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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's a man's world? Oh please.

So I guess I was pretty active last week. I think it was the joy of the sunshine and 70 degree temps. Yes, it snowed again yesterday but I'm totally trying to block that out of my memory.  I finally broke 100,000 steps for a week and it felt great!


What's even better about it? Kara and Melody are breathing down my neck and bringing their best step game as well. They are neck in neck and closing in on me with a vengeance! I love it! I'm going to have to be super focused the rest of this week if I want to come in first again.  I leave for C-town tomorrow after work and will be home for 5 days.  Yes, 5 days in my danger zone.  Thursday I'll be sitting at Mayo Clinic all day with the family.  Maybe I can walk some laps on the hour? Friday is open so I can go up to the fitness center in town or hit the trails if it's nice.  Saturday and Sunday we have Easter at each of the Grandma's and we are also squeezing in a birthday party for Michael and maybe a dinner with my favorite preggo cousin, BT. It will be a busy few days, surrounded by tasty but terrible food choices and I will be out of my element.  I won't be doing my lunch walks with Melody or my nightly workout routines at the YMCA. I am packing some snacks and my vitamins to take with me. I will try desperately to get in at least 10,000 steps every day and just do the best I can on food choices.  That's all a girl can do.

Speaking of being a girl...I've noticed when it comes to the basketball court at the Y, it's a man's world.  One of the front desk workers commented the other night how I am often the only female in the gym shooting hoops.  She said it like it would bother her and could possibly be the reason that more women aren't in there. It doesn't phase me at all.  I'm surrounded by adolescent boys and sweaty men trying to relive their glory days in a pick up game with their buddies.  More than once they've tried to "run me off the court" but I always stand my ground. There's 6 hoops in here people, you can play on the other 5.  I just need my one. And if you ever want to play me for my hoop, bring it on. I can play horse with the best of them and love some competition.  I appreciate my parents raising me to be blind to societies idea of gender roles not only in sports, but in life. There is not much of anything you can tell me I can't do because I'm a woman.  Except pee standing up. I've tried it, it's not for me.  Men, I will give you that one. I wish the lady at the front desk and more females would come in and play in the gym.  And I love seeing when young girls come in once and awhile with their friends.  I always make sure to encourage their good shots or hustle.  But most days I just put on my headphones and ignore the testosterone that surrounds me. I'm not there to socialize. I'm there to get my sweat on and sink basket after basket and find my happy meditation zone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Don't quit!

Today's theme? Yeah, the title totally blew that game, didn't it?  Don't quit! I'm having one of those weeks were bad news abounds and good news is scarce. My brain is on overdrive and my heart is anxious and heavy. It would be so easy to let the happenings of life pull me under.  But I can't quit.  And neither can you!! Or you my dear friend who dared to speak that word out loud to me this morning regarding all the success you are considering throwing away.  Whether it's diet, exercise, work, a relationship or life in general.  Be a soldier! Pull up your big girl panties and keep on fighting!

Some of you may not know, but I am a poet. I've been writing poetry since I could form words.  Poetry has always been my therapy. It makes me happy to write and to read.  Here is one of my all time favorite poems. I could read it 10 times a day and never get sick of it.  It always inspires me and I'm sharing it with you.

Don't Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill, 
When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, 
When care is pressing you down a bit, 
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns, 
As every one of us sometimes learns, 
And many a failure turns about, 
When he might have won had he stuck it out; 
Don't give up though the pace seems slow-- 
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than, 
It seems to a faint and faltering man, 
Often the struggler has given up, 
When he might have captured the victor's cup, 
And he learned too late when the night slipped down, 
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-- 
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, 
And you never can tell how close you are, 
It may be near when it seems so far, 
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-- 
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

True

Yesterday was one of those crazy days that just made my head spin. I could've easily opted out of a workout. I was almost at my 10,000 steps by the time I got home from work and there was so much to do and take care of at home, I debated not going. BUT I knew it wasn't all about steps on a fitbit monitor.  It was about feeling better, finding some down time to focus on me and getting my active on.  So I went to the Y and wouldn't you know it, I felt tons better once I was done. It really is the worlds best stress relief.  I saw this sign while I was there.

It made me feel even better about my decision to to squeeze in a workout. I'm working for my "it" every day and it's paying off. And this sign isn't just about workouts my friend. It's about everything in life we want. Nothing comes cheap or easy.  You've gotta work your little tail off to get anywhere worth going.  Can I get a hell yeah?

Absolutely loving my Fitbit Flex still. The ease of the system syncing to my phone makes me giddy. When you're a bit obsessed with metrics and possibly have a slight competitive streak, the Fitbit brings many smiles throughout the day and helps me push on and step up my game when needed. I gave Sissy my Fitbit Ultra to try out for a few weeks. Hopefully she can get as much use out of it as I did. It's such a fun tool.

Kara and I started our new 30 day ab and squat challenge. Day 1 done yesterday. You should join us! It's only a few minutes out of your day. And you have nothing to lose, except unwanted cellulite and inches, of course.

We're also doing an Advocare cleanse. Can I just say how much I LOVE their Spark energy drink? Holy cow, I'm a total addict. Energy and focus is up but it doesn't keep me awake all night. And I find I'm not nearly as hungry throughout the day either.  Woo hoo! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

TGIF!!

So I’ve been busy this week working off my carb and booze overload from girls weekend.  Phew! It’s like a straight detox up in here.  Yesterday was a great day. I worked out on the treadmill over lunch.  Left work and it was 60 degrees! Can I get a woot woot? Went home, ate a quick snack and then went out exploring the trails by our house. It was a little windy but the sunshine felt great and I got about 2 miles in.  Went to the Y and did an awesome pool class.  It was a lot of functional arm strength and swimming so I am feeling that in my shoulders today.  Feel the burn, love the burn. Went back home and the hubby had grilled me a nice lean pork chop. Then I went back to the gym to shoot some hoops for half an hour.  I ended up getting over 14,000 steps yesterday which made me happy. I’m slowly hacking away at Kara’s step lead.  I’m really loving my new fitbit flex and the ease of it syncing on my phone.


Speaking of grilling season, we had made these kabobs a few weeks back and they were awesome. If you’re looking for a delicious protein packed snack on the grill that isn’t a normal burger, check out these chicken, bacon, pineapple, teriyaki kabobs! If it stays nice this weekend we plan on doing lots of grilling out with the kids. And we have some projects to get done around the house before our company comes to town next weekend.  It will be busy but I plan on getting lots of steps, some sunshine and taking a little me time to work on my book. TGIF! Have a great weekend, everyone!  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New toy

Oh my goodness, I've been busy! Working, travel, working, travel. And then squeezing in workouts at night, working on my book and praying for spring and warm weather.  I finally got my new toy on Tuesday. I went and bought the Fitbit Flex.  Since they recalled the Force that I wanted it was that or wait another year for the new version of the Force to come out.  Patience isn't really a virtue I possess so I went with the Flex. I'm loving it! It doesn't have the display face I'm used to but it syncs to my phone which is always with me so it's great. I like wearing it on my wrist instead of clipping it to my bra.  Now I don't have to worry about forgetting it when I'm changing. Hooray! I was hoping for the violet color but Best Buy had 3 lime and one black. My skin tone doesn't really rock the lime so I went with black and figured that way, it goes with everything.

I didn't get crap for steps in this weekend. It was girls weekend up at the cabin. The roads were icy and cold so I couldn't get outside and explore the hills. And I spent my time yapping with my ladies instead of walking in place or doing an indoor workout.  I take ownership of that.  I also ate my weight in carbs and booze. Ouch! Talk about some serious water retention this week.  But oh did I have a wonderful time. I"m counting it as a face and ab workout.  When you laugh so hard that your abs hurt for two days, you know it was a perfect weekend.

It's supposed to be in the high 60's this afternoon so you can bet your buns I'll be running around outside, soaking up some Vitamin D, and trying out the trails by my casa.  Can't wait!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Free! Free! Free!

I was knocked out for two days by strep throat this week.  Ugh! Plus I’m out of town this weekend which always makes workouts difficult.  So I’m behind on my 12,000 steps a day and I have 2 days of the guns, buns and abs challenge to make up.  But the highlight of my week was getting some FREE SAMPLES in the mail.  Have you heard of Quest bars?  I hadn’t paid them much mind but my interest was piqued by a friend talking about protein bars that are basically candy bars because they are full of so much sugar and carbs.  For example Special K protein bars have 170 calories, 4.5 g fat, 26g carbs, 15g sugar and only 10g of protein.  It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that you’re getting more sugar than protein.  Fiber One Caramel Nut protein bars (yum!) have 130 calories, 6 g fat, 16g carbs, 7g sugar and only 7g of protein.  I mean, come on! You can get 4g of protein from a Snickers bar! Should Fiber one really be advertising as a “protein” bar?  Any hoo, back to the Quest bars.  They’re all the rage on bodybuilding.com and so I decided to check out their stats.  First of all, the main ingredient is actually protein, that’s a plus.  For example, the chocolate peanut butter bar has 160 calories, 5g fat, 21g carbs, 1g sugar and 20g of protein.  The draw back? These don’t taste like candy bars.  But they are pretty good.  You can check out the flavors they offer at http://www.questproteinbar.com/.  I went to their contact us tab and filled out a little email saying I would like to try their product. They promptly emailed me back asking which flavors and my address. They sent me on apple pie and one chocolate peanut butter, as well as their low carb spaghetti (which I haven’t tried yet).  I also went to Hyvee and bought a few more flavors and I’m going to give their peanut butter cups a try too.  Again, they don’t taste like candy bars but that’s the point. If you’re looking for a great snack that’s packed with protein, I would suggest getting a few samples and trying these out. 



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Ok, I don’t really have seasonal affective disorder but this snow and nasty winter is making me down right crabby! If I hear the word polar vortex one more time, I might lose my mind.  I long to walk around Gray’s lake, play outside with the boys and sniff the fresh spring air.  Our new house is right by the trails that run through town and I can’t wait to explore them. Why oh why are they still covered in snow and ice?

Last night the snow had me feeling restless.  I did my 2 miles at the Y, did Day 5 of my guns, buns and abs challenge and then did an arm workout during commercials watching The Voice.  I cleaned. I folded some laundry. I ran errands.  I couldn’t sit still. And I couldn’t sleep either.  It stunk watching the clock tick tock all night and only getting about 4 hours of sleep.  No wonder I have a massive headache today. 

I’ve been super excited to buy the new Fitbit Force.  Sunday morning I went online to order my newest fitness toy and found terrible news! Fitbit has recalled one of the most popular fitness gadgets on the market because it was causing rash and skin irritation on 1.7% of the people that wore it. What’s odd is the band is the same material, as far as I can tell, that the Fitbit Flex has and they haven’t recalled that.  So now my dilemma is do I go ahead and order the Flex or wait for them to fix/revamp the Force.  It could take months or longer and I’m not sure I can wait that long but I was really looking forward to the digital display on my wrist.  I think I will have to go with the Flex because I’m impatient and it will sync with my iphone so I can check that whenever I want. Plus it’s waterproof so you can wear it in the shower, doing dishes, etc. 


Speaking of Fitbit, I think it’s safe to say I straight up dominated last week! I have upped my steps again! My highest week ever in steps and miles.  It will take a lot of work to top this week but that’s what I will try to do for next week.  That’s the key.  Keep setting that bar high and when you reach it, set it a little higher again.  Complacency is the killer of healthy living. 
I have to give mad props to Kara for sticking with me in the guns, buns and abs challenge.  It's only day 5 but it's wicked hard and every night we check in with each other when we've completed it.  Great motivation. It's so important to surround yourself with positive people.  I saw this last night on Pinterest and it totally struck a cord with me so I thought I would share.  Have a super week! 



Monday, February 24, 2014

Mental meltdown

Good morning, everyone! How was your weekend?  Mine was pretty good! Got in some needed workouts, celebrated a birthday, chilled with my three favorite boys in the world around the house, received some shakeology samples in the mail from Jami and was able to catch up on some sleep and housework.  The weekend was going just dandy until yesterday.  Saturday I had to go buy new workout pants since the others were literally falling off.  I was able to buy pants smaller than I’ve had in years.  That was a great feeling.  Sunday I had to go shopping for jeans since those weren’t staying up either. I will save you the rant on the lack of universal sizes in women’s jeans and the torture that I find shopping to be but let’s just say I had a total meltdown after leaving the 3rd store and finding that, depending on the store, I range anywhere from Marilyn Monroe to what felt like Hungry Hippo.  I called my husband in a total tizzy, bawling my head off, saying I was ready to give up because it wasn’t worth it, I couldn’t do anything right and at least when I was fat, I had clothes that fit.  I told you, total meltdown.  He calmed me down and pointed out all the great progress I had made, the fact that I have muscles again in places that had been jiggling, my workout pants were a size I had been dreaming about, I’m working my butt off, literally, every single day, logging all my food and that it doesn’t matter if the numbers on the scale are coming off slower than I think they should or that my jean size isn’t single digits.  He told me to stop defining myself by numbers and instead the gallons of sweat that were pouring off my brow, the healthy foods I was making and how much more energy I had.  I knew he was right and I was being a big baby but I guess it was one of those days where I just needed to breakdown to build back up.  After I got home I went back to the Y with him for some basketball happy place, clearing of the head.  Then we went to the store and loaded up on seafood.  He grilled me shrimp, cod and asparagus, despite the fact it was 20 some degrees out.  While he cooked my dinner I did Day 4 of the guns, buns and abs challenge.  Then we enjoyed a delicious and healthy dinner and I found my calm and happy place again.  So here’s to a new week, not being obsessed with numbers whether they are on a scale or a clothes tag, making yourself better each day and my wonderful husband that always knows how to make me smile.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Guns, buns and abs

I started a 30 day challenge with a few friends yesterday. It’s called the guns, buns and abs challenge.  Looking at the post on Pinterest it didn’t seem like it would be that bad. 


After doing Day 1 last night, I can tell you right now Days 20-30 are going to suck! But I’m pretty confident it will do what it’s supposed to do, which is good since our friends we are going to Vegas with in June posted this countdown yesterday.  It will be here before we know it!



I didn’t get to walk with Melody at lunch because I worked from home in the afternoon since we were under a blizzard warning.  We haven’t finished my office at the new house yet so I work at the dining room table, which lead me to realize that I need a mansion. And in said mansion, my office will be at the opposite end and 3 floors above the kitchen in a sound proof room so that I can't hear the girl scout cookies whispering my name when I work from home. The name “thin mint” is totally contradictory.  Anyway, when I logged off work I headed to the Y in the sleet, snow and 60 mph winds. I shot hoops for an hour and then did 2 miles on the treadmill.  I went home and made my yummy chili lime salmon burger! Hooray for easy and delicious.  I did my guns, buns and abs Day 1 squats, push ups and leg lifts.  Rob went up to the Y to workout and again I heard those stupid little cookies whispering from the kitchen. But, to my surprise, instead of caving, I decided to go to the Y again.  I did a 20 minute strength and cardio workout with the Sworkit app.  It was different and super-fast paced but it did what I wanted it to do.  Then Rob, Lynn and I played basketball for 45 minutes after that.  By the time I got home I no longer had any desire to eat the cookies. I needed a snack so I made a peanut butter banana smoothie instead. It cured my sweet craving and filled me up before bed. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Arms!

Last night was strength training night. I had went to the gym with the intention of doing a quick mile on the treadmill and then going to pool class.  I lost track of time and missed pool class but glad to say I got 3 miles in on the treadmill.  I was starving and headed home to eat, with every intention of going back to the gym after dinner.  But I didn’t. I tried to talk myself into it but it didn’t work.  BUT knowing I had to do some strength training, per my new workout calendar, I went to my handy dandy pinterest “fitness” board and found an arm workout I could do with my dumbbells at home.  It didn’t look too hard but after three reps my muscles were on fire!!! I don’t know what a dumbbell pullover is.  Anyone wanna educate me? So I did 15 hammer curls each arm instead of 5 and 10 overhead tricep extensions to make up for whatever that move was. 




I’ve been dreaming about a double double burger from In-N-Out lately with all our planning for the Vegas trip.  Last night I decided to try to make a healthified version of it and I have to say, I think I did a pretty dang good job.  So if you’re hungry for the delicious double double but would like to have half the calories and fat, check this out!  http://testingtrendy123.blogspot.com/2014/02/in-n-out-double-double-mini-sliders.html

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Olympic Gold

It's a new week! Hooray for that.  And it's supposed to be in the 40's a few days this week so double hooray for some sunshine and decent weather.  I hope you can get out and enjoy it.  I continue to do well in the step challenge. My fitbit stats were down slightly this week but still good.
I've been watching a lot of Olympics this week.  And it's helped my motivation.  No, I'll never snowboard a half pipe or attempt to break my leg by lacing up ice skates, but I love to watch these athletes. I think about all the sacrifice and dedication they have put in for years for these small moments in time and a chance at glory. It's magnificent and inspiring to me. I adore Lolo Jones. She is strong, real and resilient and a fighter with such heart and bravery. And if you follow her on Twitter, you know she's pretty dang funny too.  I realize Olympians train for this as a job but it really puts things into perspective as far as workouts go.  To hear someone say they can't find 30 or 60 minutes a day to workout, fight for their health and be the best that they can be is sad to me.  I hear it all too often how people don't have time.  Be honest when you make that statement: you don't MAKE time.  I know that sounds harsh but it is the cold hard truth. I've been there. There are plenty of days it would be easier to sit on the couch and watch TV. But I view TV as a luxury, not a necessity.  Once I have completed my tasks for the day- work, cleaning, workouts, errands, whatever it may be, then I will reward myself with some time to sit and relax.

Before you start making any other excuses...it doesn't matter if you have a gym membership, walking outside is free.  Running stairs in your house, doing wall squats and shadowboxing is free. I know very few people that don't have a gaming system of some sort. There are plenty of workout games or at home DVD's or workout ideas on Pinterest and all over the internet you can do from the comfort of your living room. Just stop making excuses.
If you're not committed to being healthy, that's fine too. But admit that.  Don't fool yourself or others around you into thinking that this is important to you if it's not.  Just be honest. Don't waste your money on the gimmicks or your breath on excuses.  Some days will be easier than others. Some days will down right suck. But the feeling of accomplishment and pride once you have committed will carry you through the crappy days.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Inspiration on a mirror

I had already done an hour and a half of cardio at the gym last night. Went home, ate my salmon burger and listened to Michael and Rob get ready to go to the gym.  Rob has been on me about getting back to my strength training.  I haven’t done much of that for months. I thought about Scott being at basic training somewhere in the south and how he would want me to be lifting and sculpting and pushing myself harder.  So I trudged back to the gym last night at 8 pm and spent an hour doing lunges, crunches and circuit training. My thighs and butt are paying for it today but that’s a good thing.  It was funny as I was lunging across the room, I saw this written on the mirror.  “The amount you give will determine the amount you get back”.  I knew that was true. If I half-assed my strength training or cardio for that matter, I won’t get much back. If I push it, I will get more back. So I pushed and heaved, lunged and rowed until sweat poured off my brow and my muscles were burning. It would’ve been easy to say, I already had a workout today and stay in the warm confines of my home in front of the fireplace but that wasn’t going to give me much back now, was it? 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hoop zen

Some people use yoga as their happy place to find their zen. That’s never worked for me.  I don’t like yoga.  It’s hard and uncomfortable and there is no relaxing involved as I am in too much pain and concentrating too hard to clear my mind. I’ve tried it.  I’ve wanted to like it.  But it doesn’t work for me. Bummer, right?  Some people may find it weird that the best place for me to turn off my brain and let go is with a basketball in my hand.  My favorite way to unwind is to put on headphones, shuffle my playlist, and just shoot hoops.  I could shoot baskets for hours. Some days I just shoot until my arms ache.  Sometimes I play games of around the world against myself.  Most days I do a shot challenge.  I will say, today I have to make 200 baskets.  It may take me 20 minutes, it may take me an hour but I won’t stop until I make it 200 times. It’s a great way to get my steps without thinking about it or the monotony of the treadmill.  I’m no Michael Jordan. I’m 5’7 if I stand up straight, Norwegian and have zero vertical leap. I mean, zero.  But I do have a sweet perimeter shot. Sometimes, when I’m feeling a wee bit crazy, I even attempt a lay-up or three pointer.  I’ve been known to get uber competitive and kick some serious butt in games of Horse.  But it’s the simple shot after shot that brings me joy and inner peace.  Sounds strange to some, but that’s my point. It doesn’t matter if you can’t master a downward dog or table top sunrise Buddha half back stance. Find what makes you happy. Find an activity that brings you peace and like our friend Nike demands, JUST DO IT! It doesn’t need to be something other people promote for relaxation.  It only has to suit you.  Maybe it’s a bike ride, walking through the park, jumping on a trampoline or dancing to Nelly in your bedroom while you fold laundry (guilty of that a million times over).  Find it, do it, love it.  


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lame class, Biggest Loser and a great step challenge week

So there I was, super excited that I could get back to my gym schedule because wrestling season is over for the boys.  I haven’t been to a Monday night swim class since October! I went to the Y, got my 2 miles of cardio on the treadmill then headed down to the pool.  I swam laps for 20 minutes in the warm rec pool before I headed over to the competitive pool for class.  I recognized the teacher and vaguely remembered that I thought her class was fun.  Well, it used to be fun.  When I first started up with pool class jump roping a noodle and sprinting across the pool was a workout.  But not anymore.  She didn’t do tabata, I didn’t break a sweat and it was freezing cold because we weren’t moving enough to keep warm.  There was only so much of this I could stand.  Half an hour into class I left.  It was a waste of my time and I had workouts at home that would be much more challenging.  I’m glad to see that my body and abilities have advanced but I was very disappointed.  I will remember not to go to that class again.  Luckily, I have Tuesday-Saturday classes that will keep my butt. 

I’ve heard a lot of rumblings about the Biggest Loser finale this week.  Did any of you watch it?  If not, I've linked to a picture. What was your opinion of the winner, Rachel?  I will admit, when she first walked out I gasped in horror.  I thought it was terrible, but mostly I thought it was sad.  I thought she looked like Karen Carpenter. I was sad for the way America was so quick to rip her apart for doing exactly what she was brought to the show to do; lose the most weight and take home $250,000.  She did that. I’m not condoning it or supporting it, just saying, she did her “job” and used the tools at hand.  What would you do to win a quarter of a million dollars?  I sincerely hope that she only did it to win and has not developed an eating disorder or anything else equally as tragic.  I hope that she puts on 20 pounds and tones up and lives a wonderfully healthy and beautiful life.  I hope she is happier than she’s ever been.  I hope she is strong enough to ignore the people that will never be satisfied and always looking for something to criticize.  She was too fat in America’s eyes when she started and she ended up being too skinny in the end.  I’m sure she feels like she just can’t win.


I did pretty well in the step challenge last week.  My numbers are up in every category.  Woo hoo! 87,914 steps! Over 38 miles walked for last week and 123 floors climbed. I got a new badge from fitbit that I’ve climbed over 4000 flights of stairs which is something about being as high as a 747 jumbo jet.  I didn’t really get it but I do love badges.  I’ve walked 107.68 in three weeks which would be the equivalent of walking to Coralville (109 miles) from Des Moines.  By the end of this week I should be past Iowa City and to my brothers in West Liberty.  Of course, if my goal for the year is to walk to Los Angeles, that would totally be heading the wrong direction.  J


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Steps, superbowl and upcoming events

Well, I won last week’s step challenge…barely! These ladies are really “stepping up” their game.  And I had two days where steps weren’t quite to 10,000.  When you’re in a car for 7 hours it’s tough to get steps! So far for this week I’m in 3rd place so I gotta get moving.  My 17,633 steps yesterday should’ve helped but I will have to keep my numbers high all week.  Only 3000 steps separate the three of us so it’s anybody’s game. 



Sunday night a bunch of our friends and kiddos came over to the watch the Superbowl.  Since that was a boring blowout we ended up talking in the dining room with the TV merely on for background noise. I had went to the gym in the morning because I knew it was going to be a crazy day. So thankful I did.  I barely cleared my 10,000 steps for the day.  And we spent part of our time walking back and forth in the kitchen to get our steps together.  Ha! I love my friends.  They are awesome.  Everyone else was looking at us like we were lunatics but, hey, that’s not breaking news at all.  Snacks and tempting food were abundant at the party.  I tried to be as good as I could but I did find myself grazing time and again.  Grr.  Although, it appears I could’ve just licked a salt block all night because man, was I swollen on Monday.  Still retaining some serious water today yet.  Yikes! At least all the birthday cake is finally out of the house! That should help.  Oh how I love me some Costco sheet cake.

I’m hoping the snow storm that has begun doesn’t end up cancelling pool class tonight.  Looking forward to some tabata in the pool and then kickboxing tabata when I get home.  A friend sent me an at home workout she tried that looks really interesting.  She did it up the ladder and back down.  1-12 and 12-1. Props to you, AW!! That’s awesome! I’m going to give it a try soon and thought I would share it in case anyone else is looking to shake things up a bit. 




Only 20 weeks until we go to Vegas and I will definitely be rocking a swimsuit at the pool at the end of June. Plus, my 20 year, no, that’s not a typo, my 20 year class reunion is this year as well.  Gulp.  When the hell did I get so old?  Anyway, two big events to keep me on track to my goals. Let’s shock the crap out of some people I haven’t seen in a while.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A stellar week!

Our step competition has really got me focused and on the ball.  I love it.  I won this week’s challenge by logging 84,212 steps! That’s an average of 5.25 miles a day.  I had one day that I walked 8.12 miles.  Yes, I’m patting myself on the back a bit here but I’m really proud of myself.  It’s going in my victory journal.  Last week I walked a total of 36.78 miles.  If I average 35 miles a week that would be 1820 miles in a year and would definitely get me to Los Angeles (1700 miles away).  Hopefully each week I can get my mileage number to rise higher and higher.  Pair that with pool class and my tabata kick boxing and hooray for losing 5 pounds this week.  Wrestling will be done for the boys in March which means I will have my nights back to do my workouts instead of finding workouts to do while I wait for them to get done with practice.  Yippee!


I have a goal weight in mind by February 6th and I’m working hard to get to it.  I have the magic number plastered in important places where I will see it constantly.  I’m not going to be obsessed or upset if I don’t hit it and spiral into a fit of depression but it would be a super cool milestone so I’m trying with all my might.  This weekend wasn’t easy. I was surrounded by temptation at every turn.  Pizza, breadsticks, wings, birthday cake galore…but I came through pretty well and just keep plugging away.  High protein, low carbs, wise choices, portion control.  All keys to success and part of my 2014 resolutions.  I hope your resolutions are still in play and you are working to make this a wonderful year.  And if you fell off the wagon, it’s ok.  Just climb back on.  Don’t wait until Monday or next month or the summer.  Do it now.  You will be glad you did.  Every day is a new chance.  


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fitbit Fun

Fitbit. I love it.  Let’s be honest, I’m a bit obsessed with my gadget.  I have been since the I got it a year and a half ago. It tracks my steps, flights of stairs climbed, sleep, calories burned and activity level. It has a barcode scanner to input food and the app is free, unlike bodybugg.  My ultra tracker is a bit battered and bruised and I’m hoping to upgrade to the Force model soon so I can wear it on my wrist instead of in my bra. 


The other day I got an email from Fitbit with a quick summary of my 2013 Fitbit activity.  It was kind of fun to see.  I walked 1270 miles which is longer than the Tigris River or the equivalent of walking from my house to Hartford, Connecticut. I’d say that’s some decent mileage.   As you can see below it also broke down my most active weekday (Mondays), my most active month (January) and my most active day of the year (August 26th).  The month of November and Fridays were my least active.  Nothing earth shattering but kind of fun to see.  Maybe in 2014 I can walk my way back to Los Angeles (1700 miles).  So far I’m on track for a great year.  Last week alone I walked 35.77 miles.  That’s definitely upping my average.  I credit my increased steps/mileage to my step challenge I have going on with Melody and Kara.  Love those ladies and the way they inspire me.  I worked hard to win last week’s challenge and will continue to do so in upcoming weeks.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

At home kickboxing

Sunday my husband and his buddies finished our mancave in the basement and spent the entire afternoon and evening watching the football playoffs on the new flat screen.  I stayed upstairs and got some more unpacking done, watched football without the bickering of what calls the coaches should've made and played on Pinterest.  I was searching for Tabata workouts and found a fun one for boxing.  Who got super excited? This girl! The original was only the first two sets (crosses/jabs and upper cuts) but when I did it last night, I added 2 more sets of kicks.  The total workouts was 20 minutes and I did it while watching Biggest Loser in my living room.  It doesn't get much easier than that, does it?  Also, I found a great app called Tabata+ Lite which does your countdown timer for you and even keeps track of the rounds.  This is great for me because I can barely count to 8 when I'm not doing anything, let alone kicking and watching a timer and keeping track of how many rounds I've done.  That's just not happening without a little help from technology. So here's my at home kickboxing tabata workout if you want to try it.  I love it.  It's simple, quick and effective.  What more can I ask for?

Quick Tabata boxing workout

5-10 minute cardio warmup (I had just done 60 minutes of pool class so I skipped this but you could do any kind of walking in place, jump rope, squats, lunges, stairs, etc.)

1st set- Repeat for 8 cycles
20 secs of jabs & crosses (high speed and power)
10 secs of rest or squats

Rest 1 minute

2nd set- Repeat for 8 cycles
20 seconds of upper cuts (high speed and power)
10 secs of rest or lunges

Rest 1 minute

3rd set- Repeat for 8 cycles
20 seconds of side kicks (alternate legs per round)
10 secs of running in place

Rest 1 minute

4th set- Repeat for 8 cycles
20 seconds of front kicks (alternate legs per round)
10 secs of running in place


Cool down and stretch

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tabata

Have you heard of Tabata training? It’s not a new idea in the world of fitness but it’s new to me.  We’ve been doing it in pool class and I love it.  The Tabata workout only lasts four minutes per segment, but it is grueling! The structure of the program is: Workout hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.  

Doesn’t sound bad, right? Except you do it for 8 rounds.  And then you start again with 8 rounds of a different exercise.  For example in pool class we do 20 seconds of push-throughs, jumping jacks or running (in the deep end of the pool).  Our 10 second “rest” is a flutter kick and then right back at it.  We do multiple sets of 8 with different exercises and rest movements each time.  It’s awesome.  When you’re sweating in the pool, you know that you are working it in a great way. I’ve heard they are starting to use the same theory in some of the spin and body pump classes too but I haven’t tried those lately.  For now I’m just enjoying having burning abs and legs every time I leave pool class. 


I’m closing the gap on Kara and Melody on steps.  I was nine shy of 16,000 on Monday night which was 7.5 miles according to my fitbit. Yesterday I had 12,300.  I’ve gotta keep busting my booty so that I can take the #1 spot this week.  Lyndee loves a little friendly competition!   

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oldies but goodies

Last night a dear friend and I were talking and she told me for the zillionth time how much she hates the treadmill.  But it’s Iowa and it’s colder than a you know what out there right now.  She is determined to get her 10,000 steps every day so she uses the treadmill over her lunch and some nights, she just walks around the house, up and down the stairs, chasing or cleaning up after her young children for an hour until she hits her steps.  I think she’s awesome.  I was trying to think of how I could help her. I too have gone through periods where I would rather sledgehammer the treadmill than walk on it.  Then I remembered the two awesome classes at Biggest Loser Fitness Ridge that had me so focused on the time, intervals and beating myself that I was more than happy to be on the treadmill or elliptical.  I’ve posted these before.  You guessed it: Treading and Mountain class!!!  If you are adding some steps or workouts to your 2014 resolutions but are already bored beating the belt to nowhere, then try these! I guarantee the time will fly by and you will get a great workout in.