Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Here's to a good body health

Every now and than I get the urge to try to improve my body health. It usually involves envisioning myself in a swimming suit. We’re going to the beach in June. EEEEEK! So, I got the bug back. I’m not planning any major life changes, just eating a little better, exercising a little more, drinking more water, drinking less iced coffee and mochas – that sort of thing.

Let me dispel a myth right now. Just because someone is small, does NOT mean they have a good bathing suit body. Don’t throw anything at me, but I’m a size 4 and I can tell you that I jiggle, bulge, sag and pucker in the same places that I did when I was 35 pounds heavier (and no, I don’t mean when I was pregnant). Unfortunately, exercise is the solution. Exercising for me had been non-existent since I had the baby. I did strength-training (lunges, squats, free weights) often when I was pregnant and was moderately active beforehand. One of my favorite things to do was Total Body: Body Sculpting Basics by The Firm. It is from 1995, sounds like a porno and has a lot of spandex, but it works well.

The reason why I love the workout is it is simple and it is challenging. There are no dance moves. NONE. So you have plenty of room in your living room. There’s nothing worse than grapevining into the coffee table. Plus, if I’m blundering around trying to figure out a combination of moves, I’m not exercising. In this video, to elevate your heart rate you jog in place and do jacks, sometimes you do them with weights in your hand. The whole thing is a combination of weights, floor exercises and bursts of cardio. If you do it, you get toned fast. The only thing “optional” you need are hand weights (they use a board to help position your feet, buy I never used it).

Anyway, I was stoked when I found The Firm Bootcamp with Alison Becker on sale at Target. I thought it might be just what I need to get back into it…. something new and different. I was disappointed. There aren’t many dance moves, but some of the combinations of lunges, hops and skiing motions leave me scratching my head. I know that in time, I’d learn what they are doing, but I guess I just want to get down to business. The workout was just fine, but for the time invested, I’d rather do the other. In fact, I popped it in the DVD player so that next time I work out, it’s ready to go!

I eat pretty good 85% of the time. If you opened my freezer you’d see lean meats, and leaner cuts of beef and pork. I have fresh fruits, canned and frozen veggies. I don’t have anything that ends in “-helper” or “-aroni” or any product that is the self-proclaimed “cheesiest.” But I have been overdoing the flavored coffee products, the fast food (I do it about 3-6 times a month, way up for me) and the snacking.

One of the easiest rules of dieting is not to drink your calories and until I started drinking the iced, frozen and hot coffee drinks (I don’t drink “regular” coffee) a few months ago, I always followed that rule. If you are a sucker for the hazelnut-flavored coffees like I am, try Bigelow Vanilla Hazelnut tea. It’s a good substitute, it has antioxidants and it has no calories. The smell is heavenly. The hazelnut and vanilla flavors are yummy. I didn’t think it would taste as rich as it does since it’s a tea. Add just a touch of 1% milk and Splenda and it hits the spot. It’s certainly not Starbucks, but it fulfills a craving and tastes good.

Another thing that I am starting to do since The Baby is mobile and eating and licking everything in his path is replace some of my regular cleaning products with ones that are “safer” for kids. Clorox anywhere, for example, is marketed to be safe to use around children and food, so I bought some for kitchen cleanup and disinfecting (like I have time to disinfect, but I now could do so safely). I picked up a bottle of Method daily shower/bath cleaner since The Baby is now bathing in the tub.

Thanks to my sister-in-law for scaring the bejesus out of me about skincare and hair products for babies, I am buying organics. We use California Baby (Target, Wegman’s, Giant Foods). It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way.

Speaking of hair, I also picked up one of these so that I can’t butcher The Baby’s hair again with the scissors. My husband is taking over barber duties with his clipper. This 1" comb should keep The Baby's hair from looking too short or too long or, ummm, crooked.


Don Mills Diva said...

We just replaced a lot of our cleaners with vinegar and water - they do just as good a job. I'm new to your blog but wanted to say hi!

Vanessa said...

I have a friend who loves The Firm videos. I borrowed some once, and I think I spent more time staring at the tv trying to figure out what they wanted me to do with my feet than I did actually doing it. I am no good at things like that. I took a step aerobics class in college (for credit.. the things I do to make myself go to the gym) and I nearly broke something, because I tell you, you add different height levels into something where I trip over my own feet, and it isn't pretty.
I'll need to check out the one you said has no dance in it. I could probably do that. :)

Michelle Gartner said...

Hi from CafeMom- I started working out again after my fifth and last baby turned 3 months old. I like any videos that do not have moving and grooving, but incorporate lots of weights. I personally like Body Electric. Margaret Richards is tough and she hardly looks her age...

30 Minute Mommy said...

I have done The Firm and it is a good workout. I will be testing out Hip Hop Abs myself. Also, I use Method products and Seventh Generation and really like them.

Kathryn said...

Sounds like we have something in common. I'm a size 4 too. It just doesn't look quite as nice as it did before I had kids.
I am vowing to work out once the weather gets warmer. I love running, so I know getting back into shape will be fairly easy.

OHmommy said...

Oh, I really need to find that workout. You think amazon will have it?