Yup. Back Again…ish

So there was a pandemic. And there was a lot of food. And my gym closed down.

Sound familiar?

I’m still licensed to teach Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Kids, Zumba Toning, Zumba Step, Aqua Zumba, BollyX, L1FT, SH1FT, R1ZE, M1ND, TurboKick, PiYo, Cize, Core de Force, and Transform20. But I have nowhere to teach it.


So that’s really it.

Anyone need a group fitness instructor?

Whole30 Day 8 (or Week 2 Day 1?) AND…

…3 Week Yoga Retreat Day 1!

So is it Whole30 Day 8 or Whole30 Week 2, Day 1? I’m pretty proud that an entire week is done and nobody is dead yet.

Cutting sugar is tough. Anyone that says otherwise? They lie. Even if you don’t drink soda or eat a ton of sweets, sugar is everywhere. Avoiding sugar is expensive. Next time you’re at the market, grab a can of tomato sauce and look at the ingredients. I was so excited to find Hannaford canned tomatoes do not have sugar that I might have done a little happy dance in the tomato aisle. (I totally did. People avoided me after.) It’s easy to see why so many of us are overweight and unhealthy. Inexpensive food is full of fillers (sugar).

So looking down the barrel of Week 2, I feel good. I feel less puffy. Not thinner. Just less thick. It’s probably mental, but I’m OK with that.

I started 3 Week Yoga Retreat today.

True Confession Time: I do not like yoga.

Oh! That was really liberating. I want to like yoga. I see yoga people doing they’re bendy stretchy things and smiling and I want to feel that! But…it hurts and my body doesn’t move like that. And then they say “…doesn’t move like that – YET…” And then I want to elbow slash them which is totally against yoga rules.

I did the 30 minute Day 1 Core class. I was a sweaty mess by the end and we barely did anything. Really. It was Downward Dog and Chair Pose for most of it. But I made a promise to myself. I’m going to finish all 3 weeks. Even stupid week 2. (I do not like Elise as an instructor. She is obviously skilled and seems like a great human. But for the love of sanity – STOP TALKING!!!! Instead of cuing, she’s sharing anecdotes. It’s like when you look for a recipe on a blog and have to sift through their musings. Shhhhh. I’m not here for that. Give me the YOGA and nobody gets HURT! Hmmmm. That’s probably against yoga rules, too.)

I’m gonna go drink some coffee to calm down from all that yoga talk.

Have a sugar-free namaste-day.

Whole30. Again.

The pandemic has not been kind. I am not exercising like I used to and I’m drowning my sorrow in food. I want to exercise. BUUUUT…small house, dangerous neighborhood, closed gyms, no alone time. I know. Most of you are stronger than your excuses. I am not.

I’ve done LIIFT4 a few times. But the TV is in the living room. With my family. I am an AFAA certified Group Fitness Instructor but I do not love working out in front of an audience. The difference is, in a Group Fitness class, I’m not working out to work out. I’m working out to guide my class in their workout. I’m watching their form and making sure they’re having a positive workout. When I work out? I am a mess. Sweaty, smelly, wheezing. I don’t want an audience.

I bought a TV and a Fire Stick for the playroom. But it’s SMALL. I can’t move front/back/left/right more than 2 steps. That makes Zumba, BollyX, STRONG, and Turbo Kick a challenge.

I’m not comfortable in my own skin right now. So I decided to go back to basics.

Hello, Whole30. Whole30 is an elimination diet. No dairy, no grains, no alcohol, no added sugar, no MSG, no legumes. It’s clean eating taken up a notch. We used it to identify my daughter’s dairy issue. This time, I’m using it to clean up my eating.

I’m currently on Day 7. We started Monday, August 24, 2020. The same day my car decided it needed $1,500 in repairs. That was a challenge. I really wanted to drown my sorrows in wine and Cheez-Its. I did not.

Know what? I feel really good. Good enough that I’m going to add some workouts this week. I’m starting small. Yoga in the morning with Beachbody’s ‘3 Week Yoga Retreat’ and a 15-20 minute HIIT workout Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work. Little, manageable bites.

One good day at a a time.

LIIFT4 Completeish…

I know. I’ve slacked again. I did keep up with LIIFT4. I really, really like the program until week 7. Let me back up. I really like LIIFT4. It’s a well designed strength workout that does not consume an average, middle-aged woman’s life. I’ve increased my weights from 3, 5, and 8 pounds to 5, 10, and 15 pounds. That’s pretty great.

Now, it’s story time…

Week 7 switches up the Chest/Tri, Back/Bi, Shoulder, and Leg days we’ve had weeks 1 – 6.  Prior to Week 7, I decided to start 5K training Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. By Week 7, Day 4, I was not feeling like HIIT. I skipped that workout but went walking and did extra yoga because I was feeling extra pain in my upper back.

Week 8, Day 1 was Back and Chest (like Week 7) and I struggled. I wasn’t able to lift the weights to which I had built up. We’re only talking 15 pounds. But my upper back was screaming. I completed the workout and did extra yoga (which I had managed to do daily for about 10 days at this point). I had completed my Monday mini-run in the morning.

Week 8, Day 2. I just couldn’t. Both my husband and my daughter were home and I just didn’t feel like having an audience. I yelled at myself for making excuses, but then doubled up on yoga and told myself I could to the workout tomorrow. Also, my upper back was killing me.

Wednesday, June 17th. I went for my mini-run and struggled. I can’t even tell you anything specific. It just wasn’t right. All day, I had brain fog and just a feeling of “offness”. And…(say it with me)…my upper back was KILLING me.

Wednesday, June 17th 11:30 PM. I awoke with level 7 painful heartburn. Being the daughter of 2 cardiac rehab patients, I immediately feared a heart attack. I’m Red Cross certified in First Aid and went through the symptoms and determined it probably wasn’t a heart attack. (Spoiler – I’m not dead.) I took 2 peppermint tablets  and suffered through the night. I’ll spare the gory details but it was not fun. According to my Fitbit, I managed about 4.5 hours of sleep.

Thursday morning, I couldn’t work out. Could not. I couldn’t even drink coffee. I was hurting and exhausted. The heartburn was gone but that just allowed room for pain all along my diaphragm and down to my belly button. So I decided to log into work early. Because, yes, I am a moron. It was only until my doctor’s office opened at 8 AM. At least that’s what my brain tried to tell me. I don’t trust her.

I called the doctor and they managed a 1:45 PM appointment. So I cried a little, saved whatever I was working on, and took a sick day. I went up to bed and tried to nap. I’m pretty sure it scared the crap out of my husband and daughter. I rarely admit defeat.

The doc did an EKG and blood work. It wasn’t a heart issue. So that leaves us with no freaking clue what it is. But the doctor suspects a gallbladder problem. Dr. Google later solidified this suspicion. All of the issues I’ve had for over a year seem to point to gallbladder. I asked 2 different doctors about the random pain on my right side. It’s too high up to be appendix or ovaries so neither doctor cared.

So it looks like I get to be my own doctor. I’m prescribing lots of fruits and veggies with a side of lean protein…Exactly how I should be eating (but am not).

I’ve started walking in the morning. Sunday was painful, but today is not terrible. I plan to do this every morning. If things don’t explode, I’ll start LIIFT4 Week 1, Day 1 next Monday. I really do like the program.


Rest Day? What Rest Day?

Happy Mother’s Day (a day late) to all the moms – bio, adopted, step, pet – ALL. If a human identifies as a Mother, I celebrate them.

I spent Mother’s Day 2020 in “Canada” (the former playroom) in Zumba Step licensing training. It was 6+ hours of step class. Ouch.

Luckily, LIIFT4 gave me 2 rest days this weekend. Today’s chest and triceps workout should be fun. Traditional step class doesn’t really tax the arms…Zumba Fitness does.

I really do not have much to share today. Be well. Be healthy.

Real Talk Rest Day

Yesterday was a much needed rest day. My abs are still tender, but the stabbing pain is gone.

It did lead me to self-reflection…I had lost 35+ pounds. I was eating clean and working out and really happy with how I felt in my skin.

What happened? I did not gain back 30 pounds in a week or month. My weight has been creeping back up for a while now (about a year). I noticed, but didn’t do anything. I continued the self-destructive eating behaviors and slacked off on my fitness routines.


Time? Laziness? Pride?

I kept telling myself “I’ll work out tomorrow” or “I’ll start eating clean on Monday” or “I’ll add an extra day of Zumba”. But I didn’t.

So I’m looking at a number on the scale that does not spark joy. Looking at jeans that leave a mark around my waist. Uncomfortable with myself.

It’s time to commit to me. I will do the work. I will feel comfortable in my skin. It’s not  “one and done”. It’s not a diet. It’s how I choose to live.

LIIFT4 Broke My Abs

True story. Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and Week 2 Day 2 Back and Biceps. First off, a small whine. Cinco de Mayo fell on a Tuesday. I should have been teaching Zumba on Cinco de Mayo. I have waited years for this. Screw you, COVID-19.

Back to the story. There is a core workout at the end of every LIIFT4 workout. It’s only a few minutes (2 moves, 30 seconds each, repeat 3 times) but they are powerful moves. Yesterday was heel reaches (crunch position, lift your shoulders off the floor, and side bend as if you’re trying to touch your pinkie toes) and plank shoulder taps. By the 3rd (2nd) set, my upper ab section was on fire. By dinner, it felt as if someone had stabbed me. I went for a walk with my teenager and I had to cut it short because I could barely stand. Walking made my abs cramp. I took some Tylenol, iced my abs, and went to sleep stupid early.

Today, they’re still tender. As are my arms. It may have been a mistake to try to use 10 pound weights for everything…Luckily, today is a rest day. I plan to walk and do some yoga. I also plan to make peanut butter cookies. But that’s not really related to working out or abs.

I discovered that I am a peanut butter hoarder! I was cleaning the cupboard and found 5 jars of peanut butter! 4 of them unopened. There’s also an open jar near the toaster. They’re small jars…but that’s a lot of peanut butter. I also have peanut butter powder. It wasn’t intentional. I would just see it at the market and think “I think we need peanut butter. I must have forgotten to write it down.”

So my plan is to make peanut butter cookies – one batch with sugar and one with Swerve, peanut butter Chex mix, and maybe some peanut butter banana bread because I have some bananas to use up. But those might by peanut butter banana pancakes or muffins.

Are you hoarding anything? (It can be intentional or unintentional.)

LIIFT4 – Week 2 Day 1

I finished Week 1!! Woot!

I really like this program. My only complaint is the warm up. Since I know about it, I can warm up before doing the workout. I’ve seen people complain about the lack of music, but that’s not an issue for me. Unless it’s a dance fitness class (Zumba, BollyX, etc.) I don’t need to hear music. It’s one of my quirks.

Week 2, day 1 was chest and triceps. I’m feeling it today. I have very weak arms. I hope to improve my arm strength with this program. My goal is to be able to do a chin up so I can try Lyra Hoop (aerial) again. Luckily, there’s a pandemic, so I have time to work on this.

I think I missed telling you about leg day? The killer bit was the leg-intensive HIIT after the standard squats and lungs. Totally evil, but in the best way.

Confession: I didn’t read the materials or look through the videos before starting LIIFT4. Imagine my surprise when Joel asked if I did the stretch videos…(It’s OK, he was on the TV. He didn’t really ask me.) So that’s my goal for Wednesday – find the stretch videos!

I really can’t type much more. My arms are killing me. I promise to babble more soon.

LIIFT4: Week 1, Day 2

Biceps and back today. I stuck with 8 pounds. I’m not quite ready for 10 pounds but I think 8 is just a little light. My husband had the brilliant idea to add a 1 pound wrist weight to each hand. I plan to try that next week. I am sore today but it’s not debilitating.

Day 2 was all weights and no HIIT. I really cannot remember the order, so I’m totally guessing.

Warm up was very sparse. Again, lunch/brunch vs. morning, this was OK for me. If doing this cold, I would have needed more time to warm up.

Pullover, Wide Row, Wide Curl, Hammer Curl, etc. Nothing weird. Nothing funky. It’s the same cycle of 10 reps, 3 times. That 3rd set is a killer.

I really appreciated the cuing. While doing the Reverse Fly, Joel (trainer) commented about not shrugging your shoulders. Which I was doing.

It ends with a core section. Another plus for LIIFT4 – they are very aware of arm placement during core. Joel encourages participants to place their hands at their temples, not behind their head. One of the screen dudes has his hands on his forehead. The placement means you absolutely cannot pull on your neck.

Day 2 was a solid workout. I am definitely looking forward to my rest day. I did my yoga stretch after dinner. My abs objected a little to the seated twist so I think something is happening in there.

I had planned to jog this morning, but wasn’t feeling it. I’ll find a Zumba class or something.

That’s something I forgot to mention about LIIFT4. It’s only 4 workouts a week. In a normal world, I teach fitness classes. I would have to modify the Beachbody workouts so I wasn’t killing my legs before TurboKick or STRONG. As an instructor, I do not want to whine about being in pain.

I will update you after Shoulders on Thursday. I’m a little scared. But it’s a good scared.


Well, hello there…Tales From Quarantine

Happy April! It’s been a while, so let’s catch up. (I gave up Power 90 and keto – what was that?!)

I have been eating everything in sight for at least 6 months. I can’t blame quarantine. Since the cruise in June 2019, my weight has been creeping upwards and I have done nothing to top it. Sure, I’ve whined and had days of self-loathing. But those did not work. So here I am. Back to my heaviest but without any jeans that fit because I foolishly donated them all.

I just started Beachbody’s LIIFT4. For clarification: I AM NOT A BEACHBODY COACH!!!! Any reviews here are my own ramblings and are not to sucker you into buying something. I love Beachbody’s workouts but the company really hurt me when they dropped their live classes. I was licensed for Cize, PiYo, TurboKick, Transform, and Core de Force. Beachbody dropped all of them. Thankfully, I can still teach them. I mean, when life starts again.

I finished T25 Alpha and my heart wasn’t in it. Around Week 3, I got bored. I still did the workouts, but I wasn’t giving it my all. Also, some of the moves really hurt my knees. I’m almost 50 and I’m carting around an extra 30ish pounds. I remember liking the upper body parts of T25 Beta, but I also remember them being few and far between. And repetitive.

Enter LIIFT4. I subscribe to Beachbody On Demand. Even though BB betrayed me, I still love their workouts. I tried the sample LIIFT4 workout Friday (after T25 Cardio or Speed or something) and really liked it. The sample class included weights, HIIT, and core in about 30 minutes.

Monday 4/27/2020 was LIIFT4, Week 1, Day 1 – Chest and Triceps. It starts with a quick warmup of running in place and jumping jacks. If I were doing this first thing in the morning, I’d add a 1 mile walk before LIIFT4 because I’m creakier in the morning. Since this is a lunch/brunch activity, the short warmup was fine.

We immediately went to the floor. I used 8 pound weights almost exclusively. I punked out on my 3rd set of Skull Crushers and reduced it to 5 pounds. The sets were: Chest Presses with Skull Crushers, Chest Flies with Tricep Presses, and Rotating Chest Press with Tricep Pushups. 3 rounds of 10 reps. Exercises are demonstrated before and cued throughout. I struggled on the tricep pushups because I’m out of shape (duh). Pushups are my nemesis. I know I should do them. But I hate them. Because I cant do them.

After Chest and Triceps, I said “I am going to feel this later.”

Spoiler: I was correct.

HIIT was next. 60 seconds of Soccer Run, 45 seconds of Mountain Climbers, 30 seconds of Catchers (it’s a burpee but you don’t stand up) for 3 rounds. I ended up using a step for my Mountain Climbers and Catchers. My flexibility is bad. I have a lot of trouble getting my hands to the floor. The step takes some of that strain away. As a result, it’s one of my personal goals to be able to do those exercises without using a step.

The workout ends with Core. Rope climbs and Windshield Wipers. I had to modify the Wipers because it strains my lower back. Dude, this extra 30 pounds is kicking my ass.

I also went for “Walkies” (it’s a 1 mile walk around my neighborhood and is more for mental health than it is for fitness). It was cold and rainy, but I find that I need my walkies. Otherwise, I get a little bit evil.

I should have done my yoga (Beachbody has a 3 Week Yoga Retreat. I’ll review that another time. I only do Week 1, Day 2 Stretch) but I was being a toddler. I started to type “I was sore” and “I was tired” but the truth is, I was being a brat.

I went to bed stupid early (even for me) and I’m sore today. My right shoulder has some weird twinges happening. Nothing that will make me stop. I plan to do LIIFT4 Week 1, Day 2 – Back and Biceps in a couple of hours. I’ll also bully myself into doing yoga.

So that’s Quarantine Dork Life. It kind of sucks. But I’m alive and my loved ones are healthy, so it can’t be all that bad.

Be well!