Thursday, January 18, 2018

Good Omens

My book group chose to read Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, for January.  It was my second time to read this hilarious novel about Armageddon. 

Here's my Goodreads review:

This was my second time through Good Omens.  This book definitely makes an impact - hilariously and seriously.  The concept is so original but the delivery falls apart halfway through.  Pratchett and Gaiman lost my interest with the four horseman and it was downhill to armageddon.  And I was angry at them for making four uninteresting characters when there's so much potential there!  Those four either needed more development or none whatsoever.  

The greatest part of this book is the relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley.  I wish the entire thing could have focused on them and Adam.  That would be a great read.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Butt and Plateau Buster Months: Week 2

To start the week off, I weighed.  And I was done 0.6 pounds!  I know this doesn't seem like much....but I'm ecstatic!  That's 0.6 pounds below the number that hasn't budged in months.  Amazing!!  And to think that a week ago, on New Year's Day, I was eating!  There's hope...

So now I'm even more motivated than usual!

One minor change....  My rest days are screwed up since I took last Monday off for the holiday.  So, for now, rest days will come at the beginning of the week.

Monday: YWA + Cathe's Fit Split Core + YWA

Rest day!  My legs were still killing me this morning so a rest day sounded lovely!  And then Adriene got my blood pumping with TRUE Day 7.  Wow.  Up and down, up and down...  That's one way to get going in the morning!  After that 25 minute practice, I tuned into Cathe's new Fit Split program's core routine.  OUCH!  I couldn't get through this one, it was so painful!  I did about 3/4 of it.  And, at the end of the day, I did TRUE Day 8, which I'd downloaded - because I'm going to miss yoga on Thursday.  So, I'll be ahead of the game until then!

Tuesday: Cathe's Low Impact Cardio HIIT Live + YWA

Oh my gosh!  I didn't know what I was getting into this morning!  This low impact workout worked me harder than any other Cathe low impact workout.  It was crazy intense!  And short!  I did about 10 minutes of my cardio to fill a full 40 minutes.  It felt good but dang!  After work, this YWA Day 9 had some lovely stretches.  Very nice!

Wednesday: Cathe's Leaner Legs + walk + YWA

Considering my legs were still hurting from Saturday, I was not looking forward to another leg day.  Cathe doesn't warm you up quite as much as usual in this older workout so you're thrown into some intense exercises pretty quickly.  The good news was that my heart rate skyrocketed and only came down briefly during the deadlifts.  So this was a crazy workout!  At lunch, I walked at the rec center and after work, YWA!  Day 10!  Lots of twists in this Detox session - but it was all good.

Thursday: Cathe's Upper Body with Ball Live + walk + YWA

Time for arms this morning!  This was a good workout for this week, after more intense arm work last week.  It was shorter and then Cathe moved into ab work.  I got through one of the ab circuits and then stopped - a bit early today to have a few more minutes to get ready.  At lunch, I walked at the rec center again.  My evening plans got moved to next week so I could do my yoga!  YWA True was really good - soft.  I'm all about soft yoga at this time in the week!

Friday: Cathe's To the Max + YWA

I couldn't remember this workout, though I'd done it before.  And it was a lot harder than I anticipated!  I did these segments: step, tabata, and HIIT.  Whew!  It was definitely a great workout...just not what I expected. I did about 5 minutes of my own cardio at the end to cool off and take it down a notch.  Day 12 of YWA True was really good - and challenging.  Adriene always manages to surprise me!  

Saturday: Cathe's Strong and Sweaty: Ramped Up Upper Body + XTrain Core 2 + YWA

Back to the upper body today.  I was still a tiny bit sore from Thursday but not too bad.  This workout definitely tested my strength, though.  It's fast moving and high rep.  My arms burned out quickly using heavier weights.  I generally had to decrease my weight on the second rep.  After that 45 minutes, I did 10 minutes of XTrain Core 2 - which was challenging.  I had to skip one move altogether.  And since I was a day ahead of YWA, I got stuck today when they didn't post the next day's True on the download site.  Oy.  So, I did this YWA on rabbit pose, hoping it would stretch my arms - and it did!

Sunday: Cathe's X10 + XTrain Legs + YWA

Whew.  So I started the morning with X10 - a brutal cardio workout.  I did the Cardio Blast and Low Impact sections.  This is a killer workout.  In between sections, I did walking lunges for a total of 200.  All that lasted 35 minutes.  I then tuned into XTrain Legs.  Ironically, the standing work of this workout is nothing compared to what you do on the floor.  I was in agony on the floor.  That went on for 30 minutes.  I then treated myself to a good stretch - my legs were  so tired.  Then, YWA was all about strength today, which only further tested my poor legs.  Ouch!  I was glad to be done.  YWA works much better when it stands alone - for me, anyway.  

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1198
Tuesday - 1159
Wednesday - 1123
Thursday - 1123
Friday - 1176
Saturday - 1205
Sunday - 1220

Success!  A week of healthy eating!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Winter Weathering

In the fall, the Farmer's Almanac came out with our winter weather prediction: a colder, wetter winter.  Then, the "news authorities" conjured up their own forecasts: a warmer, drier La Nina-induced winter.  Those authorities laughed at the Farmer's Almanac.

What has our winter been like, thus far?  Colder - much colder - and wetter.  We've had ice or snow three times already, though with no great amounts.  The entire week between Christmas and New Year's was cold, grey, and drizzly.  Our gas bill quadrupled in the span of a week.

The prediction for the coming week is still cold.  Oh, and there's another chance for freezing rain.  I love it!  I just want to stay home and knit, so can we have some honest-to-goodness snow days, already?!  What's the point of all this cold if we can't have some snow days?!  

Monday, January 8, 2018

Butt and Plateau Buster Months: Week 1

Yay!  Happy 2018!  

Though I'm sad to see the holidays go, I'm happy to be able to get back on track with my diet.  I need to eat healthy and try to get my weight down.  Once it's down, my endocrinologist thinks it will stay down, now that my thyroid levels are good.  I hope she's right.

The trick, however, will be losing the weight.  I found two rotations from Cathe that I'm going to do in the next two months before our cruise.  The first four weeks focuses on busting through plateaus. The second month will be her Rock Bottoms rotation.  It sounds so painful!  But I'm anxious to get started...

Also on the docket for January is Yoga with Adriene's 30 Day Yoga Challenge, TRUE.  I'm so excited for this!  I need to get more strict about my yoga and this will do it!!!  

Monday: New Year's Day - REST

Even Adriene gives you the day to contemplate the month and year ahead....

Tuesday: Cathe's Old School Cardio Plus Kickboxing + YWA

This was my third time doing Old School Cardio and it's so much fun!  Cathe gets you going and it's non-stop cardio.  Fun!  I really needed cardio this morning and as I was jumping, I couldn't help but notice my stomach pouch had it's own rhythm.  UGH!  I must get this gut thing gone, stat!  After work, I started YWA's TRUE.  Yay!  The first day's practice was nice and slow but surprisingly tough.  That's why I love Adriene's yoga!

Wednesday: Cathe's XTrain 02: Bi's and Tri's + walk + YWA

Weights today!  Cathe sure knows how to work your biceps and triceps from every angle!  My arms were getting really shaky near the end, especially with the tricep work.  Ouch!  At lunch, I braved the cold weather to go to the rec and walk - where, inside, it was annoyingly warm.  I did some planks and crunches and stretched really well.  And after work, it was time for TRUE, day two, with YWA.  This was a really good practice - mindful and powerful....and still a bit painful.

Thursday: Cathe's Rockout Knockout +  walk + YWA

Kickboxing today and I love kickboxing!  This workout seemed so familiar...and then I realized that I did it two weeks ago.  Ha!  It's fun and effective - my heart rate stayed up the entire time.  Whew!  At lunch, I walked at the rec center, which was still overheated, despite the above-freezing temps outside.  Ugh.  I did some sit-ups and leg raises to finish off.  Then, after work, YWA - TRUE Day 3!  It was lovely!

Friday: Cathe's Crossfire + YWA

After an absolutely horrible night of restlessness, I readily admit that I did not give this workout my all.  I couldn't; I was exhausted.  Sleep has been very elusive this week.  I gave 75% for this workout and still kept my heart rate up.  It's not my favorite workout so I was happy to see it come to an end.  Oy.  Oh and my arms - especially my triceps - are still aching from Wednesday.  Dang!!  After work, I tuned into a floor-centric YWA - TRUE practice.  Perfect for a Friday!

Saturday: Cathe's XTrain 06: Cardio Leg Blast + 150 lunges + YWA

Legs today.  And boy, did this workout get the legs.  It alternates a cardio move - leg-centric - and a strength move.  So your legs never get a break.  It was a bit painful at times - especially the cardio moves.  After that 50 minutes, I took 5 minutes to do 150 walking lunges.  I didn't think I could do these, my legs were so tired from the workout.  But I managed.  Yay!  Then, finally, a stretch, followed by YWA - TRUE.  A good day!

Sunday: Cathe's XTrain 03A Burn Sets: Chest, Back, and Shoulders + XTrain Bonus Core 1 + YWA

Back to upper body today.  This was a really good workout.  You did three sets of each exercise, trying to go to failure.  It sure tested my muscles!  Some of the moves were a bit different, which was a nice change.  After that, I did the XTrain Core 1 - ouch!  This was intense and really a somewhat good way.  I barely made it through.  Then, YWA today was all about core.  Ack!  Talk about hurt!  

Calorie Counts:

Monday - New Year's - BAD
Tuesday - 1173
Wednesday - 1124
Thursday - 1179
Friday - 1344
Saturday - 1279
Sunday - 1255

It felt so good to get back on the diet.  Amazing!

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Archies: 2017

       The Archies 2017

With a new year comes the wrapping up of the old one.  It's that time again: time to reflect upon a year gone by and what we did during that year.  It's time again for The Archies!  This idea came from Donna and it's something I've really enjoyed doing.  It's basically a list of my 50 favorite things from the year.  Every year you compile a list, you add an additional item, so I'm now up to 58!  See also 2016201520142013,  2012, and 2011.  Okay, here we go....

1.    A new surrogate niece, Jillian Claire.
3.    Texas Hill Country.
4.    Netflix’s “The Crown.”
5.    Life in the Long Grass yarn.
6.    Hike to Dream Lake (RMNP) in the snow.
7.    Dessicated thyroid hormone.
8.    Texas Sheet Cake.
9.    Still Alice.
10.  Knitting my second pair of adult socks!
12.  Conferencing in Anaheim.
13.  My first ever surprise party (for me?!)!
14.  Auburn’s football season, culminating in the Iron Bowl.
16.  Lily Lake,Colorado.
19.  May Designs.
21.  “Game of Thrones,” season 7.
23.  Must Stash yarn.
25.  Hunt’s Gardens, Barbados.
26.  Blue-light reducing computer glasses.
27.  Heim BBQ.
28.  Cheez-It’s new flavors.
30.  Cathe’s STS program.
31.  The Tinsmith’s Wife.
32.  Denver Biscuit Company.
34.  Tampa, FL.
35.  Maya Chan, Mexico.
36.  Rebel Queen.
37.  Shoal Bay, Anguilla.
38.  Netflix’s “The Punisher.”
40.  The Decc, Distillery 291.
41.  My reserved parking space at work.
42.  Overnight trip to Chicago for work.
43.  Netfix’s “The Defenders.”
44.  My iPhone 7.
45.  Blessings in disguise.
47.  Hot chocolate + whiskey.
48.  Netflix’s “Luke Cage.”
49.  All the Wonder Woman merchandise.
50.  Being made VP of my local professional org.
51.  Football Saturdays with family – and food.
52.  Taco Bueno’s Whollotta Box.
53.  GameDay at TCU.
54.  R Taco.
55.  Wildseed Farms, Fredericksburg, TX.
56.  Blue Bell’s Peppermint Bark ice cream.
57.  Mr. Higgins’ No Shave November.
58.  Marble Falls, TX.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Last year, I did Yoga with Adriene's Yoga Revolution during the month of January.  It changed the way I thought of yoga; it changed the way I perceived my body.   It was a truly transformational experience.  

This year, I was so thrilled to see that Adriene has put together another yoga challenge for the month of January: TRUE.

I invite you to join her - and me - for this journey.  If you haven't tried any of Adriene's videos, you must.  She's so genuine and light-hearted.....this is no stuffy yoga.  This is fun yoga.  She invites you, in every practice, to find what feels good.  If it hurts, stop.  Duh!  That's her message to you and she's surprisingly funny while pushing you to be your best self.  

Yay, January!  Yay, yoga!

Monday, January 1, 2018

December Workouts: Week 4

The week between Christmas and New Years, otherwise known as a free-for-all before the house must be clear of bad food, come January 2.  It's also the one time of year we see some of our friends, which means eating out.  But I don't care - it's the holiday and a time to relax.  

At least I worked out - most days!  This week, I picked apart Cathe's Pure Strength to do a muscle group or two each day.  Cathe spends about 10 minutes on each body part.  

Monday: Christmas Day - rest

Tuesday: travel day - rest

Wednesday: Cathe's Mixed Impact HIIT with Bonus Abs + Pure Strength: Back & Biceps

I thought HIIT was a great way to start the week.  And this was a great workout - Cathe alternates high and low impact and even some weighted moves to keep your body guessing.  It was a great combination and kept my heart rate elevated.  The cardio lasted almost 35 minutes.  I skipped the abs and did Pure Strength instead.  These are older Cathe workouts - but they're still super effective.   I did my own abs and stretch to finish off my day.

Thursday: Cathe's Kick, Punch, and Crunch + Pure Strength: Chest

Another older Cathe workout - but a great kickboxing workout!  This one really got my heart pounding, which I loved.  Cathe really gets you moving in this workout before you settle into the punch/kick combos.  The combinations are a lot of fun themselves!  I did about 45 minutes of this cardio and then did the chest segment.  Ouch!  So many presses!  It was nice to stretch after all this!

Friday: Cathe's Great Glutes+ Pure Strength: Triceps

Legs today!  I worried about working my legs enough....but I shouldn't have.  This workout really gets them good.  Hovering in a lunge, with your knee an inch about the ground - that's guaranteed to get your legs shaking.  I did all of this workout except for the last 10 minutes of floor work.  Instead, I tuned into the Pure Strength Triceps segments.  So, an hour of work....and finally, a nice stretch.  

Saturday: Cathe's Intensity + Pure Strength: Shoulders & Abs

So, I'm on a cardio kick this week to work off some of these extra calories.  I went back to an old friend today with Intensity - my first Cathe workout.  I did about 35 minutes of this workout - the step segment and then the HIIT - high and low.  And it still got to me, after all the Cathe workouts I've done, she still makes me work and work hard.  After that, I did shoulder and ab work.  Ow!!!  

Sunday: Cathe's Warrior Boot Camp

I don't do many boot camps but I was all into shocking my body this a boot camp it was.  This live Cathe workout aired just a few weeks ago.  It contains six segments, each of which includes a cardio move, a lower body move, an upper body move, and an ab move.  Repeat that 6 times.  I didn't do all the ab work - jogging sometimes instead.  But it was a great workout.  After that 45 minutes, I did 5 minutes of abs and then stretched.  

No calories this week.  They did not exist.  Ha!