Saturday, October 30

Forgetting About Miles Per Gallon

It's not something that I think much about, but most of the errands I run are within a 2 mile radius of my house.  The bank, the grocery store, the library... all are within walking/biking distance.  Today I did what I should do every day and traded my car keys for a pair of running shoes.

Amazingly enough, running errands by foot when everything is nearby doesn't really take much more time than driving, considering I can bypass the surface streets and cut through walking trails, not have to worry about parking or navigating the lot with other crazy drivers.  And actually, it saves time because I don't have to fit another hour workout into my day - it's covered!

Capelli New York Shiny Solid With Eyelets And Laces Ladies Sneaker Rainboot Black Combo 6

Thursday, October 28

I Go Out Walkin... After Midnight... (or after 7pm, whichever is more convenient)

Well I seem to have been slacking over the last 9 days!  I'm back in the saddle again today though, and that's all that really matters.  Tonight K and I hit the track together even in the face of the sprinkles and darkness, making it almost 2 miles within a half hour walk.

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things in the next couple of weeks and I'll be sure to keep you abreast of my progress.  I am very excited to announce that this past weekend I went to a family wedding reception and was able to wear a dress that I purchased for a special event way back in 2007.  Not only did it fit for the reception, but it was comfortable too!  Fitting back into some of the items in my old wardrobe is really encouraging and I can't wait to fit into even more of the clothes I used to wear.

New Balance Women's Wt572 Trail Shoe,Grey/Pink,7 B

Tuesday, October 19

Going Once... Going Twice... SOLD!

I had a ton of fun exercising today.  Mr. Kawaii and I hit a local auction, and we spent the enitre day crawling around an old grocery store with other people looking for a good deal.  We walked away with some great stuff... but then had to dissassemble it all, drag it to the car, load it up and take it home (in 4 trips...).  We then, of course, had to unload and re-assemble tonight!

I'm about ready to turn in, and I feel like I not only put in a fulld day's work but also spent a lot of time pulling my own weight.  I have decided that I love auctions, and I can't wait to do it again!

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Live Auctions

Saturday, October 16

Oh My, Where Have I Been?

After spending an hour and a half this morning sweating to the sounds of Lady Gaga and peddling through an episode of some terrible sitcom starring Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley, it occurred to me that I've been forgetting to update the blog with my workout shenanigans over the past week.  Life has suddenly been turned up to the "Spin" cycle, and although there hasn't been a lot of time to keep up with this blog I have been able to find the time to continue working out.

We're enjoying the last rays of sunshine for the season here in Portland, and in an attempt to soak up as much UV light as possible before the clouds of winter roll in I spent an hour each on Wednesday and Thursday walking with M and K for an emotional and metabolic boost.  A deep cleaning of my cat-dwelling laundry room helped me to burn a couple hundred calories yesterday, and my whole house smells all the better for it.

Today, M and I spent the morning at 24 Hour Fitness playing basketball, working out with weights, did the Fat Burn program on the stationary bikes and tried out the gyms climbing machines.  It was 90 minutes of progress; with both of us adding more weight, more reps and more new exercise machines than ever before.

The 24 day free pass that M gifted me at the gym has proven that three weeks of focused time at the gym really does make a difference.  Both of us are trimmer (M has almost lost another pant size and I have had to go down a notch on my belt), stronger and faster then we were on October 1st.  It's great to look in the mirror and notice changes that seem to have appeared overnight!

Poker Face

Tuesday, October 12

Pull Ups Are A Dream Come True

All my life, I've wanted to be able to do a pull-up.  On movies, tv shows and out on the playground, the people who are fit are always doing pull-ups and making them look like a piece of cake.  Well, today for the first time ever I discovered a machine at 24 Hour Fitness that helps you to do pull ups on your own terms.  You set the resistance level, step up on a platform, and the machine helps you to reach your chin over the handle-bars with relative ease.

I was able to do 10 pull-ups with resistance set at 190 lbs (so the machine was holding 190 pounds of me, and I was pulling up roughly 11 pounds of body mass & gym clothes).  Even though I know it's technically not a true pull up because I wasn't able to do it on my own, I'm still taking this as a win.  It's the closest to a pull-up that I've ever gotten, and hopefully with continued use of the machine I will be able to conquer this feat of athleticism sometime in the future.

Everybody has to have fitness goals to work towards, lest we get stagnant in our workouts.  What's your next big fitness goal?

Freemotion Commercial EPIC Selectorized Assisted Dip-Chin Machine

Saturday, October 9

The Bottom, It IS Shrinking!

Today seemed like it was just another day at 24 hour fitness.  Basketball, weight machines, ab machines, and stationary bikes filled my morning and by lunchtime I was ravenously hungry.  All this working out has paid off though because I have finally, after months of trying, been able to fit back into a pair of size 16 pants AND BUTTON THEM.  Sure, they are still a little snug, but they fit damnit and no one can take that away from me!
M's suggestion to give Spark People seems to be working too, as it is opening my eyes to how I eat.  Most days I am well within a healthy calorie level, but earlier this week when I was having a Really bad day I somehow managed to take in almost 4,000 calories!  Although overall Spark People isn't telling me anything that I don't already know, it is pointing out that maybe my stress eating could be better handled with popcorn and sliced turkey instead of double-stuffed pizza and greasy-grimy cheeseburgers.

All in all, this has been a pretty good week for working out and exercising.  Not my most flawless week as far as consistency goes, but a week where positive changes in my body are making themselves be known.  Another few weeks and who knows... I might be able to start using my favorite belt again.

Eat This, Not That! 2011: Thousands of easy food swaps that can save you 10, 20, 30 pounds--or more!

Wednesday, October 6

A 15 Minute Mile? Is this a joke?

24 Hour Fitness is a wonderful place.  Getting there is a bit of a headache, but once we're there M and I really get moving and don't stop until it's time to leave.  Today we did a quick round of basketball before hitting the weight machines, and I would just like to say that I have increased weights this week on the leg-press (60lbs), the thigh press (Both inner and outer: 50lbs) and the Clam of Dooooom Ab Machine (15lbs).  M increased weight on several of the machines she worked on as well, and I can honestly say I felt the burn!

Once we were done with weights we headed over to the rowing machines, and busted out a full 10 minutes of row time.  In that 10 minutes, I burned a whopping 94 calories and could really feel the strength building in my back and legs.

After that, I headed on to the elliptical machine to try one of the 15 minute workout programs.  The program took me through walking forward for 3 minutes, pushing arms for 3 minutes, pulling arms for 3 minutes, walking backwards 3 minutes and then using the full body for the remaining 3 minutes.  Even though I was moving a lot of new ways (it appears that coordination is key in orchestrating these movements), I was still able to go over 1.1 miles in the 15 minute time-frame.  Now THAT'S exciting!

M and I gave each other some great cheer leading pep-talks on the way home, and high fived one another to celebrate how far we've both come this summer.  Even if it isn't apparent to the world around us that our dedication to fitness is yielding great results, we both know how far we've come and how close we are to our next round of fitness goals.  I'm glad to have someone to work out with who not only knows what kind of workout I'm doing today, but also to know first-hand how it compares to what I was able to do 5 months ago.  Go team!

Proform 930 Easy Fold SpaceSaver® Elliptical Trainer PFEL59107

Sunday, October 3

Great Columbia Crossing - Done!

Whew! What a day!  This morning Mr. Kawaii and I got up at 3a.m. and drove to Astoria for the Great Columbia Crossing.  I'm veeery sleepy now, so this is going to be a short posting but I wanted to be sure to update the blog with how AWESOME the day went.

This is the first walk I've done solo, and I wasn't sure how well I'd do on my own.  But as the group of 3,000 walkers, joggers and runners headed across the starting line I looked through the crowd to find a couple of people who's pace I thought I could match and just followed them as they made their way through hundreds of people walking at a slower pace.

When I did this same walk last year, my time was 2 hours and 8 minutes... just fast enough to miss the bus that picks up the slow-pokes at the end of the race.  This year though, after months of walking and other types of fitness training, I finished the 10k in 1 hour and 48 minutes.  I couldn't believe I beat my previous time by a full twenty minutes!

I'm feeling pretty accomplished now, and I've got to give big thanks to a few people for helping me to make so much progress.  To M and K, I thank you for walking the track with me this summer and hiking through the forest of Farmers' Markets.  To E, thank you for listening to me gripe when I feel like I'm not making the progress I feel like I should (you're the best firefighter I know).  And to my dear husband I would like to say a special thanks for being the best cheerleader a woman could have - seeing you at the finish line this morning made the whole walk worthwhile.

And do you blog readers, thank you for checking out the blog.  Without your readership, I probably would have given up on my goal to be more fit months ago.  You have all helped to inspire me to keep my promise to myself to be more healthy by keeping me accountable for the workouts I make as well as those I miss.

Now I am off for a couple of days of rest.  Hope you all have a wonderful start to your week, and remember in whatever it is that you are hoping to achieve: the easiest way to get to the finish line is simply one step at a time.

Fred Feet First Finish Line Doormat

Saturday, October 2

New Tactics

Today M and I strolled farmer's market for some great deals on produce (we got some of the BEST strawberries!) before we headed out to work in the garden at my house for a little over an hour.  As we chit-chatted, I mentioned that I've been getting a little frustrated that the scales still don't seem to be moving, even after all the work I've done this summer.

M suggested I sign up for a website that she has been using this summer to help her track her progress with changing her diet and exercise, and so I sat down this afternoon and decided to give it a shot.  The website is and I've decided I'll work with it for the duration of my free trial at 24 Hour Fitness.  It will be interesting to see how the SparkPeople program tracks my activities and meals, and I'm looking forward to reviewing the reports that result from it to see if there are any holes in my program.

In the meantime, I'm keeping busy with even more activities!  Tomorrow I walk in the Great Columbia Crossing, and I'm really looking forward to crossing that finish line!

The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life

Friday, October 1

Denise Kawaii Is... Active

What a great day for working out!  At 7:30am (just shy of the butt-crack-of-dawn) I met up with K for an early morning walk around the track, and before the school's 1st period P.E. class took the field we had completed 2 miles.  Getting out in the early morning air really helped me to jump-start my day, and by the time I had to actually be somewhere (10am) I was all kinds of revved up and ready to go.

At noon I met up with M at the gym for even more workout fun!  We were chased out of the gym by a bunch of really big, sweaty men who were playing a full-court game of basketball so instead we hit the elliptical trainers for 10 minutes and then tried out all kinds of new weight machines.  Trying to figure out how to use each of the machines turned out to be pretty comical, and once we did sort through what to do they resulted in working out muscles that neither of us even knew we had.  We finished the workout on the rowing machines, another cool workout that neither of us had ever tried before, and I think that they are now my most favorite thing to do at the gym!

Now that I'm home, it's time to take a quick break before diving into house-cleaning and working in the kitchen.  Tomorrow will be a little bit of a slower day, I think, but hopefully the calories I burned today will make up for it!

Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower