Tag Archives: exercise

Some Sunday Sunshine

24 Feb

The gray gray sky, every single day. It’s too much. I need some sunshine. I’ve been turning my desk lamp on at work and that has helped a little, but I think I need to just go for it and buy one of those full-spectrum SAD lights that I’ve had my eye on for the last few years, but have never had the heart to plunk the cash down for.

The tipping point for me joining Weight Watchers and steeling my resolve to get to the darn gym was because a few months back, I hit an all time low with energy. It was like I was riding from coffee to coffee, just to keep myself functional.  I was getting enough sleep at night, but I wasn’t feeling rested in the day.  I knew that it would not get any better until I changed my habits.  I’ve still been fatigued, the short days and lack of sunlight do not help.  Yesterday, finally, I had a breakthrough!  I had energy! I was excited to get to the gym, and once there, I hopped on the treadmill and ran a whole 30 minutes!  The last time I ran was probably in October, and even then the longest stretch was about 12 minutes.  But yesterday, a whole 30 minutes! Victory!

I had a successful week at Weight Watchers, and I’m getting excited to hit my 10% goal in a few weeks and go SHOPPING!  I don’t have any specific ideas yet, but how cute are these:



Mr. Beez says that no way no how do I need any more shoes, but how fun would it be to have some sunny kicks to up my energy at the gym?


I’ve been grateful that work has been at the manageable end of the crazy-spectrum lately which has given me the flexibility and opportunity to focus on my health and well being.  I realized yesterday that March is going to be full-speed-ahead.  I’ve got an article, a significant brief,  a trial and a conference presentation all on my plate.  Feast or famine, folks. But I think that I am finally feeling refreshed from this somewhat quieter time, and I’m excited and ready to take on all these tasks.

Musings on Weight Watchers

20 Feb

I’m coming up on six months of participation in Weight Watchers.  At first I felt very proud about that, and then I realized how much (or little) weight I have lost in that time period, and I felt pretty crummy.  Weight Watchers is known for slow weight loss.  In my case, it has gone at a glacial pace.  When I feel down about it, I look at the big chart of my weight, and it does show a steady downward slope.  The first 5% of my weight loss came fairly easily, but I’ve had a heckuva time making it to 10%.  I just cashed in a ton of credit card points for an Athleta gift card, and I’ve promised myself some fancy workout gear when I make it to the 10%.

I cannot tie myself to the scale as my only measure.  I’ve noticed some big milestones in this slow journey.  Once tight clothes are fitting better, and clothes that once fit are entirely too loose.  I’ve become more enthusiastic about working out, and have gone from working out once a week (or once every two weeks) to a steady three times per week.  I’ve even put aside the excuses and worked out occasionally during lunchtime.

I’m most proud that the choices have started becoming easier.  It helps that Mr. Beez and I are trying to cut back on dining out, but even when we go to restaurants, it no longer feels like an epic battle between the entree I desperately want and the entree I think I should have.  This is not to say I always make the lowest calorie choice, but no longer does every selection have to be the most decadent plate available.  It is becoming easier for me to make the healthier selection when it’s a run of the mill dinner out, and save the over-the-top ridiculoso selections for special meals.  It’s becoming easier for me to grab (and be happy about) fruits and vegetables as a snack, instead of granola bar after granola bar after granola bar.  Gradually, the magnitude of my “blow it out of the water” days has lessened.  A bad day today is far less bad than a bad day six months ago.

My health generally has had some positive progress.  I wish I could say that I have more energy all the time, but at least I have more energy on the days that I’m working out.  As long as I eat regularly and balanced meals, I no longer have blood sugar crashes.

From my participation in meetings, I’ve learned some invaluable mantras:  A gain isn’t failure, it’s feedback.  Weight Watchers is forever, and if I didn’t do well this week, I’ve got next week to get it back on track.

Good lord I’ve got a long way to go, and it is taking forever to get there.  But with these little steps, there are little successes, and I need to keep moving.

31 before 31: A New Workout Experience

24 Jan

aerobicsI finally ended the hemming and hawwing and excuses and I did it.  I had a lunchtime workout.  Well not exactly lunchtime, it was closer to 2pm. But it was still during the workday.

I know tons of people who swear by working out during lunchtime, and swear it’s the only time they can fit in a good workout, and they report it gets them energized for the second half of the workday.

Until now, I’ve used the following excuses to avoid working out during lunchtime:  I don’t want to get sweaty.  I don’t have time.  I like to eat.  It’s too disruptive in my day.  My gym is too far away.

But this week I bit the bullet and had a lunchtime workout.  It was a very light workout, I walked slowly for 30 minutes on the treadmill.  It wasn’t even really a “workout” but it did get me up and moving and was better than what I would have otherwise been doing when the 2pm snoozies hit:  drinking coffee, eating cookies, and struggling to keep my eyes open.

garfield and scaleWell, now I switched to a gym that’s closer to my office, I realized that I can do a light workout that doesn’t get me all gross, I can keep the workout short to minimize disruption, and yes it did help me feel energized throughout the afternoon.  It’s shocking to take a chunk of personal time in the middle of the day when I usually don’t even take a break for lunch, but I do think I had a more effective afternoon, and in the evening I was able to make up that billable time.

I really liked that the gym was quiet by the time I got there.  I do hope to get myself to the gym for an afternoon workout at least once per week.  It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, I’d be perfectly happy just cruising along on the treadmill.  I need to get over the guilt of feeling like I’m playing hooky by being out of the office during the workday.  Even though it is perfectly acceptable to go work out or run a personal errand during the workday as long as you get your work done and you can be reached, I always feel like I’m breaking some rule by going “off campus.”

Do you work out during lunchtime?

Greetings from Charlottesville!

4 Jan

I’m at the University of Virginia for the week, attending trial college so that I can kick my trial skills up a notch.  I’ve made a few trips away from Baby Beez before, but she is such a momma’s girl, and she’s so verbal, that I know this trip is going to be a hard one. She’s going to be asking for me a lot, and a toddler doesn’t really understand what it means for mommy to be gone “all week.”

The classes don’t start til tomorrow, so I’ve got tonight to relax. I rolled in around 5:30, and I’ve already chowed down on way too much thai food takeout, am watching a show on vh1 classic about 80s hair bands, and in a few minutes I’m going to go to the workout room and get a little exercise in.

It’s stunning how, now that Baby Beez is a toddler, the day-to-day time and effort of her care and attention has become a regular part of my life.  For example, it takes nearly 2 hours every morning for me to get the both of us ready and out the door.  Tomorrow it’s going to take a whopping 20 minutes for me to get ready.  It’s nice, but so strange.

Ok, that’s all I really have to say today. I need to go get on an elliptical while I’ve got the chance.

30 Before 30: PostSecret, and other Misc

17 Oct

1.  30 Before 30: PostSecret

Well folks, I did it.  I sent in a postcard to PostSecret.  I selected the postcard about a year ago, and have literally been carrying it (blank) in my purse ever since.  Even when I changed purses, the postcard moved to the new bag.  I am not a person of secrets.  What I wrote can hardly even be called a secret.  But I am a person that is terrible at letting go, and terrible at forgiving, especially myself.   I wrote about something that makes me sad enough to not talk about, and by writing it down and sending it away, I’m trying to let myself let go of it. 

I actually hope my card is not published on the site.  I am not seeking a sense of community from my words.  I love reading other peoples’ secrets, but for me, the act of writing those words and dropping them in a letterbox was so much more moving than having someone else read them. 

2.  Get Moving.

Hello Ladies shared this message on Monday, and its been “running” through my head ever since (haha):

So true. I need to get myself to the gym, stat.

3.  SWAN Day, Yinzpiration, One Young World, and I’ve got nothing.

Pittsburgh is overflowing with BIG IDEAS right now. 

Last Monday, I had the fantastic and fun experience of being interviewed along with my friend Sandy for SWAN day. SWAN (Support Women in the Arts Now) Day is a multinational celebration of women in the arts, and in Pittsburgh the No Name Players take the lead in interviewing women in all ages, editing and distributing the footage to women artists, and organizing an exciting performance evening to showcase the works.  I was proud to participate as an interviewee, and Tressa and Don (the No Name Players) were so friendly and fun.  The 2013 Celebration will be on March 23, 2013, so mark your calendars now! I am so excited!

Kate of Yinzpiration is back in the swing of interviewing inspiring Pittsburghers.  Yinzpiration is one of my favorite Burgh Blogs, because it’s a concrete reminder of how devoted and hardworking 20 and 30-somethings are to making Pittsburgh and an amazing place to live, as well as a reminder that in Pittsburgh there is always opportunity and support to take your Big Idea from idea to reality.

The One Young World conference starts tomorrow in Pittsburgh, and WOW, just WOW. Delegates to that conference don’t just have Big Ideas, they have BIG IDEAS.  When I hear about the work those young people are doing, I wonder what the heck have I been doing with my life?  These delegates are tackling global issues without fear, with real results. 

I want to have a Big Idea.  I want to do something that is interesting and clever and inspirational.  I’m not talking quit my day job for an art project– I actually really like my day job, and I suck at art.  But I want to have some kind of Big Idea that makes a difference in our City, and I have absolutely no idea what to do.  I’m totally awesome at the logistics side of things, I know I can make something come to life.  I just don’t have any idea how to get that Big Idea.  I know that I have readers who have had a Big Idea, and have made it come to life. So readers, how did you get your Big Idea?

Thursday things (self promotion, running, movies and events)

27 Sep

1. Hey, I know that Blogger

Queen in Heels kindly featured me in her Blogger Spotlight this week.  She shares my LOVE for shoes, and I’ve been loving her features of all the fashion week footwear!

2.  Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot

I am in week 6 of the Couch to 5k program, and although the running times are getting longer, running is getting easier.  Even when my feet feel like cement, I can manage to get through the running parts by running very slowly.  Although the longest stretch I’ve run lately is 20 minutes, I’m confident that in a few weeks I can work up to a 5k.  This is my second go-around with running (the first being about 8 years ago), with a long hiatus in between.  This time around I’m older, fatter, and busier so that can sometimes make running trickier. 

There are some very key differences between my running practices last time and this time:

Last time:

  • I ran on concrete sidewalks (a great way to get to know the city)
  • I did not stretch or warm up/cool down
  • Eventually I wound up with runner’s knee

This time:

  • I am running on the Schenley oval rubber track or on crushed limestone trails
  • There are warm ups/cool downs built into the Couch to 5k Program
  • I am actually stretching after my run
  • I have had no knee problems so far

My progress with time and distance has been slower this time, but I am at least taking better care of myself.  Instead of working toward a goal to run a specific race, I’m working toward the goal of integrating running into my life as healthy exercise. 

3. Little Cinephile in the making!

Mr. Beez and I took Baby Beez to her first movie in a real movie theater, and she LOVED it! This is not an event that was easily decided.  We weren’t specifically looking to take her to the movies, but since they are showing Finding Nemo in 3D, and since we watch Finding Nemo about twice a day, every Saturday and Sunday, we thought she’d have a lot a fun.  And she DID! She sat in my lap and quietly watched her beloved Nemo, and even kept her 3D glasses on almost the entire time.  This undertaking was significantly less stressful because we were literally the only people in the theater.  Monsters, Inc. is going to be re-released in 3D in December, and we will probably take her to that (again, Monsters, Inc. is in heavy rotation in our DVD collection), but the movie theater probably won’t be a regular occurrence until Baby Beez gets bigger.  That doesn’t change the fact that my little grinch heart grew 2 sizes bigger, seeing her love the movies as much as her mommy does!

4.  Pittsburgh Events

The next few days are full of awesome events around the ‘burgh.  If I had the night free tonight (which I do not, boo hoo), I would be heading over to the ToonSeum for the Hunger Action Happy Hour, benefiting Greater Pittsburgh Area Foodbank.  On Friday there is the vegan Healthy Eating Happy Planet event at the Environmental Charter School that looks pretty fun (The event website doesn’t seem to have much info, I’ve learned about the event from Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen’s Facebook page).

This Saturday, I’m SUPER excited to attend The PittsBurgher– Music and Burger festival at the Rivers Casino! Burger competition, YES PLEASE! (and tickets are available at a steep discount at LivingSocial). 

What fun things will you be doing over the next few days?

Girls’ Night!

24 Sep

Mr. Beez is in New York on business, so for tonight it is just me and Baby Beez. I have the good/bad problem of being interested in WAY to many things, and being in a city that is immensely full of fantastic and interesting opportunities, so I’m constantly filling my schedule with after work things. This week’s after-work schedule, however, is blissfully empty.

I wanted to keep up with my jogging, but that’s not much of an option when it’s just Baby Beez and me. She’s a nightmare in the stroller (she gets bored after about 10 minutes) and my gym does not offer babysitting for nighttime workouts.

I came up with an idea! The weather was gorgeous and clear tonight– a perfect night for a walk! So I strapped that toddler in the baby carrier, and off we went for a long stroll through Greenfield, Schenley Park, and Squirrel Hill. The rolling hills of these neighborhoods are plenty of a workout, then strap a 25 lb squirming toddler to your back, and it’s PLENTY of exercise!  We had fun seeing deer munching on grass in the park, counting buses, and pointing out the color of cars.

Now it’s time for some Pajanimals before bedtime, zzzzzzzzz


The New Workout Plan

2 Jul

Ok, so TWICE in the last week I’ve hit “publish” without the post being done.  Sorry that I suck at the internet, folks.

After the last few weeks of insanity at work, I’ve realized that I really truly need to make time for frequent exercise.  If I can make time for happy hour, I can make time for the gym.  And Baby Beez will find a way to survive if Daddy puts her to bed on gym nights instead of me.

One of my 30 before 30 goals is to visit a personal trainer 3 times.  I went for 1 personal training appointment, and the trainer ran me through some weight machines I was already familiar with, and while it was nice to have someone keeping track of my reps for me, I didn’t really learn anything or feel challenged.

I know that a personal trainer is great if you are working toward a specific goal.  What about if your goal is just to get your butt off the couch? Is it totally weird to get a personal training package just to have someone waiting for me at the gym so I HAVE to show up?

I’d like to do some group exercise classes.  I’ll start with a low goal- like 1 class each week.  The gym has a cardio/weights class on Sunday mornings that I could make, and it’s not like Baby Beez lets me sleep in anyway.

How do you hold yourself accountable for working out? What do you do to get your butt to the gym?

Move to the Beat!

3 Apr

I had the epiphany yesterday that I really have no excuse to not work out.  I’ve run through these excuses so far:  the gym’s hours aren’t convenient to my schedule, and I don’t want to wake up at 5am to work out, and I don’t want to work out at lunch and get gross in the middle of the workday, and I’m too tired at night to work out at night.  Then last night I realized that Comcast offers workout videos on OnDemand.  I can exercise at home, with no equipment, at my own convenience.  All my excuses have been shot.

The only remaining excuse is that I look like a darn fool when I try to do anything that remotely requires coordination.  Sandy saw me try Hip Hop Aerobics. She can attest to this.  Mr. Beez knows how uncoordinated I am, and did not want to give up precious TV time for me to flop around the den like an injured whale.  I decided instead to do a little morning workout.  I woke up at 6am, did my little exercise video, and was still showered and dressed (and even got Baby Beez dressed and fed) and we were all out the door by 7:35. 

The video I did was one of those cardio walk things, which a lot of stepping this way and that way, and not too demanding for someone as ungraceful as myself.  I did try to do the Leslie Sansone walking videos once, but the music was SO TERRIBLE that I could not stand it any more.  On the video this morning, the instructor was not obnoxiously cheery (she only instructed the viewer to “smile!” once. It’s 6am. I AM NOT SMILING.  But she did not continue to insist, so I can live with that one instruction), and the music is just an unobtrusive beat.  It wasn’t bad. It was actually kind of fun. 

Am I the only person on earth who LOVED Mousercise?  I was a lazy kid and never actually did the exercise, but it was fun to watch Mickey in his headband working up a sweat.  My favorite exercise was this “BUGABOO” thing they did. I remember it being kind of creepy but mesmerizing.  If someone can find me Mousercise DVDs, I will exercise every day.  I may even wear legwarmers.

Be Running up that Road, Be Running up that Hill

24 Mar

Yes I did, I got out and went for a jog today.  I had some walking stints in there, but there was running too.  It’s been months since I hit the pavement.

Even on the weekends time is at a premium, so I decided to go out for a jog today instead of going to the gym.  Going to the gym would have taken twice as long with having to drive there and back, and battle the Squirrel Hill crowds for parking.

Like so many houses in Greenfield, when you step out of my house every direction is uphill. Every. Direction.  It’s not an excuse for never running, but knowing you’re going to have to battle hills is a demotivator.  I chose to run in the nearby cemetery.  Greenfield sidewalks are cracked and bad, and stop signs are apparently optional.  Running in the cemetery is safer, quieter, and the view is pretty.  I even saw Bob O’Connor’s grave.  I worry that running in a cemetery might be considered disrespectful, but the only other people in the cemetery were other runners.

Marathon and 1/2 Marathon entry statistics show that most people get hit with the running bug in their 30s.  I started a little early, and started running around age 20.  I was spending the summer abroad in Germany, and eating schnitzel and fluffy pastries nonstop.  There was no way I was going to cut back on those delicious treats, so I decided to pick up running.  My first goal was to run 2 blocks without running.  Then I worked up to 20 minutes of running.  Then I worked up to a 5k, then a 10k, then a marathon, then another marathon, and then I burned out.  I’ve hardly run at all since the summer of 2005.

Lookin' pretty good for mile 25 of the LA marathon.

When I talk about those races, I feel like Uncle Rico, refusing to give up the glory of his high school football days.  Those races were nearly eight years ago, do I still get to bask in the glory of those accomplishments?

It’s a great feeling to have finished a marathon, but I never want to do it again.  I don’t have a runner’s body.  Running doesn’t come easily to me.  In both races, I finished in about 5 and a quarter hours.  The fastest mile I’ve ever run in my life was 8 minutes, 30 seconds.  I’m not built for running, but even with my waddling, akward gait,  I loved to run– I loved how I got these excited bursts of energy out on a run, and how it made me feel fast and sleek, and that quick burning feeling in your lungs during the first few steps on a cold winter’s run.

Running is easy to do when you do it all the time, but it’s hard when you first start.  When I burned out in 2005, I “re-set,” and starting up with running again felt almost like I’d never run to begin with.   I’ve kept a small amount of the endurance– if I run at a very slow pace (we’re talking 15 min miles) and on level ground, I can run for 30 minutes plus.  I couldn’t do that when I first started…but that’s hardly an accomplishment next to “real” runners.

In those years of running, I developed a nasty case of Runners Knee in my right knee.  Instead of stretching and treating it, I tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away with “rest.” Sitting in a desk chair for 10+ hours a day certainly did not help it.  I’ve used it as an excuse to not get out and exercise more.  I have to address it directly if I ever want it to resolve, and ever want to resume running regularly.