Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Month-End Review, March

X marks the exercise spot and I exercised for 27 days. Yay! Here's how the calories were burned:

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fix Mix

  • Cardio Kickboxing, 1 x

  • Power Yoga, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Belly, Butt & Thigh Blasters!

  • Better Booty Camp, 1 x

  • Belly Flab Fighter, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Dance your body Thin!

  • Smooth & Sexy Moves, 6 x's

  • Dance Toner, 2 x's

  • Get Fit Club Mix, 1 x

  • Cardio Dance Party, 1 x

  • Ballet Sculpt, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts

  • Firm Flat Abs, 1 x

  • Ultra Stretch, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: KnockOut Body!

  • Knockout Body Blast, 1 x

  • Fierce & Fabulous Abs, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Stretching, 3 x's

  • Adaptive Motion Trainer, 1 x

    Cardio and Muscle Class, 4 x's

    Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute: Abs Only Circuit, 1 x

  • 15-Minute Total Body Circuit, 1 x

  • P90X

  • Ab Ripper, 2 x's

  • Cardio X, 1 x

  • Rock Climbing, 6 x's

    Stair Climbing (Out and Indoors), 6 x's

    StairMaster, 1 x

    Swimming, 2 x's

    Treadmill, 3 x's

    Walking (Outdoors & Lazy River) 8 x's
    I'm most proud of the fact that I set out to drink eight glasses of a water a day and got in a total of 249.5 cups during the month of March.

    Erin Gudeux from Consumer Reports Health Blog had me chuckling when she said that she is more likely to climb Mt. Everest than get in the newly recommended 60 minutes of exercise for women over 40. Well, duh, Erin; you'd have to be in great shape to climb Mt. Everest. So, go ahead and get in that 60...

    Disclosure: I received the following videos without charge: 10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix, Belly, Butt & Thigh Blasters! KnockOut Body! and Personal Training with Jackie.

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Be Careful What You Ask For

    You know that you are getting your butt kicked when time starts to stand still as if you're in your own personal version of The Twilight Zone or a childhood nightmare where you're running down the hall and trying to get to the door but the hallway keeps getting longer and longer.

    All that to say, tonight was Cardio and Muscle night. It's so beautiful in The Lou and I thought about taking my workout outside but I was outside yesterday where I incorporated stair climbing with walking as I donned four pound weights. I felt like yesterday's exercise was decent but I felt like being pushed today.

    Be careful what you ask for...

    Kate's phrases for today were push and push it. And push she did.

    At one time, I felt like an under matched fighter against the ropes when Kate said:

    I can tell that I'm workin' you all because it's getting quieter and quieter.
    I had to resort to lower modifications on more than one occasion.

    I like jumping jacks and I couldn't quite figure out why but I was reading the Jan./Feb. issue of Health magazine. Health posed a question to several women. It began with this starter: What My Body Really Feels Like...

    Carrie Ann Inaba from Dancing with the Stars said:

    What My Body Really Feels Like...In Motion

    But I must say, jumping jacks are probably one of my favorite movements. It's a full-body workout, plus there's a lot of joy because you're jumping like a child and it sort of takes you back to that place...It takes you back to the freedom of being in the air and not held down by gravity. It's defying the laws of physics for a minute, like you're doing something you're not supposed to and getting away with it...
    Yeah, what Carrie Ann Inaba said.

    Towards the end of class, Kate said Do you notice how much space I have around me? I snickered because her assessment was true. Everyone was pretty much in the back of the class. Why is that? The same happens at church. You would think that if you want to be in church, you would want to get as close as possible to God's messenger unless, of course, you're uncivilized like me. Same thing with school. Well, I don't think a lot of youngins appreciate school which reminds me of a forward I read about living life in reverse -- like we should start out retired and end life on an orgasmic note.

    The whole front of the class/church/studio reminds me of Patti (one of my belay partners). Patti has invited me to laughing yoga a couple of times. She said that there's only one rule: to maintain eye contact. I hate eye contact so that's why I've never gone. Just kidding.

    So, my question is: if you're up front, is there more contact and, if so, why is contact shunned?

    By the way, Kate had on pink and black and it was hard to differentiate her from the bunny since she just kept going and going...

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    RX For Sunday Blues

    I was feeling sore and sluggish and the thought of actually getting dressed and venturing out the house was so unappealing. Then, the rain came. I think that I get in a blue funk of sorts on Sunday.

    I read an article, not this one although it sounds similar, that talked about Sunday depression being a serious issue for some people. Like, they can't even sleep or won't go to sleep in order to extend the weekend.

    For me, I think about all the stuff that I wanted to do: clean the fish tank, organizing, clean xyz, plan meals.

    I remember one professor that I had from Africa. He said: you people put too much stock in Friday. The you people didn't even bother me; I understood where he was coming from. He also said something about it being a no win situation when you put all of your happiness in one day...

    I also remember reading The Artist's Way and the author talked about taking advantage of small moments and not waiting for huge chunks of time to enjoy activities or to get things done which is why I try to read for, at least, 15 or 20 minutes in the morning instead of looking at Today or GMA and listening to repetitive horror stories with anchors who are on automatic. I can always read the newspaper later to catch up on important news.

    I decided not to go swimming as planned because I didn't have the heart to exit my abode. So, I'm catching up on The Biggest Loser and it's time for the last chance workout. Daris is doing army crawls under his blue team cohorts who are making it hard for him to crawl under. Tears are seeping out my eyes, a frequent occurrence when I watch TBL and when the last chance workout is over, Daris says:

    I left everything I had in the gym. I don't have any skin on my elbows to prove it.
    I decide that I will work out. I do Cardio X from P90X and I have to tell you that I love the swing kicks which you do with the aid of a chair or stool. You swing your left then right leg over the chair and vice versa. I felt like a Rockette. I wasn't so crazy about The Dreya Roll which just seemed like a Burpee in reverse and I hate burpees and trust me when I say that hate is not too strong of a word.

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    One Speed For Now

    My rock climbing goals include getting up a 5.9 route and taking a lead climbing class. In order to participate in the class, I need to get myself up a 5.9. I'm hoping that I'll be able to ascend such a route soon and I know it's possible because I never thought I'd be able to climb 5.8's.

    Route tally for 3/27:

    Truxton or Bust, 5.6 (Ascended 2x's & Down Climbed Once)
    Unnamed, 5.6 (Ascended & Down Climbed)
    Sponge Bob, 5.7
    A Savage Salvage Project, 5.8
    Bright Idea, 5.8
    Face Plant, 5.8
    Rainbow Bright, 5.8
    All Weinered Up, 5.8b (attempted)

    That 5.8b that I attempted was wicked; that's all I'm saying. I should also say ouch.

    The kids had me chuckling. One youngin in his teeny tiny voice was telling himself and his crew I can make to the top; I can make it. A first time preteen climber asked if I was going to fly up the wall if he fell because, at the time, I was belaying for Mike (Patti's husband). Mike is about six feet tall. I told him that I would not fly but Patti explained to him if we were doing lead climbing that, because of the weight disparity, I might, indeed, go flying up the wall.

    After climbing, I went to South Side Cyclery and took a 2010 7.2 FX Trek and a 2010 Trek 7000 for a spin on the parking lot. Don't laugh but my current bike is a one speed. I can gut it out and labor up hills and such but it would be much nicer to have a better bike. :o, I completely dug the rapid fire gears on the Trek 7.2. So nice.

    I saw this beauty, a Specialized Allez, as I was walking around the shop.

    The young man that was helping me out was super nice. Still, I find bike folks just as confusing as car mechanics. What's good about the South Side Cyclery is that they will let you take the bike out of the shop but you can pay (without interest) off the bike in 12 months provided that the application that you fill out is approved.

    Do you have a bike? If so, what kind and what is your main use for your bicycle? Fitness? Transportation? Triathlons? Also, how many gears do you have?

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Light Refreshments

    I attended this Building Inclusion Workshop and wondered how I was going to negotiate food and water chugging. Light refreshments were provided and I knew that meant donuts or bagels or both. I took fruit and Greek yogurt just in case.

    The workshop, sponsored by The National Conference for Community and Justice, was held in conjunction with the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit currently at The MO History Museum.

    One of the coolest segments was The Hapa Project, a photo/essay exhibit featuring mixed-race Asians. One of the most touching photos was of a young boy (Filipino, Mexican, Irish) who wrote:

    I’m just a very little boy in 5th grade that has nofrands.
    Interesting RACE factoid:

    Diet, health and genetics – not race – determine height.
    I stopped by the hypertension booth that talked about the stress of racism being a contributing factor regarding the higher rate of hypertension among African Americans.

    My blood pressure was 113/80 and my pulse rate was 59 which is normal.

    After viewing the exhibit and taking notes on my designated area of reportage, the wealth display, I headed back to the room. After the workshop participants finished viewing the exhibit and before our discussion, we had to read The Group Agreement which read in part:

  • Listen

  • Be Honest (Embrace Honesty)

  • Speak in the “I”

  • Trust in the Process

  • Work An Issue, Not The Person

  • Lean Into Discomfort

  • I’m so glad that I was able to participate in this workshop and see the exhibit. And take aways? Some Group Agreement principles can also be applied to weight loss: lean into discomfort, trust the process and be honest.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    And There's Nothing Particulary Wrong

    I don't talk much about weighing in because I've been at or around the same weight since November.

    I get on the scale almost every day and sometimes it is quite a bummer to see the needle at a standstill or moving northbound even.

    I look leaner to myself.

    I'm 5'3 (and a 1/2), I weigh 175 right now which puts my BMI at 31 (obese). I certainly don't feel or think of myself as obese though.

    My BMI score reminds me of the BMI Project that Gingersnapper linked to in one of her blog posts.

    I would not have dreamed of being in the 170's two years ago. So, I am grateful for where I'm at right now.

    In addition, I'm in a good place emotionally. So, why should I let the scale dictate my mood?

    I'm lovin' exercise. I mean, really, who would have thunk it? I look forward to exercising and I have stamina galore.

    I'm trying to get away from the concept of only the scale satisfying me...

    I did something today that I haven't done in a long time. I put on ankle weights and, at first, it took me awhile to get into a decent rhythm. For the life of me, though, I don't know how I carried around so many extra pounds for so long because just four extra pounds on my walk felt heavy and burdensome.

    By the way, it's always the side view that keeps you honest.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    To See A Belly Dancer

    Several of my coworkers said that I looked spring-like so I took the opportunity to pose for another staged photo.

    Do you see a collarbone? Do you, hunh?

    That's the March Shape magazine in my hand but if you get a chance to, you should check out the April issue. Diane over at Fit To The Finish is profiled in that issue.

    And, back to the workplace, yet another colleague stopped me in the hall.

    Colleague: Do you like belly dancing?

    Me: I've never tried it.
    I'm so into exercise right now that my mind went straight to belly dancing classes. Only, she was talking about going to see a belly dancer. She then handed me a menu. Um, no thanks. I'm not going to see a belly dancer while noshing on fried falafel, baklava and onion rings but I wish the new restaurant well.

    I went to Cardio and Muscle class today. Found out that Kate, the instructor, is 20 years old. No wonder she is kicking my butt. I'm almost old enough to be her very nice auntie. By the way, the oldest person in our class is 63. Cool.

    I wish that I had had enough sense when I was 20 years old to be serious about exercising. What can I say? There's no experience like bought experience.

    I stopped by Big Lots on a whim after exercise class and they had my beloved Wasa crackers in stock. They have not had them in ages and they are way more expensive in the grocery store.

    I was like Santa Claus when I emerged and, really, I should have purchased more.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Ain't No Mountain...

    My mother: What's next? Climbing mountains?

    Me: I chuckle then I hadn't thought about that but now that you mention it...
    It's funny that my mother mentioned mountains to me because I feel like I'm on top of one or that I'm right near the top, one foot down and one leg poised to push over the top.

    In the immortal words of James Brown, I feel good. And I feel strong.

    When I was doing some ab work, I noticed how solid my core feels and how I'm able to do tall sit ups without struggling.

    While climbing, I noticed that those routes that have been a pain in the behind weren't so grueling. I felt as if I could have climbed all day.

    Route tally:

    Sponge Bob, 5.7
    Truxton or Bust, 5.6
    Bright Idea, 5.8
    Face Plant, 5.8 (2x's)
    JW, 5.8
    Unnamed, 5.6 (Ascended and Down Climbed)
    Rainbow Bright, 5.8 (Ascended 3x's + Down Climbed 1x)

    JW has been my long-term nemesis but I climbed it more cleanly today. I felt as if it wasn't so hard. I'm stronger. And I did Face Plant twice today. Hello!

    I need to thank Patti for indulging me. She knows that I'm a pushing specialist. So, she often throws down the gauntlet and challenges (or indulges) me...

    Jessica, if you're out there listening, I went climbing with your athletic family. Your brother, who hadn't been climbing in ages, had me cracking up with his it doesn't matter which route I climb, it's all the same to me. It's so wrong that he can climb a 5.9 and hasn't been climbing in ages. Your mom (as usual) was climbing like she meant business and your father, and I'm paraphrasing here, said something like your mother was the best thing that ever happened to him. Wish you were here...

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Food Nostalgia

    Ah, the back seat of my car. I have to admit that I'm not very good with putting things away. Sometimes it works in my favor. If I get hungry after working out, I am an arm length away from food.

    Yesterday, I went to Aldi to grab a few items. The only thing that I really planned on getting was Fit and Active 100 calorie pack cheese crackers and I ended up getting peanut puffs and apples as well. I was surprised when the bill came in under five dollars. I need to put Aldi on my radar again.

    The peanut puffs were a purely nostalgic purchase. I checked out the stats and figured that I could have them as a pre-workout snack.
    Nutrition Facts
  • Serving Size 2 cups

  • Calories 147 (Per Serving)

  • Total Fat 7g

  • Saturated Fat 1g

  • Sodium 230mg

  • Total Carbohydrate 17g

  • Dietary Fiber 1g

  • Sugars less than 1g

  • Protein 4g
  • I first had peanut puffs in Croatia where they're not called peanut puffs.

    I went to Croatia years ago and I miss it and I miss a friend.

    I also miss Mostar.

    To complete this pensive state that I'm in, let's just throw some Đorđe Balašević into the mix.

    There are other people who remind me of food or vice versa.

    Anytime I see macaroni and cheese, it reminds me of one of my aunts.

    Cornbread = my grandmother.

    Have you eaten, indulged or purchased any food items because they reminded you of someone or some place you have been?

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Window Shopping St. Patrick's Day Style

    I don't consider myself an superfluous extravagant consumer but it's definitely hard at times. So much eye candy, so little...I'm constantly giving myself little lectures. For instance, I was in Big Lots about a week ago and I saw some sturdy Okabashi sandals for $5 dollars. Did I need them? No. Did I want them? Yes, I wanted them even though I had just bought a pair of flip flops to replace my last Okabashi sandals. I wanted them as back-up sandals. You never know when you'll need another pair, right?

    I was watching The Ellen Show during lunch and she had some silly big hair contest. She gave the three contestants Specialized bikes. I want one of those bikes. I wonder if I were able to get on The Ellen Show if she'd give away bikes again...

    If I had beaucoup money, I would spend it on flip flops and bicycles. Oh my.

    Without further ado, here are some other things that I would get:

    When I look at these items, I realize how few things I need to exercise and relax.

    What do you purchase with your discretionary dollars?

    Post Script: Just found out that Okabashi will accept old shoes for recycling. Sweet.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    60 Minutes, A Non-News Magazine Affair

    I left work as if I were trying to qualify for some Olympic event. Only, I was trying to get to Cardio and Muscle class on time.

    I changed clothes with the velocity of Clark Kent, grabbed my water bottle and my towel to mop up the imminent sweat and headed out of the locker room. I looked at the clock which said 4:50 p.m. I was flabbergasted. Had I really been moving that fast? Or, was I somehow successful in reversing time?

    I headed to the classroom and that clock said 5:00 p.m. I was relieved because, for a moment, I thought I was in a time warp or something. I gathered two sets of weights, a resistance band, mat and a step platform and risers.

    Raise your hand if just getting to the gym feels like a cardio session.

    ((('Drea lowers her hand)))

    There are usually about 20 plus folks in class but there were only about 11 today and everyone was favoring the back of the class.

    Kate extended her arms outward and said you guys are making me think that I stink or something.

    So, what did I do? I moved my weights, mat, band, platform and risers to the front. No need to analyze. I'm moved by pleas -- semi or out-and-out.

    Moving to the front of the class was not the smartest thing I've done especially when we started doing the shuffle with a little high jump. Oh, the pressure to keep up with Kate. I know, shuffling sounds all low-key but anyone who has ever played basketball and has crouched down on defense knows that bending/squatting while moving one's feet is easier said than done.

    I was exhausted, as usual, about 15 minutes into class but also, as usual, I made it through the 60 minute class.

    Being near the mirror is a curse and a blessing. I realize that I still have heft to lose but I also realize how far I'm come -- even if it has been a turtle-like process.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    No Magic Carpet Ride

    I was torn between swimming and hitting the gym today and my indecision was probably a factor in getting on the wrong highway. When I got off the highway to consult my GPS, I thought about turning around, going home and getting out a DVD or doing nothing at all. I was about to give in to Monday malaise.

    I can't believe that I haven't been in a pool since Feb. 23rd. I had a lane all to myself for about 40 minutes then two duos took up residence on either side of me. Things got interesting when it was swimming lesson time.

    Just what is it with the three lanes at these cookie cutter facilities?

    The duo of women worked out something with the swim teacher and ended up in my lane which was cool while they were using kickboards. Even then, I was careful to take off behind them. Once they started swimming, I headed for the lazy river because I've seen them swim before. They are fast and I am slow and I don't like the feeling of being chased.

    After finishing up at the pool, I was dreaming of a magic carpet to take me home but there is no magic carpet. There are no placebos in this journey. It requires putting one's backfield in motion, dedication and time...

    Ana, this volunteer at my job, gave me a Clif bar. Whenever I see her, she's eating one. I told her that I tend to eat the Clif Kid bars.

    She's trying to gain weight and is so sweet that I don't even detest her for that reality.

    Ana said that the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif bar is excellent and she even advised me not to drive while eating it. I love it that the bar has a rock climber on it.


    Left work
    : 4:30 p.m. Arrived home: 8:00 p.m.
    Pre-workout snacks: Half of a Mango + Fit & Active Baked Cheese Crackers (I got really hungry all of a sudden.)
    Time Spent in Hot Tub: 10 Minutes
    Post-Workout Snack: Clif Kid Brownie Bar
    Detour: 25 Minutes
    Dinner: Half of (leftover) Mediterranean Wrap from Crazy Bowls...
    Water: 56 ounces
    Food tracked: None

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    The Coolness

    Me: Okay. I just checked. The run (St. Patrick's) is at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow and the parade is at noon...

    Patti: Sunday at 10?

    Me: Cool. I'll be there.

    : Cool… me too
    As it turns out, the decision to go climbing on Sunday instead of Saturday was a good one. Daylight Saving Time worked in our favor since there was nary a creature stirring except for the Boy Scouts who were being taught on the upper level at Upper Limits.

    We had our pick of routes and no waiting for the first hour and I was ready to climb since I hadn't been in a week. Well, kind of. I really enjoy rock climbing but sometimes I think, dang, when you get out of the 5.7 zone, those routes can be arduous. What did Eleanor Roosevelt say?

    You must do the thing that you think you cannot do.
    I'm sure that she wasn't talking about rock climbing but...

    Today's route tally:

    5.6, Truxton or Bust
    5.8, Bright Idea
    5.7, Gymnopaeda
    5.8, Face Plant
    5.7, Unnamed
    5.8, Rainbow Bright
    5.8, JW
    5.9, One Liner (Attempted)
    5.6, Unnamed (Ascended and Down Climbed 3x's)

    The laps on the last route made a woman out of me and I don't think that I could have ascended another route even if I had wanted to.

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Hidden Calories, Crouching Fat

    Saw this segment on Nightline last night. I'm so glad that I don't eat blindly anymore. Like the family in this segment, my calories used to be hidden to me.

    I've been looking for some faster food options that don't include McDonald's or Wendy's.

    I picked these up at Dierbergs a few days ago.

    You know what all of that no (no gluten, no casein, milk, soy etc.) means? More money. I don't mind splurging, though, when it comes to food and fitness items.

    Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 220

  • Calories from Fat 90

  • Total Fat 10g

  • Saturated 1 g

  • Cholesterol 25mg

  • Sodium 300 mg

  • Total Carbohydrate 22g

  • Sugars 0

  • Protein 11g
  • I was looking through Cooking Light and Everyday Food (a Martha Stewart joint). Everyday Food has some good tips but I lost hope of finding a good recipe when I came across Lemon Trifle and three-cheese skillet lasagna. The latter recipe has 690 calories and 33.5 grams of fat per serving.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Make It Funky And Have Fun

    I am not a dancer. Or, should I say that I don’t dance outside of my house? When I’m cleaning and listening to music, I’ve been known to bust a move but that’s about the extent of my forays onto the dance floor.

    I’m not quite as bad as Seinfeld’s Elaine but…

    I recently exercised to 10 Minute Solution: Dance Your Body Thin!.

  • Smooth & Sexy Moves

  • Dance Toner

  • Get Fit Club Mix

  • Cardio Dance Party

  • Ballet Sculpt
  • Andrea Leigh Rogers encourages you to get funky with your moves and have fun and I did have fun.

    I should backtrack a bit.

    When I am delving into a new experience, I need to know what I’m getting into and I like to research the topic extensively. One of my friends loves (maybe too strong of a word) to go on vacation with me because she knows that I will have looked into the what to see and what to do aspect of it all.

    I like thorough yet simple explanations. I loved it in Philadelphia when Denzel Washington’s character says to Tom Hank’s character: Now, explain it to me like I’m a four-year-old.

    I tried Smooth and Sexy Moves first. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the choreography and I felt as if I had a good workout. In fact, I found Smooth and Sexy Moves taxing but not as taxing as Ballet Sculpt. I felt like I got worked over by Ballet Sculpt which absolutely killed my arms. Not bad for 10 minutes of moving. And therein lies the beauty of the 10 Minute Solution series. You can do the whole DVD or supplement another workout. Also, I liked the two pound weight belt that Dance Your Body Thin! comes with. While two pounds doesn’t sound like a lot, you can certainly feel it when you’re dipping your hips.

    There’s one segment in Get Fit Club Mix where you raise the roof, take it down, march it in and make a circle while waving. I really enjoyed the circle move and the Broadway kicks which are on the dramatic side too.

    I think I might have an inner diva trying to get out...

    Disclosure: I received this video without charge but, like Shirley Chisholm, I’m unbought and unbossed.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Keep Breathing

    I have a barely there cold: sniffles, clear mucous, a non-sore but irritated throat that makes my voice deeper. After two days, the cold is already fading which I chalk up to my otherwise good immune system. There were just too many sick people within spraying distance.

    There are days when I wonder if I have the stamina to do anything and today was one of those days. It's not just a question of stamina. It's more like -- do I have it in me and how long will I have it in me?

    I had been looking forward (can't believe I just wrote that) to my regular Tuesday class, Cardio and Muscle, with Ms. Kate especially since I didn't go last week because of my work schedule.

    After feeling like taking a nap around lunch time, I got a second burst of energy.

    During Kate's class, I tried to keep my moaning to myself. Oh my God just came out automatically at times. Kate's arsenal of fast feet, jumping jacks, squats et al. will elicit such a response.

    I kept thinking to myself this is going to hurt in the morning but I also tried to listen to Kate who continuously said keep breathing along with her other command of suck in those abs.

    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Together With Stretching And Epsom Salt

    Rock climbing is a religious experience. Why? The only thing coming out of my mouth post-climbing was an Oh My God chant.

    There was some weird intensity going through my arms. Even though I know that I need to keep straight arms while climbing, it's a whole different affair when I hit the wall.

    Without delay, I popped in a DVD and selected the stretch portion of 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones! After tearing myself down, I like to put myself back together with stretching and Epsom Salt.

    While I was climbing, there was this Korean woman who looked like she was an AP photographer or something. She was documenting the experience for her sons. As I untied from a rope, she patted me on the back and told me nice hobby. Cute gesture. I told her that she had a nice hobby too since she had a serious telephoto lens on her camera. Korean mama had such a friendly face underneath some rather tall hair that reminded me of The Supremes.

    I struggled, inexplicably, with the easier routes. Patti pulled the psychological card. My struggle with the 5.6's was probably part mental and part stair/hill workout yesterday.

    Today's tally:

    Truxton or Bust, 5.6
    Bright Idea, 5.8
    Sol, 5.7
    Gymnopaeda, 5.7
    Face Plant, 5.8
    Unidentified, 5.7 (near Sol)
    Unidentified, 5.7 (near Gym...)
    Rainbow Bright, 5.8
    Unidentified, 5.6 (warm-down; down climbed as well)

    Note to self: Straight arms, girl. Straight arms.

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    Tickled Pink

    Tickled Pink is the brand of my sweatpants and that's just what I was when I went to put them on. I usually wear Capri or Bermuda shorts to the gym and I haven't made adjustments to some parts of my wardrobe.

    These Tickled Pink pants are a 1x and it reminded me of how much progress I've made.

    I went to Compton Hill Reservoir Park and hit the stairs and they didn't hit back. I walked up them -- sometimes two steps at a time. I jogged up a couple of times too.

    I also hit a little hill and walked (and jogged) up and down. It was so good to be out of the gym.

    I've had five cups of glasses so I'm on pace to get in, at least, eight glasses.

    For those of you who stay in The Lou, don't forget that you can climb the water tower on the first Saturday of the month from April to November.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Blame It On The Butters?

    Someone gave my friend pajamas which she gave to me. Shhh! While they are a little snug on me, they are snugger on her and therein lies the non-scale triumph. Not even a year ago would I have dreamed of getting into an article of clothing that said friend owned.

    Maybe my new mantra should be:

    The scale is not moving but the clothes are loose.
    By the way, I plan to lounge in said pajamas at some point tomorrow for a lengthy amount of time...

    I had quite the losing streak going in blog giveaways but I finally won a $5 dollar coupon over at A Life Less Sweet Reviews! for MaraNatha Nut Butters. I needed that coupon too.

    I know what you're thinking. The butters are the reason that 'Drea's scale won't move but I never have more than one tablespoon per day.

    By the way, is it worth it to wash out these containers for the purpose of recycling them? It's hard to know what the lesser evil is at times.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Clunker No More

    Patti: ...Bring your climbing gear, you'll need it.

    Me: LOL, I like it when you talk to me like that.
    It was good to do a little mid-week rock climbing.

    I did better today. My last two outings left me feeling like I was regressing. I was on the lookout for foot holds. As most of the books and videos point out, you can stand on your feet all day as opposed to going up a route relying mostly on your arms.

    I am a quieter climber. When I first started climbing, I was quite the clunker.

    Mike (Patti's hubby) tends to say Have fun storming the castle and watch out for the boiling oil. It makes me chuckle because it does feel like you're going on some wild adventure as you're about to ascend. I've been doing quite a few 5.8 routes. It's still a struggle but I'm making it to the top. This evening's tally:

    5.6, Truxton or Bust
    5.7, Gymnopaeda
    5.8, Rainbow Bright (New Route)
    5.8, JW
    5.8, Face Plant (1.5 x's)
    5.9, One Liner (Attempted)

    It was a mixed crowd tonight. I saw a man in his late 60's and a pre-teen who is already skilled at bouldering. How cool is that?

    In other news, I've been trying to drink more water. My usual consumption hovers around five eight ounce glasses. On Monday and Tuesday, I had seven glasses and, today, I managed to drink eight. Hopefully, I can continue with the water chugging.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Just Hot Milkshakes

    I went to check out Sapphire last night at UMSL. It was dark when I hit the campus and the signage sucked. I went inside of the athletic center to ask for directions. See, I'm obsessed with athleticism even when I don't intend to exercise.

    I found a building that looked like a student center and as soon as I started walking, this guy starting blowing his horn at me.

    The Guy: I'm looking for an artist, um, Sparrow.

    Me: Sapphire. I think this building is the Millennium Student Center.
    And I was hoping that it was the MSC because there was still no signage.

    After Sapphire's reading, I waded through the crowd to say hello since I met her years ago when I was coordinating a series featuring writers. I wrote in a previous post how Push resonated with me.

    I remember having coffee with Sapphire and getting my favorite drink back then, a cafe mocha. That mocha was in a rather tall glass too. When I think about the junk that I consumed and how often I indulged, I just shake my head. As Dr. Phil says, I don't care what you call them -- frappuccino, mappuccino -- they're all just hot milkshakes.

    When Sapphire saw me she said:

    You still look the same.
    Then she scanned me.

    You've toned up?
    Remembering my hot milkshake made me think of Gabourey Sidibe who plays Precious in the movie based on Push. Sidibe says that she is content with her weight. Others are taking polls to, no pun intended, weigh in on her weight.

    No one can force or shame another person to lose weight. I've had people try many angles -- from name calling to bringing up my maternal grandmother's heart attack and neither one of those tactics worked.

    People have to be ready to embark on their own fitness journey and no amount of polls or insults will change that reality.

    Here's Sidibe on Oprah talking about learning to love herself.