Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

 I want to wish everyone the very Best for the Holiday Seasons!  I'll be off a few days and will probably finish the #100 Salt Lake City Porches Project.  Then, I need to start framing and prepping some of the paintings to be shown in an art show on Jan. 14th.  You can view #99 and get the details by clicking here.  The above picture is one of the many additional artworks that can be seen at the show.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Who Me?!?!

I haven't been watching the scale for the last couple of weeks.  I just feel it's a bit of losing fruitless battle until the Holidays are over.  So I've taken on the attitude of - Who Me?  I'm not worried about the weight right now.  I'll enjoy the chocolate, rum & eggnog, and what other sweets may come my way this Holiday Season.  I'll just work my butt off come next year!  I've still been getting in about 7 miles on the treadmill, 45 minutes on the elliptical, and a couple of reformer pilates classes in during a week.  So at least I'm staying active while enjoying the goodies of the season.

The combo picture above is a series of photos taken at a recent Christmas Party.  It's myself with my new darker hair and Diane.  We were doing silly faces and having some real fun!  The camera person refers to the photo as "The Party Girls"!  Go Figure!  Who Me??!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Calling in SORE & Drinking Coffee thru a Straw…

I can just imagine the conversation…

“Hey boss! Yeah, I’m not calling in sick but calling in SORE today.”
“Sore?” He’ll ask.
“Yes, you see I have this friend Diane that LOVES to find punishing workouts and I’m an easy gullible sidekick to these torturous episodes. This morning I went to this workout group class and I tell you my arms hurt, my ribs hurt, my glutes hurt, my thighs hurt, and my calves hurt. In fact, it’s only from the neck up that I’m NOT hurting. So thus, I’m calling in sore. But if the calling in sore doesn’t work, I could always claim a mental health day. After all, I must be insane to put myself through this!”

Yes, as if that’s ever going to happen! NOT! So here I am trying to sit as still as possible at my desk and still do my work. OMG! It’s almost to the point where it hurts to breathe! I’m drinking coffee through a straw because it HURTS to pick up a coffee cup. Yes, I did survive the barrEVO + class but just barely!

I barely survived the class and I couldn’t do almost 60% of the stuff in the class. I guess I should have checked more closely when signing up for the class. I just thought that it was a regular Barr Evolution class. Nope it was a barrEVO + and I guess that the plus stands for an extra dose of the TRX. TRX is a suspension training that was designed by the US Navy SEALS. Oh boy! Was I ever over my head on this one!

We started out warming up by doing some of the TRX. It was a version of hanging on a swing and leaning backwards. Then we did row boat motions with our arms where the resistance came from our own weight. I was all ready having balance issues and we were barely out of the gate here. Yep, I was in over my head!

Next we turned around and while doing lunges our arms were doing different out and upward motions. Thank goodness no one handed me a stick of gum! This was pushing my levels of coordination. We dropped the TRX ropes and picked up our little hand weights for the next bit. Standing tall, we held the hand weights at arm height and did different motions of out and up but never letting our hands with weights drop below the shoulder level. It was 6 minutes total of doing this. My arms were all ready burning about 2 minutes into this. My face is grimacing and Laura is laughing. “Diane look at her face!” Diane answers that she won’t look because then she’ll break out laughing and lose her concentration. Popeye eat your heart out!

Shortly after the teacher (Laura) told us we had another 1.5 minutes left, I looked over at Diane and said,” I’m going to be hating you tomorrow.” That got quite a few chuckles going in the class, and Laura laughingly asked,” You’re blaming her?” “She’s the one that talked me into doing this!” I answered.

We did a series of exercises with the ball between our legs squeezing while doing heel raises and squat sitting. Our right hand was used for balance on the ballet bar on the wall. My calf got a cramp about ¾ of the way through this. OUCH! Then we turned towards the bar and put the 9” ball behind one knee bent up and back to hold the ball in place. We then proceeded to do various exercises that were a new version (to me) of “Saddle Bags Be Gone”. Legs up and back and then to the side while the other leg you are standing on and the opposite “saddle bag” is feeling it all!
Photo- Similar to part of the "Super Push Up"

From there we went into more of the TRX training. We lied on our backs with feet in the ropes doing bridges and raising various parts of our body. Then we rolled over and went into plank. OMG! This is where I was a COMPLETE failure! As most of you have probably heard before I have enough of a time trying to do the plank on solid ground let alone trying to do it when my feet are in straps a foot above the floor. OMG! While I’m just struggling to do the plank on my elbows, the others are doing the teacher’s more advanced moves. They are pushing legs out and pulling them together and then pulling bended legs up towards the abs. Then they are doing push ups and what Laura called Super Push ups. OMG! Laura made it look SO easy meanwhile I’m struggling to stay on my elbows in a plank.

AND that’s how I ended up sipping coffee through a straw…

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Gives?!?!!!!

I can’t quite figure this out. Last night I ran 3.25 miles on the treadmill and did another 22 minutes on the elliptical. The night before I ran 4 miles on the treadmill and did 20 minutes on the elliptical. So this morning when I get on the scale, I’m expecting to be down 1 or 2 lbs. NOPE! I’m back up the 2 lbs. that I thought I had lost towards the end of last week. What gives?!? This doesn’t make any sense what so ever!

It’s like the Twilight Zone and I can’t seem to work off, beg, borrow, or give these 2lbs up! They just come back to haunt me. It’s a bit frustrating to say the least. I’ve been relatively good at watching what I eat for the last few days. I will admit I had a Christmas party that I went to last Friday night where I consumed enough “spirits” that I was a bit thirsty the next morning. I also woke up to a cramp in my right calf. I must have done something when I was dancing my little heart out during the end of the night.

In fact, my calf was still hurting on Sunday morning when I woke up. So I didn’t do any working out this last Saturday or Sunday. In fact, Saturday I was SO into working on my porch paintings that I forgot to eat until that night when I went to watch some friends play guitars at a local tea house. Being the BIG veggie fan that I am (I’m sure you are picking up on my note of sarcasm here.); I ordered a veggie/humus platter which I struggled to get ¾ of it down. That was my meal of the day.

Come Monday my right calf felt better and off I went to the gym. I figured I needed to make up for the no exercise weekend. I pushed myself to run 4 miles and then topped it off with sometime on the elliptical. Tuesday night I went into the gym just planning on doing a quick mile of running with an additional 15 minutes on the elliptical. Well, 1 mile became 1 and a half. Then, I was at 2 miles and it felt so good that BOOM! Before I know it I’m at 3.10 miles. I finished out with a bit of walking for 3.25 miles. Then I went on to the elliptical machine. Before I knew it the planned 15 minutes had turned into 22 minutes. I got so wrapped up in some new tunes I had downloaded on my MP3 player that I was just ZOOMING right along with the beat and lost track of time; funny how music can do that.

But here comes Wednesday morning standing on the scale and after all of that I find I’m up 2 lbs! Ugh! What gives?!? Hmmmm… back to the drawing board I guess. Tomorrow morning I’m adventuring into new territory. Yes, I let Diane talk me into to trying the barrEVO class at the same place where we take the Pilates Reformer class. This barrEVO class is described as a cross between ballet, yoga, and pilates. This should be interesting and I’ll let you know how it goes. That’s reliant on if I’m not stuck in a yoga’d pretzel position on some ballet bar.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jump Board Alphabets & a Weigh In...

This morning was another Jump Board Reformer Pilates class. After the warm up, Laura our teacher has us do what I like to call Jump Board Alphabet.  We jump forms of letters onto the upright board by raising, lowering, or planting our feet together on the upright jumping plateform.  Mostly it's simple straight letters like A, V, W, M, T.  I teasingly told the teacher I refer to it as Jump Board Alphabet.  She teased me back that she may have us spelling words but I told her that might be a bit too complicated for 6AM.  But I always imagine
our teacher in a cheer leader outfit waving pompoms and yelling," Give me a "V"!"; as I'm jumping a "V".  It brings a smile to my face to imagine this.  I guess its better than grimacing while trying to do quite a bit of the rest of the Jump Board Class.  From the Jumpboard Alphabets we move on to other more complex moves in the class.

I will admit that I'm improving with each class but there are always new challegnes that are thrown into the mix.  This morning's BIG challenge was keeping a ball between my shoulder blades with hands behind head -elbows bent and trying to do a horizontal jumping cycling motioned sideways situps.  Yes, it was as hard as it is to say!  Coordination is a challenge to me and this reminded me of trying to chew gum and walk at the same time without biting my tongue.  I chose to jump very slowly and carefully because it was just challenging for me to keep the ball between my shoulders. 

AND of course, there was the "Saddle-Bags-Be-Gone" portion of the class.  I was about over after doing the single leg lifts on the one side.  Then, the teacher told us to turn to the other side.  I felt like the one leg was over done and I was struggling slowly to turn over.   Laura took one look at my face, laughed, and said," Sorry you're not getting out of this one by turning over slowly.  You still need to do the other side."  OMG!  Pain!!  And those DARN saddle bags are still there even if I can't see them anymore.  I KNOW because I CAN feel them!

After freezing my butt off on the way home in my car (No I haven't fixed the car heater yet), I weighed myself.  I'm down two of those 3 lbs that I had gained over the last couple of weeks.  Good News!!  I've tried to be extra careful the last couple of days and it worked.