Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tale of the Scale, Week Two

Sorry, I'm a day late with this. I worked out for 1.5 hours yesterday, then ran errands. By the time I got home, I needed a nice long nap. So goes the time to blog.

Anyway, officially I lost another 1.5 pounds this week. That a total of 3.5 in two weeks.

Bet it would have more, except... I bought the spouser some Halloween hand-out candy (just incase he decided at the last moment to participate this year). It's sitting hidden from him. Unfortunately it's not hidden from me.

It's calling my name.

"Just one tootsie roll can't hurt." it whispers... "

The Reese's Peanut Butter cups look a bit smashed; surely you won't hand those out..."

And so I probably would have had another half-pound loss... but those voices won't shut up.

STEPS YESTERDAY? 6879 steps. But did I mention that 1.5 hour workout?


GOOD/BAD DECISION? Figuring that there would be desert at Pickles, I planned for the carbs and calories during the day. And plugged my ears to the siren song of Snickers..

Whatcha Doing Today? Meeting a friend for coffee; shampooing a chair, walking the dogs, doing 2 loads of laundry. And sewing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why I Need A Trainer

I never was much of one for exercise. Yeah, I'd do it when it when I had to.. but I'd always take the easy way out.

Today I went to the gym to work out. First stop: the treadmill. As soon as it started, I was bargaining with myself, trying to figure out how to shorten my time. I lasted 1.5 miles. (30 minutes).

Next, weight training upper body. Again. I know when it gets hard that's the time it's making a difference. If I quit at that point, the work won't make any difference.

Still, I kept trying to quit.

Now a trainer won't let me. A trainer pushes me to completion. A trainer won't let me get lazy.

Now what does this say?? While I'm invested in losing weight and getting fitter, I'm not yet completely committed. It's not an "anything I can do" proposition. I need to not only get physically stronger, I've got to get emotionally stronger.

And that's a workout only for me.

GOOD/BAD DECISION? Good:extended the dog's walk; two sessions of core exercises.
Whatcha Doing Today? working out, gardening, writing.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Tale of the Scale

This morning is my third session with Guido (we doubled up last week). We worked on the "core" exercises getting a couple new ones. I need to getting a schedule firmly set in my mind as to when I do core (every day), aerobic (5-6x a week) and weight training (2-3x a week).

My weight this morning: A-ha. Turns out I didn't weigh myself accurately last week, knew it but didn't mention it earlier. Starting weight: 158.5#. Today's weight: 156.5#. I'm down 2 pounds. Guido says most of this can be attributed to eating 300 calories every three hours throughout the day.

Funny thing. It's becoming a habit.

What's my impression so far? I sweat more walking the treadmill than walking the dogs though it's the same pace. Maybe it's the lack of humidity outside vs. inside.

I feel stronger, firmer, better almost all day long after working out. This feeling is what will get me going back.

And a tip: push your shoulder blades together. Do it. Right now. Do you feel more centered, more upright, stronger? Try to remember to do this throughout the day.

GOOD/BAD DECISION? Good: Went for a 2nd walk in the evening. Bad: fat consumed was higher than goal. But it was good fat (mono-unsaturated).

Whatcha Doing Today? Workout, help the spouser shop for cars, do some prep work for sewing later this week.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday's Way

Yes, it's 2 days after my first workout, and I am still a little sore today. I knew I my muscles were soft, but not that soft!!

While driving home from a meeting I had a nice surprise. I've mentioned before that I listen to sports-talk radio while I drive, right? Yes, ofcourse I have. When we first moved to California, there was one show that I scheduled my life to listen to: Fitz and Brooks. Two young guys, neither from the Bay area, who know sports but approach their job with a light heart. Sprinkled among the scores and discussions of stratagy, there were songs from School House Rock and other odd trivia.

At one point, and for some reason I don't recall, Fitz was let go by the radio station. Poor Rob Brooks was scheduled here and there..alone or with less than stellar partners. His last pairing with almost 2 years with Rick Barry. Barry was so bad that I chose not to listen to my fav boy, Rod.

Fitz and Brooks are back together!!! I am so happy. So expect me to driving or near my radio most weekday afternoons.

STEPS Wednesday? 9900 My bronchitis is slowing me down... I must get better!!
CALORIES WEDNESDAY? Consumed:1201/ burned:2131
GOOD/BAD DECISION? Took a second walk this evening when it was apparent that I hadn't moved enough.
Whatcha Doing Thursday? I have my 2nd workout scheduled. Later, it's mowing the lawn, gardening and all that fun "homeowner" stuff.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Post Workout #1

I was sore today!! I was sore in places that I didn't think I worked. I'm guessing this is a good thing.

Unfortunately, I woke up way too early this morning (like 5 am).. and after running errands all morning, fell asleep right after lunch. A two hour nap helped my alertness, but left no time for a walk.

STEPS TUESDAY? A lousy 4766
CALORIES TUESDAY? Consumed:1199/ burned:1964/ difference: 764
Whatcha Doing Today? wednesday: a meeting in the morning, walk the dogs.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

The Work-Out day one

Unfortunately, I arrived a bit late for my first workout. An accident completely discombobulated the traffic near my house. Still, I arrived and got to work.

Now I thought for a moment that the long walk to the back of the club, down the stairs and through the lockerroom so I could pee would be enough warm up, but no... ten minutes on the treadmill started things off. Walking slowly at about 2.5 MPH and a slight incline. Walking on a treadmill is different than walking the sidewalks. Not better, worse or harder. Just different.

Then we played with stability exercises.

We started with what I thought was the yoga pose: Plank. But according to several websites I'm wrong. So anyway. Started on the floor, face down, balancing on my toes and lower arms, with the trunk suspended above the ground. Extend one leg, then tap the knee down to the floor. Do 20 reps, keeping the back straight. Rest for 5-10 seconds, then repeat with the other leg. Rest, and simply hold that pose for 20 seconds. Sounds easy. Ain't.

Then I flipped over onto my back. A bridge pose variation (not so arched) and a similar kind of leg movement thing. This time, I extended one leg straight out, then tap the toe back down. Again 20 reps, rest and other side. And again, then the pose held for 20 seconds. Again, it ain't as easy as it sounds.

We went onto balance work. Have I told you that I have poor balance? I do. Guido doesn't care. If I touch my "free" foot down, the movement does not count and I have to do it again. Damn.

So we did a simple balance move: stand on one foot and raise and extend the other leg. Again 20 times (without falling down). Again rest and repeat. Fortunately he didn't make me just stand there on each foot. (oops.. I bet he adds some variation of that in the future). Someday I may actually be able to do Tree Pose!!

We worked with a stability ball next. Rolling down from a standing position to a sitting position with the ball to help stabilize me. Here's where having a trainer helps. I've always followed the directions you can find on websites and such, and my knees kill me. I get tension and pressure running across the knees under the cap. Guido adjusted my stance, and suddenly I wasn't in pain. I could complete the set as designed.

Better yet, when I mentioned the really tight spot on my back (yeah, it hurts frequently), we started stretching the hamstring. You can stretch a muscle a whole lot more when someone else is stabilizing your knee and pushing the muscle through the stretch. All I had to do is say: push it a bit more... and stop right there. And breathe. Definately a good thing.

We did 2 sets of these in the time we had. And let me tell you, I felt it. I was weak and bit shaky at the end (and these were only 1/2 hour sessions.. not the normal 1 hour training sessions), like I had no blood sugar circulating. Hopefully this means my body was deciding to metabolize some of my extra fat cells.

Home to get some housework done. After eating lunch, the dogs and I took the Crest Walk, but shortened it a bit to the 2 mile variation. Still 2 hills... at 3.25 MPH. I'm feeling a bit sore... a good start.

STEPS Monday? 10,026.
CALORIES Monday? 1394 eaten/2436 burned/1043 extra burned (according to FitDay).
GOOD/BAD DECISION Monday? Pay attention to the whole picture.
Whatcha Doing Today? What? this wasn't enough? If it's Tuesday, it's time for my annual "boob-smoosh" followed with a quick trip (hah!!) to StoneMountain and Daughter.

WorkOut #1

Today is the start of new phase. Last week I signed up for 24Hour Fitness's Six week program. Today will be my first workout with Guido who aims to help me strengthen and stabilize my core muscles, and in doing so strengthen the whole me. A stronger me should be a fitter, thinner me. I figure if 60 is the new 40, then I'm 36. And this body isn't.

So along with the exercises and my daily walking (which hasn't been working enough), I'm back to watching what I eat and keeping track of that too. (I use FitDay to record this stuff). The bottom of the posts will show previous day's steps (still), calories, and the good or bad choices I made that day.

And the ugly starting numbers:
Weight: 151#
Neck: 15.5"
Bicep: 12.5
Forearm: 11
Bust: 42.5 (I really would love to get back to my 36B size. A major hope.)
Waist: 36
Hips: 40
Thigh: 22.5
Calf: 14.5

GOOD DECISION/BAD DECISION? Good decision: starting. Bad decision: a whole bag of microwave popcorn.
Whatcha Doing Today? Work out, walk, design work.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Next Six Weeks

When I was in Illinois, I made myself a pledge. Well, I made when I stepped on a scale near the half-way point and found that I had gained 10 pounds. It was all the bread and white potatoes and lack of fresh veggies, I know.

Anyway, I pledged when I returned home I was going to find a personal trainer and get serious about strengthening my body, gaining flexibility, and losing some weight. I would love to say I could do this on this own, but history says otherwise. I've been down this road alone for years with no success. So it's trainer or accept my flabby, weak slightly over-weight self. But if 60 is the new 40, then I'm 36 and my body ain't.

Anyway. While I was recovering the trip, I caught an ad on TV for a Six week program at 24 Hour Fitness. Six weeks with abbreviated trainer sessions and some diet counselling. I signed up. Do I expect to lose the 15# they promise in six weeks? No. Just being realistic. I want to lose a total of about 25#.. and it just seem unlikely that all of that could done in ...what?.. 8-10 weeks?

Anyway, I've started by trying to work on their one diet recommendation: eat about 300 calories every 3 hours throughout the day until 3 hours before you go to bed. We'll see how I do at this when I'm at PIQF today and tomorrow.

Whatcha Doing Today? Heading to PIQF where I'll be working behind the scenes at the Fashion Show.
What's on TV Tonight? Battlestar Gallactica (yeah, I'm Tivo'ing it).
Steps? 10, 123 on Thursday.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Household Repairs.. Still waiting for the Third Shoe.

OK, the sink is repaired. Funny thing about the furnace... it baffles everyone. For 8 years we had a very quiet unit. They replace the motor with one that's supposedly identical in size and power and suddenly we develop a noise that is attributed to too much air being pulled through the system. They think the noise is some kind of harmonic.

It can be fixed by installing a larger cold air return. But... if everything is the same except their motor, WHY???

Anyway, we've talked for 8 years about moving our cold air return, so we'll probably go ahead and have the work done. I'm going to push for some consideration in the price because we're doing this partly because of the noise issue.

Now, why would we be so interested in moving a cold air return? I mean, who thinks about these things?

When they built this house, they installed the cold air return OVER THE STEPS going up to the 2nd floor. Not the landing, not the hallway. The Steps. The spouser, fortunately, is 6'2" with long arms. He can barely change the filter as it's located now. And he doesn't willingly do it often enough.

Hence, the likely move. We'll have them enlarge the run to 18" instead of the small 16" run we have now. It will be lined to increase sound-proofing. And in the current opening over the stairs? I'd like them to install a whole-house fan. I had one in our last home and, like that one, this one could be quickly cooled down most days with the fan running. I might only need to run the AC maybe 3-4 days a year. The fan would be a lot more energy efficient, too.

OK. So the plumbing's been addressed and the HVAC is in the works. Still waiting for the third shoe to drop.

Whatcha Doing Today? Long walk, cleaning, and design work.

What's on TV Tonight? Grey's Anatomy and ER. I am in the minority that does not think that Mer and Der are meant to be together.

Steps? I accidently cleared my pedometer yesterday. Today so far: 6874. Still 9 hours to make up the rest.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Home Repair Comments...

Gee, so other people have fun home maintainence stuff, too!!

Paula.. I'd SOO be replacing a fridge that hums so I can feel it. Sam, I live at the top of a hill right next to a major freeway. When there is a traffic problem early in the morning commute, the traffic helicopters hover behind and above my bedroom. Wakes me up about once or twice a month.

A new plumber showed up about noon and showed me how to undo the pipes. He then power augered his little heart out! First from the sink through the secondary line. Then (under the house) from the cleanout to the street. Still a clog. A second time through from the sink to the secondary line and finally we had clearance!

So let's count... drain, furnace... oops that's only two!! I'll holds all bets placed on what the third malfunction will be: washer or dryer breakdown? garage door opener fail? wifi fail??

What's on TV Tonight? Battlestar Galactica returns!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Where's the hacksaw???

I had plans for Wednesday; plans to clean up the kitchen from Tuesday's tomato-fest; plans to work on some design stuff; plans. My kitchen had other plans.

After I ran a dishwasherful of bowls and such from the night before, I unloaded the dishwasher and planned to clean the few items that didn't fit in. That's when I saw it: water standing in both sinks in the kitchen. A clogged drain.

I know how to deal with clogged drains. You clear under the sink, put down something to catch the water and remove the trap. The clog is usually there.. and if it's beyond that point the trap is the easiest entry point for a snake. And I owned my own snake.

Opened the cabinet and looked at the plumbing that they put in when they redid my kitchen a couple years ago. Oh Joy!! The idjets who did my kitchen? They glued the pipes. THEY GLUED THE PIPES!!!

There would be no easy fix for my clog.

Out to the garage to find my pipe auger. No auger anywhere in the place. Since we have a double sink, I couldn't just plunge it. (OK, I did grab both our plungers, hoping I could blog one drain with one and plunge with the other. I'm not that big or strong. And I'm not sure it would have worked anyway.)

I ran down to the store and picked up 2 bottles of liquid drain cleaner. That stuff is a real rip. I don't believe it works at all. I poured them both down eventually, and the water level slipped down a whole inch!! Big woop!

There is one join that I could unscrew, just beyond the trap. Unscrewing it atleast allowed the water to drain out of the pipes. So's let me tell ya...Ya know all that drain cleaner? When you want the drain in your sink to get all shiny and new-looking.. it's good for that!

I was ready to hacksaw the pipes off, run down to Home Depot and replace the whole thing when the spouser finally got home from work. Told him of the problem, fed him supper and waited. An hour later, I politely asked him to search for lost auger or fix up the hacksaw. No auger found, calm on the hacksaw front.

He convinced me to call the plumber in the morning.

I woke up today and new motor on the furnace? It's got a high-pitched hum that if it isn't fixed will make me homocidal quite soon.

Where's the hack saw??

Whatcha Doing Today? HAH@!!!
What's on TV Tonight? Thursday night? Grey's Anatomy/CSI and ER.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bloggers Craft a Book Together

Imagine deciding to publish a crafting book filled with writing and projects from crafty bloggers around the world. That's exactly what anna torborg decided to do. Now The Crafter's Companion is " so close to being published, you can practically hear it! 'Buy meeee, loove meee,' it says."

Each blogger, a skilled crafter in her own right, was asked to answer these questions:

  • Why do you create?
  • What inspires you?
  • Where/How do you work?
Then each artist contributed a pattern from one of her own designs.

The list of contributors is a "who's who" of crafty bloggers, and the sneak peak of The Fantastic Projects makes my fingers itchy!! The book can be pre-ordered (perfect xmas crafty gifty!!) until October 12th, and is officially published on October 18th.

Cross-posted at BlogHer.

Whatcha Doing Today? Errands, studio clean-up, and photography.
What's on TV Tonight? While this is a week of baseball all day... NCIS and The Unit are on tonight. And I'm thinking about tivo'ing Friday Night Lights, but since House is normally on at the same time, do I want to like a show that I won't be able to watch?
Steps? Only 8956 Monday, but I'm fighting a cold and not very energetic.

Monday, October 02, 2006

First concert???

OK. This has come up several times in conversations the last few weeks (most recently in the comments at State of Grace)
so's I gotta ask:

What was the first big concert that you attended? (NO, your visit to see an orchestra in 6th grade does not count!! Think Rock, Think Pop,... if you must think country...)

For myself, I was between 6th and 7th grade and The Beatles were on their second (and large) tour of the US. They played in The Mistake By The Lake. My best friend Ginny and I were in the upper level seats somewhere in left field. The stage was centered in the stadium with several trailers in the outfield where the performers stayed.

We planned to sleep over that night, which made life easier for our folks. One drove us down to the stadium in the afternoon, and the other set picked us up afterward.

Why do I think that now parents would shudder about leaving 12 year old girls off in front of a stadium for 3 hours or so at a concert?

Whatcha Doing Today? Run some errands, straighten the studio and start playing with the ideas I had about those triangle shapes from August.

What's on TV Tonight? Studio 60.
Steps? 10,247

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Stop the Violence Camp

I live near the city of Richmond, Ca. Since we moved here, violence in Richmond has been a regular part of the local news. Over the last year or two, numbers have increased to nearly one homocide per day.

Increased police presence did not reduce the numbers.

Marches and protests and weekend activities did not reduce the numbers.

Starting last Monday, residents decided that enough was enough. They wanted to take back their city and face the gang members and drug dealers who were destroying it. So they took a remarkable step: They are camping out.

Residents have surrounded the most dangerous part of town (The Iron Triangle) with tents, lawn chairs and campers. These residents are living outside on their streets making their presence highly visible.

And it's having an effect.

Since the campaign, there has been no homocides in the entire city. Today is day six; first we'll see how successful this is for the remaining 24 days. Then, the real test... what happens when the camp disappears.

Whatcha Doing Today?
What's on TV Tonight?