Saturday, April 25, 2009


Yes, unfortunately, the 30 Day Shred is currently on hiatus due to my injured knee! I'm very disappointed by this, I was doing really well and starting to see results. By the 5th day I was already down 1.5 lbs! And the soreness was gone! I was ready to increase my weights!

Now, I hope I don't have to start all over again. But I will if I have to!

I will keep at it though. I'm hoping that I will be well enough Sunday or Monday to resume. When the pain, swelling, and need to wear a knee brace subsides...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I just finished Day 5 of the Shred! For some reason, I was really tired and lagged during the first circuit. Maybe because I just got home from work?

My soreness was greatly improved today! This is a relief, but now I'm wondering if I should increase my weights since I started with little baby weights :0) I also have somehow hurt my knee during one of the circuits. I'm not really sure when, but during the cardio and squat moves my left knee started having a sharp pain whenever I put any weight on it. I'm hoping that I just stepped down funny and that this will resolve itself before tomorrow.

Not too much to say today. I'm glad I've come back to this for 5 days in a row!

None of my slacker coworkers have started the Shred yet. I'm going to have to get their motivation going again!

Day 5 of Level 1 done! Day 5 of 30 done! 25 to go...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 4 Down

My muscles are still quivering from Day 4 of the Shred. It took me a long time today to work up the energy to do the video. I sat twittering (tweet me @ Snippet) in my workout clothes for over an hour. Before starting the dvd I was thinking, "I know it's only 4 days into this, but I'm bored with this same workout already."

And then, I started the workout...and I was wrong!

This still totally kicks my butt, and I'm not even close to perfecting anything! I'm huffing and puffing shortly after the warm up is over. Today: I didn't have to stop and take a real 1+ minute break! This is a victory! I did, however, take several little 5 second breathers like Jillian allows.

I am not as sore as I was a few days ago. I can see definition in my quads! And (I cheated) I've lost 1/2 a pound so far!

I'm getting curious about what Level 2 has to offer. I'm also beginning to worry that if I haven't perfected Level 1 at the end of 10 days, how will I manage Level 2?!

I wonder how many times I will need to do the Shred before I am able to complete the workout without breaking a sweat like Jillian and The Girls?

Day 4 of Level 1 done! Day 4 of 30 done! 26 to go...

Monday, April 20, 2009


Just. Completed. Day. 3. *heavy breathing*

My first thought when I rolled out of bed this morning and wandered into the bathroom was, "Hey, it didn't just cause me excruciating pain to sit on the toilet!" I consider this a vast improvement personally. Yay! Day 3 started with soreness, but not the same degree of pain, I must be getting somewhere with this. No ibuprofen today!

I will admit, I was a little more sluggish this morning. I just couldn't put the same "oomph" into the cardio during the first circuit. And I had a really hard time with push-ups today. I'm having a difficult time gauging if I'm in the correct form, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not. So, most of my push-up time was spent playing with arm and knee spacing. But, a new first, I managed to stay all the way with "the girls" through the bicycle crunches at the very end! Granted, I'm sure that what I was doing in no way visually resembled the beautiful, graceful movements that they were making, but hey, I did it!

I really love how much time and emphasis Jillian puts into reinforcing good form for the exercises. Naturally, I tend to get a little lazy with my form (hence, the need for a 30 Day Shred, haha). The constant reminder is very helpful for me.

My boyfriend tried this out yesterday for the first time, and seemed surprised when he too found it to be a tough workout! Today, during my Shred, he sent a text message saying, "I hurt." While I feel bad for him, I'm also happy. This means I'm not alone and I'm not a *total* wimp. Muah ha ha! I wonder how my coworkers are faring? I will have to see tomorrow if they are following through with their end of our little bargain!

Day 3 of Level 1 done! Day 3 of 30 done! 27 to go...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 2

Made it to Day 2 of the 30 Day Shred!

When I got up today my thighs, again, were killing me. I was mildly sore elsewhere, like my abs, chest, and back, but the thighs are by far the worst. Sitting down and standing up are sheer torture at the moment.

I started today's workout by turning on the air conditioner a few minutes ahead of time (I overheat really easily) and by taking a couple of ibuprofen. I also stretched a little before turning on the dvd since I was so sore. Neither have helped so far...

I made it through more of the workout before stopping for a brief rest, and completed more of the jumping jacks instead of just marching along. The butt-kicks and jump ropes are also a little hard on me. It's difficult for me to jump off of the ground during the butt kicks. My feet kill me during these moves. They feel like they are just going to seize up and stop supporting me. Has anyone else experienced this? Are my feet muscles just weak? I think set 2 is by far my favorite, so far.

Anyway... I survived yet another day! I came back for Day 2! I consider this alone an accomplishment. It may have even been marginally easier than yesterday (or am I just imagining that?)! I am not typically one to follow through on an exercise routine, I think my record attendance at the gym has been 6 days in a row, so I'm hoping to see this through and make it stick!

Day 2 of Level 1 done! Day 2 of 30 done! 28 to go...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Official Day 1!

Step 1- Talk boyfriend into walking downstairs to knock on the neighbors door, since I am physically unable to walk a flight of stairs after first 9 minutes of exercise, 2 days ago. No answer. I'm going to go ahead and assume I'm free to jump jacks and mime jump rope with abandon then.

Step 2- Muster strength to put on workout clothes, shoes, and strongest sports bra I own.

Step 3- Need to hurry up and do this before I die from hunger (but listening to advice to NOT eat before workout). Lay out mat, get weights ready.

Step 4- Cringe as I turn on the dvd player, fearing what I know is about to come. I'm just going to keep repeating in my head: "Yes, just keep ignoring the dull ache in thighs, no, it won't get worse. This will make it better". I'm totally lying to myself.


Step 6- Ok I FINALLY completed the ENTIRE first level 1 exercise! It was painful, and horrible- I won't lie. I did have to stop once, briefly, about 12 minutes in, to open the window (yes, open to the snow!) because I was so hot I thought I might die. There I sat letting the cold, snowy air rush over me, for 2 whole minutes and it felt amazing. Then I went back to the video. When I absolutely couldn't do another second of the cardio moves Jillian was doing, I marched along in place until I had the strength to join in again.

Step 7- Lay down and die on your mat with a cold water bottle. I survived Day 1 of 30.

Ok so, let me say, as of today, I HATE jumping jacks. Butt kicks aren't too far behind. Who knew you could hate jumping jacks?! I'm so glad that I completed the whole 20 minutes, although I made one stop and a few modifications. I'm sure that, even though it doesn't feel like it yet, this will get easier and eventually I can do level 1 as it is intended. I did have a very brief second stop during the stretching cool down- which is BY FAR my favorite part of the workout (1- I'm done!, and 2- I've always loved stretching)- anyway, back to the reason for my stop, I had to make a frantic run to the kitchen with a heaving kitty. She was clearly empathetic for how, I too felt like throwing up, but decided it would be better for both of us if she did. How thoughtful of her. I'm sure the mad dash I made to the kitchen, wrenching myself from my seated position on the mat, made up for some of the cardio I marched through. Thanks Jazzie!

Day 1 of Level 1 done! Day 1 of 30 Done! 29 to go...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yeah, This is Going to Be Rough

So, as mentioned in the last post, I stopped 9 minutes into the 30 Day Shred dvd. And today? Today?! Today after a WHOLE 9 minutes of the dvd?!!! MY THIGHS ARE KILLING ME!

Sadly, I wish I were joking. Haha, no it's NOT funny! That's really how out of shape I am! Sitting, standing and squatting have all been very painful reminders of how I spent 9 minutes of my evening yesterday!

And yet, it's kind of a good pain... I must be a masochist, because I kind of like it despite all of my whining.

So, yes I'm back at it again tomorrow. I've agreed with 80% of the unwitting coworkers I've talked into doing this with me that Saturday is the official start day!

Here's to actually limping through a WHOLE 20 minute workout of the Shred!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure that this is Going to Kill Me!

Ok, just put in the 30 Day Shred dvd, and I can't even make it through the first circuit! I have literally done maybe 5 minutes. I'm very, VERY out of shape! My current shape = lumpy, with a lot of flabby mixed in and spread all over, yuck. I'm beet red, my heart is pounding, and within the first 3 minutes I needed to go and turn on the air conditioner in my condo. I'm very worried that all of my grand promises that I WILL do this for the next 30 days have already been in vain.

I'm also terribly afraid that the jumping jacks and jump-roping moves are being extremely rude to my downstairs neighbor. I'm thinking I should leave a polite little note on his door to warn him that I will be trying to murder myself for 20 minutes a day for the next month, and ask if there is a convenient time for me to do this so that my jumping and death shrieks don't disturb him unnecessarily (or so that he doesn't get the wrong idea from my heavy breathing- which, I'm sure was audible for miles).

I'm not sure how the other non-exercisers out there are even doing these moves for a continuous 20 minutes. Since 2 straight minutes of jumping-jacks are difficult for me, how on earth can a 400 lb person possibly do this?! And push ups?! Jillian really is crazy! I may need several day 1's in order to work up to a full day 1.

I'm just calling today a trial run, not the official day 1. I'm going to check on when I might least disturb my poor neighbor and also make sure to write a will.

30 Day Shred

As previously noted, I'm planning to begin the 30 Day Shred dvd by Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser.I LOVE watching the Biggest Loser! I love seeing the transformations that take place and wish that I could do this in my own life! Granted, I would have to gain a minimum of 100+ lbs to be on that show, and I don't really think that it would be worth it.

The 30 Day Shred is 20 minutes a day for 30 days straight. I don't really have very much extra time right now, but I reasoned with myself that I probably spend that much time every day just thinking about dieting and/or exercising and/or doing my homework, so I may as well actually start using that time!

That said, I'm considerably overweight. I've also been diagnosed as being potentially pre-diabetic, and diabetes is something I definitely want to avoid if that is at all possible. I am obese according to my BMI, which is currently 32.7. Anything over 30 is considered officially obese. Now, I don't really weigh that much according to the scale, but since I'm only 4"11' a few lbs make a BIG difference on my small frame. That doesn't mean that I'm not horrified when I get on the scale or see myself without clothes on. I'm about 62 lbs above my goal weight. And 38 lbs above the upper limit for a healthy weight for my height. That's enough for the initial stats, I've taken measurements and I plan to repeat them at each stage for comparison. I've also taken "before" photos and they are terribly incriminating, so I doubt that they will ever resurface. Perhaps, someday, I will show some after photos, but that is even doubtful at this point in time. I'm trying to make these changes because I'm unhappy with my weight, appearance, health, and energy levels. So, diet and exercise is needed and is not really optional anymore.

So, my goals are to reach a BMI between 20-25 ultimately, which would be a weight loss of about 40-60 lbs. Also, I would like to return to a size 2 or 4, which would be losing 4-5 clothing sizes. I would also like to do some all over toning, which I would hope would naturally accompany the weight loss. Generally I want to feel more comfortable (dare I even say, PROUD) about my physical appearance. I am planning on taking a cruise in the fall to celebrate my college graduation and I desperately want to feel comfortable in a swimsuit and photos by then.

I HATE exercising! My body also hates it when I exercise and protests loudly the entire time and usually for a few days after. But, I also love being fit and thin and want my rock-hard abs of 9 years ago back! It has been a slow journey to become so out of shape, so I know that getting it back won't be over night either. This is hard for me because I become easily discouraged when I don't instantly see results, so I will really have to work hard to retain my motivation. I want to change my habits. I want to be active and enjoy it. I want to eat healthier.

So to keep up my encouragement I will be blogging about this journey. I know it won't be easy, in fact I know it will be rather torturous. To help with this I've also enlisted a few co-workers to join me in the 30 Day Shred. I like to suffer with company! I've watched the first workout of three on the dvd and it looks unbelievably easy. However, I know that it is not, from talking with other Shred Heads and reading online reviews. I am prepared to have my butt kicked.

I Think I Might Do It!

Let me start by saying I have been a total slacker on several projects lately. School work is really suffering, and, as of today I have less than 30 days to correct this. 30 DAYS UNTIL I GRADUATE!!! I'm so excited and so terrified, it's not even funny. So, since the actual ceremony is in 30 days, that means I have less actual time than that to wrap up all of this work.

This is also the timeline that I've set for myself to begin tackling some other things I've had on the back-burner. Specifically the diet and exercise goals that were part of my New Year's resolutions. And also it's time to start my Total Money Makeover, and finish preparing for nursing school and get ready to apply for the next step.

So to address the first I've got a few plans. I'm technically doing Weight Watchers. Kind of. Well, what I'm really doing is PAYING for Weight Watchers and disregarding most of their excellent advice. Not because I don't want to, I do, and I know from experience that the plan works if you follow it. Again, the important part *IF YOU FOLLOW THE PLAN* is not what I have been doing. I have been much too busy and tired to do anything but eat junk in the past few months. Fast food and at home convenience foods have comprised probably 90% of my diet this semester. So I go in to my weekly meeting and am disappointed with the number on the scale and the size of my pants, but am really not actively working on it so I'm not too surprised. So, I would really like to get focused with this after graduation.

The next part of this plan is EXERCISE! That's right DIET and EXERCISE~ what a novel idea! So in addition to just a vague idea of exercising, I have been inspired and, more importantly, gotten myself excited to do the 30 Day Shred! For the source of my inspiration, check out JoAnn's blog at I met JoAnn at the Dooce book reading (more about this later, again, huge slacker, I know) and you can follow her entire Shred journey on her site. I think that I too will blog about my Shred journey, not because I think it will be terribly beneficial for everyone else out there, but hopefully to hold myself accountable.

The next item on the list is beginning my Total Money Makeover!The Total Money Makeover is a book by Dave Ramsey (I've mentioned it before) and I've become very engrossed in this little financial community. I'm very excited to do this and am eager to get started but I know that it will be difficult. I've never been on a "budget" and I've never been very organized with my finances so it should be a real challenge. Of course the aim of the book is to be completely debt free, which is my ultimate goal, but I would like to aim for paying off my car and credit cards before starting nursing school in the short term. My boyfriend and I are planning on doing this together, so it should get really exciting around my house~ this may be an excellent test of our relationship! I think I will also start a thread on this topic, again to hold myself accountable and to encourage anyone else embarking on this endeavor!

So these are the big things coming up in my life and I am hoping to make some really positive changes. I'm excited and daunted, because I'm not always great on the follow through of my big plans. But I'm going to give this my best effort and hopefully transform myself and my life in the process.

Monday, April 13, 2009

5 Years Ago

I love this picture of my Mom. She's young, beautiful and looks happy.

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of my mother's death. I can't even describe how strange that is. How has so much time passed without me even being aware? Has it REALLY been 5 years? 5 years ago my life changed dramatically. It is something that none of my friends can understand, and I'm glad that they don't have to.

It really seems, in some ways, to have just been a few months ago. The acute pain has, thankfully, dulled by now. I still miss her and think of her everyday, I don't think that will ever change. There are many times when I wish I could call my Mom and ask her a question, "How do I do ____?" or "Do you remember ___?" Simple things like this remind me that she's gone, and infuriate me when others take these daily things for granted. And of course when I think of life changes that have yet to occur for me, it hurts to know that she won't physically be there. College graduation in just over a month. And somewhere in the unknown future, my wedding day or the day I have my first baby. Those are days when you really need your mom, and somehow I will have to figure it out on my own.

My Mom and I had a very interesting, mostly difficult relationship. It was never an easy relationship, we were never best friends, but we loved each other deeply all the same. I feel like, since my Mom got sick and died at such a young age (for both of us), that we never got to that "friendship" stage of our mother/daughter relationship. It was still too much of a parent/child situation, not one where we both regarded each other as women.

I know that the mother I experienced was very different than the one my older brothers did. They got the "young" energetic mom. I was the surprise "late" baby, definitely not planned for. But I was also the girl she always wanted, and I think that she liked being able to dress and style a little girl. Being the baby, I think I also got a lot more individual time than my brothers did though, even from the older, less energetic mom. I also got a very different mom than my brothers did for other reasons, I got the single, post-divorce mom. Mom who was dating, and had moved to another state to start over. I didn't grow up with "Mom and Dad" the same way they did and this changed things significantly.

But today, 5 years later, I would like to remember some of the good things about my Mom. For all of her shortcomings she was a remarkable woman in her own regard. When I was young and growing up in Alaska, she was so active and just fun, she did everything. She worked, she played fast-pitch softball, was active in Jazzercize, and had a family and a social life. I don't have the energy now, in my 20's to do all of that! Mom had the most infectious laugh, and when she really got going was so funny. She was a great cook, and had fingers that were impervious to heat and hot grease; I've never known anyone beside her to reach into a hot skillet and flip a frying tortilla with their bare fingers! She loved to travel. She loved animals, which is good, since she always wound up caring for them at home. Most of my memories of her were of her well-dressed and well-groomed for work. Nails always done, hair always curled, dress, hose, heels, the whole package. Obsession perfume, Carmax lip balm. Always thin. Playing crazy, wild, noisy family games of Yahtzee.

Now when I make it back to Oklahoma, to the small town where my parents grew up and married, I am always recognized as her daughter without any introduction given. The first question I hear, always in a Southern drawl, "You must be Donna Sue's girl?" Followed by, "You look just like her!" This used to make me uncomfortable. That strangers I didn't know, had probably never met, knew whose child I was or recognized another person in my face. Now, it's an odd compliment. I look like my mother; and when she was young, before life and cancer changed her, she was beautiful.

This was shortly before Mom's passing. It was the last time that we were all together.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just Thinking...

Eating THAT many grapes in one sitting was probably not such a great idea.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Don't Even Know What to Say...

I think I must be a terrible, terrible best friend. I just spoke to my best friend, who I haven't talked to for a few weeks (at least it seems like a few weeks, has it been longer?) and heard some disturbing news from her. When I called her the other day she didn't answer her phone. That alone is unusual, she almost always answers. I did have a nagging little thought at the time that it was odd, but quickly dismissed it. She's busy, I'm busy, no big deal- we'll catch up another time.

I was very surprised, no shocked, when she called me back tonight and told me she's been having problems with postpartum depression. I'll admit, I've spoken with her at times in the last few years since she first became a mother, and more recently, since having another child, when she has seemed overwhelmed. But I never imagined that she would or could breakdown like this. She's so quiet and reserved, but also so strong, smart and capable. Not that I'm faulting her. She is in no way responsible for this, this can happen to anyone.

More than anything I feel guilty. How could I not have known she needed help? Am I a terrible friend because she didn't confide in me? I wanted so much to tell her on the phone how much I love her, like family. She has been there for me since middle school, through high school and college, through my mothers death.

But I know how hard it is to admit that you're depressed. I can never ask for help. The thought of breaking down and crying in front of someone is unthinkable. I think I've been dealing with depression for years now, certainly since my mother's death and, to be honest, before that too. I don't ask for help, I don't want to admit this to anyone, I almost never do. Why would I expect her to be different?

I'm hurt that I didn't know sooner, that I couldn't be there for her before now. Granted, I don't know what I can do for her from states away, but I would do anything for her in my power. I always hope that she knows that she can come to me with anything without the fear of judgement. I would hope that we haven't lost that intimacy in our friendship, but I fear we might have.

I wish I had reacted better on the phone, but honestly, I had no idea what to say, other than, "I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Is there anything that I can do?"