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Posts Tagged ‘Activity Points (APs)’

I haven’t written a “bathing beauty” installment in over a year, and it feels great to have something to write about.

As you guys know, my dad and I have been swimming daily, and on Wednesday I learned how to breathe while I swim!  My dad is the best swim coach ever, and he said I was a quick learner, so I guess those swimming lessons when I was 5 years old came back to me.

The trickiest part of learning to breathe to the side between strokes was making sure that I didn’t take any water in while I came up.  Oh, and that my hair wasn’t in my mouth (luckily a hair tie did the trick).  My dad said the key was to blow the air out while you were underwater so that when you came up for another breath you were ready for it.  He suggested blowing through my nose, but that just felt uncomfortable, so I blew the air through my mouth.  It’s sort of weird to swim through the bubbles, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

I set up a 5-stroke rhythm that worked really well.  So well in fact that I was swimming laps in no time.  Wednesday, the first day, I think I swam about 7-10 full laps.  Today (Thursday) I swam between 15-20 laps.  I lost count somewhere along the way, but I can tell you that for the hour I was in the pool, I was swimming laps almost the entire time.  It felt so good to move through the water, breathing properly, and finishing a length without being so out of breath because I was trying to hold all of the air in my lungs for as long as possible.  What a difference it makes in the efficiency of my strokes!  Oh, and I earned 4 APs, which is good.

I’m really proud of myself for conquering this, and so grateful to my dad for teaching me.  A really lovely side benefit of our swimming sessions is that we get to catch up on tidbits of the day while we take little swim breaks.

(I’m taking tomorrow off from the pool because I have a few other things going on, but I should be back on Saturday).

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I cannot believe that it’s taken me so long to write this post. I’ve been meaning to do it for over a week now, but I never seemed to find the time.

Over a week ago, I went to watch a roller derby bout for the first time ever, and I had the BEST time. It all started when I saw the movie Whip It! I had returned from the weekend telling my journalism class how much I loved the movie, and one of my students, T, told me that her mom is actually in a local roller derby called the Silicon Valley Roller Girls. I was so impressed with the coolness factor of this mom, but I should’ve known, because this student is completely cool in that smart, funny, editor of the newspaper kind of way.

As we talked about it, I told T that I thought the SVRGs should hold bootcamp workouts for the general public, because it would be an excellent fundraiser and such a fun way to get exercise. Currently their bootcamps are restricted to potential derby girls, but when I inquired, they did say they have plans to start a recreational camp sometime over the summer.

I was so intrigued with the whole idea of roller derby – the retro rockabilly vibe, the roller skates, the aggression, the awesomely violent and intimidating names, and the strength the women show. I bought tickets for the next home bout on May 1, and I couldn’t wait to go and see what the whole thing was all about.  I told T that if I wasn’t worried about breaking a nail or coming to work with a black eye or a banged up knee, I could definitely see myself pariticpating on a derby team.

Since I need to lose at least 50 pounds before I ever even think about joining a roller derby team, I thought that I’d do the next best thing – go roller skating the day of the derby bout.  I asked Ish if she wanted to join me, and she was excited for the bout and willing to go skating, against her hubby’s better judgement.  (He wasn’t happy about the idea of her skating, because he was worried about her falling and hurting herself). 

We headed to my childhood rollerrink, formerly known as Aloha, now called San Jose Skate. I loved the fact that they kept the original mural in the hallway as we entered the building. 

To say that this roller rink is in need of a bit of an update is the understatement of the year.  It is delapidated, dark, and somewhat depressing.  If you look at those skates at the beginning of the post, I think they say it all.  They’re cracked, ripped, and should probably just be thrown out.  Yet I guess they’re also broken in, comfortable, and familiar, too.  Just like the roller rink.  The day Ish and I went, we were by far the oldest people there without kids.  Everyone else in the place was either part of a child’s birthday party or they were tweens who were skating for fun on a Saturday.  Still, I was excited to get going, because the last time I skated (which was some time in jr. high) I was really good at it.  I never got into the rollerblading thing, because it was way too hard to balance on those inline skates.  Quads give a much more stable foundation to skate on, or so I thought. 

 I had looked up how many Activity Points I could earn with one houur of skating, and I was amazed that it was 14 Points!  Wow!  I think I earned at least 3 points just putting the damn skates on.  LOL.  It was definitely a feat of skill to get the laces done up, especially with all of the knots and rips in them. 

Ish and I with our skates on, ready to hit the rink.

Because the skates were so big and torn up, I did feel pretty unstable on them.  Or, it could’ve been that I really didn’t have the best balance, I’m not light on my feet, and I’m somewhat uncoordinated.  I’m sticking to the former, I think.  🙂

We got out on the rink and we were both hanging onto the side railing like our lives depended on it.  I know that I myself was giving the white knuckle death grip, and I think that actually hindered my skating, actually.  Once I started feeling a bit more comfortable and relaxed on my skates, I let go of the handrail and I was actually able to skate much better.  I started telling myself that it wasn’t going to be that traumatic if I did fall, so just enjoy it.  Just as I was hitting my stride after about 15-20 minutes of skating, the dj announced that they were about to play Red Light Green Light, and we left the rink.  It was too bad, too, because I think I would’ve made some good progress if I had a bit more time.  Skating was definitely a great workout, and I was out of breath pretty quickly.  It’s something I would like to try again, with newer skates. 

The roller derby itself was so much fun.  Lots of action and activity, and I am amazed that the women are able to stay upright, battle it out for points, and intimidate each other all while on skates. 

Derby girls come in all shapes and sizes, and they're not afraid to show some skin (through their fishnets).

action shot

more action

look at the intensity!

These girls are serious!

My student's mom, #62 - "Mauly Anna."

We won!

I think I’ve become a derby fan!  For $10, it’s definitely a fun way to spend a Saturday night.  I’m planning on going July 1st for the next home bout.

Thank you to Ish for her photos from the roller derby bout.

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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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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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I was determined to make the most of this, my final day of . This week off went by so quickly, but I enjoyed the rest and relaxation that it allowed me to experience.  Now I’m looking forward to summer, which is only 9 weeks away, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Ahhh, what an absolutely perfect Sunday I had today!  It started with brunch with my mom, Ish, and her mom.  We caught up on our lives, shared laughs, and then headed to one of the best farmers’ markets in my local area.  The thing is HUGE – 6 blocks long – and filled with produce, flowers, and crafts from local farmers, florists, artisans, and artists.  It was a beautiful, sunny day (mid to high 70s), and hitting this farmers’ markets with these ladies is one of my favorite ways to spend any Sunday, but was especially nice on this, the last day of my spring break.

These flowers are the gorgeous palette of spring at the Campbell Farmers’ Market. Looking at all the beautiful colors just puts me in a great mood. There were so many different florists to choose from, offering all sorts of flowers.  Everything from old favorites to the very unexpected.

Very quirky hanging plants.  I really liked the ones on the far left (click the picture to make it larger so you can really see them).  I almost got them, but then I found these for $5:

Aren’t they spectacular?  They’re called protea, and I’ve never seen anything so unique in my life.  I was so happy to find flowers like these that you definitely can’t find at the local supermarket.  Plus, the price was ridiculously inexpensive, so I just couldn’t pass them up.

I was really attracted to the painting of the woman in the red dress and got into a completely entertaining conversation with the eccentric artist who painted them.  He told me that a few months ago he was painting on cardboard on the streets of Carmel.  One afternoon someone saw him and offered him $10,000 to paint as many as he could on canvas.  From there he said, “my work has been at galleries from here to New York, and I sell the paintings for $1500 apiece.  But I don’t like to be tied to any galleries, so I will sell that one to you, out of the joy it will bring my heart to know that you’ll love it, for $150, but don’t tell anyone”.  He was so funny.  I told him I had to think about it, to which he responded, “well do be expedient in your decision, dear, because I have to start packing up soon.”  LOL.  I didn’t end up getting it, but it was fun to hear his story and talk to him.

I bought lots of beautiful produce, including a mix of baby kale and swiss chard, the sweetest, most flavorful, crisp Asian pears I’ve ever tasted, some Persian cucumbers, and Iranian bolani, which is a naan-like bread with spinach that is only 1 point.  I’m looking forward to trying that tonight.  The sights and sounds of the farmers’ market are always so invigorating to me because all the food brings to mind so many cooking possibilities. There really isn’t anything better than farm fresh produce, locally produced, and waiting for a little inspiration.

(Side note: I was pretty hungry by the time I got home much later this afternoon, so I decided to try the bolani.  I was intrigued that they were so low in calories, fat, and high in fiber.  As directed, I heated them in a skillet over medium heat, with just a bit of Pam.  One whole bolani, pictured, is only 3 points!):

If you think this trip to the farmers’ market was where the afternoon ended, you obviously don’t know my mom.  😉  After we said our goodbyes to Ish and her mom, we headed to not one, not two, but three different stores in search of the perfect vase for her to put her protea in.  (Mine are in beautiful vases from Pottery Barn that I already had). But with these strange beauties as our motivation, we knew the quest had to be met with the iron shoppers’ will that only my mom possesses.

We headed first to Michael’s, but found nothing but a long line of disgruntled women who were upset to be waiting to purchase their goods, rather than being outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Undaunted, we went to Cost Plus World Market, where we didn’t find any vases, but where I found some inspiration to redo my living room.  Prior to seeing these, my living room was a mixture of gold and burgundy, which is rich and luxurious in winter, but feels quite heavy at this time of year.  I have a plan to change the artwork on my walls (a post and photos about this next week, after it’s completed), and I’ve been wanting to change the colors to something more that echo the freshness of spring and summer.  When I found these, I knew that I couldn’t leave the store without them:

I absolutely love these pillows. The colors just make me happy. They’re so whimsical and vibrant. They totally fit the mood and personality I want to create within the room.

(I also got some silk flowers to put in my vases, but since I have the protea in them right now, I’ll snap another photo of those once they expire in a few weeks).

We left Cost Plus without finding my mom’s vase, so we headed to Pier 1 next.  I adore this store more than I can say, and if I had endless amounts of money, I could’ve left with so much more. As it was, I found a couple of things that I knew would really help put the living room together well:

I love the stripes in this pillow, and how the colors tie in well with the other two pillows I found at Cost Plus.

I also found a great candle holder that has those same colors:

I wish the photo show how beautiful it looks with the candles illuminating it.

I cannot tell you how invigorated I felt knowing that for a small amount of money I had the things I needed to help transform my living room.  Since it’s the room I spend the majority of my time in, I want to make sure it has an atmosphere that I find soothing.  As I mentioned before, there are still a few more touches that I need to make before the “makeover” is complete, but it’s definitely well on its way.

Oh, and before you think that we forgot about our original purpose, the quest for the perfect vase for my mom’s protea, here’s the vase we found.  It’s blown glass, made in Italy, and it’s gorgeous.  It’s a gold-colored vase with veins of rust running through it.  Our afternoon’s quest was complete!

When I got home I was seriously so tired that I felt like I had walked a 5K.  We were out and about and either standing or walking for over 4 hours straight.  I counted it as an hour of slow walking, which earned 4 APs.  🙂

Today, and this entire weekend, I was really active and social, and it felt so good.  It really reinforced to me that I need to try to be this way more often.  During these long winter months I’ve been hibernating, and it feels great to be out and about and enjoying this gorgeous weather.  Again, it makes me long for summer, but for now I’ll have to make each weekend count.

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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. 😛

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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This is going to be a long post, so get something to drink (water!), sit back, and stay awhile.  (This doormat that I placed at my back door is one of the many purchases I made yesterday).

Yesterday was one of the best Fridays I’ve spent in a long, long time, and definitely the best day of my spring break so far.  I got to spend the entire day with my dad, which is always fun.  He recently had orthroscopic knee surgery, but was feeling better yesterday, so we decided to have a little “Daddy & me” time.

We wanted to take in a movie, but none of them looked that good or were that interesting to us.  I hate it when all of the movies in the theatres just don’t look appealing, don’t you?  I guess we’re in that weird in-between time when the Oscars are all done and the summer blockbusters haven’t come out yet.  There isn’t even a small, independent film that seemed worth viewing.

So instead, we decided we’d go to lunch at Chevy’s (I won’t even MENTION how terrible the calories are for seemingly healthy choices).  It was nice to catch up with my dad, just the two of us, because usually when I see my parents my mom and I dominate the conversation.  My dad is a quiet person, and although he’s the sweetest, most intelligent person I know, he tends to let others around him do most of the talking and only says things when he feels he has something worthwhile to share.  It actually works, though, because whenever my dad is talking, everyone pays attention.  🙂 We got caught up on each others lives, and although we see each other at least once a week, we always have things to talk about.

After lunch, our only other plan was to go to Target to pick up something for my mom.  I would’ve loved to do something active like go for a walk, go bowling, or play tennis, but my dad’s knee isn’t quite up to any of those things yet.   We did enjoy the car ride in the convertible; it was a gorgeous, sunny day so we took full advantage of it.

Why is it that I can never go into Target without buying something?  I swear, that store just has lots of great stuff.  I got the doormat you see above, some Thomas’ Bagel Thins (which I’ve been waiting for FOREVER.  I hate that it takes so long for us to get new things on the west coast.  I always thought we got things first, but judging from everyone else’s blogs, I think we’re usually a few months behind, for new grocery items, at least), and this for my kitchen:

It doesn’t match the colors of the kitchen perfectly, but I liked the retro feel of it, and for $9, it’ll do for a while.

After Target, we headed back to my parents’ house, but were quickly scooted out again by my mom.  She was in the middle of doing a major housecleaning and didn’t want either of us underfoot.  LOL.  My mom is so funny when she’s cleaning the house – very single-minded.  Since my dad had planned to buy some perennials for their garden, we headed to the nursery to check out what they had.  Again, we took the convertible, because it’s just so much more fun to drive. (My dad can’t drive right now with his knee, and I didn’t feel like driving his truck).  Since he wanted to scope out the flowers and then bring my mom the next day to choose them, we didn’t think it would be a problem if we took my car.

Once we got the nursery, I found some amazing New Guinea Impatiens that would work perfectly in my windowbox. The colors were amazing – almost iridescent orangey-peach-and-yellow and hot pink.

In the backseat of the Beetle, waiting to be planted

I also found  a mother-in-law’s tongue plant that I’d been wanting for my living room:

Tip: this plant is perfect for those who don’t think they have a green thumb because you just can’t seem to kill it.  It likes indoor, low light and only needs watering once every couple of weeks, or so.

I picked up this kalanchoe as my weight loss “bouquet” for myself.  For $4.99, it’s going to last at least 3 weeks, so the money is well spent.

After the nursery, we went back to my parents’ house, showed my mom all of the choices of flowers (I love the photos my iPhone takes for this very reason), chatted, had a glass of wine, and then I went home.

I was so inspired to plant the flowers that I had purchased, so I did something I’ve never done before – planted flowers on my own.  Usually I wait for my dad to “supervise” me to make sure that I’m doing it correctly.  I figured that I had spent enough time watching him do it that I could figure it out.  Hopefully I wouldn’t kill the new blooms.  I did have to use a step ladder to reach the inside of my windowbox (my dad is tall, so this is where he usually comes in, because he can reach without any assistance).

Aren’t they gorgeous?  I can’t wait until they’ve taken root and really bloom.  The man at the nursery said they’ll flower all summer, which is amazing. In about a month I’ll make another gardening post where I give you an update on their progress.

I absolutely love this fibrous begonia.  I didn’t plant this yesterday, my uncle gave it to me before he moved to Michigan last fall, but I did cut it back prune it in the winter, and I’m very proud of how well it’s come back.

Hands of a hard-working gardener. (That green stuff is fertilizer)

Dirt under my fingernails from when I got too impatient to use the shovel. 😉

My garden is almost complete!  All I have left to plant are some big, round pots that I usually put on my front porch, but I think that will have to wait for another weekend, because I didn’t find anything that I liked yesterday.  I usually plant impatiens in them, but I’m sort of bored with that.  It’s so difficult to find pretty shade flowers.  A colleague suggested fuchsias, which I think are pretty, so I might do that.  If any of you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

I had the best time planting all of the flowers, and I was really glad to see that 30 minutes of gardening earned 3 APs, because after that big lunch, I knew I needed it.

Yesterday was the type of day that I love, and I can’t wait to have many, many more days like it once summer hits.

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(Definitely untrue, but it felt a little like it was this week).

This week, I don’t have as much to report on as I usually hope/expect to.  In fact I thought about skipping this post altogether (and even tweeted that I was going to), but I didn’t want to have a big blank space where this week’s update was supposed to go, so, I’m going to make this short and sweet.

I  didn’t get into the fitness groove until Sunday, I slept through one workout mid-week, so unfortunately this post is going to be a  bit shorter than I’d like.  I do have some interesting ideas for fitness while I’m off next week for Spring Break, so next Friday’s update should be much more entertaining to read.

Saturday, April 3 – Off day.  I was supposed to go on a walk with Ish, but decided against it as TOM had me feeling low energy and crampy.

Sunday, April 4 – A quick 30 min. of Wii Fit plus before heading to my parents’ house for Easter.  It felt good to get the workout in early so that I had the rest of the day to look forward to without feeling guilty.  (No Easter candy eaten). 3 APs earned.

Monday, April 5 – I got home early enough from work that I was able to take a walk around the neighborhood while wearing my Skechers Shape-Ups.  I didn’t go particularly fast, but I did walk for 30 minutes, and wearing those shoes, I definitely felt it more than I might’ve with just my regular sneakers on.  2 APs earned.

Tuesday, April 6 – Off day.  Had to get a routine TB test after work, and came home uninspired to work out.

Wednesday, April 7 – Unplanned off day.  I had every intention of going to the gym for an aqua aerobics class, but as I had been up since 3am, I wanted to take a little nap before.  Well. you can guess what happened, not only did I sleep through the class, I slept through dinner, and didn’t wake up until 10pm.  Ugh.  Luckily, I stayed up until midnight and was able to sleep through the night.

Thursday, April 8 – Woke up in plenty of time to get in a 33 minute workout one the Wii FitPlus, including some yoga, strength, island cycling and boxing.  3 APs earned.

Friday, April 9 – Off day.  Busy week full of appointments and family obligations, so I took tonight off.

Sort of pathetic that I only had 3 days of any activity, but at least I got those in. I earned 8 APs, which is better than nothing.  This was a busy, busy week at work.  Plus, my dad had out-patient knee surgery, so I was concerned about him and went to visit my parents one evening.  All in all, I am so happy to finally be on Spring Break, and cannot wait to get some energy and start working out the way I should be.

This coming week, I’m striving for the second panel!!

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(photo courtesy of Scale Warfare’s cool photo editing skills)

What a week this has been.  I really put the idea of Adventures in Fitness into practice which made me feel like my very own superhero!

Saturday, March 27 – Ish asked me if I wanted to go on a walk with her at this spot in Palo Alto that she passes on her way to work.  She mentioned there being a “killer hill,” but I had no idea she was talking about walking/hiking The Dish at Stanford.  I had never been, but the hills at The Dish are infamous – and not for the weak of heart (literally and figuratively!).  I wish I had taken my camera so I could show you just how steep the hills were, but trust me when I say that I was out of breath soon.  (Although I was actually quite proud of how long it took me to get out of breath, as I thought it would’ve happened much sooner than it did). Ish told me that her co-worker had said that we should go clockwise (it’s a big loop) for an easier time of it.  As we found ourselves climbing one huge hill after another, I asked her if she was sure we went the right way, because at the fork in the loop we passed earlier, it seemed as if the other trail was a lot gentler.  But Ish said she was sure the co-worker said clockwise.  We aren’t sure exactly how far we walked, but I’m guessing it was about a mile, roundtrip. I wish I had worn my BodyBugg, because I know I burned a ton of calories walking this monster for 45 minutes.  My legs were cramping, and the next day my calves were screaming, and I was walking around like an old lady.  😉  Oh, and after checking some sources to add info to this post, I found out that, “Entering the loop from the Stanford or Gerona gates, turn counterclockwise for a gradual ascent to the Dish or clockwise for a more vigorous workout.”  I told her that next time we’re definitely taking the counterclockwise trail, at least, until I’m used to them.  Still, I earned 4 Activity Points, so it was definitely a great workout.  Here’s a photo I grabbed from Google to show you why this trail is called The Dish:

This path shows what must be the "gentler" trail, which I didn't experience. LOL

Sunday, March 28th – It was another glorious, sunny day today, and because rain was in the forecast for later in the week, I knew I wanted to get out and enjoy it while I could.  Since my calves were incredibly sore (see above), I decided that a nice, leisurely bike ride on Lola was the perfect way to burn calories without overdoing it with my calves. I haven’t ridden my bike since last summer, but as the saying goes, I quickly picked it up.  I was set to go for 30 minutes, because it was a rather windy day, and I knew that would factor into the calorie burn.  As I made my way down the first street in my neighborhood, I quickly realized that somehow my gear shift had broken off.  Luckily, it was stuck in 2nd gear (my beach cruiser only has 3 gears). Riding up some of the small hills in my neighborhood were harder than they would’ve been if I could’ve downshifted, but I just kept telling myself that I was burning more calories that way.  The other thing that was a bit problematic was that I had on my Skechers Shape-Ups because the shoes have about a 2-3 inch base, which means that my legs were bent in sort of an awkward position in the bike, but I got through that too.  I think the most daunting part was dealing with the traffic and the hoards of drunken Sharks fans on their way to the Tank for a game.  LOL.  I felt great when I finished, and I could definitely feel the blood pumping through my veins (or my heart beating a mile a minute, as the case may be). I’m going to have to figure out how to fix that gear shift before I go out on a long bike ride, because it just doesn’t seem safe to ride a bike that only has one gear. Activity Points earned: 3Update: upon further review (after trying to remember how I used to shift gears) I realized that the gear shift wasn’t broken, I just forgot how to change gears.  😛  You just move the grip at the end of the handle bar.  Doh!  Glad to know that the bike is fine and I don’t have to go crazy trying to fix it.

Monday, March 29th – After a full day at work and the soreness from the weekend’s activities still with me, I figured I’d take it easy and do the Wii FitPlus at home.  I recently found out that WW’s Activity Tracker now has Wii FitPlus on it (it also has EA Sports Active), so I did my FitPlus workout a lot differently than I normally do.  In order to count the minutes on the AP tracker, I had to do at least 10 minutes of a certain activity, so that’s what I did.  I chose 3 of my favorites – Advanced Step (2x), Rhythm Boxing (earned over 1000 points – my highest score ever!), and Rhythm Kung Fu (6x) and did each of them for 10 minutes.  It wasn’t as much fun as my normal FitPlus workout (doing lots of shorter activities), but I did earn more APs than normal.  Plus, my heart rate really stayed up, so I knew I had a good exercise session. For 30 minutes of the Wii FitPlus workout I earned 3 Activity Points.

Tuesday, March 30th – Off day.  I was originally going to try to go to the Aqua class, but it was rainy, cold, and I wanted to just get home and get my sweats on.

Wednesday, March 31st – Another off day.  Unplanned.  I was at work later than I expected and then HAD to go grocery shopping, because there was nothing in this house.  By the time I got home I was starving, so I just had dinner, relaxed, and went to bed.

Thursday, April 1st – I started TOM and had that crampy feeling, but because I hadn’t worked out the past two nights, I knew I really had to do something tonight.  So, even though I had just come from the stylist who gave me an amazing blowout, I decided that I should definitely get some APs in.  Another Wii Fit night.  Even though I earned a decent amount of APs the other night, it just wasn’t as fun.  So tonight I did a mix of yoga, strength training, balance games, rhythm kung fu, and then did the island cycling for 17 minutes – it takes a LONG time to find all 27 of those flags.  🙂  All in all, I did it for 40 minutes and earned 3 APs. (I’d rather do 10 more minutes and enjoy myself than do it the other way).

Friday, April 2nd – I have to say that this blog post is what motivated me to get up and do a DVD this morning.  Luckily it was my late day, so I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn.  I decided to give the BL Jump Start DVD a shot, since it’s been over a week since I’ve done it.  Man!  it really gets my blood pumping.  The only thing I don’t like about it (and this is such a small thing, really) is that I have to put on my sneakers to do it.  First thing in the morning it’s sort of nice to just go barefoot, like I can on the Wii.  But, I had already done the Wii twice this week, and I like keeping it fresh, so the sneakers went on.  I did the 10-min. beginner cardio, 10 minutes of abs, and 10 minutes of upper body. I figured that my poor lower body had enough of a workout earlier in the week.  (Ugh, my calves were aching for days).  I earned 4 APs all before 7am this morning! (That’s the same as when I was doing the RLR workouts).

So, with 5 days of at least 30 minutes of activity, I earned a total of 17 APs, which is darn good.  I felt really good about myself all week, and while I wish I wouldn’t have taken both days off in a row, life happens, and at least I got back to it on Thursday.

I have more fun things planned this coming week: one new activity (if I can summon the courage and my coordination), and I’m going to shoot for 6 days.

What have you been doing to move your body?

P.S. – If you have any ideas of workouts/classes you think I should try, let me know.  I belong to 24 Hour Fitness, and I have Netflix (for renting workout DVDs), so if there’s something you think I should add to my repertoire, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” ~Mark Twain

I spent most of this weekend getting my house in order; a bit of spring cleaning, if you will.  Even though the weather was nice, and it would’ve been nice to be outside, it really helps me to have a clean house.  When things are in order at home, I feel better about life.  So since I had some time this weekend, I decided to get into spring cleaning mode and get to that “nitty gritty” stuff that I don’t usually do – the baseboards, the windowsills, the inside of the refrigerator. I just took each room one by one, until the entire house was sparkling clean.  A nice side benefit of all this cleaning (besides and organized house) is that I earned 4 Activity Points on Saturday and 8 Activity Points on Sunday.  WhooHooo!

(I should mention that this weekend wasn’t all about drudgery – on Saturday I got a facial and then got to spend the evening with my nieces, who were staying over my parents’ house.  The facial was a necessary indulgence, because I keep breaking out around my chin (never had a pimple in high school, but suddenly in my late 30’s my skin is behaving as if I’m 14).  It felt good to get the pampering treatment that was also good for me.  Spending time with my nieces is something that happens too rarely, so it was fun to be goofy with them).

The reason I love this week’s quote is that it can be applied to any seemingly daunting task in life.  What seems overwhelming at the start can be broken up into smaller bits, and accomplished little by little.  Just like weight loss.  I have 140 pounds to lose, which is daunting.  But, I just focus on the weekly weigh-ins, and I’ve lost 4.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks (ever since I changed my Points).

I guess in many ways, this weekend was about “spring cleaning” my life, and I feel so refreshed and renewed.

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