GHG: Exercise

Remember Weight Watcher’s Good Health Guidelines?  Let’s explore them…together!!

I thought about going through them in order.  Then I decided I didn’t care about that.

I have come to another revelation.  Remember how I really want to be a Weight Watchers leader when I get to my goal weight?  I have another goal for that magical time in my life.

I want to teach dance fitness classes.

Here’s how I imagine that going – people will walk into my class and think, “Wow.  She’s really, really white.  There’s no way she will be any good at this.”

And then I will pop my booty.  And they will understand.

Seriously, friends.  I had no idea I was so good at booty poppin’ until I started going to these fitness classes.  Liz Love, Expert Booty Popper.  (That looks a lot like Booty Pooper at first glance.  I am laughing out loud right now.)

I went to “Cardio Dance Party” last night at 24 Hour Fitness, and consistently popped my booty for about 50 minutes.  Official realization?  Dance fitness classes are really the best way for me to work out.  Some people run – and some booty pop.

Here are my tips about exercising:

  1. DO SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO DO.  WW says you should get 30 minutes of exercise in a day.  It is incredibly difficult to get motivated enough to spend 30 minutes exercising every day.  You need to find something you love to do.  Or at least like to do.  Or something you can tolerate for the most part sometimes.
  2. Mix it up!  When it’s nice out in Austin (which won’t happen again until October), I really like to ralk outside.  When I’m feeling extra motivated, I like to do a workout from the Nike Training Club app.  I hope to get into yoga at some point in the near future.  WRG is teaching me how to use free weights.  I know that if I don’t have a lot of options, I’ll get really tired of something really quickly.
  3. Plan your workout schedule.  This is something I really, REALLY need to do.
  4. Buy awesome shoes/clothes/equipment.  I am in love with my Asics, my Champion sports bras/tanks from Target, and my Camelbak water bottle.  Find things that serve as even more motivation to kick ass.
  5. Get a partner in crime.  I know for a fact that I would not be as active as I am if it weren’t for WRG.  We try to keep each other motivated – because there will most definitely be days (weeks/months) when you do not feel like exercising.
  6. Ride the endorphin high.  It. Feels. AWESOME. To. Exercise.  I forget that so frequently, but the post-exercise endorphin rush?  There are few things like it.

Those are my exercise thoughts for you.  I’m a little silly today.  I do not apologize.

The Color Mudder

Ladies and gentlemen, I did my first 5K.

Kind of.

Let’s start at the beginning.  As I mentioned in this post, my dear friend Sarah introduced me to the Color Run.  It looked like it would be such a friggin’ blast and a GREAT way to introduce Liz-who-doesn’t-run to Liz-who-does-run.

Then, on Friday night before the race, it absolutely poured in Austin.  I mean, thunder, lightning, wind, and loads of rain.  I woke up in the middle of night and thought “Shit.  I have to brave these shenanigans tomorrow” and went back to sleep.  When we got up in the morning, it was a brisk 50 degrees outside and cloudy, but at least it wasn’t raining.  I donned my white shirt and old tennis shoes, weighed in at WW (bleh), and headed over to Sarah’s.  We thought that if we left at 8:00am, we’d be juuuust fine, considering the race wasn’t supposed to start until 9:00am, and we knew we would probably be towards the back.

Then this happened:

I think we sat in traffic for at least an hour and a half.  It was kind of annoying, but we were still waking up and having a good time watching all the other Color Runners try to get to their destination.  When we got closer to the actual site, we realized that not only was the traffic a mess, but the parking situation was going to be ridiculous.  So we had to park about….a mile and a half away.  Which means that we turned our 5K into a 10K!  Without even trying!  Hooray!  This is not even at the race yet:

Cute.

At this point, things are still kind of funny?  Maybe?  Like, we’re joking, and singing, and making fun of other people – it’s a good time.  By the time we get to the actual race, I’m a little tired and a little freezing, but still in high spirits.  (Keep in mind, this entire time we have not seen a single person who is actually working for the Color Run. This is a recurring theme.)  Here we are before the race!

A little chilly, but doin’ good.  The line was crazy:

It was about 9:45am when we finally started, and it was fun for about 8 minutes – some crazy color dust, running with friends….and then we hit the mud.  Remember when it had absolutely poured the night before?  Well, about 3/4ths of the race was covered in mud. Like, a foot deep.  Running was virtually impossible.  About 10 minutes into the hour that it took to “run” the race, my shoes, socks, and feet were TOTALLY soaked and muddy.  I don’t have any less-than-great iPhone photos from the actual thing because I was SO nervous I would drop my phone in the mud – I apologize for that.  However, I will tell you it was shenanigans, and practically resistance running.  I don’t know if that’s a thing, but whatever.  My butt and thighs still hurt today.  Rough.

We made 2 shortcuts and stopped once or twice to try to find a less muddy route through the foliage (unsuccessfully so), but we made it.  The worst part?  We were supposed to get dusted with brightly colored dust at every kilometer.  But because of the rain and the mud and the disorganization, they had run out of “color” by the time we got to them.  People were rolling on the short bits of pavement that were around the color stations, like this:

The three of us only got a little color on our white shirts, which was a bit of a bummer. However, at the end, there was a LOT of color leftover, and everyone was having a good time.  We spent some time in the fray, and then watched it happen:

Craziness.  Despite the mud and lack of color and cold weather, Monica had a good time:

Sarah, on the other hand, was not particularly happy:

Here we are, trying to show off our muddy shoes, and failing…

Here is how I kind of felt afterwards!

Here’s how I actually felt afterwards:

Guh.  Tired and muddy and less-than-colored and hilarious and ridiculous.  That’s how I roll.  BAM.

The bottom line is we all made it, and no one was left behind in the mud.  Afterwards, we went to Blue Star Cafeteria, and I definitely enjoyed a mimosa and Eggs Benedict:

I complained a lot, but it really was fun.  The Color Run folks could not have predicted the rain situation, and they really did try to make it a good time for everyone.  I’m excited that I have a 5K experience under my belt – and I intend to do more in the future!

But hopefully my shoes won’t look like this after the next one:

Yikes.

5K

I did it – I signed up for a 5K run.

And by run, I mean walk/run.  Probably more walk than run.  A wun.  Or a ralk. Yeah. Ralk is way better.

My friend Sarah texted me this weekend: “Want to do a 5K with me and Monica??”  Eight weeks ago, I would have laughed out loud and probably called her terrible names behind her back.  (Just kidding, Sarah – love you!!)  But now, 22 pounds lighter with new running shoes on my feet, I thought about it very carefully.

Then she posted the link on my FB wall.  Click on this.

The Color Run

I was IMMEDIATELY sold.  This looks like so much fun I can’t even stand it.  You have to wear a white t-shirt to the race, and at each kilometer, you get sprayed with totally harmless, extremely colorful DUST.  By the end of it, you’re covered in a million different colors.  Just watch this:

Magical.

So I’ve been working a little harder, in hopes that I can kind of keep up with the crowd. Last night, I ran for a total of 6 minutes!  Yes, it was interspersed with walking intervals, and yes, I thought I might pass out, but I did it.

If you would like to join us, check out their website and sign up!  We would be the team named “Funky Juice” – and yes, that is a Liz Lemon reference.  :)

Bust A Move

Happy 2012, everyone!

In celebration of the new year yesterday, I decided to try one of the 30-minute workouts in my Nike Training Club app that I blogged about before.  In the past, I had only done the 15-minute ab workout, which was fairly difficult, but I made it through.  I decided to do one of the 30-minute “Get Lean” workouts at the Beginner level.

And then I destroyed my body.

I’m sorry, BEGINNER???  How about YOU’RE ACTUALLY PLANNING TO KILL ME LEVEL???  OK, it wasn’t that bad.  But there were a lot of lunges.  And I am really out of shape.  When I went to stand up after the work out, it felt as though my butt might actually fall off.  I was upstairs at the gym, and walking down the flight of stairs to the main level was rough times.  But I came home, did some stretching, and by the time I went to bed I was feeling alright.

And then I woke up this morning.  I think that I laid in bed for about 40 minutes, just dreading the actual act of standing up.  When I did, I immediately wished I had stayed in bed.  My legs. just. hurt. ugh.  I was so very tempted to skip the gym today, but my mom inspired me to go.  I walked about a mile and a half, did the arm part of the weight circuit, and called it a day.  Note to self: Nike Training Club’s Beginner level is hard.  Proceed with caution.

On a more wonderful note, my dear mother helped me buy these to celebrate the new year as well!

Yay new “running” shoes!  Yes, “running” is in “quotes” because I don’t really “run”.  At least, not yet.  My extensive experience with running includes being on a walk, deciding to run for about a minute, and then feeling as though my heart might explode out of my face, as I pass out from lack of oxygen.  However, since losing almost 20 pounds and spending some serious time at the gym, it’s getting a little less daunting.  Walter is a runner, and he has offered many times to help me get started, so I think it might be time.

Plus, these shoes rule.  They are the “Gel-Cumulus” from Asics.  And they are so rightly named – it feels like you’re walking on a cloud.  I broke them in at the gym today, and it was magical.  It’s like there are little cloud people hugging my feet.  And I don’t care how weird that is.

Red Wine and Omelets and Tango…Oh My!

(I am just soooo good at titling these things, aren’t I?)

I survived my party weekend!  And with only minimal injuries, I think.  I was up a pound, but that happens.  I didn’t completely destroy my weekly points in one sitting.  I had a lot of fun with my dear friends doing wonderful things.  All in all – a success.

My Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday morning was more interesting than usual – they tweaked the PointsPlus plan a bit for 2012.  (Mostly I think it was a chance to make all their materials prettier, but don’t tell anyone. :))  My favorite thing about this new plan?  Red wine went down a point!  You would not believe the joy in the room when that was announced.  It was friggin’ Christmas up in there.

When I arrived home after my workout and WW meeting, Walter had this beautiful meal waiting for me:

It was DELICIOUS, and very low in points!  One egg, 3 egg whites, spinach, salt & pepper – and you can add other veggies, a little WW shredded cheese, and/or some salsa if you’d like.  It’s healthy and incredibly satisfying.  Plus some 1 point per slice bread and raspberry jam?  Sounds good to me.

Sunday was also an amazing day – it was Austin’s first “Day of Tango”.  It was even more amazing and tango-y than I could have ever imagined.  History lessons, poetry readings, beautifully incredible live music, and some absolutely spectacular dancing.  Oh, and did I mention the shoes?

Seriously.  Who wouldn’t want those shoes?  And they only get more sparkly and more wonderful from there.  Also, Walter and I participated in the group lesson, and we might have found a new love.  It’s incredibly fun, makes your brain work – and it’s exercise!  And I’m always looking for new ways to exercise that don’t make me want to gouge my eyes out, right??

Nike Training Club

Today’s shout out: Nike Training Club app for iPhone.

When I started this whole weight loss thing, a friend of mine mentioned the “Nike Trainer” on Facebook.  You guys this app is so cool.

It has all these awesome workouts planned for you, targeting different things – getting toned, slimming down, focusing on certain muscle groups, etc.  Each workout has a bunch of different exercises that you do from 30 seconds – 2 minutes each.

There are short little videos that show you how to do them as well.  And if the app itself isn’t enough motivation, the women in those videos should be.  They are so friggin’ toned and mega hot – it’s ridiculous.

So last night, at a very empty 24 Hour Fitness, I did the “Ab Burner” (as seen above).  Coincidentally, I felt as though my abs were going to BURN OFF.  A very pleasant, yet somewhat stern, trainer lady voices over the music each time the exercise changes to tell you what’s coming up, and what to work on while you’re doing it.  She’s all “Keep your back flat, even through the lower portion, and make sure to twist your whole shoulder girdle, not just move back and forth” and I’m all “HOLY BALLS THIS HURTS WHAT THE HELL IS A SHOULDER GIRDLE”.

It’s totally awesome.  I mean, there is an exercise called “Crazy Ivans”.  Does it get any better than that?  And why is Ivan so crazy?

Green Friday

I’m fairly certain that the “Black” in “Black Friday” is referring to the effort it takes to drag yourself out of a food coma.  (Either that or all the crazies out today shopping – no offense, friends, but I just can’t get up at 3 in the morning to stand in line with a bunch of cranky, deal-hungry people.  It’s a terrifying thought.)

But back to the food part.  Thanksgiving is an absolutely lovely time to get together with family, catch up on each other’s lives, and eat some seriously delicious food.  However, that whole “delicious food” thing can be ROUGH.  I remember one Thanksgiving where I ate so much food and drank so much champagne that I passed out on the couch for like 3 hours, post-meal.  I was totally that family member.  It was so good in the moment, but I seriously regretted it later on.  Ugh.

This year was a little different.  Due to the fact that my family lives in Nebraska (and I went back to Weight Watchers 5 days ago), I decided to take it easy.  I ate food that I had in the house, went on a 3.5 mile walk up in Far West, and went out to the Elephant Room to hear some seriously wonderful jazz.  Everyone was so worried about me – “Are you sure you don’t want to eat with us?” “What will you DO all day?” “How lonely!” – but it was actually an absolutely splendid day.  I watch about 14 episodes of shows online, kicked my ass into gear on my walk, and got a chance to sing at my favorite jazz club in Austin.  Success?  You better effing believe it.

So regardless of what you did yesterday, today is a new day.  So I’ve dubbed it “Green Friday”.  Because that’s much happier than “Black Friday”.  And contrary to popular belief, it’s totally easy being green.