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Hang on, little tomato!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This song popped up on my ipod when walking back from the store, and I thought it might cheer up some of my spark friends who are feeling a bit like they're "lost in deep confusion..."

It begins with an instrumental but then China Forbes starts to sing...

"Your sunny Sunday will come one day soon to you!"

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECOMINGJAMI 11/24/2010 3:16PM

    This is completely late, but I had to tell you that seeing this made my day! I find that we Oregonians are so proud of this group (and for good reason!) This is one of my favorite songs of theirs. It always manages to get my chin up and put a smile on my face, even if things are looking down.

You know, one of my good friends used to run their music library (and manages to score me tickets when they perform in Portland.)


Hope you're having a great day, and I hope your Thanksgiving is spectacular!

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SARAWALKS 11/14/2010 8:53AM

    emoticon emoticon So glad you enjoyed it! CJ, I had no idea they were from Oregon! YAY Oregon, lots of creativity up there! Must be all that rain... emoticon emoticon

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ESLTEACHER1 11/14/2010 5:05AM

    Oh how cute!! I'd never heard of them! perfect song to play through the winter when it's cold and dark outside. Thanks pookie!!


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CELLO23 11/14/2010 3:53AM

    Didn't know this song - lovely! We have to hang on through lots of emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon times too. Nice lyrics! Will go check out the Pink Martinis :) emoticon
@sara - no idea! did I? I just just clicked on 'add link' emoticon

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CLAUDECF 11/14/2010 3:23AM

    Loved it!

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CJWORDPLAY 11/13/2010 10:46PM

    Oh thank you Sarah, a perfect day for this song - And YAY for our home-towners, "Pink Martini"! When you're from Oregon you learn to sing through the the gray and rainy times and celebrate the sunny Sundays. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/14/2010 12:25:19 PM

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SUSANS111 11/13/2010 8:00PM

    Thanks for the link. I love it! Its the perfect perk up for a gray day!

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SARAWALKS 11/13/2010 6:30PM

    Yes! emoticon Pink Martini! emoticon emoticon

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CHIPPEE 11/13/2010 5:34PM

    Ah! Another Pink Martini fan!!!! LOVE this song. Never thought of it in this context though. Leave it to you! emoticon emoticon emoticon (Bunch of little tomatoes, just hangin' on!)

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TRIGFROST 11/13/2010 5:19PM

    Never heard the song...Sorry...

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SARAWALKS 11/13/2010 4:27PM

    Now, Cello, how did you manage to embed that video? When I tried, it said, "no HTML!" emoticon

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My butt, my self!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I just thought of a great reward for me. Not too expensive but something I really do want. When I reach 135 lbs. I will shop for a black pencil skirt!

And this brings me to the history of me and MY BUTT.

I remember the exact moment I became self-conscious about my butt.

I was lying on my stomach on a neighbor's bed, talking to our neighbor and her daughter who was somewhat older than me, and all of a sudden one of them said, "Now THAT'S a rear end!" Until that exact moment, I had not really known I had a rear end bigger than anyone else's!

I knew that I was a couch potato and that I read all the time to escape having to listen to my mom's monologues and my dad's silences. It also helped me escape the teasing on the school bus, since after a while of vanishing into a book, most of the kids got bored with teasing me. I knew that I was different because I liked to find out about the world far away from where I lived, both in space and time. Most kids didn't give a crap. And I didn't give a crap about most of their preoccupations, so we were even.
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BUT I did NOT want to have a BIG BUTT! emoticon

So I learned how to tuck it under, but somehow that didn't really help. My butt still looked big every time I walked past a storefront window and saw my own reflection. There were no full-length mirrors in our house... emoticon

I will spare you the long in-between journey of struggle with my butt.

BUT I will simply say that it has been a real joy, as I have walked with my camera, with Leslie, with weighted vest, and as I have learned to run intervals, to watch MY BUTT SHRINKING!
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In fact, at this point, my tummy is a bit bigger than my butt, but IT IS SHRINKING TOO! emoticon

Pretty soon I will be in balance, top to bottom, front to back. That is all I care! I do not have to be skinny, or wear a bikini. But I would like to be non-bulgy, and have a butt proportionate to the rest of my self.

And you know, my SELF has been such a part of that journey. The me that loves to sit on the couch and read is still very much alive! But now she is more peripatetic and she loves to take breaks from reading and she loves to plan to MOVE! She is altogether happier because she has found friends, both here where I live and online, who share her interests and don't consider her odd when she doesn't particularly want to watch football...

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Maybe that's how it works!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATREAT4ME 11/13/2010 9:33AM

    What a great post. Self-love is so evident that it makes me fall in love with you too. I have a huge grin just from reading the story of your wonderful, shrinking butt. Congratulations. You will rock that skirt in your new balanced self. Lovely!

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SARAWALKS 11/13/2010 9:05AM

    Love it, Esther! Never heard "Baby got BACK!" before! Butt I just looked in the mirror at my butt, and after reading all these comments, I thought to self, "cute butt, kiddo!" It's so nice that Hubs likes yours... emoticon

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CALLIKIA 11/13/2010 8:51AM

    Baby got BACK! Me too! *lol* It's a constant struggle, but Hubs always reminds me that he loves my big butt over my mom's no-butt, and he's super-glad I didn't inherit my butt genes (*lol*) from her! I can't wait until the lower half starts to look more in proportion to the upper half...but I've got more work to put in before that happens. Good job on shrinking that booty!

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SARAWALKS 11/13/2010 8:15AM

    Hee hee, Cello, emoticon !
Yes, curvy butt, that's what I got!
Pics upcoming when I reach the goal and find The Skirt... emoticon

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CELLO23 11/13/2010 7:50AM

    I'm so glad you're expanding that self and would like to emoticon that girl for saying such a thing. These little thoughtless comments can brand themselves so deep, yet have absolutely no basis in reality (see Claude). Plus, curvy butts can look amazing in pencil skirts - think of Mad Men!
Can relate so well to the emoticon girl - life takes off when you finally find people who share that.
To the shrinking butt: so long, farewell! adieu! emoticon And let's see those pix! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/12/2010 10:31PM

    Thanks, everyone, for the fun comments! emoticon
Susan, it is "gaposis" that REALLY motivates me, nearly as much as the skirt! It is SUCH a pain.
Janis, I think that exercise really HAS made a big difference. I never saw a dramatic change like this before I started doing the Leslie DVDs AND the food tracking! They go together so well... emoticon

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CHIPPEE 11/12/2010 6:29PM

    I LOVE this. And I totally understand. I probably won't ever be able to wear a pencil skirt. Even at 116 when I got married I couldn't wear one. But (butt?) who knows...? maybe with exercise it'll be different this time if I ever make it down the scale that far.
Congratulations to you for closing in your goal. How exciting is that!!! emoticon

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SUSANS111 11/12/2010 5:41PM

    Ohhh! I love the way you said that!!

I wonder if my butt will ever shrink to the point where I don't have 'gaposis' of the waist band of all my pants. I hope so.

Here, here, to shrinking butts and liking things even when they don't fall into the mainstream interests!

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KAREN42BOYS 11/12/2010 4:02PM

    oh, this is a great blog! good for you for taking of your bum and yourself!

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BJW-FARMGIRL 11/12/2010 2:21PM

    emoticon Too cute!!

And you're almost there! Soon you'll be rockin' that skirt.

Comment edited on: 11/12/2010 2:23:23 PM

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MLRICHARD 11/12/2010 2:05PM

    Love the blog. Thanks for sharing. I have suffered with my rear as well. But thanks to lots of moving, it is reducing in size.

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SARAWALKS 11/12/2010 1:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/12/2010 1:56:20 PM

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CLAUDECF 11/12/2010 1:53PM

    Just love your conclusion, I think that last phrase is capital: self expanding.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't even notice you HAD a butt emoticon
You sure we're talking about the same person? emoticon

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Leslie Sansone Ultimate Collection - YES!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All you folks who were interested in the Intensity Walk DVD (which may be hard to get now), listen up! The final segment of the Ultimate Collection is the same 4-mile super challenge walk that is on the Intensity DVD. However emoticon the other two Intensity segments that I liked so well are NOT here, and I don't know if they've been reissued or not. emoticon

However, this DVD is WORTH THE MONEY! emoticon
Even if you already have the other one, what it adds is great!

I emoticon the first 1-mile segment. BEST arms workout I have found on a Leslie DVD! She uses weighted balls but I used 2 lb. hand weights & by the end, my arms KNEW they had worked! emoticon

I like the fact that all these miles begin with warmup that's not too long (impatient me!) and end with cooldown that's equally time-efficient. emoticon

PLUS I like the bright blue tops that they're all wearing - AND I am happy that this is a different group of people. (Oh, I'm so judgmental - there's always one who irritates me & this time it's Mary Kay. But she's worse on the Intensity Walk DVD - or maybe it's just the goofy shorts she has on in that one...anyway, maybe you will like her!)

Second segment is 2-mile brisk walk, and they're all wearing hot pink. (Mary Kay is there!) This mile is not super-intense, just moderate -- good for a day when you're a little tired. They use the stretchy band for arms toward the middle of the 2nd mile, but they skip the triceps kickbacks. Some days, I don't WANT to do triceps kickbacks! emoticon

You can pump this mile up by doing the kicks with a boost - first time I did this segment, I found myself just doing that for fun! Amazing! emoticon

Third segment is 3-mile advanced walk. Aqua tops, and this one is from an older DVD, you can tell by the location. It's definitely advanced. Mile 2 really pumps it up. Pace slows down a bit in mile 3 where you get triceps kickbacks with the stretchy. Whew. Plus some deep chest work which could help your pushups... emoticon By the time she starts double kickbacks, you think, "Oh NO..." but emoticon and you usually survive! Slower pace helps.

Fourth segment is the 4-mile super challenge that I like so much from the Intensity Walk DVD. They're wearing black with a bit of white. This IS a challenge.

All in all, this DVD is a BEST BUY! emoticon You get 10 different miles, in very use-able combinations. Mile 1 is now my absolute fave mile for arms, which was my focus today. emoticon

Another plus is that some of the walkers chime in with remarks on this one, it's not just all Leslie. Although her patter on this one is mostly very much to the point and helpful - not quite as "folksy" as it can get.

The only down for me on this one is that stupid "WalkPowerWalk" song which begins segments 3 & 4. I'm glad she put that one to bed on later DVDs!

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emoticon Leslie for another emoticon DVD! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 11/12/2010 10:36PM

    @Cello, thanks! Yes, I've come a long way and emoticon too!
@Claude - you WILL, you WILL! emoticon
@Chippee - I'm proud of YOU for trying them! You will emoticon them, I feel sure...
@Goingto - hearing Copacabana DOES make up for Walkpowerwalk to a great extent! I also like that other soulful electronic swing tune toward the end of the 4 mile challenge! emoticon

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CHIPPEE 11/12/2010 6:24PM

    Okay, now you've inspired me. I'm gonna put in my one LS dvd and do it this evening. Will be looking for this new one when I go shopping.
Keep up the good work. I'm so proud of you. emoticon emoticon

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CLAUDECF 11/12/2010 6:03AM

    I am so looking forward to the time when I can do LS again! emoticon

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CELLO23 11/12/2010 4:23AM

    You know you've come a long way, baby, when you say things like: 'Some days, I don't WANT to do triceps kickbacks!' emoticon emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/11/2010 10:23PM

    Thanks, Trig, Susan, Michelle!
Susan, maybe this will help when things get nasty during the winter!
emoticon to all!

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    Thanks for sharing about that. That walkpowerwalk IS annoying, 'tis true....:)

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SUSANS111 11/11/2010 2:19PM

    Just finished the free 15 minute walk on line. I feel great!
Now I'm heading out for an outdoor walk with the 4 legged friends.

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TRIGFROST 11/11/2010 2:10PM

    I love Leslie ....Love to walk w/ her....on tapes that is... emoticon

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SUSANS111 11/11/2010 1:50PM

    You make these dvd's sound so good! I just went to Leslie's website and found a one mile freebie to stream. Here I go to put on my walking shoes. I may be headed out to buy a couple in the next half hour or so. Thanks for the motivation!

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Candied Grapefruit Peel!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

This one's for CHIPPEE! I made this a few nights ago and she asked how it was done. Turns out there are lots of different variations.

I used a recipe on Eating Well but changed it somewhat - maybe not for the better - but the peels still turned out yummy!

Here is a link to an even more complete recipe, with variations for peels in syrup and dried peels coated with sugar.

My approach was a bit easier and quicker.

I used 3 pink grapefruit, approx. 2 cups sugar, and 1/4 cup liquid (half reconstituted lemon juice, half water).

The original recipe said to use only 2 tsp. lemon juice - but I was afraid this would not be enough. I'll try this small amount the next time...

Scrub the grapefruit. Divide the peel into quarters by scoring the peel and then peeling it away from the fruit. I left the white pith since I like to eat that too, but some like to remove the pith. Save the fruit for breakfast!

Cut each quarter into 6-8 lengthwise strips.
Put peels in a large saucepan or wok and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil, blanch for 1 minute, then drain. Repeat this 2 more times.

Here's what the blanched peels look like.

Then combine 1 cup of the sugar with lemon juice mixture and peels in the same pan.
Cook, stirring, over low heat until sugar is dissolved.

Simmer, stirring fairly often, until most liquid has evaporated - 30 to 45 minutes.

Let peels cool for several hours, on either a wire rack or wax paper. Wire rack would be better but I don't have one. so I layered wax paper in a square pan.

Roll in remaining sugar. You can do this after drying them - or after cooling them overnight in the fridge - or you actually could just eat them as they are!

I like the tartness that remains when you blanch them for only one minute. Others might prefer to cook them longer to get rid of that taste.

I think they would be very nice dried, but I am afraid to leave them overnight to dry, I think I might have a counter full of bugs feasting on the sugar!

Calories per piece: 25. 7 g carbs. 2 mg potassium.
I must admit they don't last me very long!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 11/10/2010 11:18AM

    @Esther - yes, I'm sure it would! In fact there's a candied orange peel recipe on spark recipes. You can candy most anything that is citrus. I just like the grapefruit best because of the thick peel and the nice bite-y taste! emoticon

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CALLIKIA 11/10/2010 10:04AM

    Hrm. I always wondered if anyone ever ate the peels to these foods. Do you think this would work with oranges too?

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TEENY_BIKINI 11/7/2010 2:40PM


Life is good and yummy. Thanks!

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CELLO23 11/7/2010 6:23AM

    Sounds tasty! emoticon Suspect I'd have to hide them!

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SUSANS111 11/7/2010 1:56AM

    Looks delish! They would make a plain dessert look gourmet as decoration for a special event.

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SARAWALKS 11/6/2010 8:13PM

    @HealthyArtist - Yes, I think it works with any peels!
@Chippee - I did the fridge thing but I had them in a container. I think maybe they need to be open to the air in order to dry properly...

Hope everyone enjoys them! They're actually fairly holiday-festive... emoticon

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CHIPPEE 11/6/2010 7:53PM

    Thanks so much. I'm going to have to make them. Maybe when I'm having company so I don't eat them all. I love grapefruit AND I love eating the rinds (since I was a kid). They look gorgeous too.
As far as drying them. You could probably dry them in the fridge. Refrigeration is based on evaporation, so it should dry it nicely while protecting from any little critters who might want to join you in the party! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYARTIST1 11/6/2010 7:06PM

    I wonder if this would work with orange peels, lemon peels, and my favorite would probably be lime peels! This sounds wonderful! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/6/2010 3:44PM

    Claude, I must confess that I've eaten quite a few of these since I made them...and since I wasn't quite sure how to track them...
they have just been responsible for my putting that same pound back on...
But then again, who cares? emoticon

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CLAUDECF 11/6/2010 3:40PM

    The sort of thing that would start me on a sugar urge! Looks good! emoticon emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/6/2010 3:38PM

    Jenn, it is indeed SERIOUSLY GOOD!
and I just found an even better link - with the most complete nutritional info -
R>This also has a series of photos describing each step. I like the way it figures quantities also!

Happy eating! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/6/2010 3:39:05 PM

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LADYZHERRA 11/6/2010 3:29PM

    OMG! OMG! OMG! I have GOT to try this! Thanks for posting! emoticon

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Intensity walk! Another helpful Leslie Sansone DVD...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

OK, so I'm Leslie-Sansone-indoor-walking-obsessed! There could be worse things! Replacing one obsession emoticon with another emoticon is called a healthy substitution...I think! emoticon

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! emoticon

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.
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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! emoticon

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 emoticon AND to move my microphones around! emoticon

Not to mention that I can now wear a cute little black wool skirt that has been languishing in the closet! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAUDECF 11/11/2010 5:30AM

    @Cello, as long as you download, there's no problem. I think what you get is a file ending in .avi, that you can burn to a dvd and which is not zoned! I hate that you can buy stuff, but that Apple or other companies forbid you to use it! emoticon

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CELLO23 11/11/2010 5:18AM

    @claude Thanks for this info - our DVD is just region two emoticon but I emailed LS and they said there shouldn't be a problem (though that contradicts Amazon). My laptop says it plays multiple formats only a few times until you have to decide which you're sticking with. Aaaaggghh. It's such an annoying scam! I'll look into the site you mention - I guess that might be more general format.
@sara Thanks too! There's a 2003 one which seems to be available in R2, but not the one you mention.
In the meantime I bagged a couple of other DVDs so am trying out Jillian Michaels - eek! Will report back (if I survive...)_ emoticon

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CLAUDECF 11/10/2010 12:43PM

    Cello, my dvd player (not the one on the Mac) reads all regions... So I'm fine with stuff from the UK, from the US or from France.
Macs are very un-user friendly about this, but if you have a PC, chances are you can read international with it, just by using the VLC player or googling for a program that will let you do it.
Also, sells Leslie Sansone videos that are downloadable. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/10/2010 11:16AM

    @Esther and Cello - I found that I also have the DVD that includes the 4 mile super challenge - it's called the Ultimate Collection and has 3 more walks. I'll review it pretty soon. That one is easily available. BUT it doesn't have segments 2 & 3, so I'm glad I also have the old one. Happy emoticon emoticon

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CALLIKIA 11/10/2010 10:07AM

    Okay, this sounds wonderful! I may have to put some more LS DVDs on my Christmas list! ;)

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CELLO23 11/9/2010 5:40AM

    (reporting back) Well, I tried a 10 minute Leslie S video on Youtube and it seems good! I was at work (on my own emoticon) and it certainly got me moving after sitting glued to the pc. I like the way she gets your arms moving above your head - certainly felt it afterwards. Realised my normal gym regime doesn't actually include that!

I looked on Amazon but the DVDs all say US region 1 - am wondering whether (Claude?) the work with Region 2 players too? emoticon emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/4/2010 4:38PM

    @Cello - it took me a while to get obsessed with Leslie but once I felt it really working (often more than just walking outdoors) I was hooked1
@Claude - YES, we have to do that! I was thinking of bringing some of my DVDs...we'll have to see which ones you don't have! emoticon

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CLAUDECF 11/4/2010 4:32PM

    This DVD sound really great, when you come over, maybe we can exchange tips and techniques! I feel so envious as LS is just out of reach for me at the moment, you are doing a fantastic job!!!
Remember when you thought one mile was plenty? Not so long ago! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CELLO23 11/4/2010 9:20AM

    Great about the skirt! emoticon I really must look into this Lesley S - gym visits have declined since the darker nights and colder weather started. emoticon Wish I could turn that into an obsession. Wonder if there's a way to do that? emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/4/2010 12:11AM

    Thanks, Jami! emoticon and emoticon !
Yes, I'm constantly grateful for all the breath technique I've built up!
Feeling my breath for singing begin to go was what sent me to the gym in 2005...and I knew that getting more fit would help...but today I was amazed when a phrase I had always taken a "cheat breath" to finish - just finished itself!
It is especially nice when I can say to my older singers at church that age doesn't have to keep them from growing - after all, my breath technique is still improving at age 65!
Have a great day yourself! I'm up much later than I should be... emoticon emoticon

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BECOMINGJAMI 11/3/2010 11:47PM

    My goodness, I knew I liked you.

One: I find that Leslie Sansone is really helpful for me, who doesn't always have the ability to go out and walk. I like to walk at night, and we have cougars. (No thank you.) Plus, we get nasty weather a lot, and I'm already overweight enough that I worry about not being able to make it back, so adding bad weather into that mix is a bad idea of for me. So I'll definitely be looking into this DVD.

Two: from one singer to another - THANK YOU. The distinction is huge! The average breath only uses a fourth of our lungs as it is. Why sabotage ourselves further? (Have you ever found that musical breathing techniques help you with your workouts? I've been amazed.)

Anyway. Rambling. Have a terrific evening (or day, if you get this tomorrow.)


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