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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Today's inspirational photo - and I'm not sure if it's the dancing, the landscape, or the swirling rainbow that appeals to me more, but this image just sings to my spirit.

Here's the site I found the photo on (first time I ever wished I lived in Alaska):

Meanwhile...guess what *I* just found while looking for dance inspiration...
POLE DANCING LESSONS! IN DAYTON! Yeah, it's an hour away, but on a Sunday? I could totally do that! And even better...they have a SWING DANCE NIGHT the first Saturday of every month, which is only $5 a person and includes a lesson at 8pm and then open dancing after...and my mate DID agree to go swing dancing with me...MUHAHAHAHAHA!

Pole dancing info:

Swing dancing info:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISH_AGUIRRE 9/9/2010 4:30PM


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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/9/2010 11:44AM

    you will have to do a photo blog of your swing and pole dancing!

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JONEIL513 9/9/2010 10:51AM

    that picture is stunning! it put a smile on my face on a dreary day emoticon Yay for more dancing classes, pole dancing is a fantastic workout, I have never done it but I know people who have and its a great way to rock that sexy vibe!

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EVERLEARNING 9/9/2010 10:45AM

    What a marvelous picture!

The dance classes sound great. Can't wait to hear the reports!

Comment edited on: 9/9/2010 10:45:45 AM

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JAYMURZ 9/9/2010 10:30AM

    Beautiful, and wonderful!

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FLAMENM 9/9/2010 9:44AM

    That is a very inspiring photo!

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DAP1313 9/9/2010 7:42AM

    I can see how the picture would sing to you. I think dancing is a great way to get in shape. Though pole dancing would not be in my future for awhile unless it's like the pole the firefighters use. emoticon

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SAMI199 9/9/2010 4:40AM

    Sounds like fun...Love the picture! emoticon

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EVILENGLISH 9/9/2010 4:01AM

  So jealous! I wish there were classes like that near me!

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AQUA Zumba?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

My mate says it sounds like the name of a band (yep, every time I mention it). emoticon

But seriously - I got to the gym yesterday to find notices up all over that they are starting an AQUA Zumba class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:15 AM (after the regular Zumba class).

I SO know what my new exercise for the week will be this week! I'm trying it out tomorrow (and if it's as awesome as I expect it to be, my ankles will be MUCH happier with me, AND I won't have to do the rushrushrush thing from work).

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAYMURZ 9/9/2010 10:32AM

    Combine with after shave? Aqua Zoomba Velva? bwahahaha!

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EVERLEARNING 9/9/2010 1:24AM

    Sounds like a hoot!
Have a blast!

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LUCY_SHADOW 9/8/2010 11:25PM

    I tried Aqua Zumba when I was at the lake a couple weeks ago. It was WAY harder than regular Zumba and I was sweating like crazy! Have fun with it!

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QUEEN_REINA 9/8/2010 11:12PM

    That sounds fun! Let us know how it turns out!

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SANDYSLAND 9/8/2010 9:26PM

    Let us know how it goes...

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IRISH_AGUIRRE 9/8/2010 7:53PM

  Sounds like a blast!

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AIDELADE27 9/8/2010 2:11PM

    That sounds very cool!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/8/2010 2:07PM

    sounds fun Euphrates. you will have to tell us all about it.

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    Sounds great

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JONEIL513 9/8/2010 10:10AM

    that sounds really fun!! can't wait to hear how it goes!

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ODIROM 9/8/2010 7:08AM

    Please let me know....i LOVE Zumba, but I R too heavy to go without pain...this sounds RIGHT ON....

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FCARMICH 9/8/2010 7:02AM

  good luck

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Euphrates, ever the helpful student, heads to meet Professor Lupin in the staff room to help him rid the wardrobe of it's current boggart resident. Apparently this boggart has a special “talent”: it turns into what tempts you most to not live healthfully. She nervously ticks off her various temptations in her head, trying to anticipate what may be awaiting her when Professor Lupin opens the wardrobe door.

Taking a deep breath, she stands ready with her wand outstretched, and nods to Professor Lupin. He opens the door and out pops.....
her BED! And not only her bed, but she sees her mate on his side of the bed, who then rolls toward the wall as she watches, lifting his elbow as is his habit to invite her to tuck her arm under his and cuddle up close behind him, warm and safe and content...and the desire to climb in next to him and forget any ideas regarding exercise starts to build...

"Euphrates! FOCUS!"

Professor Lupin startles her out of her reverie, and wiping sweat from her brow and planting her feet in a wide confident stance, she points her wand and calls out "RIDDIKULUS!"

For about two seconds nothing happens, but just as she starts to worry she'd fumbled the spell, the bed rears up on two legs (unceremoniously dumping her mate on the floor where his startled image quickly fades), and then all 4 legs elongate...and the bed starts doing jumping jacks! And then goes into butt kicks, jumping rope and punches just like it was doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred! Snickering, Euphrates takes her foot and slides the trap over to Professor Lupin, who quickly springs the trap and the boggart is successfully captured! "Nicely done," the professor chuckles, patting her on the shoulder as he leaves with the trap in hand to dispose of the pest appropriately.

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Ah for a magic wand and such easy solutions to temptation!

The trouble is, I'm a little worried about balance right now, which makes those healthy choices a bigger dilemma. I already nixed the hour and a half ballet class as taking too much time away from home, and have made great strides in getting to the gym early on Tuesdays and Thursdays for Zumba...but there's strength training to get in, and I'm feeling a need to look into more flexibility, and of course want to get more dance into my routine...but I miss my mate when I'm away. Not to mention keeping up with the internet lately - I've sorely neglected livejournal, and not just because of SP - mostly by the time I'm done reading e-mails and sparking after I get back from the gym, there's just not enough time left before bed. I'm feeling frazzled and a bit stretched. My mate is totally supportive (and he's usually killing zombies anyway), but still...*I* miss our time internetting next to each other (he'd be on his laptop at the dining room table right next to my computer desk, and we'd reach out and pet each other randomly to stay connected even though we were doing separate was cozy).

SO - back up plan! (Ha! Two challenges in one blog - this one is for BLC) Which is, getting out of bed early to make SURE I get in a least 30 minutes of some kind of exercise before work. I have at least 2 belly dance DVDs I've been wanting to take a crack at, plus my 30 Day Shred. If I get a yoga DVD and maybe a pilates one, I can rotate around depending on what I expect the following day to look like - if it's a Zumba day I can go for something less cardio-oriented like yoga or pilates, if I'm not sure I'll make it to the gym the following day (or know I will have limited time there) I can do the 30 Day Shred and then at the gym I can just focus on strength training and hightail it home after. But the key is getting my butt out of bed and DOING it. So, the image of our bed dumping me on said butt (along with my poor beleagured mate) and exercising will hopefully get me moving ('cause you never know with us magickal people around...weird stuff happens)!

The point is - maneuvering according to circumstances, and finding balance between taking time for exercise and having time for family. *nods*

I CAN do this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVERLEARNING 9/9/2010 1:30AM

    Brilliant blog!!

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AIDELADE27 9/8/2010 2:37PM

    This was one of the best blogs I've read all year! Your bed doing 30 Day Shred??? emoticon I think you set up a good challenge for yourself. I simply cannot get out of bed early for the life of me, but I know you can do it. Good luck!!!

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JONEIL513 9/8/2010 10:15AM

    awesome blog, gave me a good laugh this morning, I love the image of your bed doing Jillian Michaels!! lol hope you get everything figured out and settled, its a tough decision of how to take care of you without missing out on home life. I like the idea of DVDs at home though, at least you and your mate will be in the same place and it cuts out travel time!

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EUPHRATES 9/8/2010 6:51AM

    Teehee...the image of my mate exercising is about as amusing as the bed doing it. :) Seriously - if dude loses any weight, I think his mother is going to come after me (he lost a BUNCH of weight over the 3 or 4 year before we met, he still have friends who haven't seen him for a while ask if he's sick).

He HAS given up the TV (and thus the XBox) so I can exercise before, I just prefer not to do it around him (don't know WHY that embarrasses me but walking down a busy street in work out clothes doesn't). I know he wouldn't mind either idea, though, so I need to keep those options open. Thanks!

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NETTIEDEE 9/8/2010 6:28AM

    can your mate kill zombies while you lift weights next to him? A set of dumbbells might be in order.

can your mate put off the zombie killing (btw, thank him on behalf of humanity for keeping us safe!) for a bit while you two exercies to WiiFit or some such fitness video game?

Best of luck with the balance thing...

And, that was a SUPER riddikulus spell. :-) Better than Prof. Snape wearing Grandma Longbottom's clothes!!!

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Yesterday's Blog - I swear!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Okay, this whole fitness thing is REALLY putting a crimp on my internet time! emoticon I totally intended to blog yesterday, AND put up LOLCat Monday (holiday day-after version) on my livejournal. Instead I got home from Zumba and logged into the computer for just long enough to pull up the sparkrecipe I wanted...and then got to cooking. It took me until noon-thirty to get the stuffed acorn squash into the oven (lots of prep for the "meat stuffing" part, ended up with leftovers that'll make a GREAT burrito filling later in the week), and then I cleaned up the kitchen and showered while it cooked for an hour. So by the time we were done with meal, it was already past 2pm and bedtime for bonzo (me anyway, my mate wasn't sleepy yet so he tucked me in and came to bed later - darn Merc Retrograde always messes with his sleep schedule for some reason).

I DID get in my Zumba and walked home a mile from the gym. And I DID pick a motivational picture for the day (but realized I didn't have it loaded on the home 'puter without plugging in the "black box" and that obviously didn't happen). And I interracted with varoius HPC team-mates before I left work last night, so I'm all caught up on the challenge for yesterday. Honest. I really did it, I just didn't blog it *then*. *sigh*

So, without further ado, here's the inspirational pic I chose for yesterday:

That's my sister on the left, and me, enroute with our team to the "ritual pasta party" the night before the marathon at Disney in 2003. I was in One-derland at that point...about 190lbs. This is to remind me that I CAN GET THERE AGAIN!

And for today, another pic from 2003, this one with one of our coaches on the left, and my sister's neighbor who trained with us on the right, outside our hotel during a Team To End Stroke meeting/pep rally (TTES was housed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which was AWESOME
Look how SKINNY we were! (Okay, 190 isn't skinny, but STILL)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCKYDOGFARM 9/8/2010 2:20PM

    Go Euphrates, GO!

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NOTMILK 9/8/2010 6:19AM

    I am rooting for you all the way!

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VICIOUS421 9/8/2010 5:15AM


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BLC Challenge - BLC!

Monday, September 06, 2010

So yes, I've joined another challenge team. I LOVE the Harry Potter Challenge, as the ideas are so fun and creative - I can't wait to see what nifty new challenge they've put together each week. But I decided that adding in something a bit more "serious" might be good going into the holidays - something to help keep me on track when life gets full of temptations and "reasons to slack on making healthy decisions". This is a 12 week challenge that officially starts on September 15th, and I heard about it JUST as they were gearing up for the next session, so it seemed serendipitious and I jumped in. To get us ready, they've already issued a "newbie challenge" which I'm going to take a stab at here. The rules on this challenge?


B ~ BLOG or Journal: Sit down and write out your feelings. What is on your mind right now? What has been holding you back? Where do you see yourself in 12 Weeks? What is Your NOW vs Your FUTURE? Has something been weighing you down...Write about it. Unburden yourself and let it go. You can choose to share this with Everyone in a BLOG (found on your SparkPage) or you Can write about it in a Journal and keep those thoughts for yourself. Just take the time to Sort your Thoughts and Find YOUR Plan of ACTION.

L ~ LIST YOUR GOALS: What do you Expect to Accomplish over the next 12 Weeks. If you want to Make Change Happen...You have to Know where to FOCUS your Efforts. This is Purely Personal, so Everyone will have different Answers...but they will be Right For YOU, and help to Keep you Moving one Baby Step at a Time Toward YOUR OWN SUCCESS. Take a momet to Log your Measurements, your Weight, What Size you are in, How quickly you get winded, How many reps of something you can do, so you can measure your PROGRESS.

C ~ CORRECT AN UNHEALTHY HABIT: Again...This is a Personal Goal...Everyone will have Different Goals. Pick Something that has been holding you back from your own Happiness...Something that gets in your weigh. Something that you want to work on in order to get Closer to Your Own Personal SUCCESS~

Usually we Attach a Time limit and a Scoring sysyem but we'll call this "Your New Self vs. Your old Self",

If you Accomplish all of these Steps...YOU WILL BE THE WINNER! You will have your Roadmap for YOUR Success and you will KNOW Where you want to Start...What Obsticles you will have to will KNOW What stands in the weigh of where you are Right Now vs. Where you WANT to be in 12 weeks from Now.

Remember to be Honset with Yourself and Keep your Goals within Healthy Reason...We are a 12 Week Challenge...Turning Healthy Choices into Healthy Habits! One Glass of Water at a Time, One Drop of Sweat at a Time...One Healthy Choice at a Time.

I'm honestly in a pretty good place right now. I'm getting close to 30 lbs lost, I'm exercising 6 out of 7 days, I walked a 5K race yesterday, I'm enjoying trying new foods from our organic delivery service and experimenting with new sparkrecipes, I'm tracking everything regularly, and this is feeling like a lifestyle change instead of something temporary - which is the whole point, right? I'm still experimenting with how to put the fitness schedule together in a way that doesn't eat up the rest of my life (oh livejournal, how I've neglected you), and I'm nervous how that will be impacted when we go to 12 hour shifts in January - trying not to "borrow trouble" there, as much as possible. Another reason why I want to really kick things into gear NOW - to get the most benefit before the schedule gets even more wonky than it already is and I have to adjust my routines. Yeah, that's weighing on me - I don't do uncertainty well, so I need to have a plan. BUT, it will be several weeks before they get ANY of the details hammered out, so for now I need to focus on NOW.

The challenge starts on September 15 (weigh-ins are on Wednesdays - a good day for me, actually, since weekends are such a crap shoot) and lasts for 12 weeks, so if my counting skills are working correctly, we're looking at goals for where we want to be by December 8th. Which happens to be exactly one week before my next birthday - good timing for goal setting!

emoticon I JUST took measurements on September 1st, so I think I'll use those as my "base measurements" for the challenge. I have NO idea how they will change since I haven't been tracking inches up to now at all - so I'm not going to set any goals there, and just be pleasantly surprised at how things go.

emoticon You know me, I generally avoid number goals at all, but since this is a weight loss challenge, it seems fitting this time around. SO, I figure 2 pounds a week is considered reasonable - BUT I tend to stall and lose, stall and lose, so I don't want to shoot for something too high and get frustrated. So I'm going with a loss of 20 lbs on the challenge - wherever I am when I weigh in on 9/15, I want to be 20 lbs less by December. Considering the fact I'm getting pretty close to that 30 lbs gone mark, that will mean I'll have lost 50 lbs by December, and only be 10 lbs away from One-derland! THAT would be an awesome birthday present, don't you think? emoticon

emoticon Like I said, I'm still trying to cobble my fitness schedule into something that makes sense - I think that will be the biggest focus over the next 12 weeks. To break that down:
* I love Zumba and have found a way to go consistently twice a week - my goal on THAT score is to become proficient enough in the basic moves that I actually feel more like I'm dancing and less like I'm dying out there. LOL
* I love my long walks outside, so I want to do those at least twice a week (and walk to and from the gym whenever possible).
* In the interests of a) not getting bored and b) looking at ALL my options, I want to make it a goal to try at least one new form of exercise every week, whether it's a new DVD or a different class at the gym, or whatever. I figure the more options I have, the more flexible I can be when the schedule changes. You never know if you'll like something until you try it out, right?
* ABS! ABS ABS ABS - that's the one serious weak-spot in my current routine, and I need to make it more of a priority. The benefits of strengthening my core are enormous - I know this, I just need to implement something. FWIW, I've written out some of the really good (aka really HARD) pilates-type ab moves we were doing in ballet, so there's no reason I couldn't do them on my own (I even have an exercise ball at home, so I have absolutely NO excuses).
* And finally, I want to get in at least one more dance-oriented work out per week than the 2 Zumba classes - I have belly dance videos that will work for that (unless I decide to actually take the Sunday belly dance classes I'm thinking about - jury is still out on that).
* Oh, and remember - I've already committed to working out at least 6 out of 7 days per week, which means I have to find ways of getting it in when we travel - we've got a trip north coming in 2 weeks, and then another in mid-October. I need to have a plan in place before we leave!

As far as a healthy habit that needs correcting - I need to stop dipping into my mate's chocolate stash. We only buy "miniatures" or "nuggets", so having a small piece on occasion isn't a big deal and is easily tracked and counted into my allotment for the day. Usually I only rarely have any anyway. But I've noticed lately I'm having one, then having another, and maybe another, and justifying it to myself that they're small, so they don't count. Well, when you have 4 of them, that's no longer a "miniature" or a "nugget" - you've eaten an entire chocolate bar, do you *really* want to spend your calories there? SO - mindful eating, intentional choices, and only having ONE if I have any. If everything is permissable with moderation, it's the MODERATION that is the key. I need to keep this in mind and make better choices.

So there you have it - goals and a plan.
The next 12 weeks are going to RAWK!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NETTIEDEE 9/7/2010 7:38PM

    That sounds like a super great set of goals. You are an inspiration. :-)

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JONEIL513 9/7/2010 11:53AM

    Awesome Challenge!

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B-N-ME 9/7/2010 9:26AM

    Welcome to BLC 14!! You are on the way to a healthier lifestyle and this challenge will give you the tools for success. We will be here to challenge and encourage you. One day at a time, one step at a time...small changes equal big results over time!
emoticon YOU know you can!

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    WOW !!! Awesome undertaking !!!! emoticon

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IRISH_AGUIRRE 9/6/2010 3:04PM

  Good luck with the new challenge! You can do it!!!

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QUEEN_REINA 9/6/2010 12:39PM

    This sounds very good--I have GOT to get over there and PARTICIPATE!!

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45ANDFIT1 9/6/2010 8:15AM

    Cool challenge - I am putting my thoughts together for this too!

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MISWIL765 9/6/2010 5:15AM

    I am so inspired by this! I started writing notes down immediately. This is exactly what I need! emoticon

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ANASOLEIL42 9/6/2010 4:38AM

    This sounds like a solid plan. Good luck with your challenge!


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