Archive for May, 2009


Revving up for June 1

May 29, 2009

June 1 and the beginning of the 12 weeks is just days away, so I thought this would be a good time to discuss my normal fitness habits.

I try to go to the gym three times a week, but I admit that I only make it twice sometimes.

Gym trip 1: Cardio – I usually stick to the elliptical because I have crummy weak ankles. You’d think weak ankles could at least look dainty, but alas, no. They just keep me from running on treadmills/asphalt. The elliptical is much smoother and easier on them. I warm up and then pump out the first mile as fast as I can and note the time/intensity. I usually average a mile in the 11-12 minute range. I go at high intensity for another .5-.75 miles and then cool down. Typical workout time: 35 minutes.

Gym trip 2: Strength training time! My lower body is much stronger than my upper body, like most women (which is why women’s soccer kicks so much more ass than men’s). I’m starting to do more upper body, though, particularly rowing machines. For lower body, I do the leg press and those creepy gynecological machines whose proper names I do not know — I’m sure you ladies know what I’m talking about. Typical workout time: 40-45 minutes.

Gym trip 3: Back to cardio on the elliptical.

Lather, rinse, repeat, week after week.

Extracurricular fitness activities:
I go out to an archery range about once a week when the weather is nice and go shooting. I shoot a 45/50 pound longbow, which is a fabulous upper body workout, particularly for the shoulders. I just upgraded from a 35 pound bow, so I’m really feeling the difference. I can’t get the full draw yet, but I’ll get there eventually. The funny thing is once you shoot regularly, you’ll notice (if you’re right-handed like me) that your left bicep is slightly more developed than your right, and your right forearm is slightly more developed than your left. Forensic archaeologists have been able to determine people’s occupations by their skeletons, and this is how they tell if someone’s occupation was an archer. Of course, that would be far more defined in someone who was a professional and shot every day, all day, but it is still interesting. Especially more interesting than desk work.

I also go shooting on nature hikes every now and then — with my camera, not the bow. I don’t get to do this as much as I like to because I am a wimp and Cleveland is too cold for me nine months out of the year, but I’m learning to be a grown up and suck it up.

Now that the snow has finally gone away, I’m trying to regularly go for a walk around the neighborhood after work with my husband on days we don’t go to the gym/archery. I’m trying to be active every day instead of just four.

My main challenge to being active every single day is time. I have a challenging work schedule and although Dan and I split the chores evenly, it still leaves a lot to do at the end of the day. And laundry starts to smell, you know? So Dan’s helping me work towards a more manageable workload and we’re reconfiguring the way we do chores in an effort to make things more efficient.

My other problem is that I really despise going to the gym, so motivating myself to go after an arduous day at work can get pretty difficult. And since I get to work around 6:45 a.m., going before work is not an option. It still probably isn’t the best attitude, but I’ve been telling myself that going to the gym consistently is part of my job, and while it still feels like a chore, I’m going more often.

I have to admit, programs like this, with a full community supporting each other, make it a lot easier to motivate and get things done. We’ll face the next 12 weeks together!


Blogging to a Better Me

May 20, 2009

The lovely Joshilyn Jackson, author of several best sellers, has become a spokesmodelblogger for the American Heart Association’s 12 Weeks to a BetterU Program. While the use of “BetterU” drives the editor in me slightly batty, Joshilyn has inspired me to join the program so I can be an Awesomer Me by the end of the three months (hey, if the AHA can make up words, so can I).  

I thought I’d blog along for a couple of reasons. One reason is that I can see into the future, and the future tells me that all sorts of wonderful women will be trekking towards a Better Them and we can all support each other. The main reason, however, is because I am hoping that by exposing my goals to the world, I will be more consistent in trying to reach them.



I’m trying to set reasonable goals; after all, this program is only 12 weeks long. I’ll obviously continue past that point so I can continue a healthier lifestyle, but don’t want to get too crazy here. 


Quantifiable Goals:

Current BMI: 29.1. YIKES. That is overweight. 

BMI Goal: 26.6. Still overweight, but more manageable, especially since BMI calculations do not take muscle mass into account, and I do have me some muscles.


Waist Size: 33 inches.

Waist Size Goal: This week was the first time I’d measured my waist since my middle school chorus dress fitting, so I’m not sure what a reasonable 12-week goal would be in this category. An inch? Maybe someone more experienced in this measurement will come along and suggest something. That would be lovely. 


Non-Quantifiable Goals:

1. I really want to wear those sexy knee-high boots in the fall. I hear you saying that this is just a 12-week program and there is plenty of time to slim my calves enough for that; however, I’d like to point out that I live in Cleveland. It is May 20 and spring just got here. I’m expecting it to be fall around September 1. 

2. It really bugs me that the widest part of my body is actually around my upper thighs instead of my hips. I want that to change, because my hips are certainly wide enough to comfortably carry the title of Cathy’s Widest Parts. 


So, I’ll be posting here at least once a week with my experiences, struggles and progress with AHA’s program. I try to be active now as it is; I go to the gym 2-3 times per week, do occasional bird-watching hikes and archery excursions with my husband, etc. I try to eat healthy and keep track of what I’m putting in my body. But I still have confidence that the 12 Weeks to a BetterU (grrr…) program will do me some good. 


Here’s to June first, when all the fun begins!


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