BLOG: Clark is losing her competitive edge

Ellyn Clark
Jun 28, 2010


Well, as far as we can tell, I'm still in a plateau. I am following the advice of my trainer, T.J. Temper, and Miss Molly, both from the Northern Ohio Medical Fitness Center. I've cut the amount of eggs I eat in half and I've stopped eating peanut butter on my fruit for a snack. We shall see if this works.

I've called myself a professional dieter because I have lost fair amounts of weight in my past only to gain it back again. So, I've played the lose-and-gain game several times in my life. Thus, I am all too familiar with plateaus. I have had one that lasted six months before. But being that I am in this competition, I cannot afford that kind of time.

T.J. has switched up my workouts to be more intense. They are more physically demanding to try and shock my body out of this plateau.  

I start off with a full minute of jumping jacks. Then, I run a sprint. I then have to do 30 push-ups, 20 bent-over rows, 20 squats, along with shoulder presses, 20 dead-lift leg exercises, 30 crunches while holding a body ball and then a full minute of mountain climbers ... I might have even left an exercise or two out. 

Between each of these sets, I run a sprint. I'm not even sure of the exact order in which I do these. I do this for three circuits. After the circuits, I do a half hour of cardio. One day a week, I do a 45-minute spinning class then an hour of working out with T.J. After that I do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio. 

The reason I'm not sure of the exact order or the number of different exercises is because by the time I'm halfway through with the circuits, I'm ready to be done! I feel like I am almost at the end of my energy level and my brain ceases to function at its normal capacity. It's T.J. who pushes me through it. Like it or not.

This workout is not aggravating my chest injury. It continues to improve. There are only certain movements that still cause it to be uncomfortable and I do not do those.

I wanted to be chosen for this competition to lose weight and get into better shape. I'm not sure if I still have that competitive spirit I had at the beginning. At present, it has become a matter of getting through this plateau rather than all about winning.

Plateaus are when the body gets used to certain foods and exercise routines. To break through a plateau, one has to shock the body into a different routine of eating and exercising. I believe we've done this with the exercise so now it's up to me to work on the eating.

I continue to eat as all natural as I can, with no additives and no processed foods. This way of eating can get expensive and difficult. Difficult because foods without additives and being non-processed are difficult to find in regular super markets.

But I have come to believe, it's the best way to eat. God made our bodies to recognize and process all natural foods. Think back to our ancestors, thousands of years ago. Did they eat processed foods or foods with additives? No, they had lean and fit bodies.

I've said this before, our bodies do not recognize food additives, or artificial and processed foods and, therefore, does not process them in a natural way. Our bodies hold onto the "bad" stuff we put in it until we give it the good stuff. 

Here's an example of how a natural food is changed into an unnatural one. For instance, those restaurant french fries I absolutely love so much and haven't eaten since December of '09. A potato contains 80 percent water and naturally occurring sugars. To make it a french fry, most of its water is removed and it is dried until the sugar content becomes a starch. It is then deep fried in a fat. This process is what makes a healthy food into an unhealthy one.

My blogs have an evolution all their own. This one seems to have turned into how to make a healthy french fry.

Slice potatoes into strips (peeled or unpeeled), place on a baking sheet, drizzle 100 percent natural, pure melted butter on top. Sprinkle some sea salt on top, bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until the desired texture and color. Enjoy!

Here's another one I love: Sweet Potato fries = Slice sweet potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) into strips, place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or Reynolds's Release Foil, drizzle 100 percent natural, pure melted butter on top. Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and 100 percent natural sugar (I use Stevia), bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until the desired texture and color. 

Sweet potatoes have a higher water content than regular potatoes so they will not get crispy but they will still taste great! This is how I bake them, look online for your own favorite sweet potato french fry recipe.   

Butter is considered a natural fat, margarine is not. So don't worry about eating butter, but it is recommended not to exceed 2 to 4 tablespoons per day. 



bodinbalance's picture

The confusion may be from the use of the term Mastoid muscle.  Sternocleidomastoid is the correct name and can be confused with mastoid process if you are using the term mastoid.  Or the large hary elephant type amimal that went extinct in about 10,000 BC. 

Laura Barrett

This comment was originally posted regarding a previous blog. It is not intended to apply to this story.


Thanks  Laura Barrett



Peanut butter is bad for you?  Come on!  One tablespoon on two pieces of whole wheat toast for lunch is NOT over 200 calories.  How much does one need to cut back?  Something is not right.  I do consume a six egg white omlette for breakfast with two pieces of plain whole wheat toast and a small can of tuna fish for a snack.  The dogs like the yokes on their dry food and the kitty cat likes to lick the tuna can.  Most people that workout regularly have periods of plateau.  It is perfectly normal.  If you are working out with weights and gaining, you might be increasing your muscle mass.  I am glad there is commitment to continue on and eat healthy.  The fast food places are my weakness so I try and keep away from them.  Perkins Restaurant has oatmeal, but it is instant.  Good luck and keep going.        


Lady Ellyn, Think about what you wrote "Think back to our ancestors, thousands of years ago" and this is what I think. For years, the so called experts tell us to eat a great breakfast. Did our ancestors have breakfast all ready at wakening? Our ancestors did not have soda or other junk foods. Our ancestors did not have cars or remote control for televisions. We as people got lazy in our ways because of all of the convenient inventions. Our ancestors foraged for food to survive just as the little furry creatures and feathered little ones do. There was little time for leisure. One needs to make changes in our lives and get away from junk foods and empty calories. I myself do not eat breakfast but may drink milk or have a small snack like peanuts at mid morning. I do have my coffee in the morning. I do what works for me. I see myself as being in great shape for an old guy. Oh, I do indulge once in a while to french fries or some no no foods. When I look at old historic photos, I see very few people who are over weight. Most of the soldiers during the Civil War were skinny. There was no McDonald's or self propelled vehicles like automobiles. People in the old days used up many calories just going about their business. Drink ice cold water with your meals. Add a little juice or other flavorings such as a weak ice tea if plain water does not suit you. I do know that all of the very tasty foods have a lot of calories such as fried foods. To make changes in one's life is hard but one has to change one's path in life sometimes. Once in a while, I will have some junk foods because my diet gets old after a while but I get right back to it. Use those leg muscles everyday, park your car a long way in the parking lot and walk to and from. The large muscles of the body such as leg muscles use up the most calories. Walk, walk walk. Our legs were made for walking. At first, making changes to one's life is hard but after a while it become second nature. Remember Lady Ellyn, it took years to develope bad eating and health habits. It will take time to adjust. Don't give up.