Archive for January, 2013

I DID IT! I completed the Les Mills Group Exercise Challenge at my club and won a new t-shirt. There were four Les Mills classes (Body Flow, Body Pump, Body Combat, and RPM) launching new tracks. The goal was to take at least three of the classes between 21 January through 24 January. Out of the four classes, I was only familiar with Body Pump (strength training). I figured the t-shirt would give me a little extra incentive to try some of the other classes.

 T-shirt for completing the Les Mills Challenge

T-shirt for completing the Les Mills Challenge

On Monday I took Body Combat with my BFF from 3rd grade, Shelly, and her husband Kerry. It is sort of like a martial arts/self-defense cardio workout. It was FUN! One of the instructors would shout out crazy things for you to do to your imaginary attacker as you were doing the moves. My favorite: “Kick him in the bladder and send him to the hospital.” HA!

On Tuesday, I took two classes: Body Pump at 5:15 in the morning and RPM at 5:30 in the evening. Shelly and I met for the morning class. Body Pump is a strength training class that works all the major muscle groups by using weight-room exercises likes, squats, presses, lifts, and curls. My favorite new track is for the biceps. Cool music! RPM is a spin class (indoor cycling). Shelly and Kerry took this class with me. And, Shelly was my savior. She brought me a pair of biking shorts. THANK GOODNESS! The seat on a spin bike is NOT the most comfortable seat. Even with the padded bike shorts (felt like I had butt implants), I still had a sore hiney. I truly earned the t-shirt from taking this last class. The only class I haven’t taken is Body Flow. Body Flow is a combination of Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates and helps strengthen the core, improves posture and overall flexibility. This would be beneficial for me with my running. I want to take it…just a matter of fitting it into my schedule.

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #2 total was 150 points. I earned 150 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for exercise were doubled this week. I lost 0 pounds and gained back 1.5 pounds which makes my weight 133 pounds. This is a result of too many activities involving food and desserts. The key for me is planning and preparation. Moonius Maximus earned 114 points. He earned 109 for making healthy choices and 5 for maintaining his weight loss. He lost 0 pounds which makes his weight 184.9 pounds (rounded to 185 pounds). Mon frere’s challenge seems to be exercise. My challenge is not eating enough veggies and poor planning. Hopefully, week #3 totals will be better. Regardless, neither one of us is going to quit. Every day is an opportunity to start fresh and do better. Happiness!

“Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.” ~ Robert Strauss


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Mon frere, Moonius Maximus, and I entered an agreement to complete an 8-Week Healthier Lifestyle Challenge inspired by Six Sisters Stuff. We have two friendly competitions at work: 1) We both lose at least eight pounds in eight weeks. 2) We want to see who will earn the most points for making healthier choices. We agreed to do this strictly for fun. It gives him some motivation to exercise and eat better. It allows me to drop my holiday weight.

Our challenge includes seven areas where we can earn points each day for making healthy choices. We mutually agreed to eliminate keeping a food journal. We discussed what we consider sweets/sugary treats. And, we changed our weigh-in to Monday mornings instead of Sunday mornings. We also adjusted our point system a little to allow for points to be earned for any effort given in certain categories. The seven categories include: contacting teammate, drinking water, stop eating before 9pm, eating fruit, eating veggies, no sweets/sugary treats, and exercise. For week #1, we had the potential to earn 170 points plus points from weight loss. You receive ten points per pound lost plus five points for maintaining lowest weight.

My starting weight was 133 pounds. Mon frere’s starting weight was 186.6 pounds.

My week #1 total was 140 points. I earned 120 points for making healthy choices and 20 points for weight loss. I lost 1.5 pounds which makes my weight 131.5 pounds. Moonius Maximus earned 122 points. He earned 101 for making healthy choices and 21 for weight loss. He lost 1.7 pounds which makes his weight 184.9 pounds (rounded to 185 pounds). As you can see, we are both off to a very good start.

I’ve signed up for another challenge at my health club. If I attend at least three Les Mills classes (Body Pump, RPM, Body Flow, Body Combat) next week, I can win a free t-shirt. I’ve only taken Body Pump so it will be fun to try out the other Les Mills classes. I will definitely take a Body Pump class, and I’m thinking about trying Body Combat and RPM. I’ll let you know if I get my t-shirt.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Stack of Library Books

Finally, I have completed my list of books (Reading List 2013) I want to read this year. I have chosen 40 titles from three categories: children’s literature, adult fiction, and adult nonfiction. I make no declarations that I will read all of the books I have chosen; however, I am confident I will read a good many of them. My goal on Goodreads is 40 books. I’ve reached 3% of my goal so far since I finished The Hobbit. 

I’m currently reading The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl. It is a murder mystery surrounding the writer Charles Dickens. I’ve enjoyed reading Matthew Pearl since I first discovered him a few years back. His novel The Dante Club was on my oldest son’s high school reading list one summer. I decided to read it, and fell in love with his writing. Since then, I have read The Poe Shadow. And, on Saturday I purchased The Technologists, which is one of the books I have included on my list to read this year.

I would love to know what you, my dear readers, are reading, and if you have a list of books you would like to share with me. I’m always adding books to my “want to read” list. Reading = Happiness!

“Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.”

~Arnold Lobel

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Happy New Year!

I’m always looking for ways to improve my life by making it better. And, making your life better requires change. Change can be challenging; however, it can also be exhilarating. I’ve decided this year to use the month of January to start some challenges I find interesting, beneficial, and fun. In addition, I plan to use the month to set some goals for the remaining eleven months of the year. Trying to set goals during the holiday season doesn’t work for me because of all the holiday distractions. I, like so many other people, quickly abandon those goals before January ends. I want a clean slate, time, and some enthusiasm to fuel the resolutions to achieve those goals. The number one goal for every area of my life is to be happy, feel good, experience the joy of life itself. According to Danielle LaPorte, it is not so much achieving the goal as it is how you will feel when you actually achieve that goal.

Challenge #1 (8-Week Weight Loss Challenge)

I weighed myself Saturday morning (133 pounds), and not surprisingly, I gained seven pounds. I deserve every pound I gained. I ate the fig cookies, pralines, carrot cake, raspberry chipotle meatballs, dips and chips, fried turkey, etc. I’m grateful it wasn’t more because I definitely indulged this holiday season. Thank goodness I exercised during the holidays. It could have been so much worse. I put seven marbles back in the container for “pounds to go” and plan to get back on track tomorrow morning.

I’m planning to do an 8-Week “Get Healthy” Challenge sponsored by SixSistersStuff.com. They even have the challenge on Facebook. I’ve talked to mon frere, Moonius Maximus, about joining the challenge so we can hold each other accountable. We will start tomorrow Monday 7 January. This challenge will give him some much-needed motivation and will help me lose the weight I gained during the holidays. I like this challenge because it is based on clean eating and exercise, which is the lifestyle I’ve adopted. The site includes a packet which has charts to record your progress. I encourage everyone to take a look (just click on the green titles above, and you will be brought to the links).

Challenge #2 (21 Day Relationship Challenge)

I’m all for trying things to bring more happiness and joy to my life. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, has come up with the 21 Day Relationship Challenge. Basically, you will receive an e-mail each morning for three weeks with a resolution to strengthen your bonds with others. The challenge will begin on Monday, 14 January, so if anyone is interested in participating in this challenge, visit the link above (green) and join.

Challenge #3 (Making Money in Commercials)

I’m taking a workshop this month with my acting coach, Lance E. Nichols. I enjoy acting even though it is extremely challenging for me. The experience is helping me to become fearless.

Challenge #4 (Reading List 2013)

In 2012 I challenged myself to read at least 24 books for the year (2 books per month) from three categories: children’s literature, adult fiction, and adult non-fiction. I created a list of 32 books. Unfortunately, I could not stick to just the books on my list. I deviated a little bit; however, out of the 32 books on my list I read 18 plus 20 more off my list giving me a total of 38 books for the year. There are just TOO many terrific books, and I can’t resist going to the bookstore! Creating the list, as well as joining the Goodreads website helped me read more last year. One of my resolutions every year is to read more. I haven’t put my list together for 2013, yet. I WILL post it this week. It will include titles from last year that I didn’t get to read plus quite a few new titles. I bought two new books from BAM last night which will be included on the list, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Technologists by Matthew Pearl.

As you can see, I’m starting 2013 with some energy and enthusiasm. Throughout the month, I will be writing down my goals and resolutions for different areas of my life to implement for the remainder of the year….all of which I will share with you, my dear readers. In the meantime, hoping everyone is enjoying the new year with a grateful and loving attitude. Happiness!

“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.” ~ Jim Rohn 

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