Samurai Workout!

18 05 2010

This is just too cool!  I was doing some surfing and I came across an article on about a new fitness trend that is HUGE in Japan right now called Forza and its a workout with samurai swords!!!  Now to be clear, this is not a workout that will teach you the way of the samurai, but it is an effective workout that burns a good amount of calories and looks fun to do.

After reading the article I did a search on Amazon and and found some books and DVDs on the subject:

You can click the above image to go to the page 🙂

One thing that I like about this workout is that you can you stuff you have lying around the house, or you can get into the workout and buy a kendo sword or something and unleash your inner samurai warrior!

I found an example workout (with pictures) via Mens Health

Grab a dull, long, weighted object, such as a broomstick and walk into an open area with a tall ceiling (or no ceiling) and plenty of space. (You can buy a wooden sword at Perform the workout as a circuit, resting 30 seconds between exercises. (So you’ll perform all your reps for exercise A, rest, then exercise B, rest again, and so on.) Repeat the circuit as many times as it takes until you’ve been working out for 15 minutes—your goal is to eventually perform 15 minutes of continuous activity with no rest. Once you can do that, use a heavier object.

The Workout:

A Half-Cut
Grab your “sword” with both hands, palms facing each other, but separate your grip by four inches. Your right hand should be on top. Take an athletic stance and place your feet together. Keeping your arms bent, lift the “sword” over your head so the “blade” points directly behind you [1]. Take a short step forward with your left foot and simultaneously slice downward, so that the sword ends up in front of you with your bottom hand at waist level [2]. Return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Perform 15 reps, and then switch your grip so that your left hand is above your right. Now you’ll step forward with the right foot. Complete another 15 reps.

B Full-Cut
Set up in the same position as you did for the half-cut [1]. Lunge with your left leg until it’s nearly parallel to the floor, and slice downward with your “sword” so that it ends up in front of you and your bottom hand is at waist level. [2]. Return to the start position. That’s one rep. Perform 15 reps with before switching grips so your left hand is over your right. Now you’ll lunge with your right leg. Do 15 more reps.

C Horizontal Cut
Take an athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the “sword” so your hands are slightly in front of your right shoulder and your “sword” extends behind you [1]. Rotate your hips and shoulders from right to left as you slice with your “sword,” tracing a line parallel to the ground and at your eye level, stopping when your bottom hand reaches your left arm pit [2]. Return to the start position. That’s one rep. Perform 15 reps before switching grips, so your left hand is above your right. Now you’ll cut left to right, rotating your hips in shoulders in the opposite direction. Do 15 more reps.

D Thrust Lunge
Take an athletic stance with your feet together, and hold your “sword” with your arms bent and your hands near your left hip so the “sword” extends in front of you [1]. Lunge forward with your right leg until your front thigh becomes parallel to the ground and push the “sword” forward [2]. Reverse the motion and return to the start position. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps before switching grips so you left hand is on top of the right. Now you’ll lunge with your left leg, and start on your right hip. Do 15 more reps.

The article also recommended checking out for more information.

Please note that the above pictures are in NO WAY me, they were in the above mentioned article 🙂

Seems cool huh?  I may pick up the dvd and check it out.


Green Bananas

18 05 2010

I woke up this morning CRAVING some oatmeal and banana, however when I went to the kitchen I noticed that the bananas that we’d bought at the grocery store were still green.  I only recently started eating bananas (it was a texture thing, not a flavor thing) but even I knew that green=unripe.  But it was the only thing my body wanted so I sucked it up and peeled the banana (much harder than a ripe banana).  It only took one bite to taste the difference, the banana was definitely missing its sweetness, so I drizzled some  organic honey on top and that solved the problem 🙂

Weight Control Oatmeal with chia seeds, banana and organic honey.

I’ve been keeping up with my physical therapy exercises and sitting on my swiss ball while I watch TV and read my Kindle and my core is soooo sore (but sooo worth it).  But I need to step up my walking, the gloomy weather we’ve been having lately has given me and excuse to skip it (lame I know).

Grocery shopping was fun, we got a lot of produce and organic items.  I was so sad they were out of my favorite Larabar (apple pie) but I got another favorite:  banana nut bread and two flavors I haven’t tried yet:  peanut butter and jelly and pecan pie.  I also picked up a Kind Bar after reading about them on the blogosphere, I got the protein one thats mostly nuts, it looked pretty good.

I also finally picked up some popchips, I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and I am trying to do low carb as much as possible but I figured its better to have these around than some pringles.

So I have lots of healthy snacks and a set routine, I’m still nervous for tomorrow’s weigh in (because its that time of the month and I am BLOATED) but I’m sticking to my diet and drinking crazy amounts of water so thats all that matters for now 🙂

How is your week going so far?


16 05 2010

Its “that time” and I’m bloated and cranky and those tampon commercials are seeming even more annoying than usual.  My hormones are out of control and I’ve been a bit lax on my diet today to appease my body which is CRAVING carbs and sugar.

I munched on an apple for breakfast, but had pizza for lunch and cookie dough ice cream for dinner.  But small amounts seemed to sate my cravings, I ate less than the recommended serving size of both so even though it was a “splurge” at least I didn’t go overboard.

Its been cold and rainy here the last few days so I haven’t been able to walk outside very much, but I’ve been diligent about doing my physical therapy exercises, especially the ones with my swiss ball and resistance bands to keep up some level of activity.

How has your weekend been going?

Which City is the Fattest in America?

14 05 2010

Men’s Health magazine recently ran an article which listed the top 10 fattest cities, as well as the top 10 leanest cities in America.  Their findings were based off several statistics:

  • The number of people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes
  • The percentage of a city’s population that is overweight
  • The amount of money spent on junk food per city (via the Bureau of Labor Statistics )
  • The number of people who dine on fast food at least nine times per month (via Mediamark)
  • The percentage of people who haven’t left the couch in a month (via CDC Behavioral Risk Surveillance System which is an ongoing telephone survey)

If you’re a fan of the Biggest Loser (I didn’t start watching until this season, and now I’m hooked) you’ll remember that they did an episode recently based off the results of this survey.  They went to Texas to help motivate the people there to live healthier lives because FIVE of the ten fattest cities in America are in Texas.  The episode was very heartfelt and motivational and I loved that they showed were some of those people are now and that they have made changes in their lives to live a healthier lifestyle and to ultimately save their lives.

The Top 10 Fattest Cities in America

1.  Corpus Christi, TX
2.  Charelston, WV
3.  El Paso, TX
4.  Dallas, TX
5.  Memphis, TN
6.  Kansas City, MO
7.  San Antonino, TX
8.  Baltimore, MD
9.  Houston, TX
10.  Birmingham, AL

The Top 10 Leanest Cities in America

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Burlington, VT
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Albuquerque, NM
  7. Portland, OR
  8. Cincinnati, OH
  9. Denver, CO
  10. Aurora, CO

    Where does your city fall on this list?  I live near Chicago and I would say that there’s a pretty even mix of healthy lean people and overweight people.  I loved San Fransisco, and I can understand why they hold the title of the number one leanest city, when I was out there people were walking, running and biking everywhere and I had never seen so much locally grown, organic food in my life.  Its definitely and ideal setting for a healthy lifestyle.

Belated Weekly Weigh In and Updates!

13 05 2010

Sorry that I’ve been M.I.A. its been a crazy week, I think this is the first time I’ve been home for more than 5 minutes (other than sleep of course) in days!  My brother came home for a long weekend before heading back to school, he’s in a six year pharmacy program and he goes to school all year round.  I miss the kid.

Since he was home we went out for a celebratory sushi dinner, and as much as I love sushi I ordered Udon instead (cold rainy weather makes me CRAVE soup) since it was listed under their “healthier options” menu.  They did throw some tempura in there, so I don’t know how healthy that was.  But it was tasty.

Since we had everyone home we also went out for my dad’s birthday (my family seems to be big on dining out…much to the determent of my diet).  We went to a place just over the border in Wisconsin that specializes in BBQ and Friday Fish Frys (not the healthiest options…) so I got a roast chicken with vegetables (sorry I tried to take a picture, but it turned out too dark).

To continue my trend of dining out…Saturday I was out with my friends and everyone decided they wanted to go to an all you can eat sushi bar (yes I know that makes 3 times in one week that I was at a sushi establishment) and I kept it healthy by choosing veggie rolls, sashimi, seaweed salad and edamame.  The place was actually really good, and all you can eat was only $20 for dinner.

Sunday of course was Mother’s Day which meant more dining out….my mom was craving ribs so we went to Famous Dave’s for some BBQ.  This was probably my biggest splurge for the week I had some rib tips, cajun style catfish and green beans.  It was good though 🙂

Monday I got back into the swing of things, I had a banana with some almond butter for breakfast and for lunch I made a wrap with turkey, low fat swiss and avocado-YUM!!!! I love avocado so much.  Dinner was kind of a flop, I made stir fry with the faux beef strips I bought at Trader Joe’s.  My boyfriend is pretty much a carnivore so he thought the taste of the faux beef was a little bland, so I decided to whip up a sauce to give it a bit more of  a kick (and unfortunately I went a bit overboard).  So I don’t think that I’ll be buying those strips again 😦

Tuesday was great my breakfast was super filling:  oatmeal with chia seeds and banana

For lunch my boyfriend brought home a rotisserie chicken and made a light salad that he grew up with (cucumber, tomato, onion, salt, pepper and lemon juice) it was a nice light lunch but more filling than I would of thought.  By the time dinner rolled around I wasn’t very hungry so I cut up a sweet potato and had some yummy sweet potato fries to munch on during my favorite night of TV (Glee, Lost and V…yes I’m a total geek)

Yesterday was Weigh in Wednesday and AGAIN I was nervous due to all the dining out but my results were MUCH better than I anticipated.  I only lost half a pound, BUT I lost TWO INCHES off my waistline!!!  I actually wore jeans that I haven’t worn in almost a year 🙂  And THAT is better than pounds any day of the week.

I think all the core exercises I have been doing for physical therapy have been paying off, I’ve been doing a lot of work on a swiss ball, I even sit on it while I watch tv.  That and I’ve been walking 2-5 miles per day in my Sketchers Shape Ups, and despite my earlier hesitation I think they are paying off, my boyfriend thinks my butt looks firmer and I definitely feel a difference in my legs.

So again I feel bad for being M.I.A I promise to keep more on top of things 🙂 I even downloaded mobile WordPress for my Droid.

How has your week been going?

Day 14

6 05 2010

Happy Cinco De Mayo!  I hope everyone had a good day 🙂

As I mentioned earlier, I weighed in this morning and got a goose egg 😦  But that only motivated me to go out and work hard today.  I walked just over 5 miles between my morning and afternoon walk.  Both were in hilly areas so I got quite a work out, and I wore my Shape-Ups for a little extra boost (let me tell you those curved bottoms make hills a pain in the ***).

As promised, I’m uploading some BEFORE pictures.  They aren’t the best since I took them myself, but I figured it was a starting point.  I also took my measurements.

I’m really nervous about putting these pictures up here…its me, in my underwear and I’m the heaviest I’ve been in my LIFE!  Its like a nightmare, but I’m hoping that it will help keep me motivated so I can post some skinnier pictures up here.

Me at 203lbs 5/5/10

Side view 203lbs 5/5/10

Rear view 203lb 5/5/10

And for those of you that were curious, here’s a close up of my scar from my spinal surgeries.  The doctors say I’m healing nicely, but it will be nice when its not purple! (The picture makes it look better than it is…)

My surgical scar from my spinal surgeries. Its exactly 4 inches long.

Well now that the hardest parts over, giving out my measurements doesn’t seem so bad….

Neck:  16in

Bust:  45.5in

Natural Waist:  37in

Middle(or “pooch” area):  42in

Hips:  45.5in

Right Thigh:  23in

Left Thigh:  23in

Right Calf:  16in

Left Calf:  16in

Right Upper Arm:  15in

Left Upper Arm:  15in

Right Lower Arm:  9in

Left Lower Arm:  9in

Well this was a mortifying post.  I’m sore from all my hard work today so I’m going to head to bed and sleep it off so I can do it all again tomorrow!

Night guys!

Weekly Weigh In

5 05 2010

Well I weighed in this morning, and while it was better than I expected after my actions over this past weekend, I was still disappointed in myself.  I didn’t gain, but I didn’t lose either.  I am going to talk to my therapist tomorrow about upping my daily activity and finding out what I can and cannot do.  I’m also contemplating doing a cleanse, but the idea of the Master Cleanse kinda scares me.  I’ve been looking into Shakeology after reading about it on other blogs, but I’d really appreciate some feedback as to how it tastes and makes you feel before I take the $120 plunge.

I like the Shakeology cleanse the best, and I don’t know if I can just use my own protein shakes to do the 3 day cleanse.  If you have any insight let me know, otherwise I’m just going to have to keep researching 🙂

What are your experiences with fasts and cleanses?  What do you think about Shakeology?

I’d appreciate your feedback.

Thanks guys!