Category Archives: Exercise

Setting a routine

We’ve been in our new place for a week now. I can now say comfortably that I do not think we made the worst mistake ever moving out of our apartment. (That was a very real fear a couple times there.)

We’ve now had time to settle in, figure out what stuff goes where, and get used to sleeping in a new bed. We’ve each decided which shower we prefer. We’ve cooked meals in the kitchen. This morning I hosted our book club here and we made lunch for our four-person book club. (It was awesome.) (We should entertain more.)

We lived in the other place for over 2 years. I had a routine down. I knew exactly what I did every morning, and while it was a lot of back and forth from the living room to the bedroom to the bathroom to the bedroom, I knew what each step was and there was a very precise reason I did everything in that order.

But I have to kind of start over here. None of my stuff is in the order it used to be in, for one thing. For another, the bathroom where I shower is not the bathroom where I keep the hair dryer and everything. So there’s a lot more back and forth, because after 4 work days I still haven’t quite figured out what my exact routine is. There’s still a lot of, “What am I missing here?” It takes me a little longer to get out the door in the morning. Which is fine, since my commute is about cut in half.

Drew’s commute is about doubled, which makes our commutes about the same length of time now. Which is nice.

The good thing about getting a chance to recreate your routine, is that it allows you to build in some good stuff. I am trying to build the following things into my routine:

  • Healthier eating, specifically snacking – we’ve purchased a lot of fruit in the last week, and I’m also depending a lot on those frozen vegetables that you steam right in the microwave
  • Cooking dinner – in the last few weeks at the old place, we basically gave up cooking anything besides chicken nuggets on a baking sheet
  • Going to the gym on the way home from work – theoretically I can avoid the worst of rush hour if I wait it out in a spin class
  • More walks – it’s so pretty here, and there are lots of places to explore before hitting the library on the way home.

I also want to try to be more of an adult in 2012: meaning, I want to fold my clothes as soon as they’re clean* and make the bed every day and wash dishes as soon as they’re dirty. Honestly, I have less hope for these resolutions than for the others.

It’s fun to remake yourself every January 1st. And I feel like this year we get an extra boost to help facilitate that!

*I’m rolling my eyes as I write this, since I know that every single clothing item I own is freshly laundered but stuffed into a laundry bag on the floor somewhere. I guess I know what I’m doing tonight.

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, cars, Dreams, Drew, Exercise, Food, Home improvements, Memoir, Self improvement

I am the Harbor Master

It’s the weirdest thing – I was OBSESSED with Sarah and Vinnie (morning radio show) for a year and a half. I listened to all the podcasts, all four hours of the morning show, plus their 18-and-up “Secret Show” that you can only get through iTunes. That’s all I listened to, because I was constantly catching up on whatever I had missed. I listened in the car, at work, sometimes at home while doing dishes…

Then we got back from New York and I was like a week behind in podcasts, and I went to iTunes and went to download them…and I just stopped. So many hours! And suddenly it seemed kind of pointless – and it’s not like I was really gaining anything from this, except occasional knowledge of news stories. So I just didn’t download them.

Well, that’s not true. I thought to myself, I’ll just download the Secret Shows, and listen to those. But then I never put them on my iPod, and that was two weeks ago, and…?

I’ve been listening to the Sarah and Vinnie show in the car in the mornings, the live stuff – and then just listening to my iPod on shuffle the rest of the time.

It’s weird how cold turkey I went – I thought for sure there would be a gradual decline in my interest. But it went from completely ALL IN (and I’m talking, like – obsessed with listening, obsessed with the stories, obsessed with the people) to apathy. People who know how serious I was about my love for all things Sarah and Vinnie (mostly Sarah) will understand how weird this is.

But it’s okay! Because I have a new obsession: this iPhone game called Harbor Master.

This game freaking rocks. Basically, boats come into the screen and you direct them into the harbor where they drop off their cargo. Then you direct them out. And you can’t let them crash into other boats. It’s so awesome. It’s called a “chaos management” game. Sometimes you have 10 or more boats circling on your screen, and you have to figure out how to get them all where they need to be. Amazing!

We found the free version of this game (before I paid for the full version, with more maps) through another game I was obsessed with, called Temple Run. Temple Run is just a continuous chase game where you collect coins and jump over or duck under obstructions. It’s so fun, and I couldn’t stop playing it. Temple Run is the reason my phone kept dying in New York – even though I knew I wouldn’t have a charger for 8 more hours, I couldn’t stop playing. It’s ridiculous.

And that’s the story of how I exchanged one addiction for another one.

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Filed under Awesome, Endings, Exercise

Connecticut & New York City, October 2011

So, Drew and I are back from our East Coast extravaganza. We had a great time, and I’m so happy we went, but I was also totally ready to come home. Which is just about the perfect balance, I guess.

I’m going to start with a Dear Diary overview of the whole thing, then fill in specifics after. I just can’t bring myself to start one, long, DD post of the entire week.

So: last Tuesday night I flew out of SFO on the red-eye to JFK. I got in Wednesday morning, and dropped by my old work to say hi to the people I know who are still working there (there aren’t many left!).

Wednesday afternoon I took a Metro North train to Waterbury, CT, where Megan (the bride), Dawn (the maid of honor) and Toni (the mother of the groom) picked me (the matron of honor) up. We did wedding party things, checked into our hotel, and then Toni and Ken (the father of the groom) took us girls out for dinner.

On Thursday, we had Megan’s bachelorette party in NYC. That deserves, and will get, an entire post.

On Friday, Drew drove up from NYC, where he had arrived late the night before. That afternoon, I had to call in to work for 90 minutes for an interview that I was missing, being out of the office. Friday night – rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Saturday was the wedding! Yay for the happy couple!

On Sunday, Drew and I drove back to NYC. We saw an off-Broadway show at Roundabout called Sons of the Prophet, and hung out with Joe and his bf. We had dinner at 5 Napkin Burger, which is always good. We stayed at their Hell’s Kitchen apartment, a luxury and VERY convenient!, and watched Bridesmaids.

On Monday we did some touristy stuff – Wall Street and the protestors, walked along the Hudson, saw the bull at Bowling Green, etc. Then we took our luggage and checked into our Queens hotel, which was in the same neighborhood where we used to live. We had lunch with Jared, our old roommate, and saw our old apartment. That might have been the weirdest part of the whole trip for me. Then in the evening we went to see Sleep No More in the meatpacking district (?).

On Tuesday, we went into Chelsea and I had lunch with Sara, an old coworker who promises me she’s going to come visit San Francisco next summer. I saw the people I didn’t see in the office on my first pass. Then Drew and I did Union Square, The Strand (18 miles of books!), etc, and walked up 5th Avenue. We intended to walk all the way to Central Park (40ish blocks) but couldn’t handle it, so we took the train. We did more 5th Ave, then Rockefeller Center, back through Times Square to the Marquis Theatre to see Follies. Then a late dinner with Kaitlin and Joe on 9th Avenue (at Whym).

Today we checked out of the hotel and took the train to Penn Station, where we got chopped salads for lunch (I miss them so!) and then took the train to JFK, where we were hideously early for our flight. Drew read The Hunger Games, and I called in for a second interview at work. Then a 6 1/2 hour flight and we’re home!

Our apartment is bigger than I remember. And I missed it. It’s really nice to be back.

Okay. I promise to be more interesting in the details. A whirlwind week! But everything went as well as can be hoped, thank God.

I miss things about new York. Other things I don’t miss at all. Bad smells, crazy crowds, the humidity. I definitely am happy that my home is in California. But I hope we can visit NYC again soon!

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Being a girl, Dreams, Drew, Exercise, Food, Friends, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Theatre

Tips For The First Spin Class

Yesterday I finally attended my first spin class. This is what I said to my co-workers as I was leaving work to head to the gym:

“It sounds fun! I mean it can’t be that hard, right?”

At least I sort of knew at the time I was going to have to eat those words later – but I did think, how hard can biking be? It’s just biking. It’s not like I have to jump around waving weights around my head. It’s just legs.

Well, I was wrong. It’s not just legs. And it is hard.

Here are some hints, if you’re thinking of attempting this for the first time:

1. The seat is not comfortable. This is probably because you’re supposed to be up off of it for most of the class. If, like me, you sat out some of the standing-up sections, be prepared for a slightly sore behind the next day. (I ended up wadding up my towel and awkwardly stuffing it underneath myself at one point. It helped, moderately.)

2. When you sit on the bike for the first time, and it spins really easily, and you’re like, “This is awesome”? Look down. That little knob puts more tension on. You’ll spend most of the class with it tightened. Get ready. Enjoy the no-tension while you can.

3. An hour of watching Law & Order flies by. An hour of spin, not so much. At some point (for me it was 10 minutes in), you’ll start to think the clock might be broken. It’s not.

4. Related to #3, the first half hour is a lot slower than the second half hour. Stick it out.

5. When your badass intructor says, “Remember, everyone can go at their own pace at any time,” he may be talking to you. You’re allowed to ease off on the tension if you’re dying, and as long as you’re still pushing yourself, you’re still good.

6. It seems to me that this is the kind of thing where you show fast improvement, especially at the beginning. I found the standing up portions difficult in the first half hour, but much easier in the second half hour. I’m excited for my next class, to see how much easier the entire thing will be. (#WishfulThinking?)

7. If you find yourself plotting ways to get out of the room before the hour is up (my best plan was to fake losing a contact, then scoop up my keys and bolt for the door), just stare at the tramp stamp on the girl in front of you and keep going. You can do it!

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Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Exercise, Nonfiction, Self improvement

Be as much of all that you can be

I am always the most motivated late at night. When I’m lying there waiting to fall asleep (which could take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half), that’s when I think of all the things I am sure to accomplish. That’s where the Atkins idea was born (after many, many failed plans). That’s when I’m sure I’m going to get up early and hit the gym. That’s when I psych myself into thinking I can totally wear heels to work.

But the next morning is when I remember that Atkins sucks, I’m so tired and this bed is so warm and the gym is so far away through the fog, and who am I kidding? I totally have no skills for wearing heels, and I’ll probably fall down the stairs and that will be hella embarrassing.

Last week I made the late night decision to sign back up for Weight Watchers. I also made a late night decision to change my gym membership so I can go to any 24 Hour Fitness (for the last year I’ve just had access to one club).

So that’s my new plan. So far it’s going pretty well. Plus, I have the iPhone now so I can use the WW mobile app, which is helpful, I guess? Also the 24 HF app. I like the way those apps look sitting next to each other.

Tomorrow my friend Sam and I are going to a gym that’s near my work and her house. We’re going to try some class that I’ve never tried before. It’s sort of making me nervous. But I think it’ll be easier to go after work, and especially with a friend. And their class schedule is so much better than my home gym’s schedule! – now maybe I’ll be able to make it to a spin class, which I have still not accomplished.

Anyway, wish me luck. I have one wedding in 2 months, and then another one in 3 months, so my plan is to look awesome for both of them. Now that I’ve lined up the tools – I just have implement them.

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Filed under Exercise, Friends, Self improvement

My road of good intentions

Monday afternoon: I download the 24 Hour Fitness app and scroll through my gym’s class schedule. I make a list of classes to take this week. Monday evening: Power Sculpt. Tuesday morning: Pilates. Thursday afternoon: 24 Cycle.

Monday evening: I head out for Power Sculpt at 7:30. At 7:45 they announce they can’t find the instructor. I go home.

Tuesday morning: I head out for Pilates Fusion. Pilates Fusion kinda kicks my butt. I sign up for Thursday cycling class.

Tuesday afternoon: I announce I have to leave early on Thursday (around 4:30) for my 5:30 class.

Wednesday: I feel kind of shaky all day.

Thursday morning: I remember something I have to do at work that needs to be done TODAY. I spend all day working on it. Around 3:00 I finish and then start my regular work. Around 3:45 I realize I’m not making it to that class.

Thursday evening: Head straight home and into pajamas. Figure I will try again later.

I tried, y’all. I tried! I wish they had cycling class at another time rather than 5:30 in the morning and 5:30 in the evening…

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Filed under Exercise, Not awesome

Day 3: My Dirty Little Secret

Okay, so it’s not really dirty and it’s hardly a secret.

I don’t really like going to the gym.

I like saying I go to the gym, I like the way I feel afterwards, and I like the idea of being someone who works out. But I don’t love doing it. I don’t spring out of bed to go for a run, and you will certainly never find me at a 5:30 am spin class. I think that I would prefer going in the afternoon, when I’m not dragging myself from bed…but then the weekend rolls around and manage to find other ways to fill my time. Since I joined this gym a year ago, I haven’t been transformed into a hard-bodied supermodel. (Not saying I’m not healthier but that’s a different story.)

This morning, since I had the chance to come into work a little later than usual, I dragged myself to the gym. Haven’t been there in almost a week. I couldn’t face getting on the treadmill so I focused on strength exercises, which are still good but don’t require quite as much psyching-up.

These people did get on the treadmill this morning – and I admire them. (In the foreground is one of my favorite strength machines – I think the exercise is a chest press? I do like that.)

Good for you, runners (and walkers). Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be up there with you.

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Filed under "Other people", Exercise, Self improvement