Where Did You Hide Your Fat Pants?

No Pictures Tonight at the Community Center.  It’s too cold, windy and generally icky out, but we will be back tomorrow night to take more before pictures for the United Way  KJAM/CC Fitness Challenge.

A few brave souls showed up on Friday to let us take their pictures, but we heard a lot of grumbling about not liking their picture taken and not wanting any pictures taken until they had lost the weight.  Well, now, that kind of defeats the whole “BEFORE” concept.

We made Aaron go first and then several others joined in. Brad hammed it up for us and had some fun with it.

So, really this isn’t suppose to be torture, so help me make this as silly as possible.  Grab your partner.  If you haven’t signed up yet, I’m sure Aaron will still let you in on the fun.  Come up with the silliest, or most obnoxious get-up you can find and join us at the community center party room from 6 to 8 pm to take a BEFORE picture you can be “proud” of.  How about stuffing your fat pants with pillow?  Or dig deeper into that closet and find your 80’s look that doesn’t quite fit anymore.  Bring your old pizza boxes, pop cans, and leftover candy wrappers.  I’d love to see someone in an ugly Christmas Sweater.  — You know we all have them.  If  you want, you can even wear masks to hide your identity.

Any way you want to do it, just come out and play along.  No one’s double chin or beer belly has scared us off yet.

Then, in 8 weeks, we’ll be back to take a picture of you looking gorgeous in your new spring look.  Can’t wait to see you there.

What a Great Day for a Run!

So, as I told you, Dacey and I  planned to do the Freeze Your Fanny 5k Run on Saturday. We signed up on Wednesday with temperatures promising to be in the teens to mid-twenties.  Immediately after we signed up, the weatherman began dropping the temperature.  If you remember right, Friday’s weather was not pleasant.  Blowing wind, snow, dropping temperatures, so I began to panic.  Not so much for myself, but the mom in me was having fits about what I signed my son up for.  Campbell Supply came to my rescue with facemasks and warm gloves, plus our favorite Aunt Linda gave us Land’s Ends vest for Christmas that seemed like the perfect layer in between four others.

Saturday morning broke with balmy zero degree temperatures, but unlike Friday, there was no wind and the sun was shining, so you didn’t really feel the cold.  We headed in to Madison with a van full of happy supporters.  Rachel had two friends with her, plus Mike, ever ready to be the family journalist.  After we arrived at the Downtown Armory, we decided it was still plenty slippery outside with our path well covered with snow and ice.  My generous husband ran out to One Stop and purchased YAKTRAKS, grips for the bottoms of your shoes  highly recommended by our friends, the Waldners.  We loved them.  It kept us moving on the ice and snow and we didn’t have to worry about slipping.

So, as soon as we all were set to go, twenty of us braved the cold and a lot of slippery roads and ran our little journey around Madison.  On a warm day, no one would have even flinched at the distance.  Walking or running we basically circled the town,  from Center St, to Union down to 8th St. S. up Egan and then a quick jaunt over to the Courthouse and then back to the Armory.

To get the final .1 of the 3. 1 miles we had to circle the block around Heritage High, but the cheerleaders were all cheering you on the block before.  It kind of threw us for a loop, because here we thought we were to the finish line and bummer, we had a block to go.  Oh well.  We all had fun.  Dacey stayed with a young girl the whole way and they did a great job of encouraging each other.  Dacey’s friend Austin came in first — Good for you, Austin, and Nikki Troxell took the women’s race.

So, were we cold?  Not at all.  I came home and threw all the four layers we were wearing in the wash, because they reeked of sweat.  No worries about frost bite.

Thanks to Kathy who did a great job organizing, to all of the vendors who supplied great gift certificates and silent auction items, and volunteers who  fed us lasagna, kept track of our times, and made sure we didn’t “Freeze our Fannies” too much.  Remember this is a fundraiser for a group going to Guatemala to help with an orphanage.  Go to www.leahskids.org to find out more.

Sorry about the Short Notice -but Get OFF The Couch and Freeze Your Fanny

So, it’s almost a week into 2011, and I’m just beginning to think about resolutions.  Just like me to be a little bit behind, but charging ahead anyway.

 It’s time again for the Community Center Fitness Challenge.  Last year we had a great team.  We lost weight, or at least, became more fit, and raised $95.50 for United Way.  Plus, it jump started a whole new fitness craze for Michael and myself.  We ended the fitness challenge with a small indoor triathalon, did our 2nd yearly triathalon with the CC in April and then was challenged by our favorite trainer Lisa to keep going toward a new goal.   Lisa and I completed the Sanford/Children’s Miracle Half-Marathon in Sioux Falls in September.  I was impressed with myself, but also impressed with the 2000 other runners, plus many many more staff and volunteers, that were all out there having a great time and raising money and awareness for a great cause.

So, here we are again in our new year, and I’m excited about what we accomplished last year, but always feel like there should be something more.  What should I be focusing on this year that improves on what we have done before?  This morning I awoke, having spent days fussing over the economy and cold weather and maybe a little of the SD winter blues, to a more forward-looking attitude.  This year, 2011, I look forward to more of what we’ve enjoyed the most over the last couple years.  I want to do more activity and be busier than ever.  Hmm, let me re-phrase that. 

I want to do more with our community for those around us.  Of course, I want all of Black Studios fans and friends to join in my insanity.  So where do I start?  Well, of course, the Community Center Fitness Challenge.  This year they’ve changed it up a bit.  Last year, we worked as a team with several of our clients and friends.  This year the CC is asking for more teams in groups of 2.  So, Michael and I will be up at the CC almost every day doing whatever we can to lose weight and stay fit.  We want you to join us. 

Grab yourself a partner and come sign up at the CC.  Weigh in this week, and start working out together for fun, fitness and even a few prizes.  Plus, the entrance fee ($15 per person) all goes to helping United Way.  Another bonus!  Tomorrow, Friday, January 7,  from 12:00 to 3:00 pm  and also on Tuesday, January 11 from 6 to 8 pm, Michael and I will be at the CC center taking pictures of anyone who shows up, but mainly groups entering the CC challenge.  Then  at the end of February, we’ll be back to retake the groups, and see the results of 8 weeks of working out and having fun together. 

If that wasn’t enough, our crazy friends at the Wesleyan Church have come up with another way to get us all out, active and helping others.  Saturday morning, 10 am, at the downtown armory,  the Wesleyan group is sponsoring a FREEZE YOUR FANNY 5k run.  BRRR.  Temps are suppose to be in the 20’s, so why not.  I signed Dacey and myself up today, so we are planning to be there.  The event is to raise funds for a group from Madison who help with an orphanage in Guatemala.    I guess I will be dreaming of warm and sandy locations while chilling my insides.  But, they promise to feed me and give me a t-shirt, so how much more could I want!  Go to www.leahskids.com to find out more, then keep clicking to www.allsportcentral.com to sign up to join me.

Join me in making 2011 a year of changes for the better, for ourselves but for others  as well.

Avery at 3 months

It’s hard to believe that Avery is growing so fast.

08-03-10 Avery

Happy Birthday, Kyra!

Kyra came to visit last week to get ready for her birthday.  It seems like  yesterday that we did her mommy and daddy’s wedding and now here’s Kyra on the move.  Not quite walking yet, but she will be tomorrow!  And who could resist that adorable little smile, and big dark eyes.kyra's magnet

She dressed up in her mommy Kindra’s little one-year old dress, but she really got excited when she found the green tractor just like daddy Russell’s.

Seniors-Return this Form

It’s announcement card time, and the flyers have been sent out.  Make sure you check out all the new specials and also the sample thank you cards, buzz cards, and banners.  If you haven’t scheduled your free family session, give us a call, so we can get you on the schedule.  Finally, double check your order form for any corrections you need.  Please double check spelling and time and place of your graduation ceremony and party.  Send this form back with your signature so we can process your announcement card orders.  We need proof of your approval before we will finalize your order.

Class of 2010, you have been an awesome group to work with, and we are so proud of all of your accomplishments.  Thanks for making Black Studios part of your Senior Year!

announcement card formSpring Specials

$95.50 to United Way –Weigh 2 Go!

Sorry,  it’s been so long since I’ve updated the fitness challenge. Our team lost a total of  95.5 lbs;  On average about 5.5 lbs per person.  Weigh 2 Go!  We appreciated everyone’s help, and yes, Mike’s pockets are a little lighter.  We both lost about 12 lbs, and we had a great time.  Members of our team should have received your free family session gift certificates in the mail.  We can’t wait to see you and see how well your fitness goals are working for you.   Keep up the great work and pray for sunshine, so we can all get outside and get active.

Of course, our fitness goals are just starting and we have begun to think about the triathalon in april and perhaps a biking trip later in the summer.  If  you have any great ideas for fitness challenges, let us know, because we’re always looking ahead.


Scott Parsley

Scott Parsley

Marty Takagi

Marty Takagi

ElizaBeth Black

ElizaBeth Black

Michael Black

Michael Black

Aaron Walters

Aaron Walters

Well, we did it, and we survived.  We completed the Try-a-Tri yesterday morning at the cc. And Mike completed his goals.  He wasn’t last and he beat me.  Both good, and I’ll give him bragging rights because he did his personal best at swimming, his big challenge, and he totally rocked the biking.  Me, I did ok.  I improved my time in the swimming since last spring.   I think I got lost in figuring out the borrowed spin bikes from the Madison Middle School, so I didn’t bike as well as I think I should have.  But then I didn’t stop or walk in the mile and half run on the treadmill at the end.  I have to thank Nicole and Jason for cheering me on to push it up a couple notches when it came to the end, because I was TIRED at that point.  Mike was in the heat behind me, so even though I was slower than he in time, I finished the race before him.  I was then able to help pull him through the last part of the run with a promise of a DQ Blizzard when he finished.

By the way, Congrats to Aaron Walters who was first in our little 13 member Try-a-Tri, followed by seasoned veterans Tim Tucker and Mark Stearns.  All of the contestants except one were over the age of 30, and most of us were on the far side of thirty.  I think that means we’re never too old to take on new challenges, and it’s time to push some of those “youn ‘uns” a little more. Thanks to all the help the cc staff gave in keeping us going and keeping track of all our times.  The extra support really helps us keep at our goals.

The Try-a-Tri was the culmination of the fitness challenge.  Thus, the Blizzard Rewards at the end, but, never fear, we won’t let all of our hard work go to “waist.”   We took today off to regroup, but the Spring Triathlon is April 17th, only 7 weeks away.  Time to improve those times.  If  you are looking for a new challenge to get you going now that the fitness challenge is done, or are one of those last year that said, and I know you did,  “I can keep up with those two,”  you still have plenty of time to get ready for April.  Come along with us, and we’ll all succeed this year.

Thanks to Jon Hunter for getting some pictures of Mike in the water.

One More Day

So, Aaron reminds me that tomorrow is the last day for the fitness challenge.  I hope it has been as fun for you as it was for me.  I have lost 12 lbs, and I think Mike has lost about the same.  Next week we will put up the final results.  In the meantime, make sure you send in your final results, so we can all cheer together.

Today, as we worked out with Lisa, I felt like we made great strides this last eight weeks.  Lisa had us running on the treadmill, and after a mile and a half, I didn’t feel so winded that I thought I was going to die, like I did eight weeks ago.  Mike started out in over-do mode today and was pushing out extra miles on the track, and extra reps on the weights.  After Mike gave out,  I then hit the pool for a few short laps.  Although I still have a twinge in my shoulder, I felt comfortable swimming pretty well non-stop for a half an hour without a break.  Now, I can’t say I’ll ever be a beautiful swimmer, or runner for that matter, but it’s nice to feel like I can accomplish whatever the task was that was set before me.

Now some may have noticed that my husband has become obsessed with his workouts.  Well, that’s Mike for you.  But, all the studies this week are suggesting that several short  intense workouts might be better  for strength-training  and heart health than long moderate workouts.  Calorie experts are still suggesting consistency is necessary to maintain or lose weight.  So what does this mean,  well, maybe new news isn’t really that new.  Maybe we need to combine a couple days of intense (Michael-like) interval training.  Boost up your cardio workout faster than you are used to for 2-5 minutes and then back off and rest for a 1-2 minutes before you kick it up again.  Then the next day take it a little easier with a nice easy walk or jog.  Maybe someday we will even be able to do that outside again.  It’s ok and often necessary to take a day or two off to recover from intense exercise, but if you are like me, it only takes a day or two to totally get out of the routine and suddenly not be paying any attention to working out or watching the diet.  So, for me those off days, I have to try to keep the slower moderate exercise on the schedule.

So, now that I’ve ramble on for awhile.  Don’t let the end of this fitness challenge be the end of your 2010 health kick.  Yes, I know those resolutions were left behind at least a month ago, but remember 22 days make a habit and so  hopefully, you’ve made a few new healthy choices and are well past those 22 days.  Of course, if you haven’t or oops, let a couple of those great plans go, you can always start again tomorrow.  Twenty-two days from today is still before swimsuit season.

Time for a Tea Break?

We started the day with Lisa by the pool.  That little bit of ache I felt in my shoulder yesterday was a full-blown pain today.  After a few laps in the pool hoping it would loosen up, I gave up and used a kickboard, giving Mike a chance to keep up with me in the pool today.  Lisa gave us a little bit of break anyway, splitting up the laps with some water jogging.  After the pool, Mike was still full of something, so we went upstairs and did a little on the bikes.  My shoulder was really bothering me, so I gave up quickly and hit the showers.

When we got back to the studio, I read up on my health websites how you can actually slow down your weight loss by overdoing your workout (specially if you hurt your shoulder)  The concept is that you lose weight during recovery not during the workout, so you need your rest in between.  Good, because I had no intention of letting Mike drag me back up to the cc for the rest of the day.  I came home and put icyhot on my shoulder, which burned more than it helped, but the rest definitely helped.

My other discovery for the day was the suggestion to drink green tea before your workout.  I had heard that green tea is full of good antioxidants, but the article I was reading suggested that while the caffeine in green tea boosts your energy, the other antioxidants actually helps to digest the fatty acids and burn calories more efficiently during your workout.  So, there you go, Nicole, one more reason to give up the diet coke  and try green tea.  The ladies at the cc were discussing giving up pop for lent.  Give it a try — Switch your coke for green tea, juice spritzers, or good ole fashion water.  You’ll be feeling great and leaving all that extra calories behind before you know it.

Great Food and New Jiggles

Had to kick up the work out today.  Last night we went to Montgomery’s Furniture for their “Second Chance for Romance” Event.  Several local business showed their wares, while we thoroughly enjoyed wine and amazing appetizers provided by Shari & Blaine from 2nd St. Diner.  I could definitely see those Luscious “cakes on a stick” as a great wedding fare.  They were wonderfully presented and so luscious.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure from the stuffed mushrooms to the coconut shrimp, there wasn’t anything there that I would call “on the diet plan,”  so after totally spoiling ourselves last night and then joining Shari again for her buffet today, Mike and I really had to get to work this afternoon.

Mike and Lori Waldner were just finishing their workout when we arrived.  Not sure I will ever be able  to (or maybe want to) keep up with their intense workout routines but love to see another couple working out together and looking better every day.

Anyway, Mike and I headed upstairs while the kids headed to the pool.  Mike was running sprints on the treadmill, while I hopped on and just started running.  I think I could feel every bite of that delicious meal jiggling around, so even though I had planned to run one and a half miles, I gave up just short of that.  Then I hopped on the bike and rode 6 miles.  Of course, in the back of my head is that I only have 6 days before I have to do this whole craziness in front of other people.

I then did a quick arm workout,  because I have noticed lately that Yes, I am truly getting old, and all those saggy places my mother and grandmother always complained about when I was young and sure I would always have everything firm and in their original places, now jiggle all over the place on me.  Finally, I  hit the pool just in time to join my daughter after the break.  The pool was busy today as it frequently is on Sundays, but I did half laps for a while and then horsed around with Rachel for awhile, before going back to another set of half laps.  When I was done, my shoulders were giving me fits, so I must have done the arm workout that I wanted to get in.

Tomorrow morning, Lisa and Mike have an early morning swim workout planned again.  Considering I’m already tired and I know how excited Mike is to really push it this last week, I think I may be really tired before Saturday gets here.  It’s a good thing I have a finish line in sight to keep me going.

Adventures in the Dark

Another early morning  at the CC.  We met Lisa at 6:45 to go swimming. Mike tried out goggles today. I try to swim with goggles and get claustrophobic.  I don’t think I’m supposed to be that well acquainted with the bottom of the pool.  Anyway, we had barely got started and the power went out.  Since it was still basically dark outside and inside, we waited on the edge of the pool and then after 5 minutes, the lights came on, and we swam some more.

I am really feeling the workouts from earlier this week, so I struggled getting started, but I think I eventually found enough rhythm to get up and down the pool a few times.  After we wore out from Lisa having us swim laps, she then had us swim sprints, as fast as we could go for just the short half of the pool.  20 total laps down and we were able to hit the hot tub for a few minutes.

Then when I hit the shower room, I found myself in the dark again.  By the way, it’s really dark in the family locker room when the lights are out.  Aaron promises to get the emergency lights fixed in there.  But that was enough water adventure for me to last the whole day.

After our work out, we stopped to visit my grandmother for a few minutes.  At almost 89, she still enjoys work outs at the nursing home using the new step machine or doing the group led calisthenics.  The cc has a water aerobics class and an active and ageless aerobic class for the retired age group.  It’s almost always full.  I love to see former teachers and long time friends and neighbors up there staying active and busy.  Guess it proves you’re never too old to take care of yourself, and for those of us that our lazy now, we have no excuses, so we better keep moving.

Hopefully, I’m going to keep my nose to the computer for the rest of the day, unless, I suppose, Mike tries to convince me I haven’t done enough exercise this week yet.  But there’s a bb game tonight to keep him entertained.  I hope your weekend is filled with sunshine, health and lots of playtime.

Almost There

Great week, team.  We lost 19 lbs.  With 19 members, that means, on average, we all shared a great week.  We’ve also lost more than 5 lbs. per person for a total of 86 lbs, putting us in 4th place for total lbs lost per team.  This week has sped by so don’t forget to send your weighins tomorrow, and then next week is our last week.   I would love to see us break that 100 lb mark.  I am positive we can do it.

Mike is well on his way.  He has his goal in mind for next week, so he pushed up our work out yesterday to twice a day.  We started with a swim at 6:45 am.  We met Lisa there doing her own swim workout.  Then we came back at 6:00 for another 45 minutes of biking and running last night. Today we were back again for our regular workout with Lisa.  What I discovered was that if I work out too much 1) I don’t sleep very well and 2) my legs wear out and I don’t run very well when Lisa wants me to.

Tomorrow we swim early in the morning, then I think I will lay off the bike for a couple days.  It seems to be taking a toll on my knees.  But don’t worry, I’ll be back at it, Monday or Tuesday.  Next Saturday, the 27th, besides being the end of the fitness challenge, is the day of the mini-triathalon.  Can’t wait, I think.  If you want to participate, let Jason Crisp know at the cc.  It’s a great way to see how far you’ve come. Hope to see you there.

Finally Back At It.

After days and days of tax appointments, weddings, and once again, horrible weather, we were finally able to make it back to the cc today.  A good swim, a run, and a bike ride made me feel like we might be back in the swing of things.  The indoor triathalon is only two weeks away, so Mike and I have to get serious about what we are doing.  Mike needs a lot more swim time.  He avoids it like I avoid running.  I just need to work on following through.  I’ll swim but mainly just go back and forth, not really work on my strokes; I’ll run but I think I can run faster if I push myself, and then the bike is just so boring inside;  I do 6 miles but I could easily do more if I was racing for ice cream.

Of course, the topic of everyone’s discussion:  The weather is really holding us back.  Just can’t wait for sunny days and bike rides around the lake, swimming where you have to worry about sunscreen instead of finding a short lane in a cold pool, and running outside wearing shorts and not even minding my stubby legs sticking out.  I’d even take an evening or two of watching my kids play softball. Well, anyway, remind me of this if I dare complain about being too hot in August.

We have two more weeks left of the community challenge, and I would love to see us finish off with a bang.  Keep up the good work, and let us know how you are doing.  Also, don’t forget the cc is still collecting shoes to send to Haiti,  so clean your closets and get ready for summer.  It’s only 4 mos. away!

Weigh 2 Go!

Great Job, Team.  We are down another 22.5 Lbs! Keep up the great work.  Mike is really getting int o the groove lately.  Double workouts.  Tons of miles on the bike and the treadmill.  Me –well, I’ve been holding my own.  Not as intense as last week, but still hitting the gym a little everyday, trying to keep the calories down, and the chocolate away.

This week has been a week of yearly check-ups.  Teeth cleanings, yearly physicals.–All those fun things. I managed to prove I was healthy.  No excuses, now, huh.  But it’s nice to know everything is going well inside and out.  It’s also good to have someone else confirm all those moles are looking the way they’ re suppose to, and the odd age spots and wrinkles are just signs that time is passing.

In general, I’m lucky.  Good genes, few diseases, and the ones my family deals with, for the most part, are preventable.  It seems that so many of my long time friends and acquaintances are struggling with some of those other types: cancer , heart disease,  diabetes.  So, my suggestion for the day: Make your yearly appointment.  Check your blood pressure.  Keep your eye on those changing pigments, and be aware of changes in your health and digestion.  Hopefully, all of the hard work we’re doing to get and stay in shape will help with all those preventative ailments, but don’t ignore the signs.  Besides, your doctor is always impressed when you show him how hard you’ve been working out.

Karstyn & Positive Thinking

Little Karstyn just fits my mood this week. That awesome “In the Groove” feeling didn’t really last into the weekend.  Friday I struggled with my cold.  I did take Angel out for a walk, but after a mile and a half,  the wind and the mud chased us back to the house and hot baths for both of us. Friday night and Saturday morning, I was busy chasing two year old boys in the studio.  They were so much fun, but I think I got my strength training in just trying to keep them anywhere near a camera.

Saturday, Sunday and today, I did my workout, running, biking, whatever.  I actually worked pretty hard each time, but I’ve come away feeling, hmm, unfulfilled. Not that huge adrenaline, “I accomplished something” feeling that I had last week.

So, I get back to the studio this afternoon, and the “Biggest Loser” email tells me to “Quit My Whining.”   Basically, the blurb suggests replacing all those negative thinking with positive ones.  You know,  “I don’t want to do this any more.  I’m bored with this exercising.  It’s too much work doing this every day.  I just want to eat Twin Bings and hot chocolate for every meal for the rest of my life. ”  Ok, so I don’t really want to eat just Twin Bings, because since I haven’t had them forever, they really don’t taste as good as fresh “in season” fruit.  And, I really like to exercise most of the time.  I just need to switch it up to keep it fun.  And, I know all that hard work is paying off, because my clothes fit better, and I feel better.  So, think positive, go for a walk, do yoga, or play “happy” music to improve my mood, and keep little ones like Karstyn around to keep the yucky stuff all in perspective.


In the Groove

Ever have those moments when everything just clicks, and you feel like you can keep moving forward forever.  I had one of those moments yesterday.  I started going to a new Bible study yesterday led by friend Jill, and figured I could  get a noontime swim workout done before going home.  By the time I made it up to the CC, it was already 12:30, but figured I would hop into the pool and get as many laps as I could in before the pool closed at 1:00 pm.  Normally, 20 laps for me takes almost an hour so I was planning about 10 laps, maybe a little more.  I started clicking off the laps and the more I swam the better I felt, so I kept going. Watching the clock, I hopped out of the pool just before 1:00, and had completed 28 laps!  Funny thing is I still had energy to spare so I threw on my gym clothes and ran upstairs, hopped on a spin bike and biked 6 miles in 21 minutes.

Only down side–the cold my daughter shared with me settled into our ears. When I got out of the pool,  I couldn’t shake that water in my ear feeling, and I couldn’t hear a thing.  You’ d think, as a mother, that would be a good thing;  I could ignore my kids for a while, but, no, not so helpful in real life. I stopped by Lewis to see what they had for “Swimmer’s ear” — Most of the products that are over the counter are 99% alcohol,  in a little bit of gel, which is fine, but I don’t really need to buy a$4  per ounce bottle of rubbing alcohol.  Dr. Oz had a home remedy that recommended olive oil and garlic but Rachel and I aren’t real thrilled with the smell of garlic coming out of our ears. Finally, I did find a homeopathic mixture that had camomile and witch hazel in it.  That seems to help.  At least, I could hear for a little while.

Unfortunately, that “In the Groove” feeling doesn’t last for long, and today, the cold is definitely taking effect, and my brain and body is slow-moving.  I’m on the attack with this cold though.  Kick it in the butt, before it kicks me.  This morning, I took my Claritin, took my echinacia, took my vitamins, sucked on a zinc tablet, and made myself a big pot of tea with lemon.  With the weather not so great again, I think I’ll stick to a less intense exercise day,  and be ready to find that groove again tomorrow.

Half Way There!

February is here, and we made it to the middle of the challenge.  Last week, as a team, we didn’t do so well.  We’re still heading the right direction — We lost 3.3 more lbs, but out of nineteen members, that’s not exactly an overwhelming percentage.  Now, I know Mike and I didn’t pull our share last week, but this week the scale is loving us, so I plan on everything going well for you, too.

The dog and I went for a three mile walk outside yesterday.  As long as I headed north, the weather wasn’t too bad, but when I turned toward home, I could really feel the wind on my face, and reminded me why we haven’t been out much this winter.  The weather is changing again today.  The sidewalks are already icy, with freezing mist, and snow is coming tomorrow.  Then it’s supposed to get cold again.  Gotta Love Winter.  Anyway, the extra Vitamin D from what little sun we had yesterday must have helped because the dog slept last night, and I woke up more well rested.

Mike had Lisa all to himself yesterday, and she worked his legs.  He came home whining, so she must have given him a good work out.  As much as Mike and I like to work out together, sometimes it’s good to go it alone, the trainers will give you just a little more intense workout than in a group.    I felt guilty for missing, so when Rachel went to church, I ran 1.5 miles, and kicked up the speed a little from what I had been running.  Then I did my own leg workout, but I’m not whining today.

Suggestion for the Day:  Here’s a new thought.  Watch the artificial sweeteners.  More and more studies are connecting aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to all sorts of disorders and also increase problems with diabetes and metabolic syndromes.Now, this seems counter intuitive since we use artificial sweeteners to curb calories, but often times sweeteners contain hidden calories in their foods, and there seems to be some connection between aspartame and increased appetite.  On top of that, sweeteners have also been connected to mood disorders, fibromyalgia, and cancer studios.

Last year,  I wanted a little flavor to my water, so I started adding those little flavor packets to my water bottles, and almost immediately started having problems with my mood and energy level.  After hearing and reading about connections to the sweeteners in those packets, I gave them up and returned to plain water.  I notice now that my mood is generally better and my energy has definitely improved.  I can’t prove that there was a connection but I’m suspicious.

So, diet coke drinkers, I know you’re going to hate me, but consider it.  Switch your diet cola to water or tea and see if you’re energy doesn’t improve.  You might just be sabotaging your own efforts without realizing it.

My Dog is Trying to Kill Me

My mother and other “non-dog-in-the-house” people don’t quite understand how a dog ends up in your bed.  I was right there with them until three years ago,  when this cute fluffy  8 week old white fur ball that you invited into your life cries all night long from the kennel, because it can’t get close enough to you.  You eventually acquiesce and once it cuddles up under your chin, you’re stuck for life with a dog in your bed.  So, my life goes 360 days of the year, but for the last week, my dog has been up every hour or less, whimpering to get up, get a drink, go outside, wander the house, whatever…  I feel like I have a newborn again, and I empathize with all those young parents wandering their houses in the middle of the night,  wondering if they ever will have a whole night’s worth of sleep.

Yes, you will for a year or so between the ages of 12-14, when they can’t stay out all night past curfew yet, and they hate to get up in the morning, so you get  your sleep between midnight and 8 in the morning.  Then give it up again, because you’ll spend the next six years going to basketball games in far off locations, chaperoning prom functions, all-night youth rallies, and giggly sleepovers,  or worrying about whether they are alive when it’s two in the morning and they haven’t found their way home again.

What’s this have to do with the fitness challenge, ElizaBeth?  Mmm, well, I didn’t get to sleep until 5:00 a.m,  so I didn’t do my workout this morning.  (Sorry, Lisa.)  As much as I loved my time with my kids when they were younger, it was a lot harder then to plan time to workout and get time for myself.  At that time in our lives, it seemed neverending, but, good news, (I think) we did get past it, and now, my kids don’t care how much time I spend on myself, as long as their clothes are clean, there’s food in the frig,  and money in their pockets. Never mind it takes a full time person to make sure they are that well-loved.

On to other good news.  The scale likes me today.  Another two pounds down, and, yes, Shari, the sun IS shining today, which always helps to get us going.  By the way, Shari owns Second St. Diner, and after my blog the other day, commented that they have  new menu items for the fitness challenge.  I missed it on Sunday.  She’s is looking awesome these days after her own transformation.  “Weigh 2 go!” So, stop by the diner and ask her for her recommendations.  I will have to say the Diner  has always been a good place for me to go, and special order foods that fit my needs, so if you have special dietary needs make sure you discuss your options with the waiters.

Yesterday, I had a quick workout while Mike was taking some weight off his head, in the form of a haircut.  He looks better, thanks Jackie.  7 miles on the bike and a quick ab routine, then back to work in the studio.  In the evening, while Mike and the kids went to yet another basketball game,  I did my grocery shopping for the month.  Talk about a weightlifting workout:  By the time I hauled six loads of groceries through the back yard, over the snowbank and to the kitchen, then cleaned out the refrigerator and stuffed everything away, my arms and shoulders were exhausted.

Suggestion for the day:  When grocery shopping, shop the outside edges of the store first, that’s where they keep all the good stuff we’ve been working on.  Aisle one-produce, and deli.  I picked up my veggies for the week.  Remember colorful is good, so I found some great sweet red peppers.  I stopped by the deli to get turkey for sandwiches.  Try a pepper variety for a little kick–Dacey’s favorite.  Off to the bakery in the back, for the good bread.  I try to keep a loaf of rye or multi-grain loaf in the house.  I also found some buns that had flax seed in them.  For some reason, Hy-Vee in Brookings keeps the frozen chicken right next to the bakery — not sure why, but the easiest way to keep chicken breasts at hand are the frozen ones, and they were on sale, so I stocked up.  Over to the dairy, for milk, yogurt and cottage cheese and then at the final corner, is the organic aisle, where we find all those good seeds we talked about. After you do the outside of the store, shop with your list  in hand on the inside of the store, getting the canned and cooking goods you need, that way you avoid splurging on the cookies, chips and other temptations that fill the center of the stores.

On the list was dill pickles.  Thanks, Jan, for the suggestion.  They helped to curb the munchies last night. Try to eat chocolate after a dill pickle.  It just doesn’t work, (unless you’re pregnant.)  So, I think I’ll go add one to my turkey sandwich and take my dog for a walk in the sunshine.  Maybe if I wear my dog out today, I’ll get to sleep tonight.

Doing Swimmingly

After Friday’s 20 laps in the pool, and yet no weight off, I was kind of crabby, so I took Saturday off, ate horribly, didn’t exercise, woke up on Sunday and had lost 2 lbs.  Huh!  Anyway, Sunday I worked out by playing with my kids.  After church, we went to 2nd St. Diner As much as I love their food, I do struggle finding foods when I go out to eat that aren’t all grease, white bread and sugar. Yes, I know about every restaurant offers a variety of lettuce salads, but there is only so many varieties of lettuce salad and  grilled chicken breasts that I really want to eat.  So, I’ve gotten better at sharing entrees with my family, and leaving leftovers on my plate.

After lunch, we went to the CC.  Mike kicked up the work out a little maniacally and did 14 miles on the spin bikes and a couple miles on the track.  I decided to do more with my kids while I had them with me, so I played racquetball with Dacey.  I’m in trouble because he just legitimately beat me for the first time.  I may never live it down, and now might have to kick it up a notch.  Rachel and I then swam for an hour.  The pool was packed, so I didn’t really get many laps in, but I did a lot of water walking, and some ab and arm exercises in the water.  In the meantime, Mike made plans for another 6:45 swim workout this morning.  I’m beginning to feel like I’m preparing to turn into a mermaid.

I was so not in the mood to get going this morning, but Mike is all fired up and Lisa was waiting for us.  She decided the 20 laps on Friday wasn’t enough, so her goal for us today was 25 laps.  I think she either got tired herself (nah!) or she figured I was planning on drowning just so I could take a break, because at 22 laps she let us be done.  I did feel better after the swim, but still wear out by midday after starting so early.

After the rest of the day on the computer, I needed to take Rachel in to dance class, so I used my half an hour wait time to get a quick run in.  I ran into teammate LJ who shared with me that she has already lost 12 lbs on the fitness challenge.  “Weigh 2 go!”  Keep up the great work.  I know she and her son have been doing the family GET active together, and I can really see the change in her son as well.  After a couple laps with her, I hopped on my favorite treadmill and started running.

Thank you, my cheerleaders, for cheering me on.  The track was busy, and all sort of mom friends encouraged me to keep going as they were lapping me.  I misplaced my music, so was kind of pouting and needed the extra encouragement.  I was watching Wheel of Fortune which is a pretty good mind-occupier while I was running.  Since I was really short on time, I only ran a mile, and then did 10 flights of stairs, no weights today.  By then, I was already running late to pick up Rachel and was worried about sliding around town on the ice.

So, here we are with a suggestion for the day:  Get a support group.  Grab a friend.  Have someone hold you responsible for your food and activity level.  I’m as much of a private person as anyone.  I prefer working out by myself,  would prefer not to share my weight goals with the whole world, and really like to act like a hermit half the time, but I know having Mike dragging me along to workouts, Lisa keeping me on schedule, and all of you checking in on me from time to time does help me keep going.  Then don’t be insulted when I return the favor, and encourage you in person to keep the faith and as Dori says, “Just Keep Swimming.”

Here’s Lisa at the end of her 20 laps on Friday and still all smiles.

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Mornings & Munchies

Today started early, too early.  6:45 a.m. swim workout with Lisa.  It always surprises me how busy the pool is early in the morning.  As much as I enjoy a good swim, it’s not something I could get myself to get up and do at -15 degrees, if I didn’t have someone waiting for me. Lisa came in right before us, looking groggy but determined.  Sure enough, twenty laps later, I was tired.  We were still feeling the ab workout from Wednesday, and the run yesterday, so every lap I kept thinking my abs can’t do one more, but then when we got to the end, she said we had only done 19 laps and I figured I needed to finish on a nice round number.

I stepped on the scale this morning before going in, and you would think all that exercise and eating right would count for something, but no such luck.  Hope the rest of you had a better week.  I do know my pants are fitting looser, so even if the scale is not moving, I’ll get to buy new clothes eventually.

After a couple hours of errands, I came home exhausted and the computer screen kept bouncing around in front of me and I just couldn’t get warm, so I curled up in a couple blankets and caught up on some of my missing sleep from the last week.  I guess there has to be some benefits to owning your own business, and taking a nap when you really need one is definitely a plus.  But then here it is 10:52 p.m. and I haven’t really finished for the day, so I guess it works both ways.

Anyway, I woke up much more energized and ready to finish the computer projects I was working on.

One of the things I have noticed is that the more tired I am the more munchie I get.  Not really hungry, but needing to keep eating anyway.  Suggestions?  I’d chew gum, but I’m not really a gum chewer. I keep healthy choices around,  but still the cravings linger on.  It’s your turn.  What’s your best cure for the munchies, that doesn’t destroy all of our progress?


Speaking of shoes, I ran TWO MILES in 24 minutes, no stopping, slowing down, or dying!  That’s my accomplishment for the day. Now, for you SICK running types,  that is no major accomplishment, but for me, who has never run more than one and half miles without feeling the inside of my stomach coming up through my lungs, it was Huge.  So, I get to say, “Yeah, Me!” tonight.   Afterwards, I did 15 min. on the stairmaster and 10 min of abs, and came out all sweaty, but feeling better than when I started.

I think the winter blues were setting in pretty rough today.  The sun was out, but it is cold.  Currently, -10 degrees, and dropping, and for whatever reason, the more the temperature was dropping so was my mood.  No excuses,  but I definitely didn’t feel my normal cheerful attack-the-world self.  I made myself a cup of tea, put the flourescent spectrum light on and watched Dr. Oz, who, of course, had suggestions for beating winter blues.  Besides the flourescent lamp, he suggested peppermint oil to soothe you, chili peppers to excite you, ginger tea to boost your metabolism and also as an appetite suppressant, and gingko balboa to keep you alert.  I’m thinking I could do peppermint and ginger tea all day if it gets me through this cold weather faster.

Ok, so, new game.  Don’t forget to weigh in tomorrow, plus remember to vote for Black Studios as the best fitness challenge team, but ALSO, Aaron Walters announced a new challenge for us today.  The cc has teamed up with Soles4Souls to provide shoes for Haiti survivors and we can help. The cc is trying to gather 1000 pairs of shoes, so bring in your new or gently used shoes and help someone who really needs our help.  Now, here’s what I’ve learned about all you crazy runner people.  You love your athletic shoes and you want them to fit well.  I just gave Lisa and Desiree a bad time about how many pairs of tennis shoes each of them come up with, and I know from personal experience, that my training shoes that live inside the cc never get ugly before they get done running,  plus, then there’s all those shoes we girls have buried at the back of the closet that we had to have and then wore once and couldn’t wear again because they just weren’t comfortable enough to wear a whole day.  Plus, then Rachel and Dacey have change sizes  every 6 mos, so I know their shoes never get enough wear, especially during boot season.

There you go: Suggestion for the day:  Get those unused shoes out of your house and get them to the cc. Stop by for a little run while you’re there.

Another 15 lbs Down!

Great Job, Team! We are still going the right direction.  I know last week was a really hard week, between the weather keeping us inside, and the kids and other schedules keeping us out of routine.  Now that the weather is cooperating a little, let’s get back to everyday workouts, eating right, and feeling better.  On average, our team has lost 2.6 lbs, exactly the same as the average of all the participants in the challenge.  Of course, I’m convinced we can do better so make sure you kick it up for the rest of the week.

And in other news, this week the cc asks us to vote for our favorite team.  Well, of course, that would be Black Studios! So, when you weigh in this week make sure you add Vote: Black Studios to your weigh in.  If you are just cheering us on, here’s your chance to participate, send in your vote to weighins@yahoo.com.  Again, let them know you are voting for Black Studios.  Truthfully, I’m not sure what we win — maybe t-shirts, but bragging rights are always good.  So, this is where all you spouses and cheerleaders who wouldn’t commit comes in, send your emails in for us, or stop by the cc and drop your vote in the box.  GO, Black Studios!

Finally, after not being able to leave the house for two days, I was able to get in and get a good workout in.  I ran 1 mi, did ten sets of stairs with 8 lbs weights, walked another mile with Mike on the track, rode on the spin bikes for 6 mi, and then finished up with 8 laps in the pool.  It actually felt great, and my muscles loosened up, and I came home full of energy.  On top of that, the kids went back to school and all of their activities, so I could actually stop cooking and doing dishes nonstop.

Unfortunately, the loose muscles didn’t last, and once again, I had a fitful sleep and woke up all achy, so I am going to see my favorite chiropractor, Dr. Joe, and see if he can help me sleep better.

Suggestion for the Day:  Dr. Oz was talking about anti-aging activities today.  His suggestion for everything from skin aging to keeping the cholesterol down, to improving libido is to eat foods with color.  Red grapes and apples, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, spinach and edamame.  So, when shopping this week, avoid the potatoes and white pasta, and buy pretty foods with lots of color.  Umm, but this doesn’t mean the gummy bear aisle!  Look, on the other side of the aisle, and treat yourself to a little red wine instead.


Another Blizzard.  Another Day stuck in the house.  Another Day of too much eating and not enough exercise.

The wedding went off without a hitch on Saturday.  The weather stayed warm so the ice didn’t build up and, other than a little bit of fog and a whole lot of slush, Amanda and Brian had a beautiful day.  With one fussy little one, and two overly excited other children, I definitely got my exercise.  Thank you, little Hyde, for all the weightlifting.  Amanda was  beautiful and as radiant as I’ve ever seen her.  It was fun to be at a wedding where we probably knew 80% of the people there, and we were even able to stay late enough for my husband to dance one dance with me.

Unfortunately, Rachel was sick on Saturday and Mike was achy on Sunday, so we stayed home in what was our little opportunity to get out and about.  Then the temperatures dropped and the snow started falling and the wind started blowing, and no one was going anywhere.  Today the wind has been blowing between 30- 50 mph all day long.  Frequently, we can’t see between the house and the church, and the one dash Dacey made to the store for caffeine taught him how people get lost in storms.  His footprints were already gone by the time he came back.

I think all the sitting around has made me achier than when I exercise, because my back and shoulders feel like I’ve biked fifty miles today.  Lisa called to see when we would come to workout, and I laughed and said not today.  Not much point to even try shoveling today.  And, the lack of sun makes doing anything seem like more of an effort than I really want to put into it.  I will try to get motivated to at least put the Biggest Loser DVD in before the day is over.

Suggestion for the Day:  Get enough sunlight.  Boy, that’s a hard one with weather so uncooperative, but I definitely feel the difference when I get sunlight.  It gives me energy, lightens my mood, and helps me get more done.  I do have a full spectrum light in the studio.  I’ve always had it on the other desk, but for now, I will turn it around and see if the extra artificial light helps to replace what I need until I can go outside again.


No workout today.  It’s a wedding day! Usually weddings take a lot out of us, energy wise and physically.  Lots of running around, chasing kids, hard floors.  We’re usually shot on Sunday.  Today, however I am sore enough still from the workouts this week, I think the wedding activity will be a nice change of routine and rest to my tired glutes.  I did get up and make a big breakfast  –waffles (with flax), bacon, frozen berries instead of syrup.  This will be our main meal for the day, since the rest of the day is packed with wedding frenzy.  The couples are always polite enough to offer food at the reception, but we have so little time, we usually don’t bother and then eat after we are done.

I will pack snacks for the car.  Yogurt, rice crispy squares (a staple in my life, ) extra water bottles.  Then we will at least have that energy boost, and we then avoid convenience store snacking and binging on mints at the reception.

The ice storm seems to be falling apart making our day a little easier.  It never got below freezing, so the precipitation which was suppose to be ice or snow stayed rain and didn’t freeze to the power lines as much as was expected.  We had a short power blip over night and that was about it.  The weather is suppose to redevelop tonight but hopefully, we will be safe at home before anything significant happens.

Rachel ended up sick over night.  Probably the same stomach bug I had last week, and Dacey’s activities were all rescheduled so they should be safe at home today too. For everyone else, travel carefully.

Suggestion for the day:  If you’ve been working hard for the last week, take today off. Relax your muscles, treat yourself a little.  It’s said it helps your body  to keep from plateauing if you take a day off now and then.  Then we’ll hit it hard again next week.


Kids are out of school early again in anticipation of lots of ice and snow.  This week, they had Monday as a planned off.  Tuesday they had school regular hours. Wednesday they had no school due to bad weather. Thursday they had a late start and they rescheduled the DVC tourney taking most of the kids out of school early and today, they released at 2:00 pm.  Not sure how the teachers are finding time to teach in amongst all the ice storms and basketball games.

We made it to town for our noon workout with Lisa, but was blasted with wind, ice and snow, when we came back out at 1:30.  Tomorrow with prediction of lots more of the same, we have a wedding in Nunda, reception following in Brookings.  It’s frustrating and depressing to keep fighting this kind of weather, especially from a business standpoint, but thankfully, we are all safe and warm and blessed with so much. As I always tell my couples, all the bad things help us remember the good events.  Otherwise, they seem to slip by unnoticed.

So, back to the workout.  I am still hurting from Lisa’s torture yesterday and the day before.  My glutes and my thighs are screaming everytime I sit down or stand up.  On top of that the scale wasn’t great to me today.  I lost 1 lb this week, which I guess is something, but as much as my thighs hurt, it would be nice if it showed on the scale.  On the other hand, my clothes are fitting looser, and my jeans are baggy again.  All good.

Lisa has been pressured into joining us in the Triathalon in April, so she has decided to train with us.  Today, she joined us in the pool.  She had Mike work on trying different strokes so he can keep going longer.  Mike hates swimming so he struggles each time with breathing and keeping going.  She had me switch up how often I breathed with each stroke.  It messed me up.  Try it! I breath with each turn of my left arm always tilting my head to the right.  Lisa had me breathe every third stroke switching directions of my head.  She thinks it will help me breathe better.  Maybe, with practice.  Right now, it makes me think a lot — not that I am ever really good at thinking,  so then I run out of breathe and panic and stop swimming.  I’ll have to practice, and see what happens.

We threw in a few push ups and ab work out, and a little water jogging and we ended up with a pretty good workout.  Afterwards, Aaron Walters, cc director, and Mike and I all ended up at our favorite after-workout location, Subway.  I just wish I could find some nutritional application for the cookies I keep eating there.

Suggestion for the Day: 1)Today Dr. Oz suggested adding seeds to your diet.  My kids love sunflower seeds in the summer time at ball games.  Me, I don’t like the shells, so maybe I can get the pre-shelled and add them to salads, or maybe some homemade bread.  FM Cafe used to make sunflower seed cookies — Ahh, back to cookies again.  Another seed I do use all the time is Flax seed.  You can buy it fresh or ground, but Dr. Oz says it needs to be ground for best absorption.  Flax is full of Omega 3 oils plus helps with digestion.  I throw it in my muffins and banana bread and don’t tell the kids.  Dr. Oz also suggested Hemp and Poppy seeds.  I’ve never tried hemp.  I guess that will be a new challenge for me.

2) The other suggestion that came across my desk today might help with all this winter blues.  An article I was reading suggested keeping a journal every day of 5 positive attributes about yourself to help improve your self-image. I would suggest taking it one step further and add five positive things you did today to make your life better.  It might be as little as finally getting that closet cleaned, or sharing cuddle time with your favorite pet.  Then some days it will be the big things that help change our world into a better place as well.  My math isn’t very good but 5 positive baby steps everyday and you’ll have 1825 footprints by the end of 2010.  What a legacy for 2010!


Erika, Mike and Megan all said they wanted to go work out with me today, so I signed us up for a GET active session, even though I definitely was feeling the leg workout from yesterday.  Then, one by one, they all bailed on me.  So, there I was stuck working out with Lisa again.  Gotta love her! After I ran/walked a mile on a very busy track, the rest of our group was ready and she started two of us on the spin bikes, while the others ran on the ellipticals.  Kristine, who was riding next to me, hadn’t used the bikes before.  Make sure when you start to reset your seat and handle bars to a comfortable position; it will be easier on your legs and back.  Anyway, Lisa had us do several sets of standing pedaling.  My sore quads were seriously complaining.

Then we went into the aerobics room and worked with the TRX: Those are those torture straps you’ll find hanging in the aerobics room.  Generally, you use your body as weight against the straps to do all sorts of exercises.  Anything standing up isn’t too bad– bicep curls, triceps, even push ups can be adjusted to how difficult you want to make it.  However, Lisa was into upside down exercises again.  Put your feet in the straps and do push ups, planks, knee ups–generally stand on your head.  The college students standing around all had their chins on the floor — not sure whether they were laughing at the exercises, or the difficulty of which us three 30 to 40 somethings were struggling to accomplish each task.  We did a couple rounds of each of these with sets of stairs in between.  In the end, I was tired, and my hope was that the workout would loosen up the tight rear end muscles–It didn’t.

So,  I decided to check out the hot tub.  Much better, although a little crowded when I got there.  At 5:00, there is a water aerobics class.  It wasn’t well attended but looked like a fun class.  Maybe a good starter class for those looking for a low impact workout.  Besides, the aerobics class, the pool keeps one lane open for lap swimming.  Jason was there doing his crazy multitudes of laps, but he did share one side so I did 10 or so nice slow easy laps.  It was actually relaxing tonight, as I didn’t have to hurry to get to the rest of the workout and I didn’t have any little people grabbing my attention. After the laps, I finally felt a little looser and ready to go home.

On the way home, I received the message from Erika that she got caught up at work, so I guess I’ll have to forgive her for ditching me. The ice and fog truly are  scary , so I don’t really blame anyone for not wanting to drive too far.  I came home to an empty house so I was able to have veggies for supper, with no one begging me to cook.  All in all a good end to this week.  Hopefully, it will pay off on the scale tomorrow morning.

Suggestion for the day: Boost the fruit.  Mom just sent me an email about all the benefits of bananas- Everything from curing indigestion to curing warts with the peelings (who knew?)  I did know bananas are full of potassium and are highly recommended if you struggle with leg cramps. We’ve been eating fresh pineapple– It’s so sweet and juicy– add a little lemon yogurt for a sweet breakfast or end of the day snack.  Of course, my favorites are berries, blueberries, strawberries, even cranberries are great antioxidant boosts and a great sweet treat.  Anyway, trade out the chocolate this week for a fruity treat.

Results are In — Week 2

The results from last week’s weighin are in and we are off to a great start:  We have 17 members, starting with a total weight of 2976 lbs.  Last week we weighed in at 2950.5 lbs. A total weight loss of 25.5 lbs.  For you “Biggest Loser” fans, that’s 0.86% of our total weight.  Way to go, Team!

Funny thing, though.  Mike was worried that we would all lose too much weight and he would lose too much money for the United Way.  Today, he said he thought we all need to kick it up a notch, since he lost the most last week.  All right, Mike.  Team,  help me out, this week.  Use the next couple days to really kick up the workout and keep away from the leftover birthday cake.  I really need some of you to help out this week,  because, besides the birthday bash,  the bug Mike shared with me kept me cuddled in yesterday so one less workout for me.

We did work out with Lisa today, and she really pushed working legs and back, plus, we did some crazy upside down things on the ball.  Anything where my head is lower than my feet makes me nervous.  My balance is not that good.  Tomorrow, if the ice cooperates, we will do a GET active workout, and Friday will be Mike’s favorite, swimming.

Team, don’t forget to send this week’s weight in before Friday.  Have a great week!

“Where Have You Been?”

Yes, I know I haven’t posted for a couple days, so I better update on how things have been going.  Friday, I went in to work out before I did anything else for the day.  I ran into Debbie starting her own workout, so after I ran a mile and I rode bike for 20 minutes, she and I were able to walk the track for 15 minutes or so.  It’s so easy for time to get away from you when you have a distraction.  Walking with a friend, turning on the tv, or turning up the music,  and all of a sudden an hour has gone and you haven’t even thought about it.  Unfortunately, I needed to be on the run, so I had to leave Debbie and run off to Sioux Falls.

Rachel’s birthday is today.  11 years old.  After I walked with Debbie, I went shopping in Sioux Falls for Rachel’s birthday present and party.  I was on the hunt for Peace Signs — the theme for this year’s party.  I’m not a shopper, so I guarantee I find walking the mall to be a really big workout. By the time, I was done in Sioux Falls five hours, a mall, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby and the grocery store later, I was exhausted and my feet and back hurt more than when I walked up Crazy Horse carrying an 18 mos. old.  On the way home, I stopped at Colman to watch the boys play another winning basketball game against the C-E Hawks.  By the time I made it home and put all the groceries away, it was after 11:00 pm.

Saturday, Rachel had a basketball game in the morning. Then Dacey had play practice, then he stopped home for lunch, and turned around and went to a double-header in Estelline.  Besides keeping up with the kids, I had Saturday to get my house cleaned for Rachel’s sleepover birthday party on Sunday night.  I still hadn’t put Christmas away and all the give-aways from the closets we cleaned in the last snow storm were sitting in my living room. Plus, we needed to make cupcakes and food for two parties for Rachel, and since the sleepover was going to be in the studio, we needed to get that ready as well.  It was a lot for Rachel and me to do by ourselves.  Once again I felt like cleaning was enough of a workout, especially with all of the up and downs of taking down the Christmas tree and hauling boxes and lifting furniture to get all the ornaments that the cat chased all over the house, and have you ever noticed that laundry seems to grow out of every room in your house.   Midnight came and went and I finally was able to sit on all the furniture in my living room, the cupcakes were frosted and all the presents were wrapped.

Sunday, everyone got up early and helped to finish decorating, made barbecue for the family party in town, went to church and worked nursery duty.  Then we went to the cc and all of Rachel’s grandparents and Aunt Linda came to have bbq’s and wish Rachel a happy birthday.  When that was done, Rachel, Linda and I took  a half an hour and walked laps upstairs.  I didn’t work up a sweat, but it was nice to visit with Linda, and to relax and regroup my thinking in the middle of all the family and birthday chaos.  When we came home Dacey had play practice and then his debut performance of  the school one-act play.  Family came, Rachel’s friends met us there, and Dacey, along with the entire crew, did an awesome performance.  We were so proud and impressed with them all.

Then Rachel’s five female classmates came over and spent the night.  Dacey set up a dj system for Rachel and her friends in the studio and they ran black lights and strobes and danced until midnight.  I can understand why kids can eat anything.  They move non-stop.  The more they get tired, the more they move and the more they eat.  At 12:30, I made popcorn, put a movie in and fell asleep. The girls, although restless, fell asleep not too much later.  By 7:00 am, they were all up and moving.

Dacey had another big day with his regional performance of the one-act play in Watertown, and then the beginning of the DVC tournaments in Colman.  He was literally home for 30 min. before he came home that night at 11:30.  Rachel’s friends slowly made their way home by 1:00 pm and then I finally was able to clean up and go back to my paying job in the studio.  By this time, I knew I had caught Mike’s cold from last week, and I could hardly keep my eyes open, they were watering so bad.  Rachel had crashed in the house, and I joined her as soon as I was able.

I finally had a full night’s sleep and woke up this morning feeling almost human again — although a little sniffly.  So what I learned from this marathon of kids’ craziness:

1) I’m getting old.  I can’t keep up with my kids’ schedule even if I try.  I need my sleep.

2) I can’t and don’t want to eat like they do.  Dacey said they had a contest at Pizza Ranch to see which team could eat the most and his team won, with 26 plates of food split between seven boys.  Remember, guys, when you could do that in high school.  Mike does.

The girls ate candy, and cake, and banana splits and chips all night long, and I am sure with all the dancing and sledding and cartwheels and giggling they did,   all that sugar made them more active.  Me, one piece of cake and a little ice cream and I feel sluggish and ready for a nap.  Today I went back to regular meals and healthy choices and I already feel better.

3) I’m thankful for all the coaches and parents and teachers who keep up with my kids’ craziness and come up with more, because most of you are my age or older, and have to be as tired as I am.

So, my suggestion for the day:  Get enough sleep–7 to 8 hours a night, and a  20 minute nap when you  need it.  Lack of sleep will wear your system down faster than anything else.  It will also trigger your brain into eating higher sugared carbohydrates to keep stimulating your body to keep in motion.  Then for me, my suggestion is to go back to my routine in the studio –enough partying with my kids.  It’s too much work!

Day 11

Great Swim workout this morning.  Dacey joined us and did an awesome job of keeping up with his mother and maybe motivating an unenthused Mike.  As much as I like getting up and getting to the cc early in the morning,  I LOVE to sleep in.  Plus, there’s always so much to do in the morning, getting the kids to school, getting the laundry going, taking care of the dog.  Usually by 8:00, the studio phone starts ringing.  So, I really have to push myself to get an early morning workout in.  Setting the appointment with Lisa helps.  No excuses –someone’s waiting for me on the other end.
Lisa does a good water aerobic workout with us, and we try to get one in if not every week, every other week.  We swim laps, but we also water jog, and use some of the other toys to focus on arms, legs and “our favorite” abs.  I’m tired at the end but energized.  If I ever had 15 minutes extra, I could then sit in the hot tub or sauna and relax afterwards, but not today, because Dacey needed to get back to Rutland for school.

Dacey has his big debut today.  He is “Wolf” in Rutland’s One-act performance of  “Not So Grimm Tales.”  He will perform today and then again on Sunday evening at 7:00.  Then they compete on Monday in Watertown.
Back to the problems at hand.  Tomorrow will be the end of the second week.  So, here we go guys.  Use today for your “last-chance” workout.  Eat right and get 15 minutes extra moving around today.  It’s going to be beautiful, so if nothing else,  go for a walk in the sunshine.  Then, tonight or tomorrow morning, weigh yourself and send in your current weight to weighins@yahoo.com.  Make sure you tell them who you are and that you are on the Black Studios Team.  Go, TEAM, Go!

The results for this week will be listed on Tuesday at the CC.  I will get them posted as soon as I know.  This week they did show us the other teams.  There are 19 teams and over 180 participants.  Thanks for all your participation.