68 posts categorized "Fitness"

January 30, 2015

Bouts for the everyman

This is what my table looked like after my dinner party last night. One of the most enjoyable nights I've had in a long time. Good food that I had the pleasure of cooking and serving to my boxing friends (three years of boxing together and the bond is quite strong!), and such good conversation ... about books, politics, our past, our present, intriguing podcasts, and the thrill of boxing of course. It was extremely enjoyable. It was a dinner party that couldn't get here fast enough when we planned it a while back but during the day as I was preparing the food, I felt the hours were going too fast as I worked hard to get everything done.

Photo-60One of my boxing friends shared that he is going to get into an actual ring in March and fight an actual fight with a real life opponent. He's enrolled and scheduled and everything!

Oh my goodness!

He pointed out that it's just six minutes in the ring ... the way this particular fight format is organized ... which is three two-minute rounds amongst boxing enthusiasts who are not professionals at all ... bouts for the everyman. His point was that six minutes out of a person's life is a drop in the bucket, comparatively. Part of me wanted to talk him out of it but the part of me that realizes that people do what they decide to do decided to listen attentively ... and cleared plates to serve up the final paleo course of lemon curd cake and banana ice cream for everyone.

So I talked to Coach Tee about this today. He pointed out that yes, six minutes is a short period of time but when you're in the ring, six minutes can be a fucking eternity. But what of it? We do what we decide to do.

I decided that I'm gonna be in my friend's corner on the night of his fight. And if he'll let me, I'm gonna be part of his small entourage as he enters the ring. I figure if anything, I can give him my moral support. Maybe hand him a water bottle between rounds. Just be in his corner, you know?

The time thing made me think about how our emotions make it seem like it's going too slowly or too quickly.

Remember the Hermes that I told you I got on ebay? My daughter will attest to the fact that I lost out on several other Hermes on ebay because I just didn't hit it right in terms of bidding at the right moment. But when I saw this one that I ended up winning, I knew I had to pull myself together and get er done. When I first saw it, I had like 6 days before the auction would end. Six days! What an eternity to wait to finalize the bid, I thought. And then when it came down to the last one minute of the auction, and then 50 seconds and then 40 seconds when I decided to put my bid in, my heart was beating fast and I felt the seconds were going way too fast, as I almost fumbled the pressing of the BID NOW button ... kind of freaking out about the potential of losing the perfect Hermes to a less deserving bidder.

After I won it, time seemed to move at its normal pace again. And I could breathe again.

But of course time moves at its same pace whether we are in or out of the ring, bidding or not bidding in an auction. Relentlessly so.

So my friend will fight in March.

It seems simultaneously too close and too far from now.

January 28, 2015

More please

Today was a fantastic day. Some of my art friends made the time to come all the way to my gym to box with me and Coach Tee. Here's a shot that my friend Josie took during our time together. I love it.

Kick2The reason they all came to my gym is because they had asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and ... though we had toyed with the idea of doing something grand like going to NYC, plans evolved into something much simpler and I said I really wanted all of us to go boxing together.

After boxing, we all met up for a lovely brunch where we ate yummy food and I was showered with presents ... mostly beautiful books, both new and old. My friend Jennifer asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted to have happen this coming year.

"More," I said.

More of what I have right now. Art. Boxing. Food. Family. Friends. Studio. Reading. I think more than ever before, I am able to be in the moment and appreciate the brush strokes when I'm painting. The punches when I'm boxing. The ingredients when I'm cooking. My voice  when I'm conversing with the people I love. The words when I'm reading.

To be in the moment not wanting the moment to be different, or worrying about a past or future moment. It's as good as it gets.

Last night a young gal I know messaged me asking for a book recommendation. She's been through a rough period in her life and is looking for a book that might help her move forward. I told her I'm not much into self-help books but that I could recommend some good fiction. She was open to it. I'm still thinking about what I'll recommend. To me, the subject of the fiction doesn't have to be uplifting per se, to help a person move forward. It simply has to be deeply engaging ... perhaps intoxicating ... so much so that we drink the book in wanting every drop of it to seep into who we are so that we can feel it and we can imagine it, we can get lost in it ... and when we are lost, a moment when perhaps we become separated from the troubles we may have ... to realize how deeply moving a piece of fiction is ... and how our problem about ... you know ... the problem ... now what was that about again? ... starts to fade to unimportance. After all, there are more beautiful books to read, more good food to eat, more boxing sessions to go to, and more deep, beautiful conversations to have with humans who are equally adept at having conversations ... perhaps about the same book that you have read, or a different one that you decide to pick up because their description and the epiphanies they had while reading it as shared over coffee is highly engaging. No, intoxicating.

May 07, 2014

My Days

After almost two years of shooting arrows, I feel I'm finally starting to shoot semi-decently. I had one major problem about a year into it when I had a wrist injury from boxing that just made me regress with all things archery. I had to go back down in the weight of my bow limbs after having worked my way up and generally, I had to rest my wrist and hope that time would heal it back to health. It was so discouraging. Cause when your bow is light, arrows don't fly or land with strength.

IMG_0539My coach who used to come to Santa Ana no longer does so I go to Long Beach to see her. It's worth it though. She's got the goods. She's been reminding me all this time about the importance of practice. Of course I know that and agree with that but finding time to actually do what I know and agree with has been a whole different matter.

But finally I feel I'm in my groove.

It's all about protecting my time. Making time for what is important to me and not letting things that aren't important to me rob my time.

My days.

Early morning boxing/training. Then arrows right after that. And then work on my computer. And then a good lunch. And then art. If I'm lucky it goes that way. Sometimes I'll put it all aside for someone/something. But I've learned that there aren't many someones or somethings worth doing that for.

I like my rhythm. It helps me worry less about this and that.

April 02, 2014

My weight and my body fat.

Right at this very moment in time, I weight 115.5 pounds. This scale in my bathroom is extremely precise as I weigh exactly the same on the calibrated scale that I stepped on at a body composition analysis center this morning. 115.5 pounds.

IMG_9160The reason I was at the analysis center is because they specialize in the hydrostatic evaluation of measuring a person's body fat. The process is one where you put a bathing suit on and get submerged into water to get a true and accurate measurement of the fat that you have, versus lean body mass. The reason I wanted to do this is because I've known that how much a person weighs is an incomplete story in terms of how fit they are. A person could weigh 115.5 and look really heavy because most of it is fat. Conversely, a person could weigh 135 and look really toned and lean because most of their weight is muscle.

Recently I had two different people do two different measurements using one of those pinch instruments where they grab your skin/fat and record the numbers to calculate your body fat. The first person who measured me said I had 21% body fat and the second person who measured me said I had 38% body fat!

What was most upsetting about these very different measurements is that I felt I was getting really mixed messages. I mean, if someone said for sure that my body fat was 38% I could accept that and decide to work hard to reduce that percentage. But I felt because the measurements were so radically differet, with the second one putting me on the verge of being morbidly obese that I felt I needed to get to the bottom of this ... espcially because I've been training so hard to build muscle.

IMG_9167So ... after the official dunk tank this morning, the analysis revealed that my body fat is at 16.41%.

For my height (5'4"), and my weight (115.5 lb), and the measurements of my bones (they measured my ankle for this), my ideal body fat percentage is 22%. However, if my goal is to become a super duper competitive atheletic type, I could aim for a 13% body fat.


It feels good to get this information. I feel more motivated than ever before to keep doing what I'm doing, which is to lift heavy, run fast, get good sleep, and eat real food in moderation.

At the same time, I know that I don't wnat to become that person who chases numbers and percentages all the time. I know that the best scale is within me where as long as I am honest with myself, I have all the senses to know how fit I am based on how I look in the mirror, how winded I am when I run or go up the stairs, how my clothes fit, and so on.

Anyway, I wanted to share this information because if you are planning to get your body fat measured, I really really recommend staying away from those contraptions that people put onto your skin because you'll get inaccurate measurements. Also stay away from those things you grab like handle bars with electrical currants that go through you. That's the worst of all. I really do think it's worth the 50 bucks to go get dunked and get it right.



January 20, 2014

Jump Rope Tabata

So with my current 2014 goal of not falling below 317 days of workouts, I had a challenging past weekend with so much going on and I was afraid I'd miss too many workouts. And then I remembered my trusty jump rope. Thought I'd share with you my jump rope workout routine based on the Tabata method. (For more info on Tabata, Google it!)

Jenny Doh TabataPART 1

  • 20 seconds of intense jumping followed by 10 seconds of rest
  • Do that 8 times, which equals 4 minutes
  • Do that full set 4 times, which equals 16 minutes

Stop there or add ...


  • 3 minutes of intense jumping followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • Do that 3 times, which equals about 10 minutes

Here's another way to look at it:

PART 1: [(20 seconds jump/10 seconds rest) x 8 rounds] x 4 sets
PART 2: (3 minutes jump/30 seconds rest) x 3 rounds

The APP I use on my iPhone to do my Tabata timing is called Roundtimer. Simple, easy and perfect for timing high intensity interval trainings.

January 17, 2014

Favorite Paleo Chocolate Cake Recipe

Thought I'd share with you my favorite recipe for Paleo Chocolate Cake. It's a super moist cake that's kind of brownie-like. This recipe will allow you to make one 9-inch round. I never frost it. It's  perfect as is.

Paleo chocolate cake

• 6 eggs at room temperature
• 3/4 cup of honey
• 1/4 cup of maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla
• 1/3 cup of liquified coconut oil (most coconut oils come in a solid form so just heat it enough so that it becomes melted)

• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder

• 1 cup of dark chocolate chunks

• Turn on oven and set at 350 degrees.
• Take out the eggs and place them near the oven so that the heat can take the chill out of the eggs and bring them close to room temperature. This is important because if the eggs are cold, they will cause the coconut oil to solidify during the mixing process, which you want to avoid.
• Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl
• Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
• Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix well until smooth
• Pour the batter into a 9-inch round pan. (There's no need to grease and flour the pan as long as it's a non-stick pan.)
• Drop dark chocolate chunks into the top of the batter in the pan. This is optional because some paleo people don't eat chocolate.
• Place the pan into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

January 06, 2014

Mike Tyson, Alignment, Abyss, and A Way Back

In his recent op ed piece for the New York Times, Mike Tyson offers a glimpse into his current struggles as a recovering addict, and how as such, discipline isn't something you strive for just as a new year's resolution but something "necessary for every moment."

Mike TysonHe describes how very disciplined he was when he was fighting his way to becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history. You can see that discipline in the photo above. Eye of the tiger. The kind of discipline that you put on every day because everything is aligned ... your coach, your vision, your body, your mind, your skills ... your complete being. The discipline you stay committed to, even when people try to tear you down.

He describes how everything spiraled down when the alignment got messed up ... with his coach passing away, with his goals having become achievements rather than goals, and the birth of an entourage that got him high as a kite and out of touch.

The article makes me think about alignment. Especially this time of year. There's something about January and the number 1 that makes us feel that there is a clean and disciplined slate ahead of us.

But I don't think it's just necessarily the name of a month or the number 1 that can get us in alignment. Other things have to come together. And I think those "other things" are different for different people. When they come together, they just do and it works. And we find discipline. It can happen January 1st or March 31st. In the morning or in the middle of the night. But when they don't come together, we might taste discipline but it's fleeting and it goes away and we frequently beat ourselves up for falling short. But I wonder if it should be less about beating ourselves up and more about investigating what the elements for our true alignment need to be. Getting real and honest and vulnerable about what we need, regardless of how others might judge what we need.

In terms of fitness, I definitely think it's all about alignment. For some, Weight Watchers works because it just does. Have you seen Jennifer Hudson for goodness sake? For others, it's running, or biking, or boxing, or an intense body combat program ... or eating vegetarian, or eating paleo, or eating raw, or eating many small meals or eating a big lunch and small dinner. Some need a support group or trainer, while others need complete silence.

Bottom line: elements for alignment are unique to each person.

For all my life but definitely for the past 5 years or so, I've been really passionate about fitness. This year, part of my alignment is an image I found on the Internet. The image inspires me so I have a copy of it placed in strategic places, including my organizer. It's also in my kitchen and in my bathroom. Another alignment element for me is actually the assorted social network platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and this blog. By being able to post updates on my workouts and eating habits, it motivates me and keeps me accountable. Other elements include great fitness coaches, a palate that has come to love clean food, and a schedule that allows me to shop for and prepare clean food.


Tyson's commentary makes me think about how in many ways, the important thing in life is the journey and not the destination. My abs aren't terrible right now ... they're actually pretty good ... but I like the thrill and challenge of aiming for better as I focus on the journey and the vision and not the destination.

Perhaps a year from now my alignment elements will change and this image will be replaced by a chant ... and rest assured ... someone will be there to pooh-pooh my chant. Just like there are those who pooh-pooh images like this one as being shallow and vain. People like to pooh-pooh elements of alignment that work for others. People love Jennifer Hudson but people also love to tear her down. Same thing with Tyson. Same thing for you, him, her, them, us, me.

Jenny Doh

To all of this I say this: Once you find your unique elements that work, hold on to them if you want to. Because you know what?
What works works.
And what doesn't, doesn't.
Don't let anyone shame or judge your elements of alignment that work.

But even if there are times when your alignment feels off or completely lost, and the choices you make, one after another, are bad and you know they are bad, and even after huge falls into the abyss wher you know you are in a cesspool that is vile ... with people who are bad and you know things are not working, I think Tyson is living a story that shows that there is a way out, and there is a way back to alignment and back to living the journey. Not the destination.

November 09, 2013

Painting with Boxing Gloves

Ever since watching the film, Cutie and the Boxer, I've been so fascinated by artist Ushio Shinohara. He painted and sculpted in many different ways, including the use of boxing gloves. So very cool. And so that's what I've been doing lately ... inspired by Shinohara ... and all the great boxing instruction I've gained from my coaches Tee and Corey from UFC Gym of Orange. (The best coaches in the world and the best boxing gym in the world, quite frankly.)


IMG_1135I usually box-paint with one color, then add a second color and then a third.



IMG_1164And then I bring it inside to do some additional work to it and it turns out looking something like this.

Here's a tiny little video that shows the process.


October 10, 2013

Be Ready. Not Hyper-Ready

I boxed today. Noon class with the one and only Coach Tee. We were doing our usual thang. Everyone partnered up ... with one person punching and the other person catching. Just for a few minutes. And then rotating so that you work with different people.

jenny doh
So this guy rotated to me. Never seen him before in my life. New. Strong dude with muscles. He didn't really know how to throw ... and instead of throwing lightly to learn, he threw really hard ... to ...  I don't know ... over compensate? So I called out jab-cross-slip-slip and he ended up throwing jab-cross-jab-cross ... right into my face. He hit my face pretty hard, causing my glasses to smash into my face. I squealed. Thankfully my glasses didn't break. And neither did anything else on my face. Holy close call.

Tee checked to make sure that I was ok and then he gave a talk to the dude and then started laughing his ass off. It was all good cause I started laughing my ass off too. It's like family when we see each other involved in epic fails ... we check to see if our family members are ok and then we start busting up laughing.

When I box and get in my fighter's stance, the voice of Tee is always on my mind ... "Jenny ... relax. Prepare to fight but don't be so tense" is what I hear him saying. Like be ready to throw punches but don't tighten up so much. Don't be hyper-ready.

It's the same thing my archery coach, Janet, says to me when I'm ready to shoot.

jenny doh
Think about what you're going to do before you draw.
Then draw.
Don't over-think once you draw. Be steady and still but relaxed at the same time.
Be ready but not hyper-ready.
Then release like a spring, with flexibility and ease, not rigidity.

Ready but not hyper-ready.
Strong and steady but flexible.

I think this advice applies not just to boxing and archery but also to life. It's about balance. Good advice that's easier to remember when you're in practice mode and very easy to forget when out of practice mode. 

September 27, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (Cakey Version)

You probably know by now (especially if you follow my IG feed), that I eat a paleo-based diet. At times, I embrace small modifications ... just because life sometimes requires modifications.

One thing I've been experimenting with is making paleo chocolate chip cookies. I've been experimenting with several recipies that I've found online and developed a modified version that I think tastes pretty darn good. This final recipe results in small cookies with a nice cakey texture with flavor that my kids love. :)

paleo chocolate chip cookies recipe

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (Cakey Version)


  • 2.25 cups Almond Flour
  • .5 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • .25 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • .5 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 10-ounce bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
  • .25 cup liquid Coconut Oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and coconut sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry mixture from step 2 into the wet mixture from step 3.
  5. Add the Chocolate Chunks and liquid Coconut Oil and mix.
  6. Place a small amount of dough into your hands and roll into a ball. Place it onto the cookie sheet and flatten with your hand. Note: Unlike traditional chocolate chip cookie dough, this dough should not be spooned directly onto the cookie sheet. It needs to be shaped by hand and flattened so that the dough does not fall apart while baking. Repeat until the cookie sheet is filled with 9-12 cookies.
  7. Bake for 12-13 minutes.

NOTE: Just because something is Paleo or Gluten-Free does not mean that you overeat them without consequences. Enjoy these cookies and all other foods in moderation. :)

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