Monday, January 28, 2013

What a Wonderful Weekend (and Monday too)

I had a really good weekend. I started my day on Saturday with a Zumba class. It was with my regular instructor, but the song mix was a little different and she did a lot more of teaching to many levels - makes me wonder if the fact that I am not super coordinated is why she keeps it lower intensity. We shall see. Saturday night was Girls' Night Out. I had a great time with my friends. We went to a Thai restaurant and I ordered Seafood Garlic. It was full of steamed vegetables and had mussels, shrimp, scallops and calamari in it. The sauce was awesome. After I ate the main course, I ate the rice - covered in the sauce. I also enjoyed some wine with dinner. Then we went out to a show. I managed to maintain my weight, despite a fun a night out...that I awesome. Just think, if I had skipped even part of the rice (or a glass of wine), it could have been a net loss. That is so encouraging to me. Going out and enjoying time with friends and family is very important to me...I just need to do it in a healthy way.

Sunday was sort of a lazy day. No workout. I ate cereal for breakfast - which I never do during the week. It was nice to just relax.

Monday, I am happy to say started with Spinning. I managed to get up on time and head over for class, despite the freezing rain. It was a great class, even though at the beginning I was questioning if I could make it through. My cool down walk felt good. It was mostly a good eating day, except for the chocolate. What can I say, co-workers have chocolate and work has been crazy, busy = stressful lately. Better to enjoy a little than to go over board, is all I can say.

Hope you are off to a great week!

Friday, January 25, 2013


What a disappointment. I must have been tired, as I forgot to set my alarm last night. So, this morning, I rolled over and looked at the clock to see how long until my alarm would go off and discovered that it was already 6:30. I had not only not gotten up when I needed to, but I had already completely missed my spinning class - it was just ending. I was so disappointed to miss my Spinning class. It is so much fun and such a good workout.

It might not have been so bad to take a break from my workout, but then I went and had a stressful day at work. Working out always helps me relieve stress, so to have missed that relief, made it that much more stressful. Now, I just want to sit down tonight with a bowl of ice cream with hot fudge. If I had at least worked out, I would feel less guilty.

I definitely think that I will have to make a point of going to Zumba tomorrow, to make up for today's missed workout.

Overall, otherwise, things are going well. I know that I will get past this missed workout, but I just wish that I didn't have to.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


You know, the thing is, I actually really enjoy working out. Sure, there are times when it is hard to get out of bed, but I know that if I get up and move, I will feel so much better. For me, working out is as much about the physical benefits as it is the mental ones. Working out is such a stress release. I can't really 'think' when I am doing Spinning or Zumba, it is a good break to turn the mind off and focus on the activity at hand. I think in the multi-tasking world in which we live, our minds are always on. The opportunity to disconnect really helps our mental abilities. The brain needs a break! Of course, when I am walking in warm up or cool down mode, I admit, I do use that time to run through my mental checklists, plan out my day or work through a conversation that I need to have that day. But, even that feels like a great chance to focus and align - I know that technically I am multi-tasking, but really for the mind, it doesn't feel that way - plus, it makes the walk/run super quick.

Yesterday was a busy, but great day. I started with Spinning Class. It was a very quick 45 minutes. I didn't get as much distance, but I can tell that I am working harder. I have my gears at higher numbers and am still getting the same RPMs during the different phases of the workout. It felt great. Then, I did a 1/4 mile cool down walk - it simply is a necessity after that workout. A busy day at work was followed by a one hour Zumba class. The class was packed - had I arrived 2 minutes later, I would have been turned away at the door and upset. I need to make sure that I head to Zumba a little earlier I least for a few more weeks.

Eating has been good. I have been getting a great variety of food, but eating within my targets. We even went out to dinner with friends and I was able to do it. Eating right makes me feel better too! There just is something to be said for how sluggish I feel after I nibble on chips or sweets. Now, don't get me wrong, I still find a way to fit in a bit of chocolate each day, I'm talking the 'desserty' sweets. Yesterday, mid-afternoon I was feeling a little hungry and grabbed a bag of baked chips that was leftover from a meeting. After eating it, I wondered why. I can't say that I really felt less hungry, but I felt a lot more sluggish. It fit within my day from a calorie perspective, but I could have grabbed an apple or a banana and been so much more satisfied and felt better too.

The scale is continuing to respond. I am so thankful for that. It is amazing how motivational progress can be.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Move it! Move it!

I went to a Zumba class that I don't normally attend. My intent had been to see how my less than enthusiastic instructor did when there were a number of participants in the class. Of course, as luck had it, she wasn't here today, so I joined in the class with the substitute instructor. She had us moving. There was a lot of squats and lunges and jumps and hops and turns. It was a great class. If she were my regular instructor, I have no doubt that I would be burning off calories a lot faster. It really was more like aerobics or toning than Zumba - there were little of what I have done from a 'dance step' perspective in either of my other Zumba classes. I think more than anything, the extreme difference in what Zumba is depending on instructor really struck me.

Friday morning was a great spinning class. I am still fighting this cold, but I likened the sweat and the pumping of blood through my body to how your body normally fights a bug with a bit of a fever. I struggled with some of the workout, the cold is leaving me feeling a little light on energy, but I was glad that I went.

Eating has been good.

The scale is FINALLY responding in a way that I was hoping.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Oh, the Pressure!

I simply do not like being unable to breathe. I know, crazy right? This crazy head cold that I am starting to develop is really a pain. I have been fighting it tooth and nail. I have been taking my zinc and vitamin c. I have been drinking Gatorade (hydration, electrolytes and all that good stuff). I have been drinking my hot tea with honey. I have been trying to get a good night's sleep each night. I have been trying to stay active and hopefully, by getting the blood pumping, up the fighting power. Last night was the worst. I couldn't fall asleep because I couldn't breath. I finally gave in and had some decongestant in hope that I might actually get to sleep. I did, but it was a fitful sleep. I am fine when I am standing, but when I sit or lay down, my nose feels completely stuffed. I just want it to go away!!!

Yesterday was a great day for working out. I did my spinning class and it was a workout. Maybe it was because I am fighting this cold, but I was sweating like crazy and really was pushing myself. I definitely needed the 1/4 mile cool down walk I do after class. I think my legs would not have carried me down the stairs otherwise. Then, last night, I headed to Zumba at my 'regular' place. I think it is part instructor, part song. It was inspired, up beat and fun. Then, this morning, I went to Zumba at the Y. It was a good class. The music still was less upbeat and loud, but it was still a better class than it had been. I think the instructor might have been sick last week with a cold, and that might explain her lack of get up and go that I observed. I also did my 1 1/2 mile walk before Zumba and I actually even ran 3 of the laps. It felt good.

Eating - mostly pretty good. I seem to be overdoing it only on liquids, but that can be the nature of a cold. I am trying to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to thwart this cold. Also, I had soup yesterday - tomato bisque - one of my favorites. I couldn't skip the croutons and Parmesan cheese garnish.

The scale seems to be finally considering moving. There hasn't been much activity, but I keep think one of these days it is just going to drop and that weight that I should be losing in monitoring food and increasing activity will suddenly be realized.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A long way in a short time, or nowhere at all?

Wow! Just came home from my 6th spinning class. I have officially completed two weeks worth of spinning class. I will say that I am really enjoying it. Each workout is just enough different, that I don't feel like I am getting bored or that I can anticipate what will come next. The instructor for the class is great. I am even to the point, outside of maybe when she does seat touches, that I am actually keeping up and doing what everyone else is doing. Not even two weeks ago when I took my first class, I was always pushing myself to stay in Position 2 or 3 for just 20 more seconds and then it was I have to stay for at least 30 seconds and can't sit for more than 20 seconds before rejoining the correct position. Now, when we are up, I am up. The seat touches are the only hard thing for me. I can't get the rhythm down. When she does jumps and we are up for 2 or 4 or 6, I am okay, but with touches I just get out of sync and my muscles aren't sure what to do. But, that aside, I am very proud of myself for trying something new and catching on (okay, I know - it is biking and I have been riding a bike for more than a few years).

Today's class was intense. I don't know the true absolute accuracy of the equipment gauges, but I went almost a mile further and burned 20% more calories on the gauge. So, on a relative scale, it was more intense. I could feel it too. I was sweating more and my legs were a little more like rubber bands when we were done. It is a good thing that I always do a 1/4 mile cool down, otherwise, I'm not convinced that I could go directly from class to descending the stairs.

Taking morning classes has turned out to be a very good thing for me. It certainly is keeping me motivated to get up on time and to get out the door. I am glad that the local Y is finally open and that I am taking advantage of the facility.

Eating...well, I'm not really sure what to say. I feel like I am eating pretty well. I do find myself struggling when I cook meals that are combinations rather than components. It is easy to measure out a chicken breast and green beans but measuring a stuffed pepper or a cheesy chicken pasta serving is a challenge - sure I can measure one cup or measure 100g, but approximating how many servings there are or what their size is is the challenge.

The odd thing is that the scale is going NOWHERE!!! I am going to try to be even more diligent this week in truly measuring and calculating. I am going to try to 'sum' up the weight of the components in a recipe so that I can figure out how much total weight there would be so that I can measure out a serving and have perspective.

I know that body can take a couple of days to adjust to a change in work out routine and will hold those 'reserves' during that window, but usually that is a few days not over a week.

Oh well, the important thing is that I keep on monitoring my intake and focus on time, it will all workout.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Week

It is a new week and the Y finally seems to have the lighting issue under control. Yesterday morning, I arrived just as they got the lights on. Today, it seems that there were no issues with lighting.

Monday morning was filled with Spinning class. I am definitely getting 'better' at Spinning. I am able to stay 'out of the saddle' for longer periods. It probably helped that yesterday's class focused on strength training. Higher gears and climbing worked well for me. My legs were dying by the end of the class. I wrapped up with a 1/4 mile cool down walk around the track.

Eating was mostly okay yesterday, I seem to be experiencing a bit of stress at work and I am a stress eater, so I found myself picking at chocolate. I think I need an alternate stress breaker than chocolate.

This morning, I started my day with the intent to do strength training. I signed up at the Y for an equipment overview, so that I could ensure that I was doing the right circuit of strength training equipment and the right reps. Unfortunately, they haven't set those meetings up. I asked and the guy on duty told me the staff had not yet been trained on everything. So, I did a quick 1 1/4 mile walk and joined the Zumba class. I might wind up moving from a 3-day a week class schedule to 5-day a week - at least for this first session, since it feels like I will be through the session before I am called to set up a time to work through everything.

Time to get ready for the day!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

By the Light of the Fridge...

Sort of sounds like a late night eating binge story, but in reality it is the story of my Friday morning workout. I headed to the Y and was there in plenty of time to sign up for the classes that I will take and to head to Spinning. I got there and there were about 8 people standing in the lobby. The rest of the building seemed to be dark. Turns out that they had lights in the bathrooms, the lobby and a small lobby upstairs. Everything else - the pool, the fitness center, the fieldhouse, the Spinning room, the main hallways - was dark.

After standing there for a while, the Spinning instructor reminded them that we did the class on Wednesday without lights in the room and asked if the bikes could be moved out into the hallway or somewhere that had some light so that the class could go on. We all used our phones as flashlights and proceeded upstairs. Someone opened the door of the fridge to provide some light in the Spinning room. The instructor said that is enough light and proceeded to adjust the temperature, so that it wouldn't run too much. We set up our bikes and proceeded to work out. When we were about 35 minutes into the 45 minute class, the lights came back on. We had a late start, so hence a late finish, but I was glad that I didn't give up and leave before they decided to hold class in the dark. It felt great and I did a better job of staying out of the saddle for longer periods with the rest of the class. I followed up the workout with a 1/4 mile cool down walk.

Speaking of class, I decided to sign up for two Spinning and one Zumba class. I figure the other two days I can do some walking/running and some swimming. I could also use those as the days that I use the weights in the fitness center to do some more toning. The session is only like 8 weeks long, so I can always bump to four or five days of formalized class if I think it will be a better fit for me.

Eating was not so wonderful yesterday. I did great until mid-afternoon. I was in a meeting and the meeting lead brought along a Chex mix - with Bugles and Fritos in it. Well, I thought I would only have a couple, but I found myself periodically picking. That part wasn't so bad, but when the meeting was over, that salty taste in my mouth had me wanting something sweet. Conveniently, there were still some Christmas cookies and candies set out by others, that I picked at.

I am on the right path. I am being active and being more conscientious about the food decisions that I am making. I am still tempted and still lack full control to stop at one taste of a treat, but I am making the right choices 90% of the time and that will go a long way to helping me reach my goals of being healthier and more fit (and lose some weight along the way).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Uninspired Workout

So, this morning, I got up and headed to the Y to check out their Zumba class. I have only taken Zumba from one instructor and she is someone that has lost weight and achieved better fitness through Zumba. She has a true love of the program. I got to the Y a half hour before the class started, so I began with a 1 1/2 mile warm up walk. Then, I headed to the fitness area to the group class studio. No one was there yet. I signed up for the overview program for the equipment in the fitness center. Just a few minutes before class started, the instructor arrived. There were supposed to be four people in the class, plus me - I was just checking it out. I was the only one as class started. The routines were not too complicated - but I still stumbled on some transitions, since they were new. After a couple of songs, another person arrived for the class. As the class progressed, the instructor slowed down - I don't know if she was not wanting to do jumping jacks or really move or if she was trying to demonstrate the low side for beginners, but it seemed so uninspired. I left the workout not really feeling like I had done much. I have some muscle tenderness now, so I think that I might have actually done something, it just wasn't the 'fun' class that I was used to Zumba being, because the instructor was not as energetic. I am hopeful that it was a first class of the new year kind of thing and that next week it will be better. I really wanted that to be one of the morning classes that I took in addition to Spinning.

Eating was okay today, until it wasn't. I like to think that I made mostly wise decisions when we went out to dinner at a new Mexican restaurant, but the reality is that I picked at the chips (so I know I had more than the 12 that is a serving). My meal was one chicken taco and one chicken enchilada. No sour cream. There was that queso though...and I enjoyed dipping a few chips in it. Hopefully, it won't have an actual impact, but I feel a little blah from the food right now.

Hoping for a healthier meal plan and a more energetic workout tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year!

Well, before winter break came, I was doing a great job of going to the gym every morning. I was walking/running and then doing a bit of biking. We had two solid weeks off and despite thoughts about going to the gym, I just didn't find the time. At one point, I took the kids up to use the pool and my daughter said to me, "we should take Daddy, so that you can walk Mommy". It sounded like good logic to me and I was impressed that my 6 year old was concerned that I find time to walk, but unfortunately, my husband wasn't available to join us because of work.

This morning, I got up on time and headed up to the gym to start the new year off right (they were closed yesterday). I got there and it seemed oddly dark. I headed to the track and noticed that the fitness center and the track were both dark. They evidently were having a light issue - although, the main hallways were well lit. I heard the music coming from a multipurpose room and peeked in. The instructor was getting the dark room set up for a Spinning class. I had never taken a Spinning class, but knowing that it was not looking good for walking or biking in the fitness center, I asked if I could try it out (there is a nominal fee to take a class). She invited me in to try the class.

It was a blast, it was incredibly difficult (I certainly wasn't up as much as they were) and I felt great at the end of the workout (and I'm starting to feel it now). I definitely will be doing that again! Plus, it is actually a class that starts before 6. Tomorrow, I am trying out a 6 am class, but I am concerned that it will run too long for me to get the rest of my morning in. After Spinning, I did a 1/4 mile cool down walk. The lights were back on. There were other people on the track - not sure if that was a function of the time (I'm normally there at 5:30 and it was 6:30) or if it is a New Year phenomena. I like my empty track and missed it today.

Eating was good today. There were still some tempting treats at the office - everyone had a great idea to bring in the bad stuff so that they wouldn't be tempted. I did really good until afternoon. Then, I just wanted a little something sweet. I was doomed from the time I took one bite - it just made me want more. I was able to resist keeping myself to only a second piece, but wish I hadn't had the first bite. I think I will pack another piece of fruit tomorrow.

We were at the mall yesterday and I told my husband that when I reached my goal, I was going on a shopping spree. I would keep certain staples from my wardrobe, but I wanted new clothes. I'm not sure that he realized that I was serious, but I am.

Unfortunately, the holidays set me back a bit, but I am certain that I will be back on track soon. Especially if I do sign up for a couple of classes that I will go to each week.