Saturday, February 28, 2015

WWI #84 ... As Expected

For the past several weeks I've been alternating. 153 one week. 151 the next. Back up, then back down. I was 153.2 last week so what was I expecting this week? 151.2 ... and that's exactly what I came in at. But for the first time in a while, my Friday weigh-in was NOT the lowest. Back on Wednesday I hit 150.5.  Alas, I couldn't keep it and break the cycle ...

I've been struggling with a cold this past week. Saturday and Sunday weren't great. I had enough warning that I COULD have suspended my PACT commitment for the coming week, but I didn't. So I was still required to get in a daily workout (10,000 steps via Fitbit) and log my calories five days out of the week, even though I was under the weather. I didn't want to have to pay $5 if I missed a day!

I wasn't sure I was up for Zumba on Monday, so I skipped it. I still got in a little elliptical, and quite a few "cleaning" steps trying to finish up the work from the weekend rearranging rooms. I got my 10k that day, but barely hit my required 1200 calories for MFP. I didn't lose my appetite completely like when I had the Flu of 2013, but I wasn't that hungry.

Tuesday I probably would have skipped Zumba, but the instructor was actually out of town and had asked me and another gal to fill in teaching the class. I had the speaker box, so I was committed. The other gal had the music ... but she didn't show! I had several songs on my iphone (as I'm not an official Zumba instructor I didn't have any of the ZIN songs, just ones that I had liked that were available on Itunes) but by repeating a couple songs, we still got in a solid hour. I don't know if it was just the extra energy of being up in front ... but I actually felt pretty good during class. Had a 24k day total, and still wasn't that hungry, so kept calories low.

I think it was the keeping calories low Mon/Tues that caused the weight drop for Wednesday morning. Unfortunately after Zumba Wednesday I was STARVING and I ate and ate! I went to Zumba on Thursday as well, but only got in a little extra exercise both days. My poor "bike book" ... the one I HAD been reading while riding my stationary bike had been ignored (as I didn't get in any bike riding this week or last week). I finally just grabbed it and finished it up reading while resting in bed.

NUMBERS: Down two pounds (up/down/up/down), average went down -.26.  My average intake dropped to 1829, first time it's been under 2000 in I don't know how long. I credit that to my cold rather than any good eating or willpower. My average daily burn was 2626, lower than my usual but about what it was last week (also an off-week with exercise interrupted).  I managed a small deficit (-980) for the week ...

That was my week ... how was yours?

Linking up late with Weigh-In Wednesday ... wish my Wednesday weight HAD made it to Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

To Medicate or Not to Medicate

I've been battling a bug for almost a week now. Last Friday I felt fine, until I went to bed ... then there it was. A tickle in the back of my throat. I do think it's just a bad cold. Sniffly, sore throat, but no fever. The last few days a cough has come in too.

It's nice to have medical options in this day and age. The picture above is from my kitchen counter ... first, I guess you can see I'm a "generic" gal. I don't really care about the name brands (Let's same some money! $$ Thrifty Thursday! *Ü*) I also prefer to treat the individual symptoms ... rather than taking a combo pill, I generally will just hit what I feel I really need. If I'm just stuffy ... just the decongestant. I've had a headache ... and a bit of an earache too. I have been needing to add the ibuprofen and cough medication at times too though.

Sometimes during the day, I try to go without medication. I want to see how I'm really feeling. I don't just want to mask some symptoms if that then makes me continue to push too hard. I want a true judge if I'm feeling better or worse than the day before. At night though ... I want my sleep! So I will usually medicate. Even with it, my sleep lately has been lousy.

I have still been exercising a little, but I have toned it down this week. I tried going without medication Wednesday, but by afternoon I was pretty miserable and went ahead and popped some pills. I did make it through today without them though. Hopefully I'm on the mend.

Hubs had this a week or so before me, and still has some lingering coughs and sniffles. He says the it's really been going through the office at work. I've been trying to be careful to wash hands and such here at home, so the kids don't pick it up ... #3 has been sniffling though.

Just thinking out loud ... do YOU prefer one pill, or do you like to limit it to the specific symptoms? Do you ever try to tough it out without medication, or do you take advantage of modern medicine?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A HRM Hiatus

I own TWO Polar FT4 heart rate monitors. I bought my first one back in 2013, when I first started on my weight loss journey (again). I didn't love it. I didn't even wear it all that much. It took until July of 2014 before I even talked about it on my blog. When I started Zumba last year ... I started wearing it for that hour, and comparing the stats to those my Fitbit estimated (Zumba Stats). I did get a little addicted to the data, and to the motivation during the workout. I'd glance at the watch and check my heart rate, and if it wasn't high enough, I'd try to push myself a little harder.

But ... even though the Polar FT4 has really good reviews, it seems like after about 6 months of daily use, it just doesn't work as well. I'll admit, I'm not that good about washing the strap (it's recommended to rinse it after every use). I know at some point the battery would need to be replaced. I just ended up buying a new one. I'd started with the gray watch, then decided I wanted the pink after all. Sometimes when I'd work out twice in a day, I wouldn't want to put the soggy strap back on and ... a small part of me wondered if perhaps my original Polar was a bit wonky. So many people would say their HRM was giving them nice big numbers for a calorie burn. Mine wasn't. It's so hard for me to get my heart rate up. Maybe I'm super fit? Maybe I'm just a workout wimp? Anyway, I secretly hoped that with a new Polar FT4 I'd magically get better numbers. Yea ... that didn't happen. Pretty much the same.

My pretty pink Polar worked well for ... about six months. Then I started getting wonky readings. It wouldn't pick up a heart rate. It would, then it would drop to zero. It would seem to get stuck on a high or low number and not change. Grrrrrr.  Same as before. I ordered some new batteries and tried installing them in the old one (which had died completely) and got it up and running. Sort of. Still some struggles.

I wore my gray watch portion to Zumba last Friday. Later, when I was back home and went to record my stats from class ... I couldn't find it. Monday, I was feeling sick, and didn't go to Zumba. Yesterday, I went, but still feeling sick, I didn't think I could endure the tightness of the chest strap (I was having enough trouble breathing as it was!).  Anyway ... as I head out to Zumba today. I COULD strap on the pink Polar ... but you know what? I think I'm going to take a short HRM Hiatus. 

As motivating as the monitor can be ... if it isn't working right, it can be SO distracting. As I'm dancing along in class, I look and see it reflecting a big fact ZERO and what do I do? I STOP. I adjust the chest strap. I pause it and restart. I press it the transmitter more firmly into my chest. Then I give up and go back to dancing, but feel discouraged because I know it's not recording correct information.

Today ... I'm just going to dance.

Now, I'm not cRaZY ... I'll still wear my Fitbit of course! Linking up with Workout Wednesday ... wish me luck, I'm still feeling under the weather. I actually felt pretty good during Zumba yesterday and was glad I had gone. I actually really didn't have a choice,  as I had committed to helping out with the class. The instructor had gone on vacation to Mexico and asked me and another gal to take over the class and lead the songs. The other gal didn't show ... it was all me! My first (and last? A Zumba Instructor?) time leading a Zumba class (I actually don't know/didn't have the music for that many songs, so we had to repeat a couple to hit the hour).

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Couple of Cakes and a Caught Cold

This past weekend was my second son's 16th birthday. With all the crazy chaos the past week (getting #1 son off on his mission, rearranging the rooms for the kids) I wasn't really prepared to party. I hadn't really gotten gifts or anything (I have been buying him quite a few new clothes lately though, I should have saved them for his birthday). He actually needs cash (he's broke!) and I'll get him a couple belated presents. I did get him cake though! He wouldn't commit to choosing between triple chocolate or white buttercream ... so I bought both! We had one Saturday night (his actual birthday) with Hubs family over  and one Sunday night with my folks and his girlfriend (who had been out of town for the weekend). Yes ... I ate cake. It was yummy. The white cake is my favorite ... and it is gone, so at least it won't be around tempting me anymore.

I was fine Friday ... got in my Zumba and elliptical and continued working on the room rearrange that has been occupying the last several days (and getting me lots of non-aerobic steps and stairs!). As I went to bed that night, I felt that little tickle in my throat ...

I've caught a cold. :(

Hubs has been under the weather, and I was really hoping it wouldn't pass to anyone else. Alas. It was a bad night. I didn't get much sleep at all. Saturday I was still able to get all the things done I needed (grocery shopping, a basketball game, continued clean up) but I wasn't feeling great. I didn't do any exercise ... and although I wasn't super hungry, I did still manage to eat plenty (unlike my sickness a little over a year ago. Flu x2). Another bad sleep night, and no exercise on Sunday either.

Really hoping I can kick this cold and not have it impact my exercise. I remember when hubby came down with it a week or so ago, he tried to continue to workout, but said it was really hard. Not the normal enjoyable runs and whatnot. 

Weight was actually NOT up after the weekend, so that's good at least.

That was MY weekend. How was yours? Linking up with MIMM.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

WWI #83 ... A Busy Week

The last few weeks, my weight seems to be fluctuating between 151 and 153. Up two pounds. Down two pounds. Last week was down, so this week is up again. My average went down a smidgen. As for actual numbers .... Average intake was 2293. Average burn 2689. I didn't manage a deficit this week, (over by almost 1000 calories).

My weight was quite consistent this week, not moving much. My exercise was very consistent too. Mon-Fri I got in my hour of Zumba, then added 40minutes of elliptical throughout the day at home. No bike. No treadmill. No weights. No racquetball. I really wanted to get in some of these extra activities, but it was a crazy busy week.

The beginning of the week was packed with last minute prep for #1 son. A big "last supper" with extended family on Monday. Setting apart on Tuesday. On Wednesday, early ... (like getting up at 3:00 in the morning early) we took him to the airport. He is flying off to Mexico for two years. Our four other boys and Maga came to say goodbye.

 Family dinner at Bucca De Beppo

The airport ...and he's off.

The rest of us went out for breakfast (it was about 5:30 by then), then home to get the kids off to school. Hubs took a quick little nap before heading into work. I packed up the rest of #1's gear, and when #2 was home, we moved him into that bedroom. It was a complete room rotation. #2 and #3 had been sharing a room downstairs. #4 and #5 got moved in there and #3 took over their old room. Much more space for everyone (except #1, we'll have to figure out something when he comes back). Up and down the stairs SO many times over the next few days as we finished up the job. So many shirts, shorts, socks, shoes ... so many not being worn. It was a gigantic purge fest. Hubs took a trailer-full of stuff to the local good will. I'm still really not done. The boys are moved it, but there are still piles of clothes I have yet to sort through, and #3 needs some stuff (a new comforter, headboard, nightstand).

Like I mentioned above, I still got in my "minimum" workout on the weekdays. 100 minutes. An hour of Zumba and some elliptical. I really wanted to hit the bike! I've been wanting to continue on with my book. I've felt the urge to hit the treadmill too, but just had so many other things going on. Okay ... I admit I had no desire to do weights and racquetball really wasn't at all in the cards either. 

My eating was okay amid all the chaos and stress. Not great, but pretty much the norm for me. Hubs admitted he had some emotional eating going on.  Now the weekend is here. It's a birthday week (#2 turns 16) so there will be cake. But with the move mostly done, I should be able to get back into my routine. I hope to hit the bike and treadmill ... and I know I should do weights. I need to work harder to get the eating under control, because I know that is the key to losing a few more pounds and getting into the 140s where I'd like to be!

Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day & The Weekend

It's President's Day ... the kids like it because they have the day off from school. I thought I'd use this holiday to share this incredible penny portrait my brother made several years ago. Isn't it cool? Ala Lincoln!

For my weekend accountability, I weighed in Friday morning at 151.1 ... after the weekend (Monday morning) the scale showed 153.2. Not horrible, I actually expected worse. This past Saturday was  Valentine's Day. It was kind of a crappy, unhappy Valentine's Day (and day before).

Hubs and I were/are a bit on the outs (it happens even in happy marriages, right?) He wants to completely redo the kitchen. I. Don't. I LIKE my kitchen, and the though of it completely torn up, and the cost (financial, time, inconvenience) ... totally stresses me out! I know, most women would probably love a new kitchen. Poor me! Add to that, and Hubby having a cold ... no smooching on Valentine's Day :(

I don't know that I slept at all Thursday night stressing about kitchen stuff. That doesn't make for a good Friday. All the Zumba posters always show everyone happy and smiling, and that is how I usually feel. In fact, I'd wondered if you COULD be sad at Zumba. You can. I couldn't kick it Friday. I had gone to an earlier class (taking advantage of having my oldest home to run #3 to school) because #4 wanted (well, insisted) me to come be a parent helper at the school valentine day party. After attempting Zumba, I gave up after 30 minutes. My heart wasn't in it (literally, I could NOT get my heart rate up, my stats were as miserable as me). I went to the school and did my duty there, then went home and curled up in bed until it was time to pick the kids up from school.

There are times stress and sadness take away my appetite. Sometimes I exercise more, using it as an escape. This wasn't one of those weekends. I didn't really go overboard on the eating ... but I did make a couple batches of sugar cookies (shaped as hearts, had to get into the valentine day a bit). I ate many of these cookies. Fri/Sat/Sun were pretty pitiful as far as fitness.

There was basketball, as usual. Games Friday and Saturday. At least they got me out of the house, out of the bed. You can see my #2 in action (he's #3 in the video) as I also spent some time over the weekend going through clips and making muvees ... He had 16 points.

 Here's a picture ... love the funny faces the stills capture!

Isn't this an awesome shot? 
(I didn't take it, one of the other coaches did)

Sunday was church ... and then the afternoon helping #3 with a school assignment. Not exactly how Hubs and I wanted to spend the weekend, but I'm sure glad Hubs came to help. I always "love" homework for the parents too (although #2 did this same assignment a couple years ago with a friend without any help). Here is the finished product (in video form) ...

So that was the weekend ... linking up with MIMM. I really am glad it's Monday. Even if it's not a "normal" Monday, being a holiday with kids out of school. I did still hit Zumba and got in my 40minutes of elliptical. That's not my usual Monday, but it's good enough. Now out to dinner with the family ... a "Last Supper" for #1 who will be leaving early Wednesday for two years. And as soon as he's gone, it will be the GREAT ROOM REARRANGE (moving the remaining four kids into different bedrooms), which will impact exercise, but will still probably get in a lot of activity. It will be a good change but a lot of work. Maybe I'll be stressed enough I won't snack all the time!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

WWI #82 - Not A Good Week But ...

Well ... down 2.63 pounds this week! Now before you go congratulating me, I've been losing and gaining these same pounds a LOT over the past couple years. This 150-155 range seems to be my spot. Up and Down. Back and Forth. Cha-Cha. Still aiming to get a foothold in the spot just below (the 140-149 range).

It really wasn't a good week as far as the numbers go. The weekend was really crazy (Glad This Weekend Is Over), with big food numbers and low fitness ones. I did pretty good back in the routine on Mon and Tuesday, but then got hit with some back pain (minor, but still impacting exercise a little) and tummy troubles Wed and Thursday. Too bad the tummy troubles didn't take away my appetite. I still managed to eat. If you want to know what the actual numbers were ...

NUMBERS: Average weight for the week was 153.6, which was down a smidgen. Average intake was 2457. Average daily expenditure was 2682. With the higher intake and lower output, I didn't even manage a deficit at all this week, I was over by 1712 calories. Not sure where the loss came from. Sometimes the numbers do not line up.

I have updated my Daily Doings ... if you wanted details on the day to day. 
I also updated my Weekly Weigh-In page where you can see my checkins over the past couple years.

Linking up with Fitness Friday.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Fitbit Finder" Comes Through Again!

We are a Fitbit Family. The BTLExplorer screen shot above shows all of our devices as we went for a drive. There are seven people in our immediate family, and seven Fitbits (the "unknown device" is #1 sons new Charge). I downloaded the BTLExplorer app a while back when I heard stories of how it had helped people find a lost Fitbit. It was free, so I figured I'd have it on hand just in case. Then I needed to put the app to use (Lost and Found) and was so thankful I'd heard about it!

In addition to my immediate family being fitted with Fitbits, my extended family is too. My parents, brothers, SILs and sister all have one now. Last week, my mother copied me on an email my brother had sent. He was so sad, as he'd lost his Fitbit Flex. He had searched the house to no avail. I emailed him back and told him about this app. Here was a bit of our email exchange ...

  • Me:  You do still have to be somewhat close...15 feet or so, but as Mom said I was able to find mine on a grass soccer field in the dark. It's worth a try.  I've attached a screenshot of the app while my family was in the car ... the One and Flex (with the smallest number) are me and Gray in the front seat of the car, Landon is right behind me (with the Unknown, which has now updated to show it is a Charge). Callahan is in the other second row seat, and the three little boys (two Zips and a One) are in the back. You can see how the numbers are higher when the Fitbit is further away from the phone. If you walked all around your house, hopefully it would pick up the Flex, then you could play "hot and cold" once you've narrowed it down to a room or something. IF it's in the house ... 
  • D: Cool app! I'm using it now, and it says "Flex" under my "Peripherals" but I keep walking around and I can't seem to locate it. My numbers for the Flex are all negative (i.e. -92). I got it down to -60 or so in the garage but still couldn't find it anywhere! I'm scared that the battery is going to die on my Flex and then I'll be really out of luck! I lost it Monday night so the battery should be pretty well gone by now.  
  • Me: I don't know if it's a negative or a dash (-), but regardless, 127 means you are in the same room, as you get closer, the number drops. Around 50-60 and you should be right on top of it. So go back to the garage, it's there somewhere! 
  • D: Oh my gosh - I can't believe it, but that app totally worked. I found it! I went back to the garage and the lowest rating was right by my work shelf. I started rummaging through a box that I don't even remember using this week and there it was! I must have come off while I was working and fallen into this obscure box of random supplies! I wouldn't have found it for years! Thanks Jen! That app saved $99!
Aren't I a handy sister to have around?  It helped me in my "mommy" role too ...

Yesterday, #4 was looking around, and looking guilty! I asked him what was up and he admitted he couldn't find his Fitbit. I grabbed my phone and pulled up the handy dandy BTLExplorer app. I walked all around the house, but no extra One appeared on the screen. I checked the car, but it wasn't there either. I suggested we try going back to the school and retracing his steps. We went back to the elementary, and almost upon getting out of the car ... another One popped up on my app. It WAS here somewhere. I actually don't think we really even needed the app at this point, as it was in plain site there on the sidewalk (it must have fallen off as he and his brother raced to the car after school). If it had been out in the field though, the app would have been essential. It had been SO nice to know it wasn't in the house or the car though, so we didn't even spend any time looking there.

So if YOU have a Fitbit and an Apple product (ipod touch, phone or Ipad, I don't know if it's available for android) I really suggest downloading this app. It's free! play around with it a bit to get an idea of how it works (like my little screen shot at the top of this post). If your Fitbit disappears, maybe this can help you track it back down. 

Late linkup with Workout Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Recent Reads ~ 2014 Recap

I've mentioned here on this blog (Riding&Reading), I often combine my books and my exercise, reading while riding the stationary bike.

I've always been a reader. A few years ago, I became a "digital" reader. I love reading on my phone, Ipad or Kindle. The benefits of not needing a light, having a built in dictionary,  being able to highlight and search the text ... and of course, having so many books at my fingertips in such a small space! I've got over 500 books waiting in my Kindle Cloud, and my library wishlist is several hundred books long.
Good Reads has been another great discovery. My profile there is sh(e)reader.  It's such a great website to keep track of all my books. Those I have read, those I want to read. Looking up reviews and recommendations.Which books I have in my Kindle Cloud, which are available at the local library, those I need to get.  I love keeping quotes on hand, and looking at my stats for the years.

In 2013 I read 108 books. I didn't really set a goal to read a certain amount or anything, I just read what I wanted when I wanted and that's how it turned out. I didn't get through quite as many books this past year ... 75 for 2014.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Like I said, I LOVE Good Reads! This quick recap of my reading for the entire year is great! I love the quick cover capture, just looking at them all and remembering my reads. I like the rating break up as well. I didn't read anything I considered a "one star" book. Only three books earned a five star rating (ones I loved!). Quite a few three and four stars.

This blog is mainly about fitness, a little about food. Watching my weight and accountability. But as reading is an incentive for exercise, and books are another passion, I'll be showcasing "What I'm Reading" on the second Tuesday of each month. So if you like to read too, be sure and check in.  I also have a GoodReads update in my sidebar (way at the bottom) showing my recent reads and reviews, and various quotes from my books shifting through there as well.

Are YOU a reader? Are you on Good Reads? 
Do you prefer digital or physical books?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Glad This Weekend is Over!

Our oldest son, being 19 years old, is going on a mission for the LDS church. He'll be serving in Peublo, Mexico for two years. There has been a lot of prep, getting travel documents, new clothes, etc. One of the final events is a "farewell" talk in church, usually with an open house afterward (as some friends and family have come from further away. We have to feed them and have a chance to socialize, right?)

This past weekend was the farewell and open house. Hubs was pretty stressed about having people over in the house. This past week, he pulled up all the carpet in the front three rooms and had new carpet laid down (New Carpet/Couch). He bought a new couch, love seat and chairs and took loads to good will and the dump. If he'd had more time I'm sure there would have been a paint job and new tile too.

Then there was food prep. You never know exactly how many people are going to come. We ordered a bunch of mini croissants and pounds of chicken salad. My MIL offered to bring a fruit plate and a veggie plate. Years ago, Hubs purchased not one, but TWO chocolate fountains! We have used them quite often during the past years (A Fountain of Chocolate and the Aftermath). Of course one fountain was going to be milk chocolate. If we've done two, the other, smaller fountain would have either dark chocolate, white chocolate or caramel. This time, the boys had a brainstorm to try cheese. We tried it out the night before and it was a hit ...

Luckily, nachos do not appeal to me at all, 
but Hubs moaned that he ate way too much!

 The spread ... 

A closer look at the chocolate fountain and it's "dippers"

Lots of socializing.
Poor #2 sat down on the couch to rest.
Add an Uncle.
Then a brother.
Then another brother.
Then cousins.
No rest for the wicked!
Dogpiles just tend to happen in our family!

It was SUCH a relief later on Sunday afternoon. All the guests were gone, everything was put away. Hubs and I took a nap! This even has been weighing on us so we're glad it's over. It didn't really feel like a "weekend" it was so busy.  But Monday morning ... back to the routine.  Weigh in this morning was 155, not too bad after having a fountain of chocolate flowing in the kitchen!  Linking up with MIMM. At least this next week should be fairly normal ...
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