Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 7

Week 1 is over! And I am officially wiped out; looong day on set, a lot of standing around, waiting to go, only to hold for whatever reason. Ah, film.  It was really stuffy in the location and wearing a wig made that super unpleasant.  It wasn't grueling, but after five hours or so it go to me and I just totally mentally kaput.

Light workout this morning:

Jumping Jacks: 50 - 50
Jump Lunge: 20 - 20 -20
Push Up 5 - 5- 5 (still working on that form)
Negative Pull Up 5 - 5 - 5 (these were not quite totally controlled, but way more than they were the first time I tried them, so I feel justified logging them and also the chair assisted ones were really annoying me for some reason.

Diet is going swimmingly; no real sugar cravings to speak of; I think having natural sugar in relatively small amounts (a little fruit here and there, nuts) keeps it in check. Today was weird though; I had breakfast as usual, and snacked on my trail mix a bit, but I didn't get much of the lunch they served (the only stuff left to eat was like bok choi and some weird meat-mash thing that tasted good (ie, like grease) but I only had a few bites of it all.  It definitely was not as big of a meal as I needed; I demolished my trail mix and though I was never super hungry, I was definitely low on energy. So I'm currently killing this jar of almond butter and also had a little carrots and guac on the way home.

I also stopped at Whole Foods to replenish my trail mix, and damn, nuts in large quantities are expensive.  I don't know how I spent as much money as I did there, but I do not regret it one bit. Insert joke about
needing nuts here.  I've branched out and begun exploring pecans and walnuts too. Consensus: delicious.

Alright, gotta hit the shower and crap out; early morning and long day ahead tomorrow.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

DAY 6 - Full Moon!

Last night's audition went swimmingly well; I was very emotionally free and it was a new experience for me (it was a role-play character interview, rather than a reading of a scene), and overall I feel great about it. I'm really working on focusing on auditions as solo exercises with no end except to enjoy the process and take something away. I think maybe in order to make sure I'm doing this, I will start an audition log where I briefly note what it was, how it went, etc.

Today's a rest day, so no workout (though I do mean to log a few burpees when I get home for the NF interguild weekly challenge).  I woke up at 2:30 AM and realize my eyelids had had an allergic reaction to some eye make up I wore last night, and had swollen to thrice their size. This has happened before, and while it usually goes away within a day, it was still incredibly annoying and possibly a big ol' wrench in the days shooting plans in regard to me.  Fortunately, it turned out that the only scene I was shooting day was one where I wear sunglasses. Talk about good timing.  My eyelids are almost back to their un-inflamed natural state, I am chuffed to report.

Then my debit card was shut off; upon calling customer service it turns out that Visa deemed one company that I had my card subscribed to as "at risk" and cancelled it; meaning someone possibly tried to hack, like, Netflix, or somebody, in order to get peoples card info.  Again, luckily, I was able to leave set because I had a LOT of downtime, and got a new card. So it was a weird day, but I had a couple of lucky strokes to counter the weirdness. Full moon?

About to head to another audition for a student film, killing time in Barnes and Nobles.   Need to go over my sides, so I suppose I will end this now and get to work. Also, there are some very odd ducks in this B&N. Full moon!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 5

Today's workout wasn't too intense, as I'm a bit pressed for time, but it was still pretty difficult for me.

Tried something new, added Bulgarian split squats:

Bulgarians: 5 - 5 - 5 (per leg)
Push Up:  6 - 6 - 6 (still really concentrating on keeping my form tight; I keep wanting to crank out more reps, but I'm really focusing on keeping my eager-beaver attitude in check so that when I get to 20 eventually, they will be 20 PERFECT FORM).
Plank: 45 sec - 45 - 45 (These seemed really difficult today, even though I was doing 60 second ones a few days ago.  I hate Plank right now :/ )

Assisted Pull Up w Chair: 10 - 10 - 10 (alternating which foot I use to balance; and making sure I lower myself all the way down for each rep).

I also attempted Crow Pose for the first time!! I got to having my hands on the floor in front of me, leaned forward a little bracing my knees on my upper arms with my toes still on the ground, breathed and counted to ten, and release. Did that like 4 times in sets of 2.

Now to shower, run to audition, and then back home for writing, website updating, scene work, tape audition, and then bed. Three more days in a row of shooting for Medicine Man starts tomorrow! I can't believe it's half-over.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Days 3 & 4

Whew, first day off (kind of; I work at the bar tonight) since I started filming on the feature, which, by the way, is just completely fucking awesome, educational, exhausting, and inspiring to be a part of. I cannot emphasize how lucky I feel.

So at the end of each day of filming, I was completely exhausted on every level.  It's funny how even though for the actors there is a lot of standing around and waiting, you're operating on such an intense level of focus and mental preparedness that when you're done you're just utterly spent. That's how it felt to me, anyway.  I got home each night, attempted writing and updating things (like this blog) and found that even my hands felt heavy with exhaustion. But, because I am a badass, I still managed to stay on track with the 6WC diet and work out regimen.

Yesterday I got up 5AM; got in a simple work out. I had gotten a full 8 hours sleep, but had no energy it seemed.
Warm up (50 jumping jacks, leg swings).
Flat leg raise: 10-10-10-10
Assisted Pull Up w chair: 6-8-8-8
Push Up: 6-7-7-6

Did this in circuit form.

We were released early again yesterday because we had to move out of the location by 8PM, so I ended up home by like 5 PM.

I have been staying on diet really well, even managing to stay within my 8 hour eating window.  With the exception of last night. Because of the shooting schedule, I didn't eat quite enough in the window, so I was hungry when I got home. Ate not only the leftover asparagus, but also half a jar of almond butter with half a bag of baby carrots. So basically, I just need to make sure I eat enough during my 8 hours to avoid stuffing my face before bed  (I've never had an issue with this, it was a result of the shooting schedule: breakfast at 6:30 AM, lunch at 1 PM with a little snacking on almonds/cashews between just didn't cut it).

And I've been managing to log all my meals, which I'm proud of, because it's tedious shit, hahah.

(Tuesday was a long day on set, all of my primary dialogue scenes were shot and went well, I felt.  I did not feel quite as "on" as I would have liked, but I can't do anything about that now.  I just know for future reference that it takes two nights sleep to recover from a night with almost no sleep, at least in terms of how I feel mentally (alertness, etc).  One of the actors and I were released slightly early (6 PM instead of 8 PM) and so I went home and was asleep by like 8:30 PM.  So yesterday I was operating on a full night's sleep, but was still feeling effects of the two nights of very little sleep Sunday/Monday).

Haven't worked out yet today; I may add a run in, not sure what I feel like doing yet.

Oh, and in terms of my goals; I realized that with the shooting schedule and how tired it left me, writing for 25 minutes straight was not happening. So I'm editing my goal to just Writing Every Day.  It can be for five minutes, I just have to do it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 2

Completely wiped out. I think that, even though I got a solid 6 hours sleep, it wasn't enough comparative to how much energy I spent.  I am about to pass out.

Today's a rest day; so no workout.

I realized it's silly not to count writing in this blog/updating my NF challenge thread as writing, because it is.  Not very good writing, but writing nonetheless. So I realized that when it comes to practical application; my writing can be spread out throughout my day; doesn't have to be all in one sitting.  Because I just tried free writing a bit and it was good and all but like even my friggin' hands are too tired to type.

BUT just wanna say I've been doing well with my food logs, my diet, been writing, so, SO FAR SO GOOD. GOOD NIGHT.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Official First Day of 6 Wk Ch

6WkChallenge Sept 24-Nov

I can barely keep my eyes open, so I'm making this one short.  Will post more of an update Thursday.

First official day of the challenge, and also my first day on the set of the feature film.  Filming today was amazing; it's just a really awesome group of people to work with.  Everybody's super nice and it's as low stress of an environment as a film set can be (hah). They also even had PaleOkay (see what I did there?) eating options! Whoo! So I manged to stay on diet, and then I even worked out when I got home.  But two nights in a row of four hours of sleep = dead to the world.

Today I tried something a little new with the workouts; I tried out jumping lunges. Fun! Challenging! Also, push ups, planks and some assisted pull ups.

I'm so tired. Bed nowz.

Oh, but, lemme just say that I am COMMITING TO NO BOOZE AND NO ADDED SUGAR(an occasional piece of fruit is cool). At all, none. You heard it here first, folks!


Sunday, September 23, 2012


So, the next 6 Week Challenge starts tomorrow; and so does my work on the feature! AHH I'M SO EXCITED.

So, I already outlined my goals for the challenge.  RE: Strict Paleo, I was waffling about cutting out all sugar/sweeteners and alcohol.  I made a decision when I realized I wasn't indecisive because I didn't think I could do it, I was indecisive because it would mean committing; holding myself accountable.  I knew I could physically do it, because I've abstained from alcohol for months at a time before and I was doing well with the no sugar thing last challenge.  I just lost sight of my goals and I got lazy.

So, I'm cutting out sugar and alcohol COMPLETELY.  I already turned down drinks twice today and when I explained why, I was happy to receive congratulatory/impressed responses, which was nice.  I'm sure I'll get some funny looks at some point, but it was nice to get positive feedback off the back.  I am also utilizing the forum at NF as a means of holding myself accountable; really publicly committing to my goals and starting a Player v Player challenge.

Impressed myself by hopping out of bed at 8:30 AM and cranking out a workout.  I was definitely not as rested as I would've liked to be and as a result my workout wasn't that intense, but I got it done, and that's what counts.

Tomorrow is the big day; my first day on set of the feature. I could not be more thrilled/terrified; it's surreal really.  It's almost like it doesn't quite register as a real thing that I'm doing. Gonna be a lot of fun.

Okay, time to write; I am determined to stick to my 25 min/day schedule and so far it's going well.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chaos to Reboot

Okay, so the last few days have been mad hectic and I really kind of went all over the place diet-wise.  Yesterday I didn't wake up with enough to time to do the Light workout, so instead of today being a rest day, it's a Light day.  Did 3 x 7 push ups, 3 x 10 leg raises, and 2 x5 assisted pull up and 1 x 10 assisted pull up.

ALSO.  I didn't realize that NF's next 6 Week Challenge started so soon, but it does! On Monday! Yay!

So, because I can only keep track of so many things at once; I am going restart my 4 Week Challenge by way of hopping on board with the 6 Week one. Make sense?  I have been beyond frazzled and the 6 Week will be a good way to stay on track.

The last 36 hours consisted of me going to the bar to work, getting done around midnight which meant I was in bed at 2 AM, back up at 8 AM to go film in South Jersey.  I got done with that shoot at around midnight, got on a bus back to NYC at 2:30 AM this morning, got back to my apartment at around 6 AM. Passed. The Fuck. Out. Only woke at 4:15 PM; my sleep pattern is wrecked, sadly.  So it's 1:35 AM now and I'm still wide awake.  I figure I'll fall asleep around 3 AM, be back up at 8 AM.  I'll be a bit tired for work, but that's okay because it will get me back on track sleep wise.

So, my goals remain the same as mentioned a few posts ago.

Getting a Six Pack:
1) Workout 6 times a week
2) Strict Paleo diet
3) Do 1 Pull Up
4) Write for 25 mins a day

I'm feeling good about this challenge, I am going to accomplish a lot.

Rock out!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

4WC: Day 1

Veritably bounced out of bed this morning when I heard the door buzz; MY PULL UP BAR GOT HERE!

I was pleased as pie;  felt all butch putting that shit together. I even used a wrench to tighten to the screws. I know, you're swooning at my ability to complete a basic task.  Lawd ha' mercy. So put that bad boy in place, and voila! Instant access to Necessary Equipment for Badasses.

Though I was eager to try out some negative pull ups, I had some things to do, so I organized myself for the day, ate breakfast, and worked on my lines for the feature, the short film and an audition (that I have to tape this week), as well as my Richard III monologue(because I got an audition for a production of Hamlet tomorrow! I'm very, very excited, as it will be my first audition for a classical piece and thus my first opportunity in the professional sphere to test my Willy Shakes Skillz).  That all went swimmingly.  The sun was streaming in my windows, and I was pumped to work out.

So, I started off with Circuit A, which is five sets (trying to keep it under 20 mins) of:

20 Bodyweight Lunge / 7 Push-Up / 60 sec Plank / 5 Negative Pull-Up + a run

Well, everything went swimmingly until the Negs. I could barely hold myself up, let alone lower myself at a controlled rate. I was very disappointed by this, but now I know where I stand.

The last two Planks were absolute murder. I almost gave in on the last one, but managed the full minute.  Similarly, the last set of push ups were brutal, but I focused on my breath and made it through (the wilderness! You know I made it throuughhhOooh a ooohh).

So after the five sets were over, I was still frustrated by my failed Negs, so I did four sets of 5 Assisted Pull Ups with a Chair. These went way better, and I could feel some muscles that have obviously not gotten worked at all start to creak. While I'm a bit down that I'm not as strong as I'd like yet, I at least know how far I have to go, and I have a plan to get there.

To put myself in (hopefully) a better mood, I hit the park for a run. It was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL out today and as it was the middle of a week day, not many people were out. I picked the distance I wanted to run to (Grand Army Plaza, exactly 1.2 miles from my starting point in the park) and ran. The whole way. Without stopping.  In 12:49.  Not as fast as I would have liked, but it was almost entirely up hill, so I feel badass as fuck.  Took a two minute breather, kept walking, then I ran back, without stopping, and made it in 12:06 (downhill, mostly). The last two minutes were brutal, but fortunately, Sia's Titanium came on my iPod and I was able to finish strong.

I didn't have much intention of running much this challenge, but I think it's growing on me. I won't do it every workout, but maybe twice or thrice a week. I felt amazing after and it will (probably?) be good for my lung capacity.

Also, I would like to point out that I got my highest score ever (574) on my Fitocracy (carastarbuck, look me up if care about these sorts of sites).

Alright! A strong first day, now I have to eat dinner, sweep my room and go get my hair trimmed. Away!


Cara's 4 Week Mini Challenge: Abs

Alright, kids, I have exactly four weeks until I am getting my new head shots and some full body shots for my portfolio, which means THIS IS THE HOMO HOME STRETCH before I can go back to burying myself in Breyer's chocolate icecream and a six-pack of Angry Orchard cider on my Wednesday nights. Just kidding. Sort of.   I did find, that this past Sunday (which I had designated "cheat" day) I got really sick after eating a lot of crap.What? You mean my stomach had adjusted to only digesting certain foods and that stuffing it with with gluten and processed chocolate and bread was a tiny bit overwhelming?  Shocking, I know.  No, but really, after October 17th, my diet will be less strict and it will just be about maintaining the shape I'm in, no more focus on fat burning.

But that's four weeks away, so let's focus on the here-and-now, THE CHALLENGE:

Goals! I'm setting four goals, like the last challenge, and this time around I will come up with a way more specific plan of action for each one.

#1 & 2 Six Pack Abs (Two Part Goal)
So, I was actually inspired to do the original 6WC by Joel Runyon's mission to get six-pack abs. This challenge, I am openly embracing that as my goal; I am committing fully. I want a six pack.  This means recommitting to no sugar; no dairy, no artificial crap, no alcohol; solomente meat, veggies, and eggs for the next four weeks.  I'm already half way there, I just need to buckle down for the remainder of the challenge.  This might get difficult to stick to on filming days because I don't know what food I will have on set, so I will have to really be good about preparing meals ahead of time and bringing snacks. I will be allowing myself -minimal- "cheats;" such as super-rich dark chocolate and salted almonds; but only in small amounts, obviously.
I am going to break this into two sections; and I will reward myself based on the completion of each section; because while I cannot control how my body reacts to the diet and exercise, I can control my work outs and what I eat, so I will be rewarded myself based on the completion of the regimen, and not based on actually getting a six pack. Make sense? Good.

-Six Workouts Per Week:
     Okay, so this is how I started the last challenge, but I wasn't quite up for it, but I feel ready now.
      The Structure will be:
  •      Circuit A
  •      Circuit B
  •      Light Workout (short run, a few sets of push ups, a few planks/supermans, some combo of those)
  •      Rest Day
  •      Circuit A
  •      Circuit B
  •      Light Workout

-Track Meals/Strict Paleo
  • I food-logged a little last challenge but really did not stick to it.  Doing that this time; writing down    everything I eat.  Tedious, but it will help me stay on track.
  • Continue my basic meal structure; eating during 8 hour windows
  • No alcohol at all
  • No more Starbucks/Dunkin flavored coffees.  This is like not working out; it's not an option.
  • Preparation.  Make sure at the start of each week (Wednesday) I do comprehensive brainstorming about what I'm going to eat that week (find new recipes; switch it up a bit).

#3 Do 1 Pull Up
This was one of my goals from the 6WC that I didn't accomplish, but but but GUESS WHAT, my pull up bar came today! So now, I will be able to more actively work on that pull up and not just talk about it.
  • Negative pull ups, assisted pull ups, MOAR PUSH UPS, Dumbbell Rows
  • Continue to track workouts; make sure I am always adding one rep/one set; always doing quantitatively more each workout.

#4 (Life Goal) -Write 25 mins EVERY DAY

I had a cool idea for a novel earlier this summer and I completely abandoned the project.  I also started writing music, but then dropped it; this was all a result of self-doubt and fear.  I'm going to work on getting this projects off the ground by writing for 25 mins every day, no matter what.  Already did that today, so we're off to a good start!
  • Wake up earlier or, when I get home from work, write before logging into anything online (Facebook, etc).

Okay, those are the goals. Haven't come up with rewards yet, but I will probably do that later today.  Right now, it's beautiful outside and I need to go work out!

Abs away!

Monday, September 17, 2012

End of the Six Week Challenge; Days 41 & 42

The end of the Six Week Challenge has arrived and I still can't decide to type "6 Week Challenge," or "Six Week Challenge." Sigh. But it's been great either way, and while I did not accomplish mostof my goals, I still feel awesome. Let's recap:


#1 - Do 25 consecutive push ups.
I  underestimated how out of shape I was, and it took me about 3 1/2 weeks to realize my form was all wrong, so serious back-tracking took place.  So on this one, even though I didn't reach the goal; I learned a lot. I can do 10 consecutive push ups, by the way. So half way there!

#2 - Stick to strict Paleo
I'm giving myself this one. I was going for a record of no cheat days at all, pure Paleo (only meat, veggies, eggs, no sugar), but then I started going insane, so I designated Sundays my cheat day. In terms of what I eat on any random day, my meals are pure Paleo goodness. Mission accomplished!

#3 - Do 1 Pull Up
As with #1, I aimed a little too high, and I also did not make all the necessary steps (haven't bought a pull up bar yet).  Saving this one for the next challenge!

#4 - Reach Out to at least 4 Agents about representation
Got ahead of myself (noticing a pattern?).  I realized too late that I really need to have at least a basic reel put together (aside from my filmed NYCDA scene) before I start contacting agencies.  I did take steps to make that happen, and reached out to people I filmed with over the summer to get my footage.

Stuff I accomplished outside of the goals:

- DISCIPLINE. I created a routine and stuck to it.  I mentally crossed off opting out; there was no reason and absolutely no circumstance under which it was acceptable for me to miss a workout.  And I am proud to say I achieved this, and this framework will stay with me for a long time.  Working out is a totally new habit and it's one that has affected my productivity in every area,

-STRATEGY. I'm learning how to set goals; how to accurately assess my status with any given project/state of being, etc and figure out how to proceed from there.

-CONFIDENCE.  I'm getting in shape, seeing the results and feeling wonderful about my body and my capabilities.  This is definitely a personal best in a lot of ways, and I basically feel like I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to.  I have also noticed some big ways in which my acting has felt the positive reverberations of my exercise work ethic.

Even though today was technically a rest day, I didn't want the last official day of the challenge to not have a workout in it, haha.  So I decided to really push myself, and I learned some stuff.

Mainly, that my push up form, though improving, was really starting to slide.  I corrected it, and the resulting push ups were murder, but I did them!

I did four circuits of Lunge/Plank/PushUp:
Circuit 1: 20 lunge, 60 sec plank, 5 push up
2/3/4/5: 20 lunge, 60 sec plank, 6 push up
6: 7 push up

And yesterday was a solid 20Squat/3Burpee/30SecWallSit/30SecSuperman/10DumbbellRow day (four and a half circuits).

So.  The Six Week Challenge is over, but I still have a month until my new headshots (exactly four weeks as of today). I also start filming the feature next Monday (9/24).  So tomorrow begins Cara's Mini 4 Week Challenge!  Going to create a few goals for myself, the same as I would for the Six Week, and also maybe come up with my own reward system.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

DAY 40!

Guys! Day forty! Holy crap.  Yesterday (Day 39, obvs) was a rest day and I ate more than a few pieces of dark chocolate and many roasted and salted almonds...Mmmmm almonds. Also, I went out and bought almond milk. I just can't do black coffee anymore. I just won't.  It's gross. Well, not gross, but even with a splash of almond milk it is so much more delicious. There is natural sugar in it, but in the servings I consume probably a gram or less, so I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I've found that if my sugar intake is really low (under 25 grams) for the whole day, I don't suffer the crash and the cravings aren't as intense. Whoo! Take that, sugar.  Also, I'm going to switch to agave syrup as a natural sweetener. I will use less because A) expensive B) it takes a lot of it to get the amount of sweet I crave, so I will be forced to cut back for the sake of my bank account. And again, the natural sugar count is very low.

Instead of one of my normal circuit workouts; today I went to the park and HOLY SHIT it's so nice out.  I figured, screw it, let's a run a little. I felt like a frisky baby horse, out for a frolic.  And frolic I did! Warmed up in the usual manner, stretched a little, then took off at a decent pace.

Guys.  I didn't want to die within four minutes. I felt great, I felt strong. I didn't want to test my mile or anything, but I did want to make the work out a little harder, so I took five interval breaks roughly evenly spaced out for five burpees; a total of twenty-five burpees over the course of a 17 minute mile (with like five short walking breaks).  Nothing crazy, but I feel SO much more confident about my ability to run a 5k soon. I also took it easy to make sure my left knee was in fighting shape, and I'm happy to report that it felt great the whole time.

YAY. And.  I'm going to see one of my favorite bands of all time tonight; AND it will be my first punk show in like four years (the last time I saw said band; the Street Dogs). AND they're playing with the Koffin Kats, who I found out, are AWESOME.

Today rocks.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DAY 38

Woke up sans alarm at almost exactly 8:30; surprising myself. Fed the cats, put the coffee on and laid back down.  Woke up at 9:30, feeling incredibly refreshed. Worked out:

Five circuits of Lunge/Plank/StandOneLeg/PushUP.

For the first circuit my plank was 30 secs, but I upped it to 45 for the remaining four circuits.  I also upped my push up number to 6, and after completing the five circuits, did one more set of 6 push ups to bring my total to 36 for the day.  I feel really fantastic today.  I think the 8 hour eating window is perfect.  I just finished a huge breakfast/lunch (spinach + 4 egg omelet, 4 pieces of delicious TJs bacon and a whole avocado); will probably have like a can of tuna in a few hours, and then dinner before I head to work(I have to leave at 6:30ish, so dinner will be at 6 PM, which works out perfectly).  Also found that snacking a tiny bit on salted almonds and a piece or two of dark chocolate satisfy my craving for bad salty foods and super sugary things like ice-cream.  I LOVE chocolate and sweet beverages like lattes, so it's a good way to scratch the itch without totally fucking up the work I've done on cutting out all that shit.

I also spent half my morning making inspirational wall papers for my desktop inscribed with my one year goals, my five year goals, and my ten year goals; helps to keep that stuff not far from the front my of mind. And some quotes! Lawd knows I love me some good inspirational quotes.

So the Six Week Challenge is over on Monday, Sept 17th.  On Monday, I will be doing a workout that basically tests my limits; how many push ups can I do consecutively primarily.  I still don't have a pull up bar, so I may have to run to the nearest playground.  But to be honest, I don't think I'm there yet. I may hold onto that goal for the next challenge.

Though the challenge is ending technically, I still have a ways a to go.  One month exactly, to be precise.  I scheduled my new headshots and body shots for October 17th.  So throughout filming of the feature I will be staying on track with the diet, and the week before hand I will be ultra strict.  These last few weeks have flown by, so the idea of another month really doesn't seem very daunting.  I am really excited to see how much I can accomplish before then(maybe that 1 pull up! maybe 30 push ups? Who knows!).


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAY 37 (and 36)

So it hit me yesterday that I start filming in 13 days.  Two weeks. I've come a long way since I started this thing, but it also feels like time just disappeared and I don't feel as far along as I would like.

But that's okay!  I just decided that for the next 13 days I am really going to buckle down and focus.  That means:

-Mandatory 8 hours of sleep per night unless it is absolutely unavoidable that I stay up late/get up early (this Thursday I will be working until midnightish, probably get home around 1:30-2 AM, and then have to be up around 8 or 9 AM Friday).

-Diet:  So my cheat day on Sunday definitely had consequences that I did not consider.  Primarily that that the sugar I consumed fucked with my body for the next two days and yesterday, even though I was physically rested; I was sleepy, irritable and couldn't focus. And also ate french fries to make myself feel better.   Not that fries are the absolute worst, but I'd always been able to work around such cravings before, and I gave in this time. But that's okay! I'm not going to beat myself up about it, rather, I'm just going to focus on what I want to accomplish over the next two weeks.

I am going to tighten up my eating window to 8 hours.  So on days that I work the bar from 11-8, I will be eating at around 930 AM, 1 PM and 530 PM.  Yesterday for example, I had breakfast at about 8 AM, so I had lunch at noon and dinner at 3:30 PM. It seemed to work great, as I wasn't hungry the rest of the day.  Also, I've kind of already been doing this by never eating after 7 PM, I'm just tightening the parameters a bit.

I feel great about how my body is looking and feeling. I could stop now, honestly, and still feel damn good, but I would know that I had settled for "good enough."  So I'm going to stay on track for the remainder of the shoot, so that when I get my head shots redone in a month, I can really be proud of my discipline.  And I will have proved to myself that I can do it.

Today is a rest day. Yesterday the workout consisted of:

Warm up: 50 Jumping jacks, 5 push ups, leg swings.

Workout was four circuits of:
20 Bodyweight squats
30 sec Superman
30 sec wall sit
3 burpee
10 dumbbell rows

I think I must not have stretched enough either, because my left leg is sore as hell. BOO. MOAR STRETCHING NEXT TIME.

Alright, let's do this.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 35 (and Days 33/44)

A very busy, very intense weekend on all fronts.  Worked Saturday (work out day) and Sunday (rest day).  Ended up breaking the diet completely on Sunday and stuffing my face with sugar, grease and some booze, and it was AMAZING.  I felt like shit physically after though, so I have no fear that I will stay on track for the week.

Saturday my workout consisted of:

Warm up: 50 Jumping jacks, 5 push ups, leg swings.

Workout was four circuits of:
20 Bodyweight squats
30 sec Superman
30 sec wall sit
3 burpee
10 dumbbell rows

I completed a fifth set of squats right before the 15 was up, bring my total to 100.  Haven't done that many in a while, so that felt great.

Just finished today's workout. 50 jacks to warm up as well as leg swings.

My circuits were:
1)20 lunge
   30 sec plank
   2 assisted pistol squat per leg
   5 push up

20 lunge
30 sec plank
one leg balance 30 sec per leg
5 push up

Then I completed one more set of 20 lunges and 6 push ups, bringing my total to:
Lunge: 100 (50 per leg)
Push up: 31


 I took today off from the bar, because I'm a bit behind on the stuff I need to be doing to prepare for the feature and the short, as well as daily errand stuff.  Away!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 32

Whew.  Didn't do a whole lot today activity wise.  Returned some unread library books (my eyes are bigger than my book stomach, or something) and want to Trader Joe's for some nitrate free bacon, yut.

Worked out!
Four circuits of

  • 20 lunges
  • 30 second plank
  • 5 push ups
  • pistol squat/one leg balance
So during the first circuit I attempted a pistol squat, managed a really half assed one.  For the remaining three circuits I just balanced on one leg for 30 seconds, leaning forward with other leg bent and out behind me.  Don't know what you'd call that, but hey! I also cranked out another 5 push ups after the circuit training, bringing my total of the day to 25.

Today was a great day for one big reason, though I think I'll stay mum on it, at least for now.  I've just come a long way this summer and I'm damn proud of myself.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 31

It has been exactly one month since I started doing this.  I have edited my goals, re-evaluated my abilities and am currently taking stock of where I am.

Today was a rest day, though I spent about two hours dancing in heels; which was way more fun than I thought it would be, for the record.

Tomorrow I be writing a bit of progress report and think about what I need to focus on in the next two weeks (before cameras roll) and five weeks before I get my new head shots/full body shots.

To commemorate the One Month marker, just gonna say I am damn proud of myself. And holy shit this is hard and I want a pumpkin spice latte.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DAY 30(!)

I am incredibly glad I listened to myself and gave myself the day off from the bar yesterday; I felt braindead.  Writing a simple sentence seemed like a complicated chore. Whew.  Feeling very refreshed, and excited. Tonight, NFL starts, which means the money starts rolling in and I can start putting aside money for travel for the spring.  And tomorrow, as I mentioned previously, there is a meeting with the dance choreographer for the feature.  A year ago I would have looked toward such an event with terror, but I feel far more capable and comfortable with my body than I ever have before; I'm actually looking forward to it.  I snagged some new heels at Payless(hooray for Buy One Get One 50% Off) for the rehearsal, as I realized my one pair of pumps have pretty much outlived their usefulness.

Slept late and felt bad about it, but I banished that feeling fairly quickly and just adjusted my schedule for the day accordingly.  No sense in feeling guilty when it was clear that I needed the extra Zzzzs. Went to Target for cat food and Payless for shoes, managed to get in and out in under an hour (had my stop watch running), and only bought one thing I didn't go there for. Success(Granted, that one thing was pumpkin coffee syrup; and while I am still going to limit my artificial sweetener intake; I figure once or twice a week will be a little reward)!

Got home, immediately workout out.

Warm up:

  • 10 Leg swings /leg forward/back and side to side
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 5 Push Ups
  • 10 Spider-Mans

Four Circuits of:
  • 20 body weight squats
  • 30 second Superman
  • 30 second wall sit
  • 3 burpees
  • 10 bent over dumbbell rows
Really pushed hard and felt like a boss after; and totally alleviated any remaining guilt I had about sleeping late. Asserting control!  Also I finished the fourth circuit just barely inside the 15 minutes (14:45ish); felt good.

Aside from the previous two days brain-deadedness (yes I made up "deadedness"), I have definitely been feeling really mentally clear of late.  My confidence is at an all time high; both from the sense of accomplishment I get from my workouts and diet and the actual nutrition factor of what I eat affecting my brain.  I am somewhat prone to depression; but the last really, really shitty day I had emotionally/mentally was the day before I began working out and changed my diet.  Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Also, thinking of getting a pull up bar for my place; now that gym is out of the question, I really need to find a way to reach my goal of one pull up.  I've been doing plenty of rows and whatnot, but I think I have to start doing assisted pull ups with a chair if I want to make more significant progress.

The Week 5 Challenge is about getting organized; and I still need to decide what I want to focus on.  Maybe organize all my old bills and pay stubs? Eeesh, that's a scary prospect.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DAY 29

So I decided to finally go to the Planet Fitness I joined.  I did a quick workout and then promptly quit the gym.  For one thing, I was disappointed (though not surprised) by their lack of barbells. My fault, I should have actually checked out the premises before signing up online, but whatever.  Lesson learned!  Also I realized I just really hate the gym atmosphere.  I do not like other people around me while I work out. Home body weight workouts continue!

I did, obviously, workout while I was there.  I did 3 circuits of the following:
  • 20 weighted lunges (10lb dumbell per hand)(10 per leg)
  • 5 push ups (they're getting easier!)
  • 30 second plank
  • 10 standing triceps overhead extension with 10 lb dumbbell
The weighted lunges kicked my ass.

I have to spend a significant portion of the rest of the day wearing high heels, as I have a choreography meeting on Thursday for the feature with the rest of the cast (those who play performers) to figure out routines and what not, and I never wear them, so I figure I should practice a bit. Ugh.  I hate high heels so much.  Suffer for your art, right?

Diet related note:  Been cutting back big time on the artificial sweetener.  Down to like 1 1/2 tsp in my first cup of joe in the morning. Whoooo.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 28: Week Five Begins.

Today is the official first day of Week Five.  It was a rest day, and again I experimented with eating patterns.

My meals:

-Breakfast: 4 eggs, 4 slices of turkey bacon
-Second Breakfast: (because I'm a hobbit, apparently, but my family already knows that) - A western omelet (eggs, ham, green peppers, onion)
-Lunch: Burger no bun, sauteed onion, bacon, side salad with vinegar, salt n pepper
-Dinner: Salad with sauteed red peppers

All in all I feel pretty good.  I mean, I'm still really tired, but standing around all day will do that.  Also, I was busier today than I expected, much like yesterday, so we will see how I feel after a good ten hours sleep.

I'm off tomorrow from the bar, though I have an audition in the evening.  Either tomorrow or Wednesday or both I have to hit the store;  I will be at work Thurs, Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues, and I am getting tired of the few healthy eating options I have there.  Also I end up spending money so that I can eat dinner before 7 PM, which is no good.  So goal for the work week is MEAL PREP.

I've also decided I love sauteed spinach and want it with everything I eat.  I am going to buy the grocery out of spinach.  It's decided.

There is less tension between the kitties. Yay! I really hope they become lovers/besties in short order.

I may purchase Joel Runyon's Impossible Abs program, which comes out tomorrow.  It'll be like $40 or something, which is less than I would spend in a night out filling my body with crap out drinking, so why not?  It's basically what I'm doing already, only with more guidelines.  And you know how I love my guidelines.

Also realized this whole endeavor means virtually no alcohol.  Not a huge deal; I've gone months without drinking before. Also I'll be saving a ton of money.  I'm not great at moderation, so instead of saying "Oh I'll only have 2 glasses of wine per week" or whatever, I'm probably just going to (continue to) do away with booze entirely.  Plus, I've been doing so well on this No Sugar thing for the last six days that I really don't want to break my streak.  Want to see how long I can go.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 27

So today was Day 27; and Week 4 officially draws to a close. Holy crap.

I went to bed early last night, was woken around midnight to power going out, one of the roommates fixed it, went back to sleep, woke up at 7 AM to  my cat Seamus waking me up via Knock Over the Water Glass technique.  Went back to sleep for another hour, got up at 8 AM.

I cranked out a workout; it was tough.
Warm up consisting of 50 jumping jacks, 5 push ups, 10 Spidermans, and then leg swings (both forward and side to side).

3 Circuits of:
-20 body weight squats
-30 sec Superman
-30 Wall sit
-10 dumbbell rows/arm with 8 lbs

I had very little energy. I was really tired all day, I tried to compensate for my lack of energy by eating more, so I ended up eating about four meals.  Big breakfast of 3 eggs, an avocado and 4 pieces of turkey bacon; then I had another 2 eggs and 2 sausage patties a few hours later from the deli near work, then a salad with grilled chicken, sauteed green and red peppers, and onion.  Then a few hours later six grilled chicken tenders.  Eating seemed to help with the energy flagging, but I was still exhausted at the end of my shift.  I guess I just wasn't fully recovered from Saturday's mayhem at work.

Also, the new cat came over today! Seamus and Crono seem fine with him, and the new guy, Sammy, is just a little shell shocked and hasn't really moved since we brought them all face to face in the living room.  He's just sitting in the corner under a shelf, which is fair.  A lot of changes for one day and a tiny cat brain.  They're all currently laying the living room, a few feet from each other.  I'm confident they'll all be buddies in a few weeks.

Okay. Bed. Week five starts tomorrow!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 26: Persevering in the face of Tired

Holy mother of god, I am tired.  I was up until about 3 AM last night and woke up at 7:30 AM for work. DUMB DUMB DUMB. Then busted tail during the first OSU game, leaving me in a nearly comatose state at the end of my shift.  But I had not worked out yet.  So I schlepped home to Brooklyn and made dinner immediately, so that I would not be eating after 7 PM (to continue my routine).  Watched a little Supernatural.  But still, I had not worked out.  And all the while with these words in mind: "Never miss two days in a row."

Yesterday was my rest day.  If I didn't work out today...DUN DUN DUN.  But it's okay, because I JUST DID. And as a result, sitting here, sweaty, feeling like a badass.  Not only did I work out after a long work day and running on little sleep, I cranked out 25 push ups. 2. 5. TWENTY FIVE.

All it took was a little David Guetta and some will power.

My circuit:
  • 5 push up
  • 20 lunges (10 per leg)
  • 30 sec plank
  • 30 jumping jacks

I completed four circuits and then squeezed in the last five push ups right before my 15 was up.  So now I'm even more tired, but now I'm tired AND accomplished.

Alright.  Working the next three days in row, and tomorrow evening the new kitty arrives.  Bed NOW. -passes out-

Yes, I'm aware that it's barely 9 PM. 'Night kids!