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Holy workout, Batman.

Crunch: Burn and Firm Pilates will kick your butt.

I'm in really bad shape, I'll fully admit that, but I think this workout would kick anyone's butt. OK, maybe not the super-fit. But, it was hard. The exercises weren't difficult, it was just 35 minutes of fast-paced cardio. I did not stop sweating until we got to the cool down before the mat work. There wasn't a whole lot of Pilates (not that I'm a Pilates expert) but the exercises worked the whole body. Lots of squats, which got a tad boring, but overall it was enjoyable - when I wasn't trying desperately to catch my breath. I woke up and did this workout right away - which maybe wasn't the best plan. I felt like I was sloppy in my posture and had a hard time "keeping pulled in." 

The mat work was minimal, but the few exercises definitely work the abs. On that note, with just a week of working out, I can feel my abs are already stronger. They are still buried under flab, but they're getting stronger. 

Now I'm eating bacon, and egg and toast for breakfast. Ha. Might seem counter-intuitive, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. (And yes, I realize it's noon; I like to sleep in when my body/the animals actually let me)

A little break

 I fell off the bandwagon a bit. After talking with Matt, we decided 30 straight days wasn't a very good idea. I need to work in at least one day to let my body rest. Thursdays is my longest day at work, so I took Thursday off. The more I thought about it, though, the more it made sense to make Friday my day off (I go in early and get home at dinner time - it'd be 9 o'clock by the time I'd get to work out). So, I took Thursday and Friday off this week. But I got back into the swing of things this morning. If you want a really good workout and you have access to Netflix's play it now, check out Crunch: Cardio Sculpt. What a workout. It's upbeat cardio with some weights involved. It's just a whole body workout. It's tough, but I felt really good after working up a sweat this morning. I need to keep in mind that exercise = endorphins.  

Most of the workouts I've been doing are 30-35 minutes. The one I've got slotted for Sundays is about 45. Coupled with my weight lifting routine, I get about 45 minutes of exercise during the week/Saturday.

So, my routine as I've got it scheduled now:
Mondays - a workout called Crunch: Boot Camp and three sets of three different weight exercises.
Tuesdays - Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates and three sets of three different weight exercises.
Wednesdays - Crunch: Fat Burning Ab Attack (really more of a cardio workout) and three sets of three different weight exercises.
Thursdays - Crunch: Super Slimdown (pilates/yoga-like) and three sets of three different weight exercises.
Fridays - Rest.
Saturdays - Crunch: Cardio Sculpt and three sets of three different weight exercises.
Sundays - Crunch: Burn and Firm Pilates.

All of these are "Crunch" workouts not because I think they're the best (though they are pretty good) but because that's what's available to me on Netflix. I may graduate to the "Trainer's Edge" series eventually. Those just seem a little scary right now. I think there are some workouts from the "Biggest Loser" trainer on Netflix, too. For now, I'm starting with what I know. The exercises are all relatively easy (even in you've never done pilates or yoga) and I seem to get a good workout from each. 

Feeling fitter already

I've made it through two days of my 30 days of exercise. Soon to be 3 days (I'm heading home soon and will do a workout video when I get there).

Day 2 - Did a 30-minute workout video on Netflix (supposed to be ab-based but really it's just good cardio) and my weight-lifting regiment. Felt really good after doing it. I was dancing around and just really happy. Matt even commented on it. I was being silly but it felt good.

I made black bean and sweet potato tacos for dinner. Along with the working out, I'm trying to eat better. I love veggies but hardly eat them, for some reason. So, I'm working on it. Also, I'm trying to make at least two of our dinners meatless each week. Matt is such a meat-eater that it's a bit hard to do. Fish doesn't count as meat, so I'm trying to make one dinner a week using fish. We just both need to eat better. I'm not a diet person; I love food too much. Everything in moderation, right? We've done pretty well so far this week - Sunday night was baked salmon with couscous, Monday we had pasta with veggies and white beans, and last night we had the tacos. Of course, he added sausage to his pasta (I had a little, too) and chorizo to his tacos (which I also ate - and was delicious!). I don't usually eat meat during the day, so I felt like it was OK to "cheat" a little.

Ugh

Feeling really down on myself today. Feeling fat, I have had no motivation all day. Just feeling pretty worthless. I think it's a Monday thing. Mondays typically haven't been good days since I've moved.

I'm returning to blogging. At least writing something every day. Hopefully my creative juices will start flowing again. Or something. 

One of my New Year's resolutions is to work out every day for the next 30 days. Starting small. Once I hit that 30, I'll reward myself with something and then continue for the next 30 days. At which point, I'll give myself an even bigger reward. I basically have a total lack of motivation when it comes to exercise (until I look down and see my protruding stomach). I used to be able to zone out and run on a treadmill, but I no longer have access to a treadmill. Running outside is really difficult for me, for some reason. I mean, I have my days when I just want to run and run - but they don't happen very often. I need to figure out how to harness that energy/desire. I've found some workout videos on Netflix that I kind of like, but ... there are so many distractions at home. Facebook, e-mail, chatting, etc. I get easily sidetracked. A gym membership would be ideal, but there aren't any gyms near my house. The closest is a YMCA about 20 minutes away. I'm really thinking about that one, though - depending on the cost, of course. Can't really afford a gym at the moment. But I need to do something to get back into shape. My clothes are starting to not fit - and I just feel terrible about myself. It's time for the flab to go away.

So, instead of just bitching, I'm going to try to make myself a schedule. And try to stick to it. Wake up, eat breakfast/drink my coffee while reading the paper, then work out. Then do whatever else I need to do that day (chores, French, Photoshop, etc.). I'll try to stick to that on my days off. On the days that I work, I'll have to fit it all in around my schedule (mostly after I get home from work - I am not a morning person). 

Day 1 - I tried to run outside (got maybe 4 blocks) but just couldn't get going. Came home and did 20 minutes of a boot camp workout on Netflix before I was so out of breath I had to quit. So, about 40 minutes of exercise. Not too bad for a Monday.

Don't pollute!

January 11, 2009: 4 pieces of paper, 6 cans, 6 plastic bottles and 4 glass bottles.



Matt and I have started to pick up recyclables - to erase/lessen our carbon footprint. You should join in!

Check out the community!
dont_pollute 

Election reflections.

I guess I should say campaign reflections.

Well, this is it. Today's the big day. This is historic. Barack Obama is very close to being the first African-American president. That's HUGE! And the implications of it are awesome. This would really open the door to anyone. Well, anyone with money. But, still. I'm really excited. I voted this morning (well, just before noon). There was A LOT of stuff on that ballot.

This campaign has been going on for what feels like forever. I could do without the onslaught of negativity here toward the end. I find it really incredible some of the things I've read during this campaign. The media is partly at fault for running with some of these incredulous stories ... but I mostly blame TV "news." That's another subject for another day.

I have really gone back and forth in this election. I don't think either Barack Obama or John McCain would be bad for the country. I also don't think either candidate is stellar. There are things I like about both; things I dislike about both. I was pretty upset when Obama backed out of the campaign finance deal that McCain got locked into. I think campaigns are out of control. Billions of dollars raised so that one of them can run another commercial. But everything costs money, I guess. Even through last night, I was struggling with who to vote for. In the end, I picked Obama. I wanted to be part of history; part of the group that elected the first black president. And, Sarah Palin scares me. Chances are, she wouldn't do anything if McCain was elected - VPs really aren't that important - but, there's a chance she could be president. And that frightens me. I'm sure she's a great hunting buddy ... or drinking buddy. But I just can't imagine a happy world with Sarah Palin as president. I think McCain made a really terrible choice by picking her. I have, however, quite enjoyed all the Palin spoofs. I've also been disappointed to see McCain pander to the religious right. I mean, he's doing everything in this election to get elected - but, looking at his record, campaign McCain looks a lot different than Sen. McCain. I want to think that, if elected, he would go back to the old McCain - the bi-partisan, for-the-good-of-the-people McCain.

Also, Barack is so inspiring. He really is like a rockstar - which is good and bad. But, when he talks, people really listen. And who could go wrong with those messages of hope? I saw Michelle Obama speak in Gainesville. After waiting for hours, feeling light-headed, almost leaving, a dozen lesser-known speakers, she finally came to the podium. I'm glad I stayed. It was my first political rally. She was very inspiring. And, it's so clear she loves her husband and really believes in him. After the speech, I wanted to kiss my husband, thank my parents and tell them I'm forever grateful, and of course, vote for Obama.

My only real wish for the election is that the record numbers of registered voters make their voices heard. It sounds a little naive, I'm sure. But, this is one of the most important things you can do. And it does feel a little like, I'm only one person, my vote doesn't really count - but it does.

I've gone through a whole slew of emotions in this election. It's been so in-my-face for the last two years, I'm a little ready for it to be over. But, I'm really excited to see the outcome tonight. And to work my first election night at the newspaper. It probably won't be as exciting as I'm picturing it, but I think it will still be fun.

Anyhow, make sure you VOTE! If you don't know where to vote, check here: http://www.voteforchange.com/

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Dreams

I wish I could turn my dreams off. My brain is ... I don't even know. When I'm asleep, my brain comes up with the wierdest, most random stuff. I've got a pretty big imagination as is, but when I'm asleep, things come out of the woodwork that I didn't even know were there. And my dreams make no sense. Sometimes my dreams are work/stress related - so I'll be designing pages that have no end or trying to edit stories that make no sense. But, most of the time, it's like an acid trip or something. Not that I've done acid; I just think it must be like that. Some sort of hallucinatory drugs. Why can't I have prophetic dreams (or dreams that seem prophetic)? Or sudden moments of clarity where I wake up and know how my life should be? Instead I have random, jumbled, crazy dreams. That really make no sense. I don't always remember them, but the pieces I do remember leave me so puzzled. Last night/this morning I was dreaming that my family had somehow adopted a baby alligator. It was cuddly, but it kept trying to nip at me. And it was swimming in this big bathtub/whirlpool tub. I have no idea where we were (I think we were traveling?). Or how we got this alligator. But, there you have it. I was holding and cuddling a baby alligator. Seriously, WTF?! Also, my dreams usually leave me really tired when I wake up. There's just so much going on in my head when I'm asleep.


Hi. It's been awhile. That's the most recent picture of me, by the way. Just in case you all forgot what I look like.

I haven't been typing or blogging at all. I sign into Facebook every once in awhile (mostly when they send me e-mails or someone has messaged me and sometimes to play Scrabulous) but that has been about the extent of my Internet interaction. Maybe it's because I'm on the computer for 8 hours at work and then tend to avoid it all other times. Maybe it's because I used to just blog about drama - which my life is lacking these days, quite happily. I'm in a weird place. An in-between phase. I'm 27 but don't look it or feel it. I'm in a temporary house, in a temporary city, always thinking about the day I get to leave. I'm in between sizes - too small for a small, too big for a medium - and too short for it all. I'm in between places at my job - most of the time I'm designing and not editing ... and I don't know how I feel about it.

I've been feeling pretty lonely lately. For girlfriends. Matt is amazing. And I'd be going totally crazy without him. But, he's not a girl, ya know? I have a girlfriend here who is fun, but it's not like a typical friendship. We hang out but don't call each other. Sometimes we go days without really speaking - even though our desks at work are next to each other. And my best girlfriend here ... well, we'll always be friends but I feel really disconnected from her. We live 15 minutes apart and haven't seen each other for months. I guess I just keep thinking about how life will never be the same; it will never be like it used to be. My best, best friend lives thousands of miles away; there's a chance my sister and I will never live in the same city again; I don't know where I'll be a year from now; my relationship with my parents will change drastically when I leave Gainesville ... am I ready for all this? I'm ready to leave this town, but not some of the people. I was in Minnesota last week, and I just felt so at home there. The city, the bars, the food, the people, the accent, the weather; everything just feels so good when I'm there. But it's not just me anymore; it's Matt and I. We've both got things we want, things we miss about our "homelands" ... the next phase will be a compromise, whatever is good for both of us.

I don't know. The future is a scary place.

Question...

One of the morning radio DJs asked this question this morning:

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?

This is a good question. And, when answered, can really tell a lot about a person. Unfortunately, the one answer I heard was this: My friend says she wants to be Paris Hilton so she can see what the inside of a jail cell looks like.

Now, having mostly given up on humanity, I assume all of the responses went something like that.

Although the radio response(s) was disappointing, it's still a good question. And I want to know your answer.

My first thought was to trade places with the president or some high-ranking (male) political figure. One, I think I'd like to be a man for a day. And two, I'm not an authoritative person ... or power-hungry. It's kind of the opposite of my personality, I guess. And I think that would be interesting to experience.

OK, it's your turn!
So, it's a completely dreary, rainy day. I've basically been watching movies and flipping channels. In my flipping, I landed on what I'm pretty sure is Grease 2. Now, I've never seen this movie so I watched for a few minutes. Lucky me it was the exciting motorcycle scene where they all wonder - through song - who the goggled biker is. The next scene - or pretty close to it, like I said, I was flipping channels - is of a couple in a bomb shelter. Basically the guy is trying to con the girl into having sex with him - because, hey, who wants to die a virgin, right? Well, there's singing about "doing it for our country" and, never having seen this movie, I really thought the girl was going to fall for that crap. In what is most likely the one bright spot of the movie, she took "it" to mean something totally different and stormed out.

And, Michelle Pfiefer (sp?) works at a gas station? Checking oil and washing windshields? Seriously??

Unfortunately I have to start getting ready for work and won't get to see the rest of this gem. Shucks.

To go along with this, why does TV suck so badly during the day? I mean, I don't alway sit around watching TV but sometimes that's all I'm really in the mood for. Especially when there are severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. I just wish there was something really interesting, possibly even thoughtful, to watch. I guess that would go against American principles or something.