And the winner is….

ME!!

I have been nominated for:

by Lizi (but not Liz, never Liz) author of diary of a half-hearted gym junkie. Lizi writes an AWESOME (or orsum) blog from across the pond.  (Anyone whose favorite P word is both P90X and Pole dancing  has to be pretty cool, right?) You should really check her out! And I certainly want to thank her for this award.

Now for a few bloggers who I would also like to nominate for this award…

Jen writes Jenkakio.  I am so jealous… she actually gets to live in Hawaii!!

Leesah writes 30andlearning from the great white north. Often hilarious but always interesting.

Shameka writes yourtruthdiet.  She is a girl scout cookie pusher who has lost over 80 lbs.;)

Nikki writes Nikki’sAdventuresinP90X.  Tony Horton has grown on her, too!!

These blogs are awesome, too.  I strongly recommend you checking them out!

A – Alabama

“Sweet Home Alabama” and “My home’s in Alabama, southern born and southern bred” … come down anytime for a visit. Tell me you are coming and I will show you around.

B – Birmingham

While I live in a suburb, I work right downtown.  Birmingham has its share of problems (mainly in its leadership), but it is beautiful as well.

C – Crimson Tide

As an alumni and fan, it is a fun time to cheer for the Crimson Tide.  You can usually find me in Tuscaloosa on Saturdays in the fall.

D –  Disney World

My kids are huge fans…and I like it, too.

E – Elephant

The mascot for the Crimson Time. (I just couldn’t think of an E!)

F – Family

Though I am only going to post pictures of those I have or can give permission for (See below). But I also have a wonderful extended family!!

G – Good Mornings

I drink Shakeology every morning.  I love it, especially the new Strawberry Vegan flavor.  (No, I am not vegan nor even vegetarian, it is just really good!!)  

H – Houston

Houston is my two year old. He is always up for helping me with Yoga!

I – INSANITY

Shaun T’s workout is not a joke. 

J – JIF

Is it the healthiest peanut butter?  Maybe not, but it reminds me of home, growing up and family. I am sure it is just wonderful marketing, but if worked on me. haha.  “Choosy moms choose JIF.” 

K – Kenley

My five year old.  If you couldn’t tell… Winking is HARD!

L – Lawyer

 It’s what I do.  Looks like even Lady Justice has been working out. Only FUNNY lawyer jokes, please…

M – My Children’s MOM

Coach Crystal.  She is a great mom.

N – Next Warrior Dash

May 20 in Georgia.  Join me!!

O – Mt. Olive

The suburb I live in.

P – Padawan

Padawan — it means student… and it’s from Star Wars.  The fact that I chose a Star Wars reference for my blog title does not make me a dork.  Yes, Coach Crystal, I am talking to you… haha.

Q – Quit

When it comes to this meandering journey to toward fitness… You only fail when you quit.

R –  Rap

Great workout Music!

S – Scott

That’s me. I think it is a pretty good name…

T – Tony Horton

The creator of P90X…if you haven’t had the chance to experience his corny motivation, you really should.

U – Pull-ups

When I first started with Tony Horton, I could do NO pull-ups… now I can get at least five without resting… and sets of twenty or more!!

V – Vulcan

He sits atop Red Mountain and overlooks all of Birmingham.  The top is where I proposed to Coach Crystal.

W – Warrior Dash

I have done one and am now a huge fan!!

X – eXtreme 

Beachbody workout programs can be extreme, but they are effective.

Y – Yoga

Everyone’s favorite P90x workout… yes, that was sarcasm!!

Z – Zoo 

The Trails of Africa recently opened.  Birmingham Zoo has elephants again!!

Wow, that was HARD…  but fun.

You can’t cheat the system

 I read this in a post of SociallyFit blog and had to comment on it, because it really hit home.  I use myfitnesspal to journal my food intake, but sometimes when i fall off the wagon, I just don’t use it that day.  I just start over the next day with a clean slate. While that is fine, my body does not start over clean the next day.  It remembers those M&Ms whether I wrote them down or not.  It remembers the weekends that I didn’t even try to stay on the diet. Yes, I have lost 20 lbs, but I am not at my goal… Its time to lose those last 10 lbs!!! 

Who is with me?!?

P.S. I don’t know why the best motivational slogans have women on them… how many of these posts do you think I can get away before I get in hot water with Coach Crystal?!?  haha.

Doing it again…

I just signed up to do it again!! May 20th — North of Atlanta, Georgia.  WARRIOR DASH!! Coach Crystal will be out-of-town, so I will be racing against her time…41 minutes. (Don’t tell her, but this course is a little shorter, so I have a chance.  (Though from its geographic location, I expect it to be hillier (is that a word… more hilly?))).  Anyone in  Georgia, South Carolina, or Tennessee want to come run with me??  I promise, it is a blast!!

Warrior Dash Results

The Warrior Dash was yesterday in Jackson. I thought I would let you know how it was (from the point of view of one “meandering toward fitness.”)

It was a cloudy, dreary day.  For the first time all spring, it didn’t get up to 60 degrees in the South. Our heat time was 8:00 a.m. So we got up and headed to the bus pick-up location about 6:45. Luckily, we stayed at a hotel just across the street.  (And it was complete luck, we booked our rooms before we knew where the pickup location was.)

Race Morning

Didn't we look excited?

We got checked-in, grabbed a free Monster drink, (yeah, free) and tried not to be nervous.  We were at the starting area with about ten minutes to spare. With about thirty seconds to go, the theme from Rocky started.  My adrenaline was pumping by then.  As we started, fire flamed up from the start gate, an impressive start!!

We jogged about .5 mile before coming to the first obstacle. (Well, I say that, it had rained very recently and the course had numerous places where the mud was knee-deep.  I did not try to count all the “mud holes” (which were not considered “obstacles”) but there were at least a dozen and probably more.)

1) Tires – feet up going through tires on the ground. Then another .2 of a mile.

2) Tires – on the ground and hanging from rope.  As other people beside you ran through, the tires would swing into you.  You would, of course, return the favor as you pushed through.  Then a jog of about .5 mile.  I set a pretty good pace and was a little in front of Coach Crystal.

3) Up and walk — walk up a ten inch wide board to about eight feet high, then walk about 30 feet in the air balancing before coming  back down.  Coach Crystal caught me here and we jogged together for the .2 mile to the next obstacle.

4)  Up and over and under – a four feet high wall for you to jump over followed by barbed wire for you to crawl under (about eight of these). Coach Crystal left me here, but I caught her on the .2 jog to the next obstacle. We passed the 1.5 mile marker here… Really, not halfway yet!?!?!

5) Rope Net Crawl — the rope net was about six feet high and 60 feet long.  Coach Crystal left me here and I never caught her again. The jog was about .7 to the next set of obstacles.

6) The next three obstacles were all back to back. First up, use the rope to climb the twenty-five feet high wall and down the other side. When I reached the top, a girl had gotten scared to come down, but with a little encouragement, she made it to the ground.

7) Then the military crawl under barbed wire and a wooden obstacle about a foot off the ground.  This was somehow not filled with mud, but rocks. My knees are a little scraped up from this experience.

8) A fifteen feet climbing wall followed by a pole slide down the other side.  Then back to a jog … about .8 miles. You could hear the finish line music here, but the path kept twisting and it was a lot farther than it sounded. I turned a corner and saw Coach Crystal finishing the next obstacle about 300 yards away.  I didn’t see her again until the finish line.

9) Rope walk over water — walk on one rope, hands on another.  Probably the easiest of the obstacles, just balance.  The obstacles came fast from here to the finish.

10) Shallow water pit… if shallow is four feet.  The sign said shallow and I was mislead.  Haha. I fell back into an underwater root.  My left hip has an ugly 3″ diameter red and purple bruise as a souvenir. The pit was about 40 feet long. As soon as you get out, jog a very short distance and leave the wooded area.

11) Another water hazard… this time, it is deep. So you swim… with logs, you have to get over…did I mention the temperature.  Probably about 52 degrees.  And the water was freezing.  It took my breath away. We swam for about 200 feet.

12) A thirty feet tall rope net wall.  Climb up and down the other side.  I was exhausted, but the fire was the next obstacle!!

13) I saw the fire and sprinted to it and leaped over each fire lane in exaltation… I was finished!!!!!!

but I wasn’t…:( … after the fire I turned the corner, expecting to see the finish line only to see…

14) Another water/mud pit… the water was muddy, but it was more swimming than sloshing…under barbed wire… then get up and sprint to the end!!

Saw Coach Crystal cheering me on… got water and a medal and walked away from everyone so I would not hurl right at the finish line.  (Luckily, I

Finished!! Check how the color of Crystal's shirt changed from the first picture!! Haha.

didn’t puke at all, but it was a close thing). Our buddy who ran with us finished shortly behind me and we went over to have our picture made.

We got a beer, watched a few more people finish, listened to the good music, watched the video board of other parts of the course, grabbed some swag and a free beer (yes, at nine in the morning, don’t judge).  We were high on adrenaline, talking to people waiting for their turn to run. We met some fun people from Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. It was a blast…But we were also freezing.  The kids stayed at the hotel because it was so cold. So we headed back.

I finished in 43:27:30.  That is 12:47/mile (including the obstacles).  # 1293 out of 7200 contestants. (That is top 18%!!!)  Coach Crystal finished in 41:58:80 (#1049).  We were both pretty proud of our first finishes!!

Runner's high?!? Or just excited to still be alive. HAHA!

YOU GUYS HAVE GOT TO TRY IT NEXT TIME!!! (We are thinking of doing the Barbarian Challenge in Gadsden, Alabama in June — who is coming with??)

Weekends — the antithesis of weight loss

We have reached the weekend again.  For me, I have been putting back most of the weight I have lost during the week for the past several weekends.  This weekend is an out-of-town trip to Jackson,  Mississippi for the Warrior Dash. I know there will be eating out, and you get a free beer and turkey leg for finishing the Dash… to go along with your Viking helmet.  (I know, you are so jealous, aren’t you!!)

My goal will be to limit the damage.  I found the following tips on Men’s Fitness in an article by Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D:

“Saturday and Sunday backsliding can erase your fitness gains made during the week. Here’s how to party like a rock star and still feel fit on Monday.

IF YOU PLAN TO . . .. . . party:

* Pencil in at least one longer workout later in the week to counteract the extra weekend calories you’ll no doubt consume.

* Take a break from your typical routine to cross-train or, say, attend a boxing class. You’ll burn more fat as you put demands on different muscles. Take a swim instead of your typical stint on the elliptical machine; or play basketball or soccer. Maybe swap a short run for a longer one that includes sprints and hills.

* Try to start Saturday and Sunday with a healthy breakfast, even if you’re waking up later. It’ll rev up your metabolism. Successful weight control is consistently linked to breakfast-eating.

. . . chill at home:

* Jump on the scale on Saturday morning, and plan to do it again on Monday. Researchers say people who weigh themselves are better at weight control.

* Variety is the cornerstone of a healthy diet, but having too many options spells doom for persistent snackers. Restrict afternoon snacks to one healthy choice, such as almonds, popcorn, or pretzels. No refills!

* Avoid mindless eating while you commune with your DVR. Leave food and drinks in the kitchen. When food’s directly under your nose, you eat more.

. . . barhop:

* Head out with a full belly. Before hitting the bar, eat a meal with at least six ounces of meat, poultry, or fish and a cup or more of cooked vegetables. When you’re full you’re less likely to cave in to high-fat bar food.

* Steer clear of mixed drinks, which can pack upward of 500 calories per. Stick with a 150-calorie beer or glass of wine. Or at least opt for something made with a low-cal mixer, like diet soda or diet tonic.

* Budget. Set a limit on how much you’ll spend on drinks before the night starts. Then alternate alcoholic beverages with mineral water or club soda. You’ll drink less alcohol and maybe even come in under your goal.

* Get your rest. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your metabolism and makes it difficult to avoid overeating, especially after a long night of drinking

. . . eat out:

* Order first. Set the tone for the meal by choosing a healthier entrèe.

* Don’t waste calories on mundane foods, like white rolls or baked potatoes. Save those calories for foods you don’t eat very often or never make at home.

* Drink with dinner, not before. A predinner drink lowers your resistance, making you much more likely to indulge on something you didn’t really want”

I will putting several of these to use this weekend. Good luck to all of you, I hope you all have a blast… and stay on your path!!

 FSQYXU6JJPPC

Warrior Dash Swag

So I was up at the crack of dawn (actually way before dawn 4:15 a.m.) to do INSANITY – plyometric cardio.  Not fun.  I grabbed a half of a 5 hour energy before starting.  I am not sure it helped with the workout, but I was BUZZING when I got to work around 8.  I don’t drink much caffeine and could tell why after this morning.

So for lunch, I hit the gym for a short upper body workout.  I am taking tomorrow off from training (and half a day from work) as we are driving over to Jackson, Mississippi for the Warrior Dash. I have talked about it before here and here. It is a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. 3.4 miles with 14 obstacles… wish me luck!! 

Anyway, our T-shirts came. Pretty cool, huh?!?

Is that exercise appropriate for children…to see? (INSANITY — Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs)

Today was my first time doing Cardio Abs.  It was intimidating knowing that I had another routine following Pure Cardio.  Pure Cardio is warm-up, stretch, and 15 or 16 cardio exercises done for a minute each without any rest in between.  Well, it is not designed to have a rest, but I took a break or two.  (I think about everyone in the class did, too, including Shaun T). I was proud I was able to get through all three rounds of the warm-up without taking a break. (Yes, the warmup is hard.)

So after it was over, you have to press play again for Cardio abs and you get another warm-up.  I almost freaked.  Thankfully, it is only one time through and not as intense as a normal warmup.  The rest of the routine is on the floor.  (But no sit-ups or crunches). Just because it is on the floor, doesn’t mean it is easy. I was so wiped at the time, but I don’t think it is as hard as P90X’s ab ripper. I could do all the moves (though I did take some breaks). 

The last move was very… interesting.  You start out in plank and do, what can only be called a type of hip thrusts.  Then you sink to low plank (plank on your elbows) and do more hip thrusts.  Up and down for four sets. I felt like I was training for some type of pornography Olympics.  I diverted my eyes from the television because that was just more than I wanted to see…Haha~!

Has anyone else done Cardio Abs and felt very strange performing the last exercise? Am I just doing these wrong?