Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wii Will be Fit!

Let me begin by saying that I am in no way an exercise mastermind. If you ask me for twenty different workouts to firm and lift the tooshie . . . I may be able to give you . . . three, off the top of my head. Maybe.
What I really am, however, is someone who has been working out, a couch potato, trying to work out, lazy bum, over and over again since high school. I just couldn't find a workout routine that kept me motivated. If it was a friend exercising with me, well, life got in the way, and friend and/or I moved on to new schools, new homes, what have you, and there goes my incentive to break out the weights and the stopwatch.
Finally, after ten years of trying, I'm beginning to discover the motivation and determination to keep fit.

And I just thought I'd try to share the wisdom. Maybe you've heard some of these things before, maybe not. This is just the fitness world as I've experienced it. Whoo-hoo! :]

  • There is no "right way" or "perfect program."  Magazine articles, TV shows, adverts, your pal, etc will try to tell you that "this is the best workout ever!" Maybe it is. Try it, give it a chance, and if you absolutely hate it, you have not failed. There's nothing wrong with you because you hated that workout. It just might be time to try something else.  I had a friend who loved doing military-style routines. We would try them together, and, golly I just hated every grueling, sweat-filled, aching second of it while she was completely in her element. What did I discover years later? I like walking, yoga, and pilates. Does that make one of our workout styles null and void? No. We're just different, and so are our exercise routines. Yay for differences! XD
  • Find a routine you love. Following the first point, you are more likely to stick with something you enjoy than something you dread. Personally, I'm a Wii Fit fanatic (hence the title), but you may be someone who likes running marathons. Awesome! Run those marathons! Maybe you like Zumba? Then dance, baby, dance! There are so many classes, workout videos (I recommend the 10 Minute Solutions series--you get to mix and match your routine in 10 minute segments), and video games to choose from! Once you find one you like, you'll be excited to start your workout and enjoy it.
  • Have a goal and accountability. This is key. Personally, if I don't have some sort of accountability or goal, then I don't get off my duff. But, if I have something to shoot for, I'm on it. That's part of the reason I love Wii Fit--there's always a score to beat and a graph to conquer.   I'm pretty competitive . . . and now, I am in competition with myself?! Watch out me!  It's also a huge help to have an accountability partner: a friend or family member, or maybe just the computer/video game. My mom loves using an app on her Ipad that counts calories against your workout. A good friend of mine has running and surfing buddies. Set a realistic goal, get some accountability, and shoot for it.
  • Thirty minute sessions are the most effective. That's not saying you can't work out for more than that, but give yourself a small break (around 10 minutes) for water (drink lots of it!) or some deep breathing to let your body recuperate and recharge for the next part of your session. Sometimes, I like to break my sessions up to different times of day: a heavier workout in the morning and then a lighter one in the evening.
  • In strength training, do ten rep sets. There are two kinds of muscle: slow twitch and fast twitch. Fast are l muscles that contract quickly for quick bursts of power (i.e. your arms). Slow twitch are muscles used for endurance (i.e. core muscles/abdominal muscles). Muscles tear as you workout so, to help them repair and therefore build muscle, you must allow breaks between rep cycles, smaller breaks for fast twitch and longer for slow twitch. And by long I mean like 20 seconds. Ladies, don't worry, you won't look like a man when this is over, I promise ;]
  • DRINK WATER!!!! And that's all I have to say about that. 
  • Aerobics are important. Personally, I'm not a runner, but that doesn't mean I should cut out all aerobics. I may not race, but I love a good, speedy walk for 20-30 minutes. Guess what? I'm still burning calories and giving my heart a workout. Maybe you don't like either of those? Try cycling or dance. I love yoga and could do it all day long, but I can't ignore the benefits of a good cardio workout. Not only is it one of the fastest workout methods to burn fat, but it keeps my heart in tip-top shape. 
  • Warm up. "Cold" muscles are more susceptible to injury. Warming up also helps lend itself to muscle memory so the workout becomes easier and more beneficial. Plus a good stretch just feels awesome. :]
  • Don't overdo it. If I haven't been to a gym in years, am I suddenly going to bench-press 500lbs?? NO! If I'm lucky, I'll be able to bench-press a naked bar the first few times. Eventually, we'll add a little weight on. The point is not to jump in like you're an Olympian. Start out at your own pace; yes, you should push yourself, but not too hard. Know your limits. Work past them gradually. Jumping in too heavily can result in injury, and we don't want that. 
  • If you are in a gym on machines, read the instructions or ask an assistant to help. Um, hello? Those labels and those people are there for a reason. Use them and don't be ashamed. Choosing to ignore them can result in a major owie.
  • When you're finished, have a protein snack. No, that doesn't mean a cheeseburger. Trust me, I made that mistake after my workout classes in college. Yeah, and I wondered where that Freshman Twenty came from . Geez Louise. By protein, I mean a little bit of peanut butter, a protein bar or shake, or maybe some hummus and veggies (Hello! Hummus and celery is my new favorite workout reward!). The protein will help refuel and rebuild your body after you're finished working out. 
  • You've done awesomely! Now reward yourself! In grade school, after working long and hard on that spelling test, wasn't it all worth it to get that shiny star sticker? Same thing with your workout routine. Lost some weight? Buy a new outfit or pull out those old used-to-be-too-tiny jeans you've been hiding to show your hot bod. Been craving cheesecake for ages? You've been good all week, have a piece. Yum! I love to reward myself with a spa soak after a long, hard day at work and a long workout. Everything just feels, looks, and tastes sooooo much better after you've been good to your body. Don't feel bad about a little indulgence. You've taken care of your body, worked hard, and you totally deserve this!
 I don't know about you, but all this exercise jibber jabber has made me want to jump on my little Wii Fit and break into a sweat!

What about you? Any favorite work-out tips?

Happy exercising!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Collection of Confessions

  • I haven't been posting because I don't know what to say. I am so distraught by the tragedy in Japan that everything that seemed to be a good post seemed insignificant. You can't just sweep something like the earthquake/tsunami under the rug and forget it happened because it's been a couple of weeks. Japan is still struggling with all of this. We can't forget it.
  • Sometimes, I have intense, consuming, obsessive cravings for Crab Rangoons. No, I'm not pregnant. They're just like Chinese Food Heroin.
  • Sometimes, I wonder if I should try something new next year. I have a summer job lined up in the H.R. department at Chris's grandfather's agriculture company. I've never worked in Human Resources, and, if I like it, maybe I should stay? Maybe I should try teaching again. First I was so set on finding something else, then I decided that, yes, I definitely wanted to teach, and some days, I think I might try something new.  We'll just see what happens. 
  • I really, really want to go overseas. I have since I was a kid, and sometimes I can almost taste it. We have connections at a school in Indonesia, and, sometimes, Chris and I talk about going over. A great adventure, absorbing a whole new culture and whole new perspective. I never expected to live my entire life in Florida--I'm a homebody with a bad case of wanderlust. Still, God will do the things you don't expect. 
  • I am addicted to my new-used Wii Fit. 
  • I wish I knew privacy was guaranteed in an apartment complex. Seriously. Can the people underneath us hear everything? Are we too noisy? Has anyone seen me running naked/half-naked to grab something out of the dryer??? AH!!!
  • I like the thought of moving  mostly because I'll get to redecorate. I love organizing and decorating. Keeping it pretty and organized is slightly more of a challenge.
  • The Muppets are awesome. Period.
  • Chris and I collect stuff for our future family. Classic 70s cartoons? Check. Fraggle Rock on DVD? Check. Star Wars themed bath toys? Double check.
  • I have a new irrational fear: zombies. Dear Max Brooks: your awesome book World War Z now has me thinking there are flesh-devouring zombies outside my shower curtain. It's usually the cats . . . but still . . .
So, I'm thinking a new healthy post will be up, soon, probably about the things I've learned about working out by actually working out. Stay tuned! :]

Monday, March 21, 2011


There are times in a relationship when you sacrifice for someone else.
Sometimes, that means giving up your favorite chair, going to the movie you didn't want to see, cooking a dinner you'd rather not eat. It just happens.

Other times, it's an art festival. One you really, really want to go to, and one your husband volunteers to attend . . . with gritted teeth.

Now, when I say Art Festival, I imagine it being sort of like the ones I attended in the Fondren District of Jackson, MS during my college years--great food, musical performances on every corner, awesome knick knacks and artistic creations. It was the most relaxing but energizing evenings. I went home with creative juices pumping and totally refreshed because, you see, there was still good, pure art in the world fed by starving artists. Aah, it was beautiful.

Sunday, the opportunity arose to visit the Winter Park Art Festival  accompanied by some members of the church small group I've started attending (I have one friend outside of family--ONE--and she's leaving for Indonesia in July so I have to start stocking up on spiritual growth and social graces . . . and people . . . I need people in my life . . . ). I was ecstatic. Oh to relive my Fondren days! To be engulfed in the creative spirit! When I told Chris my plans, he looked at me, sighed, then said, "All right. I'll go, too, but only because I don't want you to be alone." You see, my sweet husband knows my directional limitations and wanted to be sure I came home that night and wasn't abandoned beside a display of perplexing modern sculpture.

Chris's coming might not sound like a big deal . . . but the man is not into art. In his own words, he's "glad it exists" but his choice of how to spend a relaxing weekend afternoon? Not on your life.

What no one had told me was that Winter Park is not Fondren. I already know that WP is one of the wealthier (if not the most) area in Central Florida, but I did not know that this art festival drew the populous of Disney World on any given weekend. Walls of packed bodies all trying to go different directions. They've brought with them their grandmothers, mothers, great aunt mildreds, uncle howies, nieces, nephews, the whole lot. It smells of smoked meats and B.O. You can't talk about the things you're looking at because you're so busy muttering "excuse me" every ten seconds.
Then there's the art. Stunning, really, I loved the Terminator-resembling sculptures, the 2D and 3D combined art, all the wackiness, creativity, and talent that goes into creating something fantastic. But there are price tags. Lots and lots of price tags. Tags with BIG numbers on them. So many more numbers than I could imagine being attached to a piece of glass. Seriously?! That much?? Starving artists are a myth, I swear.  And, as you're admiring these creations, feeding on the inspiration, there's someone in the booth, a vulture, staring you down pulsing the message "Buy something, buy something, spend your life savings, now, spend it now, spend it now" so that you feel it's a sin to walk away empty-handed and with a full wallet.

After thirty minutes, Chris had had more than enough. Heck, I had had more than enough. But there was a problem: we carpooled. Our car was back at the church five miles away.  Chris finally poked me in the arm. "Can I leave? Please?"
"Sure, hon. I'll never ask you to do this again."
"No, you won't" he said, smirking. Chris is rather accomplished in the art of the smirk.
The young lady we had ridden with produced her keys. "Want these? So you can listen to the radio or something?"
"No, I'm good," he said, and disappeared in the sweltering crowd.

So I walked around with the group, looking at every single display. I did not want to see every display. I had seen enough pretty much the moment I noticed the price tags. That and I wanted to spend more time at some of the more bizarre displays and less around the ginormous beaded jewelry and pottery. See, pretty things are great, really, but you can kind of look at them and walk away. Other things--like the Terminator-resembling sculptors--you want to look at and study. I didn't really do that for fear of being separated. So for over an hour, we weave, huff, puff, wander, ooh and aah. Sweat's running down my back, my neck is hurting, my throat is beyond parched, my shoe is coming off but I can't stop and fix it for fear of being trampled or lost, I can feel my shoulders burning even through the sunscreen. Still, on I trudge. For the sake of art!!!

Finally, we're back at the car, and there is no Chris. No where. Not inside, not on top, not below, not beside. So I call him. Second try and he picks up. "Honey, where are you?"
"I'm at the car."
"No, you're not. I'm at the car."
"Sarah, I'm in my car."
"You're WHAT?!?!"
"Yeah, I'm sitting in my car, waiting for you."
"How did you get there?!"
"I walked."
"Yeah. I'm a fast walker."
"No kidding. Well, I'll see you there then."

Yes, it's true, the man walked his way back to his beloved old Mustang, past the crowds, the art, five miles down the road.  "New rule," he said when we met up, "Always, always, ALWAYS will we drive ourselves."

I couldn't stop laughing at him. Something about the fact that he hated the festival so much, hated carpooling so much, and wanted his independence that badly made me love him a little more, I think.

And no, I'm not going to the festival next year. I'll stick to museums. At least they're air conditioned ;]

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I don't have a TV that picks up channels, shows, news, anything. It plays DVDs and that's about it. So I'm behind on the times.  With internet, I suppose that's no excuse, but I get tired of celebrity news and doomsday recession articles. Again, I'm behind.

Last night, my brother's fb status read,

I asked the hubs, "Hon, Matt had something weird about Japan on his page. Did something happen?"
"One of the biggest earthquake in recorded history. Tsunamis as a result. Another earthquake in Tokyo. Areas around Nuclear power plants are being evacuated because of leaks. It's really bad, love."

My heart is absolutely breaking for them. I have friends there, but it's more than that. It's about a country--about people--blindsided and beat-down by the mercilessness of nature.  There are people without homes, without work, children suddenly without parents, and parents without children. Radiation. Floods. Fear. Anguish.

I want to do something, want to help, but all I can do is sit uselessly, reading news articles, and praying.  I know there is more power in that than in anything, but I feel like I should be doing more.

Pray for them.  They are hurting more than we will ever know.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Teacup Conversations: Episode III

Monday is our day off.
Personally, I like it better than having Saturdays off together (as a teacher, I DO get Saturdays off, but Chris, being in retail, does not . . . I WIN!).  Everyone else is working, so we pretty much get the town all to ourselves. Not that we really ever go out on the town. Hermitage. Boo. ;]

So, anyways, this past Monday, we sat down to some Steak 'n' Shake and start chatting. First was an epic debate on whether sharks or gators were scarier (Um, gators, hello!!! Chris, darling, you are so misled). Then, I decided to take the conversation on a different route (ok, so I was sort of stalling so I could come up with more points on why giant man-eating reptiles are scarier).
"We've been married almost a year and a half. We've been together for almost five--which is like half a bloody decade--and known each other for almost nine years. Have I rubbed off on you?"

Chris stopped, tilted his head, pursed his lips, and actually thought about it.
You have no idea the hope this gave me. The hubs, while a wonderful person and I would never ask for any other, is a man who sticks to his guns. Meaning he doesn't change his opinions or habits easily. Meaning at all. The thought that I might have influenced the almost-uninfluence-able was HUGE.

Finally, "Yeah, I think you have."
You might as well have handed me a million dollars. "How?!"
"Hm . . . I don't know."
And you took those million dollars right back. "What?? Oh come on, how have I rubbed off on you?"
Surely, a sense of mercy, financial consciousness, openness, something.

Chris thought again. "Well, I guess I've started talking to the cats like you do."

You just hit me in the face with that million dollar bundle. "Wait. What??"

"Yeah, I mean, I talk to Pipkin like you do because I've kind of come to think of her as like a furry extension of my wife." He was trying not to laugh.

I hope my face fully expressed the insult I was suffering. It must have--Chris started laughing. Hard.

So, yes, after nearly ten years, I have taught my husband how to talk to cats . . . because they remind him of me.
Epic. Fail.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Teacup Conversations: Episode II

Browsing good ole facebook, the source of all gossip and scandal, I had had it. No really. I couldn't contain it any longer.

"Chris! Everbody's having BABIES!!!" (seriously, fb fertility is getting pretty crazy)

Considering he's sitting right next to me, I probably didn't need to shout. Chris knows my fb rants. When I got out of college, everyone else was getting engaged. He called it, "let's tell Chris about another engagement and look at him expectantly" game.

"I mean, I'm not begging for one right now or anything."
" 'Kay."
"In fact, I have a plan!"
This is the part when Chris tries to appear like he takes me seriously and not like he's about to laugh.
"When everyone's finished having babies, then WE will have a baby! And it will get all the attention! Because it's the only baby around!"
"You devious woman."
"I know, right?"
Yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself. See? I'm totally learning patience.

Now, I'm going to browse Target and Ikea websites for decorations for the rental house we don't have . . . but may this summer/fall! Whoot!

Yeah, totally patient. ;}

Rehearsal Dinner October 2, 2009

"Moisture is the essence of wetness. Wetness is the essence of beauty."

Please, please, please, tell me you recognize the Zoolander quote above.

If you don't, it's ok. You're still awesome.
I think after working with six and seven-year-olds all day, I just start to feel a generation gap. Like a lot. They can't believe I have no bloody clue the importance of i-Carly, and I can't believe they don't know what a VCR is. Life's a funny thing.

Anywho . . . the point of this post is about . . . well . . . water.

The hubs recently brought home a book for me to read called What You Don't Know May Be KILLING YOU!  
Thank the good Lord in heaven he didn't bring it home to scare us into locking ourselves into an organic bomb shelter never to emerge into this world of revolting chemicals and death. I'll be frank, if books about the danger in the world around you make you want to be a hermit, don't pick this book up. If you want to educate yourself on some ways to make some wise, "simple" and healthier decisions, this seems, so far, to be a good choice. While seeming slightly paranoid, Dr. Colbert is very informative and practical--which I love. I don't want someone telling me all the world is filth and then giving me obscure, uber-expensive brands that are the only way to life. No, he gives you average brands in any grocery store or info on ingredients to watch for. Very helpful for the average shopper with a smaller bank account.

As my students say, "FOCUS!" so we're focusing. On water. Strap yourself in.

Did you know . . .
  • Your body in total is about 60% water
  • Your muscles and brain are roughly 75% water
  • Your blood is around 82% water--the shortage of water in your blood can affect all other parts and functions of your body
  • Your bones are approximately 25% water
  • The average human needs about 3 quarts of water a day
  • To discover how much water YOU as an individual needs, take your weight, divide it by 2, and that is the number of ounces you need to drink DAILY (i.e. If someone weighs 200 lbs, they would drink 100 oz of water a day)
  • Caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda, and tea do not count as water, even though they are liquid. They actually can cause you to lose water rather than restore it. 
Ok, so now that you have the statistics of the NEED for water, let's look at the benefits:
  • Drinking enough water can help with back and neck pain. How? Between your vertebra, there is a jelly-like substance to help cushion. If you're not drinking enough water, those lovely cushions become dehydrated and shrink, BUT if you're drinking plenty of H2O, they stay full and fluffy, giving your spine the support it needs. 
  • It can help prevent wrinkles and improve skin overall. What's this?! I don't need wrinkle cream?? Not as much as you think. :] If you have a fruit that is fully, ripe and juicy--aka full of water!--does it look dry and wrinkly like a raisin? No! If your skin cells are plump with plenty of water, they give your skin a fuller healthier glow. Will it kill all wrinkles? No, but it helps more than you realize. 
  • It can help prevent/reduce the affects of arthritis,  ulcers, asthma, Alzheimer's, hiatal hernias, and high blood pressure. Whew! All this just by keeping my body hydrated??? Oh yes, it's true! Just keep thinking of that juicy fruit vs raisin analogy. 
  • You will feel more awake and alert
So how on earth do I get enough water, now that I realize how simply fantastic it is??? Well, I'll tell you :]
  • Drink about 8 oz of water before and after breakfast. Yes, you can still have your juice (Yay!) but remember that juice, while lovely, does not make up for the glories of good ole H2O. 
  • Eat fresh fruits and veggies. "Wait a minute!" you say, "I thought this was about DRINKING! Not eating," Well, it is. Remember that juicy fruit? It's filled with--you guessed it--WATER!! If you eat your full amount of fruits and veggies in day, you will actually consume 1 of your 3 daily quarts of water. Phew! Sadly--but logically--processed foods, meats, and starches do not count. 
  • Have a glass or two before and after each meal. If you're drinking water beforehand, this will not only help your stomach feel slightly more full--so you consume less calories--but it will also aid in your digestion. Try to time it 30 minutes before and then 2 1/2 hours after. Unless you have an enlarged prostate, hiatal hernia, or acid reflux, have another 8 oz before bedtime. 
A couple of tips I did find helpful: to help prevent immediate exposure to some of the things floating around in even American water--or anywhere with great tap water:
  • Consider investing in a filter system to help get rid of chemicals and other unwanted items that could be in your water. 
  • Run the tap for a minute or two before filling your glass--this helps flush out some things that otherwise might be going directly into your tummy. 
  • Don't begin cooking or drink with hot water straight out of the tap. Hot tap water can leach metal from your pipes, and we don't want to be drinking metal. Yes, heating the water may kill bacteria, but the not chemicals or metal.

So see? It's not scary! It's not hard! In fact, it's pretty simple. You don't even have to give up your cup of tea or coffee (though moderation is encouraged ;]).

The benefits of adding water--this awesome beverage that is clean and available in our country--are outstanding. Don't give up or overlook it.

Your body will be singing your praises, promise! :]

Monday, March 7, 2011

Project 31 Day 21: Day 21: Letter to the Hubs

 Day 21.  Write a letter to your husband to encourage him

Hey, kiddo.
You already know you're awesome. I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
No really.
You are more and more becoming the leading man you believe God wants you to be.
Thank you for keeping me on track and challenging me to have faith in a God who is so much bigger than my worries.
Thank you for working so hard at work and in school--even when it's hard, frustrating, and seemingly pointless. You're going to get there. Your dedication makes me so proud.
Thank you for being my helper and my leader.
Thank you for not giving into your own fears and plunging ahead, no matter what. 
Thanks for making me laugh and think.

I could not have asked for anyone more.
You are my soulmate, and I love you so much.

P.S. Gators are totally scarier than sharks. Just sayin.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's just like M. Night Shyamalan's plant movie . . .

Do you know what happens when you're recovering from an allergic reaction to a moldy old building and then the oak trees start blooming as if they were on steroids?

Your very brief allergies become very LOOOOONG ones. for over two weeks, now, I have been hacking up and sneezing out the most disgusting green slime you have ever seen. Oh I'm well enough to go to work, and it's not contagious and all that. I just might have to go to rehab for all the decongestant I'm consuming.

Oh, and I've made an important discovery.
Wait for it.
I am . . .
[Pause for dramatic effect]
. . . loogie-impaired.
Yup. It's not that I won't it's that I CAN'T. My poor little esophagus just doesn't know how to force itself to spit up. It hates the puking so much, it won't let me loosen the revolting goop from my throat. No, instead I just have to have violent coughing fits that sound like the lovechild of puking and death.

But seriously, I feel pretty darn good. :] Or at least I think I do. I dunno, maybe I'm just used to being sick and once the trees stop blooming I'll be like OH HOLY CRAP I FEEL BEYOND AWESOME!!! Because there won't be pollen to perplex, pester, and torture my sinuses. The trees are out to kill me, I know it. It's because I haven't been recycling, isn't it? (Not my fault! Out apartment complex has NO bins! poo)

Random fact: I learned this week that, as a natural redhead, not only am I more susceptible to skin cancer, but I also feel pain more vividly than other hair colors and I need more anesthesia to knock me out . .. which explains why I woke up in the middle of having my wisdom teeth removed.
With great hair comes great responsibility.

I just realized I have written two posts about illnesses back to back after a long pause of . . . nothing.
I'm alive, really.
And my next post I won't mention snot at all.
Promise :]