Currently, I am working through the following P90X videos:

01 Chest and Back
02 Plyometrics
03 Shoulders and ARms
05 Legs and Back

NEVER MIND! That's too hard on my joints right now.

As of July 18, 2010, I'm doing the Urban Rebounder, Intermediate Level.

Oh, never mind. As of Aug 8, 2010, I working through a beginner's running program.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fat-Melting Cocktail

I read this article in a recent magazine and was extremely tempted to give it a try. It sounds so fantastic to loose so easily and quickly. Then, I remembered that I had actually lost almost 27 pounds the summer before last following the Kimkin's method, a very low-cal and low-carb program. I quickly gained it back, which was to be expected under the circumstances, but my desperation compelled me to ignore the programs unhealthy disadvantages. Even if this articles recommendations would work I would rather loose my weight because I made better choices and built my strength and endurance through exercise. Then I will know that the methods I used are both successful enough for me to loose and maintain my weight loss. I'm sure that during my difficult days, while I'm doubting myself or feeling frustrated that I'm not seeing results that I will reconsider this decision or kick myself for not giving it a try, but I know that I am making the right decision.

It's a New Year

It's the beginning of a new year and like many folks I have made a resolution to get into shape, change my bad eating habits, and loose some weight. First, I will concentrate on changing my habits and replacing them with healthy ones. I plan to exercise more faithfully and consistently, significantly reduce junk from my diet, and eat more appropriatly sized meal portions. We have discussed and agreed as a family to eliminate junk from our household and look forward to pre-designated junk days to satisfy any cravings and help us stay focused in between. The first junk day of the year will be our dd's birthday in January. We will no longer purchase the junk from the store as it is easier to say no once while shopping than regularly while at home. The only problem is that we know how to bake. I won't remind them of this option.

I'm reminded that last year I had started out with great success following an exercise regimen and followed it consistently six days a week, with very few missed days, for almost four months. I weighed myself weekly and was extremely disappointed that the weight was not dropping. Even though I had told myself that I would not use the scale as a measurement for my success it was difficult not to become discouraged when it did not slide downward. After four months of watching it go up and down between the same set of number, I determined that hadn't lost anything and quite.

Almost three years ago I had been exercising faithfully with eagerness and determination. Again, I weighed myself weekly, instead of daily. This avoids the confusion and discouragement from the daily ups and downs expected from the scale. However, the weekly weigh-in didn't help matters. I had lost a little bit, a few pounds, and then became stuck at the same pounds and ounces as the previous week. I found that odd since I found the scale reading would go up and down and up and down on a daily basis and would never stay the same. How did the scale read the exact pounds AND ounces from the week before?! So, I had hubby stand on the scale and it was accurate for him. I got back onto the scale and it gave me a different reading, only about 5 ounces less, but different still. I was heading in the right direction. The next week, however, read the exact same weight as the second reading from the week before. I ignored it. The next week showed the exact same weight again. Frustration was building and I had my hubby stand on it once more, but this time it didn't budge for me. So, I put the scale aside and quit everything all together.

The sad truth is that had I remained faithful and focused on the process instead of the outcome I probably would have made it to my goal by now. Instead, I have gained an additional twenty pounds and I would love to get back to where I was before when I was so frustrated with the scale. This is why I don't weight myself anymore.

A few months ago when I had started this blog I went to the doctor and they weighed me. Then, a month later, after all those weeks of actually being faithful, I visited a different doctor and the scale gave me the same weight. I had to quickly ignore it. This time I MUST focus on the process of creating healthful habits, getting stronger and improving myself for the sake of doing the right thing rather than weighing my success on the downward treand of the scale reading.

One thing I did learn is the reason I was most likely not loosing. Before I had gained weight I loved to exercise. (To put this into proper perspective, realize that I had slowly gained weight starting about six years ago and have reached my worst only in the past three years. It's not like we are talking twenty years ago or something.) Back then, I worked hard at it and would see results quickly. I didn't have much to do to reach my goal because I was so small and already tone and strong. Today, those same results will be seen, but I still have pounds and pounds to loose before I reach my goal. Back then I was strong and energetic. Today, it's hard to exercise to that capacity because I'm out of shape and my efforts are not so quickly rewarded. It has become more work than enjoyment. An obligation rather than an outlet. It makes me feel like I'm climbing an uphill battle without any reward rather than enjoying the process and feeling stronger.

Last year my husband asked me if I had been working out when he heard me breathing heavily and I had only climbed our one flight of stairs from the basement. (Hence the title of this blog). I decided to do the Urban Rebounding intermediate DVD. The beginner one was too easy and a waste of my time. The intermediate was almost too much for me, so I started out with five minutes and did that for about two weeks. Then, I would add another routine from the DVD each week. Little by little I strengthened my cardio strength until I finally reached and finished on a regular basis the twelve routines. But, I hadn't lost any weight. I did TTapp for weeks with no weight loss whatsoever.

I tried a lot of different workouts. Then, I came across an article that explained the mistakes that many people make in their workouts and I realized that it was speaking to me. I need to do weight bearing exercises and work them until my muscles are shaking. I had to reach some point of exhaustion in my muscles and I hadn't been doing that. In fact, I shied away from that point. Now that I've been doing that I see changes in my body, but I haven't been consistent. That is my goal for 2009. To be consistent and really, REALLY work my muscles, build up my strength and endurance, and reach my previous level of enjoyment for workouts. I plan to do this while ignoring the scale and replacing my bad habits with healthful choices. I want to be my old self again.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Week 2

I didn't wake and do early morning workouts. I did try to make it up in stairs.

Monday: Stairs 261.
Tuesday: Stairs 525
Wednesday: Stairs 292.
Thursday: Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Week 1

I've decided to start over. Since my first 8 week goal kept getting interrupted, I felt the best thing I could do was to just start fresh with both a new time-frame and even new workouts. It seems that I always get side-tracked at about 4 weeks. This time I was sick, then my family was sick, then I was sick. My family went to the ER twice. I had some other challenges. That's the excuse this time. Every time there seems to be something. Sometime I will expound on that. For now, let it suffice that perhaps I will just make this a 4 week goal instead of an 8 week goal. Then, I will increase it to a 6 week goal the next time. At work I climbed 223 stairs.

Monday: Legs of Steel with Tamilee Webb. I didn't finish it as it is a very intense 31 minute workout. I did 3 groups of exercises. What I like about this routine is that it IS very intense, we never get on the floor, and we work on one leg at a time. So rather than doing lunges the old fashioned way, we stand on one leg and squat. It really gets the entire leg and tomorrow I expect to be very sore. This video is on a VHS tape. Maybe one day I'll look to see if it's on DVD. I just get tired of buying VHS tapes and then later getting them in DVD. I can't count how many times that has happened to me in the past. I refuse to purchase any more VHS tapes because of it, and YES I've still come across companies only selling their product on VHS! There just not exercise videos.

Tuesday: Billy's Bootcamp Ab BootCamp. This I didn't finish either. I blame this pattern on new videos and having broken my pattern for the past couple of weeks. It is a 35 minute workout and I did about 15 minutes. It seems like a really good workout. So far everything is standing up, however I know I heard him say we will later get on the floor. I won't be, though. He breaks my rules of making an Exercise Video, as he walks around giving instruction. I only need that instruction once. Next time, I'm going to count. I think he does more reps on one side than he does on the other because of his walking around. From that point I started counting the rest and sure enough, he's not worried about proper counting and consistency from side to side. In fact, at one point he actually stops one move to go to the other in the middle of counting the first move. So, he doesn't even complete the counts beforehand. This inconsistency irritates me. With that aside, the moves are unique and very targeted. So, if during the next four weeks I benefit from it and set aside my irritation, perhaps I'll make progress. At work I climbed 74 stairs.

Wednesday: Legs of Steel with Tamilee Webb. I didn't finish it, I did 3 groups of exercises and almost went onto the fourth and quit. I wasn't sore Tuesday from Monday's workout so I allowed myself to worked harder today by going deeper. I was so afraid of being as sore as I was the last time I did the routine many months ago that I must've taken it too easy this time. On the other hand, yesterday's workout has me very sore. I can feel what muscles I worked. I will definitely keep doing that workout until the four weeks are up and keep it on my list of likable workouts.... even though he breaks my rules and he drives me crazy. Tamilee doesn't follow the rules either. Once she gets off beat. She takes too long giving instructions, it's not like her moves are complicated. If we didn't understand at first we would catch on really quickly. She doesn't keep the same count from leg to leg. I'll deal with it for four weeks, though. Then, I won't come back to her video for a while. I also climbed 16 stairs at work.

Thursday: I didn't wake in time for a workout in the morning, so at work I climbed 101 stairs to help make up for it. When I climb stairs I don't jog up on my tip toes or take the next step before straightening my leg from the previous step. I put my entire foot onto the step and using my rear end muscles to lift me up entirely and then repeat on the next leg during the next step up. This makes the effort all that more beneficial for my purposes.

Saturday: Billy's Bootcamp Ab BootCamp. I did 15 minutes and started to go further and stopped. I am liking the workout. I was extremely sore from it the first time. He just drives me nuts, though with his inconsistent counting. The girl he uses as an example even messes up in front of him and he doesn't notice the entire time! On this one move, we are supposed to move only our hips, then only our shoulders, then move both together. While he's over with her giving all these instructions on how to do the move properly, she's moving everything when we are only supposed to be moving our shoulders. Of course, she is the only person we see, 'cause of all the directions he is busy giving. Then, as he walks back to his own spot he reminds us that we should only be moving our shoulders and then takes us directly into moving both. So, it's one of those cases where you need to know the video in order to do it right despite the mistake. I'll be complaining about this video every time I do it, but since it's a good workout I'll keep doing it anyway.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Study: Sugar May Be as Addictive as Some Drugs

December 12, 2008 - A U.S. researcher says sugar can be an addictive substance, wielding its power over the brains of lab animals in a manner similar to many drugs.

Bart Hoebel and colleagues at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute have demonstrated in rats a behavioral pattern of increased intake and then showed signs of withdrawal.

"If binging on sugar is really a form of addiction, there should be long-lasting effects in the brains of sugar addicts," Hoebel says in a statement. "Craving and relapse are critical components of addiction, and we have been able to demonstrate these behaviors in sugar-binging rats in a number of ways."

In Hoebel's experiments, the laboratory animals denied sugar for a prolonged period after learning to binge worked harder to get it when it was reintroduced to them. They consumed more sugar than they ever had before, suggesting craving and relapse behavior. Their motivation for sugar had grown.

"In this case, abstinence makes the heart grow fonder," Hoebel says.

The rats drank more alcohol than normal after their sugar supply was cut off, showing that the binging behavior had forged changes in brain function, Hoebel says.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Scottsdale, Ariz.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Week Whatever....

Today I walked up 8 flights of stairs in order to get to level 3. By the time I reached the 8th floor I was too worn out to go back down so I took the elevator to the 3rd floor. I walked up stairs all day long.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This week I've started my NOT TODAY! program. Usually, during the day I'm eating junk. There is so much around that it is hard not to have any. But, I've determined, with the help of wise and smarter people than I who have reminded me of this important life fact, that this life is a life to learn to overcome and that includes our cravings, impulses, and bad habits. My eating junk throughout the day, whether it is available or not, fits into that category. If I ever forget why I'm doing this I should remember that it is because it is important to have control over myself and not be subjected to the control of my cravings.

NOT TODAY! MONDAY I had some cream of wheat for breakfast. I should remember that does not curve my hunger for very long. So, I went to the cafeteria and bought a slice of some sort of banana bread. That kept me until lunch. For lunch I went to the cafeteria and had a fried chicken breast, green beans and baked beans. I didn't eat all of the green beans or the chicken breast. For lunch I had a small bottle of Sprite. I then was good all the rest of the day.... then, my husband was in the ER so my daughter went and bought some dinner. I had a box of popcorn, which I bought before I realized we were staying for dinner. I had a sub sandwich and didn't eat the whole thing.

NOT TODAY! TUESDAY I had two egos for breakfast and made it until lunch for Jimmy Johns. I had one of their chocolate chip cookies which took all afternoon to eat. With lunch I had a small bottle of Sprite. I'm not considering that a slip from my NOT TODAY! because it was part of the meal ;) Then, for dinner I had some ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a roll (I feel there was something in that meal, but I can't remember it). I had no desert and ate nothing else the rest of the night.

Wednesday I had a fried egg, with no yolk, over two pieces of buttered toast. I was hungry before lunch, but hung in there. Then, while I was doing my running around during my lunch hour I stopped by Taco Bell and had two soft tacos with onion and tomato and their fiesta potatoes without any sour cream. I only drank water all day. At work today candy bars were passed around the entire facility that were purchased as a gratitude gift to each other in behalf of a fund raiser for United Way. I received a handful of candy bars. So, I slipped and ate a full-sized Butterfinger as an afternoon snack. Then, for dinner, we had a salad, pork chop and applesauce. We were snowed in and so we watched a movie. I had three scoops of ice-cream with Hershey's Syrup. Today was NOT a NOT TODAY!

Thursday. For breakfast I had two Eggo's with butter and Mrs. Buttersworth syrup. Lunch I had pot roast with two red potatoes with butter and about 4-5 mini carrots. I just had to have my 100 Grand candy bar, one of my United Way thank you's. So, this is probably NOT a NOT TODAY!

NOT TODAY! FRIDAY For breakfast I ate tater tots and 3 slices bacon. Lunch: Part of a ham sandwich on toasted bread. French fries with ketchup and mac and cheese with a sprite. For dinner I had some home style egg noodles with a little bit of ground beef. I actually didn't eat much and I didn't have any junk throughout the day. I'll call this day a NOT TODAY!

Saturday. I had a cinnamon bun with icing for breakfast. Then, I had some potato chips and French Onion dip. Then, later three scoops of ice-cream with Hershey's Chocolate. Then, later 3 slices of pizza. Finally, another bowl finishing off the potato chips and French Onion dip. Today was definitely NOT a NOT TODAY!

Week 5 Continued...

I didn't do very well last week and this week isn't looking much better. Monday eve my husband went to the emergency room having been sick since last Wednesday. We were up late and I didn't feel like working out the next morning. Then, every morning all week long I needed to take care of some important tasks in his behalf. Between that and having a busy week with meetings in the evening and not sleeping very well, I just couldn't get myself moving for early morning workouts. A bright note, despite my lack of exercise I have been keeping away from junk more. I've had two days this week, thus far, that have been essentially junk free. Of course, It always seems to work out that when I'm staying away from junk I'm not as diligent with my exercise. I need to master doing both at the SAME time!

Monday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through the step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. I took it easy and didn't work too hard.

I may not have made it through any morning exercises for the rest of the week, but I did do my best to take the stairs at work. In fact, on Friday I climbed 8 flights of stairs. To really maximize it's benefits I put my whole foot on the step and used my heal to push me up. I didn't simply jog them up, I used them as a substitute for my lunges. By the time I reach the eighth floor both my leg and rear-end muscles were tired and my cardio had been pushed. I was so glad there wasn't a ninth floor.

Also, I noticed these little round signs throughout the building that say "Health Focus Walking Trail" with little arrows for direction. I asked about it. There is a map to give an idea of where it goes and how, besides the little arrows on the signs. It takes you up and through and down and around and when completed is 1/2 mile. I think I will do that twice a day.... depending on how long it takes me. I'm due two breaks anyway, besides lunch. I'll do that, even if I already worked out in the morning.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Week 5 Continued...

Finally feeling better. Now, I just need to get back to business.

Monday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through the step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. I took it easy since I had taken almost a week off.

Thursday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 6 exercises, through the side steps off the step with lateral raise. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. I worked hard and couldn't make it past the sixth routine. Probably because I've taken this time off.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Week 5

Monday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout. I was still sore from Saturday's workout, so I opted to begin the week with Hip Hop Abs. I'm beginning to feel that I need more push on these in-between the difficult days workouts, but not sure what change to make. I think I will continue with everything being the same until I'm finished with the eight weeks and then decide from there what changes to make. I know that I need a more difficult workout, I just don't know which workout video to do as I don't want it to compete with the other days. I will probably spend a week trying out a few of my videos that I don't remember or haven't tried and see if I find what I'm looking for.

It's later in the day and I am feeling the need to really step up the alternate days to my heavy, hard working Jari workout. I'm going to look through my videos. Wish me luck.

Tuesday: I've been fighting what I thought was the flu and it turns out to be something wrong with my stomach. It is uncertain what the cause is, yet. But, it really hurts and makes me feel sick. It has been effecting my mornings. This is why I had opted the easier workout yesterday. Today, though, was really bad. Tonight is, too. If I feel like this in the mornings I cannot work out. That will not help me. I will resume and continue as I feel well enough. Wish me luck getting better.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Week 4

Monday: I didn't work out because I had a really rough weekend and I needed to sleep that extra time. I also was very demotivated because of all of it.
Tuesday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through the step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. RPE 6-7. I didn't work as hard as usual, but I persevered through my tiredness and weakness today. I'm starting to see good results, though. So, I'm motivated to keep going through even the days I'd rather not even give it a shot.
Wednesday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Thursday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through the step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. Again, I didn't work as hard as usual, but I persevered through my lack of motivation. That mostly effects the lower body exercises, but I did get through it all, even though I really wanted not to even bother today.
Friday: I was at a late meeting and then stayed up working on something business related so I was in bed two hours past my bedtime. I took the opportunity this morning to sleep in one extra hour so I didn't work out. I will tomorrow, though. This week hasn't been very kind to me.
Saturday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did all 7 exercises, through the step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. I worked my butt off today... even though I wanted to give up I persevered. I went deep during the lower body routines and really wore myself out. Even though I wanted to skip the last exercise I did it anyway, after all it was the last one. Then, after I was all finished and rested for a few minutes I enjoyed a nice, well-earned dip in the hot tub. Now, 45 minutes later and after a hot shower, I'm still shaking from all the hard work.

It may not have been a full and hard-worked week, but I did make it through. I didn't give up and I'll look forward to a full, dedicated week next week. Week four is finished.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Week 3

Monday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 6 exercises, through the squat with lateral raise off the step and narrow squat with ant raise. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. I stopped after exercise 6 because I started feeling sick. Later in the day I had a migraine that was accompanied by a sick stomach, so I wonder if it was related to this feeling ill after #6. I took my pulse at this point and it was 176 (44). I was going pretty hard. RPE 7-8.
Tuesday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout. Heart rate 1/2 way through was 136 (34). RPE 4. (I don't find this routine difficult. It is very targeted at those abs, though and I enjoy it.)
Wednesday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through the step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise), bent leg dead lift and bicep curl, and stiff leg dead lift with lateral rows where I used 5# weights. RPE 7-8.
Thursday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout. RPE 3-4. I took out some hand weights, ones that slip onto the hand like a glove, and plan to try adding that to the workout on Saturday. Maybe that will increase the RPE.
Friday: Through the night I was fighting a cold. Since I needed the extra sleep and my body probably didn't need the extra work, I skipped the workout today.
Saturday: I am feeling much better so I did Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did only 4 exercises, through the wide squats with upright rows. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on all exercises except Chest press (no hip raise) and bent leg dead lift and bicep curl where I used 5# weights. RPE 7-8. I was feeling extremely tired this morning and couldn't get past the fourth exercise. (It is now Sunday, the next day, and I am feeling extremely sore in those lower muscles. I must have really given it more effort for those few exercises than usual.)

Well.... not a completely full week, but I did keep trying.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Weight History - Part Two - Diets

This part will be about the dieting portion of my weight history. As I mentioned before I ate really good before the tables in my life were turned and all my good habits were pushed under the rug in exchange for some really sweet tooth and garbage filled habits. What discipline I exercised before had completely deserted me once I was under the control of these addictive vices. So, I would tried to find good eating alternative that I thought would also quickly drop the pounds. I found nothing to work.

Simply eating right, like before, didn't do it and I really struggled with overcoming temptations when I didn't see results. So, I began looking for opportunities that promised quick results. If only I could get myself back to where I had started and begin again I figured I could keep it there. But, I couldn't get it there. Just eating right didn't help me to loose anything. If I lost anything, I would loose a little initially and then it would stop. So, why resist, I would tell myself. I tried Atkins for three weeks and lost nothing. I tried for a month or so but the menu's were very expensive and I ate more than I ever did usually. I tried the idiot proof diet, but how much sausage and cottage cheese can one eat for breakfast? Even though I lost some good weight I didn't do that one again. I tried Kevin Trudeau's weight loss cure and cried myself to sleep after about 8 days of starving. I tried Nutrisystem and for three weeks ate expensive and disgusting meals and lost one pound. (They imply that you get everything you need, but you still need to buy a bunch of food and make preparations and add to their meals.) I tried Kimkins and starved myself by eating under 10 carbs and 700 calories a day. I did loose weight, but not good weight and that experience is what motivated me to create my menu plan that I discuss in another blog (see Menu Planning). That was my last attempt at fad diets.

I didn't and won't even bother mentioning the pills I tried. I won't try another pill, either. Besides, they all have green tea in them and I can't have the caffeine. I'm also not good at remembering to take the pills.

Like I said, just eating right doesn't help me loose weight and I noticed that unless I'm starving I don't drop any pounds with eating habits alone. So, I have determined to have a healthy menu that meets my own families needs as a whole and drop the weight through time and healthy exercise. I must be able to loose the pounds without completely changing my diet toward items that I don't care for, in amounts that don't make since, in a way that I won't continue after the weight loss, or in any other drastic way. It only makes since to follow a healthy route, loose using that route, and keep using it afterwards. In that case, I need to loose while eating the foods that my family and I eat, can count on, can afford, and fit our lifestyle.... as long as I'm not talking about high fat, deep fried, unhealthy habits I see no reason that can't be the case.

I've learned that it really doesn't come down to some magical formula, just down to the amount of excessivness in one's diet, in either direction. I try to eat good food. In fact, here is our menu. I created this over the past two years to meet certain criteria. I must be able to grow much of the ingredients in the garden so that I can preserve it through either canning, drying or freezing. I must be able to see a way to store the ingredients long-term. The ingredients should be frugal. The system must be repeatable. We buy a cow every year and store it in the freezer. We raise organic chickens and store in them in the freezer. We cook from there all year round. I utilize those meats throughout my plans.

Am I eating right as I type this? No. I'm tired of working so hard, resisting temptation without any reward. I will though. I'm battling one challenge at a time. I have started my exercise habits again. After I see some progress, which I will, I will begin to battle the eating. It doesn't help that we are in the the Halloween candy era right now. Soon it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Slowly, but surely though I will overcome. I have done it before. I can do it again. I just need the right motivation and consistency. When I see a momentum building with my exercise regime I will be more motivated to resist cravings and watch more weight come off. I have noticed in the past that while simply eating right doesn't do it for me, that chocolate and ice-cream really do stall my efforts. During my really serious efforts I need to refrain from those items in order to make true progress. That time is coming closer.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Taking My Pulse

According to my research online, these are the details regarding taking my pulse.

Take pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 and that's a heartrate for 1 minute.

Max heart rate is 220 - your age. (220-35= 185)

50%= 92.5 (Beginner)
60%= 111 (Beginner-Average)
70%= 129.50 (Average)
75%= 138.75 (High)
80%= 148 (High)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Weight History Part 1 - In the Beginning

I won't get through this in one day, so this will be part one.

In my mind I'm still used to being 120 lbs. After having two babies I weighed, without any effort, 109 lbs. I gained some pounds quickly due to some medication and lost it all except 5 pounds. I then wavered at a weight of 114-115 pounds for four years and a size 6. When I married, stopped working and went back to full-time school I gained 15 pounds and lost all but 5 pounds, again. So, I was 120 pounds and a size 8. I stayed there for seven years. Then, we became self-employed and operated a business from our home. That is where everything changed for the worst where my weight was concerned.

Up to that point I had been health conscience and watched what I ate. I didn't buy junk food, although I loved it. I stayed away from sugar and sugar based products - unless they were natural, like fruits. This wasn't a carb-free diet, it was a refined sugar refrainment. I exercised and love it. Hence all of the videos. I don't like to exercise without someone telling me what to do, at what speed and how many times or for how long. I had earned a nutritional herbology certificate and was highly interested in natural remedies. Life was good. Then, we began a business and my focus switched to learning how to create websites, marketing targeted demographics, organizing and managing an office, attending customers and directing a workforce....

I learned most of it on my own, therefore most of it was not as efficient with my time and resources as I later would adjust it to become. During those early years I would begin work early in the morning, work all day and into the night. When I would finally crash for the night I would be so famished I would eat whatever was available that didn't need much forethought or preparation. Somehow I ended up traped in the wrong food group. This food would not be fruit and a salad, it would be chips, ice-cream and pizza. We would go out to eat a lot, which are huge, usually greasy and not-so-healthy meals.

It wasn't long before I had gained 20 pounds. Just as I didn't have time to eat properly I also didn't have time to exercise. Through time, I finished gaining almost another 20 pounds. I found it no fun at all to exersize, difficult to eat right and refrain from entertraining my new habits. My health and weight were no longer black and white, with good food choices and habits with a healthy dose of enjoyable exercise. Instead, workouts had become a burden of tiring routines that were slow to show results and food became an enemy that I had to overcome while showing no reward for the resistance. Climbing out of this trap has proved equal to fighting an uphill battle during a rainstorm while simultaniously dodging a landslide. What progress, if any were I making? It seemed like nothing. Then, I began to realize what changes I needed to make.

I will return at another time to share more on weight loss journey.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week 2

Monday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 6 exercises, through the side steps off the step. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights throughout the workout, but not on purpose. On three of the exercises I wanted to increase my weight to 5# and thought I was, but I was not noticing anything different or more difficult. So, after the workout was over I put my weight on a scale and found that it was ALSO a 3# weight. So, I bought a pair of 5# weights today. We'll see how Wednesday goes.
Tuesday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Wednesday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises again, through step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on the exercises for the lower body and 5# weights for the Chest Press with hip raise (BTW, I don't lift my hips because it hurts my knees), Bent Leg Deadlift with Bicept Curl and Stiff Leg Deadlift with Lat Row. I've noticed that during the lunges it is easier to go deeper when my right leg goes back than my left leg. So, I focused on going deeper even when my left leg goes back and noticed that I have a little muscle stretch when I do. I must've hurt it at one time. So, maybe through time this will careflly work itself out as I get stronger. Finally, I wasn't so worked up after doing the squats with lat raise off the step that I was able to do that final exercise. I should take my heartrate during my workouts. Sometime I'll have to find out how to do that.
Thursday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout. This time I took my pulse half-way through. It was 156 (39).
Friday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights on the exercises for the lower body and 5# weights for the Chest Press, Bent Leg Deadlift with Bicept Curl and Stiff Leg Deadlift with Lat Row. Just after the third exercise, wide squats with upright rows, I took my pulse. It was 156 (39). After the sixth exercise, squats off the steps I also took my pulse. It was 168 (42).
Saturday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout. I find that on Saturdays I can kick up my efforts a lot more. That is because I have time to sleep in and have more rest and wake up time before my workout. I had a lot fun this morning with this workout. It didn't show in the heartrate as it was about the same as before.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Week 1 - Starting Again

I was sick one week and started a new job the second week. So, I postponed my 8-week goal. I'm starting again this week.

Monday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I only have so much time in the morning now, so I wanted to make sure to do the exercises that most targeted the areas of my concern. Maybe I'll add those later. I used 3# weights throughout the workout.
Tuesday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Wednesday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 7 exercises, through step ups with overhead press. I skipped the pushups. I used 3# weights throughout the workout.
Thursday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Friday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I noticed during this week that I didn't have sore muscles the next day at all, so I decided to work harder on this routine today by going deeper on all of the exercises. In so doing I couldn't get beyond 6 exercises, through the side steps off the step. I skipped the pushups. Also, during all of the squats and lunges and whenever possible, I used the TTapp technique of keeping my big toe off the floor. I can always feel an immediate difference in my stance and the effectiveness of the move. During the wide squats I found myself needing to stop that technique during the third round of the routine. That's how effective it is in maximizing the exercise.... that simple little move is huge. I used 3# weights throughout the workout and will probably use 5# weights next week on a couple of the exercises.... we'll see.
Saturday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.


Monday, September 29, 2008

My Current Exercise Video's

I have many. Right now these are my focuses:

Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. The reason I love this one is because she works two exercises at the same time and I see results. I don't like how it takes forever to go from one exercise to another, but when I'm giving it my complete all it is nice for the chance to catch my breath.

Hip Hop Abs. Right now I have been doing the Fat Burning Cardio workout. Which is all about the abs so I don't understand why it's titled a cardio workout. It is only 30 minutes and straight to the point while staying fun and thorough. It really works all the ab muscles. My favorite part is the Night Fever combo and the Get Busy combo. He must have really looked into the rules of making exercise video's because he doesn't break ANY of them. He is a good amount of time without taking too long, doesn't waste our time with instructions, fun to watch, keeps it interesting and is good at cueing, just to name a few.

I also enjoy these videos.

Urban Rebounder Because I could not even make it up the stairs without my heavy breathing promoting my being asked if I had been working out, I started this workout. At first I could only go for 5 minutes. Then, throughout the weeks of adding just one more routine each week I finally made it all the way up through the 12th routine. Using the right rebounder is important. I had been using one that had fabric straps and only after two months they wore so much that I was jumping in little concave holes. So, I would buy another one. And, then another one. Finally, I found one with metal springs holding the rebounder to the metal rim. It bounced so easy that I think much of my struggle with the video was by using the wrong equipment.

TTapp I like the videos that I have which target the specific areas. So, one day I can do legs, another day arms, another the mid-section. I also have the complete workout, the leg floor workout, and the Hit the Floor. When I get in a TTapp mood I have a lot to work with and they are easy to incorporate with my other videos because the one's I have are specific. I use the methods that I learned from TTapp while doing my other videos, where possible. For instance, I keep my hips curled up underneath of me where the exercises allow it. Some, like dead lifts, are not safe that way. While doing lunges and squats I try to keep my big toe curled up. This works the muscles differently somehow and makes a big difference. Both of those, and some more, are posture guides offered by TTapp and I use them with all of my videos.

Week One

Monday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Tuesday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 5 exercises, through the wide squats with upright row. I used 3# weights throughout the workout and still only did one-half of the push-ups.
Wednesday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout.
Thursday: Jari Love's Get Ripped! To the Core. I did 5 exercises, again, through the wide sqauts with upright row. Same amount of weight and push-ups. Progress is being made. I felt stronger through the lunges routine and I worked harder on the push-ups. I'm still a little shaky from them.
Friday: Hip Hop Abs - 30 minute Fat Burning Cardio Workout. I had a lot of fun with this today. I found myself really hopping to the music and giving it my all. I might as well have been out dancing. Except I wouldn't have been doing the moves quite in this exact fashion.
Saturday: I didn't sleep good at all last night. It was a long and tiring night. So, I did not work out today. Will resume again on Monday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

How to Create an Exercise Video

Through the years I have owned between 30-40 exercise videos. I started using them when I was only 16 years old. I loved them. There were a couple of times I did them twice a day because I had so much fun. Through the years I kept buying more and more. Now I'm stuck with a bunch of VHS tapes of old exercise video's and have slowly accumulated DVD's of current and fun routines. Through all of these videos I've noticed things that I WISH they knew BEFORE they created their video. If only they had consulted me! So, I'm adding this information to my blog so that hopefully, they will do a google search for "how to create an exercise video" and find my very helpful instructions. In my opinion, at least.

These items are in no particular order.

1) I thought this one was of least importance because I thought most trainers have realized this through the years, but Billy's Bootcamp Ab Routine makes this mistake! Remember that we are mirroring everything you do. Don't instruct use to use our left leg while you start using your own left leg. It will cause frustration because I will use my right leg as that is what is mirroring your moves. I haven't seen that mistake in a while, but I don't own every video out there to confirm it.

2) Here is another one that I find infrequently, yet still should be mentioned. Years ago I had a set of three videos that were made by Sports Illustrated. I loved them. The only critique that I can remember having about them was that the one trainer wouldn't bop to the music. We like to keep tempo with the music while doing our exercises. It is one of the purposes of having the music. It's fun to keep tempo with it. So, don't bop faster or slower than the music. Stay in tempo. It makes it feel like dancing that way.

3) One of my most important suggestions is to create and maintain a rhythm. I like to get into the groove and maintain it. When something or someone interrupts the momentum it makes it easy to stop right at that point and give up for the day. "Well, I've stopped anyway and all this time I've been trying to just keep at it. But, now that I've stopped I might as well stay stopped." For instance, one of my favorite exercise routines is TTapp. Well, the lady likes to talk and she can't seem to exercise and talk at the same time. She has to be one of the most guilty of this exercise sin. We'll be moving along and she will count all of the exercises to 8, we are in a grove of 8, moving like we are to the tune of a metronome. Then, suddenly she'll stop to give an instruction and I have to stand there waiting to get going again. MAYBE the first time I watch the video I need that, but not by the 3rd, 10th, or 50th time. By then I want to pull HER hair out 'cause I've already pulled all of mine out. A great example of the right way is through my Rebounder video. He is good at staying in the rhythm. Good thing, too, because if he ever stopped I would have taken the first opportunity to end that one. My lack of cardio-vascular strength fights me through that entire routine. Instead of breaking the rhythm for instructions, simply do one or two slow, not toooo slow, while you talk about them. Or, give them while you do the exercise. You're probably going to do at least 8 reps anyway, so we will catch up. Then, next time and the next time and the next time we do your video we already know what you are expecting and not wasting our time anymore.

4) Count! You are a professional and we are going to be doing these over and over and over and over and over again. There's nothing like doing 8 on one leg and then 12 on the other because someone lost count. Then, next time I have to remember to start with the other leg to keep everything even, which is hard to keep track of. It's your job to do that, not mine. I have one video that I haven't even finished or done a second time because of this. She jokes that trainers are bad at counting so although she intends for 8 counts, she keeps losing count. She thought that was funny. NOT funny! If you mess up, redo the recording of that section. OR, hire someone to be behind the camera giving you cues. Be a professional and learn to count for the sake of the video or get help. Jari Love does a great job of counting. In fact, I love how at difficult times she counts backwards. Somehow that just makes all the difference.

5) That brings me to avoiding big mistakes. Mistakes may not always be a big deal while other times they are a big deal. In my Rebounder video he does the same routine 12 times. He counts to 8 and we turn to the right for 4, go back to the middle for 4, then turn left for 4. Sometimes we go "around the world" in that same pattern. During routine number 10 he forgets to go to the left for 4. Oops. No big deal. He's done it right all 11 other times. I actually look forward to the little goof. It allows me a little cheat without actually cheating. Mind you that with this error he never broke rhythm, that would have been bad. On the other hand, TTapp, (which I actually love her program - just not her execution of it) during one of her videos has a balancing routine. After going through the routine for the one leg, it's time to switch to the other leg and do the same routine. But, she starts with the wrong leg the second time! Every time I do the video I have to wait for her to figure this out. This is not good. CUT! Do it over right!

6) Patterns. I love patterns. I love to know either how many reps I am going to do for ALL exercises or to see a time for which we are going to meet to complete each exercise. I love to know what to expect. Without it I find myself giving up just when there were only 5 more reps to go. Had I only known! It also gives a mental end in site. "Just hang in there, she only does 8 for 4 times and then we move on. That's not too long!" is better than "I think she does about 60 of these, I'll just stop now"

7) Another pattern is the choreography. It's okay to have fun and challenging choreography if it makes sense. I have one video that I could never catch on to his pattern. I think it was because he did such silly nonsensical moves that provided no purpose that I saw no sense in it's difficulty and quit for good. It seemed like busy foot work. Most of the time we can catch on after only a few days. Avoid not making your pattern clear, though. When I went to the gym I attended the aerobics/step class. I love the step. This instructor, though, was a horrible leader. She would slow us down to introduce a step, repeat it a couple times to help us get it down. That's okay. Even when we are very familiar with the step, doing it a couple of times slow allows us for a quick breath. Just remember to stay with rhythm and don't take TOO long. The problem she had is when she said, "Okay, now tempo" She would do something completely different! It took me about 2 weeks to realize that she was adding it to the pattern she had already been doing before showing us this new part and did not warn or explain her intentions, nor allowed us to practice the new part at tempo before moving into the previous pattern. I expected to practice that new part at tempo and then for her to say "Now, from the beginning" to cue us to start the pattern over.

8) Cueing. That's a good one. If you have us in a position where we cannot see the TV, cue us when you have us change positions. I don't want to look up wondering when in the world we are going to change and find that you already did. I love good cue'ers. Even when I am looking at the TV. Rebounder is really good at that. Besides, when I'm working my little tail off, and since I work really hard at what I'm doing and loose myself in the workout, it's nice to have someone keeping track and giving me a heads up for the next move. Remember, you don't have to stop the momentum, discussed earlier, to give that cue. That's a big no, no! One of the stretching moves in TTapp, after doing the arm exercises, she wants to tell us to stretch for a count of four, won't even start until after she's explained in detail this little stretch, gives what seems to be a cue, "k, let's start", but then waits a second to adjust and says "now" before she finally starts. That's breaking both the rhythm, cueing and the wasting our time video mistakes!

9) Floor Work. It's not the 80's and 90's anymore. We don't have to get on the floor and do leg lifts and sits ups to get strong and toned in those areas. There are so many great videos that work our legs, hips and abs without getting onto the floor that in order to set yours apart from the competition you will need to maintain that creativity. Turbo Jam, TTapp, Hip Hop Abs do a phenomenal job and don't make us get on the floor. (With the exception of TTapp's two specific floor exercise videos, but they are so unique that she can get away with it. Furthermore, they are easy on my neck as I don't need to lift it) One of the reasons I feel this is so important is bias. I physically am unable to do side leg lifts. My jaw problems prevent me from lifting my head for consistent amounts of time without causing me pain. I know for other folks it is the back problems. So, videos that keep us off the floor with fun, effective, and creative moves are appreciated.

10) Introductions. It's nice of you to introduce your crew, but don't make us wait while you do. I have a video that makes me stand there each time waiting for her to finish making introductions. Rebounder doesn't take as long, but we are still waiting. By the 10th time I'm usually saying the names right along with you. I understand the appreciation for the crew. Can it be fit in somehow during the workout without interfering with time, tempo, count or momentum?

11) Walking around. This may be a personal preference. I do not care for watching the trainer walk around and point out his crews correct moves, or whatever the reason for the move-around. The main trouble with that is the counting isn't consistent because you are paying more attention to what you are saying. It also steers you away from maintaining a pattern. I also wonder if the workout is too tough for you and you would rather get up and focus on something else. I find it distracting, too. After I've watched you give these instructions once, next time I'm trying to focus on working hard on the exercises. Then, since you are off count, I'm thinking "hurry up and get back - I already know this stuff!" If the exercises need to be explained so much that you feel compelled to get up and move around during the workout to use one of your crew as an example then have an instruction section of the DVD for that purpose. Billy Banks and Windsor Pilates are both good examples of always getting up or moving around during segments. I just don't like it.

12) Finally, my personal preference. I know there are videos out there that would solve this problem. But, I like to mix and match my own favorite videos. Most of the time I don't care for all the videos in a set. So, I tend to look online for videos that meet my criteria and it can be difficult. My criteria is that most of the time I do not have an entire hour to work out. I do have 30 minutes, though. I want my 30 minutes to be hard work and specific and thorough. Furthermore, I need to alternate the videos. That can be challenging unless I can find videos that don't all work on the same muscles as the other. That is why I do the Hip Hop Abs alternated with the Get Ripped video. I know that the video I really, really like in the Hip Hop Abs focuses on cardio and heavy abs concentration. Then, I can do the Get Ripped video which is lots of arms, shoulders, legs and hips. Even if it does abs, which it does in an indirect way, it's okay 'cause they're abs. I have cardio videos that do a lot of leg work throughout the cardio. Then, I can't do my Get Ripped the day after. It's hard to find videos that I can mix and match. So, it would be nice if they (meaning the advertisers) would add onto the video information for which day I should incorporate this workout into my plans. That way, while I'm browsing through all my options for a video to fill a particular gap, I don't get it home and realize that it just won't do... they snuck some moves in there that competes with tomorrows workout.

13) Okay, one more thing. The reason I tend not to like videos that I have to purchase in groups covers a few areas. One of the videos usually is phenomenal, while others are just okay. It's like seeing a movie and the sequel just didn't measure up. Maybe the creativity didn't measure up, too many moves that seem like time fillers, or they make me get on the floor. One suggestion that I have is regarding those videos that trainers like to make for those days we don't have as much time. Have you ever noticed that they are also too easy? That still makes me feel like I cheated. If I only have 10, 15 or 20 minutes for a quick workout I want to know that you are busting my but with a variety of moves to target that days goals and making the most of those minutes. I don't want to find myself doing 8 minutes of boxing moves and 2 minutes of warm up and cool down. (I don't like boxing moves so I picked on that one. Sorry.) (I noticed that Hip Hop Abs 5 Minute Ab routine gives us 5 full minutes of a killer ab workout without getting on the floor. He followed this rule very well. )Push us just past our limit during that short time frame. Make us wish we had the extra time to do your other full workout video because now we can barely move. Kick our buts for not having the time!

14) I found another one while using one of my recently new DVD's. I love the workout, but there is one little challenge. The workout alternates between cardio and weight routines. Between each routine the camera is not on the participants. It is actually introducing the next segment, which is fine. When we return to the crew, the camera-person is zoomed in on the instructor and she begins the routine and we can't see what she is doing until the camera finally moves back and we can see the entire body. So, I've been working on memorizing which cardio is when so that I can start with them, even though I can't see what their feet are doing, yet.

For now that is what I can think of off the top of my head. I would like to add that despite my critiques of TTapp, it is actually one of my favorites. Which is why I'm so hard on her. I love the exercises. They are original, effective, and work muscles while standing rather than resorting to the floor. Even her floor routines are phenomenal. She just needs to learn how to execute the leadership of these moves a bit better.

With all that said, I'm glad to have expert trainers that think of all these creative and effective moves to get me in shape, motivated and entertained. I know I couldn't do it. That's why I get the videos!

I may return later for some more. I hope this has been helpful!

In the beginning....

This week I've started again my exercise regime. Wish me luck! I will need it. This has been going on for a few years now! I will start and then stop after only a short while. Sometimes a few weeks and sometimes I will quite after 4 months. Either way I have not stayed consistent. Maybe if I share my story, get some feedback and encouraging comments (hint, hint) it will motivate me to continue. Another time I will share more of my weight loss history. For now I will report this weeks exercise journey as well as post "how to create an exercise video" according to Erika!

This Week....
I did Get Ripped on Monday. I only did about 4-5 exercises and I didn't try TOO hard because I knew that the next couple of days would be killing me. I even did the push ups, one-half of them. Usually I always skip over the push-ups 'cause I very strongly dislike them. I decided I might as well build everything all together, including those muscles, too.

I did Hip Hop Abs on Tuesday. That's soo much fun! Then, on Wednesday I got into the hot tub during exercising time 'cause I was still too sore to move from Monday's workout.

Thursday we had an early appointment that got into the way of my exercise time.

Friday I was lazy.

Saturday I did the second half of Get Ripped, up until she got onto her knees - which I believe turned out to be the last exercise before the cool down/stretching.

Although, this could be considered the first week, I'm not. This is the week that takes forever getting started and is inconsistent because my body is adjusting to the sore muscles. Next week will be the first week. I have an eight week goal and plan to complete the same videos each week for that eight weeks. Then, I will switch to another two videos for variety.