Tag Archives: exercise

MyFitnessPal App: Making What I Hate Most a Little Easier

I have this mentioned before, but I hate counting calories. I don’t know what it is, but I think I would rather go back to having braces then count calories. Usually. But, I am looking to lose weight for some tournaments coming up, and I have come to terms with the fact that I have a tendency to over-train and under-eat.

This would also be a good time to mention that I don’t do this intentionally and I absolutely realize this is a problem: it . It’s counter-productive, in fact: too few calories and it becomes harder for someone to lose weight. So, to counter-act this I am using the app myFitnessPal as a food diary- to do what I hate, and making it just a little bit easier.

It’s fairly easy to use and more or less self-explanatory. You put in some personal information- height, weight, goal weight, activity level, and calculate a calorie net goal. From there you log in what you’ve eaten throughout the day, and the app keeps a tally of what you have consumed, telling you how many calories as well as other nutritional information- I’m a champ at eating my daily value of Vitamin A and C, apparently. There is also an option of putting in physical activity- the weight/resistance training options I found to be sort of limited, but they have jiu jitsu as once of the cardio activities, so I plug in the time I spend in class, along with the walking I do throughout the day, but that’s about it.

I am probably not using the app to its full potential, but for someone who loathes keeping a food diary, it’s pretty painless, keeps my disgust for the process at bay, and keeps me from overestimating how many calories I’ve consumed vs. how much I’ve burned which I have to admit is pretty nice. There’s a whole thing where you can friend people, but personally I’m really not interested in that part of the app. I just want to log in what I eat, my training time and then get the heck out of dodge.

So, for anyone else who can’t stand keeping a food diary, myfitnesspal is an app I would recommend.

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Fit and Fat at the Gym

Hey guys, something weird is going on with the WordPress login screen, so I’m going to make this short.

Interestingly, when I was heavier I was still (sporadically) going going to the gym several times a week. There’s an article on the site Jezebel about working out when your heavier that I could certainly relate to (I’ll post the link later when WP lets me log on an actual computer). There’s a certain feeling that heavier people should hide in the background, slink in and out and barely noticed: we’re invading “fit people country” and if we wanted to stay there we should be quiet and stealthy, like chubby ninjas.

Hm, I like that imagery.

Anyway, i’m in a place where that mindset doesn’t exist thankfully, and i can see that it needs to be abolished on both sides of the fence. Fit and getting fit can live in harmony, but both sides need to be willing to take the first step.


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Watch This The Next Time You Think about Trying that New Fad Diet

I know the grand majority of the people who read this blog are down with losing weight, or bulking up, the good old fashioned way, but I wish this was shown to the masses in some sort of way to dispel myths of unusual and usually nonsensical forms of dieting and just “how amazing and effective it is!” which is “proven” through before and after photos.

I will add that I am sure there are real diet before and after photos, and there are diets out there that truly work, but please please please, do the research and don’t be fooled by the photos.


Filed under Training

Wait, People….Lie? Non-BJJ Related Post

So I think we can safely say that I visit the social fitness site Fitocracy a lot. It’s fun, people are helpful, supportive, nerdy (like me!) and the site is actually pretty helpful in coming up with new routines when you find yourself running on empty in the creative department. The site just premiered its very own iPhone app, which has led to a number of new users to join the site. As is expected.

What makes me turn my head to the side a like a dog who doesn’t quite understand what is being said to him, is the willingness of some people to track absolutely absurd, obviously fake workouts for the sole purpose of leveling up.


Call it a case of being naive, but I don’t see the point of putting in all that time putting in the data of a fictitious workout and not actually doing anything.

Congratulations, you’re a liar, and you didn’t put in any real effort for your reward.

Sure, it’s disappointing to work your face off and to see it didn’t really amount for too much in terms of points, but that’s not the ultimate point of working out. We are all different: shapes, sizes and abilities. What may be hard for me could be easy for you, and vice-versa, which doesn’t make the points fair sometimes, but whatever, that’s life and more of a motivation to progress. Part of the fun of working out and training is the sense of accomplishment after the session, especially something that was previously thought of as impossible. What a feeling of triumph!  You did it, and tomorrow you’ll have another chance to “do the impossible”.

The site is more of a supplementary tool, with a supportive, positive online community to back you, which speaking from personal experience is one of the biggest assets to your success when starting any sort of fitness program: people who will not only give you advice, but will also cheer you on when you progress toward your goal. And the website is free! You get all these tools for your success, for nothing! All anyone asks in return is a positive attitude, some effort and sweat, and most importantly some honesty when it comes to your physical activity.

It’s a silly thing to rant about, but it’s 10 times more silly to take the time to write down you did 1,000,000 crunches with a 50 pound weight on your chest, then cycled for 24 hours straight at 100 miles an hour over The Rocky Mountains. All in one workout.

Not to downplay anyone’s level of physical fitness, but to that I have to use a phrase the kids on the internet are saying these days:

“Pics, or it didn’t happen.”


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The Perfect Drug

Most people in the world are looking for something: looking for a way to feel good, to make them look better, or hell, just quiet their personal demons. Some turn to dangerous diets, drugs, or alcohol to find what they are looking for.

Ladies and Gentleman, I have your solution: exercise. Specifically, exercise you really enjoy.

I, of course, highly recommend grappling, but I also understand that’s not for everyone, just like I really don’t find much enjoyment in basketball or soccer. I know I am primarily preaching to the choir, but this is something for some reason I was thinking about. So many people self- medicate in a variety of ways, when there is a healthy, relatively safe alternative they could turn to.

I am standing by my statement that exercise is the perfect drug. In addition to improving your body, when you exercise you release endorphins, and according to WebMD: “Endorphins … trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. ”

So you can get the benefits of an endorphin production without a soul shattering dependency, or needing to visit a creepy alley or opium den- hooray! Additionally, it’s an addiction that you can be proud of, that you can talk about, that people will admire you for.

I’m sure no one ever said that about alcoholism or a crack addiction.

Granted, this can potentially be a pricey habit to pick up, but on the other hand instead of outright destroying your body, if you exercise correctly, you’ll be improving yourself and actually extending your lifespan, instead of knocking off the years off your life expectancy, one by one. This also should be done in moderation, of course. No one started a running regimen with 20 miles a day- pace yourself, and the rewards will soon become evident.

So go out there and get high- er, exercise!


Filed under Training

The Burning Means It’s Working!

So there’s this theory that the more you work out, the more in shape you will be in.

My sole purpose on this planet it seems is to prove this theory wrong.

I am being overly dramatic to the point of flat out lying, but this is how I felt after our team training. You know, after feeling like something someone scraped off the bottom of their shoe.

I guess part of my problem was the fact that training was at 9am, as opposed to the usual 12pm. It has been clearly established from an early age, I am not a morning person. I am a nightowl through and through, my parents recalling stories about how as a toddler I would stay up until 1 or 2 am, but would pass out well into 10 am. Not much has changed in the past 20 something years. I still hate getting up early.

Training went all right, I kept leaving my back vulnerable which I’m a little annoyed with, but ::shrug:: them’s the breaks sometimes. I also kept getting into omoplatas, I kept forgetting to grab the belt, so everyone kept jumping out of them. It was an unusual train for me, now that I think about it. I usually don’t go for omoplatas, and I’m glad that I saw the opportunities to take them, I’m just wondering if it was just a fluke or if I can pull it off tonight as well.

The team had little brunch after training, which Maggie made some awesome chili for, and I channeled my inner couch potato as I slouched in front of their tv. I was eventually able to detach myself from their couch, and we went home….Where I then stayed in bed for the rest of the afternoon/evening.  I even cancelled my guitar lesson with Rob in favor of more sleep. I guess this is a good time to mention I had been going to bed late all week and this was the only day I had to catch up on my sleep debt. Yes, I believe in the mythical sleep debt.

I’m hoping tonight will go a little more smoothly, and I will not be so convinced that my body has given up on trying to get into shape. We’ll see.



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Sensei Bungee

So this week instead of sparring in Judo I have been practicing with what is quickly becoming a good friend of mine, sensei bungee. Our instructor John showed us how to use it, and has promised to attach some cords at the bottom for a greater variety of throws.

At our academy a number of hooks, with all the proper support of course, are attached the wall, with bungee cords looped through to practice particular judo throws without a partner. The tension in the cord is enough to pull you off balance if your form is not correct, so it forces you to maintain proper form and force, without the pressure of feeling like you are taking up all your uke’s time just thinking about where you are putting your feet.

Here is a photo of John practicing a throw (not sure which one, sorry) I sorta stole from Facebook 🙂

It’s a good way to practice without needing a partner and to get some drilling time in, and I look forward to using it more honestly.

Are there any fun contraptions at your gym/academy?



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Taking a Peek Outside The Box

Not that Jiu Jitsu is a box, it’s just something I thought of in reference to my father. He has his routines, his habits, and particular preferences in life. When my stepmother and I try to talk him into doing or trying something different, his response is one he made up while talking to a shoe salesman (who was trying to sell him a different brand of sneaker than his usual),

“It’s safe inside the box. Nothing bad ever happens inside the box.” Now my father is actually a very easygoing man with a sense of humor, so it just makes the encounter all the more amusing.

Anyway, back to the point, our gym offers a number of different programs in addition to Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Kettlebells. There’s also Muay Thai, Tae Kwan Do for kids and adults, No-Gi, and Capoeira.

It’s this last one that I am thinking of trying out on Saturday, Capoeira. Who doesn’t love to dance a little bit? Dance FIGHTING? Even better. It’s taught by Lobo Mau *(His name is also Martin, but I think that’s what he prefers in class. Dunno, I’ll find out and report) along with his wife, Jolli. They both seem quite nice and patient, so I think I’ll be in good hands.

The natural sense of rhythm I have  I feel will serve me quite well in this arena: from what I understand they don’t use the standard 2-4 beats, but instead use the 3 beat more common in Latin music (my boyfriend is a piano player, and that is the sole reason I know any of this). It’s the handstands that will mess me up.

Pray I won’t have to do any handstands.

I think it’s something fun to try, a great cardio workout, and may even work to strengthen weak areas (read, upper arm strength) and improve my balance if I continue with it.

Sometimes it’s nice to take a look outside of the box now and again.


Filed under Training

The Bad Movie Workout

Ok, this will make absolutely no sense to anyone remotely sane, but it’s something that I’ve done now and again if I have a some time to kill (so once every millenia or so) and have been meaning to write about it.

The bad movie workout.

It’s a pretty simple premise: that movie that you are kind of intrigued to watch, if nothing else to figure out why the hell anyone would enjoy this crap, but you don’t think you can spend the entire time sitting there listening to atrocious dialog, this is where the workout (or game, as I actually call it) comes in.

Pick an exercise that you want to get better at. This actually works great with chin ups and pull ups, but whatever works for you. Start said terrible movie. Then, when you get too annoyed with the acting, dialog, holes in the plot so big  that it should force the movie to stop all together, go and do said workout, usually for a preset number of reps.

When you are done said reps, or have worked out to a point where you don’t want to track down the actors who made this POS and punch them in the face, sit down and continue with the movie. Repeat.

There may be some movies that you find you actually enjoy, and that’s wonderful. For some tried and true terrible movies, may I suggest a few to get you started:

Or hell, just wait for all the damn twilight movies to come out, sit down and watch them all, and end up looking like this guy:

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