Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve-Eve!

Have any of you done the "Elf Yourself" thing, or was that so 2009?  Well, we missed it last year, but cracked ourselves up doing it this year.  Maybe it will crack you up, too.  Enjoy!

Click here to see how the Opposite Family "Elved" Ourselves!

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve weekend, and find lots to laugh about and enjoy!  As for us, I'm taking the Things to a local kids' party place full of inflatable play structures for a very active New Year's Eve party (which ends at 6 p.m., just our speed!).  Hopefully Thing 2 won't mind if I bounce a little, too.  And Mr. Handsome-and-Handy will get a few hours' peace and quiet after the excitement of having the kids home on vacation all week!

P.S. Oh, and I have a shameless plug for my alma mater:  the Cal Poly universities create a float each year for the Tournament of Roses parade.  They'd really love to receive the KTLA Viewers' Choice Award [click here to go to the voting page - voting is open 8 a.m. - 2:10 p.m. PST].  I vote for their float each year, not just because I went to college at one of these schools, but because unlike most of the other floats, this one is completely created by students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona.  Theirs have been the only student-built floral floats in the parade since 1949.  (Note to self:  Add "help with the Cal Poly rose float during a future Deco Week" to my bucket list; I think it's the only thing I regret not doing during my college years.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Here!

This one's a bit of a non-post and a ramble, just to try and capture my end-of-year mood and show that I'm still here.

I hoped today would be the day that I finally got to post my half-marathon story.  It was such an amazing experience, and I feel like I should have eagerly jumped all over it and had it done by now.  It tends to keep getting sidetracked by...well, just about everything:  holiday hanging out; feasting, playing, and resting with my family; going back to work after a nice week off; hitting the gym again.  I started writing about it again last night, but I realized that it wasn't going to get finished, and I felt so frustrated.  I had time over vacation, but I didn't do it then, either.  Why am I putting this off?

Health and fitness-wise, I pretty much took the holidays off.  No tracking, no weighing/measuring/portion control, lazily eyed the carb intake, was less scrupulous about fiber and veggies.  I think it was kind of a reaction to the panicked clamping down earlier in the month.  So I think I'm just going to try gradually picking up the reins again and easing them in.  Keep doing at least my minimum fitness goals; use portion control on the protein and carb and saturated fat items; aim for at least 3 veggie servings per day.  I guess just go back to my "ordinary time" eating and fitness, and see what happens from there.

Thing is, I'm not fired up.  I'm not eager to jump back in and set goals...yet.  I'm usually not ready for all the New Year's hype, and I am not one for making the infamous "New Year's Resolutions."  I'll come up with some 2011 plans, and fairly soon, but not just right now.

I do hope everyone enjoys a wonderful end-of-2010 and close of the holiday season!  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Week 4 of the Holiday Hoedown!

UGH!!!!  I can't believe how the holidays went from nothing much going on to EVERYTHING going on!!!  Eeeeek!  But I know, that's what it usually does and we'll get through it.

So, how did last week go for this Tinsel Vixen?  Pretty well!
  • I exercised 285 minutes last week!  And I was so excited to meet my goal of 1000 miles of activity for this year! (I counted everything:  walking, running, biking, spinning, elliptical, and swimming.)  

  • I did the Tinsel Vixens Mini-circuit!  In case you're curious, here's what Team Tinsel Vixen came up with for a strength circuit. We did not specify weight or number of reps, but most routines I've seen recommend 10-15 reps (each side for the one-sided ones) in a set for the arms and legs.

  • Fruits & veggies?  You know it!
  • Water - I didn't track that this week, but with all the tea and coffee, I'm sure I was close.
  • Scale-wise, I'm down .6 lb from last Wednesday, to +.2 of the weight I was at the beginning of the challenge.  So I'd say that's moving in the right direction.  (Unfortunately, it's up a couple of pounds from Friday.  My week/weekend eating is kind of like Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde.)

  • Blood glucose levels: 7-day average is 101, fasting 7-day average is 103.
  • Fun stuff:  Got to see the Harry Potter 7 Part 1 movie.  Very well done, even if there were some parts that were filmed as an obvious bow to the 3-D movie experience - at least no gratuitous plot changes like in HP6, but I'm sure there were several side-story things that would make those who hadn't read the books wonder, "Huh?"  Mr. Handsome-and-Handy also got a date night to see rock guitarist Gary Hoey!  If you like rock & roll instrumentals, his "Ho Ho Hoey" series of Christmas albums are a treat. The show was FANTASTIC!  The venue was rather small, and there were way less people than we were expecting, but they put on a show worthy of a stadium.  Best of all, the band genuinely seemed to enjoy performing, and that makes for a good show.  I also took the kids to a great birthday party, which included a nature walk/scavenger hunt and playing in a ship-inspired fort and in the mud.
  • And aaaaaack!  I'm so far behind on my race report and book review!  I'll see what I can do, but I'm not sure I will be getting it done before next week.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Week 3 of the Holiday Hoedown!

Just a quick update from Week 3 of the "Holiday Hoedown!"

  • Exercise minutes: 333 minutes last week
  • Weight change: Down 1.2 pounds this week, but I'm still up .8 for the challenge and am 3 pounds away from where I usually maintain.  With a few planned exceptions, I'm still on portion control and a calorie budget until I get back to my usual maintenance weight and stick it for a couple of weeks.  I think this will take about 3-6 weeks.
  • "Try something new" challenge: Does a distance PR of 13.1 miles count? I certainly think so. It's 5.1 miles farther than I've ever propelled myself on foot.
  • Doing the "Tinsel Vixen" circuit: Didn't happen this week.
  • Food goal of 1 no-junk food day: I crushed this one. I went junk-food free 4 of 7 days this past week. For me, this meant no "sugar added" sweets (sugar-free stuff with some nutritive value, such as the sugar-free caramel latte I enjoyed on Friday, was okay). I also kept within my calorie budget 3 of the 4 days on which I fully tracked food intake.
  • Food goal of 3 fruit/veggie servings: I met this one 6/7 days last week.
  • Saying one nice thing about myself each day: The Tinsel Vixens added this goal as the more concrete (and often achievable) version of "no negative thoughts."  I don't really struggle much with being overly critical about myself, this week especially. I was lucky to be in the company of friendly companions, which eased my anxiety about the social aspects.  The race was well-suited to walkers as well as runners, so thoughts of athletic inadequacy didn't creep in, either. I'm still in thankful awe of my body and its ability to endure the crazy stunts I throw its way.

As you can see, the Tinsel Vixens were well represented!  Perfect shirt or what?!?  
Not sure what makes more attractive headwear, though: bondi band or swim cap...
Left to right:  Jr. McBody, blogger Foodie McBody, and me!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Quickie Update

Hi Everybody!

I'm back from my trip to Las Vegas for the Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon!  I met my goals of finishing before the cutoff time of 4 hours (made it in 3:28:29), having fun, and staying alive and uninjured.  I don't have time right now to do justice to the thrilling tale, but you can check out the wonderful recap (with slideshow!) written by Foodie McBody (click here).

I'm also over 3/4 of the way through blogger Charlotte Hilton-Andersen's book, The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything.  Her experience is nearly the polar opposite of mine, with regard to food and fitness and body image, but I've learned so much from her blog, and now the book.  She's a great writer and this is a fantastic read; it made plane travel and waiting around airports a pleasure.  (And no, I'm not just saying that because I'm a parent and when you have children, any time you get to sit by yourself and read something without cutting into sleep time is a bonus!)  I can hardly wait to review it!  (But sorry, the race report is going to come first.)

More to come...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Week 2 of the Holiday Hoedown!

Well, we're wrapping up week 2 of the Holiday Hoedown!

I did great with the exercise: 298 minutes!  I didn't meet some of my personal goals, such as getting in a 10-miler before the 1/2 marathon this Sunday (!?!) or getting that 2nd day of strength training in there.  But oh well.

On the days I paid attention, I did fine with the fruit & veggie & fluid intake.  Thanksgiving was wonderful, and although I ate too much, I got a lot of healthy stuff in there.  (I need to be more like my kids - their favorite part of Thanksgiving was the game time after dessert with the grown-ups!  I did enjoy playing catch with my son in the backyard, until dog poo got on the football...and on us.  Ew.  How quickly we forget - I guess I'm still not used to them having a dog, and as we played catch, I caught whiff of a funky smell.  "This ball smells funky!  What IS that?"  There obviously wasn't enough on there to immediately catch my attention.)

It was the days after that were tricky, snack-wise.  We also had a birthday celebration in there for Mr. Handsome & Handy's birthday, so that meant bowling and eating out and cake.  It was lovely!  But I'm back on track as of Monday with the "Tinsel Vixen" food & fluid goals.

Bummed to say I'm up a pound, having hit my *gasp* weight and battled it back down a little.  I really thought I'd see it go down more.  (You mean I'm going to have to have more than 2 on-track days to correct this little problem?  Damn.)  I'm looking over my chart of weight from the past year, and I noticed an interesting trend:  the last time it bobbed up like this - other than a freak surge at the end of April - was back in March, around the time change, and it took about a month to get things regulated again.  Maybe I just get a bit more peckish when the seasons change.  Or it might just be a coincidence, because I didn't see this pattern play out in 2009, and it didn't stop me in 2008 when I was still in fat-loss mode.  Whatever.

So my oh-so-lofty food goal is to refresh my "food training" to the right portion sizes (by weighing, measuring, and calorie tracking for the rest of the "Holiday Hoedown" - in addition to fluid and fruit/veggie goals) and to keep on with the fitness goals (5 days x30 minutes, 2 strength segments of 15 minutes or greater) .  Hopefully, the result will be ending the year within 1 pound of where I started it.  (3 fewer pounds would meet that goal; 4 fewer pounds would see me weighing exactly the same.) P.S. - Oh, and try something new fitness-wise, ala the Week 3 challenge.  I have a Zumba DVD set from the library that's just waiting to be reviewed!

P.S. Forgot to include a blood glucose update!  14-day average was 107, fasting average 102.  All readings for the past 2 weeks were below 120, only 2 were above 110 fasting.  Much improved!  In spite of all the fun weekend stuff.  I guess riding my stationary bike at night has been especially helpful with the morning numbers, much as I don't like to save exercise for the last thing I do in the day.