Archive | September 2012

Tales of Inspiration #5 – Crystal

I met Crystal 1 1/2 years ago at Lifestyle Family Fitness.  She had recently joined the gym, looking to get healthy. The first group fitness class she took was my Zumba class.  And life has never been the same.

Crystal wasn’t always a big girl, but after getting pregnant, giving birth, working, and taking care of her family, the weight slowly began to creep on.  She found herself at the heaviest she had ever been, weighing in at 300 pounds.  I’m sure many women can relate to this scenario.  You don’t realize you are putting on the weight until one day you look in the mirror or look at a picture and wonder, “How did this happen?”  That is exactly what happened to Crystal. She looked at a photo and decided that something needed to change.

Once she had her mind made up, she joined the gym and began in a comfortable no-judgement zone: the group fitness room.  This is where I came into play.  Crystal came up to me before class and introduced herself to me.  I happily explained the class to her, told her to give Zumba a few tries before she decided whether or not she liked, and to ask me any questions about anything at all.  From then on, she was a staple in my Tuesday and Thursday classes.  After about a month, I could tell she was losing the weight.  She was moving easier and having fun.  One day before class, Crystal told me that she had hit her first plateau – she was no longer losing the weight.  She was at a stand still.  Lifting weights is key to your weight-loss success, I told her.  I gave her a copy of our group fitness schedule and showed her our BodyPump class days and times.  We looked over what classes she could incorporate into her schedule.  She immediately took my advice into action and started up with BodyPump (a barbell strength class) in addition to two Zumba classes a week.  Crystal began to see results again.

After a few more months, she came up to me and said, “Josie, I’ve hit another plateau.  I’m not losing the weight like I was before.”  I asked her about her eating.  My thought was that she needed to jump start her metabolism again.  Her body was used to having this weight on her body and was fighting to keep it there.  I advised her to give up breads, pastas, and grains for 1 week and to focus solely getting protein, veggies, and some fruit.  Following my advice, she gave up these foods and immediately saw that her body was responding to the change.  Eventually she began to add these foods back into her diet but in moderation.

Unfortunately, our gym closed down in November and we were bought out and relocated to another facility.  With this take over, it brought changes to the group fitness schedule and changes to our actual class offerings.  Crystal soon found her groove and added a Barbell Strength/Zumba double on Mondays, STRIKE! (a weighted cardio combat class) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Barbell Strength on Saturday mornings.

To date, Crystal has lost a little over 150 pounds.  She rivals our Barbell Strength instructor’s lifting capabilities often matching her plate for plate in the squat track, back track, and bicep track.  She goes out and runs 2 to 3 miles with her son, instilling healthy practices in him.  She has now embarked in a 90-day challenge to lose that last 15 pounds to put her at her goal weight.  I feel so privileged to be a part of her fitness journey, but it hasn’t been just about fitness.  Through this whole experience I’ve also gained a very special friend.  I love you Crystal and I’m so proud of what you have accomplished!


Slow-Cooker Black Bean Chili

Fall weather is upon us and it is time to break out some of my chili recipes.  I LOVE chili and I make 4 or 5 different versions of it.  I still can’t figure out which one is my favorite, so I just make them all!  

Slow-Cooker Black Bean Chili
Makes 8 Servings
250 Calories per serving
3.5g Fat, 34g Carbs, 24g Protein, 10g Fiber

1 lb. lean pork tenderloin
16 oz. jar low-sodium, thick and chunky salsa
3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
1 medium sized red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
2-3 tsp. chili powder
1- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream (optional)
shredded cheese (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients except sour cream and shredded cheese in a slow cooker.

2. Cover.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until pork is tender.

3. Gently shred the pork in the slow cooker.

4. Garnish individual servings with shredded cheese and sour cream.  Enjoy!

New Challenge

I’ve been hearing and reading and hearing and reading about all of these different 90 Day Challenges out there.  In the end, it came down to just two: BeachBody and Body By Vi.  I must admit, I was a pretty hard sell, constantly asking questions, doing research, reading reviews, and watching informational videos.  I recruited 4 of my friends who were interested in losing roughly 10-15 pounds (I’m looking for more of a body transformation) and we signed up together.  After all, research shows that you are more inclined to adhere to an exercise and diet regime and see results when you have friends holding you accountable.

We opted to try the Body By Visalus 90 Day Challenge.  Why?  Well – first it was more affordable in my budget and theirs too.  (I know money shouldn’t be a factor in your physical health and wellness, but let’s face it now a day’s every dollar counts!).  Secondly, we all belong to the same gym so we don’t really have a need for a home workout DVD system like P90X or Insanity.  If you live in a small house like I do, there really isn’t any room to do it, plus I find the thought of sweating on my living room carpet really unsanitary.  Finally, the shake itself (which we were able to try before purchasing) was pretty tasty all by itself.  It has a sweet cream flavor which makes it super simple to change the flavor and add variety if you want.

I’m not sure what I’m expecting out of my 90 Day Challenge but I’m super excited to support my friends along the way, take photos and measurements, and really see what kind of results we get.  You always here about someone who knows someone who has a friend that did a challenge and had great results.  Well, it is time for me to see it first hand.

Wish us luck!

Lift BIG to get BIG Results

Lift BIG to get BIG results

by Stephen Krzyminski

One of the biggest mistakes I see in most of our clients’ workout programs prior to training at IU Health Sports Performance is the lack of incorporating heavy weight training into their program.  “But I don’t want to get too big and look like a bodybuilder” is, of course, the most common excuse I hear of why they don’t lift heavy weights.  What they don’t realize is that just because they lift heavy doesn’t mean they’re going to “bulk up” like a bodybuilder.

Yes bodybuilders do lift heavy weights, but their overall goal is hypertrophy or an enlargement of the cross-sectional area of the muscle fibers.  There are many other factors that contribute to muscular hypertrophy, such as nutritional intake and timing of that intake, mechanical stress from the weight placed on the muscle, muscle cell hydration, the anabolic hormonal and subsequent receptor response to the training, and the amount of muscular damage that has occurred.

A bodybuilder’s program is typically composed of high volume training that usually consists of 3 or more exercises with multiple sets of 8-12reps and moderate weight resistance per muscle group.  This results in a significant amount of volume and causes increased muscular breakdown that the body adapts to by increasing muscle cross-sectional area, and therefore hypertrophy of the muscle.

By increasing the weight lifted, but keeping the set and rep range low, athletes can keep the overall volume of weight lifted lower.  The benefits of lifting heavier weight, such as increased strength and muscle fiber recruitment, will be evident in your performance with less muscular damage occurring compared to the higher volume protocol.

So if your weight training has become stale and you’re not seeing results don’t be afraid to put more weight on the bar and lift BIG!

Stephen Krzyminski Jr., M.A., C.S.C.S., FMS
Strength and Conditioning Coach
IU Health Sports Performance
1402 Chase Court
Carmel, IN 46032
T: 317-688-5380 C: 989-400-6680

Crock Pot Corned Beef

I’ve never made corned beef before, but I really do enjoy a good Reuben every now and again.  I saw this recipe and decided to give it a try.  To my surprise, it was not only super simple, but it was quite tasty too.  The best part?  It only has 340 calories per serving and it makes a TON!  Served with a warm roll and a cold Guinness,  my husband was a big fan.  

** Note ** I have since given up wheat, so I had no roll and no Guinness, but I was also a big fan

Corned Beef
Makes 10 Servings
340 Calories per Serving
15g Fat, 19g Protein, 35g Carbs, 7g Fiber

3 cups baby carrots, washed
1 cup chopped celery
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
4 potatoes, peeled and chunked
small head of cabbage, cut into wedges
4-lb. corned beef
1 cup water
1 tsp salt *
1/2 tsp black pepper *

* If the corned beef that you buy includes a spice packet, use either the spice packet OR the salt and pepper – NOT BOTH

1. Place carrots, celery, potatoes, seasonings, and water in a crock pot.

2. Add beef and cover with onions.

3. Cover.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or 5-6 hours on high.

4. Around 7 hours, lift corned beef and add cabbage, pushing the wedges down into the broth.  Place corned beef back on top of the veggies.  Cover and cook for 1 more hour.

5. Remove corned beef, cool and slice on the diagonal.  Serve surrounded by veggies.

Note – Horseradish is quite tasty with this meal.


I Can’t Believe it’s Mashed Cauliflower!

My husband loathes cauliflower.  He won’t touch the stuff.  But when I asked him to try out my mashed cauliflower, I had trouble getting the bowl back from him so I could take a picture of it!  This is a great way to get your veggies in, cut out extra carbs, and at only 178 calories per serving – it’s guilt-free too!

Mashed Cauliflower
Makes 2 Servings
178 Calories per serving (roughly 1 cup)
13g Fat, 10g Carbs, 6.3g Protein, 3.5g Fiber

3 1/2 cups Steamed Cauliflower
1/4 cup skim milk
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP Dehydrated Onions (I used Tastefully Simple’s Onion Onion)
1/8 cup Italian Blended Cheese, shredded

1. Cut up 1 small head of cauliflower, and steam for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.

2. Transfer cauliflower into your blender, add butter, milk, and dehydrated onions.

3. Blend until desired consistency (I like mine smooth).

4. Pour into bowl, stir in shredded cheese until cheese is melted through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon Sept 1, 2012

I’ve been waiting for this moment all summer.  I’ve trained the past eleven weeks for this day to come: my very first half-marathon.  I will not call it a mini-marathon, because those of you have run them, know that there is nothing mini about 13.1 miles.  My training started out well, running four days a week with just a few miles each day.  But it quickly added up to where I was running 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and then 10 mile runs.  Those were the worst, but once I hit my 12 mile training run, I knew that I could run 13 miles.  I had taken the week before my race off from running and tried to focus on nourishing my body the best I could.  My pre-race dinner also coincided with a friend of mine’s graduation party at P.F. Changs.  I had to make the best decision possible.  I opted for a nice piece of salmon with steamed veggies and brown rice.  I got to bed around 11:00 PM and prayed that I would wake up on time for my race.

5 AM is early for any day, but especially for a Saturday morning.  I got up, got ready, ate breakfast, and headed out for the race.  Downtown Indianapolis is difficult for me to navigate on any given day, but especially today because it’s early, it’s dark, and roads are blocked off due to the race.  I had no idea where to park (luckily my husband was driving and he just dropped me off and took care of parking).

It’s now 7:00 AM. The sky is dark and the air is humid.  The sky looks as though it could open up at any moment and allow the rains from Isaac to fall down on us, but thankfully it doesn’t.  We line up at the start line and wait for the gun to go off.  I’m with my friend, Patty, and we are ready to go.  Finally it is time and we start running.  I looked down at my GPS and saw that our initial pace was way to fast for us to maintain for 13.1 miles.  I advised her that we needed to slow down.  So we began to run at a comfortable 9:22/mile pace.  I was feeling good.  My breathing was easy, my legs felt strong, I was confident.

We passed mile marker 1, then 2, and then 3.  We were averaging a little over a 9 minute mile, which is perfectly fine with me.  Patty was doing great.  We were laughing, popping some bloks, and drinking water along the way.  I noticed by mile 5 she was starting to slow down.  At this point, she looked at me and told me to go on ahead.  From this point on, I was alone.  I ran and ran trying to keep my pace between a 9:00/M and 10:00/M pace.  I was feeling quite pleased with myself at around 6.5 miles because I knew I was halfway done.  My husband was waiting for me around this time to cheer me on at the midway point, to keep my going.

I kept checking my GPS to watch my pace and see how far I was along the course.  Soon I past mile 8, 9, and then 10.  I was in the home stretch, the last 3 miles of the race, only a 5K to go.  I had run many 5Ks before, so this should be no problem.  But right when I hit mile 11, I hit my wall.  My legs began to slow and feel heavy, I was coming out of my runners high.  I so badly wanted to walk, but as I looked around me and saw so many other women walking I urged myself to go on.  I was giving myself pep talks in my head.  I pushed although my body was begging for a break.  I ran through downtown and saw the Indianapolis State Museum.  I knew I was close to the finish, a man in the crowd cheered for us telling us the end was just around the corner.  Well – that was the longest corner EVER.  I could see the finish line, I could see women picking up their pace and passing me.  But I wasn’t racing them, I was racing myself.  I knew that I was giving it all I had and I simply couldn’t not go any farther.  I came to the last 0.1 of the mile, my husband was there waving at me and cheering, they announced my name over the loud speakers and I have finished.

Volunteers handed me my finisher’s medal, a rose, banana, and a bottle of water.  My legs were shaky, my chest was heaving, and I was light-headed.  I really thought for a moment I was going to pass out, but I didn’t.  I peeled back my banana, scarfed it down, chugged my bottle of water, and began to stretch.  I had mixed emotions as I sat there and reflected on my race.  I was proud that I had run 13.1 miles.  It was something I never thought I could do.  I just started running in October of 2011 and since then I’ve run 5 5Ks, a 10K and an 8K, but I never thought that I would be able to run a half marathon.  But at the same time, I was disappointed with myself because I wanted to finish in 2 hours or less.  I missed my goal by 2 minutes.  I go back and forth every time I think about it.

I’m still deciding if I want to run another half marathon or not, so I can achieve my 2 hour goal. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.  It is still to early to tell.  All I know is that it has been 24 hours since my race and my whole body aches.  I see some anti-inflammatories, arnica-gel, and the hot tub in my foreseeable future.  Until my next race….

Official Time – 2:02:17
Average Pace – 9:20/M
Division Place – 30th
Overall Place – 196th out of 1,414 runners

Patty and I with our Finisher’s Medal

It’s official! I can proudly drive around with this on my car.