Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 42

I'm proud to say that I did the 1500 rope jumps today!

The weather is getting better so I could jump in my balcony and enjoy a soft breeze.
After that I felt enough energy and wanted to do something more: the legendary 8 minutes abs from the video Patrick told us about.
The music really is terrible and the guys look very 80's but the exercises are intense. Give them a try and then collapse.

All this was possible today in spite of how low I was feeling during the day. I was on the verge of forgetting all about jumps; there were only two things in my mind: sleep and the box of chocolate truffles, a birthday gift, that is hidden in a drawer. Can truffles communicate telepathically? I'm sure I heard them speak my name.

So, instead of falling for the little choco-devils I went for a walk and bought some food (today I was specially aware of all the cookies and chips in the store!).
Leaving the house helped a lot. Walking and breathing gave me a boost and as soon as I got back home I started jumping.

What tricks do you have to get energized and begin working out?
Should I get rid of the truffle box?????

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 41

Yesterday was a very tough day.  I liked a lot jumping in the morning but somehow before lunch I was finished. No energy, sleepy and down.

The egg whites? Oh! I ate all of them but they are ruining my glamour... I feel like a solfatara

At night I barely could finish the exercises. Only one 40 seconds plank,then 25, then 20, then 15 secs.

This morning I jumped before breakfast again. I still have to recover because I couldn't jump more than 900. Did I loose stamina or is it more difficult to jump in the morning?

What about the carbs before workout? What carbs do you prefer? And how long before do you eat them?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 40

After Shivani's encouraging tale about rope jumping in the morning, I gave it a try. 
It is harder for the mind than for the body. It's harder to think that you are not going to drink a coffee and read your mail but instead that you are going to leave your warm room and begin to sweat, count and swear.

Once you pass the first 300 jumps it's fine.  And because it's day time and getting warmer I could open the door to the garden and jump while the plants were bouncing with me and the rain was falling. 

But I couldn't jump more than 800. My knee is not perfect yet. So maybe I will try and finish the jumps before the rest of the workout later in the evening.

Yesterday I sucked at the exercises. I can't do the pistol correctly because I don't want the knee to work so hard yet and I couldn't finish the creeps; there was a some discomfort in the knee.

I guess I will have to be patient.

I am doing really fine with the new diet. Smaller portions are good for me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A weekend of celebration

Three days on the road, new passport and my birthday celebration. What an experience to go out in the world if you are following a nutritional plan.

Eating in Germany has always been a big challenge for me. They do know how to make dark, heavy, wholesome bread and bakeries abound, that's fine. The problem for a PCPer is that meals here consist of lots of cheese, meat with thick salty sauces, oily roasted potatoes and, for my taste, overcooked vegetables. There's oil dropping from every Wurst and the Pretzels taste better with lots of butter. There is fast food everywhere. The positive side is that you can find fruit and great yogurt easily, but when it's raining and dark you don't want to have a yogurt picnic.

I went to restaurants and asked for some simple meat and salad, sushi or had a nice thai salad and fish. It worked to some extent but you can't control the amount of salt or oil they put in dressings or sauces.
After a month of PCP nutrition everything at restaurants tastes extremely salty. I also found that sauces are not necessary in some recipes, they aren't good enough on their own and they just hide the food's pure taste.
I wish there were places where you could eat really simple meals, with drops of lemon or chopped herbs. A real minimalist preparation of food.

There was no jumping these days. My knee is just beginning to recover and anyway I spent the whole day walking all around Frankfurt. On Friday I was very undisciplined: no exercises and a glass of wine to celebrate my birthday. Oh, and I also drank some beer...cold and delicious.

And finally I had my indulgence. I was trying too hard to find a good chocolate cake and of course I didn't. But on Saturday we passed by a french bakery and they had the most amazing pastries and pains au chocolat so I chose this fantastic blackberry tart and.....I was happy.

It wasn't very sweet and the blackberries were juicy. Delicious. Afterwards I began to feel some pressure in my forehead but not the usual headache I get after eating sugar.

This experience of eating in restaurants showed me something similar to what Erik reports in his last post. There's a big difference between eating lots of PCP food and never feeling indigested or dizzy and eating even less food from restaurants and immediately feeling heavy and sleepy. 

Back to discipline!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 35

I need to go to Frankfurt for some days. I have only been one day away from home since PCP began and it was a disaster in terms of nutrition. This time I'm preparing a little better. First of all I will be packing a nice breakfast to eat while traveling by train. There will also be fruit and yogurt for the snack and yes, egg whites. 
Now, I will need lots of egg whites for these days so I will prepare them and add some vinegar so they don't get funny and store them in an air tight container. I will store them in the minibar of my room. Will that work? I hope so.
Next I will have to find restaurants that serve big salads and lean protein. Sushi might be a good option too.

I'm packing my elastic bands to make the exercises in my hotel room and I will be walking the whole day, if my knee agrees with that.

It's also time for my indulgence. My birthday is on Friday and I'm dreaming of a very dark chocolate cake. I have very high expectations on this indulgence. German pastry chefs, don't disappoint me!. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 32, 33 and 34


Since Monday I haven't been able to jump rope. My right knee is hurting. It's not an incredible pain but something that I constantly feel there, like heat and disorder. It's hard to explain.
The treatment is ice and rest: no jumping. So instead of jumps I've been walking fast. It's very fun to walk around this little town in the night. Then I get back with a good supply of fresh air to make the rest of the work out.
I really want my knee to get better soon. I don't want to stop now, just when the results begin to show. Besides catching up with the number of jumps is not going to be fun.

About the exercises: I still can't make any pull-up. It's so hard.  I am doing more of an incline pull-up by using a chair to rest my feet so I can at least begin to feel the muscles that one day will set me free from the earth.
Chest dips: mini chest dips and the hand hurts because of the thin chair support.
The rest of the exercises are going fine, which doesn't mean they are easy. One extra set makes a big difference. And the planks..... oh, the planks....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Days 30 and 31

First of all:        Happy New Year!!       Let's see what the year of the tiger brings.

Photo Credit: Wesley Hargrave, Daily Mail.

This is how PCPers look when doing frog jumps, I mean tiger jumps. And exactly like a tiger roar is how it sounds after a set of those!

Last Saturday it was snowing softly so we decided to take a walk in the woods. We walked for about 2 and a half hours up and down hills on soft snow. It was very cold and with heavy jackets and boots I felt that the exercise was intense. So I didn't jump that night and had just enough energy to do the rest of the workout, which is getting harder and harder.  I liked the new chest dips because apart from strength you need to find your balance. I couldn't do many of those dips....

Sunday I took my weekly picture, not much change but let me tell you that I am getting some muscles. It must have been after that night's work out, because today I have nice shoulders, they just popped up!

Now, Sundays I am very lazy. I wake up late, drink coffee slowly and read. That's why I wonder if there is a PCP brunch. Something so powerful that you can have breakfast, morning snack and lunch in one. Is there such a thing for lazy Sundays? Because after a late breakfast and a book so good, I was already late for lunch, and didn't have any snack the whole day. When it was time to work out I wasn't feeling the power. I jumped only 900 times and at the end of the exercises my legs and arms didn't want to respond.
After today's mail from Patrick I know that egg whites are a must and snacks are very important if I want to have a good work out.

The new diet is working fine on me. Now I get hungry in between meals and it feels easier to eat snacks.
My daily intake of egg whites is higher and there are less grams of carbohydrates, except at breakfast!!!
I think I'm getting faster at eating which is necessary to do all the other stuff of life.

What I haven't been able to do is yoga the way I wanted. I do some asanas after the workout but I don't feel like waking up much earlier to do an hour of  proper yoga before breakfast. I need to sleep, I enjoy my heavy sleep of these days. Maybe I should try harder to make time for the practice, push myself a little harder in that sense too. But sometimes I think I need to take it easy because to be honest I don't have lots and lots of energy yet. Perhaps in some more days I will be needing less sleep and being more efficient in the rest of daily duties and then, yoga will flow. 

Hope you have a nice Monday!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DIY Pull-up bar

Since the door frames of the apartment I rent are very fragile, installing a pull-up bar in one of them was not an option. So this is what my husband created for me:

Don't worry this is not a window. It's the door that opens into a very nice balcony. No defenestration here.

This is how it looks from inside the room. It's made of a 3/4'' x 1 m long tube, a thick rope and a pair of felt reinforcements to prevent the tube from cutting the rope.

Detail of felt reinforcements.

Reef knots from balcony's roof structure

The bar works very well, (I know it because P was able to do some pull-ups) but gets horribly cold in these winter nights. I hope I get to do my first pull-up without help soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 26

no need to be sour...

Today's topic in our daily PCP e-mail was something that kept bothering me this last few days: the negative feedback.

Over the weekend I encountered some negative reactions to what I am doing with my body and health. When I meet people for coffee and I don't touch the cookies or the cake I explain about PCP. I get very excited explaining how this works, what we do, what we eat but my enthusiasm collides with remarks like: "you don't need to exercise" or "this is all very nice while you are doing it but once you're finished you will go back to where you were". And then I get disappointed. At society in general. It seems like most of us are not used to encourage people when they want to change or be better or just be themselves. Or as if no one believes in the possibility of change.

Now I am trying to remember how many times have I done this to my friends, if I have discouraged them with my words or attitudes. If I have pushed friends apart from me by being negative or by reacting to their projects from my own failed attempts.

I guess getting confronted with difficult attitudes is another part of this training. Like a surprise test in which they ask you the trickiest questions, and then you go on mentally revisiting your answers for the next time, but the answers are not for them, they are for you.

It also happened to me that people in good shape, trying to be healthier get interested in your story and even want to share tips or cool places to train. Looks like we are not completely alone.

Here I want to thank my awesome husband for being such a great fan of this project and finding creative solutions for me to train, like the one I will show you tomorrow.

There. Now I feel better!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 25

There is so much going on in my PCP life. But first some photos:

This is a delicious breakfast. Just mix cooked rice with stir fried mangold and chinese cabagge, use only a teaspoon of olive oil and 3 drops of sesame oil. When the mixture is very hot add whipped eggs and mix until you get your desired consistence. Some pepper and maybe lemon.

Now, look at this morning snack:

I got tired of boiling eggs and taking the skin off so I decided to separate the whites from the yolks and prepare in batch the amount of whites I need to eat a day. Using a very good anti-adherent pan I can make a big egg white omelette and divide it in portions. No more peeling, no more cursing! This one has yogurt and gomashio on top.

And for dinner:

A bed of many many grams of fresh lettuce, some noodles and steamed shrimps with a garlic, ginger, lemon and chili sauce. A little bit of sesame oil too.

Today I was looking at my weekly photos and the change is hard to see. There are so many small details you notice every day that won't appear in those pictures. The balance, on the other hand, is noticing the change. One kilo more.

I still have a hard time eating. Specially in the morning, and then after breakfast it feels like a food marathon: snack, lunch, snack, banana, workout, snack, dinner, snack. The good thing is that now I feel hungrier, food disappears in my stomach faster and I am almost ready for the next snack. I still spend a lot of time in the kitchen but it seems like cooking is becoming a more efficient process.

On the weekend Pablo and I went to Essen (which in German means "to eat") and it was impossible to find a PCP-friendly place to eat at a student budget. Too much salt, too oily, bratwurst everywhere, never enough vegetables, too much mayonnaise... and there is not the option to have a healthy picnic in a park because the weather in this region sucks. I need to plan better for the next excursions.

About the workout: Patrick, you mean mean boy!!! Those floor jumps are pure pain. I still can't make any complete push-up. Any. Pull-ups? gravity still wins. The planks: 30 seconds never seemed so long and the v-sits made me reconsider how good I was at doing abs. (Secretly I'm loving this new trial, it will bring back the emotion to the workout.)

Of course the news about an indulgence almost made me forgive you, Patrick... almost. :)
I have a long list of seductive calorie bombs I would like to eat. But which one? It has to be THE ONE. Oh, but wait, I don't want to use the indulgence this week. My birthday is next week and it would be the cherry on top. Will I be able to wait....?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 20

I think my mother will begin having vegetables for breakfast!!!
These fine zucchinis are slightly browned in a pan and sprinkled with herbs.

Today Patrick sent us a mail that hit the nail. He says we should listen to our bodies and notice if it needs to slow down.

Here is what my body is saying today: "Yes, it will be cool to jump and to do the exercises but remember that the right knee was feeling a bit funny last night and I am still tired so, what about jumping a bit slower and doing the minimum amount of reps per set?
"Ohhhh, and I would love to have a cold beer too..."

So this is how my body and me are going to workout tonight: with takeiteasy. And water!

I stood on the weigh this morning and there is a kilo more. My clothes feel bigger, though.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 19

Well. I did it. I was tired but I did the workout.
Now I am even more tired but... I did It!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 18

In Spanish I would make a game of words using this image and the amount of eggs I eat now...

Last Sunday I took my weekly photo but I forgot to weigh myself, which shows that I am paying attention to something different than kilos. My attention is on how hard my legs are getting, or on how much does certain muscle hurt today, or on how much energy I have.

Let me begin with the energy. It seems like I have a very good day, with lots of things done, walking swiftly on the snow followed by a day that seems hard to pull: slow, inefficient, getting tired when I go outside on an errand. What is curious is that except on Sunday (but that is a psychological issue) I always seem to get a big amount of energy after rope jumping.
I wish I could have more good energy days in a row, but I know this will come.

I have also been sleeping really good. I used to have a light sleep, waking up in the morning feeling that It had been an empty experience. Since I began the PCP my sleep is heavy and long, I could sleep 10 hours, and I wake up feeling satisfied. That is really cool. From a woman's perspective there's an observation regarding sleep that I want to carry out and tell you later.

There are some changes in my body. I feel lighter in general. My belly is not so round anymore, my arms feel heavier but in a nice way and my legs are getting slowly harder from the knees up. My back also feels stronger which is invaluable when you have to sit for long hours at work.
I like these changes and the suspense of what will be transformed next. It's like seeing your body being born. This happened in The Matrix... I wonder if my sight will improve...

About the workout I can only say that I still love it. Of course the 15 minutes before its time to put on my sweat pants are complicated. But just then I hear Pablo say: Entonces qué? A hacer deporte!, which means: So what? go make some sport. This has just happened. So I am going to warm up and begin to jump. Tomorrow I will tell you more about the adventure of PCP.