Friday, April 30, 2010

Time Travel

A weight-loss challenge? Sure, I'll sign up...I need to lose some weight, this should be fun.

So much fun making the video...they've got to pick us!

We were selected! Three months/90 days? Yeah, I can commit to that.

We got paired with Boot Camps to Go...I'm scared! But, it's going to be tough in a good way, right?

Love our trainer, but this Boot Camp thing is crazy! My body is too old/out of shape for this.

I'm not sure I can survive on this new diet.

Why am I running/stumbling/panting down Capital Circle in the rain?

One actual serving of pasta is really small.

I'm kicking ass keeping within my calorie count.

Whoa! Laurel informed me that my diet is full of fat/preservatives/chemicals, and lacks in protein/nutrients.

Buying fruits and vegetables.

Thanks for the meal suggestions, Jo, but I don't cook.

I'm not sure I can do burpees without throwing up.

Bitterly consuming more veggies and fruits than I care for.

Why can't I jump up on a mat with two feet? Stop laughing at my lack of coordination.

I miss cheese.

No, Katy, I'm not going to run a 5K with you.

Food pisses me off.

It's only 45 minutes...I can do this.

OK, the extra veggies and fruit aren't so bad.

Wow, I can do real in more than one.

Always thought nuts were good...dammit, savoring my quarter-cup allowance.

No matter what, I'm finishing this circuit.

I really want a cheeseburger & fries.

I can see my biceps, sans (well, smaller) Bingo Wings.

Spoke too soon... feeble attempts at the kettlebell chest-press.

Trying on jeans..."can you get these in a smaller size?" YEAH!

Discovered that a no-carb stretch has the same effects as PMS.

Didn't finish the circuit and I cried. (How embarrassing.)

Final Weigh-In: lost over my 10 lb. goal, and decreased my body fat, cholesterol levels, etc. We won't know the Team winners until May 20, but at least I've been rewarded with a healthier and stronger body. Thank you GTO KO's and BCTG for pushing/encouraging me to stick with the diet and workouts. This time-warp has resulted in benefits for all of us. Way to go GTO-KO's!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We Weigh in Tomorrow!!!!

Tomorrow is the end. A chant keeps running through my head....we weigh in tomorrow, we weigh in tomorrow, we weigh in tomorrow. Though of course, it must compete with another mantra that's playing on repeat... carbs, carbs, pasta, carbs, potatoes, carbs, pasta, carbs. You get the idea.

This won't be a long blog full of reflection and words of wisdom. Nope, we'll all do that after we actually weigh in and can finally quantify our 3 months of hard work. I just wanted to recognize the fact that we have arrived! 3 months of diet and insane exercising are coming to an end! It's a bittersweet feeling though. I look at pictures of myself and think, who's that girl with those muscular legs?? And those toned biceps! I only hope that I can keep up the exercise regime so that in 3 months, 6 months, 2 years even I'll be able to say those same things. We've been prepared for the rest of our lives with what we've learned at BootcampsToGo, so I darn well better!

Good luck to all teams, and see you at the finish line! *sigh* I did just use a running metaphor. Curse you running addiction (now picture me shaking my fist in the air)!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Driven to Tears

It's become apparent that our little no-carb stint is wreaking havoc on my emotional state. I was warned that I would be grouchy, although the alternative for the word "witch" is a more apt description of my attitude.

I've also noticed that my brain is a bit foggy. This may not be detectable to the human eye, as I am quite ditzy and scattered; my family already hears, "Where are my sunglasses/where is my phone/where are my keys?" on a daily basis. Now, I find myself exclaiming, "Oh sh*t, it's Wednesday," in the middle of what-I-thought-was-Tuesday, and suddenly have to gather all the balls I've dropped. In fact, I'm having trouble writing this blog. (Will someone do something about that annoying dog barking outside? Oops, that's MY dog!)

And this evening, my emotions took a turn for the worse. Walking Kettlebell Suicides...on an incline. For starters, I just couldn't get the technique down. Although Mike tried patiently to help me correct the movement, I kept screwing it up. Katy was waiting at the top of the slope, cheering me on to the finish line when Mike called Time. I mouthed to her, "I didn't finish," and made an exaggerated frown-face.

Whoa! The bottom-lip-extension was a bad idea; it immediately triggered the tear ducts. Yep, I actually started crying during my workout. I know, I know... pathetic. Which is exactly how I felt. Thankfully, my face was dripping with perspiration, so I could pull off the "wiping sweat from my brow" maneuver.

While I can attribute some of this to the low-carb imbalance, I was truly frustrated that I let myself down. You see, about half-way into the WellQuest Challenge/Boot Camps To Go training, I realized that I could complete each circuit as long as I pushed myself to do so. No, it's never become's just that I had passed the "can't do it" mark. So, here we are--just one week away from the WellQuest weigh in--and I failed to complete a BCTG circuit. Again... pathetic.

But, I knew that if I gave into my emotions, my fellow Boot Campers would be bewildered and Mike might think I had injured myself and halt the workout to check on my condition. So I focused on an image of what's written on the BCTG gym floor: SUCK IT UP!

Tears dried (sweat didn't), Jo, Katy, and I were URBAN ASSAULT-ed, and I did get a hellacious workout...

but I'm still pissed that I didn't finish.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

GTO KO's we are worth something ALWAYS!

We all sometimes think less of ourselves and this is a perfect example of one of those times:

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20.00 bill?" Hands started going up. He said "I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the $20 bill up.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands went up in the air.

"Well, what if I do this?" He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it in with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" And again the hands went up in the air.

"My friends we have all learned a valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money you still wanted it because it didn't decrease in value. It is still worth $20."

He added, "Many times in our lives we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel we are worthless. No matter what has happened or what will happen, YOU WILL NEVER LOSE YOUR VALUE! Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who do love you! THE WORTH IN OUR LIVES COMES NOT IN WHAT WE DO OR WHO WE KNOW, BUT BY WHO WE ARE!!!"

You are special don't ever forget it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Kettlebell "Nightmare"

So, I had this dream last night. I was trapped in a gym. There were HUNDREDS of kettlebells hanging from the ceiling, threatening to drop at any moment. All around the floor were more kettlebells, of all shapes and sizes. There was a blonde man grinning evilly as he chased me and several other women around the torture chamber, errrr- gym. We were forced to throw kettlebells at each other, lay in the path of a giant rolling kettlebell, and several other unspeakable things. Yet, just when all seemed hopeless, all of the captives came together and overpowered our captor (he turned out to be a fairly dull crayon in the box).

While this dream scared me fairly bad, and I'm more than a little terrified to look at a kettlebell tonight, I realized today it was actually a metaphor for this whole journey. While Laurel and Mike are not actually evil, Bootcamp and the kettlebell seemed, in the beginning, to be an insurmountable obstacle. And yet, as we near the end of this competition, I realize we have overcome our "captor;" the "I cant's," the "too hards," and of course, the kettlebell!

**I, Katharine Zamesnik, do certify this dream to be a true and honest dream, and agree to be held responsible for any misrepresentation thereof. (Honestly, who could make this up?)**

Cut out the stress and realize we can't play by old rules!

These blogs can be hard at times especially when we are pouring out our deepest inner thoughts and secrets. Not to mention having to be honest with not only yourself but millions of viewers! Each day Heather sends out an inspiring email called "Daily Dose" (healthy living) and what it boils down to is you can't play by old rules! When looking at this contest we think try harder, instead of trying differently!

We realize that our workout and diets are changing and in an attempt to cope, we react as if more is the answer. Don't get me wrong, I know we all put our best foot forward and push ourselves to almost insanity, not to mention the enduring pain when it's hard to even walk! While our workouts and diets are taking on totally new dimensions...making new demands...calling for new habits...we are still trying to add more! Struggling to compete and win really wears on the nerves! After awhile the stress and strain cause engine damage to the mental state of mind!

Now even though adapting is tough...we have to remember how difficult it was a little over 2 months ago when we couldn't even imagine being where we are today. Rather than barreling ahead with the same old behaviors that worked well enough in the past, we must learn new routines. We must make the necessary shift in our mindset so that our thinking is aligned with our new realities.

The reality is this: I have lost 9 lbs during this competition so far. In my mind my goal was 50 lbs when I started...therefore the stress is reminding me that I have not accomplished my goal! This can be overwhelming and I need to remind myself that I am not playing by the old rules and I have changed my old habits! Cutting out the stress? We will always have some in life as long as we know how to take it and turn it into a positive it's all good! I will continue to do things differently and I have faith that the end results will be very good for all of us! GO GTO KO's!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Art of Sweat

As a graphic designer, I thrive on creativity and appreciate it in all aspects of life. I find myself in constant awe of Creative Genius that I discover in books, movies, art, music, advertising, clothing, architecture, etc.

Today, it occurred to me that I have encountered another form of creativity, and have been experiencing it for the last two months. No, not in my kitchen (my diet has become quite dull due to the lack of spectacular cheeses), but in my training.

I realized that I've attended 30+ workouts at BCTG and have never repeated the same workout routine. Nope, not once. True, they recycle basic exercises (wish they would retire the "burpee"), but they are combined with new exercises, or have different reps/timing cycles, or are simply made more challenging. (Don't even ask how many variations on a "plank" they can come up with.) When you consider that their equipment is minimal (ropes, kettlebells, rings, bars, sleds, tires, etc.) compared to other gyms that have a hundred different machines, one has to appreciate the thought and planning that goes into a BCTG workout routine.

Every workout requires us to use our bodies in new and different ways; we don't have the option to adjust weight, pressure, or resistance on a machine. Our only "adjustment" is how far we can push ourselves.

Maybe this is why BCTG has become so appealing to me. I never know what to expect (besides getting my butt kicked); each workout is unique. (And just what muscles are sore the day-after can be a bit of a surprise, as well.)

I once again find myself awed by Creative such an unexpected place.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Creature FEETure

Thanks to Shaw's Athletics for enduring this evening's GTO KO invasion!

As part of the WellQuest Challenge, each team has to go on a health/fitness related outing along with a videographer. The KO's were selected to be fitted for the perfect pair of running shoes at Shaw's.

Upon arriving, we were asked to slip off our shoes, to which Katy quipped, "Without even having a glass of wine?"

After inquiries regarding foot, knee, and back pain, we had our Walk & Turn analyzed (in sock-feet). Although we rocked it like runway models, the feedback was peppered with terms like "pronation" and "supination." On the spot, we started a "No Pronation" Support Group and tossed out slogans and bumper sticker ideas for our salesman. He, being tolerant and patient, retreated to the stockroom to select our perfect shoes.

He returned with nine boxes (three different pairs for each of us to try). However, his suggestion of larger sizes was met with vocal dismay. Listen up, Shoe Marketers: women's sizes should be Super Petite, Petite, Extra Small, and Small. We don't like larger numbers, period.

Then he had us walk and run in each pair for further analysis, at which point I learned I am a "Ball-of-Footer." A technique which was certainly developed during my years of running from busted under-age keg parties. (PS. Katy tried to convince me once again to join her in running a 5K, but I'm having none of her Kool-Aid. Keep your cult to yourself.)

I have no doubt this experience scared our videographer, Jay, from shopping with women for life! "This one looks like a bullet." "Do you have these in another color?" "I can't tell which one feels better, I've only tried on shoes for cuteness." "Where are the support stilettos?" (Note to WellQuest: Jay is awesome, completely professional and fun to work with.)

Super-shopper Katy had to be talked down from some impulse buys, Jo had to pull her tongue, and I left with a new phobia...Black Toe. However, we all purchased a new pair of shoes, so it was a win-win for all.

Monday, April 5, 2010

KO Chain Gang

We're at the toughest part of the WellQuest Challenge: one month to prove that we can maintain our exercise and diet regimes without the guidance and support of a trainer.

As we begin our last month of the competition, we must remember that while there is no
I in "team," there is an I in "win."

We cannot rest on our laurels (or even Laurel, for that matter). We have four more weeks to improve our individual fitness, and therefore the total fitness of the team.
As a team, we're only as strong as our weakest link. So, let's keep the chain strong enough to pull us to victory!

As they say at BCTG...Suck it up!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Birth of a Climbing Monkey (I mean Junkie)

Harness, Check

Shoes, Check

Rope, Check

Trusted Belayer, Check…I think?

I found myself climbing up a wall with nothing but a rope and a trusted friend, keeping me from hitting the ground. As I reached the halfway point between the ground and the top, I started to shake. Physically shake...the kind where you feel weak and sweaty. For a split second I doubted my abilities and realized that I was climbing a VERTICAL wall. I’m not sure if it was adrenaline or simply anxiety but it felt like an overwhelming, out of control panic and then, just as fast as it had started, the panic was gone. Somehow I instinctively knew I could finish. Using the upper and lower body strength I’ve developed at BCTG, I was able to reach the top of the rock wall. I guess all those dang pushups, pull ups, tire flips, lunges and jump squats are paying off!

Once I reached the top, I still needed to get down. I looked down at my friend Amelia and thought, "I’m suppose to just let go?" I took a deep breath, asked Amelia if she was ready, yelled, "take" and leaned back with as much trust as one person can have in another as she gently and slowly eased me down the wall. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Not only was I able to accomplish something I thought I couldn’t do but I was also able to physically see how much stronger I am. I know with 100% certainty that I would not have been able to do this 6 weeks ago.

We climbed for about an hour and I could probably have kept going for another one. My body was tired and I could tell my arm muscles were fatigued, but it was so much fun that I wanted to continue. After one afternoon, I am a rock climbing junkie. I have looked into pricing packages, climbing clubs and I’m planning on going back this weekend. It’s a great workout for both my arms and legs and even my oblique muscles are sore.

I called Elise the minute I left the gym to share my excitement. When I told her what I had just done she said, "you did what?!" Though, Elise is afraid of heights I made her promise she would come with me to the Rock Gym. If she won’t climb, at least I can amaze her with my novice climbing abilities. I will never be an addict to running like Katy, but I will accompany her on the track some days and force her to come to the Rock Gym with me in exchange. Lately I have found myself enjoying the BCTG workouts and trying new and physically challenging activities. Maybe I’ll even sign up for the Mud Run with Katy next year.

What a surprise to find that I of all people would become a Rock Climbing Junkie?