Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

So, technically Alex has started Kindergarten already, although his first day was only an hour long... and was parent participatory. Still... Thursday was a pretty big day for our family.
Alex got to choose breakfast because it was his special day. He chose cinnamon toast... a boy after my own heart! :)
Leaving the house (squinting in the sun - not crying as Uncle Eric seems to think). We didn't have any tears that day, it was very positive.
My handsome young man in his "school bus". Hey, I'm sending him off to school, I'm not really to see him climb on the bus, too. We'll be driving him (well, Cory will) for the foreseeable future.


Walking to the school.

Posing for yet another photo. He was a good sport that day.
New backpack stuffed full of school supplies and indoor shoes.Looking for his classroom (he didn't know I took this photo)Doing "the biggest puzzle ever!" while we're waiting for the teacher to finish givng the school tour to the first group of kids. Heading home. Another photo he doesn't know I snapped!
So, day 1 went well. I'm more worried about day 2, this coming Tuesday, as it's a full day. My little homebody is going to find it very long. We are supposed to drop him off at 8:50 and pick him up at 2:53. I wish that Kindergarten here was half days, the way it is in my home town, or even a gradual transition to full days. But it's not... it's Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday. Apparently that makes it easier for the school bus schedule. Cause we have to make things easier for the bus drivers, not the children, right?
Anyway, big changes ahead! Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wii Fit - 30 Days!!!

  • Day 30... down .4 pounds, 37 Wii Years old... and far too tired for an effective workout. Basically, I set the Free Step for 30 minutes and watched the first third of the movie, "The Wedding Planner". That's it. Call it a workout and be done with it! I have to admit, that if it wasn't the last day of my experiment, I would have skipped the workout completely. I'd been ignoring a headache all day and by the time bedtime rolled around, it was pounding. I tucked the boys in and thought I'd lie down with them for a bit of a rest. I woke up 2 hours later still snuggling Connor, ready to crawl into my own bed. I was very, very tempted to skip working out but Cory said "You should do it anyway or you'll regret it", so when he left for work at midnight, I hauled my butt downstairs and went through the motions.

    He was right, I'm glad I did it. Now I can say that I set a goal, and I stuck it out. I did not skip a single workout! I started on August 6th, and with the exception of the 7th (because I started the workout at midnight so it counted on the 8th), I managed to get a pretty little stamp on each date on the calendar.


So, why did I do this? It wasn't always easy, and I certainly didn't always feel like working out with the chirpy, guilt-slinging, scale or the perfectly proportioned know-it-all trainer. There were nights I would have rather just gone to be early and said "screw it, exercise is for people with more time on their hands". Or sat on the couch eating ice cream and watching Law and Order re-runs. Or, get ahead (that's a joke, when am I ever ahead) on the housework. Or, heaven forbid, scrapbook.

My intention was to try the Wii Fit out for 30 days and see if

1. I see any weight loss results
2. I can establish a daily workout habit

So... let's see... Did I see any weight loss results?

Last night's BMI results...

The whole month's worth of results
So... not really. If you've been doing the math, I have lost a grand total of 1.5 pounds in the past 30 days. However, my brother seems the think perhaps that I've built a bit of muscle. My husband says my legs look more toned (was hoping for for stomach toning, but hey...) and apparently my Mom thinks my face looks slimmer.

We've all heard the explanation, muscle weighs more than fat, so when you're gaining muscle, you lose inches rather than weight. Still... 1.5 pounds in 30 days isn't the most encouraging number. My BMI hasn't changed a whole lot, I'm still comfortably entrenched in the "obese" range.

My Wii age is all over the map, as well, but I'm not overly traumatized by that. Some days I'm balanced, some days I'm not. Big deal!

No improvement in Wii Age - 39 when I started, 37 when I ended, looking pretty young a couple of weeks ago...

Did I establish this as a habit?
Probably too early too tell. I will admit, though, that I've already been downstairs today and done my body test and a 35 minute workout. And I feel good about it. I don't have any intentions of quitting any time soon. I won't blog about it daily anymore... well, maybe once in a while, but I will probably keep at it for another 30 days to see if maybe I was just off to a slow start.
My varied workouts!
Here's what I'm thinking about the Wii Fit:
The good:
  • It is fun: Seeing all my family in Mii's jogging or exercising along with me if kind of neat. Having my boys throw hula hoops at me, or kick soccer cleats at my head is a riot. Catching the odd glimpse of Super Mario while I jog across the bridge or hearing the distinctly Nintendo music playing during the balance games is nostalgic.
  • It is reinforcing: I like seeing all the stamps on the calendar. Collecting fit credits is cool, too. At 10 hours, my counter turned from white to bronze. I imagine at some point in the not too distant future, it'll turn silver, and eventually gold. Platinum maybe? Unlocking new exercises was cool, too. I have everything unlocked now, except for higher reps in the strength training... there's still a few more of those to unlock.
  • Most of the games are easy enough for the whole family to play.
  • I have had more exercise in the past 30 days than I have probably had in the past 6 years. Maybe an exaggeration, maybe not.
  • I have more energy (most days) and I don't feel as stiff and old as I was starting to feel.
  • You don't have to go to the gym and work out. You don't even have to get dressed, if you don't want too. There's no expense, after the initial purchase, and there's no embarrassment or waiting in line for an available treadmill.
  • I enjoy yoga! I took a yoga class in 2003 which I did not enjoy. Too much pressure to be good at it when you're surrounded by people that know what they're doing. In the privacy of my own basement, I actually like it. Cool! Maybe at Christmas I'll let Eric tell me whether or not I'm doing the poses properly. Maybe I won't.

The Bad:

  • I've said it before. This is not a fluid workout. Unless you do a 30 minute run or the free step, a lot of time is wasted switching between games. You have to wait for the trainer to stop talking, or the counter to stop racking up the minutes, then you have to scroll through the exercises to select the next one. You have to get on and off the balance board, and wait a lot. This is a big problem if, like me, you really want to keep moving the entire 30 minutes. I hope that Nintendo comes up with a game (maybe they already have) that will allow for 30 minutes of solid aerobics. That I would spend more money on!
  • This is a one player at a time game. Yes, you can have profiles for your entire family, but you can only be logged on as one character. So, no working out simultaneously. There is the option for the 2 player run, which Alex likes to do with me, but you can't select "Alex" so that he gets Fit credits at the same time.
  • The darn scale insists that you check in every day for a body test. If you don't, it makes you feel guilty. "Too busy to work out yesterday, Alex?" Or "I haven't seen Eric in a while". I don' t think that seeing my weight go up and down every day is very motivating. I only want to see my weight once a week. It's more representative of what is actually going on with my body. Simple, then don't do the balance test every day! Fair enough, but the problem with that is, if you don't do the balance test, you don't get to stamp the calendar, regardless of how many minutes you've racked up.
  • The most frustrating thing about the Wii Fit is the relatively low weight limit. This fabulous piece of equipment, designed to get otherwise inactive people, moving... excludes the very people that would love it. The people who don't want to drag themselves to the gym or outside for a run. If Nintendo comes out with a balance board with a higher weight limit, I'll be buying it. I want my whole family to be able to benefit from it right away, not have to lose weight before they can use it to lose weight. How dumb is that?

So... there you go! I'll stop rambling about the Wii and get back to blogging about the things I love the most, my kids!

I might have to do a Wii Fit update sometime down the road, anyway, because apparently Nintendo has developed a new game, Wii Fit Plus... which I hope addresses some of the kinks in this first version. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10334061-1.html

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 29

Well... almost done... tomorrow's day 30, my goal. I don't usually stick with things, so this is actually a huge accomplishment in itself, whether or not I see any improvement in my body. So, it's been officially 4 weeks since my first "weigh-in/BMI calculation thingy".

From day 1 to now, I am down 1.1 pounds. Umm, yay? Unless something drastic happens between now and tomorrow night, I'm going to call my 30 day experiment on the Wii Fit and very lackluster way to lose weight. I could lose weight faster by shaving my head! Although, having said that... it is 1.1 pounds that I couldn't lose a month ago.

Anyway, no final opinions until tomorrow night, right? Although it's Friday... which means everyone at the office will want to go out for lunch and I'll probably meet my parents for dinner... UGH. Maybe I should get up extra early and do the final weigh in before breakfast! ;)

So... tonight was fun, again! I might have figured out how to mix it up enough to really get a good workout.

  • Advanced Step
  • Advanced Step
  • The rest of the yoga poses alternating with the rest of the strength training that I didn't do yesterday
  • Advanced Step
  • Finishing off with the soccer ball game as a reward for my hard work.

I EVEN did 6 push ups and side thingys, whatever they're called. Well, I didn't do real push-ups, I put my knees on the ground and did them that way, but it's more than I've done all month. And the silly thing is, the board only measures the weight on your hands, so the darn thing ranked me as a "body builder" and gave me 100% on them. That's a joke! And Andrew said "Wow, you have amazing core strength" to which I replied, "Nope, I'm just an amazing cheater", but I don't think he heard me.

40 years old tonight. The later I do my workout, the worse my balance is. Go figure! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 28

Can't remember my Wii Age... I "think" it was 33, but that may have been last night. My workouts are starting to blend together. I didn't come upstairs to update this blog immediately (got waylaid by Facebook) and the results have gone from my brain.

Also, I don't really know, or care, what my weight was. I think it was down, but since I reset my goal yesterday, I'm not completely sure by how much. Apparently the Wii didn't think I was on track to lose 22 pounds in in the 60 days I had left, so it encouraged me to re-do my goal. Fine then... I reset it to lose more weight in another 3 months. Basically I kept hitting the button until my BMI dropped out of the "obese" range and into "overweight" and used that for a goal. So, there you go! In 3 months I would like to be overweight. How's that for self-defeating? Hehe, achieved my goal already! ;)

Stupid BMI calculator! They should change the headings. Right now they're "Healthy", "At risk of being overweight", "overweight", and "obese". How is that good for one's self-esteem? If I designed the program, I'd name them something like this: "You should really eat more, here have another doughnut", "There you go, now you're rounding out all the sharp corners", "My aren't you cuddly", and "Downright fluffy"... that would work for me!

Tonight actually was great! I worked up a sweat. Not too sure whether it was because I was working really hard, or because it was so warm in the house, but I felt good for doing the workout.

I did the first 9 yoga poses. I also did the recommended strength training exercises. Everytime you do a yoga pose, it pairs it with a recommended exercise from strength training that works the same muscle groups. I did them in the order they were recommended, so basically kept switching back and forth between the yoga and strength training. This made the strength training feel so much harder than it usually does. Probably because I didn't give my muscles a chance for a break between similar exercises.

Anyway, I enjoyed doing this and it kept it interesting. I was originally intending to complete all 15 yoga and all 12 strength training, but I couldn't do it. Maybe tomorrow I'll tackle the workouts I missed.

I finished up by doing the Advanced Step, but I was terrible at it. My legs felt all wobbly because of the exercises I'd been doing with them. I was slow and very unenergetic, but I finished it.

Tonight felt like the most effective strength training workout so far. As I reward, I played the soccer ball game and then tried out that weird marble one. I did pretty good on both of them, for me.

All in all a good night! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 26 and Day 27

I didn't post an update yesterday, so today I'm doing a 2 for 1!

Let's see... up in weight both days, lousy Wii ages both days... in the 40's, and absolutely no desire to do anything about it.

Seeing my BMI go up everyday is frustrating and unmotivating. If it wasn't for the cute little stamps on the calendar and the guilt trip the Wii dishes out, I don't think I would do the body test every day. Once a week seems perfectly adequate.

Yesterday I set the Free Step to 30 minutes and changed the channel. I watched a movie I'd PVR'ed. "If These Walls Could Talk". The movie was really well done, but very disturbing. I quite enjoyed the chick flick, and couldn't get it out of my head for the rest of the night. If you have to workout when you really don't want to, this is a great option. The time went really fast. The Wii continues to count your steps and records your time, and you get to focus on something else instead.

Works great!

So much so that tonight I did the exact same thing... set the Wii to Free Step for 30 minutes and switched over to "If These Walls Could Talk 2", which I'd also taped. Less disturbing, but sooo sad.

So now I've run out of PVR'ed movies that I feel like watching by myself. Maybe that means that tomorrow I will do a more meaningful workout! :)