Monday, February 8, 2016

Week Five: Combat Challenge #3

After seeing the number on the scale finally reach manageable levels last week, I had to have a splurge day for my mom's birthday on Saturday.  I'm hoping that didn't set me back.  

And so I'm motivated, as usual, to keep at it.  And there are only four weeks until our cruise!!  Eek!


Monday: Sh'Bam #15 + Dozois' Calorie Burning Cardio Blast


After only about 3 hours of solid sleep last night, I was dragging this morning.  So it's a good thing Sh'Bam was first on my list to do.  That was fun - though not my favorite since there was a twerking song (in which I did not twerk).  After that ended, I did Michelle's fun Cardio Blast.  For lunch, I met a co-worker and we walked down to a cafe - so about 20 minutes of walking to get to our healthy meal! 

Tuesday: Amy's Complete Strength and Conditioning + walk

I'm attempting weights on Tuesday again this week.  It's fun to mix up these workouts that Amy does - a bit of cardio and compound weight exercises.  It keeps my hear rate up - and my sweat rate up - throughout the 45 minutes.  At lunch, I walked at the rec to get some steps.  

Wednesday: Grit #3 + Amy's Intervals + walk

Another dreaded Wednesday.  At least I slept better beforehand!  This Grit isn't the toughest ever but it still pushes my limits.  Afterward, I did Amy's HIIT - substituting some of my own moves during the intervals.  I like mixing it up that way!  And talk about an effective morning!  At lunch, I went back to the rec and walked the track.  Ugh.  No more of that this week!

Thursday:  BodyCombat #60

My first thought upon waking up this morning: it's really only Thursday?!  Sigh.  I got up and did Combat - ever a slave to my routine.  This was a fun one with some seriously tough portions (lunge jumps!).  It also lasted about 35 minutes, which was nice.  I then did my own cardio for 10 minutes.  A good workout!

Friday:  Dozois' Barre Fusion + Flow #66


To start off my "light" morning, I did about 15 minutes of Michelle's Barre workout to warm up.  I really like this one.  I took it down a notch, leaving out the jumps.  Then, about 20 minutes of Flow.  Very nice!  I wanted some abs so I did my own sit-ups and stretches to finish off - about 5-10 minutes.  

Saturday: Peak 10 More Cardio Strength + Ilyse's Easy to Follow Dance Moves

No more Cathe for me on weekends (yay!) - it's back to some Peak 10 for me!  I can't say I look forward to this CS -  it is TOUGH.  But I was looking forward to sweating it out.  This one goes to the floor a lot and I was fine until the last circuit.  Whew!  After that 50 minute workout, I tuned into Ilyse's fun dance workout, just to move for 25 minutes.  So much fun!  A bit of arm work with the new weights and then a  nice stretch!

Sunday:  Combat #61 and #62 + Amy's Body Weight Training

The Combat 60 DVDs have gotten a bit stale and, frankly, they're not as difficult as the latest Combats on Les Mills On Demand.  So today, I did two online and dang!  It was tough!  I also twisted my knee on roundhouse kicks, which is a first.  Let's hope it gets better soon.  It didn't bother me much, so I did 20 minutes of Amy's workout.  So, an hour and 20 minutes of cardio.  Cool!  Then, a stretch and ab work.

Calorie Counts:

I was really good this week, except for Saturday and Sunday.  The diet was blown out of the water on Sunday, in fact.  But the scale gave me hope on Saturday morning - I got within, barely, my acceptable five pound range.  Let's hope I can get there again, after Sunday's splurge.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Love Your Body

As many of you know, Michelle Dozois is my favorite fitness instructor. If I don't do a few of her workouts every week, I have symptoms of withdrawal and get seriously depressed and unmotivated.  LOL!  

Early this week - on February 1 - Michelle posted to her Facebook Page a 14-day Love Your Body Challenge.  Every day she posts yoga/stretching moves that help to show your body some love.  Instead of focusing outwardly these next two weeks, she proposes we turn inward to ourselves.  Let's show our bodies some love!

If you're at all interested, check her Facebook page every afternoon to see what the move of the day is.  They've been easy and soothing so far!  I like to do these in the evening when my body is tired and worn out; when it needs some TLC.  


Leave it to Michelle to continually inspire me!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Skinny Greek Lemon Bars

One of my frequented food blogs, Sally's Baking Addiction, continues to impress me.  While her "skinny" recipes are few and far between, they're usually pretty good.  These Skinny Cheesecake Squares are one of my all time favorite low-calorie desserts.

When I checked the blog last week there was a new, interesting "skinny" recipe: Skinny Lemon Bars.  Oh, my!  I bought the ingredients last weekend and whipped these squares up on Sunday.  

And they did not disappoint.  I made no substitutions but I did cut them into 16 squares, making them 95 calories each.  And they're delicious!  Light, fresh, and lemon-y!!  

Mr. Higgins would prefer to eat them all in one sitting, but I refuse to let him.  I want to enjoy them for a few more days!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week Four: Combat Challenge #3

After a great weekend of workouts, I'm feeling good.  I'll feel even better when I see results on the scale!

So, here we go - almost halfway through this Challenge!

Monday: Sh'Bam #16 + Ilyse's Dance Intervals 101

Time for some dance today!  This Sh'Bam wasn't my favorite but it was still fun. And I really tried to not jump too, too much.  Then, I ruined it by jumping in Ilyse's workout.  Oh, well.  It was a fun morning!  I took a 15 minute walk at lunch, just to clear my head.

Tuesday: Amy's Head to Toe Body Sculpt + walk

Amy's workout was new to me - and it was really good!  There was enough cardio and compound exercises to keep my heart pounding throughout!  I didn't love the cardio but at least it was different!  As were some of the weighted exercises.  So, a good workout!  At lunch, I walked at the rec, very briskly.  And stretched a bit.  

Wednesday: Grit #7 + Scott's HIIT - Sports Inspired Intervals


I used to like Wednesdays....until it became my hardest weekday workout day.  Ha!  This Grit was a challenge - lots of up and down.  Somehow I made it through.  After that minor miracle, I did Scott's HIIT, which is always fun.  At lunch, I walked down to a cafe to meet a friend.  So, about 20 minutes of walking.  

Thursday:  BodyCombat #61 + walk

I'm not sure I like doing weights on Tuesday and Combat on Thursday.  It's good in theory but by Thursday, I'm worn out.  This Combat was tough and considering how tired I was, I had to really work just to get through it.  It's also a longer one - lasting about 35 minutes.  So I did my own cardio afterward to get to 45-50 minutes.  I went for a walk once home - it was such a glorious day outside!  I think the vitamin D did me good!

Friday:  Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior


Even though cardio always calls to me, I knew I needed to take a serious break today.  Bob Harper's yoga video - which I still haven't reviewed - looked inviting.  And it's really good - and a challenge.  He did so many forward folds and my hamstrings were in heaven!  It was just what I needed.  It was a great workout this morning!

Saturday: Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn Remix + Amy's All Around Energy

It's been over a month since my last Peak 10 workout and I couldn't stand it any longer.  There is no better way for me to get a workout and have fun at the same time.  So I took a break from Combat 60 to do this.  Afterward, I did 20 minutes of Amy's strength and cardio.  Wow!  I really like this workout but frequently forget about it!  Fifteen minutes of a stretch and abs and then I was done!  Whew!

Sunday:  Peak 10 Cardio Strength Remix + McLean's Cardio Hip Hop

I can't say I was looking forward to Cardio Strength as much as yesterday's CIB….but I was still energized to do it.  And…..then it started.  Holy crap!  I forget that this one is super tough!!  You go to the floor in every circuit but the last.  I used my eight-pound weights throughout so I can build strength to eventually use my new twelve pounders and dang!  It challenged me.  That lasted for 50 minutes and then I did 20 minutes of McLean's fun dance routine.  Love that one!  Arms for a bit and then a nice stretch!

Calorie Counts:

Monday -1175
Tuesday - 1184
Wednesday - 1267
Thursday - 1175
Friday - 1251
Saturday - BAD
Sunday - 1261

I weighed this week and the number is going down - but very slowly.  I had fun celebrating my mom's birthday on Saturday.  That was my cheat day, for sure!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Kittehs and Boxes


Dooku is ready for the weekend.  It means mommy and daddy are home, which leads to exiting toys and playtime!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Empress of the Night

I just finished a very interesting novel about Catherine the Great, Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak.  It's a sequel to The Winter Palace.

My Goodreads review is below.....


This novel was very different from its prequel, The Winter Palace.  It's told from the perspective of the main character, Catherine the Great, and is a series of long, disjointed flashbacks of her life.  

I remember my Russian History class and was always interested in this powerful female monarch, mainly because of how people sought to scandalize her.  The book doesn't go into all the rumors, thank goodness, but it does talk about her many loves over the years.  The Romanov family dynamics were very interesting, as well, especially those of Catherine's grandchildren.  


This is a very well written and engrossing read, though I enjoyed the first novel much more.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week Three: Combat Challenge #3

Seeing the number on the scale go down a bit last week (hallelujah!) was marvelous.  Now, I'm motived to keep it going down with good eating and lots of workouts.  

Monday: Grit #6 + Sh'Bam #17 + Ilyse's Sweaty Fusion

I was off today for MLK so I took the opportunity to work extra hard.  I got my Grit out of the way for the week….unless I get motivated to do another one on Wednesday.  Then, my routine Monday Sh'Bam.  And #17 may just be my favorite Sh'Bam of all.   After that, I wanted something different so I tried Ilyse's new workout which is mostly strength.  It was unique and fun.  So, 60 minutes of cardio and then Ilyse's strength.  Cool!

Tuesday: BodyCombat #62 + Amy's Cardio Intervals

As I began my workout this morning, I realized something really got to my left thigh yesterday.  It hurt more and more as I moved and really screamed at my hamstring curls.  Great.  At least my workouts are making an impact.  Huh.  This Combat was fun and went by quickly.  I then did about 15 minutes of Amy's cardio - always fun and effective.  We had a nutritionist talk at lunch today.  Yay!

Wednesday: Ilyse's Your Best Sweaty Self + Dozois' HIIT - Breathless and Energized + walk

I entertained the idea of doing another Grit today but my body told me that was crazy.  And I listened.  So instead I did Ilyse's very impactful workout, followed by Michelle's HIIT.  Ilyse jogs and jacks you like crazy, then insists on air jacks and tuck jumps.  Fun.  My left thigh was still aching so I downplayed the lunge jumps in Michelle's HIIT, making them less lunge-ful.  Ha!  At lunch, I walked at the rec and did sit-ups.

Thursday:  Amy's Kickin' Cardio and Conditioning

I needed some weights today - and less impact.  Amy's workout was perfect!  It's fun, different, and not easy.  The push-ups almost killed me.  No joke.  Three circuits of push-ups, 45-seconds each.  Ouch!  I should have walked at lunch but my stomach was a bit off and it was raining.  So I stayed in.

Friday:  Flow #67


Even thought my conscience was telling me I needed cardio, my body was begging for a break.  My legs still ache.  Sigh.  And so I did Flow this morning and it was great.  My legs hurt more afterward, of course.  But it was worth it.  After this 30 minute video, I did some serious ab work.  

Saturday:  Cathe's Cardio Core Circuit + Ilyse's Full-On Cardio Blast + arms

Par the course, I was dreading Cathe's workout.  It's just not my favorite - any day.  I got through that 45 minutes and wanted more.  I did the 20 minutes of cardio in Ilyse's workout.  It's one that is so much more difficult than I ever remember.  Right after the warm-up, which I skipped, you jog, jump, and run for 10 minutes straight.  Wow.  After all that cardio, I did about ten minutes of weights for my arms and then a stretch.

Sunday:  Combat 60 - Extreme Cardio Fighter + Ilyse's Your Best Sweaty Self + Dozois' Lower Body Burn for Definition 

So I'm trying to take full advantage of the weekend to get in some long workouts.  Combat 60 really made me sweat but after those 45 minutes, I wanted something a bit more high-impact.  So I turned once again to Ilyse's workout - which I did on Wednesday.  It's so good!  That lasted for 25 minutes, at which point, I tuned into Michelle's workout for legs.  It's hard - but hopefully it worked my legs good!  My stretch and ab work after was a nice way to end the workout.

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1185
Tuesday - 1197
Wednesday - BAD
Thursday - 1186
Friday - 1229
Saturday - 1197
Sunday - 1266

I was glad to have a few days of eating less than 1200 calories this week.  It's not easy, for sure.