Tuesday, August 31

Late Again!!

I am once again blogging the day after I actually worked out.  For some reason, taking a few days off from blogging seriously whacked-out my writing process and I'm having one heck of a time getting back into the groove.  

Last night I met up with K for some track walking.  There are a couple of big 10K's this fall that she and I are planning on participating in and it's time for us both to ramp up the walking/jogging and get ready to complete 6.6 miles in under 2 hours!  We got a great head start on our training for the events last night by completing 2.5 miles in under 45 minutes - one of our best track times since we started walking together earlier this summer.

Although walking the track isn't always the most exciting of adventures, it is a great way to test yourself on a consistent course without a ton of variables... and there's not much thought involved so it leaves you free to discuss world affairs and spend some time contemplating what you'll do when you win the Powerball jackpot next weekend.

Unfortunately, I didn't wear the proper undergarments yesterday and the walk has left my thighs tender to the touch so I am going to take the day off to repair myself before heading back out to the track tomorrow for another round of "Get Your A@@ In Gear".  Next time I'll do myself a favor and change my underpants before I go!

Champion Women's Mesh Short (Set of 2) Running Shorts,Champion Red,2XL US

Saturday, August 28

Blogging On The Go!

Well,  I made an attempt at updating the blog from my cell phone while out and about this afternoon and for some reason it would let me enter the title, but nothing else.  Now that I'm back at my desk I figure I'll fill out the rest!

Today proved that the ongoing cardio and strength training exercises really have been working.  I helped M move into a 2nd story apartment this morning and was able to complete the move without getting winded!  All told, I made 8 trips up and down the stairs carrying boxes and bags weighing about 30 pounds a piece (guesstimate - they each were a little lighter than Pooch's 40 pound bag of dog food).  At the end, while I had worked up a sweat and my legs and buns were starting to get a little wobbly, I was still able to walk and talk without struggling.  It feels great to be able to complete such a physical task!

In other news... today I had to tighten my belt an extra notch to keep my pants from hanging down around my ankles.  SO AWESOME!

With that - I'm taking the rest of the night off to spend with Mr. Kawaii.  Stay fit, everybody!

Stamina SpaceMate Folding Stepper

Friday, August 27

The End of the 30 Day Challenge

Today marks the end of the 10 Pound Slimdown Challenge!  M and I decided that for our last day we would really push to give it our all and so for our Total Body and Core workouts we mixed it up with two exercises that we hadn't done before.

For the Total Body portion, we chose a 30 minute workout called Cardio Groove n' Burn with Jennifer Galardi (who if you click on her name you will discover has had a HORRIBLE photoshop job done... I promise in the workout she does have a back).  We figured after 30 days of working out we could handle a 30 minute workout just fine... and we did!  The dance routine that Jennifer teaches is really difficult to follow at first, but by the end of the workout both M and I were able to do it... sort of.  I'm sure if I did this workout again I would look less like a dork than I did today!

For abs, we turned to Elise Gulon in Straight to the Core.  Now, Elise's workout was only 10 minutes, but it was one of the most difficult ab exercises I've ever done!  Within a few minutes of starting the workout, I was having a hard time keeping up and it took all the strength I could muster to finish the full 10 minutes.  I'll be bookmarking that one to return to again - I want to be able to effortlessly move through the positions the way Elise does.  She really shows you what having a core is all about.

So... drumroll... here are the results of the 10 Pound Slimdown challenge:

I didn't lose 10 pounds.  I will tentatively say that I've lost 2 pounds, although with me you never know if it's really 2 pounds of weight loss or if I just happen to be having a "skinny" day.  For the sake of the experiment, we'll call it weight loss though because it makes me feel better!

M also didn't lose 10 pounds, but she did lose 6!

Although we didn't drop the 10 pounds we were hoping for, the variety of workouts that we've done over the last 30 days have most certainly made us more fit.  Both of us are noticing that are clothes are becoming more loose and our limbs are more toned.  I do not doubt that as we continue to work to get fit that the pounds will start to drop eventually.  In the meantime, the 10 Pound Slimdown calendar kept us focused and helped to keep us from skipping exercises and introduced us both to exercises we had never tried before.

In the end, I call it a success!!

Crunch - Fat Burning Dance Party Dance off the Inches: Hip Hop Party

Uh oh... out of practice!

It's been so long since my last posting that I totally forgot to blog last night after my workout!  Bad Denise! Bad!

Well, better late than never.  So here's how the last few days have gone!  Friday, August 20th through Sunday the 22nd Mr. Kawaii and I spent our time camping in the great outdoors and playing a ton of paintball with friends!  If you made it out to SuperGame 40 you know what a great time we had!  Yellow Army pulled out another win... but barely.  Red sure gave us a run for our money!  All told, Mr. Kawaii and I shot 7,000 rounds over the course of the weekend and got marked in return a few dozen times.  It was fantastic!

Monday was a day of relative rest and recuperation, and then Tuesday we headed out to the beach.  Burying our nephew in the sand was a great workout, as was walking around the local shops and mashing into one another in bumper cars!  We had so much fun, and were proud of ourselves for not succumbing to the taunting of junk food at every corner.  We did pick up some Salt Water Taffy to share, and I nabbed a single Elephant Ear before we left... but overall the day was a low-fat, high-activity day.

Wednesday we spent some more time outside climbing ladders and picking blackberries (those bushes in the back yard are good for something!) but otherwise took another day off to relax and revamp.

Then yesterday, M and I focused on day 29 of our 30 day workout program!  For our upper body we once again turned to the Real Housewives workout on Excercisetv.tv and then headed out to the track for a leisurely 2 mile walk with K.

And now it's today! Day 30!  I will blog again this afternoon once we've made it through the final workout on the 10 Pound Slimdown calendar... and I think we'll weigh in today too to see how we've done.  Fingers crossed!

Salt Water Taffy Oregon Mix Huckleberry Salt Water Taffy

Thursday, August 19

Wax On... Wax Off... You Are Learning Quickly, Grasshopper

This morning at the buttcrack of dawn I headed outside to practice a little "Karate-Kid" on the car (the original one... long before the Smith's involvement) with some turtle wax and a couple of rags.  It was amazing being outside in the quiet before the neighbors were out in full force, and T-Rex (my car) loved it too!

Once the car was waxed and sparkle-y  I headed indoors with M for some Lower Body workout.  We amped it up with Kendall Hogan again this morning (see my previous posts for his workouts) and by the end of 20 minutes we were both sweaty and ready to get going on our day.

And with that I am off, not to return for a few days. I am going to be heading out to Supergame XL in St. Paul, Oregon for three days of paintball and camping (sans wi-fi, so no blog).  When I return next week I'll let you know how it went, and what a workout I get while running through the brush and squatting behind bunkers!  Meet me there any of the three days and say hello!

Supergame Info Here!

Turtle Wax T-375KTR Red Color Magic - 16 oz. The Karate Kid (Special Edition)

Wednesday, August 18

Whether the Weather be Cold or Whether the Weather be Hot...

Finally today the temperature has dropped below "Hellfire" and life is taking on a much more comfortable pace.  This morning I opened up all the windows to let the weird smell made by Air Conditioning out of the house and let the fresh smell of roasted Hazelnuts waft in through the window.  Mmmm that smells good.

It's been a pretty industrious day, made easier by the break in the weather.  The morning was spent cleaning house, doing laundry and washing the car.  The afternoon brought exercise focusing on the Core and Total Body from the 10 Pound Slimdown program.  And here's how it all went:

The House: I don't know what the deal is, but I swear I deep clean the house and woodland fairies follow me from room to room and blow dust, leaves, cat hair and dirt clods all over the places I just cleaned.  I swear I'm cleaning with my eyes open and I'm using both hands... what's going on over here?!?

The Laundry: There really isn't much to say about laundry, aside from that it takes forever and I can't imagine doing all this washing by hand like they did back at the day.  I don't think I'd allow anyone I live with to have this many changes of clothes if I had to haul all this stuff down to the river and scrape it against rocks to get it clean.

The Car: This is probably the first time I've washed the car by hand in three or four years.  I forgot how cathartic it can be, and how nice it feels to have water trickle on your toes on a warm day.  Now if only I could get the inside to be clean... a project for another day.

The Workout: M and I decided to try a couple of different workouts today.  For the Core workout, we chose to give Pilates a try with Nicole Stewart's Total Body Pilates (it said it was an ab workout...).  I haven't really done a lot of Pilates before, and the workout was as relaxing as it was invigorating.  I had a hard time keeping focus on what moves we were supposed to be doing... I kept wanting to take a nap during the "rest" poses, and my mind kept wandering because Nichole reminds me of Glinda in the musical Wicked.  I have no idea why my mind sees the two as being the same... but there's something there.

For the Total Body portion of the workout, we did Red Carpet Body with Jennifer Gilardi.  Jennifer did a great job of covering all the basics in a very low-impact routine, and M and I both were thankful for the break from jumping around the living room.  In the end we both felt that we got our workouts without feeling like we overdid it!

Wicked: The Grimmerie, a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical Wicked (2003 Original Broadway Cast)

Monday, August 16

10 Days Left!

Day 20 of the 30 day 10 Pound Slimdown Challenge... can you believe it?  It seems like we've been at this exercise thing forever, and at the same time it feels as if its just begun.  It is really satisfying to be able to look at the 30 day calendar and see so many days crossed off the list.  That's progress!

Today's focus was Upper Body and Lower Body.  We went back to "Sexy John" (John Spencer Ellis as he is formally known) for his Real Housewives workouts part One and Two.  The workout left me tired, sweaty but not completely out of sorts, and although I've increased the weight I'm working with I didn't feel like I was going to keel over at the end of them.  I dare say that I am stronger than I was 20 days ago, and my biceps echo that sentiment.

In addition to the upper/lower workouts, M and I headed out into the back yard for about 45 minutes of gardening.  This too has miraculously become easier than it was at the beginning of the summer.  It's like magic!

The only hiccup with the yard work came when I pulled on a large thick vine of blackberry bush that looked like it was going to try to strangle the cat and down came a large clump of what looks to have once been a bird's nest or perhaps the leg of a long-forgotten wood nymph fell from high up in one of the trees that the bushes have consumed on the other side of the fence.  I eyed it suspiciously and poked it with a stick before Pooch came over, sniffed and ate it.  At least it didn't fall on me, even though I am pretty sure it is going to give Pooch gas and so I'll be paying for the discovery later on this evening.

Happily, day 21 of the workout program is a day off, so you wont' be hearing from me again until Wednesday.  Enjoy your Tuesday, and I hope you are finding all the success and drive you desire in your own workouts!

Sunny Health & Fitness 25 Lbs. Adjustable Chrome Dumbbell

Sunday, August 15

Yoga Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Ah, back to Yoga - my 3,287th love.  Actually, I don't really know where it falls into the mix of things I thoroughly enjoy... but it's somewhere in the top 5,000.  Probably near Bookkeeping and tracking my online writing's page views.  Yes, I am aware that I am a total nerd.

Heading back to something familiar is nice when you're looking to workout but not necessarily wanting to think, so today M and I went back to Denise Austin's Fat Blasting Yoga for the 30 minute segment on the DVD.  Because I've worked out with this same DVD off and on for several years, I can practically recite Denise's every comment word for word as the exercises progress.  For me, it is like a relaxing mantra.  Something I can recite and repeat while clearing my mind of all the worries and neurosis of the day.

It appears that for other people in the room it is possibly not as soothing and relaxing though.  It may, in fact, be awesomely annoying.  Oh well, I don't mind.

At the end of the exercise, M told me something that she has mentioned before when we've done this and other Yoga exercises.  "I feel like that was as much work as when we've done any other exercise!"  It is humorous to me that when people think of Yoga they often equate it with stretching out on the couch after a long day at the office.  But as M has discovered, it can get your heart going and your muscles burning just as much as any cardio or aerobic exercise might.

I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again.  If you've been snubbing Yoga in favor of "real" exercise, take an hour and give it a shot sometime.  You and your body will be pleasantly surprised at how you feel afterwards.

Fat-Blasting Yoga

Saturday, August 14

Shakin' it LIke a Polaroid Picture

I've gotten my steam back for this 30 day fitness challenge, and todays goals were 20 minutes of core and 20 minutes of lower body.  The heat the last couple of days has been insane, and even with air conditioning I've been sweating out my days so M and I waited until just before bed to do the workouts so that we'd be less likely to overheat.

We turned to Cindy Whitmarsh's Incredible Abs for our core workout, and there is absolutely no way that anyone doing this workout regularly would not have an incredible waistline.  It was a difficult feat, and Cindy kept us rolling all over the living room floor moving from laying on the back doing a variety of modified crunches to getting on all fours for planks, stretches and some kooky moves I've never done before.

Once we caught our breath, M surprised me yet again by asking if we could re-visit Kendal Hogan's Cardio Challenge.  I was up for the challenge (at least I thought I was!) and before long we were marching, grape-vining and leg-lifting.  It became apparent around minute 13 that we were both a little more tired than we thought we were though and our aerobic dance-moves got sloppier and sloppier as we went along - but we kept at it anyway!!  Amazingly, we made it to the end of the workout intact with just enough energy left to get cleaned up and go to bed... and blog of course!

By the way, Mr. Kawaii says my new shoulders are awesome ;)

Crunch: Total Resculpt Dvd Incredible Abs Series

Friday, August 13

You Are A Knockout!

... and on with the 10 Pound Slimdown 30 day workout.

But first, a note from our sponsor:
Today I am one cranky, tired, T.O.'ed daughter of Eve.  I've taken more anti-Witch medicine today than should be allowed by law, and due to my poor attitude it took M almost the entire day to get me to work out with her.  She knows how to push my buttons though, and so we completed day 17 of the workout program on schedule and without any glaring incidents. (And although it may not seem like it, I am grateful that she made me do it.)

Back to our regularly scheduled blog:
So today was another full body workout, and M surprised me in a big way by suggesting we give kickboxing another shot.  We tuned into Total Knockout Body with Natalie Yco and really threw the kickboxing bug into gear.

Natalie's workout is a bit more technical and advanced than the kicboxing workout we did on Wednesday, and it took both M and I a while to get into the groove and follow along.  Natalie doesn't do a great job explaining the moves and doing enough slow practice rep's to get the hang of them before she starts moving full-tilt-boogie and so I'd say that you probably should skip over this workout and find another kickboxing video to follow if you're new.  M really struggled to pull the combinations together, and I was only able to keep up with Natalie because I've practiced kickboxing in the past.

The 20 minutes did fly past, even though the exercise was a bit confusing.  I paused the workout early on to help M with the basic punches, and I'm glad that I did so that she was able to keep moving throughout the workout even if it wasn't in perfect time with Natalie.

Overall, it was great to get up off the couch after hours of playing video games (I'm suddenly in-demand on the video game review front... not a bad problem to have) and get the blood flowing.  It's also great to remember that even when I'm not feeling totally up to snuff, I can still get up and move.

Thanks M!

Everlast Women's Pro Style Training Gloves (Pink, 12 oz.)

Thursday, August 12

And More Paintball

Today was another fun filled day of paintball.  It was also day 16 of the 10 Pound Slimdown challenge, and today's focus was total body and core workouts.  I figure two hours of paintball probably fits the criteria for a core workout, and it definately counts as total body exercise.

It was a lot of fun, although it was hotter today than it was on Sunday.  We played six games total with a bunch of my husband's friends and everyone had a great time attacking and defending one another.  Luckily for me, I didn't get shot out as many times today as I did on Sunday and all the hits I received were on my gear so I walked away without any new bruises.

Plus, I totally had a couple of one-on-one shoot outs with Mr. Kawaii... good couple's therapy!

Invert 20/20 with Fan Thermal Paintball Goggles - Olive

Wednesday, August 11

Kicking My Butt Into Shape - Literally!

There is nothing like taking a couple of days off from the exercise program to relax and rejuvenate.  Paintball took a lot out of me Sunday, and it's taken a couple of days for me to get back into the swing of things.  Fortunately, the 10 Pound Slimdown calendar was hung on the fridge with a friendly reminder that today it was time to get going again.

Another amazing step in the exercise journey... we're on day 15 of the 30 day program!  Rice cakes for everyone!!

Now that the celebrating is over, let's get back to the workout.  Today's focus was 20 minutes of Lower Body and in light of our improved endurance and energy levels, we decided to mix things up a bit.  Rather than doing a kajillion squats, we did Amy Dixon's Kickbox workout.  Kickbox is a little longer than what we're used to, coming in at almost 22 minutes.  We felt up to the task though and dove right in.

M has never tried kickboxing before, and was a little hesitant about punching and kicking with force.  I explained to her that kickboxing is a real fighting form and that if she learns to have the confidence to punch the air in front of her, she may be able to punch an attacker if she's ever in a tough spot.  That got her smiling and we punched and kicked through the first 17 minutes of the workout with no problem.

For some reason at 17 minutes when Amy was giving us the, "You're almost there! Only 5 minutes left! You're doing great!" pep talk... and specifically when she says, "You're on the road... don't get off it!"... the video froze.  I refreshed the page, re-started the video and fast forwarded to the 17 minute mark... and... nothing.  We took it as a sign that the workout was over, and did a 3 minute cool-down on our own.

I had forgotten how much I love kickboxing.  I used to practice kickboxing a couple times a week and as great a workout as it is, I especially love the adrenaline rush and boost of confidence it gives.  I am putting a gold star next to the Kickbox workout on the calendar and come back to it again... and convince M that it's ok to pretend to hurt other people as long as it's in the name of fitness!

Fat Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies

Monday, August 9

Paintball... PAINTball... PAINTBALL!!

By the time Mr. Kawaii and I finally rolled back into town, I was just too tired to update the blog.  Today I have just a little more energy... so I thought I'd pop on and give an update on the activities going on at the Kawaii household.

Yesterday we went out for another great day of family paintball.  If you've never played, here's a brief synopsis of the way the game is played.  Step 1: Get geared up.  Step 2: Wait in anticipation for the Referee to announce the start of the game.  Step 3: Duck, dive, dodge and run from bunker to bunker - do your best to mark your opponents with paint before you get hit.

We spent a total of 4 hours at the field, and of the 4 hours I probably spent 2.5 walking, running and crouching.  I got a full body workout, and so did everyone else that attended.  The best thing about outdoor sports like paintball is that you get your workout in while having fun!!  It's a way better time to play with family and friends than it is to jog on a treadmill facing a blank wall.

No matter what your sport is - if you have a chance to meet up with someone to play, take it!

Empire Invert MINI Paintball Marker Gun - Dust Blue Invert MINI Paintball Marker Gun - Dust Black

Saturday, August 7

10-10-10... It's Like Being an Olympic Champion!

We made it to day 11, and to the dreaded Total Body focus of our 10 Pound Slimdown program.  I'm loving my total body, tired muscles and all.  M and I decided to find a workout today that moved at a bit of a slower pace, and so we turned on the 10-10-10 (beginner) Fat-blasting Formula with Jessica Smith.

Jessica's workout is a snap to follow along with because the moves are all familiar, and are done at a slow pace so you can really focus on the way your body is moving and work on mimicking Jessica's perfect form.  One thing we discovered rather quickly though is that slower doesn't necessarily mean easier.  Although we didn't walk away from the workout dripping in sweat, our shoulders, abs, glutes and thighs all felt like they had spent the morning wrestling Ninja Snails (slow, powerful and deadly).

The workout showed me that I'm ready to kick things up a notch and start using water bottles instead of soup cans though.  I have a couple of really nice 24 ounce bottles that are narrow and easy to grip that should work well for some added resistance... I can't believe I've outgrown the soup cans... they were so hard to use at first!!  Or maybe I'll look into getting some weighted gloves instead.  Those things are just cool.

The Abs Diet for Women Workout Altus Athletic Altus 4-Pound Weighted Training Gloves, Large/X-Large

Friday, August 6

The Boys are Back in Town (Baaaa-ba-buuu....BUUUUUUUMMM)

We are a third of the way through the 30 day 10 Pound Slimdown challenge!!  WOOOHOOO!

Making it through 10 days of the program is a big deal for me.  Although with work and relationships I am dedicated to a fault, with exercise it is really hard for me to stick with a program.  Even one I make up myself.  Even though I know there's another 20 days to go, I think it's about time to give myself a pat on the back for finishing the first leg of the fitness marathon.

(Patting yourself on the back while you type is really difficult.  Don't believe me? Try it!)

Tonight M and I went back through the male trainers on ExerciseTV.tv and decided to give John Spencer Ellis one more go with his 20 Minute Upper Body Workout/Real Housewives 2.  Although it can't be denied that John's smile makes every workout just a little bit sweeter, I think after this upper body workout we are going to shelf him for a little while and try on someone new.  Don't get me wrong, this workout is just as good as his lower body workout that we did yesterday.  But John hurt me real deep when he made my arms turn to Jello and my back feel like it had been turned into lead.  I know that none of the other Exercise TV trainers are going to be any easier on me, but I want to remember the good times with John and the weariness of my shoulders is making those memories foggy at best.

Still vowing to stick with the men, for the second half of our workout (today was a two-fer) we turned to Kendell Hogan and his 22 minute Cardio Challenge for an active workout that would work out our cores without us realizing it.  I love Kendall's workouts because of the dance element.  I really dig the upbeat exercises and highly aerobic moves, and it's fantastic that by the end of the workout I feel like I've learned how to dance just a little bit.  I did discover however that attempting Kendell's dance-inspired workout after already completing a 20 minute sweat-fest is more challenging than using a crocodile as a backpack.

Somehow, and I'm not sure how I did it, I made it to the end of both workouts.  Once we had caught our breath and stretched for a few minutes M said she didn't know if she was going to make it, and that for some reason the workouts seemed way longer than all the other 20 minute workouts we've done.  I agree with her on that point, and I keep staring longingly at the workout calender wishing that it would say "Day Off" on tomorrow's date instead of "Total Body Blast".

All in all though, I'm stoked to have made it this far and I can feel the exercises reshaping my body day by day.  My arms continue to be more defined every time I look in the mirror, the butt of my pants keep getting a little bit looser and my lower abs are still screaming at me from Day 4's core workout.  The results are stacking up and pretty soon they are going to add up to big changes.  Yay!

Crunch Fat Blaster: The Next Step [VHS]

Thursday, August 5

John Spencer Ellis.... We Meet Again

Although I have a habit of trying something new each time I work out, for day 9 of the 10 Pound Slimdown challenge I headed back to John Spencer Ellis's 20 Min. Lower Body Workout / Real Housewives 1.  Although M and I have enjoyed a wide variety of trainers and exercises this last week, the Real Housewives workouts (there is an upper body workout also) have been some of our favorites.

Not only does it help to be working out while watching a good looking man (rawr!) instead of staring at some peppy stick-thin woman with perfect abs and latex-hugged glutes, but the routines themselves are great.  John has put together a workout that is methodical instead of jarring, allowing you to really focus on the muscles that are supposed to be doing all the work.  It's great to be able to close your eyes and feel your body moving and to be able to feel when your posture is off or your balance is starting to go off kilter.

I have noticed that the more I workout the more sweat seems to accumulate on the insides of my elbows, on the back sides of my knees, on my scalp and under my bra-line.  I suppose that means this whole exercise thing is really getting into swing and my body is switching into "fit" mode.  I read an article recently (it's been out for a year but I only just stumbled upon it) that mentions fit people may actually sweat more than people who are out of shape.  That makes one more notch on the fitness totem pole!

So to John, I raise my glass of water and would like to say: Thanks for being gorgeous and while I hate to admit it being a fan of crappy reality tv, I love your appearance on this damn show:
The Real Housewives of Orange County - Season One

Wednesday, August 4

A Workout That Is Aptly Named

Welcome back to the blog!  M, K and I have somehow made it to day 8 of this 30 day adventure with the 10 Pound Slimdown program.  I would say that I can't believe a whole week has gone by already, except I can feel the remnants of every workout thus far every time I move.  It's a good problem to have!

Today M and I turned to the 20 Minute Sweat Workout with Holly Perkins on Exercisetv.tv, and while Monday's Less Is More workout's title was way off the mark, the 20 Minute Sweat delivered exactly what its title promised.  Holly took us through 20 minutes of exercises that weren't too difficult to maneuver, but were right on the money as far as getting the heart rate ramped and the sweat flowing.

By minute 16 the combinations had worn us out, but we were determined to finish since we haven't had to quit a workout yet.  Focusing on deep breathing and following the moves at a slower pace so as not to begin wildly flailing about the living room, we met the end with little fanfare but lots of appreciation for our own determination and grit.  Although Holly made the workout easy to follow along with, and provided gentle movements that weren't overly technical, she certainly wasn't easy on us.  After 20 minutes of jumping rope, doing combination squat/arm lifts, chest presses and modified crunches there was no questioning the need for a cold shower and change of clothes.

During the workout we both noticed some real changes in our abilities to do the movements.  I suddenly was able to work through the various jump-rope sets without having to stop due to pain in my ankles, shins and calves.  M and I both felt burn in our hard-to-reach lower abs and we both noticed that we were able to better control our breathing throughout the exercise.

I also noticed something about M today that has been slowly creeping up on her - the new pants she got just eight weeks ago are suddenly extremely baggy!  I teased her a little bit about walking around like a "G", and called her "Homey" a couple of times.  She has vowed to get the pants taken in so that they fit again, and I'm so excited that she's shrinking out of her wardrobe.  Nothing says success more like needing to get a new pair of pants... and needing to get them smaller than the ones you had before!

Way to go!

Harbinger 331200 Trigger Handle 10-Foot Adjustable PVC Jump Rope

Monday, August 2

You Can't Call It "Less Is More" If You Are Going To Make Me Do More Anyway

Hello readers!  I am back from a day off of the exercise routine.  I spent my day wisely, helping a family member to start her move across town and doing a bit of lawn mower pushing.  So it wasn't really a day off from exercise, but it was a good day anyway and I am pleased to announce that I was able to mow the lawn and help haul patio furniture and boxes without having to catch my breath. ;)

Today it was back to the 10 Pound Slimdown program, but first we met up with K for a two mile walk around the track.  As per usual instead of gossiping with one another we caught up on family life and talked about our workouts.  K is doing a great job of keeping us on track with the 10 Pound Slimdown, and it's great to be able to talk over the workouts with someone who is aching and sweating through it right along with you.  Kudos to you, K - you're a great motivator!

Now, I have to admit a bit of smugness on my part as I have finally converted M into a yoga-connoisseur.  I knew that if I threw enough variations of yoga at her eventually some of it would stick and much to her chagrin, it worked!  Today's workout on the calendar was a 20 minute yoga workout, so we hit ExerciseTV.tv and scrolled through the options.  We decided on Less Is More with Lizabeth Garcia, agreeing that the title fit exactly with how we were feeling after the walk and still feeling a bit worn down from workout days 1 through 4 (see my previous posts for details... and please don't mind the sweat, blood and tear stains along the margins).

I was expecting, and M was hoping, for a nice beginner level yoga routine that would help us to stretch our muscles and ease into our evening and I suppose that's kind of what we got.  Sort of.  Not really.  I decided that the title of the workout routine is misleading and would more aptly be named, "Less Isn't Going to do Much, So Instead I'm Going to Make Your Hips Feel Like I Doused Them in Gasoline and Lit Them on Fire but Don't Worry, It's Good for You and You'll Thank Me Later."

Neither of us were able to do all of the exercises in the Less is More workout, and even though it was only a 20 minute routine it got both of us sweating.  Not only does Lizabeth get you to feel the burn, she does it in a way that makes you aware of each individual muscle that is working.  Difficulty and undercurrent of disdain aside, it was really cool to be able to tell with each movement which singular muscle was working and to feel the tension and energy move from one muscle to another.  At the end of the workout M and I discussed the sensation for a few minutes and we both decided that in the end we really liked the workout - we just didn't know it while we were neck deep in it.

Now, according to the workout calendar we get tomorrow off again to let our bodies rest and recharge so I won't be blogging again until Wednesday.  In the meantime, I hope all of you are meeting your fitness goals one push-up at a time!