Friday, November 16, 2012

the zombies are chasing me, hurrah!

Gee, I'd really love to give you a post today. Something to make you laugh while your at work, or something to make you think while you're debating getting out of bed and going to the gym.

But unfortunately my Internet is being a giant PITA. I can do my bloggy thing from my iPod, here, but typing a whole full post with my thumbs just doesn't sound too appealing.

I will say this, however: my zombie chases are working!!! The zombies are chasing me, hurray hurray!

See, I've been using this app called "Zombies, Run!", which is COMPLETELY WORTH the somewhat unusually-high app price of $7.99, for several months now. If this were a real post, right here is where I'd insert the ZR promo clip, or the really fabulous fan-created mini-film but since it's NOT a real post I'll just direct you to which you will probably have to cut and paste or type into your browser because this lame Blogger app doesn't support hyperlinks and tell you to GET IT NOW.

Edited: Got it!!

Phew, I got all pit of breath, typing that huge run-on sentence. Run-on sentences make me happy. It's like a contest with myself on how long I can make them while still staying somewhat coherent in my thought-spewing.

So anyway, the app immerses you in a story set during the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You are runner five, running for Abel Township, and it's your running skills that keep the base, well, running. But while you're out picking up spare packages of batteries and sports bras, the zombies are after your brains.

While you run, a voice (a robot voice that i now hear in my dreams) will say,"Warning. Zombies detected." When you hear this, you better haul your weapon-and-food-collecting booty, . A beep indicates the zombie horde closing in on you. The faster the beep, the closer they are to catching you. As you increase your speed, the beeping slows until you (oh God thank you finally) hear the voice say "Zombies evaded".

For anyone with half an imagination and the willingness to intermittently run like a damn fool, it's wicked fun. But a glitch in one of the iOS updates for my iPod made the zombie chases stop working. So I'd get the story still, but not the scary-exciting threat of being bitten.

I ran the rest of my missions this way, and it just wasn't the same.

But!! The latest update, out just this past week, has me running from zoms again. I was so happy the first time I heard that robot voice, I almost cried! Now I'm back to running every day, re-running the story missions to full effect while I (not)patiently await ZR season 2.

How about you? Have you tried this app? What do you think?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

lets talk water.

So let's talk water, shall we?


We all need it.

But dang it can be hard to get that eight glasses in, right??

Now don't jump on me--I know that it's often said that you can get your water through more than just big ol' glasses of icy cold wetness like that one to the left. I know. Soup, veggies, freshly-squeezed juices, they're all great ways to get in your valuable H2O.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

13 years of bliss and stuff

No sooner did I write that really fabulous last post on eating well and exercising than I went to Trader Joe's, ravenously hungry (all together now: "Don't go to the grocery store on an empty stomach!") and bought some really yummy "Kona Coffee Creamy half-dipped shortbread cookies".

Mm hm. They're as good as they sound. And they go really well with the coffee my honey brought me this morning.

Speaking of my is our anniversary! We've been married 13 years, which is like twice the average now, or something ridiculous like that. Yay us!! We have big plans for today, once we get the kids all off to school. Plans like getting back in bed. Reading. I'll be working on my novel. It's all very exciting. If you're gonna hang with us you better be ready for life in the fast lane, baby.

OK we are going out to dinner later. So at least there's that. And you know, stuff I can't tell you about.

And! I've got to get to the gym today!

I can see from my handy dandy chart in yesterday's post that today is Upper Body & Abs & Running From Zombies. Very exciting, very exciting. If you know my husband, do me a favor and call him and tell him to make sure I do it. Because otherwise it's just gonna be all laziness, all day.

Happy anniversary to the love of my life. You and me baby, we are somethin else.

**Today's Workout--Abs & Upper Body: DONE!!**

Monday, November 12, 2012

the method

photo: West on Jade Photography
So as you probably already know, losing weight and getting fit is, ideally, a two-pronged thing.

#1. Food.

#2. Moving.

Now once upon a time it would have been my dream world to be able to eat anything I wanted, any time I wanted, and still lose weight just by working my tail off in the gym.

Unfortunately, while it is possible to create a calorie deficit this way, it's not going to be fast, and it's not going to create a lean, toned look. And it's definitely not going to make me any fitter. I won't be any faster at running, or better at climbing stairs, or able to finish Tough Mudder in under 3 hours, just by exercising while still eating anything I want. You might think it would, but you'd be wrong.

In order for exercise to be effective, my body needs fuel. Fuel from all three macronutrients--protein, for sure, but also carbohydrates and fat--and all the micronutrients. And to do that, I need to eat well. I go around eating candy bars all day (or brownies. Mmmmmm brownies.) and when I get to the gym I'm going to fall on my face five seconds into my warmup.

Don't believe me? Try this experiement, but don't sue me if it doesn't turn out well:

First: Eat junk at every meal for a week, but still go to the gym every day. How do you feel? Sluggish? Bloated? Does increasing the duration or intensity of your workouts, as in my ideal world of more exercise + an all junk food diet, make you feel better? or worse?

Then: Eat well at every meal for a week. Cut out sugar and refined carbs, and eat as closely to the earth as possible. Plants and animals in their closest-to-original-as-possible form. And go to the gym every day. You might need a break after the first week to recover from all that junk. You'll probably have a nasty caffeine/sugar withdrawl headache for a day or two. That's OK, you can wait to go to the gym until that's gone. By the end of the week, how do you feel? Unstoppable? Invincible? Like you could leap tall buildings in a single bound? That, my friend, is the power of food as fuel, and it's why we can't just work out all the time, eating all you want, and expect to get anywhere in our fitness goals.

OK, lecture over. I hope I was listening, because that is the plan for the next year.

Eat well. Exercise. 

Fortunately, now that I've been doing this for a while, I love to work out.  Hiking, biking, rollerblading, jogging (slowly. Like, shuffling.)...I love it all. I'm not always good at making room for it in my schedule though, so right here and now, where everyone can see it posted on the internet, I'm going to list what I'm going to do, when I'm going to do it, and then you can come find me on facebook (look up "fitness with Kimberly") and ask me if I've done it yet.

Yayyyy for accountability!

OK so here's the schedule:

MONDAY willPower & grace video. Love my barefoot training!
TUESDAY Strength: Upper body & Abs | Cardio: jogging (check out Zombies, Run! app for iPhone & Android and then tell me how much you love it)
WEDNESDAY Strength: Lower body | Cardio: hiking, rollerblading, or stairs if it's nice, treadmill or elliptical if not
FRIDAY Strength: Upper body | willPower & grace
SATURDAY  Cardio: jogging

Hmm...I need to make that into a pretty graphic to hang up on my fridge.

How about you? What do you do when you work out? Is it something you have to force yourself to do, or do you look forward to exercise as "me time"?

173. optimism is so easy at the start.

OK! So, my official weigh-in this morning was 173.

Thank you, Halloween candy! Now git outta my house!

Oh yeah, that's right. I ate it all.

Today I want to talk about rewards, and what incentives I'm considering for myself.

I was hoping that my sister's upcoming wedding would be enough incentive to get fit and toned.

...Is it so bad to want to look better than the whole rest of the bridal party??

But so far, that doesn't seem to be the case. It's too far away. It's too easy to say, "Oh, I'll worry about that tomorrow." So I need a little reward system.

For the last fifteen pounds I've been buying myself a new beaded bracelet every for every five pounds gone. So by the time I'm done, you know, 50 weeks from now, I should have a whole freaking armful of beaded bracelets. Yay! And when people say, "Gee, Kim, why do you have such a ridiculous number of bracelets on your increasingly-sexy arm?" I can tell them. "Well, friend, that's because I'm kicking fat cells and taking names. Wouldn't you like to pay me to train you so you can also kick fat cells and take names??"

So far I have two bracelets. I'm looking for one on etsy that I really like, like this set, now that I'm hovering right near that 170-mark.

I want to enact a reward for every ten pounds lost. I'm thinking:

160: New running sneakers. I have a pair of the Nike Kukinis and they are my new forever love. I'll need new ones soon.

150: 1-hr massage

140: New sneakers for Zumba classes. I'm really digging high tops. Takes me back to my 80s childhood. Ah, memories. When is super-tall mall hair coming back?

130: Membership to a fun new gym, like the all-women boxing gym near me, or a rock gym

120: A whole freaking new wardrobe. Because dang gun it, I'm going to need it by then.

obv fixing a Zumba-induced wedgie...
I gotta get going--got places to go and a novel to write--but I'll be back later tonight with some talk on the method for getting to where I wanna be.

What about you? What are your goals and what keeps you motivated to get there?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

ooh yes, i loves me a good challenge.

SO! We've talked about my new attitude. We've talked about my goals. Now let's talk about the steps I'm taking to get there.

This is a little tricky for me, because I need to still stroke that part of me that needs to think I'm doing whatever I want. We can't let that little rebellious six-year-old mental part of me feel like she's being told what to do. No, no, it's got to be like when you give a first grader a choice of two outfits on picture day, so that she feels like she has the power to make the outfit choice. Only you know that the two outfits you offered her are both perfectly acceptable picture-day outfits. She thinks she's getting away with a little independence. Well, maybe you do. I let my kids wear whatever they want. Which is why my six-year-old is wearing polka dots and stripes in her school picture, with bright pink stripes in her hair. Hey, if I get her used to the idea that nothing she wears can shock mommy, maybe she'll never come home tatt'd and pierced to the ends of her fingertips.

random adorable pink-hair'd girl

Not that I'd love her any less.

Of course, maybe she might feel like she needs to try even harder to shock mommy.


I guess we'll have to wait and see.

So anyway, I've set forth a little challenge for myself. I call it the "50 pounds in 50 weeks" challenge.

What? Well, no, I guess that's not really a very original name, if you're being picky. What do you want, it's late and I just wrote like a gajillion words for my Nanowrimo novel. I'm done being creative for the day.

Anyway, that's what I'm aiming to lose. 50 in 50. Now, I'm not a super-huge fan of weight as a record of progress. You've probably noticed how very different the same weight can look on different people. Through all my ups and downs, after each kid was born and in my losses and gains since then, I've been through the 150-lb mark a whole mess of times. And at that weight I've been a size 10, a size 12, and a size 14. Part of it is changing manufacturing standards among brands, I guess, but a huge part is body composition and shape. Unfortunately, I hold a lot more weight in my stomach now than I used to (thank you, genetics and hormones, for that crap shoot win), but I've got way more muscle now than I used to, too. So. Weight, not a great indicator. But it's a start, and if I need to adjust as I go, I will.

I'll be measuring, too. Waist, hips, chest, thigh, upper arm. And size-wise, I'd like to get down to a size 6 in my favorite Target jeans. Ultimately I'd like to go for a size 4, but that will probably take longer. And possibly a tummy tuck. Let's hear it for elective surgery!

But for the sake of the challenge, the goal is 50 lbs, 50 weeks. My first weigh-in is tomorrow morning. Monday, Nov 12. My last weigh in is Monday, November 4, 2013.

My unofficial starting weight, according to what I just weighed at the other day, is 170. Monday morning's weigh-in will be the official starting weight. So, not-quite-a-year from now, barring any drastic goal changes, I should weigh 120.

I can't even fathom weighing that much!

And oh, we need to talk about rewards. Because if bratty six-year-old me is going to do this, and be placated, there need to be wonderful, exciting, non-food rewards. We'll talk about that tomorrow.


So yesterday I mentioned that I had goals. Not just goals but GOALS. Big, short- and long-term goals for my life. Goals that require a healthy lifestyle to achieve.

Goal number 1: 
Earn a personal training certification and get a job as a personal trainer. 

Let's face it. No one is going to go to a dentist with rotting teeth. No one is going to a hair stylist with a Donald-Trump 'do. And no one is going to a personal trainer who can't seem to keep her own self in shape. So goal number one definitely requires getting in shape. Gotta walk the walk if I'm gonna talk the talk. Can you imagine taking advice from a doctor who smokes?

Goal number 2:
Get back into teaching Zumba® classes.
I'm not really out of teaching Zumba classes. I just don't have the energy for it. I had a position with Zumba that I really, really loved and was looking forward to concentrating heavily on in the coming year now that my kids are all in school full time. But when my contract was up for renewal this summer, they chose to not renew with me. It hurt so bad, being turned down, and while I know it was probably due in part to the low numbers I started with--I thought I had all the time in the world to get those numbers up, how stupid I was!--I also can't help but think they must have watched my video and thought, "Wow, she really doesn't fit the image we're trying to project." So with trying to get over my sadness and bitterness over that, I just got so burnt out. I've healed from the hurt and still love the program, but I've had to take a real hard look at myself and admit to myself that I've got to get in better shape. Not because I need to be thin to be a good instructor--I've seen great, beautiful, amazing, inspiring instructors of all sizes. But it just comes down to walking the walk and not thinking I can motivate my classes to greatness when I'm not willing to pursue greatness in myself. And sure, I've got to do it my way--like yesterday's post, I've got to be at peace with myself and do this my way--but I've got to be sure I'm not losing focus. I mentioned that this is the first time I've ever really had goals, and I know it's easy for me to lose sight of what's important to me for the future in favor of what's in front of me now.

Goal number 3:
Go back to school.
I love school!!! I have always loved school. Loved elementary. Loved Jr. High. Loved high school. Loved college--all five years and a half years of it. Had a ridiculously easy time of it all, mostly because I was too clueless to know when girls were making fun of me. And yeah, I'm a huge dork. I love learning and reading and buying school supplies and studying and writing note cards and omg such a dork. And while I've always wanted to go back to school, I didn't know what for. Until! I was browsing an article about fast-growing career fields, not really expecting to find anything I wanted to do but just procrastinating in my job search (because not teaching as many Zumba classes means I've had to get a job) when I came across the description for physical therapy.

"Why am I not doing this already?!" I thought, as I read. "This is perfect for me!!" Two of my immediate family members have been in serious, life-threatening accidents (I know, kind of high odds, right??) and went through extensive physical therapy. I love helping people, and have been desperate to find a field I could love that dealt with helping people live active, healthy lives. And, how many times have I thought it would be great to wear scrubs to work every day?! Why the heck am I not doing this?!? So I researched, and I'm talking to friends in the field (totally-clueless-me had no idea how many friends I even had in this field until I started looking, and what do you know, they all love it), and I'm totally committed. I get to meet with one of my PT friends this weekend to talk about it. From what I can tell, it is a megaton of school (Dr. Paine. Calling Dr. Paine), but I think I can become a PTA--a physical therapist assistant--first, and then earn my doctorate later. At least, that's my current plan. Feel free to make me aware of any glitches.

And while, technically, I'm sure no one is going to be like, "I'm pretty picky about my physical therapists. I think I'll pick that fit one over there over this mushy-looking one over here," I'm thinking that strength and mobility might be important things when you're, say, teaching a six-foot-two-inch guy how to walk again, you know?

SO those are my goals. I think they look pretty good, for being the first ones I've ever really had, beyond, "eat this entire tub of ice cream".

What are your goals?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

yeah. that's 84 stairs.

So I've been away for kind of a while, huh? Yeah. About that. See, it was a good thing. It was! I got stuff done, I had some free time, I went for hikes, I played with my kids, I went out on dates with my may-un. Stuff was done.

But now I'm back!

The biggest thing I have to report right now is that, since I last posted here, briefly, in July, I am down another couple of pounds and solidly in a size 14. I got there through teaching lots of classes and being a lot kinder to myself about what I eat.

Somewhere over the last nine months I realized something kind of weird, and if you are a veteran at the old weight-loss game, you might have a hard time relating. Trust me, I've been there. But what I've realized is this: I love my body.

For real. I love my body!

I know right? What a revelation. But its made a huge impact on my life. I eat well without thinking about it or stressing if I indulge (hello, Halloween candy). I get plenty of exercise, going out of my way to make activity a part of my day.

Gillette Stadium, Patriot Place Long Stairs

Probably the biggest change is in my response to stress. It used to be that, when I got stressed or upset, I would go to the store, buy a huge buffalo-chicken pizza and a pint of Ben & Jerry's, and a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew, and eat it all by myself. How sad and disgusting is that? And my reasoning was that I deserved that "treat" because I'd had a bad day. I cannot even begin to express how insane that sounds to me now. How is it that I ever thought that way?

Now when I'm stressed or upset--or excited or sad or happy or angry or joyful or confused or overwhelmed or optimistic--I exercise. I go for a run (ok, ok, a slow, shuffling jog, but let's not judge...), or I go hiking (so! sad! summer is over!) or I climb the stairs at the local outdoor shopping center (so! many! stairs!!). And the kids are catching on too--we have been riding bikes to and from school. It started out as an unfortunate byproduct of not being able to pay for bussing this year, but we are loving it!

So how did I get here?

I uh...I don't really have a satisfying answer.

  • I certainly prayed about it--a lot!--asking God to make healthy habits second nature to me, but if that isn't your thing it isn't going to help you much. 
  • And I listened to what my healthy friends had to say about intuitive eating, particularly this friend, and found it fit well with my personality, because I hates being told what to do. I hate it if someone even sounds like they might be telling me what to do. So let me eat what my body wants, with the only stipulation being that I really listen, instead of insisting my body really wants peanut butter cups for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I'm a happy girlie. Although I do the insisting thing, too, sometimes.
  • And I have goals--for the first time in my life, as far as I can remember, this impulsive, rash, flighty girl has goals that will take more than a week to accomplish. And they all require being healthy. And I really really really want to accomplish them. So. I gotta be healthy!
So I guess all those things wrapped up together, plus the fact that I am getting older and, one assumes, more mature, add up to a peaceful, relaxed, natural approach to eating and exercise that I really really hope is here to stay. It's slow as molasses--losing 15 pounds in nine months is nothing to brag about--but it sure as heck beats starving and berating myself into a smaller size.

How about you? How are you doing? How do you feel about yourself, and how does that impact how you eat and what you do?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

down a pants size.

Thank you, 9-to-12 hours of Zumba® classes a week...

Here's how I celebrated fitting into a pair of jeans that has been sitting in my closet all lonely for months and months now:

Saturday, July 07, 2012

just keep swimming...

Oh you guys.

Long time no see.

Let's see if I can find a recent picture of myself for you...

teaching at a master class with some friends in Boston

Here's one a little less flattering:

360° booty!

Check out that booty. I like to think of that booty as the booty that launched a thousand booty shakes.

So as you can see, still struggling with the weight thing. Am I going to do this for the rest of my life? I dunno!

Starting on Monday, July 16, for no other reason for that particular date than I will be doing big grocery shopping that day, I will be, shall we say, taking a revised approach to eating. A more relaxed approach. Without the self-flagellation that usually comes when I've enjoyed a few too many indulgences or been tagged in a particularly unflattering picture on facebook.

Because let's face it, self-flagellation--mentally, not, like, with a whip--has not been working. Like, at all. And it makes me sad and grouchy. And you know who benefits from me being grouchy? No one.
Well, whoever produces nacho chips and taco cheese and tequila. Because they are making bank off of me right now. 

Actually, let me revise: I'm starting the relaxed approach to eating--the intuitive* way of eating--now. But starting that Monday, after my big food shop, I have to try and direct my intuitive eating toward a more fruit-and-veggie-based course. I'd go into details, but you don't want to know that much about me. 

So between now and that Monday I will be indulging my body in whatever it is that I feel inclined to eat. That might mean more nachos and margaritas, which, in case I have not yet made it clear, I have done way more than my fair share of market support. Seriously; Kraft and Jose Cuervo are all excited their market share has increased by 25%; they just don't realize it's all on behalf of ME. But once I get all that out of my system, I'm gonna take the helm of this 175-pound body and steer her on toward more healthy fare. 

Because right now I'm heading off the map. And here there be beasties. 

Me with a friend, pre-fitness-adventure, back when I was at 185 pounds.

*There is a lot of great info on intuitive eating all over the web. But I'm partial to info that comes from my friends, so go check out my friend-on-the-internet Lizzie and she how she does it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the many sizes of me

If you've been following my blog since I started writing it in 2006, you've seen me through a lot of ups and downs, size-and-otherwise. I'm sorry to say that, size-wise, I'm back UP. That picture of me with my baby Bek, writing on the whiteboard, was taken just last November, and I'm even a little bigger now than I was then.

I just joined a group of women in a weight-loss challenge. There is money involved. I have a trainer, I know what to eat, I'm teaching several classes a week, I have plenty of time to exercise, and plenty of motivation.

I'm doing this.

Tomorrow starts day one. It won't be easy--my kids are on vacation all week and that's pretty much a recipe for ice cream and pizza--but I'll post here all week long.

God help me! <3

Monday, January 23, 2012

zumba shoes and stuff

OK so one of my favorite things I like to talk about on here is SHOES and what shoes to wear to Zumba class.

Largely because searches for "zumba shoes" are a huge part of what drives traffic to this site. for Zumba class:

My oh my how things have changed over the years!!

I remember, back in the day, when everyone was wearing Nike Musiques. Remember those? Back when Nike had that killer dance fitness clothing line?? Yeah, that clothing line rocked. They need to do that again. They had some sweet Nike Shox training shoes that were OK for Zumba class, too, if you liked fitness sneakers of the high-heeled variety.

I'm normally a Nike girl, I swear...
And then there were the dance sneakers, usually worn by instructors with a dance background, and incidentally, by their students. OMG these make me cringe just looking at them. How are you supposed to do squats in these?

But, you know, whatever. I'm not here to judge. Some people swear by them and really, it's all about finding what's right for you. Personally, I'm waiting for a pair of these babies...over there to the right...I'll be watching for you, FedEx man...

Too bad "finding what's right for you" can "cost an arm and a leg". Phew!

Nowadays there are almost as many great shoes for Zumba class as there are participants. In fact, Zumba Fitness itself has come out with a few different models that are worth checking out.

 Everyone's got their favorite. Brands are recognizing Zumba Fitness, and dance fitness in general, as a force they need to contend with or at least, if you don't like that metaphor, certainly a need that they'd be wise to meet. Zumba Fitness is hugely popular now (I seriously didn't have to actually say that, did I?) and brands're riding the Zumba train to the bank!

So, I'm thinking dance sneakers, and then I'm thinking brands riding the Zumba train, and lo and behold what did I find?? Bloch, the maker of many of those popular-with-the-dance-crowd dance sneakers, have come out with a line of dance fitness shoes! A line of "Zumba" shoes, if you will! Checkout the first couple of rows here!

Oooh, aaah.

They're not really for me--we can discuss my favorites another time if you want--but they might be for YOU.

So that was kind of an interesting find. Anyway...the point is, find what works for you.

The gotta-haves:

  1. Smooth sole that lets you turn and pivot and move side to side.
  2. Support where you need it
  3. Good fit--not too tight, not too loose.
The should-haves:
  1. Breathability--a leather-and-mesh upper is better than all leather. If not for your sake, then for the sake of anyone standing around when you take your shoes off.
  2. Thinner or wider soles, for stability, as opposed to thicker, platform-like, or narrow soles. 
And so help me, if any of you comes into my class wearing anything resembling these? I'm kicking you out of my class!

Monday, January 16, 2012

tough mudder

Tough. Mudder.

If you want to inspire instant respect for your badassery among your friends, you family, and random people you meet on the street, tell them you've done Tough Mudder. Finishing Tough Mudder earns more points than just trying it...but you gotta be pretty awesome just to try, so, you know, it's all relative. :D

Of course, I'm a little biased. I did TM--and finished--at Mt. Snow in VT last year, and the hubby and I are signed up to do it again this year.

It took me 5 hours. FIVE HOURS. Five hours! At a 10-mile distance, I traveled approximately 2 miles an hour up and down that @$$#0!& mountain. TWO MILES an HOUR. My granny walks faster than that. A 9-month-old crawls faster than that. But I guess that's fitting, considering that parts of the course were so incredibly steep, all you could do was crawl.

(I'm going for more of a zig-zag motion this year, as opposed to trying to tackle the slopes head-on. Shh, dont' tell anyone my super secret strategy.)

I saw grown men cry on this mountain. I saw men and women getting carried off the mountain on stretchers. On the log pile, getting ready for the obstacle wherein you hoist a log onto your shoulders, carry it up the mountain, and then turn around and carry it down (seriously, are we crazy?? Why the hell do we DO this??) I was picking out my log ("Please, God, let me find a smallish one...") and some guy not fifteen feet away from me got a log dropped on him that broke his wrist, right there next to me!! Holy crap! What the hell am I doing here???

Big, tough-looking, muscle-bound guys were besieged by cramps and stuck on this mountain. Tiny girls in tinier shorts were frozen and chattering under emergency blankets on the mountain. And as I waited for my turn to run through the Electroshock Therapy,(yes, it is exactly what it sounds like--live wires dangling from a frame waiting to shock the poo out of you) five hours after I started, I thought to myself, "Get me off this freaking mountain. It is MOTHER'S DAY, I should be in BED getting breakfast brought in on a PLATTER and reading HOMEMADE CARDS that make me cry!! I am NEVER! Doing this AGAIN!"

But then...

I finished.

I crossed the finish line. I got my orange headband. I got my free beer. I got hosed off. I donated my never-gonna-come-clean-again muddy shoes. I finally started shaking from hypothermia, after my body was, apparently, in denial while I was on the mountain.

And I cried, because I couldn't believe what I'd just done. TM includes obstacles that seriously challenged me in physical ways, of course, but even more difficult for me were the mental challenges--I strongly dislike tight spaces, have a fear of drowning exacerbated by the fact that I'm not the most amazing swimmer, and I'm afraid of electrocution. Ahem, Electroshock Therapy, Boa Constrictor, Walk the Plank...I was tested.

And then I was hooked.

So how about you? Are you doing Tough Mudder, Diva Dash, Warrior Dash, Ruckus Boston, or any other obstacle runs, muddy or otherwise?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

lesson learned

OK. So. The lesson learned from the past week is: Have your cheat day. Enjoy it. Relish it. Revel in it. But then, for all that is good, get rid of the leftover junk food in time to get back into the slow-carb thing the next morning.

Do not--I repeat, DO NOT--assume that you will be able to leave the junk food there until next cheat day.

It will tempt you.

It will call to you.

It will seduce you.

Until, by the end of the week, you are a pile of quivering mess at the feet of the junk food, desperate for a second chance.

At least, if you're anything like me.

SO! Tomorrow marks another day!!

PS: I just joined a weight loss competion. Paid my money...and REALLY wanna win it back. I think a new wardrobe would be a nice reward, what do you think? Now excuse me, I gotta go study up on my technique...

Monday, January 09, 2012

There I am, courtesy of my very good friend Juliet (ahem name dropper!). She owns West on Jade Photography. Check out her website; she totally rocks as the best photographer I know. She's pretty much famous in the Zumba world, and is making quite the name for herself as a wedding photographer too.

Seriously, go check her website. I'll wait.

You back?


So, yes, this picture was taken at a master class with the very amazing and supertalented George Iu and Peter Wang, Zumba instructors from China. They're so good. omg. So good. The energy! The fun! The moves! I wanted to take them home with me and make them my very own personal Zumba instructors. People have live-in nannies, live-in housekeepers...I'll have live-in Zumba instructors. The kids won't mind all sharing a room together, they love each other...

I had taken a class with George and Peter at Zumba instructor convention once, and it was a lot of fun, but it didn't, like, blow me away or anything. But this class blew me awayyy. Like a hurricane. George and Peter rawked me like a hurricane. Hehehe.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

thoughts on my first cheat day

First cheat day since starting the slow-carb diet:

Strawberry-and-cream cheese-stuffed french toast with toast and sausage and coffee and orange juice
Roast beef and turkey and cheese sandwich on hoagie roll
Chocolate cake
Chocolate fudge
Cinnamon twist
Chocolate eclair
coffee coffee coffee
water water water
chicken, pineapple, and roasted red pepper pizza
Mountain Dew
one praline pecan

If the goal of cheat day is to eat so much that I never want to look at food again? Mission @!#$%^& accomplished.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

progress--my first week

Source: via briar on Pinterest
OK so, first week of slow-carbing it.

It wasn't completely bad.

Every day so, I've done well until that dreaded mid-afternoon slump. Every day, between 2 and 4, I'd get cravings while helping my kids with their after-school snacks and wouldn't you know it, I just happened to have  freshly-made baked goods standing by in the cookie jar.

At least they were whole wheat and full of flax seeds.

And every day I strayed a little less.

So, for next week I need to control the cravings. Technically you're not supposed to snack on this plan, but Ferriss says that if you must snack, grab some carrots. So, I have some baby carrots in the fridge. And a ton of tea and coffee. And ice water with lemon. Those will the the things I aim to grab when I'm tempted. Not only will they satisfy my need to have something to do with my mouth and hands, but they'll hydrate me and help me feel less hungry. I need to hydrate more anyway.

Anyway, I'm down about two pounds so far. Not exactly breathtaking results, but not bad considering my slips into carbland.

I am very much looking forward to cheat day. I only have to get through tomorrow (with two classes of my own and a master class to go to, I think I'll be eating a lot of carrots) and Saturday's breakfast. Then the rest of Saturday is going to be a no-holds-barred cravings-fest. I've been daydreaming about what I'll eat that day. The daydreams are usually a good sign I need to drink some tea. :)

In case you're wondering, here's what I'm eating; I haven't posted any pictures yet because by the time I get finished preparing each meal, I'm so famished and drooling like one of Pavlov's dogs, I can't be bothered to grab a camera...

Breakfast: Eggs scrambled with either lentils or black beans, garlic, spinach, and other veggies like broccoli or zucchini, and topped with salsa. Coffee, black with cinnamon.

Lunch: Big salad with spinach, black beans, chicken breast, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, more broccoli or cauliflower, sprinkled with lemon juice. Ice water with lemon.

Dinner: Another big salad like lunch.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

hey, it's lunchtime!

Because I love you and I want you to eat well and be healthy and I don't want you to have to choke down on gross, disgusting food that you know you should eat but really would not even feed to your dog, here is one way to eat lentils that actually tastes good. I got this a long time ago--and have, in fact, posted this recipe on this blog once already--from my friend Michelle. I'm even stealing her picture. Thanks Michelle!

Red Lentil Soup

1 c split red lentils
3/4 c chopped onion
3 c water
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic
1 green chilies (remove seeds for milder heat)
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled & chopped or dried ground to taste
1 16 oz cans whole tomatoes w/juice
3 T veg oil
1 T ghee or unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
fresh coriander garnish
can replace 1 tablespoon olive oil w/ ghee if you have it

In sauce pan combine the lentils, water, tumeric, cumin, ground coriander, and chili powder. Heat to boil, reduce heat cook covered 30 minutes.
In blender combine garlic, onion, chili, and ginger; process until fine. In a skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil or ghee in pan. Add mix from blender and cook 2 minutes. Make sure the lentils are cooked. Stir in garlic mixture, salt, chopped tomatoes, rest of olive oil, into the lentils. Llet simmer until thick (about 30 mins).

Makes 6 1-cup servings.


I like to think of life as one big adventure. Helen Keller said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Don't you think? I mean, everything you undertake: changing jobs, getting married, having kids--you're risking a lot, doing those things. What if your new job is worse than your old one? What if your spouse leaves you? What if your kids grow up and don't like you? What if, in all those things, something worse happens? Just living, itself, is a risk. Thinking of life that way makes it easier for me to try things that kind of scare me. Those things are just, you know, part of the adventure!

In 2011 it looked like this:

Fellow ZJ Ali Struyk and me
  •  I left all my favorite, fullest, most fun, most crazy, most energetic classes in search of classes that were a better fit for my family's schedule, that didn't take me so far away for so long. Now, instead of teaching in a gym where my classes were a convenient option for the members and where I didn't have to worry about marketing or whether I'd make any money...I'm teaching on my own, in my own town, building up a whole schedule of classes from nothing at a brand new location. No one knows I'm there yet, and if no one comes, I don't make money. People need to make an effort to get to my classes, because they aren't already going there for something else. It's freaking scary!
  • I took on a role that allows me to teach my routines for Zumba classes to other instructors. I've become comfortable--probably even overconfident--in teaching my own classes to students, but teaching to other instructors has me doubting myself and dry heaving before every single session and master class. I always get the same run of questions chasing itself around my head: "Who am I? Who am I to assume I have anything to teach other instructors? I can't even lose weight! What will they think when they see me??" I've never experienced such self doubt in my life--not even when I was 20 years old and a nurse was handing me a baby and expecting me to take her home and be her mother, when I'd never even changed a diaper before going into that hospital. So far, my experience as a Zumba Jammer has been both incredibly frustrating, in ways that brand-new programs often are, kind of like growing pains, and amazingly rewarding. (My experience as a mother, in case you are wondering, has been pretty non-stop amazing, even during the frustrating parts.)
  • Last August my husband and I left our kids with my sister for a week so we could go on a trip to Catadupa, Jamaica. This was no luxury resort vacation. We were up in the mountains in the relentless heat and humidity, working, building, teaching, and praying alongside the people of Catadupa and their close neighbors. I was so excited in the weeks coming up to the trip, but also nervous that we would come off as arrogant Americans, swooping in to save the day. I was so anxious about it, and so overwhelmed by the traveling and the insane bus ride through the narrow mountain roads that, by the time we got to the compound where we were staying, I had a huge migraine and I was starting to question our decision to come. But the week was so incredibly rewarding--it so far surpassed anything I'd hoped it would be--and I came away feeling like the people we'd been privileged to work alongside in Jamaica had become an extended family. Oh, and I learned a lot more about the team of volunteers from our church, too. Maybe more than I wanted to know?? ;) Just kidding, guys...  Anway, we're going again this year. I can't wait. I can't wait to see everyone and see the progress they've been making and how plans are going and how my VBS kids are doing... Oh...and I'm dying to try out that rope swing into the river again!

  •  Two words: TOUGH. MUDDER. 10 grueling, cruel, tortuous miles up and down (and up and down and UP AND FREAKING DOWN) Mt. Snow's ski slopes, through the mucky, muddy woods, and over snow and ice, all in the name of fun. Well, fun...and free beer. I earned my orange headband after 5 hours of sweating, freezing, swimming, climbing, and more. At one point I had to beg some caramel corn off a spectator (thank you, anonymous spectator!) because I was starting to see spots despite all the water and banana pit stops. At another point I had to find a place off the trail to pee in the woods. Waiting for my turn through Electroshock Therapy--and after that, the finish line!--I was thinking, "Never again. I did it once. I'm never doing this again." But then I got my orange headband and got in my car with my family and we were heading home..and not FIVE MINUTES into my relaxing drive--oh, it felt SO GOOD to sit--my hubby says, "I think I'm gonna get a team together for next year" and it was all over. I was hooked and we got home and signed up for Vermont 2012 and I've been hooked ever since.

2012 will be a lot more of the same. More Tough Mudder. More work as a Zumba Jammer. More marketing and working hard on building up my classes--finding new and innovative and effective ways to get people in the door and get them coming back for more. More Jamaica! And more adventures of other types, too. Here's a hint: I'm saving up for quad skates.

Hm, I just realized something re: my title--If I don't weigh/measure myself again before I post again, or I do but nothing changes, do I just title it with the same thing as last time? Nah...I'll just girl up and think of a title. Anway...

So for a little more detail on what I can eat and what my day looks like on the slow-carb diet and the other recommendations I'm using from the book, here's the schedule I'm aiming for. I'm not saying it's happened's the aim.

6:30 wake up, drink a bucket of ice water. OK, not a bucket, but when faced with the prospect of drinking 150mL of iced cold water directly upon waking, it feels like a bucket. Seriously. I haven't even peed yet. My feet have not even touched the floor. Speaking of feet...

6:35 or whenever the heck I'm supposed to be done with all that water, and provided I can put off running to the toilet long enough, work my little feeties with my Sole Training knowledge. Ahhhhh. Makes my feet so happy. Happy and not-dead-looking.

7:00 breakfast time! A mixture of whole eggs and egg whites, veggies, and (gag!!!) lentils. I hate lentils. Dear sweet goodness, I hate lentils. Does anyone really like these things? Oh my head. They're so gross. So they get buried in eggs. And salsa and broccoli and cauliflower. With a side of either coffee, black with cinnamon, or green tea. I love my Tazo® Zen Tea.

7:30 because Tim says take half an hour to eat your meals: Take a nap and try not to think about food until lunch time. OK OK, just kidding--it's not really that hard to not think about food because 3-ish eggs, and all those veggies and all those lentils make a girl pretty freaking full.

7:55 get the kids on the bus and exercise: Either strength (kettlebell swings, side and prone planks, myotatic crunches) or cardio (Zumba class, of course, or willPower & grace, the other format I now teach.) or flexibility...or a cold walk outside in the cold with just a tee shirt and the cold. More on that later.

8:00 to 11:00 business stuff--marketing, choreography, blah blah blahhh...

12:00 lunchtime! Chicken breast, black beans, pile of veggies, and hot peppers. :9 yummm

12:30 to 5:00 play with kids, clean the house (haha!) talk to friends, blah blah blahhh...

5:00 ish... Dinner! More chicken, more *gack*lentils, more veg veg veg.

8:00 lie on couch with ice back on neck and shoulders for 30 cold shivery terrible minutes.

9:30 go to bed and dream of all the wonderful lentils I will eat tomorrow.

So! The cold stuff: drinking ice cold water, taking walks in the cold with no coat, resting on an ice pace--all these things are meant to capitalize on the body's thermic response to cold, or something like that. Don't ask me the science. Read the book, or google it online. I just know that the body burns way more fat and calories with this cold treatment than it does without it. There's other ways to cold-therepize yourself, too--ice baths (no thanks, I like my heart beating at its normal, non-arrested beat) and ice-cold showers...but I'm starting with this. I'll tell you how it goes.

I hate the cold.

OK that's it for now...upcoming topics include things I can't wait to do in 2012 that will probably be easier if I am a few pounds lighter and how am i supposed to lose weight when losing weight seems to be a full time job and i already have so much other shizz going on. Fun stuff!! ;) <3

Monday, January 02, 2012


OK everyone, first and foremost: HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2012 bring you blessings beyond measure. May you never have to wait in long grocery lines, always get the last copy of your favorite movie at Redbox, and never smell like onions in public.

How's everyone doing? What did you do for the holidays? Did you go away? Did you stay in? Did you play in snow? Did you stretch out on a sandy beach?

We stayed in, and while there has been no measureable snow, there was a tiny, magical moment on Christmas morning when the kids were all getting up to open their presents and we looked outside to see that it was snowing perfect little flakes. It was just enough to set the right Christmas mood after a December that had been almost entirely 50 degrees until then. Nice, nice. Now, I don't want to see another flake until next winter. I'm such a scrooge. ;)

So, I mentioned resolutions in my last post and that's what I want to talk about today. Mine is, once again, to get healthy and lose some serious weight. But I'm gonna break that down a bit.

  1. I'm reading this book, 4 Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss. I'm trying to adopt the slow-carb diet he presents in the book. So far it's been kind of OK. If you follow Jackie Warner's advice in This is Why You're Fat, (Yes, I've been reading an unusual number of diet books lately. These two, plus YOU on a Diet by Dr. Oz, are my favorites) you've heard her say you should ADD the good stuff before taking away the bad stuff and so, according to her, it's been a GREAT couple of days!! :) I ate well at every meal but mid-afternoons found me snacking on my own homemade treats...the ones that are supposed to be for the kids' lunches. Fortunately I made them with whole-wheat flour and chock-full of ground flax so at least things, um, moving along. Right?
  2. You'll see some changes here, mostly for my own benefit. For one thing, the title of each post will contain my current weight and current waist size--not exactly easy stuff for me to put out there so blatantly but I do it for two reasons: 1) The first time I lost weight--before gaining it all back, which I will NOT be doing this time--I wanted to be able to go back and see my progress. This should make that easier. and 2) Accountability. If I'm going to post my shizz right up there for you to see so easily, I want it to trend in the right direction. So I'd better do what it takes. Right? Right. 
  3. I'm taking pictures of my meals and posting them to a private flickr page. I'll post more about that soon, as soon as I work it out. I don't want the pictures available to the whole world, just cuz pictures of veggies and lentils aren't that exciting...but I do want YOU to be able to see them so you can kick my butt if I start posting pictures of, say, gigantic pieces of red velvet cake floating in a river of chocolate sauce. 
So, that's what I'm doing. I'll post more details on 4HB and the slow-carb diet soon, in case you're interested. And I think I have some fun stories to tell about my adventures in Zumba and whatnot. :)