-->

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

In elections past I have always felt like the choice to make was between the lesser of two evils. When Obama hit the scene I really "felt" him. Of course that made me very suspect and I felt some trepidation about how "real" he is. I mean, come on, he's a politician!

Over the course of the campaign I've become more interested and have followed more closely than ever before. I'm certainly no political whiz, but I know what is important to me and my family. I know what I expect of the future for my Daughter. And even in our own home, in our own ways, we're learning that if you've always do what you've done, you'll always get what you got.

So, it's in learning that lesson in real life that I am drawing the courage to put hope in a political team that might just get America back to where it belongs. I believe in the Obama/Biden ticket. I believe in idea of meritocracy; in the idea that if people work hard they should achieve. I've always felt that if people sit idly by and make no contribution to themselves or their community, their right to complain is certainly their right, but to me their words hold little value if they're not doing something to help the cause.

I have been lucky to come across some folks who have met Obama in real life and I have discussed my initial skepticism with them. They shared with me stories and their personal experiences with him and they all say he is as real as he seems. As tree hugging as it may sound, the nominated Democrats are real people, ordinary people, with the drive and determination to do extraordinary things to make America a better place. All they want is for us to respond to their example and take action along side of them.

Up until last night I've been keeping up with the DNC via Internet clips. I made a point to Tivo last night... I'm so glad I did. This is a historical election year.

Michelle Obama was outstanding and eloquent -- and yeah, I lost a tear or two to her speech. Who doesn't want better for their children's future? What an amazing role model she would be as First Lady! Both Hilary and Bill Clinton hit it out of the park with their speeches! A line from Bill Clinton's speech really resonated with me...

"People the world over have always been more impressed by our [the United States] power of example than by the example of power."

That's where we need to be again. That's where we need to be.

I'll be Tivo-ing tonight as well. I love and appreciate the idea of moving the convention to the stadium so that everyone, anyone, can come if they want. I don't think there is a better way to make people feel more involved than to create an opportunity to be a part of the action.

Plus, my Jersey boys are supposed to be there tonight; Bon Jovi and Springsteen. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lunchtime Shenanigans :)

Today was the first day in a while that I ran out to the gym during lunch. It is a little challenge time-wise in order to change, workout, get a shower and get back to work, but I can do it in about in hour and 15 minutes.

So, just a cardio day today. :)

Intervals for 30 minutes
Run 5.5 for 3 minutes / walk 4.0 for 2 minutes, repeat.

The scale is beginning to move again... I am always skeptical though... I'll know for sure in a week or so. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today's Workout; I'm Stunned!

Today's workout... I had no idea I could!

Barbell Squats - ATG
15 x 45 lbs.
12 x 95 lbs.
10 x 105 lbs.
8 x 135 lbs. <--- I thought this was my PB, but was informed otherwise. LOL 4 x 165 lbs. <----this was my former personal best 2 x 185 lbs. 1 x 200 lbs. <---- New PB* 8 x 95 lbs. 12 x 45 lbs. *225 lbs. is the record squat for women at my gym.

Finished with...

Traveling Double-lunges
3 sets of 15

"It's fun to be strong" - Cheryl Haworth, 2008 USA Woman's Weightlifting Team

Leptin Article - Lyle McDonald

Lyle McDonald is a blogging athlete, writer and coach that I have been following lately. He has a great ability to explain the body's physiology with regard to training and fitness.

His recent article on Leptin Levels may have provided me with some information that will give me some hope in figuring out my weight loss challenges. Coco, be sure to read this too -- it's long but worth it!

Here's more about Lyle from his blog

The following articles are written by Lyle McDonald.

The hormones of bodyweight regulation: Leptin Part 1
The hormones of bodyweight regulation: Leptin Part 2
The hormones of bodyweight regulation: Leptin Part 3
The hormones of bodyweight regulation: Leptin Part 4

Part 5 to come... What to do about it! I can't wait!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Workout

So in another forum I participate in I was challenged to do 100 reps of Leg Press in one set (100 reps straight, no break). Today I made my first attempt, even though I felt pretty used from taking spin and lift back-to-back.

Here's my entry point for the challenge:

Leg Press, 1 set: 190 lbs. x 110 reps

I probably could have started with more and still made the 100 reps; next time, for sure.

As for the rest of my workout, I took a short break and then did 5 sets of 10 on the leg press, just working just the lower part my movement on the press; that's where I seem to get stuck when I go for the heavy weight. With my legs already fatigued, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take advantage of. I don't know if that's right or not, but I did it anyway.

And here's the rest...
Hack Squats (ATG)
3 sets 12 x 90 (Plate weight listed only)

Bench Press
8 x 95 lbs.; 5 x 75
12 x 75 lbs.
10 x 75 lbs.

Military Press
3 sets 12 x 40 lbs.

Tricep Rope Push-down
3 sets 12 x 60 lbs.

Lat Pull-down
3 sets 12 x 70 lbs.

Leg Extension
1 set 12 x 80 (machine was broken)

Leg Curl
12 x 100 lbs.
12 x 95 lbs.
12 x 90 lbs.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Beating...

Started with an 8:15 am spin class, which in it of its self is a tough workout. Another substitute; she was okay, but not as good as the chick from last time.

I decided to stay for the 9:15 24Lift class. The instructor was foreign... a cute Russian-like accent. She was tiny, but I believe she was te most cut instructor I've ever seen at a 24. She was hilarious... it made it easier to get through the class.

I couldn't believe how much the spin class took out of me. I thought I'd e all cool with my 15 lbs. dumbbells and my 25 pounds on my barbell bar.

It's tough to be cool when there's no gas left in the tank. LOL

So 60 minutes spin, and 60 minutes of aerobic lifting... not bad.

I have to figure out what I'm doing tomorrow. I might just swim. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

A New Approach.

Finally got my new food plan. We have so much trouble getting my BodyBugg account setup so that my trainer could access the information. it's not normal, but in my world, I suppose it should be expected. :)

What the BodyBugg has shown, is that on the days that I'm working out I am routinely creating a deficit of over 1,000 calories daily. On the days I don't workout I'm still in the neighborhood of 700. Over the course of a week, I am averaging 57 minutes of activity a day.

My lowest days of caloric burn since wearing the Bugg (July 17th) is 2,036 calories. My high days, the days on which I workout, are between 3,220 and 3,250.

I didn't expect that I would, but I have not lost weight on the scale; my weight just fluctuates up and down the same couple pounds. This just proves to me what I have already known; it's not just a matter of eating less and moving more.

So... we're on to a new plan and it makes me nervous. We're going to try to get more calories in. The deficit I create is so huge, that it could be creating the obstacle (which I've also suspected, but was really nervous about doing anything to eat more). So I'm going from about 1200 to 1300 calories a day to 1600. This increase goes with 5 days of hard cardio, 3 days of weightlifting. My biking and swimming will fit in there too.

I've got about 8 weeks before the LiveSTRONG ride. I don't want to be haulin' more lard than necessary up and down the hills. Plus, part of that challenge is to actually run the 5K the day before and not "wog". Less is definitely best for this scenario.

My lifting workouts are going to be full body, focusing on higher reps, lower weight, to promote fat burn rather than on building strength.

The idea with the food plan is to start the day with good carbs, but taper off towards the end of the day. This still gives you the carbs your body needs to keep all systems "go", but tapers off by the end of the day.


Breakfast (Split into 2 sittings):
4 eggwhites w/1 egg
1.5 C. Cream of Wheat
1/2 C. Strawberries
FF half and half for my coffee
=============================================
27 g Protein / 52 g Carbs / 5.6 g Fat
Total Calories: 389



AM Snack
Labrada Protein
1/4 Cup of Oatmeal (mixed in the protein)
=============================================
33.8 g Protein / 25.5 g Carbs / 2.8 g Fat
Total Calories: 260



Lunch
1/2 C. Brown Rice
5 oz. Low Sodium Turkey Breast
1 C. Salad Greens
2 T. Rao's Caesar Dressing (which is awesome and half the Cals/Fat than most)
=============================================
28.5 g Protein / 33.6 g Carbs / 11.5 g Fat
Total Calories: 354



PM Snack
Labrada Protein
1/4 Cup of Oatmeal (mixed in the protein)
=============================================
33.8 g Protein / 25.5 g Carbs / 2.8 g Fat Total Calories: 260


Dinner

4 oz. Chicken or Tuna
1 C. Green veggie (Beans or Broccoli)
=============================================
34 g Protein / 8.7 g Carbs / 2.0 g Fat Total Calories: 194


Evening Snack
1 C. 2% Cottage Cheese
=============================================
31.1 g Protein / 8.2 g Carbs / 4.4 g Fat Total Calories: 203

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wellsphere

Some of you might have noticed the new "badge" on my blog. There is a new community out there on the "Netterhood" called Wellsphere. Its a resource for living a better life. Not just through dieting and eating right, but also activity, healing and recovery.

I received an email a month or so ago from Dr. Rutledge, who heads up this community. Of course when I read his personal message to me about how he enjoyed my blog and invited me to be a blogger-of-note, of sorts, in the Wellsphere community, I was a little... no. I was a lot skeptical. Not like I'm an authority on the subject of WLS, but if someone learns something from my experience, that's my goal.

Hubs and took a look-see through the community and it looks like a helpful resource. Right now they have me as a featured blogger in the Healing and Recovery Community, but once they launch the Obesity community, that will be my home.

When Dr. R. first approached me they thought they would have a weight loss surgery community, which is really why I went along with it. Right now though, there isn't enough draw to be that specific. So, "Obesity" it is.

I created a "Living After Weight Loss Surgery" team and invited a few of you, just to test it out. No one took the bite though -- perhaps not knowing what the whole Wellsphere thing is disuaded you. :)

Wellsphere, to me, is a great resource to easily locate blogs of other folks trying to live life in a better way. It's like a cross between Google Reader and Sparkpeople. Check it out!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

William Tell Momisms



William Tell Momisms
by Anita Renfroe
sung to the William Tell Overture
Get up now, get up now, get up out of bed,
Wash your face, brush your teeth, comb your sleepy head.
Here’s your clothes and your shoes, hear the words I said,
Get up now, get up and make your bed.

Are you hot, are you cold, are you wearing that?
Where’s your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat.
Don’t forget, you’ve gotta feed the cat.

Eat your breakfast, the experts tell us it’s the most important meal of all,
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall.
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at three today,
Don’t forget your piano lesson is this afternoon so you must play.

Don’t shovel, chew slowly, but hurry, the bus is here,
Be careful, come back here, did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside, don’t play rough, would you just play fair?
Be polite, make a friend, don’t forget to share,
Work it out, wait your turn, never take a dare,
Get along, don’t make me come down there.

Clean your room, fold your clothes, put your stuff away,
Make your bed, do it now, do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay?
Can you even hear a word I say?

Answer the phone, Get off the phone,
Don’t sit so close, turn it down, no texting at the table.
No more computer time tonight,
Your ipod’s my ipod if you don’t listen up.

Where you going and with whom and what time do you think you’re coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me, makes you welcome everywhere you roam.
You’ll appreciate my wisdom someday when you’re older and you’re grown.
Can’t wait til you have a couple little children of your own.

You’ll thank me for the council I gave you so willingly,
But right now I thank you not to roll your eyes at me.
Close your mouth when you chew, we’d appreciate,
Take a bite, maybe two, of the stuff you hate.
Use your fork, do not burp or I’ll set you straight.
Eat the food I put upon your plate.

Get an A, get in the door, don’t be smart with me,
Get a grip, get in here or I’ll count to three,
Get a job, Get a life, get a PhD, get a dose of

I don’t care who started it,
You’re grounded until you’re 36,
Get your story straight and tell the truth for once for heaven sake.

And, if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump to?
If I’ve said once I’ve said it at least a thousand times before,
That you’re too old to act this way,
It must be your father’s DNA.

Look at me when I am talking, stand up straighter when you walk.
A place for everything, and everything must be in place.
Stop crying or I’ll give you something real to cry about.

oh

Brush your teeth, wash your face, get your pj’s on.
Get in bed, get a hug, say a prayer with Mom.
Don’t forget I love you (kiss)

And tomorrow we will do this all again
because a Mom’s work never ends.

You don’t need the reason why,
Because, Because, Because, Because,
I said so, I said so, I said so, I said so.
I’m the Mom, the Mom, the Mom, the Mom, the Mom!

Ta-Da!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday Workout and Frustration

This post is going to be all over the place... bear with me.

20 minutes easy cardio (right before training session)

Leg Press
15 x 185 lbs.
12 x 365 lbs.
6 x 635 lbs.
4 x 815 lbs.
2 x 870 lbs. <---- New Personal best, formally 1 x 820 lbs.

Attempted 1 x 920 lbs. to break the record - FAILED :(

10 x 365
15 x 185
20 x 95

Made it 1/3 of the way up and just got stuck. My trainer thought I'd pull it out, but no matter how hard I grunted, it didn't happen. He saw it go down a hair and decided to call it off and keep me injury free.

It is amazing how so much of it is in your head. It's like if you shift focus for a nanosecond, you lose it. I think that's what happened. At some point in the lift I realized that I was pressing more with the balls of my feet than pushing through my heels -- that's about when I lost it; I wasn't focusing on pushing for that half-second.

I was a little embarrassed when he told me I had an audience of watching when I attempted the 920. I just felt my face get flushed, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel good to know I did well. I didn't beat the record, but I did move up to 2nd. LOL

I sometimes wonder how much of this strength I have always had just from being obese and carrying it around most of my life vs. how much I've actually gained since surgery. My goal with the weight lifting was to maintain muscle mass and not lose. My trainer believes wholeheartedly that I have indeed built muscle. On the other hand, the exercise physiologist at OH.com and I had a lengthy conversation about a post-op's ability to build muscle. In short he said we could only get so far because we can't maintain an anabolic state since we cannot consume enough calories.

I have a theory about why my loss moves so slow in comparison to others. Essentially the same reason as pre-op. I think I create way too much of a deficit for my activity level. I don't subscribe to "it's a matter of eating less and moving more" adage. Lord knows I do that. I think that my body "adjusted" to my consumption levels fairly early, because it had no choice given my activity, where as most post-ops bodies take about 18 months to adjust and therefore they start losing weight slower.

The Bodybugg is showing I create a deficit every day that ranges from 750 to 1200 calories. On average I get 57 minutes of activity a day; that's just the average! All I can hope for is that my body will follow the trend, which means that sometime, in the next 4 or 5 weeks, I should see the scale move again. It seems I see the scale move every 3 months or so.

I'm venting and frustrated. I'm at the point where I am really trying to change my mindset and love the body I'm in right now. This is me and and I am perfect the way I am at this moment. I will continue to get healthier. My goal is not a number on the scale. I just want my belly fat to be half my height to avoid heart risks. That's 33"; I'm currently at 38".

A lot of people base their milestones and achievements on where they fall on the BMI table and that's great for them. For me, I can't worry about what the BMI table says, and whether it labels me "morbidly obese", "obese" or "overweight." It's some formula that doesn't take into account a person's genetics or body composition.

I've been hesitating going back to Doc W for my follow-up. Last time I was there he said "I want to see you under 200 lbs. the next time you're here." I'm exactly the same +/- a pound or two on a given day. I can't seem to ever rid myself of feeling guilty of not succeeding, in spite of knowing I AM doing the right thing. It was like the same pressure my Mother put on me when I was a kid! I'm 40 years old. I should be over it.

And before someone comments about how this "surgery is a tool", I know that so please don't restate the obvious for me. I don't mean to sound snarky about it. I remind myself constantly of the reason I did this, and that was to eradicate my Diabetes, which it has. I am soooo grateful and if I had to do it again, I would make the same choice without hesitation.

It's the same old story though. I see post-ops not taking care of themselves, eating sh*t, not exercising and they drop weight... and "Oh, I'm below my goal" reallly effin' gets to me. For the most part I'm thrilled for each and every one of them, but part of me is, well, jealous. I want to say that I am "healthy", but I can't. I can't allow myself to say that until I have dropped the last of this weight.

I do all these things, cycling, tri's and the weightlifting. I clearly make strides and achieve things I never thought I could. My resting heart rate the other day was 49! 49!! With all that I do and all that my "numbers" show, I still can't say "I am healthy" and feel 100% good about it.

Okay, I'm done. :)

Anyway, I finished the training session with:

Traveling lunges
2 sets 20, no weights
2 sets 20, 12.5 lbs.
2 sets 20, 15 lbs.

Blah.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Life Lessons for All of Us

I normally don't post this kind of stuff, but I liked this one...

A life lesson for all of us.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers .

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only
they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house
and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf ball first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked..' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.'

The Water Boys!!!

Amazing... if you didn't catch the Men's 4 x 100 Relay, check it out here...

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/

What a great group of guys. You can tell from the interview they're not into the mind games. They had a mission and they accomplished it.

That'll teach the Frenchies for talkin' smack before they get in the pool. Put your money where your lats are!

^5 USA!

Monday - Cardio

According to my friends a bb.com, I didn't know it, but yesterday was National Bench Press Day. Hallmark has a card for it, so it slipped right past me. Like shwoing up in jeans to a black tie affair, I opted for cardio yesterday:

- Warmed up with 15 minutes of 3.8 mph at a 5% incline
- 15 minutes of High Intensity Intervals
- 10 minutes of 4 mph at 0% incline
- 5 minute cool down40 minutes

Total of 521 Calories Burned.

Melting Mama posted about Cheryl Haworth, an Olympic Weightlifting hopeful. Of course I started Googling her and checkin' her out. Her accomplishment is amazing. As she said in one interview "mass moves mass" and "it's fun to be strong." I say, go girl!




CHERYL HAWORTH, WEIGHT LIFTING, 75+KG CLASS

Age: 25
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 300 lbs.
Resting Heart Rate: 75 beats per minute
Waist: 50"
Thighs: 32"
Biceps: 17"
Bench Press: 160 lbs. (Hey, I do 145 -- is there an Olympic competition in my future? LOL)
Squat: 495 lbs.
Vertical Leap: 30"
Body Fat: 28-30 percent
Daily Calorie Consumption: 3,000-4,000
Flexibility: Can do splits both ways


"I started training when I was 13, so almost everything about my body is completely different now. I’m taller and a lot heavier than I was. When I say that my thighs are 32 inches, they’re really hard all of the way around, and my butt is huge from squatting all the time."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday / Sunday Workouts

Saturday:
55 minute spin class. It kicked my a$$; nearly made me sick to my stomach and I never had that happen before. It was so hot in that room that it was hard to recover as needed. I managed to push through though. Great class!

Sunday:
For the last several I have been oing a strength buillding program. So to change things up I am going to try a "full-body" approach to my workouts for another serveral weeks and see how that works for me for a few weeks.

My legs were a little tired today -- I'm guessing from spin class yesterday.

To promote some fat burning, I just had 2 cups of coffee and a protein shake before I left -- I didn't feel to badly during the workout, so that was a plus. I did finish with some 2:1:1 Recovery post-workout.

BB Bench Press
20 x 45 lbs.
8 X 95 lbs.; 12 X 75 lbs.
15 x 75 lbs.

BB Upright Row
3 sets of 15 x 40 lbs.

Lat Pull-down
3 sets of 15 x 75 lbs.

Stading BB Military Press
15 x 30 lbs.
15 x 40 lbs.
9 x 40 lbs.; 5 x 30 lbs.

Squats - ATG (azz to ground)
20 x Bodyweight
15 x 45 lbs.
15 x 65 lbs.

Leg Extensions <--- felt whimpy on these today!
3 sets 15 x 70 lbs.

Leg Curl <---- but these felt fine.
3 sets 15 x 100 lbs.

BB Skull Crushers (alt'd with BB Bicep Curl for active recovery)
3 sets 15 x 30 lbs.

BB Bicep Crul
3 sets 15 x 30 lbs.

Cardio (treadmill)- 20 minutes

Friday, August 08, 2008

Paris Comes Back at McCain.

You may have to click on the "Original Post" to see the video. It wasn't coming up on my iGoogle.

I hate to admit it, this is funny. McCain used images of Paris, and other celebrities in his campaign... in a derogatory way. He went on to compare Obama to celebrities. Blah, blah, blah.

Too funny...

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Naked Ambition

These pictures are amazing! The swimmer's picture is my favorite, though I do appreciate them all.

From Mail Online
Naked ambition: Britain's Olympians strip down as they prepare to make history in Beijing
By Arthur Martin

"The images will be used as part of an advertising campaign for Powerade, the official sports drink of the Beijing Games."

"'Nadav [the photographer] made us all feel really comfortable, and we had a lot of fun. The Inner Gear for an athlete - how we train, what we eat, drink and when we sleep - is as important as what we wear, and it's great that a campaign like this brings it to life.'"

"Cathryn Sleight, marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain which produces Powerade, added: 'Everyone is used to seeing athletes in competition or winning, but we wanted to give people the chance to see the real make-up of an athlete and their muscle and power, celebrating the body and spirit and the hard work that goes into training for all athletes whatever your level.'"

Easy rider: Rower-turned-cyclist hRebecca Romero shows
off her enviable physique on her bike



The naked truth: Triple jumper Phillips Idowu shows off his
toned body in all its glory



Making waves: Swimmer Gregor Tait goes for a skinny dip

On the Olympics: Masked Cyclists!

I feel pretty certain that if I was at were at a highpoint in my athletic career and I was on an Olympic team, I would also take precautions -- especially if I was given the choice! I would ensure I did whatever it is necessary to minimize potential impact to my performance. Give the athletes a break!

BEIJING — After months of speculation about how Olympic athletes would react to the air quality problems here, some answers arrived at the airport Tuesday, when four track cyclists on the United States team stepped off their flight wearing masks over their mouths and noses.

They were the first athletes at these Summer Games seen wearing masks publicly to combat the effects of pollution, and the sight of them drew considerable attention and criticism from United States Olympic officials.

The United States Olympic Committee had issued the specially designed masks to protect athletes from the potentially harmful air here. The U.S.O.C.’s lead exercise physiologist, Randy Wilber, had advised the athletes to wear the masks on the plane and as soon as they stepped foot here.

The track cycling events held indoors here begin Aug. 15, and some of the team’s members — Mike Friedman, Sarah Hammer, Bobby Lea and Jennie Reed — were prepared for the worst when they arrived in Beijing, knowing that the air quality was questionable.

Two of them wore their masks on the plane. The other two put on the masks when they arrived at the airport. Soon, photographs were splashed on television and on the Internet.

“This is really a surprise, because I didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal,” Friedman said. “Why we wore the masks is simple: pollution. When you train your whole life for something, dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s, why wouldn’t you be better safe than sorry?

“They have pollution in Los Angeles, and if the Olympics were in Los Angeles, we would probably wear these masks, too.”

But U.S.O.C. officials were apparently unhappy with their choice, scolding the cyclists for walking off the plane wearing the masks because it might embarrass the host country, Friedman and Lea said. The cyclists said they did not remember the name of the official who spoke with them.

“They told us that the Chinese were mad and that this is a politically charged issue, but we didn’t mean to offend anybody,” Friedman said. “When they handed us these masks, they never said, ‘Here they are, but don’t wear them.’ ”

Lea said, “It’s disappointing, because I was under the assumption that the mask was approved for use because it was issued by the U.S.O.C.”

Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the U.S.O.C., said he was not aware of any reprimand. But he said the Olympians should feel free to wear their masks around the athletes’ village. Other United States teams, including the swimming squad, have been discussing when and where to use the masks.

“We’ve said all along that it is the athletes’ choice whether to wear one if they feel it’s necessary,” Seibel said. “I’m no scientific expert, but walking through an airport doesn’t seem like the place where it would be necessary to wear them.”

Earlier this year, Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, said he was confident the air would be clean because Chinese officials “are not going to let down the world.”

Officials in Beijing, one of the world’s most polluted cities, promised the sky would be clean for the Olympics, but as the Games have drawn closer, officials have been forced to take extraordinary measures. Factories in the city and in the surrounding provinces were shut down or moved. Major construction was halted. Cars were taken off the road on alternate days.

But the sky remained thick gray this week, prompting some athletes to take precautions.

Months ago, Wilber, who did not respond to e-mail messages late Tuesday night, said he feared this would happen. He knew that wearing the masks ran the risk of offending the host country and creating political tension. In turn, he advocated that many teams train away from Beijing until just before their events.

Most of the track team, for example, is training in the coastal town of Dalian, about an hour and 15 minutes away by plane. But smog has unexpectedly shrouded that city, too.

The Chinese and the International Olympic Committee, including Arne Ljungqvist, the chairman of the I.O.C. medical commission, have repeatedly said that the air quality is not a risk to athletes.

During a previously scheduled news conference Tuesday night, Ljungqvist dismissed the track cyclists’ actions.

“I don’t see the need for it, honestly,” Ljungqvist said of the masks, although he noted that some athletes with respiratory conditions might need to wear them.

He said that officials were testing the air daily for the five major types of pollutants, and that conditions had improved since Olympians moved into their housing July 27.

“The mist in the air that we see in those places, including here, is not a feature of pollution primarily but a feature of evaporation and humidity,” Ljungqvist said. “I’m sure, I’m confident the air quality will not prove to pose major problems to the athletes and to the visitors in Beijing.”

The cyclists had been through this before in Beijing. At their Olympic test events last year, the smog even made its way into the velodrome, floating just below the rafters. Lea said he developed a “wicked sore throat” about 30 minutes after flying into Beijing. It turned into a chest infection that lasted a week.

Lea did not wear a mask then, but he saw others cyclists in them. He said he thought they “looked ridiculous.”

Erinn Smart, a fencer who has allergies, said she started coughing Monday because of the noxious air. Reluctant to be the first athlete to wear a mask, she said she wondered who would “start the trend.” She now has an intrepid group to follow.

“I think you’ll see more and more people wearing masks now,” Friedman said. “How do you control that? You just can’t.”

Katie Thomas contributed reporting.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another Personal Best!

It's been a crazy week with the *cough* storms *cough* we were supposed to get here in Houston. Still, I guess we were afforded the opportunity to run through our "business continuity plan".

Darren has been traveling, so ibetween the weather and being where Cassie needs to be, today was the first day I got to the gym!

It was worth it... I tied the female bench press record at 145 lbs.!

The bad news is, we thought I had the record on the leg press. Not true. There are 2 ladies ahead of me! The top one is doing just over 900 lbs.
Oh well... something to shoot for. Trainer did say that I have great muscular endurance (I think that's what he called it) and that I have the two ladies beat, hands down, in volume.

Unfortunately we spent part of today's session time trying to workout some BodyBugg issues, so we didn't have a whole lot of time left:

Lateral Cable row
20 x 70 lbs. (last 5 with a hold at the top of the move).15 x 90 lbs.12 x 90 lbs.

Alt'd with Leg Raises
3 sets of 25
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Barbell Bench Press
20 x 45 lbs.
12 x 75 lbs.
6 x 105 lbs.
3 x 115 lbs.
1 x 135 lbs.
1 x 145 lbs.

Alt'd with Crunches on Disk
4 sets of 30

Finished up with 20 minutes of cardio.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Silk Soy Plus - New Product

For a long time I have stayed away from soy milks. I never cared much for that filmy residue it left in my mouth. Plus, Soy used to reek havoc on my stomach in the way of flatulence; sorry folks, just keepin' it real. :)

Anyway ever since my bypass I have become slightly lactose intolerant. I wasn't sure at first because I can still eat dairy, like cottage cheese without issue, but if I have real milk or ice cream, it's like war zone in my intestines. I know, enough already.

I purchase the Silk Soy Plus with Omega 3's and DHA. I'm all about upping my healthy cholesterol, since it was really low on my last round of blood work.

I gotta say it was really good and I didn't experience the film that first kept me from Soy milks to begin with. It has a nice taste too. :) This product has to be refrigerated -- which is fine because the colder, the better.

Between the new Silk Soy and my CorOmega supplement, I'm hoping my healthy cholesterol will make a good comeback. Incidentally my LDL was strikingly low too (which is fine with me), but I want some more of that HDL running through my bod. :)

Here it comes.... wait for it!

So we were plenty ready for the Eduord to make landfall in Galveston, which is 25 miles from my home. When Rita hit, we were mandatorily (like that word? I think its fake) evacuated. As you might imagine everyone in this part of Houston has an overwhelmingly heightened sense of fear whenever the slightest threat of anythig is ready to come our way.

Cassie's Daycare requested parents to pick their kids up early on Tuesday and announced they'd be closed on Wednesday. Even though I understood the "why" it drives me crazy. They're already closing on the 11th for a training day. Yes. A training day. With Darren traveling I wound up having to bring the Cassinator to work with me, along with a slew of toys and the DVD player to keep her busy. Despite her distractions I managed to get the essential things done to protect our company's technology. It was a good practice to run through our business continuity plan.

I haven't been the gym in 2 days. I plan to go today to get some cardio in before I take Cass to gymnastics. Eating wasn't so great, but not bad. I call it "not so great" because I did not get my protein in as usual. In my fury to get out of the house and to work before the rain I left my breakfast and lunch at home. I was left with mac and cheese made from scratch with the Barilla protein pasta for lunch and the inside of a egg and cheese croissant for breakfast (which was gross, btw).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

My Lil' Gymnist :)

Just 'cause I'm a proud Mom. :)


Inside the Human Body

If you know me, you know that I'm a big fan of Dr. Oz. I love the way he explains body function; his easy-to-understand explainations actually encourage me to learn more.

The folloiwng link shows 15 pictures of various human insides, including the heart, liver, kidneys, brain, lungs, aorta, etc. Pictures of the healthy version and the unhealthy version It's pretty wild.

Inside the Human Body - - 1MSN Health & Fitness - Health Topics