cardio kickboxing

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last couple of weeks, you already know that I’ve been working on making changes in my life that should ultimately make me happier. The first section of my “plan of action” had to do with organizing my gmail inbox and beginning to use Google Calendar.

Both of these changes improved my state of being almost immediately. There is something so satisfying about getting organized and feeling in control of my life. I kept fairly consistent with the schedule for several days. Unfortunately, when the disaster in Japan began to unfold last week, I started to falter. It is very hard to force myself into bed at 11:30pm when I really want to be staring at the news. Also, while I hadn’t really begun to discuss this on the blog, I had started to attempt taming my wild emotional eating habits, and well, as you might guess, that hasn’t been going very well either.

Don’t worry though, I haven’t fallen off the wagon completely.

I’ve kept up with my exercise that was on the calendar for the most part. On Sunday I participated in DSE’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K, which I will blog about once the official results are posted (I forgot my time…racer fail!). I didn’t really want to, as I was exhausted, but I was glad I did. It felt good to be outside. So good that I walked home from the waterfront and then walked back to it for work. I didn’t go to the gym on Monday, as I was still somewhat sore from all of the activity on Sunday, but I did walk to work. Then today, I went to Cardio Kick, as scheduled.

Something really weird happened at Cardio Kick though.

I worked really hard today. Much harder than I normally do. Very strong punches and lots of pumped up jumps, which I sometimes leave out due to my left knee (I sometimes have difficulties with it and it usually is very stiff in kick). I just had a lot of energy to burn. I burned it all off before the end of the class though, and by the time we got down to the last 5 minutes, I was spent. During the cool down we do a lot of arm exercises that involve holding your arms up for a really long time. Today, I was so tired, I dropped them several times. At some point, the teacher started yelling, “GET THOSE ARMS UP! STOP BEING LAZY!” Now, she may’ve not been talking to me…I didn’t look around to see who else was slacking, but suddenly, out of nowhere, I got angry. It was weird. It was like being in an episode of the Biggest Loser with Jillian Michaels yelling at you until you cry and have an emotional breakthrough.

I didn’t cry though. Maybe the emotional breakthrough is coming?

I don’t know. It was just weird. Normally I would probably use that as motivation to finish strong, but today, the only thought going through my head was a particular saying that, well,  I don’t really want to print on my blog!

As soon as class was over, it all went away. I felt fine. Strong. Glad I came to class. I don’t know. It was just weird….

I think I better start following my sleep schedule again….I’m apparently getting cranky and am on the verge of throwing a temper tantrum…how unbecoming!

Coming up tomorrow (hopefully), the next step in my plan of action. It involves this:

Until then….

Any of you ever have a Jillian Michaels moment at the gym? Or is it just me?

I am happy to report to all of you that I managed to fall asleep without the lamp and TV on last night. I actually got up, brushed my teeth, turned everything off except for the radio.

(I listen to Coast to Coast AM when I fall asleep. What? There’s a city located 9 miles beneath the surface of Chicago? Aliens are running my local supermarket? Tell me about numerology and what it means for me. I love Coast to Coast…it lends to interesting dreams!)

I then slept for 9 entire hours!

As a matter of fact, the only reason I woke up at all was because my cat was poking me in the eye repeatedly with her paw. She’s a very demanding bed buddy.

“Get up off your lazy butt and feed me!”

While I was pretty excited about the amount of sleep, once I “got up off of my lazy butt” to feed Cosie, I realized that I felt like crap. My uterus (sorry guys) is killing me. My head is killing me (often related to that first thing). My thighs are killing me. My first joints on my left hand (I have psoriatic arthritis) are killing me. Everything is killing me this morning.

So I took some Advil gel caps (supposed to take it for the arthritis), made some coffee and a PB&CAB (Peanut Butter & Cranberry Apple Butter) sandwich and returned to bed to think about what I am going to do today.

Man. I really love this cranberry apple butter. I’ve had it smeared on crackers, on oatmeal, on bread….so tasty.

Pretty much the plan for the day is to let the Advil kick in and then go for a short run. Then I’m going to do laundry, including my sheets and comforter, as I just spilt half of my second mug of coffee all over them. After that, I may actually tackle cleaning my apartment up slightly.

Maybe if there’s time after that, I’ll cook something.

I know it SOUNDS like there would be time, since I have the entire day off, but, you know, it isn’t taking into account the time I will spend watching Glee, Netflix and possibly playing Beatles Rock Band.

Before I do all of that, I wanted to talk to you about something.

Yesterday I went to Tuesday Cardio Kick class, which I’m trying to reintroduce into my routine. I like it because I burn tons of calories and leave completely soaked in sweat, so I feel like I really accomplished something. I tend to “feel the burn” for a couple of days in my thighs. It’s also fun and you get to listen to weird remixes of songs. For instance, a remix of  “Bad Day” was playing yesterday, which made me think of this video for half of the class:

Oh what it took not to giggle.

There is one thing I do not like about group exercise classes though. Booty shorts. Yes, you read that correctly, booty shorts.

Cover your eyes, children:

Source via a google image search for “workout booty shorts”

Now one of the reasons I chose to go to the YMCA in the first place was the lack of cruising and focusing on appearances at the facility. When you go to a 24 Hour Fitness in this city, it’s a total meat market. When I first started to lose weight, I was at 232 pounds and there was no way I was going anywhere near a 24 Hour Fitness. So, I started at Curves. I felt safe there, as it caters to women of all shapes and sizes. I stayed there for about 3 months and lost my first 40lbs there. Thing is, Curves is pretty boring. It’s exceptionally repetitive. I was discouraged by other members from wearing my iPod. It just wasn’t the right fit for me, so I went in search of a facility that was. The YMCA just seemed like a logical place for me to go. They had a full gym and they also had people of every shape and size. People don’t cruise there and it’s a super friendly, safe environment.

For the most part, you don’t see any of that “get dressed up to workout” mentality going on.

Except for this one girl in my cardio kick class.

It’s not exactly that she dresses up, per se.

It’s more like she’s barely wearing anything at all.

She wears these shorts.

They’re black and about the length of a belt.

Now, I’m not a prude. Normally, I wouldn’t care what anyone else was wearing, but these shorts just bug me. She usually comes in late. I usually wind up standing behind her and then during every lunge or move where we have to get low to the ground, I have her ass hanging out in my face. I mean, she’s not overweight. The shorts fit her. She doesn’t look bad in them, I guess….but I just don’t want to have to look at someone’s butt off and on for 45 minutes, and in a group exercise class where people bend over in front of you over and over again, that’s what happens. It just grosses me out.

Maybe I’m overreacting, but I just would prefer to have the behind in front of me fully covered.


Okay. Time to get up and go for a little bit of a run. Glee and Rock Band Cleaning my apartment and doing laundry await!

Booty shorts at the gym…yay or nay?

I don’t know about other people, but personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the gym.

It’s not really a dislike for exercise. I love to hike and walk. Walking is actually my favorite form of physical activity. I walk the 4 miles to and from work fairly often and I pretty much walk almost everywhere I go. Even when I was heavy I loved to walk and although I might’ve been a little slower and a little sweatier (I know, gross!) than the healthier people I knew, I was still usually willing to hoof it with everyone else.

The thing is, I view the gym as the opposite of walking. Walking is like the best pastime in the world. It clears my head and I don’t even notice the time going by while I’m doing it. This is not true when it comes to the gym. I hate cardio machines. I get bored so easily and I just wind up staring at the timer, waiting, longing, begging for the 30 minutes to hurry up and be over so I can go do something I’d actually like to be doing. I thought that getting a gym with a nice view might help me avoid boredom:


All of the treadmills and ellipticals at the YMCA overlook the bay. It really is gorgeous. It’s especially awesome when there is some kind of storm going on. Watching the rain fall into the bay….the hard core runners determined to get in their miles….the pedestrians running for safety because they had no idea it was going to rain…it’s all great. For about 5 minutes. Then I start to wish that I actually enjoyed the exercise bikes, because all of those have individual television screens with Direct TV access.

Or maybe I don’t need to use the bikes to have video entertainment….

That’s right, everyone. I can now watch Leave it to Beaver while working out. My life suddenly feels complete. Don’t hate. I love Leave it to Beaver, and I always will. I almost used Fraggle Rock as my example, but unfortunately, the video quality wasn’t as good. Sad.

Sing it, Trash Heap!

(Okay. Sorry. I really love Fraggle Rock.)

Anyway, back to Netflix. I remember hearing that they were going to come out with this capability back when the iPad came out, but I had completely forgotten about it. On Saturday afternoon I made myself go to the gym. I was dreading it. I hadn’t been there to use the fitness equipment in MONTHS. I knew I needed to go though, so I went, hopped on an elliptical and for no particular reason started surfing the app store. The Netflix app was there, I downloaded it and within minutes I was watching an episode of Leave it to Beaver. I was so excited. My workout flew by without me really even noticing. On Monday, I couldn’t wait to go to the gym….to watch Pushing Daisies.

Seriously. Best app. Ever.

Also, now I feel that paying for unlimited data is actually worth it.

Today I decided not to Netflix my gym time away..though I admit the thought was tempting. I instead decided to go back to the first class I ever took at the YMCA–Cardio Kick. I used to go fairly regularly…like twice a week or so. Then my work schedule changed and I couldn’t go as often. I’ve only been a few times in the last year, and I’m always surprised at how challenging it is when you’ve been away for a while. My arms, thighs, abs and, well, everything is on fire! Seriously great workout today.

On my way to class I had a Classic Glo Bar, as I hadn’t had breakfast this morning:

Then I rewarded myself with this afterwards:

Jamba Juice Berry Topper Ideal Meal

As much as I sometimes hate the gym…I’m loving being back this time around. I’m feeling better and dang, I’ve got Netflix!

Do you like working out at the gym? Do you find it tedious? If so, what gets you through your workout?