I wrote last week that I wanted to take exercise to a higher level. I succeeded in doing that. I made sure I exercised for 30 - 40 minutes every day, plus I did the Canadian Air Force 12-minute conditioning exercises every day. By Friday my legs were a little sore, and by Saturday they were noticeably sore.
Every article I've read by physical trainers emphasizes taking off one day a week during training. My son's high school coaches all taught that to continue building muscle strength you need to give your muscles a day to rest. The track coach often forbad the athletes to do any training the day before a meet. I find that emotionally hard to do. I feel like I'm cheating or slacking if I miss a day of exercise.
A day of rest is a good Biblical principle that I follow in other areas of my life. I don't do routine housework on Sundays. With few exceptions, I don't shop on Sundays. I think that's part of the reason that I like Mondays. After a day of rest, I'm eager to get back to my work and activities
Today I did not exercise. I let my muscles rest. Tomorrow I will pick up where I left off and continue pushing to the next level.
My daughter is back from her school retreat. They spent 4 days in the country building unity with their classmates and seeking a closer relationship with God. It was great to hear stories of all her adventures when I picked her up yesterday afternoon. Some of the stories, of course, were about food.
My daughter follows the BTD about 85%. By that I mean that 85% of her diet is Type A beneficial or neutral. About 15% is Type A avoid. She does this voluntarily on her own, which I think is outstanding for a teenager.
At home she has a soy shake every morning for breakfast. For the retreat she took individual cartons of soy milk, her soy protein powder, a large glass, and a small electric blender. She made her shake in the cabin every morning. "I had to explain it so many times," she said. "I don't eat beef, but I need protein to start the day. It so went over their heads."
She said they had a great salad bar in the dining hall, and that was her choice for lunch and dinner. Lunch one day was hot dogs and another day chicken nuggets. "I didn't even think about getting either." One night she planned to get the spaghetti, but someone told her it tasted gross, so she went straight to the salad bar. Another night they served chicken, "but it was swimming in grease, Mom, so I didn't even bother."
For snacks they had cupcakes and cookies. "I took oatmeal cookies," said my daughter, "I thought they would be healthiest. The cupcakes were tempting; but I didn't eat any." The snack bar sold sodas and candy. "I didn't have a soda the whole trip," she said.
At night when the girls were sitting around the cabin eating Pringles and candy, she pulled a jar of peanut butter out of her suitcase and ate it with a spoon. "My friends told me I ate way too healthy," she said.
The ladies in my Sunday School class have a luncheon once a month. We pray for the needs in our church and then visit while we eat.
I took a salad today - a mixture of greens, shredded carrots, and tomatoes. I took one bottle of traditional salad dressing that others in my family like. I also took Herbamare, Trocomare, and olive oil. I said that my favorite salad dressing was seasoned salt and olive oil. Those who tried it were surprised that they liked it.
Last month our hostess fixed brownies for dessert. I had to explain that I'm very allergic to chocolate. She apologized and offered to substitute cookies and ice cream. So I had to explain that I didn't eat wheat or dairy either. She remembered! When she called this month she said she was planning to fix chicken corn chowder and wanted to know if I could eat it if she fixed it with soy milk. Corn is an avoid, of course, but I just didn't have the heart, after she had gone to so much effort, to say "no corn either." She made it with lots of herbs and not a whole lot of corn. It was delicious.
For dessert she had baked apples along with pecan muffins. I had passed on the French bread that was served with the chowder, so I decided to taste one of the muffins. It was heavenly. I asked for the recipe, thinking it would make a great breakfast for my husband and daughter. This recipe is a lot like the walnut torte that I like so much. There is a little flour, but the largest ingredient is pecan meal. If I cut the sugar back and substitute kamut or rice flour, I will have a muffin that would be tasty, good for Os and As and ideal for the holidays.
My daughter is away on a school retreat this week. I plan to make the muffins for breakfast when she gets back on Monday. I'll post the altered recipe if it is a success.
I read through the Canadian Air Force XBX program and did level 1 yesterday. Except for the pushups I finished level one easily without effort.
The program is 10 exercises that you are to do in 12 minutes. The exercises work on flexibility, mobility, strength, endurance, and muscle tone. You stay at a level until you can do the exercises without strain or fatigue. The number and difficulty of the exercises increase as you move up in levels, but the 12-minute time frame stays the same. There are 48 levels in all.
Everything was fine until I got to the part of the instructions about setting goals. Naturally the goals for teenagers are the most ambitious. But women my age are told to aim for level 11.
Just level 11 out of 48 levels?!? And worse, they recommend that I stay on each level for 8 days before moving on to the next level. I feel discriminated against. Why such low goals for 50 year old women? My expectations for myself are much higher.
For the sake of the push-ups, I'll stay on level 1 for 2-3 more days. But I'm moving on before day 8!! And I'm aiming for the top of the chart.
I promised myself last summer that I would not blog about American politics, and I have no intention of changing my mind. However in watching election returns last night I could not help notice how many news commentators were struggling with GERD. In the middle of sentences they were burping and gulping for air. I know they were stressed, and they probably hadn't taken time for a decent meal all day. I suspect that every time the camera turned off they were popping antacids. I wanted to e-mail them the BTD web address or mail them a copy of "Live Right for your Type."
It hasn't bothered me that my weight loss stopped. In my first year on the BTD my weight dropped below any ideal weight I had ever dreamed of.
It does bother me that the muscle building that was once so noticeable seems to have stopped also. It's pretty obvious why. My body has become accustomed to the amount of exercise that it found extremely challenging 16 months ago. I hardly notice 1 and 3 pound weights any more. I can do more than 25 repetitions with 5 pound weights without feeling a burn in my muscles, though the 5 pound weights do still increase my heart rate.
There are parts of my arms and legs that are still not as firm as I'd like. To start building muscle again, I'm going to have to up the ante on exercise. I really wanted to join a gym, but after pricing the ones reasonably near my house, I've decided that none are within my family's budget. I'm going to have to do this on my own.
Today I ran at the park with the hill. Instead of climbing over the top, I ran all the way up the path. I could feel it in my legs as I ran. If I can feel it in my muscles tomorrow morning, I'll know I'm on the right track.
I've just downloaded the Royal Canadian Air Force XBX program for women (http://www.statesa.com/gettingfit/5bx.php). Heidi has recommended it to several people in her columns. It is designed to improve muscle tone, not to build muscle mass. That is what I want.
I came across an interesting statement on the website where I downloaded the Canadian Air Force program. "When you do some exercise your body doesn't start burning fat before at least 20 minutes. That's because it burns first the glycogen from liver and muscles and then carries on with the deposits of fat." I don't know if that statement is true, but I usually exercise 30 - 40 minutes. That would mean that I'm only getting 10 to 20 minutes of actual fat burning. I guess I'll need to up the ante on time as well.