Of showing frat boys how it’s done and blowing up someone’s phone

Wrapped up Week 3 of the Still Unnamed Fitness / Health Challenge. No change in either my weight or my measurements. However, I also totally bombed my food side. I didn’t have any green smoothies or pay attention to my protein intake. I also ended up having quite a bit of soda and massive portions of candylike desserts.

I have, however, noticed a change in my strength, especially in my arms. They feel a little more solid and I can get the tiniest bit lower in a push up on my toes. I’m still a long way from being where I want to be, but every little inch counts. I was able to hold a plank for about 40 seconds without resorting to dropping to my knees. I felt like a genuine badass for the rest of the day. It’s a 60 second challenge early on in my barre class. I got through the first week of Couch to 5k. I started Week 2 yesterday. The overall change is beginning to become more obvious. I just need to recommit to my dietary goals.

Yesterday was my dad’s 60th birthday. Considering there was a point we weren’t sure he was going to make it to 59, it was a red letter day. We played laser tag, had tacos, and watched Jurassic Park for the benefit of my friends who haven’t seen Jurassic World yet. Laser tag was hilarious. We ended up playing 2 games with a bunch of frat boys. We all teamed up against them and holed ourselves up in one of the towers. My purpose was scout / shit talker. Half the fun is coming up with code names. When you’re hit, the name of the person who hit you pops up on your laser. It became rapidly apparent that a few of these fine upstanding fraternity men couldn’t be bothered to come up with names (they were from GA Tech. I shouldn’t have expected any kind of creativity). At one point, I was hit by “Spencer” and started making fun of his name. He gets huffy and retaliates with “It’s just a game”. I simply giggled and ran back to my scout position. I can only assume that he took his ball and stomped off the playground. When I was talking to the “marshal” (the employee who has to sit in there for liability reasons) after the game, she said every time they get a group like that, she hopes they all lose. I told her what happened and she got a big kick out of it. Later my mom told me I shouldn’t have made the little boys cry. 😉

On a completely unrelated note – I learned just how annoying it is to have someone blowing up your phone. I’ve found that communication with someone you’re just getting to know is a delicate balance. You don’t want to harass them, but at the same time don’t want to seem uninterested. This girl messaged me on MeetUp, so I figured I would chat with her. She was practically interrogating me. She’d ask me a question, I’d answer with something I thought was pretty clear. Five minutes later, she’d ask me the same thing. Uh, okay? I use the app, so my phone would ding every time I got a message. I turned off the notifications and told her that I wouldn’t really be able to chat over the weekend (not a total lie). Now that I’ve been on the receiving end of it, I’m going to try and find that balance a little more. Ultimately, I ended up blocking her. Over the few days we were talking, she would ask me the same question literally five or six times. I don’t know if she was a little slow or just desperate to have someone to talk to or some combination of both. Who knows?

I’ve also decided that Sundays are reserved for sitting on my ass all day. Hello marathon of Criminal Minds and possibly a nap. Big excitement.

XOXO!

Of running like a princess and toning like a boss

Hello faithful readers!

I’ve completed Week 2 of my get healthy / in shape project. I didn’t do as well on the abstaining from soda & candy as I’d hoped. I’m not perfect (I know, it’s a shock). I only fell off the candy wagon once though. Soda caught me three times. I also didn’t have as many green smoothies as I would have liked. I had one & that’s better than none.

I did stick to my exercise goals. I went to spin last Sunday and barre twice. I was going to go boxing on Wednesday, but I gave myself such a raging tension headache, I ended up staying home from work. Long story. I also restarted the Couch to 5k program. I’m bound and determined to make the Disney Princess  half marathon for 2016. I’ve got a reminder set on my phone for when registration opens (July 14) and I cleared out all the old data from last summer. I did the first day yesterday morning. I was quickly reminded how poor my cardiovascular endurance is. Jogging for a minute? No problem? [15 seconds later] *huffpuffgagdie*. Fortunately, my neighborhood has bike lanes and I take advantage of those. Unfortunately, those bike lanes are on some of the hilliest parts of the neighborhood. I’ll get to the bottom of the hill right as it switches over to the jogging section. Whoopie. Not.

The program calls for 3 days a week, so I’ve set a schedule of Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday mornings. I’m getting used to waking up at 5a and, rather sickly, beginning to enjoy it. It’s also finally hit the point where it’s in the 90s (30s for my metric readers) for most of the day. Going out and running that early is a lot safer. I found a barre class I really like that’s at 6a on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think the combination will give me what I’m looking for. The barre class has a lot of bang for your buck arm work. I still can’t do a proper push up on my toes, but I’m getting there. The room has mirrors on 3 of the 4 walls so I can keep an eye on my form.

I’m noticing itty bitty changes in my body. My weight has held pretty steady. It’s only fluctuated 2ish pounds (1 kg) in either direction. As I’ve said, weight isn’t really my main goal. I’m prepared for gain over loss as my muscle mass increases. I’d rather take up less space than simply have a smaller number on a scale. I’ve lost an inch off both my chest and my waist since May 31. When I grab my upper arm, it feels a little more solid than it did before. My hips / upper thighs have refused to budge so far, but those will be the hardest to get where I want them. At least I haven’t gotten too frustrated yet. If I can keep up with my dietary changes, I think I’ll start to see real results in the next few weeks. As shallow as it sounds, I would love to see the muffin top gone (or mostly so). Of course, I’d be hard pressed to think of a woman who doesn’t want to see that part of her body flat / toned.

I’ll also hopefully have some exciting news in the next few weeks. I would be beyond thrilled if this works out. So if you have some spare mojo, finger crossing, or a goat to sacrifice, it would be appreciated. Okay, maybe just metaphorically sacrificing the goat. I don’t condone ritual slaughter of animals.

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend. I’m off to finish inflating my new stability ball that will double as a chair. Party time.

XOXO!

Of upper cuts and balancing acts

Almost to the end of Week 1 of my personal fitness challenge. (Don’t ask me how many weeks there will be. I haven’t gotten there yet).

This week’s goals were:

  • Add: green smoothies
  • Subtract: soda
  • Exercise: 3 times

All were a success, I am proud to report. It was surprisingly easy to get out of bed at 5a, even on Monday. This week was boxing, barre (PureBarre specifically), & spin (FlyWheel). Boxing was a lot of fun. There’s something very rewarding about getting out of bed on a Monday morning, then beating the shit out of something. My legs actually ended up being more sore than my arms. Maybe I don’t punch that hard? He had us doing squats in between rounds (8 rounds of 3 minutes with a 1 minute rest in between). Chase that with barre the following day and by Wednesday, I literally almost fell when I got out of bed. I caved and bought some biking shorts after having bruises on my “birthing bones” for days after the last class. It still hurt, but I bounced back a lot more quickly. I seriously have no idea how guys do it. They also have seat pads which I’ll ask for next time. There’s no such thing as too much padding. I thought briefly about not getting out of bed on Thursday for spin. Then I thought “You paid $50 for those damn shorts. Get your ass out of bed”. Thus, the bed was unassed.

Soda was remarkably easy to cut out. I haven’t cut out coffee or tea, but I limited myself to 2 coffee runs this week. I only went on my rest days. Otherwise, I drank a massive amount of water when I got to work. I also got some fizzy waters to stash in my desk. There’s no such thing as too much fizzy water. I made a smoothie as my afternoon snack all week. They ended up more like a slushie because I was using frozen fruit. Adding a banana seemed to help even out the texture / temperature. I tried to be mindful of what I ate for lunch, too. I’m not going to restrict myself on the weekends. I like the whole 80 / 20 principle. I also start new week counts on Monday because it’s just easier.

I weighed and measured myself last Sunday to give myself a baseline. I haven’t set a “goal weight” or measurements. It’s more just a way to track progress. If I see any change this week, it will be minimal. Frankly, if I had a “goal weight”, it would be about 15 lbs under what I am now. That’s wildly unrealistic and I know it. I actually lost about 7-8 lbs when I moved after breaking up with Boy. I’ve been at the weight I am now, give or take a few pounds, since mid-March. Hrm. Everyone’s body has an equilibrium (for lack of a better term) when it comes to weight. I’d say I’m right about where I need to be given my body composition. Since the rational part of my brain is in charge right now, I’m fine with that.

Next week’s goals are:

  • Add: green smoothies, lean (mostly vegetarian) protein
  • Subtract: soda, candy (Bye, bye Sour Patch Kids)
  • Exercise: 3 times (I’m scheduled for barre, boxing, & hot yoga)

Watch what happens.

XOXO!

Of $90 yoga pants and the perfect thing for smart people who work out

Once again, my love / hate relationship with Facebook has resulted in love. I saw an add for ClassPass and was all “Hey! What’s this?”. It’s a genius idea is what it is. For $79 – $99 a month (depending on your city. NYC is $99 while Atlanta is $79), you get unlimited classes at the studios who have partnered with ClassPass. The caveat is you can only take 3 classes at any one studio per month. I’m down with that because it forces you to expand your horizons. If you really, really love a studio, you can book directly with them, but what’s the point? If you wait it out, you’ve got 3 more classes ready and waiting. Atlanta currently has 98 studios to choose from and is constantly adding more options. As of right now, it’s only in major cities. You also get one freebie “travel” city. My sister lives in another ClassPass city, so I picked that one. It’s nice for people who travel a lot to one specific location. Be warned – it’s heavily marketed toward women. So unless you’re super comfortable around a bunch of women, I wouldn’t recommend it for men. The overwhelming option, at least here, is barre. More on why that’s a deceptive name in a minute.

There’s one thing I’ve noticed about smart people. We get bored really, really easily. My theory is our brains pick up on things very quickly and as a result get bored because, well, we’ve got it. I’ve found this in all areas of my life from tasks at work to my exercise choices. I need to accept that when it comes to exercise, I’m a bit of a commitment slut. I’ll like a workout once, then sign up for something that requires extra money to get out of OR a bunch of classes that end up going to waste because I just wasn’t feeling it for that particular period of time. This idea is absolutely perfect for me. I have no obligation to go to the same studio to get my money’s worth. In fact, after only 3 classes, I’d paid for the monthly fee and then some. I’ve taken 8 so far this month and still have 10 days left before the end of the cycle. Thus my boredom issue has been solved.

As I’ve discovered, barre classes have very little to do with actual ballet. The barre is simply a prop along with exercise balls, resistance bands, and therabands (the stretchy bands frequently used with athletes recovering from an injury). In short, it’s Pilates standing up. I wasn’t thrilled to walk into my first class to discover there were no plies or releves. At one studio the instructor counted to 10 and that threw me for a huge loop. For those who aren’t aware, ballet is counted in 8s. However, when I tried a different studio, that instructor counted in 8s. That’s not saying they aren’t a solid workout. My lower abs and quads were making themselves known. Just like yoga, there are set moves, but depending on the teacher, your mileage may vary.

Lastly, I’ve gotten sucked into the Lululemon trap a few times. It’s the “it” brand for yoga and running pants. Like most “it” brands, they ain’t cheap. They’ll range from $80 – $100 per pair. Did your eyes just pop out of your head? Yeah, I had sticker shock, too. I got a pair just to see why these are so damn popular and every time I wear them, I bitch about how hot they are. Turns out, that’s the point. They’re designed to keep your muscles warm and more loose because they don’t lose heat. Oh. Learn something new every day. I’m not going to run out and buy a pair for every day of the week, but I’ll be a little kinder to them. Downside? They stink after they’re worn. It takes a round of Febreeze, a wash, another round of Febreeze, then a round through the dryer. Even then, it doesn’t completely get rid of the smell. You have been warned.

In short, if you can get your hands on a ClassPass deal, do it. I don’t usually plug things like this, but it was worth mentioning. Happy exercising!

XOXO!