February, March, April... MAY!!! 2003 Newsletter
Happy New Year 2003! Did you miss me? Let
me see now... where is December 2002 newsletter? And January, February,
March... April? Oh my
my, isn't it a long delay? I've been receiving emails from many
of you, what's up with the newsletter. Summer is coming, everybody
wants to get motivated to get in shape, and no newsletters. So I
finally "broke down" and finished my work... Actually, about two thirds
of this newsletter have been done since about February/March, I just
couldn't finish it... but here we go. I don't even know where to start
first. In my last newsletter,
I mentioned that I started to play a lot of tennis. Working with a
coach. Since I was born, I've had an amblyopic (lazy) left eye. And
+4.5 diopters. I don't have
any 3D vision. Amazing that I can play that well without the left
It would be very difficult to play tennis on a high level, so I decided
to do something about my eye... And here comes my story:
Saturday, November 16, 2002, at 3 PM I arrived to Phoenix, AZ
to get ready for my lasik surgery. For 2 days, lots of different eye
examinations were done and I was ready to get my eye corrected. Tuesday
10:43 AM, I laid down on the laser table. It was an amazing experience
is well documented on the photographs and videos. Hopefully in the next
newsletter, you will be able to read about the whole procedure - in
you are thinking about a lasik surgery). Thank you, Dr. Granberry, for taking a
great care of me and making it an unforgettable experience. Imagine new eyes...
now, my optics of my left eye are great, but because my brain was not
the eye for 37+ years, it still doesn't know, what to do... So now the
step is coming - since the surgery and still ongoing - I am going twice
week to a visual therapy, and the rest of the days I am practicing my
home work" at home. It is still very amazing to me, how the brain
The eye can see the picture, but the brain supresses it. I have to
it to accept the picture and fuse it with the right eye picture...
4 months of therapy, I can fuse and I start seeing baby steps of
hard work, isn't it? But I like challenges, and this is one of them...
Training... I've been training without any major breaks all the time.
Changing a little bit my splits, for a while, I've been doing the whole
body workouts, 3 times a week, 44 sets of everything. Nice and intense,
of supersetting. It took about one hour to finish the workout. The last
few months, I split: day 1 upper body, day 2 lower body... Bikram's
the 3rd day, day 4 upper body again, and lower body day 5. Then I take
from weights for two days... All days, I do 1 hour cardio, early in the
on empty stomach... If I am on or off with the weights, the
is always on... and then, I have another cardio session in the
afternoon, sometimes it's tennis 1.5 hour, sometimes it's another
cardio. So it's a lot of activities... No wonder I eat so much! By the
way, I got my RMR (resting metabolic rate checked), and I love the
results... Just to get up and function - breathe, digest, move around -
I need 2900 calories a day. All the activities are excluded. I love it!
Because you know (you who's been following my newsletters), I love like
to eat. Now I can happily add my lovely cashew nuts in all my meals. My
diet is about the same, 5 meals a day, 40-50 grams protein each meal,
30 grams carbs, and maybe 20 grams cashew fat.. I might sneak in
some extra apple here and there, so it's going to be more carbs, but I
not strictly dieting, yet. I haven't planned my bodybuilding shows
yet... It's not going to be in the spring, that's for sure... I plan to
lean out for the summer though, so maybe it's going to be a start on my
contest diet. Now, I am juggling around 189 lbs and I think I would
move faster on the court if I would be around 180 lbs.
My parents were visiting me
for 3 months, arriving early December, until March. They live in
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia (ex Czechoslovakia, the country I
was born)... They were living with me and Peanut-the-dog
and it got nicely crowded in my 2 bedroom apartment. My parents loved
in California, going for walks to the beach every day. I just wish they
would learn some English and would dare to drive the car here in LA,
that would make their visit more exciting. We went for many trips to
Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ and they loved the desert. The first time
they've seen something like
that... Dr. Granberry
performed lasik surgery on my dad. He got mono vision, one eye for
one for distance, so at his age of 72, he doesn't need any glasses and
loving it. My mom, who's had a really bad prescription all her life
+10 diopters) got a cataract surgery and sees perfectly, like never
in her life... on a top of all this, they were eating the healthy
diet, joined the gym and trained every day... They returned back home
and looking 15 years younger... I just hope they didn't go back to the
of eating a duck in the lard (supposed to be delicious, so I tried and
stomach almost turned around, so MUCH fat, I am just not used to it
and imagine, that's the cashew nut lover talking!).
this, during these past six months, I've been going away almost every,
or every other weekend, for nice relaxing short trips. Visited
Seattle/WA which reminded me a lot of Sweden, beautiful nature, lakes
and trees. It was great to run on the trails through the woods... A
trip to Minneapolis/MN back in February was also almost like in
Sweden: so cold, that I was stuck in the hotel room for 3 days...
actually was working on this newsletter - high speed, and wireless
:-). Trip to Vail/CO, wonderful. Snow and sun, and believe it or
not, I haven't skied. I've spent all my life competing on skis and I
didn't even feel like skiing. Again, it looked a bit like in
Europe, somewhere in Germany with all these pubs and beer and loud
people. Trip to Tuscon/AZ was definitely not like Europe... All the
cactuses and desert and beautiful mountains... Most often, I go to
Scottsdale/AZ and I am loving it over there. So nice and warm,
clean and fresh and green and cute cactuses around. Hikes on the
Camel Back Mountain. And my favorite: the Todai sushi buffet!
And now a few news about some
business... Finally my picture-page is
updated... It will be more and more pictures coming, because I have a
huge database now. From all my trips, surgery, tennis practice.. any
theme you could wish (almost... LOL). I will add them on slowly,
so just keep visiting. If you read Women's Physique World, check the
April 2003 issue. There's a nice long article about me with
a few pictures. Also in the May issue of MuscleMag, you can see me
with Bill Dobbins in his
feature article. Last but not least, the movie Surplus male is finally
I will watch it in a few days, so I don't have any comments yet.
going to be available to buy from the movie website, or if you want it
(or not signed), you can get it from my web site as well... soon...
Thoughts about life...
| Sometimes people
come into your life and you know right
away that they were meant to be there... to serve some sort of purpose,
teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to
You never know who these people may be but then you lock eyes with
you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some
|And sometimes things happen to you
at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in
reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you
would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower or heart.
Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means
of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and
sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without
these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat
road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.
|The people you meet affect your life. The
successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and
the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the
most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you or
breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn
about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your
|If someone loves you, love them back
unconditionally, not only because they love you, but also because they
are teaching you to love and to open your heart and eyes to little
things. Make every day count.
| Appreciate every
moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may
never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never
talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in
love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because
have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and
believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else
will believe in you. Create your own life and then go out and live it.
Misconceptions about weight loss
If you feel like you need to lose some weight, whatever the number is,
5 pounds or 125 pounds, you need to lose your weight the smart way.
Often we make mistakes that actually work us... here are a few
common ones. Next time you start your little diet, try to avoid them.
- You want to lose your weight quickly. As soon as possible.
What a sense of emergency, huh? If you think about it, you put on your
weight over many months if not years. Why do you expect to lose the
fast? The reasonable weight loss is about 2 lbs per week. If you lose
it's often your body fluids and your muscles. Muscles are too precious
for you to lose. Don't hurry, take your time!
- Fasting is no good for weight loss. Fasting could be a good
thing, once in a while, for a day, give your digestive system break and
let it recover and re-energize, but don't use fasting for weight loss.
sends a signal to your body that you are starving and your metabolism
slow down. It means that you won't burn as many calories and the fat
you try to get rid off, will be just hanging on you. Not talking about
of your precious muscle.
meals is another mistake we often do. We want to eat less, so we skip
meals, here and there. Often it will be a breakfast,
because we might be in a hurry early morning to get our day started and
we believe that if we don't eat, we will burn some fat. Again, the body
gets into starvation mode, your metabolism decreases (i.e. you are not
going to burn too many calories) and another danger is that late in the
day, you get really hungry with huge cravings and overeat and the first
possible occasion. Small meals evenly spread out during the day is the
best tactics for keeping your hunger in control and your metabolism
up. Shoot for a meal or mini meal every 2-4 hours, which means about
meals a day.
- Another big mistake is to lose the weight because somebody
thinks you should. You need to do it for yourself. If you feel like you
have to. Remember though, that if you think that you will be better
person after you get smaller, it is often not like that. You are
already who you are, and you are wonderful. Your weight won't make you
better or worse human being. If you feel like losing your weight, do it
for yourself, for your health, for your well-being, athletic
performance, or any other good reason.
- Don't believe in magic or magic pills and shakes. You got the
weight on by eating irresponsibly - too many calories, not caring what
you are putting in your body. There's no short cut in the weight loss.
Eat healthy, feed your body for energy and enjoy the feeling of
- Don't eat on the run. Enjoy your meals, taste each bite. Be aware
of the food you are eating. Choose fresh, unprocessed foods as much as
possible. Don't focus on the foods that you have to avoid, rather think
of and enjoy the foods that you can have - because they are good for
you and your body.
skip exercise. The diet only won't make it. Exercise will help to speed
up your metabolism, and you will burn more calories even during the
rest (and then you can eat more, or eat the same and lose some fluff).
Not talking about how good you will feel when you are done with
the exercise and your body is full with endorphins. Do weight training
for stronger bones, and for more and stronger muscles. Do cardio for
heart and great conditioning. I often get questions what is the best
Any cardio that you will do and possibly like is the best cardio. Don't
kill yourself in the gym on the treadmill if you hate it. Take an
class, or run on the beach, or a basketball game. Or tennis... Anything
you will enjoy long term. And don't forget to stretch! Or maybe take a
class? Good for the body, good for the soul.
How does the weather affect your health?
- Don't misuse condiments in your diet. Too often you can see
people munching on the salads (hey, they are on a diet, right?), while
pouring on fat, thick sauces, cheeses, mayos and stuff... Learn how to
your food in natural state and you soon find out that it's very
For as long as people have
been aware of weather, they've pondered its impact on their health. The
Greeks noted the effect of "hot and cold winds" on pain and illness
2,400 years ago. During the Civil War, physicians wrote about amputee
soldiers sensing pain in their "phantom" limbs when the weather
changed. And folk wisdom tells of people who "feel the weather in their
In modern times, doctors continue to explore the connection between
weather and pain, especially in relation to chronic conditions such as
migraine headaches and arthritis.
While many people maintain that the weather affects how they feel,
scientific studies linking weather to chronic pain don't always agree.
Some doctors say it's a matter of perception; patients might feel worse
on a rainy day, they say, just because it's gloomy. But others say the
is very real. Not all people who suffer from chronic pain feel effects
the weather. Among those who do, reactions depend on the individual and
can be hard to measure.
For those people who are sensitive to weather, changes in weather
are generally more likely to affect them than specific weather
Doctors who specialize in chronic pain sometimes suggest that patients
a detailed journal of weather conditions to establish a possible
to their pain.
In particular, the following weather factors may contribute to aches
Barometric pressure is the weight exerted by the air around us. Rapidly
falling barometric pressure generally signals the onset of stormy
weather, and is believed to have a strong correlation with the
potential for feeling aches and pains. Rising pressure may also affect
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. It can be expressed
as "absolute humidity" (the amount of water vapor per unit of air) or
the more familiar "relative humidity" (the amount of water vapor
to the amount of moisture the air can hold at a given temperature). An
increase in absolute humidity, especially in the summer, can lead to an
increased potential for aches and pains. Some research also finds a
correlation between dry, cold air and migraine headaches.
Precipitation includes not only rain, but also snow, sleet, hail or any
other form of water that reaches the ground. It is considered a factor
in aches and pains because stormy weather accompanies changes in
barometric pressure and humidity. For those sensitive to hot weather,
such as some
people with multiple sclerosis, rain can cool the atmosphere and may
rising or falling temperatures are a hallmark of big weather changes,
indicating underlying shifts in barometric pressure.
Extremes in temperature, not just changing temperatures, can also
the potential for feeling aches and pains. Low temperatures may trigger
migraine headaches, exacerbate circulatory conditions such as Raynaud's
phenomenon and contribute to arthritic joint stiffness. Cold weather
also been associated with an increase in asthma-related hospital
Wind often results from big shifts in weather, indicating that
barometric pressure and other factors may be changing rapidly. Wind is
also a health consideration because it can carry pollution and
allergens far distances, therefore affecting people with respiratory
ailments such as asthma.
Poem by Audrey Hepburn
| For attractive lips, speak
words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a
slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a
child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with
the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things,
have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never
throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will
find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will
discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the
other for helping others.
Protein for a great physique
you want to build a beautiful, strong physique, you need to build some
muscles, gain some weight. For that purpose you need to eat high
quality protein, evenly spread out over 4-6 of your daily meals.
It is very personal how much protein you need, but some basic guide
lines could be following:
1) If you want to build muscles, you need to eat about 1.5-2 grams of
protein per pound of your body weight. If you train heavy, you need
2) If you are happy with your physique and want just to maintain
what you have, you should eat 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound. Again,
it depends on how hard and how often you train.
Excellent sources of protein are egg whites, skinless chicken and
turkey breasts, lean beef, low fat cottage cheese, fish, eggs, protein
powders and shakes. Even nuts and fatter fish are great, but beware of
higher amount of calories... Add vegetables and some fruits and grains
your protein meals and you will feel how your physique is going to
change. Drink a lot of water and get enough rest.
Tips for healthy life style
- Plan your workout times and stick to them. You need a regular
routine to stay on track.
- If you are bored doing your cardio, read, watch TV or make
the phone calls that you have to do.
- Change your workouts and exercises regularly, before you get
bored and stop going to the gym.
- Have always your workout clothes ready. Maybe an extra set
in the car, so you can stop in the gym before or after your work.
- If you are traveling and don't have an access to a gym, do
some push-ups, dips, squats, lunges and abs in your room... do a little
circuit training and you'll see how great little workout you can get.
- If you have problems to stay motivated, get a personal trainer,
or a workout buddy. It helps to know that somebody is waiting for you
to show up.
- Enjoy the "normal" activities, like mowing the lawn, walking your
dog, gardening or washing a car. It's another opportunity for you
how to burn a few extra calories.
- Try to do the "little extra" as much and often as you can:
take stairs in stead of the elevator, park far away on the parking lot
- Be aware of your eating habits, focus on fresh, non processed
- Never shop when you are hungry and don't buy junk.
- Don't skip meals, or you will pay for it later, when you get
super hungry and overeat big.
- Plan your meals ahead, and if you have to, cook in bulk to
save you some time. Make proper portions and freeze them for later
- Always have a plan B in case your eating or training gets out of
- Stick to your portions. If you go out and eat, eat half of
the served portion and the other half take with you and eat it 3 hours
- Make your meals easy to prepare, easy to eat. You don't want to
spend your whole days in the kitchen, cooking, eating and washing the
- Include lots of vegetables in your menu. They fills you nicely,
and they are easy to prepare. Always have a few frozen veggie bags in
- If you have to go to a social activities with a lots of food that
is not on your "living healthy menu", try to fill yourself with
vegetables and salads and healthy foods first. Then you don't have much
space for the "bad", but ack so tempting stuff.
- Besides good eating and good training, take care of your resting,
relaxing and sleeping. If you are stressed out, then it's much harder
to stay focused on the good diet and intense training. Take your
regular days off training and stressing out.
On the Funny Note - Dr Seuss for seniors
See you in the summer!!!
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