Saturday, January 31, 2015

WWI#80 and Five Indoor Workouts

Ah Friday
 ... time for the Friday Five and my weekly recap and weigh-in.

Although I haven't missed a weekly weigh-in, I've been a little slow at getting them up (usually on Saturday or Sunday). I have NOT been participating in the various Friday Five link-ups for a bit. I saw the theme the DC Bloggers (Courtney, Mar and Cynthia) put out ... Five Favorite Indoor Workouts, and thought I'd link up this week. 

I am an indoor workout gal. The extremes in weather, bugs, traffic, people looking at you, dogs ... I just don't want to deal with it. I love having a home gym where I am super spoiled with equipment, in charge of what I watch, and it takes just one moment to go from home to gym and back again.  I do have FIVE main types of exercise that I rotate through ...

  • Elliptical ... is my go to machine. I almost always get in an hour a day. I never actually do an hour at a time, but small 10-20 minute segments spread out. Admittedly, I am usually in my workout wear (comfy clothes, sports bra) most of the day, but even if I'm not, I can still just jump on the elliptical for a few minutes for an energy boost, getting some "steps" in. I like that it's low impact, quiet, and I can wear slippers (I don't like shoes!). 
  • Treadmill ... I'll either hit the treadmill for a quick one mile run (ok, it's been a while since I've done that) or commit to a longer (30+min) workout. I mean, if I'm going to go to all the effort of putting on shoes and socks ... I know many dislike the "dreadmill" but I love seeing an exact count of my distance and speed, of putting on a program to watch and entertain me (although it is noisy, I need subtitles), and I really like the option of incline. Often I'll use the treadmill for "hikes" to up my calorie burn.
  • Stationary Bike ... I wasn't a fan of the bike. It was a pain in the butt (literally!) and I wouldn't get "steps" on my Fitbit. But, I've found it's the perfect time to read my book. Instead of laying or sitting down, I read while I ride. Admittedly, I'm not putting my whole heart into this "workout", it's pretty low-key, but I really enjoy my read/ride time and actually feel I concentrate better on my book!
  • Strength Training ... we have a nice weight set up in our home gym, but all I really need are some dumbbells and the bench. At times I've worked with a DVD (30DS for example) but more often I just have a full body workout I do on my own. I have been a little lax in my weights for a while, I need to get back, always getting it in at least once a week!
  • Zumba ... of course I can't leave out ZUMBA! I started one year ago and am absolutely addicted.  I go to classes Mon-Fri mornings. All different locations and instructors (and all free ... I love that, as I don't want to buy a gym membership for classes as I have my home gym which as outlined above, I am very content with!). I do occasionally workout out at home, sometimes a full hour, or just one song here and there throughout the day as I have a spare five minutes.

Because I not only have easy access to all these indoor workouts, but actually enjoy all these indoor workouts, I have no excuses! I do usually get in quite a bit of exercise/activity. I wish the fitness alone could keep me slender and healthy, but NO, food plays a part too. Dang it, I'm not nearly as good with my eating.  And with that I'll transition into my weekly weigh-in and recap of the week.


It was a pretty good week. Very routine, set structure. No excuses. I had a 1.2 pound loss from last week's weigh-in (average went up a smidgen though). I Zumba-ed each week day, double on Thursday evening. Elliptical and bike every week day too. Only one small treadmill time and ... no weights this week. Oops! I really meant to either on Tuesday or Friday but then it didn't happen.  I really controlled calories on Monday, then went totally overboard on Tuesday. My average intake for the week was 2236. Average burn was 2848. Crunching the numbers I ended up with a deficit of -2435. 

I've just spent SO long in this 150-155 range ... I just need to drop to the 140-149 range and then I'll be fine maintaining. So close, yet sometimes feels so far ...



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Comparisons

Apples to Apples.
My son LOVES that game!
Personally, I know better than to try and compare myself to others. There are so many variables at play. But I DO compare me to myself. One workout to another. Various estimates on different devices. How I do and feel day to day. I'm a bit of a numbers nerd. I collect and compare my stats, steps, calorie counts, weight ... almost anything I can assign a number to.

Looking back on the past few days, 
my workouts and numbers have been quite similar.

 Monday

 Tuesday

Wednesday

Each day in the morning, I had an hour of Zumba. I also had some small sessions on the elliptical throughout the days (10-20 minutes at a time. 40 minutes on Monday, and hour on Tues/Wed). All three days I spent 37 minutes reading while riding the stationary bike (10miles).

I felt really good about Mon and Wednesday, 
but felt like Tuesday was an off day. Why?

So much of it is perception. Expectation also. Tuesdays are normally really good days for me (often 30k in steps).  I started out strong, hitting my 10x10 and then ... I had some lazy hours. Also, after really keeping calories controlled on Monday, I caved to cravings and went way overboard. In the evening during my little guy's basketball practice, I usually walk while I wait, getting in 5000 or more steps. I did do some walking, but I just wasn't feeling up to it. I'd worn bad shoes, my other son who had come along too decided he didn't want to shoot and took my ipad mini that I'd been reading while I walked. Even in non-exercise attitudes, I just felt better about Monday and Wednesday (getting more "mommy" stuff done).

Another little "perception" ... if you notice on the graphs above, on Mon/Wed, the vertical axis extends to 3,000. On Tuesday, I didn't quite get enough steps in a 15min period of time to warrant that little graph increase. That actually affects me mentally! It just throws off the graph perspective. I really try to make sure I have ONE workout in the day that pushes the graph axis up, and on Tuesday I just didn't make it.

I was just thinking back on this past week, finding it ironic how I had some good days, and a bad day, when the numbers were so similar. Well ... the eating calories weren't similar on those day. I know the eating is where it's at more than the exercise. I wish I could get as much control and routine in my food as I do my fitness. It's a constant challenge!  Just thinking out loud ... and linking up late with Workout Wednesday.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TV Talk Tuesday - Cupcake Wars

My second TV Talk Tuesday this month.
This time the focus is on what the kids are watching.

I am SUCH a persnickety eater, that "food shows" have never really appealed to me.  I know there are a ton out there, but I just haven't paid much attention to them. Are any of them geared toward healthy eating? Not that THAT is my strong suit either. 


Imagine my surprise last Friday when the kidlets were out of school. They seemed glued to the television, and what had caught their interest? Cupcake Wars!

I guess #2 had been introduced to the show at a friend's house. There is a "Cupcake Wars Collection" on Netflix, so the boys are watching that (although we do have cable for sports, so I assume we have the food channel and could catch current episodes). I wouldn't have thought my boys would have been so interested in such a show, but they are. #2 is apparently quite the expert, having watched more episodes than the other boys, making comments like "oh no, don't add the stuff to the batter. It will sink to the bottom and the judges won't like that."

As a finicky un-foodie, it's actually a little hard for me to watch (I never sit and watch, but I'll catch glimpses as I'm in the kitchen prepping dinner or doing dishes). Some of the themes and required additions (um, pepperoni and pastrami? In a cupcake?) are downright disgusting!

Well, I suppose it's not as bad as some of the things out on television today. The kids haven't seemed inspired to actually try baking anything themselves though. As for me ... I'll only catch a snippet of the shows here and there. It's not something that intrigues ME enough to make it onto my list of what to watch while working out. While WATCHING a show about cupcakes isn't as bad as eating a bunch of cupcakes, my boys aren't getting any steps on the Fitbits sitting around watching Cupcake Wars!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday ... Back at It

Monday ... back to the routine!
I started the day with Zumba, but I forgot my hat!

No hat means sweaty, straight bangs in my eyes. I need to remember my hat! But happily my HRM was working today and I got good stats!  535 calories, "in zone" 54 of the 69 minutes and an average heart rate of 135. Fitbit sait 541 calories and 8035 steps. 

I always really like getting back to the routine on Monday. I had an absolutely lazy day yesterday! I didn't even hit 6000 steps for the whole day. I did pretty good on Saturday though, hitting 20k. Better than Friday, when I only hit 17k (I blame TOM).  

My weight went up slightly after my weigh-in on Friday, but then it's stayed exactly the same for Sat/Sun and this morning (154.1). Usually I have a bit more of an "up" on Monday mornings.  



Hubs got home from his trip to Las Vegas late Thursday.
It's good to have him home.
 
He had done pretty well there he thought. Controlled calories (and tracked with MFP) even with all the temptations. He started each day with a jog through the city. He really kept up with me on the steps. He had a Fitbit Funny when his Fitbit reset at midnight mountain time (and he still had an hour on Vegas time). He felt totally gypped out of those steps being added to that day's count! I love that he's liking his Fitbit! *Ü*   He did a Friday weigh-in too and was NOT happy with the result. Poor Hubs, he was very down on Friday and Saturday (it affects the guys too!) He weighed again on Sunday and had a substantial drop. That's why I weigh myself every day, just in case that ONE weigh-in is off.

I had hoped to get in a weekend weights session ... but it didn't happen. We didn't get our racquetball in on Saturday this week. It was very busy with the boy's basketball. Games for #3 and #5. The little one had some great shots, I need to make a highlight video. The other game? We're just going to try and forget about it! #2 had a game Friday, and Saturday he needed to go to games to "work" running clocks or taking pictures and then just cheering on friends. I did a lot of running kids around. Hubs had a huge pinewood derby Saturday too.  I did really miss our racquetball session.

After all the schedule shifts last week (kids out of school two days, hubby gone, addition of a kitty, anxiety issues resulting in homeschooling some days, TOM...) I think we should be back to a regular routine this week.  Hoping to control calories and have a drop by Friday's weigh-in, for me (under 150)  and Hubs (under 200) ...

Well, enough sitting at the computer, time to hit my home gym again!
Time for some reading and riding!
Linking up with MIMM.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

WWI #79 ... An Off Week

Well ... didn't go down this week. Last week's weigh-in was the lowest it went as I look back on this past week. It wasn't a bad week, but it wasn't quite the usual routine.

  • School out: The kids were home Monday (for MLK) and Friday (end of quarter). They boys are really good, so having them around doesn't impact me negatively, but I just don't get up as early and get moving. 
  • Hubs out of town: Hubs left Monday and got back Thursday. He always gets up and off early, so that encourages me to do the same. Without him around (and #2's early morning driver's ed concluded last week) I did sleep in a little this week. Often I do stay up later, and sometimes get more evening stuff in when hubs is gone, but not this week.
  • Anxiety issues: #4 really struggled going back to school on Tuesday after the long weekend. Add to that the incident last Friday (his teacher had a seizure) , and then his teacher was still out ... my poor child had a meltdown. I ended up homeschooling him part days on Tues and Wed. We did do a lot of one-on-one stuff, it was good. I was proud he made it back to school for Thursday (it was a short day).
  • TOM: It's that time of the month. I hate it. 
  • New kitty: We haven't been a pet family, but the kids have wanted a dog or cat for a long time. I finally caved on the kitty front. #1 had been looking for the past several weeks and Monday he took the two little boys and picked up a kitty from the Humane Society. His name is Oreo (that was actually his name at the shelter, but it is a perfect fit for our family). He's four months old and the boys are very happy to have him. While he hasn't really impacted my routine ... I think he makes me a little lazy! I mean HE is always sleeping, and I stop to pet him often when I usually keep moving.
A couple kitty pictures ...
 Hubs can't blame me for this clog!

 Silly Sleeper

I really tried to control calories better, as I know that is the key to getting the scale to move. We went out to dinner Monday night with my folks. I didn't feel I went overboard, but the scale did jump the next morning. I had another bad eating day on Thursday, nothing in particular, just lots of snacking. Cookies! Exercise was pretty much on track. I got in my elliptical and Zumba Mon-Fri. I did some bike and treadmill too, and also did a weight workout. 

NUMBERS: Up .6, but the average went down -.41.  Average intake was 2286. Average burn was 2902 which ended with a deficit for the week, albeit a tiny one. -510.

As usual, there were basketball games and practices. I did spend some time at the computer this week turning the video clips into a highlight reel. You can see the video here. I'll be watching a couple more games on Saturday. That's the life of a basketball mom!

Next week should be pretty normal. Routine and structure. Hopefully I can control my calories and shift the scale to under 150 again ...










Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Still FitBitting

Lights Out :(

Just over a week ago ... Friday, January 9, there was a death in our Fitbit Family. MY Fitbit. My last sync had been at 3:14. I attempted to look at my stats around 4:00 and ... nothing. No lights. I didn't panic immediately. In my four years of having a Fitbit, I think this (or having the numbers showing but frozen) had happened once or twice. Previously, resetting the Fitbit had got it working again.

This time ... the reset did not work. I tried a few times. I pulled out an alternate charger to try the reset. I left it on the charger just in case the battery had somehow gotten that low without me noticing. No luck. My Fitbit wasn't the only thing to die that afternoon. My motivation died as well. As many pedometer people may ask ...

I mean OF COURSE they do. But ... I could have, should have hit the elliptical again, but I didn't. I wanted to get some reading in, and I usually ride (with the Fitbit on my sock to pick up "steps") ... but I just read in bed. No motivation if I wasn't going to get a little spike on my activity graph. 

Now, Fitbit is renowned for their great customer service ... but, I had purchased my Fitbit almost two years ago, so I really didn't think I'd have much luck. Besides, even by chance if they would replace it, that would mean WAITING. I was NOT willing to wait! All my thoughts Friday evening were of going out and getting a new Fitbit. I should have just done it that night.

I am a frugal sort. I did want to get the best deal I could at short notice. Amazon had the best prices, but even with Prime and 2-day shipping, that would require a WAIT. I had built up $35 in credit (thanks to my old Fitbit) at Walgreens, but while they sold Fitbits online, they didn't have them at the store for immediate pickup. Bed,Bath&Beyond did, and I usually have a 20% off coupon around (Fitbit was not listed as one of the many exclusions), but all mine were expired. I finally just gave up and went to Best Buy, where it was $94.99 and we got points for our purchase.

It felt SO GREAT to be back in business!

I have since heard from Fitbit customer service and go figure, they ARE sending out a replacement one! I suppose I could return my new purchase, but I think I'll just hang onto the extra one so I'll never be in the terrible situation of being without a Fitbit again. I know #4 would like a ONE, rather than his Zip (backlight) ... although he really wants the new Charge!

I've mentioned Fitbit Customer service before. It really is great. Because everyone in our family (immediate and now extended too) has a Fitbit, we have had a few problems here and there. I had recently contacted customer service about some of our silicone cases. I do think the design of the ONE is an improvement over the original Ultra, but the cases are not without their issues. A couple of the little tips had come off of our Ones and Zips. It makes them really had to put on. The metal tip poked through the material of my bra on occasion, and my son, wearing his on his waist had received a good scratch.

I simply sent this photo to Fitbit and asked if replacement cases were a possibility and they immediately sent new ones out. We'd had to do this once before with #1's Flex (when he was wearing the Flex). Hubs is now using the Flex, but he just slips it into his pocket rather than wearing the wristband.

Speaking of the Hubs ... He's TRYING to catch me!

He's in Vegas on a business trip. Lots of walking, and he was still making exercise a priority as he packed. He was pretty proud yesterday, asking me if I'd seen his steps. He was at 25K. Very impressive. I ... hit 31K. What can I say, I had a good day. I'm sure glad my Fitbit was up and running to catch all my steps!

Linking up with Workout Wednesday.

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Monday?


It doesn't feel like Monday. The kids aren't in school due to the MLK holiday. There was sleeping in, a late breakfast, and we're going out with family tonight. Not my usual "Motivated Monday"  but I'll still do my best!  It was a great Zumba class this morning and I've done one elliptical session so far. My littlest one had some homework due tomorrow. A worksheet on Martin Luther King Jr. It was fun to help him work through it and learn a little more about the man myself.

As usual for my Monday, I'm linking up with MIMM and recapping the weekend. It was a memorable one. On Friday, #2 was playing in a big basketball game over at the high school. Normally it's just me and #3 coming to watch, sometimes Daddy will try to hit the game. But this week, it was a big fundraiser dinner, so all the brothers, Maga, Aunt Ana and her boys, were there. And what a game it was! This was against our main rival, and it was ending up tied at the end of every quarter ... including the fourth. So into overtime. Just a second left on the clock, it's tied up again and MY SON, from way behind the 3-point line is passed the ball ...

Check out the video below!



It was SO awesome! A link to all the game highlights is here. I spent some of my Saturday and Sunday going through the clips and making the video. I have video from two other basketball games (#3 and #5 played on Saturday, I'll need to get to them at some point too *Ü*  Basketball Mom!)

Also on Saturday, Hubs and I played racquetball again. I'm so glad we've got back to the court! We used to do it all the time. I hope we can keep it up, it's a perfect Saturday activity for me! 

Another Saturday event ...

With five active boys, we've never had a broken window! The weather was quite nice on Saturday, and the boys were playing outside. Makeshift baseball with a piece of pipe and a hard ball. The pipe ended up flying. It was quite the crash for those of us in the house! Broken glass everywhere, inside and out. Right now we have a nice piece of cardboard over the broken pane, I'm not sure when we'll get around to having it replaced.

Even though we just HAD Saturday, it SO feels like a Saturday today! This week will be a little off schedule. Hubs will be out of town for a few days, which can impact my days/nights. The kids are out of school on Friday too (for the end of the quarter).  My son's early morning driver's ed is now done (YEA!) so I don't need to make an additional early morning carpool to the school every day. I SHOULD still continue to get up early and get started on my day, but, we'll see.

How was your weekend?



Friday, January 16, 2015

WWI #78 - Going Down Again

It was a decent week. I'm still really struggling with keeping calories in check. I've just seemed extra hungry lately! And not for anything good. These past few days were busy.  Once again ... I'm getting my Friday blog post up late. 

I've really tried to stay on top of things ... entering my numbers, keeping up with my daily doings journal entries, Daily Mile and Walker Tracker (you can get more details on my daily exercise on either of those sites, or my Day to Day Doings page).  If I  just enter them daily, then I don't have a big catch up waiting for me at the end of the week as I attempt this post. I'm doing better, but I do still have to catch up on a couple of entries ...

I try to use Sunday to get completely caught up and then be able to start the next week fresh and ready. Daily Mile posts to Facebook on Monday morning, so if I haven't updated everything then my stats look pretty miserable! This next week will be a little off schedule. The kids are out Mon (for the MLK holiday) and Fri (end of quarter). 

As for this past week:  NUMBERS ... down 1.7 pounds from last week. Average went down 1.3. Good, but only putting my back to where I was a couple of weeks ago, when I'd started, but not finished, my holiday gains. Still eating too much, too many treats. Average intake was 2314. Average burn slipped a little to 2714. I did end up with a deficit for the week, but only -865.

Gotta do better!



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Loads of Laundry

Laundry ... it's never ending, right?
And when you are an avid exerciser, it adds up even faster!

The hubs goes through spurts ... being very active and eating healthy to, well, not doing that so much. I remember one of the "on" times a while back, he actually apologized for the extra laundry his workouts were adding. Of course I told him not to worry about it. I was happy he was being healthy. This go round, he's been doing his own laundry. I asked him if this was out of guilt, or just necessity (only having a couple pieces of workout wear, and needing them washed immediately so he could wear them again the next day. He could buy more, but he's hoping to not be this size for very long). It was the latter. #2, my basketball boy is in the same boat. He has a practice jersey that he wears every day, so he generally runs a small load for it as well. 

Our washer stays busy! With these two small loads, in addition to those I do to keep the house running. I pretty much do a load of laundry every single day. I do divide some things into whites and darks. I also have a basket for linens, and wash those together. For the five boys ... they each have their own individual dirty clothes hamper and I just wash all their things together (unless it is something that specifically needs to go in the white/dark loads). This is mainly just to save time when putting things away. It's a little hard to tell which shirts/shorts/socks go to which kid when sorting, so I just keep them all separate. 

So ... if you have loads of laundry each week, would you rather do ONE load of laundry every day or spend ONE day doing it all? I do the former. Here are some random thoughts  I've had about laundry lately ... 
  • Why are there dozens of socks, shorts and shirts, and only two pairs of underwear?
  • I love the smell of bleach. It just smells clean.
  • Well that shirt shrunk! (Luckily with five boys, I can just move it down a closet).
  • I love that my older boys do their own laundry.
  • Now #3's white shirt is pink.
  • Got to lotion up ... folding clothes (especially towels) strips the moisture from my hands!
  • While I don't love doing laundry, NOT BEING ABLE to do laundry (broken washer/dryer) is much, MUCH worse!
  • I like the Pinterest tip on making my own dry laundry soap!
  • When it's cold outside, I really don't mind folding the clothes right out of the dryer.
  • The dryer is done but I'm too busy to fold right now ... I'll just run it again a bit later. Then again. Then again.
  • Turn the buzzer off on the dryer, it's too noisy.
  • What is  that clanging around the dryer? Hope it's not a Fitbit!
  • Oops ... washed and dried a pen. I hope the black marks are baked on the dryer walls and don't come off on other clothes.
  • Why must the boys live out of their laundry basket? Put the clothes away please. And return the laundry basket, I need it.
  • Does this really need to be air dried? The dryer is so much easier! 
  • Whoever designed this dryer and put the lint trap on the top should be shot!
  • Throw the couple "extra/alone" socks in the "solitary sock box" ... I'll go through it at some point and find some matches.
I actually don't mind doing laundry. I prefer it over other cleaning duties (dishes, cleaning bathrooms, mopping, etc). While the older boys generally do their own loads, I usually still fold them. Even though I see them in their clothes, it's always a time for me to really look, and see which ones they are wearing, which are the favorites, remind myself of their sizes. I enjoy the orderly piles, the matched up socks, the folded shirts. When the boys were little, I'd then have to put everything away too, but they are all big enough now. For the upstairs boys (#1, #4 and #5) I lay them out on their beds, so they really have no choice but to put the clean clothes away. The downstairs boys (#3 and #4) I fold upstairs and place them in a laundry basket. These almost never get put away, the boys just pick out of the baskets. It drives me crazy!

I'll leave you with five funnies ...


 




We don't think about laundry that much, we just do it.
What are some of your random thoughts?
Do any match mine?
Linking up with Thinking Out Loud *Ü*




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's Wednesday ...

I like alliteration. If you look back on my blog posts, watch the wording of my terrific titles, you will probably see that. So many of the link-ups out there also adopt alliteration, Wednesday being one. There is Workout Wednesday, Weigh-In Wednesday, and What I Ate Wednesday, just to name a few. I wasn't sure which one to work on this Wednesday, so I figured I'd hit all three *Ü* Wonderful!


The scale said 154.9 this morning. Not wonderful.

I weigh-in every day, but my official day is Friday. I do usually join the Weigh-In Wednesday link-up late, only linking up on an actual Wednesday if I'm discussing something else weight related. I thought I would share my updated weight graph today. 2014 has come to a close, so I thought it would be good to post it in comparison to my previous years (last year's line is in gray). It was a pretty steady year, right there in my "comfort zone happy place" of 150-155 pounds for most of it. I did have a little dip Octoberish, but the packed on some holiday pounds to end the year. It's always interesting to take a really broad view of my weight, looking at it over years, not just the weekly check in.

 We had pancakes for breakfast ...

It's the eating! I actually enjoy exercise, but I have NOT mastered my eating. Thus the constant struggle. I to track on MFP at least, and try to control my calories. Because I don't have much good or inspirational eating advice, I don't participate in the What I Ate Wednesday link-up very often. But I have really been thinking about what I've been eating lately, as it's been SO hard keeping calories in check. I think one of the reasons is our big breakfasts. Normally, I'm not much of a breakfast gal. Yes, I know ... "most important meal of the day" and all, but I'm usually just not that hungry. If I eat, those are 200-500 calories that I wouldn't have consumed otherwise. Over the holiday break, I made quite a few breakfasts for the boys. Pancakes, waffles, french toast, muffins, cocoa and toast, cinnamon rolls (yes, we like the breads) ... sometimes scrambled eggs, bacon and hashbrowns too. Even with the boys going back to school, they are still expecting me to make them breakfast (go figure!) Before, it seems like they would just grab a banana or some cereal, things I didn't have to take time to make and then be tempted to eat myself. I'd think I'd do better off going back to eating my "breakfast" around noon ... 

Lastly, there is Workout Wednesday ( #wowlinkup)
 I do participate in the Workout Wednesday link up quite often. Working out ... that is something I seem to have endless ideas to talk about, things worth sharing. I like the exercise and activity part of this attempted healthy lifestyle! One of my main workouts is Zumba. I go Mon-Fri, to five different classes. While I love all my instructors, their different styles and steps, I don't know that I could go to the same class everyday without getting a little burned out. So I switch it up! Today, my Wednesday class was having a theme. "Black and White" ... ok, that is pretty much my usual attire (Lacking in Color Confidence).  These theme days can be fun though! It's their Wacky Wednesday ... look, more alliteration!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!








Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Recent Reads ~ 2014 Recap

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

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

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

(Click on the image to enlarge)

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

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

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





Monday, January 12, 2015

Mondays and Marshmallows (Weekend Recap)

We've been having some nice weather (relatively speaking for January!) but today it's dark and dreary  and rainy. It started going downhill over the weekend. I came home from one of my outings to small white things all over the front lawn. I wondered if we'd been hit by a hailstorm. It wasn't hail. It was mini marshmallows. The marshmallows in this last bag I bought were covered by a chalky substance. I guess the boys thought it would be fun to throw them at each other (they left white marks all over as you can see in the picture above). That was just ONE of the goings on this past weekend. Other items were ...

  • Gadget Upgrades: My son upgraded my phone to IOS8 withOUT my permission. I had purposely NOT upgraded as I don't like change and had heard about some bugs. Oh well. I can't tell too much difference yet. I also went out and bought a new Fitbit. My old one died on Friday afternoon. Customer service may replace it, but I couldn't wait, I needed a new one NOW. I also got batteries for my Polar FT4 heart rate monitor and installed them (it wasn't nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be) so I really hope it will work better from now on!
  • Return to Racquetball: The Hubs and I used to play racquetball together quite, but it's been years. Hubs felt he was in shape enough to try it (without risking a heart attack) so we went over the weekend and it was so fun! Good burn without even feeling like a workout! I hope we can do it weekly.
  • Broken Nose?: Poor #3 got hit hard in his game on Saturday. His nose was bleeding bad and looked just a little crooked. We wondered if it might be broken. He stayed to support the team but didn't play for the rest of the game (and without him they lost by one). I took him to the Instacare to have it checked out. They didn't rule out a broken nose, but couldn't say if it needed further treatment or just rest and ice. We were told to keep an eye on it and follow up with an ENT if we felt it still looked or felt funny after a few days.
Spending a couple hours at the Instacare wasn't in the plan for the weekend, but I guess it could have been worse. We had a family dinner out at "Italian Village" which is famous for their "pizza benders". I don't do pizza, so I had fettuccine alfredo, which wasn't that great and not worth the calories. Some weekend splurges were Hubs yummy chocolate malt, and my yummy lemon jello cake.

So yes ... weight is up a little after the weekend, as it is wont to do. This coming week is a busy one! I'll be glad to get it over with. A lot going on with the boys basketball. I'm on duty to make lunches for their away game on Tuesday. There is a big dinner on Friday which each player had to sell tickets to, provide two $50 giftbaskets, and then we parents get to work the dinner. I'll be glad when it's over!

 Basketball practices and/or games every night of the week.  My oldest, in prep for his mission, is also going through the temple this week. So that's another thing complicating the week a bit. I hope I can still get in all my exercise and not fall into any emotional/stress eating!

Wish me luck! 
How was your weekend?
Linking up with MIMM.


Friday, January 9, 2015

WWI #77~ Three Pounds Down BUT ...

Last week there was a pretty big bump up in the scale. This week I'm down three pounds, which sounds great, but in the big picture, it's just putting me back in my plateau place where I have been for SO long. It's actually depressing to see the "26 pounds lost" MFP badge in my sidebar, and then catch that same badge on a "link within" previous post thumbnail and see that I was there back for WWI#12 over two years ago. I mean I am close to where I want to be for maintenance, but if I'm going to maintain, I want it to be under 150, I want that MFP badge to show 30pounds (or more) lost.

The scale shock last week did motivate me to have a pretty good weekend. I got quite a bit of activity in Friday and Saturday (I did have a rest day on Sunday). I thought I'd be totally ready to restart the week, with the return to the routine after the holidays ... but there was a hitch. I'd done a weight workout on Saturday, my first one in a while and I was SO sore!

My Monday morning Zumba, I wasn't quite my bouncy self, and I didn't have my "Motivated Monday" like I usually do. I was pretty much over it by Wednesday, and did manage to get the scale to move by mid-week.

It's the eating. It's always the eating. Still a stash of leftover Christmas candy calling out and tempting me. The Hubs has recommitted to food/fitness a few weeks ago. He admits how hard it was during the holidays (he maintained) but he's been back at it full force this past week. That SHOULD help me out, but I still snack way too much. 

So ... I am happy the number on the scale went down. I just need to get it down a little bit further (under 150) and then maintain. I really didn't want to see my weekly numbers back here where they are.  Speaking of NUMBERS ... down 3 pounds from last week, but the average actually went up (1.6 to 155.94). Average in was 2400 (too high), and average burn was 2826, which came out to a deficit of just -750. So according to the numbers I didn't earn a three pound loss, but I'm sure I didn't really gain that much before either. That scale is a tricky little bugger!

I saw this article from PopSugar with tips on weight management for the coming year ... it recommends a weekly Friday weigh-in.  I'll continue with my Friday Weigh-In postings, even though there hasn't been much change over the last year or two. I weigh in every day, but use my Friday morning as the "official" weigh in and to watch a weekly trend. I see some people weigh in on Mondays (after the weekend? That's almost always my highest day), or on Wednesday (but that's mid-week, other than the alliteration of "Weigh-in Wednesday" or Weight-Watchers, my OCD can't handle that as an official weigh-in day).

Do you weight everyday, once a week, or less often?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Yearlong Pact


 It was January of last year when I started the PACT program. I posted about it on this blog after I'd used it for a couple of months and redeemed my first "paycheck" (Pact and Paydays). Now that an entire year has passed, I thought I'd give a summary of my year with Pact.

When I first started last year, I committed to six days a week of exercise (10,000 steps via Fitbit, other options are available), and six days of food logging via My Fitness Pal. There were a few days I didn't hit 10k in steps, or forgot to log a meal ... but that's why I didn't commit to seven days a week. That day off gave me a little bit of leeway. If I had missed a day, I was under a little pressure to get in my workout on a Sunday, when I might have taken it easy otherwise.  I was already big fans of Fitbit and MFP and I was achieving my Pact goals already, and everything would sync automatically. In all of 2014, I never had to pay Pact once.

In July there was talk of a Lake Powell trip ... as it would be without wifi, I put my Pact on hold for that week. I had no trouble scheduling my "break" or resuming my routine. I lost a little motivation the last couple months of the year and I dropped my commitment from six days to five, and then to four. With the holidays here, I cut back my food logging a day too, just in case I didn't get around to it with all the busyness. 

After my initial withdrawals of $10 and $21.54 ... I planned and waiting until I hit $50 and then getting "paid". I just never got around to requesting another transfer to my Paypal account. I then decided to wait until the end of the year. $81.84. So that was $113.38 for the year.

I could have earned a bit more if I joined in the "Veggie Pact" option (but then again, I probably would have ended up paying out for that one!). I debated it, but never did join in ... it just seemed to be too much work (taking pictures), not definite (other users have to vote them up or down) and full of too much drama (cheaters). I just stuck with the fitness and food pact ... easy peasy.

My workout would usually sync to Pact very shortly after I hit my 10,000 steps (often in the morning after Zumba, but a couple of times I was getting in a few more steps just to hit that number before heading to bed). Luckily Pact doesn't penalize you for going OVER calories on the food logging ... just as long as the minimum 1,200 calories was logged over three different meals throughout the day.

I never had a problem with not getting credit for something. I never got sick or had unexpected items come up keeping me from completing my Pacts. I never had to contact customer service. I was never erroneously charged. My payout came shortly after it was requested. So all in all, a very positive experience for me.

For many, the motivation comes more from the risk of having to pay out ($5 per missed commitment). I did enjoy watching my money SLOWLY add up through the year ... and now I can buy me something fun!

Back to the routine ... 
I have changed my commitment to five days of food/fitness tracking.
My "earnings" are now back to zero.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

TV Talk Tuesday - Catching Up

My home gym.
The TV center stage in front of my elliptical and treadmill.

Last week I went down to my home gym to jump on the elliptical and ... the television didn't turn on. OH NO! Whatever would I do? TV is my entertainment during exercise. My motivation to move. On the stationary bike I can use an Ipad to read or watch something, but my neck doesn't like looking down while I'm on the elliptical or treadmill. I could listen to music but ... I want to watch my shows!

Luckily, after I fiddled with things, turning everything off and on again, checking cords ... I did find one that had come unplugged. So I was back in business.

I've been doing a TV Talk Tuesday here on the blog for a little bit (the first Tuesday of each month). What I'm watching really does play a big part in my exercise program. It's interesting for me to look back at the year (as one is wont to do as the year ends) and remember what kept me entertained while I ellipticalled, which TV series I watched entirely while on the treadmill.

I only watch a few recent programs ...

I'd gotten a late start, not realizing many of these shows had started. But as they wrapped up their "winter finales" I got caught up on everything I'm keeping up with currently. Grey's Anatomy, The Good Wife and The Walking Dead were watched the very next morning. I just barely got caught up on Nashville and Scandal. I have one more Modern Family episode waiting for me (sometimes I like a little comedy  to balance out all the drama *Ü*)


Even if I only get in 40min on the elliptical a day (I've been trying for a solid hour, plus some treadmill time) current shows alone aren't enough to keep my occupied, so I started something new as well.

There were only eight episodes, and the remainder of the season won't return until April. I've read the books (1-4 anyway) so I'm not really waiting with bated breath. No big surprises ...

I've been watching all these shows using PlayOn/PlayLater ... I can record them where they are posted online, then stream them to my gym television via my Roku box. It's great. I'm LOVING the new "ad skip" feature, and I love that ABC includes captions on their programming (which is a necessity when on the treadmill. You can see I'm predominantly an ABC gal).

I'll keep current with my favorites when they return, and I have PLENTY in my Netflix queue and Amazon Prime watchlist to watch too. I'll occasionally add in some movies, but I haven't watched one down in the gym recently. I just haven't been much in a movie mood. The hubs and did go see "Guardians of the Galaxy" in the theater (just sitting and eating popcorn) and then we watched "Catching Fire" and "Life of Pi" at home (snuggled in bed and eating popcorn).  See, even I something just stop and watch.

That's what I've been watching this last month.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Return to the Routine

 I've said it several times on this blog ... I don't mind Mondays. I like the return to the routine after the wicked weekend. The same thing can be said for January! I'm not a big "New Year's Resolutions" type of gal, but I'm always happy when the holidays are over and we can return to routine. I really didn't do very well these past couple months and I'm hoping that I can lose these holiday pounds and get back on track with the structure of a schedule and the kids back in school.

The last "holiday" weekend. I did good on Friday and Saturday. After my highest weigh-in in a while, I got in some elliptical, Zumba, bike and treadmill. The boys and I were also busy cleaning up Christmas. We took down the tree and other decor. 

I love the handmade ornaments the boys have made at church or school throughout the years. I only got one new one this year. I think I'm going to tell the boys THAT is what I want each year, even as they grow older!

My oldest had given me a calendar of daily quotes for Christmas this year. I've decided to use it in my home gym to track my workout stats. I'll get some inspiration along with my daily exercise. See how good I did on Saturday? I filled up the little sheet almost completely with elliptical, some Zumba, weights and a ride on the stationary bike.

In the evening, we went to Desert Star theater to see "How the Grouch Stole Christmas" ... our last show on our season tickets there.We took the three little boys again. The two youngest hadn't LOVED it the first time, and I didn't press them to go again, but they had said "we'll try it" ... well that was their last try as they moaned throughout. #3 still enjoys it, so maybe we'll just take him in the future!
Normally I go over my eating at this establishment, with cheesy bread and rootbeer. On Saturday we just got pepperoni pizza for the boys (I didn't have any) so I kept calories somewhat in check.


 I took my usual Sunday Selfie yesterday ... I've cut off 6" of my hair (which I now regret) and our church time moved from the 1:00 hour to 9:00. I miss my sleep-in Sundays, but I got a nice afternoon nap yesterday. That didn't make it a very productive day.  I DID put on some pounds in Nov/Dec.  Just a lack of motivation ... decreased movement, increased eating. So starting back up now in January, I have some work to do! An NO excuses ... except that did I mention I did weights on Saturday. Those lunges and squats have left my legs super sore! That's a good thing I guess though, it shows I actually did something.

Well ... I've got some elliptical and Zumba done today, 
I think I'll go read and ride for a bit *Ü*

Linking up with MIMM.
Hope you are having a good Monday ... and a good January!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Stats

These past few weeks have been a little crazy with the holiday season. I still got in several Zumba sessions, but not my usual five a week. Here's a quick look at the classes I did hit for the past three weeks ...

 The mid-week of December was GREAT for Zumba ... except that I missed my Friday class (Anxiety Child insisted I help out at his school Christmas party). I had some really high numbers, even though I had major frustrations with my HRM (looking down and seeing it read zero!)  I did a couple numbers on Monday. Marian had me do "Echa Pa'lla" which I don't have the mirrored version down, so I think that threw off some of the regulars! Wednesday MZL's class was moved to a smaller church (with carpeting, luckily I had worn my non-tread shoes) and it was a themed "Santa Hat" day which was a little hot. Thursday was the last one with Claudia this year (as the next two Thursdays fall on holidays) and the class will switch to 9:30 in January.

 
Holiday week! Great start to the week with Southziders! There was a girls basketball team working out in the gym and they stayed for most of the Zumba class, which was already quite well attended for the day. It did add some extra energy for the day. Great numbers, maybe the first time my HRM has gotten that high for Zumba. Marian's class on Tuesday was really good too ... I enjoyed getting in the Christmas songs for the final time. I wasn't sure I'd make it to Zumba the morning of Christmas Eve as I did have quite a bit to get done. I told myself if I could get the roll dough mixed and rising I would go ... I did so I went. It wasn't very well attended, but I got great numbers (highest numbers on the Fitbit) and I didn't get any other exercise for the day, so I was glad I went. Didn't hit a Friday class as #3 had a basketball game at 9:00 that morning.

Going back to Zumba after four days off ... I think that's the longest Zumba break since I started going multiple times a week. Also battling the weather, as snow had moved in. The trip out to Draper was a little intimidating, I am worried about the weather for my Monday and Friday classes (the others are so close that I'll attend them no matter what).  HRM not working well. On Tuesday, my usual teacher was gone (humanitarian help in Mexico) so I hit one I went to back in the summer. There were only a couple of us there. It was fun to try some new numbers. HRM was misbehaving again! New Years Eve morning isn't as hectic as Christmas Eve, so I had no question of attending class today. For some reason I just wasn't getting great numbers today (the higher HRM was a NEW on and I'm not sure I was reading it correctly for the calorie count). Felt a little incomplete as I left. I went back on Friday (rather than my usual Friday one which I'll go back to next week). Better stats today (although still working with the new HRM while ordering batteries to replace in the old one).

It will be nice to have the holidays over, get back to the structure of school, the return to routine ... and getting back to my five different Zumba classes. I've missed my Thursday class after missing it for a couple weeks, and my Friday class after missing it for even more!


Friday, January 2, 2015

WWI #76 ... Don't Look


Oh dear! I don't even want to post my weekly weigh in this week it is so bad. Talk about the stereotypical holiday weight gain. I really don't have much to say.  I crunched the numbers and while they don't account for the 2.6 pound gain since last week (and similar gains for the past few weeks) they weren't good. Average intake was 2621, average burn was 2431. I think that is the only time since I started that my average intake was more than my average burn. It equaled out to an overage of 3580 for the week (so a legitimate one pound gain) and I have to admit while I have continued to track food, I haven't been good at complete accuracy (entering it immediately, weighing/measuring) ... and all the estimations can be so off already. I'm assuming the overage is probably even more.

The good news ... the scale this morning did nudge me into action. I had a good exercise day for a Friday (almost 30K, 3200 burn by Fitbit calculation). I still REALLY need to get my food intake under control. In Sept/Oct I was able really get it down without feeling deprived or hungry. Not sure what I was doing differently back then. No more excuses though ... the holidays are over. Return to the routine, sticking to a schedule. I really hope that as fast as the weight jumped on, I'll be able to get it back down. Under 150, then back down to 144 (hit that twice in 2014). Hopefully maintaining in the 140s, with an ultimate goal of 135.

I post my weekly weigh-ins ... the good and the bad. 
This one was bad.
Shake it off ... It's a new year!

Here's my cute boys playing with their cute little cousin New Years Day.

Hubs and his mom and her annual pastry wreath.
Too many calories consumed!
 
2015 here we come.
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