Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tale of the Scale: week of 1/27

Hey, it's been a while since I updated my workouts, hasn't it? When things are staying pretty much the same, there really isn't a whole lot to talk about.

My weight has stablized and the latest body fat analysis has gotten my body fat down to 24%. THIS finally puts me in the healthy range!


This week I've had a couple really lousy workouts. Sunday and Monday I was in an iffy mood on Sunday.. and simply couldn't make myself do what I had planned. Monday, the gym was so busy that it was hard to get to much equipment.

I just wasn't able to get my mojo working.

Today was better: did some interval training for my cardio. Did three different kinds of ball crunches plus some incline planks. Then worked my biceps and triceps. (the plan for the day).

Ya know I do these crunch sets at least twice a week.. sometimes 3 times. You'd think that my body would be used to them by now.. but no. They make me feel them later.

Tomorrow is a full-body run-through with Guido (who's been out sick with the flu). Thank goodness I get two days rest after that.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Friday, January 25, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours...

This week has been another solid week of bad winter weather. It started with rain late Monday as I was driving home from visiting a friend in SoCal. Tuesday and Wednesday were cold and damp, and it started raining again on Thursday.

This afternoon, while I was trying to watch these two videos of fabulous BlogHer babes on ABC News Online:Lisa (founder) and Susan (fashion editor) the spouser started talking about a problem. Can you spot it?
Well it's a little more obvious in this photo than it was this afternoon, but YES, our ceiling is leaking. A couple times during hard rains we've had a bubble appear in the ceiling, but never dripping onto the floor. Until today.

When it was clear that the rain wasn't stopping, and neither was the dripping, the spouser got a ladder and cut through the latex paint and the sodden drywall board to let the damned rainwater run more freely. Pretty isn't it?
Just to let you get the full impact of water running down behind our tile roof, along the fascia board, down through the framing and finally into our family room, I offer the photo below.
Yes, this means that when the sun comes out (the sun won't come out tomorrow.. despite what Annie sings...) we will have to find a roofer to solve this problem. Then fix the ceiling and repaint. Owning a house is a pain in the....And, ofcourse, because water flows downhill, the opening between the family room and kitchen now sports this new decorative element:
Also, there is this constant sound: drip, drip, drip-splash, drip...

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What's in Your Toolkit?

Chris Brogan wrote a great article detailing a number of the social media tools available for us to use. He suggested that we all assemble our own useful tool kits. He started the list with these sites:

I would adjust that list for my own use this way (and note, I do very little in the way of "mobile" interaction")
  • Listening Tool - BlogLines is my preferred RSS Feed Reader.
  • Search Tools - Technorati and BlogLines Search feature
  • Home Base Blog - Blogger I find this the easiest blog to modify and use.
  • Scratch Blog - Bloglines offers a "congretating blog" that I never use but could. Blogger allows multiple blogs, or VOX
  • Better Reach -I need to work on this.
  • Social Conversation - Twitter, seesmic Short video social conversations are developing here, and the potential of linking these to to Twitter and Blogs makes them quite appealling.
  • Social Profile - Facebook While this has potential, at the moment, it's a platform for playing games and little more, IMO.
  • Business Profile - LinkedIN Less useful if your work experience is more free-lance and volunteer based. Great for traditional working experiences.
  • Social Bookmarking - YES! I need to organize my bookmarks better, but this is an under-utitilzed tool.
  • Collaboration - PBWiki
  • Shared Documents - Google Docs
  • Photo Sharing - Flickr or PhoTrade
  • Video Hosting - (also YouTube)
What Social Tools do you keep in your tool box? How do you use them? Which should we look at the consider further?

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tale of the Scale: w.o. 1/13

I had my annual physical last week, where I aced my stress test and general exam. Heart beat, blood pressure.. all looked well. Then I got the bloodwork result. NOT. HAPPY.

I'm eating healthier than I ever have before. Fresh veggies every day every day; fresh fruits, whole grains. Few if any simpler carbs. Animal flesh just a couple times a week.. fish mostly, with some chicken added. Rarely anything fried.

(I'm discovering that the times I'm easiest on my eating (least attentive) is when I'm out eating with others. Fried foods? Sure sound good! Beef or pork? Sure, why not? I have to practice asking waitresses: What would you recommend that's vegetarian without any dairy? And see what they recommend. I also need to learn how to ask this without sounding petulant and put out.)

Back to the blood work. I'm eating healthy and exercising hard 4 times a week. The other days I'm at least out walking the dogs. Yet the blood work shows that I'm less healthy (at this specific time, at this specific test... yes, I get that) than I was a year ago. When I was 40# heavier and out of shape.

My cholesterol has risen almost 15 points in 6 months and is 2 points away from being high (it's 198). For a woman with my family history, my blood cholesterol should be under 180 to prevent heart disease. I work out and eat carefully primarily to get this number low.

My blood sugar was marginally high.

Today I feel like I've been working hard for a year, have made dramatic changes in the way I eat and in the one area where I truly want to see improvement, instead I saw failure. The doctor is not concerned, suggesting stress and the holidays. We'll see in 6 months at my next test. My trainer is unconcerned at the this point too (but my weights and measures aren't being done until next week. We'll see what he thinks then.)

Maybe I'm just expecting too much of myself. Being to hard on myself. I don't know. I got those results and cried for an hour.

Oh, and if you're wondering... YES most of what's happening in my liver (and blood tests) is genetic. Every member of my family has died of heart disease or alzheimer's disease. They are discovering that these two may have the same cause and simply have different "trigger" spots. So I'm angry at my genes and working hard to overcome them.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tale of the Scale: 1/7/08

My doctor's visit showed a fasting weight of 122.5#. Close enough to my goal weight that I'm happy with it. From this point onward, I'm not commenting on my weight unless there is something happening that week that makes it important. The weight loss part of my fitness movement is OVER.

I'm going back to working with my trainer, so one of the first things we'll do is the weight and measure thing. I'm curious to see what my measurements are and a little curious to see the fat to lean ratio. Curious, but that's all.

I've spent a lot of time this past week working on a fitness article for BlogHer: When I Believe, I Can. I'm not going to republish it here, though. Just let it sit pretty where it lives today. But, please, go read it.

The end of this month a companion piece will join it: Rediscovering Deb. That piece will be about the emotional changes that have taken place because of the physical changes.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays

Should I or Shouldn't I??

Last week I was lucky enough to score an invite to Seesmic. This week, my friend Laurie White is tempting me to commit to Semanal. Just a video a week, is all we ask!

It can be a more complex video (which I'm trying to learn how to do).. or a simple seesmic upload. So this shouldn't be a big deal, right? Just one video. And if I commit and fulfill this challenge, I will be well and truly in the vlogging mode.

Some of the techie experts are already predicting that 2008 will be the year that video on the web explodes. Maybe it's more people getting higher speed internet connections; or the hardware and software getting lower priced. Maybe it's sheer numbers. We'll see.

I wonder why I'm reluctant to simply say yes and join in??

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Stars Say... Change and Challenges in 2008

I'm not even sure HOW to react to these two astrologicial forecasts for this year. Excited? Scared? What's Astrology Know Anyway? I'm abbreviating these, keeping the links so I can check back, and posting the most "interesting" stuff here.

BTW, KT is the one who last year said that my year would be focused on fitness and diet. She called it right, then. When I read what she said about this year, I was both excited and scared shitless!

And for 2008 she says

Big changes loom for Cancer in relationships and resources. It's out with the old and in with the new. Remember, not all change is painful!

Keywords: security , finances , shifting relationships
Sweet Spot: Changes in your relationships bring immediate benefits.
Sore Spot: Siblings, neighbors and local travel could be problematic this year.


Your need for safety and privacy has always been paramount, Cancer, and you do everything you can to feel secure. Whether due to your upbringing, your values or simply an inner urge to line your nest, you always strive to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Get ready for 2008, then, because this year will sorely test your security needs in two important areas: your relationships and your finances.

Now, you're probably thinking, 'Oh, is that all?!' -- but fear not. Whether you realize it or not, you're ready for a change. And as a person who is -- how to put this delicately? -- attached to the status quo, your reactions to these transformations will determine both their severity and their outcome. Remember, clinging to the past will only make things worse.

In the Relationships Department:

Your relationships are due for an overhaul, Cancer, and in 2008, Pluto will act as your celestial mechanic. When it comes to your personal relationships, it's out with the old and in with the new. Not all your current connections will end, but your needs and expectations within relationships are changing, and at least a few secrets will be exposed through the course of this process. You're embracing a new level of honesty and vulnerability in your personal connections, and anyone in your life who doesn't follow suit could find themselves out in the cold.

Your most solid relationships will not only survive this period of upheaval, they'll strengthen and deepen as a result. Any connections that don't survive simply weren't meant to be, and you're better off without them. Expect this sort of issue to peak around April 2 and September 9. Above all, try not to let these impending changes lead to pessimism. Jupiter is your friend in 2008, bringing blessings to your love life and other relationships. Under this planet's optimistic influence, any changes you make in your personal and professional partnerships will lead to noticeable improvements, including fresh opportunities and exciting new contacts, so stay alert for new possibilities in both business and romance.
Then Phyllis Firak-Mitz.... the astrologer that Laurie at CrazyAuntPurl recommended says:
YOU are in for a big time this 2008! Your life can easily get “bigger” as significant opportunities, impressive relationships and spectacular trips are among the exciting activities Jupiter might bring you. Sure you might have to “leave home” in some way or another in order to enjoy your coming bounty, but it’ll be worth it!
I swear I read a longer 2008 forecast from her, but darned if I can find it. Still both make it sound like it's going to be an interesting year this year. Stayed tuned for details.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hello, Seesmic.

Oh! There are new social networks sprouting up almost every day online! And most of them can be major time sinks. I think I shall stay away from photophlow a lot.. because... well... time sink!

But I was lucky enough to get an invitation to Seesmic. This is a website where you click a button, it turns on your webcam (cause I'm not sure I know how), and lets you record short videos. Like Twitter with a webcam.

Thursday I had my "afternoon of beauty" at the hair salon: hair colored and cut, and eyebrows waxed. So I decided it was the perfect time to introduce myself to the community.

Hello Seesmic...

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tale of the Scale: Happy New Year!

Weight: 120# at home; 124# at the gym. Hey, this is down 3# at the gym. Yeah, it's probably that I ate or drank a bit less before going in today. The scale at home has been consistant.

I've missed a week of working out because of a cold. Beyond the basic tenet: when you're sick, stay home... the chest congestion simply wouldn't let me breathe comfortably enough to consider tackling 30 minutes of cardio.

So today was a "welcome back" day. Forty-five minutes of cardio at about 70% of max heart rate; then 45 minutes of stability work: 3 kinds of ball crunchs; then with a stretchy band: standing rows, shoulder rotations, arm presses and bicep curls. (because we cannot forget those upper arms!)

Tomorrow a light weight workout and then hit the gym hard again starting on Sunday.

The only significant notice this week was that when I'm lazy or let myself slip back into the way I was cooking and eating just 6 months ago.. it's much too easy to do. I am committing to a different way of eating; no more time off.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.