Day 62: Pain: Fun For The Whole Family!

This is a house full of athletes. This is not a house full of cry-babies, or sympathizers. Well, okay, we are sometimes a bunch of whiners, but we don’t offer a whole lot of sympathy, at least that much is true. We all participate in rigorous sports and we expect to be sore, bruised, dog tired and sometimes bloody, BUT, when someone does complain or whine about an injury, or a muscle that hurts like *%$@, we know that the hubby will hunt you down with one of these devices of torture. And he’ll do it with a maniacal grin. He will call you out, and the whole house winces (and secretly cackles) knowing exactly what’s in store.

Hurts So Good
Hurts So Good

This is the moment we crumble from our bad-ass athletic selves and transform into crying/laughing/crying wimpy babies. For real. Hubby says, “Okay, come on, I’ve got the roller.” Immediately, “Oh, no, I was just kidding, I feel GREAT! Look! See? (moves offending body part trying not to show pain).” Laughter and hoots and insults about being a “wimp” or taunts like, “You scared bro?” pour in from all parts of the house. The fun begins. Yells, screams (mostly embellished for the show’s sake, but not entirely) commence. Hubby uses the torture rehab tools on the whiner willing patient and laughs when they get up and run away. All fun and games aside, these tools really work. I highly recommend them. In addition to the pictured devices, we have a large foam roller too.

The Stick, by,  is a flexible roller that’s pretty easy to use on yourself. It will fit in a gym bag and I’ve taken it to the tennis courts on more than one occasion.

The wee green ball o’ pain is a trigger point ball, and I kid you not, it can make you cry. That said, it will absolutely make you feel MUCH better. It helps you break up those nasty trigger points, and trust me, you know when you’ve found one. (

Finally the rumble roller, also an adhesions, knots and trigger point breaker upper, (technical jargon, I’m sure) is one you roll around on top of. I’ve been known to lean into it up against a wall when my full body weight on the offending (usually) hip would just be too much. (

Is it any surprise that our oldest, who is going off to play college soccer in the fall, got The Stick as a graduation present? We’re weird that way.

Seriously, I joke, but having these little gems around the house, no matter how painful, makes a huge difference. I recommend this kind of healthy, family fun to everyone!

Day 46: The Real Math, Calculating Goal Weight Based on Body Fat Percentage

Yesterday, while I was discussing my belief that body fat percentage remains my priority, I started to think about what my goal body fat percentage is. How much body fat should a grown up, athletic woman like myself shoot for? I searched the internet and found many different charts. This is the one that seems to be reasonable to me, and is based on gender/age and whether or not you want to be “average” or more lean.

Body Fat Chart

I was trying to work backward and find out how to calculate how much weight I would need to lose, given maintaining my current lean muscle mass, and was a bit surprised. However, I’m not sure that the number I have for myself  includes bones and other lean tissue. But, based on that and my goal body fat content of somewhere around 24, I might need to lose an additional 10 pounds. That being said, I’m doing NO exercise right now until I have the ol’ knee surgery. I build muscle very easily, so I have a feeling my goal weight will be dead on when I regain some muscle.

Here’s how you calculate, according to Marc Perry at

To find your lean muscle mass: Take your body weight right now and multiply it by the body fat percentage your scale shows (or your trainer has given you). Now, subtract that number from your current body weight.

Say you weigh 200 pounds. Your body fat percentage is 45%. (200 X .45 = 90) Then, take your body weight (200 – 90 = 110). You have 110 pounds of lean body mass! Great, now what? How do you figure out your goal weight?

So, say you think your goal body fat percentage should be 29%, which is average for a 26-30 year old woman. You first will subtract your desired body fat percentage from 1. (1-.29=.71) Now, divide your lean body mass (in pounds) by the .71. (110/.71= 154) So, if your muscle mass (or lean body mass) remains the same, your goal weight is 154. At that weight you should be at a body fat percentage of 29%. Isn’t that cool?

Marc has the formulas all spelled out on his site.

To me, body fat percentage is what it’s about. BMI is total horse dinky. It does NOT take into account your lean mass. If they went strictly by BMI, athletes like Lance Armstrong would be obese. Remember the whole muscle weighs more than fat thing?

I hope this helps you guys like it helps me focus. It’s not the pounds as much as the lean pounds to fat pound ratio that I’m truly concerned with… well, until that scale doesn’t move. THEN, I must remember to revisit this post and adjust my thinking from somthing less emotional to something a little more cerebral.

OR the other option is to go have an iDXA scan, which I did last year. Oh, the humiliation! However, I posted my scanned image which I think is fascinating and would be totally awesome if I didn’t know who that was in the picture. I do plan to do another scan at the end of this year come hell or high water. I want to see the difference!

Carry on!


Day 45: The New Math and Some Random Thoughts

The New Math
The New Math

My weight loss numbers yesterday, though disappointing, were not completely devastating. What I’m really wondering though, is how accurate is the Tanita scale that my coach is using? Specifically, how accurate are they when it comes to lean muscle mass? From what I’ve read, they’re “fairly” accurate. One article said that the only 100% accurate body fat measurement happens in an autopsy. Uh, no thanks! What I find crazy is that my body fat composition scale is off by a couple body fat percentages from my coach’s mega scale. I guess I’ll take her measurements though. (They were better… 🙂 )

Since yesterday, I’ve lost (by my scale) a pound. That one pound would make me finally hit the magic 20 pound mark. However, I will not celebrate until it’s “official” next week. I’m just not so bitter today. That is a fine thing. So, if I truly gained back 3 pounds of muscle, then I really must have lost 3.6 pounds of fat. That helps. A little. (very little…)

Meanwhile, I’ll have to fight to stay on track on another 4 day trip coming up. After that, I’m two weeks at home and plan to kick this plan’s nether region!

Now for the random:

  • Hubby was working from home yesterday right in front of a big window to the back yard. Our yard is quite tree covered and shady. Suddenly, a hawk landed maybe 15 feet from the window. He was struggling to get his phone ready to take a picture when it flew back up  with a wee snake in it’s talons! How freaking cool is that? I like snakes, but mother nature in action is amazing!
  • While shopping for dorm supplies the other night, we bought a microwave for $35. It was on big sale from $60ish, however, I was blown away! Since when did microwave ovens get so cheap? I mean, isn’t that what a two slice toaster costs? Don’t get me wrong, we snapped that sucker up, happily!
  • Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t be the south end of a north bound horse” ? I don’t know, it just popped into my head. Some day, I’ll have to do a stream of consciousness post. Now, THAT would be random, and possibly hysterical.
  • Our sports medicine doctor brings her Standard Poodle to work. She’s such a great customer relations tool! She even coached my son in his PT (physical therapy) session. He’s still not cleared for soccer… but we’re getting there.


Day 31: Finding Inspiration

Id-rather-be-strong-thanHaving been an athlete all my life, I’ve never been one who wanted to look like a model, well, maybe once in a while I longed for longer legs. Yes, they’re considered beautiful by most of the world, but I always see them as fragile and sort of useless. Yes, you look pretty, but what do you do? These days, they’re definitely not what they seem, (f’ing Photoshop) and the whole industry is insulting to real women and damaging to young girls. Boys are looking for perfection and all of society measures worth against these ‘pictures’.

No, that’s not even slightly interesting to me. In fact, it’s disgusting. Let’s get real.

So, after I read my friend Fattie No More’s ideas on “thinspiration” I thought that it would be a great time to really think about mine.

There are so many people in this world that inspire me! Maybe I’m just easy (grin) but I can find inspiration just about anywhere. What about body image though? What’s my goal? What bodies do I find beautiful, useful and healthy looking? Not surprisingly, they’re athletic types. Oh, (Squirrel!) have you checked out ESPNs The Body Issue? Wow! My husband sent me a link a few years ago and not only is the photography beautiful, but those athletes… wow. That’s inspiring. Do yourself a favor and take a look!

Now, at 47, will I ever have a “Body Issue” athletic body? Bawhahahaha, hell, no. (Sorry, honey!) I do, however, want to be lean and strong again. Here’s a promise, if I ever look like those guys, I will hire a photographer and do my own shoot. I’ll post those here. Don’t hold your breath.

One company that does a great job, and uses real women as models is Title Nine. What I enjoy about it is they tell you about their model athletes. They even have a page where you can read each one’s story. There’s even a link for you to apply! Yes, all these women are lean, and pretty, but they’re real and they’re athletes. They’re not twigs! You see them surfing, biking, rock climbing… to me, it’s inspiring. I feel like I’d like those people. I’d wanna hang out and go biking, or play volleyball, or try surfing!

My husband once said while I was standing in the kitchen in my tennis skirt, “Now, that’s what a leg should look like, the line of the quad defined and the curve of the hamstring…” OH MY GOSH. Another time, during the middle of a grueling Adventure Race he was mountain biking behind me and on an uphill he said, “Your calves are awesome.” (It’s quite possible he wanted to give me a boost of adrenaline to make it up that danged hill… nah, they were awesome!) Now, THAT’S inspiring. That’s all I need. That’s what I’m shooting for.

BOOM. That’s my inspiration. I wanna be me. Me of my athletic past, bad-ass, but not half-assed… or wide assed! (snort)

What inspires you?

30 Flippin’ Days: Thorns and All

thornsI remember day freaking 3 of this thing. I truly believed that I would lose my absolute stuffing because this diet completely sucked. I was a big, bad, ball of bitch, remember that? I was hatin’ life, my body, my predicament. I was massively pissed off at the world including you, no doubt.  I had veered off my path. I’d taken the wrong fork, (okay too many forks, obviously) and had ended up trashing my athletic body and drowning my own spirit in flab I couldn’t own. So when I started this journey, for the bajillionth time, I knew it would be a path with thorns. It would be rocky and ugly. It would take perseverance and swallowing my pride instead of queso! It would make me cry, and curse and rant! It would make me bleed.

Anger, humiliation, pissed-offedness was the best I could muster. Not like me at all, honestly. I’m pretty much a cup-half full of vodka kind of person. Somehow, somewhere something happened. I had help, I had support, and I had sense of team. It almost felt like a competition. Something had turned my competitive spirit, my “let’s just finish this adventure race” stubborn-ness that used to alternatively make my husband proud, and scare the shit out of him when we adventure raced together as Team Craic— that same set of my jaw, furrowed brow and the “oh this is on mofo” look that let him know I would finish that damned race if I had to do it on my hands and knees. No broken limbs, blood and/or rattlesnakes would not stop me. I’d be damned if I’d let that race beat me.

This one either.

So, here I stand at the 30 day mark. It’s like knowing you’ve got miles and miles to go before you find that next check point, not to mention the finish line. But here we are, standing at the top of a long-ass, up-hill mountain bike leg. I made it to the top. I’m gonna stand and take it in from this vantage point. I’m gonna admire the view. I’m gonna take a long hard look across that valley at my next check point. Tomorrow, I’ll start heading to CP2. In 30 days, I can stand up there and look back here. I can admire this view, and look out toward CP3.

Oh, it is so ON mofo! Team Craic will be back!

Team Craic - Rattlesnake Racing Adventure Race circa 2004
Team Craic – Rattlesnake Racing Adventure Race circa 2004
Team Craic River Crossing
Team Craic River Crossing, Yes that is a tiara on my helmet.

30 Day Stats:

-16.8 pounds, -3 inches chest, -2.5 inches waist, -1″ hip, -2″ quad, -3% bodyfat

Day 23.2: Trail Zen For Your Day

So, in celebration of the smaller monkey, I decided to hit the trail and find some happy peace among the birds, bees, flowers and Momma Nature. It was so lovely. Just me and them.

Here’s a wee bit of Zen for your busy day!

Happy Trail
Happy Trail

Trail Music!


Day 20: Oh… Go Take A Hike!

There’s just something soothing to me about being outside. Whenever I’m grumpy, or sad, or sick, I yearn for the feel of it. When you’re outside, the yucky things back off, stress, worry, pressure… if you close your eyes and just stand outside, feel the air, listen to the birds, the leaves rustling, all that negative energy seems to loosen and drift away. Sanity lives outdoors. Freedom lies just outside my door. Nature is balanced and perfect in a way that we, as humans, cannot replicate. Nature Deficit Disorder truly affects us all.

It’s no surprise then, that today I feel good. I took a hike yesterday with my hubby. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve not done a thing athletic-wise since that tournament in early May when my knee got nasty. Oh, how quickly you lose your fitness! I gingerly stepped, sometimes hobbled, and suffered in the 92 degrees, that, to we Texans, is not even hot… just warm. I wondered why it was kicking my butt. When I got home and looked at my food intake, I realized that our hike, that’s a bit strenuous, (first 30 minutes is uphill/rocky) took way more energy than I’d taken in all day. I had eaten 360 calories by 1pm when we went. I bonked.

It didn’t keep me from loving all of these things:

Go Outside, Refresh Your Spirit!
Go Outside,
Refresh Your Spirit!

Oh, and the scale finally moved in the right direction! Bonus!



Day 16: Oh How Time Flies…

… When you’re not as miserable as you were on days one, two, three, four, five, six, seven… well, you get what I mean. Day sixteen already? Wow, I do believe there’s hope that I just might pull this one off! Misery visits now and again, but it’s fairly fleeting these days. I’m into the “resigned to this fate” mode, and it’s okay now.

Moving Like a Herd of Turtles, but We're Moving!
Moving Like a Herd of Turtles, but We’re Moving!

My support network, at first limited to my lovely hubby, my Ideal Protein “ray of sunshine” coach, Dee, Wendy the wonder-friend who’s in this thing with me, and terrific Tosha tennis pro (precious partner of Wonder-friend Wendy). My forever bestie, Polly Pig, (my name’s Sarah Sow) is always with me!

But then, this blog brought new friends and people from around the world who read my blog and share their stories with me. Thanks Fattie No More, CeeJayKay Fit, Momma Ames, and Finnie Gets Fit for your inspiration and your sympathy!

So even though 16 days have come and gone and despite the fact that the first week felt like a full 2 years, 8 months and 27 days, I don’t feel all alone and miserable. I’ve joined a community that makes the days march on by like a herd of turtles more quickly than they once did. We’ll get there eventually.

Head up!

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