Monthly Archives: September 2012

My First Real LIVE Zumba Class!

This week I joined the YMCA, and took my first actual live Zumba class. It was really fun! I went with a friend, and having actual people around made it a much different experience. However, it did prove that the Xbox Kinect game is really excellent, because I feel like my heart gets pumping just as hard and I work up just as big a sweat when I use the Xbox game. It was very fun having new choreography to try, and I look forward to taking more Zumba classes.

The other cool thing about taking the class is that immediately following it was a beginner strength training class. It made me realize I really need to do more crunches. My stomach muscles were sore for days. This morning I went to the Y and walked on the treadmill for about 20 minutes, then met my friend for a bit harder strength training class. It felt like a good workout, I guess I’ll know by how sore I am when I wake up tomorrow…and maybe the next day too.

My friends and I are still doing our hiking, every Tuesday and Thursday morning. We are now doing a 4.2 mile hike, and my Fitbit says that it is about 79 flights of stairs up. All I know is that it is a heck of a long trek up the hill.

My motivation now is to see how much farther I can take this, how much more I can do, how high a level of fitness I can eventually achieve. I figure that is a motivation that doesn’t necessarily have any end in sight, which is a good one to have. Every time I go with my kids to the park and run around with a soccer ball with them I feel so much joy and accomplishment. I rejoice in each new thing I can do.


50 Pounds!

Wow…today I am down 50 pounds from when I started. Almost half way there–total I want to lose is now about 105-110 pounds.  I feel so good, and super motivated still. This doesn’t feel like a big effort anymore, it just feels like a way of life. I love being active, and exercising. I really like the food I’m eating, I don’t feel like I’m suffering or depriving myself at all. I still think it may be harder with winter coming, but I am sure I will get through it.

Today, my husband worked from home and he was talking about taking a walk. So we went together for the hike I’ve been doing with my friends, and it was lovely to be out there together, and able to share being active.

I finally tried out a gym this week, I went to our local YMCA with a friend, and it was really good. We went on some of the cardio equipment, and took a strength training class. I can see how joining a gym will work into my current exercise plan. The other thing I realized is one of the parts I kind of hate about the gym are the showers, but there is no reason I can’t just get back into my car all sweaty and stinky and just drive home and shower. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. I think that is one of my biggest efforts in this, to just keep things from becoming a big deal, and therefore demotivating.

I’ve decided to put jogging on hold for a while. I was starting to feel a bit of tinges in my knee, and the worst thing would be to injure myself now and have to slow down on my activity level. I can get plenty of cardio in other ways, no need to keep jogging just to prove I can. I’ve already done that.

Why I Love My Fitbit

Yesterday was a day I couldn’t fit in my normal exercise routine. Two soccer games to attend, plus a ballet class for my daughter. I had to make a Home Depot run, and we went out to dinner.

While I was waiting for my daughter to finish her ballet class, I looked at my fitbit and noticed that I was at about 6,000 steps for the day. I had half an hour left before she was done, so I went out to get as many steps as I could, to try to get to my 10,000 step a day goal. I managed to get pretty close, and with the rest of the walking I did that day I reached the goal.

I don’t really need the motivation it gives me on my normal exercise days, but it is good to see just how active I am being on those days. And on days when I don’t get my normal exercise, it motivates me to get in some activity any way I can.

To Join a Gym or Not…That is the Question…

I’ve been thinking for awhile about whether or not to join a gym. It may sound kind of silly, but I’m almost afraid to do it. In the past when I have joined a gym I would attend for a few weeks or months, and then start making excuses not to go. What I’m doing right now is working, so I’m afraid to change things and add an obstacle in my path, i.e., having to get out the door to the gym. However, I feel like I should be doing some kind of strength training, plus some of things I’ve been doing (jogging, hiking) will be harder in the winter when the rains start. I might even be in good enough shape at this point where I wouldn’t feel embarrassed to attend classes. Is exercising and being active enough a part of lifestyle now that I won’t return to my bad habits? I hope that is the case, but I wonder if I will ever have complete confidence in that fact.

Of course the other obstacle is deciding which gym to join. There are a number of choices around here, and they all seem like they have pros and cons. How to make the decision?

Grilled Chicken Legs with Buttermilk Garlic Rosemary Marinade; Pasta with Basil, Cherry Tomato and Pine Nuts; and Sautéed Cauliflower

Made a wonderful dinner tonight, with many ingredients from our garden. First, I made Grilled Chicken Legs with a Buttermilk Garlic Rosemary Marinade (from the America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook) with a lemon and rosemary from the garden.20120907-202944.jpg


To go with it, I made Pasta with Basil, Cherry Tomato and Pine Nuts using basil and cherry tomatoes from the garden. First, I cooked the pasta and drained it, leaving it in the colander. In the empty pan, I dry toasted some pine nuts then added olive oil and minced garlic. Once the garlic was slightly cooked, off the heat I added the pasta back, plus chopped basil and halved cherry tomatoes. My husband and daughter added parmesan cheese at the table, but I thought it was great without it.20120907-203009.jpg


As an additional vegetable, I sautéed and braised some cauliflower from our farm share. My husband did a wonderful job grilling the chicken. It’s not the most colorful meal I’ve served, but it tasted great!20120907-203029.jpg

Another Two Pounds Down, and 3 Miles Jogged!

I’ve decided that Fridays are my “official” weigh-in day. I’m actually weighing myself every morning, but it goes up and down so much in a week that I’m only actually counting the one on Friday. This morning, even after going camping and not logging over the weekend, I was still down another 2 pounds!

I bought new sneakers yesterday from Road Runner Sports, which is where I had purchased my previous sneakers. They do a full analysis of your foot, and come up with the best sneaker for you, plus a custom insole. They also have a 90-day return policy, even after wearing them that whole time. I jogged my usual 3-mile route this morning, and they felt pretty good, none of the foot or knee pain I had on Wednesday. I’m still not sure jogging is for me, but I’m going to stick with it for awhile and see how it goes.


Jogging After Couch to 5K and Bounty From the Garden

Took my first jog today after finishing the Couch to 5K program. I hadn’t jogged in about a week because of the camping trip, so I was a bit worried, but I was able to finish the 3 mile jog, and even went a little faster than last time. It was surprisingly nice to jog without someone telling me how much time had passed. I just used MapMyRun to tell me the distance I had jogged, and listened to my own playlist. It was very challenging since it had been awhile since my last jog, but most of the jog I felt pretty good. I am going to try to continue jogging 2 to 3 times per week. I do need to get new shoes, I think mine are starting to wear out. I felt the first bits of pain in my legs and feet that I’ve felt since starting all of this. I’m planning to go to the running store tomorrow and get fitted for a new pair.

I made an amazing pasta sauce tonight, straight from the garden. I have 3 different types of paste (i.e., plum or Roma type) tomatoes in the garden (they are on the right hand side in the photo), and used a few from each type. Also summer squash and basil from the garden, and peppers and spinach from our farm share. Also some onion and garlic, of course. The sauce didn’t photograph well, but here’s a beautiful photo of some of the bounty I have been harvesting lately. I love having a veggie garden, it’s good for my kids to see where food comes from, good for me to get my meditative garden time, and good for the whole family to be eating all of these fresh, delicious vegetables!