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Goal Setting

A little over a year ago…September 7, 2015, to be exact…I took a BIG leap of faith and began taking control of my health.

That was the first day of my first Beachbody program.

It was ugly, y’all.  Although I didn’t look out of shape to most people, I felt so yucky.  I knew that I wasn’t where I needed to be.  I was getting very little exercise, except for a few weeks the summer prior, and my eating, although not terrible, was a bit random.

I followed the program pretty much to the letter, began using portion control as a nutritional help, and worked out five or six days a week (I can’t remember if I got one or two days off during that program).

The weight came off very quickly, as did the inches.  By the end of eight weeks, I’d lost fourteen pounds, and my measurements around all of my body parts had decreased.

I was hooked.  I was stronger physically and more confident emotionally.  Shopping was fun when I saw myself fitting into clothes the way I knew my petite body was supposed to.

I did TurboFire next.

This program was all about the cardio…so different from Piyo, which had focused on core strength and flexibilty.  I spent six months doing TurboFire and continued to chisel my body.

Next, I jumped into Hammer and Chisel.  Oh boy.  What a tough routine.  This was all about building muscle, with a healthy dose of cardio mixed in.  When the kids were younger, I had a gym membership and spent hours getting buff.  I knew it would be painful.

The Mr. bought me a set of weights, along with a workout bench, and I went to town…in my home.

I saw the changes I’d been looking for.  My abs finally decided to make an appearance.

Of course, I had to jump into a new routine when I finished, so I started 22 Minute Hard Corps.

The first day was no joke.  There wasn’t a day that went by when I wasn’t sweating and sore.

I am so happy to say that I FINISHED this program on Saturday!!!  I had gained a couple of pounds between the end of Hammer and Chisel and the middle of 22 Minute Hard Corps, so I did a gut check, literally, and reined myself back in, losing one of those pounds before Saturday.

As you can see, I lost some muscle definition in my abs and back.  I understand why, though.  This program didn’t use weights too often.  It was more about functional fitness, as Tony likes to say in his videos.

It was about building stamina and agility and body strength in a different way.  I definitely gained all of that.  I can do gorilla crawls and mountain climbers like there’s no tomorrow.  I’m pretty good at pumping out some push ups too.

During the time I did this program, I ran two or three virtual races and was able to do longer run intervals.  I have yet to run an entire race, but I’m not training exclusively for running, so I get it.

I have my next program ready to go, but first, I’m dedicating a couple of weeks to running some virtual races I’ve fallen behind on.

I think it’s important to take time out, though, to travel down memory lane.  It helps me remember what my goals were…to lose the flab and, originally, run a 5k…and to see what I’ve accomplished.

Although I still can’t run the entire 5k, I’ve done one in real life and will be doing another in a month.  I’ve done quite a few virtual races since last fall.  I’ve also accomplished every single other goal I set for myself.  I reached my target weight a few short months after I started exercising and have maintained it, with the exception of a pound gained and lost here and there.

With all of that said, I don’t necessarily advocate Beachbody, per se.  I don’t sell it.  I don’t want you to think that this is just a big pitch for it.  It just happens to be what fit into my life and personality (I love the calendars that come with the programs).

What I do challenge whoever I talk to about fitness…and I talk about it a lot…is to first decide what you want.  Then, create a plan.  Carve out time for it.  I’m all about the early-morning workout.  I know that I won’t have the energy in the afternoons to do it.  I also know that I need to do school stuff…lesson planning and grading…when I get home.  I make exercise a priority, which is a big reason why this has worked for me this past year.

Then, you have to watch what you eat.  That’s tough.  I keep up with my food log via the MyFitnessPal app.  I keep up with the calories I burn with my fitness watch.

Staying in shape is sooooooo much harder than it was when I was in my 20’s.  In a way, that’s not a bad thing, though.  I am so appreciative of what I’ve accomplished.  I know that blood (yes, there’s been blood…when I’ve fallen when out running), sweat, and tears have been a necessary part of the journey.

For so many years, I was that person who talked about doing something but didn’t stick with it.  I’m not that person any longer.

Redneck Crossfit

About a week after school got out, we had a storm.  It wasn’t really that bad, that I remember, but as I sat in the house, I heard a loud noise.

When I got up to check it out, I saw this…

Yep.  That’s my tree, and that’s my fence.

It looked as though the tree had been thrown through the fence.

We’ve had a problem with our trees the last couple of years.  I don’t know if they have a virus, but they are slowly dying.  Large branches fall nearly every time it storms.  That’s why I wasn’t initially concerned about the loud noise.

Ha!

Now, you know I’ve been working out with weights for about two months.  I thought I could move that tree out of the yard.

If you heard thunder just now, that may have been the universe laughing at my stupidity.

heehee

We needed a chainsaw.

The teacher who has a classroom beside me saw the picture I posted on Facebook and offered her husband’s services.  He would bring his chainsaw.

I was all about that!  I didn’t want the Mr. to have another excuse to make a purchase at Home Depot and, possibly, hurt himself.

She came the next day, bringing her husband and her young son, and they got right to work.

What a sweet family!  Not only did he cut my tree into chunks, but he climbed over the fence into the neighbor’s yard, with the neighbor’s permission, and fixed the sprinkler head that my tree had broken when limbs had fallen on it.

It was such a humid day, which made the job a little tougher.  I was even more grateful for my friend’s generosity.

They left, and I began clearing the debris.

Oh word, but trees weigh a LOT!!!  I should have taken pictures of the chunks.  I guess I forgot.  Some, I was able to carry in my arms.  A few, I had to turn, end over end.  I was reminded of tire turning exercises that athletes do to get stronger.

Now, you know I’m all about my blog, even when I’m not exactly blogging regularly (cough, cough).

I set up my phone and recorded one of my trunk-turning trips across the yard.

Oh yeah.  I was wearing my heart rate monitor and saw, afterward, how many calories I burned doing this.  It was major, y’all.

I think I may have just created a new form of exercise.  Who needs a fancy gym?!

My efforts were worth it.  My yard was clean by the time the Mr. got home.

My Drug of Choice

I have a confession to make.

I’m addicted…

To a special kind of drug.

It’s not a drug that’s easily obtained.

I have to work for it.

Hard.

I’m talking blood, sweat, and tears.

Sometimes, I think I can go a day without it, but then my body protests.

So I cave in to the craving.

My drug of choice?

Adrenaline.

My dealer?

My body.

You see, every time I exercise, I get a shot of the good stuff, and it energizes me in a way that my beloved Mountain Dews never did.

The trip I’m on when adrenaline’s high kicks in is one comprised of confidence and self-fulfillment.

It’s also one of satisfaction that I’m reaching goals I’ve set for myself.

It doesn’t matter what time of the day I get my fix…the adrenaline is always ready and willing to give me a boost.

It seems fairly harmless…until I go without it.  That’s when I realize just how much I need it.

So, if you ever wonder what drives me to get up at o’dark’30, lace up my shoes, and engage in some kickboxing action, it’s because of the natural high I’ll be on afterward.

Or if you ever wonder what in the heck I’m doing jogging on the treadmill or around the neighborhood late in the afternoon after I’ve already done a morning workout and spent a day teaching my high school kiddos, you’ll better understand.

It doesn’t matter how long the session…fifteen minutes or fifty-five…or the time of day my fix occurs.

My inner-junkie gets pacified, and I become a more tolerable human being.

New Years 2016

So, it’s been almost a week since I caught you up on what was happening around here on Christmas.

Chicky left around 6:30am on Sunday for her long drive home.  We followed suit about an hour and a half later.  When we got home, the dogs were very happy to see us.  I worked really all day and managed to get completely unpacked.  I put everything away and cleaned the house.  My Roomba had stopped running after it ran over its charging cord, so there was dog hair everywhere.  I also wanted to wash and dry the new set of sheets I’d gotten as a Christmas gift.

It was evening when I finally sat down to relax.

I recently started watching Agents of Shield on Netflix, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it.  It took about three full episodes before I got enough of the characters’ backstories to understand the premise of the show.  Now, I’m hooked.

The next morning, the dogs were more than happy to stay in bed…until about 11, I think.

That’s how we do things around here when we don’t have to work.

I immediately got down to business and did my TurboFire workout.  Then, I decided I needed to get outside and walk.  Molly was the chosen one.  She absolutely loved it and was the perfect walking buddy.

I worked on my Oakwood Poncho after having to tink back 80 rows because I’d followed the wrong chart.  Yeah, I’m stupid like that, although to be fair to me, the charts are not in the same order as the written instructions.

I’m actually happy that I had to re-do the colorwork…for the third time…because my first two attempts weren’t very good.  I’ve finally figured out how to change colors though!

Right side complete!

On Tuesday, I did my workout and then walked Gambit.  You can see, from the look on his face, how much fun he had.

On Wednesday, which was technically my “rest” day from my TurboFire program, I decided to do the “Drench” Piyo video.  Oh my.  This one completely kicks my butt every time I do it.  It’s sooooo hard!

Afterward, I took Molly for a walk…

I don’t know if I’ve told you, but in September, I joined the Harry Potter Running Club on Facebook.  Here’s the IRL website.  This club hosts virtual races, and the entry fees are donated to charity.  There’s a big competition on Facebook among houses for the House Cup, and miles are tracked through the Charity Miles app.  What is so cool about the app is that you select a charity, and various companies donate money every time you log miles.  I always select the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation because the Mr. has had Crohn’s Disease for twenty-eight years (as long as I’ve known him).

In addition to the above activities, there’s been lots of college bowl game watching around here.  Every.  Day.

I am not complaining.  I love college football and am thankful that I have a job that gives me the holidays off so I can watch these games.

I did another DIY project.  We’d recently started finding puddles of water on my laundry room floor when drying clothes, and I decided to replace the flex connection between the dryer and vent.  This fixed the problem.  No more leaks!

On New Year’s Eve, I did the Low HIIT 20 minute workout.  What absolute fun!  This workout is my favorite so far.  It goes by so quickly that you hardly know you’re exercising!  I then went for another walk, on the treadmill at the gym this time because it raining outside.

I ran ALL of those miles on the treadmill, to my shock and delight.  I firmly believe that the workouts I’ve been doing, along with the careful monitoring of my diet, have increased my endurance and made me stronger.

After getting cleaned up, I changed into comfy night clothes, appropriately themed considering that I’d be cheering AGAINST that non-SEC team in Florida that I cannot stand (they lost, by the way, hallelujah!) and the other team in Alabama, which did not lose, so I can have another chance to root against them at the end of the bowl series.

I also spent the day baking two desserts from my Vegan Pie in the Sky cookbook…

One of the best things about vegan baking is that I can lick the spoons, whisks, and bowls…

That brownie crust mixture was heavenly!

Dessert #2

Both desserts had to chill in the fridge for a few hours, so we had to wait until today to try them.

This morning (New Year’s), I didn’t get up until after 10am after turning off my alarm when it went off at 7.  I almost decided to skip my workout.  I wasn’t enamored with the idea of sweating for 40+ minutes, but I pushed through the voices in my head and pulled on my exercise clothes.

It’s funny.  I think so much negativity leaves the body with every sweat droplet that is released.  I felt terrific afterward!  I especially loved seeing the number of calories I burned.  I’m all about those calories, desperate to maintain my smaller size after all of my hard work in recent months.

I wanted to go for a walk, but the rain and cold weather made it un-doable…until later in the day.  As soon as the sky cleared up, I grabbed Pele, who’d been dying for his turn, and did a shorter walk.  He’s older and heavier and just can’t go as far.  He petered out before two miles were up, but I coaxed him home the last quarter mile, earning more miles for Hufflepuff and more money for my charity.  Oh, and by the way, I’ve been turning on my Charity Miles app and putting my phone in my Flipbelt when I do my TurboFire workout…any way to get mileage is acceptable!

Later this evening, I whipped up dinner for the family, including Rooster’s girlfriend, and then we indulged in the dessert I’d prepared yesterday.

The Brownie Bottom Peanut Butter Cheesecake doesn’t really taste like cheesecake, but the consistency is similar, and it is delicious!!!

That’s it from these here parts.  I hope you brought in the new year with family and friends and are fixing your eyes on Christ as you ring in 2016!  Much love to all of you!

 

 

 

 

 

Forever Awkward

I am awkward.

There’s no denying that.

I don’t know if it’s a lack of confidence or the desire to be proper most of the time, but I often find myself self-conscious.

Even routine activities manage to ensnare me in moments that I’d often like to get out of.

Take the other day.

I’ve recently begun walking, for exercise, again.

I’ve been walking with a friend, but on Sunday, she wasn’t available, so I set out on my own.  I queued up the cardio playlist I’d created last summer.  I didn’t, however, take my ear buds, so I played the music through the speaker on my phone, which I held as I walked.

I had a longer route planned…3.25 miles, I later discovered thanks to the MapMyWalk app I have.

Looks a little like Cupid, eh?

So, there I was, be-bopping along when the song Fergalicious came on…

Ok…so the lyrics aren’t exactly that great, and I don’t usually listen to her music.  It’s vastly different from the Christian tunes I usually play.

Ahem.

This song, though, has a good beat…perfect for walking fast.

I was making good time when I spied, down the street a bit, a younger guy about half my age.  He was doing something in his driveway and didn’t look like he was going inside before I was going to pass by.

Being the self-conscious one that I am, I was a bit mortified.

I didn’t want to be heard rocking out to “Fergalicious definition make them boys go loco.”

Ahem.

I did what any good 44-soon-to-be-45 year old should do…

I slyly turned the volume down.

ALL.  THE WAY.

Until I’d passed him and knew he was completely out of earshot.

Whereupon I turned up the sound again and resumed my Fergalicious walk.

Ahem.

The lesson in this?

Take my ear buds so I can rock out to Neil Diamond if I want.

Because his music is totally known for cutting split times.

<insert sarcastic face here>

Derailed

A few weeks ago, I had the misfortune of locking eyes with my thighs…thighs bared by the shorts I was currently wearing.

That’s when I saw it.

The beginning of cellulite.

At least that’s what I think it was.

I thought maybe it was the angle of the sun shining down on said legs; however, I have studied my thighs under natural lighting, fluorescent, and the sun.

Either my veins are rearranging themselves to resemble cheesy curds, or the cheesy curds are lying just beneath the surface, ready to pop out.

Ugh.

Now you guys.  I am not overweight.  I know that.  But, I am out of shape.  If you don’t work out your body parts, they start hanging out in funny directions.

That’s when I decided to take action.  I gave myself until the end of the week to cut out sodas.

That was in May, and I haven’t had a soda since (applause please – this is a BIG deal for me).

With the dawn of summer vacation, my days are calmer, and I’ve had more time to myself.

Along with the start of summer has also been the long-awaited World Cup.

Ahhhh, World Cup.

Men’s drama played to the hilt, along with skills that rival any other sport.

Well, last Monday, I took one look at my treadmill, another look at the TV (can’t remember who was playing), and my brain made a connection.

It was time for me to get busy.

With the TV’s volume cranked up to the max (nothing like hearing the commentary along with watching the action), I started racking up the miles.  Each day, I posted updates on my Facebook page as my own personal exercise diary.

Folks, I don’t know what got into me, but I actually started running on the treadmill…for more than a few minutes too!

Running is NOT something AuburnChick is known for, unless it’s running to the candy aisle to grab chocolate.

That’s why I was so surprised!  The fact that I wasn’t passing out mid-stride came as a shock!

In fact, it amazed me that I could still walk after each session.

What also surprised me was how GOOD it felt to watch the miles go by.

I don’t know who has taken over my body, but I like her!

Anyhoo, there I went, three days in a row of running.

The fourth day, I did my run, got off the treadmill, hunted for my lost abdominal muscles, and then went about my regular “mom” business.

And then I felt it.

Pain in my left foot.

Bad pain.

To the point where it hurt quite badly to walk.

What in the world?

Now, I’ve had pain in my heels and shins before, but I had taken care of that with the outrageously expensive sneakers I bought last summer.

This was new, and I did not like it.

Well, I pretty much ignored it the first day, except for the complaining I did to the Mr. and the kids.

The next day, I got back on the treadmill and did my thing again, notching up even more mileage.  By now, I was doing between five and five and a half miles on the machine, interspersing walking with running segments and actually running MORE of the session than walking.

The pain was nearly unbearable when I got off.

I took the weekend off, wrapping my foot and doing some research.

I think I might have Plantar Fascilitis, irritation and swelling of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot…

Now, I realize I am self-diagnosing myself, but the symptoms are EXACTLY like what I’m feeling, so I’m fairly certain that this is what’s happened to my foot.

I found out that my foot needed support, since the problem seems to lie with the tissue that provides arch support.

You guys…I am a Southern girl to the core.  I spend as much of my time without shoes as possible.  Plus, I have wood floors.  Add to that fact is that we do not wear shoes in the house…a house rule that I put into place years ago to keep us from tracking junk in and grinding it into my expensive flooring.

I ran to Target and got myself some slippers…

Aren’t they cute?!  They have padding inside too, so my feet feel really good with these little guys on.

Although I really like my slippers, ultimately, I am not happy.

It would seem that every time I try to get more fit, something happens.  Last summer, I got really sick while trying to do the C25K program, and I had to stop for a while.  Of course, by the time I was better, I had given up.

Ugh.

Yesterday, my foot didn’t hurt, so I laced up my sneakers to give it another go.

Oh you guys.  The joy I felt as I put in another 5.5 miles.  I ran 3.5 miles straight and after a half mile walk, I ran another mile…a total of 4.5 miles running!  I was so happy!

I tend to set the bar high.  I know that.  I push myself, and that’s why I excel at things, whether it is work or play.

However, the pain came back after I got off the machine.

Ugh.

It was so bad, I could hardly walk last night.

Double ugh.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I got up, determined to work through the pain.

I made it seven minutes before giving up.

Sigh.

The pain was intolerable.

With resignation, I stopped the machine.

Instead, I settled down for some ab word and light leg work.

I have been cautioned by those who care for me to let my foot heal or else I might cause permanent damage.

Sigh.

I’ve been derailed, yet again, and I am not happy.

Oh, I said this already, eh?

Sorry.  I am just frustrated.

I think that while I let my foot rest, I will continue watching what I eat and will also focus on stretching, ab work, and upper body exercises.  I will also do some low-impact lower body work as well.

My Week in Pictures

Pele lounges like hes a Roman god.

Pele lounges like he's a Roman god. He expects his servants to wait on him "paw and paw."

Sixteen stockings complete!

Sixteen stockings complete!

Fourteen blooms now!

Fourteen blooms now!

Sigh...this makes me happy...

Sigh...this makes me happy...

A new project...can you guess what Im making??

A new project...can you guess what I'm making??

After eating one of these, I was violently sick.  I hate being lactose-intolerant (and dont mention Lactaid.  Im immune.)

After eating one of these, I was violently sick. I hate being lactose-intolerant (and don't mention Lactaid. I'm immune.)

My own, personal gym...

My own personal gym...

Today I ran my three miles in 38 minutes, setting the treadmill to 6mph for the running segments. Progress!

Another coupon came in!  I see more running in my future!!

Another coupon came in! I see more running in my future!!

My grocery list.  Notice my notes?  I was dead on!

My grocery list. See my notes? I was dead on at the register!

All of this for $18.59!  I saved $42.75 today!  Woo Hoo!

All of this for $18.59! I saved $42.75 today! Woo Hoo!

Helping Rooster sell Dance Dance Revolution on Craigslist.

Helping Rooster sell Dance Dance Revolution on Craigslist...

Hes also selling his Game Cube and games.  Hes got mad photo skills...just like his mama!

He's also selling his Game Cube and games. He's got mad photo skills...just like his mama!

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