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August 2012

Random thoughts on a Friday

BackupI’ve been waging a war with Norton 360, making it back up the damn computer. After a week of fits and starts, the backup program finally completed correctly last night. I just can’t work with a big, red ALERT! hanging out on my screen. And that’s why I didn’t have an update on Monday.

But Monday was also the first day of school for the teenager, and with that, I scampered out the door and went for a walk/run while buses and cars clogged the streets around my house. Midweek, I Zumba-ed and yoga-ed at home, and today after I dropped off the kid and his trombone, I drove directly to the gym where I got in some bike, elliptical and weights – first time I’d been back to the gym in months. I'm planning on putting those Monday and Friday workouts on my permanent to-do list.

I’ve also been decluttering like mad. One of the daily activities in the Lighten-Up plan is to spend 10 minutes a day decluttering something. I can’t stop at 10 minutes and have been shredding, tossing and purging like the opposite of one of those people you see on Hoarders.

I was going to write an update yesterday but did a little Meals on Wheels for Carol last night. Someone who shouldn’t be driving anymore T-boned her car, sending it spinning into the scrub on the side of the road.  (Driving in South Florida is an extreme sport.) Carol’s fine, perhaps a little achy, but the car, a once-adorable Kia Soul, is a crumpled mess. She turned down the offer of my freshly made sausage and kale soup and instead wanted fast food. Usually I’d be a Debbie Downer about that, but who’s to deny someone who just had their car smashed in? Got her a Happy Meal, which is probably the best fast-food choice, since it’s a reasonable amount of food.

So while Carol is figuring out what to do with insurance and old ladies and transportation, I’ll probably be blogging solo for awhile. But she’s still using her Fitbit to log miles at work. She works at a huge private school, and this week all the kids are coming back to buy their books and supplies, so she’s getting a lot of steps and weight (books) lifting in.

Shirataki load
Imaginary pasta party at my house!
Came home from the gym this morning to find a Priority Mail box stuffed with Miracle Noodles at my front door. It was a LivingSocial deal, and now I am set for weeks with “imaginary” pasta and rice. I prefer Miracle Noodles over other brands – they don’t seem to have that “bottom of the aquarium” smell that other brands have, and they’re made in the USA … ‘murica!


Haven’t stepped on the scale all week – we’re still not on speaking terms and I have been absolutely bear-like with PMS (I think) cravings. But I have to STOP using PMS as an excuse to forage through the pick-a-nick baskets at night. But I'm heartened by my fitness activity this week, and the weekend will be a stellar example of craving control, so perhaps we'll visit the scale Monday morning.

Note to self: You are 50, not 15. What’s up with the waking up with a zit in the middle of your nose?



Throwing a hissy-fit, lost my 'bit

For nearly 2 months, my Fitbit has been a close friend... a REALLY close friend, usually clipped to my bra, or on my waistband.  I love how it motivates me to take those extra steps to get my 5,000-step badge, or to take the dog out one extra time so I can climb another flight of stairs.  My Fitbit even calls me Princess.

On Tuesday evening, I took my Fitbit off to see how many steps I had taken -- my apartment complex is being repaved and I had to park two buildings away, a golden opportunity for more steps. I wanted to see how many steps over my goal I had gone -- then tragedy struck.

I hadn't broken the 5,000 step mark on Tuesday; I went to put my Fitbit back on AND IT WAS GONE!

FitBit_thumbLost without my Fitbit ... would I ever take another step? Climb another flight of stairs? Life without it seemed pointless. Gail would win the daily step count, and my Fitbit would post sad daily postings of "0 steps taken; 0 flights of stairs climbed." Poor Carol can't get off her couch without her Fitbit.

This is the beginning of a very busy time at work for me (back-to-school in a high school office), and I'm looking forward to getting major steps on my Fitbit, if she would just come home ...

to be continued...

 Fitbit provided Gail and Carol Fitbit Ultras for the Shrinking Sisters Summer Spectacular.

Weight ain't nothin' but a number, right?

Zumba convention party 2012
Yep -- that's a tutu-clad Zumbaholic checking out the action at the Saturday night party at the Zumba Convention.

Since Wednesday afternoon, I've been in Orlando, Fla., covering the annual Zumba Convention, where I've been surrounded by 8,000 energetic, vibrantly hued Zumba instructors, not to mention the DVD instructor superstars, Zumba top brass and Zumba creator Beto Perez.

The convention took place at the Peabody hotel, which, for the uninitiated, is freaking huge.  I wore my Fitbit all weekend, and I averaged around 19,000 steps a day. I literally moved myself out of my jeans. I spent much of the weekend lamenting the state of my baggy-ass jeans.

Most days I hit the hotel gym for a morning cardio and weights workout (the gym is huge and well stocked with cardio and strength equipment). But on Saturday, we (the media) got to demo some of the newer workouts (Zumba Gold for older/newer exercisers, and Zumbatomic for kids), plus we did an hour-long workout led by Beto, which combined the Sentao workout, which uses a chair, and Zumba Toning, which uses those maraca-like 1-pound Zumba toning sticks. I felt like a pro, since I got to try out Sentao in May.

So I nailed the working out part of traveling.

As for food, I stuck to turkey sandwiches and salads. I had stocked the hotel mini fridge with baby carrots, apple wedges, hummus and Greek yogurt. I had also stashed a few protein bars in my bag and a few packets of instant oatmeal. Breakfast consisted of what I call Hotel Overnight Oats – oatmeal mixed with Greek yogurt and a half a sliced banana mixed the night before. It’s super filling, loaded with protein and a decent source of fiber. I had one glass of wine the entire weekend, and my one big splurge was a dish of mint chocolate chip ice cream Saturday night while I attempted to get work done on my laptop in the hotel diner.

Got on the scale this morning expecting all sorts of success – and I gained 4 pounds.

I was shell-shocked for about 5 minutes.

Then I decided that the number on the scale was NOT going to undo all the good I did with eating, exercise and movement. I have no idea why the scale showed that number but it might be a combination of restaurant food (the sodium monster) and maybe a little muscle gain. I pushed it hard in the hotel gym.

Why does a number on a scale have so much power? I know I did the right things, I know my jeans are baggy as heck, I know I drank lots of water and got a good night sleep every night. But the number looms over my head like a big, blinking #FAIL.

But I’m home now, completely in control of my food choices and more than ready to jump feet first into the Lighten-Up program that actually started last Monday. I’ve been reading the materials and getting into the “head” part of the program. Now I can finally get into the food component – lots of plant-based foods and no “diet foods.”

I didn’t want to half-ass the program last week, because I think what the Good Life Coalition is doing is important – trying to change the way people look at losing weight from one of denial to one of positive change.

One of the concepts that we'll be working on is finding a "soulmate workout" -- exercise that you want to do instead of something you feel you have to do. I love dance workouts as well as technology, so I'll leave you today with a sneak peek at the new Zumba game that's coming out this fall for Xbox and Wii. It's called Zumba Fitness Core, and targets the midsection while giving the rest of you a great cardio workout. Dance plus core plus Xbox? Definitely on my to-do list.

You might spy some of the Zumba superstars dancing to the game -- Kass Martin, Gina Grant and Beto Perez were there dancing along with the crowd.

Busy bee back from BlogHer

30 rock
Had to get the 30 Rock shot.

Popping in between road trips to update my Summer Spectacular results.

Stayed the same this week. 235.5 or so.

That's cool, because I spent the weekend at BlogHer in New York and probably drank more booze than I did all of last year, which is not saying much.

I avoid alcohol, not because of moral reasons, but because it's purely empty calories. This weekend, Thursday night found me at a winery with a glass of wine in each hand and another after I finished those -- thank goodness Sarah Mock of How I Pinch a Penny, and I took the subway back to the hotel. But wedge heels, lots of subway steps and wine are not a good mix. (And thanks for the subway ride, Sarah! I owe ya one!)

The next night I had a vodka-cranberry, emphasis on the vodka. And since I was not stuffing my face, that drink went a long way.

So four drinks in one weekend. I usually drink about four drinks a year.

Rockettes dance passAnd many of my meals and snacks involved free eats from the expo, which often didn't get recorded. But I'm happy to report that America's love of Greek yogurt shows no decline. There were quite a few companies showcasing their new lines of Greek yogurt, which I ate for dinner Friday night while watching the Olympics in my room (party animal!).

I did workout with the Rockettes on Friday morning, but it wasn't exactly a butt-kicker. More of a fun workout. We did learn to kick, though, and walk like toy soldiers. Walking like a toy soldier (non-moving arms and stiff knees) puts all your movement in your hips and backside. So while you may get crazy stares, walking like a tin soldier is a great workout.

Saturday morning, I joined a bunch of bloggers for an early-morning walking tour of the city. And while it wasn't a tough workout, Erin Sipes of My Very Educated Mother, and I speed-walked back to the hotel to make our appointments.

Later this week, I'll be making another road trip -- this time to Orlando to check out the Zumba instructors' national convention, where Beto Perez and his team will be showcasing the latest music and workouts for the hugely popular workout. Among some of the celebs scheduled to be there: Zumba music guys Vanilla Ice and Yankee Daddy and Kathy Najimy. Why Kathy? This is cool -- she recently lost 50 pounds and her workout of choice was Zumba, so I'm hoping to talk to her about that.