Lucky 13 – Pounds That Is

Diet and exercise for good healthEleven weeks ago I began searching for a trainer to help me with my weight loss and fitness goals. After finding fees of $60-$70 an hour, I changed my focus to an exercise program that fit my priorities.

  1. Convenient times and location, especially early morning hours
  2. Workout planned so I didn’t have to spend time figuring out what to do
  3. Whole body workout including weights and cardio
  4. The ability to workout at my own pace 
  5. Limited socializing – workout focused
  6. Variety

After an initial free workout, I decided that Orange Theory Fitness fit the bill. The classes are one hour in length and are varied to include strength, core and cardio components. One of my favorite parts is the use of heart rate monitors that track my progress as I’m training.

The first week was tough. I needed modifications on almost every exercise and I was easily the heaviest person in class. I climbed into my car in tears after one session. I felt like such a failure and beat myself up for letting myself gain all this weight. But…I was determined to keep going.

Today, I’m 13 pounds down and have shrinking cankles! I feel much better and while burpees are still impossible, I can hold a plank for 1 minute. Now while 13 pounds is only about 14% of what I need to lose, it’s a great start and I’m proud of myself.

This year the burpee, next year a 14’er!!

Don’t Forget to #walkwithme Today

#walkwithme Olive
“Shhhh. Don’t tell Olive we have a walk planned this morning. I’m hoping the house stays quiet for a little bit longer.”

Today I’m challenging myself and others to walk with me. It’s as simple as taking a quick power walk or a longer enjoy the morning or evening jaunt.

My plan is to walk a path at my local park that climbs and gives me an amazing view of the city and my community. It’s 6:37am here in Denver and I’ll be ready to start my walk at 7:15am. I’m not sure if anyone is joining me. Regardless, I’ll be out there walking and I hope you will be, too.

Don’t forget, you can walk at any time during the day, but the pre-set times are 7:15am or 7:15pm just to make it more fun. Imagine a group of people in different places of the country, or world, out taking a walk, even if it’s just around the block.

I’m using the hashtag #walkwithme on Twitter and will be posting pictures once I return.

Feel free to add your comments or any links if you are planning to join me. See you out there!!

#walkwithme on Saturday

dog with leather leashI invited all of you to walk with me this Saturday in a post I wrote a few weeks ago. Here’s some clarification about the upcoming walk.

I look forward to having you join me this weekend. Remember, no excuses!

Let’s work together to get the message out and encourage ourselves and others to take steps towards health. I can’t wait to see your pictures on twitter. Remember the hashtag is #walkwithme.

Don’t forget to add your comments on the #walkwithme post I’ll add this Saturday. Wouldn’t it be great if we had people participating from various places around the world?

I’ll see you then!

Walk With Me Challenge #walkwithme

Walk With Me Challenge #walkwithme

dog with leather leashIt’s always good to have someone to join me when I get out to exercise. So I’m asking you to be my walking buddy or rolling buddy, if that applies. Please walk with me.

I know you are busy. No excuses this time, okay? You can bring the kids, your significant other and even invite your friends. The more the merrier.

Add it to your calendar.
Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at 7:15
Morning or evening, you ask? Whichever one works for you.

I’m going to try to do both. This way, if one time is during the night for some of you in other places of the world or you have to work, you can still join me.

THE CHALLENGE

It doesn’t matter where you walk or jog, just take your first step at 7:15 am or pm. If you are in a wheelchair, make your first push at the same time. If moving a longer distance is too much for you right now, walk once around the block. We’ll do it together.

Please help me spread the word. Write a blog post and link up in the comment section here. If you aren’t a blogger, share it on Facebook or Twitter or, just the old fashioned way, with a phone call. The hashtag is #walkwithme.

How many people will be joining us? I’m hoping it will be a crowd.

On May 3rd, I’ll put up a post very early so we can share our thoughts on how it went.

Thanks for being my walking buddy. You are helping me on my journey to health!

Within Walking Distance

Closeup of movement of people
It was like an explosion.
As soon as my hand hit the leashes, the fur went flying and my dogs ran around in circles, jumping, running, while still keeping eagle eyes on my every movement. A WALK…A WALK…A WALK…

The sky was a beautiful blue spotted with an occasional puffy cloud. The wind over the last few days had cleared out any haze in the sky so the view was crystal clear as I walked up the path to the top of the hill. It still takes my breath away after living in my neighborhood for almost fifteen years. I’m so lucky.

I’ve walked the path a number of times, but clearly not often enough. An occasional jogger, girlfriends out catching up while they walk, families with strollers and other dog walkers enjoying a spring afternoon. I guess it’s not officially spring until tomorrow, but the weather screamed spring.

The hill is actually a wall of dirt that functions as a dam, surrounding an incredible wetlands area where the geese and ducks enjoy the solitude of ponds surrounded by grasses. It’s a hidden treasure only found by those taking the time to climb. In the distance is downtown Denver with an incredible backdrop of snow covered mountains. In the foreground, a group of adults kick the ball around the soccer field and an expanse of open grass awaits the beginning of spring team sports.

I bypassed the usual route, skipping the first trail down and the stairs that have been installed in the side of the hill and continued walking. Then, I came to the end of the path which was a large, level circle of dirt overlooking the nearby golf course. The grass isn’t green yet, but it was beautiful in it’s curves and sand traps. I’ve lived here fifteen years and never walked the extra three hundred yards that rewarded me with a view I’d never seen before.

Isn’t it funny how I’m planning to travel to some incredible destinations this year and such an amazing place is within dog walk distance of my house? I stood there and breathed in the air while I took in the moment. I wonder what else I’ve been missing?

This morning, the sky is still dark and my dogs are both asleep. The house is quiet while I keep an eye on the clock so I have time to get ready for work. But I’m already anticipating another long walk, perhaps later today. I clearly have more places to explore. I can’t wait for this afternoon’s explosion of excitement when I grab the leashes.

What wonderful surprises are within walking distance of your house?

Recovering Slacker

“Hi. My name is Jennifer and I’m a recovering slacker.”

The alarm rang at its usual time this morning. I hit the snooze, not sure how many times I’d done that already. While it was quiet in my bedroom, the internal argument was going on inside my head.

“Start March 1st. It’s just a couple days away.”

“You’ve been putting it off for months. When are you finally going to get started?”

“Next week…”

“Today…”

The final decision? Today.

I was at the gym and on the elliptical trainer by 6 a.m. I’m calling it “Jennifer’s Shock and Awe Campaign”. Just think how awesome I’ll look once my body gets over the shock of exercising on a regular basis.

Exercise

One of my resolutions was to get healthier this year and to lose fifteen pounds. Not only have I not made exercise a priority after the few weeks of this year, but I’ve put on an additional three pounds. I’ve been a slacker.

I leave on my trip to Namibia in less than three months and active clothing stores don’t believe that large women travel, so I’m having a hard time finding cargo pants in my size. The trip includes bush walks, riding quads (ATVs) in the desert and possibly, a balloon ride. I don’t want to be held back by my lack of fitness or slow down my fellow travelers.

So, I did it! The first step is sometimes the hardest and I took 2.56 miles worth of first steps today. Somehow, working out at home doesn’t do it for me and the gym is only a block away. No excuses…time to get moving.

IN OTHER NEWS: It’s International Polar Bear Day and you know how much I love polar bears…

polar bear

Prompting a Story

Young Woman Writing in Her Journal

Last night was the second session of my writing class, Writing 101. Considering how afraid I was to begin, I’m amazed at what a difference it has made already in the way I think and feel about writing. The group is filled with nine women from diverse backgrounds. The stories we share are so wonderfully different.

The exercises the instructor uses to trigger our writing are sometimes difficult and sometimes fun.

How does it work?

Last night, we were each given a small piece of paper to write down three things:

A color
An object
The name of a person

Then, we passed our paper to the person on our right. We had five minutes to write a story that included the three words we’d just received…blue, book, John.

Ready, set, go…

He sat on the floor and pretended to play with his cars while his mother rested in a nearby chair. She was doing it again, writing in the blue book. The sound of her pen on paper was almost silent and she’d pause, looking up. Then she began writing furiously, forcing her pen against the paper, scratching so loudly it could have been the sound of the engine in one of his cars. 

John looked up as the writing stopped and saw his mother weeping. What was in the book that would make her cry? As he jumped up to hug her tears away, he tried to see what was written on the pages, but she quickly closed the book, sealing the mystery inside.

One day he was going to find the book and open it to reveal the pain. He would rip out the pages that caused his mother to cry and bury each one in a separate place in the yard, never to be found again. Then, he would buy another book, not blue, but a bright yellow like the sun and write his own story that would make his mother laugh and dance with joy, just like before.

After sleeping last night, I revisited the story and made minor modifications. I loved this writing prompt and the story that came out of it. Are there things you use to trigger your writing?

Multi Frigging Tasking

The annoying beeping begins at 5:30am.

I hit the snooze button.

Ten minutes later it starts quietly then increases in volume.

beep…beep…beep…Beep…Beep…Beep…BEep…BEep…BEep…BEEp…BEEp…BEEp…BEEP…BEEP…BEEP!!!!

(Extreme cussing in the background)

Translation: wake up…wake up…Get Up…Get Up…WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED!

My alarm has gone off at 5:30am on work days for years. I used to hit the snooze button until 6:30am. Then I’d drag myself out of bed. Some days, I’d turn on the light at 5:30am, grab my laptop and browse until it was time to get ready. My third option was to turn on the television and watch the news until, you got it, I needed to get ready for work. A lot of wasted time.

Since one of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to lose 15 pounds of my 75 pound 5 year goal, I’m working my plan. Knowing how quickly I give up BIG lifestyle changes, I’ve started at a reasonable, more likely to succeed, pace. I plan to average at least a mile each day of movement over and above my normal activity.

So, I’m multitasking. The alarm goes off at 5:30am (normal), I hit the snooze button (normal), I don’t hit the snooze button again, (abnormal), I get up (semi-normal), I turn on the television (normal), then I get on the treadmill and watch television (semi-normal), when I’m done, I grab my laptop and browse or work on my blog (semi-normal). That’s three normals, three semi-normal and one abnormal. I know, weird way to measure, but I’m just convincing myself that my multitasking plan is doable.

Only 7 days into the new year, it hasn’t been too bad.

(I know the pictures aren’t top of the line, but I don’t do real photography until I’ve had my coffee.)

calendarexercise1

Here’s my progress report:

  • 6.5 miles in 7 days
  • back to pre-holiday weight

How are you doing with your resolutions, goals or desires?

Wearing Failure on my A$$

rearviewmirror

It’s funny, and sad at the same time, that when I finish a tough project and want to say “I worked my ass off”, I stop and mumble something else. After all, it’s clear to everyone, including me, that my ass isn’t any smaller.

Maintaining my weight hasn’t been a problem. I’ve been this same size for the last 10-12 years. Super-sized. I’ve been successful at a number of things during my life, but my most visible sign of failure follows me around every day. This baby “got back”.

Five years until I retire. I want to lose seventy-five pounds before then.

Reasonable? Yes. Doable? Definitely, yes.

During this time of self reflection, here is my first goal:

Improve my health beginning with:

  • Walking an average of one mile each day, over and above movement I would make in the normal course of a day

Losing the “rear” in my rear view mirror? Sounds like a plan.  🙂

3.1/1  (Translation: I walked 3.1 miles or a 5K on day 1) Woohoo!!