Keeping My Promise to Up My Activity Level in 2014

Happy New Year’s Eve! Are you planning anything fun to celebrate tonight? I’m going to a 9:30 PM concert with my in-laws, and then am heading to bed.

The week of Christmas in 2012, I rejoined Weight Watchers. I’ve lost about 25 pounds this year. (Would have been 26 if I didn’t gain a pound over the holidays, but oh well!).

For 2014, I want to keep my weight loss going the healthy way: following Weight Watcher Points Plus plan, and working lots of activity into my schedule.

I’m planning to join my 1st November Project work out on 1/1 at 6:30 AM. I’ll be running the Harvard Stadium stairs with other November Project fitness devotes, including my friend Jess. I can’t fit November Project into my schedule on a regular basis due to my work schedule, but I figure I don’t have an excuse on days off. (I’m hoping to join November Project again on MLK Day.)

On 1/5, I’ll be running the Frozen 5K.

On 1/6, my Social Boston Sports 30 Day Challenge training runs begin.

Do you have a goal for 2014? How do you plan to reach it? Break the goal into small steps, and you’ll make it easier to keep up your motivation. Don’t forget to celebrate your small successes!

Trying New Activity Is Important – But Not Every Fitness Class Is a Perfect Fit for You

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Saturday morning I went to a spinning class in Boston. On paper, it looked like I’d love it and have a great time working out. I’d heard wonderful things about this studio & the staff that lead classes. 

When I got there, the staff was friendly, and they helped me adjust my bike and clip into the pedals. The instructor was friendly, and made sure I knew what she meant by hand positions before the class began, since she knew it was my 1st spin class.

Shortly into the class, I realized that spinning is probably something I shouldn’t try again before I lose some more weight.

I believe whoever designed bike seats is a sadist, and they definitely aren’t designed for women who weight over 160 pounds (like I do).

As I tried to keep up, the seat really hurt me. There was no clock in the room to tell me how long I’d been there, or how long was left for the class. (Why didn’t I wear a watch?!) I was clipped into the bike petals, but I still thought about what would happen if I tried to run away. (I figured I’d probably knock the bike over on myself or someone else, so that wasn’t an option.) The cool lighting and club music for the work out weren’t helping me now.

Then I looked around the class and realized how I differed from the other (skinny) participants, and came to the conclusion that my weight was definitely causing the uncomfortable pressure on the seat.

Today, my posterior still hurts whenever I sit down. (I’m hoping that feeling will go away before my next 5K on January 5th.) I’m OK when I have sore legs from a good workout, but this was not what I was expecting.

Friends who enjoy spin class – is there something I was missing? Should I have been wearing padded cycling pants?
I had the staff lower my seat since I’m short, so I don’t think seat height was the issue, but who knows. 

I came home from the class laughing and told my husband “well, it should make a funny blog post.” I’m still planning to try out other fitness classes. Just because spinning wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean that every fitness class isn’t for me.

Jingle Bell Run

My Grandfather (on my Dad’s side) passed away last week at 95 1/2 years old. It’s been a really tough week for me.

The rescheduled Jingle Bell Run was the same day as his wake, and I didn’t know if I’d be able to run. My husband reminded me that my Grandpa would have wanted me to run the race, and would be proud of me, so I ran. (Then my husband quickly drove home so I could shower & change into wake appropriate attire, and then he drove us to the wake.)

Since I was running in memory of my Grandpa, I increased my normal pace a bit, and set a new personal record for myself – Pace 14:17 Net time 44:22. (I’m still not a runner yet, but I’ll take time improvement over the Turkey Trot 5K.)

Here’s a picture of me at the starting line before the race. (Don’t worry, I didn’t stay at the 7 minute mile sign and seeded myself appropriately at the back of the race.)

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It was a good race for me, but as I crossed the finish line, I broke down in sobs as I thought “Grandpa would be proud”.

Weight In

I attend Weight Watchers meetings on Tuesday afternoons, and weight in there. 

This week, was a good loss – 2.6 pounds! That brings me to a 26.2 pounds loss since I joined Weight Watchers Points Plus program (Christmas week 2012).

Sometimes, I feel that I see the results of my activity a week later than the actual activity occurred.

One of the things I really like about Weight Watchers is the online tracking tools. Even when I have a week where I gain, the progress reports there help remind me of the bigger picture.

Below is a picture of my monthly summary:



For me, the only thing I’ve found that helps me lose weight AND KEEP IT OFF, is Weight Watchers. The meetings really motivate me. The tracking tools help me keep food under control, and reach for things that fuel my body (rather than just feeding an emotion). As I’ve mentioned in another post, the Active Link motivates me to up my daily activity level, and try different work outs and walk routes to do so.

Shoveling Snow Is Like Weight Lifting

The snow storm that was forecast for this weekend in MA dumped the predicted 8+ inches of snow. 

My husband & I ended up spending Saturday night in Lowell, MA at my brother’s apartment. We’d gone to the Mythbusters Live show earlier in the night, but when the show got out around 11 PM, the roads were not clear enough to drive home safely.

Our Sunday morning started with shoveling in Lowell, so we could get our car out of the driveway and head home. The snow there wasn’t too hard to lift, mostly fluffy.

We stopped at my parents’ house in Peabody on the way home to help my Dad with shoveling. Evidently after the snow, there was rain in Peabody, so the snow there was heavy, wet, slush.

At dinner on Saturday night, my brother suggested that I try weight lifting and that I’d probably like it. I don’t think the snow shoveling on Sunday is what he had in mind, but my arms are sore today, so I’m counting it as a workout.

Weather in New England Does Not Always Get Along with Outdoor Workouts

The weather report for Sunday has changed, and they’re now saying we’ll have a storm this weekend that drops 6-10 inches of snow.

I was already nervous about the Somerville Jingle Bell Run (5K) on Sunday, but adding snow to the mix gives me a lot more to worry about.

I’ve e-mailed the race organizers to ask if the race is still on even if it’s snowing. I have a feeling the answer will be “yes” and I better get some yaktrax ready for my shoes, but I didn’t want to be wrong on that and be the only person to show up. Getting to the race shouldn’t normally be a problem because I live close to a MBTA stop, but who knows how snow will change an already slow Sunday T schedule.

Edit: Woo-hoo! My prayers were answered and the run has been rescheduled!

The following was just posted to the organizer’s Facebook page:
Hola Marathon Sports Jinglahs:I have just been informed by the City of Somerville that due to the winter storm blowing in on Saturday and lasting until Sunday morning in various forms that it is requesting that I reschedule the event until December 22, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. I have agreed to do this

All registered people have had their registration extended to December 22, 2013. If you are unable to make the reschedule date please still feel free to pick up your bib and tee/merchandise at today’s Marathon Sports-Cambridge pick up and at tomorrows Olde Magoun Saloon-Somerville pick up. There will also be a day of race pick up on December 22, 2013 at the Somerville Senior Center from 8:30-10:30 AM.

Cheers Paulie

Working Out Can Be Fun! Ice Skating with Yelp Boston


On Wednesday night, my husband & I went ice skating at Community Skating in Kendall Square as part of Yelp Boston’s Free Skate event.

I haven’t been ice skating in years, but I had fun! I wore a helmet (due to a fear of falling). I didn’t need the helmet, but I was glad I wore it. I have no illusions of gracefulness. I’m a klutz!

I wouldn’t have thought to go ice skating this winter if it weren’t for Yelp Boston setting up this fun night out. The Community Manager for Yelp Boston, Damien, was taking pictures, and I’m sure he has some funny ones of me looking terrified. (But really, I DID have fun!)

I earned 5 Weight Watchers activity points on Wednesday – from a 2 mile walk during my lunch break, ice skating, and a walk to a restaurant for dinner & back home. My husband joked that my fear of falling may have actually earned more activity points for me, since it takes a lot more effort to move when you’re scared, than when you’re gracefully floating around the ice.

I’m glad I got past the fear and made some laps around the rink.

BollyX – Great Night Out & Work Out Thanks to JustUsGals Boston Blog


On Monday night 12/10, I joined some fitness loving ladies for a BollyX workout in Cambridge, hosted by the blog JustUsGals Boston.

Now, I can’t dance, and it was a dance based work out. But I had such a great time that I was smiling throughout the entire work out. No dance experience is needed to have fun & get a great work out from the class.

And it was a work out. I earned 5 Weight Watchers Activity Points for the 1 hour class, which for me is equivalent to walking 10 miles!

The instructors were very friendly, and emphasized smiling and having fun as more important than mastering the movements on your first class.

The class I attended was a free promotion, but the normal rate is a reasonable $12 per class.

I’m looking forward to seeing pictures from the class. I’m sure I’ll look silly, and most likely will be out of step with the group, but I’ll be smiling!

Edit 12/12/13:
Photos have been posted to the BollyX Facebook page. Click the photo below to see the full album.

The #BlogDanceBollyX group

The #BlogDanceBollyX group

5K Fear – Pre-race Jitters

This Sunday, I’m running the Jingle Bell Run 5K in Davis Square.

Once again, I’m not prepared to run the whole race, and I’m focusing on finishing it. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to improve on my finishing time from the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, but we’ll see how that goes.

As of today, is saying Sunday will be 32 degrees and cloudy (but no rain or snow). After the slushy commute to work this morning, I’m hoping that the weather stays dry for Sunday. I’ll deal with cold. (After all, you warm up quickly as you run.) But rain, sleet, snow, and ice scare me.

I’m proud of myself for sticking to my plan to run/walk the 5K, but I’m also annoyed that my running skill is so lacking that I still walk most of the race. But, that means I can only improve with practice, right?