Friday, January 29, 2016

WWI #131 - Finally a Good Week

Finally! I had a good week. The scale shift was great, but I know there can be a lot of crazy fluctuation there. I was surprised when I crunched my numbers that they weren't actually that wonderful, but I felt proud of myself for pushing through these few days. I was almost back to my "normal" ... meeting my goals. It's been a while since I've been hitting 22k for the day. 100 active minutes, my 1000 calorie exercise estimate for burn. While the weekend wasn't wonderful, I did good Mon-Thursday. I hit my Zumba and elliptical. I got in a couple sessions on the bike. I do still need to get back to weights, I know. Although I could do better (as always), I kept calories under control better and did a better job of recording them in a timely fashion. In addition to food and fitness, I stayed on top of inputting my numbers each day into DailyMile (and then a daily tweet on Twitter) and updating my journal entry promptly. I'm even getting this blog post up on Friday! So all in all ... felt like a good week and I'm happy. 

NUMBERS: Weight shifted from 166.4 to 163.8, down 2.6 pounds. Average didn't really change much though (166.3).  Average intake was 2129, Average burn was 2562. The result was -916 for the week. Not a lot, but at least it was in the negative.

Here's a quick week recap:
  • Friday (0122): No school for the kids as it was end of quarter. That meant sleeping in, but also allowed me to hit a Friday Zumba class (Debbie in Daybreak). Busy basketball afternoon as I was on snack bar duty over at the high school, then watched #2 in his JV game. #5 had practice, but a teammate's family picked him up for me. Just a 10k day.
  • Saturday (0123): Got in a session on the elliptical in the morning, then it was a busy basketball day, although #4 didn't want to go to his game (and I didn't force him). I took #3 to his double header in the evening while Daddy took #5 to his, and #2 was at the high school all day working with a basketball fundraising event.
  • Sunday (0124): Woke to snow. Got in a 20min session on the elliptical in the morning to finish up the TV episode I'd started yesterday, but it was a pretty lazy day. 
  • Monday (0125): Got in an hour of elliptical throughout the day ...back to getting some early sessions while getting the boys off to school. Hit Southziders Zumba (it's been a while) and did reading/riding on the bike. Kept calories at 2000. 25Kday.
  • Tuesday (0126): Another day of Zumba (w/Marian), bike and an hour of elliptical. Spent a while in the kitchen making a dozen lunches for the basketball team (then dropped them off at the high school). Also attended #2's away game. Basketball practice for #5 in the evening and I walked while I waited. Another 25k and 2000 calorie intake day.
  • Wednesday (0127): Had a good Zumba class (MZL) and an hour of elliptical. Was dragging a bit in the early afternoon. Hubs and #3 did a derby while I took #5 to his basketball game.
  • Thursday (0128): Activity the same as yesterday,  Zumba (MountainView) and an hour of elliptical. Hubs had another derby, #2 went to help. Both #3 and #5 had 8:00 games (so I missed one) and #4 had practice ... busy basketball evening! I used to go to a Zumba class on Thursday evenings!
Pictures from the week ..
 Family Fitness ... my MIL, SIL and nephew came to Monday Zumba!

 ... a dozen lunches for basketball boys
(chicken salad sandwich, apple slices, cheddar cheese chunks, brownie, chips and a water)

My new water bottle ... it's big (and pink)

 Walking the halls with my headphones again (during basketball practice).

Ate the last of my salted caramels ...
(did a blog post on my family blog Salted Caramel Comparison)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Looking Back on Pact 2015

I've posted many times about fitness reward programs. Earning a bit of a kick-back from the activity I'm doing every day anyway. When I find someone who has a Fitbit, I love to tell them about the reward programs I recommend (FitStudio, Achievemint & Walgreens).  I usually leave Pact off my list, just because there is a risk with Pact, you can actually end up paying OUT money if you don't fulfill your commitment. 

January 2015, I posted about my experience to that point (My Yearlong Pact). As another year has now passed, I figured I'd do an annual update. If you just want the facts ... last year I made $113.38. This year it was $74.5. A decent return for doing things I'd be doing anyway.

I forgot to grab a screen shot at the end of the year (dang it, I know I thought about it but I couldn't find it in my files). So the image up top is showing me reset for 2016. I've earned almost $3 so far! I did change my profile picture sometime last year (to match my Facebook/Instagram/Twitter which I had updated earlier in the year. When I originally started using Pact, I was a little more enthusiastic about the program and had committed to tracking seven days a week. Although I never failed to meet my Pact, there were a few days when I didn't want to! I dropped down to five days a week for most of 2015. I lost a little motivation (and my free Friday Zumba when school started up with a conflicting carpool) and I dropped it down to four days. Then I was dragging SO much in December, I dropped it down to three (you are in control of what you commit to and can change it weekly if you wish). 

I caught a cold or something in December, and wasn't even sure I wanted to commit to three times a week for my exercise and food tracking. I decided to put my Pact on break (which is another option). Or I THOUGHT I did anyway. I apparently put the food tracking on break, but not the exercise/activity (which is too bad because I really was still tracking food the entire time). I hadn't even checked into the Pact that week, because I thought I was on break! I did peek at it as the weekend hit and ...oops, NOT on break! I really pushed on Saturday (Dec26) to hit 10k, but I just didn't have it in me on Sunday.

For the first time ... I hadn't fulfilled my Pact.

Actually, as I was anticipating writing up a review for the year, I figured it would be good to have the entire experience ... which can include paying out. Pact doesn't pull from your  earned credit, but from the credit card you put on file (required when you sign up). I did laugh a little when I was notified of the $5 deduction for the week. "Thank you for contributing to the Pact experience" ... "contributing" is actually a punishment but the made it sound like you were being magnanimous.

So looking back at Pact in 2015 ... my payout for the year was $79.50.  Minus the $5 payment I had to make, I earned $74.50 for the year. The weekly payout changes from week to week. It depends on how many participants did and did not make their Pact. Those who don't pay, and the pot is distributed among those who fulfilled theirs. I noticed some higher payouts in December ... I don't think I was the only one who missed a workout during the Christmas season.

Starting over again now.
I probably should up my commitment to at least four days a week ...
Maybe FIVE. We'll see.
I'll check back in January of next year!

Friday, January 22, 2016

WWI #130 - 167.3

Since I didn't really count my drop last week as a true loss ... can I not count this week as a gain? Still struggling with motivation and energy, add a weekend full of basketball, Hubs out of town, kids out of school (on Monday), science fair ... the schedule was screwy this week. If you do the math, weight is up 1.8 pounds. Average up 1.11. There wasn't a lot of fluctuation this week, in fact the scale seemed stuck on 167.3 for four days in a row. It did drop a bit for Friday's official weigh-in. NUMBERS: Average intake was 2229, average daily burn 2311. This week there was an overage of 2711.

Here's a quick weekly recap ...

  • Friday (0115): Busy basketball day, starting with an early morning practice, running the 15-year olds to a neighboring school to cheer on the team, and going myself for the JV game. We had a family dinner out afterward. No exercise, and food was high.
  • Saturday (0116): Four basketball games today. We left the house at 11:00 and didn't get back until 6:30. I was pretty exhausted. I did do a little elliptical before leaving, and got some walking around in between games while I waited. I started off eating well, taking some nuts, clementine and granola to the game ... but then did a stop at McDonalds (only the cheese sticks though) and overindulged when I finally did get home.
  • Sunday (0117): We went out to my brother's ward to hear his son's speak. It was super foggy though, anxiety inducing! Needed a nap after that. Went out with some friends in the evening. No exercise, but not feeling well kept food somewhat in check.
  • Monday (0118): Hubs left in the morning for a business trip. Kids were out of school for MLK day and required my chauffeur services, so I didn't make it to Zumba. I was running them here and there, everywhere all day. #3 had basketball game in the early evening. Parking was horrible, it was running very late, four games going at once so the crowds and chaos were completely overwhelming... didn't help that our boys got bashed too. I was SO done! 
  • Tuesday (0119): Determined to have a decent day! Hit Zumba, and my SIL came, so that was fun. I did good with additional exercise today too. Bike and elliptical, then walked during #5's basketball practice in the evening. A little over on food, but a good day.
  • Wednesday (0120): Maybe I overdid it yesterday (although that used to be normal!) because I was dragging SO much at Zumba today. Had to hit a couple stores, but couldn't wait to get home and collapse. #5 had a basketball game in the evening, but it was early so I could get home and go to bed!
  • Thursday (0121): Our Zumba instructor had a meeting, so she asked me and the other gals to cover class this morning. I was a little worried after my lack of energy yesterday, but it went great and my stats were super. Rushed over to the elementary after for the science far. Two basketball games in the evening and then Hubs was home!

Pictures from the week ...
 Our foggy Sunday drive ...

 My SIL came to Tuesday and Thursday Zumba

 I tried an audio-book as I walked the halls during basketball practice
I think I've been getting a kink in my neck from looking down at my book while walking.
I don't do earbuds though - big Bose for me!

 My Tuesday ... 

 We didn't plan the color coordination (or lack, being black!)

Son #4 at the science fair.
I even got a post up on the family blog about it already (here)!
I'm never that prompt at posting!

We're also not great at getting the cars registered in a timely fashion, but look at that license!
All updated and January isn't even over!

Now NO excuses next week ... return to the routine, sticking to the schedule. Let's see if I can actually get some good numbers for when I check in again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kids, Kitchens and Cooking Shows

 Oh, Alton!

For today's TV Tuesday, I thought I'd do a quick post on what the kids have been watching. They have been fascinated with food, Food Network shows that is.  I remember watching "Good Eats" with the hubs quite  a while back. It was one we enjoyed (along with "Unwrapped"). But I was never really big on watching anything else on the Food Channel. I'm just too picky of an eater for anything to really apply to me. Cooking shows the last several years have seemed to morph into reality competitions and this past year ... my kids have discovered them.

It started with Cupcake Wars and I did a TV Tuesday about that about a year ago. They tried out the "Cake Wars" but didn't like them as much. My SIL recommended  "Cutthroat Kitchen" ... now that show is just mean! It isn't the best cook who wins, but the one who can outlast the sabotage! After the  boys finished up that (catching up with however many are offered on Netflix), they have been trying out some of the more traditional ones like "Chopped" and "Iron Chef". My munchkins discovered "Worst Cooks in America" and they loved that.

As I've mentioned, I rarely sit down and watch TV. I'll use it for motivation when I work out ... and cooking shows do NOT fit that bill for me (I like dramatic, action packed series that get the adrenaline pumping).  I'll catch bits and pieces of these productions as the boys are watching while I'm working in the kitchen.

I could NEVER be on a show like these. Not as a contestant, not as a guest judge. I'm just to "plain and simple" when it comes to cooking. I'm very limited even to "normal" standards without going gourmet or attempting to incorporate the things that come up in these weird challenges (an anchovy cupcake? Um ... no!)

My 12-year old has been enjoying eggs most mornings. I just went through the simple steps of making an omelet, and now he can do it all on his own (which saves me major minutes in the mornings). It's good for my boys to see that the kitchen is a great place for guys. My sweet hubby does quite a bit ... he makes the best steak, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, waffles and popcorn.

Hubs and #1 son making breakfast ...

Do YOU watch the cooking shows out there?

Monday, January 18, 2016

WWI #129 - Still the Same

Not a lot to report this week. Still not feeling back to my usual self, still not getting back to my usual activity, still not controlling the eating. Weight not changing much. There was actually a bit of a drop (1.3 for my official weigh-in, 1.63 for the average) but it doesn't really feel like anything other than the normal fluctuations unfortunately. Gotta get back into the 150s before I feel like there has been a CHANGE. Average intake was 2138. Average daily burn was 2255. This ended in an overage for the week of 2527.

Here's a quick week recap: 

  • Friday (0108): Late start, early out. Extra chauffeur duty (but driving 15 year old boys around is rather fun) then cheering on #2 in his basketball game. Oops, no exercise, oops, a lot of eating ;(
  • Saturday (0109): Still dragging. No exercise. Caved to candy today too. Watched/Videoed a couple of the boy's games, but did have a conflict, so had to send #5 with a teammate.
  • Sunday (0110): Slow Sunday, not much movement at all. Spent some time on the computer and did get a little nap. Make cookie press cookies.
  • Monday (0111): Not feeling well today. I'd thought about hitting Zumba, but I took a nap instead. Did get a little on the elliptical but it was SO hard. 
  • Tuesday (0112): Zumba in the morning, then checked out the munchkins for a dentist appointment. Much sitting there. #2 had a game in the early evening. #5 had practice, but he wasn't feeling well so he skipped it. Not a good eating day as we stopped at Wendy's after the dentist, and I grabbed some Dominos after the game.
  • Wednesday (0113): Got in a little elliptical and Zumba today. Kept calories in check as well. Pot roast for dinner. #5 had a 6:00 basketball game.
  • Thursday (0114): Hit Zumba in the morning and stopped at the store on the way home. Hubs went to see Seinfeld, I got kids to practice and a 9:00 game.
*** Pictures from the Week ... All Basketball ***

 Driving this lot around was actually very fun! #3 and Friends.
They cheered the high school boys on to a win on Friday*Ü*

 #4 all ready for his Junior Jazz game on Saturday

#2 and the other starters taking a seat on Tuesday ... 
My boy  had 19 points and 9 assists!

Closing with a little clip from Thursday ...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2015 Book Report

As 2015 as come to a close, I thought I'd reflect on my reading from this past year. I did several blog entries throughout these past twelve months (JenB'sBooks) so this is more of a general look. Although my boys are doing a bit better with their books, reading is still a chore, and writing a report is even worse. Here I am, reading and writing reviews of my own free will! I love Good Reads for keeping track of what I've read, what I want to read, and even other details, like where I got the book (shown in the graph above ... you can see I really use my local library's digital services as my "library-eborrow" presents the biggest portion of of the book I read this past year).

Here's my stat capture from Good Reads. I did find some memorable stories that warranted a 5-star rating from me. I look back quite fondly on several of my four-star rated reads too. It was a good reading year. I didn't quite get as many book as a couple years ago, in 2013 ... although I did input "The Fallen" series trilogy as one book (as I read them back to back and reviewed them as a whole). So, as indicated in the image up top, that was a 1,320 page "book" counted as one. My PAGES this year did exceed 2013. 

I read a good portion of these books while on the bike. I did a lot of reading/riding this year. I also often read while walking/waiting for my boy's basketball ... during practice or between games. I can often get a lot of steps, and a lot of chapters, in while I walk the hallways. 

On Good Reads and other places, you often see "reading challenges" and encouragement to read more. I feel a bit guilty for how much time I spend reading already. Sometimes I feel like I perhaps need have my reading "goal" limited to a certain number of books. I am really glad I can combine some of my reading time with exercise time ... then I don't feel as bad about it.

How many books did you read in 2015?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

WWI #128 - First Week of 2016

My weekly weigh-in and the new year fell on the same day, which is nice for record-keeping. Even with the return to routine, and the whole "New Year's Resolutions" thing, I still haven't been able to get back to my old, energetic self. Still struggling. NUMBERS: Official weight was down .6, but the average was up a smidge (to 165.9). Average intake was 2064, average daily burn was 2417 ... no deficit for the week, over by 564.

  • Friday (Jan1): It's hard to start the New Year off on the right foot when you sleep in, don't exercise and overeat. That was my New Year's day though!
  • Saturday (Jan2): Got in an hour of elliptical and kept calories low. Spent some time on the computer doing end of the year cleanup, and chauffeured the boys around for some basketball a bit. 
  • Sunday (Jan3): 30min on the elliptical today. Should have done better on eating, as we didn't do our usual Sunday Circle breakfast but treat temptations abounded and I indulged.
  • Monday (Jan4): Back to the routine. I just didn't quite have it in me to hit Zumba, but did get 70min on the elliptical, bike and WEIGHTS in. Kept calories just under 2000 too. #2 had a basketball game in the evening.
  • Tuesday (Jan5): Did hit Zumba, and got in an hour of elliptical. Ortho appointment for #3 today and basketball practice for #5. I walked around while waiting but my legs felt ready to give out! Did keep calories under 2000. Hubs and #3 had a derby.
  • Wednesday (Jan6): DOMS from Monday's weights affecting me, I hadn't been sure about hitting Zumba, then #4 stayed home from school sick. So no Zumba. Just 30min Elliptical, and a little over on eating. #5 had a game in the evening.
  • Thursday (Jan7): Foggy roads this morning. Did hit Zumba, but only got in 10min Elliptical.Still not feeling very motivated. Ran out of gas ... literally! Hit a couple stores, and had meant to fill up but forgot, then didn't make it home from #3's school pickup. Luckily we were close to a gas station, but still, not good. Had to send #3 with a teammate to his game, while I got #4 to/from practice and #5 to his game. Snowy roads! 
 Pictures from the Week ...

Maga's Pastry Wreath (a NewYear's tradition) 

 The boys dress up on home game days.
They look snazzy!

Tuesday Zumba
Pretty good crowd - Love all the bright shirts

Double duty on the HRM again - 
my new Scorshe in addition to my ChargeHR

 One of #5's basketball games ...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Zumba Stats Catch-Up (2015)

For a while there, at the end of each month, I'd do a blog post reflecting on the Zumba classes I attended. I'd post pictures, and my stats, and give the record high and any other pertinent information. I slacked after September, and didn't get a ZumbaStats post up for Oct/Nov/Dec ... so here it is, finally. I really don't know if it's of interest to anyone else, but I like to reflect on how my classes compare

25 Zumba classes in October. I did double on Thursdays (and one Monday), hit several Fridays, and even got in a Saturday. In addition to my regular classes (Southziders, Marian's, MZL and MountainView) I was able to get to Debbie in Daybreak, Becky and Hollie, tried out Nina's paid class, and even made it back to "the Underground" (which was being held at Crossroads Gym, which then promptly closed right as I rediscovered it!). I only missed one regular day, when the elementary school had their Halloween parade at the same time as my MoutainView class. No new "highs" for this month. Hit an average HR of 130 only once, 7000+ steps six times. I threw in a few TRACK stats just to compare the numbers walking/jogging to my Zumba.

22 Zumba classes in November. In addition to my regular classes, I was able to hit  Becky&Hollie, Debbie and Nina's paid class. Basketball began to monopolize Thursday nights, so after the first couple of weeks, I was no longer able to attend Marian's evening class for my double dose. I did skip out on Thanksgiving and the day after, but got my highest stats of the month on Monday(Southziders) after that break (500+ calorie estimate, average HR 135). I was able to get 7000+ steps three times during the month ... all at MZL.

Only 12 Zumba classes for all of December ... I was struggling. Between the holiday season, feeling sick, and just being in a slump, it wasn't a great month. I only hit my regular classes. I only made it to Southziders once, MountainView took the last couple weeks off, and for a couple weeks there I only hit one class a week. I still got some some great numbers (at the beginning of the month). A high of 591/546 for calorie burn, and 142 for the average HR! I really didn't FEEL like I was doing much more that day, and joked that maybe it was because I couldn't really breathe with my cold. I had another day of average HR at 130, and exceeded 7000 steps four times.

So ... to look back, I picked out some of my "highs"
All my regular classes made the list at some point. 
These are the stats to try to beat in 2016!

Wearing purple at MZL for abuse awareness ...

... and purple again at Southziders
A couple more photos from Southziders

... a baby shower after class for Nina
She danced right up until her due date!

Halloween Zumba with Becky and Hollie

More MZL

Marian at MountainView

Me ... at Marian's Tuesday Morning

As always - a big THANK YOU 
to all the instructors giving their time and talent away for free here in Utah!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Well, it's 2016! A new year. 2015 wasn't the best for me. I wasn't super satisfied with my weight when I started (around 155) and ended up the year 10 pounds over that. I'd actually been even higher in late Fall, which is weird, as Sep/Oct are usually good months for me (with the kids back in school, the return to routine). It's when I had my low in 2014. 

Here's a quick glance at the weight graph for 2015 ...

... and how 2015 compared to the last several years (starting in 2013)

I didn't do an official "annual" review post here (well, I guess THIS is it), but I did stick all my picture collages from each month on my family blog for an annual post there. It's fun to look back at the year. Now, this did require me to get all my monthly updates up to date (hanging head, I just barely did October and November.)  At least my  December  post was prompt.

Pictured up top is my cute little desk calendar for 2016. For me, it's a fitness calendar. I keep it in my gym. Each day I tear off that "day" and check out the inspirational quote, and then write my workout stats on the back, then transfer my numbers to my excel file upstairs. My son gave me a small desk calendar last year (Jan2015), and that replaced the plain notebook I had been using. I love that these are already printed with the date ... as sometimes I'd forget to write that down, and when I had a bunch of little papers around, I couldn't remember which one went with which day!

I haven't felt well for the past month or so. Not "sick" sick, but definitely not 100% and it has affected my exercise (unfortunately not my eating). My steps slipped, I fell on my Fitbit friend list. Instead of Zumba multiple times a week and an hour of elliptical, I just got a bit in here and there.

I'm still not feeling "back" ... but with school in session again, the return to the routine, I'm hoping to start the year strong and have a good 2016.

Friday, January 1, 2016

WWI #127 - Last Week of 2015

... and that wraps up 2015! It wasn't a very successful year weight-wise for me. I ended up about 10 pounds over where I started. This final week, we had Christmas, and New Year's Eve, and another week without the usual routine in-between. I only hit one Zumba class, only hit the elliptical here and there, and did no other exercise beyond that. Eating, as always, was an issue. NUMBERS were bad. Actual weight was down a smidge, but the average increased +1.6 to 165.6.  Average intake was high, ad 2571, burn was low, at 2140. That did result in a large overage, 5920.

I did do a little blog backlog, got the belated monthly updates for October, November and December done. The missionary blog is up to date, the basketball blog is pretty current (#3 was in a tournament over the weekend and had three games, all those highlight reels are done. But it's about to get CRAZY with the boy's games ... there are eight this coming week!) and while I'm still behind on the family blog, I am catching up. There's been quite a bit of time sitting at the computer this past week. 

Here's a quick week recap ...
  • Friday (1225): Christmas Day! No exercise, and WAY over on the eating! We went to see Star Wars as a family (it was the third time for #3, first time for me). 
  • Saturday (1226): Some Christmas cleanup, a basketball game for #3. I got in a little bit of exercise and did keep eating in check. Daddy and the boys went to a Jazz game in the evening.
  • Sunday (1227): Not feeling good today, spent most of it in bed. No exercise, eating was high (popcorn while watching Homeland). 
  • Monday (1228): I might have hit my usual Zumba, but #3's basketball game was at the same time (ironically, right down the road). I did get some steps in just trying to keep warm while waiting, the place was freezing, but still just 8250 steps for the day. High calorie intake today.
  • Tuesday (1229): My usual Zumba was taking the week off. I did get in 50min on the elliptical and managed to keep calorie intake under burn, but just barely. #3 had his last basketball game of the tournament. Three of the boys and I went to Red Robin in the evening with my folks and brother's family.
  • Wednesday (1230): Went to Zumba today, and still got in some elliptical too. Pretty productive day, but also overate (dang those Reeses trees!)
  • Thursday (1231): New Year's Eve ... Hubs still went into work today. I cleaned the house as we were having my parents over for games. Did some errands (Sam's,Walmart,Nike) and ran the kids to the gym and friend's homes during the day. #2 had to work, but everyone was home at midnight, but #5 was asleep!
Chatting with #1 son via Skype

 LOVE, love, love this picture that he sent!

We did have a WHITE Christmas.

Daddy ordered a "mullet on the go" for the boys. Yikes!

Here's a quick clip of the Pie Face game ...

New Year's Eve ... Grandma couldn't stop laughing as we put a tiara on the sleeping #5. 

But we finally got a group picture ... Happy New Year! Zzzzzzzz....

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