Monday, March 31, 2014

What a Crock

I've enjoyed being a part of the Motivation Monday team these past few months. Having a specific  theme can be a bit daunting, as I haven't always felt like I had something to say about a particular topic. But it's been a nice writing challenge. This week, the theme is "Healthy Crock Pot Recipes" ... now if you know me at all, you are aware that while I've jumped on the fitness bandwagon, I'm still not there on anything food related. I do have a couple of crocks, and I use them fairly often. I'm just not sure if it's for anything particularly "healthy" ...

The main thing I use crock pots for is to cook meat. It's slow but simple. Throw in a roast, or beef chunks and then just wait until they are done. Tender and juicy. We love to just eat a plain beef roast, or turn it into french dip. I'll drain the beef chunks and turn that into simple stroganoff (add a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some cooked noodles ... done. Told you it was simple.)

I'll put in some pork (a shoulder roast and some ribs) along with a can of root beer and let it cook until the meat falls apart. Drain, discard all the fatty stuff and any bones,  shred the meat and add some barbeque sauce. Pulled pork sandwiches.

Stick a turkey breast in the bigger crock pot and let it cook all day.

Crock pots are great for keep soups warm too. I make a chicken noodle, chicken veggie, and a chicken and wild rice soup, and I'll stick them on the counter in the crock pot to serve.

A word of warning ... do not try to melt chocolate in a crock pot. We have a chocolate fountain,  and we were wondering if the low setting on the crock might work to prep the chocolate for the fountain. We tried it ... it was a disaster! Burned chocolate smells terrible and it looked even worse. Stick to a double boiler for chocolate (although there was caramel served in a crock pot at a scout activity, and that seemed to work ok).

What do you use your crock pot to create?
This link up is open for several more days, so create a crock post and share it!

Join with the Motivation Monday team
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Spotlight #15 (Fitbit Spotlight)

I haven't been getting my Saturday Spotlight out every week, 
but I had a few links to share.
My "Wondering About a Fitbit" post has been MY top post.
Here are a few other recent links on the subject
(well, on activity trackers in general)

I'm a Fitbit fan ... if you follow my blog at all that is pretty obvious pretty fast. I just love the data, the numbers, the feedback it provides. It does motivate me to move. A couple weeks ago, after a very long and exhausting day, I went down to my elliptical JUST to get a few more steps a make a new milestone (40,000). When hubby asks "how did you sleep" I say "I think I slept pretty good, let me see what my Fitbit said about it." 

Fitness Trackers Get Stylish:  I wear my Fitbit pretty much 24/7 ... just taking it off for showers and a quick recharge. I wear the Fitbit One, which is pretty inconspicuous I think, I can almost always have it hidden under my clothes, no matter what I'm wearing. I've never cared for bracelets or anything on my wrist, but I know the wrist-trackers are very popular. This article discusses how the various companies are trying to make them more attractive. I know there are some Fitbit plans too ...

What Your Activity Tracker Sees and Doesn't See: I don't like to manually log my activity ... that's why I got the Fitbit, so I don't have to. But it is a bit discouraging when I put in a full hour of exertion lifting weights, and my Fitbit thinks I've just been sitting around. A ride on the bike doesn't register ... unless I move my tracker to my sock. Then I still only get 2000 or so steps (about one mile) for my eight-mile/30minute ride. They aren't perfect ... so it's good to know WHAT they see and what they don't. I do log my weight workout and bike rides manually now.

Netflix Fitbit Hack: The Fitbit registers your sleep activity. I always find it interesting how long it takes from when I press the button, indicating I'm "going to sleep" to when the Fitbit says I actually stop moving around enough to indicate sleep. Someone out there has developed a hack, so that if you are watching a show on Netflix, and you fall asleep (ala Fitbit) ... it will pause your show at that point. I thought that was pretty funny :)  Wonder what other hacks are out there!

Caring Customer Service: I did a quick review of my experience with Fitbit's customer service. This is contrast with my horrible dealings with Comcast of late (Comcast "Customer Service"). Do you shout out your customer service experiences, good or bad?

Friday, March 28, 2014

WWI #37 & Five Books I Want To Read

I did it ... my first week in forever (well, I actually looked  back on my records, it was mid-2009) where I've been under 150 the entire week. Confession. Monday morning weigh-in was 150.1. I weighed a second time and got the 149.9 reading. Is it cheating to weigh more than once and take the lower number?

It's been a bit of an off-week actually. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, (Tom Troubles) I got a surprise (early/elongated) visit from Aunt Flo.  It just totally threw me off on Friday ... and Saturday and Sunday. Tried to get back into the routine when Monday hit. The tickle in my throat that was affecting my sleeping last week has seemed to subside ... but still struggling with sleep. Do I blame it all on TOM, or another little tidbit that also turned up on Friday for my emotional shutdown and struggles? As I caught up on my shows ... I totally cried during Scandal and again on The Good Wife.  They were emotional episodes, but I don't usually break down into tears while I watch. There were several times this week I just wanted to curl up in a fetal position (I did that Saturday afternoon/evening), other days I just wanted to eat my emotions (did that yesterday) but in spite of it all, I kept things pretty on track.

NUMBERS: Down .8 from last week. Average down too (from 149.16 to 148.7).  My low weight was on Sunday (147.9), followed by the high on Monday (149.9).  According to my estimates, I had a total weekly deficit of 3,355. So the numbers pretty much add up this week.  Average in 2143, Average out 2844.  I did good getting my workouts in (check out my Day to Day Doings for details) but eating? I kept my calories under control, but the quality was not good.

Onto FUN Friday stuff.

A couple weeks ago (Weekly Weigh-In #35) I mentioned reading "Into The Still Blue"... the final book in the "Under the Never Sky" trilogy. I really enjoyed that series. I also recently read Alligiant (the final book in the Divergent trilogy). It made me look at the other series I've been reading that I have yet to conclude with their final books (I really think in the future I'm not even going to START a series until it is complete. I really don't like waiting a year or more in-between books!).

So for my FRIDAY FIVE today (Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In, Friday Five at Eat Pray Run and Five on Friday at Hello Happiness) I thought I'd spotlight the five finales (at least I think they are the conclusions) of several series I have read books 1&2, and am waiting to read the remainder. Five books I'm anxious awaiting ...  two are actually out, but the other three have yet to be released.

  • Cress (The Lunar Chronicles): The first book "Cinder" is a Cinderella re-telling. She's a cyborg. The second book "Scarlet" introduces Red Riding Hood & Wolf characters and this final book ... well, from the cover and reviews ... Rapunzel. I'm generally not a big fan of fairy tale re-tellings, but I have enjoyed this series so far.
  • Ruins (The Partials Sequence): I was completely taken by the first book in this series. I was so excited for book two ... and then found I hadn't remembered book one enough. I'm really hoping I can get back into the series to finish it up. 
  • The Forever Song (Blood Of Eden): Loved book one. Got a sneak peek at book two, getting it pre-release from NetGalley. I requested this one from the publisher, but didn't get approved this time. I guess I have to wait like normal people ... it will be available April 15.
  • The One (Selection Series): I really liked book 1 and 2 of this trilogy and I'm anxious to read this final installment and how everything works out. It will be available May 6, 2014.
  • Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls/Shiver Series): I loved Shiver, the first book of this series. I actually wish I had stopped at book one. The ending there was this "ahhhh" moment, a perfect conclusion. The other books were fine, but I think I'd rather not know what else happened. It wasn't the same. But ... since I DID read the other two books, I might as well read this forth addition, being released July 7, 2014. 
I love to read. (I Reading). Yes ... I'm an "old" lady with teenage tastes when it comes to choosing books. My reading is for enjoyment and exercise motivation (Reading and Riding).  I'm  stingy frugal when it comes to books though. I really don't like to read things more than once anymore (I did once, but there are just SO many great possibilities out there. I prefer to read something fresh and new now).  I hate to pay very much for books I'm only going to read one time. Especially when I have 500+ waiting in my Kindle cloud and a list a mile long at the library site. Although the first two books listed are out now, my library doesn't have them available yet ... and when they do get them, there is often a waiting list (I was so thrilled to find "Into The Still Blue" before everyone else noticed, I got an immediate download even though it is quite new).  Normally I'm not very impatient about books, but as these are all the final books of the series, I am aching for a little bit of closure. Will I buy ... or borrow, even if I have to wait? Hmmmm ....

Do you borrow or buy books?
Are there any books you are anxiously awaiting?
Have you read any of these series so far?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

TOM Troubles

When I was a teen, that "time of the month" was a misnomer. I'd go months in-between periods, and that was okay! When I got married, I went on birth control pills and then I did get the monthly visit from Flo. I wasn't sure if my irregular cycles were going to make getting pregnant difficult, but after a year or so of marriage, I stopped the pill and we let nature take her course. I went back to irregularity, which was a little more complicated now that I "could" be pregnant. I never was. We did end up needing a little help and eventually had our first baby.  After our fifth child, I had an IUD inserted. With that, my TOM time has been pretty regular these past several years. Now I know that so many women have killer cramps or major PMS, so I should count myself lucky that I have it pretty mild. Still ... I HATE that time of the month.

I. Hate. It.

Last Friday, I was a little frustrated when I got an early, surprise visit. Seriously. It's only been a little over two weeks since I dealt with this last. And it came on fast ... let's just say I'm happy I was at home jogging on my treadmill, not at the gym. It's almost a week later and it's still going. Usually it's just a 3-4 day thing. I'm done ... but it's not. And cravings? Not normally something I notice, but I'm just wanting to eat all the things today.

Just a very off day today. I didn't get in my morning elliptical. I was just about to start when the power went out. Now, the elliptical doesn't plug in, so I could have gotten it in still (without my show to entertain me) but I spent that time rounding up flashlights and prepping lunches in the dark. I still went to Zumba, but it was really off today too. I could not get my heart rate up at all ... my PolarHRM credited me 211 calories for an hour of Zumba (Fitbit said 369, 6650 steps). I know I wasn't as into it (not my favorite songs/instructors, some kids running around like crazy) but still. Gotta try and shake it off. A lot of it is TOM's fault ...

This period has totally brought me down this week. I think I mentally brace myself for it, and as it was so early, I wasn't in the mindframe to deal with it. Who knows, there was some other stuff going on too, but I like to blame TOM. I'm getting older ... sometime in the near future I may not need to worry about TOM anymore. I won't miss it at all.

TMI today? 
It is Thursday, and Thursday's are for Thinking Out Loud.
Perhaps I shouldn't think TOO loudly though. 
It's TOM's fault.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Agony of De"FEET"

One of my "rewards" for activity, is a foot rub from hubby. He does an awesome job. We actually said that if I hit 30k in a day, that would "earn" me a foot rub. We've been a little hit and miss of late. I'll hit 30k, and he'll be too tired that day. Other days, I don't actually earn a rub, but I get a pity one anyway :)

Our feet are impacted a lot by our exercise. Any issues with the feet almost always negatively impact activity. Right now, I have a couple very minor issues. My baby toe is always really prone to problems. Any prolonged activity while wearing shoes often leads to a calloused ridge or a blister. It's not as bad as when I posted about it before (Blister On A Baby Toe), but it's been bugging me this week. Another toe has rubbed too ... I felt it after my jog Monday night. Yesterday I thought I should hit the treadmill, but I just did NOT want to put a shoe on, so I did elliptical and bike instead (I wear slippers for those). 

We seem to have quite a few foot issues at our house. I just took #1 to the podiatrist on Monday. He's had a big ol' wart on the bottom of his foot for a while, and it's really been bothering him. We've been waiting for a time when he could be out of commission to get it taken care of and decided to just bite the bullet and get him in. 

The top left is a picture #1 took of how it looked before any treatment. The second picture I took, after the doctor had scraped away the callous that had formed over the wart(s). The final picture is after the doctor scooped it out. He had given us an alternative to treat it with medicine, but that would have taken more time and multiple visits. We just wanted it DONE ... but poor #1 has been limping around since the "surgery". I hope it heals quick. He has a trip to New York coming up quick and will be doing a LOT of walking around!  #3 had an almost identical issue a few years ago, and I seem to recall it healing pretty fast.

I'd actually had #1 in to the podiatrist just a couple of years ago too, 
for ingrown toenails. 
I had a huge problem with that myself when I was a teen. I had the surgery when I was a junior in high school. It looked like it had become much less invasive over the years. I remember my poor toes after we took the bandages off ... they looked SO bad. And then I developed a staff infection (on a weekend, so I couldn't get in immediately). I've never been in so much pain! I still say that was the most physically painful thing I've ever experienced (even after childbirth and everything else!)

A few years ago I had a similar situation. My toe was so painful and swollen. I went into the doctor and they did an xray although I didn't remember any specific impact. Not broken. I had recently had a pedicure, but they didn't think that was the cause. He suspected a spider bite, but again, no definitive diagnosis. It was a miserable week until it finally went away. I actually still exercised a bit during this time. No treadmill. I could not put a shoe on ... but the elliptical in my slippers. It almost made it feel better, or at least a different type of pain while I worked out.

Ah ... de feet! Last year, poor #2 broke his foot right before basketball season started. The bone extending just under the little toe ... a "Jones Fracture". It is sssllloooww to heal. Poor kid was in a boot for months. We probably should have sought out a second opinion and considered surgery.  It did finally heal and the boy was back playing basketball ...

And he broke his foot. Jones Fracture.

It was his left foot this time (it had been the right originally). Seriously? Another four months of "das boot" and doctor's appointments every few weeks.

I'm so grateful we made it through this year with no serious injury and that his basketball skills didn't suffer too much of a setback (he just won first place in a region three-point contest this last Saturday). 

Because the boys spend so much time playing basketball, their feet often get sweaty and staying stuffed in their shoes for hours on end ... we get some fungus among us! Several years ago, #2 was struggling with athlete's foot. We tried all the over the counter remedies and nothing was working. Then suddenly it morphed into something awful ... seriously, not sure if I should show you the picture (if you are squeamish, look away).

Poor kid! It was Christmas Eve and we ended up at the Instacare. They almost hospitalized him. We ended up taking him to a pediatric specialist at Primary Children's Hospital and did manage to get it better.  A year or so ago we could see the signs of it starting again so I took him in quickly to see what we needed to do to prevent it. We got some prescriptions, and the doctor said to try and air out the foot (not stay in shoes all the time), change socks the moment there was moisture, switch up shoes and only wear shoes that were in decent condition. So far so good ... although we're always watching!

Hubs had his foot problems too. Several years ago he ruptured his Achilles Tendon. He had been very active just prior to this, and this was a big setback. He did manage to get back to activity though. Very grateful for modern medicine!

Well ... it's time for Zumba.
I need to wear shoes for that.
Hope my toes survive!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Take The Stairs

Don't stare up the steps,
step up the stairs.
~ Zig Ziglar

I've always loved that quote *Ü*

I've had my Fitbit for a few years. I started with the original Ultra, then upgraded to the ONE about a year ago. There were a few new features, but an interesting addition was the ability for the Fitbit to now track changes in elevation.

It was about eight years ago that I changed from being an overweight, stationary couch potato, to an active and fit individual. I do find ... I take the stairs a LOT more often now.

When visiting the doctor or dentist, I've found that taking the stairs will often actually get me to the top faster than waiting for the elevator (I'm usually only in a building with only a few floors. Often the kidlets will race me, I take the stairs, they take the elevator). When we went to Disneyland a few years ago and our room was on the 10th floor ... yes, I went ahead and took the elevator *Ü* (although in truth, my little boy and I DID take the stairs a few times, as elevators were one of his many phobias ... one he managed to overcome during that trip!)

I'm a homebody, so I don't come across stairs that often. We live in a rambler. So the main rooms are all on one floor. My gym IS in the basement though, and I do hit it a number of times a day. The default goal is 10 flights of stairs in a day. I have left that as my goal and I almost always hit it. Many days I get more. Here's a look at my stairs from the past thirty days. 

The one spike, was my big Monday last week. I DID do some extra stairs that day. Up and down at home, and actually running the stairs a few times at the gym during the basketball practice. But ... I don't know if I was actually that high. It was a weird weather day, lots of wind ... and unfortunately changes in air pressure can mess with the altimeter readings. Customers have also mentioned that driving (and the ups and downs there) can skew the stairs results. Fitbit does not credit extra calories for stairs; so an incorrect stair reading won't affect your daily burn ... the stair count is mainly there for motivation and fun.

My 14-year old son spent the day at the university for a basketball tournament last spring. As they waited between games, he and his buddies ran the bleachers. When he got home exhausted that night, he was at 89 flights of stairs ... similar to me and my 40K Day, he wanted to earn a new Fitbit badge. He ran up and down the stairs in our home until he hit 100. He's only been challenged by Grandpa, who wears his Fitbit on long hikes up the mountain (Grandpa has also hit 100 flights of stairs in a day).  I'm not sure if I'm quite up to that challenge. I have heard there are actually "elevation" races that take place in office buildings! My brother also runs "mountain challenges" ... but I'm probably just going to stick with the stairs in my home.

It does make a difference here at home though. In the past ... I'd gather items that needed to go downstairs and lay them at the top of the stairs. When there were enough items in the pile, I'd make the trek (or tell the kidlets to do it). Now ... if something needs to go downstairs, I take it. I don't wait, I just do it. More steps on my pedometer. Another flight of stairs for me. At one point, I'd even sort the boy's laundry upstairs, and then take multiple trips to put things away, rather than just taking the basket down the stairs in one trip.

If you make it fun ... you're more likely to do it.
That was the theory behind and experiment done a while back.
Have you seen this video?
It is worth watching!

So whether or not you have a Fitbit (or I know the new WiiU also tracks elevation ... I'm not sure on the other fitness trackers out there) and are actually tracking your stairs, try to add a few to your daily routine!  Remember ...

That's my Tip Tuesday ... with Lisa and Kristen.

Monday, March 24, 2014


On my MFP profile, there is a section to fill out. 
My Inspirations. 
Mine looks like this ...

I just never knew what to put there.
What "inspired" me to lose weight? I don't know that I was inspired, as much as I was unhappy with myself and ready for a change. I always knew I could do it if I simply put my mind to it, I just had to want it enough. Which is not to say that I'm not impressed many of you out there. I find motivation from following many of your blogs and am super impressed with your successes. So keep up the good work!

 I do keep a Pinterest board of quotes I can turn to
whenI need a little extra push.

 Do you have an Inspiration/Motivation Pinterest Board?

I remember seeing this topic (Who Inspires You) on the Motivation Monday list and knowing I really didn't have much to say on the topic. Sorry I'm not uber inspirational this Monday morning, but I thought perhaps it was better that I at least introduced the topic and provided the link up for those of you who DID have something to say (it's a bit of a pet peeve with me when I'm expecting a link up to be there, and then none of the hosts have it prepped and ready... so at least here's the link up :)

Join with the Motivation Monday team
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In #36

So close! I've been striving to get an entire week without the 150s showing up. SO close! I was thrilled when I made it through the weekend (when I usually bump up a bit). The bump up came on Tuesday morning, which I don't really understand. I had a great day Monday. I even weighed more than once I make sure. Oh well ... still striving for my solid week!

While my official weigh-in isn't down from last week (up .5), my average is down (.71), and my bump to 150.2 is my lowest "high" of late. My low was yesterday, at 148.1. Crunching my numbers, I did calculate a total weekly deficit of 3609. I wish I could see a pound loss correlate with that. I really try to be accurate in my estimates. Average in 2271 per day ... need to work on that (and improving the quality of those calories. It was an especially bad food choices week). Average out 2959.

It's been almost a year since I started ...
My "sick" loss still messes with my perspective!

As a whole, it's been a pretty good week. You can check out my Day to Day Doings for details of my workouts and journal entry. I have been feeling a bit sick. Just a stuffy nose, itchy throat. I can forget about it during the day, but it's really been impacting my nights (and my sleeping, or lack thereof). Hope to get over it soon, but grateful it hasn't been worse. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I read for over an hour the other day. I know the exact time because I did two 30minute workouts on my stationary bike. And I was reading as I rode.  I almost always get in at least 30minutes of "ride/reading" a day.

I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I think it started in second grade. In high school and college, I knew I didn't have self-control once I started a book, so I pretty much only allowed myself required reading while school was in session. Then came marriage and motherhood. There wasn't always time to read, and I couldn't always make it to the library, or I was reading picture books to the kidlets instead of books to myself. My reading stalled.

In 2012 ... a friend introduced me to Good Reads (you can see my profile here ... if any of you are on Goodreads and would like to be friends there please add me *Ü*). I loved having a way to record what I have read and what I wanted to read. Being able to rate and review, and read other reviews and recommendations. I often "didn't know what to read" before ... I did now!

That was the first thing that got me back into reading. The second ... was discovering digital. Of course digital books had been around for years. I'm always a little slow joining the latest trends. I really wasn't interested. I liked my physical books. Hubby bought a Kindle Fire, and I downloaded the Kindle app on my Ipod and ... it was love.

Digital had so many advantages. I didn't have to lug a big book with me just in case I had some time to read, it was there on my ipod, which I had with me anyway. I didn't need a lamp to read in the dark. I could highlight passages and look up words with the touch of a finger. There were so many free offerings available, and my local library had even more. Instant downloads, no waiting. I got a little obsessed that year. I spent a lot of time online, inputting previous reads, creating wishlists, browsing the library, looking over reviews and recommendations ... and reading of course. It impacted my exercise somewhat.

Until I combined the two.

Reading and Riding. A great thing about digital, is that it is easy for me to read while riding my stationary bike. In truth, I never really rode the bike before. I'd opt for the elliptical or treadmill. While I can read on those machines, the bike is my choice for reading. There's no struggle to keep a book open, or turn pages with digital. 30 minutes goes by in a snap. I mentioned a recent read in a post a few days ago (Friday Five) ... that book really got me excited to exercise. Well, to get some reading in anyway. I admit, many of my recent rides have been more for the reading than the riding. That's just my excuse to spend guilt-free time in my book.

I read over 100 books last year. I LOVE Goodreads. I can easily go back and see what I read, when I read it, and what I thought about it. I really got into reviewing for a bit there. I joined NetGalley and was able to receive books for free (often pre-publication) in exchange for reviews. Mostly my reviews are for me, so I remember my own feelings about the book. I hope they help others too, I know I appreciate reviews from others.

 I have talked books on my family blog, but I've been thinking that maybe I'd include some discussions here too. Review some books or spotlight past favorites. Break up some of the fitness posts. I've seen books pop up on other health and fitness blogs I follow and I always like to hear what my blogging friends are reading and recommending. 

 Anyone else out there on Goodreads? 
Anyone else read while working out?

I know I shouldn't feel guilty about "just reading" ... reading and relaxing IS important too, I do some of that as I wind down before bed. But I love that I CAN combine my reading into my exercise routine. I'm counting that as my NSV this week.  I'm also SO grateful that I am lucky enough to have the "things" needed to accomplish this ... a stationary bike just down the stairs (even when the kids are home, my gym is more conducive to reading than a public gym), a Kindle (and an iphone and ipad mini with the Kindle app). I'm spoiled I know. I never take it for granted though! That's what "I'm Thankful" for this Thursday ...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wii Fit Fail

I posted about the Wii once before (The Wii & Me). It's not something I get to a lot, but I've been trying to hit it once a week. Engage the core. Work on my balance and all that. So the other day I start a little Wii Workout. I do the Table Tilt. I WiiSki down the hill. I head the soccer ball while avoiding soccer shoes and flying panda heads (yes ... there are flying panda heads). 

Suddenly, an error message pops up. Wii have a problem! Wii memory fail. Unable to save. Starting Over. And when it said starting over, it meant starting O.V.E.R. 

My Mii still existed (good thing, as I'm pretty sure I had the boys help me set that up) but I was starting WiiFit from scratch. I had to register. Input my stats. Do a balance test and Wii Fit age ... I scored a 27. That's great, as I'm 43 *Ü*  But all my progress from the past year or two ... my little piggy bank. Empty. All my high scores. Gone. The record of my weigh-ins (luckily, not my only record). Erased. My personalized routine. Unrecognized.

I've had to start over before. More than once. Luckily, I'm not super invested in my records there (but do NOT mess with my excel file! Google Drive better never have such a "memory problem"). The kids will occasionally come play some WiiFit and challenge some of my high scores, but I was pretty much only competing with myself since this one was set up..

As I got  back going ... I tried the soccer heading again. Perfect score on my first try (I have hit that multiple times, but it isn't something I can do for sure each time). Any score would have been the "top" score (with the reset) but even with no challenge, I hit the high. I've got a lot of Wii work to do to get everything filled back in, but I'll get there. Hopefully there won't be anymore memory problems!

Watch out for flying panda heads!

A quick linkup with Weigh-In Wednesday too ... when I was re-registering with the Wii, I weighed in and it said I was overweight :(. Just barely, but still, I want to stay out of that category! Part of it was that it was evening (not usually when I would weigh-in, but that was the Wii Fail, not me!). I'm also not sure on my height. Am I 5'6" or 5'5"?  I put it the latter and that doesn't give me as much leeway.

This morning I was 148.5, which is good. Puts my MFP ticker at 32 pounds lost, same as my official weigh-in last Friday. I was super bummed yesterday though, when the scale slipped up to 150.2. I was SO hoping for a week without seeing anything in the 150s. I'd made it through the weekend and everything.  Check back on Friday for my official weekly weigh-in! *Ü*

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Monday

I like Mondays. I struggle so much with the weekend, that I'm always looking forward to a return to the routine on Monday morning. I was especially excited because I'd managed to maintain my weight under 150 the entire weekend (it almost always is up on Monday morning). I was ready to start my day, start my week. I was on my elliptical for my first morning workout when #4 walked in clutching his tummy and moaning.

A sick kid was not on the schedule.

He never threw up, and didn't seem that sick. He was really no trouble at all, just laying in bed all day. I'd stop in and check on him and asked if he needed anything, but it didn't end up interfering much. I was able to sneak downstairs several times for workouts. 

I still needed to run carpool, and leaving the sick kid home alone (he's 10) I wanted him to be able to call if needed (even though I'm only gone 15 minutes). Unfortunately, since our modem went out and was replaced, our phone hasn't been working. We can receive calls, but can't make calls.  I spent over an hour on the phone with customer service. It is still unresolved. That wasn't on the schedule either.

I got in my 60+ minutes on the elliptical. One mile jog on the treadmill ... usually I do this right before weights, but I got the customer service callback right as I started my weights session. I did finally make it back, but only got in 45 minutes instead of my usual hour. I rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes (more to read my book than for additional exercise ... I feel guilty "just reading" but don't if I'm "exercising" too). Got in carpools, kitchen cleanup, laundry, dinner. 

I was really dragging by the end of the day. I hadn't slept well last night. I had that little "tickle" in my throat that often (but not always, fingers crossed) precedes getting sick. Then I got a text that #3 had basketball practice at 8:00 that evening. 

Before we left, I seriously had to go lay down and shut my eyes just for a few moments. I was so tired. If I didn't have to take the kid to practice, I would have been in bed by 8:30 for sure! But, mommy duty calls. The practice was at the gym with the track above the basketball court.  Now the last thing I felt like doing was MORE exercise, and I'd already hit my goals for the day... but I also didn't feel like just sitting on the cold, hard cement bench seating while waiting. It's not worth it to drop him off and come back. So I went up to the track. I had brought my shoes and my music. I told myself I'd just walk. I can always walk, right? I did end up jogging quite a bit too. It's amazing how your attitude can change once you start. It even felt good!

I ended up getting a 30K day!

How was YOUR Monday?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Strength Training - Just Start

It was about eight years ago when I went from being sedentary and overweight, to getting to goal weight and being unable to stop moving. Seriously, I have trouble sitting still. And while "steps" are an uber important part of my activity, strength training has been there from the start too. 

The theme for this Motivation Monday is Top Tips for Weightlifting.  I've talked about weights a couple times before in this blog ...

Those posts told about what I do. Today I'll talk more about weight lifting in general and offer a few recommendations. Not that I'm an expert by ANY means ... but over eight years, I've rarely missed a week of weight workouts.

Now the image/quote here ... there's a preconceived notion that women have a preconceived notion that lifting weights will result in big muscles like a body builder. Do women really think that? Did they ever? Well, THAT is not something you need to worry about. I also think women often avoid weights is because "weightlifting" is a tad intimidating. The machines at the gym that require instruction to use. The possibility of injury from incorrect form. Making comparisons with what other people can do ... 

That's my first tip. Don't be intimidated. Just do it. You don't need fancy machines. You can start with just a few dumbbells, or just your own body weight. There are so many moves for every muscle, just start with something simple.

My second tip is get a good visual. I'm a visual person. Pictures and written explanations are hard for me to follow ... I benefit much more from a video, or an actual example right in front of me. I was lucky enough to have my husband, who's been lifting for years, walk me through the various moves we decided on. Jillian Michael's 30DS introduced several easy to follow moves for me as well.

My third tip today ... again, just DO it. Start. Often, I don't feel like doing weights. I usually have an hour workout on deck, and at times that just feels like a big commitment. I'll tell myself "Ok, you don't have to do the full hour, just 15-20 minutes" and as that isn't as intimidating or time-consuming, I get past my mental block. Nine times out of ten, once I get started, I keep going. I do my full workout even though I'd given myself "permission" to shorten it. Just getting started is the hardest hurdle ... once you're doing it, it's a lot easier to keep going.

There are a lot more tips I could give too...  Shake up your routine, as with any exercise, the body becomes accustomed to the same moves over and over. Keep records, so you can see how you improve and progress.  Be sure to rest and give your muscles time to repair (I like lifting Mon/Wed and Fri ... but always try for at least once a week).

But I don't want to intimidate you.

Just start ... once you've begun, I bet you'll want to keep going.

Join with the Motivation Monday team
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa

Share YOUR tips/experience ... or whatever motivates you!

Friday, March 14, 2014

WWI #35 & Friday 5

It's been a busy week!  You can check out all the details in my Day to Day Doings if you'd like. There's been a lot of late night basketball.  Doctor and physical therapy visits (for #2, the basketball boy). School activities too. Busy! But it's been a good exercise week as well. I hit a new high ... and my weigh-in is a new low (if you don't count December Sickness ... that is still throwing off my perspective!) Linking up with Fitness Friday and Follow Through Friday

Numbers: Down .6 from last week. That is enough to earn a new number on my MFP ticker though! 32 pounds lost. Yea!  The high was 152.5, low is today's (and yesterday's) weigh-in of 148.3. Still trying to get an entire week under 150!  According to my numbers, I had a weekly deficit of 4990 calories (where's my 1+pound loss?). Average calories in 2100. Average burn 3143 (yea, I topped my 3000 goal). 

Friday Five

I thought I'd participate in the Friday link-ups ... Five Things Friday (Fitting It All In), Friday Five (Eat Pray Run) and Five on Friday (Hello Happiness) with a little spotlight on the things (TV, Books) that have captured my interest and motivated me to workout this past week ... 5 tv series I'm watching and the book I'm reading (you can check out my GoodReads profile for the last 5+ books if you want a peek at what else I've read and reviewed).

I've been happy to have my favorite shows return to prime time. With my PlayLater/Roku combo, I can record the shows from their online postings, then watch them down in my gym while I workout. I've enjoyed having Grey's Anatomy, Scandal & The Good Wife back on. Which reminds me, the first two were just on last night, I best get them recorded so I can watch them! I am currently caught up on The Voice and I'm looking forward to the battle rounds. I like those performances best, the harmonies of the duets are almost always great. I wish Itunes sold the duet versions, I don't want the solo version. As for my "streaming" show, I started watching "Vikings" (History Channel, on Amazon Prime). Wow, it is bloody violent, and you just aren't sure who to cheer for or empathize with. There's not really a "good" guy ... I'm almost through the first season. I don't think I'll watch season 2 immediately (I'd have to revert to PlayLater for that) so I'm looking at my lists to see what I'll be streaming next ...

I've read a few books that were fine, but weren't really capturing my attention. I jumped online to glance through the library offerings and was happy to see "Into The Still Blue" not only at the library, but available for immediate download.  I really enjoyed the first two books of this series and have been happily hitting the bike to get in at least 30minutes of reading a day (plus a little "just" reading here and there as I have the time). 

How was YOUR week.
What are you reading/watching?

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I got this email from Fitbit last night. I was expecting it. I earned it! After a very long day, I went down to my elliptical, with my Fitbit app open and watched as I added the final few hundred steps I needed to earn this little ol' badge. Step, step, step ... 40,000 and stop. *Ü* Ahhhhh.

I have actually exceeded 40,000 before. June 3, 2010 (Pedometer Personal Best). 43,564 steps according to my Omron. I HAD my Fitbit then, in fact, as my Omron and Fitbit aren't always the same for steps ...

I SHOULD have the 45,000 badge from Fitbit. 
See this graph? 45,9110 steps!
I'm not sure when the "badge" system started up ... I think perhaps it was just in this past couple years, and awards were not post-dated, even though the data is in the system. Perhaps I should inquire. Regardless ... I've been at the 35,000 badge for quite a while and was happy to finally change that up yesterday! *Ü*

I got in 90 minutes/9.6 miles on the elliptical yesterday. Four 20minute sessions and one 10 minute one. That added up to about 11,250 steps. I went to Zumba ... 5700 steps there. I jogged a mile on the treadmill for another 1800 steps. I rode the stationary bike for 30minutes/8.1 ... only 2100 "steps" for that activity.  I'd really done enough for the day, but when I took #2 to his basketball game in the evening, there was a track above the basketball court.I could easily walk and watch ... so I did. I got in almost 11,000 steps.

I'm counting my new badge as my non-scale victory for the NSV LinkUp this week (although a little victory DID show on the scale this morning. Hopefully it sticks around for tomorrow's official weigh-in).  I really do love my Fitbit, and it does motivate me to move more. I'm constantly checking it throughout the day. My SIL received the 45,000 badge the other day ... she'd taken her Fitbit off before doing the wash (try NOT to wash your Fitbit) and left it on the dryer for the rest of laundry day. She was NOT expecting the email and did not really earn the badge (the shaking of the dryer added the steps) but it made us all laugh that day. I'm not sure when/if I'll add another 5000 steps to earn the next badge up ... I guess we'll see.

Linking up with Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  What are you thinking about?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Library Love ♥

I've been an avid reader since I was a little girl. But I love my local library even more now as an adult. What does my local library have to do with fitness? Why am I bringing it up here on my blog? There are so many things that a good library offers that I'm not sure everyone is aware of ...
  • Books: I think everyone knows libraries carry books. Whether it's novels (I read while working out on my stationary bike... Riding and Reading) or non-fiction (health and exercise or other interests), my library has a huge selection. I am a convert to digital reading.  Most libraries have adapted to the times. I can hold, download, read and return books without even stepping foot in the actual building.
  • Magazines: My library has subscriptions to almost every magazine ... including all the health and fitness ones. Personally, I subscribe to many of them (Mucho Magazines), but when my subscriptions have lapsed, I've turned to the library to catch up on anything I might have missed. Like books, many magazines are also available in digital format too.
  • Music: Many libraries all across the country participate in a music download service called "Freegal" ... it's a completely legal music offering sponsored by the library service. You can download and keep three songs a week. While not every song is available, there have been many top 10 songs I've been able to snag from my library instead of having to purchase myself. I've added many a workout song to my playlists this way. Of course there are still plenty of CDs to check out and try too ...
  • DVDs: Libraries carry a wide range of DVDs. I use the service to grab TV programs to keep me entertained while I workout (TV Time = Exercise Time). I'm content to wait on shows, then watch all the episodes back to back. No waiting between weeks, or commercial breaks (I like subtitles too). There are health and fitness finds too. I'm pretty picky with fitness workouts. I really like to borrow and try before I commit and buy. In my last trip to the library, I grabbed a few workouts...
Another great thing about my library, is that I can look at the catalog online, and request something from ANY of the libraries it is associated with. I can request books or DVDs be transferred to my branch, and held there. I just go in and pick them up. Now I realize, that not every library offers everything MY library does ... but if you haven't checked out YOUR local library lately, you might be surprised at what is available for you!  That's my tip and trick offer for today *Ü* Linking up with Kristen and Lisa and their Tuesday Tips!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Progress Pictures

I've seen a lot of transformation photos ... I mentioned I watched The Biggest Loser for the first time this past season (My Thoughts On The Biggest Loser) and the makeover week there was pretty amazing (as was the change during the season as a whole). Of course that is an extreme ...

The theme for this week's Motivation Monday is "Progression Pictures".  I have taken a couple of the infamous "before" shots which will stay secluded on my computer for my eyes only. I have done an update or two, but unfortunately, I haven't really been able to tell too much difference. After my initial 15 pound loss, it's been slooooow going... and unfortunately I didn't take my "before" pictures until after I'd lost that. 

As I was considering what I was going to write for my post today, I started by trying to find some "before" photos of me. It was HARD. As I'd put on weight over the years, I did a really good job of staying behind the camera. I was rarely in pictures. I'd often delete pictures I didn't like (which were the majority of them) and when I had to pose for a family photo, I'd try to position myself in the back, so as little of me was showing as possible.  I went through our family photos from 2004/2005 and could only find myself in a few (I'm really surprised I hadn't deleted the bottom two!). 


What a difference a year can make!

It's been a struggle to keep the weight off ... in my Family Photos post, you can see some of the ups and downs over the past several years. I did a Comparison Pictures post of two family photos from this past year and there were some pre/post weight loss pictures in my Vacation post as well.

Ever after losing weight again, I still have problems with pictures ... as I mentioned in my Picture Imperfect post. Hiding from the camera. It's a hard habit to break. But it is important to be included in your family photos. I remember another blog post I read that emphasized that (So You Think You're Too Fat To Be Photographed).

I'm still working on it all ... still trying to lose a few more pounds. Trying to improve my picture taking technique, and just trying to be more comfortable in front of the camera. It's all progress ...

The Motivation Monday team
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa

Friday, March 7, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In (#34)

Happy to report a weigh-in UNDER 150 this week. I dipped under Sat/Sun but then had the usual up Monday morning. While it is technically a loss (down 1.4 from last week) it's really just where I was at the end of January (you can see all my Weekly Weigh-Ins at a glance). No new number on my MFP ticker showing up in my blog sidebar ...although I'm happy to have that back at reading 31 pounds lost, as it had been bopping around and changing almost daily.

I'm a little late in posting this morning (err... afternoon). The kids are out of school today, so SLEEP IN time! And not having to take the middle school kids to school at 9:30 with their Friday late start, I went ahead and hit the Friday Zumba class for the first time. When I got home, fed the kids and came in to get my weekly check-in done, I realized I hadn't stayed up to date on all my number entries or Day to Day Doings (that's where the details are, if you want to read up on them).. so I had to catch up on all that and it took a while. 

NUMBERS ... down 1.4 pound from last week. Average down too, although just -.32 (it had a bigger drop last week). High was 151.6. Low for the week is today's weight of 148.9.  I did have a total deficit of the week of 3637. Average intake was 2129. Average burn 2921. 

Linking up with Fitness Friday  and Follow Through Friday.  I'm late for Weigh-In Wednesday, but I'll link up there too *Ü*  It was a good fitness week for me! I hit Zumba FOUR times (counting this morning *Ü*). I got in my 60+minutes of elliptical every day. I jogged my mile Mon-Thurs. I got in 30minutes of reading and riding Mon-Thurs. My strength training ... not perfect. I did my weight workout on Monday and then I've tried out a Biggest Loser DVD, but just one 15 min session on Wed and Thurs. It isn't really the same as one of Jillian's workouts.  I'll continue to fill up my calendar with cardio and weights in the weeks to come ...(you can see January and February's calendars in the recaps for those months).

On the home front ...
The official basketball season for #2 ended last night. 2nd place again, dang it. I know our boys can beat this other team, but I didn't think it would happen last night. #2 has been struggling with pain in his left thigh since last Saturday. They had two games last night. He struggled during the first half, then seemed to work out the pain, but from a mommy standpoint, I just wasn't sure I wanted him to play another game and risk hurting himself worse. And that happened. Poor kid was in so much pain. I think our boys could beat this other team if they were on, and at 100%, which was not the case last night (with my son out and another star player had stayed home sick from school). There was an altercation after the game too (initiated by our assistant coach and parents ... we have some hot heads) which just makes things worse. Good sportsmanship is the most important thing to me, it IS just a game.  #3 has his championship game tomorrow and then we're done ... well, until Spring ball starts in, hmmm, I guess that is just next week. I was actually hoping for a bit of a break (especially after last night)!

Well, I've been sitting down at this computer long enough. Time to hit the elliptical again and get some stuff done around the house. I'll check back in, and check out some of the linkups and blogs I follow a bit later on :)

How was your week?
Have you experienced extreme parents at kid sports?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Farewell To French Tips

After Zumba class, I've been taking off my HRM and Fitbit and snapping a quick photo to keep a picture reference of my stats for each workout. Now looking at the picture collage above ... there is something different in the snapshots on the left vs the ones on the right.  Yes, I appear to be getting a higher calorie burn in the more recent pictures (maybe my skill is improving?), but that's not what I'm pointing out.

It's my nails. Or lack thereof.

I see many people who list a manicure or pedicure as a reward for losing weight.  I'd never had either for the first 30+ years of my life, but after I initially lost the weight almost eight years ago, a pretty pedicure and some cute nails were some of the other "improvements" I added (in addition to a little tanning and highlights in my hair). I enjoyed my french tips for a while, and then I gave them up, as hubby switched jobs and we needed to make some cut backs.

A little over a year ago, as 2012 wound down,  I was at the height of feeling bad about myself. I was at my highest weight in years. I decided to splurge on nails again, whether I "deserved" it or not. I do really like the look of a simple, short french tip. What I don't like however, is the upkeep. I hated the obligation to go in every few weeks. Seriously, I would dread it! I HATE just sitting. Even though I'd take my phone and read my book as I got a fill, I'd get frustrated knowing I had to carve some time out of my day to go in to the salon. And I'm a SAHM with a completely open schedule! Admittedly, I felt a little guilty about the financial aspect too. I decided to go back to natural.

Now I'll admit it ... I'm a nibbler. In fact, it was a problem even with the thick, artificial nails.  I would gnaw on them. I'd often accidentally break off a piece on the edges. I actually do not bite my nails down to the quick, but I have a really hard time keeping them at a decent length. And of course, after having artificial nails for over a year, my poor nails are in horrible shape.  It will take a few months to grow out of the damage ... and while I do really miss my pretty nails (and hubby DOES miss them, he liked them for back scratching) I feel a little more free. Hopefully in the future, you'll be able to see my natural nails in a better, prettier state.

I do think I'll still sneak back to the salon for an occasional pedicure. There's really nothing relaxing about getting your nails done (the initial application or the fills afterward) ... but a pedicure can be nice. I'm more prone to wanting pretty piggies during the summer, when it's sandal season. I do get quite the callouses on my heels ... while I like to have those shaved down, I know there is some controversy surrounding that service. Beyond just the hygienic concerns, the build up is often a protective layer and I have felt some pain in my feet after having my hard heels softened up.

Linking up with Running With Spoons  this Thursday.
What are your thoughts on manis, pedis and artificial nails?

It's been about three weeks since I had my nails removed ... I would have needed to be going in again for a fill, but instead I was able to do an extra hour of exercise (and save $25-30 too). I stopped by a store on the way home from Zumba yesterday and grabbed a couple new (old ... it was a thrift shop *Ü*) pairs of exercise pants. One pair is Lululemon which I picked up for $3. I'm not a "brand" gal but aren't they an expensive one?) They are a little more snug than the ones I had, which were a bit baggy and falling down (that's a good thing, right?) I'll count that as a non-scale victory (as the scale continues to be stuck!) for the NSV LinkUp  this week.

Jen, over at Morning Coffee Confessions is starting a Thankful Thursday linkup too. Yesterday, I read a post at Healthy Diva Eats called "What I Love Wednesday" about being a SAHM. I have been thinking about that a lot lately too. I must admit, at my point in life ... I have it pretty dang easy, and I'm so grateful for it all! For a handsome hubby who is able to support us, so I am able to stay home. For five healthy and wonderful boys. For our home, and my home gym. I'm thankful that even though the scale seems stuck now ... I'm actually at a place where I am feeling good about myself, I feel strong and healthy, not quite to goal, but not overweight either. I really have been thinking about all the things I should be (and AM) thankful for, so this new linkup comes at a good time :)

Have a great Thursday everyone!

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