Thursday, April 27, 2017

Recent Reads - Invisible

I'll admit it ... I like the supernatural. Angels, vampires, dragons, mermaids ... as I cycle through my various reads, I attempt to alternate topics, not reading two vampire (or whatever paranormal topic) books back to back, as it can get confusing, mixing up the storylines in my mind. I didn't read these three books featuring invisibility that close together, but being a rather unique topic, I thought I'd review them in one blog post... before they fade away in my memory (do you SEE what I did there?)

  • Things Not Seen: This was the first "invisibility" book I read. It was a while ago (Oct2015 ... thank you GoodReads for keeping track of my reading list.) My son (#4, in 6th grade at that time) had picked it up at school. I like to know what the kids are reading, so I gave it a go too. Here, Bobby had lived a normal life until one morning ... he wakes up and he's invisible. His parents make excuses for his "absence" (school, activities) while they try to figure out what is happening. Clothes are not invisible on his body, and as floating clothes would draw unwanted attention, Bobby goes around naked much of the time. He meets Alicia, who doesn't realize Bobby is invisible at first, because she is blind.  The story continues as their relationship develops and they search for an explanation, and a cure ... There are a couple follow up books (Things Hoped For, Things That Are) and my son read the next in the series, but I never got around to it myself.
  • Invisibility: I read this at the beginning of the year (Jan2017) ... or listened to anyway. Audio edition. Here, Stephen was born invisible ... if he puts on clothes, they disappear. Food that he eats disappears as it enters his mouth. Even "existing" seems to be a struggle. Having his voice heard, being able to touch or move things, he has to really concentrate to make those things happen. He's almost a ghost, except he's alive. A new family moves into the apartment building, and the teenage girl, Elizabeth ... can see Stephen. Stephan can't believe it at first, and Elizabeth doesn't realize that no one else can see him, only her. I really liked the first half of the book, as the alternating chapters/POV told their story. Then the book devolved a bit into a whole "search for the curse" which was a little weird. 
  • Transparent: Having read two "invisibility" books, and comparing/contrasting how things were handled, I was interested in the topic and jumped on the next book I found that dealt with invisibility. This one was FUN. Whereas the other two were dealing with invisibility in a more "realistic" setting, this one takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where similar to X-men, Heroes, Steelheart ... many people have developed abilities. Here we have a female protagonist, 16-year old Fiona. Like Stephen in Invisibility, she was born invisible, but like Bobby in Things Not Seen, clothing doesn't disappear (although food does, or even just putting something in her mouth). In this world of "mutants" she has no problem walking around, just floating clothes (and hat and gloves, to give a better sense of where she is) ... unless she's on a nefarious mission from her mob boss father ... in which case complete invisibility (nakedness) fits the bill better. She and her mother try to run and hide from this mob life, but that is difficult to do, even if (or especially if) you are invisible. This book was fluffy fun and I enjoyed it all. In fact ...

I bought the sequel. I'm cheap ... I don't buy many books because there are SO many free ones out there (from Amazon and the local library). This was only $2.51 for the Kindle download ... kind of a weird price point. Gotta get that extra penny!  While "Transparency" was originally marketed as a stand-alone, not a series, the author ended up continuing the story in a second book... "Blindsided."

This cover definitely portrays the slightly cartoonish feel of the book(series), and is actually a better match than the cover of the first one (which makes it look a little more sophisticated and series than it actually is.) Here again, more fluffy fun.

I'm sure there are more books out there addressing the sci-fi concept of invisibility. I've been reading "The Young Elites" series, and one of the characters there can create a camouflage of invisibility. And of course there's the cloak of invisibility in the Harry Potter series. I'd be interested to hear about any other books that feature the main character being invisible all the time though, just to see how in compares to what I've read already.  I'm also always interested in the titles ... what other play on words can authors come up with?
  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekly Review #194


Logged a loss ... both the official weigh-in and the weekly average. 
While the 170s are not where I want to stay, 
I do prefer them to the 180s. Stats were good this week.

NUMBERS: Official weight down 1.6 pounds. Average weight down. (-3.23) to 176.74. I had a deficit for the week of -3481. Average intake 2136. Average burn 3047. Step average was 24,667. 101.03 exercise miles. Cardio minutes 1000 (FitbitOne), 949 (my tracking), 1125 (ChargeHR). 105 minutes spent in strength training. Four days over 3000 burn, three 30k days.

ACTIVITIES: I got in my hour of elliptical six days. Four Zumba classes and a half hour on my own. Five times on the treadmill, four sessions on the bike, and three weight workouts. More basketball this past week, as #3 started the Spring Fling with the JV team, and #5 had two games too.

Day by Day ...

  • Monday (0417): Return to the routine. Hour of elliptical, Zumba with Debbie, bike, treadmill intervals and weights. Late basketball game. 30019 steps. 3411 burn. 1700 intake.
  • Tuesday (0418): Hour of elliptical, Zumba with Marian, bike and treadmill walk. Made banana bread. Hubs had a derby. 31358 steps. 3278 burn. 1950 intake. 
  • Wednesday (0419): Got in my hour of elliptical early, Zumba with MZL, twice on the treadmill before and after weights, and a session on the bike. Basketball double header in the evening. 29942 steps. 3402 burn. 1600 intake. 
  • Thursday (0420): Zumba with Mountain View, my hour of elliptical, bike and treadmill walk. Basketball game in the evening. Hubs had a derby. 30161 steps. 3282 burn. 2000 intake.
  • Friday (0421): Got in my hour of elliptical, 30min Zumba on my own and some treadmill time. Made Snickerdoodles ... ate some too. 20740 steps. 2939 burn. 2200 intake.
  • Saturday (0422): Managed to sneak in my hour elliptical in several sessions throughout the day. Mowed the lawn and did weights. Two basketball games with #5. Chicken pillow dinner. 18233 steps. 2656 burn. 2800 intake (stopped for donuts after basketball ... and other craving cavings). 
  • Sunday (0423): We had our big breakfast and Hubs smoked a roast for a french dip dinner. Two of the boys went to an NBA playoff game (we'd been given tickets), Hubs and #3 went to the cemetery with family. I stayed with #5 who wasn't feeling well. Did manage 40min elliptical today. 12218 steps. 2361 burn. 2700 intake.
Five Featured Photos ...

 Hubs has hit the bike several times this week (photo with my brother). 

 Walked to Tuesday Zumba. Blossom time!

 Hubs brought home two goslings ... kitten is checking them out.

Scored two tickets to the playoffs! #1 and #4 went to watch (and win!)

 25 years since Grandpa Gordy passed away ...
(#5 was feeling sick, so I stayed home with him).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Eats ~ Egg Treats


When I think of Easter Treats ... I do think of all the "egg" editions. A personal favorite are the peanut butter m&m eggs. Although PBm&ms are available year round, I adore the Easter Egg issue. It's just a different ratio of chocolate to peanut butter. A few weeks ago, I had purchased a bag (they are a little hard to find sometimes) and ... ate the entire thing. Not in one sitting, but in one day. Just grabbing a few here and there and suddenly the bag was empty. Seven servings or so. Ouch. I was uber over calories that day. 

Other Easter favorites are also "eggs" ...
Again ... with Reeses. The ratio of the eggs (or the pumpkins or the trees) is different than the standard cups available year round. I adore the eggs. But only the size pictured above ... not the bigger single-serving size, or the HUGE ones. The chocolate/peanut butter ratio is off on those. My three oldest boys love Reeses too, so they each got their own bag. I must admit, I found some on sale the day after Easter and grabbed a few. I'll try to portion and parcel them out in the next little bit. I had three today (90 calories each).

I know the Cadbury Mini Eggs are essential to Easter for so many. I hear about it every year, but honestly ... they don't appeal to me at all. I mean, I'll don't find them disgusting, but they just aren't worth the calories. They are just plain chocolate. I like a little something more with my indulgences. Sons #2 and #3 are fans though, so I do grab a couple bags each year.

Now the Robin Eggs ... malted milk ... basically "Whoppers" but with a harder candy shell. I LOVE these. I prefer the mini ones. I like to eat them one at a time. I'll savor it slowly, sucking on the outer shell until it dissolves and the malted center hits. I only found a couple at the one store I hit after Easter, but previous years I've stocked up and they have lasted me all year long, as I would indulge here and there.

Jelly beans are pretty classic Easter fare ... but honestly, I only like the red ones. Okay ... I'll eat the purple ones too, but I won't touch green or yellow. Sometimes I'll eat an orange one. But RED is the favorite. A few years ago, Starburst came out with the FaveREDs package. Yea! My boys prefer the red ones too. They get mad at me as I STILL pick out the darker red ones over the lighter red ones ;)

For the boy's baskets ... we've often thrown in the traditional chocolate bunny. The two littles don't like peanut butter, so they got Kit Kats instead (there are Easter editions ... but they are still just the basic bars, although there is a bunny shape on the chocolate. Makes them harder to break into four individual sticks). I usually pick up a couple packages of Peeps, although it's more just because they feel like Easter than anyone actually requesting them ... although they do get gobbled up. 

We didn't get around to actual egg dyeing and decorating ... but I made sugar cookies.
That kindof counts, right?


I'm a little surprised I made it through Spring Break and the Easter holiday and managed to keep calories in check. I'm SO bad when it comes to caving to cravings ... especially as everything IS around and available. I really don't think I'm one who will ever be able to eliminate treats completely, so I've just got to learn to keep control.

What are YOUR favorite Easter eats?


Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekly Review #193 (Spring Break)

This past week was Spring Break. I wasn't expecting much, because my routine would be disrupted. With the kids out of school, I wouldn't have to get up early. I'd be off carpool duty, but figured I'd be running kids around as much or more. While we did go bowling one day,  the kids were quite content just to hang around home (and that was fine with me too!) or play basketball with buddies. 

So surprisingly, I was still able to fit in my exercise. In fact, I hit Zumba Mon-Fri ... which used to be the norm but hasn't been for quite a while. I kept calories in check too, for the most part (had an uber over day on Wednesday when I made a bunch of bread stuffs). So ... a loss this week. While at first glace it's quite impressive (4.1 pounds) with my everyday weigh-ins, I'm well aware of how often and easy fluctuations happen. That's why beyond just the change in that one number week to week, I also track highs, lows and weekly average. 



NUMBERS: While official weight was down 4.1 pounds, average was only down a little (-.69 to 179.97). I had a deficit for the week of -3543. Average intake 2050, average burn 2865. Total steps were 152,846. Average daily steps 21835. Exercise miles 92.33. Cardio minutes 955/886/964 and 60min spent on strength training. I didn't get any 30k days, but had three 3000+ burn days (and a couple others that were really close!)


ACTIVITIES: I got in my hour of elliptical six days this week. Hit five Zumba classes. Five times on the treadmill and four times on the bike. Two weight workouts. The two little boys and I also went bowling (not that it's very active, but ...) and I mowed the lawn.

Here's the Day by Day ...
  • Monday (0410): First day of Spring break. Was able to still hit Zumba w/Debbie, get in my hour of elliptical, bike, treadmill and weights. A little car rearranging as #2 worked and #3 took off with friends. 23786 steps. 2965 burn. 1850 intake.
  • Tuesday (0411): Zumba with Marian, hour of elliptical and some time on the treadmill. Took the two littles bowling. 26054 steps. 3044 burn. 1950 intake.
  • Wednesday (0412): Back to MZL for Zumba. Got in my hour of elliptical and a session on the bike. Made breadsticks to go with the spaghetti dinner, and also made cinnamon rolls with the extra dough. Over on calories today with all that yummy bread. 22451 steps. 3010 burn. 2800 intake. 
  • Thursday (0413): Hour of elliptical, Zumba with MountainView, bike, treadmill and weights. Hubs brought home duck eggs for the incubator and I finally blogged our duck experience from last year. 28258 steps. 3293 burn. 1900 intake.
  • Friday (0414): Hour of elliptical, Zumba (CindySub), bike and treadmill. #2 left for a basketball tournament over the weekend. #5 had practice.  Extended family came into town. 25705 steps. 2990 burn. 1700 intake.
  • Saturday (0415): Had family over for breakfast, and went over to inlaws for the evening. #5 had a basketball game mid-day, and I managed to fit in some treadmill time, and mowed the front lawn. 13138 steps. 2270 burn. 2000 intake.
  • Sunday (0416): Hoppy Easter! It was quite low-key this year. I still fit in three 20min sessions on the elliptical during the day. Family over in the evening for dinner (smoked brisket). 13454 steps. 2481 burn. 2150 intake.
Five Featured Photos ...

 Bowling with my little boys.

 #2 had senior pictures taken. Cute kid!

Saturday was waffles for breakfast, then Liege waffles for dessert in the evening.
A post shared by JenB (@jenblackham) on

Here's #1 son ... I guess it was plate licking good! Silly boy!

 #2 and team takes the tournament. 1st place!

Hoppy Easter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Footwear Feature

Workout Wednesday ... or What I'm Wearing Wednesday.
Either one works as I feature my footwear!
Lately, I've been pretty good at getting the workouts in. I pop down to my home gym multiple times a day. I just keep my footwear there in the gym, because I rarely wear them anywhere else. The other day, as I'd done four different workouts wearing four different types of footwear ... they were all lined up and I HAD to shoot a picture. 

I've talked about shoes/slippers several times on the blog before. My pink fuzzy slippers and navy slippers appeared all the way back on a post in 2014. Not much wear and tear on the elliptical and stationary bike. I've also had my Sketchers ... the "Shape-Ups" that were all the rage years ago for a long while. I only wear them for my weight workouts ... I never liked walking in them.

Even with the little running (jogging ... wogging) I do, I have had to replace my running shoes a few times. I have yet to go to a running store to have a personalized recommendation. I guess I feel like I'm not a serious enough runner to do that. My most recent pair are Ryka brand, and I've liked them ... as much as I like any shoe. I hate shoes. 


My oldest son just bought himself a new pair of running shoes ... and he's been using them. He marks the miles on the side of the shoe. He ran a marathon! Over six days anyway. He's been trying to keep up with me on the Fitbit Family list (I'm currently staying ahead though.)


I like that the boys are old enough now that they are buying their own shoes. 

I'm cheap ... they are not. 
They are Nike snobs

#1 son bought these RoscheTwoFlyKnit shoes, and #2 liked them enough that he immediately ordered a pair too. 

#2 bought himself the basic Nike Rosche shoes a while back. #3 ended up getting a couple, and then the little boys did too (courtesy of #2 for their birthdays). They are really showing the wear and tear. Toes poking through! They do get pretty rough treatment though. 

While I don't run a lot, I do spend quite a bit of time dancing. I bought shoes specifically for Zumba when I started going five days a week. I loved my Ryka Downbeat high-tops, but after a year or more, I could feel I didn't have the support or cushion I needed. I'd originally got them on quite the deal, but the few I could find out there were pretty pricey. I've been using a pair of Reeboks that work, but kept glancing at the Downbeat on Amazon and elsewhere. A few weeks ago, I saw a couple being sold on Amazon for $25 (I'd paid $30 when I pickup mine up originally, most places they were $60 or above). It was a new seller ... no reviews. I was a bit skeptical ... but, it's Amazon. They stand behind their brand, so I figured I was safe. It was a scam. The shoes never came. The tracking number I was given was fake. But Amazon DOES stand behind their brand and I was covered under their A-Z Guarantee. Still sans the shoes though.

Running shoes, Zumba shoes ... I even have bowling shoes! My own pair. For several years, the local bowling alley would offer two free games during the summer. Shoes were extra, and they hoped you'd buy some food or play in the arcade (and yes, that happened). 

I hated shelling out the $3.50 each time. I checked out bowling shoes online and found these for just $20! While we don't go bowling that often, I've saved quite a bit by bringing my own shoes over the years. Unfortunately, with the boys constantly growing feet, it isn't as economical to buy for them. I did buy a men's size 9 (which fit the oldest then ... I figured with five boys, they would all move through that size at some point. The older three are over, but #4 is in a size 8 now ... so he's coming up (I just have to remember where I put them when #3 outgrew them). 

My sons LOVE shoes. For me, they are a necessary evil.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

TV Troubles

Time for another episode of TV Tuesday.
I like to get my heart rate up with exercise.
Lately, I feel like TV troubles are upping the blood pressure!
This has been my view while on the elliptical or treadmill TOO MUCH lately. Loadin........g. TV is my motivator! It keeps me entertained while I exercise. An action filled show helps pump my adrenaline, upping my energy. A compelling program keeps me coming back, excited for my next session. A boring blue screen and constant disruptions ... not so much!

My TV in the home gym doesn't have a cable connection. It can't receive live TV, which is fine, as I workout on my schedule, not when the shows air. So I use Netflix, Amazon or PlayOn to watch what I want (I have a DVD backup and should use it when wifi is wonky). And it's been wonky!

I'm never certain where the problem is ... is it Comcast? The router? The service itself? I can usually troubleshoot, but once I've started a workout, I hate to stop. Lately it will stutter and load ... then start up again, only to stop again, start again, stop again, start again. I can check Comcast via an app, and even restart the router with that. It does often help, but it's uber annoying!

I seem to have the most trouble with PlayOn. I'm not sure if there were connectivity issues when recording the show, or while playing the show, or if it's wifi and Netflix and Amazon would be having the same problems. 

In addition to connectivity concerns ... PlayOn has been having other problems too. My subtitles suddenly stopped working when recording from Hulu. Ad skip stopped working when recording from the Xfinity channel. Once I've been spoiled with captions and ad skip, it's so hard to go back to not having those options. I've been in contact with customer service but haven't found a resolution to these issues yet.

One of the shows I recently watched was on Amazon. It had me frustrated as well. Hubs had watched the series (Sneaky Pete) to episode 8 when I started it. Everything I'd come on, it would be there at episode 8 again, and I'd have to manually go back to where I had been watching (and having to remember where that was). I also dislike the AutoPlay at the end of each episode. Right as it's almost over, the screen gets a gray overlay saying the next episode will start in two minutes ... it make that last minute really hard to watch. And sometimes I turn off the TV without exiting out of Amazon and it continues to autoplay, even when no one is watching.

Netflix is my favorite. As I've used PlayOn to keep up with some current series (Grey's Anatomy, TWD, Designated Survivor), I wonder if I should just WAIT until they hit Netflix. Watching the episodes back to back rather than waiting a week (or months) in between. Shows like "The Voice" never hit Netflix though, so PlayOn is my only option (I actually only watched the Battle Rounds ... I like the harmony of the duets, and it just gives me a peek at the season so I have some idea if people are talking about it). 

First world problems, I know! We get spoiled in this day and age, don't we?

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly Review #192

I've been having some slight scale shifts mid-week ... but they don't hold during the weekend. This past weekend had quite a bit of family, but wasn't very good as far as food and fitness. I was able to up the exercise on the weekdays, hitting my first 30k days in a while!



NUMBERS: Official weight down .7, average weight down a smidge (-.11) to 180.66.  Average intake 2043, average burn 2854. I did have a deficit (-2967) for the week. Average steps 20905, exercise miles 97.83. Cardio minutes 900/806/982 and 90 minutes of strength training. I hit 30K twice, and was over 3000 burn three times.

ACTIVITIES: I got my hour of elliptical in five days this week. Zumba ... two classes, and 90min on my own. Five sessions on the bike, and five times on the treadmill. Three weight workouts. I spent some time  Saturday mowing the lawn, made four trip to the grocery store, one basketball game and had a dinner out.

The Day by Day ...
  • Monday (0403): Got in my hour of elliptical, 30minZumba, 30minBike and 30minWeights. Also some grocery shopping steps. Got #3 registered for his Junior year. Got #4 set up with his new Fitbit Alta. Championship for March Madness. 20277 steps. 2876 burn. 1500 intake.
  • Tuesday (0404): 30k day. Hour of elliptical early, then Zumba with Marian. Two times on the treadmill, an hour total, 3.5 miles. A session on the bike too. Another store stop. Hubs had a derby in the evening. 30433 steps. 3291 burn. 1650 intake.
  • Wednesday (0405): Another 30k day ... 80minElliptical, Zumba with Southziders, bike, treadmill (30min/2miles) and weights. 31422 steps. 3492 burn. 1900 intake.
  • Thursday (0406): Got in my hour of elliptical and headed to Zumba ... but the gym was being cleaned. I still did an hour on my own at home. 30minBike and 30min/2.25miles Treadmill. Hubs had a derby in the evening, #5 had practice. 27181 steps. 3217 burn. 2300 intake.
  • Friday (0407): Dragging today. Sore throat. Had to push! Managed my hour of elliptical and did 30minBike and 30min/2.25milesTreadmill. 30minWeights too.  Made chocolate chips cookies. 18346 steps. 2796 burn. 1800 intake. 
  • Saturday (0408): Started the day with an easy walk on the treadmill. 50min/2.6miles. Mowed the lawn later in the day. Dinner out at Red Robin with my extended family. Oops over on the calories in! 13262 steps. 2259 burn. 2650 intake. 
  • Sunday (0409): Slow Sunday! Attempted exercise ... but it feels so much harder on weekends! Just 10min on the elliptical. Some cleaning in prep for family (Hubs side) coming over for Hubs BBQ. Over on calories again too. 5417 steps. 2044 burn. 2500 intake.
Five Featured Photos ...



 Cute (clawed) Kitten ... something about his hair gel, she keeps attacking #1's head.

 Hubs bought a bunch of razors ... bye bye beard?

 He bought me a new lawn mower ... it's so lightweight! Feels like a toy!
I mowed after the rain, before the snow.
That's Utah spring weather for you!

 Quite the crew for a family shindig at Red Robin on Saturday.

More family fun on Sunday ... cute little cousins in the hot tub.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Upping the Activity

 Workout Wednesday
Ah ... my home gym. Treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike and full weight set (and a few fans! *Ü*) I'm spoiled. In the past few months, while I never stopped working out, my activity did wane. With the holidays, prepping for #1 son to return home after two years away (we'd given away his room and had to rearrange to find everyone a spot) and just some discouragement ... 

Trying to jump back on the workout wagon (even though I KNOW it's the eating!)

Tuesday, I had my first 30k day since October(2016) when I had two. 
Then today ... Wednesday, I did it again. 

I've been good at getting up and hitting the elliptical first thing. One 20min session then I wake up the boys. Prep lunches and make sure they are ready, then another 20 before driving middle school carpool (#2 drives himself and #3 to school). Back home, one more 20min session then off with #5 to elementary. 

I haven't been great at getting to Zumba on Wednesdays for a while. But I did today. Then I had some treadmill time. 30min/2miles.  I really tried to push myself. I know ... I'm more of a quantity over quality when it comes to workouts. I have such a hard time getting my heart rate up. Admittedly, my elliptical is pretty easy, my bike time is more about reading than riding (I just feel a little guilty spending too much time in a book, but if I'm "exercising" than it's okay, right?)

Zumba can be a little hit and miss. At times, I have great energy, get really good stats/steps and other times ... it's half hearted (and that is absolutely reflected in the heart rate). It can depend on the teachers, and whether or not I know or like the songs ... and other times, it seems like no matter what I do, even giving it my all, it just doesn't show much in the stats. I still absolutely enjoy my Zumba though. Beyond just exercise, it gets me out of the house (which is an issue), has given me confidence and many new friends.


Here's a closer look at my Treadmill Time ...

I do NOT like running. I rarely "run" ... 5mph is a comfortable jog, but I can't keep that up for too long (I did do one WHOLE mile last week). As everyone seems to say HIT workouts are the thing, I try to add intervals, turning up the treadmill (I tried a little 6mph, 7mph and even 8mph for a small stretch ... very small).  But this might motivate me to see if I can improve on these stats, push it into the peak a bit more. I don't know that I'll ever actually enjoy running ... I know MOST people prefer the outdoors to a treadmill, but the weather (hot sun or cold rain), cars, dogs, insects, stranger danger ... and just the possibility of getting stuck far away from home if there is a problem (even just a potty problem). 

See? Here's #1 having to pull rocks from the groves in his shoes.
That doesn't happen on a treadmill!
 ... and a little funny from last week. #1 son took off running in the rain. It turned to snow and he was freezing and miserable and had a cramp and was a few miles away from home, up by the high school. He went into the school, and had his brother called from class ... and absconded with his car, driving home. 

He tracks his miles on his shoes ...

When he first got home from his mission, he spent a little time in the gym (with weights) but hasn't been in there much. The seniors on the other hand ...
They seem a little lost without basketball. It's been LIFE for the past several years, and now it's over (except for Stockton ... he's planning on playing college ball). Many days after school #2 and friends hit our home gym. #3 son has been spending time with weights too, and even #4 has started hitting the gym again (both working with weights, and on the treadmill). Once again, BOYS IN MY GYM! I always try to make sure I get in whatever workouts I want during the day, because I don't know if my gym will be available when school is out. 

Next is Spring Break ... not sure what that will do to my routine!


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

TV Tuesday - Clones and Robots

I get in an hour of elliptical almost every day ... am I dedicated to exercise, or is this just an excuse to watch a favorite show? Other than an occasional DVD or series watched with the Hubs, the only TV time I allow myself is if I'm being active. So while I might watch a lot, I'm moving the entire time. TV Tuesday ... it's what I've been watching!

First up ... Clones! I discovered Orphan Black shortly after Season 1 came out a few years ago. As each new season became available for free streaming on Amazon Prime, I'd indulge.

Season 4 has been out for a while. It started airing April of 2016, so almost exactly a year ago. I don't catch anything "live" and am not even sure what station it airs on here in America (it  comes out in England earlier). I saw it was on Amazon ... but for purchase, not part of Prime (yet). While it wasn't that expensive ($15 for the 10 episodes) I was willing to wait. I'm patient, and there's plenty to entertain me. It was available on DVD a few months ago, and my library carried it, but there were quite a few holds. Still waiting. 

Finally, mid-March, it was included in Prime streaming. With only 10 episodes, I got through it pretty quickly. Even though it had been over a year since I'd finished up the previous season, it was pretty easy to get back into.

I'm impressed with the lead actress. She plays several different (really different) roles ... clones. Overall it's full of drama and action ... but there is SO much funny stuff to lighten it up too. Unfortunately, this ended on a cliffhanger. I've heard Season Five will be the final season.

As I was watching Orphan Black, I noticed that "Humans" was airing it's second season on AMC. It started in February and wrapped up in March. I remember Season 1 hit Netflix quite quickly last year, but I went ahead and recorded the episodes using my PlayOn service. With only eight episodes, this was a quick season. 

It picks up pretty much where Season 1 left off. Very easy to get back into it all. Again ... I was impressed with the acting, as humans portrayed human-like synthetics(robots). While very advanced, it's still obvious these are not real (in the story-line) but some of them have gained consciousness, and then are quite difficult to tell apart from human counterparts. It's an issue that's been dealt with in other productions (I-Robot being a favorite of mine). I really like the characters and presentation here. I wish the season was longer!

But ... still plenty to watch and keep me entertained while I exercise. Onto the next series ...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly Review #191


Dang It! I was pretty good again, and STILL the scale went up.
 So frustrating. Why even try? 

NUMBERS: Official weight up 1.3 pounds. Average was down (.37 to 180.77). I did dip down under 180 ... but didn't stay there. Big jump for Monday morning, and the weekend wasn't that bad (last week was worse!) I kept calories in control overall this week. I had a deficit this week. -3082. That should register as a loss! Intake averaging at 1979 and burn at 2766.  Average Steps 19,764. Exercise miles 103.42, 145 minutes strength training, cardio minutes 890/760/897 ... 972 according to my Fitbit Charge!


 ACTIVITIES: Got in my hour of elliptical six of the seven days this week. Two Zumba classes and 1.5 hours on my own. Six sessions on the bike, and four times on the treadmill. Three weights workouts.


Here's the Day by Day ...
  • Monday (0327): Motivated Monday ... hour of elliptical, 30minZumba, Bike, 60min/3miles Treadmill, 60minWeights, 15minHula. Kept calories in control at 1200. Burn 3060. 26309 steps. 
  • Tuesday (0328): Hour of elliptical and Zumba with Marian (too chilly to walk). A session on the bike and one mile treadmill walk. Got some steps cleaning the house too. Burn 3124. Intake 1550.  Steps 25491.
  • Wednesday (0329): Started the day with an hour of elliptical, 30minZumba on my own and a session on the bike. Weights and Wii too. In the evening I had a parent meeting regarding basketball for #3. Oops over on calories today though. 3010 burn. 2600 intake. 24809 steps.
  • Thursday (0330): Hour of elliptical and Zumba with Mountain View. Stopped at the store on the way home for groceries. Got in 30min on the bike too. Basketball practice for #5 in the evening. Burn 2955. Intake 1700. Steps 22801.
  • Friday (0331): Hubs left for a weekend getaway. I got in my hour of elliptical,  30minZumba, 30minBike, 30minTreadmill. Also a workout with weights. Calories a little high. Burn 2902. Intake 2400. Steps 21800.
  • Saturday (0401): Just an hour of elliptical for exercise today. Two basketball game with #5.  Burn 2321. Intake 2100. Steps 11836.
  • Sunday (0402): Rest day, but I did do 30min on the bike reading/riding (it's not a big workout, I only credit a 100 calorie burn). Hubs got home from his trip. 1993 burn. 2200 intake. 5509 steps. 
Five Featured Photos ... (I didn't take much this week, so sharing some of my son's Snapchats!)

 Hubs getaway to Moab.

Silly son!

Silly son at a show ...

Silly son with cereal (special bowl keeping milk and cereal separate)

... and #5 setting up the Jazz Dunk Team at Friday practice.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Zumba Stats 2017

I'm a numbers gal ... I have no idea if my Fitbit (I wear both the One and the ChargeHR) are giving me accurate estimates as far as calorie burn, steps and heart rate.  I figure if I use the numbers to compare MY experience class to class, it will still be information worth having.

Based on previous stats ... for an hour Zumba class, I really hope to achieve a burn of 400+, steps over 6000 and I'm still figuring out heart rate (even after more than a year). An average at least in the 120s ... hopefully "in cardio zone" for at least 40min in an hour. Highs have reached over 500 calories, steps over 8000, AvHR ... in 2015 I was using a Polar (had some 139 numbers), with  my ChargHR in 2016 I only slipped into the 130s a couple of times. I also tried the Scosche HRM, a high there of 152 (it was always higher. I have quit the Scosche this year, sticking with just the ChargeHR for heart rate.)

Beyond basic stats ... for a while there I was hitting Zumba four days a week with absolute regularity. Weekdays, Mon-Thursday, four different classes. Occasionally I'd hit a Fri/Sat or an extra evening class.

So THIS will be a post in progress ... I'll update it each month with the stats. How many classes, the highs and lows, and fun photos. It's a new year. The chart image is small (to fit on the blog) but can be enlarged if you click on it.

NOT starting off good for January 2017 ...

Only eight classes for the entire month of January. I didn't hit my Monday Southziders once (it's my furthest to travel to, but it's a favorite! I usually get good stats there.) A couple of those Mondays were holidays (New Year's Day, MLK day) with kids out of school (and the class was actually cancelled ... not that I would have gone anyway). I've still been in a holiday slump, then got bogged down with sickness (nothing too bad, but it really messed with my motivation). I needed to step up and help teach a class ... which ended up being my high (as is often the case, being up on the stage and picking all the songs I know and like).  I got pretty great numbers that day! The ChargeHR 549, avHR of 131. Those numbers might be hard to beat.

February 2017
Again, not a great month. Not sure what I need to do to regain my motivation. Just 10 Zumba classes this month. Just two Monday classes ... once with Southziders, once with Debbie. I even missed one of my Tuesdays with Marian. I did get a good heart rate reading there at the start of the month though!

March 2017
It's not that I'm burned out on Zumba ... well, maybe a little. It's more I got out of the habit. I hit my Tuesday/Thursday classes with consistency as always but all other days are off. One MZL on a Friday when the older boys were out of school. Mid month I started some "practice" Zumba on my own on Mondays and Wednesdays ... 30 minutes each time. 10 classes total and 2.5 hours on my own. No great numbers/stats this month though.


Pictures in Progress

ChargeHR screen stats from January 19, 2017
The numbers to beat this year!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...