Monday, July 26, 2010

Dang those weights were heavy!

After taking three days off from working out- which, along with a birthday party featuring awesome food and cake made me feel pretty pudgy today, it was time to start Phase II, weightlifting. Holy Moly that was a hard workout. I did ten minutes on the rowing machine to warm up my upper body and then there were only six exercises on the workout I got from So, I thought it would be easy. Well, six exercises involving 4 sets of each is a lot. The workout started with compound exercises, bench press and bent-over rows. I started with a warm-up set using just the barbell; it weighs 45 lbs. Then progressed 5 pounds each set by set up to 75 pounds. The rows are supposed to be barbell rows but I wasn't sure where to do them so I used dumbbells instead, starting with 15 pounds and going up to 25- but not able to complete 8 reps. By the time I got to the last two exercises on the list- tricep presses and bicep curls I was weak- but I did as many as I could and worked to failure. 'Failure' is good in strength terms, you have to go there to gain any. Once home I could barely lift my arms to wash my hair in the shower. Plan for tomorrow- Spin in the am, then lift for lower body.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dressing with just six items- are they kidding me??

Yahoo's homepage has a link to their Shine pages which discuss women paring down their closets to six items and wearing them for a month. First of all, it is July, which means it's hot everywhere and heat equals sweating. So, here you are with your black dress (July! hot!) white button-down shirt, skinny jeans, white tee-style shirt, black trousers, and, fitted blazer (we'll give them the blazer for overly air-conditioned offices). Monday you go to work in the white tee, blazer and black trousers, Tuesday you wear the black dress. Wednesday it isn't Friday yet so you have to wear the pants again, so you wear the white tee with the trousers. Thursday you wear the dress that you had to make sure to wash and dry again, you also had to wash both shirts so you could pick one to pair with the jeans on Friday. On the weekend you remain nude cuz you are already tired of everything in your closet! Ahh, Internet advice, always to be taken with a lot of salt and your own common-sense.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fitness, anyone?

Here is a little secret about me. I don't like Summer. Yes I realize that makes me practically inhuman but cool weather and wind make me feel alive in every cell. Hot humid days do the opposite. That said, it's deep in the summer now and I needed a project. When the shorts I pulled out of the bedroom drawer were a good three inches from meeting at the waist the project was clear. It is time to get in shape. I get the magazines and pay attention to the latest fitness news, for example, the recent news that middle-aged women need to exercise for an hour a day to prevent obesity. Simple enough right?

Nope, browse through some more fitness websites and they say that much steady exercise will just leave you at a minimal level of fitness and bursts of high-intensity cardio and strength-training make a person fit. One thing most agreed on is that one cannot effectively burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Exactly what I want to do. Bummer!

Here is the program. Two weeks focusing on cardio, sometimes two sessions a day including high-intensity interval training and bodyweight exercises in order to blast as much fat during the exercise sessions as possible. Also, some research indicates that high-intensity interval training causes the body to continue burning fat after the workout. Probably while you are sitting quietly after the shower trying to get back to feelin normal in my experience. Then two weeks focusing on strength-training and including at least three cardio sessions weekly in order to build more muscle to boost the metabolism and stay as vital as possible. I plan to be one of those active old people.

It is the end of the first two cardio weeks and I am so glad! Who would have thought I would be itching to pick up something heavy and actually a little over the Spin room? Now I just have to decide when to start lifting, over the weekend or wait until Monday. Also- the shorts button, not totally comfortably yet but three pounds later gives me hope. After cycling through twice, two months, it will be time to re-evaluate and possibly tweak the program. Now, what is your Summer project?

Monday, July 12, 2010

shoes shoes shoes

As the cliche goes, I love shoes. Sexy high heels, cute little sandals and don't even get me started on boots. There is a glitch in the system however. The shoes I need, shoes to work out in, are exactly the kind of shoes that I am unenthused about buying. My lack of enthusiasm is only matched by my actual need for gym shoes that provide good support for the varied activities done. So, my search for good cross-trainers continues, if anyone has a suggestion for long-lasting cross-trainers that work for a person who over-pronates, hit me up!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Keep the cool air in!

Heat waves are beating the East Coast, and here in Florida we know a thing or two about staying cool in relentless heat. Common advice is to stay hydrated, and it really is easier when you have a Brita pitcher and filter for tap water. It's easy to fill, takes up little room in the fridge and you can monitor how much water you have had simply by looking at it. That is why, I finally washed the one that has been hanging around the kitchen for months and filled it up. What was I waiting for all that time?

Another help is the black-out curtains. The ones I chose are from Bed Bath and Beyond with the help of the 20% off coupons that they send everyone and these curtains have made a noticeable difference in the room that was the hottest one during the day. The southwest facing room was a boiler, and now that the curtains are up it's comfortable and cool. I haven't seen a difference in the electric bill which I attribute to the hotter temperatures outside forcing the air conditioner to work harder, curtains or not, and the local electric company raised rates last year so it is hard to compare. Being able to sit here typing in comfort is enough for me!

Monday, July 5, 2010

So what do I like? Here you go.

Yes, usually this blog gives my opinion of services and items purchased that did not live up to expectations. Today, a positive spin is the way to go and I am going to share something that made my life easier. Number one is my Macbook. I went for the cheapest one in the Apple store back in May 2007 and this little guy is still humming right along.  I have tons of images on it, as well as short video clips the included software helped me create and you can bet the next big laptop purchase I make will be another Macbook.  Some of the included software was beyond my capabilities or patience to learn, such as Garageband, so I deleted it and haven't missed it yet. It does get hot, so not great to have directly on the lap; other than that it is the most satisfying, dependable computer I have owned.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Aha! Blogger just wants me to do it twice.

 For quite a while I was unable to get into dashboard to blog. I would go to the sign-in page, type my e-mail and password, and get the page that says 'wrong email/password combination. So I assumed I was doing something wrong and went on to do other things. Well, I took the time to look for my written-down information, and what I was typing in matched, so this time, when it told me I had the wrong combination as it did yet again, I simply did not take 'no' for an answer and retyped it.
Voila! I am in and for some reason craving chocolate like you cannot believe. There is a big chocolate cake in the refridgerator (hmm, how does one spell that?) but it has soy in it, much like every other freaking yummy thing in the world, so I'm avoiding it.  I am making this post in honor of the cat in my life- he's fine, don't worry! Here he is being very catlike, paying more attention to whatever is outside, a lizard, birds or squirrel instead of moi. Can you imagine?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

B & B Major Appliance Service Inc and my poor experience with them.

The dryer stopped tumbling so we called a service company, B and B Major Appliance Service Inc in St. Petersburg. While the service man and co-owner of the company Ervin Brown were in the garage I looked up the problem online as well as the cost of the parts that were potentially needed. The belt was the most likely problem and wholesaled for $8 or so. Ervin Brown from B and B Appliance came into the house waving a long black belt and said he would see if he had one in the van. Well, he drove away immediately and returned an hour later, with the 'special' part, then cheerily gave me the price of $108 before taxes to replace the belt and reset the idler pulley, which took him 15 minutes to do. In the process, he also pulled a huge clump of lint form the vent behind the machine and left it in the middle of the garage floor. So, including driving time, he made $100 in half an hour and left a mess behind.