3 months working out with my trainer twice a week, and on my own four times a week, with only Sunday off. My workouts consisted of 35-45mins of cardio six days a week and weight training for 60 Min's 5 days a week. At first I started to lose weight by 4-5lbs a week. I was really excited, then slowly but surely, it started to drop to 2lbs a week, then not even one. My trainer told me 'we need to tweak your diet a little, and work a little harder'. Believe me when I tell you I was busting my butt to get in shape. There were days when I was the only one in the gym at 1.30am doing cardio. The cleaners would joke around saying I needed to pay rent I was there so much.

And then it happened, at my next weigh in day I had actually gained 2lbs. My trainer assured me this was muscle gain, and not to worry as the scales don't distinguish between muscle gain, and fat gain, or muscle loss and fat loss for that matter. I was skeptical because I felt so much weaker. I couldn't bench or leg press what I could 3 months earlier, and if I was really gaining muscle, shouldn't I be stronger. It didn't make sense to me. Nevertheless I continued on to the end of our scheduled training program. When all was said and done I weighed 227lbs. I had lost 19lbs, not bad, but a far cry from my goal of 30lbs.

The worst thing about it, was that I didn't look much different, just smaller. It was discouraging to me to think I had worked so hard for 3 months and was still not happy with the way I looked. I was still flabby, still undefined, and still felt tired all the time, some days even more tired than when I was heavier. Then it dawned on me, the trainers at the gym had taken specific courses and certifications to help their clients get into better shape. Perhaps they were not specific enough for me. I started to pay a lot more attention to the things I ate, the types of foods, as well as how they affected me, even the foods recommended by my trainer which I had taken as gospel. Here is what I found.

1. Many of the carbohydrates I was eating, even the healthy fibrous carbs, had an adverse affect on me.

2. I could stuff myself with veges and fruits all day long and still be hungry.

3. I would eat less then 36g of fat a day for weeks and still be flabby.

4. Eating the forbidden red meat made me feel strong and induced powerful workouts.

5. Eating coconut, a food rich in saturated fats curbed my hunger, and accelerated my fat loss.

6. Eating larger meals less often, gave me unbelievable energy, despite the accepted idea of eating smaller frequent meals.

7. Healthy grains, such as oatmeal, and wheat bread slowed my weight loss.

8. Cardio sessions left me feeling weak and depleted, and you guessed it, still smooth, not cut.

9. Weight training energized me.

10. All the protein shakes I was using were making me fat.

11. White rice surprisingly did not.

12. Although yams were sweeter than potatoes, they helped my progress, where potatoes hindered.

13. I could eat a lot, and I mean a lot of fish, and still get lean.

I realize now that there is a uniqueness to the Polynesian body and how many of the accepted laws and practices of the fitness industry do not apply to us.

Last year I travelled to Cambodia. While I was there I couldn't help but notice how slender and healthy the people of that culture were, despite being a third world country, or perhaps due to it. Obesity was practically non existent, and I thought to myself there must be something to the way they eat. I really doubt the average Cambodian has a membership to Golds Gym, and I didn't see them out running all the time. Many of them where just sitting around on the streets.

When I flew back to the US my first stop was San Fransisco Airport, and there was no mistaking being back in America. Eight out of ten people I saw were either overweight or obese. I thought more about the Cambodian culture. What did they eat so ordinarily that kept them in shape? Then it came to me. They eat the foods their bodies have evolved to assimilate. It was an epiphany of mass proportion. Once I realised this I could apply it to myself right. Well, I couldn't have been more right.

I began to research more and more about my heritage. Where did I come from? Who are my parents? Where are they from? What did the people from that region of the world eat before the introduction of commercially processed foods? Now I was getting somewhere. It all led to genetics.

I researched several case studies from the early sixties concerning cultures from the isles of the sea. It was amazing to see the differences in what they ate and how they obtained their food. It was also sad to see how their health has plummeted as they have strayed from that food. It has long been understood that in order to discover truth, you must go to the source. Unchanged and untainted, it is the wellspring from which all knowledge will flow. Cheap imitations may mimic the truth, but from their fruits, they will be revealed.

What I am speaking of are fake foods, fake fats, fake sugars, engineered additives, harmful chemicals, and unnatural preservatives, powders, shakes, and meal replacements to name a few. All in all they eventually reveal themselves through unsightly bodies, crippling health issues, and the loss of quality of life. As soon as I started eliminating all processed foods, refined sugars, and all so called health foods, my fat loss skyrocketed. In just a few weeks, I had lost 14lbs, and the weight continued to come off. My energy levels were very high, and this made me more excited and motivated to exercise. Over the next 3 months I had lost a significant amount of body fat and a total of 38lbs not including the 19lbs I had lost working my butt off. Funny thing was that I was working out half as much as I was to lose those 19lbs, as I did to lose the 38lbs. I was really onto something. All in all I had lost a total of 57lbs.

One day at the gym, a trainer was blown away by how I looked. He had the audacity to ask me 'what happened?', as if I had survived a life threatening disease. He then asked 'what's your secret', and I found myself caught in the irony of telling a trainer that my secret was diet and exercise. This was the same advice I had paid over $900 for three months earlier. If only that advice were the right diet, and the right exercise for a Polynesian. Well, back to genetics.

I discovered something very interesting about my heritage. My parents are from the Polynesian islands. My father was born in Lotopa Upolu, and my mother in Suva Fiji. Genetic mapping shows that these cultures have strong links to the indigenous people of Taiwan, and that they are more closely linked to this culture than any other. I thought, hm, seems plausible; Polynesians love chop suey, eat a lot of rice, love their fish, even eat it raw like the Asian cultures. All I did was eat more of the foods they would have eaten on those islands fifty years ago, and why, because these are the foods my body has evolved to assimilate, despite the fact that my diet can contain as much as 60% saturated fats. Yep, you read it right. I can eat a lot more fat and be lean and healthy if they are natural fats, but I cannot eat a small amount of sugar and get away with it.

I went on to discover many important aspects of health that are specific to Polynesians, which cannot be addressed in the scope of this article, but here are some guide lines to help you lose weight safely and permanently.

Tip #1 You must lower your carbohydrates and eliminate processed foods
Before the white man showed up on the islands, organic foods were called ordinary foods. Nothing was processed, and the work effort alone to provide food for your family would be enough to keep anyone lean.

Tip #2 Increase your fiber intake

Tip #3 Drink more water. Get rid of sodas, sports drinks, alcohol, diet beverages, and caffeinated drinks, with the exception of green tea. Polynesians can benefit a great deal from green tea as it has been used by their ancestors (Asians) for medicinal purposes for more than 2000 years. Can't be wrong.

Tip #4 Eat more protein. Eat whole foods in the form of organic pork, organic beef, and fish. Hey this is the best part. It's what we love and our bodies are designed for it.

Tip #5 Replace your olive, vegetable and corn oils with coconut oil. Although olive oil is highly recommended and a mainstay of most diets, last time I checked no islanders descended from Italians. Again believe me when I say, our bodies have evolved to assimilate coconut oil better than any other. Various studies show that although there is little nutritional value in coconut oil, many people lose weight by eating it.

In the islands coconut and coconut cream is used in everything. Sixty percent of the normal diet is comprised of saturated fat compared to the typical western diet of thirty five to forty five percent fat, yet the islanders had less heart disease and less blood cholesterol. Diabetes, and colon cancer were completely absent before the introduction of processed foods. Problems arise when you combine these high natural oil diets with refined sugars, and processed foods containing chemicals, additives and preservatives that wreak havoc on the typical Polynesian body type. Things like spam, and canned corned beef that use fake fats are dangerous, and should not be eaten.

Tip #6 Avoid these foods at all cost. High Fructose Corn Syrup Refined sugar Fake fats such as trans fats and partially hydrogenated oil Artificial sweeteners and diet foods Dairy Soy products. If you are eliminating all processed foods you will not have a difficulty with most of these. Also avoid processed meats, such as bacon and deli meats as they can contain modified salts, sugars and dangerous nitrates.

Tip #7 Keep a food journal. You may be surprised at how much you eat, or how little. If you keep a journal, you will have an accurate record of how your body is affected by different foods. This is a very useful tool.

Obviously there are so many things you can learn that break down the very specifics of dieting techniques, but trust me, these simple techniques will work for you as they have for me. I have kept the weight off for six years now, and feel terrific. I do recommend that you do more research as I did, to learn everything you can about successful weight loss, and how it relates to you specifically. Don't be disheartened by all the information that is available out there. A lot of the diet strategies and work out programs won't work for us, but some of them will. Educate yourself, for knowledge is power. Nothing is more important than investing in your own health, and that of your family.

For more info and free advice on proven diet strategies for Polynesians and Pacific Islanders please visit

Today's Small Victories
I did not eat out today and have been cooking up a storm!

Run 400 meters

CrossFit One World WOD
Back Squat 5x5

Start a running clock and run 200m. At the 2 minute mark perform a tabata of thrusters 65#. At the 6 minute mark, run 200m. At 8 minute mark perform a tabata of pull-ups (modified on bands). Rest 90 seconds when done, and then run 400m. Count total reps and write down last 400m time.

Joanne's Final Time - 26 thrusters; 35 pull-ups; 2:41 run

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I'm glad that we're doing rx'd and scaled versions of the WOD. This allows me to strategize accordingly without feeling like a cheat. I was proud to do the thrusters rx'd. Though I didn't get a lot of reps in (Freddy wanted 4-5 reps per cycle), I did go over my goal of 3 reps per cycle. I strategized on the run and for the pull-ups, I used two bands to just get into the habit of practicing my pull-ups. Yea.

Oh yeah. I PR'd my 5 rep back squat. Woot!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

great workout week!

One certain thing in my life is this: Bradass always makes me smile. But this photo makes me laugh hysterically. You gotta love those random photos from the One World files!

For Monday:
Today's Small Victories
I made it in! Also, I had a great meeting with my advisor and I'm chipping away at the writing in fine style!

I forgot:(

CrossFit One World WOD
3 back squats on the minute every minute for 10 minutes. 120#

Partner workout. Each partner is tasked to finish the following work:
2 muscle-ups
4 rope climbs
6 ring dips
8 knees to elbows
10 ring push-ups
12 burpees
14 wall balls
16 kettlebell swings
18 pull-ups
20 dumbbell thrusters
22 GHD hip extensions
24 GHD sit-ups
26 air squats
28 double unders
One partner rows 500m while the other chips away at the work one item (in order) at a time. Once the first rower is done with 500m, the partners switch. Each person will row 500m five times. Always start your work where you left off. Each partner will post the time that it took to finish all 14 movements, but will continue to switch on the row until five 500m rows have been completed.

Joanne's Final Time - I made it to 10 DB thrusters

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I went light and modified on this WOD because I could tell it was a tough one. Stupidly, I followed Nate's advice and stayed after to finish the sequence. Gah. Nothing good every came from being good. When I got home I was completely spent. Seriously. Instead of eating dinner or a snack, I crashed and didn't wake up til the next day.

For Tuesday:
Today's Small Victories
I made it in. I'm sure there were other things to celebrate, but I can't recall them right now.

Catching up with the rowing.

CrossFit One World WOD
Deadlift 5/5/5/5/5

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
15 kettlebell swings 35#
10 knees to elbows (modified)
5 ring dips (modified)

Joanne's Final Count - 8 rounds + 12 KB swings

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I really need work on the deadlift. It's still my least favorite lift. I was proud because for the first time in a WOD, I did the ring dips with the band. Granted, I did them poorly, but I do feel my upper body strength improving.

For Wednesday:
Today's Small Victories
Even though I had dinner plans, I managed to workout.

Today's workout:
One hour of yoga

Notes (to myself) about this workout: The last two days at the box were intense. Therefore, an hour of yoga was greatly appreciated. There's a part of the sequence where I can tell that I've been getting stronger. Granted, I'm not at pull-up status yet. But I'm getting more consistent at hitting some type of workout everyday.