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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Here I am!

Greeting and salutations! (anyone know what movie that is from?)

Between work travel and pleasure travel, I've definitely been a bit sparse on the post front.  However I am back now and will do my best to get back in to the groove.

Coming back from vacation is hard.

By the last day, we were ready to leave, but then once it came time to actually leave, we weren't.  Getting home to non-stop rain made me miss it even more.

Maybe it's just me, but historically these all-inclusive vacations are heavy on overindulgence.  While I may not eat a ton more, I definitely eat things I don't usually eat.  The breakfast buffet on my last trip had Nutella, which just spelled trouble for me.  This one didn't have it, so while I missed it, it was probably a good thing.  Plus there's the drinking.  I'm not much of a drinker at home, so any drinking is an increase.

Amazingly I didn't gain much weight, maybe a pound or two, but I'm not even sure about that.  Phew.

We tried to be active and work out but it didn't really happen.  One morning we went for a nice walk, so I guess that counts for something, and another morning we did a walk/run combo, but that was it.  It gets hot and humid so quickly and the gym there is just "eh".  Oh well, it was vacation and the break was nice.

My schedule is still a bit off so I'll be back to things on Saturday.

Since this post is light on the fit talk, here's some eye candy...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So long, farewell

It's just about vacation time and I'll just say that it's MUCH needed.

This past week has been nuts!  NY on Saturday, back to CT on Sunday, MA on Tuesday, back to CT on Thursday and then time to head out of dodge, just in time!

I've got a gazillion things to do tonight, plus I'm teaching, but I just wanted to throw up a quick post.

I'll leave you with this and catch you on the flip side.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yay groupon! (edited to say, ooops, Living Social!!)


I'm travelling for work and at a conference so the schedule fluctuates between very slow and so crazy.  I've got a few minutes before the chaos starts again.

I used to say that my dream was to open a cycling studio.  However I knew that it would be pricey to the customers so not just any town would work.  I didn't do anything with this but still think it would be pretty neat.

I was excited but a bit jealous when a few of the people I know of through Spin Odyssey went ahead and opened up a studio in a wealthy town near by.

When they opened I checked out their website for pricing.  One class was $20.  Yes, one spin class, $20.  If you told me my $20 was going to a non-profit that would be one thing, but this, not so much.  So while I thought it was cool, I wasn't game for the financial hit.

It pretty much made my day when the generic Living Social email saying "5 Fitness Classes" was in fact for this very cycling studio.  5 classes for $25!!  Wowsers.  So I bought two; one for me and one for Don Juan.  I can't wait to try it out!

Stay tuned for a full review.  One of the instructors does a Tabata class that I'm sooooo curious about.

That aside, I'm leaving for vacation in about 36 hours.  Yikes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The stairs to hell

I've written about this beast before, but figured it was worth revisiting.

Does your gym have one of these?  Have you used it?  If not, I definitely suggest giving it a try if you're looking to mix things up.

This machine gets my heart rate up and the sweat pouring like no other machine.

Lately I've been using it for 15 minutes.  I start out relatively slow for the first 5 minutes and then add a level every 3 minutes or so, although it varies.  I try to really push myself for the final minute.  Just the warm up 5 has my heart rate up and my legs wondering how they're going to make it through the next 10 minutes.

When I get off the machine after 15 minutes I look as though I've just run a marathon, or fought a battle.  I am out of breath and seriously covered in sweat.  It blows my mind that just 15 minutes can have that effect.

If you give it a try, remember, it's all about the legs, so use the handle bars for balance, not support.  I frequently see people hunched over the handlebars holding themselves up because the level they're working at is too high.  The machine takes some getting used to.  It usually takes me a few minutes to be able to look up (as opposed to watching my feet and the steps so I don't fall), but then I change the level and have to acclimate all over again.

Thing is, your high up in the air, so if you lose your footing you might really fall.  That's a little intimidating.  But if you can get past that, it's a nice vantage point.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What makes you smile?

Some days it takes a lot to make me smile, other days it's so simple.

Yesterday, this made me smile...
I had seen this backpack at Kohl's a few weeks ago and LOVED the pattern.  But then I saw the price tag and realized I didn't really need it.  Well, I was at Kohl's yesterday with my mother and this bag was on clearance for $16!  (plus my mother had a 30% off coupon)
So this bag is now my new spin bag.  Yay!

My old spin bag did the trick, but everything didn't really fit inside it and things were always hanging out.

This bag took me back to when I was in elementary or middle school and also made me think of Lisa Frank (who was the hottest for folders/notebooks etc.)

Do you remember this?
 Today I'm also smiling because it's Friday.  However I'm not smiling because it's chilly here.  It was like fall arrived yesterday at 5pm.  It was WEIRD.

This weekend will be a busy one, but it's all good stuff so I hope to enjoy every moment.

Plus, I leave for vacation in one week.  To say I'm ready would be an understatement.

Enjoy your Fridays and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Body Rock?

The Fitnessista's post on BodyRock intrigued me so I headed over to the site to check it out.

This was the first video I watched.  Mind you, I watched it at work.  It's a good thing I'm alone in the office because from all the heavy breathing (and nothing else) you'd never have guessed I was watching something appropriate.

She is in amazing shape and seemed standoffish, until she spoke at the end of the video at which point she did seem very likable.

Have you tried BodyRock?

Instructor Question

Spinning instructors...I have a question for you.

Do any of your students/members spin their pedals backwards after class?

If so, how do you get them to stop?  What do you say?

The Spinning handbook mentions something about ultimately loosening (is that a word?) the screws (or whatever) that hold the pedals in place.  While that makes sense, after 45 minutes of pedaling forward, are they really going to undo it in 5 minutes pedaling backwards?

Is there a physiological reason why they shouldn't do this?

Also, feel free to post any questions you might have in the comments section and maybe we can help each other.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A nice gym story

My memory is shot lately, so I can't recall if I mentioned that I will likely be gradually transitioning to working from home.  My company has a lovely office but due to staffing changes, most of the time I'm the only one there.  So I guess it only makes sense that they're trying to sublet it and if that succeeds, then I'll have to work from home.

The thought of working from home every day makes me shudder.  I'm a social person and being home alone all day is my nightmare.  That said, I'm trying to put a positive spin on it and figure out how to make it work for me.

Today I decided to try a lunch time class at the gym.  My beloved TRX class is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays and since it's only 30 minutes, I thought it might be the perfect lunch time break.

After I checked in at the gym, I was walking away from the front desk when an older man who was sitting near by asked me if he could make my day.  The skeptical New Yorker repeated it back to him with a little hesitation.  He then confirmed that that was what he wanted to do, reached in to his pocked and gave me this...

He then explained that it was a sweet caramel (or something along those lines).  At that point a huge smile came across my face and I thanked him a few times.  I'd say he did come pretty close to making my day.

Shame on me for being such a skeptic, but how many times does someone come up to you unsolicited and offer or give you something you actually want?

I look forward to enjoying my Werther's after lunch!  :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Spin Ride - Nice Kicks!

As promised, here's my latest ride.  It was created for a 45 minute class.

A few different blogs have contributed songs to this ride, so thank you to Chris, Amanda, and Cynthia!

Without further ado...

Click on the image for a larger view

What I'm not so sure about is Painkillers and Pumped up Kicks.  I wasn't sure if Painkillers just came off sounding like noise and I wasn't sure if I loved the remix version of Pumped up Kicks that I chose.

The sound system at the Saturday gym is pretty bad, so I'll give it another try and a different gym and see how that goes.  One participant told me Painkillers was fine.

Let me know your thoughts.

Here we go again...

Good morning and happy Monday!

Sorry for being a tad MIA, I've had a lot of things on my mind and unfortunately blogging was at the bottom of the list.

Friday night I put together a NEW spin ride for Saturday's class.  I will post it later today. :)  Saturday's class was the ride's debut and I think it was OK.  It's a non-stop ride I'm just not sure about a couple of the songs.  But more on that when I put the ride up.

Fit talking...
Sunday I took a bootcamp class I had never taken before.  I had seen the instructor and knew I wanted to try one of his classes, so even though I was feeling eh, I hit the gym.  I really enjoyed the class.  It was tough and different.  My biggest complaint about most classes is that there's way too much emphasis on the lower body and not enough on the upper.  This class was pretty much the opposite.

Here's a rough outline of what he had us doing...
Weighted ball throw downs (sorry for the weird description).  We partnered up, facing each other, about 3-4 feet apart.  Each person had a medicine ball which we held over our heads and then slammed down so that it went to the other person, who caught it.
Holding that same ball we had to do high knees twisting the ball to opposite hips (again, another awesome description), then put the ball on the ground and do toe taps, then push ups with one hand on the ball, then switching.
He had us using the rope, steps, bosus, boxing bags, and jump ropes.
It was circuit style so we moved around a bunch.
Overall a good class although my back is a bit sore today.

Unfortunately my schedule is a bit crazy the next few weekends so the next time I can take that class is October 9th.  Crazy.

This morning I made a smoothie and ventured in to the world of spinach.  It was my usual recipe of frozen strawberries, half a frozen banana, chocolate protein powder, and skim milk.  But I put in a few leaves on spinach and ended up with this...
A really ugly smoothie.  They used to be a reddish brown/ but this definitely looks like a brownish/green.  It tastes the same, it's just ugly.  Have you done the spinach thing and has the same thing happened?  Oh yeah, it got uglier as time went on.  It was normal looking when I left the house but by the time I got to work it looked like the picture above.

One last thing...a question for my instructor friends...
Have any of you done tabata rides?  If  so, would you be willing to share a profile or just give me some tips?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I make plans...

and god laughs.

That isn't meant to be a religious statement.  But I plan to do something and some bigger force somewhere says "yeah right" and throws me a curveball.

Thankfully my eating is still on track. :)

However the gym thing is up in the air.  I had a follow up doctor's appointment this morning and while I'm not going to go in to details, it didn't go as smoothly as I had expected and as a result I had to sub out my spin class.  It's now 6:45pm and instead of teaching, i'm sitting at my kitchen table blogging.

This definitely frustrates me, but it's one day and things will improve.

On a side note, it felt great to TRX again last night.  Crunch is an odd gym.  They're introducing a class called Retro Robics.  Think Jane Fonda era.

Thing is, since it was the intro night at my gym, staff members had on leggings, leotards, and headbands.  Interesting.

Would you take this class?  I wouldn't because i'm just not in to things involving any sort of choreography.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the truth

Since I plan on being accountable for my September resolutions, I have to tell you that I didn't get time with Shawn T. yesterday.

The plan for Insanity is that Don Juan and I will do it together.  While some people say that working out with another person is motivating, I've also seen it have the opposite effect.  Last night for example.  I got home from work a bit early, figuring he'd meet me there.  At 5p he was far from home and in a TON of traffic.  We were both starving.  Knowing that it would be some time before he got home, we decided to skip Insanity.

Then this morning the plan was to wake up at 6a and do it.  Again, no dice.  We might try to do it tonight but who knows.

I'm a little frustrated that it isn't happening but at the same time I'm ok with it.  And because I've been working on eating more fruits and veggies I at least feel like I'm doing something that's good for me.

I want to do Insanity and I want to do it all out but also realize that I have work travel and a vacation coming up, which will make it that much  more complicated.  So maybe Insanity gets put on the back burner until October.  Maybe.

I hate when life gets in the way.

In the kitchen...
Anyway....last night I attempted to make baba ghanoush.  DJ had made eggplant parm on Monday night with the worlds largest eggplant, so not all of it was used.  I used this recipe.  It came out eh although I think I know why.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the huge eggplant was overripe thus making it very seedy and a tad bitter.  The mix of the lemon juice and a possibly bitter eggplant left it with a bit of a tang.  Plus while I was content using my trusty Hamilton Beach food processor, DJ felt it just had to go in the Vitamix.  I thought keeping some small chunks kept it eggplant like but DJ made it in to something that looked like hummus.  Since it was bitter he decided to add in a few baby carrots.  I'm not sure if this did much but it definitely changed the color of the spread.  The last step was to add some olive oil and stir, then put in the fridge for a few hours.
DJ tried it this morning and vetoed it.  Oh well.

On the flip side, on Monday, I made this salsa recipe and it was quite good.

I'm ready for the work day to be over so it's time to head to TRX!  Catch ya on the flip side.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bye Bye Summer

I know that technically it's not fall until September 21st, but now that labor day has passed, it really is more fall than summer.  The kiddies are back in school and rush hour traffic is in full effect.  Not to mention the fact that Mother Nature threw it in our face today with a high only in the 60s.  Thanks Ma!

My weekend was nice.  Friday I managed to get in a workout before meeting a friend for dinner. Saturday I taught then went to a pig roast.  Sunday I taught then squeezed in the smallest amount of pool time.  And then Monday I went to a BBQ and then had a relaxing night at home with the bf.

For me this weekend was also my last hoorah in terms of eating whatever I want and slacking on the gym.  Since moving in May I've been really hot and cold with workouts and food and as a result I've been kind of blah.  Both Don Juan and I have been feeling this way so we decided together that now is the time to clean up our acts and get our sh*t together.

My main goals are as follow...
  • Eat better (no more desserts or mindless snacking) and focus more on fruits and veggies
  • Work out regularly, as in almost every day
    • Bring back INSANITY
    • Run more
    • Weight train
  • Give up drinking (I am going on vacation in about two weeks so I will probably drink then, but that's it)
  • Make fitness and health a priority - right now my goal is to feel good about myself, so for the next few weeks (or however long) I'm going to focus on ME and doing what is best for me.  In my  mind this just might mean saying no to the temptation of going out for dinner or drinks with friends, but I'm OK with that.  Once I feel better about things, the social side will of course return.
Hopefully this whole process goes smoothly.  I think it should, especially because none of these are new habits, they're just habits that have been dormant for a while.  I've done it before so I know I can do it again.

First up, a visit from this guy...
Shawn T. from Insanity
So here's to turning over a new leaf, keeping myself accountable and sharing any valuable tips or insight with you.  Happy fall!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good


I hope Thursday is treating you well.  I CAN NOT believe that it's September.  How is that even possible?  What happened to the summer?

I feel like in years past I've had so much to show for the summer.  But this year, nada, not even a tan.  This was my first summer in two years where I worked full time, so that might be part of it.  But still, I felt like all my weekends were either busy with obligations or the weather was crap.  Cry me a river.

So the first of september, a great time to start over, kind of.  Of course the fact that this weekend is a holiday weekend makes that a bit more complicated.  I'm working on getting back in to my routine now but won't really turn over a new leaf until Tuesday, it's just easier that way.

Last night I was reunited with my long and lanky lover.  Curious?  It's the TRX.  I do think I'm funny.  I knew there was a reason I had skipped the week before but I couldn't remember what it was so I looked at the calendar.  It was my birthday, duh.

So even though i'm feeling a bit off, I was still so happy to be back.  The class was packed, which isn't a great thing when you're hanging from achor points.

I'm not sure how familiar any of you are with TRX but I do highly recommend it.  However, it's completely different than anything else so I wouldn't suggest going at it alone (at least for the first few times).  A few gyms offer it as a small group class (although it's usually extra money) or if they have one at your gym, perhaps a nice trainer wouldn't mind showing you a thing or two.  I've also found that osmetimes non TRX classes are starting to incorporate it.  My boxing class would use it as would an occasional boot camp class.

This is the move I'm feeling the most today.

I looked up a few examples of this move and found a few videos that weren't spot on in terms of form, however this one gets it right.  It looks simple and utilizes a relatively small range of movement but boy does it result in soreness.

Personally I think the obliques are an often neglected muscle, so any exercise that focuses on them will likely result in muscle soreness.

Again, I'm not a trainer, so don't take my word as bond, I'm really just sharing some information that I have found useful.