Saturday, December 22, 2012

been a long time

wow, not only has it been a long time since I've blogged, but its been a long time since I've worked out!    Its now days before Christmas and this all started the week before Thanksgiving!  I cut out my gym visits because I needed to put in more hours at the office to compensate for my planned absence, as I was going to be out of town for a few days. Well, that trip took an unexpected change (my father was very ill) so I stayed a week. When I did get back home, I was even more behind at work (since I had stayed longer), so I went to the office instead of the gym for another week. Well, we are up to three weeks now of no gym classes (just simple treadmill work at home each morning). About this time, I not only have Christmas, and school responsibilities to handle, but also need to prep at the office for end of year functions, as well as pre-compensate again at the office for work I know I will miss over Christmas vacation (the girls are off for 2 full weeks so we are planning to spend that whole time at our new vacation house we just finished last month).  So..... I haven't been working out much at all to say the least! But you know what?!  I am fine with it. I have realized over the last couple of years that 'working out' doesn't need to define who I am, and I actually prefer that it doesn't. It is no longer an 'idol' in my life like it used to be, and I am still quite happy (even though I would like to lose a few pounds) . The funny thing though is, I went 3.5 weeks with very minimal treadmill work (one week in the middle had absolutely NOTHING, because I was in MI) and I didn't gain a single pound!
So I've got a new plan ;)   I'm sure you'll like it if you like humor ;0
it is, to take 3 weeks off, then go to the gym for a week and do regular schedule classes (these will be super hard for me, having had 3 weeks off, so they will SHOCK my body and I'll lose a pound or two from the CHANGE). Then I'll take 3 weeks off again (just maintain, eat healthy, do little bits of treadmill), then do another regular week of classes. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Sounds like a great plan, eh???  anyway, I am laughing myself. You can see I don't take this  stuff too seriously anymore. I have realized there are way to many other things in life than how many hours I spend at the gym. Plus it probably doesn't help any that I no longer have my fun group of friends working out with me since I moved gyms. Honestly, I stayed at my old gym for soooo long , just for the people. Now without those people at my new gym (even though this gym is AMAZING! and the best place I have ever worked out before!), it doesn't have the 'staying power' that your friends provide.  We'll see what I do in the future. Its not very fun not being with my friends working out, but I hate to leave this place because its so nice, and worse yet, if I went to where my friends are, that place is one of the worst (dirty filthy broken etc). I tried to get my friends to join me, but only one has so far and its been almost 9months :(

anyway enough about that. I wrote this to tell you about the fun workout I did with the girls 2 days ago while here on vacation. We have a gameroom with no games yet, so the whole floor is wide open wood flooring with a big tv on the wall. So we loaded in a Jillian Michaels last chance workout dvd and the girls and I went at it! It was fun doing it with them!  :)  we had a ball!
We are about to go take out dog for a walk on the walking trails (our exercise for the day), and this morning we had a craft contest and hot potato game marathon. Fun days!   Now I just need to beat this stuffy head that is trying to sabotage my vacation! 

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Great Work out and new swimsuit!

Did my final 'free' personal training session today. I used my LTBucks to join a T.E.A.M. class that was doing a treadmill routine that focuses on keeping you in heartrate zones 2&3 (fat burning zones). It was a really good workout! I was sweating a ton and the ladies in the class were all very nice and welcoming even though I was joining their 'group' for only one class. We could choose our own speed (in order to keep us in zones 2 and 3, but the trainer told us when to change our incline from 4-15 and also told us when to do weights or bands with our arms as we were walking. It was a really good workout and I wanted to do it so I could copy it at home on my own treadmill :) After class I did some of the machines that Treasa had showed me how to use. It was a little weird NOT doing a group fitness class while I was there, but that's ok. That's what I am trying to do, broaden my workouts and workout more effectively not just more exhaustedly. I am really hoping this pays off, because as I've said, I really don't want to be jumping around for the next 20 years, I would love to learn some new lower impact things that keep me in shape and keep me motivated and working out.  It was a good day.
Then it became even better when my package arrived from Land's End with a new swimsuit in it. I have been looking for the past year for suits that aren't matronly, but aren't showing cleavage. I don't even have big boobs, and even with my small cleavage I feel when I am around men other than my husband that there is too much showing (only stuff my hubby should see). I don't care if other mom's see it, I just don't like other men to see it. And I admit, I wear triangle top string bikinis when I am home at our own pool with no male guests almost all the time, because it allows me to get a fuller coverage tan and then when I wear a more concealing suit there are no untanned areas peaking out.  I also like bottoms that cover my cheekers! Which is impossible if you buy a suit intended for a 'junior', they all seem to be cut with the intention of letting cheeks peek out. ugh. Anyway, I have a booty, and I'm a mom, and I just don't like cheeks hanging out on anyone(I don't care how old u are! and on that topic I can't stand the new fad of wearing suits so small that not only your cheeks hang out , but your butt crack is intentionally showing too! gross! Kim Kardashian, this is NOT attractive!!!!)  Anyway, so I am always looking for good bottoms that cover and fit the hips of a WOMAN , not a 17 yr old who hasn't had kids yet! A few years ago I fell in love with Tommy Hilfiger suits because their bottoms did this (tops still show a bit too much cleavage for me, but I have several anyway). Well, this year when I went to buy some new ones I realized they must have changed the styling on the bottoms because they weren't as full coverage as before :(   I don't like spending a lot of money on swimsuits, in fact I usually buy at the outlet mall out of season and get each piece for between $5 and $10. But I was having such difficulting finding the coverage I wanted, that I ventured into online swimsuit shopping (scary! since u can't try it on!!!)   Land's End has a good return policy that u can return to a local Sears store and not have to pay return shipping. They were recently running a special of $20 off plus free shipping, so I ordered some stuff to give it a try, knowing if it doesn't work out I can return it for free (love Zappos this way, but they don't carry Land's End  and usually don't have much in the line of sales, although I did order about 20 pieces of swimwear recently from them and returned all of them, blah!)
So I see this suit in Land's End that is on sale and it has full coverage bottom AND a top that has a few inches of fabric between the band on the top and the cups. I've realized that if most tops just connected the fabric at this middle point it would cut out the cleavage I am trying to conceal. I was excited to see the style and I liked the pattern, plus it has some little nautical ties that make it cute.  I LOVE IT! Here is a picture, because even though I don't look perfect in it, I am super happy with it and the fit! It achieves my goal so I am willing to share my picture(even though I'm working on losing 10 pounds still) I am even posting the not super flattering rear shot (really HOW flattering can a behind picture be when you've got junk in the trunk like me? ;) ha ha, but I'm ok with showing you, because I think this suit is great and good enough to wear in front of  men besides my hubby and not feel weird.  Plus I think the top is secure enough to do water sports and not run the risk of readjusting or slipping out.  Great suit! Loved it so much I went back on line tonight to try to buy it in more colors, but sadly they are out. Hopefully they will carry this same cut, in new prints/colors next year :) fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Personal Training opening my eyes to other avenues

Today I did my second personal training session at Lifetime Fitness. It was the first workout I did where absolutely NO group fitness classes were involved. I used to think it was crazy when my husband or other people I know would say "whoa I had a big workout today!" and I knew they were just lifting weights or doing machines. I really only thought you could get a big intense sweaty workout when you were jumping around, such as in a group fitness class or running. Well, I was wrong. Today I felt what they felt when they said it was 'hard'. I did the machines with my trainer showing me how to use them (the main reason I have never used them in the past, because I was intimidated and didn't know how to work most of them). Well, there were points on certain machines where I had sweat dripping in my eyes and I kept grabbing my towel to mop obviously you CAN get a good workout without having to take a fitness class that causes you to do burpees or jump from the floor to the ceiling!   This is great news. As I've gotten older (I am 41 now) I have been realizing that I don't want to be 'jumping around' till I'm 60, yet, I still want good workouts to stay in shape. Learning to work within my target heartrate zone (fat burning), as I spoke about before, and learning to do workouts that involve more weights and machines instead of bootcamp and high intensity stuff, as well as trying to incorporate more fat burning activities into my life , MAY be the ticket that allows me to keep in shape as I age, but not 'overwork' out and thus see no results, AND maybe lessen the effect of gravity with all that jumping and running. Let's face it, when u look at a serious runner who is older, its not a pretty sight. Their skin is sagging all over the place from all that jarring motion. That same jarring motion u get from a lot of fitness classes. Say NO to the SAG! ha ha.  Anyway, hope it doesn't sound lazy, but its just not possible or important for me to be jumping around 20 years from now. I've heard lots of people talk about the benefits they see from pilates and yoga and that they are becoming more toned than when they did all that jumpy stuff.  I admit its hard for me to really enjoy that yoga stuff (still to slow for me), but I am trying to keep giving it a shot as I  think it probably really does have good benefits. Well, that's my thoughts for today. Oh by the way, I saw yesterday on one of my emails from the fitness manager here at Lifetime that there are now 116 (!) classes each week! Wow, its amazing. Obviously, I will still do classes, but it is so great to have so many options. Just like I was saying if I want to do a group class but don't want to do the jumpy kind, there are SO MANY other ones to choose from including weights, hot yoga, core, etc. Awesome choices! If you have a Lifetime fitness near you and are looking for a gym I highly recommend u check them out. They are awesome! 
Learning today to use more of the machines also gives me the option of doing that after my first class during these summer months when the kids are with me (there isn't enough childcare hours allowed to do 2 full classes unless one of them is 30min, or I leave early). So I can do one class and then do machines till my time runs out in the childcare area. We have used the pool with the girls a couple times, but still haven't been there when the slides or outdoor cafe are open. We will be there Fri, so weather permitting we will hopefully be able to enjoy that amenity as well. Especially since that was one of the main reasons I even considered joining Lifetime (something fun for the kids to make up for bringing them to the gym day care)...of course that's not why I'm staying,....everything else has totally hooked me, but that was one of the original reasons I contemplated changing gyms. Well, I am sitting out by our pool watching my girls swim and play Mermaids as I am typing this, gotta love wi-fi  :P

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

5 pounds down, 4 days in

I have tried something new that my friend is using and selling. It's called Plexus Slim. Its not a cleanse, a meal replacement shake, or a diet per se. Its a supplement you take once a day before a meal. It tastes great (u mix it with water), and it is made of all natural ingredients. It gives u more energy (although I don't really notice that) and it curbs your appetite and cravings (I DO notice that!)  In fact, I started it Sunday morning, and its only Wed night and I am already down 5 pounds! My husband is taking it too and only down 2 or 3 , so he is complaining that my weight is yo-yo 'ish. Hey, if its going down, and quickly(!) I'm not complaining! I feel good and no bad side effects, so its interesting. If you want some let me know and I'll give u the website and my friend's code to put in when u order it. Its about $100 for a 30day supply. I am looking forward to seeing how well and how long this works.
Although on a similar note (weight), I will always admit that I was never comfortable wearing those black stretchy workout pants that so many people wear, until about a year ago when I decided that 'you know what, almost no one looks perfect in those things so I can quit being so hard on myself and just wear them anyway even though I don't thing I look perfect in them, no one else does either!'  So today, when I put them on I was reminded again by the mirror that my thighs touch in the middle and I don't like that....well, while at the gym today I noticed  every lady I looked at who was wearing them (even trainers) had the same issue (thighs get wider right there in the middle of your legs). So maybe its not really a huge issue. Maybe its just being a woman (not a 19 year old teenager, because let's face it, lots of them don't have that issue).  Oh well, I will take what I can get and be happy with it no matter what. It sort of stinks that the aging process is beginning to show more sagging and cellulite, but what can you really do? you can't get younger!!!!!

I guess I sort of rabbit-trailed there for a minute, I will keep u posted on the Plexus Slim.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A new Attitude

Yesterday I did what they call a Fit Test at my new gym. Just some measurements and stuff they do along with talking to you about your fitness goals so that when you meet with a personal trainer they will know where you are starting at. It basically involved doing pushups for one minute, walking at a regular pace on the treadmill for several minutes, sitting on the floor and (trying, in my case) to touch my toes, and height/weight, and a cool machine that registers fat content throughout your body.  That measurement wasn't really accurate because I refused to follow their instructions of not working out (especially strenuously) before the test. [So I guess if I ever do the test again, I should work out again beforehand, so that comparatively speaking I can see if there is any improvement in my body fat percentage...comparing apples to apples so to speak].  Before the test I did 15 minutes of core and an hour of The Mixx which is high impact kickboxing stuff. But there was no way I was going to miss my class to do this test and it just wasn't possible to come before my class because I had to take the kiddos to school. So oh well, I knew going in that one wouldn't be accurate, but everything else was helpful and I had a good discussion with the trainer about HOW I am training and HOW I can improve it to start seeing results.

We've all heard about fat burning zones and glucose burning zones before, and I've even heard some sources say that 'well yes u burn more fat at lower intesity, but u are burning more calories at the higher intensity', so in essence u would want to work at those higher levels for the higher calories (which is the belief I always sort of bought into, because even when I 'tried' to just walk on the treadmill instead of run, I felt like I was taking the 'easy' way out and it just wasn't worth spending the time if I wasn't going to be running.) Well, after a very long, in depth discussion with my trainer yesterday, I am willing to try something new, and NOT try to push myself to the limit at every workout (especially high intensity ones) and instead try to stay in my heart rate zone 3 (I will explain more on that in a minute). I even sort of argued with her but I finally had to give in and decide to give it a try, because quite honestly, my hard-core tactic hasn't really paid off (it only worked 5 years ago and that's because I had also completely overhauled my eating , and truthfully I think it was the eating that contributed to most of the results). Anyway, I've decided to TRY, really hard (and believe me it will be hard, because mentally I have to get bought into the fact that I DON'T have to be the one kicking the highest, punching the hardest, jumping the highest, or holding the plank the longest) to acheive results.  If I push myself to my limits (working in heart rate zones 4/5....have u figured out this is all about heart rates by now) then I am burning up glucose and not fat. Its the fat I need to lose. If I burn up all my glucose, then I am exhausted after working out, feel a bit like crap for a while, and eventually want to eat carbs (to refill all the carbs I just burned off) and this all equals weightloss or success. I am just refilling on a craving for what my body just used up and not reaping the rewards of the workout. However, if I focus on keeping my heart rate below my Anaerobic Threshold (A.T.) then I will be burning a higher percentage of fat, I will feel GREAT after a workout (not exhausted, can't even climb up the stairs to leave the gym feeling), and I won't crave the carb replenishment because I didn't burn off just carbs/glucose.

This is how she explained it to me at one point... she said... "you know those women who do all those classes  [p.s. a real problem here is the class takers like me because so many of the classes are high intesity, but that's what I like so that's the kind of workout I do] the women who come to every class, work out super hard, sweat a bucket, and their bodies are NOT changing?"   and I was like "uh, yea, that's ME!"   She continued, "well, they are doing exactly what we are talking about what u don't want to do. They are working out so much in zones 4 and 5 that they aren't reaping the benefits of zones 2 and 3, the fat burning/body changing zones"


I mean seriously, she was describing me to a tee! I sweat 5 buckets of water in each class (I mean I even change my shirts between classes because I am so darn drenched that its uncomfortable to be that damp and wet that long, so I put on a clean dry shirt and sports bra after every class!)  How much more direct can you get? It was me. So I decided to give it a try and change my 'mental attitude' about what I thought I needed to do to workout well. Today was my first day really paying attention to my heart rate monitor and CHANGING my activity if it was going past my A.T.   It really wasn't so bad, I thought if I didn't do everything at the same level or even try to do it higher, that I would look like a lazy butt. But all I had to do was lower my arms a bit, or if we were jumping high I would jump a little lower, and I didn't have to do it the WHOLE class, it would just be for like 30 seconds at a time every once in a while to bring my heart rate back down into zone 3, so I really was still working out and getting a great workout, and you know what? She was right! I felt GREAT after the workout instead of exhausted and depleted like I normally do after a really hard workout. Wow, what do u know, the teacher was right!  That's actually awesome. So there u have it, I am focusing on what's best for me in my workouts and not going to try to be the 'best one in class'.  Maybe this mentality came about from the friendly competition I had with my buddies Jen and Angela (to name a few)over the years, and the fact that our 'regulars' would always make comments about 'keeping up' with us in class. Sure it felt good to be looked upon as a fit person, but if results aren't happening then maybe that type of working out isn't best for the results I am looking for, which is decreasing my body fat percentage and therefore changing the shape of my body.   Hmmmmm, its a new avenue, but I'm taking it!  :)

Oh, by the way, the results of that test were...based on the push up test, I have the muscular strength&endurance of an 18year old! Based on the treadmill test, I have the cardiovascular fitness of a 29 year old! Based on the crazy cool machine that runs currents through your body I have the body composition of a 39 year old (ok I only gained 2 yrs there, but I'll take it)! and drum roll please.... The flexibility of a 68 year old!!!!!! LOL LOL so true! I am totally NOT flexible! guess I really should take those yoga classes lol   This is super true because if you have ever seen me try to do these split things that Dianna (at my old gym) would have us do, it was sadly hysterical ;0   Anyway, I am going to use the info I learned about the A.T. and apply it and see if it makes a difference. 

Oh, and by the way... the scale at the gym is the only scale I've ever been on that measures the same as the one in my house (whenever I go to the doctor's office I am like "yea , whatever, that's NOT what I weigh lol").  So, I have started weighing myself there this week, and since its digital to the tenth degree, instead of the needle one I have that sort of rocks around a bit, I can see EXACTLY what my weight is. I am happy to say that each day I was there this week it went down about a pound, so I am about 3 pounds lighter already, just from taking these new classes (haven't changed my eating since the gym opened). Now I am interested in seeing what happens when I focus on working in zone 2 and 3 (fat burning zones) instead of in  zone 4 or 5 (glucose burning zones)....   we'll see...hopefully good news  ;)

 oh, and u know how they do those "how old your body is" on the Biggest Loser? well my metabolic age is 38! so I'm saving 3 years there ;)
Oh, I guess I was so excited about talking about how I was going to change my workout that I didn't fully explain the zone training. There are 5 zones. Zone 1 is warm up, zone 2 and 3 burn more fat than glucose. At the top of zone 3 you are at your anaerobic threshold, this is the beats per minute of your heartrate at which your body changes from burning more fat than glucose, to burning LESS fat than glucose with each calorie. Zone 4 is very hard, but burns more glucose, which is ok to be in for a little bit, because you do want to increase your fitness level, but you don't want to be in that zone ALL the time. Zone 5 is only for super fit people and again, they shouldn't be in it very long.  There are three ways to find out your A.T. (and it will change as your fitness level changes), one is the age and activity estimate, which is what I did so far. Next, and a little more accurate is the 'feeling' measurement by which you do a test on the treadmill or other cardiovascular equipment for 10 minutes and note at which level you breathing changes. I am going to do this test soon to see if it is similar to the first test (because my A.T sure seems too low, but that's what everyone usually says). The feeling test is a bit more accurate so I will try it. I would love to do the super accurate Metabolic exercise test, but you have to pay about $145 for it and I don't think I really want to shell out the money to wear a mask on the treadmill and do that :)   who knows, maybe someday I will. We'll see what I can accomplish with the first two tests and my conscious effort to stay near my A.T. during most of the workout.  Fun fun times.  :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The time of my life at Lifetime!

If you know me personally and are a 'friend' on facebook, you know that I have joined the new gym in town that opened about 10 days ago. Its called Lifetime Fitness and its amazing! I love love love it! I love the classes, I love the instructors, I love the amenities, I love EVERYTHING! Its awesome!  Which is a good thing too, because I have been very unmotivated for a long time at my old gym. I have just been to frugal to go anywhere else since my membership there is a lifetime one that is completely paid for (how can you beat $30 year???)  Well, I finally took my husband's advice, and some incentives because I knew some of the people who were going to be instructors there and I already loved their classes, and I went and joined. Oh am I so glad I did!!!!!! I am back to my old 1991 and 2007, super motivated, loving exercise self!!!!!!! I can't wait to get to the gym and if I had my way I'd spend 7 hours a day there! seriously! The first week they were open I had purposely kept my schedule open so I would be free to attend their classes whenever they were (since I didn't know their schedule yet), so I spent those first 4 days of last week filling every minute I could with classes, trying them all out. I love it. I spent a minimum of 3rs there every day, and on Friday I was actually there 5hrs and 10 minutes!!!!! Now granted, I am showering there, and I've also started using the steam room, plus I usually eat lunch in their healthy cafe before I leave, so its not ALL working out, but each class I take is 60min long and I always take 2, except fri I did 3. Then I do some machines and floor work myself as well. Its awesome!  We are currently building a new house and the favorite part of this house to me is the view of the swaying leaves on the trees out our windows. In the floorwork area at the gym, I get this same view!!!!! Its so peaceful and relaxing to me, I love it! I can do my cooling down and toning work there and look out the window at the wind blowing the leaves that are at eye level because we are on the second floor and its gorgeous. But everything about this gym is gorgeous, from the granite bathrooms, to the entryway, to the hallways, to the pool with slides for the kids (!), just everything is awesome! I am completely enjoying myself. The kids and I will certainly take advantage of that pool and cabana area this summer!  My husband is teasing me telling me I am turning into a 'country club wife'. Well, guess what, if this is similar to what being a country club wife is, then I'm all there! I love it!  Actually I wish I had LESS commitments elsewhere (school/PTA/work/home) so that I really could stay there for 7hours a day! I'd be in heaven!  But that's not reality , but I certainly enjoyed it the first week. Now that I'm in week two and I have my normal commitments to attend to as well, I can't be there as much, but I sure try every chance I get. As bad as this sounds, I wish the end of school wasn't just around the corner, because when school lets out I can only work out for 2hrs a day there (childcare is limited to 2hrs) Of course it wouldn't be fair to keep them in there much more than that anyway, but if it was still school season I could stay there much longer :) aaahhhh.    Well, I could go on and on, but I'm really just saying the same thing. I love it! I am re-invigorated, and loving that improved motivation and attitude as well :)   I'm sure my hubby will start loving it too once the pounds start melting back off lol    Maybe that's why those "high maintenance looking wives"  you know the ones I'm talking about, perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect bodies, always dressed nicely... look the way they do... they spend their whole day working on themselves instead of other commitments  :)    well, if I could do that at Lifetime, I'm telling ya, I would! I love it there, and I love love love the classes!  Maybe I should ha ha. Anyway, if you have a Lifetime fitness in your town I HIGHLY recommend joining!