Archive for September, 2013

Leslie Sansone’s October Challenge: Week One Schedule

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Leslie Sansone Walk It Off

(Photo Credit –

OK, so Leslie Sansone posted the schedule for week one on her blog yesterday. She wants participants to choose a measurable goal to keep track of during the month. Either weigh yourself, take your measurements (waistline, hips, and upper arms), choose an outfit and see how the fit of it changes throughout the month, or have your healthcare provider check your vitals (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol (blood lipids), resting heart rate, body fat percentage, and that sort of thing. You can also take not of how you feel mentally throughout the month.

Everything starts October 1. Weigh or measure yourself Tuesday and write it all down. Get your outfit picked out and ready to go. I think I’ll pick my weight. Even though I’m smack dab in the middle of my weight range, I would like to lose another 5 pounds. Set aside 30 to 45 minutes every day for exercise this months and write it down down on your calendar! This is why she’s posting the schedule every Sunday, so we all can plan our weeks.

Here’s the schedule for week one:

October 1 – Two mile walk.

October 2 – One mile in the morning, one mile in the evening, and core (abs) strength training.

October 3 – Two mile walk.

October 4 – One mile in the morning, one mile in the evening, and upper body strength training.

October 5 – Two mile walk.

October 6 – One mile in the morning, one mile in the evening, and lower body strength training.

There you go! The first week of exercise is planned out for you. I have my own strength training routine, but I don’t normally spread it all out. I do abs, arms, and legs all at the same time. However, I’ve done no strength training at all for the last several months, because my left arm has been bugging me. So this is a good way to ease back into it.

Leslie also says that if you have no way of tracking mileage, you should walk for 15 minutes or walk 2,000 steps to go approximately one mile. She also gives some suggestions for strength exercises on her blog post, so check it out.

Plan out your week, and let’s get it done! Important things is to keep moving no matter what!


Oops…Error No Mileage Monday Post

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment



(photo credit:

My computer farted this morning, and I had to reinstall Windows 8.  Not sure what happened. I wasn’t even in the same room when it messed up. I came in and found my computer was shut down. When I started it, I got the blue screen of death. I’ve been installing programs and setting this up again for a while. Yippee.

So, no mileage Monday tomorrow. I do have several posts I need to write up and upload. I was hoping to write one of those today, but the schedule hasn’t been posted yet. Leslie Sansone is doing another month-long challenge, and is supposed to be posting the week’s workouts to her Twitter page sometime today. As soon as I get that, I’ll post it. I plan on doing some sort of Leslie Sansone workout every day in October, while still including my elliptical. Even if it’s just one mile (15 minutes) of Leslie Sansone.

Hopefully my computer won’t have any more problems. At least most of my files are stored on the cloud in one place or another. I did lose some stuff, but…that’s life sometimes. Keep moving!

Twenty Years Ago…

September 25, 2013 2 comments

Kidney Stone(photo credit –

I don’t remember the exact date, but it’s around this time of the year. Twenty years ago, I had one of the scariest experiences in my life. It was my first year of college, and that was scary enough. I’d never spent more than a night away from my parents, and even when I did spend the night at a friend’s house, I’d call to come home early (I was such a wimp). So, being away from home was a big deal.

About two or three weeks into the first quarter, I was on the phone with a friend who lived in the Atlanta area (about 90 miles from where I was). We were talking, and everything was fine. All of a sudden, I felt a dull ache in my lower back on the left side. I thought I was sitting oddly, so I shifted around a bit. Didn’t help, so I decided to stand up. Still didn’t help, and it in fact was getting worse.

I told my friend I had to go. Which was true, I was going to meet a friend from my English class for dinner in a bit. So I hung up, and I tried laying on my bed. The pain in my back just kept getting worse and worse. I tried laying on the floor, and still it got worse. I was starting to get scared at this point. Not sure what to do, I went and knocked on my suite-mate’s door (my roommate was out). No answer. I tried my friends down the hall, no answer. Luckily, the dorm’s resident assistance came out and saw me. I told her what was going on. As I was talking, I just couldn’t stand any longer. I slunk down along the wall, and actually laid down in the hallway.

She called 911 and an ambulance came. Freaked me out. I’d never been in an ambulance, let alone being laid out on a stretcher. The EMTs wheeled me out on the stretcher and put me in back of the ambulance. Everything after that point was a blur. I don’t remember much. I know I was sitting in a wheel chair talking to someone about medical insurance. I remember almost puking when I was being wheeled on a gurney (NEVER look at the ceiling if you’re being wheeled on a gurney). I remember having an unpleasant “womanly” exam (first ever, so was freaked out by that).

They came to the conclusion that it was either an ovarian cyst that had burst or a kidney stone. There was a test that they did to confirm it, and I remember signing a form that said one of the risks of the tests was death. I don’t remember the test other than having to be on an x-ray table in several awkward positions.

Turns out it was a kidney stone. I was in the hospital for 12 hours, 8 of which I was in excruciating pain. They didn’t want to give me anything for the pain until they knew what was wrong with me. It wasn’t pleasant I’ll tell you that.

The doctor said the cause of my stone was dehydration. I wasn’t getting enough water. I was drinking plenty, I was just drinking the wrong things, When I got thirsty, I grabbed a root beer or orange juice. I rarely drank straight water. Since that day twenty years ago, I usually drink water with every meal. If I’m out of town, I’ll have an alcoholic drink, but I also have water. I don’t think I’ve ordered a soda during a meal since that day. If I have, it’s only been a few times. Water for me all the way.

Too much soda, or even too much juice (orange and apple in particular) can lead to kidney stones. I make sure I only have one serving of juice when I do drink it.  Haven’t had any more kidney stones since, and I hope I never do again. I’ve heard several people who have had kidney stones say that the pain from a kidney stone is worse than the pain of childbirth. Ugh.

For several years after this incident, if I got a twinge in my lower back, my first reaction was always “Am I having another one?”. So far so good. As long as I keep chugging water, I doubt I’ll have any more of those nasty buggers.

So please, drink your water every day. Be careful with how much juice you drink. And please cut back on the soda. OK. I’m off to drink a gallon of water.

Mileage Monday

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Still loving my FitBit Flex! It’s helping me to stay moving. I check my FitBit dashboard periodically throughout the day and watch those steps increase. Great motivator. Plus, I added a few SparkPeople members who also have FitBits to my FitBit friend list, and that’s another good motivator. See how many people I can beat step-wise. Not many. Some are able to get in 20,000 steps a day. How? I have a hard enough time getting 5,000. Right now, my daily goal is 8,000.

Am flying through the virtual walk lately because of my increased activity. Since my last Mileage Monday post, I’ve passed through the cities of Emmalena, KY and Dwarf, KY, both in Knott county. I have about 15.75 miles until I reach Chavies, KY in Perry county. Here a the pictures from the site!

Mile 639.8 (watp for 3.1 miles)                               Mile 640.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)

639.8 Leslie for 3.1                 640.8 Elliptical for 1

Mile 641.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)                               Mile 642.8 (elliptical for 1 mile)

641.8 Elliptical for 1                 642.8 Elliptical for 1

Mile 646.8 (watp for 3.1 miles)                               Mile 648.8 (watp for 2 miles)

646.8 Leslie for 3.1                 648.8 Leslie for 2

What’s motivating you to move more? Have a great week!

FitBit Flex: First Impressions

September 13, 2013 2 comments

FitBit Flex Total   FitBit Flex Wear

(photo credit – Me)

(left from top to bottom and left to right – 2 wrist bands, dongle, FitBit tracker, and USB cable)

(right from left to right – FitBit tracker and my wrist band)

This is not going to be a full review. This is just going to be my first initial impressions. I’ve had my FitBit Flex for a little over two weeks, and so far I love it. The setup on the FitBit website is super easy.

You plug your FitBit device into the USB port and it prompts you to download the desktop dashboard. It asks you to enter your name, age, height, and weight. From there, it syncs your information to the website, and generates basic goals (set up as “tiles”) for you to achieve. Daily step count, daily calorie burn, distance/miles, very active minutes, sleep, badges, and friends. I think those were the original tiles. I also added the weight tile, the calories in versus out tile, and the food plan tile. I’ll go into more detail about the tiles in my full review.

Thoughts on the wrist band. It’s very comfortable. It’s like wearing a watch. It’s very light weight, and the band is adjustable. They send you two wrist bands, a large and a small one. I wear the small band. The FitBit Flex counts steps every time your arm moves, so I had a wild thought the other day. I thought maybe the large wrist band would fit around my ankle. No such luck. So, it’s on my wrist. Some people choose to place the tracker in their sock, or for the ladies,  in their bra. I’ll stick to the wrist.

Charging the FitBit Flex is great. The website FAQ says the Flex should last about five days until it needs to be charged. Mine lasted for eight days, so I am very impressed by that. Charging the device is simple. You plug in the charging cord into a USB port, pop the tracker out of the wrist band, and pop it into the charger. I timed it, and it took about two hours to charge. It’s fully charged when all five lights are lit up. The first four lights popped up in about an hour. That last light took about another hour. Not too bad though. Two hours of charging for eight days usage.

Calorie calculation is interesting. Especially on my elliptical. On SparkPeople. when I enter the calories for a Leslie Sansone video it comes up as light aerobics and is about 230 calories burned. On FtBit, when I look at the time frame that I did the video, it comes up to about 286 calories burned. For my elliptical workout, my machine tells me I burn about 280 calories in 30 minutes. During that time frame on FitBit, it usually comes out to around 180. I believe that’s about right. I’ve always heard that cardio machines overestimate the calories burned. So, I’m trusting FitBit with my calorie burn.

The sleep tracker is awesome. I know I wake up several times during the night, so I was curious as to how this would register. To get the FitBit Flex to go into “sleep tracking” mode, you need to tap it several times until you feel the device vibrate and you see two lights (one on either side) flash. Now you’re in sleep mode. You do the same thing to get it out of sleep mode, just tap it several times until it vibrates.

Each morning I look at the sleep tracker tile on the FitBit website. It tells you how long you were in sleep mode, how many minutes you were restless, and how many times you woke up. I’m not sure how it knows when you actually wake up, probably by how active your arm is. But it is accurate. I tested it a few times. I mentally remembered the times I woke up, and it was there on the tracker in the morning. Wednesday night for example, I was restless for 13 minutes and was awake for three. That’s right. I remember exactly when and why I woke up Wednesday night.

The last thing I’ll talk about is the mobile app and the fact (and I love this) that SparkPeople and FitBit have joined forces. The FitBit mobile app is great. You can check out all of your goals on your smart device. You can also access their food and fitness trackers from the app. Here’s what I love. You can sync your FitBit account with your SparkPeople account. What happens with this, is your active minutes (I’m still not sure which minutes are chosen) from FitBit will sync over your your SparkPeople fitness tracker But, whatever activity you enter on SparkPeople won’t sync over to FitBit. Vice versa with the food trackers. Your SparkPeople food tracker will sync over to FitBit’s, but not the other way around. Fine with me as I have all the food entered on SparkPeople. Plus, if there’s a food that’s not on Spark, I can add it quickly with the bar code reader. My iPod Touch can scan a bar code and the food information will magically appear. FitBit does not have a bar code scanner option.

OK, so these are my first impressions. A little longer than I had intended. but I tend to ramble (at least in writing) when I’ve found something I really enjoy. I’m going to wait another month or so before doing a full review. I may break that review up into parts, we’ll see.

Mileage Monday

September 9, 2013 Leave a comment

I think my FitBit Flex is going to keep me moving. I feel guilty when I log into my FitBit account and see my low step count for the day. Right now, I have a goal of 5,000 steps a day. I might set that a bit higher eventually. Five thousand steps isn’t a lot for the “normal” person, but with someone with cerebral palsy, that’s pretty good.

I exercised five days this past week, and my body feels. it. I took Saturday off, but we ended up walking around Costco for about an hour, and that in itself is exercise for me. Hard floors, lots of people, and a big store can fit the bill for a workout. I did a mile on the elliptical today, and my legs are now tired. I need to make sure I stand up and move around the rest of the day though or else they’ll lock up and be very stiff. Will be on the floor later to stretch it all out too. That helps.

I’ve got five pictures for the last week from the virtual walk site. I have about 4.7 miles to go to reach the town of Emmalena, KY in Knott county. I should easily be able to get there this week. Here are the pictures!

Mile 630.6 (watp for 1 mile)                                      631.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)

630.6 Leslie for 1                    631.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 634.6 (watp for 3.1 miles)                                  Mile 635.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)

634.6 Leslie for 3.1                    635.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 636.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)

636.6 Elliptical for 1

(photo credit –

I’ll be doing a “first impressions” post on my FitBit Flex sometime this week. I’m still getting used to it and learning about it. But so far, I love it.

Keep moving!

Mileage Monday

September 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Been a while since my last post again. Oops. I actually am still dealing with an achy left shoulder. I haven’t done any strength training for over a month. I think I’m going to try some light exercises maybe today. Or else at least pop in my Pilates DVD. I haven’t done that DVD in years (literally). I should probably do a review on that DVD, even if it is an old one.

Speaking of reviews, I’m planning to do a review in a few months about something I just received. I’ve been wanting a FitBit for years, and my husband surprised me with one last week. I now have a FitBit Flex. I’ve had it less than a week, and I love it so far! Way too early to write up a review on it though. But my first impressions are very positive. I’m now thinking about getting the FitBit scale, which is called Aria. We’ll see though.

On to the mileage part of this post. Since my last entry, I’m passed through the town of Mallie, KY in Knott county. I have about 2 miles until I get to Hindman, KY in Knott county. Here are the latest pictures from the Virtual Walk site.

Mile 624.6 (watp for 1 mile, elliptical for 1 mile)           Mile 625.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

624.6 Leslie for 1 Elliptical for 1                       625.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 626.6 (Elliptical for 1 mile)                                     Mile 627.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

626.6 Elliptical for 1                       627.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 628.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)                                    Mile 629.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

628.6 Eliptical for 1                       629.6 Elliptical for 1

(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

I want to know what’s going on in this last picture. Lots of cars over there on the left!

Happy Labor Day! Keep moving!