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30-day Ab Crunch Challenge

30 Nov



So last month I did a 30-day plank Challenge. Didn’t quite make it to 300s, but I did go from barely being able to plank for 20s to making it for 100s and I was happy with that.

This month, I want to try an EASY beginner’s ab crunch challenge. I’m attaching a calendar. All we have to do is follow the calendar, which I got from the 30 day fitness challenge site.

Who wants to join?

Performing the basic crunch

Follow these steps to perform crunches:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears.
  3. Hold your elbows out to the sides but rounded slightly in.
  4. Tilt your chin slightly, leaving a few inches of space between your chin and your chest.
  5. Gently pull your abdominals inward.
  6. Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor.
  7. Hold for a moment at the top of the movement and then lower slowly back down.

Gym alternative: Ball crunch

You can use a large plastic exercise ball (sometimes called a physioball) as an alternative to the basic crunch described above. Follow these steps:

  1. Sit on a physioball and roll your torso down so that your back — from your shoulder blades down to your tailbone — is resting on the curve of the ball and your head, neck, and shoulders are above the ball.  Your knees are bent, and your feet are planted on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Perform the same abdominal curling movement as you do for the basic crunch.  You have to move slowly and keep your abdominal muscles fully engaged to keep yourself from wiggling around on the ball or rolling off of it.

I’m slacking on the exercising

20 Nov

Ugh, need to get my butt in gear. I did plank though! 90 seconds yay! Let’s not worry about the fact that I should have been doing 105 seconds today…


my weight gain is muscle

November Exercise Challenge

5 Nov



For the month of November, here’s what I’ve signed up for:

1. Walk/jog/bike/run 60 miles at least

2. Do the Planksgiving Challenge

3. Try c25k again and if it causes me to flare up again, agree to stop in time this time and try again another day.

That’s what I’m signed up for. Wish me luck!

Funny Marathon Signs

5 Nov

Funny Marathon Signs.

from a fellow blogger. So clever!

Exercise for the Month of October

4 Nov

Exercise in November from


I took part in an exercise challenge in October. I agreed to walk, jog or bike 40 miles. That seemed like a lot but I was determined to finish. Well, I finished before the month was out, so I increased my challenge to 60 miles.

Of course, I had three RA flare-ups during October and each one knocked me out for a bit. But I was determined to make it. On October 31st, I’d had an 18-hour day flying back from the northeast, and when I got home at 10:30 pm, I was still a little short. So I got home, got out of my suit, hose, and heels–and got on my exercise bike. I was not going to miss the goal for the sake of two miles!

Turns out I was too tired to count, so I ended up getting 61 miles in October. I know for a lot of people, that doesn’t sound like much. But to me? It was unbelievable.

I’m glad I did it.

Photo courtesy of Daniel St. Pierre/

NSV: I hiked in freaking cave!

22 Oct

rio secreto cenote from

I hiked in a cave today. For an hour. And then I swam in it. And then I walked 2 miles wearing a wetsuit and the heaviest life jacket ever. And then I walked another mile.


This was not any old flat cave. This was a very uneven cave floor in a very dark cave, with some of it under water and the rest above and I hiked through it for an hour.

I haven’t shared this before but two years ago, I ended up in a wheelchair due to a very incompetent doctor. I was in it and bed-ridden for three months and it took me 3 months to learn how to walk again, by which time I had significant damage to the cartilage in my knees. For all of last year, I wasn’t able to do stairs at all, and was reduced to using handicapped elevators if there were a ton of stairs. I couldn’t sit on the floor comfortably and couldn’t fold my legs in half and it took me months before I could climb in and out of a bath tub.

But today, I did all that. I hiked up and down some very rough terrain, I fell, I scraped my knee, I used a big stick to balance myself. I stepped sideways, forward, back, up, and down big ledges. I had to fold myself in half as I walked, and I had to fold my knees in half. And I enjoyed every freaking minute of it.

I was probably the least well-balanced person of our group. As I said, I had to learn how to walk again, and I don’t think I’m as well-balanced as I used to be. I can no longer stand on one foot for any length of time. My husband made me take a walking stick and took one  to keep me company (because on my own I’m too  macho to admit I need help).

I was so worried about today. I was sure I would peter out before everyone. I was worried I wasn’t a strong enough swimmer. i was concerned I”d hold everyone up. Well, everyone else there was much younger than us, but I’m happy to say we did not bring up the rear.

Yes I struggled, but I finished it. I love my sleeve.

And btw, my husband is freaking stud muffin. The very-fit instructor dropped his flashlight under water. He tried to dive for it, couldn’t get it. The younger guys are standing around half-heartedly offering to go get it. My 60-year old man says, here, I’ll do it. Off comes his helmet and his life jacket, he dives down and gets it with no fuss.

I almost jumped his bones right there :p

I also now know beyond a shadow of a doubt what I want in my life. If it’s a choice between being skinny and lying by the pool looking gorgeous vs. hiking in a dark, dusty cave, I’m choosing hiking.

Had to take a break from C25k

6 Oct

I never run with scissors


After about a week, I ended up with really bad aches, pains and flares. I guess I’m not quite ready yet. I’m not giving up. Just delaying for now.


What’s a fake runner?

3 Oct

W1D3 of C25k done!

2 Oct

So my husband decided to start Couch to 5k with me! I was so excited. Now I have my 13-year old and my husband huffing and puffing with me. It also gives me a good reason to repeat w1 and get comfortable with it before I approach week 2, and I think I could use the extra time.

We went to the gym to run on the track. My husband who hasn’t run in at least 15 years, got out there—and comfortably lapped me! I was so proud of him! If you’re going to do it with a friend, I suggest you go together, but let each person find his or her own pace. I loved seeing him around the track, but he didn’t have to slow down and wait for me which was nice for both of us.

When it was time for the cool down, I broke the rules and walked backwards on the track so we could hold hands and finish walking together. What a great feeling!

Muscle vs. Fat

1 Oct



So lately I’ve been thinking I want to set my goal not to a weight, but to a body-fat percentage. I think I’d like to get between 22-25% body fat. I’m too embarrassed to tell you where I’m at now,  but let’s just agree I’m not there yet. 🙂

I don’t want to be skinny fat. I don’t want to lose metabolism-boosting muscle and be left with a lot of fat. Muscle burns more calories in a resting state than does fat. Moreover, no one will know how much I weigh except me and anyone I choose to tell, but the whole world could look at me and know whether or not I am fit and strong. 

This is not easy for a couple of reasons. First, with as little as I’m eating right now, it’s really hard to not lose muscle. Secondly, it’s very difficult to put on muscle when you’re eating this little. So the best I can hope for is to not lose as much muscle as I might if I wasn’t working out. I expect to lose muscle at my level of calories. I know that all I can do is minimize the loss of muscle and maximize the fat loss. 

I’m starting to think that most of us with sleeves or other forms of weight-loss surgery need to focus more on muscle retention and fat loss rather than muscle gain and weight loss.  

I don’t quite know how to figure it out accurately. According to my scale, I’ve lost 32 lbs in total. But it also shows that 29 lbs of that is fat and 12 lbs of that is muscle, which is clearly 42 lbs, not the 32 lbs I’ve lost. If anyone has advice on this, I’ll take it.

All I know is, I have to do whatever I can to keep the muscle and lose the fat. I will be strong when all this is over. I will not be the “typical” 47-year old woman. 

Now there’s a goal that motivates me. 

Photo courtesy of Ambro/

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