Sunday, January 19, 2014
We hiked around a lot today in the local national park and looked at the permanent ice field above the town where there's a ski resort in the winter. It's so cold here it's hard to remember that this is the height of their summer!
The Fitbit said I went more than 25,000 steps today. www.fitbit.com/user/25GDQB
Here are the GPS tracks from some of where we went (we hopped in and out of a car so no I didn't go 35 miles on foot. LOL)
But it was enough to freeze up my arthritic knee once we stopped. I had to limp to dinner, but I think I'll have it straightened out by tomorrow. Dinner was at an asado place (where they serve grilled meat). We shared lamb, ham, beef, and chorizo. Axel insisted on getting salad and some mixed vegetables, and I was glad, although I probably could have just eaten the meat. Suan pretty much DID eat mostly meat. hehe.
I did a lot better with the eating today overall. It sure helps not to be trapped, tired, and bored in an airplane with them handing me things I shouldn't be eating!
Tomorrow will probably be my last dispatch until we return from Antarctica. I'm not paying $5/minute for data over their satellite connection on the boat!
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Greetings from the southernmost tip of Argentina, the city of Ushuaia. I'm here with my friends Axel and Suan and we are preparing to get on a ship to spend 10 days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. This will include kayaking, of course, although it won't be very demanding, since the program accepts people of any experience:
I've been logging all of my food with LoseIt (it works well offline). This is handy because I don't have cell phone access outside the US and wireless access is spotty. I've also got my trusty food scale in my purse and a tiny travel scale I bought on Amazon:
I'm going to do my best to keep on track. So far it hasn't been easy because it took 39 hrs getting here and they kept giving us cookies and crackers as snacks on the planes, when I've been trapped, tired, and generally not in the best position to make food decisions. (Getting here required an hour drive to a bus that took 4 hours, a walk to the subway to get to the airport, and four separate flights between JFK, Panama City, Santiago Chile, Buenos Aires, and Ushuaia.)
I do have my Fitbit on, and have done reasonable amounts of steps while not trapped in a small airline seat. Uploading data from that is tricky too, because it requires internet access to sync with my phone. All of these devices (phone, netbook, fitbit, etc) require periodic charging, so I had to also bring adaptors to match the electrical outlets in Argentina, on the boat, and for the brief time we'll spend in Chile afterward.
For the next couple of days I'll have internet with the wireless at the hotel, but I won't while on the ship because wifi there will cost something like $5 per minute (!) When I get back I hope to have lots of pictures of penguins.
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
For a link to the full review, go here:
Because formatting is difficult in these Spark Blogs I'm going to post an abbreviated version of the review here. Please see the link above for the full review, in gory detail.
On Dec 4, 2013 I got an email from Sarah Felkey (Marketing Manager @ SparkPeople), asking if Iíd like to review Coach Nicoleís 28 Day Boot Camp DVD. Iíve never done any fitness videos before, unless you count a Tai Chi video I had in the 90s and a kayaking-oriented yoga DVD. I was curious and followed the link to sign up (apparently the first 20 respondents to sign up before December 10 would receive the video). The catch was that needed to post a review of the DVD on my SparkPeople blog by February 1. This is that blog post.
A package arrived on December 20 with instructions for reviewing the DVD and an empty DVD case. I emailed Sarah about this, and on December 24 a new DVD case arrived (this time shrink-wrapped) that actually had a DVD in it. The workouts on the DVD arenít very long and my exercise routine has been disrupted because of the holidays, so Iíve been trying them during the week between Christmas and New Yearís.
So what are my impressions?
I would recommend this DVD to someone who has been doing low-grade exercise like walking around the block but isnít ready to go to a group exercise gym class, or doesnít have access to a group exercise class.
I would NOT recommend this DVD to anyone who has knee or joint issues. For me personally my best next step after walking was to seek out water-based exercise because it was kind to my joints. At 300+ lbs I would not have been able to keep up with these workouts and would have found them extremely frustrating. Had I tried, I would have probably injured myself.
I would also NOT recommend this DVD for someone who is already training for particular sports or doing dedicated lifting with a trainer. They will have specific needs and goals that the DVD will probably not address.
Hints for getting the most out of this DVD:
1) Print out a copy of the calendar to help keep track of where you are in the workout. You can cross off the days as you do them.
- Go here: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/
- You can right-click on the picture of the calendar and choose "Open image in new tab." Then print it.
2) Use the calendar on the DVD to play the workouts even if you're not specifically following the 28-day plan.
On the DVD you can play the workouts from the 28-day calendar or from a list of workouts. On the computer when I select an individual workout the next one on the DVD starts playing immediately after, which is inconvenient. The best way to use the workouts seems to be to play them from the calendar, because that plays just the desired warmup, the workout, and the cool down, in the right order. Having a printout of the calendar can help you plan ahead which workout option you want to use.
3) Have a variety of weights available
I found it helpful to have a variety of dumbbells available, depending on the exercise. For some of the high-rep shoulder exercises it's hard for me to go above 5 lbs without losing form. For the squats, a pair of 10s was just fine. For me the curls with 8s were good. Here is an official answer about how much weight to use: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/t
The reviewing instructions that came with the DVD said, ďPlease mention that the DVD is available at Walmart and that members will get 250 SparkPoints for buying their DVD at Walmart, and will be entered to win a $500 Walmart gift card for purchasing before Jan. 31, 2014.Ē
According to Sarah, "The DVD is unfortunately not available on Walmart.com, only IN stores (the ďdot comĒ side of the business is separate from the in-store side, strange I know!). About 1,500 stores nationwide are stocking the DVD, so it's not available at every location. Weíre suggesting that people call their local store to see if the DVD is in stock before they go shopping for it"
The instructions gave us a link to purchase the DVD online, although they didnít specifically ask us to mention it. www.sparkpeople.com/28daybootcamp
I am also required to say, ďI received this DVD for free from SparkPeople and did not receive any form of payment for my review.Ē
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope the next 12 months we will all find the time, energy, and interest to make progress toward our goals, and find the little moments of joy along the way.
EPILOGUE: Since I won't be using the DVD now that I see it doesn't fit well with the kinds of exercise I prefer, I've mailed it to THEVOW2013. I hope she likes it, and if not, maybe she can pass it along to someone else who will use it. I definitely think there's a niche for the DVD, I'm just not it.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Last Saturday I enjoyed meeting up with DDOORN, ANNIEMAC_98, and her husband for an afternoon of Contra and English Country Dancing. None of them had tried it before.
Here's DDORN's post about it:
For an explanation of this kind of dancing, see my blog post from April:
There is also a short YouTube video with people explaining why they like contra dancing and showing them dancing:
Pictured from left to right: ANNIEMAC_98 & her DH, DDOORN, 4A-HEALTHY-BMI (me), and my BF
We started with a lesson in a side room. The caller introduced the newbies to the basics of this form of dancing, walking us through some of the common figures, and assuring everyone that we were here to have fun, not perform.
Then we moved out into the main hall where a live band was waiting. DDOORN took some nice photos which he has shared:
It was a lot of fun to dance with my Spark buddies and watch my worlds collide as I introduced them to dancing friends from Ithaca, Syracuse, and Binghamton. Some friends from Rochester even came!
Although my Spark buddies had to leave when the afternoon session finished, DDOORN suggested a great restaurant for me and a couple of friends to visit: Whole in the Wall. www.wholeinthewall.com
It was fabulous. I would definitely go back there again. I had a lovely salad with grilled chicken and lowfat yogurt dressing, and split a piece of cheesecake three ways with the BF and another dancer.
The other two decided to find out how small they could keep splitting the last bit of it. As you can see, the piece left was pretty much microscopic when they were finished.
Then it was time to go back for three MORE hours of dancing, then carpooling north back home.
As for burning calories, my HR monitor reports the following:
4:46 of dancing in the afternoon session: 880 cal
3:02 of dancing in the evening session: 553 cal
That's a lot of calories. LOL
There is only one thing Iíd change if I could about these dances - I'd love it if there were a way to more easily divert myself from the very tasty treats that people bring to share. I do bring protein bars and but sometimes Iím not so good about eating them instead of the cookies. I generally try to avoid the snack table, but sometimes I donít have the resolve to follow through. At this dance a woman had brought home made toffee with almonds and white chocolate chips. I admit I had a few small pieces. And I sampled MANY more of the baked goods than I needed.
I got back on track the next day with my eating, so the damage was minimized. Thatís pretty much the best one can do after indulging like that.
It sounds like my Spark buddies might try dancing again in their area. I hope they do, and that they get hooked enough to meet me for the great dances in Ithaca. It would be fun to see them again in that context!
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
If youíre anywhere near Binghamton NY, come join me and DDOORN at a beginner-friendly contra dancing event happening next Saturday, November 9 in Binghamton. There will be LIVE MUSIC and lessons!
Contra dancing is sort of like square dancing crossed with swing. There is always fun live music. Itís super beginner-friendly and if you can walk, you can pretty much contra dance. Here's a video with people explaining why they like contra dancing and showing them dancing:
DDOORN hasnít ever done it before, either, so you wonít be alone as a newbie.
I started contra dancing in March and wrote about it in a blog post www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
There are links to more videos of dancing and descriptions there.
Some of the things I love about contra is that it has helped me get used to physical contact with others, it's pulled me out into a more social scenario, and I'm getting used to how my "new" body feels and moves.
Plus it gives me a chance to channel my inner femme, with all of those twirly and sparkly skirts I find in thrift shops. Most of the time I'm a tomboy, so this is a lot of fun.
Here are details about the event
**Announcing the 9th annual KINDRED SPIRITS day of dance in Binghamton**
Contradance and English Country Dance, with workshops in Scottish and Scandinavian
Saturday, November 9, 2013 (detailed schedule below)
Trinity Church, corner of Main and Oak in Binghamton NY
Calling by: ADINA GORDON
FLARE EIRE (Randy Miller and Roger Kahle) for contra, and
HEY FOR THREE (Eileen Nicholson, Laurel Sharp, Charlene Thomson) for English
The special feature of Kindred Spirits is that contra and English happen in the same room, with smooth transitions back and forth.
Entire day $20 at the door
$12 per segment (afternoon or evening)
Under 25: $5, or $3 per segment.
For more information:
Contact Ross Geoghegan email@example.com 607-798-0787
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Schedule of Events
12:30 pm - Beginner First Step classes:
English Country Dance (Dining Room)
Contradance (Main Room)
1:00 - 4:00 pm - Afternoon Main Dance (English and Contra)
4:15 - 5:15 pm - Choice of Workshops:
Swedish Turning Waltz with Joan and Jim Savitt OR
Introductory Scottish with Terry Glasspool
5:15 - 7:00 pm - Potluck Dinner (coffee, tea & goodies supplied by Kindred Spirits 2013) or local restaurants.
7:00 - 7:30 pm - Couples Dancing
7:30 - 10:30 pm - Evening Main Dance (Contra and English)
Note: In the main dances there will be an equal mix of English and Contra.
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