Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DAY 38

My workout yesterday was far more mild, so today I upped the ante. I'm especially proud of my 37 second Frog Stand (I had my friend time me with a stop watch on  those, for the record).

Workout Summary (Fitocracy)

Jumping Jacks
50 jumping jacks

30 sec
60 sec
25 sec

One-Arm Dumbbell Row
8 lb x 20 reps
8 lb x 22 reps
8 lb x 21 reps

Body Weight Bulgarian Split Squat
11 reps
16 reps
8 reps

Static Wall Sit
45 sec
60 sec
25 sec

Mountain Climbers
10 reps
10 reps
6 reps

Frog Stand
19 sec
37 sec
10 sec

Subways are still down, though we have limited bus service. Doesn't look like I'll be leaving Brooklyn till at least the weekend; time to catch up on Supernatural, write some new cover letters, and be productive.  Though tonight I believe I will put on make up with my other actor friends down the street and take photos. Make your own fun, kids!

Monday, October 29, 2012

DAYS 31-37

Final week of the challenge, and this has been the longest I've gone between updates.  I'm sitting here hunkered down in my apt as Sandy rages outside; I'm pretty far inland in Brooklyn and fortunately still have power.  I've done all my emergency prep and I'm pretty sure my former Boy Scout brothers would approve of my work. I'm sitting here in cargo pants with a flashlight and knife at my waist, batteries and matches in my pockets, with a backpack full of supplies ready should the worst occur. At this point it seems unlikely, but I kind of had a lot of fun preparing; imagining myself as bad ass military personnel, ready to leap into action.

I've been lax on the updates because I was travelling and then when I returned from my three day DC trip had to go straight into two long back to back shifts at the bar. And then this whole hurricane business started up. I've kept up with my workouts, though not my diet.  While visiting my family I indulged in my mother's cooking to the fullest extent; most of it was stuff I eat anyway so it wasn't "cheating; at least not up until the chocolate chip cookies came out. So. Good.

I caught up with a close a friend while in DC, and her roommate, coincidentally, was able to give me some awesome tips on my frog-stand as well as show me how to do a tripod headstand.  I think it will be some time before I attempt that on my own, but it was a great feeling and I now feel that it's closer to my reach.

On Thursday my mom drove me and my friend up to southern PA where my folks own a small house, and it wascompletely invigorating. The air was so fresh and it was so quiet, I felt completely mentally reset. We even worked out there, outside on the side of the hill; we did jump lunges and sprints up the hill; leaping over giant hillhocks and through the grass. It was freaking awesome.

Push ups are going well; my current max is 13. I think if I really make sure I sleep enough this week and approach my workouts well rested, I will be able to get to at least 18 reps. We'll see.
Still over the moon about my newfound frog-standing abilities:

Alright, back to catching up on the Walking Dead. Hope everyone affected by the storm is staying safe!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DAYS 28, 29 & 30

I'm really dragging my heels folks, but I attribute that to the fact that since late September I have been going at break neck speed, and well, sometimes shit gets put off and fallen behind/etc.  More importantly, I am progressing on at least two of my goals for the challenge, and am confident that I will at least accomplish my Push Up goal. So that's great! Everything else has been a good lesson about my habits, what my weak spots are and what I need to work on.

I had quite a work day Sunday and as a result over-indulged in food and drink after work. I kind of saw it coming, but it was the one day and not a week long binge, so I'm not going to worry about it. I definitely needed to let off steam; just don't want to make that particular method a habit, hahah.

I don't see a point anymore in just logging my workouts here, as I already do that on Fitocracy, so I'll focus on making this more about logging what I've learned from said workouts than just logging data.

I just started week 2 of the Push Up Program I'm following and already upped my max rep! I was able to crank out 12 reps in the last set of my most recent push up workout; that felt beyond beast. Think I might have mentioned this, but I'm really focusing on making sure I A) get 8 hours of sleep every night and B) eat enough good things, especially on my rest day, and C) streeetching.

I've also started experimenting with hot/cold showers and I have to say, maybe it's placebo effect but I definitely noticed less leg stiffness & soreness than before.

I've been working at the bar a lot to make up for the time I took off and I feel like I'm letting other areas (acting) take a hit because I don't have the energy to focus and get the work done that I need to. I'm going to DC to visit my parents, youngest brother, and big sis for a few days; leave tomorrow morning (after an audition!) and come back Saturday. When I get back, I go straight into working 4 days in a row, which is good as I need the money. I'm taking the DC trip as a mental break, but when I get back, I'm coming back swinging.  I really need to step up my approach to my career. I'm getting antsy about pilot season around the corner.

Overall, I think my main take away from this challenge so far is that I need to learn how to moderate myself. I tend to go all in, which works great for a short time, and then I crash completely.  So I need to work on focusing on just doing little things to work towards a more balanced lifestyle.

Last but not least: I CAN DO A FROGSTAND. I was literally sitting here, about to go on a search for advice on how to progress, because my last attempts I couldn't even get my toes off the ground, and I thought "I wonder if my push up progression has improved my forearm strength and core balance." So I got on the floor and DID LIKE FOUR SECONDS OF FROG. AHHH I'M SO EXCITED.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

DAYS 26/27

Just got hit by a giant dose of tired; I was on a night schedule all week (working late/being up late, sleeping late) and it made it impossible to sleep last night; so after a day of work I am now suitably exhausted.

BUT! This morning, before the exhaustion kicked in, I busted out a SICK workout and upped my max rep for push ups.  This push-up plan is really doing its thing, I'm pleased to say.

Push Ups:
Bulgarian Split squats:
Rolling Plank of Doom:
20 s(all 4 sides) / 35 s (4 sides)/ 15 s(4sides)

So that's awesome.  Also, one of our delightful regulars brought us homemade sweet potato pie and OH MY FREAKING GOD. So yummy. Definitely had two slices. So worth it.

I have never been more confident that I'll be reaching my goal of 20 consecutive push ups by the end of the challenge. I can hardly wait!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

DAY 25

Mellow and somewhat productive day so far.

Got a little writing done; one of the reasons I often find myself desiring to write or work on acting stuff but frozen and ineffectual is I get overwhelmed by how much I want to do.  It finally sunk in today that I just need to create better routines. So, for starters:

-Write just one paragraph - this usually will turn into more, but if I set the goal as just the one, it seems more achievable on a day-to-day basis.
-Read aloud for five minutes
-Work on a scene or monologue for five minutes.

I did all that today and then some because I was enjoying myself so much. So, start small!

Workout was light:

Jumping Jacks: 50-50-50
Bench Dips: 10-8-7
Flat Straight Leg Raise: 10-15-10

Then I did 8 min of a deep squat, 2 min of calf stretch and 4 minutes of another MOBWod stretch.

Off to bartend.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DAYS 22, 23 & 24

Forgot to update yesterday, and yesterday was awesome workout wise!

Yesterday(Day 23)
Bulgarian: 10-12-8-8-6
Push Up: 8-10-8-8-10 (The last 10 were brutal, sheer willpower was behind that last rep. But I'm so pumped.)
20 s each (1:20 total)
25 s each (1:40)
15 s each (1:00)

This Push Up plan is working pretty darn well, it seems!

So did that, and back on track with diet and IF.  Today was another late sleep day, can't do that again tomorrow or I won't get anything productive done.  I STILL need to return those library books. Ugh.

Workout Summary (copy and pasted from Fitocracy 'cause I'm lazy but with point values deleted because they're aren't relevant to me).

Jumping Jacks

One-Arm Dumbbell Row
8 lb x 18 reps
8 lb x 22 reps
8 lb x 18 reps

Jump Squat (Toyotas)
15 reps
18 reps
15 reps

45 sec
70 sec
45 sec

Whoo! Feeling strong and like I'm on the track to noticeable improvement again, which feels amazing. 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

DAY 21

Sunday! Funday, supposedly, but I beg to differ. Today was long and tedious with only few moments of respite, granted me by my always-cool and highly entertaining coworkers.  Worked both the 1 PM and the 4 PM game, which is not usually the case, so I didn't get home until 10:30 PM.  I was feeling not great; honestly I've been in a funk since the film wrapped.  Before I get into that:

Workout 10.15:
Jumping Jacks
Jump Squat
16 - 15 - 15 - 14
45 sec - 60 sec - 45 sec - 45 sec

I didn't know if I had it in me for push ups or any leg work at all; because I went dancing last night after working, so my legs were extra tired; add a twice-as-long-as-usual-shift today and I really didn't think I could crank out my Day 2 amount of push up reps for the push up program I'm following.

In my last post, I mentioned how I was thinking of going back on my diet plan; basically reintroducing cheats and booze and whatever else.  Then it hit me.

I was ready to quit. Throw in the towel. Not just the diet, the whole challenge.  I gave up inside.  Somewhere I lost the bullheaded optimism with which I had entered my first challenge and I just felt tired, beaten, and like there was no point to trying. 

The combination of my personal shit plus post-film-depression sent me into a tailspin, and though my primary meals were mostly on diet, I started drinking way more, and then eating crap late at night. Not even because I was hungry (I've been super vigilant about making sure I'm always satisfied, hungry Cara is not a happy Cara, nor a functional one); it was 100% emotional eating.

And I realized it truly tonight. I had been rationalizing it, "Oh, I'm just easing up, I can always try again next challenge, etc" I knew it was BS because I didn't really want to quit. I still want to reach my goals.  But I just felt empty of will power.  And the fact that I didn't have the mental energy to keep striving toward the goals I knew I wanted, and in fact didn't even feel that driving desire anymore, was even more depressing, which just fed into the whole thing.

I have been on a serious roll in a lot of ways, so I guess the crash was inevitable; we all go through great, awesome periods and low periods where you feel like you just can't catch a break.  And even though it's been less than two weeks since the movie wrapped and that's not a very long time, I crashed hard.  And that's okay. The important thing is, I figured out what happened.

Once I realized I had given up, it (obviously) lit a fire under my ass, and I attacked my workout, determined to regain control. Completing that fired me up again.

So. I almost quit, but I caught myself.


DAY 20

Day 20 (yesterday)

Tried something new in my workout; the Rolling Plank of Doom (tm). It was brutal, but I dug it. 

Plank: 20 s each side x 2
Dumbell Row: 21 x 8 lb; 20 x 8lb; 20 x 8lb; 15 x 8lb
Negative Pull Ups: 5 / 3 / 2 / 1

I didn't make quite enough time for my workout, so that's all I got done, though I did log another 400 hops for the interguild challenge.

Had trouble with the diet these last few days; had a late night sub sandwich the other night and went out and had a few drinks last night as well. I'm going to evaluate tonight why I'm having so much trouble; I think maybe I'm just doing too many things at once and thus having a harder time doing them all proficiently. So I might officially loosen the parameters of the diet; we'll see.

Going to workout tonight after work; until then!


Friday, October 12, 2012

DAYS 18&19

Yesterday was a Rest day, so I didn't workout and I went out after work and had a few drinks, but other than that stayed well on diet.

Today is Light Workout Day, and as this week's Inter-Guild Mini-Challenge is Jumping, I made jumping and push ups my whole workout. One of the forum members suggested this rep progression to help me get through this Push Up Plateau I seem to be on, so today was Day 1 of that.

200 Jumps(which I did as if I were jump-roping; feet together, core tight, little hops)
6 Push Up
200 Jumps
6 Push Up
200 Jumps
4 Push Up
200 Jumps
4 Push Up
200 Jumps
8 Push Up

Now that I have finally gotten back to getting at least 8 hours sleep every night, I feel myself getting stronger. Sleep's crucial role in my fitness improvement has never been more apparent, it's actually a little shocking just how instrumental it is.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DAY 17

So today I slept in reeaally late and it was amazing. I putzed around, did some cleaning, but felt funky/depressed for no reason. That frustrated me, and then I got mad. Then I was like "Screw this, I'm going to beat the sh*t out of this workout." So I did. Now I'm cooking asparagus and burgers.

I really need to ease up on my nut consumption, though. I just inhale the things. And almond butter. Oh boy.


Jumping Jacks: 50

Mountain Climber: 10

Bulgarian Split Squat: 8-8-9-10

Push Up: 7-7-7-8

Plank: 45s-60s-60s-45s

Bench Dips: 5-5-10-7

I'm also pleased to report that the Planks were less brutal than they were a week ago. I think I've really been letting my desire for Instant Gratification (RESULTS NOAW) really get me down. Slow and steady, slow and steady.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

DAYS 15 & 16

So Day 15 went really well up until the point I got to my friend's burlesque show and went on to ingest several hard ciders and some Jameson.  Then, upon returning home, consumed several tablespoons of almond butter with a spoon.  It was delicious. But then I felt like shit this morning, so today I got really seriously back on track. Success!

Need to get lots of sleep tonight; I haven't been as good about getting a full 7-8 hours as I was the first week and I think that's why I'm feeling so weak. I also got my IF back on track.

I joined my coworkers at dodgeball  for the first time, after work today, and it was so fun. I was terrible, but gung-ho as hell.  I also fell right onto my knees at one point, and now my right knee is in paaaaiinn. Gotta ice it. And find a new way to fall in the future. Totally worth it though.

Yesterday's Workout:
Jumping Jacks: 2 x 50
Seated Dip: 10
Dumbell Row: 2 x 8lb x 20 rep
Push Up: 3 x 6
Jump Lunge: 3 x 10
Spiderman: 15

Jumping Jacks: 50
Superman: 45 sec, 60 sec, 45 sec
Dumbell Row: 8 lb x 15; 8lb x20 (x2)
Burpee: 7 - 6 - 6 (these were murder)
Jump Squats 14 - 14 - 15

Tomorrow I'm going to spend some serious time organizing my ever-growing list of shit to get done; I feel so disorganized and discombobulated at the moment.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

DAYS 12, 13 & 14

I completely fell off my diet plan these last few days; after I wrapped Thursday I celebrated with a few brews, and then somehow the next night I was eating icecream cake. I kept that up all weekend, my normal healthful meals followed by stuff like brownies and pumpkin coffee/beer and I'm a little annoyed at myself.  There's no point in beating myself up about it, I just have to get back on track starting tomorrow.  I think I was just absolutely wiped out from filming and also kind of emotionally crashing from the high of it, thus lots of feelings-eating. I still kept up my workout regime, naturally, though I really didn't push it much and my workouts weren't too intense. I felt really weak during two of them, which is again I think a result of the very busy week I had.

So today was a Rest day, though I completed my fifth and final day of mobility work for the NF week 2 Interguild challenge (go Assassins!). Hope we win.  It was really great learning new stretches and my legs are definitely feeling less tight, which is awesome. I will absolutely be incorporating MobWODs into my weekly routine.

Update on my Goal #4 (Write Every Day) I have been chugging along at this pretty successfully; some days the only writing I did was updating this blog and my NF Challenge thread, but over the past week I've been getting more creative (creativity breeds more creativity; I think being on set had a hand with this) and have been writing some poetry. I am adding Going to A Poetry Open Mic to my list of Bonus Goals for this challenge.

So even though I slipped up these last few days, I am hitting tomorrow with a vengeance; I'm going to be sure to load up on protein and healthy snacks to keep my wandering eyes away from chocolate covered cashews (which were delicious, by the way.)


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 11 Con't

Just home from wrapping my last day on set of the feature. I am so happy and feel so very lucky to have gotten the opportunity to work with some really awesome people.

Did a very short workout;

3 x 5 Bulgarian Split Squats
3 x 5 Push Ups
8 Mins deep squat stretch
8 mins air squat stretch
8 Calf stretches

Tomorrow my life schedule returns to somewhat normal; though I intend to use the fire in my belly lit by the feature drive me on to book another project soon. Here's to many days of weird hours filming!


Sept 24 - NOV 5 6WKChallenge: DAY 10 & DAY 11

The last couple of days have been a flurry of activity and consisted of long stretches of not sleeping and eating at weird times.  But it was a massive amount of fun; the crew I worked with(for the upcoming indie romcom, Dry Spell) were just the coolest, nicest folks. I really can't wait for this movie to be finished so I can share the awesome.  My good friend Kyle Hoskins is one of the masterminds behind this project, and he's an awesome, great dude, so

Tuesday I got up around noon, had a huge breakfast/lunch around 1:30 PM. Snacked a bit, then when my friend came over for dinner around 8:30, I made us sweet potato fries and cube steak. I made us each like two yams worth of fries, so I couldn't even finish the meal and had leftovers. We stayed up for a while, then I went to sleep for two hours and was back up at 2:30 AM to meet back up with my friend (also an actor) and the film crew to go to location in Manhattan around 5 AM. Brought my Bag of Nuts (heh) and snacked on those for several hours.  Upon returning to my apartment, I had lunch (eggs/greenpepper/onion/bacon) while the crew shot this one scene, which took a few hours. By 4 PM I could barely keep my eyes open.

After they left, I had my leftover fries and steak, watched some Supernatural and also tried something new! Mobility Exercises! For this Challenge, NF is hosting Inter-Guild challenges, and this week's is to do 20 minutes of Mobility work a day for five days straight.  It's really perfect for me, because I don't know a lot about stretching and kind of slack off on it post-work out. Which is no good.

In a car on the way to my apartment yesterday, I was chatting with another actor and we were discussing coffee and breakfast habits. I mentioned that I eat about 4 or 5 eggs and turkey bacon/bacon etc every morning, and she says "That's like a man's breakfast!" Which just resulted in a huge mental facepalm from me.  So, a breakfast designed to fuel activity and fill you up is reserved for menfolk?! Whaa? Oh, I forgot, women are supposed to be delicate waifs unfit for anything more strenuous than cookie-baking or carrying a chihuahua (mmm cookies...).

Yesterday was a Rest Day, so no workout; today is a Light day. I have to be on location for filming at 1 PM in Manhattan, so the workout will have to wait until tonight.

Week 2 of the Challenge: So far, so good!

Oh, also, since the beginning of this challenge, I can see and feel a difference in the size of my lats.  It's kind of weird having muscle suddenly where there has never been any to speak of. Also incredibly vindicating/awesome.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sept 24 - NOV 5 6WKChallenge: DAY 9

Slow start today; this past weekend really beat the crap out of me.  Took my time poking around the internet; did some journaling (which really relieved some of my stress).  I have an early shoot day tomorrow for Dry Spell and then once we wrap at the location in Manhattan, we are coming back to my apartment to shoot until the early evening. Fortunately I am not in any of the scenes at my place, so I can just relax and help out a little. But I also just found out that I will be filming again on Thursday for the feature, which is awesome, don't get me wrong, but I'm a little burned out. I do have Friday off, though. Whew. Then it's back to bartending/waitressing Saturday-Tuesday.

Today's Workout:

Bulgarian Split Squats per leg: 5 - 6 - 7 - 5
Push Up: 5 - 6 - 8 - 5 (tried looking up/ahead rather than down, that really helped)
Plank: 30s - 60s - 45s - 45s
Neg Pull Ups: 4 x 5 (last 5 were a struggle and more like 3 1/2 because 2 of them were more falls then lowering myself down :P )
3 x 5 sec Crow Pose Entrance (Getting up on forearms and balancing on toes)

And now Aleks is coming over and I'm going to make us sweet potato fries and maybe steak :D Hoorraaayy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 8 (Mon Oct 1st)


I love this month and I love Halloween, and October is just typically a fun month for me; not sure why.  Autumn in general is just good.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeew. LONG. Day.

Got up, worked out for Not-Quite-AS-Long-As-I-Would-Have-Liked but that's okay, because I did plenty of standing around and running around later, in heels, and covered in fake blood.

I also consumed cake frosting during a scene; it was delicious and also immediately made me start ripping ass between takes. Or maybe that was the guacamole I inhaled on the subway ride home the previous night... ANYWAY.

I just snacked on some more almond butter. Tomorrow I will be back to being strict about my 8 hour window; today and yesterday I just didn't have all full meals; it was a lot of grazing on my trail mix. I might be stress eating a little too.

My work out:
Warm up
Jump Lunges (New! Hard. Regretted later when I was standing about in heels). 12 - 12 - 12
Push Up 5 - 5 - 5 (working on keeping my form tight)
Superman 30 s - 60 s - 45 s
Dumbbell Row - 8lb x 10 (x3)

Also, protip: You can, in fact, use dish soap to clean fake blood off of your entire body.  But I wouldn't recommend it.