Friday, January 31, 2014

Blasting or Month-End Review, January

Did my best to blast away fat -- not an official New Year's resolution, by the way. I even did burpees which I usually shun. I've always liked to mix-up workouts up but I feel like I've diversified more. I even dusted off the Wii which I hadn't used in over 400 days. I don't really see Wii workouts as a big calorie burner but it keeps me away from my computer chair.

I had the most fun with P90X's Kenpo X and was happy to see elements of Kenpo incorporated into Cardio X as well.

Feeling good about the first 31 days of the year. How are you feeling about 2014 so far?

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix

  • Belly Fat Blaster, 1 x

  • Fat Blasting Intervals

  • Lean Body Sculpt, 1 x

  • 10  Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training

  • HITT 101, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp

  • Fat Burning Blast


    10 Minutes Solution: KnockOUT Body!

  • Knockout Body Blast, 4 x's

  • 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results fat burner

  • Rapid Results Kickboxing, 1 x

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!

  • Arm and Shoulder Sculpt, 1 x

  • Ellen Barrett Live: Sleek Sculpt Express

    Give Me 10!

  • Fat Blasting Cardio, 2 x's

  • Lower Body Firmer, 1 x

  • Upper Body Sculpt, 3 x's

  • Just Walk: 5 Mega Miles

  • Mile 1: Classic Low Impact, 5 x's

  • Mile 2: Walk & Tone, 4 x's

  • Mile 5: Ab Walk, 14 x's

  • Just Walk: Walk to the Hits: Party Songs

  • Mile 1, 7 x's

  • P90X

  • Cardio X, 1 x

  • Kenpo X, 4 x's

  • Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

  • 15-Minute Upper Body, 2 x's

  • Rock Climbing, 2 x's

    Shoveling, 1 x

    Yup, I'm counting it...

    Stretch Max

  • Resistance Band, 1 x

  • Stability Ball, 2 x's

  • Walk, 7 x's

    Wii, 9 x's

    Yoga, 14 x's

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Peace in Sphinx

    No Excuses
    Having a lot of workout DVDs is like having cable -- so much on but nothing to watch. At least that's the way that I remember it because I haven't had cable in years.

    Patti gave me P90X's Cardio X which I did a long time ago. The only thing I remembered was the kicking legs over a bar stool segment. Definitely didn't remember the dreya roll which I couldn't execute.

    After doing Cardio X, headed to Gloria's yoga class. There were about 20 people in line when I arrived and the crowd only got bigger. I headed for the front of the class because I knew that there would be a logjam in the back and middle but I ended up being too close to the mirror for my taste.

    I was worn out after the warriors and sun salutations but found such relaxation and peace in sphinx -- pretty sure that it was the cumulative effect of all the poses but I noticed the peace in sphinx.

    I like how Yoga Journal refers to sphinx as the infant of backbends.

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    I Don't Understand Exercise...Or Stuff People Say to Me

  • I took your yoga magazine home...Anything I can do to keep running.

    Ariel, one of my coworkers. Yoga Journal lives at work once I've finished reading it. Although, I didn't tell Ariel that I had brought a journal to work.

  • Me: How much is 25 grams (re: Milka Almond Cake)?*

    Rabija: Who knows?!

  • It's almost like you meditate in the pose.

    Nikolay, a yoga instructor during a conversation about, well, yoga.

  • I don't understand exercise that involves carrying things.

    Ariel after telling me that her father had given her an electric bike.

  • I was a flaunter.

    Kim about her behavior when she weighed less.

  • I weigh 76 kilograms.

    The 'Fugee

  • I walked and did -- what do you call that?

    The 'Fugee about walking and squats...

  • I'm on the Pinterest.


  • I'm trying to walk around like this bag is not conspicuous.


  • The Handles of Alison's Mega Bag

  • You were round, my friend.

    Sarah's assessment after looking at old pictures of us...

  • Do you know where the chia seeds are at? Dr. Oz has me shopping again.

    Unknown shopper

  • *How I stared down that Milka that Rabija brought back from Holland.

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

    The Experimental Shirt

    Alison told me about one of her projects which involved dyeing white shirts for yoga. In turn, I told her about my frustration with finding yoga attire.

    There's nothing like thinking that you found the perfect shirt comprised of a nice tri-blend only to discover that it hikes up and down and won't stay put.

    I've since read such a simple tip from -- go right ahead and do a downward facing dog in the dressing room. Why didn't I think about that?

    Alison also told me that she wears a yoga top underneath another top. I have passed by those little sleeveless yoga tops so many times because I knew that I would never wear them to class.

    I own a sleeveless, racerback Oiselle shirt that I got via a MizFit giveaway so I tried it out this morning underneath a very cool dri-wick situation that I got from Old Navy. I felt better with the shirt underneath but I did get warm.

    The Experiment

    On another yoga note, I'm totally on board with the whole idea that people who arrive late to yoga might just need the class the most but please take care of your velcro situation before you enter when class is in progress. As The Honest Toddler would say ridikilus...

    As Alison and I exited the gym, I saw the First Couple of Yoga on rowers. What?! The gym has new rowers. That's a machine that I can get on board with...

    After yoga, went for a walk because it was about 57 degrees and it's supposed to be in the teens tomorrow. Listened to this Fresh Air podcast Fear of Fainting, Flight and Cheese: One Man's Age of Anxiety -- an interview with Scott Stossel about his new book My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread and the Search for Peace of Mind. Very interesting -- especially when he said that there is a large genetic component to one's temperament.

    I think one of the reasons that I'm pretty unshakable is that a lot of my folks are -- if you don't count the time when I was little and scared to sleep in my own room or the time when I was on Grand Jury duty for three months. I think GJ would shake anyone up. There was one day a week devoted to sexual assault and domestic violence, ugh...

    Stossel also emphasized that genes are not destiny. I also believe that he said that meditation can reduce the size of the amygdala.

    According to Science Daily:
    Conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias are suspected of being linked to abnormal functioning of the amygdala...
    Another good point that Stossel makes: There are multiple ways to build resilience.

    P.S. There are times when I wish that I had a fear of cheese.

    Friday, January 24, 2014

    A Different Day

    I think the whole muscle confusion thing is working. After doing Jackie Warner's Xtreme Time Saver workout, I woke up on Thursday with a wicked charley horse in my calf. I tried to simultaneously not move and to reach back and massage my calf. Um, yeah, ouch.

    Kind of ironic because my mother, who takes water aerobics, asked if I ever get sore. Guess I don't say much about being sore but, for as much as I exercise, I'm actually not sore a lot which I attribute to my yoga practice and the practice of soaking in about four cups of Epsom salt -- not daily but often.

    I did P90X's Kenpo again and my muscles didn't seem to remember the moves from earlier in the week. I struggled but have to remember that a different days brings different energy.  

    Last night, I would have paid (extra) for someone to massage my calves. They were so tight that I wanted to deflate them. I got out Cathe's Stretch Max and decided to do the segment with a resistance band and wondered, as I hog-tied myself, Who thinks up this stuff? The combo of stretching and salt bath worked because I was in better shape this morning. So, yeah, thanks to all of you who think of that stuff...

    My coworker shared this Buzz Feed about work. Nice to know that the work experience is a universal one. In disbelief that this work week was a short one because it felt exceptionally long.

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    66 Days

    Got home from work, chilled out for a bit then put my exercise gear on. I wanted to do P90X's Kenpo again but I also want to keep my workout routine fresh so I chose Personal Training with Jackie: Xtreme Timesaver Training.

    At one point, Jackie Warner says I would never ask you to do something that you couldn't do which reminds me of when people say God never gives you more than you can handle.

    I said Okay, Jackie and modified when necessary, exchanged weights when necessary and made it through the workout.

    As I soaked last night, I read through Shape magazine. It had a lot of good tidbits including The Goal: Workout for 66 days straight.
    Think three weeks is the magic number for locking in a habit? You probably need three times that, according to a study in the European Journal of Psychology. When researchers tracked people who were working to establish a new behavior -- such as jogging daily -- they discovered that the practice went on auto-pilot after an average of 66 days. If it sounds like a lot of work, consider this: An exercise streak may actually be less taxing (for your brain, at least) than trying to fit in sporadic sessions... (154 November 2013)
    I'm pretty sure that the lock in factor is one of the reasons I'm on automatic with working out...

    Went to Gloria's yoga class and it was sardine packed. This young dude next to me fidgeted almost the entire time and had a totally weird breathing pattern going on. I tried to use the fidgeting as an opportunity to go deeper inside which kind of worked.

    This woman came up to me after class and said that she has such a hard time meditating and concentrating. Tell me about it.

    Also tried to zone in on Gloria's theme for the night -- steady and joyful...

    I just started watching An Idiot Abroad. Funniest line from the "idiot" so far: It's not the Great Wall of China. It's an all right wall.

    Monday, January 20, 2014

    We Call That DNA Removal

    Kenpo has been staring at me from the top of its bar stool perch.

    I put Kenpo in the player once and decided to change directions. Same thing today. I started off with another DVD but ended up with Kenpo. I'm trying to make sure that I don't rely on the same DVDs since I'm working out at home more.

    I've dabbled in P90X workouts but I've never done them consistently and thought that Kenpo was going to leave me uneven with mostly an upper body workout but I was wrong and I had fun. Well, except for the start when I was annoyed by the prolonged stretching. When I'm ready for cardio, I'm ready and want to strike before I lose the desire to bounce around.

    Tony Horton seems to cover all the bases -- all the ones that I know about anyway from jab/cross to claw/hammer combinations.

    I like the directional kicks (front, side, back) and the block/punch combos.

    The star blocks felt kind of odd to me but I pretty much dug everything else including the elbow series (up, down and across). I found the back knuckle with front and back kicks pretty funny.

    Even funnier is when Horton points to his female cohort to emphasize how her shirt went from light green to dark green. We don't need any spray bottles; we call that DNA removal...

    When I told my Aunt Al that I had gotten TKO'd by one Benadryl, she gave me a look. I usually take two and it doesn't do anything to me, she said. She then told me that my cousin takes more than two. I need to talk to my cousin.

    My Aunt Al's dog, Teddy, hardly ever barks until he sees you eating...and then he barks. I need to be around this dude more often to have my own canine calorie counting system.

    Teddy -- Paws In The Air and Not Barking for Food

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

    Goodbye Saturday...

    Woke up looking like Daffy Duck this morning. Upper lip was majorly swollen.

    Bug bite or food allergy?

    I only ate one thing out of the ordinary but do wonder if I OD'd on Ricola.

    Finally took Benadryl and, of course, drowsiness ensued. Couldn't remember the day or time when I woke up the first time. An hour and a half later, retrieved my glasses from behind the bed and got up.

    I am so punch-drunk. Goodbye Saturday plans... Hope that my body will fire on all cylinders soon.

    On another note, saw this sign in someone's yard the other day and it totally made me laugh out loud.

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

    Shifts Happen

    Do you hate me? Gloria teasingly asked after savasana.

    No, never. Okay, maybe a few hostile thoughts flitted through my mind during all that flowing and fallen warrior but I had just experienced one of the best savasanas ever and any displeasure that I felt was a thing of the past...

    I realized the appropriate adjective for my hips during that class -- shifty. They shift a lot in high lunge and Warrior I.

    Speaking of shifts, the transition from Warrior I to Warrior II moves me every time.

    Actually, I love this sequence: Warrior I...Warrior II...Reverse Warrior...Triangle.

    I can really settle down and make a home in triangle...

    Until the yoga newbie next to me asked if the same teacher would be present, I had forgotten about the whole January thing -- the tours and the swell in class size. Gloria's classes are usually crowded but it was supersized yesterday.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Down That Road

    That picture pretty much sums up things. Lots of mucous and ginger tea bags but I have felt several shifts and feel that the cooties should disappear soon.

    This morning I couldn't stomach the idea of oatmeal so I made a carrot ginger smoothie but when I walked away, the blender vibrated, toppled and spilled half the contents. I almost whimpered over the CG smoothie contents in the sink. Bye bye organic carrot juice...

    Feeling less crabby but on Monday definitely thought that I should report to meditation or yoga boot camp -- not one where they make you do power yoga but one where you are immersed in yoga.

    When I mentioned the idea to Alison, she told me that she pretty much does yoga on a daily basis. Brilliant idea.

    So, I'm going to attempt to do more yoga until I can find my way through this crabby phase...

    Really enjoyed 6 Lifesaving Lesson from the ER: Courtesy of Travis Stork, MD.

    During Dr. Stork's first stint as an attending physician, a dying child was brought into the ER.
    "You may think I'm going to say that I took heroic action and saved his life. But to be frank, it was my years of training that saved his life. That and I took a deep breath. That deep breath turned any fear into focus, and I did what I was taught to do: I doctored."

    Kind of funny that I just picked this magazine up again and saw the natural cold cures which are suggestions submitted by readers. One suggested 1/4 cup of chopped garlic in tomato juice. Garlic tea was one my grandmother's favorites but I just can't bring myself to go down that road.

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Not Smart

    What A Difference A Week Makes
    Arrived at the hospital and all my devices started going off.

    A friend of the family had stopped by to see my aunt and she couldn't find my aunt or her nurse. My, usually, unshakable cousin was shaken.

    I thought they were going to tell me that L was dead and I would be the only one hear to receive the news but I came anyway.

    I just got a cell phone for my birthday. Not a smart one -- a gift --- that I pay $10 a month. I hardly keep it on because I'm on the phone so much at work and the last thing that I want to hear is ringing.

    I would not have had my phone on anyway because I had been in yoga class but realized that what I could do was give my cousin a better idea of my routine.

    Last time I visited my friend in New Jersey, I also visited another one in New York. NJ friend wanted me to call her when I arrived in New York. Soon as I find a pay phone, I told her. Bottom line. NJ friend told me. Oh, you can get in touch with people but no one can get in touch with you.

    I realized yesterday that I need to, at least, try to keep the phone on.


    How can I tell that I'm sick? I've lost about three pounds. How does that happen so fast when you're sick? Loss of appetite for sure but unfair...

    Went for a walk because I thought that the sun might do be some good. Trying to avoid snow-covered steps, I slid in the slick grass, almost did a split and came down on my "fragile" knee. It was kind of ironic because Gloria had us do hanumanasana in class or, as I like to call it, splitsville.

    P.S. According to the Survival Doctor, see below for why your nose runs when you have a cold.
    When a head cold invades, The Defensive Protector ramps things up a notch or 10. And an increase in mucus brings with it an increase in antiseptic enzymes and immunoglobulins (antibodies). The fighter-filled fluid washes out some of the germs.

    Although, what I have didn't really feel like just a cold early in the a.m. when I woke up with little puddles of sweat on my body...

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Drawn-Out Week

    Once, as I waited on a veggie burger, I heard someone say:

    When I woke up and saw snow, it pushed me over the dark ledge of where I was already standing.

    That's the way I felt when I couldn't see the sidewalk yesterday and when it started raining today turning me into a hurdler as I tried to avoid the growing river at my sidewalk.

    One of my coworkers said that she felt everyone was crabby this week. Glad I'm not the only one.

    Dreamed last night that I had blood gushing -- in different textures and from different places.

    Dream Moods says:
    To see blood in your dreams represents life, love, and passion as well as disappointments...
    To dream that you are bleeding or losing blood signifies that you are suffering from exhaustion or that you are feeling emotionally drained...
    Pretty sure that half of that dream has to do with my aunt and her arteries...

    In addition to feeling tired, I also feel like I have a nick in my armor. Head-achy. Chills. Low grade something but definitely enough to get my attention and make me embrace the bed after work.

    Haven't been sick in a while. I have one ibuprofen and it expired in 2010.

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Requiem for Kettlebell Class

    I have been out of sorts and crabby as hell. I've probably dropped more curse words in the last couple days than I did during 2013.

    Took myself to Gloria's p.m. class and Mike asked for a post-shoveling yoga class. More please.

    It was an amazing class and I realized, again, that I have an affinity for gentle yoga. I kept thinking in interjections.

    Un hunh...


    Toward the end of class, the music stopped. The flutey, bell-ringing music was nice but I thoroughly enjoyed the silence.

    Wednesday is usually kettlebell day but I will not be going to kettlebell class anymore.

    Marisa sent an email with new policies (use it in four weeks or lose it) and a price raise. Her prices were already right at my comfort zone. The increase, though small, made me realize how much money I had spent in addition to my expenses for other activities and memberships. If I did kettlebell more than once a week, the price structure would make more sense but since I don't...

    It's hard to say goodbye. I liked Marisa the first day that I met her and I'll miss my fellow swingers: Crazy Lats, Julia, Paige and Princess T.

    There's a part of me that thinks that if I am left to my own devices, I'm going to drop the ball and screw up and become lackadaisical but it's always been up to me --whether I'm at the pool or on my bicycle; it's on me to be responsible for my fitness.

    Now, I just need to retrieve my kettlebell.

    Monday, January 6, 2014


    New-ish Car Battery Reluctant...
    Glad that I went climbing on Saturday. Otherwise, I would have been climbing the walls in my house on Sunday. I got a lot done, though, and enjoyed the hush.

    I exercised and cooked. Made a veggie quiche then sauteed the rest of the mushrooms with garlic and a mild pepper so that those mushrooms wouldn't wither in the fringe like they usually do.

    I cleaned the fish tank, took care of the hamper overflow and added Aretha songs to my iPod.

    Forgot, repeatedly, that it was Sunday.

    Did yoga and thirty minutes on the Wii.


    Stepped outside to try to take a picture of the skiers or, rather, people making their way down the street with skis.

    Watched reality television -- two shows that I'd never thought I'd stick with: Long Island Medium and My Cat From Hell*. Also started watching Dual Survivor.

    Is it my imagination or does Netflix have less streaming material?

    The person who joked on Twitter that St. Louis would be canceled had it right. The city is closed today. My workplace, however, is not. We're open for half a day with the option to use a vacation unit.

    Guess what my main workout was this morning?

    Super sexy thermal underwear to prepare.

    Shoveling Burns Approx 420 Calories Per Hour :)
    What's your favorite thing to do when you, unexpectedly, have extra time?

    *I've never lived with a cat unless you count the time I stayed with N.Y. friend...

    Saturday, January 4, 2014


    Bread Shelves at TJ's Last Night
    Turned down an invitation by Jessica to climb yesterday. I told her that the only thing I wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position.

    Got an email from Patti who wanted to rendezvous at the climbing gym. What she really wanted was to avoid cleaning and walking outside. Then Patti got cheesy. I haven't seen you since last year, she wrote. I didn't particularly feel like working out at home so I went and, bonus, Jessica a.k.a. The Patient Climber was there...

    Intended to go to yoga around 5 but, apparently, I have become the Queen of Naps or maybe climbing just kicked my ass or maybe I'd had my fill of yoga since I went to a class that I don't usually go to on Thursday.

    After resting, I checked into Twitter. Some pretty funny stuff about the weather advisory. Someone tweeted that St. Louis will be canceled tomorrow. Also saw the hashtag #snOMGstl and someone who is hoping that it will just be #SnowMeh.

    It was so balmy today it's hard to believe that the hammer is going to come down.

    What kind of staples do you get when preparing to hunker down?

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Unspoken Resolve

    If I've had any resolutions the past couple of years, it has been more compassion (repeat) -- for myself, a post-Happiness Project goal.

    It's so true:
    If your compassion does not include yourself, it is not complete. -Siddhartha Gautama 
    And a funny thing happens on the way to self-compassion, it is much easier to be compassionate and patient with others. It reminds me of when Saul David Raye said that the mantra May all beings be happy and free... keeps your heart open. And it does...

    One of my aunts has major circulation issues and now weighs 90.8 pounds. It's a series of numbers that might as well be tattooed on my neck because I will not forget them.

    It is not lost on me that I'm constantly trying to achieve a lower number on the scale and my aunt has lost so much.

    I'm not going to try to romanticize poverty or anything but health is everything. If I have a resolution, it's to continue on the path that I've been traveling for a while now.

    When I'm in tadasana or mountain pose, I'm prone to think of my aunt. The feet are the trigger. I look at my toes but, mainly, I look at the veins running through my feet. There's nothing more grounding and nothing makes me more determined to hit the road and continue this journey.