Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Welcome to the gun show!

The other day I was kind of bragging about the definition I'm seeing in my arms after only a month of doing Tony Horton's In Home Boot Camp -- Power 90.  I feel that I must explain that prior to embarking on this program, I was a 5'10" mobile goo farm. We're talking muscle tone equal to a sea cucumber, you dig?  Many of the changes in my body are probably only noticeable to me. Sure, my clothes are draping more nicely. My sister Mary says my gait has improved, too. The work outs are having an effect on my posture. It goes without saying that my confidence is improving along with everything else. Plus, if I hold my head up high there's less chance of my neck appearing like Jabba the Hutt's.

As for the photo, I have no idea where that bruise came from. I'm one of those people who'll try to carry a lot and then resort to using an elbow or forearm to close a door, drawer or trunk lid. The fattier areas bruise more easily.Yes, there's dangling goo on my lower arm, but with diet and dips (the physical kind), those will soon be gone.

I cracked my son up the other night when I took him to the 'gun show.' I'd received a long awaited sports bra from herroom.com. When I arrived home from work and settled in, I tried it on in the bathroom.  The shirt I'd slipped on over it was sleeveless. So, when I reached back to adjust the straps while looking in the mirror, I noticed a slight dip and rounding of my shoulder. Blinking in disbelief, I contorted in various was to expose other strange, newly acquired features of my arms.  Thrilled, I dashed from the bathroom to show Mancub my discovery.  He was equally jazzed and gave me a high five!  I'm so glad he didn't roll his eyes and tell me what a weirdo he thinks I am.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And then there were 6 -- Idol Snark-O'Rama!

casinos chat

Well, it appears the darling of the Great White North will be mentoring tonight. I speak of Shania Twain, of course. Oof! She can teach everyone how to sound like they are having an orgasm while managing to sound like a nagging whiny ass simultaneously. Yeah, she's pretty and all -- Plus, she got cheated on by one of the ugliest men to walk the face of the earth, but I don't dig her tunage. I presume it's gonna be a honky tonkin' country hullabaloo this evening.

I wonder how BM (Michael Lynche) will Luther Vandross the hell out of a country song? Will he swagger to and fro to let his balls of steel air out? Y'all know what I'm talking about.
Will Lee enlist the help of Bag Pipes? A troup or spoon playin', washboard scrubbin' yee-haw urchins?
Will Casey James straighten his hair and put down the broken record of a performance he keeps churning out week after week. If he was fuuuuug-ly he'd be gone by now.
Will Siobhan calm the vocal squalering, leave the butterfly arboretum at home and just sing?
This is right up Aar-chuletta's alley. He can finally squeak out Rascall Flatts tunes like they were intended -- ear piercingly high and nasal! Shania will love him and likely nestle the tike in her bosom to calm his nerves.
No doubt Crystal will crank out some serious singin' -- maybe she'll play the banjo or mandolin!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Excuses need not apply

  1. "I don't have the time."
  2. "It's such a pain to go to the gym."
  3. "I don't have the money."
  4. "My knees are bad."
  5. "I love food too much."
Those are just a few excuses I've heard in regards to getting fit. They used to be the ones I turned to.Then, thanks to John Hays, it was brought to my attention that those late night infomercials on fitness programs from Beachbody were for real. They aren't filled with empty promises.  It's a matter of finding what works for me as an individual.  What's most important is this: FITNESS PROGRAMS ONLY WORK IF I WORK AT THEM.

I want to share a little story with you before I get back up on my platform. A couple of weeks ago, while waiting for management to arrive in the morning at work, I sat drinking my Shakeology and observing the many walkers at the mall.  One particular walker caught my attention and gave me renewed hope in my own physical abilities.  His female companion walked at a cadence in keeping with him. His left foot lagged slightly and was turned inward. This man was clearly physically challenged in some capacity but it did not deter him from walking for the health benefits. Each step he took appeared labored, but he continued to put one foot in front of the other with a smile on his face. He didn't cut corners when other walkers cut across the hall rather than following a full course. This amazing man even dipped into the corners around the entry way.  He was making each and every step count.  He became my champion. My regret is that I didn't hop up to walk with them or tell him how inspiring he is and will remain to be.

That brief encounter made me re-evaluate my dedication and determination about a lot of things in life, not just getting fit.  Sure, I could go easy on myself. After all, no one is tracking me. There's no actual trainer in my face telling me I'm weak or that I could push myself. But I've learned that setting a goal and knocking it out of the park has greater reward.  Then, I raise the bar a tad higher and hit it.  It feels so damn good to not let my fear of success allow me to fail.

Amazing concept, eh? It's no different than the idea that your body will ultimately reflect what you put in to it.  Even thin people can look terrible in a swimsuit or be dependent on medications for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, pain, malnutrition.  Sure, it's easy to just pop a pill and think you're living, but let's get real! Is that truly how you want to treat the single most perfectly engineered machine on the planet? Even the finest automobiles require maintenance to keep them running like a dream.  Do the same for your body.

I finally got it in my head that this is not about looking good.  It's about being FIT and HEALTHY.  I finally found an ideal beginning workout match for me.  I've discussed it before on this blog. It's Power 90. An in-home basic training program with my favorite trainer, Tony Horton.  You've probably seen the infomercials for his P90X.  That's next on my list.  A birthday present to myself.  People will not believe I'm 45.  I'm looking forward to shopping for new clothes!

I weighed myself yesterday.  After a week of no weight loss (I paid the price for breaking training), I really pushed myself.  My nutrition was not neglected.  I punched harder, kicked higher and dropped lower on modified push-ups.  The scale gave me exactly what I wanted.  Since March 13, I have lost TWENTY POUNDS!! The majority of that started to fall off once I began the POWER 90 Boot Camp (see widget to the right). That program was started on March 26, 2010.  Today is April 25, 2010.

I'm literally blown away by my progress.  I'm seeing definition in my arms. My bras fit more loosely -- so much for buying new ones!  My jeans not only fit better but look better. No longer is my butt smooshed by the jeans fitting too tightly.  It's becoming a proper protrusion in all its firmer and higher badonkadonk glory.  Curious how my thighs were coming along in transformation, I grabbed a pair of my son's Levis.  Jeans made for a man easily slid over my thighs and hips. Hot-cha-cha! Mancub has a tiny little hiney.  Sure, they fit him much more loosely, but the point is a month ago those things wouldn't go higher than mid-thigh on me. Oh! And I asked our lab coat supplier at work to send me smaller coats. The other ones from Omar's Tent & Awning are no longer needed.  I told him about my goals and he is delighted to bring me even smaller ones when I put in the request. Giggity!

I would be remiss to lead you to believe it's all about the work-outs on Power 90, which you do not have to be a dancer to accomplish. I'm mindful of each and every thing I consume.  I do not eat fast food.  I read labels for hidden fats and sugars (don't believe the commercials that HFCS - high fructose corn syrup - is good for you).  I drink water or tea with lemon.  Stevia extract has replaced other sweeteners. Yet, I limit that, as well.

The other day at work I was preparing one of my chocolate Shakeology in a shaker.  My general manager, who was eating some fried food from Ruby Tuesday's, asked, "how long are you going to do this diet?"  I replied, "FOREVER! Diet? This isn't a diet. This is a lifetime plan." 

Our food isn't flavorless or tasteless.  I'm creative.  I'm cooking more now than ever and Mancub appreciates it so much.  He'll eat whatever I set in front of him.  Instead of grabbing whatever, I carry Michi's Ladder in my wallet to remind me what items are on the top two tiers with an occasional dip onto tier three.  It's so simple! Grocery shopping has never been easier.

I've provided links to Michi's Ladder, Shakeology and my coach page on Beachbody if you're curious or interested in any of the products offered.  With Shakeology, they offer an empty bag guarantee. Does McDonald's offer that?  My son frequently Jonesed for McD's chocolate shakes. Now, he just makes himself one with Shakeology in the blender.  He swears that are just as delicious and creamy!

Team Beachbody offers a wealth of information -- endless. Basic membership is free and a great way to find community to get you started or help you further in your health and fitness goals.  And hey! I'm there. I'm ready and willing to help you get there.  The journey doesn't have to be one of solitude! 


and in case you need more inspiration. This story will blow you away. I dare you to make excuses after viewing this.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Mind On Shuffle

Yep. That's exactly how I'm feeling right now.  It's just like how you click shuffle on your iPod. Only, each time I blink a new thought comes to mind -- thoughts that cause me to appear scatterbrained. 

For instance, my work schedule is prominently posted on the refrigerator. Yet, twice this week I showed up at the wrong time.  The first time I was 1.5 hours early.  The next day I was 1/2 hour late.  Argh! I'll admit that I often push the envelope when arriving to work on time, but to completely be unaware is not common. Fortunately, all has been forgiven by the powers that be.

What's the cause of this mental flightiness?

I've been working out regularly with Power 90.  My diet is better than it has been in ... my entire lifetime!! Shakeology has helped me kick the nasty habit of consuming fast-food/processed foods and diet soda.  You'd think with all of that I'd be alert and on top of my game. 

**head scratch**

I believe this requires some thinking, relaxation time under the sun in the chair the most wonderful man in the world gave to me.  There, I think I'll find the respite my brain, heart, spirit and soul need. Perhaps then I will gather all the pieces of my mind and stop being such a nincompoop.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hello Again

This will come as a shock (though already revealed in the Twenty Five Startling Facts about Me blog post), I didn't watch GLEE when the season premiere was on April 13, 2010.  As surprising as it may seem with consideration to how much I absolutely adore the Fox program, something better came knocking on my door.  The invitation to dinner didn't come as a surprise, mind you.  The time and place was simply up in the air due to other obligations of the party who would arrive at my door with a present in tow.  Quite frankly, the object this most beautiful man carted from his rental car is a mere representation of the truest gifts one person can give another willfully and unconditionally.

Go on. Take a moment to make the finger in the throat gagging motion.  I can wait.

What's the literal item he bought for me, you ask? It's an oversized relaxer with canopy.  In essence, a fancy chaise lounge.  It reclines.  I can relax in the sunshine. Yes, it sounds quite simple but it represents that which we some how manage to give each other: Sunshine even on the cloudiest of days.

You want to gag again? I understand. **cue Jeopardy tune**

Back to GLEE.  The title of the episode is "Hell-O."  In it, the New Directions are assigned to find a new way of saying hello during their performances.  If you don't watch the show then none of this will make sense. If you do watch it then there's no need for me to babble on about it.

When I was in high school I was in our show choir, "The Celebration Singers." While it sounds like we were a revival group, we were not.  During my senior year, we sang the Neil Diamond song from THE JAZZ SINGER, "Hello Again."  It was the ballad of the season. Each time I hear it I'm taken back. It's a sweet memory.  But finally watching the episode of GLEE on Hulu.com gave it all new meaning.  It also made it clear that it was probably best that the most magnificent man in the world and I opted to go to dinner rather than watch the show together.  Firstly, I would have cried when the Diamond song was played. But mostly, there were so many parallel instances that it blew my mind just a wee bit.  Simply stated, the song's meaning truly sings to me more now than ever.

Curious? Here's the episode. Sorry for those of you who live outside the United States -- I don't think Hulu is available to y'all.






Friday, April 16, 2010

Twenty five startling facts about me

My friend Angie posted this as a note on Facebook.  Since it seems I'm writerly challenged lately -- unless it has to do with weight loss -- this seemed perfect.  This is also major league challenging since I don't really find myself all that fascinating.

For what it's worth, I am starting this at 7:26 PM.  Let's see how long it takes me to come up with twenty five random facts about myself that aren't too crass, intimate or simply audacious (hehe yeah, like that scares me.)

1.  The smell of hot dogs (corn coated or plain) induced horrendous gag reactions during my pregnancy. But I loved Nacho Cheese Doritos and craved beer during the entire nine months. I succumbed to one of those cravings. ** I do not like beer on any other given day.

2. Even though my (ex) husband and I took Lamaze classes, neither of us managed to remember a lick of it. Because I suspected this would happen, I invited my sister Maureen to be in the labor and delivery room.  Thank GOD she was there because Dipshit was useless.

3.  My edamame shaped birthmark is a very faint one about five inches northeast of my navel. It was darker when I was a kid and I was embarrassed to wear two-piece swimsuits as a result.

4.  My parents' slackness regarding vaccinations prevented me from getting one of those unsightly scars on my upper left arm like most people my age and older have.

5.  I still have a wicked crush on the boy who took me to prom in high school.

6.  Monday, April 12, 2010 marks the first time I successfully used chopsticks.  I had a very excellent, patient teacher.

7.  As much as I attempt to be cool regarding my music interests, pop music is a not-so-guilty pleasure.

8.  When the soundtrack for "Grease" is on, I sing every. single. song ... even the ones that you only hear in the background or on the jukebox.

9.  When one of my favorite songs is playing at work, I will pretend I can't hear anyone talking to me just so I can keep singing along.  If they insist on interrupting me, I will restart the song.

10.  I did not watch the premiere episode of GLEE Tuesday night -- I still haven't seen it. I was distracted by the knock of a handsome man bearing gifts and an invitation for dinner.

11.  My son and I are paranormal program junkies.  He got me hooked and says he started watching them (alone) to overcome his fear of such things.

12.  On the ball of my left foot, there is a large v-shaped scar which is a result of ripping it open on a nail sticking up on our neighbor's second story porch when I was around 10 years old.  Seven stitches were required. I still loathe wearing shoes in summer.

13.  None of the furnishings in my house were purchased by me. Everything, even the televisions and computer, was handed down and I have no issues with that whatsoever.

14. I haven't read a book since Christmas 2009.

15. In 7th grade, I was a pom-pom girl. I didn't make it my 8th grade year because I slacked off and only went to 3 of the 5 audition practices.  My ego learned a valuable lesson that year.

16. At the age of 19 I found a lump in my left breast.  On the day of the needle biopsy, I went alone rather than worry my dad.  Needless to say, he was upset.  The result: Benign.

17. August, 1984, I set out with my friend Tom to drive from Kankakee, IL to San Diego, CA.  I'm still shocked we were allowed to do it.

18.  Apricot preserves and brie grilled on pumpernickel or dark rye bread is a decadent treat for me.

19.  Because I stopped eating fast food, drinking soda and purchasing convenience food, I save over $200.00 a month. It's like an instant pay increase.  For what it's worth, I do not crave those things any more.

20.  I don't like being photographed from the right side, but some how that always seems to be the side random photos of me are taken.

21.  Finishing this is an incredible struggle.  It's 8:28 PM central time.  I'm stuck.

22.  I'm so accustomed to having my boobs smashed into bras that don't fit, that I feel like Thelma and Louise are swimming in the bra that does fit. (Thank you Herroom.com)

23.  I watch Nickelodeon's "iCarly" even when my son isn't viewing it (Conversely, I threaten to smash the TV in if "Suite Life of Zach and Cody" or "Wizards of Waverly Place" is on Disney.)

24.  "Never My Love" is currently one of my favorite songs even though it's a bajillion years old.

25.  I watched every episode of "Shear Genius" on Bravo this season.

It's now 9:01 PM.  Cripes! People have written chapters for novels in less time. Eesh!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dearest

Dearest, though you're the nearest to my heart
Please don't ever ummm yeah ever say we'll part
You scold, and you are so bold
Yes together ummm yeah our love will grow old
Ummm yeah our love will grow old

You may-ay-ay-ay be a million miles away
Please believe me ummm yeah when you hear me say
I love you, I love you

Come ho-o-o-ome, keep me from these sleepless nights
Try my love again ummm yeah
I'm gonna treat you right, ummm yeah, I'm gonna treat you right




Here's a youtube link since one must sign up on Lala to listen to the tune. Curses! Dearest by Buddy Holly

He made me sin

As most of you know by now, I am kicking ass on this weight loss thing.  Working out has become second nature and my body shows it. Sure, the changes may be subtle and unnoticed to those who see me regularly, but I know my body is undergoing altered states. Quite literally, my tushy is higher. The cheeks no longer touch the top of my thighs.  It also helps to finally have a bra that fits properly (Le Mystere 965 Dream Tisha via Herroom.com -- the only site to carry my size in this Oprah endorsed style.). I suppose having less back flab makes that bra fit even better.  The point of telling you that is that is with my boobs being lifted, it accentuates my waistline and improves my posture. Without bragging too much, I feel sexier than I have in a eons.  Sometimes it's the little things that boost the mental state. And through that confidence exudes.

I want to take a second to point out that seventeen pounds have been shed, inches lost in just a little over a month through Beachbody workouts, Shakeology and following Michi's Ladder (see links section).  The last time I saw that success it took almost three months -- proof that NutriSystem is not for everyone. I'll let Marie Osmond and Angie Everhart keep that program.  I'm not bad mouthing it, mind you. It just wasn't for me for the long term.  I did lose twenty-five pound with it, but it cost me an arm and a leg and I gained it all back plus five. The moment I tried to feed myself, I went back to bad eating habits.  I learned absolutely nothing about proper nutrition. Where is the rhyme or reason to have food shipped to me? I prefer knowing exactly what is in the food I consume.  Color me a control freak in that regard.  Fresh is so much better than pre-fab.  The idea of eating from a box of microwaved food makes me want to hurl. 

Now, with that being said, I have a confession.  My friend called last night just as I was getting ready to throw on my pjs and cuddle up with some trash TV on E!  He inquired what I was doing and if I was up for going out.  Who am I to refuse? These opportunities are once in a lifetime, believe you me!

Firstly, Kankakee is not the hub of social excitement.  Bars do not appeal to me on a general basis. They make me feel age-ed.  The night prior a group of us got together for drinks and laughs.  That was my first step off the ladder.  Alcohol is not on the acceptable tiers.  Cheers! A long awaited homecoming required much toasting and revelry. 

So, last night with very few options, the beacon of doom called out to my friend: Baker's Square.  Good giggily goo! "Coffee. I'll just have coffee," I told myself.  Coffee; black, even.  Then, it happened. I had to go and show him the picture of my favorite pie.  French Apple Cream Cheese.  F*ck me running. 

"Nooo, I'll gain five pounds by morning." He insisted that wasn't true.  A grin appeared on his face ...

Our waitress returned and the words to order never fell from my lips. I just pointed to the picture of the pie.

When it was placed in front of me, I picked at it and only ate half making certain to savor each nibble. It's no justification yet I feel better about my sinnin'.  Err, indulgence in decadence.  We decided decadence is a much better way to say it than 'being bad' or 'sinning.' At least his encouragement to eat the whole thing fell on deaf ears.  I'm such a defiant one, aren't I?

Today I'm back on the ladder to success.  I prepared a lovely edamame salad with a Dijon drizzle for lunch.  Greenberry  Shakeology put me back on course at breakfast.

Oh! The scale remains the same as it did yesterday morning. Yes, I weigh myself nearly every day.  It keeps me focused.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sigh -- shut up and kiss me

I was on youtube looking for another Mary Chapin Carpenter song when this one jumped out at me.  It spoke to me at a volume of 11.



and the link in case the video doesn't work for you :) "Shut Up and Kiss Me"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

All things PMSy

It's a horrible fact and fate in my life.  I suffer (and thusly make others suffer) from PMS or whatever trendy name you want to give it.  That is until about six weeks ago.  I'm not making claims that the symptoms have completely vanished, but drinking Shakeology daily, eating well and exercising nearly every day has made my emotional outbursts, cramps, headaches and upper back tension diminish.  Additionally, my inability to stop shoving food in my pie hole during that time has greatly dwindled.  Cravings for high sodium junk food are a thing of the past.

Hmmmm

Obviously, this isn't some revelation or discovery that I've stumbled upon.  The theory has existed for a long time that if you consume healthy food and exercise regularly, your body will respond positively. 

Duh!

When morning breaks, I have a sense of dread. I won't lie to you.  The mere idea of working out makes me want to pull the covers up over my head and sleep for another hour or four.  Yet, that little voice of satisfaction yanks me from the 600 thread count bedding, throws me in work out clothes and puts in the Power 90 dvd.  Within 40 minutes I'm a new woman ... or one step closer to looking like a new woman.  But what's most important is how I feel inside.  Sweating my tushy off is the best medicine for what ails me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tsunami of sweat

I sweat. A lot.

Upon removal, my sports bra weighed about five extra pounds.

Disgusting. Vile. Kick-ass!

This is after thirty minutes of Fat Burning Express with Tony Horton on Power 90.


So, my warrior face needs a little work ...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This I know: The first day of vacation edition

Today I did little to nothing. It's my first day of that much awaited vacation. 

I lost 2 more pounds. Huzzah!

A bottle of Pinot Grigio is even sweeter when shared with a good friend. (No, it's not on Michi's Ladder but some exceptions are permitted in the Rule Book of Riss.)

Tulips are more lovely and fragrant when delivered with sincerity.

Sleeping in while the rain gently hits the rooftop is not to be taken for granted but wildly enjoyed.  The cats were silent and obliging which made the extra snooze time that much more gratifying.

Saving sweet voice mail messages is highly recommended.

A new bra was delivered and I think it is the one. Daily wear trials will put the final stamp of approval on the simple contraption of support.

I cannot recall a time in my recent adult life where I felt more relaxed and at ease within my own skin.

A gap of decades can be closed with just a smile and an embrace.

Friday, April 2, 2010

This I know

Today is not Saturday.  My brain has spring fever and is already on vacation.  Eight hours of work must be committed later today. THEN vacation begins. Eesh. The waiting is the hardest part.

Another two pounds have been lost from my 5'10" frame. That's a total of twelve pounds shed for those of you keeping track. Out of curiosity, I took my measurements after one week doing Power 90>: ¼" from my waist; ¾" from my hips; 1½" off each thigh and from my biceps - ½" right, ¾" left. Oooh, I'm gonna be so sexy!  I am not following a strict diet. I basically eat from the top two tiers of Michi's Ladder.  Typically, breakfast consists of a Shakeology shake.  Rarely do I feel famished. Water continues to be my primary beverage.  Occasionally, I add a whole lemon and sweeten with a few drops of Stevia. So refreshing! Also, I read food labels and find that I put most stuff back on the shelves.

The weather is finally agreeable.  It's absolutely gorgeous.  The heat in the house has been shut off and windows have been opened. Now if I could just kill off these f'ing lady bug look-a-likes.  Damn things are annoying and attack without provocation. When I opened a window in my son's room after a long winter of being shut, several carcasses fell. Nas-teeee! The vacuum bag is their final resting place.  My bat wing like upper arms aren't quite tone enough to proudly sport sleeveless tops, but I'm doing it anyway. Sweaters be gone!!

I washed the gray out of my hair last night.  A hint of auburn glistens amongst the dark strands. Springtime calls for brighter hues.

A long awaited visit from a friend occurs this evening and I cannot fully express the anxiousness I'm feeling at this very moment.  I'm trying to remain calm but this has been long anticipated. It's been over two decades since we've cast eyes upon each other.  Eek! Sure, photos and emails have been exchanged, but this is wholly different.  Oy!

That's what I know at the moment.  Happy Easter!