Another Fall Semester

ImageIn 5 days time I will be starting another semester of college and I know I am looking forward to a heavy semester. I am glad though that the oxygen machine I received to help with my sleep apnea seems to be working and I have had at least a week and a half of full sleep in the past month. Having started out with only sleeping for a few hours of sleep with the mask on – I have now worked up with a consistent 6-8 hours of sleep in 4 nights out of 7 without ripping the mask off in my sleep. 

I have felt that metabolism has been bumped up, seeing as I am actually hungry during the daytime now and not just eating because I need to. Hopefully, this means that I will hopefully start losing some weight just from my natural metabolism working correctly. This, I hope will help with my classes this fall. That I won’t struggle as much as I did in the Spring semester. But my biggest concern is that I will  hopefully not lose time for my writing.

This is one of my concerns because my story is going so well and I do not want to lose momentum. Especially with the writers conference coming up next month. I had planned on having the manuscript done by the time school started, if not the final rough draft that would only have to be edited over the next four weeks. Instead, I have 3/4 of a novel to still write. Somehow I need to manage, along with homework and spending time with my child & husband, to write about 60,000 more words of my novel. Continue the plotting for it and writing a glossary for the world I am creating.

I am looking forward to this semester though because I am finally starting to take the upper level courses for my major/minor instead of only required classes. I will be studying a lot on two of my favorite topics: mythology and English history. I have a feeling my struggle course will be my linguistics class since I have no idea what it will be about, well other then the history of English language. l’sigh
Wish me luck and less stress over the next 18 weeks. Oh, and weight loss. Image

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Yes, I know!

I should be doing homework…

Instead, I am sitting in the library playing Pottermore and chatting with people on Twitter. I know that sounds horrible but that isn’t all I did in the past hour and fifteen minutes. I also wrote over 400 words on my story. OOOOOOHHHHH, goes the crowd.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound like much but it works. It is something. I wish it was more and at this rate, at about 1000-1800 words a week, I will have a very badly written novel done in another 67 weeks… or by next Christmas. Not really a prime goal for me especially since I had been hoping to be done by the end of the year. But this weekend, instead of working on my novel in the evenings like I sometimes do I spent it finishing up writing a fictional account of someone who was awakened by the writings of Thomas Paine in journal style for a late paper for my History class. Does that count as writing? It was 2,799 words which is about the length of a paperback chapter. It was just as bad but it has given me an idea of a possible story down the road.

That’s part of the problem with wanting to write… you find so many stories out there in the world. It would be easy to jump from one story to another but I got advice from a pop culture icon (I won’t say who but I was excited as peas in soup when he responded to a comment I made) about a month back when discussing multiple projects. He said “It’s important to finish something” and that is when I realized that as I stared at the 13 files I had sitting in my special section of docs for my writings, none of them were finished. Some were barely a page or two, some a couple of chapters or scenes in but none of them were finished. It was one thing to get inspired by an idea and write it down. It was another to completely stop your work then start another one that is once again left unfinished when another idea pops into your head.

Now, at the time I was given this advice through Facebook comments, I was working on four different things at once and this was BEFORE school had even started. I decided then I needed to buckle down and just finish something. Yes, it may not ever get published but who cares. I can say… “I wrote a novel. It isn’t published but look! I wrote 100,000+ words and it is a completed story! Take that doubts in my head! I did something in my life I have always wanted to do!” (I can only hope that then maybe they will go on vacation to Russia and not come back.) Then I can move onto something else. It of course helps a bit that outside my writing I am raising a very rambunctious toddler who drives me bonkers, taking classes that, oh my gosh, are requiring me to write as well. I am using my personal writing as a way to focus and give me some personal creativity time.

Do I see myself as a professional writer? I don’t know, maybe not but after talking to my professor this morning I did find that if I ever wanted to be a professor – yeah, I know crazy write (haha!) – I had to get published with something. I really didn’t know this, that to be a professor of English you have to know what you are talking about. Weird, I know! One of the best things though, is she offered to help me on another dream project I have… publishing my poetry. She said, whenever I am ready. Which to me has been the coolest thing I have heard since my mom told me submitted her Masters application and before that the sound of my son yelling Mama as I cooked dinner a few weeks back. Alright, I hear a lot of good and cool things in my life but it made me feel really good that a teacher of mine offered a hand to help me. I like my poetry better than my prose and I have always wanted to see it in print, in a collection. I don’t see myself as a Maya Angelou but just a poet who wrote some things when she was a younger… I just wish I still wrote like I used to and every once in a while be printed (my first poem in print was when I was 10 in a school collection, so cool!).

As I have grown up over the years, mostly in the past six since I turned 30, I have learned a lot that I wish I had known when I was younger. I think we all go thru that but I am finding that if you reach out and ask a question you can get so much guidance in unexpected ways. How was I to know that some off-hand comment that I made on a Facebook page would lead to a couple of words that would make me open my eyes in an unexpected way. I am 36 years old, still in college because it took me 18 years to finish my Associates Degree; something I didn’t think I would ever get. I am aiming to finish college with a Bachelor’s but it took a long time for me to realize because someone else smacked my virtual head, that it’s important to finish something. This is important not just with my writing but in a lot of other ways. If you do not finish things… its hard to grow because you never completely leave the path you were on before. You can only stretch yourself so thin, right, how many things have to go unfinished; so finish something and move on with your life. What you finish will be a step to the next level in your life. I wonder if my lack of finishing things so often in my life is one of the reasons I like the which leaves your sentences open-ended, never-ending, never completed. Which is so much of my life…

Finally… I made it to the gym!

For the first time in I don’t know how long but I finally made it. I joined a local Bally’s that is a stones throw from my new place in Los Angeles where I am living with my fiancee Omar. Oh yeah, I moved recently… but he and I are both getting on the healthy kick. Which means, no more frappacinos at Starbucks except once a week – where I will treat myself to their new low-cal ones and only the smallest one which is around 150cals and without whipped cream.

BTW, I noticed the other day when I was at the movie theater, the AMC at Universal Studios now posts the calorie count of their snacks. Very nice!!! Check out the theater near you and see if they do that as well. I am seeing this more and more in places. Outback Steakhouse has a special menu with the nutritional listed on it as well at the location. As them if they have it next time you stop by. They have a decent amount of selections of healthy meals and they have a mark next to the items that can be made low-calorie as well. Its nice to see this happening more and more. Let me know of any others you may see!!

So, I hoped into the car this afternoon – yes, I drove a block to the gym… I suck but it was frakking hot and I didn’t want to walk the streets in my workout clothes which consist of skin tight pants and my flabby butt. 😀
Warmup:

15m30s – treadmill, incline 5, speed 3.0

Work Out:

4×15 @ 30lbs – lat pull down
4×15 @ 30lbs – fly
4×15 @ 35lbs – back excercise

3 x 12 – back extensions – circuit with obliques
2 x 15 @ 45lbs – oblique machine, right side
2 x 15 @ 45lbs – oblique machine, left side

Assisted Chin Ups – counterweighted with 160# (so I lifted around 50-60lbs of my own weight) – 8 then 6 then 7
Assisted Dips – same as above – 9 then 7 then 5

Cool Down

17mins – elliptical weight loss intervals

Finished the workout with a yummy Syntha-6 protein shake!!!

Est. WO Time – 1h15m
Est. Cal Burn
– 891 workout/3580 daily total
Est. Cal Intake – 1909… high on protein, low on carbs


Workouts 7-4-09 to 7-11-09

You may of noticed I didn’t post workouts last week and there is a reason for that – I took a week off from working out. I was stressed and my body just wasn’t working like it should and when I would go to the gym I would just be blah… I did workout for part of the last full week of June but I didn’t record it because of my mind set. In truth, the break did me well. I gave myself the ability to not worry about counting calories and could just breathe and relax. I was able to just restart and jumpstart my body again. By the time I started back on the 4th of July, I was ready and my mind was back into the game as well as my diet.

While I did gain weight from eating poorly… It is now coming back off. I redid my calorie intake guide for each day and reduced it around 100 more calories to 1880 per day. So far so good. I am determined to eat cleaner as well, as much as I can afford to because well – little cashes and fresh foods are NOT cheap. I am almost back to my lowest weight.

With my workouts – I have decided to keep working out 5 days a week but I am going to be limiting my workouts to 1hour – 1hour 30mins at the most. There may be one day every few weeks where I will do one of my 2 hour workouts but for the majority of the time, it will be the shorter workouts. This will give me a true workout and also allow me to not stress over taking time away from everything else going on. This is essential to my mind set since I am getting prepared for the fall semester at school and will be taking 3 classes. Not an easy task but I have figured out that if I want to get my associates within a reasonable time I will have to take 3 – 4 classes a semester and I will graduate in about 2 years time. Luckily, if I pass these current classes – my science requirements will be over with and then I just have to deal with the math. Once that is done, I should be good. I will post my classes once I get signed up and everything.

Okay – this past weeks workouts (my workout weeks will be from Saturdays to Friday, since I started back on Saturday – the day I declared my indepence from fat – get the 4th humor?! ha!)

7-4-09, Saturday

Warm Up
15m – Elliptical Crossramp, Crosstraining, Level 7

Workout

10 – walking planks

Bicep Curls w/ ez bar – super set with triceps
12 @ 25#
10 @ 35#
8 @ 45#
10 @ 35#
12 @ 25#

Tricep Pushdown w/ v-bar
12 @ 30#
10 @ 40#
8 @ 50#
10 @ 40#
12 @ 30#

5 – walking planks

6m – Stair stepper, Weight Loss Program Level 5. 1m straight, 1m left, 1m right

3 x 10 @ 15# (each arm) – Hammer Strength ISO Shoulder Press
3 x 10 @ 10# + bar – bench press

6m – elliptical, glute trainer, level 8 (3m forward peddle, 3m backward peddle)

2 rounds of:
10 @ 6# medicine ball – Jackknives
10 – Ab Wipers on the floor
10 @ 6# medicine ball – Back Extensions w/ twist

Cool Down
15m – Stationary Bike, Hills, Level 5

Est. Cal Burn: 1020
Est. Time: 1h 20m

7-5-09, Sunday

Warm Up
15m – Elliptical, Level 4, Weight Loss Segment

Circuit

4 rounds: (about 1m break in between rounds to cool down, the humidity was insane today and my inhaler ran out)

10 @ 22lb barbell – Sumo Squat w/ one leg on step (5″ high) Left Leg
10 @ 22lb barbell – Sumo Squat w/ one leg on step (5″ high) Right Leg

10 @ 22lb barbell – Step Up w/ Kick Back, Left Leg (on a 18″ step)
10 @ 22lb barbell – Step Up w/ Kick Back, Right Leg (on a 18″ step)

1 Length – Walking Lunges, about 6 or 7 yards

30sec – Wall Sits

10 @ 22lb barbell – Deadlifts

10 @ 8lb Med Ball – Wood Cutter w/ squat (started in squat, stood and went to the left with moving the ball above my head w/ straight arms. Back Down to the squat and then back up to the right – this was 1 rep)

10 – Plyo Side Skip over 1 level of a stair step. (one skip over and back to start was 1 rep)

Ab Work

3 rounds (no breaks in between rounds)

20 – Leg Pull Ins (sat on the step up step and leaned back at a 45 deg angle and pulled my legs in to my chest)
15 sec – flutter kicks, laying on the step up step)

Time: 1h 15m
Est. Cal Burn: 954

7-6-09, Monday

Rest Day

7-7-09, Tuesday

Warm Up
10m – Elliptical Cross Ramp, Crosstraining, Level 5
5m – Stretching

Workout

4 rounds of the following – no breaks
1m – Side lunges with one leg on step box with Walk Over
1m – Regular Lunges
20 @ 15# – Dumbbell Swing
15 @ 2 15# dumbbells – Chest Press
1m – Row Machine

Cool Down
5m – Stretching

Est. Time 1h 5-10m
Est. Cal Burn 803

7-8-09, Wednesday

20m – Treadmill, Intervalls, Incline 3, 2m walk – 3.0, 1m jog – 5.0 (186 cals)

3 rounds
12 @ 35# – Squat w/ row
10 – chin ups, counterweighted at 180#
10 – dips, counterweighted at 180#

15m – elliptical cross ramp, glute trainer, resistance 7 (175c)
5m – elliptical cross ramp, cool down, resistance 4 (50.5c)

5m – stretching

Est. Time 1 hour
Est. Cal Burn 621.5

7-9-09, Thursday

13m – Elliptical Crossramp, Weight Loss Program, Resistance Level 6

3 rounds:
20 @ 8# dumbbells – lat raises
15 @ 8# dumbbells – tricep kickbacks

2m – row machine

Abs
20 – crunches
3 x 20 – v crunches
10 – v crunches
5 – 10sec planks
2 – 30sec planks

10m – elliptical, fat loss program, level 4

17m – treadmill, intervals, level 5

Est. Cal Burn: 620
Est. Time: 1 hour 5 mins

7-10-09, Friday

Rest Day

Workouts: 6-7-09 to 6-13-09

Its been a long week emotionally… stress levels are too the ceiling right now. Just getting in as much of a workout as I can right now. Taking each day as it comes…

6-7-09, Sunday

Forced Rest Day

6-8-09, Monday

cardio only today

45m – Elliptical, Weight Loss Mode, Resistance Level 5

Est. Cal Burn: 611

I would of done more but my nephew called and wanted to talk. Nephew trumps working out… at least in my book

6-9-09, Tuesday

Okay, todays workout – trainer day and he KICKED, and I mean KICKED! My butt! He actually pulled most of these from what I have been doing and added some twists and new things. Its nice to have a trainer that I work with so well and who knows my abilities… I’m guessing being friends helps a lot.

Warm Up
15m – Elliptical Cross ramp, Crosstrainer, Resistance Level 8

Workout – supersets… each pair is the super set.

Leg Press – super set with reverse lunges
20 @ 90# – Warm Up Set
20 @ 140#
15 @ 150#
12 @ 160#

3 x 12 – Reverse Lunges, Right Leg
3 x 12 – Reverse Lunges, Left Leg

Leg Extensions – superset with step ups
15 @ 70# – both legs
2 x 15 @ 30# – right leg, single
2 x 15 @ 30# – left leg, single

3 x 1m each round – step ups

Laying Legs Curls – Superset with Wall Sits
4 x 12 @ 60#
1 x 15 @ 40# (drop set)

3 x 40secs – Wall Sits

2 x 20 @ 75# – Seated Calf Press (all on their own)

2 x 12 – sit ups with 4# medicine ball. (basically, my trainer stood on my feet I had to sit up, grab the medicine ball from his hands. Go down and then go up one more time and give him back the ball – this was one rep.)

5m – Stretching of back and legs…. no cardio

My legs are killing me and I am so damned happy 😀 So far a great day!

Est. Time: 1h 15m (we actually did an hour today instead of our normal 45mins, I think we have too much fun at times.)
Est. Cal Burn: 942

6-10-09, Wednesday

Cardio Warm Up
33mins – Elliptical Crossramp, Glute Trainer, Resistance Level 7

Workout – each grouping is a superset or circuit

3 x 12 @ 8# medicine ball – back extensions
3 x 10 – roman chair leg lift, straight leg

3 x 12 @ 40# – squat w/ back row
3 x 12 @ 50# – fly
3 x 12 @ 50# – rear delt

10m – treadmill, interval inclines, 3.0mph

2 x 10 @ 8# medicine ball – Russian twists on medicine ball
2 x 30 – crunches on medicine ball

Tricep Pushdown w/ V Bar – superset with bicep curl
12 @ 35#
10 @ 45#
8 @ 55#
10 @ 40#
12 @ 30#

Bicep Pull Up w/ Rope
12 @ 30#
10 @ 40#
8 @ 50#
10 @ 40#
12 @ 30#

10m – stretching (I was really really sore)

Cardio Cool Down
20m – Treadmill, Random Inclines, 3.5mph

I feel like I am missing something but don’t know… surprisingly this was around a 2 hour workout… but seeing as over an hour of it was cardio, I guess that is why.

Est. Time: 2h5mins
Est. Cal Burn: 1,310

6-11-09, Thursday

Rest day, had planned on going in but lack of sleep this past week and the need to decompressed overwhelmed me. So I went home and rested.

6-12-09, Friday

Rest day…

6-13-09, Saturday

Warm Up
30m – Treadmill, 3.5mph, 6 Incline

Workout

Smith Squats
15 @ 50# (warm up set)
12 @ 70#
9 @ 80#
7 @ 90#
10 @ 80#
13 @ 70#

Calf Press on Leg Machine
12 @ 60#
10 @ 70#
10 @ 80#
12 @ 70#
14 @ 60#

5m – Row Machine

Hip Abductions (super set with adductions)
15 @ 135#
12 @ 145#
9 @ 155#
12 @ 150#
15 @ 140#
Hip Adductions
15 @ 130#
12 @ 140#
9 @ 150#
12 @ 140#
15 @ 150#
3 rounds of the following:
12 – stability ball leg pull in/bridge
20 – double crunch
10 – plank w/side rolls
2 x 5 @ 22# barbell – triple pump lunge, left leg
2 x 5 @ 22# barbell – triple pump lunge, right leg
2 x 15 @ 22# barbell – deadlights
stretching
Est. Time: 1h 40m
Est. Cal Burn: 1249

too much studying leads…

…to a very dull, stressed, crying Varza. That is right – I hate studying. Absolutely detest it with all my disgusting soul. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love school and learning new things but I hate the fact that I spent my last free weekend for a few months studying. I did go to dinner with a friend on Saturday night but couldn’t think of anything to talk about beyond my damned class. And on Sunday morning I was stressed from being up late Saturday night that when I went out with another friend to a movie and lunch I was in such a damned mood we got into a bit of a tiff. Course, in that situation I wasn’t the only one in a mood… so I can’t blame all that on my Anatomy class but I will because I can.

I think the main reason I do not like studying a lot is because its generally for classes that I suck in. And when I say suck, I mean big time. I actually sat in my class last Thursday starring at the teacher as he spoke with my mouth open and completely and utterly lost. Well, and I was trying not to fall asleep. I do that a lot when it comes to science classes that are not interactive. My mom had recommended I just sit and listen, I tried only to find myself fighting very hard to keep my eyes open for a majority of the class.

At least the quiz we had last week, I did better on then the first one. I got a 23 out of 30. Still got seven wrong but it wasn’t 9 wrong! ha! Like it really matters. I will spend another evening tonight, working on lab homework and studying/reading until I pass out from boredom.

This is a big hill in my journey – mainly because its a struggle and something in the past I would normally just walk away from because I hate feeling stupid and this lecture and lab make me feel like my IQ is actually a 27 instead of a 127 or is it 128? I can’t remember, I know when I am tired its 119 but whatever. Time to get back to work so I can finish up here then head to the gym for a few hours then home to study, eat, sleep, wake up and head back to the gym then study group and then class again.

Then add in the fact that I can not relax enough to truly enjoy reading a fun book, that I read and then get bored because the last thing I want to do is read another printed word… its sad really, I mean my life is books pretty much and I can’t find enjoyment in it. This class is destroying that!  I don’t even want to go into my lack of ability to write one creative word beyond “it was a dark and stormy night” and “a long time ago”. Ugh… breathe, varza, breathe! Only 9 more weeks and then it is over!

Damned my life is boring as hell! Next semester I am taking that damned film as literature class and western civ II. MUCH more interesting!

Just Another Day

Its another Friday and as per usual I am stuck at work. Its been a crazy week… really really crazy week.

I got my last paper back from my teacher in my Analytical Writing class… 98. I really have no clue how I am getting these grades. I never got grades like this back in the day. I know I talk about it alot but I am surprised. I was an below average student. I graduated high school with barely a 2.5 gpa and my only college choice was the local community college. Which I did a semester in before quitting.

Lets see what else… my past week was stressful for health concerns. I found a lump in my breast last week – after waiting a few days before calling the doctors to make sure it wasn’t just a swollen gland. But luckily, after going to the docs and my first ever mammogram – I am clean and cancer free. What it is is a cystic fiber – something or another. Basically a bunch of fibers that formed a cyst that will go away with lack of caffeine. And I have been drinking a lot of caffeine lately – which helps make these little buggers. But I didn’t tell the world until now because I didn’t want to have to contact everyone and say – hey I found a lump and then a week later say – oh it was nothing but a stupid cyst. But in truth, its still scary. I was stressed to the max and my mom tried to console me but it doesn’t always help. I just wanted to know.

I sold my kilt – it had gotten to big for me… I am using some of the money to buy new t-shirts because most of mine are now also too big for me. I can wear a large now – its tight and fitted but I think it looks good. I don’t really know. Guess I will find out when I get it in. I mean, I can’t buy babydolls yet but I prefer the mens style shirts anyways. Oh and the rest is to pay bills off… I always have bills to pay off.

My workouts have been kinda blah… I took Monday and Thursday off and part of me does not want to go to the gym tonight but just go to the movies right after work instead. But I will go and do something. I have no idea what but I have to do something. I am down another lb this week though. So, yeah! But psychologically I am utterly beat and don’t want to think about anything. But if I go today I can take Sunday off…

With work, stress about school, trying to find money for school and everything else – I just need to escape. And even though I love my Sims 2 – its just not doing it right now. I recently started playing again just to get away from my real world and into a fake world where I can control everything and give my fake people lots and lots of fake mulla and build them big houses!

But I got notice that my day for class sign up for the summer is coming up. I figured out which classes I am going to take during the summer session – a science and lab. We will see if I get into the anatomy and physiology class like I want to. I do need to spend sometime this weekend appliying for finanical aid and hope to the gods that I actually get it. I am afraid I may make too much and they don’t take into account that I have a hellasious mortgage but as always, we will just have to see.

I have some other things I want to talk about but will do that another day… I need to eat lunch.

Workouts this week – as per usually the m stands for minutes, # for pounds:

3-21-09, Saturday

Warm Up
10m – Treadmill, Interval Inclines, 2.5mph

Toning
3 x 15 @ 40# – Rear Delt
3 x 15 @ 60# – Fly
3 x 15 @ 125/120/115 – Hip Abductions
3 x 15 @ 125/120/115 – Hip Adductions

Cardio
25m – Elliptical Crossramp, Glute Trainer, Resistance 8

3-22-09, Sunday

Warm Up
10m – Treadmill, 3.8mph, Intervals
Stretching

Round 1
10 @ 40# + bar – Smith Machine Squats
10 @ 10# + bar – Laying Chest Press (free weights)
10 @ 180# counterweight – Chin Ups
10 @ 10# dumbbells – should press
30 – crunches w/ legs on stability ball and bicycle move
5m – treadmill, random inclines, 4.0mph

Round 2
10 @ 40# + bar – Smith Machine Squats
10 @ 10# + bar – Laying Chest Press (free weights)
10 @ 180# counterweight – Chin Ups
10 @ 10# dumbbells – lat raises
25 – jack knifes w/ 6# medicine ball
5m – treadmill, rolling hills, 4.0mph

Round 3
10 @ 50# + bar – Smith Machine Squats
10 @ 10# + bar – Laying Chest Press (free weights)
10 @ 180# counterweight – Chin Ups
30 – crunches w/ legs on stability ball and bicycle move
5m – treadmill, random inclines, 4.0mph

Round 4
10 @ 50# + bar – Smith Machine Squats
10 @ 10# +bar – Laying Chest Press (free weights)
10 @ 180# counterweight – Chin Ups
10 @ 10# dumbbells – lat raises
25 – jack knifes w/ 6# medicine ball
5m – treadmill, random inclines, 4.0mph

Round 5
10 @ 50# + bar – Smith Machine Squats
10 @ 10# + bar – Laying Chest Press (free weights)
10 @ 180# counterweight – Chin Ups
10 @ 10# dumbbells – should press
30 – crunches w/ legs on stability ball and bicycle move
15m – treadmill, intervals inclines, 3.5mph

3-24-09, Tuesday

20m – Elliptical Crossramp, Intervals, Resistance 8
Stretching
1 x 15 @ 55# – Leg Extensions
3 x 15 @ 55# – Leg Curls
3 x 15 @ 80# – Calf Machine
10m – Elliptical, Hill Intervals

yeah I know its really short but oh well, it was a long day. I had to go for some testing early yesturday morning and I was just beat.  This was the day I went for the mam.

3-25-09, Wednesday

Warm Up
10m – Treadmill, 3.5mph, Incline 5
Stretching

Workout
4 x 10 @ 60# – Smith Squats
4 x 12 @ bar only – underhanded row – freeweights
4 x 12 @ 10# weights – lat raises
1 x 15 @ 190# counterweight – chin ups
3 x 10 @ 190# counterweight – chin ups
4 x 12 @ 15# dumbbells – stability ball chest press
4 x 10 @ 20# barbell – curls
4 x 20 sec – curls
10 sec rest between each 20sec rep
4 x 20 sec – reverse crunches
10 sec rest between each 20sec rep