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FBB Stage 2 Workout B done!

Wrap up of Stage 2 workout B!  I started off my day with some pumpkin oat bran with egg whites and topped with a teaspoon of butter and brown sugar.  This  was tasty. We still have really cold mornings around here. I am so sick of being cold!


I ate my morning snack just before I left to work out.  I never know what my work schedule will be like and I am happy when I can take the morning workout time.


Of course, Pixie had to see what I was doing and get her big feet in there.

Here was the progress of Stage 2, workout B over the last 4 weeks.

Exercise Set/rep/weight Week 1 Set/rep/weight Week 4
1a. Reverse Cable Wood Chop (low to high) 3 sets of 8 each side at 20# 3 sets of 8 at 30#
1b. Jackknife on stability ball 3 sets of 8 3 sets of 8 – no falling!
2a. Step Ups 3 sets of 8 each leg with 25# kettle bells 3 sets of 8 each leg with 30# kettle bells
2b. T Pushups 3 sets of 4 each side 3 sets of 4 each side
3a. Pliet Squats 3 sets of 8 with 25# kettle bell 3 sets of 8 with 30# kettle bell
3b. Alternating lateral raise 3 sets of 8 each arm with 8# DBs 3 sets of 8 each arm with 10# DBs
4a. Reverse Row 3 sets of 8 3 sets of 8
4b. Supine Hip Extension to Leg Curl (SHELC) 3 sets of 8 3 sets of 8

No as much increase in weight, but what doesn’t show is how much easier each set became. Where I was struggling to eke out reps was much better towards the end.  Definitely feeling strong. Not any smaller, but such is life, right?

My legs do a lot of work for me!


You can kind of see the difference in the size of my thighs in this photo. That is how much my quad has atrophied. Strong leg, weak leg. It’s more obvious when the muscles are pumped up from lifting.

Lunch when I got home:


I’m in a rut – sing it with me!

Remember that china cabinet we bought over the weekend? It was time to pick it up. I had to have my dad take me over because he has a truck. The cabinet wouldn’t fit in the Prius. Boo.  Now, I didn’t want my dad to do any lifting, so I had him park and wait and went in to see if the owner would help get the cabinet out to the vehicle. Then he asks if my husband was here to help.   :roll:  I said, “No, I lift and I can do it.”  It was more awkward than heavy. Then he says “Well, you won’t need a workout today”.  Ha- I already had one!  He was very nice, though, and I certainly will be going back there to look for other furniture. AFTER WE MOVE!

I was late for latte time because of that and got it made as soon as I got home.


Note the new cabinet behind me, without its drawer.  :D  Just plunked it down because I had to get back to work.

Dinner time was a chicken apple sausage for something different. No rut here!


We got the cabinet in place while dinner was cooking. I love it.  



It needs a good polish. There are only a couple of flaws in it. Some of the veneer has come off the trim in the door, but with a little bit of stain and polish, it will barely show.  I hate the fact that this will have to be moved again, but I think it’s worth it.

Now to finish up work and scrounge up an evening snack!

FBB Stage 2 Workout A wrap up

Just a quick post here. Finished up stage 2! Actually, I did 2 extra workouts. Not sure how that happened, but I guess I didn’t notice I was finished. Oopsie!

The goal for this month was 2 to 3 sets of each exercise with 6 to 8 reps per set. I ended up doing this workout 7 times instead of 6.  Here is my progress from Week 1 to Week 4. 

Exercise Set/rep/weight Week 1 Set/rep/weight Week 4
1a. Cable Wood Chop (high to low) 3 sets of 8 each side at 20# 3 sets of 8 each side at 30#
1b. Plank 3 sets of 65 second holds 3 sets of 75 second holds
2a. Dumbbell squat with offset load 3 sets of 8 with 15# DB 3 sets of 8 with 25# DB
2b. Alternating dumbbell overhead press 3 sets of 8 each arm with 10# DBs 3 sets of 6 each arm with 20# DBs!!
3a. Single-leg deadlifts 3 sets of 8 with 15# DBs 3 sets of 8 with 15# DBs
3b. Assisted Chin Ups 3 sets of 8 3 sets of 8 with less resistance
4a. Alternating Lateral Lunge 3 sets of 8 each with 10# 3 sets of 8 with 10# DBs
4b. Two-point dumbbell row 3 sets of 8 each arm with 20# DB 3 sets of 7 each arm with 30# DB!!

I made some good gains here, especially with my upper body. With the chin ups, I was trying to do them with a band, but I struggled so much that I thought it would be better to use the assisted machine and make the exercise more efficient to do. This stage is definitely hard and I pushed myself.

My goal by the end of the program is doing overhead presses with a 25# dumbbell for 4 reps and I think I can get there. :D

Thursday I will wrap up Workout B of stage 2.

I know that I haven’t posted a kitty picture in a while. Here is Pixie enjoying the new bed I bought her.  :roll:



Can you believe her?

Windy Riding!

Saturday was ride day since we were going to my folks’ house for dinner on Sunday.  It actually started on a very sad note.  I looked outside in the morning and saw a kitty on our lawn.  My heart sank because I recognized the kitty as one that comes through our property a lot. She was owned by someone last year because she had a flea collar on, but over the winter the collar disappeared and she didn’t have any ID on her.  We called her Girly Girl (not sure how that came about).  She was somewhat friendly and the other day happened to just walk in the shop because John had the door open.  Anyway, I went outside hoping that she was just injured and I could help her, but it was too late.  We don’t know who she belonged to (if anyone). I was starting to think she was homeless and wondered if she was going to become my next project and I feel maybe I dropped the ball there. Anyway, we buried her. We will keep an eye out for signs about a missing cat or if we hear anything. I don’t know if anyone misses her, but I cried for her.

Sorry about that depressing start of the post, but it made my heart heavy for a lot of the day.  We waited until after lunch to ride. The plan was to go to the lake, which would be about 32 miles round trip and the first real hill challenge of the year.  While 55 seems warm coming off the winter, it actually is pretty chilly still and so I bundled up with some long underwear and a couple of jackets. Still Michelin Man time :).

It was really, really windy out. It was a head wind to start and boy howdy did I get tired right off the bat. You have to work so much harder to keep your balance and just make headway that it is really tiring.  


About 8 miles in, we decided that we didn’t want to try to get all the way to the lake because we would have to come back after struggling the whole way there.



I didn’t see this picture later until later with the bunny ears John was trying to make. Nice husband…

We ended up going to Decision Point, which is the stop where we decide to continue to the lake or not. Obviously we already knew we weren’t.



We rested here for 5 minutes or so. We had passed a woman on a bike a bit earlier and said hi as we went by. She ended up coming through here and said “Can you imagine how great this day would be without the wind?” I laughed because that proved to John that I wasn’t the only one complaining about the wind.


We decided to go loop around and hit up the new coffee shop in Glens Falls – Spot Coffee.  This was 15 miles in.


Now there is a Spot in Saratoga and we really like it. It’s a small chain that started in Canada. Anyway – 2 years it took them to open this! It’s a beautiful build out, though.





After relaxing some, we walked around downtown and stopped in a store that sells old furniture. They like to do the painting of old furniture, which sometimes I don’t mind, but sometimes I wish they hadn’t.  Anyway, the downstairs is where the furniture is sold. You can purchase it and they will paint it and do whatever finish style you want on it.  John saw a china cabinet that was just perfect for Radiance Manor. If we ever close on it, that is…


The ceilings in the new house are not really tall, so we have to be careful about the scale of furniture. This is perfect because it is 5 feet 1 inch, from the 1930s and in fantastic shape.  The price on it was $85, which made me stop in my tracks and then the owner said “That piece is on sale now for $75″.  I nodded, but inside I was all YIPPEE SKIPPEE!

We checked out some other really nice pieces as well and decided to purchase the cabinet. Of course, we asked them to hold it since it didn’t fit in our bike bags.  We will have to go later in the week and pick it up.

After that unexpected purchase, we left for home. Note to self:  STOP buying things for the new house



Finally home and actually pretty tired.



Ride stats:


Total miles 24.2

Average speed:  11.1 miles per hour (much slower than normal due to wind)

Calories burned:  943

So, the lake will have to wait. There is plenty of biking season to get there ann back. No hurry.



The garden is waking up!

The end of the week. What a relief!  We went from Carazzzyyy busy earlier in the week to very slow as a lot of doctors left for vacation. Feast or famine, right?  That meant we could get in a nice ride this afternoon, although it was a bit chilly.


My garden is cleaned up and showing signs of life now. Yay!  I think all of my roses made it. Still waiting on the butterfly bush and the coneflowers to see the survivors. Those show late, so I am not worried yet.


I did a little project last week that I didn’t get a chance to show.  I had some old flower containers that I had found in the attic of our shop. I couple years ago, I stuck them out in the garden. However, they rusted past the “this looks cool” rust to “geez – that’s nasty” rust.



So, I decided to try to salvage them and hopefully they will last a few more years before they completely rust through.


I cleaned them out good of dirt and a lot of rust.  Then I sprayed the inside with a clear coat just for protection. I didn’t want to paint the inside with the more expensive color, since it wouldn’t show anyway.



Then it was time for my hammered copper paint!


The came out pretty cool, too, I have to say. 

One in its spot:


It’s too cold for annuals yet… except for pansies! I might have to pick some up so the pots don’t look quite so lonely.

We are going to attempt a ride to the lake tomorrow. It’s supposed to be in the upper 50s, so hopefully the lake path will be clear of ice and snow by now. This means 30 miles and hills! I give myself permission to walk up some if I need to, but I will challenge myself.

Have a great weekend!


Woke up this morning and it was not even 30 degrees! Brrr…. It started snowing last night around 9 or so and I was sure we were going to have a bunch of snow on the ground, but it was only in the grassy areas.


That meant no shoveling before Bagel Wednesday!


I decided to try something different by bringing my own cream cheese that was portioned out. I suppose I could ask them to measure it out, but it’s just easier for me to do it myself – especially if they are really busy.  I am reading a book called The Diet Fix by Yoni Freedhof (which I will review at some point once I finish) and he talks about how calories can sneak in more than we expect. That’s not revolutionary, but I figured that there are some things that I can’t control, but I can control this. At least for a while. The cream cheese can vary widely on the bagel depending on which person is behind the counter. Since we do bagels twice a week, this is a great opportunity for me to have a little learning lesson. :D

It didn’t warm up all that much today, but at least the sun was bright and shiny.  I took some breaks with work and did three 1 mile walks in 3 separate intervals.  I got some snow shots before most of it melted and it actually looked pretty.


My bowling ball!


It’s wearing a saucy little beret of snow!

Lunch was my standard yogurt/apple mess. 


I never want to bother with another yogurt other than Fage. :D

You know yesterday I was talking about body image problems. Then there are the things that put it into perspective.  A file I was doing today during work was someone finally deciding to stop their cancer treatments and go into hospice. Makes you realize the important things in life, which is not how one looks in the mirror. Why is that such a hard lesson to learn?

Dinner after I came back from the last walk of the day. This was baked chicken with BBQ sauce and a ton of broccoli!


I portioned some out in the pan and there wasn’t much left in the bag, so I dumped it all in there. :D

Here is my snack ready for later.  Half a protein bar and strawberries.


This is my treat after practicing guitar tonight! :D


From spring back to winter, it seems like! We were almost 80 degrees yesterday with some pretty fierce winds. Today is rainy and colder with 1 to 2 inches of snow expected tonight. Really Mother Nature?

I had a warmer breakfast today. The banana bread pudding with chocolate PB2 on top. First time trying that and it is pretty good.



I worked for a while and then hit the gym. Normally on Tuesdays I like to work until it about runs out and then go to the gym in the afternoon so that I make sure I get enough work in. However, it has been so busy that I knew there was no way it would run out, so I went in the morning (which is my preferred time to exercise).

The lifting:

Exercise Set/rep/weight
Reverse Cable Wood Chop (low to high) 3 sets of 8 each side at 30#
Jackknife on stability ball 3 sets of 8
Step Ups 3 sets of 8 each leg with 30# KBs
T Push-ups 3 sets of 4 each side
Pliet Squats 3 sets of 8 with 30# DB
Alternating lateral raise 3 sets of 8 each arm with 10# DBs
Reverse Row 3 sets of 8
Supine Hip Extension to Leg Curl (SHELC) 3 sets of 8

 I wasn’t sure if I ever explained the reverse row, but here is my setup for it. You can use a smith machine or any barbell cage to set it up.


That’s the stability ball I use for the SHELC as well. All ready to go for that superset. Here is what the exercise looks like as I do it.



Very challenging. You can progress from putting the legs out straight to having them on a stability ball or bench.

I have found using the kettle bells for the step ups is much easier than dumbbells as far as grip strength goes. I think maybe the grip is wider? I am using two 30# kettle bells for this exercise. That is 60# total and each time I step up with that, I think about how I used to carry even more than that weight on my whole body going up and down stairs.  :shock:




It’s funny, I am making great strength gains, but really struggling with body image these last couple months. In navel gazing, I think that it probably stems from a higher level of anxiety between the house closing and job stress (and a bit from the weather).  This has left me feeling fairly unsettled and restless, which in turn makes it easier for my brain to beat on my self esteem a bit.  You know how they say if you can’t change your situation, you need to change your attitude, so that is what I need to do. Only I am having a hard time figuring out how to do that. 

Maybe looking at my roses will help.


Still looking good since Friday – they do make me happy! :D

Literacy Run and Biking!

Saturday had a little running and a little riding, although no running done by me :D  Literacy New York, which is the group that I do my tutoring through, partnered up with hospice to do a 5K to raise funds.  


They asked for volunteers to help out at the race, so I did.  I have never volunteered at a race. I have only been a participant.  My job (along with 4 other people) was to corral the runners and keep them from moving out into the road before the race started. Of course, we weren’t supposed to make people obey, just remind them in a friendly manner that for their safety to not enter the road until the race started.  I asked a couple of guys to come out of the road, they agreed and then just moved further down and crept back in.  :roll:

My fashionable day-glo vest and flag!



I also met someone who had read my blog that lives locally (Hi Linda!).  She was running the race. She has lost weight and become a runner and looked fabulous. There were over 400 runners, which was great as a fundraiser!  Here they are all leaving.


My job was done at that point. Pretty easy.  It felt a little weird, to be honest. Brought back my running days and then I want to try running again. Even though running made me cry. I don’t understand my brain at all.

I stopped and chatted with the literacy coordinator for a bit at the booth.


They had interest from people wanting to be tutors as well. Yay!  We need more tutors.

Then it was time for my sport!



Still working on the distance legs, so I wanted around a 20 mile ride.  The paths were pretty clear of snow, finally.


Now it just needs to get green. I did a large loop, ironically enough riding out to where I had just been in the morning for the race LOL!



After 14 miles, I stopped for a snack:



I also read the paper there and saw a help wanted ad that struck me funny.



This is the tacky part of Lake George (sorry, folks).  Frankenstein hangs around outside and people take pictures with him. At least there are jobs available in the area, though. 

Then it was home. I had more people in cars talk to me on this ride than I ever have before. Seemed like every stop light someone would comment on the great weather. There was even a couple asking me how bad the wind was (it was fairly breezy) because they were on their way home to go out riding LOL!

I tried the unpaved part of the path.


Not smart. It was okay at first, but further in it was soggy and like riding through sand. It was really hard! I got back onto the roads as soon as I could.



All done!  It felt really good.  I think the next step is probably a 25 ish mile ride next weekend.  Not sure I am quite ready to ride to the lake with all the hills, but who knows?



What’s Blooming!

Not much blooming outside.  I am hoping that this stuff melts over the weekend. This is on the north side of the garage where the snow slides off the garage roof and it takes forever to melt.


The garden is all unfrozen now and more things are popping out.  I took advantage today to rake out a lot of leaves from the bed that collected before the snow came. More tulips coming up, although I think I might have lost a bunch of them this year. 



There is a big pile of leaves in the yard and that was the first pass through. Now I have to get in the base of the plants and get those leaves out. Plus cut down some old growth. We will have a very nice weekend for doing that.  Maybe the lawn will even start showing signs of life!

I had a very nice surprise today.  John left town for the weekend to go to Turning Stone and then there was a delivery for me!


Roses!  That’s what’s blooming today :D  John got them for me just because, which is really nice. So nice to see a burst of color, too.

I was able to get out on the bike for a bit today. It was clouding up and actually rained after dinner, so it was a good thing I took a break and rode in the afternoon instead of after dinner like my original plan.  I plan on a fair amount of biking this weekend, too!

Paint colors and carbs

A couple of deeper posts this week, so now time for something a little more fun.  Like my new clock!!  Yesterday John said “So do you want to go to the mall tonight?”  You had better believe my fingers flew on the keyboard to get my work done in a timely manner :D I was looking for picture frames because I got some enlargements made of some of my photos. No luck there, but I did see a clock.  I decided to go ahead and purchase it.  big grin


It’s always coffee time in Casa Radiance!

John and I have also been discussing paint colors for the new house. Here will be the dining room. Merlot below the chair rail, moonlight white above.


The moonlight white is also going to be the color of the kitchen cabinets, so this will bring some flow in from there.

We have been pondering a lot over the living room as well.  Usually it is a good idea to wait until you decide on furniture before choosing a wall color, but with my new chair (LOVE!!!) it gives us something to work with.  I have never worked with a gray color and I am not totally sold on that, but it looks good with the chair. Picking the right shade?


Talk about 50 shades of gray!!  They make it too confusing. There is no hurry, though. This will definitely be a process of putting samples on the wall. Normally I find colors and love them  - then they go up. Gray is a whole new town to me.

And speaking of the house – You know, I am still waiting on an answer to my question on our house from early last week.  I had a simple question. Or what one would think was a simple question.  I asked our lawyer to find out where in the process we were because who knows if the selling bank has even done anything yet, right?  Dead silence. I asked and John asked. Dead silence. So, I talked to my realtor and he asked the selling bank’s realtor what was up. Dead silence.  Hello????  This is a lot of what was making me so upset last week. How freaking hard is it to answer that question? I am not asking for a concise explanation of quantum theory or the meaning of life.  One of my 2 stipulations to extending the contract was to be kept informed of the process (the other was that it wouldn’t cost us any extra money). I am about ready to contact the selling bank myself. I hate being ignored. It would really help me mentally if I had some grasp of the process like if it was waiting for the judge or a response or whatever. This selling bank has already been pretty unprofessional and I am quite underwhelmed with them.

Enough of that, though.  You know one of my goals was to change up my eating. Well, I decided I am going to do lower carb 4 days a week and then just in my calorie range without counting carbs on the other 3 days. When I was doing the Fit Female eating, the idea is to have a fruit or vegetable with each meal or snack. Well, turns out I was eating 4 or 5 servings of fruit a day because I really only have veggies with dinner. Nothing wrong with fruit, but the calories do add up. So, lowering my carbs to 100 grams (note I said lower carb, not low carb) keeps me to 2 servings a day.  Then I don’t feel I have to have a piece of fruit with my latte and just have it by itself. ‘Cause as much as I love broccoli, I am not having it with my latte  :mrgreen:

On the Pixie front, the warm weather has brought the kitties around again.  This particular cat (with a collar) stalks the birds at the bird feeder.  Pixie was huffing and chuffing at the window.



Poor Pixie, she gets so upset and these other cats are like “Whatever…”

Circus fat?

You know how you think if you had enough money to hire a personal trainer and all that and had someone cook for you that weight wouldn’t be an issue? Of course, celebrities prove this wrong all the time. The latest? Kirstie is back at Jenny Craig.

So many things wrong in just 30 seconds.

A. Mocking overweight people. Circus fat. How do you like that? Fat shaming by a weight loss company.   Bravo Kirstie and Jenny Craig, bravo.

B. How about – coming back home? Again, Kirstie learned nothing on her own.

C.  Bringing along her ‘energy drink’? Yeah Kirstie, seeing as how the weight loss company *you* formed based on your formulations worked so well for you, how about foisting them on others? Yay – more magic pills to sell!



I have no problem with using a program like WW or Jenny Craig if done for the right reasons. I did Nutrisystem for 6 months 5 years ago (and glad I did). It was a tool in the journey. I just needed a break from thinking about food for a while. Programs like these are just tools. They are not the answer. You still have to learn to live life on your own. You don’t want have to ‘come home’ to a program all the time. You want to be able to learn from them and then live on your own. There is just as much mental and emotional work to do when losing a large amount of weight. It’s not just a matter of food.