Friday, September 30, 2011


I didn't make it out for my run this morning; I am up packing.  After lunch today my son and I are headed out for the Chicago Critical Mass ride.  Don't know what that is?  The last Friday of every month, thousands of bicycles converge on Daley Plaza in Chicago for a ride on the streets of the city (and there are Mass rides in great cities all over the world, actually...I think they also are held on the same day).  The purpose is to make motorists more aware that "bikes are traffic" (and aware motorists should equal fewer injured/dead cyclists out there).  The "theme" for the ride is "HAPPY FRIDAY" and the riders yell it to everyone we pass.  Some people ride it as a protest movement against the over-use of gasoline-driven vehicles, some ride as the once per month that they can actually feel pretty safe riding on the streets, some just like the giant huge party that it is.  I gotta tell you, it's a pretty amazing high, rolling down Michigan Avenue with solid bikes as far as my eye can see both ahead of me and behind me.  The motorists and pedestrians who cheer, dance, high five, photograph, videotape, and laugh, yelling "HAPPY FRIDAY" back at us as we ride is pretty darn sweet.  Sure, there is the occasional crank that somehow is more offended by bike traffic than the normal stop-and-go traffic that is cars, trucks, and busses...always a few grumps shaking fists and shouting or threatening to call the police (we always direct them to the bicycle police, who are riding with us)...but the overwhelming majority of the people we pass get a kick out of it.  (I would so completely LOVE to happen to walk out my front door and see something like the Mass riding by.)  The reason for the name of the mass:  when you get enough bikes together, you reach that point of "critical mass" where the power shifts and the bicycles are no longer tiny individuals trying not to get run over.  We move as one (including through stoplights...if the light turns red while we are rolling through, we stay together for safety's sake...that's the thing that makes the cranks start cranking).  I am very, very timid in traffic (though I've gotten much smarter and bolder about it with each Mass ride) but I feel pretty safe riding in the middle of thousands of other bikes.  Every ride is a growth experience for me (and how often to you get to party and grow at the same time?)  Yes, there are some jerks on the ride (show me any public assembly that contains no jerks and I will know we are finally in heaven) but mostly it's a fun bunch of folks.

We generally ride 15 to 20some miles, so I'll get a nice workout tonight.  

May your weekend be fun, too! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

comparison with others ain't love

Got a reminder yesterday that comparison is a tricky thing.  

On one hand, I am pretty much continually overjoyed lately at the fun of my changing body.  As I love it well, it responds by becoming healthier, more fun to operate, and better looking.  What's not to love about that?  As long as my comparisons stick in the realm of comparing who I am with who I have's a sweet thing.

On the other hand, there is the business of comparison to others.  Last night I was enjoying a really special dinner in a really beautiful room with people I enjoy.  The room was a glass atrium.  In the last few moments of the meal, as the darkness outside deepened, I happened to glance our reflection in the glass.  There we were...two tables of people talking and laughing.  And you know what the comparative brain of Karen did?  Took time to note that I am still the most overweight person in the room.  

Ugh.  That'll knock the celebration out of ya, eh?  

Happily I am learning not to get stuck in that morass.  I did note it, and even lingered there watching and not liking what I saw for a few minutes.  But then the Lord was faithful to draw me back into a right perspective:  I have come a long way.  I am still on the journey.  The focus is to let Him teach me to love my body, and dwelling on how it's bigger or more awkward than those around me...well, that's not a loving place to hang out. 

And in the end, it's all about love.  I will continue to choose love, even when the seduction of comparison and competition rears its ugly head. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a bit of tuesday evening adventure

For the past couple of days I have been struggling with sleepiness, which might just be from all the cold, rainy weather.  I don't know.  But after work I decided to get aggressive with it.  I tested out my bike shorts!  They work really well under my jeans, and make a real difference in my comfort level on the bike.  

Not far along the "river front bike path" portion of my ride, I encountered:  barricades.  They blocked all access to the path, and bore a big sign that said "sidewalk closed."  Grrr.  It's not a sidewalk!  And why is it closed?!  Looking ahead, I could see THREE sets of barricades - I have no idea what the point was of the middle set.  The path LOOKED fine.  But...I try not to assume that rules are made for real reasons and not just to muck up my day.  So I went with the assumption that something I couldn't see was an issue, and that I needed to not just walk my bike around the barricades and stay on the path.

BUT.  I wasn't willing to turn around.  So...I did something I absolutely wouldn't have had the nerve to do, this time last year:  I walked Lulu down the steep embankment, which was covered in all sizes of rocks.  We went slowly and it took quite awhile, but it didn't scare me at all - that's a new development.  When we got to the bottom, I rode her through some mud and some weeds and some puddles across some kind of industrial area, cutting across to avoid the closed bike path.  I'm not 100% sure I was allowed to do that, but there was no fence and I wasn't planning to hurt anything, and most importantly, I NEEDED TO GET TO THE 17TH STREET HILL.  The way there was NOT backward!  

Fun fact:  I rode about 50 feet further up that hill than I have been able to do before.  I'm gaining on it!  I really, really want to conquer that sucker while it's still 2011.  If I keep pressing in and the weather holds, I think I can do it.

And if I don't make it before year's end...I'm still gonna make it.  End of story.

ballercize, smoothie adjustments, and a bit of poking

As I think I already mentioned, I got an exercise ball (size medium) and a yoga mat this past weekend.  Purpose:  toning at home.  Thus far I am pleased to note that this has been quite helpful in motivating me.  Every night I have taken a few minutes to do a variety of situps and pushups, using the ball in the fun ways I've been learning at kickboxing class.  I do enough that I "feel the burn"...altogether something like 75 situps and 30 pushups...but I do them in little batches.  10 of these, 15 of those, and just keep switching up until I've done a whole big bunch of 'em.  What I like about doing it this way:  it doesn't feel burdensome.  I don't have to change clothes or go anywhere.  Don't need some big special "routine."  It's somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes of goofing around on the ball and mat, and I don't even break a sweat while doing it.  I know for sure it's helping with 1 of my 2 goals:  it keeps me from having horribly sore abs etc all the time.  Hopefully it is also doing some strengthening and toning work on me as well. 

I was interested to note yesterday that my smoothie kept me fuller longer than it was doing before.  I don't know if that's the changed recipe or what.  Here's my current method:

  • plain kefir into the blender first...enough to almost cover the blades
  • half a chopped apple
  • 2 tbsp cherry concentrate
  • 2 tbsp locally grown honey
  • very small handful of frozen banana slices
  • handful of frozen peach slices
  • sprinkle of frozen tangerine bits
  • couple of frozen strawberries
It's almost too much flavor - I don't like it quite as well as the ones I made last week.  I think the main difference is all that cherry concentrate REALLY flavors the batch, and the apple doesn't sweeten as much as my cantaloupe and more banana slices did last week (they are tart, crispy apples).   Nonetheless it's a pretty good sweet frozen drink to be nursing for the first hour and a half of my workday.  And it was nice to be less hungry than usual at lunch. 

So last night I was sitting in my bed watching tv and I absent-mindedly poked my gut and then had this "HUH?!" reaction where I had to poke it again, and again, and shift and turn and be all confused until I finally figured out...there is less of it there.  Thaaaat's why it seems so different.  Quite a bit less.  Less than when?  I don't know.  Less than the last time part of me was paying attention when I absent-mindedly poked my gut, I guess.

I reckon that's maybe too much a window into Karen's goofy little ways, but hey, YOU'RE the one reading a blog with the word "naked" in its title...

:-)  Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 26, 2011

advance food prep and a mysteriously good run

Yesterday was a nice slow-paced day that gave me all manner of little opportunities to get ready for the week.  In little pockets of time here and there throughout the day, I blanched, peeled, sliced and froze a bunch of my nectarines and peaches so that they are smoothie-ready...and got some bananas ready too.  Cooked up a batch of steel-cut oats - hey, that's cooking real food!  You heat them to boiling, wait 5 minutes or so until they start to thicken, and then simmer them on low for 30 minutes.  HOLY COW!  But it fit into my "doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen a bit" routine like it wasn't even there, and oh golly those oats are yummy this morning.  Also blanched and froze some brussels sprouts, as there is no earthly way I could eat the whole huge bag I bought before they'd go bad. 

The rainy weather yesterday kept me off the bike - I'm bummed about not having test-driven my bike shorts yet.  But this morning I DID get to try out my new double-sided reversable sweat-wicking long-sleeved under-armor running shirt.  I love it!  Kept me reasonably warm and much less soggy.  And bonus:  the sleeves are way too long, which means I can pull my (always cold) hands up inside them.  Love it.  

I'm very puzzled about this morning's run.  Today was day one of:

5ish minutes warmup walk
2.5 minutes slower jog
5 minutes faster run
run 4 rounds of this
5ish minutes cooldown walk

I was determined to do it, but dreading it.  Was sure it would be almost beyond my limits.  But.  It wasn't?!  I mean, I did it...ran a lot further than I ever have (and my timing with counting seconds in my head and minutes on my fingers was dead-on perfect...weird...), ran pretty hard in the faster intervals, didn't even struggle all that much to regain more normal breathing on the slower rounds, stepped a little lighter in the second half of the run than I can ever recall having stepped before...WHAT THE HECK?!  Who advances on a Monday morning?!  

I'm not complaining...I just don't get it.  ;-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

grocery fun

Today was payday, so tonight was grocery night (apparently I MUST spend my money as fast as possible.)  I had more fun continuing my quest to improve what goes into my bod.  Thought I'd share.

Tonight I checked out Heritage Natural Foods in Moline, having discovered that Greatest Grains is not the only game in town, when it comes to shopping healthier.  It's not bad...part of me prefers Greatest Grains, but I don't know if that's just because I'm more familiar with it.  Going to go back and give it another try for sure. 

Highlights of tonight's purchases:
  • locally grown honey - I'd like to integrate it into my daily diet, as it's a hedge against allergies.  Got a nice big quart jar of the stuff.
  • cherry juice concentrate - it's supposed to help with joint and muscle pain, and as the weather gets colder, I feel it more in my joints for sure.  Hoping to get one-up on that by stirring 2 tablespoons a day into my morning fruit/kefir smoothie, along with a bit of that honey, which leads me to...
  • kefir, PLAIN this time - the stuff I bought last time around was the only kind I could find at Super Wal-Mart - strawberry/banana smoothie flavor.  I'm not messing with sweeteners and flavors in it this time - I think the honey and cherry juice should take care of that (along with the various fruits, of course)
  • cinnamon supplements - yes, cinnamon in a pill.  My reading indicates that cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, and since diabetes runs in my family, it seems never too soon to go full metal jacket against the stuff, ya know?  An added benefit I discovered, AFTER I had decided to add this to my daily diet:  there are claims that it helps rid belly fat.  DUDE.  I'm not counting on it, but if it happens, I'll take it!
  • fresh peaches, tangerines, mandarin oranges (more properly called clementines), apples, and bananas - I intend to freeze a bunch of the peaches and tangerines and bananas, to be tossed into my smoothies...and I think the apples and oranges will go in nicely fresh.  Should be a nice change.
  • salad makin's galore - romaine lettuce, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers in 4 colors, green and black olives.  I'ma feast.
  • zucchini and summer squash and broccoli and brussels sprouts - no such thing as too many veggies
  • all natural organic peanut butter and cashew butter, no sugar or salt added
  • dried cranberries and organic fair trade light brown sugar for my oatmeal (this week I intend to try the steel-cut oats I bought last time...took me 2 full weeks, even eating oatmeal daily, to work my way through 3 servings of oatmeal this last time!)
  • a bunch of kombucha (since I read up and I think I might be like 2 or more weeks from a ready-to-drink batch, even if I start tomorrow)
  • an indulgence:  izzy sodas (fruit juice, sparking water, no added sugars, good stuff) and microbrewed root beer, ginger ale, and cream soda
I also found a co-op for range-fed meat and eggs; I pick up my first month's batch in just under 2 weeks.  After reading up on the food renegade about the differences in what range-fed vs. regular supermarket meats do in my body, I'm ready to go back to what I grew up on:  something that wandered in a pasture.  And home-grown eggs...yumma!  

And I had already re-stocked my almond milk and coconut milk a couple of nights ago, and still have a ton of Genesis bread left in the freezer (along with a million green beans).

A funny thing about studying really, really hard on what's good for the body and simultaneously investing consistently in real exercise:  it causes a total shift in how I see the grocery store.  Ninety percent of the stuff I walk by, I notice, is NOT GOOD FOR ME and is often so bad for me it's basically self-destruction to put it in my mouth.  Just now I find I am not tempted to do that.

Which is pretty cool.

funner punching, fitness shopping, and faster she goes

Last night was my second time of kickboxing class.  Last week there were I think 8 of us plus the teacher; last night there were TWO of us plus the teacher.  Here's the fun thing about that, as my teacher pointed out:  it was almost like getting a personal training session!  I really did appreciate the extra time and the way the teacher was able to stop and help me work through some of the stuff that really jams me up.  And, I find that I really get a kick out of this business of punching the pads as my partner holds them up.  We did this new thing last night that, amidst a whole flurry of movements, involved punching first with the "front", with my knuckles, and then with the back of my hand on the way back by.  OH GOLLY.  Not gonna lie, I felt like a real bad-ass.  I wanna do that again!  LOL

The problem of having only 2 in the class is that there is no excuse not to work out in front of the mirrors.  Last week I was safely down at the other, mirror-less end of the room.  Last night, I got to see me in all my glory.  And while I am learning to really appreciate the changing shape of me (which has gone from less "lumpy" to more "curvy"...though still with a very long way to go to "this is the weight that is best for my health)....working in front of the mirror showed me things I am not so fond of noticing.  Mostly:  upper arms.  OMIGOSH.  I mentioned a few days ago in a TMI moment that being less "full" has meant more floppy/jiggly/etc in a very unwelcome way.  Well my poor upper arms.  They are less like tightly packed sausages and baby, have they ever got movement.  They flapped like wings...I practically expected to take flight!  NOT.  PRETTY!!!

However, I have decided that this surprises really only ME...everyone else around me has been seeing these wonder arms all along.  So I just need to get over the horror and stay on track:  the objective is loving my body, not finding something to hate and dwelling on it.  Some of the upper arm thing will resolve itself as I continue to condition; some of it I will be stuck with, partly as a consequence of being so very overweight for so very long (the skin is still there, even if it ain't stuffed full of fat anymore, after all) and partly as just a natural thing...being 45 AIN'T being 16, thank God, and I'll happily take the flappy wings in exchange for not having to live the wretched emotions that came back with that uhhh perkier body. 

On a slightly related note, I'll be buying an exercise ball and mat tonight, because we did the situps and pushups on the ball-on-mat last night and I already know the clock is this evening, I'm gonna once again be feeling my abs and other muscles in an ouch, ouch, OUCH kind of way.  I'm not willing to spend every weekend in pain and I'm sure as heck not giving up the fun of kickboxing (who KNOWS what groovy smackdown I might learn next week, after all?!) so I just need to start doing a few of those situps and pushups every day, to avoid the pain.

And speaking of shopping...yes, it's paycheck day.  I've started working on my (healthy) grocery list but also on figuring out what fitness things I need to buy this round (after 9 months without a paycheck, payday is like CHRISTMAS, people!)  So in addition to the ball and mat, I also want to find:

  • something warmer to run in - I need long sleeves for sure, and it's time to learn how to layer running stuff, because 5 AM is definitely getting colder as fall advances, so maybe some kind of jacket too.
  • a good pair of bike shorts with the most diaper-like giant thick padded seat in them that I can lay my hands on...I'd like to say bye-bye to bike seat pain and I don't mind looking funny to do it.  I was going to get these cool combo capri-pants and skirt, but it's getting cold, so I think I'll just get shorts to wear under my jeans for now and by spring, I'll be a lot cuter in the skirt combo thing and it'll be a smaller size.
  • maybe some more reflective tape and such - it's getting dark earlier and I'm not prepared to give up biking after work.
 In other news, my body continues to amaze me with how it keeps up with advances.  When I ran the 3/3 intervals on Wednesday, I was sure I'd be repeating them next week...felt like I was dying on the parts that were 3 minutes of faster running.  Wellll....this morning, I did the 3/3s again, and...when I ran knees didn't turn to jelly and I didn't feel like puking.  And I didn't struggle in the 3 slower minutes to catch my was like a 30- or 45-second recovery time.  So that means I advance next week.  Why?  Because darn it I WILL ride Lulu up that 17th street hill, and endurance is the crucial factor in doing that!  So next week's intervals (I looked them up today, so I don't fudge Monday from forgetting to find out ahead of time) are 2.5 minutes slower jog, 5 minutes running.  Kind makes me ill even imagining it, but hey...this bod continues to shock I'm inviting it to do so again.  

Not bad for a Friday morning.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

running harder, rafiki riding, and there's pie at the end of this one...

Yesterday morning I started my intervals of 3 minutes slower jogging/3 minutes faster running/repeat for 5 reps.  Oh golly.  It doesn't seem like such a big step, going from 4/2 to 3/3...but my body certainly registered it as big.  3 minutes of running faster turns my legs to jelly and sends me every round into "I'm gonna puke" mode.  3 minutes of slower jogging is just barely enough time to recover before it's time to speed up again!  Nonetheless, I DID IT and will do it again tomorrow...and I'm guessing will repeat it again 3 times next week before trying to move on to the next step.  I guess it does add a full 5 minutes of faster running, which is almost 20% more.  Afterward, even after my 5 minutes of cool-down walking and my shower, I STILL stayed overheated and my face stayed visibly red for quite awhile.  I'm counting all of that as evidence of progress, progress, progress.  

Last night I rode the Rafiki ride.  I had been so excited about it, but then as I was loading Lulu up on the rack, I started getting scared.  I watched the skies while I drove over to the starting spot at Heritage Natural Foods.  I sat in the parking lot, watching the wind in the trees and got worried.  I thought about how all the pictures from Rafiki rides show a bunch of svelte 20-somethings.  What the hell was I thinking?  I hoped the weather would cancel the ride.  I texted to ask, but NO, they weren't cancelling based on a few low grey clouds and a bit of wind.  I thought about driving away before anyone could see I had been there.  I thought about all the massive, steep hills in Rock Island and Davenport.  What in the WORLD ever possessed me to think I could do this?  It just got worse as people started arriving...almost every single person was riding one of those bikes with the tiny, skinny tires...the kind that can be easily picked up with 2 fingers (whereas I actually grunt from the effort when I pick Lulu up to put her on the rack.)  Lulu is HUGE and very, very heavy compared to those.  How was I going to keep up?  I was still considering sliding out before the ride; even if it would embarrass me, at least I wouldn't be humiliated by not keeping up. 

But Jonas assured me again, the ride is kept at about 10 miles per hour, and some walk their bikes up the giant hills, and all stay back with the slowest, and it would be just fine.  I have no idea if he understood how freaked out I was (I was doing my best to play it cool)...but he was pretty reassuring. 

So I went through the funny "induction ceremony" including the installation of a Rafiki card in the spokes of Lulu's front wheel and an unsolemn oath:  "Bikes.  Mayhem.  Pie." 

Just let me say this:  I am so glad I didn't surrender to all those doubts and fears.  The ride was so much fun.  We did all sorts of things I'm too afraid to do on my own:  
  • Rode through downtown Rock Island and downtown Davenport
  • Crossed Arsenal Island (that's not just one, but TWO bridges made of mesh; the first one makes a lot of "I sound like I'm falling apart" noises as you're on it, and the second is one that even makes me a bit nervous when I drive my CAR across it.)
  • Made some pretty tight turns, and I didn't have to stop and get off to do that, much to my surprise, though I did kind of shriek with fear on the last one...
  • Rode in the dark (something I've always wanted to do, but really haven't much at all because Small Town Karen is still alive somewhere there inside of me, insisting that I don't yet know which neighborhoods are safe for that.)
The ride was short - only about 11 miles round-trip.   We climbed the giant hill in Davenport and I was able to ride up part of it (and had plenty of company on the parts I had to walk)...and just let me say, riding DOWN that hill...WOW...what a rush!  I felt like I was 5 years old again.  

We stopped, as is custom, at Village Inn (Wednesday is free pie night there) and enjoyed a relaxed, unhurried time together there.  I hadn't realized anyone would be having anything more than just pie and a drink, so I wasn't carrying much money.  I learned that some actually eat supper there, and I'll plan accordingly next time.  As for last night:  I made do with just a piece of pie for supper.  This too is something I couldn't have done before this year - I'd have convinced myself I needed more than just a piece of Chocolate Caramel Delight pie and a small glass of milk.  But you know what?  I really didn't need anything more.  

This was a long one...wonder if any of you made it to the end for the pie...

Have a great Thursday! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

doing badly is a good enough start

Fall is my favorite season.  It was easy last night to get out there on Lulu after supper and just enjoy the beauty of the evening.  I rode out to Sunset Marina again, up to Schwiebert Park, and then climbed the 17th Street hill again to come home.  Having left earlier, I made the whole ride in daylight, with the sun just starting to set as I walked Lulu down my hill and home.  

I can manage stoplights with my taller seat.  It's not as convenient as the short seat was; I jump off, get my right pedal moved to the top, and then stand there with Lulu leaned into me, balancing on my left foot with my right foot poised on the pedal, waiting for takeoff.  I do believe some of the drivers of the cars around me were amused at the little chunky lady at the stoplight, but oh well.  I've been funny before, I'll be funny again.  I yam what I yam, eh?  Meanwhile I am trying to work up the nerve to experiment with how hard or easy it would be to stay on my seat and just lean her over so I can put a foot down.  Sounds like a good way to fall and make even more a fool of myself, but I might do some experimenting on that out where no one is looking.  

I was thinking this morning how this whole biking thing has been a good lesson for me in just doing something, even if I can only do it badly.  I have been riding Lulu for 18 months, and for more than 17 of those, I had the seat set wrong.  But you know what? I still got exercise, still lost weight, still fell in love with riding.  It's nice now to have the seat right and feel how much better it all works...but what a loss it would have been, if I had waited until I could do it *perfectly* before getting started.  I suspect that the same is true with my running...a year from now I will probably know things about it that will cause me to realize I "did it wrong" at the start.  But meanwhile, I am getting stronger every day, enjoying an activity I only knew how to dread and hate before now, and learning much about disciplining my body.  

So who cares if I'm not doing it perfectly?  Not me.  

Go out and care enough to do something all wrong today.  You'll get it right eventually! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

on the road again

I forgot, over the weekend, to look in the tiny running book to see what my next set of intervals look like.  So I stuck with last week's intervals...4 minutes of slower jogging, 2 minutes of going faster, done in rounds until I have completed 30 minutes.  I'm still counting seconds in my head and minutes on my fingers, so it's still pretty imprecise.  But I check my cell phone to see when I'm at the half-point, time wise, so that I can turn around and today I was substantially further down the road at the half point than I have been up 'til now.  So that was fun!  

Taking a minute now to check to book so that I'll know for Wednesday's will now be 3 minutes of slower jog, 3 minutes of faster run, in rounds.  So that should be FIVE rounds if I count something close to correctly.  Five rounds, just like it has been with the 4/2.  Okay.  That's simple enough.

I also feel a little bit less like the mighty stomping elephant.  I steps are still pretty heavy and even on my faster parts, I am pretty slow compared to a lot of people...but I'm noting improvement both in lightness of step and in speed.  And that rocks.

Yesterday I had hoped for a very, very long bike ride...but then it rained all day.  So I rested all day.  This morning, I woke up better rested than I have been in awhile.  So I think that came out okay!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

success on the higher bike seat, and the belt tightens

I am happy to report that I can ride Lulu with her seat up at the appropriate height.  Yesterday I took her down to Sunset Marina for a nice, safe ride on the riverfront bike path, where falling wouldn't have to mean landing under the wheels of cars, trucks, etc.  But it turned out I needn't have worried...there was no falling involved.

The tricky part, for me, was getting on.  I have always swung my leg over the back of the seat to get on Lulu.  At this point in my fitness journey, I deem that feat anatomically impossible with her seat up where she belongs.  So instead, I stepped through in front of the seat, got up on the pedals, and sat once we were rolling.  I think it's good that I rode "too low" all this time; I'm pretty sure that when I started with my *much larger* body, getting on her that way might have been frustrating enough to run me off of riding altogether.  I either wouldn't have fit, or I'd have poked and bruised myself endlessly because of the tightness of that spot.  Now I fit!  So, you seems there has even been a purpose in me doing it wrong all along (re: seat height), cuz now I'm permanently hooked on bicycling and wouldn't dream of letting a few owies deter me. 

Stopping, too, is a bit of a challenge; I've always just put one foot down as I rolled to a stop.  Now I have to coordinate dismounting with braking, as I haven't yet figured out how to reach the ground from the seat (I think it requires a bit more leaning than I feel coordinated enough to manage quite yet).  Thus far it is manageable; I'm going to need to smooth both the starting and the stopping as I negotiate stoplights out on those mean streets.  But I feel like that's possible.  

Here's the most important thing about this change in seat height:  the guy who fixed Lulu up was right!  He said I would notice an immediate and dramatic improvement in my performance and stamina, simply due to that one change.  I wanted to believe, but suspected he was overstating the case.  But...people...WOW.  Hills are sooooo much easier!  I feel so much more coordinated and natural at that height.  I rode the whole 12 miles with a big happy stupid grin on my face (except for the parts where I plowed through dense clouds of bugs...I clamped my lips pretty hard in those spots!)  

Gosh.  If he was right about that, then I guess I'm going to have to start taking more seriously his entreaties and my son's re:  getting a lighter bike for longer distances.  They say I'm wearing myself out unnecessarily, riding such a heavy bike, if I want to condition for longer rides.  I've been *pishing* them on that one, but...well...let's just say my attitude is making a slow shift.   

In other news, I noticed I'm buckling my belt at a substantially smaller setting.  I hadn't seen a change like that in uhhh I don't know...4 to 6 weeks.  So I did a little happy dance when I noticed! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

future kombucha maker and glory hallelujah, my abs hurt like hell

More on kombucha.  A friend noted yesterday that she drank whole bottles of it (I've only seen it in the 16 oz size) and she felt no effect; I drink about 4 oz a day and have also experienced nothing negative.  But some other friends and my son have experienced some uhhh rather pronounced abdominal distress when they drink it.  I don't know why responses are so different, except for the same reason some of us (ME) can feast on fiery hot entrees with no consequences and others wanna scream in the bathroom afterward.

Anyway my JPUSA family was so eloquent in praise of this drink and had so many real-life testimonies of its magic that I am glad to be finally having a bit daily.  But the stuff is $4 a bottle.  While I can now afford that,  I don't deem it to be responsible financial stewardship, if a cheaper (safe) alternative is reasonably possible.  So I had told my son yesterday that I was going to get more information at the end of the month when I'm in Chicago again...and then last night in my usual impatient mode, I did some research.  I found this blog called food renegade with all manner of nifty information, including how to make kombucha.  I wouldn't even have to order the expensive "starter kit" I found online for $29 to get going; the website even tells how to grow my own "mother mushroom" to get it all going (not gonna lie, I love how naughty it sounds that I am growing my own mushroom LOL).  And I can do it for $1.50 a gallon and 10 minutes of my time.  And it tells how I can make the stuff in fruit flavor, which is the only way I have tried it thus far. paycheck I'll be picking up a couple of gallon-size jars and trying this thing out.  Pretty excited about that. 

In other news, about 24 hours after my kickboxing class, my muscles started really talking.  I can feel in my shoulders and arms and neck but especially in my abs that I worked hard.  I'm a walking "ouch" right now and I couldn't be happier.  While I've been dropping weight slowly all this time, one of the unintended results has been (warning:  this might be a TMI moment) that many of the parts of me that are ummm less *full* are now more floppy/jiggly/icky in some ways.  So I've known I need to get serious about some toning work to fight that, and it's been WAYYYY too long since I've done those planks and wall squats and other devices of torture I so enjoyed in the JPUSA exercise class.  Seems like I'm back on my way, toning-wise.  I first thought that was more a vanity thing and not so much a loving my body thing, but in truth, every bit of my abdominal weight that my back has to carry because my abs are useless...that's a source of pain or discomfort.  So, beyond the pride of "how it looks," toning IS loving my body.  

Headed out for some fun with a friend.  Learning to ride Lulu with her seat the right height later today.  Wanna lay money on whether or not I fall? 

You'll hear all about it later.

Friday, September 16, 2011

brimming with good news

Oooh golly so much to share this morning!  Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up!

First of all:  kickboxing.  OmiGOSH!  What a fun class!  I was right, I am the heaviest by far and if not the oldest, then one of the oldest.  And the clumsiest.  But oh well...the people were great, which made it even okay that I was working out with MEN in the room.  

I was a little uhhh overwhelmed when the first thing the teacher did was bring in a big basket of black ace bandages and we all wrapped our hands and wrists before we started.  I asked why we were doing was so we wouldn't mess our hands up.  Uhhh..we're going to actually hit something?  Cuz I totally thought we'd just be hitting the air.... But the hitting was only a very short segment, and all we were hitting were pads held up by another class member. 

So we did all this cool punching and kicking stuff, orchestrated steps to music with a strong beat, and I was horribly slow and clumsy getting it, and some parts of it I never got at all.  But was so cool, I wanted to do it more.  LOL 

And here's the shocking-to-me part:  we got out those great big exercise balls and did situps and pushups and stuff on them...and I DID IT...and didn't make an ass of myself at all!  I am not making this up!  I can't wait to do it again next week.

Then I took Lulu for some fixing.  I thought all she needed was a bolt fixed that adjusts her height.  The guy who looked her over is the guy who originally assembled her for Target.  I quickly learned that the derailleur was badly bent and that pretty much every single nut and bolt on her needed tightened, adjusted, or replaced.  He fussed with her for about an hour and she makes soooo much less noise now when she moves.  Before, runners knew I was coming long before I got to them, from the rattling and banging...I'm thinking I might could sneak up on 'em now....LOL  And his price for all that work was ridiculously cheap.  And he put her seat up at the right height for me, which is quite a bit higher than I have ever ridden, ever in my life.  The proper adjustment for a bike seat, if you didn't know (as I didn't), is when you are sitting on the seat and you push one pedal all the way straight down, your leg should be straight so that your knee can lock.  I promise you, I have never sat that high!  He told me several times to be careful as I adjust to the new height (and I will...I'll load her up on the car and get to the bike path before I get on), but he also said I will notice a marked improvement in my performance and stamina on her with this proper setting.  Can't wait to test him on that!

And one last happy note:  this morning when I ran, for the first time ever the 2-minute faster segments didn't make me want to puke.  At the beginning of the week, I really thought I was gonna lose it, and it took me 2 full minutes of the slower jog to catch my breath enough that I wasn't gasping after the 2 minute faster parts.  Today I caught my breath in less than 30 seconds after the faster part.  Which means, despite my lazy thought that I'd probably repeat this pattern next week...I probably should advance to the next stage. 

All that to say...I'm feeling pretty darn good about this business of letting God teach me to love my body. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

bonus round: mizunos

A friend asked me to take pictures of my new running shoes, since I am really only wearing them for running/exercise and she's probably never going to see them in person.  So here's your bonus blog for the day:  Karen's groovy new shoes.  They are called Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10.  Here are pictures from way too many angles (told ya they are ugly):

I found some promo stuff that tells some of the wonder of them: 

Made for over-pronaters, the Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10 road-running shoes for women also feature Wave technology to reduce impact for a better run.

  • Wave technology uses 33% less foam than other models resulting in more durable cushioning, better rebound and an exceptional ride
  • Flexible nylon mesh uppers with synthetic leather overlays move with your feet seamlessly throughout your stride, and are incredibly breathable so your feet stay cool
  • Nylon linings wick moisture away from your feet to keep them dry and cool
  • Updated copolymer midsoles are responsive and lightweight, and offer increased rebound for great momentum at toe-off
  • Mizuno Wave® midsole technology disperses impact uniformly over length/width of midsole, providing unrivaled cushioning and pronation resistance
  • Thermoplastic elastomer in high-impact area of heels absorbs shock and enhances cushioning by resisting compression
  • SmoothRide™ engineering minimizes the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the foot during transition, creating the smoothest ride possible
  • Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10 road-running shoes feature combination solid rubber/blown rubber outsoles for cushioning, flexibility and durability
That's all real nifty and such.  My simple truth:  they feel fabulous on my feet, they dramatically reduce my pain level in my feet and knees, and they are lighter than a dream.  I LOVE 'EM, ugly and all!

smoothies, green tea, and kickboxing

The smoothie worked out great yesterday.  I have this tiny little blender, like maybe one half or even one third the size of a "normal" blender.  Into it I put:  just enough kefir yogurt to cover the blades of the blender, a handful of fresh cantaloupe, a handful of frozen banana slices, and just a little sprinkle of frozen mixed berries.  I figured out right away that I can't just dump that stuff in and's too much for the tiny blender.  So I just left it sitting there and went and finished getting dressed and made up.  By the time I got back, it had thawed enough that it was manageable.  Just let me say...sipping on a smoothie for the first hour of the morning...DELECTABLE treat!  

On this past weekend's shopping spree, I also bought an electric hot water pot for my office.  This means I can sip green tea all day.  Green tea is not my favorite among teas, that's for sure...but it's good for the bod and I really do enjoy having something hot to warm my hands and comfort the rest of me as I go.  And right now I seem to be in one of my "water resistant" modes...I am still drinking it (mostly with's not so bad with food...), but I do encounter passages where I just don't like water, and this is one of them.  It will pass - it always does - and meanwhile I am not surrendering to waterlessness as that is no part of any plan for loving a body.  But the tea helps me push fluids a bit more.

TONIGHT I START KICKBOXING!  Pretty excited about that.  I am guessing I will be the heaviest and least graceful member of the class...I wonder if I might also be the oldest.  But you know what?  I don't care!  I have wanted to try kickboxing since the first time I heard about it, but I always lacked the courage.  While I am not athletic yet by any stretch of the imagination, I am a good piece further along than I was this time last year, and I am ready to step out and just do this thing.  WOO HOO!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a new challenge is born, and a new uhh "inner" focus

First:  a friend noted that she tried to comment me and it didn't show up.  Not sure what happened there.  I finally figured out how to go in and look at my comments all in one place; I see a ton of them (many several months old) that I never saw the first time around, but I don't see anything from the friend who asked me the question.  L...maybe the internet just had its way with your comment?  I dunno.  I welcome you re-posting (I have no idea what it was)! 

On to other things.  Yesterday's movement activity was riding Lulu!  I tried something very different for me here:  I didn't put her on the bike rack and drive to the path.  I just got on and rode.  Down 12th street, right on 31st out to Sunset Marina, along the bike path to Schwiebert Park, through downtown and up the 17th street hill, through the 5-point and back down my big hill to get home.  It was a fairly short ride - only 7.5 miles.  I'm easing back into this biking thing, because on my ride with my son along Lake Michigan on the day we got my bike, I definitely noticed that a month off the bike had significantly reduced my stamina.  

Having said that, it WAS a challenging ride because of that 17th street hill.  It's a doozy!  I rode as far as I could up it (which was not very far) and then got off and pushed it until I was almost to the intersection at the top, my heart pounding and my lungs afire (and then, I got on and rode through the 5 point, amidst the cars, riding correctly and not terrified...hey, I'm getting brave!)  Hence was born my new resolution:  I shall defeat that hill.  My son (who is 21, a soldier, and much, much more fit than me) said it took him a month to defeat HIS Rock Island hill when he lived here.  So I'm thinking 3 months maybe.  So I might run out of bicycling weather before I get it done this season...but if so, I'll start anew in spring.  I SHALL WIN over this hill!!!

In other news, thus far my body is not having any harsh reaction to my nightly bit of Kambucha.  Admittedly, I am starting with very small doses...about 1/3 of a cup before bedtime.  I'll increase it along the way, but I hear that as it works its magic in the digestive system, I might see uhh "evidence" of that...I'd rather it not be too uncomfortable.  Moderation, baby.  And this morning I shall make my first-ever fruit and Kefir smoothie and take it with me to drink in my first hour of work.  Woo hoo...first I was taking care of my outsides better, and now I'm starting to work on my insides.  

I think this means I'm getting the hang of loving my body, eh? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011's the most important meal of the day...

Oops. I forgot to make the font bigger, last post.  Sorry, to all you out there who are living life without strong enough glasses!  This is what happens when I write at a time of morning when I can barely function.

Speaking of moments that Karen is a little slow on the uptake:  multi-tasking.  When I got all those groovy groceries at Greatest Grains (say THAT 4 times fast...groovygroceriesatGreatestGrains groovygroceriesatGreatestGrains groovygroceriesGreatestGrains groovygroceriesatGreatestGrains but I digress...)  anyway I thought I was buying the regular, flourless Ezekiel bread.  But when I was having some yesterday morning, I noticed this is the "Genesis 1:29" version, which is NOT flourless after all, though it is chok full o' goodness.  I'm not stressing about it much.  Before I discovered that, I had already resolved to cut the breakfast peanut butter toast down to half a slice, so that I can reintegrate my awesome bowl o' oatmeal full of goodies (which a friend joked "looks like an industrial accident") that I so enjoyed at JPUSA.  It currently contains, in addition to a tiny little blob of oatmeal:  raisins, dried cherries, walnuts, brown sugar, granola, and coconut milk.

So that's been my breakfast today, along with my supplements, and I'm feeling like the day is well begun.  

What's your favorite healthy breakfast?

Monday, September 12, 2011

new shoes and other new good stuff

I made it back to Fleet Feet yesterday.  Last month a great friend and I went there and let staff spend quite a lot of time helping us determine which shoes would be best for us.  The girl who helped me first talked with me about where I am at physically and what my goals are...what these shoes would be doing.  Then she measured my feet carefully, both sitting and standing.  Then she put me in these uber-flexible shoes that could literally be rolled into a ball (so flexible that they let my feet just do whatever they do without guidance/stability added/etc)  on a treadmill and she and a coworker watched me run and evaluated my level of pronation (something about the way your foot and ankle move/roll).  She had me try on 4 nice pairs of shoes...I think they were Nike, Asics, New Balance, and Mizuno. 

I had never heard of Mizuno.  Apparently they are made in Japan and are very popular among runners.  They were the shoes that felt the most perfect of all.  I wanted to buy them on that day, a month ago.  My feet practically went into mourning at being put back in my worn-out running shoes.  But I couldn't afford them.  Until yesterday.  And happened...that one of the colors was on sale!  Normally $110, yesterday $60.  The sales girl asked if I minded the different color; the truth is as far as I can see, ALL Mizunos are very ugly (which doesn't matter to me, because as the signs inside the store say, "You can't pick your running shoe by its color") so I just grabbed these with a smile.

This morning my feet are singing for joy and my knees are weeping with relief.  I realized this morning that not having new shoes is almost certainly the reason I couldn't get my act together enough to remember what my running intervals are.  Running faster for the 2-minute segments is a MUCH higher impact activity than my slow jog has been...I don't think it would have been a good idea in my old zero-protection shoes.  And where my knees most of all thanked me for the new shoes was walking back down my giant hill...for the first time ever, it didn't make my knees hurt.  HOORAY!

Other items I bought this weekend with my first paycheck that made my run a little better: little "energy cubes" (bite-size) to give me a shot of nutrition/calories before exercise and prevent my body from going into "hold onto the fat" mode,  a sweat band (and I would definitely have had sweat in my eyes today...those 2-minute fast segments almost made me puke and left me drowned in sweat) and one of those white reflective vests, the better to not get run over by passing cars. 

All I need now is some kind of running timer...I'm jogging slowly 4 minutes and running faster 2, in rounds.  It should have been 5 rounds, obviously, in 30 minutes of running...but it was 6 rounds and I still finished running 2 minutes too soon.  My current "timer" is counting seconds in my head (thousand one, thousand two...) and counting minutes on my fingers.  I'm thinking when I get my iphone, it'll probably have a timer app that I can set for multiple times like that.  Anyone recommend a good one? 

In other news, I forgot to mention over the weekend that my giant shopping spree yielded supplements.  Fish oil, iron, and Vitamins C and B-Complex.  That, along with my amazingly healthy food, looks like another way to love my body well. 

Guess I'm feeling the groove on this thing.  I set my alarm for late this morning, planning not to run because I've had 3 late nights and 3 early mornings in a row...I thought getting more sleep was the best plan for loving my body.  But then I woke up well before the alarm, and WANTED to get out there and I did! 

That feels like progress.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

much mo betta

I may or may not have lost my mind in Greatest Grains and the Target grocery section last night.  Perhaps I might have rather excessively enjoyed the pleasure of spending part of my first paycheck in 9 months on food so good it counts in my mind as medicine.  I'm not saying, one way or another...just maybe!  ;-)

In addition to lots of great veggies and fruits and a big ol' bottle of organic olive oil, I have fun new-to-me things that I've long wanted to try.  Some of them include:

  • Ezekiel bread - it's not made from flour (and heaven knows I've been learning in the past few years that flour is not my friend); it's made from the ingredients listed in Ezekiel 4:9:  "Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it..."  It is sprouted grains, organic, and a complete protein.  It was in the freezer when I bought it, so that's where I put it when I got home and will just bust out the pieces, one at a time.  I forgot this morning that I had it (you're not surprised, if you've read long enough to know how much I just can't think first thing in the morning!) so my toast was the whole grain whole wheat left from last week.  I'm quite curious to check this stuff out.
  • Almond milk - just let me say, this is about a hundred times better than coconut milk.  Much better taste, much better texture.  And it has more calcium and anti-oxidants than cow's milk, with just 7 grams of sugar instead of the 11 or 12 in cow's milk (and hey...only 60 calories per cup...WOW).  My palate does not yet prefer it to my beloved skim milk, but I don't think the switch will be as difficult as the coconut milk was being.
  • Kefir  and Kombucha - two drinks I heard constantly highly praised while I was living at JPUSA.  The first is a yogurt beverage and the second is a fermented tea-based drink; both are supposed to offer all manner of digestive and other health benefits.  I intend to use the kefir for smoothies (bought a blender) and...well...just gulp the kombucha down in small bits (I am dreading the flavor of it, but willing to try it just to see.)  
It's not all perfection; I also picked up bacon to make my green beans ultimately yummy, and a stash of individual-size sweets for when I just gotta have one, and need to avoid eating enough for two armies.  Overall I am pretty stoked about what's going on in my kitchen.

This morning I will do my "Walk for Alzheimers" and tomorrow I will head for Chicago to get my bike and a decent pair of running shoes.  Great developments for getting more strongly back in the groove of the activity level I easily enjoyed in the city. 

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    no coherent message this morning, just details

    Yesterday morning I had the hungries.  Actually, the night before, I had gone to bed hungry for the first time in quite awhile.  I ate my usual breakfast and then proceeded to be so hungry it was distracting me all morning at work.  Looking back, I'm thinking it would have been wise to just find a snack, but I wasn't thinking that clearly so I toughed it out. 

    Bad idea.  The end result:  I ate ALL the cookies in the little basket on my table at the Bistro at lunch.  I usually just eat ONE, or on a really decadent day TWO (they aren't very big).  But yesterday I think there were FOUR and I ate them all.  Bad.  Very bad.  I gotta not spend anymore mornings being that hungry til lunch!  

    In other body-related news, I am happy to announce that although I will do tomorrow's Alzheimer's walk in my Very Tired Shoes, by the next time I run I shall be wearing better stuff!  Headed to Chicago on Sunday to get my bike; I will stop by the shoe store that spent so much time determining what would work best for me, and pick some up.  Pretty stoked about that!

    Finally:  I am still working on liking coconut milk (or, as I learned it is actually called, "coconut milk beverage.")  A friend gave me a can of real, straight coconut milk, which is a much thicker, more substantial product, with the idea that I can stir some into my very thin and not so rich drink.  And I almost did that, but in the end I decided that if I got used to skim milk, I'm pretty sure I can get used to this stuff.  So I'm saving the thick stuff to add to coffee for a treat...sounds yummy to me.  Meanwhile, I don't hate the stuff in the carton in my fridge as much this morning as I did at the beginning of the week, so I think I'm headed in the right direction! 

    Little bit by little bit....

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    little faster now

    I'm accidentally coasting a bit, where my running is concerned.

    Here's the deal:  I finally got up to running (jogging slowly) 30 uninterrupted.  What an achievement, for someone who's been this overweight and this opposed to running for 25+ years.  So it was okay to just do that - jog slowly for 30 minutes 3 times a week - for a week or maybe 2.  But now I am on week 3 of that regimen, and I'm past due to pick up the pace.

    Monday night I looked in my tiny running book to see what the regimen is for speeding up a bit this week (no, I did not get up and run on the holiday morning and no, I am not sorry about that).  I closed the book and promptly forgot, not realizing I had done so until Tuesday morning when I was walking out the door.  And I DO NOT stop for anything when I'm headed out for my run...I dare not, or I will probably end up back in bed.  So I just did the 30 minutes.

    This morning as I was walking out, I realized again that I hadn't gone back to the book to see what's next.  So again, I just did my 30 minutes (and they were sluggish minutes, at that).  Still, I did 'em.

    So just now I looked in the tiny book and I'm writing it down so I can do it for the next run (and probably for next week as well):  I will jog at my usual, very slow pace for 4 minutes, then faster for 2 minutes, and repeat this cycle for the entire 30 minutes (should be 5 rounds, methinks).  

    Meanwhile, last night I picked some classes at the local fitness place to help with my lack of "other" exercise.  One night a week of zumba and one night a week of kickboxing, both right after work, both leaving time for a life afterward.  That should be fun.  Also, there is a local bike ride once a week around the Quad Cities, called the Rafiki Ride.  I'm thinking I'm going to skip Bible study one night a month to join it (been dying to ride that for awhile now). 

    Feeling like I'm headed back on track, where loving this body is concerned.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    skinny milk alternatives

    Yesterday was a turn for the better...back toward choices that love my body.  Enjoyed a nice 4 mile walk in the sunshine and feasted on veggies (my favorite squash dish, along with a big pile of steamed broccoli).  

    I am trying out alternatives to milk.  I LOVE skim milk and would drink a glass of it at every meal.  And I'm not ready to give it up completely.  But my mom counts her sugars after having a near miss with diabetes, and I've learned from her that milk is a place where sugar can be cut.  She drinks soy milk, which doesn't appeal to me, but I'm willing to start checking it out.  

    Meanwhile, my son persuaded me to get coconut milk and give it a try.  My vegan-ish friends at JPUSA were all about the non-dairy milks, and had already chipped away at my resistance for some time.  It has only 7 grams of sugars in one cup, whereas skim milk has 11 or 12.  

    First, I tried it on my granola.  It's not bad for that purpose.  I mean...not amazing...but not bad.  This morning I made myself try a small glass of it (1/3 cup, maybe) with my peanut butter toast.  Let me say this about that:  I remember switching from 2% to was hard.  Skim seemed like milk with water added.  I thought I'd never learn to love it!  But now I do.  

    Coconut milk makes skim seem rich and thick.  Sooo...there is definitely some adjusting for my palate to do, if I'm gonna make such a change.  But past experience has taught me that if I'll hang in, I can do it.

    Perhaps I'll hang in.  Meanwhile, I think I'll give soy another try and maybe check at rice milk as well.  Hmmm. 

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    slipping, but noticing

    I am definitely floundering a bit, when it comes to bringing my new, better lifestyle (where activity and diet are concerned) back with me to this life away from the place where it was easily executed.  

    Eating off the steam table and salad bar made portion control a breeze.  Eating out and/or in my own kitchen somehow lulls me into doing what I don't intend to do.  I know for sure I'm not eating as well now as I was in Chicago.  Not enough veggies, too many carbs, portions bigger than I was doing before.  I'm writing this down to prod myself into awareness WHILE I am eating...noticing it after the fact isn't going to keep me on track.  While I must not be piling on too many pounds (my jeans still fit), I know for sure I cannot keep doing "little slips," if I'm going to sincerely continue to pursue loving my body.  Some of that will definitely be easier to improve after next Friday, once I have my first paycheck in hand and can go on a veggie buying spree. 

    And then there's exercise.  Yes, I am now running 30 uninterrupted minutes at least 3 times per week and that is pretty darn cool.  BUT.  In Chicago, I was doing my morning run PLUS much more.  Many trips up the stairs to the 6th floor.  Many long bike rides (which I can correct as soon as I get Lulu back from the big city...I should be out today in this perfect weather, glorying in riding her...)  A daily walk to work and back - it was short, but still, it was twice a day of 5 or 10 minutes really moving.  Regular walks to enjoy the Lake and/or chat with a great friend. Walking, rather than driving, to get places I wanted to go.

    I've been for a couple of walks here in Rock Island, and I take the stairs at work.  But "the stairs" are one story only, and not very often at that.  The walks...there have only been 2 or 3 in over 2 weeks' time.  

    This ain't gonna work, if I want to continue loving my body enough to condition it.  

    I have a fall program from the local fitness club to which I belonged when I lived here before.  As soon as I have a paycheck, I'll be doing some Zumba classes there, and I've got some other classes in mind as well.  That's part of it.  

    The other part of it is being intentional.  It's too easy, after working 8 AM to 5 PM, to come home and either putter around the house or go out and see friends...but totally skip very necessary movement.  

    Here's to returning to intentionality, before its too late.