Workout Playlist

I received a recumbent bike for Christmas. I have ridden at least 10 miles 4-5 days each week since that time. This past week, I kicked it up a notch and began riding at least 15 miles at least four days a week.

But today, something wonderful happened.

The sun came out and it was SIXTY FOUR degrees.

I just couldn’t stand the thought of riding that bike for an hour in our basement when the sun was shining brightly. Instead, I dug out a pair of ear buds and I hit the pavement.

Y’all.

I. WALKED. TWO. MILES.

And, I walked fast!

Afterwards, I felt rejuvenated, and renewed. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to be out and about in Capri pants and a short sleeve shirt in the middle of February, especially after we’ve been up to our eyeballs in snow for the past month.

I enjoyed a brisk walk through my neighborhood with my iPod. I listen to music when I exercise for a number of reasons,

  1. It helps me walk faster and pedal harder.
  2. It ALWAYS helps my mood.
  3. It helps to pass the time.
  4. It makes me happy.

I thought it might be fun to share the list on the off-chance that you haven’t found a great playlist that really gets you moving. Before I get started you should know that I have a very eclectic mix of songs. (458 of them to be exact.)

1. Rag Doll – Aerosmith
Oh shoot. Nothing gets my blood pumpin’ quicker than some Aerosmith.
2. Love On Top – Beyonce
I first heard this song when Maks danced with Zendaya on DWTS. I added it to my playlist that night and it is a great song for getting your rear in gear. This song always makes me kick it up a notch because, BEYONCE.3. Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon HeathMy favorite song by Brandon Heath. Great words. Great beat.

4. Sing A Song – Third Day

You know, because after Beyoncé and Steven Tyler, I need to clean things up a bit. Seriously though, I have more Third Day on my iPod than anything. Love them.

5. Shoop (Ghetto Lab Full Rub Mix) (whatever that means…)Salt-N-Pepa

Hey, 1993 called. They want their song back. It’s apparently Ghetto fabulous, and it will cause you to go harder, faster, and stronger.

6. Made To Love - TobyMac

When this song blares through my ear buds, I pedal like Lance Armstrong.

On steroids.

(And now, hours later, that is evidenced by my sore calves.)

9. Lose My Soul – TobyMac (My favorite of his songs!)

You can’t really go wrong with tobyMac. He knows how to really rock it out.

10. Have Fun, Go Mad – Blair

I have no idea how I discovered this song, but it is one of my favorites when I’m exercising.

11. Feelin’ So Fly – tobyMac

Remember when I said you can’t go wrong with tobyMac? I meant it.

12. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson

With one minute left in this song, I started up the big hill in our neighborhood today. To hear MJ yell, “GO ON GIRL” well, let’s just say, it made me smile and made me push myself harder.

13. These Thousand Hills – Third Day

These several hills on our street are the reason my calves are burning tonight.

14. You Learn – Alanis Morissette

Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill helps put some pep in my step. (Have I mentioned I have one diverse playlist?)

15. Poison – Bell Biv Devoe

Y’all. I love me some 90’s music. This takes me back a year or twenty. (Am I really that old?)

16. Motownphilly - Boyz II Me

I have to fight the urge to break out my dance moves when I hear Motownphilly. And rest assured, I have some mean ones.

17. Rolling in the Deep – Adele

This is a toe-tapper for sure. A great song and a talented artist.

18. Oh Happy Day – BeBe Winans

I have this as one of the ringtones on my phone. This song changes my mood every time I hear it.

19. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke

What can I say, except I love a song with a good beat? I heard this song on the radio one night and immediately downloaded it to my iPod. It is currently one of my favorite songs, probably because I’m a good girl. Ahem.

20. Me, Myself and I – De La Soul

Another oldie, but goodie.

And there you have it.

A great collection of workout tunes that promises to make you go longer, harder, faster, and stronger.

Mission SLIMpossible Update

So, we just rounded the corner into week five (of eight) and I am so happy to report I am down nine pounds.

NINE!

As in, almost ten!

I am so stinkin’ happy about that because, well, NINE POUNDS IN FOUR WEEKS AND TWO DAYS.

The nine pound loss makes all the 45-minute exercise sessions worth it.

The nine pound loss makes the 2 minute, 20 second wall-sits worth it.

The nine pound loss makes the frantic searches for foods on my Fitness Pal APP worth it.

If I’m being honest, the nine pound loss might be a twelve pound loss if I could cut the coca-cola umbilical cord for good. I allow myself one 90-calorie can per day (roughly about two swigs) and if we eat out, I usually only allow myself one glass. Still, I am so happy because y’all, I’VE LOST NINE POUNDS. You can’t imagine how excited I am that my middle number FINALLY changed!

And I might have heard harps playin’ and angels singin had I not been whooping it up and dancing around the bathroom like a crazy fool.

On top of that, for the first time in three weeks, I actually consumed half of my body weight in water over the past 24 hours.

My bladder is screaming for mercy.

But my booty is saying BRING IT THE HECK ON sister! I can tell a noticeable difference in the way my pants fit. And my thighs ache all the time, probably from the darn wall-sits.

All in all, it’s been a great week for this shrinking sunshine.

How I Lost Big This Week:

  • My normal 45 minute (6 day per week) exercise video (which is a 3-mile walk) along with the addition of crunches, donkey kicks and wall-sits.
  • In the past two weeks, I have been slacking on the water consumption. I am an all-or-nothing type of gal, and when I couldn’t do the “half my body weight in ounces thing” I just decided I wouldn’t even try to get the original 64-ounces in. I decided to kick that back up a notch this week and get the 64-ounces in. But I decided that today is the day I would. put. it. away. (Anybody remember that cheer?)
  • Stayed within my allotted calories five out of seven days.

Goals For Next Week:

  • Drink at least 64-ounces of water each day.
  • Stay within my caloric limit at least five of seven days.
  • Steer clear of sweets at least four days this week.

Unfortunately the jury is still out on the Ceylon cinnamon / raw honey gag gig. Everything I have read online about the dynamic duo suggests a person can expect to lose 3-4 pounds a week by simply taking the nastiness just before bed and first thing in the morning. And y’all, I not only added the nastiness… I am also exercising at least 45 minutes a day, drinking water like I’m being paid to drink it, not eating anything after 9pm, and counting my friggin’ calories.

*big sigh*

I’m gonna give it one more week and then I am done with the CCRH ritual.

And as always, if you have any advice, dietary, or exercise suggestions, I’d love to hear it.

What I Learned This Week

I had a glorious day. And by glorious, I mean there was no school today which means NO STUPID ALARM CLOCK FOR ME thankyouverymuch!

And since there was no school, that also means I didn’t have to check any math homework. But, just in case you were wondering, Stevie did receive the requirements for yet another 4th grade project on Friday, less than a week after his last project – The Martin Luther King, Jr. passport – was due. Heaven help me, I’m sure there will be a time when I will miss scouring the house for pipe cleaners, and repeating “We need to get this thing done!” 419 times over a three-day period, but right now, I just need a break from the project. In the meantime, I’ll be overseeing the painting of a cereal box.

It was 64 degrees today so I decided today would be the day I would do all my runnin’.

First, we had to drop off scout shirts at the tailor because Alex is a first-time scout, and as a Webelos, Stevie changes from the navy blue shirt to the khaki one, so there are all kinds of patches to be sewn on. And no, I cannot do it myself, because 1. I don’t sew, and 2. I don’t think I even have a needle up in this joint. The cub-master made an announcement at our scout meeting that a seamstress at a men’s clothing store downtown charges $1.00 per patch, but I found that out to be a big fat lie when I was charged $21.20 for 18 patches. And then, when I discovered that I had given her the wrong information about Stevie’s Webelos shirt and returned to the store to let her know I only needed 8 patches sewn on, she told them to credit my card $5.00. I questioned her about the charge-per-patch fee and all of a sudden her broken english became EVEN MORE BROKEN and LORD HELP ME AND MY PATIENCE. After some “negotiations” they credited my account $7.00 and I learned a very important lesson today.

1. Next time, let McDaddy take the shirts to the Guard Base and be done with it, even if it takes two more weeks to get them back.

After that, we headed for the mall so that I could get my grubby hands on a copy of Big Mama’s book, Sparkly Green Earrings. Seeing Melanie’s name in print totally makes me want to write a book now (which will make my mother-in-law happy because she has told me for years that I should totally write one!).

And yes, I realize this wasn’t the greatest of hair days. You can blame the crazy West Virgina wind. Still, I am so excited for her. If I lived in Texas I suspect we’d be fast friends, because we share a love for reality television and chips and salsa.

And speaking of chips and salsa… (don’t you just love my segue?) I learned something else today.

2. Even during the Biggest Loser competition it is possible to eat your favorite meal at Chilis, even though combined it has more than 2,500 calories. The realization that I could just eat half the meal was like getting hit upside the head with a football. I was so proud of myself for sending 2 whole chicken crispers and half of my sides back.

I also learned:

3. I am really craving chocolate this week.

4. I am having a hard time not eating chocolate this week.

5. I have no business buying Betty Crocker’s Brownie Cookie Supreme Bars.

6. You can’t really count salsa as a serving of vegetables. Or can you? It is made up of mostly vegetables….

7. Those little 90 calorie Cokes are handy as all get-out.

8. An itty-bitty Peppermint Patty has 50 calories. A total waste of 50 calories in my humble opinion.

9. I really, really, REALLY need to sync my calendars.

10. Always back-up your beloved iPhone before updating your operating system.

11. If you lose your contacts when updating your IOS, it is possible to get them back, though, they may return in duplicate or triplicate form.

12. Zumba for Wii provides a great workout.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and then, be sure to link BACK TO MY BLOG. I have never really pushed this issue, but it’s the nice thing to do.

2. Paste the link to your post in the Mr. Linky form down below. Please be sure you are posting the link to your post and not the front page of your blog.

3. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week, too!

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!


Sit A Spell

It’s that time again, folks, and I have a doozie for you this week.

You remember that I’m doing this Biggest Loser thing, right? We are now in week five (of eight) and Tracy, our Biggest Loser Boss decided to kick things up a notch.

Everyday (or almost every day) she assigns a virtual challenge, which we can choose to do, or not do for extra points. I have always been a fan of the ‘extra credit’ – especially in 9th grade, where I could write down five Geometry-related words and their definitions and raise my test score from an ”E” to a “D”. And sadly, I am not even kidding. The extra credit is precisely the reason I can even remember that Goldback’s Conjecture was a Geometry-related term. Lord knows I didn’t know what it was back then and I have not a clue what it is 25 years later, but I remember using it on an extra-credit opportunity. Had it not been for the extra credit (and the fact that I had a tutoring session from a high school kid every Sunday at 3:00 PM), I would have failed the class. Instead, Goldback and his Conjecture helped me to ”pass” Geometry with a D-. I headed straight for Algebra II and never looked back.

But anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, virtual challenges.

Because we are in Week 5, and because Tracy really wants the very best for our bodies (HA!) she sent us two calendars with a set of exercises on each and told us they were our virtual challenges for the month of February. One is titled “Fab AB February” and the other? The other should be called DYING A SLOW DEATH IN FEBRUARY (DASDIF), but actually it’s called “February’s Wall Sits and Donkey kicks“.

For instance, the virtual challenge for today, on Fab AB February is 20 sit ups (or crunches) / 6 push-ups / 20 second plank. I’ll save the plank for another day, but you should know it is more than just lying face-down on a flat surface and taking a picture.

The virtual challenge for today on the DASDIF calendar is 60 second wall-sit / 35 donkey kicks (both legs) / 1:05 second wall sit.

I’ll say that nice and slow for you….

T-h-e  w-a-l-l  s-i-t.

I had never heard of the wall sit before Saturday when I did it for the first time. Imagine, if you will, holding yourself in a sitting position while not sitting. Believe me when I tell you it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the wall sit.

A wall sit, also known as a Roman Chair, is an exercise done to strengthen the quadriceps muscles. It is characterized by the two right angles (do we really have to talk about angles?) formed by the body, one at the hips and one at the knees. The person wall sitting places their back against a wall with their feet shoulder width apart and a little ways out from the wall. Then, keeping their back against the wall, they lower their hips until their knees form right angles. This is a very intense work out for the quadriceps muscles. It can be very painful to hold this position for extended periods of time. Wall sits are used as a primary strengthening exercise in many sports requiring strong quadriceps like fencing, ice hockey, sailing (mostly small boat racing), skiing and track and field. This exercise is also used as a disciplinary activity in the armed forces. It takes up little space, and can be administered easily in classroom settings to misbehaving soldiers-in-training.

The safety of this exercise is disputed; the knees bear most of the load, especially when held at 90 degrees. It is a terrible exercise for someone with an existing knee problem.

Just to be clear, a wall sit, when done correctly looks like this.

And no, that is not me in the picture. Nor did I take the picture.

The fact is, I had trouble wall sitting for 15 seconds on Saturday. Three days into the DASDIF calendar and I am still not able to bend to a full 90 degree angle, (stupid Geometry!) but I did surprise myself this evening when I was able to hold the position for 65 seconds.

After the 25 second mark, the wall sit is absolute torture. I began to sweat and my legs begin to shake. Who needs water-boarding when you could have them do a wall sit? And I also wondered if Micheal Phelps and Apolo Ohno do wall sits as part of their Olympic training.

I’ll give you a second to try the wall sit. And then, I’d love for you to tell me how long you could hold it before your legs started to shake. And then I can say, “I told you so!” The wall sit increases by 10 seconds each day which means by the end of the month, biggest loser participants wanting extra credit should be able to hold the position for five minutes.

FIVE FRIGGIN’ MINUTES PEOPLE.

Do you know how long five friggin’ minutes is, when you’re in that position?

After three days of the wall sit, my thighs are I am telling you the chances of me being able to pull that off will be slim.

TO NONE.

I’m just wondering if Tracy will allow me to write down and define donkey kick, plank, torture, quadriceps and wall sit….

That’s what I learned this week.

Care to share what YOU learned this week?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and please LINK BACK TO MY BLOG!.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!


Pep In My Step

It was a beautiful day in our neighborhood.

The good news is, it was a wonderful, beautiful, perfect for January 70 degrees.

The bad news is, this…


As much as I love have the JEEP in the garage on cold January mornings, I miss having the SKY here at the house for rare 70 degree days in January.

Aside from the beautiful weather, I spent much of the day trying to burn calories. I had plans to eat at Chilis with some girlfriends and knew I’d more than likely be ordering the chicken crispers / mashed potatoes / corn on the cob combo which has about a bazillion calories.

3,210 calories to be exact.

Let’s just say I didn’t exercise nearly enough, and I finished the day in the caloric hole.

But enough about calories, because tomorrow is a new day, right?

And I plan to do better.

The weather guy warned that we could have 60 mile-high winds tomorrow, along with thunder showers. The temperature is supposed to be in the 60’s. The rest of the week calls for snow, snow and more snow.

I can’t tell you how sad that makes me.

I long for the day that I can put on my flip-flops, drop the top, and drive around all afternoon blaring my SKY tunes playlist. But for now, I use that playlist when I exercise. Here’s a sampling of whats on there:

  • Rag Doll – Aerosmith
  • Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon Heath
  • Rolling In The Deep – Adele
  • City On Our Knees – TobyMac (did you know I recently got to meet TobyMac?)
  • There Is A Way – NewWorldSon
  • Have Fun, Go Mad – Blair (love this one!)
  • Play That Funky Music – Adam Lambert
  • Feelin’ So Fly – TobyMac
  • The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
  • These Thousand Hills – Third Day
  • Lose My Soul – TobyMac (My favorite of his songs!)
  • You Learn – Alanis Morissette
  • Poison – Bell Biv Devoe
  • Motownphilly - Boyz II Men
  • Fantastic Voyage – Coolio
  • Hold On – EnVogue (Can you tell I loved 90’s music?)
  • Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) – Us3
  • If I Had No Loot – Tony! Toni! Tone’!

If these songs don’t get you moving, I don’t know what will. They sure work for me when I’m trying to put some pep in my step.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for some fresh, new workout material. You know, down there in the comments.

What are you waiting on?