Wednesday, February 25, 2015

30 Day Shred - Take Two

I completed most of the 30 Day Shred last summer, and have started it again this year. There is one big difference... my husband is doing it with me. Well, kind of. I have not been as consistent with it this time, missing days here and there. Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred is no joke. However, I don't feel like level one was doing that much for me this time around. Therefore I wasn't as motivated to stick with it 7 days a week, plus we have been super busy. I have lost about 4 lbs. in the first ten days, and have since moved to level two. The second level is making a difference! It is much harder than I remember it being, and I feel like I am going to see a bigger difference in my overall appearance than I did while in level one.

I am wondering why I am experiencing such a huge contrast between level one and two this go around. Have any of you ever revisited a workout routine only to see that it doesn't seem to be as effective as it was the first time? Do our muscles "remember" the moves, therefore not responding to the moves as they did initially? Interesting. I look forward to comparing my results this time with last.

Oh, and the husband. I literally can't believe he agreed to do it with me. He has missed more days than I have, but his schedule is a little different than mine, which causes him to miss. It is hilarious when we are both flailing around the living room, sweating and trying our best to keep up with the three ripped ladies on TV. Me, gasping for air and chugging water. He, muttering how Jillian must hate him. Our cat and dog sit on the couch and stare at us as if we are 50 shades of cray. Sweet P (the dog) always comes and stares at us in the face, giving kisses as always, while we try not to pass out during the 'cool-down' stretching portion at the end of each workout. We surely are a sight!

Want to check out the 30DS? Take a look at the level one workout on YouTube here. You can fish around the internet and eventually find all three workouts (I believe), but I grew tired of doing that, and purchased my own copy from Amazon.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm Reading and Loving Wild by Cheryl Strayed

My mother told me about the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed a while back - back before there was talk of a movie. My family often goes hiking, and we love to read, so reading about hiking naturally came up. Wild is memoir, in which Strayed hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. My mom said I had to read it, and I am just now getting around to it. I usually make a promise to myself that I will read the book before seeing the movie for any of the book-then-movie scenarios, and I am trying to hold true to that promise with Wild. Honestly, I had forgotten about the book for a while until I saw a commercial for the movie. Then, not long ago, my mom mentioned that we should see it. I bought the book at Barnes and Noble right after that, wanting to read it before seeing the flick. My mom had mentioned that the book had some sad parts. She specifically referred to the main character's mother and a horse dying. Of course it affects me when human characters go through pain or pass away in a book, on TV, or in a movie. I shed tears at the drop of a hat, even during those touching commercials on TV. But why, must I ask, does it affect me so so much when an animal - a HORSE nonetheless, my beloved favorite animal - passes away in a storyline? I'm talking heart-breaking huge crocodile tears and the occasional sobbing episode. It kills me. I guess I can chalk it up to my love of animals.

Anyway,  I am a little over halfway through the book, and I have been dreading the part where the horse dies. The author discusses her mother's death early on in the book, so the tearful page-turning for that event is in my past (well, kinda - the author includes past memories of her mother throughout the book - cue more tears). This evening I took the time to read a bit, and came upon the horse part. Oh my. Pain-in-my-chest, can't-get-my-breath sobbing overtook me, complete with tiny dark gray puddles of mascara-soaked tears forming on my chest. How embarrassing. I'm just glad my husband wasn't home to hear it. My sweeter-than-sugar dog was all worried, and climbed up in my face to make sure I was okay. The more I read of the 'horse part',
the harder I cried. Tears blurred my vision, but they didn't obstruct the words on the page that told me that the horse was very similar to ones I have had, and had to say goodbye to, in my past. Oh connections - how powerful they are. Connections to the story, to animals, to memories, to the ones we love. This section of the book created some strong connections within me.

Ah, books. I love reading books. Especially those I can connect with, and those that I share interests with (especially horses). Don't get me wrong, the 'horse part' was moving for me, but other aspects of the book have been moving for me, too. I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read more. That's the best kind of read, right?

Here's the book. I purposely purchased the one without the movie cover picture as I always do, even though there is a non-removable 'Now a Major Motion Picture' emblem on it. Is that weird?  :)