Friday, September 09, 2011
So I have decided to come up with my own experiment for the month of Sept. I use the term "experiment" because this will entail a bit of logging that I usually do not do on a daily basis.
My last blog was about a Leslie Sansone video that I tried out on the free fitness on-demand section from my tv provider. Free is good & the video worked me harder than I have been, so I have decided to make this experiment happen.
Spark will call this a challenge...I like experiment better...because with an experiment, there are serious trials and errors...and since I am more of the scientific brain-type....so experiment it is!
Ok - on to the details! If I get too bogged down in the specifics, I think I will go nuts, so here is just what I am planning off the top of my head.
- on my exercise days I will do her videos...changing things up here and there since there are a few different ones to choose from I won't get bored (I increased my days as well...should be interesting)
-push myself to the max when doing them...to get max benefits....I mean, she is doing this a lot and looks great, so I WILL be channeling the woman as much as possible.
-in the back of my head, I can totally see being able to do this when I am 60 - so this is right up my alley in terms of long-term health and weight-loss/maintenance....which is what I am really going for....running is great, but I'm very practical about long-term exercise sustainablility
- try on one piece of clothing (that recent bridesmaid dress) and see how my body changes while wearing it - week to week. I have to go put it on now...hoping it fits since I gained a few pounds since the wedding. It's a good starting point nonetheless.
- try to get the kids doing this with me...ambitious...very very ambitious, but really, I am thinking about the winter months and we need to be more active as a whole...hoping they can do this simple video and have fun with me at the same time :)
- prove that a simple in-home video is the way to go, especially if one is terrified of the gym or cannot afford it (both for me), is terrified of video's (like I am/was), is feeling like there is nothing out there for them that they can do, is feeling like they have to pay for videos (which 9 times out of 10 never get used and collect dust - totally guilty on this one)
-things I would like to see tone up: arms, back shoulders (yes, from a walking video! LoL) and I would also like to see how my core reacts too - will the waistline shrink? toneup more?? Hmmmm......
So far, in comparison with my usual treadmill workout that I have done forever, I can tell you this:
- I sweat more
- I definitely use more muscle groups that ever before
- my heart rate is definitely higher and sustained longer than when I do some of my treadmill workouts - which I thought were AOK, until I did this video.
- I don't have to think anymore...maybe that is a good thing for an overactive brain :)
I know this is not knew, but since I have this little thing in my head, I figured I'd make it official. There are a lot of people who are also shy about joining Sparkgroups or just starting out, so maybe if someone like that sees this, it will give them a different perspective on the whole working out thing. As many of you know, I'm in this for the looooooong haul and I want to teach people to be moderate and purposeful for their lifetime, and in the end, see results they might not have thought could happen with just a simple video.....whether you are 334 pounds or if you are 134 pounds...change can happen in a month with a simple walking video.
Am I being to ambitious to think that I will be very surprised in how I look by the end of the month? I mean, c'mon, it's not like I am tackling P90X here (props going out to all who do though! Goodness gracious! Mad credit to you guys! but again...it's a video...I am a self proclaimed video-phobe...maybe I will work up to that level! LoL) But am I being too ambitious to expect major changes? I don't know, but really, this is worth a shot to keep me more consistent, especially during this crazy time of year. Speaking of which, why am I doing this now? It IS the crazy time of the year! LOL Maybe - just maybe - I will also be less stressed.
If you want...feel free to join me, especially if you happen to find the free on-demand walking stuff....and let me know how you are doing!
OK - Here is a P.S./edit - that bridesmaid dress in the pic on my page....OK I tried it on. Originally back in May, it fit like a glove - literally! Let's just say it had no room to spare. I got it zipped up back then, but it was when my exercise was waning off & not perked up a bit - and I weighed 130 or so. A mushy 130. Today, the fit of the dress IS tighter, and I can get it zipped up mostly & with some dificulty by myself, but realy if I had to wear it for a night, well I would be uncomfortable. Ick.
So I am starting this more around 134-135 - my upper maintenance range, and I would LIKE to get back down to the 130 mark...just because this is what maintenance is about....when you creep up into that upper range, you have to reassess and get back on the band wagon to cease the bad habits from creeping back in (why oh why do they always have to peek in and ruin a good thing?!?!) Anywhoooo - this is where we are starting.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
If you are first reading this, then I have to fill you in on something I have talked about before....I am VIDEO-PHOBIC. I'm one of those people that really does not do exercise videos...for the pure fact that I feel like a complete idiot while doing them!
Well, I went on the treadmill today and was immediately - "oh jeez, I am SO not in the mood for this today" and within 5 minutes, was interrupted by the 5 year old (who I just banished from watching tv for a half hour), who in turn pulled over the kiddie-bike video game and wanted me to set it up, which I would have, except for the fact that the connector cables were gone . so what do I do? I put on an Elmo video! Eeesh! I threw up my hands in disgust beacuse NOW...I really don't want to go on the treadmill and I gave in to him...AGAIN!
I refused to give up....
I turned his video off - and told him to read a book.
I turned on the family room tv and went to the on-demand fitness channel...whallah! Leslie Sansone family walk video! perfect.
Off I went...into the new world of video exercising.
That Leslie Sansone really impressed me....why? because she was NOT intimidating, family friendly, and expressed that everyone screws up the movements..even her! I can even say that I broke out in a sweat FASTER than when I workout on the treadmill...it's a nice change to not have to think about increasing my own level and then WHALLAH! You are done!
Now I know for a fact, that my buddy OAKBORN on here used Leslie Sansone a LOT when she first started Spark yeeeeaaars ago (remember Oak? lol) -She is going to get a kick out of this blog because I was a tried and true "I don't do videos" person. Well...I take it aaaaalllll back!
Here is the deal (and I am the first to admit when I am pigheaded) - after SO many years of doing things, it is time to change things up...get a new goal (no weddings in sight anymore - and my 20 year high school reunion...meh, on that one - not high on the list of 'gotta look hot' when you have NO idea who will be there) and that being said...I think I will be doing more of Leslie and (gasp!) even try Jillian Michaels!
Speaking of goals - next year is a race that i really want to run in - (OK people, very funny with the pretend fainting)...yes, me - on the road, training...I know, the sky is falling!! the sky is falling!!!!!! LoL I've never wanted to run in a race, but this one appeals to the old pilot in me, because th race is done on the airport where I once flew! Cool huh? To run the taxiways and the unsused runway really would be cool. So now, I have a new goal, and that is also one for my husband as well...we are going to do this together!!!!
So that is where I am - changing things up, trying something new, setting a completely new goal in my crosshairs.
Change is good...and it's time for some, once again!
Friday, September 02, 2011
Here on Long Island...we were braced and ready for the storm!!
Coastline was evacuated as per the governing bodies...luckily, we were higher in-land and we did not have to evacuate.
We did not lose power - feeling lucky once again, because some parts of the Island just got it back yesterday and still, some do not have it today.
The worst part of our storm was the tornado warnings...once I heard about those - I did not go to sleep that night! So stress settled into my neck muscles and my eyes and still - I do not feel right. My husband thought I was nuts because I brought him into the basement to look at the beams so we could figure out where to huddle if a tornado hit....very unlike me. I took pictures of the outside of the house before the storm even!!! Another out-of-the-ordinary thing for me to do!
I feel for the people who got hit so hard north of us in New England....my goodness - what happened in VT and on the mainland is absolutely insane! I cannot imagine! Close friends from high school - who all live in major hurricane preparedness areas in NC and NJ - thankfully they were spared major devestation...but still the surrounding area is a mess and I feel for those who have to pick up.... or start over entirely!
So, besides the hurricane coming, my stress has been uber high lately anyway because of serveral things and school starting up once again...my last little guy is heading into Kindergarten, so maybe that is an added undercurrent adding to the stress as well. Sleep has been horrible, my eyes hurt, my jaw is clenching, the temples are hurting, I have been eating foods that are on the fattier side and wine - my occassional treat became a bit of a normal thing to have each night....which I acknowledge and cut off because that would be a bad thing to be dependent on!
These last couple of days I have looked inward and realized that if I did not get back to my exercise and tracking, then things that I have worked hard on would be for nought. I am still in my maintenance weight range, but not in the physical shape I was back in the beginning of August (can we say mushy?), and my old behaviors and mental state were shockingly familiar and scary to feel as they tried to creep back in to my world...
I have stopped the creeper from entering the building starting today.
First up was blogging a bit and saying "hi" here, the next was a visit to the basement & my treadmill....and the rest of the day will be tracking my nutrition for a wakeup call.
Acknowledging one's weaknesses is the most important thing when trying to lose and maintain weightloss....even for someone who has been "successful" over years....and even typing those words "over years" is scary because when faced with a demon, it feels like all the work you have done is completely erased in your head.
So back in the saddle it is!!! The school schedule will be good for everyone and hopefully things will settle into calmness once again....I could use some boring routine after the crazy month of August!
Friday, September 02, 2011
Took me long enough to get this update on here!!!! Just 10 days under a month of being there! LoL Well, things kinda got in the way....getting back from a trip is stressful and then...oh we had a bit of weather here on Long Island...just a bit, so that added fun was a bit of a glitch in the works as well!
Anyway, I promised an update of Disney and here it is!!
Well...tip #1 - avoid going in July or August if you can possibly help it! The kids whining factor was at an all-time high, probably exacerbated by the heat & humidity thrown on them while waiting on lines and walking through every single park every day. Even standing on the line to get in Magic Kingdom on the first day was SO filled with whining it was kinda putting a damper on the trip - so avoid the summer months if possible....you will thank me, trust me!
Well, if you exclude the whole waiting and whining factors - the whole trip was a success and we really did have a great time! The memories are what really stand out and the only thing I can compare it to is child-birth: you will go through whining and crying, but in the end, those stresses fade into the distance and what you have left is a beautiful bundle of joy!
So on to tip #2! Character breakfasts!!!! If you can possibly get them in a park, at 8am on any given day...well, you will be GOLDEN! The parks usually open at 9am, but character breakfasts start at 8am - which means, you will be in the park before the main gates open...which meeeeeaaaans that even though you cannot enter the park yourself and have to wait for the rope to drop in your area of the park - you are waaaaay ahead of all the other people at the main gate entering! which therefore means that you can get to coveted rides first! Woohoo! Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace and Animal Kingdom's Tusker House have the characater breakfasts....use them to your advantage!! I don't know if other parks have them, but it is SO worth doing a little homework on this one! Let's just say that we were in the first truck on the Animal Kingdom Safari ride...and in summer, that is KEY because the animals tend to go back to sleep when it gets too hot out.
Tip #3 - MEALS: those Quick Service meals that say kids under 9 have to order from a kids menu....IGNORE THEM!!! We forgot about this tidbit of advice from our friends who went with their kids....by the time the 4th day hit, our kids were SO SICK of the kid's choices...and we forgot that a Quick Service (QS) meal is taken off your meal plan just as that - a QS meal, regardless of the age of the person using it! By the last day, we sat the kids down (ok, we hid them b/c we don't liek to break 'rules'), then we confidently went up to the counter and ordered 5 different meals and it was the best QS meal of the whole week!
Tip #4 - Strollers vs. No stroller.....Sometimes they are neccessary, but we have a 5 year old, a 7 year old and a 9 year old. Mom's panel advice for this age range was to bring a stroller or rent one. Umm, my 7 year old is 60 pounds at least - stocky build, heavy to push yet a whiner....but I was NOT going to give him the option to sit in comfort while I busted my butt in 100 degree heat. As for the 5 year old...he is very active in general, so walking and no stroller was our decision. And I am SO glad we did. Why? because between 2 parents and a savvy 9 year old, we had enough hands to skirt around the stroller and skooter crowd and it was FASTER than if we had a stroller. Strollers and skooters created more traffic than we anticipated, and with the few times I wished we had something to put them in - I realized it was way less than the times I thanked heaven that we did NOT have one! The distinct advantage of being on foot was thoroughly realized when we had a thunderstorm upon us just as the nighttime parade was getting ready on mainstreet....we zipped right past everyone and every wheeled device in the park and made it to the monorial in record and dry time!
Tip #5 - The monorail!!! Love it! We stayed at the Contemporary resort...yes, pricey, but for our once in a lifetime trip - it was worth it! The last time we went to Disney, we were newlyweds and stayed at the Grand Floridian - and that is on the monorail - and that was also 12 years ago! We regularly do NOT take fancy vacations, so this was a well-earned, well-planned out treat for us as a family. and Yes, it was worth it. The Contemporary was close enough to WALK to the Magic Kingdom and the return trip on monorail was 3 minutes long. Perfect for our needs. I must admit, from the pics of the pool at the Contemporary, I was NOT impressed...well, it turned out to be one of the best pools in the complex. The kids went to a few other resort pools with more visual ambiance, but the slide at our resort was "the best" according to them.
Tip #6 - Fast pass and go to the park EARLY - Learn how to use Fast passes and use them wisely! Going early to the parks is also a tip I am throwing in here - between the early arrival time and the fast passes - we banged out Magic kingdom before noon on our first day!!! No kidding! The rest of the time we visited this park, it was in the evening and we used the fast passes again, but to our advantage.
Tip #7 - Water bottles - reuse them! If you have a dining plan with snacks on it - then you can use the snack for a water bottle...but reuse those bottles at the water fountains throughout the park..you save on money and snacks per day!
Tip #8 - Resort refillable mugs - definitely worth the money to buy them! WE bought 3 at $13 a piece. At each resort, you can refill the mug as many times with whatever you want during your stay. My husband paid the mugs off in coffee refills by the 4th day! It was well worth the money, especially if you like coffee in the morning and the evening! We would throw them in the bag and would refill them each time we would return to the hotel.
Tip #9 - Bag at a park vs. no bag. At each park entrance, you must go through a bag check if you have one. We brought the backpack with us 75% of the time, but we split up and met on the entrance line to save time. The back pack held water bottle, baseball hate, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera & lollipops (bribery material while waiting on lines). It was really great to have...the only time we left it behind was when we went back to the park at night for a short time. Mind you, we did NOT have a stroller, so we took turns carrying it. No problems taking it on the rides either - most have storage places to put them because everyone has some sort of bag with them.
Tip #10 - KNOW THE TURNSTILES! At the park entrance - the entrance turnstiles work 2 ways: Kids ticket cards are sent through and the kids go through. Adults (anyone over 12 I think?) well, be ready to put the key card in, THEN put your index finger on a scanner and then go through. Not knowing this holds up the line. We had a game plan after ther first torturous & confusing entrance . We went like this: Oldest kid, kid, kid, Adult, Adult. The oldest kept the younger set put while we went through. The other option is Adult, kid, kid, kid, Adult. Since the cards all pile up, it's easy to grab them all at the same time and go quickly after that. The Fast Past adult should keep all the ticket cards because Fast passes need each card per person in order to get a Fast pass. If he/she runs ahjead without the ticket cards in hand - it's just a BIG waste of time....how do I know this? been there, done that! LoL
Tip #11 - If you are staying on the resort and your airline offers the Magic Your way Express Transportation - DO IT!! We had 2 carrying on backpacks on the plane - the rest of the luggage met us in our room.
Tip #12 - By the 3rd day - for people who frequent Disney vacations...this is known as the "Meltdown day" and should be entered into with caution. Children will have a tendency to melt down faster....which increases the stress from the caring adults faster and then EVERYone is in a pissy mood by lunchtime! We learned this little tidbit of information on Day 4 of our trip while talking with other parent on line. I think that is enough said on that subject. LoL We should have been more kind to ourselves, slept late and stayed by the pool that day. Think about how traveling will affect your kids - especially if you do not travel like this that often!
OK - I think that was all of the major tips that we thought about and reviewed over and over during the trip. We will be using a bunch of them the next time we go to Disney...maybe in 5 years or so! LoL But then, the kids will be older and more independent and more things will be learned!
A funny thing that happened a lot was the frequency of the bathroom visits!! We started joking that it was our favorite ride! Easy entrance, no lines, air conditioned...the perfect ride! LoL We would go before and after each ride...during every single meal, several times. Absolute ridiculousness!!!!!!! Yes, we were drinking water ad nauseum and there were some serious after meal repercussions on occassion (I don't think I need to say more than that, right?) We even had favorites by the end of the week! I even took photo's of our favorite places! This one was behind the PeterPan ride, in between Fantasyland and Liberty Square Tavern....it piped in German music....good to dance to...very soothing
As you can see - we kept our sense of humor (or at least tried to) most of the time!!
I hope some of these tips help a few of you out when you go there!!
Have a Magical Day!
PS - Weight/health update - Hubby did NOT work out, ate whatever he wanted (dessert - creamer, the whole 9 yards) and he gained 10 pounds! It came off pretty quick when we got home. I cannot eat like that, and between the walking and whatnot, I stayed the same. These past few weeks have been stressful for me (that's another blog!) - I gained 2 pounds since the trip and have not worked out in a few weeks...back in the saddle starting today!!
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