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New Workout Challenge – Day 8, trying new things

New Workout Challenge – Day 8, trying new things

I finally went to the library to peruse their exercise videos and brought some home, but they just sat there for a few days.  I think I’ll return them and see if I can manage only You Tube videos this month. Many thanks to Carol for giving me a recommendation.  I plan on trying her Pilates suggestion next week 🙂

When I started the month I had in mind that I would do hardcore workouts without taking into account that I’m overweight and completely out of shape!  So, I’ve had fun allowing myself to choose shorter videos and to try things that are not all kill-me-cardio workouts.  The point is to make this a habit and keeping it fun and easing into it are important.  As is finding a way to get these in earlier in the day!

I am not bendy, so I thought I’d give this a try.  This is not a cardio yoga workout like many of the others I’ve tried. It really is relaxing and forced me to bend (well, attempt to bend) into new and deeper stretches.  Gage was in the room with me doing his own 30 minute workout so I’m sure that I didn’t get the full relaxation part, but it was good. I’m not all that interested in doing it again or more like it, but it was fun to try.

Okay, this is going to sound a little crazy, but after doing this tai chi workout I felt myself breathing better all day long. And correcting my terrible posture (although I credit this to the yoga videos too).  I told Jason that I may be willing to get up 15 minutes early every morning just to do this.  Not too difficult and very centering.  I will definitely be trying more of his videos.  Go ahead and give it a try 🙂

Thought I’d try something new and this was fun.  It’s possible I’d do this again. Trying to mix in some easy kickboxing moves might spice up an exercise rut. I am 100% sure that I was doing most of these moves wrong, but that’s the beauty of trying these in your own home.  No one but maybe your kid sees it 🙂  Gage sat out this workout and actually got a pillow and blanket so he could snuggle up and watch, lol.  The instructor is Kelli from an earlier video where I complained about her adjusting her pants a lot.  She must have heard me, not one adjustment 🙂

I’m always entertaining video suggestions!


New Workout Challenge – Day 5

New Workout Challenge – Day 5

I really need to get these workouts in earlier. I’m not a morning person so getting up at 6 is not something I’m interested in, but maybe first thing after breakfast with Gage.  Yesterday was busy with two pool parties, Despicable Me 3 and fireworks, and today I just kept putting it off.  But I prevailed!

Yesterday I needed something low impact for my foot and although the one I found was only 15 minutes, I was happy with it.  I liked that they had the leader and two others, one to show moderated moves and one to show advanced.  It was good for my time constraints and my still swollen foot and I had no problem following the modified workout.  I don’t think I’d do this one again just because it wasn’t all that fun.

Tonight I tried one that I’ve seen on infomercials.  You know, the one with the bubbly woman walking?  Well, I found out her name is Leslie Sansone and she made a video for the American Heart Association.  The three mile walk was great and perfectly low key for a late night workout.  I loved that she added moves in to make it more of a cardio workout  but stressed that always going back to just walking if you needed to was okay too. I did have to stop it once when I heard Gage upstairs (he had left his bed to go to his play room), but I really liked this one, even if the excitement level wasn’t there.  I think it would be easy to listen to an audio book while following Leslie.  At 46 minutes this one takes some time.

New Workout Challenge – Day 3, all about the butt

New Workout Challenge – Day 3, all about the butt

Today I may have gotten a bit of an injury when the 6 year old I was shopping with rammed the cart into the outside of my food causing me to make a loud and embarrassing yelp in the store.  It’s a few hours later and it’s still swollen 🙁  So, I found something low impact for the day.  When I told G that I was going to workout he ran into the family room and started his exercises.

gwo Dad arrived home early so he abandoned me quickly.

I browsed through the You Tube exercise videos looking for something that would be easy on the foot.  It’s swollen and still hurts.  I found this and thought, why not?  There were four different exercises that we went through and I know I looked ridiculous attempting the last two, but I did my best and my buttocks are feeling all the better for it, lol.  I liked the exercises, but probably wouldn’t do this again.  I didn’t care for the video although the woman leading us minions was nice enough.  I’m glad I did it because it was perfect for low impact needs, like today.

New 30 minute exercise a day challenge

New 30 minute exercise a day challenge

I started this challenge a few months ago but was too sick at the beginning to get very far.  So, here we are with a second attempt.  I don’t really like exercise.  Okay, that’s not entirely true, I do love to walk.  I love exploring new places with my feet.  If I could move to a city that allowed me to walk everywhere I needed to go (and I could convince Jason) I’d be there in a heartbeat.  But “exercise” has never been a part of my day on a regular basis.

I am going to try a different exercise video every day this month either through You Tube or DVDs from the library.  I’m hoping to make it a habit AND by trying different things find a few that I almost might enjoy 🙂

On the 1st Jason and I did 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene-Day 1-Ease Into It.  It was one of the first things to pop up on You Tube so we gave it a shot.  It was a warm up and it was relaxing.  A perfect way to start this month since it wasn’t too difficult.  When I say not difficult that doesn’t mean I could do all of the poses correctly, but I did give it a shot.  I liked it and I liked her and when the month is over would give more of her yoga workouts a look.

Yesterday, when Jason when to play tennis, I chose a cardio workout from YouTube (32 Minute Home Cardio Workout with No Equipment) and invited G to join me.  He resisted for a few minutes but then came out to watch me and saying, “That’s easy. Watch me do that!” And he did.  He then decided that my workout was too boring and starting making up his own exercises and did this until I finished the 32 minutes video.  I was impressed.  The video itself was great. I liked it a lot. It was 45 seconds of cardio with 15 seconds of rest.  I got sweaty and it was hard for me, but I can totally see this being something I could do every day.  I took a few breaks and I didn’t do every exercise the expert way she did, but I did my best and made it through the whole thing 🙂 I do think she needed better fitting pants since she was constantly adjusting them, but maybe that’s just jealousy talking!

Hit me up with some good recommendations.  30-45 minutes.


Firsts Challenge Wrap Up

Firsts Challenge Wrap Up

With Gage being home for the summer my optional time is limited.  I wanted to do posts on this months firsts, but didn’t keep up. I did manage to post most of them on our Facebook page and I’ll recap them here.

Although I managed to complete the challenge, I’m disappointed that I didn’t have more big, bold accomplishments.  But, as I said at the beginning of this challenge, you can make this as big or small as you need it to be to fit into your life.  I’d like to try this challenge another month and do some better planning.

June 1st-Visited a skeleton museum

June 2nd-Family trip to Sea World Orlando

June 3rd-Flew Spirit Airlines and almost missed the plane!

June 4th-Read The New Yorker cover to cover (this needs to become a weekly thing.)

June 5th-Explored Richfield, where Gage is at camp.

June 6th-Ate chocolate covered espresso beans.

June 7th-Tried a charcoal mask and scared my kid.



June 8th-twisted my first balloon animal.


June 9th-Made it 20 minutes in Jason’s tortureous massage chair.

June 10th-signed up for online Master Class with James Patterson

June 11th-Tried picked carrots. They were okay.

June 12th-Applied to work at the elections.

June 13th-Painted pottery with G for Father’s Dats gifts.

June 14th-New doctor for G and took my mom to hear Temple Grandin speak.

June 15th-I was a model for G’s first painting.


June 16th-Attended my first political meeting to learn about gerrymandering.

June 17th-Administered 2 different medicines to our cat Sammi.  She’s recovered so I must have done it right.

June 18th-Dyed my hair blue but it didn’t really take because my hair is so dark.

June 19th-Went blind for an hour and a half.


June 20th-Tried a recipe out of Better Homes & Gardens for Orange-Braised Carrots with Raisins.

June 21st-Tried a new Japanese wine with unknown fruit in the bottom of the bottle. It was tasty.

June 22nd-Cute G’s hair and it was horrible!


June 23rd-Made a scavenger hunt at the art museum for G-man.

June 24th-Tried sushi.

June25th-Used a hedge trimmer.

June 26th-Hosted a dinner party for strangers from Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa.


June 27th-Purchased a membership to the Natural History Museum.

June 28th-Reached out to get signatures on my gerrymandering petition. Got two signatures but need 54 more!

June 29th-Put money on all the parking meters along the street outside the art museum.

June 30th-I’m a pretty strict mom but for the very first time I caved to G and am letting him sleep in our bed with us tonight.  He had a bad dream last night and is pretty much terrified of his room right now.  I’m sure I will regret it.

Golf Challenge Wrap-up

Golf Challenge Wrap-up


A week of travel and several days of pain (I hurt my back) delayed the conclusion of my golf challenge, but it’s finally in the books.  I shot 105, which was only 2 shots better than my opening round.  Considering my personal goal was to break 100, I feel a little disheartened.  Ironically, the part of my game I had the most confidence in, putting, was my greatest weakness.  I had a total of 45 puts in my closing round, which translates to a pathetic 2.5 puts per green.  That was 8 shots worse than my opening round on putting alone (ouch!).  In my opening round, I made 3 or 4 puts from over 10 feet, while in the closing round I don’t think I made anything from over 5 feet.

While I didn’t achieve my score goal, I do feel better about my game now.   Before I avoided work related golf events so I wouldn’t embarrass myself, but now I’d feel okay to play with other people watching.  So that’s some progress at least.

My biggest take-away from this challenge is to not over analyze your golf swing.  In other words, find a swing that feels comfortable for you and then stick with it and don’t keep making adjustments all the time.  About midway through the month, I was feeling good about my swing and then I took a lesson.  That lesson actually set me back about 2 weeks.  Because golf is hard, it’s tempting to keep making adjustments to try and get better.  The problem is that the adjustments might fix one part of your swing but then cause an issue somewhere else.  In conclusion, golf is difficult and if you want to improve, be prepared to work hard.


A month of Firsts

A month of Firsts

“Better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”    -D.H. Lawrence

disney5 IMG_0091 IMG_0170

This month (and possibly beyond) my challenge is inspired by the book I Dare Me by Luann Cahn. I read Leann’s story of a year of firsts and loved the idea of changing your life by doing one new thing, big or small, every single day.  The idea is to always be looking and open to the new opportunities around you every day.  I think she had a bit of an advantage because she was a reporter and things were open to her more easily, but there is still no reason why we all can’t do this on a scale that fits our own lives.

I started on June 1st but was on vacation so I’ve been keeping up-to-date on our Facebook page, My 30 Day Challenges.  I hope that you’ll follow along that way too.  Since we were on vacation those first few days the firsts were easy, but since then I’ve had to search them out a bit. I looked through the book for ideas and brainstormed when Gage was at camp this week.  I do want to push myself, but since Gage will be with me for the summer even the small things ( a new recipe, a new food…) will do the trick.

This may turn into a two month challenge.  We’ll see.  Anyone want to join me?

June 1st-Visited a skeleton museum

June 2nd-Family trip to Sea World Orlando

June 3rd-Flew Spirit Airlines and almost missed the plane!

June 4th-Read The New Yorker cover to cover (this needs to become a weekly thing.)

June 5th-Explored Richfield, where Gage is at camp.

June 6th-Ate chocolate covered espresso beans.


The Juice Diet – Wrap Up

The Juice Diet – Wrap Up

This 30 day challenge wrapped up early and since tomorrow is G’s last day of kindergarten and we’re leaving for Orlando in three days I think I’ll just get this written now.

I truly juiced – only juice and water – for five days and for nine days I had some raw veggies for a meal or two plus juice.  By the end of that time I’d lost 9.5 pounds.  I felt good.  Amazingly good.

Food had (has) too much leverage in my life.  I was a glutton with no self control.  By giving my body a break and allowing it to detox and heal I felt good.  And it wasn’t just physical, mentally knowing that I was putting my health first made all the difference.  That part has stuck even though I am eating again.  The detox itself wasn’t too bad for me.  I had a headache and got lightheaded that first day, but that first week the only big difference was that I needed a nap every day.  And by the second week I couldn’t take a nap even when I tried. I was alert and it was great.

It’s amazing how little food I actually need.  I’ve been eating food again for over a week but I’ve still managed to keep 7 pounds off.  Generally, I’ve been eating one meal of fruit or a juice and one small meal and one regular meal.  I’d like to clean it up a little more, but am giving myself a little slack this week as I plan a major vacation for the family.  I’ve spent almost 4 hours this week trying to coordinate what G can eat at Disney (not much).

So, why did I stop early if it was so great?  It was Mother’s Day and I took my mom to the Chocolate Bar.  No other reason really, except that we deserved it.  I do plan on doing a 3-5 day juice detox once a month.  Honestly, I’m actually looking forward to it – how crazy is that?!

Okay, let’s break it down.  The good stuff – you’ll feel better fairly quickly, you’ll lose weight, you’ll be able to give things up by going cold turkey (I’m off Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper for reals and wine is no longer in the house), you will fell better (it’s worth saying twice).  The bad stuff – loss of energy that first week, resenting people who eat (especially if you were cooking it for them), extra time in the bathroom the first few days, not being able to go out to a restaurant socially.

This was an excellent challenge and although I only made it 13 days I consider it a success. If I can do it, anyone can!  Before you do it make sure to watch  the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Day 1

Day 4

Day 11

Golf Challenge

Golf Challenge

Alright I’m now halfway through my month of golf training.  I’ll start by saying that golf is a very frustrating game.  It seems like it should be easy.   I mean come on, the ball doesn’t even move.  What it does do is sit there and mock you.  Golf is also compelling and addictive because it makes you think you might be on the verge of making a breakthrough.  I’ve had this feeling several times over the past couple weeks.  I start hitting balls at the driving range and then a few actually look like real golf shots and I think to myself, okay I’ve got this thing figured out, except when I try to do it again the ball goes anywhere but where I’m aiming.  And that’s why this game can drive people to insanity.  In tennis, if you have a good forehand, you can pretty much make a good shot most of the time.  In golf, it can look great on one shot and then on the very next shot seem like I’ve never swung a club in the my life.  Maybe it’s just a matter of more practice, we’ll see.

So far, I’ve spent nearly half of my practice time chipping and putting.  I think I’ve made the biggest improvement in these areas.  For golf players, I settled on this newer putting grip called the claw, which is where you only hold the putter normally with your left hand but then only barely hold it with your right hand.  I highly recommend this grip.  It felt weird at first, but I started to see improvement rather quickly.  I also decided to take a few lessons in person.  That’s helped too, but there are so many different methods for holding and hitting a golf ball, I think it’s best just to find a method that feels right for you and not try to copy a PGA tour pro’s swing. Well that’s it for now, time to practice.

Juice Diet – Day 10, no problem

Juice Diet – Day 10, no problem

Okay, it’s been a few days since I checked in and I want you to know that I feel fabulous.  For the first 7 days I drank juices and ate fruits or vegetables once or twice a day.  My favorite was mashing up an avocado, dicing a tomato and some onion and eating the guacamole with carrots.   I think that week of actual food helped the transition to straight juice successful.

Monday morning I started with juice only, so I’m on day 3, but I am so surprised at how good I feel!  Really!  I thought I’d be sick and napping in bed (last week I had to take a nap a day I had so little energy) but I’ve tried to snooze during the day this week and haven’t been able to fall asleep.  I actually have MORE energy than when I eat food.  It’s weird.  And I’m not even that hungry.  Sure, at a few points during the day my stomach will rumble, but nothing serious.  Physically, this challenge has been exactly what I’ve needed and I’ve lost 8 pounds.

Let’s talk about what I’m learning about myself and my relationship with food.  I love food and eat during emotional stressful times, this is not news, but this challenge has brought into focus that I don’t need it.  I won’t say that after 10 days of fruit and veggie juices that I don’t crave pizza or a good buffalo chicken sandwich, but that’s just an emotional craving, something to make me feel better.  Is my unhealthy relationship with food changed forever?  Of course not, but the fact that my body feels great and my mind feels good because I know I’m doing something good for my health, should be something that sticks.

The hardest things at this point are the smells and watching people eat.  I fixed bacon this morning for Gage and just the smell made me want to scarf the whole thing down.  I think that if you are the cook of the family it does add and extra layer to the challenge.  It’s hard to smell and touch something yummy and then put it on a plate so you can watch someone else eat it.  Yesterday, I cooked baked potatoes and even a boring potato with no salt or butter stirred up a wanting for food, any food.

That’s enough babbling for now.  Here are a few pics…Obviously, drinking the juices in a big wine glass makes them taste better.

juice1 juice2 juice3