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Archive for the ‘Wii’ Category

Let’s start with the bad news…

Housing

Today (it’s almost 1am, so technically this is yesterday) I went to look at the duplex that was available and I was so disappointed in what I saw.  Yes, the layout was exactly the same as the one I had lived in years ago, but it was absolutely disgusting inside.  Apparently the previous tenants had been evicted, and it showed.  The carpet and floors were filthy, and the property manager said they “might need to be replaced.”  Uh, if you want to rent it to me, they NEED to be replaced.  Oh, and while you’re at it, why not update those ugly cabinets that look as if they haven’t been painted in years?  The entire place just looked so run down and awful, and the yard was completely overgrown with weeds.  So not worth the monthly rental fee.

The property manager was so unprofessional, and not only did she show up 10 minutes late for our appointment, but she just seemed like a total airhead.  When I looked the company up on Yelp, they had some really poor reviews from current tenants.  Not a good sign.  Which means that all 10 of the duplexes that are on that street are off the table, because the same man owns all of them, and the same property managers run them.  If she couldn’t even show up on time to show me the place, I can only imagine how unresponsive they are when things need to be repaired.

So it’s back to the drawing board.  I’m not giving up, but I may not move out as soon as I thought (or had hoped).  My quick searches on Craigslist hasn’t shown anything I’m interested in so far.  I definitely want to get a duplex or a little house.  Once you “graduate” from apartment living, you definitely don’t want to go back.  I have decided to sign a month-to-month lease at my current location so that I have the freedom to leave whenever I want to.  This buys me the time to find some place that I feel comfortable with.  Because as crazy as the neighbors on both sides of me are (and for as poor as the neighborhood is), my place itself is nice and I only want to move up.  I definitely don’t want to settle.

And now the good…

Lulu

I’m happy to report that Lulu is completely potty trained already!  It’s only been a month, so I think that shows exactly how smart she is.  She’s still a great puppy who adds so much to my life, but she has started moving into that “adolescent” stage of puppyhood.  She’s started barking quite a bit, and while I know that’s normal, I don’t like it when she barks at ME.  Most of the time she barks becasue she wants to play, which is fine, but the last two days she’s started barking whenever I’m not paying her enough attention – when I’m eating a meal (new weight loss tool?? ;), when I’m cleaning up, or when I’m watching t.v or on the computer.  I’m trying different techniques to curb her barking at me, including giving her timeouts in her crate.  I’m going to inquire at the puppy training to see if they have any other suggestions.

Speaking of the training, she’s doing really well with “sit” and “lay down.”  I’m looking forward to going this evening (Wednesday evening) and seeing what new tricks we learn.  The main thing I’m looking forward to learning with her is recall/name recognition and loose leash walking.

Which leads me to the fact that I think I need to start taking Lulu on longer walks to tire her out a bit more.  Right now we go around the block 5-6 times a day and usually 1 good (1/2 mile) walk, but I think now that she’s gotten older and seems to be able to control her bladder better, I can cut down the walks to 2-3 longer ones a day.  My neighborhood isn’t the best to walk in, so I think I’m going to start driving her to the better streets that are a 5-minute car ride away.  I know that seems silly, but I’d much rather do that than walk on the streets around here where who knows what she’ll find.  There’s a ton of garbage on the sidewalks near my house (I saw a Hennessey bottle strewn on the sidewalk just this morning), so I’m forced to be ridiculously vigilant in making sure she’s not getting into things.  Since the nicely maintained streets aren’t very far away, it makes sense to just drive her to them.  Of course I’ll still take her outside for the quick potty breaks a few times a day, but I think doing these new routes will be good for both of us.  (It might also help with barking).

New Stuff

I just bought Just Dance for the Wii, and I can’t wait to try it this morning (look for a review once I have).  I’ve heard great things about it from you guys and from the reviews on Amazon, so I think it will be a fun thing to add to my exercise routine.  I pre-ordered the Just Dance 2, as well, and I have a feeling I’ll like that one, too.  It has all new songs to groove to, so it will help keep things interesting.

Despite the reported reception/antenna problems with the iPhone 4, I’m going to order one today.  I have a iPhone 3G, which is 2 models behind, and I’m ready to upgrade.  I can’t wait for the double viewer camera, because it will make taking self-portraits so much easier.  I can’t tell you the number of times my sister (or friends) and I have wanted to snap a picture of ourselves, only to take a photo of our chins, or our foreheads, etc.  The other really cool feature is the video chatting Facetime that you can do with other iPhone 4 users.  There are lots of other cool things about the new iPhone.  Plus, I told my sister that I’d give her my old phone, and since she’s been going through some difficult and stressful personal (relationship) issues, I want to do whatever I can to make her life better.  She never gets anything for herself because money is tight and whatever extra she has goes to my nieces, so I’m more than happy to give her the old iPhone so that she can have a nicer phone.

Goals For the Week

I wanted to set a few exercise/activity goals for myself this week (Wed-Fri), and I’ll check in on Saturday to see how well I did:

  1. Do the Just Dance each morning
  2. Take Lulu on 2 long walks a day
  3. Wear my Body Bugg each day and log my calories burned online
  4. Go swimming 1 day
  5. Go to the gym 1 day
  6. Take a bike ride 1 day
  7. Make an appointment to meet with a new personal trainer

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I’ve sort of gotten out of the habit of working out since the end of the school year when it was crazy-hectic.  I’ve done a few workouts since school got out, but nothing to write home about.  I had tons of errands to do last week, my first full week of summer.  Then Lulu arrived, and we haven’t left each other’s side for more than a few minutes. I’m feeling a bit cooped up right now, because I hate the way she whines and whimpers when I put her in her crate, even for a few minutes.  I know I need to get over it, because in 2 months, I’ll be back at school and I’ll need to leave her for 6+ hours a day.

I have taken her with me on a few car trips, and she does really, really well.  She seems to really enjoy the puppy seat I got her, which makes it much easier.  We’ve gone to my parents’, PetSmart, the vet, and the park.

Speaking of which, we took our first “real walk” yesterday at my favorite neighborhood spot, The Rose Garden.  It’s a gorgeous spot, and while dogs aren’t allowed on the inside of the park (for obvious reasons), there is a ton of grass and roses on the outside, too.  Plus there are some really beautiful older homes to gander at while you walk.  Lulu was in absolute heaven.  “Grass!  People!  Other dogs!  Lots of things to distract me!”  :)  You should’ve seen her, poor puppy.  She didn’t know what to do.  She’d start off running at full clip and then she’d suddenly stop and lie down.  It was hilarious, but it did get a bit frustrating after a while.  We went about 1/2 a mile in 20 minutes.  LOL.  LOTS of stopping and starting.  I know that I just have to continue to be patient with her, and the more we walk, the better she’ll get at it.  I also plan to enroll us in puppy classes in July, and one of the main things they teach is leash control, which I need.  I’m doing my best, but her excitement is hard to contain.

Other than our walk, the only other exercise I did yesterday was the Wii Fit+ for 15 minutes.  So, it’s definitely an improvement on the previous 2-3 weeks, but it’s definitely not the Bella’s Boot Camp that I want to get to this summer.  I’m giving myself the summer off from food tracking, as well as the scale and going to focus my efforts on activity.  And I feel very strongly that by eating more intuitively (only when hungry) and making activity the priority, I’ll see success this summer.  But in order to really see the success I need to get moving.

I know that going for a good walk with Lulu (as well as taking her out front several times a day) will be a good, relaxing activity, but I also need to really move my body at the gym, on my bike, and in the pool.  I need to use the gym to the fullest and take all of those classes that I’ve been wanting to.  Starting this week, starting today, I am committing to getting in at least an hour and half of activity a day. This will be an hour of heavy exercise and at least half an hour of walking Lulu/Wii Fit+, etc.  I know I can do it, because I did it last summer.  Plus, since I’m off now and lots of my other friends are working, I have a lot of time on my hands.  Working out is a free way to enjoy my day and make sure I don’t feel so cooped up.

I think getting out of the house and working out will also help me with crating Lulu. It will be good for me to slowly get her used to being without me.  And we’re going to start today.  I have a nail/pedi appointment at 10:15, and I’ll be gone about 2 1/2 hours.  I worry about how she’ll react, but then I remind myself that we do 6 hours every night and she’s just fine.  At night I’m in the same room with her, though.  But, just like with anything in life, I have to take the first (puppy) step in order for us to be successful.  Wish me (and Lulu) luck.

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This first weekend with Lulu has been so much fun.  She is definitely my little shadow, following me EVERYWHERE, including the bathroom.  ;)  We had a really sleepless night (maybe 2 hours of sleep total for both of us), on Friday, but on Saturday I read up on some websites and downloaded Cesar Millan’s How to Raise a Perfect Dog to the Kindle (which was a godsend, in this situation, since I couldn’t leave to go to the bookstore).  I learned that it’s normal for her to cry when in the crate in the beginning and to just ignore it and let her calm down.  It took about 15 minutes, but she eventually quieted down.  I absolutely hate hearing her cry, but I know this is all part of the process.  We got about 6 hours of sleep on Saturday night and the same last night (progress!).  Other than not really enjoying her crate or being without me, she’s doing absolutely wonderfully.  She plays and cuddles, and she’s just an absolute doll.  Potty training is going pretty well too.  Only a few accidents, which is good for her first few days in a brand new environment.  She’s getting the hang of going outside to go potty, which is fantastic.  She really is a smart girl.

This morning I had her go in her crate (making sure she had toys and her favorite chew stick) so that I could do a bit of the Wii Fit.  She was good for the first two minutes, before she realized she was going to be in there for a while.  Then the crying started and increased, but I just ignored it and went on with the workout.  The hilarious thing was that once I started doing the Advanced Step, she completely stopped.  I’m sure she was thinking to herself, “what the heck is she doing?” with her head cocked to one side.  :D  Too funny.  I got in about 10-15 minutes of the Wii, which isn’t great, but we’re making slow progress.

One thing she actually loves is going in the car and being in her car seat.  I’ve taken her on two drives, and she seems to have a great time.  I haven’t put the top down on the convertible with her in the car, but might try it and see how it goes.  The cool thing about the Outward Hound doggie car seat is that it completely straps her in.  I used a harness for extra security and to avoid any sort of choking incident, should we need to stop fast.

Today we have her first vet appointment, and I’m hoping she’ll get a clean bill of health. Once he clears her to go on longer walks, I’m planning on taking her to my favorite spot, the Rose Garden, which has tons of grass and trees, so she should love it.  We could both use a good, long walk.  I just want to be sure that her vaccinations, especially Parvo, are all good to go before exposing her to the “wider world.”

Tomorrow will be the first test of her crate.  I have a nail appointment and will be gone for two hours.  I’m sure she’s going to be whining in the beginning, but I really hope she’ll calm herself down after a while.  I was planning on leaving the t.v. or radio on for her, for some company.  My dad was saying that I might not want to start that habit, because when work starts up again and I have to leave her all day, I may not want to have the t.v. or radio on all day long.  Do you guys think that’s a good idea?

Overall, Lulu is a little lovebug.  A bundle of joy who I know is going to bring so much to my life.  If she’s this good right now in her “terrible twos” of puppyhood, I can’t wait to see what she’s like once she’s a little older.

Lulu playing this morning. Notice she's right outside her crate.

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The key to change…is to let go of fear.” ~~ Rosanne Cash

I’ve decided that this summer is going to be the summer of changes.  Summer always brings with it change – a break from the daily routines and obligations, a change in weather, a new variety of fruit and veggies available, a different wardrobe, etc. But this year I want summer to be filled with some other, positive changes in my life.

This summer brings with it a new birthday – the last birthday of my 30s (yes, I’m turning 39), and I want to make this the year I make significant changes to my lifestyle.  Turning 39 is freaking me out a bit – it means 40 is just around the corner, and 40 just seems too mature.  No offense to those who are 40 or above – I know you’re fabulous, but to me, people who are 40 are grown-up, together, and know where their lives are going.  All of those things are true for me, but I also feel like I am just beginning to figure out what living as an adult is all about.  I’m definitely young at heart, and I think part of that is because that I get to work with teenagers every day.  I’m able to stay up with the trends.  I listen to much of the same music they do.  Well, those who have good taste that is.  (I’ve listened to the same radio station since high school, and the format (adult alternative) hasn’t changed in all these years).  Beyond that, I think the fact that I only have obligations to myself (not being married or having kids) affords me a level of freedom that I don’t normally associate with someone my age.  Then again, they say 40 is the new 30 (here’s hoping), so I know that I still have a lot of life ahead of me.

Which leads me to the changes that I foresee this summer.

Change my approach to weight loss. Ever since I got the news that I may have high blood pressure, I decided that I needed to change the way I have been trying to lose weight.  You guys know that I’m a perfectionist, and while that’s not going to change, I can take some of the perfection out of the equation by giving the scale the summer off.  I think I mentioned before that I’m not going to post weekly weigh-ins, but I’ve decided to take this a step further.  I’m not going to weigh myself at all this summer.  I’m going to let go of the stress I always feel when my weight fluctuates each week.  Right now it seems that weight loss is alluding me, and I want to focus on fitness instead of pounds.  I’ll be able to keep track of how I’m feeling by what I’m able to do in terms of activity.  I’ll also be able to see how I look based on the way my clothes fit.  And of course, every time I step on the Wii to do the Fit Plus, I’m going to get weighed, so I’ll have a bit of a check-in that way, but I’m not going to obsess about what it shows.

Change my hair! This may seem like a small change, but the way I look (and perceive myself) has everything to do with my level of confidence.  My hair is a bit past my shoulders now, but because I have thick, very curly hair, it seems to be as wide as it is long.  I’ve been noticing that I wear my hair up in a bun most days, just because it’s easier to deal with.  So I figured if I’m wearing it off my face anyway, why not go for a bit of a dramatic ‘do?  I’m going to get it cut into an A-lined stacked bob.  Which will be a big change.  It will be short in the back – very short – but the hair will gradually get longer and the front pieces will hang down past my chin.  I’ve found some pictures online, and while none of them are exactly the same cut I want (with my hair type), they’ll give you a pretty good idea.

I picture it being as full as Hale Berry’s looks, and about that length in the front. My hair is actually even curly than hers is in that picture, but it’s about that full.  The photo of the back of the neck isn’t exactly right, but I am planning to get the back very short like that.  Here’s to exposed necks!  The nice thing about hair (especially mine) is that it grows back quickly, so if I’m not loving the ‘do, I can grow it out.  I think this will be a fun change for summer.  I’ll feel like my hair has more style, and it should be really easy to keep up with.  It will look good curly (which is how I wear it almost every day) or straight.  The one hesitation I have is about putting it up.  There are times (when I’m working out, cleaning the house, etc.) when I have to have my hair up.  I guess I can put it into quirky pigtails or back with clips/headbands.  It’ll be fun figuring out new styles.

Change my household habits. With the addition of Lulu comes some significant changes in how I’ll live in my house.  I’m talking mostly about the fact that I usually eat in the living room, sitting on the floor, using the coffee table as my table.  Once she gets here, I know that’s not going to be an option, because it will be easy for her to beg, jump on me, etc.  So that means I’ll have to take my meals into the dining table I have in my breakfast nook.  Which also means I’ll be spending a lot less time in front of the t.v., which will be a good thing.  I think I’ll entertain myself by reading a book or magazine (I’ve got stacks to catch up on!) rather than mindlessly turning on the tube.  The other thing that Lulu’s arrival means for my house is that I have to be much more careful about what I leave lying around.  I have a habit of leaving my clean laundry in the basket until I get around to folding it and putting it away.  With a puppy who will no doubt love to get into everything, I can’t do that anymore.  Which will be a great thing.  It will mean I’ll have to be more organized and not leave things undone.  This also means that I have to be fastidious with the floors and carpets.  My least favorite household chore is mopping the floor, and I try to spot clean it instead.  But now that she’ll be around, I’ll have to make sure that the floors are spotless, because I don’t want her to eat or lick something that would make her sick.  (Wow, that makes it sound like my floors are gross – they’re not).  I’m actually looking forward to have this ultra-clean requirement, because it will force me to keep the house tidy all the time. I’m a super-clean person, and like things in order, but there are those days when I let it all go.  Now that I’ll have this little being around, I’ll have to make sure that those days are gone.

Biggest change of all – LULU!!! Of course, the most exciting change this summer is getting Lulu.  She arrives this Friday at 12:35.  I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas to get here, that’s how excited I am to meet her.  I can’t wait for all the love and companionship that she’ll bring.  I know it’s going to be a lot of work (to put it mildly), but I also know the rewards that come with her are innumerable.  I’m looking forward to the walks, the activity, and the social aspect that I know she’ll provide.  I can’t wait to spoil her rotten!  Here’s a quick little video that the breeder sent me.  It’s only 5 seconds, and it doesn’t really show her face, but it does give an idea of how active and adorable she is.  (It also demonstrates that Miss Lulu is in desperate need of a trip to the groomers, which will be on her first week’s agenda).

What changes are you making?

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Lots of fun stuff to discuss today.

I had a  great weekend!
My mom, sister, and I went up to San Francisco to go on our long-awaited birthday celebration for my mom.  (Her birthday was in February, but with the lousy weather this winter and then our busy schedules, this was the first weekend we could do it).  It was a perfect day!  We took BART to avoid the traffic and parking nightmare, and it was a really relaxing way to get up there.  Plus, my sister met us along the route, so we spent half the trip up there catching up and laughing.  A great way to start the day.  The weather in SF was absolutely gorgeous, which was amazing.  We’ve been having unseasonably cold and rainy weather here, and SF is usually even cooler, but on Saturday it was in the high 70s in the City, so it was a stellar day.  We went to the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market and shops and had so much fun.  I’d been to the shops at the Ferry Building before, but never to the farmers’ market, and my sister and mom had never been to either before, so it was a really fun experience.  It was packed, which is to be expected considering that it was Memorial Day Weekend, as well as a beautiful day in SF.  The farmers’ market was HUGE, but also really expensive.  I’m glad we went just to see the offerings, but we really didn’t buy that much.  I picked up a nice syrah from the French Mediterranean and some Rancho Gordo heirloom beans.  LC commented that I bought the beans more for the packaging than for anything else, and she is 100% right on that.  I mean, how could I not:

You guys know me, I love anything with that 50s retro feel, and these beans were absolutely beautiful (as much as beans can be :)  They’re a pretty brownish-purple and while color.  The vendor was trying to explain how to cook them, but I finally came clean and told him that I really just wanted to display them in my kitchen, and he laughed at me.  Other than that, though, the prices were too expensive.  For example, the cherries were selling for $7/lb, which is outrageous.  I went to my local grocery store and got some delicious cherries from central CA for $3.99/lb.  Farmers’ markets are great, but you do have to be careful about the prices sometimes.  Next time, I’d skip the farmers’ market and just hit the shops, which are a lot of fun to browse.  Plus, I have some really great, much more reasonable, farmers’ markets right in my own neighborhood, so why make the drive?

Sunday I caught up on housework, finished reading My Fair Lazy (which I highly recommend), did a Wii workout, and just lazed around a bit.  I was hoping to make it to the pool, but never got around to it.  Next weekend, for sure.

Today I woke up late, read the newspaper, did a bit of laundry and other household chores, got in another Wii workout,  and then went to my parents’ house for a bbq.  I’m so thankful that I have such a great family that I get along with so well, because they really make me feel so special.

All in all, it was a fantastic 3-day weekend.

Short Week

Because of the Memorial Day weekend, this work-week is going to be really short, which is wonderful.  These past two weeks at work have been really hectic and stressful, so I’m looking forward to having a somewhat lighter week ahead.  I have a few fun nights planned which also helps make the week more bearable: I’m taking my yearbook class out to dinner to celebrate a wonderful publication, I’m meeting a friend for a much-needed coffee catch-up, and then I’m going to see Sex & the City 2 with some girlfriends from work.  I also plan to continue on with the Scale Warfare’s EA Sports Active More Workouts Challenge, as well get back into some of my other workout DVDs.

I’m still avoiding the gym for my workouts for some reason.  I don’t really know why.  I like the gym, but if I have a choice, I much prefer taking my workout outside (walking, biking, or swimming) or doing the Wii or DVDs.  Once summer hits I want to make it a point to get to the gym more often, because I’ll be able to go during off hours when it will be less crowded.  Plus, I do need to use those personal training sessions that I bought.  I have enough to take me throughout the summer, so I might as well put them to good use.

2 More Weeks!

The countdown to summer vacation has officially begun.  That’s one of the great things about teaching – I get to have a long summer vacation, just like students do.  Although I’m not going on any big vacations, I still cannot wait for summer to get here.  I have lots of fun plans, including:

  • Lulu!  My new puppy is set to arrive around June 18 and I am so excited for her to get here.  I’ve got all the goodies I’ll need for her (water and food bowls, food, treats, blanket for her crate, toys, etc).  I also found a vet that is literally 3 blocks from my house, as well as a great groomer that’s only 2 blocks away.  Now all I need is her!
  • Going along with Lulu, I am going to enroll us in puppy training classes as soon as she arrives.  Well, I’ll give us a week to get to know each other first, but then it’s going to be twice a week training for both of us.  I think it will be a great way for us to bond, a good way for me to establish myself as the alpha of the house, and (I hope) a nice way to meet new people.
  • Working out:  I cannot wait to get into Bella Bootcamp mode again.  Last summer I was able to spend hours working out in various ways, and I really liked it.  Swimming, biking, working out at the gym – I enjoyed moving my body and seeing my progression as I did.  Now I get to add two daily walks with Lulu into the mix, which is even better.
  • Fresh fruits and veggies.  I love produce, and I really can’t wait to hit the farmers’ markets in my area on a weekly basis.  It’s going to be fun to keep my meal planning fluid so I can cook things that I find at the markets.  Improvisational cooking will be a fun experiment.
  • Reading – the one item I’m asking for for my birthday (July 2) is a Kindle, and I cannot wait to get it and start reading books this way.  I’m sure you’d expect an English teacher to like the old-school paper books, which I do, but I’ve also realized in recent years that I have a limited amount of bookshelf space left.  I’ll still buy the books  that I really want to cherish, but for fun reads and books that I’m not so sure of, I’ll be able to download them much more inexpensively and bring them with me wherever I go.
  • Netflix marathons – I love getting DVDs of tv shows from Netflix because it’s great being able to watch consecutive episodes without having to wait a week in between shows.  I know I’m going to watch West Wing (I somehow missed it when it was on), but I’d love to hear some suggestions of other shows you think are must-see.

There’s so much more I could write about what I plan to do this summer, but instead of dreaming about what I might do, I think I’m going to wait and see what I actually do and then write about that.

This week’s weight loss goals

I’ve been doing really well on my water and on the EA Sports Active Challenge, but what I’ve been slacking on is journaling my food.  I think that with the blood pressure scare I just needed to give myself a week or so off of it.  Not that I’ve been eating out of control, because I haven’t, but I haven’t been thinking as much about what I am going to eat.  I still plan my meals and eat a well-balanced diet, but I haven’t been counting points for a week or so.  I will get back to the journaling this week, for sure.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am going to go in for weekly blood pressure checks until my doctor returns from vacation.  I just want to make sure to record my blood pressure, to make sure that it’s not high.  I’m still getting those terrible headaches on an almost daily basis, and if they’re not caused by bp, I want to find out what the source is.

Another goal for this week is to catch up on my blog reading.  I’ve been really bad about it for the last couple of weeks because I haven’t had much spare time, but I’m going to try to make at least an hour a day so that I can offer as much support to all of you as you have been giving to me.  Plus, I always feel so much better after reading through your blogs.

Wow, this post ended up being a lot longer and I expected, but I hope it was worth reading.  Thanks for hanging in there through all 1600+ words, and I hope you have a great week.

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My focus for the next couple of months is going to be more on fitness and eating well, and to make sure I keep active I’ve joined a couple of challenges.

As you guys know, Scale Warfare has started an EA Sports Active More Workouts Challenge.  The More Workouts Wii game has a 6-week challenge that has you working out 4 days a week.  I’ve chosen Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, but you can select any four days that work best in your schedule.  I did my first workout on it this morning before work, and those 30 minutes were enough to give me tons of energy throughout the day.  I really enjoyed the variety of workouts it had me doing.  It begins with a 5-minute warmup of many different stretches, then moves on to a thirty minute cardio/resistance session with many different workouts.  Today’s included squats, “skipping” which is really more like jumping rope, lunges (both side and regular), running, and bicep curls.  Then it ends with ab/core work.  It really is a complete workout that you can do at home.  I highly recommend it, especially for people who don’t belong to a gym.  I’m sure I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

Once again The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans has another challenge going on:

I run with the Sisterhood which runs from Wednesday, May 26 through Wednesday, July 21 – 8 weeks to shrink a bit, move a lot, and feel great about your efforts.  The challenge is set up in teams, although you can also participate as an individual, as I am.  It asks that you report on your weight each Wednesday, but since I’m not going to focus on the scale right now, I’m just going to make sure I increase my activity for the next 8 weeks.  This definitely won’t be difficult to do because once summer vacation starts (June 11), I will have all day to workout.  Plus, once Lulu arrives on June 18 I’ll be taking her on walks twice a day, which automatically adds steps to my normal daily activity.  For my version of this challenge, I’m going to commit to getting in 10,000 steps each day.  I found this site, which gives the steps equivalent to non-walking activities like biking and swimming, which I plan to do a lot of this summer.  Swimming laps at a leisurely pace = 182 steps/minute (moderate pace = 212 steps/min), which means in 30 minutes I can “earn” 5460 steps.  Biking = 242 steps/minute, so in 30 minutes I can get 7260 steps. Which means, if I ride my bike to the pool at my parents’ townhouse complex and then swim for 30 minutes (and ride the bike back home), I can earn 12,720 steps!  That’s so impressive!  Talk about motivation!!!  Bring it on, baby!

I hope you’ll join in on one or both of these challenges, because they offer a great opportunity to see what you’re made of.

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This week was somewhat boring in terms of working out.  I didn’t do any new workouts, and to be honest, I had to force myself to do the workouts that I completed. 

Saturday, April 24off day.  I felt really lazy and listless all day.

Sunday, April 25 – I spent over 3 hours  cleaning the entire house.  One of those really good cleans that involves vacuuming and mopping and laundry and organizing.  I’m only going to count 2 hours, which earned me 8 APs. And before you think that’s overkill, I will tell you that I was sore for a few days afterward, so I think every one of those APs was well deserved. 

Monday, April 26 – off.  Busy day at work and then a grocery shopping trip.

Tuesday, April 27Wii Fit Plus for 45 minutes.  I knew that I was going to be busy after work, so I made sure to do the workout before I went in.  I always enjoy morning workouts.  4 APs.

Wednesday, April 28 – After rainy weather on Monday and Tuesday, I was so happy to finally see it stop on Wednesday, so I headed outside for a long walk.  It was terribly windy, but I just breathed in the fresh air and was thankful for the break in the rain.  I walked for 1 hour and earned 6 APs.

Thursday, April 29 – This morning I did another Wii Fit workout for 45 mintues, because I knew I was going to happy hour with a few colleagues after work.  I earned 4 APs.

Friday, April 30 – I haven’t had a chance to workout yet today, but since I get to leave work at 11:30 and the sun is shining, I’m going to go on a bike ride for at least 30 minutes.  I’ll earn 3 APs.

All in all, I earned 25 APs throughout the week, which I’m actually really proud of.  I felt like I really wasn’t doing enough activity, but when I just stopped to add it all up, I actually got quite a bit in.  That’s the thing that I want to try to keep in mind, it all does add up, and I don’t always have to hit the gym in order to keep up this active lifestyle. 

I have some really exciting and unique activities planned for next week (starting tomorrow!) and I can’t wait to do them.  Definitely come back next week to read all about it.

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I’ve noticed that people tend to make the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to losing weight and staying healthy.”

~~ Bob Greene

You may be wondering what the image I chose has to do with Bob Greene’s quote.  There are quite a few unhealthy habits that I could write this post about, because I’d love to break free from all of them.  But, right now I’m in the middle of PMS – the zinger zit, the killer headaches, the chocolate cravings, the emotional responses to seemingly harmless remarks, etc.  And the thing is, I get this way every single month.  Since my periods are always regular, you would think that I’d keep track of my PMS weeks so that I could prepare myself for it.  But I don’t.  Don’t ask me why, I just never have. 

Until now.  Once I read that quote this morning, it really hit me.  I usually gain quite a bit of weight 2-5 lbs each month when I have my period, and I hate it.  But I’m not really doing anything to avoid it.  I tend to give in to my cravings, although I do eat the lower sugar/fat-free versions, which is a good consession.  I don’t really increase my exercise, though.  if anything, I exercise even less than normal, and this week is the time I should be exercising even more, to avoid that extra weight gain. 

So tonight after work, a nail appt., and the grocery store I’m going to make sure to exercise.  If it’s still light outside I’ll take a walk or ride my bike, but if it’s starting to get dark, I’ll do one of my DVDs and/or the Wii.  This week I have a lot going on each day after work, which usually makes it harder for me to exercise, but knowing that TOM is coming is motivating me to make sure to get those extra steps, pedals, and moves in so that  the scale won’t be as scary as it could be. 

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What weight gain/unhealthy lifestyle cycle do you continue to do repeatedly that you need to break yourself free from?

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Saturday, April 17 – Today I was up and at ‘em early, but then the day seemed to get away from me rather quickly.  Still, I managed to get in quite a bit of activity, which was my goal, considering that when I got on the WiiFit+ it said I was up 2 pounds.  Yesterday’s lunch at Chevy’s was most likely the culprit.  I did the Fit+ for 30 minutes, earning 3 APs.  Then it was time to do some cleaning – I did my kitchen floor on my hands and knees, did some laundry (neverending!), and straightened up the bathroom – earning 4 APs. Saturday’s total – 7 APs!

Sunday, April 18 – Whew, what a day!  It was truly one of the BEST Sundays I’ve spent in a long time.  I walked and shopped for over 4 straight hours, and I swear that when I got home I felt as tired as if I’d walked a 5K.  Who knows, maybe I did.  ;)  I counted all the walking as one hour of “slow” walking and earned 4 APs.  When I got home I redecorated and cleaned up for an hour and a half, earning 6 APs.  Sunday’s total – 10 APs! No wonder I was so worn out by the end of the day.

Monday, April 19 – I know I said I was going to go to an aqua aerobics class tonight, because I had bought those suits, but I didn’t.  It ended up being an off day.  Mostly because I was tired after my first day back after spring break.  Plus, I’m a wimp because it was rainy and cold, and I didn’t feel like getting in the pool and then having to run to the car with cold hair, etc. 

Tuesday, April 20 - Tonight was almost another off day, but then I knew it was Biggest Loser night, and if I don’t do some sort of workout first, I always feel guilty sitting there watching the show on the couch.  So, I figured it woudl be good to do 30 minutes of the BL Jumpstart DVD.  I did cardio 1 & 2, abs, and I was a sweaty mess by the time I was done. I earned every one of those 7APs that I got for this workout. 

Wedesday, April 21 – off day.  I didn’t get home today until 6:45, which is about 3 hours later than normal.  We’d had a final deadline in yearbook, and I was mentally and physically exhausted.  Plus, I needed to go grocery shopping, so I decided that that was the priority. 

Thursday, April 22In honor of Earth Day, I decided to take my workout outside and go for a nice, long walk around my neighborhood.  I spent time just enjoying the scenery around me, and noticing all the little things that I never see when I fly by in the car or on my bike.  It was nice to take an hour out of my day and just walk around and enjoy myself.  I’m going to try to do a bit more walking outdoors so that I can prepare for my upcoming See Jane Run 5K on June 5th.  I earned 5APs

Friday, April 23 - I knew I wasn’t going to be home until really late tonight, because I’m meeting up with some alums from my high school after work, so I made sure to get a bit of a workout in this morning before I left for work.  Luckily it was my late day, so I didn’t have to rush.  I did 45 minutes on the Wii Fit+ and earned 4APs.

All in all, I had a good week of getting activity in.  I earned 33 APs, which is a new record for a week when I have work.  I’m really proud of myself for that.  I’d like to have weeks like this every week for the next 8 – until I get out for summer vacation.  I think the key to not getting to burnt out is to give myself the off days during the week, rather than on the weekend.  Since I have a lot more time on the weekends, it makes sense to workout then for sure.  That way, if I have a long day at work during the week,  I can give myself time off and not feel guilty about it. 

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(Yes, I know that it’s Saturday, making this post one day late, but since I’m on Spring Break, I figure I’m allowed a little leeway, right?)

J/K....No, this isn't how I spent my spring break. :P

Saturday, April 10 – Off.  I wasn’t feeling very well today, so I spent most of the day resting.  I had a bad headache, and I think the stress of the previous week finally hit me.

Sunday, April 11light housecleaning.  Today I didn’t do too much other than laundry, a few pots & pans, and picking up the bathroom, but hey, I still earned 4 APs.

Monday, April 12
Today I was determined to get in some great activity.  Since it was pouring rain outside, I really didn’t want to even get in the car and go to the gym.  The rain seriously makes me want to stay in and read a book or watch a movie, but I told myself that I could do that later, after I got in some serious exercise.  This spring break week off is supposed to be all about working out, after all, so I wanted to get right to it.

I read BitchCakes’ blog all the time, and I am always impressed in the workouts she does.  She’s been talking about the Punk Rope classes that she takes all the time.  It looks like so much fun because it incorporates all the fun parts of recess, but for adults.  Plus, jumping rope is such good exercise.  I checked out the site to see if there were any classes offered in my area, but unfortunately, it hasn’t made it to the Bay Area yet. If it ever does, you better believe I’m going to join in on one of the classes.  So, I decided to buy the DVD and a jump rope for myself at home.  I hit the purchase button before I realized that they had a starter kit available that was cheaper and included everything, plus a cool CD of music. I figured it was my bad that I hadn’t been a bit more careful before hitting “purchase,” but then to my surprise, Tim Haft, president of Punk Rope, emailed me to tell me he was refunding me the difference and sending me a starter kit anyway!  How cool is that?  I hadn’t had time to try it out up to this point, but today I had nothing but time.  Ok, guys, I think I’m going to have a few scars on my legs from my uncoordinated attempts to jump rope.  LOL.  I kept whipping myself with the jump rope.  Finally I just decided to try the DVD without the rope, but still jumping and moving my arms as if I was.  (I’m sure I’ll get the jump rope thing down in time, but right now I’m just not there yet).  I could only last for about 10 minutes before I was just gasping for breath.  What a workout!  Still, I earned 2 APs for those 10 minutes, which is awesome.

Since the Punk Rope workout only lasted a few minutes, I decided to do some Wii FitPlus today, as well.  Today I did a more intense workout on the FitPlus.  I did the 3 minute short run, 3-4 times trying the obstacle course, a few balance games, and then I did 10 minutes of free step.  The free step is supposed to allow you to watch t.v. while you do the step for 10 minutes.  The FitPlus said the goal was to do 800 steps in 10 min., but knowing how competitive I am, you know I had to break that to smithereens, right?  Of course I did.  In 10 minutes, I did 1199 steps!  I was pissed that I didn’t get to 1200, but I’ll save that for another day.  Altogether I did 38 minutes on the FitPlus and earned 4 APs.

Monday’s total: 48 minutes and 6APs.

Tuesday, April 13 – Off.  The lazies got the better of me today.  I spent most of the day watching t.v., reading, and hanging around the house.  The weather wasn’t helping at all.  I get so uninspired when it’s raining.

Wednesday, April 14 - I was completely stunned and happy with my weight loss on the scale, and it definitely inspired me to hit the gym and do 33 minutes on the elliptical.  LOL.  I know that 33 minutes sounds ridiculous, but I do this weight loss program on the machine and it just so happens to be 33 minutes, including the cool down.  It’s a great interval training mode with 2 minutes of Level 4 at an incline of 1, 2 minutes of Level 7 at an incline of 10, repeated for 28 minutes.  My heart beats out of my chest the entire time (in a good way), and I really break a sweat.  I love it.  The cool down is always the best, because I drink a whole 32-oz of water while I’m listening to some mellow grooves.  5 APs earned.

Thursday, April 15 – Today I had plans to meet Ish for coffee at a Starbucks not far from my house, and since the weather was finally beautiful and sunny, I decided to ride my bike there, rather than driving.  It’s 1.1 miles from my house, according to my map App on the iPhone, and let me tell you, I was definitely out of breath by the time I got there in just about 10 minutes.  It felt good to take the beach cruiser out for a spin, and even better to have a destination.  I like aimlessly riding my bike, but that’s usually more fun with a friend, so when I’m by myself, I like to have a destination.  After our gab session, I rode for another 20 minutes, because I wanted to get in at least 30 minutes total.  It was awesome feeling my thighs work while I rode.  I earned 3 APs.

Friday, April 16 – I had a ton of fun planting gorgeous flowers in my windowbox, while earning 3 APs.

All in all, I had a fantastic week off.  I didn’t do too much in terms of sightseeing, but I sure did a lot in terms of stacking up those Activity Points!  I earned a total of 21 APs throughout the week, which is great.  The better thing is that I put a lot of variety into my workouts which made them that much more enjoyable.  I know many of you love the gym, and I do like going, but for me, I like being out and about and enjoying the scenery a lot more than I like being inside the gym walls.  Mixing it up helps me stay inspired to keep up with my workouts.

Stay tuned for next week, when I’m going to try a new class at the gym.

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