Thursday, March 30, 2017


I used to be really into cycling classes in the late 90's.  My Gold's Gym built a new room with bikes and loud music and crazy instructors.  It was a nice break from all my step classes. (HA, step classes!) I stopped cycling completely when I was pregnant with my first child, and that was the end of that.  Over the years I've taken a spin class here and there at different gyms, but they were usually pretty boring and the seats were not comfortable at all.

Fast forward to 2017 and here comes Cyclebar.  They just built one in the Lake Norman area near me, and for their Grand Opening, the first 2 weeks all the classes were free.  A friend convinced me to go to a class with her.  Since it was free and all, why not?  I signed up online and registered for the class.  I got to pick which bike I wanted to ride.  I chose the back row so no one would notice if I stopped pedaling mid class.  Once I arrived at the Cyclebar, everyone was more than helpful.  They give you cycle shoes that clip in to the pedals on the bike.  You also can pick up a cool water bottle, chilled or room temp water, and bananas.  They provide free lockers to stow your shoes, keys, phone, and all your stuff.  Once inside the cycle room, there is a clean towel for you on your bike (you'll need it).  There were a few people that came around to help you adjust the bike to the right height, and they also helped with the clip in pedals.

the studio
Once the class starts, you can adjust the tension on your bike to go easier or harder.  The instructor offers a guide to where you should be, but you can always do what's better for you.  The music is great in these classes.  They try to match the beat of the music to the pace that you should be peddling.  There's also a part where you pick up either a 4 pound or 6 pound bar (or both) and do some basic arm work.  I found this part to be kinda silly / easy, but it was a nice break for my legs.  A big screen display occasionally shows all the participants names and where you rank in the class compared to everyone else.  My goal was to not be last.  My friend Susie's goal was to be first.  She does triathlons and came in with her own biking shoes. Both Susie and I met our goals :)

After the longest 50 minutes of your life, the class is over.  At the end of class they email you your stats on how you did and how many calories you burned.   

Me, Susie, and Diahann after our 1st class
Overall, I would say that I liked it.  I wouldn't want to do it more than once a week, though.  It's a super hard leg workout.  I also noticed that there were people of all shapes and sizes in the classes.  I guess since you can make it harder or easier maybe people are more likely to try it.  If there's one near you, check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Finding my Why

At Weight Watchers a lot of the talk in the meeting room this year has been about Finding Your Why. In other words, figure out the reason why you want to lose weight.  The first time I heard this, I thought it was completely stupid.  My why? I'm fat, that's my why.  I even mentioned this to my WW leader, Lori.  She said to reach deeper.I didn't get it.  Some members say that their why is their kids or their grandkids.  Some say it's their health, or to get off medications for high blood pressure or whatever.

None of those reasons are it for me.  I have literally been trying to lose weight my entire life.  I can remember being 8 years old and not being allowed to have the snacks my friends and sister were having.  I went to my first weight loss center at 10 years old, and did Nutri System around age 12.  I went to a Weight Watchers camp for 5 weeks when I was 15.  I did Weight Watchers in college, after college,  and after having each of my 3 kids.

Although I grew up generally active with swim team, softball, track, and other sports here and there, my activity slowed down as I got older.  By the time I had my 3rd child at age 36, I was getting no exercise at all.  I decided to change that, and now at age 48, I have run 2 half marathons, completed 2 triathlons, too many 5k's to count, and I work out almost every day.  In all these years, I have never reached my goal weight.  I've gotten within 10 pounds a few times.  I'm about 20 pounds away from goal right now.

So what's my why?  I'd say I've given up on being "thin".  I would rather be strong.  I can do exercises in the gym now that I couldn't even attempt a few years ago.  I like that I can jump rope without stopping, or do burpees, or hold a plank for 2 minutes, or run 3 miles.  I think that's enough why for me right now.  What's your why?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coming back after an injury

About a month ago, I was hanging out at a friend's house.  Our kids were playing Just Dance on the Wii, and I decided to play along.  I slipped in the kitchen, and landed on the inside of my knee.  And just like that, I couldn't walk without limping for about 2 weeks.  I did the ice, elevation, rest, Advil thing.  Also got a knee brace, but found that didn't seem to help much.  I've been using a heating pad on my knee at night, and that helps a little bit.  Dr. Google and I have been trying to diagnose.

So for the past month, I haven't worked out AT ALL.  No running, no 9Round Kickboxing, not even much walking.  Needless to say my weight loss has slowed to just maintaining my weight. I'm back at Weight Watchers and tracking my food, so that has been helpful.  What I've found out in this past month is that I really do like working out.  Did I actually just type that? Sometimes exercise becomes a drag.  I don't want to do it, or it's too hard, or I don't like the type of exercise that I'm doing.  By taking this unexpected break, and letting my body heal, I think it's given me a new motivation to restart.

This morning I went back to 9Round and worked out with Quinton (the owner).  I told him about my knee, and let me modify the exercises as needed.  One of the rounds was jump rope.  When I first started working out there, I couldn't jump rope at all.  I had to use a jump rope cut in half with tennis balls attached to the ends, and just jump and twirl the balls in a circle.  Today I jumped rope like Rocky.  Not for the entire 3 minutes, but a good 30-40 jumps in a row before messing up.  Progress.

As I sit here with an ice pack on my knee, I wonder when I'll be able to run again.  One day at a time, I guess.  I hope that my time off is over.  It's easy to just stop, sit on the couch, and eat chips.  But I really do feel better when I am able to exercise and eat better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Day 9 / RIP Magic Bullet

My Magic Bullet is officially dead.  The plastic part that turns the blade has shaved off to the point that it no longer turns anything.  I know these things are crap, but it's so convenient and easy to make my smoothies in them.  So I ordered a Nutri Bullet off of Amazon. If you have a different brand that you love, please leave a comment and let me know.  I'm sure this new one won't last long either.

Instead of the Magic Bullet, I've been using my old blender bottle shaker cup.  It has a wire ball wisk type thing in it that helps mix the powder.  It works pretty well for just mixing stuff.   For breakfast I just made a chocolate protein and fiber shake in this and ate some berries.  Lunch was Ezekiel break with cashew butter and fruit.  And dinner was a chocolate protein and fiber shake on the way to the swim meet.  I'll have to do better with vegetables tomorrow.

I volunteered at the swim meet from 5:30-9:30.  I watched kids and adults scarf down ice cream, pizza, candy, and fried chicken sandwiches. I kept asking the kids if I could hold their ice cream for them.  These kids around here are too smart and no one fell for my tricks. When I got home I was hungry, so I ate some almonds.  I checked my fitbit, and had only walked 5400 steps.  I guess my duties as a timer at the swim meet didn't allow for many steps.  However I sure was exhausted.  I don't think I sat down at all during those 4 hours.  My socks were completely soaked through from getting splashed so much.  Good times.  But I do like seeing kids swim, so it was ok.  And our team won the meet ! :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ramblin Rose #2

On June 6, 2016, I completed my 2nd triathlon.  It was a Ramblin Rose Series in South Charlotte. You can read about all the Ramblin Rose races here.  It was a bit shorter than my last one, with a 200 meter swim, 8 mile bike, and 2 mile run.  I decided to do it really at the last minute, since I had to go out and buy a bike.  My sister had loaned me her bike last year, but when my race was over she wanted it back.  I didn't really understand at the time what a nice bike it was.  I now realize that it was a several thousand dollar bike.  I plunked down $500 at Dick's for my new road bike.  No small sum by any means, but I'm really not happy with this bike.  It's just not as smooth and fast as my sister's bike.  It's like I learned to ride on a Ferrari, and now I drive a Honda.  The Honda's fine, don't get me wrong, but it's no Ferrari.

The race started with the swim, which is my strength.  I swam at the end of the fastest swimmers, ranking myself a level 9 swimmer, with 10 being the highest.  That was a good spot for me.  I didn't have to pass anyone, and no one passed me.  I was done in 6:26.  Next was the bike.  The course was 2 loops, which I didn't like.  I don't like to pass the same stuff twice.  I just couldn't get up the hills fast enough.  I felt like the chain kept catching when I would shift gears and I was afraid I would completely wipe out. We also went down some pretty busy roads, and the car drivers were not the friendliest.   The 8 miles on the bike took me 38:36.   When I was finally done with that, I had to convince my legs to run 2 miles.  That's my hardest transition.  My legs were like lead.  I popped a few energy chews and grabbed my bottle of water.  I just had to walk for the first few minutes.  I basically ran / walked the 2 miles, which was fine.  I passed plenty of people younger than me.  They write your age on the back of your leg for just this purpose, I think.  I finished the 2 miles in 22:31.  My overall time was 1:12.22.  I was 20th out of 49 in my age group. And overall 162 out of 307.  I wasn't last :) and I finished, which is always my goal.

I'll probably do another triathlon in Huntersville, NC in September.  I really need to figure out what I'm going to do with this bike.  I'll take it in to Dick's and have them look at it for starters.

Want to join me in September?  Sign up! Here's the link: I've inspired at least one friend to start training for the September race.  If you know how to swim, and you have a bike, you can do it.

End of week 1 results / day 8

At the end of the first 7 days, I am down 4 pounds.  My stomach definitely feels flatter and less bloated, which is good.  I was super tired this week, though.  I did 9Round 3 days, and walked 2 days, which is actually less exercise than what I usually do.  I will try to ramp that up this week, although I'm not sure when.  The girls have camps, swim team, and babysitting this week.  We are going camping on Friday, so that will make things challenging for me as far as eating goes.  But hey, that's life, right?

We stopped in Gaffney, SC on the way home yesterday and got some peaches.  I peeled 2 and put them in a vanilla shake this morning.  So good!  It's so much easier to eat better in the summer with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables around.

I was playing around with my Fitbit app, and I started plugging in my daily food intake.  I was surprised to see that it recognized the Arbonne products.  I plugged in a few days worth of food, and figured out I'm eating around 1400 calories, when I don't eat out.  I don't want to go below 1200, and I don't want to eat more than 1500.  I found this online calculator  here, if you want to figure out how many calories you should be eating,  I've been on a 500 calorie a day diet, it wasn't fun and I couldn't maintain it more than a few weeks.  I really hate tracking foods and counting calories, but it is the best way to lose weight, I think.

Day 7

Woke up thirsty today.  Not a good sign.  I drank some of the detox tea last night before bed.  I feel like that just pulls water out of my body.  Yesterday after dinner we joined some friends at the neighborhood pool.  Instead of drinking a beer or two I drank La Croix and actually got in the pool and splashed around with my kids.

Blueberry shake for breakfast.  For lunch, went to Greenville, SC to see my Dad for Father's Day.  I ate an "Iron Man Omelette".  It had egg whites, spinach, mushrooms, and grilled chicken, with gluten free toast and unsweetened iced tea.  I thought it was pretty good.  Managed to get through the afternoon with no snacks, but also with very little activity, as we were in car for 3+ total hours today. We went out to dinner at Kung Fu Noodle, which is owned by our friend Tommy.  I had a soup dumpling, 2 bites of a pork bun, and a California roll.  Oh and 2 glasses of wine :(   After dinner my husband and the kids got ice cream.  I didn't get any.  I may have had one bite.  I do love ice cream.

When we got home I drank 32oz of water, my detox tea, and that was it.  The day was not a total bust, but I could've done better.