Monday, August 28, 2017

STS Rotation #1: Mesocycle 3 Week 3

STS is definitely having an effect on my body.  I'm sore after every workout.  Thankfully, it's the nice kind of sore, where you know you've worked hard but aren't in actual pain.  

This week will be a bit different since I'll be on a short vacation at the end of the week.  That means I'll miss my weights at the rec center.  Overall, I think it may be for the best, to give my muscles a little break...

Monday: Cathe's MMA Kickbox + YWA

MMA Kickbox is an advanced kickboxing workout.  You definitely need to know your boxing terms before you begin this workout and even when you know them, this is still a complicated workout.  But that made it fun!  The combinations, while advanced, kept me on my toes early this morning.  The cardio drills weren't as crazy as some of Cathe's workouts but they kept my heart rate up.  A good workout, for sure!  I didn't have much time after work but I managed to get this short, but sweet YWA done.

Tuesday: STS Shoulders, Biceps, and Triceps + walk

It was nice to not have to jump around this morning.  And I really enjoy most of these exercises - except the concentration curls and most of the tricep work.  Ugh.  I hate my triceps.  But, all in all, a good morning.  At lunch, I braved going out in the hot, hot sun to walk at the rec center.  The worst part is always coming back when I'm so hot from walking and it's 100 degrees out.  But I survived!

Wednesday: Cathe's Strong and Sweaty Cardio Slam + YWA

This morning, I woke up dragging - tired and devoid of energy.  I guess that's what made this workout so darn challenging. Or it was all the lunge jumps.  Either way, it was a struggle to get through and my heart was beating out of my chest.  At least it was a great workout - but it was not fun today.  Given how tired my body appears, I think I'll take the recovery week after STS (1.5 weeks away!) seriously.  My body  needs a break.  After work, this YWA was the perfect amount of work and relaxation.  A good way to end the day!

Thursday: Cathe's HIIT 40/20 + STS Chest and Back

I did Saturday's workout today since I'll be gone on Saturday.  And this one was intense!  This HIIT is no joke and the only redeeming thing about it is that Cathe gives you a full minute to recover every 5 minutes or so.  Thank goodness!  After that, it was time for weights - and a lot of them.  I must admit to getting a bit bored with some of these exercises now.  But there's only one more week left.  Wow.

Friday: YWA + walk

Since I was out of town today, my workout was a bit different.  I went on a 30-minute walk outside and got nice and sweaty (it was really humid due to a huge hurricane being only a hundred miles away).  Afterward, I meant to do Cathe's yoga but there was no internet in the bedroom where I can workout....  So, I did one of Adriene's Yoga Revolution practices, which I bought and downloaded.  This one was really good and it felt great to do some vinyasa flows....  I miss that in the short videos!

Saturday:  Dozois' On the Go Workouts, Vol. 1 

I just got this workout, the day before I left for my trip.  And I threw it in my suitcase, just in case.  Hallelujah!  Since I didn't have internet, I couldn't stream Cathe's Tabatacise.  I didn't cry too hard because I was not looking forward to that crazy intense video.  Instead, I did a nice warm-up on my own and then did both of the HIIT routines on Michelle's video.  Then, I did my own cardio for five more minutes to get in 30 minutes of cardio.  Next up, Michelle's ab track on this video - which was intense.  I got through the full ten minutes and then stretched.  It was a good, abbreviated, morning workout!

Sunday:  STS Plyo Legs + 240 lunges

Today, my workout was a bit short because of my travel-time coming home.  But I did STS Plyo Legs in its entirety....and upped my walking lunges by 20.  And....ouch!  None of this was easy today but the weights were especially difficult.  My heart rate was through the roof and the sweat was pouring off.  Whew!  After that, I did my sit-ups and stretched.  With the lunges, I had a total of 30 minutes of cardio for a full 60 minute workout.   

Calorie Counts:

None this week since I was out of town for part of the week.  I was good on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, though!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


There comes a time in your life when you must admit to yourself that you're now the adult.  There's no one to go ask for help, advice, or simply for understanding.  You're it.  

And it sucks.


The area where I see this most in my life is when something physically falls apart. My dad is a car fanatic....but he's not there when I have car issues.  I have to deal with them myself.  The refrigerator breaks and it's up to me and Mr. Higgins to fix it.  (Thankfully, Mr. Higgins is incredibly handy when he puts his mind and time to it and we (I was handy myself) fixed a potentially devastating refrigerator problem recently.  Woot!)

But perhaps the most alarming truth about adulting is that you inevitably become the adult in the relationship you have with your parents.  As they age, they become increasingly dependent upon you to fix things in their house, to update their technology, to teach them technology, to help them in medical crises.  The roles reverse - and sometimes this happens quite suddenly.

It's not the best position to be in.  It's definitely not fun and is usually accompanied by extreme sadness.  We watch our parents deteriorate.   No longer can they fix our problems; we are asked to fix theirs.  It is, after all, a very natural process.  But like a lot of things in nature, it's not pretty.  

This is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.  Since we're not having kids, our best years may now be behind us.  Mr. Higgins seems partly convinced of this but I still have hope that this is not the case.  

Actually, I desperately hope that it's not.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

STS Rotation #1: Mesocycle 3 Week 2

Only three more weeks of STS?!  Holy cow!

Monday: STS Shoulders, Biceps, and Triceps + walk

I did this workout during a raging early morning storm, praying that the electricity wouldn't go out amidst tons of thunder and lightning.  And it didn't!  Yay!  I increased my weights a bit and felt a bit stronger in some areas - and weaker in the triceps at times.  Ugh!  At work, I walked at the rec center.  That was a nice break from the office!

Tuesday: STS Plyo Legs + YWA

Wow - these Plyo Legs workouts are intense (as you can see from the clip I found)!  I was happy to see some different moves in this week's workout but there was a lot of repetition.  Since I don't have a step, I know some of the cardio moves are not as effective for me, but I try to make them as intense as possible by squatting low etc.  As it was, I got a great workout.  At lunch, I walked for a bit outside, but it wasn't enough to be called a workout.  After work, I did this new YWA - which was nice for my sore, tired legs.

Wednesday: Cathe's Ripped with HIIT: Low Impact HIIT One + Afterburn + YWA

Low impact today - which means high intensity when it comes to these Cathe workouts.  Dang!  Ripped with HIIT is quickly becoming one of my favorite Low Impact options.  This is such a great workout.  After it's short 25 minutes were over, I tuned into some of the cardio portions of Afterburn - which are even more intense.  Dang!  Talk about a workout!  After a long work day, I did this YWA - a root practice so it had some balancing.  I rarely get to do tree pose so that was fun!

Thursday: Cathe's Warrior Kickboxing + weights

Yay, a new live kickboxing workout!  This workout was so much fun!  It had many good combinations, which I love.  In between the combinations, jacks and shuffles kept my heart pounding.  Cathe even threw in some blasts before heading to the heavy bag boxing.  I had a lot of fun with this one!  At lunch, weights at the rec center.  The students are back - moved in with no classes to attend, so they were all working out. I couldn't even get to two of the machines I needed but I made do.

Friday: Cathe's Stretch Max (bands) + Icy Core 1 + YWA

I wanted relaxing with a bit of work this morning so this was a good mix. I started with Cathe's Stretch Max, which is a 17-minute workout using a band.  It really stretched my legs well, which was super nice.  After that, some real work with Icy Core.  This workout was close to eleven minutes of core torture.  Ha!  I then tried to relax again with Yoga Chill - a short YWA that was a good end to the morning.

Saturday: Cathe's HIIT 30/30 + STS Chest and Back

Time to work this morning!  First up - HIIT.  This workout is non-stop - 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest.  Some of the moves are brutal.  But I got through it - 25 minutes total.  Next up: STS.  I'm really liking these Chest and Back routines.  Lots of chest presses and rows, which I like.  And I'm always sore afterward - not painfully so, but I can feel it.  It's the good kind of ache!  I stretched for a bit afterward and did some sit-ups to round out my workout.

Sunday:  Cathe's Kick Max + 220 lunges + Pauline Nordin's Butt Bible Lower Level 2 + abs + YWA

So, a brutal day for my lower body.  I started off with Kick Max, which I was naively looking forward to because I love Cathe's kickboxing.  I made my own premix - warm-up, two of the combos, and the drills.  So....  The boxing combos were fun - advanced and different in a good way.  Then the drills - 10 of them with no rest, only jogging in between.  I thought I was going to die. After that 40 minutes, I did 220 walking lunges.  And then Butt Bible.  The only good thing about it is that I like level 2 the best because it's well rounded and not too long.  But it hurt so bad.  I did 7 minutes of Cathe's abs afterward and, finally, a 17-minute YWA to stretch and relax.  I needed that.

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1290
Tuesday - 1314
Wednesday - 1394
Thursday - 1519
Friday - bad
Saturday - 1387
Sunday - BAD

Friday, August 18, 2017

On the Go Workouts

Newsflash!  Michelle Dozois is putting out a new workout!!  

I'm so excited!  This new workout is called On the Go and since there's a nice "Volume 1" on the cover, I'm hoping this is the first of many new workouts to come!  To order, go here.  And if you order quickly, you get a pre-sale discount!  Score!

Since I've been doing so much Cathe, I'm missing Michelle's fun workouts.  There's not much of a fun factor to Cathe's workouts - but they grow on you and definitely get you results.  So the two instructors actually compliment each other nicely - I should do a Cathe/Michelle rotation!  

Monday, August 14, 2017

STS Rotation #1: Mesocycle 3 Week 1

The idea of doing four more weeks of STS is a bit daunting right now.  Maybe I'm just tired.  Or maybe I did too much cardio last week.  Either way, I'm not feeling it.  Butt off we go!

Monday: STS Shoulders, Biceps, and Triceps + YWA

I like how the different upper body muscles get grouped together and then scrambled up for the next Mesocycle.  This workout definitely got all the muscle groups.  I had to skip a few sets to fit this workout into my daily routine.  If done in its entirety, it's 70 minutes long!  After work, I did a new YWA - for golfers!   At first, I laughed when I saw it posted but at the end of this day, it seemed like a good way to stretch the upper and lower body.  Very  nice!

Tuesday:  STS Plyo Legs + walk + YWA

Okay, so today kicked my bum.  In this final mesocycle, you have two options for legs - Plyo legs or Squat Rack Legs.  Since I don't have a squat rack or heavy weights, I'm doing Plyo Legs.  In this format, you alternate a cardio leg-intensive circuit with a weighted leg circuit.  Both keep your heart rate spiked and the sweat pouring.  Wow.  My legs were shaking!  At lunch, I walked - no power walking today - around the track at the rec center and did some sit-ups and planks.  Then, finally, a YWA to end the day, which was very nice on my tired, tired body.

Wednesday: Cathe's 4-Day Split Kickbox + ICE Cardio Blizzard Burn

A bit of a mix today...  I did the cardio from this 4-Day Split workout because I wanted some new kickboxing.  But in the middle of it, I did the 9-minute Blizzard Burn from this ICE workout.  That got my blood pumping and it didn't slow down during the Kickbox workout.  Dang!  Cathe doesn't give you time to think - you just keep jumping and punching!  I'll do the 4-Day Split series after STS so I wanted a bit of a preview today....

Thursday: Cathe's Afterburn + weights + YWA

Something different today - metabolic training!  I haven't done a cardio+weights workout in quite a while so today I decided to do one!  I'd heard a lot about Afterburn, a part of Cathe's Low Impact Series, and was curious to try it.  It's a good workout that alternates a weighted move and a cardio move.  I liked some of the other workouts in this series better but I'll give Afterburn a second try sometime.  At lunch, I did weights at the rec center, though I almost talked myself out of it.  Sigh.  But it gave me a boost to see the weights I'm lifting!  After work, I did this YWA, though my back was mostly okay.

Friday: Cathe's Yoga Relax

Ah, my rest day!  This isn't my favorite yoga ever but I wanted super relaxed this morning and this fit the bill.  My legs were actually hurting from holding some of the positions Cathe led us through.  But it was good!

Saturday: Cathe's ICE Low Impact Sweat + STS Chest and Back + abs

I was a bit rushed this morning and a longer STS didn't help.  So, I only did 20 minutes of this ICE workout.  I recently learned that Cathe's ICE series is her intermediate series.  This wasn't the hardest workout but I got a good sweat going.  Then, it was time for STS - and this one was longer due to the amount of rest required between sets.  But it definitely seemed effective!  Dang!  After that - a bit over 60 minutes - I did about 7 minutes of abs (Cathe) and then stretched.  Whew!

Sunday: Cathe's Rockout Knockout + Pauline Nordin's Butt Bible Lower Level 1 + 200 lunges + abs + YWA

A well-rounded day, for sure!  I started with cardio - 40 minutes of Cathe's fun kickboxing.  This was a great video and I'll have to do it in its entirety sometime!  After that, 200 walking lunges kept my heart pounding.  And then, Butt Bible - level 1.  Yes, I ended with level 3 in the last Mesocycle but I wanted a shorter workout today so I did level 1 and added weights where Pauline used none.  I know I'll be feeling all those hip thrusts (holding 16 lbs) tomorrow!  Then, 8 minutes of abs (Cathe) followed by a stretch and this short YWA.  Fun!

Calorie Counts:

Monday - BAD
Tuesday - 1199
Wednesday - 1432
Thursday - 1253
Friday - bad
Saturday - 1439
Sunday - BAD

Thursday, August 10, 2017

That Cat...

...continues to be adorable.

Monday, August 7, 2017

STS Rotation #1: Mesocycle 2 Recovery Week

....aka Cardio Week!

After last week's conference and overeating, I'm ready to get back to healthy eating.  While I didn't eat horribly while I was away, I ate a bit too much and it wasn't altogether healthy.  Thankfully, in a recovery week, you do no weights and focus on cardio instead.  Yay!

Monday: Peak Fit Pure Cardio + YWA

I wanted to mix up my cardio this morning - and have a break from Cathe's DVDs - so I chose this workout, from Michelle Dozois' Peak Fit System.  I love this cardio workout!  It's straight cardio and it was so nice to have a break from Cathe's endless drills (though I've learned to like those drills).  This cardio was a nice change.  After work, I did this short, but intense YWA, focusing on hips and core.  Lots of flow!

Tuesday:  Cathe's 2015 Road Trip Kickboxing Class + YWA

This was a good morning of kickboxing!  Cathe's kickboxing is deceptively intense with some circuits thrown in to keep you on your toes.  So, they're great workouts, this one especially.  The live workout room was filled to capacity, almost to the point of being distracting while watching on the computer.  After work, I did a short YWA - not as intense as yesterday's but still very nice.

Wednesday: Cathe's Quick Fix Cardio

So....  I knew this short workout would be intense but when Cathe's starts on snowboarders, before you even realize the warm-up is done, it's a bit traumatic.  And then you do four sets of snowboarders.  I was about to die.  And the circuit-based workout did not let up - until it ended after 33 minutes.  Whew!  I did my own cardio to get in a full, 45-minute, workout.  Cathe really knows how to work you hard.

Thursday: Ilyse Baker's Dancinerate: Burn with the Beat + YWA

Today was a light day, after a lot of intense cardio this week.  I did Ilyse's DVD, only for the second time.  It's not the easiest thing to master but it's fun.  So I just need to do it more often - and write a review.  It was nice to do something different this morning - I miss all the dance I did with FitnessGlo!  After work, I did this nice YWA, with just the right amount of flow and stretch.  A good way to end the day!

Friday: Dozois' BodyFit 360 Vol. 2: Dance Conditioning

My rest day!  I did most of this workout but had to skip a bit in the middle - the cardio and arm section.  It was a good workout, and a great way to spend a Friday morning.  Michelle's energy is so contagious; she makes me happy in the morning!  And I miss seeing her in the mornings!

Saturday: Dozois' Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn - Fat Blaster + YWA

I was looking forward to more Michelle today and this workout always makes me happy.  But it also makes you work - hard.  It's non-stop and it was a challenge to go for a full hour after my shorter Cathe workouts.  But I'm so glad I got through this tough workout!  After it ended, I did about 8 minutes of Cathe's abs and then stretched.  I finished off my morning with a 7-minute YWA to calm down and get ready for a nice Saturday.

Sunday:  Dozois' PeakFit Anytime Anywhere No Excuse Workout + BodyFit 360 Vol. 3: Athletic Conditioning

So for some insane reason, I decided to do Michelle's Anytime workout today.  I really don't know why: I hate this workout.  It always kicks my butt.  And despite all my Cathe workouts, it kicked my butt today.  Hard.  I really do think it's the up and down from the floor that gets me.  So many push-ups!  After that 35 minutes of pure torture, I managed 10 minutes of cardio from Athletic Conditioning - and then I was done.  So I did the whole 15 minute stretch to reward myself for getting through Anytime.  Ugh.

Calorie Counts:

I had about three good days (~1300 calories) this week and three that really were not that bad - around 1500-1600 calories.  But Sunday was bad.  And I'm still fat.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Guernsey Literary...

My mother-in-law recommended The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows) to me - and I wanted to read it, knowing that movie was being made, base on the novel.  It took me about 25 pages to get hooked and then it was a super fast, enjoyable read.

My Goodreads review:

I was a bit skeptical of this book at first because a) I get tired of WWII novels and b) generally do not like novels consisting entirely of correspondence. But Juliet quickly won me over with her quirky attitude and clumsy charm. She is a heroin for the real woman and that is extremely refreshing.

Prior to this novel, I had no idea Guernsey existed and now that I've read about it, I long to visit it one day. The stories told of the German Occupation were heartbreaking and, just like the residents of Guernsey, one begins to feel sorry for the German soldiers stationed on the island, as well. Everyone on Guernsey was starving. 

The characters in this novel are priceless. I wish my neighborhood consisted of such delightful people. And these people are what make this novel so touching.