Thursday, July 26, 2012

Guest Blogger: Dianne Burger DeGreeff...Total TAMspiration

Dianne Burger DeGreeff continues to inspire me-- from her 2 hour workouts to her fitness model bod!  (She's not a fitness model, she just looks like one!)  She took the time to share her story, including a very personal health scare that was debilitating and frightening until she was finally (and correctly) diagnosed.

Here are her insanely amazing before and after pics:

BEFORE: Bursting with Baby!
AFTER: What Baby Weight?  TAM Results!
How long have you been doing the Tracy Anderson Method and what changes have you seen in your body since starting?
 I started TA a little more than 4 and1/2 years ago after the birth of my third child. I had been active with workouts since my 20's. I use to run 8 miles a day/ 7 days a week along with fitness classes and lifting weights. I also took private Pilates classes and ended up teaching Pilates for about 2 years and gave everything else up. Pilates seemed to get me back to pre-baby weight.  After my last child was born, there was a lot of extra skin hanging around my mid-section. She was 9lbs.7oz. and two weeks late, so my stomach was about to bust with her. I had also lost a baby at 4 months, three moths prior to getting pregnant with my last. I was reading Kiwi magazine and saw an interview with Tracy. She was promoting her Post Pregnancy DVD and saying that this workout would get the skin back to muscle. That was all I needed to hear and immediately ordered it.

At first, I was alternating TA’s Post-Pregnancy workout with Pilates. I kept hearing Tracy say, "Really commit to my method only.”  So I finally stopped the Pilates. I then found out I was pregnant again but lost that baby at three months. I continued working out and I ordered the Dance Cardio 08 DVD. I did both MS and Cardio everyday, 7 days a week. My goal was to get the roll of skin to disappear but I lost 18 pounds on top of it. I ordered the Mat DVD and then the Malawi webisodes came out and she had a workout in Cosmo starting every month. I searched the Internet and Youtube continuously to find more of her stuff. Clients, friends and even strangers were asking what I did for my fitness routines.

When the rumors of a new 10 day monthly program came out I started to panic. Once I accumulated all of her material, I made up my own rotations and did a different workout everyday along with DC. I was happy with the results too. I knew I couldn't miss the boat on the new monthly stuff so I hesitantly did the 30 day method as prescribed. I knew that if I saw any changes in the wrong direction, I would cease the 10 day thing and go back to what I was doing prior. I am kinda type A. I didn't lose any results so I continued on to Meta. I actually had a couple of friends from another TA group that were in the testing of Meta. They were raving about it. I was used to a 2+ hour workout and the thought of cutting back to 1 hour made my palms sweat. So I decided to do two Meta's : Omni and Ab. I have continued with that and am now on Continuity 2.

A health scare changed your life.  What happened?
When I was teaching pilates, I went into adreanal failure. I was cutting hair five days a week, teaching 8 classes a day and had two kids under the age of two plus a husband and house to take care of. I was burning the candle at both ends. I got the flu virus and it knocked my feet out from underneath me. I started having anxiety attacks so bad that I ended up in the ER several times. I knew something was wrong with my body but could not get an answer. Every doctor that I talked to asked me about my marriage and home life. They wanted to put me on anti-depressant drugs. After months of this I finally caved. I went on something for three days and I was worse than before.

My body is very sensitive to drugs and I have had life threatening allergic reactions. After a year of MRI's, stress tests and numerous blood tests, I wasn't any closer to an answer. The anxiety attacks were debilitating. I would lay in bed afraid to get up. I thought I was losing my mind. I prayed for an answer. I left the salon I was working in and came home with a third of my clients. One of my clients told me about a man she went to see about her hormones. He was a compounding pharmacist that specialized in women's hormone issues. I went to him and had my hormones tested by saliva.

Weeks later he called with my results and when I heard him say, "I don't know how you get up in the morning," I cried with relief. Finally someone understood.

My adreanal levels were dangerously low. He put me on bio-identical hormone cream designed specifically for me and what I was depleted off. I had to lay flat for an hour a day so that my adreanals could somehow repair themselves. It took several months to get energy back. I started doing 30 min. of Pilates a day and then slowly started to do more. To the shock of my pharmacist, I got pregnant and then lost that baby at 4 months. Three months later I got pregnant with my last child.

You’ve been incorporating other fitness styles into your weekly workouts-- what are they and how are they affecting your training/body/muscle tone?
I am a fiercely loyal person and a "dance with the one who brought you" kind of a girl. But I noticed things that I wanted to see improve that had not with my TA journey. My husband thought I was crazy and loved the way I looked and could not or would not see what I was seeing. So I added Glute into my routine. My butt was still hanging down onto the top of my thigh. I felt that as much as I worked out, I should have been able to bounce a quarter off my ass. (Hehe!)

Two months ago, I hit a wall. I literally made myself sick contemplating what I should do about my workouts. I was reading all these things about HIIT and other workouts, living on the fitness tab of Pintrest and analyzing bodies of fitness models. I finally called a good friend of mine and she convinced me that I needed a change. It’s the word I dread: "Change". So I dropped my TA down to 5 days a week and made Saturdays and Sundays my "new thing" days. Right now I am happy with what I am seeing.

My daily workout is Omni and Ab unless they are the same and then I will do Glute with them. I also add on extra abs, arms and some good old leg moves. I love Amanda Russell and Tracy Campoli. I rotate the extra work. I have been doing AR's Ultimate Butt, Hip and Thigh workout everyday with my TA and am really seeing improvement in my lower butt/ upper thigh area. On Saturdays, I do Dream Body and some Valerie Waters HIIT, and AR's abs and arms. Sundays are all Amanda Russell: A HIIT interval cardio along with Booty blaster, arms and abs. Then after dinner I go on a 4 mile walk. Monday comes and I do it all over again.

I think I will do TA until I can't do it anymore.... I will be 45 this year.

How do you balance workouts with family commitments?
Working out is like brushing my teeth. It has to be done whether I feel like it or not. I do it when I'm sick, PMSing, tired. It doesn't matter. I even workout out on vacation cause, hello, I am eating ice cream every night and in a bikini EVERYDAY!! I don't even think about taking a day off. It is my therapy. I homeschool my three children and work out of my house three evenings a week. So I workout first thing in the morning. The kids know this and keep themselves occupied. I have done it all their lives. My Mom just passed away two years ago from complications with breast cancer. She was overweight my whole life. Had all the typical things that obese people suffer with. High blood pressure, diabetes, had to have both knees replaced twice. The list goes on and on. Her mother was the same way. I decided that it will not happen to me or my children. They get to eat ice cream and cookies but they also know that we only get one body and we each have a specific job to do in this life. They know that we need to take care of our bodies. Sometimes they will do Wii fit or other exercise DVD's while I am in my gym doing my workout. On Sunday evenings, I walk a trail near my house after dinner or the track at a high school. The kids like to go with me and walk or ride their bikes. We have a pool, so they swim everyday in the summer. We are just an active family.

What is your diet like?
I have changed my diet a little also. I realized that I was not getting enough calories. I experimented a little and added in more protein and calories and boom, dropped two pounds. I was just thrilled to be eating more because I like food. I always ate somewhat clean except for my cheat days. We eat all organic and clean at home during the week but weekends are free. I had been grinding my own grain (wheat) and never deprived the kids or myself of goodies like cookies or cakes because I knew they were not full of crap.  I was reading on my FB groups about Paleo and grain free diets. So once again, I started experimenting. I still have my cheat days on the weekends but I cut back on grains during the week. I only have Oat flour or Oats.

I am seeing some great changes. I don't know if it is diet or adding in new workouts or both but I am seeing some sweet definition.

My typical  diet is:
Breakfast: Monday,Wednesday, Friday: Smoothie and a sprouted wheat English Muffin with lots of butter and apricot jam.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Biggest Loser Oatmeal Pancakes.

Lunches: a salad with tuna or leftover protein of some sort, cranberries, feta and balsamic/olive oil dressing. OR tuna salad with cranberries and scoop it up with celery sticks.

Dinner: Some kind of meat, veggie and salad.

Snack: HOME MADE FULL FAT Greek Yogurt!!!! I make it myself and I love it!! with some kind of fruit. Right now I am hooked on frozen pineapple (Trader Joes) and frozen raspberries with maple syrup.
A couple of pieces of good Dark Chocolate

Beverages: Water or Kombucha ( I make my own)

Alcohol: NONE

 …on defying genetics and changing your life:
I just finished reading my friends autobiography. She just turned 53 and has Cystic Fibrosis. She was officially diagnosed at 12 and was told she probably wouldn't  make it to 13 but no older than 18. I met her at the gym running next to me on the treadmill with a PIC line in her arm about 15 years ago. She credits exercise for her long life with this horrible deadly disease.. Her life inspires me to continue on my fitness journey. 

My favorite saying is "Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes". I totally agree. TA talks about defying genetics, I agree with that too. Not only am I defying that fat in my family history but also the health and quality of life. Only you can motivate yourself to do something. I have changed my thoughts of wanting to look like someone else to pushing myself to see what I can become.  Not to compare myself to others but to compare myself yesterday to the person I am today. I am learning to be less critical of myself and live my life in grace. I aspire to grow in my faith also. 

There has to be a balance. I have to work my insides just as much as my outside. Because when it is all said and done, I can't take this body with me. We need to love and nurture ourselves and others. We need to be able to share our deepest regrets and fears with each other and not be judged. I strive to live my life by the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would like to be treated.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Update: To Diet or Not...

There's a reason the word DIE is part of DIET.  Nothing about dieting makes me feel very ALIVE or WELL.  It's why I am an abominable failure at doing it.

Mistress of Extremes, here, can manage to drink lemonade for 17 days, but can't stick to an actual diet plan without veering off the rails and diving headfirst into a cheeseburger and a gallon of vino.

Since my last post, I've considered spending the next week on the HCG diet, going back to the Master Cleanse, eating nothing but hard boiled eggs and cottage cheese (hey-- it worked for me back in 2001!) or doing the Atkins Fat Blast. 

And then I realized that I've been so focused on the best diet and losing weight, that I haven't been actually been thinking about the job that's starting in ONE WEEK!  The job that is so critical for my career right now.... going back to TV and doing what I do best: Reporting.

All of this energy spent thinking about losing weight for the camera, I've stressed myself out, started grinding my teeth and have put on 3 more pounds!  Enough is enough.

I am not going to risk being distracted, delirious or daffy from some crazy crash diet for the loss of a little bit of weight that would most likely come right back after a real meal. I've thought long and hard, and it's just not worth it.  500 calories ain't gonna cut it.  And neither is a can of Slimfast.  I need FUEL to be the best possible reporter I can be.  Because, I know better than anyone, that what you're feeling on the inside is immediately projected to your audience.

So, instead of a crash diet, I'm doing my best to go back to basics:  Lean protein, low carbs, low sugar.  Keep up with Meta and cardio.  Get enough sleep.  Somehow I think that once I take the focus OFF the weight, the weight will do just that....come OFF.

And instead of letting my nerves get the best of me, I'm trying to remember THIS CHICK.... (you HAVE to watch the video!)

The one who wore a bikini over her clothes and did a cannonball into a pool of Navy Seals in training on live television!  That's the girl that I want to channel when I'm reporting about Olympic swimmers, YO!  (Well, maybe without the goggles....)



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pistol Packed Confession

I have a confession to make.

I went for the quick fix.  The fad.  The hype.  The starve on 500 calories a day with a dose of pregnancy hormone. 

I ordered HCG.

Not the injections.  The drops.

I feel like a total hypocrite admitting this, because, several months ago, when I was at my all-time highest weight (176), my doctor actually suggested the HCG diet.  He told me I needed to lose 30 pounds, that I was obese (mistakenly calculating my BMI to be in the obese range!) and said I should email him my results.  I was devastated and furious.

But since my California trip and post-cleanse, the scale has been creeping back up and Miss Muffin Top and her nasty ass sister, Gutty McFatty, have moved back in.  I cringe every time I see them—"unwelcome guests" is an understatement.

My metabolism is obviously still in total havoc.  I’ve been eating relatively clean during the day, but then it usually all goes to shit at night, when I eat too much and usually have a glass (or 3 of wine).  Consistency and moderation are my biggest challenges.

The rational part of me would assess this situation and say, “OK, Parker.  You’ve got to cut down on portions, cut OUT the booze and get your ass dance cardio-ing.”

The irrational part of me says, “Bee-atch—you’re out of time.  Muffin and Gutty are going to be stealing your spotlight when the camera starts rolling in 12 days!”

You see, lovelies, the Mistress is making her return to the airwaves on July 30th when I start freelance work for NBC during the Olympics.  Awesome, right?

Not awesome when the scale is tipping 170.  Yup.  There it is.  I uttered that hideous number.

I’ve been jumping from one method of eating to the next in the last couple months— most recently trying out Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution.  Her philosophy is to eat light during the day and properly food combine (fruit in the morning and mostly raw vegan until your evening meal.)  This involves the infamous Glowing GreenSmoothie and a lot of salads. 

I hate salad.

Eating salad for me reminds me of when I dated a very nice guy before I met Badmuthafucka.  The nice guy wore a lot of khaki pants, button downs, went to church on Sunday and loved baseball.  He was about as apple pie All-American as you get.  He was so nice.  And so normal.  For those of you who’ve gotten to know me via Facebook and reading my blog, nice and normal are boring not really my favorite adjectives…certainly not the vernacular I would use to describe my life. 

Part of why I stayed with Mr. Nice for so long was because I felt like he lent me the kind of stability I needed at the time—he was a good boyfriend and would have been a good husband. I stayed because I felt like it was the right thing to do.  NOT because I was truly, madly, deeply in love.

The longer I was with Mr. Nice and had nice and normal evenings in watching the Red Sox, the more I craved excitement, creative energy and wild nights of passion….Kind of like when I try to eat nice salads every day like I’m “supposed to”—the more I crave rich, decadent food.

Either way, I was headed for a binge.

In the Nice Guy scenario, my binge came in the form of 25 year old sculptor with a Mohawk and pistols tattooed to this abdomen with the banners: Honor and Labor.  Let’s just say, the Mistress made it her mission to get up close and personal with those guns….Locked and Loaded, indeed. 

Best Rebound Ever...

I went from one extreme (Nice Guy) to the other extreme (Mohawk man with Pistols).  At some point, I realized I needed something in-between to make me truly happy.  Enter Badmuthafucka.  He’s got all the stable qualities I needed from Mr. Nice, with all of the art, passion and um, even bigger guns, (as you can see from the pic) than Mr. Mohawk!  SCORE!

Bringing out the Big Guns: My TRUE love
I just haven’t found that sweet spot with my diet.

Off my anti-depressant and my ADD meds, my appetite is voracious and I find myself obsessing over food more.  Not in an eating disordered way, but in a way that takes up too much time in my head.  I just want to find a plan that WORKS FOR ME.  The extremes are not healthy and I know it. 

Intuitive eating makes total sense, but continues to elude me as far as applying it. 

So, back to the HCG.

The diet plan calls for a mere 500 calories a day and drops put under your tongue 3x daily.  I thought, “I’ll just reduce my calories, but won’t do the diet since it’s too restrictive.”  EPIC FAIL.  The first 2 days call for “loading”—where you eat a ton of fatty/carby food for an excess of calories before doing the super low cal diet.  I loaded alright.  To the tune of 8 pounds in 2 days!!!!!!  WTF????

It’s taken me a week to get back to my pre-load weight.

So now, I’m 170 pounds with Miss Muffintop and Gutty taunting me in the mirror.  TV puts on 10 pounds, damnit!!!  I can’t bear the thought of 180 pounds of ME in HD!!!!!

I’m trying to figure out what to do.  I still have the drops, obviously, so my plan at this point is to suck it up, do the damn diet and lose what I can before my TV gig and then come up with some kind of middle ground for a lifestyle eating plan moving forward.

Yo-yo dieting DOES NOT WORK.  I know this.  I’m just effing up my metabolism further by doing this shit, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  I hate admitting it, but I’m feeling just that….Desperate. 

On a positive note, exercise has been good…I’m in the middle of Level 1 of Meta Omni and alternating cardio for 40-50 minutes a day with TAM dance cardio and Hamelin cardio.

Atleast it doesn’t feel like I’ve got a loaded gun to my head….oh wait, I remember that now…(tee hee!)

Any and all insight would be appreciated! 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Guest Blogger: Bea Thompson....(She's a Yoga Goddess and a HIIT Hottie!)

For the next few weeks, I've invited some incredible women to guest blog for Mistress of the Method.  I've met so many inspiring people on Facebook throughout my Tracy Anderson journey, and as I learn more about them and their lives, I want to share their insight, their knowledge and their workout wisdom with all of you.

This week, I'm thrilled to introduce you to my "Sister from another Mister"-- the lovely Bea Thompson.  She and her fiancé live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she radiates super cool energy, she's got a collection of skull bandanas just like me... and I can't wait to meet her in person when Badmuthafucka and I head west next!

Since the Mistress is a journalist by trade, I figured I'd put my good interviewing skills to work....Below is my Q & A session with Bea....Enjoy!
ROCKIN' Bod.  Holy Hotness!

Q: How long have you been doing TAM? 
A: I've been doing TAM since March of 2011.  I subscribe to GOOP, and Gwyneth was going on and on about Tracy's book and how fabulous she is.  I bought a copy and did the 30 day bootcamp, but the diet seemed a little restrictive, so I didn't do it.  After bootcamp, I began searching online for free videos, and I did the Hampton's webisode for awhile and other bits and pieces I found on YouTube.   Then I bought Perfect Design 1 and 3 off of Amazon, did those for another three months or so.  Around Christmas I signed up for Metamorphosis after I saw it on GOOP.  I am Hipcentric, I hold my weight from my navel to my knees…and my arms.  I'm currently on Continuity Hip, day 245.
Super cute in her Victoria's Secret Dress!
Q: What changes have you seen in your body since starting TAM?
A: My abs have definitely gotten flatter, and my hips have become more narrow.  Meta hip also gets the glutes, and my butt has become more lifted and my muffin top has shrunk nicely.  My thighs are really difficult to budge, but they are tighter and I have good definition between by butt and hamstrings.  I also carry some cellulite in the front of my thighs, and although it's gotten smoother since I started TAM, I have to credit my Zaggora Hotpants for that change. 
Overall everything has begun to pull in, but it took a year of consistency and a decent diet to get there.  When I was suffering from my ED, I lost so much muscle tissue that I felt weak when I first started working out again.  Part of my recovery was that I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and I gained about 35 pounds very rapidly.  I know that if I had been working out regularly that I would have gained muscle as I ate more calories, but the only workout I was doing before TAM was teaching hot yoga twice a week.  So all the weight was puffy fat.  
I'm lucky in that I know exercise physiology; I worked as a personal trainer for 12 years and was a bodybuilder for a short time. I amend TAM with heavier weights (5 lbs instead of 3, wrist weights during the entire arm section, and sometimes doubling up arms and abs).  My arms used to be very muscular, so I have the dreaded "lunch lady arms," so I modified Tracy's 3 pound rule a bit.  Now my arms are getting more defined, and I think the "teeny-tiny" dancer's arms will never be within my grasp.
I don't do her DC, I'm not very comfortable with the jumping and I suffer from patellar tendonitis in my left knee.  I do other forms of cardio; Hamelin, HIIT training and teach Hot Yoga 2 to 3 times a week.
Q: How long have you been a devoted yoga practitioner?
A: I began doing Ashtanga Yoga at home in 2001.  Ashtanga is very physical, and I injured my shoulder about a year or so after starting to learn the primary series.  I kept trying, though, and I did some Hatha Yoga at the gym where I was working at the time, but it was hit and miss for years as I attended acupuncture school.  
In 2006 I began to treat a friend with acupuncture who owned a Bikram Hot Yoga studio, and I began to do that exclusively. I became a true yoga devotee when I attended Hot Yoga teacher training in 2009.  Yoga is so much more than asana, it is a philosophy, called the 8 limb path, that encompasses ways of moving through the world with compassion and mindfulness. (  Asana helps to move the energy through the body, but it's the philosophy that means so much to me.  Now I teach Hot Vinyasa style yoga, in which postures are linked with sun salutations and each movement is linked with the breath.  I begin and end each class with meditation, and weave the yogic philosophy throughout my dialogue to the class.
Q: Are there any philosophies you have taken from yoga that you apply to your other workouts?
A: Definitely!  I try to practice as many of the aspects of the 8 limb path as I can in my life, and my workouts are no exception.  I try to remain non-attached with the outcome of my activity, which is called aparigrapha.  I don't weigh or measure myself very often,  and when I notice a change in my body I try to not judge it as good or bad.  After all, we are always changing, even our cells are replaced every 7 years, so the person I am right now isn't the same person I was yesterday.  
Saucha is purity through movement, to cleanse the body inside and out through activity.  For me, that's vigorous activity!  I like to sweat and push myself, which is why I'm attracted to Hot Yoga and HIIT training.  My yoga teacher calls it "the diamond body," that the intensity of moving the body can purify not only the physical but the mental. 
To accept and be content with what I have, Santosha, is a hard one for me.  So often I see pictures of women with perfect bodies, or some of our Facebook friends posting measurements and updates that are amazing.  I can get a little down on myself, thinking I need to be somewhere else upon this journey.  Where I am is fine for me, and when I begin to get caught up in the illusion that I'm not, it's an indicator that I need to evaluate what my mind is telling me.  Usually it all leads back to Santosha.  I'm a 43 year old woman with a body that has had it's ups and downs, and to think that I need to look like a 21 year old woman is just silly.
Q: Recently, you posted a video showing a timed workout on your mat.  Can you explain that method and why it’s effective? (Note: Video will not upload to the blog- sorry!)

A: I adopted the timed intervals from HIIT training, in particular some of the things I saw on Zazana Light's YouTube videos and some research I've done on the Metabolic Effect Diet.  In a nutshell, the body will see the most gains in muscle building and fat loss when its pushed to it's maximum effort, then allowed to rest for a short period of time.  This mimics the way our bodies are designed to move.  
For example, our ancient cave-sisters would be out gathering food with a baby or two in tow; walking, bending, pulling and grabbing for plants, maybe carrying heavy loads for a time.  Then she would rest, then begin again.  If a predator came along, she'd have to scoop up those kids and run like hell to safety.  She didn't sit on an exercise bike for an hour or run a marathon!  It makes sense to me, so I have added the intervals to my mat work.  Not only is it harder, but I feel sore after every workout, not just the first two or three.  It also makes the workout fly past, and I'm able to finish within 35 minutes.  I was taking up to an hour before I started using intervals.  
Another aspect that I like about Tracy is her use of weights during the mat work.  All of the research I've found on HIIT say to do compound exercises with light weights, which are multi-movement exercises that utilize the whole body.  The mat work is that, but so creatively linked together so that the entire body is worked.  The muscle soreness tells the body how much growth hormone to release to the muscle tissue, which increases the strength of the muscle fibers and therefore raising metabolism.  Glycogen stores in the bloodstream are depleted but not to the point where you become anaerobic, which means your body can use muscle tissue for energy.  Fat storage is used more readily, and your body turns into a fat burning machine.  Getting at least 5.5 hours a sleep a night is imperative to this process, so I'm sleeping a lot, as is eating a light meal before I workout.  The intervals I use are 30 sec on, 10 sec off.  
Q: You’ve also been doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  Why have you added this to your workouts?  What kind of results have you seen?
A: The same philosophy as above, actually.  I do HIIT training as my cardio two to three times a week, for 20 minutes.  I posted a document on our FB support page, I called it "Walk Like your Grandma" workout, which is a typical cardio session for me.  I prefer the HIIT to other cardio because it is only 20 minutes, it utilizes my entire body and I get to do conditioning that carries over into my yoga practice.  A typical session is three sections of four minutes of high intensity cardio, such as jumping jacks, jump rope or side lunge jumps done in 8 intervals of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest.  Then I hit the mat for ab work, usually 25 to 30 reps.  I like kick ups, mule kicks, side plank lifts, basically anything that uses my abs and arms together.  Sometimes I'll throw in some TAM abs with ankle weights.  Then I'm back up doing my cardio intervals, a total of three cardio intervals to three ab exercises.  
Within a couple weeks of doing intervals instead of just Hamelin cardio or walking, I lost body fat and became much more defined.  My appetite has regulated itself, I'm not as ravenous as I was when I was doing 40 to 50 minute sessions of cardio.  I'm definitely stronger in my yoga classes and in my TAM workouts, particularly when she does plank moves.  I prefer a little more muscle on my body, and I found that my fat loss had stalled doing other forms of cardio.
Q: What is your diet like?
A: My diet is pretty clean, but as I was anorexic for about four years, recently, I am very mindful about moderation.  I was about 95 to 100 pounds at my worst time (I'm 5'7"), but there were many factors that contributed to my disorder so the ED was a symptom of a deeper problem.  My Mother had passed away suddenly, and as she was abusive to me as a child, I wasn't quite sure how to feel about it, and my boyfriend at the time was physically and emotionally abusive while this was happening.  Now that I look back on it I know I was trying to control and uncontrollable situation.  
When I was in recovery, as I mentioned earlier, I ate everything and anything!  I stopped being vegan, started eating things like french fries and pizza and pasta, all things that were a big no-no in the past.  As a result, I gained a lot of weight in a short period of time, and although I knew it was good for me, I had to rein it in after about a year.  I did the Master Cleanse to reset my appetite, then began to cook at home more often.  
A typical day is greek yogurt in the morning, workout, then a protein smoothie with blueberries and fiber post workout.  I'll bring hard boiled egg whites, cottage cheese and chicken breast to work with me and nibble all day between patients.  Once I get home I'll have a snack before I workout, usually some cheese and crackers, then for dinner a salad and a protein.  I love red wine, so I'll have a glass or two some nights. If I'm working out a lot and I am hungry, I add more carbs.  If I'm on vacation I enjoy myself and eat wonderful food. 
 I have learned that if I begin to get too restrictive in my diet I begin to feel my ED behaviors return.  For me, I start getting obsessive and feeling like I need to count calories or weigh my food.  That's when I stop, evaluate and try to put things in perspective.  I do the Master Cleanse 4 times a year, and I avoid gluten as I have a thyroid disorder called Hashimoto's Disease.  I believe, (and studies have supported) that restrictive diets can lead to thyroid disorders.  Because of my past eating, I'm on medication for the rest of my life, but I have learned to support my metabolism using herbal treatments and a sound diet.  I also have a cheat meal once a week.  "The Metabolic Effect Diet" is a great book that I use to guide my diet plans.  It also explains HIIT workouts and how they work physiologically.
Q: What does a week of workouts look like for you? 
A: Monday is my day off, and I'm working out six days a week unless i'm traveling.  
I add wrist weights to all TAM arms, then add the 3 lb dumbbells when she does.  I workout in my guest bedroom, which has a nice TV and plenty of room for me to kick, jump and sweat!
Tuesday: TAM Hip Con in the morning, then teach one hour Hot Vinyasa Flow yoga.  If no yoga class, I'll do Hamelin Cardiotone for 20 to 30 minutes.  I always do bonus arms and extra abs.  For my abs I'll do the Hip Con abs twice, or Hamelin abs and arms from workout 1 or 2, then standing abs as a cool down.
Wednesday:  TAM in the morning if I get up early enough and bonus arms. If not, I'll do it when I get home in the late afternoon.  HIIT workout with abs component for 20 minutes, standing abs and light Hamelin arms with 2 to 5 lb weights
Thursday:  TAM in the morning, bonus arms.  Hamelin arms and post pregnancy abs, any ab webisode I have saved or freestyle HIIT abs.  Teach Hot Yoga for 90 minutes.
Friday:  Teach Hot Yoga from 6:30 to 7:30 am, home and breakfast.  TAM, bonus arms, oblique work and simple dumbbell arm work (bicep curls, etc.  just for one or two minutes).  Standing abs.
Saturday:  This is a heavy day.  TAM, Bonus arms and standing abs.  HIIT workout for 20 minutes, I do this from start to finish with no breaks. Takes me about 90 minutes.  Then a hike with David, or something out of the house.  
Sunday:  TAM, bonus arms and standing abs.  Hamelin Cardiotone 1 or 2, Hamelin workout 1 or 2 arms and abs only.  I don't do his legs as I prefer TAM.  Then Sunday Funday, which usually includes my cheat meal.  Sometimes we hike, but most often we just chill.
Now that I look at this it seems like an ass load of exercise, but it only averages out to be about 90 minutes a day, not including yoga.  Yoga for me isn't that hard, I'm correcting my students and not working out as much as if I was to take a class as a student.  
Q: What are your personal workout goals?
A: I'd like to maintain my strength and tone well into my 60's, maintain my health and well being, and accept myself whatever shape I may be.  I wish to feel the joy of my legs carrying me up a steep mountain trail, my arms as I hug my fiancé, and my energy as I hold a yoga pose.  I wish to follow TAM to the end, whenever that may be, and maybe, someday, be able to do dance cardio!  Oh, 10 pull-ups would be cool, too. 
Q: Any recipe you’d like to share?
A: Two, actually.  My favorite smoothie is this:
One scoop RAW protein by Garden of Life
two tablespoons gentle fibers by Jarrow or ground flax seeds
blueberries, strawberries…any berries that are in season
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon spirulina
Vanilla stevia
Put in a Vitamix, blend and enjoy!
This low-carb/high protein meal is a time saver and totally filling and yummy.
Four medium zucchini
1/2 lb ground turkey breast
Jar of pasta sauce (I get gluten free).
Spiral slice zucchini and separate into two bowls.
Brown ground turkey in Italian spices in a saucepan over medium heat until cooked through.  Add pasta sauce, cover and simmer until heated.
Pour over zucchini, serve with a yummy glass of wine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July and Island Dreams...

With my little sister on the beaches of LBI
Deep in thought at the shore house....with my brother. 

Fourth of July.  It was my favorite holiday as a kid-- kicking off a month-long vacation on Long Beach Island, New Jersey with my grandparents on my Dad’s side.  For me, it was summer paradise.  The day started with our annual “Wimbledon Breakfast,” a feast of Uncle Victor’s creamy chipped beef, blueberry pancakes and hot donuts for the kids from Marvel’s Market. 
I remember sunny mornings on the 4th, the crunch of the pebbles that surrounded our waterfront house, as various grandchildren charged in and out with shrieks of laughter. 

“Close the screen door!” my grandmother would shout above the fist pumping yells from the crowd around the TV, watching a championship tennis match-up.
We could never get to the beach soon enough...The minute the breakfast dishes were cleared, there was a mad dash to the “bunk bedroom,” a small corner room with bunk beds, to change into still salty and sandy bathing suits from the day before.  Pop packed sandwiches for lunch on the beach: fresh poppy seed rolls with turkey and coleslaw, tucked next to the backgammon board and his latest paperback.  
The moment we pulled up the few blocks to the 21st Street beach, flip flops were tossed as our tanned toes dug into the hot dunes, racing to stake out our spot on the sand. I loved the feel of that ocean air as my squinting eyes scanned the horizon, taking in the waves, the sounds.  Lying on my towel, my ear pressed to the sand, I listened as mothers doted on toddlers with sand buckets and drizzle castles...the murmur of lovers sharing a stolen moment....the bickering banter of teenagers, volleying back and forth with the rhythm of their paddle balls....the rolling and crashing of foam topped waves, lapping the feet of tourists, teasing and retreating like child’s play.
There was a safety, a comfort in those sounds; a sense that everything was right in my world at that moment.  Even if Mom and Dad were getting a divorce....even if I didn’t get picked for the lead in the school play.  I drifted into breezy dreams where heaven smelled like Coppertone and I was a Sea Shell Princess who was suntanned all year long.
As the afternoon wore on, the beach crowds thinned out and dispersed to rooftop decks and dinner reservations.  Pop and Aunt Debbie were always the last of our group to pack up.  I loved being part of that “late shift” at the beach, where conversation would turn to gossip and giggled jokes; it was like being part of the “cool” family clique and I would think to myself that I was certainly the favorite kid!
Coming back to "the shore house," the grandchildren compared tan lines and blonde highlights gleaming on Pert Plus washed hair.  Then, we’d run barefoot down the street to the General Store for ring pops.  I wore my cherry ring for as long as I could stand it before chomping down on my candy ruby, then eyeing my brother Natty’s untouched jewel.  Still reeling from our sugar high, we’d cajole Dad into giving us cash to kill time before dinner at Mr. T’s Arcade.  It was a race to get there, a blur of gangly legs and sunburned cheeks-- haphazardly grabbing whatever bicycle was closest in Grandmom and Pop’s diverse collection of family wheels in the crowded garage.  If we were lucky, there was time for Skee-ball AND mini-golf.  We could tell when it was time to come home when the sun started dipping into the bay.  Sunset meant cocktail hour and corn shucking and we raced back with the same bicycle chaos that we arrived with.
By the time we got back to the house, the "adults” were clinking their martinis on the waterfront patio next to platters of brie and pâté with minced onions.  Dad made us drinks too--- plain tonic water “on the rocks” with lime.  We all waved when a party boat filled with sightseers passed by-- we called it the Sunset Cruise.  I remember thinking that those people who waved back must wish they had a family like mine, a family who could enjoy sunsets every night in the comfort of their very own house on the bay.
Inside, the kitchen was packed, while Victor negotiated with steaming lobsters, Grandmom finished her signature blueberry crisp, and Uncle Dennis tended bar; outside Dad fired up the grill with burgers and hotdogs for the kids--- our Fourth of July dinner was a serious operation. 
The grandkids had their own picnic table outside, but I always found a way to squeeze in next to Grandmom, who would share pieces of butter drenched lobster while I helped crack open the shells.  Grandmom had a way of making me feel so special and grown-up.  She always smelled good, like Pond’s cold cream and fresh air.  
I was thrilled when we were handed sparklers to light on the patio every 4th of July....the sound of fireworks was already starting, and we didn’t want to miss a second of the action.  The highlight of our night was taking our boat out so we could watch the fireworks show in Beach Haven.  We’d anchor the boat and look up at the night sky, plumes of color and light bursting above us in majestic display.  The grand finale looked even more spectacular reflected in the rippled water; I would dip my hand in, thinking I could pull the rainbow of color right out of the bay to keep for a memento.
It was late when we made our trip back in the dark, tying the boat down for the night and making our way inside, rubbing sleepy eyes and stifling yawns.  Grandmom was there waiting for us, with plates of warm blueberry crisp and vanilla ice cream.  Across from our dock, the Spray Beach Yacht Club’s Fourth of July party would be winding down, the echo of laughter and music still shimmering across the water, like sequins from party dresses catching the moonlight. 
As I lay down in my bunk bed, I closed my eyes and listened to the soothing sound of boats at the club nudging against their slips, halyards swinging in cadence with the tide coming in...My seashore lullaby, my island dream.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Beauty Detox Solution? I need a craving solution.


I've been eating cleaner than I have in my entire life, but my weight is creeping up again and I'm trying to nip it in the ass before it heads to my ass.  This is exceedingly frustrating for me, because I simply don't know what I'm doing wrong.  I went vegan for a week and gained 5 pounds!  I ate a steak and lost 2.  I simply don't know what end is up when it comes to my metabolism and the way I'm processing food.  I have cut out almost all allergy inducing foods-- from corn to pork to dairy, gluten and soy.  I'm working out 5-6 days a week, usually for an hour or more.  WTF????!!!!

I just bought Kimberly Snyder's The Beauty Detox Solution which is the must-have among celebs like Fergie and Drew Barrymore for her ingenious "Glowing Green Smoothie," which is pretty darn good.  Here's the recipe:

1 head of romaine lettuce chopped
Handful of spinach
1 apple (cored)
1 pear (cored)
1 banana
3-4 stalks of celery
juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 cup water

Mix water in blender with romaine and spinach until smooth and add the rest of the ingredients.  This is what mine looked like:

Since I've been drinking green juice in the morning, I figure this will be a more substantial and filling way to start my day.  There are 3 stages to the Beauty Detox Solution-- Blossoming Beauty, Radiant Beauty and True Beauty.  The basic tenets are the same on all levels-- no dairy, gluten, and limited intake of animal based proteins.

JP, aka Juice Pimp is now officially a HEALTHY badmuthafucka.  Although, I'm afraid I may have created a monster.  We were out running errands yesterday, and I said, "Damn, this is one of those days I could go for a diner breakfast with eggs, hash browns, bacon and sausage!"  And he goes, "I am NOT putting that kind of crap in my body!"  Alrightythen...

And that's the other thing.....since my incredibly healthy eating routine, my cravings have gone into overdrive.  I mean, I just feel like eating a fucking burger and fries right now.  It ain't right!

I am almost through the first 10 days of Meta Omni and I'm liking it a lot.  Now if the results would just hurry up and get here.

Being healthy is exhausting me.