My work team went to the Boston Marathon today to cheer on a teammate. We went to Newton and stood at Mile Marker 20 across the street from the tables loaded with cups of water and Gatorade. I saw probably most of the top elite runners I’ll ever see in my lifetime, people who make it look easy.
I don’t have a lot to say, except to mention that I’m humbled by the power of great athletes who train for events of such proportions as this twenty-six mile run. A friend of mine from where I live also ran. He looked so full of energy, even at mile 20. I was astounded.
A review I wrote for one of the early books I used for fitness and nutrition guidelines is up at South Beach Success. Sandra, the editor and publisher of the site, has a really decent thing going there. She’s doing a lot of book reviews of other fitness and nutrition books, to give complementary and counter opinions to the ones found in the South Beach Diet books.
So, check out Sandra’s site, leave her feedback. Tell her you think I’m supercool or something. Yeah. : )
The Core Performance workout starts out fairly gently. The first day involved 12 minutes of what’s called ESD (Energy System Development), which is basically cardio. Verstegen doesn’t like that word, because he wants us to change the segmented way in which we look at fitness programs. I’ll go along with that.
For my ESD segment, I had to keep a heart rate somewhere in the 120 range by whatever means I wanted, for 12 minutes. I chose running around the apartment, doing jumping jacks, the one tae-bo move I know, and anything else that seemed to get me pumped up. It worked really well as I stayed within my heart rate rather well. I know it’ll be harder to get to the second zone, which is about 20 or more points higher, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
Following up on the discussion on the Glycemic Index, here’s what I know about fats. Dr. Weil talks loads about fats in his book, Eating Well for Optimum Health, and he gives you lots of the chemical details behind what I’ll tell you.
Fats are an important part of a healthy diet. They help fight off the body’s hunger instincts. They are partially responsible for the shine of your hair, the suppleness of your skin. And boy did they get a bad rap somewhere in the 80’s.
So here’s the thing. If you’re following the food suggestions in the Jorge Cruise plan, you’re doing something about the Glycemic Index thing without much knowing it. If you’re on South Beach, same thing. Atkins, yes, but in a weird indirect way. It’s about blood sugar.
I won’t go *super* into detail, but a fairly not bad site is The Glycemic Index Site . I prefer the way Dr. Weil explains it in Eating Well for Optimum Health, but lots of people get scared by that book because it’s kind of…well… sciency.
I’m really tired of the news talking about the so-called “cheeseburger law.” Just in case you have no clue what I’m talking about, this is where Congress is trying to pass a law that says people can’t sue McDonald’s for making them fat. The law, by the way, is a great idea. It’s stupid to blame McDonald’s for our issues. Nothing more to say about that part. But I’m really sick of the COVERAGE on this one.
The story isn’t “Congress is trying to help McDonald’s from frivolous lawsuits.” The story really is, “How did we get to this point in our lives where we haven’t caught on to all the nutritional landmines out there?” If I were running a news station, I’d put on a spot showing alternatives to eating 1000 calories or more in a single setting.
Shoulders back and down. Shoulders back and down. I’m saying this like a mantra, a silent repetition in between other thoughts. I am fighting years of bad posture.
If I pull my shoulders back as if thrusting out my chest, and then lower them down so that I’m not halfway into a shrugging motion, this is better for my overall body. So far, I feel all these little muscles that are tense from wanting me to hunch forward. Sometimes, I feel a twinge down the muscles nearest my spine. The one that’s doing the most twinging is called the rhomboid.
When I started my fitness and nutrition efforts, I wanted to lose weight. I figured that getting in shape meant losing 100 pounds. As pounds started to fall off, I realized that I was no longer just interested in weight loss. I wanted to be more fit. Now, fifty pounds in, I’m working up to a challenge.
The premise behind Mark Verstegen’s CORE PERFORMANCE is that fitness is a far more holistic experience than what is being pitched to the average person today. Gone are the ideas that you should stretch, work a few body parts, and do some cardio. Instead, everything in the book points towards full-body exercises, the kind that blur the lines between stretching, cardio, and weight training. In fact, he doesn’t much like most of those terms. He believes we should be after power and strength, and that words like “weight training” and “cardio” are out. I buy it.
My wife threw me a surprise birthday party last night. I was FLOORED. Didn’t have a clue. But I have a mini story that runs throughout the night that I find very pertinent to my fitness and self-improvement efforts.
We ate dinner at a local Chinese restaurant, which gave friends time to prepare our house for the surprise. I am not really one for spiritual things. I try, but they rarely take. My only exception? I believe fortune cookies. I wholeheartedly accept what they’re telling me.
As of today, I am officially back on the mental connection to my fitness and nutrition goals. I have been maintaining things fairly well, and I’ve been working out daily. But things haven’t really been there with me mentally. Today, the sunny weather, a great massage, and a new book have helped reboot me back into determination.
There’s no denying that many people react to good weather. I tended to think I was not one of them. Well, this year, I’m definitely reacting. I’m suddenly punching to get outdoors. I’m anxious to do lots of new things. We’re planning out the year’s vacation. It’s just generally amazing the way this year’s sunny weather is making me feel.