Wednesday, November 03, 2010
OK, so I'm Leslie-Sansone-indoor-walking-obsessed! There could be worse things! Replacing one obsession with another is called a healthy substitution...I think!
At any rate, I've discovered another of her DVDs that works for me. I was so fortunate to have a friend lend me some of her old ones, so this is an old DVD. You can find it on Amazon, however, and one of the reviewers points out the title of a newer version which includes some additional materials.
I'm going to just do a brief synopsis of this one, in case you are looking for something similar.
Today I did segment 1, the Super Challenge (apologies to CLAUDECF!), which was 4 fast miles. Mile 1 - a nice warmup, gradually increasing in speed. Miles 2 & 3 - quite brisk! You can add a little jog here & there to bump it up even more. Mile 4 - a nice gradual slowing down. Segment ends with stretching, using a fairly easy yoga pose (there's no emoticon, sorry!)
Variations include double kickbacks and an introduction to the grapevine step.
But you can ignore these if they are too much, of course!
Leslie is one of the few fitness teachers who makes the distinction between tightening the tummy area and sucking it in all the way. I used to have a Pilates video which recommended the "suck-in" approach - as a singer, I said "YUCK!" No need to cut off your breath with such an extreme approach, and tightening does plenty for your abs.
Segment 2 is my complete fave. No frills, 2.5 miles, with 5 2-3 minute jogging segments worked in. This is perfect if I have extra energy & the weather's nasty. And it only takes 25-28 minutes, depending how long you warm up or cool down.
Segment 3 is something called a muscle mile. 10 minutes, that's all. Works the arms quite nicely with 2 lb. weights, but pretty wimpy for the legs. I doubt that it's actually a mile because the pace is not that fast. But my arms really felt tired afterward!
I'm working my way through these DVDs so that in the winter I will be able to pull out the ones which will help me to keep building strength. WOW, it was fun today to feel how much more energy I had to SING AND to move my microphones around!
Not to mention that I can now wear a cute little black wool skirt that has been languishing in the closet!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Well! All this tracking & measuring is indeed enlightening, who would have thought it?
This AM I decided to check my body measurements (for the first time in over a month).
I know pants are looser but it's nice to see what the #s say!
Hips down 1 inch, thigh and upper arm down 1/2 inch! SWEET!
But the REAL discovery was the difference between September & October, stress and energy-wise.
My energy mostly stays between 3 & 4 (moderate to high). Sept saw 2 big drops into 2-3 range.
My stress peaked end of Aug-Sept. 4 times to high & energy drops came after, this is no surprise!
But October smoothed out very nicely! NO drops to 2 (low)!
October saw one stress peak and 3 low-stress days.
Now that could have been just a lighter work load - BUT this has been a fairly busy October! I took some time for me this week but up until then, it's been continuous.
I think it's no accident that during the month I established more specific cardio and ST goals AND actually met them, my energy levels were more consistent!
Also this month I consciously began to DEAL with stress, rather than REACT to it. I made work plans that included me and my welfare, rather than just gutting it out to get something done & then collapsing.
Collapsing really isn't in my program any more, unless it's my rest day!
How do I know this? I've actually worked in the cardio this week on a couple of days when it's been vastly inconvenient. AND I've dared to overdo it a couple of days, and have bounced back the next day pretty well!
I think you might say I am hooked, especially since this is all freeing me up to have more time for fun, and is allowing SPLURGES, like Indian food last night with my friend who is down from Canada. Plus we were up talking until nearly midnight, quaffing a bit of wine...but consequences, pas mal!
Plus we went dancing & it was so much more fun when the mirror showed a nearly svelte moi...
PLUS the sun is shining and it's time for a
Happy Saturday! Happy November, nearly there!
to all my dear spark friends who have helped me learn these things & put them into practice!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I was amazed today, for the 2nd day in a row, to see that I had lost a pound...after going just a bit over my allowance for both of the previous days.
Happy, but amazed!
The only thing different was that I had done FOUR of the Leslie Sansone miles on a DVD that I hadn't used since the summer. I shared my old fave DVD with a friend, so had to switch, so I pulled out this one.
Aha, I remembered it. Miles 1 and 5 were Leslie alone, miles 2-4 were with a group of people, some of whom I found irritating to watch, for various reasons. Also, it had involved wide-stance knee lifts in a sequence of 1s, 2s and then 4s. This was tough for me at the time - my abs weren't very strong - and the speed of the walks challenged me too. I remember only doing 1 mile at a time, certainly no more than 2.
This time, how different! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this DVD! Each mile begins at a speed which is close to a warm-up speed - you can get going gently. 5 minutes in, the speed bumps up to a nice fast pace. 2 minutes from the end, a "boosted walk" (read "jog") begins (although you don't have to do that, Leslie cautions). In the course of this jog, you do kicks and knee lifts while jogging. This was what wore me out before! But now that my abs are stronger, I kind of enjoy it! If I activate abs, it's easy - if I'm being lazy there, then my legs get tired. Interesting!
Mile 3 is the most demanding & it's also the most irritating to me, since it features Nicole, whose overdone grin & overdone movements really got to me at first. (AND Britney, who throws herself around much more than Leslie does. Sheesh.) Miles 2 & 4 have groups that are easier for me to watch. There is some giggly commentary but again, worse on mile 3.
I did miles 1-4 yesterday, miles 1&2, 4&5 today. The second combo was a bit easier - I was more tired today. But guess what, the interview with Nicole at the end made me like her better. She's lost 100+ pounds & she talks about how she did it bit by bit, without perfectionism, without extreme measures - how she discovered a new life. And rediscovered her athletic self, which had gotten lost in her unhealthy lifestyle. Pretty cool, Sparkies!
AND I THINK that the pace and jogging of these 4 miles has helped kick me into weight loss again! Maybe I shouldn't say too soon. I'll see what tomorrow brings. But I'm going to stick with this routine for a bit & see where it takes me.
In other news, on the Pilates front - today I finally did Coach Nicole's 12 minute Pilates abs workout without modifying anything.
I am pretty darned excited about that!
Gives me hope that I can continue to lose a few pounds before I head into the holiday season...and also hope that the jogging indoors will keep me somewhat fit for the outdoor variety, while the weather is bad.
Gotta say, I highly recommend this DVD. But if you are a Leslie beginner, the other one I reviewed would be a better choice - where she's wearing the red & black hoodie. I think it definitely got me ready to enjoy this one!
And after all, enjoying this journey is what it's all about!
Monday, October 25, 2010
I'm going to quote here from a Dean Anderson article that I just read on sparkpeople...the link is at the bottom if you'd like to read the whole thing!
I wasn't really in the mood to read anything helpful, I just wanted some spark points. Funny how that often leads to discoveries!
And as it happens, this advice applies. I've been having a generally overloaded time at work -- mostly just the time of year, with more planning to do than usual, and the usual items (Advent, Christmas) looming far closer than I would prefer! And of course unexpected little things like personnel problems popping up to be dealt with - time-consuming and sometimes unresolvable, but you gotta try...
So the temptation is to bitch, complain, procrastinate, and retreat. Been trying not to do that stuff. Soooo eating looks awfully good and so does skimping on my cardio. Plus there have been some lovely distracting social events!
But, truth be told, I want to get back to focus here. Focus on what will enable me to do what needs to be done, perhaps in less time & with less strain.
Dean Anderson's tips for focusing on solutions, plus how I need to apply those tips:
* You focus on things that go well more often than things that don't.
Hm. I often do this quite well, when it comes to encouraging others & helping them get past their errors. How about my errors? I think I'll try focusing on what I have done right today rather than the pile that remains to be done...
* You focus on concrete ways that things can be different and how to make those changes right now. (You’re not thinking about how bleak things may look.)
OK. My computer issues get in the way of everything else & hang over me like Damocles' sword.
I WILL do the d__n computer cleanup today and tomorrow, with time I gained from canceling tonight's rehearsal. I will quit procrastinating about it and JUST DO IT.
Then when the computer lady comes on Wed., I will be in good shape for her to be as productive as possible, in the least amount of time.
* You believe there are good reasons why you do things that cause problems, and that you can find alternative solutions that don’t have the undesirable side effects. Having problems doesn't mean something is wrong with you—just that you’ve outgrown a particular solution and are ready to find a new one.
Trying to eat the whole elephant of jobs to be done at one time -- leads to a lot of my stress. I have the elephant in my head, even if I am not currently engaged in devouring him. So...focus on one part of him, and JUST EAT HIM.
NOW. Not tomorrow, or after I have a snack, or after I take a nap, or after I go for a walk, or after I fiddle around with something else. NOW. THEN have my snack, or nap, or walk, or whatever.
* You take action so that your odds of beating your problem today are pretty good.
Hm, elephant taste pretty good, mon...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I've been meditating on this truism/proverb/cliché as I approach my goal weight. Actually, I hit my first goal (140 lbs.) a while ago, and made the mistake of slipping into a "maintenance" mindset. I considered NOT continuing to reach 135. Bad mistake. At least, for me! I began to gain.
Then it occurred to me that I don't think that way in ANY other aspect of my life. Or at least, I try not to!
I'm a musician, primarily a singer, but also a keyboard player (I say that since I don't play at a performance classical level, but I do comp pretty well for contemporary Christian songs with our praise band and I can play 4-part open score to rehearse my choirs).
A couple of years ago, I got bored. The choirs were doing well, or at least as well as I thought they could do. The music program was "successful," lots of compliments, few complaints. I was singing well, or at least well enough to do what I need to do. I began to be interested in developing skills in other areas, and I slipped into the "maintenance" mindset when it came to my job. I never actually "phoned it in," in the sense of being mentally & emotionally absent while performing...but I did slip WAY back on mental & physical preparation.
I wish I could say that the made me do it, but truly it was my own laziness & lack of perception that seduced me. And truly, "success" can be a huge trap. You know your work could be better, but as long as the compliments keep coming...
Then someone quoted that little truism, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
DUH! No wonder I am bored. I have quit finding ways to go forward at work!
It also hit me, "I am 3 years from retirement. Do I want to mark time until then, or do I want to discover new heights, both spiritual and musical, in everything I do from now on out?"
NO-BRAINER. Only one choice possible here. Around that time I started renewing my spiritual life with more discipline. Then along came Leslie Sansone DVDs and my fitness life got more lively. Then along came Sparkpeople, and the big D of Discipline became something attractive to me, rather than a wearisome Duty.
Where is my musical life now? I've given a presentation on my life in music and faith. All the choirs are growing, both in performance ability and in size and commitment. I am keeping up with my paperwork, God help me, and finding that this does reap rewards in more peaceful free time for me and better organization when we perform.
All because I quit maintaining. And started going forward.
Hm. Could it be that this is the key to fitness/health/weight control as well? Ever forward? Won't I become anorexic?
I don't think so. I think that envisioning continuous progress in this new Sparky life will only result in good things. Perhaps the very word "maintenance" implies a static state, whereas this Sparky life is extremely dynamic! Perhaps this way of thinking is part of why only 5-10% of those who lose weight, keep it off. (Thanks to CATHERINEL66's blog for that statistic, and to JOHNTJ1 whose comment made me notice it!)
So here's to all the Sparkers who are going forward, at whatever speed. Fast is not essential, slow can be marvelous.
Let's stay out of the maintenance trap and keep that forward movement going!
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