Friday, August 29, 2014

FridayFive and WWI#58

It's Friday ... time for the Friday Five and my weekly recap and weigh-in. This past week was our first week back to school, back to schedules. It went pretty smoothly. I had my alarm set, but never needed it until this morning. This year we're leaving a bit earlier for the older boys (high school and middle school drop-off) but the elementary is 15minutes later. I didn't always get my 20min elliptical in before taking the bigger boys (leaving at 7:15), but I did sneak in a session in-between dropoffs most mornings. Getting up earlier again has been good for getting more done during the day.

I wasn't surprised by the jump in weight Monday morning. We'd had a big barbeque dinner Sunday night, with birthday cake for dessert. It's birthday week here (three of the boys have birthdays coming right up, Aug28, Aug31 and Sept7). Usually I can correct an up like that once I get back on my weekday schedule, but it was SLOW this week. I didn't see a drop until Thursday morning, and then Thursday was a birthday day, and Chick-Fil-A was the dinner choice. 

I wasn't going to order anything, but hubs did get me a 12-piece nuggets. I ate almost all of them. I had a few fries (even through their waffle fries are not my favorite) and the birthday boy shared his shake with me. Not a good eating day the day before weigh-in!

I mentioned last week that I started a new medication (Celexa). Weight gain can be a side-effect ... I've been watching, wondering. I haven't been sleeping well at all this week, again, not sure if it's the medication, or just coincidental timing. It was also TOM, in addition to the shift in schedules. 

I actually had several days where I did quite well controlling my calories. If only I could do that every day! I did manage a 1359 deficit for the week, but that isn't enough for a loss. My average intake was 2264, average daily burn was 2911.

I Zumba-ed Monday-Friday (spotlighting my stats below!) and got in an hour of elliptical everyday, although I had more tiny 10-minute sessions than I usually do (squeezing them in when I could). I hit the bike a couple times, the treadmill a couple times (although I just walked, didn't feel up to jogging) and I did get in a weight workout this week.

So ... weight a bit higher than I want. Average was down a tiny bit, weigh-in today up so slightly. I'm really hoping that the schedule and such will get me on track enough to drop below 150. That's the goal!
Onto the Friday Five ...
If you have been reading my blog, you are probably aware that I discovered Zumba this year (I'm late to the party, I know). I'm not a member of any gym, so I don't have access to those classes, but luckily here in Utah, so many instructors offer free Zumba classes. Whether this is to practice, to drum up followers and other opportunities, or just selfless service giving back to the community, I am SO grateful!  This past week, I went to Zumba daily. Monday-Friday, five different classes. For a while there, I was posting my stats to a Facebook album (taking a picture of my HRM and Fitbit numbers), but it's also fun to compare them side-by-side. I thought I'd do that today, with a quick recap of the classes (it's always interesting for me to examine if I think the numbers are reflective of MY perception of the class)...
  • Monday: It's a 15minute drive to Draper. The class is supposed to start at 9:30, but it's usually about ten minutes late ... There are several instructors changing off. I'm quite familiar with most of these routines. I got my highest HRM calorie reading in this class this week.
  • Tuesday: This class is close to home ... so close I walk to the church. This is my original instructor. She is pretty mellow and it's a small class, but because I'm so familiar with her routines, I can usually get good numbers. Couldn't quite get the heart rate up today though.
  • Wednesday: I usually hit the Draper class again on Wednesdays, but today I needed to stay closer to home, and this class is only five minutes away. This is a large group, with several instructors on stage all the time (which I like, good for seeing variations). I really like how they have the playlist set and ready to go, no waiting between songs. They did have a very slow start this week (almost 20minutes later than the 9:00 advertised time). Got my highest numbers on the Fitbit in this class.
  • Thursday: I had my lowest numbers here ... I can be a bit hit and miss with this class, depending on the songs and instructors (several trade off, I have trouble following a couple of them). There seemed to be three or four warm up songs, just not very high intensity. Finally Cha-Cha Swing (a favorite) got my heart rate up ... but then there was "Work" which while I've seen several different steps to this song, I just don't care for any of them.
  • Friday: Across town again. This class is a little later, which works out perfect with the middle-school's late start on Friday. I've always really enjoyed this class, it is one of the most energetic, with almost all higher-intensity songs, mostly different than those in the other classes. I had a blast today, I really thought my numbers would be a little higher based on how I was bouncing around.
I've been Zumba-ing since January. I don't know how others do it ... do you all just go to the same instructor/class? Do you visit different classes? Do you like to have the same songs and steps, or do you like variation and something new?  I'm NOT a big on "new" so I'm a little surprised that I do like the variety of different classes, instructors and songs. It really keeps me on my toes. I do love my old favorites too though.

Linking up with the Friday Five blog hops ... the DC Bloggers ((Courtney, Mar and Cynthia),. Friday Favorites at Running4Cupcakes, Friday Favorites at Housewife Glamour, High Five Friday at LaurenElizabeth and Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In and with my weekly check-in link-ups: Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey, the FleurtySummerChallenge  and a late Weigh-In Wednesday.   

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Badminton Boys

A while back, I was thumbing through a catalog when I saw an "instant up" badminton set advertised. We'd purchased a cheap net set before, but it was such a struggle to set up, that it never got used and we didn't even bother to store it (off to goodwill). In the catalog, this one was $100. A bit pricey. I checked on Amazon and found it there for $70 (also checking on the reviews, fairly positive). Still unsure whether it would be worth the investment, I waited. I then noticed it on sale at the local Big 5 for $50, and I had a 10% off coupon as well. I decided to buy.

It sat unopened in the house for well over a month, maybe two. The boys just didn't show much interest. Then a couple Saturdays ago, the conditions were perfect. A cool evening. Sun behind the clouds. Most important ... the internet was out *Ü*.  We set up the net and it was an instant hit.

I'd forgotten how simple and fun badminton is. It took a little bit for the younger boys to master, but they now love it, especially #4. He's my badminton boy. He and I have been playing almost every day!  While the net IS easy up, it takes a little bit to take down (I think ours is sticking), some of the sections are sticking a bit. #4 and I generally play without the net. We just stretch the hose across the lawn (to divide the sides) and just bop the birdie back and forth.  When we're up for a serious game (like this past Sunday when the grandparents came over) we went ahead and got the net back out.

In addition to badminton, it's a good setup for volleyball. Instead of a standard volleyball, I had picked up an inflatable beach ball. It's a little easier for the younger kidlets. 

I can't tell you how much fun it is to see all my boys playing together like this!
Makes a mommy happy!

This was absolutely worth the $50 investment for me! Spending time playing and being active with the kids, seeing them interact with each other. I am always on the lookout for good "active family fun" alternatives and this definitely fit the bill. Ironically, I think it's also helped with #4's weather phobia somewhat! On a cloudy day, we can play ... otherwise we have to wait until the early evening when the sun has set enough that it isn't in our eyes. He's even stayed out playing in a light drizzle ... until the lightening in the distance drove him back inside.

When is the last time YOU played badminton?

Linking up with Workout Wednesday and the Hump Day Blog Hop

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School, Back to Schedules

I had to set my alarm for this morning. 

After a summer of sleeping in, it's time for school to start back up. #2 has his first day of high school today. It starts at 7:40, and he wanted to be a bit early today, so we left the house at 7:00 (normally, I think we'll try for 7:15 or so). I did manage to get up early enough to get in 20 minutes on the elliptical in before making his lunch and driving him to school.

The middle school and elementary start tomorrow. The carpool will be a bit crazier this year. #1 was in high school last year, but he was driving himself. Now I have to get my new high schooler and the middle schooler to their respective drop offs (rather than just dropping them off together) and arrange for multiple pickups after school. The elementary is starting  a bit later this year. Last year, although I drove both ways every day (due to #4's anxieties) I did have another family for backup when needed. Not this year though. That is the struggle with having my kids at out-of-boundary schools ... no carpools. Just me.

I didn't have my alarm set for 5:30 (like in the picture), mine was set for 6:30. But ... I was up earlier. Well, not UP, but awake. Do you do that? Just lay in bed for a bit, awake? My oldest, now a working man, it up at 5:00 (if not earlier) each morning, and although he isn't noisy, as I'm a light sleeper, I often am awakened by his morning prep. Hubs is up sometime between 5:00-6:00 and I can't sleep through his morning routine. I SHOULD always just get up and get started on the day. During the summer, I'd sometimes slip back to sleep, but with school in session, I need the extra time in the morning.

I really NEED to start my day with a small session on the elliptical. It's my thing. I don't quite feel complete without it. I need to see that green spike on my Fitbit activity graph (the ratio is thrown off without it!) This past weekend, I wasn't great at getting my elliptical in first thing, but I did get in at least ONE 20min session each day ...

Friday ... #2 has his sophomore orientation, so I needed to drop him at the school in the morning. I squeaked in 10 minutes on the elliptical (not enough to earn me a green spike) and then went straight to Zumba. After Zumba ... I went to Zumba. Then I wasn't terribly productive the rest of the day, but I HAD to get in my "elliptical green spike" ... and I did, a bit later in the day.

Saturday ... I was dragging a bit. I'd been up in the night. Thunderstorms, my poor little boy with his weather phobia (Anxiety Issues).  I didn't get in my elliptical session until mid-day (mowing the lawn and some cleaning got me some orange "moderately active minutes").

Sunday ... I slept in, but then got up and hit the elliptical first thing. That's how I like it! You can see the walk to/from church, then some more cleaning ... and a little badminton there around 8:00 (gotta wait until the sun isn't shining in the eyes!)

We had my folks over last night for "Grandparents and Games" night. 
 Hubs handled dinner, a wonderful barbeque; bacon wrapped filet mignon, marinated chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed green beans. So yummy. It's #4's birthday this Thursday (with #3's next Sunday and #1's a week after that. It's birthday week at our house!) so there was cake too. Yes, weight is up this Monday morning.

Grandpa challenged the boys to ping pong, offering them $1 if they could beat him. #2 and #3 earned $1.  #4 couldn't quite beat Grandpa, but he's getting better (he and I have been playing almost every day). We played a little badminton too ... funny how much we are enjoying that!  Grandpa also told the kids that he would pay them $100 if they could beat him in tennis! I don't know how skilled my kids are at tennis (I did enroll them in lessons once several summers ago, but they never seemed very interested). I played my dad a few weeks ago ... I ALMOST beat him but he did prevail there at the end (I wouldn't get the $100 though, just the kidlets *Ü*). 

So ... weekend recap (MIMM) and a little excitement to get back on a school schedule, even with the challenges it brings. I must admit, I don't mind a little "alone" time during the day too! Well, time to wrap up this blog post and add to my one elliptical session I have done already ... up next ... Zumba!

Share your weekend and/or motivational post and link up with the Motivation Monday team!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Fun Friday Five and WWI#57

As summer started up, my oldest son asked if we could get a new chaise lounge. He went to the store to check out the available options. I enjoyed his attempt at picture persuasion to ok the purchase of the more expensive ones ($24 vs $150 ... um, still no). We didn't do much laying around this summer though, we stayed pretty active. Here are five of our summer fun outings ...

 The main activities this summer were BOUNCING and BOWLING. We bought a month pass (actually, two of them) to Jump N Bounce, a local place filled with bounce houses. The kids would always get in a ton of steps, and I'd walk around and get some too. We participated in the Kids Bowl Free program and hit the bowling alley multiple times over the summer months.  #2 discovered golf, and I took the younger ones miniature golfing. We went to the local splash pad ... and then of course the Seattle vacation (sans me) ... famous for "the tree" which the boys love to jump off and into the lake.

School starts Monday for #2, and Tuesday for #3, #4, #5 ... I think we had a fun summer though. Ready to get back to schedules. I'm hoping the return to earlier rising and routine will help me push through this plateau. I feel like I've been stuck for a while. Looking at the weigh-ins this past week, I had four days in a row of the exact same weight ...

... up from last week (average up too). Weight was up over the weekend, and although I was able to correct that pretty quick, I wasn't able to get the weight a little lower after the initial drop. It was a decent exercise week, got in my Zumba Mon-Fri, elliptical everyday. I did get on the bike one time, and did a mile jog. I didn't get to weights this week.  It was busy, trying to fit in the last of the summer fun (we hit Jump and bowling). I had a doctor's appointment (my annual physical), took #2 in to the DMV to get his learner's permit, #3 to back to school night. There was quite a bit going on. I've signed up the little one for soccer, and basketball starts up soon, so it will continue to be crazy, but I still think I prefer the school schedule and routine.

NUMBERS: Even with some really bad eating and exercise days, I managed a deficit for the week of 1167. Average intake was 2314. Average burn was 2846.

Linking up with the Friday Five blog hops ... the DC Bloggers ((Courtney, Mar and Cynthia) Friday Five.  Other Friday linkups ... Friday Favorites at Running4Cupcakes, Friday Favorites at Housewife Glamour, High Five Friday at LaurenElizabeth and Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In and with my weekly check-in link-ups: Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey, the FleurtySummerChallenge  and a late Weigh-In Wednesday.   

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fitstudio Finds

I've mentioned the Fitstudio program before. I just haven't heard that many other people talk about it! I think it's one of the greatest, little known fitness reward programs out there. At least $5 in credit at Sears or Kmart every week ... a reward for working out.

School is just around the corner. With five boys, I don't really do a big back to school clothes shopping trip. My boys are basic "basketball shorts and t-shirts" kind of kids. That's why I was super surprised when my 15-year old told me he needed some back to school clothes. Some cargo shorts. I don't think I've seen him in any shorts other than basketball ones in YEARS. I went ahead and told him we could swing by Kmart, as I had some Fitstudio points to spend.

Now on the ShopYourWayRewards information page, it encourages people to have their own accounts. So I have one, I set one up for hubs, and for my oldest son (the Fitstudio did seem to indicate an age limit of 18 or over). As they all have Fitbits, I set up Fitstudio accounts. So I had three different sets of Fitstudio rewards. The kid found two pairs of shorts (on clearance at this point in the year, lucky to find them at all!) and a belt. I did have to have the cashier ring up each item separately, putting the different Fitstudio points toward each purchase. I ended up paying about six dollars. For two cargo shorts and a reversible belt. Not bad!

In the collage above, you can see on my account, I had earned 8325 points for the week. That's $8.32 credit ... that is a pretty normal week. Simply logging in, accepting a friend request, posting a status (and sharing that status of Facebook) all augment the 5000 points I earn for clocking a distance of 14 miles, which isn't very hard for me to do.

Prior to this summer, I can't remember when I hit Kmart last. I mean I did, once or twice a year. Now I go every week. I'm sure the program producers would rather me spend more on every visit ... I've gotten good at picking up a purchase that my points cover completely. Sometimes I do find such good deals that I will pay out of pocket, but it's pretty rare at this point.

It was a "slip on shoe" summer ... I picked up these inexpensive slip-on shoes for the boys (and ended up getting them for the oldest too). The Protoge basketball shorts are now the boys favorite, and they all have a few pair (shhh, I have three pair set aside for #3, his birthday is coming up). I've grabbed me some cute camis and t-shirts.  As #1 son is "earning" credit, I'll pick up things for him that I wouldn't normally pay for (muscle milk and Gatorade).

If you haven't checked out the Fitstudio program, you should! It's super easy with a Fitbit, or one of the other partners listed below ... or I believe you can even log things manually (stay honest!)

Get moving ... then get shopping! 

Linking up with Workout Wednesday and the Hump Day Blog Hop

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weight Up After The Weekend

Actually ... I say that every week! It's the truth! Weekends are difficult for me. Less exercise, more eating. I crave the return to the routine, although summer routine is different than school routine. This is our last week of "summer" as school starts up again next week. This past weekend ... NOT so good weight wise. Scale is UP this Monday morning. I've never understood why anyone would choose Monday as an "official" weigh-in day, as it's almost always my worst weight day of the week. I can usually get back into my routine and ready for weigh-in Friday morning ... right before I screw it all up again!

Fridays are a mix between the regular routine and the weekend. This past Friday, I was able to get in my hour of Zumba and 60 minutes on the elliptical.  I took the kids out for some fun (mini-golf was the choice that day and I was able to get some steps) and the evening was spent at a wedding reception.

Saturday, I got up and was about to head out to a Zumba class when my 10-year old begged me to play badminton with him. Sometimes you just gotta stop and play badminton. I then went and got in 20minutes on the elliptical ... and that was my only elliptical for the day. I did a little Zumba (just a couple songs, showing my 10-year old the steps. I've wondered if he might like to join me. Other moms bring young daughters ... but I could tell he was getting very flustered and would stress out too much). I mowed the lawn and got in a little ping-pong (#4 was purposely trying to be active and get some steps in). In the evening, the hubs and I went to a show at a local theater.

I love how the Fitbit activity graph displays my day! You can SEE the car ride to the theater (no steps) then the walk into the building, then no steps for a couple hours during the show, the walk back to the car, then the car ride home. You can see if something doesn't force me to stop and sit, I seldom do!. 

This graph doesn't show the eating, just the activity.  I record my food in MFP and it does transfer to Fitbit and is shown in other graphs there. The show we went to on Saturday is a dinner theater, and hubs and I ordered some of their cheesy bread. Mmmmm... cheesy bread.

Not low calorie  stuff. 
It was also a cookie weekend. I made cookie press cookies on Saturday (pictured here, although I didn't use my snowflake disk ... I should have! Snow in summer. Maybe I'll have to make some more, as they are all gone, much to the chagrin of the kids and even hubs. I "helped" them get gone more than I should have").  Yesterday, #1 son made gingersnaps ... well, he made the dough, packed up half of it and went to his friend's house. I turned the remaining dough into cookies for the family. They are another family classic (recipe here). They always get rave reviews.

Sunday I only got in 20minutes on the elliptical. I walked to/from church and played a little badminton with #4. I managed to squeak in my 10k (although I'd already fulfilled my Pact for the week, so I would have been ok even if I didn't).  I actually didn't get around to logging my dinner until Monday morning, so I got a notice that my food log for Sunday didn't count (as I didn't log three meals). Just another reason I do give myself the one day of leeway.

 My Pact money is slowly adding up!
I haven't had to pay out anything, I've only earned.

That was MY weekend (linking up with MIMM).

I guess it's no wonder weight is up this Monday morning. Time to get back at it. Squeeze in what fun we can this last week of summer. I also have my annual physical, and an appointment at the DMV to get #2's learner's permit. Then next week, schools and schedules start back up ... and I like that! I'll look forward to Mondays more than ever! Yea Monday! Hopefully I can shake things up and lose these last few pounds!

How does the summer schedule affect your exercise/eating?

Friday, August 15, 2014

FitBit Kid and WWI#56

Here's my munchkin (#4) playing at the park this past week. See there clipped to his pocket? A Fitbit Zip. In attempting to get one on my oldest son, I'd ended up with a couple extra Zips. I set up accounts with my alternate email address, then strapped them on my two youngest, thinking it would just be interesting feedback for me to see how much they moved. 

It has been motivating for them too. After #5 hit a 30,000 day, he's lost a little bit of interest, but #4 just keeps plugging along. He definitely wants to make sure he gets in the 10,000 recommended steps (I'm not sure if that same number applies to kids ... seems to me they should be MORE active, as they don't have a desk job or anything, right?)

His numbers this past week ... Saturday 17,256. Sunday 17,583 (he beat ME that day, he was pretty proud of himself!), Monday 17,889. Tuesday 10,518 (as he noticed the day was coming to a close and he hadn't gotten to 10k yet, I'm pretty sure he ran around the house until he did.). Wednesday 15,839. Thursday 12,544.  He'll hit 10K today too.

My WiiFit hasn't got a lot of use lately. I'll use it there and there, 10 minutes a time. #4 asked me if he could use it and I said sure. Since my Wii memory decided to go out (WiiFit Fail) we had to set him up a new Mii, but we got him up and running. Literally. He did the "jogging around the island" ... that's basically just running in place. He did that for a while! He's been on the Wii quite a bit this past week (in fact once I did have to kick him off, because I needed to get in my elliptical warm-up before I headed out to Zumba, and then he'd have plenty of time to wii when I was gone). 

He's pulled out the jump rope and will often start the day that way. As we pulled out the badminton set this past weekend, he's really been drawn to that game. He and have had gotten little sessions every day this week. I encouraged him to see if the racket skills transferred to ping pong. Not a ton of steps, but I do usually get a little yellow "moderately active" spike when playing pin pong. As we go to Jump or to the park (like in the picture above) he does note how many steps he gets just playing. He got 3000 today as we went miniature golfing.

I can tell he gets a little frustrated by the amount of steps I get (although as mentioned above, he DID beat me on Sunday!)  As I come home from Zumba, having added 7000 steps in that hour so early in the day, he usually hasn't done enough to compete. Not that he needs to. I've told the kids I certainly do not expect them to go jump on the treadmill or elliptical.

Funny how what we expect from kids is different than adults. We wouldn't dream of sticking a kid on a treadmill ... they just run and play because they are kids! My 8-year old hit 30,000 steps in a day, and never once "exercised". I have actually considered bringing #4 to Zumba. I wonder if he'd like it. A couple of the other mom's bring their young daughters ...

Anyway ... as it's Friday Five time, I thought I'd wrap this up with my 10-year old's top recommendations for getting more steps in. 
  1. Jump Rope
  2. Badminton
  3. WiiFit
  4. Just Dance (he likes Just Dance 3)
  5. Go places where you run around (Jump N Bounce, the park, waterpark,miniature golf)
No "exercise" really ... just fun!

As it's Friday, time for the weekly weigh-in and week recap. 

Just an ok week. Still struggling with my motivation. On a good note, I DID actually get in a weight workout this week! Haven't got back to my mile jog or stationary bike though. Still on my elliptical every day, and I hit Zumba Mon-Friday.  Going out with the kids, I've managed to stay active, getting in steps at the park or Jump N Bounce instead of just sitting and waiting. I didn't golf when we went mini-golfing, but still walked the course. Not as much walking as REAL golf ... which #2 did today! He's never been before, but a couple of his buddies are fans. He did get in quite a few steps (about 9,000).  Last night he was a little shy of 10k (as he didn't go to the gym, and only hung out with friends for a few hours). I teased him that he needed to run around the house until he hit it ... and he proceeded to do just that! It was actually quite annoying!

My weekly numbers: Up .6, although the average was down -.92. Only managed to have a total weekly deficit of 1080. Intake was a little high at 2364, burn averaged at 2842 (Fri/Sat/Sun were a little slow).

As I'm generally putting in a couple hours of "exercise" with Zumba and elliptical, I'm more active than I was all those years after I got married and had kids. And if I'm barely keeping my food intake in check now, while recording everything ... I guess I'm a little surprised my weight didn't get more out of control all those years. I never topped 200 except during pregnancy. Sometimes that surprises me as I look back. I never binged, but I've always enjoyed eating ... and eating the wrong things. There were many years (working desk jobs, sewing/crafting for a boutique, scrapbooking) where I was pretty stationary. I guess I was lucky it never got worse than it was (50+ pounds).

Linking up with the Friday Five blog hops ... the DC Bloggers ((Courtney, Mar and Cynthia) Friday Five.  Other Friday linkups ... Friday Favorites at Running4Cupcakes, Friday Favorites at Housewife Glamour, High Five Friday at LaurenElizabeth and Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In and with my weekly check-in link-ups: Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey  and a late Weigh-In Wednesday.   

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I've got some bananas going bad ... because that's what bananas do. It seems like they are only good for a day or so! I do like to keep bananas around, as they are one of the few fruits I actually like (and the family likes them too). I wish they lasted longer. I know, you can freeze them. I don't do smoothies, but the boys do. I will sometimes turn the over-ripe ones into banana bread ... but then I eat banana bread, and mine is NOT a low fat/low calorie recipe (but it is good!) While I'm debating whether or not to make bread ... the bananas sit on the counter.

With this last batch of bad bananas, we've had fruit flies. Arrrrggg! I hate them. I know there are little cups of stuff you can set out to trap them, but my boys have had more fun zapping them. I'd purchased a couple of these electric rackets for the boys to take on their camping trip last month. I think they've gotten more use here at home.

I HATE flies! Fruit flies are bad enough, but the bigger house flies ... they drive me crazy! The bug zapper above works on them too, but as I was purchasing it, I happened to look at the other recommendations, similar products ...

Which led me to the Bug-A-Salt.
This looks a lot like a Nerf gun (we have a LOT of those at our house) ... although this is a bit more expensive at $40. Because I dislike flies in the house SO much, I did go ahead and order this, knowing my boys would happily hunt any offending flies down (and any fly IN my house is offensive!). They have LOVED this gun, and even go outdoors to track down additional prey.

The Bug-a-Salt wasn't in immediate stock at Amazon (I ended up buying off e-bay), 
but I saw another, less expensive option to try ...
#3 actually prefers this one, although you have to be close, and it can't get in corners like the Bug-a-Salt can. Poor #3, he had a horrible fly experience some years ago, where a fly flew into his ear. He can be a bit of a hypochondriac, so as he was freaking out a bit, the rest of us didn't really believe him. Then I took a closer look, with a flashlight pulling on his earlobe and ... there was a fly in his ear canal. The hub poured water into the ear and the fly backed out. It was like a scene from "Alien" ... I still shiver when I think about the little legs appearing, followed by the rest of the body. Is it any wonder we hate flies at our house?!

Just thought I'd share some of our gadgets with you, just in case you hate flies as much as we do! Thinking Out Loud this Thursday. The fly must die! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Men's Metabolism

I've mentioned I've been struggling with my motivation lately. My mile jog, biking and strength training have taken a hit of late. Because my elliptical (I almost always get in three 20min sessions a day) and Zumba (an hour) are part of my routine, I've still been getting in decent numbers most days though. My personal goals are 22,000 steps, 100 "active minutes" and a 3000 total calorie burn from Fitbit. Now I'm not saying I count any of these numbers as gospel (I "burned 3000 calories, therefore I can eat 2500 calories and still lose!"), they are just some numbers I use to compare my day to day. You can see I barely got to the 3000 burn yesterday.

I was looking at the Fitbit family comparisons, and noticed that my dad had dropped a little. He's nice and active, and usually  quite competitive for my kids. I went onto his Fitbit page to look at his numbers. I noticed even though he had 10,000 steps LESS than I did, his calorie burn was higher! He only had eight "active minutes" and I had 145!  Our weight is almost exactly the same. He's a bit taller, he's older (obviously, as he's my dad) ... so his only real advantage is, he's a MAN.

 My Dad

Again, not saying these Fitbit numbers are gospel truth ... 
but Fitbit is certainly going by industry standards as they attempt their estimates.

 My 18-year old

I looked at my oldest son's numbers. He had over 13500 steps less than I did and still managed to top me in the calorie burn (just barely). He does weigh just a bit more than me. He has YOUTH and the manly metabolism on his side.

 My 15-year old

My second son ... this was a slow day for him. He had 35,000 steps on Monday! Not as many steps as I did yesterday, yet a higher burn. And he weighs less than I do too.

 My 13-year old

Son #3 beat me in active minutes, but not steps ... but look at the calorie burn! He only weighs a little over 100 pounds too. All his green spikes were running and jumping at the local inflatable place. I try to stay active, walking while they play. I often can get in some steps (although I didn't do well yesterday in that regard ... my little yellow spikes, it was too crowded for me to walk around much) the kids always get a bigger burn from Fitbit (not sure if it's somehow factoring in their impact or what).

It just seems like the guys can get a higher calorie burn with a lot less effort. I can and do reach my 3000 goal quite often, but I  feel like I have to work REALLY hard to get there.

Not fair! Not that anything about this life IS fair :)
I enjoy being a girl, but I wouldn't mind a man's metabolism!

Linking up with the Hump Day Blog Hop and Workout Wednesday

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

PSA - Squatty Potty

The focus of my blog is predominantly fitness related I guess that's where I personally do best. I rarely talk about food (as I have NOT mastered that) or other health related things. But I thought today perhaps I'd share with you a product my brother-in-law raves about. Seriously, I've wondered if he'd invested in the company as he has been so happy to talk about such a crappy issue ... pooping!

He purchased the "Squatty Potty" ... a specialty bathroom stool which puts you in a better position for pooping (according to their medical research, which does seem fairly convincing). My BIL  has been very pleased with his purchase. So much so, that he talked my hubby into buying one for our family. So ... I've tried it. I didn't sense any magical difference as of yet. We're pretty lucky that we don't really have any regular pooping problems to start with. I find it a little bulky in the bathroom, even though the shape is more conducive to being tucked in than a standard stool would be.

Had you heard of this product before? 
It seems to have very good reviews on Amazon.
What do you think?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mojo A Gogo


My motivation has fallen and it can't get up. For the past couple weeks, I've felt a bit like I've just been going through the motions. Luckily, my elliptical sessions are such a habit with me, that they get done pretty much regardless of how I'm feeling. I get up, and hit the elliptical for 20 minutes. I'll get back to it at least twice ... 60 minutes of elliptical per day.

Ok ... I only did 30 minutes on Saturday, but I mowed the lawn and did some grocery shopping too. I still got almost 15,000 steps that day, but that is low for me. I've been dropping down, down on my Fitbit friends list. I have a commitment with Pact for 10,000 steps per day (six out of seven days, I do give myself leeway for one day off, although I rarely need it). 

My Zumba is almost second nature at this point too, but it had some glitches this past weekend. My Thursday group had taken July off, but was now back. While they were on hiatus, I had tried soccer a few times and really enjoyed that. Thursday I was faced with the decision of which to attend. Soccer does take more "oomph" and I'd missed this group of instructors, so I went to Zumba. The key didn't work to get into the building, so we Zumba-ed outside (we'd had to do this once before!)

It was lacking a little oomph. It was cut short (as it started late trying to get up and running). On a more motivated day, I might have bailed on the Zumba and gone out to soccer. But Thursday, I just didn't care enough or have the energy for that. I didn't get in my full hour, didn't get my big burn and steps, but again, just didn't really care. It was still fun.

Friday there was another Zumba glitch! My usual class was cancelled, so I was going to attend a different one. I went there, only to find an empty parking lot. I should have got on my phone and checked the Facebooks (where I would have found out they had moved to a different church the gym here had been redone) but I just gave up instead. No Zumba for me on Friday. No Zumba all weekend. I could have Zumba-ed on Saturday, but the 7:00 class was just too early for my tired morning self. I didn't even have energy for an 8:30 one. I certainly didn't gave the motivation to do it myself in the basement to a YouTube playlist like I would have just a few weeks ago.

Not sure if I'm burned out, or if it's some of this emotional stuff going on, or just that it's summer, sleeping in and other activities impacting the days. My 10-year old beat me in steps yesterday and he was pretty proud of that fact (and I did manage to get 17100 with an hour of elliptical and walk to/from church).

We did introduce a few family activity over the weekend.  I'd bought this "instant up" net set for badminton. Saturday night the conditions were perfect. The sun wasn't in the eyes, it was pleasant and cool ... and the internet was out (so no streaming!). It was fun to see the kids play badminton and volleyball. I even joined in. There was more family fun Sunday night too (with Daddy and #2 joining in as well).

I didn't get my blog post ready on Sunday (so it's late this morning!) ... my motivation has been a little lacking in the blog arena too. Maybe if you all link up YOUR motivational posts, I'll get my mojo back!  Linking up with MIMM and the Motivation Monday Team. 
Share YOUR motivational post!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five Favorite Family Treats & WWI#55

This is NOT a good topic for a "health/fitness" blog, and yet ... I thought it was interesting to look at our family treat trends. Something new is introduced and it's an instant hit, and for a while there, it's a pretty constant addition. Then we go through phases and certain snacks only make an appearance every once in a while. For the Friday Five, I'm going to highlight five of our family favorites!

  • Skookie: This "skillet cookie" is delicious. We were first introduced to it at a local pizza joint, but then found the pan and made it ourselves at home. We actually have about five pans now. We just use a tube of cookie dough, bake it up, add ice cream and everyone digs in! 
  • Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chip Cookies: These have been a big part of our family for many years. We rarely make chocolate chip cookies from scratch, as these are so yummy, quick and convenient.  There is actually an Otis warehouse here in Utah, and the hubs has gone straight to the source, buying the big, distributor boxes. Yes ... we'd go through them. Now, he usually just picks up a box or two at Costco. They do seem to have changed a bit in recent years, they don't turn out quite as well.
  • All Edges Brownies: When I first picked up this brownie pan, we made brownies in it almost every night. They would always turn out perfect. Back when school was in session, I'd make brownies and bag them, setting them aside for lunches (and #1 would find them and eat them!) Ironically ... the kids have let me know they actually prefer the gooey middle brownies regular pans create (sometimes I'd make a double batch and had to use a regular pan, well, still a specialty one with the little dividers). Who knew? I still prefer the edges!
  • Chocolate Malt: The Hubs picked up a Blend-Tec, and a new favorite was born. Chocolate Malts. Just ice cream, milk and malt, but blended together until smooth. This is strictly a "daddy" do though ... I must admit I've never used the Blend-Tec myself.
  • Homemade Oreos: For a while there, I was making these every single Sunday. They were the expected traditional treat. Just a Devil's Food cake mix, 3/4 cup shortening and 2 eggs. Roll into balls and bake at 375° for 7-8 minutes. Add cream cheese frosting in between. As Sundays aren't MY best exercise day (and I do like to partake) I've tried to move making them to Mondays, where I'm more active and can combat the calories a bit better.
Mmmmm ... tempting treats! There are a ton of others too, but these five make it in the rotation the most often, and have the most family memories surrounding them. Chocolate does seem to be a theme.  We just had Skookie last night ... not a good idea right before the official weekly weigh-in!

You can see, it didn't turn out too bad, even with the Skookie indulgence. I've really been trending at 152ish for a long time now. It bumped up last Friday, and went up even more before starting back down, but my weight is back down this week to the norm Just wish the norm was under 150. Numbers for the week weren't great though. Only a -550 deficit for the week. Average intake was up at 2464 and average burn was down at 2761 ... it hasn't been that low in a while.

I've been a little low. My mojo is just not present. Some emotional turmoil, talks, letter writing, thoughts, worry ... it drains the energy. Sleep hasn't been great. Some days I've still been able to get some pretty good exercise numbers, but I feel a little like I'm just going through the motions. I guess that's better than just assuming the fetal position. I know things will be all right, it's just hard to shake it off. I'm feeling a bit in limbo here with just a couple more weeks of summer. I think I'm looking forward to the return to the routine, a set schedule, the structure of it all. I've really enjoyed the summer. Sleeping in, taking the kids bowling and jumping. Still have managed to get my workouts and such in. School and sports starting back up bring their own challenges, but I think I do slightly better, even if the schedule is absolutely crazy. Summer can be just a little too laid back at times. 

Linking up with the Friday Five blog hops ... the DC Bloggers ((Courtney, Mar and Cynthia) Friday Five.  Other Friday linkups ... Friday Favorites at Running4Cupcakes, Friday Favorites at Housewife Glamour, High Five Friday at LaurenElizabeth and Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In and with my weekly check-in link-ups: Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey  and a late Weigh-In Wednesday.   

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Food, Fitness and Faith

In the daily struggle for health and happiness, there are so many different beliefs. One person might trust something with all their heart, while another has an opposing view that they are absolutely sure is right. Many discover  "the truth" and want to shout it from the rooftops and share what they have found. People may believe ... but still struggle to commit, because the path is difficult.

Am I talking about religion,  or a food or fitness plan? 
Actually ... all three.

It's been interesting for me to note the various schools of thought when it comes to eating and exercise. Something new is introduced, and it gains followers and critics. Praised as "the way" by some, condemned by others. The low-fat revolution.  Zumba. Essential Oils.  There are converts to "Paleo" or "Cross-Fit" with such strong conviction it's almost religious. This is it. The way. The truth.

I've watched with interest as a friend raves about the primal lifestyle. Eating more meat and giving up grains and what a profound difference it has made. Then another friend swears that becoming vegetarian has completely changed his life for the better. As my eating habits leave much to be desired, I look at my friends and I know that they both have healthier habits than I do. Which is better? Is one of them "the true way of eating" that everyone in the world should adopt? What if I choose neither? Can I still survive without my quality of life being too compromised?

So many people rave about yoga ... again, in almost a religious way. More than just an exercise, it's good for the soul. I keep hearing about all the cross-fit converts and its opposition. There is a bit of a fanatic fever from both camps. I haven't really even looked into it, as I'm pretty happy with my current exercise routine. It's good enough for me and where I want to be.

Sorry if I'm rambling. It's been a bit of a tough time this past week or so. There have been some "faith" issues. Struggling with my beliefs and even if I do believe. It's actually not that new. While I was raised in a very religious family, I've just never felt very religious myself,  although I've gone through the motions. While I'm personally ok with my path, I've been ... outed so to speak (not out/out that I should be posting this  but I don't think many people who actually KNOW me even read my blog).  All this... it's sure affected my food  (comfort/stress eating anyone?) and fitness (fetal position feels fine). 

I've seen this quote applied to food, to fitness ... and to faith.
But, "what you want most" isn't the same for everyone, is it?

We don't all have the same goals.

I see parallels between faith(religion) and some of the food and fitness ways of life.  While people do feel very strongly at times about their eating and exercise habits, and these items do absolutely affect your life, there does tend to be a bit of leeway. Even though there is some proselyting and  judgement here and there if you do or don't believe a certain way,  it's pretty obvious that there are many different paths to take. My family hasn't grabbed onto any particular food or fitness fad with religious fever (well, one brother has, gone the raw route). But church? There is ONE way, one truth. The prospect of perhaps following a different path ... the impact, the angst, the expectations, the emotion. It hurts.

There can be more than one "right" way.

As I look at the different food and fitness options out there, I see that one thing may work wonderfully for one person, but not for another. That there is no "one way" for everyone.  I've got eating issues that would make following some of the food plans out there practically impossible. As much as I can see the success others have had, as much as I think it is good, it doesn't work for me. Yoga brings peace and a beautiful body, and I absolutely admire that. It makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable and a bit depressed that I can't seem to feel what others so obviously enjoy.  So I don't do it, and that's ok. I don't feel condemned over these choices.

 Explaining. Pondering. Struggling.

Monday, August 4, 2014

If Time Was Not An Issue ...

What if your schedule was completely open for a week?  I know many of you might skip out and go on vacation, but I'm not a vacation gal. In fact, a vacation is what made my "absolutely open" week possible. The hubs took the kids on a road trip & camping.  I stayed home. I just wasn't up for the travel and everything (Anxiety Issues, Can I Take a Vacation From the Vacation) and the prospect of some alone time is  appealing. It's not something I'd want all the time, but for one week in the middle of summer chaos, I'll take it.

This was my second time home alone. Last year the hubs and the kids took off, I did have a really productive week on my own. This year, I started off strong. I got in weekend workouts. I improved me eating ... I broiled me a salmon dinner with green beans (something I don't make with the family home as hubs is allergic to fish and the kids just don't like it). I tackled some jobs in the kitchen that I just can't do when the kids are around (cleaning out the pantry and drawers. I sure made a bigger mess before I got everything cleaned back up). I cleaned up ... and without five boys and their friends around it actually STAYED clean. I did tend to stay up a bit later, and then sleep in. Because I could.

I got in a few things that I wouldn't with the kids around. My boys are older, and very responsible, so I'm fine leaving them for an hour here and there while I hit my morning Zumba class or grocery shopping. But I don't like to leave them for too long, and they do need me around (chauffeur, chef & police officer "mommy" duties). Without any carpool or kid commitments, I went to the salon and got my hair done. I went out to my parents to visit and spend the afternoon. Played some tennis with my dad, went out to lunch with my mom. I was even going to try a hike with my brother, but then it rained.

It rained a LOT ...
One of our rain gutters is clogged, and I watched as the water dripped directly into one of the window wells. I kept an eye on it, and the water got higher and higher and I knew I needed to bail if I didn't want water damage downstairs.

 So ... impromptu arm workout that day! 
I got tired, and drenched!

I do feel a little bad missing out on the family memories being made on vacation, but it's often good to have someone home to keep an eye on things too. Man the mail, pick up the paper, mow the lawn, screen the phone calls, water the plants ... bail the window wells.

About mid-way into my stay-cation ... my motivation took it's own vacation! I was actually spending less time working out than normal. I had a bit of a binge ... with no one to see or judge, I ate ice cream straight out of the container. I made cookies, not a good idea with no one around to help me each them ( I rationed them for a day or two, limiting myself to one or two a day, then ... well, they are gone). I'd find myself thinking "I'll just rest and read, because I can always workout later" rather than my usual  thoughts of "I need to get this in now because who knows when I'll get it in otherwise".

It was an interesting experience, this "alone week" of mine. I've always known I like schedules and routine, but I can see that I can be much more productive, even when I have less free time on my hands. I manage to squeeze in my exercise sessions between the boy's basketball, walking while they play, getting up earlier and making the most of the day. I can make the time if I have the motivation.

So, as I'm writing this ... prepping my post on Sunday, my boys will be back any minute. I have a pot of chicken veggie soup and homemade bread sticks waiting for them. The house is clean (for the moment).  I know it will be chaotic as we unpack, there will be loads of laundry to do. We have a few more weeks to squeeze in any summer fun, as school is right around the corner.

I'd hoped to have SUCH a good food/fitness week while I had no excuses. I secretly thought maybe I could sneak my weight under 150 ... Unfortunately, that didn't happen. My weight is up ... I wonder how this gain would compare to what would have happened had I gone with the family. Oh well. I've had my vacation.  Time to get back at it. Back to kids and cleaning and carpools and fitting in workouts where I can ... which actually works pretty good for me.

Linking up with MIMM and Motivation Monday.
YOU can link up below!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July 2014

A look back at July. The "summer" most month ... I did get the kids out for some family fun (Jump N Bounce and bowling). There was scout camp and a trip to the lake. An anniversary, we are now officially a Fitbit Family (everyone has one now). I continued to get in my exercise, introducing some soccer and tennis to my regular routine. Here's a look at my workout calendar ...

I got in a little elliptical every day. Zumba most days too. My weights and mile jog were a bit more sporadic, as was my bike. Calories consumed were a little higher this month ... anniversary, some stress eating (scouts/vacations & other stuff). Started the month at 152.9, ended at 152.6. High for the month was 155.3 and the low was 151.7.  I keep track of my daily doings (stats and journal entry), but like to pull them into chronological order for the month for my own records. You're welcome to check out my day to day ... Onto August, a few more weeks of the summer schedule and then school will start back up.
Jen's Journal ... July 2014
  • 0701 (Tuesday) Good Day. Weight 152.7. Calories in 2000. Fitbit Steps 33634. Total Burn 3655. Exercise Burn 1775/1950 (100minElliptical, 60minZumba, 12min/1mileJog, 30minBike, 60minWeights). Up early to help get the boys off, then I got started on my day. A session on the elliptical, then I walked to/from Zumba. Got in my mile, bike and weights. Did need to chauffeur #2 around a bit (to/from the rec center, to/from a friend's party in the evening). I was up late waiting for the pickup and got some exercise in up until the end. I did have trouble sleeping that night. I don't think it was the exercise, but more my first night alone. 
  • 0702 (Wednesday) Good Day. Weight 150.9. Calories in 2700. Fitbit Steps 28117. Total Burn 3152. Exercise Burn 1380/1457 (70minElliptical, 60minZumba, 30minBike). Slept in a little. Zumba starts later on Wednesdays so I'm not in any rush. Dropped #2 and a friend at the rec center as I headed out. Stopped at Kmart on the way home to spend my Fitstudio points. Got a pair of shorts for #2 and a 12-pack of paper towels (hubs had taken the last roll with him) and didn't pay a penny for either. Completely covered by my fitness points! Took the little ones and a friend to the bowling alley. We got separate lanes, so only two of us playing together. The games goes much faster, less waiting around. If only poor #5 could enjoy it. Being the youngest, playing with the lightest ball, he always comes in last and was quite distraught about it today :(  They played a little in the arcade after (with their own money, I still haven't paid for anything more than shoes). Picked up #2 on the way home. Daddy made a list of chores for him, so he spent much of the afternoon working. I'm feeling a bit sore from my weights workout yesterday. A little twinge in my thigh on the elliptical. I had planned on a final 20min session, but ended up skipping it. Food was high today ... I made french toast for the kids for breakfast (and ate some too) and some fried chicken and rice for dinner. I also had some salt water taffy around ... I just kept snacking on that. Calories add up so quick, even when I'm recording and attempting some control. 
  • 0703 (Thursday) Good Day. Weight 151.5. Calories in 3000. Fitbit Steps 30050. Total Burn 3278. Exercise Burn 1650/1579 (120minElliptical, 60minZumba, 30minBike). #2 got a ride to the rec center today, which was nice, because my Zumba was in the other direction (at least he's been on my way the other day's I've dropped him off). My usual group is taking July off, so I tried another group. I think I suffered from the usual "first time" syndrome, resulting in some lower readings. But also it seemed to have several warm up songs, and several cool down songs, so that impacted it to. Back at home I got in several sessions on the elliptical and some reading/riding. The kids seemed content to hang around the house today. #2 had friends over in the evening. Usually Daddy and #1 wouldn't put up with that ... they come home and like the house quiet so they can relax. I actually ended up letting #2 have his buddies sleep over - who knows if that will ever happen again! Eating was not good, yesterday at least it was a couple of meals that added up, today it was just snacking. I was candy crazy. 
  • 0704 (Friday) Ok Day. Weight 152.9. Calories in 3000. Fitbit Steps 19629. Total Burn 2808. Exercise Burn 1030/1101 (60minElliptical, 60minZumba). I'm aware of a few free Friday Zumba classes, but they were all taking the holiday off, which is understandable of course. I was just going to do some Youtube at home, when one of them announced they would be holding class after all. Off I went. This was the class I went to for the first time last week, and even though some songs were still new, I was able to up my stats. Good way to start the day. Back home to make breakfast for everyone. Then we headed out to my parents to swim at their community pool. It was a little crowded, so I didn't get into my suit, but just sat on the side and chatted with my mom while watching the boys. We went out to eat at Red Robin afterward. It had been a few months since we'd been. Last time we went was also with my folks, and also when Daddy was out of town with two of the boys! We stopped and grabbed some fireworks on the way home, just cheap/simple stuff. The neighbors didn't disappoint though, they always put on quite a show, even before the big ones were legal :) 
  • 0705 (Saturday) Great Day. Weight 153.2. Calories in 2000. Fitbit Steps 32200. Total Burn 3579. Exercise Burn 1500/1871 (100minElliptical, 60minZumba, 60minWeights, Lawn Mow). Started the day with Zumba (much to the chagrin of #2, who wanted me to drop him at the rec center, but he didn't let me know beforehand and then there wasn't enough time until after). Went to a new place, just a small home studio. This first visit was free, then it's $2 a time. But that's reasonable. I'm not sure what my price point is ... but I think I baulk at over $5 *Ü* Some "first time syndrome" but I definitely plan on coming back. Nice to have a close Saturday option, and she does some evenings too, which I'd like to try (see if I have any energy later in the day!). Got in some elliptical and did weights. Also mowed the lawn. Got a little sun on my shoulders. Kept calories in check today too! 
  • 0706 (Sunday) Good Day. Weight 151.8. Calories in 2150. Fitbit Steps 23585. Total Burn 2932. Exercise Burn 1100/1282 (60minElliptical, 60minZumba). Did do my "YouTube" home Zumba today, I set up two hour long playlists, and will be working on a 3rd. Got in some elliptical (morning, afternoon and evening) and got some Fitbit spikes cleaning the house (vacuuming, mopping) trying to get the house clean for hubs coming home. I'd been out of contact with them the entire week, so it was good to have them safe and sound back in the nest. Poor hubby's feet were SO dry. I gave him a foot massage with Cetaphil cream (he's usually the one doing that for me). I asked #1 how his feet were, but he'd taken the cream and said he put it on about every hour! That's something I would have needed to do for sure. Sounds like I made the right decision in staying home though. The extreme heat, no sleep, party boat playing music until all hours of the night, beetles, wind storm ... I think I would have had an emotional break down! I just don't deal well. Hubs said the weather would have been too much for #4 as well (he even had a breakdown at home when a microburst hit the house, it only lasted a couple minutes and he was able to escape to the basement safe zone). Anyway, nice to have the guys home.
  • 0707 (Monday) Good Day. Weight 152.6. Calories in 2000. Fitbit Steps 25578. Total Burn 3187. Exercise Burn 1300/1482 (80minElliptical, 60minZumba). Back to work for Hubs and #1. Pretty relaxed day at home for the rest. Dropped #2 at the rec center on my way to Zumba, got in my elliptical throughout the day. Ran some errands (Walgreens/Biglots) and grabbed some LittleCeasars for the kids. Made stroganoff for dinner ... I don't like it, so that helps me not overeat! Although we did have some Skookie for dessert. Kept calories pretty much in check though! 
  • 0708 (Tuesday) Good Day. Weight 152.1. Calories in 2500. Fitbit Steps 25702. Total Burn 3102. Exercise Burn 1400/1400 (80minElliptical, 60minZumba, 1mileJog, 45minWeights). #2 wanted his usual ride to the rec center. Today's Zumba was right by the house, so no dropping him on the way, had to make a special trip ... and it made me a little late for Zumba. I did walk there and back. Got in elliptical, a jog and weights. Admittedly, I wasn't too into weights today, it was a wimpy workout. When I picked #2 up from the rec center, we stopped at Arctic Circle and got him some chicken tenders and tater tots. I ate some tater tots too ... 
  • 0709 (Wednesday) Good Day. Weight 153.5. Calories in 2700. Fitbit Steps 25566. Total Burn 2991. Exercise burn 1250/1281 (60minElliptical, 60minZumba, 30minBike). Got in my Zumba and stop at Kmart for Fitstudio point spending. Dropped #2 at the rec center on the way. Took the kidlets to Jump N Bounce for a bit today ... a little more crowded, so we ended up in the upper lounge, and I think I actually like that better. We even considered making a second trip back in that evening, but it didn't pan out. In an effort to get #1 back on the Fitbit bandwagon, I've ended up with TWO extra Zips hanging around (#1 is picky, didn't want blue, didn't want used). I'd set up an account and strapped the blue one on my baby boy the past couple days, and asked the 10 year old if he wanted to wear the used black one and he seemed excited about it ... got him set up to start tomorrow. 
  • 0710 (Thursday) Good Day. Weight 153.5. Calories in 1600. Fitbit Steps 25923. Total Burn 3124. Exercise burn 1600/1364 (60minElliptical, 70minSoccer, 35minZumba, 30minBike, 10minWiiFit). So nervous in the morning, trying soccer for the first time in years! At least I knew right where I was going, having passed the building many times. We weren't sure there were going to be enough people, but ended up with 12. 6X6. It was fun but BOY was I exhausted after just a few minutes! The sprinting and kicking is a completely different workout. I was wearing my HRM and my heart rate was way up! Fitbit wasn't terribly impressed, so I as really glad to have the second opinion from my Polar. I was completely wiped out and so sweaty. Fun though, I'll plan on keeping it up! My legs were feeling it afterward ... I mean I had to literally use my hands to help lift my leg as I attempted to move my foot from gas to break!  I did still do some additional exercise at home. Didn't eat much today ... weigh in tomorrow.  
  • 0711 (Friday) Good Day. Weight 152.6. Calories in 1700. Fitbit Steps 31360. Total Burn 3067. Exercise burn 1350/1362 (30minElliptical, 2x60minZumba). Oh, the legs are feeling it. But it was double Zumba this morning. Went to my 8:30 class, and Marian (my Tuesday teacher) joined me there. It's a pretty laid back class, I've been surprised I still get goal numbers. Went straight to Sandy after for Heather's class, and T and Nina came. Good numbers again. I picked up #2 from the rec center on the way home. His elbow is bugging him, so he bagged basketball for the day. The kids wanted to go to Jump N Bounce, so we did. I went to the upper lounge and walked around ... it actually felt a bit better on my quads than just sitting. The place was overrun with a summer daycare (40 kids) so we left and then went back again later. We did try to hit the free slurpee day at 7-11, but it was so crowded and chaotic I drove the kids across the street to Chevron and bought Frazils for them instead (they like them better ... I don't, but I didn't need the calories anyway). The hubs wore his Fitbit for their weekly Friday volleyball. He got 20,000 steps! The little boys are absolutely addicted too! They have been purposely moving, trying to get more steps. It was after 9:30 and I told the 8-year old to come in and get ready for bed (he was still outside kicking the soccer ball around) but he said "I'm at 28,000 steps, I only need 2000 more to hit 30!). I sent #2 out to keep an eye on him and he did hit 30K (me too!) 
  • 0712 (Saturday) Bad Day. Weight 152.6. Calories in 2500. Fitbit Steps 17157. Total Burn 2486. Exercise burn 650/781 (30minElliptical, 60minZumba). I might have skipped Zumba, but this is a small class trying to get off the ground and I want to support it and keep it going. So I went. My legs were really feeling it though. I wasn't able to really do some of the kicks or knee lifts. We did the Cha Cha Swing though, that is a new favorite! Hubs was taking the family up to the lake for waverunning. It's not my favorite thing to do (being in a swimsuit in the HOT, I don't go out on the waverunners) but I was planning on it ... but then #2 wanted to take a friend. We fill up our suburban with our family, so I stayed home (alone ... the little ones did want to too but Daddy forced them to go). So I had a relaxing day at home. I still did get in a little sun ... they all got toasted, even though they did put on sunscreen. Hubs picked up Robocop and we watched that, although I think I fell asleep near the end.  
  • 0713 (Sunday)  Bad Day. Weight 154.5. Calories in 2600. Fitbit Steps 9679. Total Burn 2126. Exercise burn 250/410 (20minElliptical, walk to/from church). Decided to take a total rest day ... I did still do 20minutes to start. I just need that for my Fitbit activity graph to normalize. Walked to and from church as well. Got in a nice nap. Did the usual big breakfast. I wonder if I could ever have the self control to make it, but not partake of it. I do enjoy it, but I'm usually not starving. French Dip for dinner ... packing up stuff for #3 to leave for a week-long camp. He's not happy about it! 
  • 0714 (Monday) Good Day. Weight 155.3. Calories in 2600. Fitbit Steps 29512. Total Burn 3248. Exercise burn 15291528 (80minElliptical, 80minZumba, 30minBike + Lawn Mow). Had to get up early (6am) to get #3 off to scout camp. He doesn't want to go and I hate forcing him, but hubs insisted. I didn't even attempt a picture. Due to the early morning, I did get in a couple sessions on the elliptical before Zumba. #4 wasn't feeling well, so I made sure my phone was in view and sure enough I got a text "Come home! Cooper barfed a lot and he missed the bucket"  ... so I bailed. I wasn't sure if I'd get much more exercise in. Not that I can do much for a sick boy. Just help wipe their mouth, put a cool cloth on their head, empty the bucket ... just wait it out. I was hoping it was just one and done, but alas ... not the case. I sure hope no one else gets it. We've had several times when it's gone through everyone!  Did some laundry and was able to squeeze in a couple 10 minute sessions on the elliptical. By afternoon he seemed to be doing better. I went and grabbed #2 from the rec center (I'd dropped him there on the way to Zumba) and told him to come get me if sicky needed me. I got the lawn mowed and then did an hour of Zumba to my Youtube playlist. There was an evening class I'd considered hitting, but as I was able to get my hour in, I did some reading/riding. #1 picked up pizza for dinner. #3 texted, miserable at camp ... I'm miserable right along with him. #4 hadn't thrown up for hours, but he got up to get a drink and then did promptly vomit all over the hallway.  At least it was pretty much just water at that point.  I was surprised I got in as many steps as I did with my sicky. It did keep us home (no Jump or bowling) and the early hours helped. I guess all the laundry added up too. 
  • 0715 (Tuesday) Good Day. Weight 153.3. Calories in 2650. Fitbit Steps 26949. Total Burn 3179. Exercise burn 1280/1470 (90minElliptical, 60minZumba). #2 wanted to be dropped off at the gym before I went to Zumba. Today is my close class, so there is no dropping him on the way. I took him, returned home and then walked to the church. Had a mother/daughter neighbor join in today (I've been trying to spread the word!) Just dragging a bit though, not my usual jumping joy. Rest days ... threw me off my routine! Made me lazy.  Should have done weights today, but ... just couldn't get myself motivated. Got in some elliptical throughout the day. Watched the final episode of "24". Way too many treats today. After picking up #2 in the afternoon, we stopped at Maceys for some groceries. I'd planned on making dinner (black bean and spinach enchiladas) but hubs got home early and had already made himself a sandwich, so I guess I'll make it tomorrow.  
  • 0716 (Wednesday) Good Day. Weight 152.5. Calories in 2300. Fitbit Steps 23964. Total Burn 2954. Exercise burn 1254/1250 (60minElliptical, 60minZumba, 30minBike). Emotional morning. #3 had texted he'd had a miserable night at camp, no sleep and he wanted to come home. #4 and #5 had their day camp which they were both NOT excited about, #4 was in tears. I did get them off, but instead of enjoying some kid free time, I'm super stressed and anxious for them to be home again. Dropped #2 at the rec center. It is actually pretty much on the way to Zumba (when I go to Draper) but the detour does add about 5 minutes ... so I've been consistently late. Often they do start a little late, but I had missed the first song. I was happy when they then went over, so I still got my full hour in. I stopped at Kmart on the way home. I'd signed my oldest up for his own FitStudio/ShopYourWay rewards as he's got his Fitbit now, and he had $10 in rewards. I picked up a pair of basketball shorts for him (didn't pay a cent) and then several things for me with my rewards. Just not feeling the fitness this week. Still didn't do weights. Did get some elliptical in, and forced myself to read on the bike rather than in bed. Kept calories in check today. Did make dinner ... it's one only Hubs and #1 like. Hubs and #2 had a scout scuba night ... at least that kid enjoyed his scouts today. 
  • 0717 (Thursday) OK Day. Weight 151.8. Calories in 2300. Fitbit Steps 12977. Total Burn 2308. Exercise Burn 600/608 (60minElliptical). Was awakened at 3:30 to #5 bursting into the bedroom saying "I'm going to throw up" ... we didn't make it to the bathroom, but at least were in the hallway (hardwood floors). I got him settled on the couch. The stomach flu does often hit multiple family members, but after no one else had gotten sick since Monday I thought maybe we were lucky this time. I wasn't really able to get back to sleep. #4 was very upset that #5 got to miss scout camp. #4 should have timed his barfing better! Again he cried and was very upset but went when his leader came by personally to pick him up. I sent him with a little cash to pick up something at the trading post, and he bought a couple things, one for sick brother. At least camp is over for them. I did finally get another text from #3 which didn't sound quite so miserable. But me? I missed my soccer, as I had to stay home with the sicky. The early morning really tapped my energy ... I was a slug today. No motivation. It was a push to just get in three sessions on the elliptical throughout the day. The munchkin actually didn't throw up again, but he didn't have much energy for anything other than lying on the couch all day and did have a few sessions of stomach pain and crying. 
  • 0718 (Friday) OK Day. Weight 152.6. Calories in 2500. Fitbit Steps 22446. Total Burn 2819. Exercise Burn 1168/1114 (70minElliptical, 60minZumba).  I've done double Zumba the past couple weeks, but the 8:30 class has been pushed back 20 or so minutes, which makes it too hard to try and get from one to the other. I just went to my 10:00 class. Dropped #2 off on the way. Fun class, felt "back" into workout mode after this off week. Picked up #2 in the afternoon, then he wanted to go hang with friends. I dropped him off then stopped at the store for groceries. I offered to take the little ones to Jump, with without their brother (still at camp) they didn't seem in the mood. Hubs suggested a movie in the evening. We went and saw "Edge of Tomorrow" which I really liked, more than any other movie I can think of recently. A lot of humor mixed in with the action. But ... ate too much popcorn and treats! Both hubs and I were groaning a bit about our bellies! Stopped and picked up #2 on the way home. 
  • 0719 (Saturday) Bad Day. Weight 152.6. Calories in 2500. Fitbit Steps 10343. Total Burn 2176. Exercise burn 150/471 (15minElliptical). So was it too many treats, or did I catch the stomach flu from the kidlets? Around 12:30 I woke up with my heart pounding, sweating and not feeling well. I pulled my hair back and promptly puked. Went back to bed and luckily while I had a very hard time getting back to sleep, it seemed to be a "one and done" as #5 had been on Thursday. My energy was totally lacking though. I had thought to hit Zumba, but didn't even attempt (and not sure if I would have seen the Facebook notice that it changed from 9:00 to 8:00). Tried a little elliptical, but gave out pretty quick. Unfortunately, my appetite wasn't really affected ... I was still temped by the donuts #1 went and picked up. Hubs went househunting with his mom, and I sent #1 to take the four younger boys (#3 made it home from camp, yea!) for much needed haircuts. Mr. Social (#2) wanted to go hang with friends, so I dropped him off (we picked up some pizza on the way, I feel guilty as he spends so much time at other houses, and they often feed him) and stopped at the store again ... I'd forgotten to pick up my prescription yesterday. Grabbed some bananas too, as yesterday they were all past their prime, but they had restocked today. I got my new Fitbit today. I had contacted customer service about mine, as the floors readings were going crazy lately (the last couple weeks I've been registering over 100+ every day). They offered to send out a replacement (even though mine was over a year old). I went ahead and assigned the old one to #3 (he only needs the steps/active minutes to compete with the family, we don't look at the calorie burn on the kids, and of course we won't pay any attention to the floors ... in fact I just took that tile off his Fitbit page and device). I put in the movie "Hitch" ... such a cute show, the kids liked it too. Daddy and the little boys did some bb-gun shooting in the backyard. Toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner, and homemade ice cream for dessert. 
  • 0720 (Sunday) Pretty Good Day. Weight 153.7. Calories in 2200. Fitbit Steps 22223. Total Burn 3068. Exercise Burn 1250/1357 (65minElliptical, 60minZumba, 60minWeights). Hubs was off early for a bike ride with a buddy. I got in a session on the elliptical and then YouTube Zumba. Made the kids breakfast then did weights. There were sudden rain showers off and on. When it was time for church, I wondered if I would make it if I walked. I walked ... and got caught in the rain. Oh well.  
  • 0721 (Monday) Good Day. Weight 153.2. Calories in 2500. Fitbit Steps 33340. Total Burn 3203. Exercise Burn 1200/1495 (70minElliptical, 60minZumba). Dropped #2 off at the rec center on my way to Zumba. There were still chairs set up all over the gym, so we had to clear them out. Back at home, I mowed the front lawn and got some more elliptical in. In the evening, the hubs and I went to the parade preview to see the floats before the Pioneer Day parade on Thursday. It was nice to go without the kids. We grabbed some asphalt pie at Wingers afterward.  
  • 0722 (Tuesday) Pretty Good Day. Weight 153.3. Calories in 3200. Fitbit Steps 22643. Total Burn 2952. Exercise Burn 1100/1243 (80minElliptical, 60minZumba). My usual Tuesday Zumba was taking the week off, so I hit the one I sometimes go to on Fridays. I did NOT drop #2 off at the rec center, he wasn't feeling well today and just stayed home and rested.  In the evening, the hubs and I went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It was our anniversary and he would have been more than happy to swing for a "nicer" place, but I actually not enjoy them as much. Nice meal, nice company. 22 years. Ate too much, but oh well :) 
  • 0723 (Wednesday)  Good Day. Weight 154.5. Calories in 2500. Fitbit Steps 33151. Total Burn 3328. Exercise Burn 1588/1612 (80minElliptical, 60minZumba, 8000 steps at Jump).  Dropped #2 at the rec center on my way to Zumba. Hit Kmart on the way home for some deals with my Fitstudio points. As the little boys hadn't had much excitement the past few days, I told them we could go bowling. I even sprang for some pizza and punch. I said we could hit Jump too (it was the last day on our month pass) ... we grabbed #2 and a friend and then headed out. #4 actually sat this one out, as #1 was home from work to keep him company at home. I got in 8000 steps while walking around the waiting area upstairs. I did take a quick break to run #2 over to the high school for a basketball practice, which of course required a pickup again in the evening.  Good productive day though. 
  • 0724 (Thursday) Good Day. Weight 153.5. Calories in 2600. Fitbit Steps 25416. Total Burn 3232. Exercise Burn 1159/1522 (80minElliptical, 60minZumba). Daddy and the boys were up early, as it's a state holiday here in Utah and the boys had flag duty. Hubs did still go into work though. I wasn't sure I'd even find a Zumba class (as most were taking it off) but there was a local one (the $2 in the basement one) so I hit that.  Hubs and the boys are leaving on their vacation tomorrow, so I was pretty busy prepping. Making sure the laundry was done, packing up the little boys. #2 wanted to go hang with friends, so I dropped him off.  I had the hubs stop and grab a few more "sliders" ... a small firework activated by rubbing your shoe over it. Similar to pop-its. #4 had liked them.  He grabbed some more parachutes too. I like the big fireworks, but I don't like the cost, and it's not worth it to me to fight the crowds and such. A couple neighbors did HUGE ones though, so we got quite the show just from our own front yard. Daddy was working with the three youngest starting a fire with flint and steel with some lint from the dryer. Funny to see them working with the little sparks while big fireworks burst above them. 
  • 0725 (Friday) Good Day. Weight 152.6. Calories in 2400. Fitbit Steps 27765. Total Burn 3293. Exercise Burn 1350/1588 (80minElliptical, 60minZumba). Hubs and #1 did still put in a half day at work. I'd prepped all the packing I was in charge of yesterday so that I could still hit my Zumba this morning. I dropped #2 off at the rec center on the way and then picked him up on the way back. Because this class is a little further away, and it started a bit late and then went over ... he still got in a full two hours of basketball. He's really stressed about not being able to play for over a week while on vacation (I totally get that! He's addicted and doesn't want to lose any "skill" before tryouts). Then it was the last minute scrambling of getting everything packed into the car. Hubs had done quite a bit last night, so the car had been fairly loaded as I went out to Zumba earlier. Tents, bags, all electronics for the ride. And they were off! And I'm alone for a week! I DO actually look forward to my "stay-cation" ... just getting a complete break from all "mom" duties of meals, carpools, laundry. Cleaning the house and having it STAY cleaning. Having my schedule completely open. Ahhhh. Beyond that, the trip would just stress me out completely! My anxiety in the car, for hours on end. Then just the chaos of the extended family crowd. As they have their activities (last year, going to the market, the Space Needle, waverunning) I can enjoy vicariously, whereas I honestly would not enjoy being there. I wouldn't mind popping in for an hour here and there if I could be magically transported. Now that the kids are older, hubs can handle them on his own. Anyway ... as I was debating what to do with myself as they left, about to go down and hit the bike I noticed a bag. A little brown bad with the Ipad mini and all the chargers (for Ipods, PSP, Gameboy). OH NO. My BIL's family hadn't left yet, so I jumped in #1's truck (as they had taken the family suburban) and ran it down to them. They will meet up with my guys tonight.  Not exactly how I had planned on enjoying my first hour alone, but glad it at least worked out.  I stopped at the store and grabbed some milk, bananas and grapes. Hubs had used up the rest of my skim last night. I still had some 2% ... but I don't drink that! I did get a workout in back at home and then I went out and joined my folks at Red Robin. It was actually a huge crew from my side of the family (two brothers and their wives and kids, plus four of my sister's kids staying with the grandparents). It was fun, talked with my youngest brother quite a bit (has a Fitbit, on MFP, actively working on losing some pounds).  TOM time ... just one more reason a trip was not in the cards for me. I hate TOM all the time, but on the road? Even worse! 
  • 0726 (Saturday) Good Day. Weight 153.2. Calories in 1950. Fitbit Steps 26393. Total Burn 3161. Exercise Burn 1185/1453 (60minElliptical, 60minZumba, 30minBike, 30minLawnMow). First night alone went fine. I was still sleeping soundly at 6:30 when my alarm went off for 7:00 Zumba. I made it, but was a tiny bit late, they had already started. Good class today, although I don't get quite the burn here as I do some of my others. What to do with my time ... I mowed the front lawn and did a little weeding. I like to clean the house, as it actually stays clean without all the kids around. I got a little sidetracked though. Putting some things away, I ended up pulling a bunch of stuff out of the pantry and organizing it. Then I turned to some of the kitchen drawers. I actually made a much bigger mess before I actually got everything cleaned up. But projects like this I just can't do with the kids around. I should have had Hubs or #1 give me a lesson on the new speaker system Hubs gave me for Mother's Day. Ironically ... I don't know how to use it! Seriously, I had to go pull out the old speaker and set it up. I should have had Hubs/#1 give me a lesson on Sonos (the speaker) and Spotify/Pandora. Unfortunately the speaker in #1's truck doesn't work either. As I'd driven around yesterday/today, I accessed my iphone. I wasn't sure I even had any music on there, but I did. In fact, it was some older playlists that were lost during an itunes update. I've been listening to them in the car and at home and it's been so fun to hear some long forgotten songs. I did listen to music while I did the cleaning, and also put on a show (Warehouse13, one I had started watching downstairs, and it's fine, but one I can watch half-heartedly while doing other things). I rarely ever watch anything when I'm not exercising as the kids generally have that television occupied already.  I also got in some elliptical and bike (been a while since I'd hit the bike). Felt like a good productive day. Hubs checked in ... they stopped at a hotel in Boise last night and got in some swimming both last night and this morning before hitting the road again. Driving ALL day today and then finally hit their destination (his brother's house) in the late evening. He had planned on taking our crew to a hotel (as BIL's house is a little small and Grandma, Aunt Ana and her two boys, Uncle Clay and his wife and three kids were already planning on staying there) but apparently everything was full! So definitely crowded chaos (I feel anxious even though I'm not even there!)  The older three took their Fitbits ... I hope they don't lose them! 
  • 0727 (Sunday) Good Day.  Weight 153.0. Calories in 2000. Fitbit Steps 26566. Total Burn 3000. Exercise Burn 1455/1286 (60minElliptical, 60minZumba, TreadmillMile, 60minWeights, 30minBike, 10minHula). The first Sunday in forever when I didn't make the traditional "Sunday Circles" breakfast. Got in some exercise, walked to/from church. Very quiet day at home. Heard from the guys as they hit the Space Needle and other downtown Seattle sites. 
  • 0728 (Monday) Good Day. Weight 151.7. Calories in 1800. Fitbit Steps 27367. Total Burn 3163. Exercise Burn 1600/1463 (90minElliptical, 60minZumba, 30minBike, 10minWiiFit, 10minHula). Off to my Draper Zumba. Stopped at Kmart on the way home for Fitstudio shopping. Got in my elliptical, bike and extras. Got hit with a huge rainstorm in the evening. I could see water dripping from the raingutter into one of the window wells. I was watching, and it was filling up and getting close to the edge. I had to get down and bail it out. It was a bit of a workout! Kept calories in check for intake. Good day! 
  • 0729 (Tuesday) Pretty Good Day. Weight 151.7. Calories in 2700. Fitbit Steps 25994. Total Burn 3071. Exercise burn 1250/1371 (60minElliptical, 60minZumba, Tennis). Went ahead and drove to the church as I wasn't sure if the rain would start up again. Got in my Zumba then headed out to my folks. I'd played a little tennis with my dad and nephew (who had been staying with them a couple days) ... in the rain! Then Mom and I went out to eat at Chuck-a-Rama. A little heavy religion conversation, we stayed for a while! We had talked about going on a hike (with my brother too) but with the rain and such that didn't happen (although the rain did stop later). Back at home I overindulged in the coconut goodie cookies I had made the other day (and had been good rationing until today!) 
  • 0730 (Wednesday) Pretty Good Day. Weight 153.2. Calories in 2200. Fitbit Steps 22344. Total Burn 2933. Exercise burn 1300/1228 (80minElliptical, 60minZumba). I was thinking I'd go get my hair done (blond highlights up top) and wanted to hit it early. I figured that while I love my Southziders Zumba, I'd hit the closer/earlier MZL one. I went ... they were having trouble getting the music started, I didn't see any of the main instructors there. I waited for 10-15 minutes then figured I'd just head down to Draper after all. Got a good Zumba in there. Did go get my hair done. It took forever though, SO hard for me to just sit, even though I got my reading in. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's a little more streaky than I would have liked, and she actually darkened the bottom, which I'm not really sure I wanted. 
  • 0731 (Thursday) Pretty Good Day. Weight 152.6. Calories in 2300. Fitbit Steps 22627. Total Burn 2861. Exercise Burn 1500/1182 (100minElliptical, 60minSoccer). My Thursday Zumba had been set to resume today, but then they posted that they would wait another week, as most of the instructors weren't available. I had been thinking I'd hit soccer today anyway, but the nerves were kicking in, and if I'd had the Zumba class to fall back on, I probably would have done it instead. But without it, I made myself go to soccer. It was fun, not sure why I had been so nervous. I didn't get in quite the burn I did before, but still over 600 for the hour. Heart rate elevates immediately and stays up! I get tired so fast and stay on defense most of the time. Hope I could improve my skills, and get more running (and steps) in. Not feeling as sore as last time, but then again it takes 24+hours to really kick in, so I guess we'll see. Finally had some sun today, so I caught a few rays. Did good on food intake for the morning, but then splurged in the evening. Struggling with the motivation!
My "streaks" calendar ... actually got to goal on some Sundays!
Goal is 22,000 steps and a Fitbit burn of 3000.
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