Friday, February 28, 2014

WWI (#33) & Friday Five

I'm late posting my weekly weigh-in and link up with Follow Up Friday ... oops, I guess I'm too late to link up :(  Our modem went out on Wednesday and after several days without service and many frustrating encounters with the cable company (I finally went in and exchanged it and installed the new modem  myself) ... and I'm back.  Another week in the books ... another week staying right around the same weight. If I was in maintenance, I'd be doing great. I'm just not there yet. Close, but not there yet.

It was a bit of a frustrating week with the internet issues, TOM time, the weather went from gorgeous sun to dreary rain. On the plus side, I tried a THIRD Zumba class and really enjoyed it. I think I'll be a Tues/Wed/Thurs Zumba gal. The instructor spied me at this weeks Thursday class again and pointed at me and asked "you're hooked, aren't you?" ... yes.

Numbers ... weight down .3 ounces from last week. Average was back down (150.86, it had jumped up last week). High weight for the week was 152.9. Low was 149.8. Still striving to get an entire week of weight readings under 150.  My average burn was up to 2973, almost to goal! Intake average was 2150. I actually had a total weekly deficit of 3501. Where's my one pound loss?I did update my Day to Day Doings if you wanted details on any of the days this past week.

I thought I'd wrap up February with a CURRENTLY post, and link up with Friday Five (Eat Pray Run),  Five Things Friday (Fitting It All In),  and  Five on Friday with Liz.

What I'm Reading ... a few weeks ago there was a list going around of "Books to Read Before They Are Made Into Movies In 2014" ... I've already read Vampire Academy (the entire series, but not the spin-off), Divergent (the trilogy), The Maze Runner (the trilogy) and The Giver (the quartet) but had NOT read The Fault In Our Stars. I put it on hold at our local library, and even though I was #135, it came in pretty quick. I picked it up, started reading ... and decided a big ol' physical book was just too heavy and went ahead and bought the digital version to read on my kindle app on my iphone.  I like being able to highlight sections, as this book does have "quoteable" sections I'd like to save for reference.

 What I'm Watching ... I started watching Arrow (season 1) on Netflix. I didn't know much about it going in, but wasn't surprised when I read that it was based on a DC Comics character. There are "Batman" similarities, and some "Spiderman" like moves.  I like a show that gets the adrenaline pumping, and there are some amazing acts of athleticism here.  The storyline keeps me intrigued too.

I keep a "What I'm Watching" list (for my own reference) ... and in case anyone was interested in a quick review of the shows I've watched and enjoyed. I workout a lot, and workout time is my TV time.

Birthdays ... last week I mentioned it was #2 son's birthday. He and his basketball buddies were at the high school watching the games there, so I took over a bunch of pizza and a big box of cupcakes for an impromptu party (the boys dress up the day before their games). That wraps up our family birthdays for a while ... no more until the end of summer (when we have three in one week).

Basketball ... the season is winding down. The two little boys finished up last week (see my baby in action here, I finally got around to making a muvee, he's #20). Still a few games going on as the older boys play in their championships. Although basketball is never over with my boys, it will be slowing down shortly.

Synchronicity ... just thought I'd share this. When I took off my pedometers (yes, I wear two), they were EXACTLY the same. I've worn two for years, and they've been close before (and sometimes not so close) but I've never had them stop at an exact identical number. I thought it was worth  a picture and a share, and a final link up with Fitness Friday to wrap up my post *Ü*

How was your week?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Days of the Week

I've been using Walker Tracker for a few years now. I just enter my steps each day and I get a lot of cool graphs and numbers tracking my activity. One of the graphs I've always found interesting was the "day of the week average".  It usually just reflects what I already know ... Tuesdays are great (cardio) days, Sunday (and the entire weekend) are my worst. Mon,Wed&Fri are weight days, where I spend 45-60 minutes working out but don't get many steps to show for it.

When I look at my ALL TIME graph ... it's a little different. I remember a time when Mondays were a good (high step) day. When I was getting steps in on Saturdays (this was related to basketball, when the boys had games at the gym with a track above. I'd get in 2-3 hours watching and waiting during their games. Sometimes games and practices would be at the very end of the day, when I certainly didn't feel like working about ... but I couldn't just sit while there was a track there!) Sundays are pretty much always bad for steps... not a "rest" day per say ... but with sleeping in, church, family activities, etc ... I just call them "Slow Sundays" ...

Currently, Tuesdays have been my best days. I'll hit a session on the elliptical first thing, carpool the kids to school, then go to Zumba. I get 10,000 steps by 10 am.   

It's my Tuesday 10x10.
And getting such a jump on steps that early in the day ... it's often a 30k on Tuesday too. I hit the elliptical a few more times during the day. Read my book while I rode the stationary bike. I had an hour in the early evening, so I went down for some treadmill time. I was actually tempted to push it even MORE yesterday, to set a new PB on Fitbit (I have my 35,000 badge, next up is 40,000 ... I could have gotten there, but hubby was home and a shower and snuggle time sounded nice too).

I kept calories in check yesterday, I was really hoping to see a shift on the scale ... but no, it went UP! An entire pound! Frustrating. I know, don't put stock in the day to day readings. At least my MFP ticker is still at "30 pounds lost" ... I really don't like when it slips back into the 20s. When I wrote about My Milestones, I didn't stop and figure out exactly what number makes my MFP ticker drop back to 29 or worse. I might have to look into that (me and my numbers you know!) Linking up with Weigh-In Wednesday ... but check back Friday for my "official" weekly weigh-in and week recap.

Well, I'm going to try a different Zumba class this morning (yet another free church offering, I have yet to actually pay for a class although at this point I think I'd be willing, I just am not sure about how to go about finding one ... I know gyms offer them, but I'm not interested in a gym membership as I have my home gym downstairs!) Then it is strength-training, NMTZ day ... a basketball game for #3 in the evening, clear across town. I'm not looking forward to driving that (next week's location is even worse, so I've told the kid they can lose tonight's game, as I don't even want to go next week! I've got driving issues!)

Do you have a "good" day of the week? A "bad" one?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TV Time = Exercise Time

As I've read my magazines, internet articles and blogs, I've come across some conflicting advice regarding TV time & exercise. Some recommend turning on a show or movie to keep you entertained during exercise (and gyms have tvs and even theaters for this purpose). Other schools of thought say that distraction will make your workout less effective.

What do YOU think?

I can see the point of both ... but which one gets ME exercising? The former, most definitely. 

Watching television programs is a HUGE part of my exercise routine. It wasn't always the case. I recall sitting down and watching a show, or having something on while I puttered around the kitchen. But then it all changed.

I had the series "24" on DVD, borrowed from the local library. It was due back, so I figured I'd get double duty done ... watching my show and getting my workout in (previously, I had been working out to music only). As Jack Bauer rushed around saving the world, I couldn't believe the adrenaline rush that passed from the TV to me. I mean, here Jack was, running and fighting, and all I needed to do was put one foot in front of the other on the treadmill.

From that point on, I stopped watching TV anywhere but in my gym. Well ... the hubs and I do have some snuggle time before bed, and I make an exception to watch something with him as we wind down. But during the day? If I'm watching, I'm working out. Not just during commercial breaks, but for the entire program. I do NOT work out for hours at one time, I'll do 20 or 30 minute workouts, simply pausing my programs and coming back to them. This is incentive in and of itself. I need to finish my show each day! It's a common statement from me to hubs ... "I've got 10 more minutes on my show, I'll be back."

I know I'm spoiled, with my home gym, and a television setup in my complete control ... I never take it for granted. It is a HUGE motivator to me! I like action shows the best ... the ones that can't help but pump me up. I love serial shows, where the story carries from episode to episode, making me want to hit the gym just one more time to find out what happens. I watch all sorts of things ... in my Streaming vs DVDs post, I went into some of the technology that makes watching in my gym possible (Roku, PlayOn, Netflix).  I've discovered quite a few great songs, background music on programs that suddenly make me lighter on my feet (I try to keep my iphone handy to Shazzam songs as they come up).

When I first started blogging, one of the first link-ups I participated in was Let's Talk TV.  As I am a little OCD, I do like to keep track of everything, you can check out What I'm Watching. I actually have it all in an excel file, so I can sort it alphabetically, by when I watched it, by type of show, or my rating (just a little OCD).  I do keep up with some current shows (I watched The Biggest Loser for the first time this past season), but I'm finding I prefer to wait, and watch entire seasons back to back, rather than waiting weeks/months in between episodes.

So while I don't watch ANY television live, when it airs ... I watch a LOT of TV. But I'm walking, jogging, ellipticalling (I know that's not really a word), riding the stationary bike or doing my own cardio or weights the entire time. And I love it!

That's MY tip this Tuesday.
Linking up with Lisa and Kristin.
Check them out for more tips, and link up your own!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Smart Girls Use Dumbbells

As a "pedometer person" ... I really like cardio, as it usually gives me "steps" that strength training does not. I do feel weights are such an important part of any fitness routine though. Strength training has been a part of my plan almost from the start (about eight years ago).

I'm lucky. My husband has been interested in weight lifting since he was a teen. When we moved into our house (about 18 years ago) we had room for a gym. The hubs invested in a big weight rack, plates, and dumbbells. When I first lost the weight eight years ago, I had hubby show me some moves and help me set up a routine. I like a full-body routine that hits every body part.

I little bit back, I posted MY weight routine (Not Just A Weight Watcher). For the past several years, I've made sure I incorporated at least one weight workout in a week. When I was ambitious, I'd get in two or three (leaving a recovery day in between).  I've looked through some books and magazines and have tweaked things over the years as I know it is important to switch things up.

Last summer, I tried out Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I aimed for five workouts a week (leaving weekends off, or available for a make-up day if I missed one during the week). During this time, I did stop MY weight workout (although I continued with additional cardio each day). In the fall, I tried "Ripped in 30" ( a couple times a week, with my weight workout once a week) and this month I've been doing "No More Trouble Zones" (again, two days a week, keeping my weight workout once a week).

It's been interesting. MY weight workout looks harder on paper. Heavier weights. More impressive moves (in my opinion). A full hour. Jillian's workouts use smaller weights and some of the exercises are deceptively easy (pelvic thrusts, toe taps) ... yet I find myself collapsing on the mat (as Jillian yells "don't you stop" almost like she can see me!) and sweating up a storm. Last Monday, I was dragging and was just NOT up to facing Jillian. I talked myself into doing a 30-min version of my weight workout instead. It wasn't as intimidating to me ... I'm not sure exactly what that means *Ü* I ended up doing the entire hour. I find that happens fairly often. I get myself started only committing to a partial workout, and then I get into it and do the whole thing.

I like mixing up my weight workouts.  Doing mine ... where I have on music or a tv program keeping me motivated while I work out. Picking up the heavier weights and only doing the exercises I feel are the most productive.  Then letting Jillian lead the way. Smaller weights, but enough repetitions that I do really feel it. Different moves than I'd do if left to my own devices.

I have NOT tried crossfit (totally intimidating) or free-weights (anything I would need a spotter for). I've never tried any strength training in a gym ... just in my home. Pilates and Yoga, resistance bands ... I've experimented a little, but they haven't really grabbed me either.

Linking up with Nikki, Kristy & Katie
And of course the Motivation Monday team
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Spotlight #14 ...Customer Service Experiences

When it comes to blogs ... I think I'm a fairly recreational reader. When I see other bloggers with huge lists of great articles and favorite blog posts (see Saturday Spotlight #13 for a list a several bloggers who do) I'm realizing I'm not getting in quite the quantity or quality reviews they are. My list is pretty small this week, but I'm also shining the spotlight on a couple of companies and my recent experiences with them.

  • ABCDK or E, What Will Make A Healthy Me? I was reading in our local paper and came across this article, it, and the two articles it references had some interesting points. Are you a "pill popper"  hoping to augment your health with vitamins and supplements?
  • Keeping Your Cool: Another article about turning down the heat. I just posted several other articles on this topic too (Baby It's Cold Downstairs). I definitely like it cool when I sleep!
  • Just Don't Go:  This is a funny video for those of you still stuck in bad weather (our snow has all melted and it was a lovely day yesterday, around 45° and with the sun and blue skies it felt wonderful!) ... or those who love the song "Let it Go" from Frozen (I have yet to see the movie ... I have five BOYS, no girls, so ...)

I was really sad to hear about the hit Fitbit has been taking on their new Force tracker.  My brother has the Force and hasn't had any issues. It is being voluntarily recalled and stripped from shelves.

You know I'm a Fitbit Fan. I've been meaning to mention some experiences I've had with them recently. I am quite lucky, in that I managed to hold on to my original Ultra for over two years without losing (or washing) it. Others have not been as lucky as I, yet I had heard so many stories about people getting their Fitbit's replaced by the company, even when the fault was not at all with Fitbit. I finally had a chance to test out the customer service I had heard so much about when my son's Flex wristband started to split. I sent them a picture of the band (not yet a year old) and they immediately sent out a replacement. My mother had some struggles with her One not working properly and again ... they sent out a replacement. I have nothing but good things to say about Fitbit!

As I've mentioned in previous posts (Reaping the Rewards, Everymove Update) I link said Fitbit to several reward sites and earn some kickbacks for the my activity. Everymove had an award come up for a free women's workout top. I signed up to earn the reward and it didn't take me too long to reach the number of points required. As I am rather suspicious by nature, I wondered if there was some fine print. I was anticipating my "reward" to end up as a discount (requiring a purchase) or sudden shipping charges to be added. That didn't happen. I contacted the company in question (Mondetta Performance Gear or MPG) and received an immediate email back asking me which top I wanted.

There were no surprises or shipping fees. It was FREE (regular price over $30). I selected THIS top (see the picture at right). I did have to wait a bit for it to come. I did have to recontact the company and inquire ... but I did receive my women's top. I'm wearing it right now in fact. *Ü* It really is a nice quality. Soft and comfortable, but very sturdy and well made.  The little ties from the hoodie do bounce around a bit while I'm working out ... they are somewhat distracting.

Anyway ... another thumbs up for both Everymove, and for MPG, for rewarding people for their activity! Since I posted my Achievemint Update a bit ago, I added several apps (MFP, Facebook, Instagram) and they have really increased my earnings there! I hit my 25,000 points, but this time did select the roll-over option (going for 50,000 and a $50 payout. A 5,000 point bonus for rolling it over).  I'm currently at 39,300 points ...

What have you been reading?
Do you have any recent experiences (good or bad) with companies to share?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In (#32)

Well ... this past week wasn't great. The last three days were really good, but the days before that? Not. So. Much. In fact, they were really, really bad. Long weekend, holidays (Valentine's Day and President's Day), a bunch of basketball ... overeating and not enough activity. If you want the dastardly details, check out my Day to Day Doings. I'll just admit here that Saturday was my highest caloric intake day since I started tracking nine months ago.

Remember me saying I wanted a week (and forever) with not one weigh-in over 150? Not. So. Much. In fact, I got the exact opposite this week. Not one weigh-in under 150. Not good.  The actual "official" weigh-in this morning is the exact same number as last week. No up, no down ... I guess that is ok considering my weekend indulgences.

Numbers: Average weight was up (150.84-152.03) ... High of 154, Low 150.60. I DID actually manage to overcome my weekend and get a deficit for the week. -14 calories *Ü* HUGE. Average intake was 2486 (ouch, wicked weekend!), average burn 2697. Daily steps average for the week 20,681.

Today is #2's birthday. 15 years old. The picture is from last year, but I'll probably be picking up that cake again. It's a favorite with the boys, but it's one I can resist. The birthday boy is going to spend the evening at the high school, cheering on the basketball team as they play. I'm going to grab some pizzas and cupcakes and bring them by so he can host a little birthday party there for his friends. We'll likely have a family party over the weekend, although nothing is set yet.  I may or may not eat some cake.

Linking up with Fitness Friday  and Follow Through Friday.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What is a Binge?

It's hard not to come across the word "binge" if you are reading about weight-loss  (blogs, websites, message boards, magazines). In several blogs I've followed, the authors have admitted to a "binge" or a struggle with "binge eating" ... and I've just wondered if we're on the same page with what we think a "binge" actually is.

I guess I first heard the term as a teenager, it was in conjunction with bulimia. Binge and purge. But obviously people can just do the former.  I found this definition of binge eating disorder, which does go along with MY thoughts on the topic (source) :

Now I have do have my own eating issues. I do keep my food diary on MFP private (although I am doing my best to honestly enter everything I eat there). I have had struggles with mindless eating, and stress eating. There are times I find myself eating something and if I stop and think about it, I know I'm really not HUNGRY.  I can, and do overeat (this past weekend was BAD).

But I really don't know that I would ever say I have "binged". I've never felt out of control (just the mindless, "what am I doing? why am I eating this" feeling). I am actually a fairly slow eater. I rarely feel disgusted with myself ... those times I overeat, I usually feel there was a reason, or it was worth the indulgence. I can eat a LOT and still not feel super full (it's rare that I get to that "stuffed" point, maybe I just have a huge tummy capacity). My overeating is certainly not anything that happens with regularity.

I've just been thinking about this topic for several weeks now, and thought I'd expound on it for the Thinking Out Loud linkup  (even though the majority of topics there aren't serious in nature). But I feel like "Thinking Out Loud" does describe what I'm doing here :)

As I read on a message board "Oh, I binged" and they describe the binge ... and to me, it doesn't really fit MY definition. I did want to look into it a bit more, research it a bit.  I didn't want to let myself off the hook if what I was doing was binging, but I continue to stick with my original feeling that luckily THIS isn't something I struggle with. I've wondered about those who DO seriously suffer ... if they are sensitive when the word is used in a minor, offhand manner? I know I probably use the term OCD too casually for those who really suffer from that affliction.

Also linking up with the NSV linkup ... This past weekend was NOT great, and the scale reflected that. I haven't quite gotten the scale back to where I was before this past weekend, but even though I overate, I did record it all. Tuesday, I was SO ready to get back to my routine of oodles of exercise and eating better. Today ... I went to a DIFFERENT Zumba class. That is pretty huge for me, as I'm a creature of comfort and familiarity. It was good and I'll try to continue to hit this one on Thursday mornings.

What are your thoughts on the word "binge"?
Is it something you feel you struggle with?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fitbit Aria - A Review

 Reflecting on my Aria

I've had my Fitbit Aria scale for a little over a year now. I've mentioned it a few times on the blog, but when a friend asked me some questions about it, I realized I didn't really have a "review" post, one I could reference people to if they had questions about the scale ... so I thought I'd do that today for the Weigh-In Wednesday linkup.

  • Accuracy: For the most part, I've found the Aria to be quite accurate. If I step on multiple times, I do get the same (or very similar) readings. When I weigh in on the Aria, and then weigh-in on WiiFit, the readings are almost identical. Note: I'm commending the accuracy for the WEIGHT only, NOT the body-fat reading ... which I do not put much stock in at all.
  • Convenience: The wireless transfer of data to the Fitbit site is WONDERFUL. I can't tell you how many times in the past (pre-aria) I'd forget the numbers after stepping off the scale, quickly getting dressed and sitting down at my desk to write them down. I also love that I don't have to input the data manually. My weight is constantly updated on the Fitbit site (and therefore on My Fitness Pal as well). 
  • Multiple Users: If you have several people weighing in on the same scale, the Aria can keep track of up to eight people (we have four people connected ... hubby, my two oldest boys and myself). If the weight of two people is similar, the scale will "ask" you (by flashing the initials of the users) who the stats should be assigned to. Just tap the scale with your toe to move from one name to the next. (My 18-year old son and I were similar in weight for a while, I was pretty happy when I dropped low enough that the scale could tell the difference between us).  
  • Rewards:  Ok ... this is a bit silly, but you DO get credit for both the weight and body fat readings if you are working toward Achievemint awards. 30 points a day ... :)    Walgreens Rewards also credits you for weighing in ... but although they auto-sync with Fitbit, they don't grab the weigh-ins.  I rarely get around to entering it there manually. :(
  • Interesting Information: In addition to the weight and bodyfat readings, the "weight" section at the Fitbit site shows the date and TIME of the weigh-in ... it is quite interesting to keep track of that little bit of information too (at least for me!) The weight numbers can be shown in graph format (at Fitbit, MFP or link your Fitbit up to for even more analysis).
Weight History Readings

Weight Graph from Fitbit

  • Price: This IS an expensive scale.  If you don't have a Fitbit ... you could probably find something else that would work well for less. If you do have a Fitbit, it really does sync well with the website/app and is well worth it if you're already using the system.
  • Speed: This scale is slow. Now I don't have the space to keep the scale in place, I have to store it upright (Tipping the Scales). As I lay the scale down each morning, I need to let it sit a few minutes and calibrate (otherwise it comes in about 5 pounds too high!). Then, it goes through it's little process "Hi ... Step On, Sensing, Step Off, Thinking" then it reflects the weight, then the body fat, then the name of the user, then it connects to your wireless, shows that it is transmitting and then it is done. If you were someone who likes to weigh multiple times, it takes a little time! After the initial weigh-in of the day, it does often go straight to the weight (without the Step On, Sensing, Step Off, Thinking) but is still slower than your average scale to show the results.
  • Reflective Surface: I actually consider this a con ... I weigh myself in my birthday suit, as I'm sure many of you do. I find the reflective surface ... unappealing.

Just some other thoughts on the scale ...
  • Setup: Many people struggle with the setup ... I didn't find it too difficult. I do recommend using a device connected wirelessly (laptop, iphone) as my initial attempt using my hardwired computer didn't work. We've changed routers this past year, so I had to redo the setup and it was a snap the second time around. It's easy to connect users to the scale too (simply sending an email of having them respond).  
  • WiFi & Battery: The scale does require batteries. I put new ones in when I got the scale a year ago and haven't had to change them since. There is a battery level notifier on the Fitbit site. The scale DOES require wifi to complete sending the information.  My wireless went down for a few days. I still weighed in everyday and when we got up and running again, my weights DID come through.. they were saved somewhere and then sent across once wireless was restored. Good to know!
  • Making Changes: If you do get an erroneous reading, or have weighed in later in the day (and you don't actually want that reading recorded) simply go into the Fitbit site or app and delete any numbers you wish. While it is easy to erase entries ... it actually keeps me from doing a quick weigh in during the day as I sometimes did in the past.
If anyone has any additional questions about the Aria, 
I'd be happy to try and answer them ...

What scale do you have?
What features are most important to you in a scale?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The FitSnap App

Browsing blogs, I came across a recommendation for the FitSnap app. It is a fun way to create photo recaps of your workouts (so many people do the "selfie" shots anyway, it's an easy way to add a little to them and make them more meaningful with documented stats).  I thought this would be a good companion piece to my post yesterday (Favorite Cardio) as I feature my three favorite cardio workouts with FitSnap photos *Ü*

There are different presentations of your stats, and you can personalize, adding text or additional information if you like.

The app itself is free, and there are two in-app purchases for additional themes (running/yoga). I haven't upgraded, as I don't do yoga, and don't run too much (the basic "free" running themes more than meet my needs).  But if you were big on either of those, the $.99 upgrade might be worth looking into.

I'm new to the whole Instagram, hashtag aspect of sharing, but I did post my picture on Instagram, and followed the hashtag to find oodles of other users Fitsnap Photos. It was fun to look through all the great activity others are up to, and I couldn't help but be inspired by it all! If you're not into the whole "selfie" shot, many people used the Fitsnap app without featuring themselves in the photo.

I've really enjoyed the Fitsnap app. I'm sure you'll see it appear here and there in my blog, on my Facebook page or on my Instagram feed. Have you heard of Fitsnap before? Is it something you think you would use? Sometimes a fun new way to feature your workouts is enough to give you some added incentive to actually get that workout in!

That's MY tip this Tuesday.
Linking up with Lisa and Kristin.
Check them out for more tips, and link up your own!

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Cardio Collection

I'm a lucky gal. I actually enjoy exercising indoors and I have a home gym with which to do so. I have NO excuses! We started with just a treadmill, then got a bike, then an elliptical. We switched out the upright bike for the recumbent one we now how (pictured above). We do have a full weight set in J&G's gym as well, but the topic of today's Motivation Monday is "Favorite Cardio" ... so I'll stick with that today.

My go to cardio is the elliptical ... it's just the "easiest". Now when I say that, I don't mean it is easy, as in it's not a workout. It is. I sweat. But it doesn't require much (if any) prep. I hop on the elliptical for a quick 20 minute session several times each day. I don't bother putting on my HRM (I have a few times, enough to know that my machine is overestimating, and the Fitbit is a bit too) or even stop to put on shoes ... I wear slippers on my elliptical. I am usually in my workout wear (sports bra, comfy pants/shirt, etc.) but even if I'm wearing normal clothes, I could get in a quick workout without having to change.

I also wear slippers on my stationary bike ... but it does take a bit of prep to get ready for a ride on it. I move my Fitbit from my bra to my sock. This means I had to stop and put on socks, as I normally do NOT have socks on. I move my Omron pedometer to my sock as well, and I do usually set the timer on my Fitbit. I'll often put on a HRM for my bike rides, and I need to make sure my Ipod is ready to go (for reading or watching a show). I wear slippers on my bike too. I usually go for 30 minutes (8miles) although I have been known to go further at times. The HRM gives me what I believe to be the most accurate reading for my calorie count (about 160 for said 30min/8mile ride). The bike usually says about 200, and the Fitbit overcalculates (often  300+) so in addition to prep before the ride, I always need to go in and correct the burn on Fitbit.

The treadmill gives me the most bang for my buck IF I'm jogging or upping the incline. Some days I just don't feel up to that, and I use it for just walking as well (while watching a show on the TV in my gym). I know many dislike the "dreadmill" but I really like knowing my exact speed (makes intervals easier) and distance, and being in control of the incline.

Those are my three go-to cardio exercises. For quite a while, I've been hitting all three many days each week. I keep track of each with a "streaks" calendar and report in at the end of the month. 

I do enjoy other cardio activities. Several years ago, I joined a meet-up group for some pick-up soccer games. That was SO much fun! Hubby and I used to play racquetball quite often. I really miss racquetball and would like to get back to doing that! In a Throwback Thursday post, I mentioned going ice skating at the Olympic Oval. That was a fun workout! I have started going to a Zumba class on Tuesdays, and while I originally wasn't a huge fan, I've continued to go back and look forward to it each week. I bought the Wii Zumba and have tried that a few times at home. I have a few cardio DVDs & Youtube videos as well.

Last Thursday was a "completely cardio" day for me. I hit four different 30 minute sessions of my various cardio exercises. 2.5 miles on the treadmill, 8 miles on the bike, 6 miles on the elliptical and some Zumba with the wii. It was interesting to do four different cardio workouts, all of the same length and then compare how I felt upon finishing the workout and contrast the calorie estimates (Fitbit estimates shown above, I did wear my HRM for everything as well, it was actually quite close on most of these. As the Fitbit calculates "steps" you can see the distance for bike and elliptical are off what the machine readout said).

A quick linkup with Marvelous In My Monday recapping Valentine Weekend ... it was a HORRIBLE weekend. Not anything to do with Valentines, but I did overeat Saturday, hitting my highest calorie intake since I started tracking (you can sneak a peek on my Day to Day Doings or I'll recap the week on Friday). As today is President's Day, it's still "the weekend" and not a normal routine day. I'm SO looking forward to tomorrow and getting back to my routine, getting my Motivated "Monday" (on a Tuesday) back and hitting my favorite cardio (got zumba, elliptical, treadmill and bike on the schedule)!  Linking up with Motivational Monday blog hops  Nikki, Kristy & Barb ...

And of COURSE ... the Motivation Monday team
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa
What is YOUR favorite cardio?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In (#31)

Another UP week ... not really sure why. I was dragging after the difficulties of last week. Last Friday, I logged my weigh-in and blog post. I got in my hour of elliptical and weight workout, but not much else.  I was very unmotivated Saturday and Sunday too. I actually spent some time just reading in bed and taking it easy. I did still get in my hour of elliptical both days, but was over my calories Fri/Sat/Sun.

Monday morning weight was higher... as usual after a "wicked weekend".  I had really good days Mon and Tues, but didn't have my usual weight correction and was a little discouraged mid-week and went overboard on the eating on Wednesday (although still broke even on intake/burn). The scale SURE showed that, but at least I got motivated enough to keep calories in check yesterday.

But even with the higher weights this week, I feel good.  Maybe I need to attempt some measurements ... my workout pants (elastic and drawstring waists) have been feeling a little big, I've actually had some trouble keeping them up. I've been able to wear my size 8 jeans without a problem. I've been getting my exercise in every day and feeling strong and fit. I did a couple of longer runs, new records for me. I'm pretty happy with my reflection in the mirror. Just feeling content and happy. Life is good.
Numbers: Up 1.7 from last week (148.9 to 150.6). Average is also up (150.1 to 150.84, +.83). High was 153.4. Low was 148.9.  Total weekly deficit of 2515 ... so I DID have a deficit this week, even though the scale doesn't reflect it at all. Average intake 2179. Average burn 2778.

Linking up with Fitness Friday  and Follow Through Friday.

It's Valentines Day.

Still had early morning basketball practice for #2. So I've made three trips to the middle school already today. Late start there, early out at the elementary. Helping out at the Valentine Party at school. I'm really hoping I can fit my weight workout into today.  I best get off my blog and get going! Here's a little more humor for the day.

How was YOUR week?
Any Valentine plans?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Things To Do Thursday

So I got up today and got in my usual 20min session on the elliptical. I got the kids off to school (lunches, carpoolx2) and then, I thought I'd try Zumba. At my usual Tuesday Zumba at our church, they mentioned a couple other locations with similar, free classes on Wed/Thurs. My anxiety kicks in at trying anything new, but I could feel my motivation level was low, so I figured I might do better in a group setting today. Unfortunately, I think it was Wed/FRI ... as there was no Zumba happening when I drove out to the different location.

As I had my shoes and HRM on ... I decided to hit the treadmill when I got home.  I committed to one mile at 5mph. When I hit that, I was still feeling pretty good ... so I kept going. This happened yesterday too, I went two miles then. Today ... 2.5. One of these days I'm going to do an impromptu 5k. But not today, I do have a lot on the docket today. Being a SAHM with the kids in school ... what do I have going on to fill my day?

I do plan on some additional exercise. I did NMTZ (No More Trouble Zones by Jillian Michaels) yesterday, and have weights on deck for tomorrow, so today is just cardio. I NEED to get 40 more minutes on the elliptical, because I set a streaks goal of 60min every day in February. That shouldn't be a problem - two more 20min sessions sometime during the day.  I'd also like to hit the stationary bike ... I finished up my book yesterday and have a new one waiting. I feel a bit guilty just sitting and reading, but if I'm reading and riding ... well then I'm doing two things at once and that can't be construed as a waste of time, right?

I need to finish up the boy's valentine day cards ... cutting and inserting the suckers. I'm on deck for the party at the school tomorrow. I think I'm prepped for that (as I do it every year). You can check out the list of games I'm planning (Valentine's Games).  Only one child need a "box" and we are just recycling one from last year (my Lazy Mom's Valentine Box).

I don't really have anything for hubby ... hmmmm.

We've got a lot of leftovers (pizza from Monday, baked ziti from Tuesday, chicken pillows from Wednesday) so I think I'm off the hook for making anything new tonight.   Schedules are a bit crazy anyway. Basketball practice for #2, #4 and #3 (all at different times and different locations). I believe #1 has a game at the church too. And on the topic of basketball, I'm SO behind in making my highlight videos of the games (Basketball Mom). I have the video files on my computer. I need to go through all the clips, weed out the ones without any action shots, then make them into a movie. It takes a while ... and I'm just sitting while I do all that. I don't like just sitting. But those video files are just waiting, waiting, waiting for me ... (more games coming up on Saturday too). 

Back to my morning run ... I've put on music these past couple days. The days before that, I've been watching a show during my treadmill time. I think the music is what has motivated me to keep going these past couple days. I spent some time putting together a perfect 5mph playlist a while back. I am one who needs to match my footballs with the rhythm of the music. I like to Feel the Beat.

Hubby recently bought us a much needed, new computer. I'm a PC gal, this is a Mac ... it's going to take some figuring out (even though we're an Apple family in all other Apple/Android respects). With the installation of Itunes, we've moved all the music over. Now I know you can transfer playlists as well, but unfortunately, with one of the recent updates, all of our playlists mysteriously disappeared. I still have them on my ipods/iphone ... but I'm just anticipating the hours of work that will be required to try to recreate all my playlists. Playlists are important! It took a ton of time to select all my perfect 5mph beat songs that motivated me today. I've been unwilling to sync stuff until I get this done, and things are getting outdated. Ah, technology and first world problems! I was jogging, I was thinking of all the things I needed to get done today (or in the near future, I'm NOT going to get to all of these things today). Then, instead of actually DOING some of these things, I jumped online, read a little, blogged a bit, and just joined the Thinking Out Loud link-up *Ü* . I guess I best go get going on my Things to do Thursday ...

What do you have on the docket today?

Are you a Mac or PC person?
How important are YOUR playlists?

I'm also going to link-up with the Non-Scale Victory Linkup ... both for my 2.5 mile jog (my longest in ... um, I can't remember when I've ever jogged that far without stopping to walk) and even my ATTEMPT to go to a new Zumba class. It took a LOT for me to even think about walking into an unfamiliar situation ... I'll have to double check the location/times and try again. I felt unmotivated this morning, but now I'm proud of what I've accomplished just this morning! *Ü*

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