Sweet Silver Lining

just watching the clouds…

Nice Walk Yesterday January 9, 2012

Filed under: fitness,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 11:34 am
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my friend Samantha and I went for a nice walk yesterday after church. her parents live next door to me, and she and I are doing the Warrior Dash together in April. she hasn’t exercised at all since around the time she found out she was pregnant sometime around the first part of last year, so we had to get out and get started on our training for the Warrior Dash.

it was warm for january but was also threatening to rain all morning, but after we left her parents’ house, the sun came out, the air really warmed up, and it turned out to be a beautiful day. we walked almost 3 and a half miles total, but it didn’t seem that far because we chatted the whole time. we were actually sweaty by the time we were through, even though our pace was pretty slow. my calves are so sore this morning, which surprised me since i’ve been running some this past week. i guess walking is just a different motion, though.  it is going to be a challenge to teach an hour long Zumba class tonight with sore calves. one of my biggest fears is catching a calf cramp in the middle of a song. i have issues with my calves anyway.

i’m so glad Samantha is out moving again and getting in some exercise. not only is it necessary for good health, exercise just makes you feel better if you get into the habit of it. and it was such a pleasant change to have someone to talk to during a workout. so many of my workouts are solo. we plan to try to get out every Sunday for our weekly walks, and i’m really looking forward to them.


Zumba and Gyms September 23, 2011

Filed under: fitness,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 7:32 pm
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I am working this weekend on a couple of Zumba songs to add to my class. One is an abs workout and the other is mostly cardio. I set up my playlist to have an extended stretching session at the end to help newcomers gain back some flexibility, but the whole routine is still a tad short. Classes are going pretty well, other than the occasional slip up from allowing my mind to wander and forgetting where we are in the song, but I cover myself pretty well. Teaching Zumba is surprisingly easy once you get the basic latin rhythms down and learn the choreography for the songs you want to do. I heard this morning that someone is teaching it in a neighboring town, but they aren’t Zumba licensed. It really annoys me, because I put in the hard work and hard-earned money to get my license to teach Zumba, and here is someone making money off of people and probably isn’t even teaching latin moves. I think it mostly irritates me because if these people take her class and it’s just some hip hop aerobics with the Zumba name attached to it, all these people go out thinking that this is what Zumba is like. So what if they’re turned off by her lack of inexperience and never try Zumba again? I can’t help being irritated. I want to keep the integrity of the fitness program in tact, because when I become a part of something, I truly care about it. But I knew I’d come across this. Anyway, if you are wondering if your Zumba instructor is legit or not (and therefore is worth all that money you’re paying her or him each month), go to the Zumba website and click ‘Find an Instructor,’ where you can type in their name. Also, if you’d like to try out a Zumba class, go there and click on ‘Find a Class,’ to find classes in your area. If you are interested in becoming a licensed Zumba instructor, click on the ‘Instructor Training’ link.

Part of the reason I love doing Zumba is that I really love being in the gym atmosphere. I love being surrounded by people who want to live healthier lives.  There is something so positive and hopeful about that. It’s so motivating. I love seeing people push themselves where they know deep down that their bodies can go. I love seeing people smile as they work out. I even love seeing the frowns that come from intense concentration and hard work, because when they’re done, the grins of accomplishment come out. I still love my at-home workouts, but since I’d finished school and no longer get to go to my college gym anymore, I have really missed those things. Now, if the little gym I worked at just had an indoor heated pool, I’d be in fitness Heaven! :)


Shakeology Week 2 September 18, 2011

Filed under: fitness,food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 4:33 pm
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Shakeology Week 2
Monday – got almost no sleep (less than 5 hours), pretty alert all day. Very small amounts of food satisfied me, and I didn’t think about food constantly like I usually do throughout the day. Came home to take a 30-40 min nap before bunko, slept about 10-15 mins and then was wide awake but pretty tired feeling by the end of bunko. Went to bed early. Had chocolate shakeology for lunch instead of breakfast today. I think it worked out better.

Thursday – I’ve been doing Shakeology for lunch instead of breakfast all week except today, and it’s worked out well. It keeps me pretty satisfied, not hungry like I thought I’d be by drinking a shake for lunch. I usually have a piece of fruit with it, too. Today, I decided to eat a grilled chicken salad  for lunch, so I made my Greenberry shakeology for breakfast. I mixed it with a cup of pineapple juice and a little almond milk, and it was so sweet and delicious!  I actually got enough sleep last night and wasn’t ridiculously tired at work today like I have been most of this week. This has been a doozy with starting up my Zumba class (finally!) and having football duty tomorrow night :o/ It’s the Homecoming game, too, so there will be massive amounts of Lions fans there. It will be a very busy night. Anyway, I am looking forward to some downtime this weekend. With all the grading I have to do, I might even enjoy some of it.

I went grocery shopping Tuesday night after my night class, and I was thrilled to spend only about $60 on food. I would have easily spent $150 before, so I’m already ahead for the month by buying Shakeology! The price was one of my biggest reservations, so I am so happy about that. Despite being very tired from all the working and other engagements I had this week, I was still able to go most days without a nap, which is a definite improvement in energy levels. It’s not miraculous, but it’s improvement. As for curbing my appetite, Shakeology has definitely done that. It doesn’t curb my appetite so much that I don’t eat anything (unlike some diet pills that have too many stimulants to be safe). I just didn’t want to overeat, which was good. That’s a definite problem of mine. But I still ate throughout the day. So over the past two weeks, I am down 4 lbs, minus 2.5 inches in my waist/hips areas, and had a decrease of about 1% body fat. 1% may not sound like a lot, but since I’m already in my ideal weight range, it’s a pretty big difference. Not shabby for two weeks and not a ton of exercise. Because of Bunko Monday night and Homecoming football duty Friday night coupled with teaching until pretty late on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I definitely didn’t have as many opportunities as I usually have to get in quality workouts this week. Planning on making next week much better for exercise.


starting to see that sweet silver lining August 2, 2011

i love my life and am truly blessed, but i do feel that a few things are missing. it’s no secret that i have been unhappy with my career. i have worked for about the past 6 months to find other employment. i had recently resigned myself to teaching another year of high school. classes start back next monday, so i am preparing myself mentally for going back there. yet, i still have held out hope that something better would open up for me.

things have changed dramatically for me over the past week as far as my career goes. i was contacted by a local gym to begin teaching zumba classes. i signed up for a certification workshop which i’ll complete the weekend after my hubby leaves to go back overseas. i will get half of what i charge for the classes, so it could pay pretty decently. also, i would already work out on those days anyway, so why not have some fun and make money doing it?

on the first day of our trip to New Orleans last week, i was contacted by two colleges to teach English classes part-time. one was offering classes that were scheduled for day, so i had to turn them down. i was really bummed about that, but the second college, East Mississippi Community College, offered me a few night classes. i am really excited about this, because as the English department head explained to me, those that they would consider for a full-time position usually have to start out in an adjunct position. it helps them see if you are right for the position and college, and it helps you as an instructor get your feet wet and learn the ropes. with teaching high school full-time and two part-time gigs, i am going to be crazy busy this semester. i hope i can handle it all. i am also still trying to build my team beachbody business, but that doesn’t really take up a lot of my time.

jamie and i have been spending as much time together as possible. we went to New Orleans for a few days to shop and eat good creole food. we stayed in the Royal St. Charles and really liked the hotel. we did so much walking! even eating beignets and tons of salty, spicy rice dishes, i still lost weight last week. we also stopped in a few other cities in Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, for some shopping. Sunday was the baby dedication ceremony at our church, and several of our friends’ children were recognized. then, we had a big fifth Sunday dinner in the activity building, and i’m so glad jamie was here for that. he really misses church while being away. we spent the day today antiquing, and tomorrow, we plan on lounging by the pool and taking it easy.


SparkPeople – Running Center February 23, 2011

Filed under: fitness,hEaLtH,running — dragonfly180 @ 8:32 pm
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Thought I’d post a great beginners’ running source from one of my favorite websites, sparkpeople.com. At the running center, you can find beginners’ running plans, informational articles that beginners would find useful, a ‘map your run’ tool, running ‘spark teams’ for motivation and support, success stories, racing info, and even virtual races.

SparkPeople – Running Center.

If you are thinking about giving running a try, check out this link to find some very helpful info on getting started and staying motivated.


August and races September 5, 2009

Filed under: raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 9:34 pm
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The first month of school is over, and I’m getting into the swing of things finally. I’m teaching a new class, English II, in addition to English IV, theatre, and creative writing/mythology. I am also tutoring students who have not passed the English II state test.  The first of the year is always trying, but with a new (and tested!) subject to teach and so many children out each week with illnesses, it has been really hard. I was ecstatic for this long Labor Day weekend. I needed a break.

August was a fantastic month for exercise and running. I don’t think I’ve ever put that much time and effort into training. I tried lots of different gym classes at the Sanderson Center and found some that I really like. I ran almost 30 miles and walked almost 40 miles for August.

I ran a 5K today, the Prairie Arts Festival Mossy Oak 5K. It went pretty well, but it was very hot. The heat made the race such a mental struggle. I really enjoyed hanging out with Mary and Cindy, though. My next race will probably be the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Tupelo in October. The following weekend, Mary, Cindy, and I are thinking about trying out the Freaky Friday 10K in Coker, AL, which is a night race where costumes are encouraged. It sounds really fun. Well, except for the 6.2 miles part! *lol* We have lots of training to do before then!


How I Started Running August 1, 2009

Filed under: hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 10:21 am
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When I started running, it was completely treacherous. I started out on a small, cheap treadmill that I bought at Walmart 3 years ago (it’s still going, by the way!). I had stopped smoking a year or so before that, and I decided that I didn’t have the crutch of bad lungs anymore to keep me from exercising. I began by running as much as I could and then walking and repeating it. So I’d run a whole minute or so and I’d walk for a few minutes. Then, I’d run another minute and walk. I never thought I’d make it to five whole minutes of running, then ten, and finally a mile. Those were all really big milestones for me. I remember being so excited that I’d hop onto the beginner’s forum at Runner’s World and tell everyone my accomplishments. They seem like nothing now, but I was really proud of myself for pushing forward. I was running at a 15 minute mile, the pace most people can walk. I was determined, though, to get faster.

I got terrible shin splints about a month or so into running. I was running on crappy training shoes that I bought at a discount shoe store. They were Adidas, but they were the wrong pair to be running in. I didn’t know this, so I kept running in them. The shin splints got so bad that I had to quit running for several weeks. I read up on them and wondered if I had caused stress fractures in my shins. That’s how bad it hurt. I was hobbling around in my classroom like an 80 year old woman. It’s comical now, but it wasn’t then. I finally took the advice of everyone on Runner’s World and went to a specialty running shoe store, Fleet Feet in Jackson, where they watched me run and fitted me with good shoes. They were Adidas Supernova Cushion, and I loved those shoes. They fit me like a glove! If there’s one thing about all runners, it’s that we really love our running shoes. It’s our sport’s main equipment, so it has to be good. After an update to the Supernova that didn’t agree with my foot, I switched over to Mizuno Waverider. They are also really great shoes.

In the midst of those treacherous runs on the treadmill and learning to adapt to road running through my neighborhood, I somehow gained a love for running. This is the part of my running that I can’t explain. It just happened. I remember hating running when I first started, but my goal was to lose weight, and I knew that I had to do some vigorous working out, so running it was. I remember balking at the people on the Runner’s World forums that boasted their love for running. Then, one day, I remember not hating it so much, then kinda liking it, and before long, just loving to do it.

Last fall, I completed my first 5K, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Tupelo. It was the most exciting race and a really wonderful experience. I didn’t increase my speed much until I began road training for this race. Up until a month before the race, I had not run over about 2 miles at a time. I was running at about a 14 minute per mile pace. The day I decided to do the race, I had run 2.5 miles, so I knew I could do 3.1 miles. The whole month of October, I trained hard. I ran as much as I could. My chip time for that race was 37:58 , or a little over a 12 minute mile! I couldn’t believe that I had improved my time so much. Since then, I’ve done a few other races and have improved my time even more. I’m running 5K in about 32:30, or a 10:41 minute mile. I’ll run the Komen Race for the Cure 5K again this October, where I hope to have gotten nearer to a 30 minute 5K. Last spring, I had gotten up to over five miles for my long runs. They wore me out, though, so I decreased my long runs but will get back to that distance at some point. I’d like to complete a 10K, which is 6.2 miles. I know I can do it, so that’s my next goal.