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Convict Conditioning Update #3, with meal logs

I've been MUCH happier with my progress and adherence this time around. While yes, I have had some "cheat" eating out meals, I have been much more active (walking at least an hour every day) and have been doing my Convict Conditioning more frequently. I can also start to see some positive changes in my body composition, and I am getting some definition in my arms and shoulders that I like quite a lot :-) Next, I hope to see some improvement in definition in my legs and I hope to finally lose the last little bit of extra belly that has stubbornly stuck around. I know part of it is extra skin from losing 80 lbs, but some of it is also definitely subcutaneous fat. Before I gained weight and became obese, I NEVER carried extra weight in my belly. It was always in my thighs, butt, and arms. I have some theories why my belly has shifted to become the problem area, but I'll save those for another time.

I am really anxious to get past the first step for Squats, which has really been quite frustrating for me. It's the shoulderstand squat, which, I definitely think is a worthy exercise, but I have to admit I am slightly puzzled why it is required to move onto the very gentle squat variations. Nonetheless, I will persevere and get up to 3 sets of 50 (I think I am very close....maybe only 1 or 2 more sessions doing it and I'll be there).

I am also very close to getting past the first step for the Leg Raises. I almost met progression criteria on my last session, so I think 1 or 2 more is all I need for that one, too. 

Also, I haven't done anything in the Pullup category. I'm on Step Two, which requires either a very sturdy table (which I do not have) or some sort of bar that is about hip height for the Horizontal Pulls. There are parks around town with fitness circuits that have exactly that, I just haven't been able to get to one to do the exercises. When I am back from Costa Rica, I am going to make it a priority to start working on these exercises.  

In the sample exercise plans, the author recommends waiting until you've made some progress on Pushups, Pullups, Squats, and Leg Raises before adding in Bridges and Handstand Pushups. I've been doing Bridges here and there anyway. I have to admit I am intimidated by the Handstand Pushups, even though I am quite advanced with yogic headstands. 

Anyway, here goes: 

Day 26 - Sunday

  • Exercise: 1 hr walking; Qigong just after getting up; Convict Conditioning:
    1. Pushups: Step Two, Incline Pushups (1 set of 50)
    2. Bridges: Step One, Short Bridge (1 set of 25) 
    3. Leg Raises: Step One, Knee Tuck (1 set of 15) 
  • Comments: Failed to record my meals this day. :(

Day 27 - Monday

  • Exercise: 1.5 hr walking; Qigong in the evening: Bear Walk, The General Surveying the Fields, Double Dragon Emerges From the Sea; Convict Conditioning:
    1. Squats: Step One, Shoulderstand Squats (1 set of 50, 1 set of 36)
    2. Bridges: Step One, Short Bridge (1 set of 20) 
    3. Leg Raises: Step One, Knee Tuck (1 set of 15) 
  • Breakfast: Strawberries and blueberries. 
  • Lunch: Homemade guacamole with a few organic white corn chips. 
  • Supper:  Japanese noodles called okina harusame (made with potato and sweet potato starch) with green curry chicken, broccoli, carrots, onion, ginger, cilantro, garlic, eggplant.
  • Comments: I feel like I am finally getting into the groove with the Convict Conditioning Exercises! This always happens --- I get frustrated feeling like I am making no progress, but then all of a sudden one day it feels like I broke through a brick wall! Now I'm super excited to keep going. My recovery time after a workout has gone down a ton, too. 

Day 28 - Tuesday

  • Exercise: Qigong just after getting up: Eye exercises (counting leaves and closing sequence); Carrying the Moon and Fish Flip; 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast: Nectarine and a banana
  • Lunch: Carnitas tacos prepared in the traditional way: using parts from the whole pig and in the pig's own lard. Yum!
  • Supper: Leftover chicken curry
  • Comments: Finally started back the Qigong eye exercises. I had such great success last year and was able to reduce my prescription significantly, but I'm ashamed to admit that it took me half a year to get back into doing them. 

Day 29 - Wednesday

  • Exercise: Qigong just after getting up: eye exercises (counting leaves and closing sequence), Plucking Stars, , Separating Water, Rotating Knees; 1 hr walking; Convict Conditioning:
    1. Leg Raises: Step One, Knee Tucks (3 sets of 15)
    2. Pushups: Step Two, Incline Pushups (1 set of 25, 1 set of 30, 1 set of 20)
  • Breakfast: banana
  • Lunch: 3 eggs scrambled in butter, platanos maduros cooked in coconut oil
  • Supper: last day of leftover chicken curry, with side of kale cooked with bacon and garlic
  • Comments: None.

Day 30 - Thursday

  • Exercise: Qigong right after getting up: Carrying the Moon, Lifting the Sky, Turning Head; 1.5 hr walk
  • Breakfast: banana 
  • Lunch: "Cheat" meal: I tried a Honduran restaurant for the first time and shared a HUGE antojito platter that had grilled chicken and steak, a sweet plantain stuffed with beans and cheese, tostones (fried savory plantains....recipe coming soon on this site!), yuca frita (fried yuca strips), and some mini pupusas (corn patties stuffed with a variety of things, chese, loroco flower buds, beans, pork).
  • Supper: Was soooo full from lunch, didn't even eat anything again the rest of the day. 
  • Comments: None.

Day 31 - Friday

  • Exercise: Qigong just after getting up: Dancing Fairies, Swinging Hips, Bear Walk; 1 hr walking; Convict Conditioning:
    1. Squats: Step One, Shoulderstand Squats (2 sets of 50)
    2. Jumping Jacks (not really part of CC, but I think it's in the same vein, so I'm including them here) 1 set of 60, 1 set of 45, 1 set of 100 (woot!) 
  • Breakfast: strawberries, blueberries, banana
  • Lunch: Another "cheat" meal, this time at a Salvadorean restaurant. I just LOVE good pupusas and have been trying to find excellent ones in Miami. I think I found them at this restaurant. Had one queso con loroco (a small flower bud) and one with pork, beans, and cheese (revueltas). Served with cortido (cabbage, carrots, jalapeno, onion, other spices optional......it's traditionally fermented, like sauerkraut, but I've never been to a place that ferments theirs, it's always just pickled in vinegar). 
  • Supper: Snacked on raw aged gouda cheese with lentil flour crackers, was so full from lunch!
  • Comments: None. 

Day 32 - Saturday

  • Exercise: 1 hr walking, Qigong just after getting up. 
  • Breakfast: Fasted. 
  • Lunch: Ceviche: fresh fish marinated in citrus juice with hot pepper paste and cilantro and a side of chilled & sliced boiled sweet potato.
  • Supper: Moroccan! Started with escargot in herbed butter and had lamb kebabs with a side salad I do not remember the name of: it came chilled and was made from roasted peppers and tomatoes and was divine! Also shared some of my husband's main dish, which was house-made lamb sausage and hand-cut french fries (probably cooked in olive oil, but I'm not sure).
  • Comments: None.

Day 33 - Sunday

  • Exercise: Qigong just after getting up: Plucking Stars, Carrying the Moon, Double Dragon Emerges from the Sea; Convict Contitioning:
    1. Pushups: Step Two, Incline Pushups (3 sets of 50 --- woooo!! I can go to step 3 now!)
    2. Leg Raises: Step One, Knee Tuck (1 set of 20, 2 sets of 15) 
  • Breakfast: banana
  • Lunch: Osso "buko", from Tim Ferriss's 4 Hour Chef. I used grass-fed beef shanks (instead of lamb). Turned out pretty yummy!
  • Supper: Tapioca crust pizza with pepperoni, red bell pepper, and jalapeno.
  • Comments: None. 

Day 34 - Monday

  • Exercise: 1.5 hr walk, 30 min swimming in ocean
  • Breakfast: Homemade citrus-y gelatin snack! Also half of a dragonfruit. 
  • Lunch: Pabellon Criollo --- hey, I've been good since my last update. Only had it this one time :-P
  • Supper: Leftover Osso "buko", to which I added several chopped zucchini & yellow squash, making it more like a hearty beef stew than the original dish (it was mostly vegetables but had a very rich broth). 
  • Comments: None.

Day 35 - Tuesday

  • Exercise: Qigong just after getting up: Pushing Mountains, Hula Hoop, Lifting the Sky; 1 hr walking.
  • Breakfast: Strawberries, blueberries, banana, pluot
  • Lunch: Final leftovers of the osso "buko" stew meal with a side of collard greens cooked in bacon grease with chopped bacon and garlic. 
  • Supper: Asian-inspired chicken soup. Slow cooked a chicken with a few stalks of celery, few cloves of garlic, a shake of whole peppercorns, and the juice of several limes; after a few hours, pulled the bird out, removed all the meat, and put everything else (skin, bones, joints, cartilage, etc.) back in the slow cooker for several more hours with some more fresh lime juice; cooked some thin rice noodles in some of the broth and added thinly sliced onions, and 4 whole baby bok choy. 
  • Comments: None

Day 36 - Wednesday

  • Exercise: 2-minute drill Qigong in the evening, 1 hr walking
  • Breakfast: The last of my batch of homemade citrus-y gelatin snack
  • Lunch: Went back to the good pupusa place for another "cheat" meal....had another queso con loroco and revueltas. 
  • Supper: Another pot of yummy Asian-inspired chicken soup, this time with broccoli instead of bok choy. 
  • Comments:  None. 

Day 37 - Thursday

  • Exercise: Qigong just after getting up: Plucking Stars, Dancing Fairies, Swinging Hips; 1 hr walking; Convict Conditioning:
    1. Pushups: first time attempting Step Three, Kneeling Pushups (aka "girlie" style; 1 set of 4, 1 set of 2, 2 sets of 4).
    2. Squats: Step One, Shoulderstand Squats (1 set of 50) 
    3. Leg Raise: Step One, Knee Tucks (1 set of 25, 2 sets of 20) 
  • Breakfast: banana, pluot, strawberries, blueberries
  • Lunch: Lechon asado (slow roasted pork leg) with sliced zucchini and yellow squash baked with butter and a side of platanos maduros cooked in coconut oil. 
  • Supper: Final batch of Asian-style chicken soup.
  • Comments: Holy moly was I humbled by the kneeling pushups. I realize that when doing full pushups before, I didn't have the best form (I placed my hands a little nearer to my head and farther away from my body than recommended; hand placement should be directly under the shoulders at the level of the chest). The way I was doing those full pushups made it easier to perform them. Also, I used to do them at a fairly rapid pace, not pausing at the bottom like you do in CC.

Day 38 - Friday

  • Exercise: Qigong just after getting up: Carrying the Moon, Pushing Mountains, Turning Head; 1 hr walking
  • Breakfast: banana, pluot
  • Lunch: Carnitas tacos cooked in the traditional way, again (whole pig, prepared in it's own lard. Yum!)
  • Supper: Gluten-free chicken tenders, fermented dill pickles, and some coconut milk ice "cream". Easy clean-up. Didn't want to dirty any dishes before going out of town!
  • Comments: None. 

And, now I'm off to Costa Rica to learn Qigong from my Sifu, Anthony Korahais! I'll be pretty much totally offline until Sunday the 28th. I'll be checking in online probably once a day, but internet is pay per minute and using a computer kinda defeats one of the purposes of the trip. I'm making a promise to myself to photograph every single meal while I am there (I missed quite a few the last time), and of course, I'll write a post about the experience, but I may wait a few weeks to write it, like I did the last time, so that I can fully realize the benefits gained from the week. I plan to keep doing my Convict Conditioning while there, and will keep tracking my progress. Not sure if I will keep tracking meals and blogging them or not. 

When I'm back in town I've got a couple of recipe posts backlogged that I need to post, and also my review of that creamed coconut that I used instead of coconut milk in a curry dish.  

Thanks for reading! :-) 



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