If the sky’s going to eat us then I would like to be digested into a million pieces

Sometimes you just need to change things up a bit.

This past holiday weekend I spent mostly alone.  I treated it as a normal weekend and ran my weekly errands of grocery shopping and cooking for the week.  I’m one of those people who find it difficult to cook everyday when I get home from work so I cook a large dinner for the week and keep it in the fridge to reheat in portions for the week.  The same goes for lunches.  I prepare something that I can just quickly toss together in the morning for both breakfast and lunch. 

This week I made a penne pasta salad with tomatoes, arugula, and feta along with buffalo chicken wraps for lunch.  On the same theme I mad a buffalo chicken lasagna for dinner with grilled asparagus.  And for breakfast a banana and a toasted whole wheat sandwich thin with Justin’s nut butter.  I actually got a bunch of different packets to try of the nut butter.  Well anyways I whipped all that up over the weekend. 

Since Monday was a holiday I was super bummed to remember that Life In Synergy was closed and I couldn’t take my normal 5:30 SFM Level 1 class.  I spent some time trying to figure out what other time slot I would take the class in and I had settled on Saturday morning when I read a tweet that Helena was subbing for Abs and Arms and Lean Legs on Sunday morning.  I immediately cancelled the Level 1 class and signed for the two 1 hour classes back to back on Sunday morning.  I mean how bad could it be?  And (the founder and owner of Life In Synergy) Helena’s classes are sold out for months.  When would I get an opportunity like this? 

Sunday was warm.  I wore a sweatshirt over my workout clothes and I didn’t get a block from  my apartment on my way to the T before I had to take it off.  And that was at 9am.  I got to class and Helena got right into it.  Wow what a workout.  There were definitely things that I had trouble doing.  It’s funny because when we got into the second class (which I thought was going to be easier for me than abs and arms- ha), Helena actually reassured us all with the thought that if everyone could do everything she taught she wouldn’t have a job.  It was a nice way to put things in perspective.  Just because you have trouble with something doesn’t mean you should give up.  Just try harder and eventually it will get a little easier (I never said easy just easier). 

Needless to say, my body was the good kind of sore yesterday and I hadn’t felt like that in a while from the Level 1 classes.  Which means either I’ve found a way to not do the workout effectively (aka cheat) or I’m just not getting enough out of it.  I think it’s a little of both.  Level 1 is one hour of full body.  Abs and arms is one hour of just abs and arms and Lean legs is one hour of just legs and butt.  Targeting a few muscle groups will ultimately force me to feel it.  And I find myself cheating a little in Level 1 now which isn’t worth it. 

My solution, mix it up.  Instead of taking 2 Level 1 classes a week I’ll take 1 Level 1 class and either Abs and arms or Lean Legs as a second class for the week (and if I’m feeling adventurous both for a total of 3 classes a week).  No pain no gain right.  :)

 

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It’s so hard to get old without a cause…

I have been lazy with using the internet for the last 2 weeks.  I haven’t really posted much of anything anywhere.  So here is a rundown on what I have been up to.

I weighed myself and I have gained 10 pounds since surgery.  Its kind of frustrating because I’ve been really active and actively trying to eat much healthier than pre-surgery.  My friends tell me not to weigh myself and my sister said its not about weight its about inches but my clothes don’t feel any looser.  :(  I had my 5 week blood draw on Monday and I’m hypoactive now.  That explains ALOT.  I have been really tired and achey lately.  Hopefully a quick increase in dosage of my Synthroid and I’ll be feeling better. 

Despite all that, I found a dress to wear to my cousin’s wedding in San Antonio next month.  Its a little big so I might try a size down and exchange it or I might just take it to a seamstress and get the neckline fixed.  It is rare that something not fit me by being to big for my chest.  I usually have the opposite problem. 

I’ve been going to Life in Synergy twice a week now and I started the Nutrional Alliance Program online.  I feel really good about it but I noticed I’m not eating enough calories during the week when I count them.  I’m so worried about going over that I stay way under.  It will take a bit to find the right balance.  I might start posting what I eat everyday ala Gretchen just to make it a little easier but it might get boring.  I tend to make my life easier by eating the same thing for the week (making it all on Sunday). 

I’m going to a Grad School Info Session tonight at Lassell College in Newton.  I really hope that this will work out money-wise.  Its really all that has kept me from going back to school.  I’m really excited about the opportunity.  It seems they have a Masters in Sport Management there.  I can’t believe I had no idea about this program 2 years ago when I was “applying” to school in Buffalo.  *by applying I mean I completed the application but never sent in the rest of the requirements because I bought a new car and knew I couldn’t afford not to have my job. 

Well we survived the “rapture” and the gloomy rainy weather in Boston that would not go away.  Its bright and sunny out and it was 82 degrees here yesterday!  I’m so glad things are looking up.

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Don’t go holding out on me now

Sometimes you just need to skip the gym and head to the bar with friends you haven’t gone out with in a while. Especially when its gorgeous out for the first time in awhile. So I was coerced to skip the gym after work and walk the 2 + miles to Harry’s in Brighton. This used to be on the way home for me before I moved and its a much further trip home for me in a different direction afterwards but it’s worth it.

So I had some beers and the steak tips that I always get (I can’t seem to not order them even if I think about trying something else). I tried Troegs Dreamweaver because I was in the mood for something summery. It was light with a slight hint of spice. I will definitely drink it again.

We watched some of the Red Sox game and the beginning of the Bruins game. Love that the Bruins won and move on to the next round. And its pretty sweet that they swept Philly to do it. :)
I spent my Saturday giving the apartment a good cleaning. The kitties are great but they get their fur EVERYWHERE. I also did some needed grocery shopping and I had the toughest time finding Quinoa. I’m going to venture out today and see if I have better luck. Fingers crossed.

Before I get out and run the rest of my errands, I just want to give a congratulations to my little sister Katie! She graduated with her M.Ed. yesterday from Kent University. I’m so proud of her and I’m even more glad that she is leaving Ohio and coming back to New England. :) Oh and congratulations to my cousin Anna who is graduating from Appalachian State today with her Bachelors in Social Work.

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I bet you think that chivalry is gone cause you ain’t seen nothing like it in so long

Like many other people in the world, I commute to work everyday on mass transit.  I walk to a subway station, take a train a few stops inbound and then ride a shuttle the rest of the way to work.  I used to ride the subway to and from work only with a bit of a walking on both ends and I also commuted at one point by bus only.  I actually like not having to drive my car everyday.  I’ve always liked not having to buy gas as often and I guess that is a blessing right now with the prices climbing.  Its a reason I like living in a major city.  I grew up in CT where there is no such thing as mass transit (ok they try but its pretty much laughable) and I went to college in North Carolina where everyone drives everywhere.  (One great example would be if you were shopping at a strip mall and you wanted to go to another store in that same strip mall a few stores down, North Carolinians get in their car and drive to a new parking spot closer to that store.)  I would say I’m a commuting expert at this point.  I’ve driven 2 hours each way back and forth to work everyday for months and I’ve had drives to work that were less than 5 minutes. 

This morning I walked to the train station and boarded the next inbound train that pulled up as normal and I was fortunate to find a remaining empty seat to sit in.  Normally, the train is rather full during the morning and evening rush and I spend the time standing.  It feels like a small victory when you realize you can actually sit down.  We get to the next station and a small girl (roughly 7 or 8 years old) gets on the train with an elderly man with a cane and a middle aged woman.  Everyone just sits there and ignores them.  When I realized that all the men in business suits and the teens on their way to BC High were not going to get up and offer a seat, I naturally stood up and offered my seat to the man.  He thanked me and had his little girl sit down instead of himself.  I feel like the only reason anyone else got up to offer the man with the cane a seat was because I did.  This girl in a dress and heels got up and chose to stand so I look like a jerk, kind of thing.  The other person who got up was another woman. 

So I ask you, is chivalry dead?  Forget chivalry, what about common courtesy?  Is sitting on the train so damn important that you would let an elderly man with a cane risk standing and falling at some point during the commute?  Are you that selfish?  Everyone sits there quietly hoping for someone else to stand up so you don’t have to.  I’m definitely guilty of it.  I had times where when I stood up I felt like I would pass out from my high resting heart rate and yet I still stood up for pregnant women and people in crutches.  It’s just the right thing to do. 

One such example comes from a coworker who recently had her first baby.  She commutes from the Metro West and walks quite a distance to get to an express bus that will take her into the city every day.  As her pregnancy progressed and it became obvious she in fact was a pregnant woman, people still did not offer a seat.  On the rare occassion that she was given a seat, guess who gave up the seat for her? elderly women.  Yes thats right folks, elderly women were the only people thoughtful enough to give up a seat on the bus to and from Boston. 

So what is going on?  Why has our society become so self-involved that we can’t be slightly altruistic as to give up a seat to someone else less capable of standing?  Its not like you are being asked to kill yourself for them, its just a seat on a train/bus/etc. Any ideas?  I’m fresh out. 

Anyways, happy Friday and happy start of Starbucks Happy Hour Day!! Its supposed to hit 70 degrees today :)

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Work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger…

I’ve completely lost my mind folks.  I actually just said “I can’t wait for this work day to be over so I can go to class.”  Yes, invasion of the body snatchers, right here.  I am actually looking forward to working out in a class that at first made it painful to even walk.  After my first SFM Level 1 class (on a Thursday night), I had to spend an entire Saturday in tremendous pain not being able to walk.  I stayed in bed all day trying to stretch my gluteus medius out enough that I could walk with as little pain as possible to the bathroom or to get something to eat out of the kitchen.  And now I LOVE IT!!!

A little background on SFM and me.  A few years ago I was yelping at work looking for a place to work out.  I stumbled on this page for Life in Synergy.  I started reading the reviews which were all glowing so I decided to venture on to their website to do a little research as to what the heck this place was.  At that time they offered an eclectic mix of classes ranging from Zumba to Yoga to Pilates with only a few SFM classes mixed in. 

Synergistics Fitness Method or SFM is the method developed by the founder of Life In Synergy, Helena Collins.  After studying a plethora of fitness training methods, she sought a way to change the shape of her own body and to solve the problems that traditional workouts bring, in particular to women.  She states that it’s all about working smart not hard.  It shouldn’t be about beating yourself up. 

I started by trying out some Zumba classes, which I loved.  I also tried out some of the yoga and Pilates classes they offered but I really didn’t dig them at all.  The Yoga class I took was legitimately 65-75% downward dog.  My wrists were killing me and I felt like a wimp because everyone else in the class was fine with it.  The Pilates class I took was actually yogilates and it was pretty advanced.  I had an issue with the amount of bridge work being done and the fact that my hamstrings kept cramping up so I decided it wasn’t a good idea to continue.  So I continued with Zumba until the back pain started.  Zumba is a ton of fun but I found that my mid to lower back really hurt afterwards.  I thought maybe I needed a better, stronger sports bra so I went out and researched and spent almost $100 on one.  And I still had the back pain even though my chest didn’t move at all with that bra on.  So I stopped going. That was 2009. 

You all know what happened in 2010.  I joined a women’s gym and started running daily.  I started taking body pump and Pilates at the gym as well.  And then Graves Disease happened.  At one point in the summer of 2010 I remembered that I still had 6 credits left at Life In Synergy from the 10 pack I bought in 2009.  I decided to try a mat based class since I wasn’t allowed to do cardio.  And I chose SFM Butts and Guts.  Biggest mistake ever.  I was dying less than 5 mins into class.  Needless to say for days after the class it hurt to sit, stand, or lay down.  Everything hurt and I was mad at myself for it. 

Enter 2011 and I’m allowed to exercise again.  I went back to Life In Synergy’s website because I still had 5 credits left and to my surprise and delight, things had changed.  The site was revamped and the classes were mostly SFM classes now with a level one class offered.  Before it was difficult to get into any other SFM classes since they were always full.  I knew that was where I needed to start and promptly signed up.  And I’ve been going strong ever since. 

I have only been going on Thursday evenings to take SFM level 1 with Jenny.  Slowly the exercises don’t hurt as badly as they did in the beginning and I’m able to walk down the stairs without fearing I’m going to collapse and fall down them after class.  :)  So this week I decided to turn it up a notch and *gasp* go twice a week.  So my new routine will be Mondays and Thursdays after work. 

And I actually want to go, I have fun in the class even in the 2lb weighted balls make my shoulders scream.  Lets be honest, when you’re nearing the end they feel like they weigh more like 20lbs.  I enjoy the class and I’m learning alot about my body and that I don’t need crazy fads to get what I want.  I may not have lost any weight yet but I am starting to feel stronger and I know its only a matter of time before I start to see a difference.  I’m still going to my gym a few days a week for cardio and weight training and as soon as I’m sure those pesky shin splints are no more I will continue my 10 k training again but I feel good about the plan and the progress. 

If you’d like to learn more about Life In Synergy and Helena Collins please check out the website which I have linked in this post above.  If you are in the Boston area, I encourage you to come and take a class or two and judge for yourself.  I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed. 

Happy Thursday!

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The best things in life are free, uh, I mean half off

What could be better news then to hear of the Frappuccino Happy Hour starting on Friday May 6.  From then until May 16 from 3-5pm all Frappuccinos are half off. 

I for one love a non-fat Frappucino in the warm weather and I am quite partial to Mocha but they do have a new flavor  Mocha Coconut Frappuccino which I am elated to try out at half price.  I’m a huge fan of coconut coffee.  Looks like I will be making some mid-day trips starting tomorrow.  Yum.

Note from Starbucks.com: For a daily Happy Hour text message reminder, text MIXIT (standard text & data rates may apply) to 44264 (In Canada text MIXIT to 98075).

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Just until sundown…

So as promised, I’m posting all about the Further Seems Forever show at The Paradise on Friday. It’s weird to go to shows by yourself. There are always groups of people chatting away some drinking and others not (it was an all ages show). I find myself drinking way more than I would when I am alone and playing with my phone.

I was actually surprised to see a large amount of people in attendence with black x’s on their hands denoting they were under 21. I thought this was odd because of the age of the band. This was a reunion show of sorts. It has been 10 years since this line-up has played together and that would make these “fans” 10 or younger back then. It’s kinda weird when this happens. I mean who was under the age of 10 listening to emocore? Am I wrong?

Sidebar: This actually happened to me once before when I was in college. A large group of us went to see Weezer in Raleigh at the RBC Center. This was when the green album came out and it was the first time Weezer had done anything since we were 15 (Pinkerton). We were ecstatic to have new Weezer finally but when we go to the show there were alot of 14-16 year olds at the show. We were a little confused. There was actually a group of girls that were around 12 that were running around screaming and being slightly obnoxious. And of course we were all 21 at the time and thinking that these kids were just being born when the Blue album came out.

So I didn’t know there was an opening band or I might not have gone so early. They were good but it was a long time standing for me and when I left my legs were throbbing because I had to stand the entire ride home on the T, thanks to the sox game letting out at the same time. I also didn’t like the fact that they didn’t tell who they were until they were almost done with their set. I was standing there thinking when are they going to stop playing and just tell me who the heck they are??? One more thing I did not like about the show was that in between bands was over 40 minutes. I thought that was a little ridiculous.

Now for the good parts. Further Seems Forever was soo good. It’s great to see a band that really knows how to perform for a crowd. There were jokes made about not being able to keep a singer that had everyone laughing. Jokes about how there have been around 22 members in the band due to everyone quitting (except one person). And the music was incredible. It was great to see them all together and Chris Carrabba  singing/screaming his heart out. They played everything from The Moon Is Down plus a new song and they played The Sound off of How To Start a Fire which Chris said he was always jealous of those who got to perform it and always wanted to sing it. It was a great performance and I was really happy that I had the opportunity to see them.

I will leave you with some pictures I took on my iphone. I think they turned out pretty well considering.

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