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08-05-2014, 03:22 PM   #121
CrohnsChicago
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The mint I got at the farmers market was beautiful and so fresh. It tastes and smells lovely in my cup of tea at work too.

You are the third person to tell me it grows like a weed this week hahahaha! Unfortunately I wouldn't know because mine is dead in a pot on my balcony! I'm just not meant to own plants...I have a black thumb they don't even like me in the same room as them

We can grow stuff like that in Chicago. Boyfriend and I actually have a starter potted garden going right now (we began rather late) with banana peppers, tomatoes, chili peppers, rosemary, basil.

There was also at one point catnip and mint, but they are dead. And the rosemary is dying. Of course those three are the plants that belonged to me. And oddly enough my boyfriend takes care of them more than I do. Death by association....they can't even be associated with my name!

Honestly though, I think the catnip growth spurt exploded and actually got sick (it had white stuff on it) and poisoned the mint when they were initially in the same trough full of dirt.

Meanwhile his tomato flowers are budding, two banana peppers are almost full grown and the chili peppers are getting there too and the basil is growing like a weed.

I've participated in a few community gardens here that give the food to pantries for AIDS patients and homeless shelters. You'd be surprised what we can get growing here in Chicago with a little effort.
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08-05-2014, 07:06 PM   #122
hawkeye
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Mint just takes off when you plant it.
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08-05-2014, 08:46 PM   #123
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Yeah, that's what I'm told hawkeye.

My mint plant did take off when I first planted it. However I planted it alongside the catnip. Out of nowhere (still not sure how, I'm a novice at gardening) the catnip became sick and the mint which shared dirt with it started dying too so I separated them. All of my mint died with the exception of one half-dead stem. New mint kept trying to grow on top of the dead stem it but would then it would all die again because the rest of the plant was in horrible shape. So I gave up on it.

The catnip perished all on its own.
08-06-2014, 09:12 AM   #124
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Last night I was still a bit physically tired. But once I tried to get to bed at 10:30p my mind just wasn't ready to sleep. Used meditation and eventually got there.

This morning alarm goes off 6:00am, I'm up at 6:10 but strong urge to stay in bed. Either I'm moving extra slowly today or time is moving much quicker because though I kept the same routine (dress, outside jog interval, shower, dress, cook breakfast), I was running a few minutes behind on everything. I won't blame it on physical exhaustion because once I forced myself out of bed and threw water on my face I was in a more alert state and the jog felt great once I got a third of the way into it. And even after I felt more energized and ready to get through the day. I didn't have time to eat a decent breakfast so I packed it up and brought it to work with me.

Tonight I will do a small amount of strength training.

Tomorrow I leave for a weekend road trip which will include 2 days of hiking in Upper Peninsula Michigan. I am going with 6 other people. I'm trying to figure out how I am going to incorporate exercise into my day while I am out there. One person is bringing her new bike to test it out early mornings. If I knew how to ride a bike that would have been the best idea. I want do jog but it's unfamiliar territory to me.

I absolutely plan to keep my early morning wake up routine in Michigan, but I'd like to get a little strength training in at some point and small bits of cardio if the hiking doesn't do it for me workout-wise. I'm looking online for the best travel-friendly exercises.
08-07-2014, 08:44 AM   #125
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Since I had a lot to do last night which kept me up later than expected, I shifted my sleep cycle times.

Was in bed by midnight and up at 7:30am. Slightly harder to get up, I opted to stay in bed for a short while and get some stuff done on the computer rather than just go back to sleep. It's currently 8:42am. I've made breakfast which I am enjoying bedside as well . I will finish packing while my stomach settles and then do a high-intensity workout DVD at home.

The drive to Michigan is about 7 hours so I will be mostly sedentary for the rest of the day and have plenty of time to nap if my body really wants it.

Tomorrow back onto the 6am sleep-cycle and waking up to workout immediately. I pulled some 30minute HIIT workouts to try while on vacation if I am unable to jog anywhere.
08-07-2014, 10:35 AM   #126
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I hope you have a fun trip! Upper MI is beautiful so I'm sure you'll be hiking in some lovely scenery. Hopefully the mosquitoes will leave you alone too!

As for gardening - I also have a black thumb, but I'm sloooowly getting better. The "white stuff" on your catnip, it may have been mold? If I over-water plants then they tend to get moldy sometimes too. Once a plant gets moldy, even if it looks okay, it's apparently just done for! So I'm guessing that's what happened to your mint & catnip. I'm proud of myself though, I actually managed to grow a few things besides mint in my little garden this year. I actually grew not one but two (!!) cucumbers. I just picked one this morning and put it into my juicer. Yum! I'll be picking the other one shortly as it looks just about ready to go. I also have a small pumpkin growing on the vine - I can't remember if I planted pie pumpkins or regular jack-o-lantern pumpkins this year though so I'm not sure how big it'll get! Ha ha.
08-12-2014, 09:28 AM   #127
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Probably was mold. I'll probably try growing mint again next spring.

Vacation was a blast...the most relaxed I've been in a while. Managed to get some canoeing, swimming and hiking into my schedule.

I kept up with my early morning rises. The time difference is one hour ahead from Chicago so while I was getting up at 7:30 there...it was technically 6:30 Chicago time. The days are also longer up there so we were all a tad bit thrown off and spent a lot of time with outdoor activities then passed out afterwards or took naps in between. The heat also helped to tire us out. It averaged 87 degrees fahrenheit while we were there....temperatures like that are apparently rare in the U.P.


Got home super late after an 9 hour drive which included a few pit stops. My body is catching up on sleep now.

Tonight I go to the personal trainer, then bed.

The 5k is in 4 days so I will try to be up and at 'em in the morning.
08-12-2014, 03:02 PM   #128
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Sounds like a fun but busy trip! And yikes, 87 degrees in the UP?? It's like 65 degrees here in southern WI today, I think the UP stole our summer weather. It's funny, you went through WI and I actually went through Chicago on the same weekend - we crossed paths and then some! I went through Chicago to Indiana to tour some historical sites. And I have to say, I did not enjoy my drive through Chicago. One way it was all tolls and the other way it was all congestion! Yuck!

Sounds like you've had and will continue to have an exhausting few days! I got tired just reading that! It's great that you're going gung-ho on training for your 5K, but make sure to get enough rest too. You don't want to be burned out and exhausted for the 5K!
08-12-2014, 06:34 PM   #129
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Good luck on the 5K - keeps us posted as to how it goes
08-18-2014, 04:41 PM   #130
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The 5k was a lot of fun! This one definitely was not serious by any means. It was a blacklight run so it happened during the evening hours after sundown.

It was a bit crowded. They had our route winding around a local sports venue so the terrain was a combination of gravel paths, paved paths and grassy patches. We were not expecting any of this as they did not notify us of our route beforehand or even during the event for that matter. Makes me SUPER glad I trained on concrete and not just the treadmill....the gravel was not always fun to jog on. Since it was pitch black during the run besides a few checkpoints with blacklights and the thousands of people wearing glow-in-the-dark items, it was difficult to run without risking injury at times.

Though a full run was not entirely possible due to risk of injury, I managed to jog through a little over 2/3 of the race only stopping twice briefly.

I consider that a HUGE accomplishment for myself being that it was my first time ever doing something like this and the "training" the most jogging I have done in my entire life. What I found most interesting was the ease with which I was able to jog. Easier than I have been able to do on my own at some points. It almost felt as if I glided through it at times. I read somewhere that running feels a lot more natural to the body during evening hours.

I would like to add that I think the idea of jogging with so many other people interested in doing the same thing helped motivate me further. There's a local Saturday running group in my area for all levels. I might consider the option of meeting up with them at some point to test this theory.

I spent my Sunday yesterday resting and stretching, stretching and resting. Early morning rise was successful but I didn't get out of the house unfortunately. Tonight I head back to the gym and start focusing on a better workout habit in general.
08-18-2014, 05:06 PM   #131
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I just have to say, I am not a fan of the local blacklight 5K that was held here a couple weeks ago. They for some reason had part of the route going through our dog park (also on a gravel path), and they didn't clean up any of the neon-colored cornstarch stuff. As a result, my dog had neon green paws for about a week and hubby's shoes also turned green. People littered tons of glowsticks, water bottles, etc as well in the dog park and nobody cleaned up afterwards. Real nice. So anyway, I hope people were more considerate at your blacklight 5K, Chicago! Or at least I hope it didn't go through a dog park!

With the gravel that you mentioned, it sounds like these blacklight runs are just not very well thought out or organized. I'm guessing it's the same company organizing all these blacklight runs. There was a different 5K here in the spring I think, it was called the "electric foam 5K" or something like that. It apparently was super lame, they didn't mark a course and they set up 2 lame kiddie bubble machines, and that was it. (It was supposed to be like a huge party with techno music and tons of foam.) That company went out of business shortly afterwards. I kind of hope this blacklight 5K company goes the same way if they're doing iffy things like poorly marking the course, opening their participants up to injury, not cleaning up afterwards, etc.

Anyway, I'll step off my complainey soap box now. Yay Chicago for running as much as you could run without injuring yourself! I'm glad you didn't get injured and had a good race. It does sound like a fun concept and I'm glad to hear you had a good time. Do you have any thoughts as to what you'll train for next, another 5K or something else?
08-18-2014, 09:19 PM   #132
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HAHAHAHA Thanks.

Yeah, while fun, there were a number of organizational flaws I didn't appreciate. It was on the property of a sports venue in an industrial area so any cleanup will not affect the public. But it was a glowstick mess on the ground for sure. I actually saw an invitation to the foam 5k in my e-mail this morning. Not interested, how would you even run something like that?

Since this one was an easy one, I may try for another one either before winter hits or next spring. Themed runs are a good idea (Chicago has a Mike Ditka 5k where you dress up like him: Ditka Dash it's called hahaha), but only if they are organized properly.

In the meantime weight loss and a better workout/morning habit are my main goals.
08-19-2014, 09:21 AM   #133
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The Ditka Dash sounds hilarious! I imagine there must be fake moustaches everywhere. I'm not sure if there are any Wisconsin-themed races around here. I'll have to do some googling. I believe there is a race (not sure if this is just a WI thing though) where at each mile or each checkpoint, you have to chug a beer before you can continue on. That sounds absolutely disgusting, I would vomit! Yuck, running plus chugging beer just does not sound like a good combination to me.

I'm surprised they're even still doing the foam 5K after how badly it went here! Here's the local news article about how bad ours was - the photo in this article really makes me laugh at how lame it looks.
http://www.channel3000.com/news/elec...folds/26574250
08-19-2014, 10:07 AM   #134
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Roughly 200 participants arrived expecting giant foam guns, pulsating dance beats and an overall after-party. Instead, they found two children's bubble machines, no marked course, signed no waivers and had no fun.
...

OMG hahahaha. that had to be SO disappointing for the participants! That picture is hilarious!


So last night I did the elliptical for about 45minutes. Tonight I have personal training and will do some quick cardio after. I ordered a balance board in the mail for home to help me find different ways to practice strengthening my core (I also have HORRIBLE balance). Kind of excited to have some new exercise gear to play around with in the morning.
08-19-2014, 03:14 PM   #135
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Keep up the good work Chicago. Diligence pays off.
08-21-2014, 09:05 AM   #136
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A balance board sounds intriguing! I need to work on my balance as well. I used to love ice skating, then as an adult I didn't go ice skating for years and years. This past winter, I went ice skating once - it was fun, but I obviously need a lot of work as it took all my strength and effort just to stay upright! So, I wonder if a balance board would help with my ice skating? Hmmm.
08-21-2014, 09:54 AM   #137
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I got the balance board last night. Either that thing is hard to ajdust to or I am TERRIBLE at this! Hahahaha.

I do like how versatile it is you can try it for a variety of exercises both standing, sitting and push ups. This is the one I got: Reebok Balance Board link

I didn't get a chance to work out like I wanted. My first trip to Europe is next week and I've been scrambling to get stuff done along with setting up arrangements for my cat and cleaning the house before I leave. I'm a combination of exhaustion and nerves at this point. I originally wanted to jog outside today but it's been raining non-stop. I'm going to try that balance board again tonight though to get used to it. If that doesn't work I still have my giant exercise ball I can work with.
08-21-2014, 01:07 PM   #138
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Exciting! Where in Europe are you headed to? I hope you have a really fun trip and that you're able to eat some tasty foods without your body protesting too much.

Thanks for that link, I'm definitely intrigued by the thought of using a balance board and may even purchase one depending on how you do with it! So do keep me posted on how it goes and if you feel it is improving your balance. I have a giant exercise ball as well that the hubby keeps deflating (he feels it's too much clutter so he deflates it and puts it away) so I don't end up using it very often as it's annoying to keep inflating it! A balance board, though, I could just slip under the couch or bed or whatever when I'm not using it, it would be less clutter-y. Hmm!
09-08-2014, 10:12 AM   #139
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Just got back from eastern Spain for vacation. The trip was fantastic and I was very happy to report that no crohn's symptoms flared while there. The only real discomfort came from flying. I was especially gassy and any turbulence sent my gut into a farting frenzy (I feel SO bad for those on the plane sitting near me...I was consistently farting for hours...lol.) I never use to have this problem pre-crohn's so I was a bit embarrassed by the whole thing myself.

Overall, I think the simplicity of the Spanish diet has really helped me physically as well as with gaining perspective on what I need to do going forward to accomplish my dieting and weight loss goals.

I had been experiencing odd and awkward amounts of gassiness periodically over the past month or two but while there and eating on Spanish time-tables, Spanish portions and Spanish ingredients (colorful, basic, small portions, natural and with simple spices - olive oil, bread, cured local ham, fresh seafood, small plates, little dairy, beautifully prepared veggies) my gut was at ease more than it has been lately. I will take this experience as confirmation on how I should be eating.

With the diet I experienced as well as days outdoors wandering cities on foot (unintended exercise), I seemed to have dropped 5lbs on the scale thanks to vacation.

As soon as I came back to the States, the first smell that hit me hard at the airport was GREASY FOOD. It made my stomach turn a little. I also have not had time to cook since I got home and have been relying on take-out and am noticing that my stomach is not very interested in American food at the moment. Our portions truly are ridiculously huge...this trip was a wake-up call about how my plate should look. So far I can only eat a few bites of food before I become full.

And I don't feel like I am TASTING my food. Only grease and additives. More incentive to put stronger emphasis on a clean eating diet again. This week I will be planning my meals in depth to start getting me on track.
09-08-2014, 05:17 PM   #140
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It sounds like an amazing trip, and that's great that it gave you a new outlook on food and diet. You'll have to keep me updated on what kinds of dishes you end up preparing! I'm always looking for new, interesting, tummy-safe meals to pack for my lunches. I feel like my life revolves around tuna sandwiches, ha ha.
09-11-2014, 11:24 AM   #141
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For sure I will let you know. As of right now a new healthy snack I am doing is homemade bruschetta using slices of zucchini instead of bread. A whole batch is incredibly cheap to make and the entire meal is nothing but simple, easy to make, easy to digest veggies. Still looking for cool protein-packed, low calorie ideas.

I've also started taking the stairs at the office. After a week of travel walking around all day, every day, I have been feeling a little bored just sitting at work, sitting on the bus, sitting at home....

I broke up my work days this week with 6 flights of steep stairs, 2x day. I also have forced myself outdoors for a few minutes for some fresh air.

Once life settles down and I catch up with all of my stuff this week, I will be hopping back on the personal training sessions at least for another month. Then I will probably stop with one-on-one training. I have learned a lot of routines and become comfortable with the equipment at the gym. I need to readjust my finances so I can let go of the training and work out on my own now and also focus more on the group cardio classes that come with my regular membership.
09-15-2014, 11:33 AM   #142
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While I still haven't had time to do a formal cardio/strength routine since before my vacation, I have been on my feet non-stop for two weeks for at least 3/4 of each day. As of last night, my body officially crapped out on me and forced me to rest.

I am surprised that I was able to last this long without it happening. I know it's not good to push yourself this hard with no rest and my body doesn't bounce back like it used to pre-crohn's, but I had no choice. My feet hurt. My lower back hurts. My legs hurt. I am getting grumpy from pain and exhaustion.

This week I will dedicate time to rest.

With the exception of two days, my small plate, simple eating is still happening. And my sleep routine I started a few weeks back is working well still!

SLEEP SCHEDULE UPDATE: I am up within 5 minutes of the first alarm. I haven't hit the snooze in almost 2 weeks now. Even while on vacation! I now have ample time in the morning to get ready and even take a small breather before I have to leave for work. Even on the weekends my body now refuses to sleep past 8am (unless I was out SUPER LATE). I hope this truly is the start of a long-lasting habit.
09-15-2014, 04:51 PM   #143
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That's excellent about sticking to a sleep schedule! Well done! And it sounds like you've been staying active even if you haven't made it to the gym recently. You definitely deserve a rest, enjoy it!
09-26-2014, 11:13 AM   #144
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Well I'm finally back at it. I have been feeling a bit fatigued for a number of reasons I assume including my failure to meet my b12 appointments in the last two months and running myself about with responsibilities and activities. If I continue to do nothing about it I tend to fall into the habit of laziness and more fatigue.

I've officially cancelled my personal training appointments. I just can't afford them anymore.

Since I'm waking up early now, I'be begun A.M. workouts again. I have shortened the length of these workouts to 20 minutes just to get my heart rate up and my energy flowing for the day without completely wearing me out before the day begins. However, I also plan to start 1 - 2 am bootcamps weekly before work that I found at a discount. I really enjoy bootcamps and being pushed along with a large group of people. I still have my cheap LA Fitness gym membership and I've decided while boyfriend watches football, I will be at the gym working out and catching up on my shows when I can

Today I did a 20 minute dance/cardio YouTube video at 6am to get my blood flowing for the day. Tonight I'm actually going to go see a music set and that might get me moving about again.

Life and responsibilities are about to calm down significantly for me. So the point of all of this is to begin creating a regular routine of exercise to eventually start losing weight. Winter is coming and if I start off the winter season being a lazy couch potato then there's no turning back for me....
09-26-2014, 11:48 AM   #145
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I hope the boot camps go well! I've never done anything like that so I'll be interested to hear how it goes. I'm glad to hear that life will be calming down for you in a bit (I wish mine would too!). And winter definitely doesn't have to be lazy, if you don't let it be. Yes, it's totally tempting to just laze around in comfy sweaters and drink hot cocoa and not move off the couch. I think for me, being a dog owner and a homeowner, those things force me to be active in the winter. I need to shovel the driveway and the sidewalk, and I need to walk my dog regularly. Those two things alone keep me pretty active. But I also try to do fun winter activities - my favorites so far are snowshoeing and ice skating. Sledding can be a good workout too - trudging uphill in the snow while wearing heavy boots definitely gets the blood moving! So just keep your mind open to that type of thing in the winter. Make it into an opportunity to try new things. Last year I tried snowshoeing for the first time, and I really enjoy it! I am NOT a fan of winter, but a little part of me is admittedly excited to get my snowshoes back out again. It almost seems weird that I'm looking forward to that!

Anyway. That was a ramble. Enjoy your music tonight, and have fun at the bootcamps!
09-26-2014, 02:14 PM   #146
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In my mind, the words "winter" and "fun" have never been used in the same sentence unless the joining words were "is not" :P

I find winter beautiful and living in Chicago you learn to adapt to winter, but here it's more of a sloppy winter because of our large population so our snow quickly turns into massive pools of slush and our temps....well, if you know anything about Chicago I don't have to explain what the cold and winds often feel like. But still I love my city, weather flaws and all! Lol

Winter is my least favorite season. I naturally run cold and have struggled with anemia my entire life so I tend to have a hard time physically adapting to the weather when the temps drop and get the shakes if someone even decides to huff and puff in my direction. So I'm far more likely to stick to the sofa and warm places and eat and drink hot things consistently to avoid feeling cold if there is no motivation or obligation to be somewhere. Hot Chocolate, naps and a warm blanket is my idea of a happy winter.

The only thing that helps when I'm not eating or lounging around in snuggies is exercise because it brings my body temp up. Boyfriend wants to teach me how to ski this winter, maybe in Wisconsin so that's a winter activity to explore for sure.

I'll let you know how the bootcamps go. I think it will be fun!
09-26-2014, 03:44 PM   #147
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Oh yes, I know just what you mean. My hubby went to art school in Chicago, so when we were dating, I spent a lot of time in Chicago visiting him (we did long-distance dating for 4 years until I graduated college & he finished art school). So I know how miserable Chicago in the winter can be! It's pretty miserable up here in the winter too although Madison is a much smaller city so less yucky dirty slushy snow, and we're not on Lake Michigan so less bitterly cold winds and lake-effect snow than you guys get.

For me, I had to really adjust to being outdoors in winter when we got the dog. Her favorite thing ever is snow, which I hadn't expected - when we adopted her, she had come from California so our first winter of having her was her first time experiencing snow. And she absolutely LOVES it! When snow has freshly fallen and I open the door to let her out in the yard, she gets this "OMG" look on her face and then she runs all around in it as fast as she can - she zooms this way, then she zooms that way. It's pretty hilarious, all the neighboring houses have perfectly pristine snow and my yard has ten zillion dog footprints, it looks like about 100 dogs came running through.

So anyway, my dog's extreme enthusiasm for winter and snow makes me a little more excited myself to go outside in the winter. I, like you, also tend to get cold very easily and I definitely would be way happier on the couch with hot cocoa and three blankets, but my dog would be unhappy if I just stayed in all winter long, and I don't want her to be unhappy, so out into the snow we go. But yeah, it's pretty much my least-favorite season too. My dog definitely makes it more tolerable though! (And hah, you mentioned snuggies - my dog actually stole my snuggie, she uses it as a blanket!)

What kind of skiing are you thinking of learning, downhill or cross-country? I'm so not a fan of cross-country skiing (it's such hard work and it's just not fun, I honestly hate it!) and I've never been downhill skiing but I'm sure I'd fall over a ton. Still, downhill skiing does look like it could be fun.
09-26-2014, 05:22 PM   #148
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So the point of all of this is to begin creating a regular routine of exercise to eventually start losing weight. Winter is coming and if I start off the winter season being a lazy couch potato then there's no turning back for me....
Winter running?
09-30-2014, 04:41 PM   #149
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LOL I wouldn't winter run here unless you want to fall all over the ice. Plus I hate that burning feeling in my throat I get from running in cold, wind gusty weather. I will likely be transferring to the gym treadmill for my occasional jogs once it gets too cold out.

I started my bootcamp today at 7am. Using that sleep cycle I managed to wake up around 5am with little issue. I'm really glad I made the choice to go. I love the environment: they have half of the floor covered in an indoor football turf-style material for drills and the other half is matted and contains different weight exercises.

We did some pretty simple things like jump roping, box climbing/jumping, walls its, push-ups, situps and planks ( :faint: ) but I was also introduced to other routines like the kettlebell lunges and pull-ups which I've never done before. I have horrible upper body strength but these pull-ups were made capable by hanging over the ledge of a box with one foot placed inside a large rubber band attached to the pull-up bar near the ceiling and letting the rubberband catch you as you drop down from the pull-up and give you a slight boost to help pull yourself up over the bar. It was hard, but I thought it was fun and creative at the same time. Here's what it looked like:



They played awesome music with that thumping beat I need to push myself and I left there I was nearly gelatin but felt refreshed at the same time... better than I have since I was practicing jogging for the 5k. I feel like I needed that. The session lasted a full 60 minutes. My arms are a bit sore so are my legs. And I seem to be spending the last half of my work shift trying not to fall asleep at my desk but it was exactly the physical challenge I was looking for. I decided I'm going to keep going twice/week before work to make sure I'm getting that high-intensity workout that I want.
09-30-2014, 04:49 PM   #150
Cat-a-Tonic
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I really like assisted pull-ups! There's an assisted pull-up machine at my gym - not quite the same as what you described with the bands though. It's got like a kneeling pad, so you kneel on it and set your counterweight and do pull ups of your own body weight minus the counterweight, if that makes sense. It's a fun and challenging machine, I really like it!

Sounds like you had an excellent session even if you are exhausted now (are you still getting enough calories with your smaller meals? I ask because I get really exhausted if I don't eat enough).
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