No really … it did … uh … physically bigger that is.  Thought I’d share the not-so-flattering pics just to show I’m not as vain as I sometimes come across, especially in my fitness-related posts and pics.  The meals at rehab were heavily carb laden.  I did a good job on them, desserts and all; I was proud … NOT!  For the first couple weeks I was eating my desserts as well as someone else’s—carbs make you crave more carbs; it is what it is.

I did manage to exercise for the first week and a half of the 6-week program in my room, but then I got a roommate and didn’t really wanna continue that practice.  The young girl liked her sleep a whole lot, so jumpin’ up and down and all around like a flaming lunatic at 5:30 a.m. wouldn’t have bode well for this old fart.


Um, that’s dudETTE, and yes I did but only 6 pounds, feels like more; my clothes are a lot tighter.  Must have to do with that fat weighs less than muscle but takes up more space thingamajig.  I dunno.  Anyway, the scale at the rehab facility had me believing I gained 12 pounds, so at least I caught somewhat of a break in pounds; apparently, the rehab scale hasn’t been calibrated, like ever.  One good thing is my boobies are bigger, hehe.  That’s biggER but not big by any means.


Not working out has caused some ill effects on me.  No I didn’t end up in a jail cell like the one above.  I just feel really old.  The beds had these mats for mattresses except a li’l thicker.  I was lucky cuz I got a brand new one, yet it still was not all that comfy.  They are like tarp material filled with a big wad of cotton.  My right arm still hurts from sleeping on it funny.  Wah, wah, wah!


Oh, so we did get some hardcore exercise every Wednesday in the form of dodge ball and ultimate Frisbee.  I got hit sorta hard in my face last Wednesday, knocked the dang bandana right off my head.  It was funny.  No so funny is my arse has been killing me for almost a week since the last time I played.  If you really wanna know how cardiovascularly out of shape you might be, give ultimate Frisbee a whirligig.  It’s kinda like football with a Frisbee ‘cept you can only take 2 steps before you pass off the Frisbee to a teammate.  All you do is run and run and then run some more.  I can see the game being potentially joyful to play once I get back into shape.


So the buttocks feels a li’l better today; hence, I just lifted weights for 30 minutes.  I used half as much weight as usual.  I really recommend that to peeps who haven’t worked out in a while.  Otherwise, you could be super sore for a lot longer than you will be if you take it easy and work your way up gradually, and you’ll be much more likely to stick with the workouts.  It’s too frustrating to try to use the same weight you used to, and you risk exhausting yourself to the point of quitting.


I’m back to a low carb WOE (way of eating – diet is a dirty word).  Just had my post workout meal of 2 eggs and a sausage patty, yum.  The red stuff is hot sauce, a southern staple.  No carbs (ketchup has some).  Supposedly, cayenne helps burn fat … I dunno but worth a try.

I got lots to do … y’all have a great day!



Pretty sure the last time I left off in the fitness arena, I was telling y’all about how I ordered Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution program.  I liked the idea that it was 6 workouts a week, all supposedly 30 minutes or under (some actually run 35 minutes or so but no big deal).  I started out with Phase 1.  I dug the workouts, really liked some of the moves I had been unfamiliar with, but as an intermediate/advanced fitness freakazoid, I didn’t find it challenging enough, so I lent Phase 1 to a friend just getting into fitness.  Through sensible eating combined with Phase 1 of this program, she has lost 15 lbs … yeah buddy!  It looks to be an awesome program to get folks into the fitness frenzy.  No equipment needed, as it comes with resistance bands … just a TV, a DVD player, and perhaps an exercise mat, but a towel would suffice.


So then I started Phase 2 and again thoroughly enjoyed the workouts and new moves I was learning; however, I packed all of my workout gear away and moved it to the garage, as I planned to take some of it with me on my nonsensical voyage in da BeastMobile to live out in the wild off the land.  Pretty funny, huh?!  I was laughing as I trotted my weights back into the workout sanctuary; I guess because I do have faith in my spiritual, emotional, and physical journeys, and this was all just part of a journey.


For a gamut of reasons, I have decided to try a simple strength-training program for my fitness regimen for the next 12 weeks, those reasons being that I don’t feel like unpacking all my cardio videos and hooking up the DVD player to the TV again, I am getting progressively busier working on a BeastProject that is consuming a lot of my time, and the program I decided to do is 3 days a week and suggests not doing any cardio for the first 12 weeks so as not to overload my muscles.  Besides, I love experimenting with my body, I thought it would be kinda neat to parallel my current quest to build my spiritual and emotional strength with building my physical strength.  Here’s what I started on Monday:


Interestingly, I began reading this guy’s material online in 2008 or so.  It was on his site, STRONGLIFTS, that I learned about the Anabolic Diet and about eating low carb.  The creator of StrongLifts is:


Mehdi, a man after my own heart.  His website has gone gangbusters.  On a whim back in 2007, he quit his cushy, well-paying, great-retirement-package-guaranteeing corporate 9-to-5 that provided him fantastic fringe benefits for much of the same reason I quit law enforcement, and two weeks later he started the StrongLifts site.

Ok, look, it’s not at all lost on me that he’s cute and stuff, but he’s really smart too.  He has grown his website to include 20,000 members from more than 187 countries and over 15-million visitors in just 3-1/2 years (he provides a lotta great info for free but also offers paid memberships).  AND he’s making a ton of money!  He claims that StrongLifts quickly established itself as the number 1 strength training resource in the world.  I dunno about that, but I’ll take his Belgian word for it.

Yes … he lives in Belgium.  I read his writings in what I perceive to be a sexy Belgian accent, or French I guess cuz he says French is his first language.  I imagine that my dad and his dad met way back when in his small village during WWII, and because of that I was destined to, hmmm.  Well nevermind, got lost in a daydream there.

So here’s my workout plan for the next 12 weeks, well 11 now; I’ve got 1 week down:


M-W-F — alternate workout A and workout B … there are warm-up sets as well.  For much more detailed info and specifics, download Medhi’s free PDF at his website, but the bottom line is you start light and add just a little bit of weight with each workout for each exercise and watch your strength SKYROCKET, hehe.  I had bought fractional plates a long time ago when I was going to try this program, but I didn’t stick with it at that time.  Glad I didn’t toss them away.  I’m excited to see how I do this time.  I might just be able to squat a hippopotamus when my UDB TOUR goes global and I hit Africa!!!  I’m more curious to see how my body responds to no cardio.


Have a great weekend, y’all, I reckon I might pop in and make a post at some point!



While I certainly know firsthand the benefits of taking an antidepressant medication, I also know that exercise is a completely natural and virtually cost-free means of feeling better, lifting one’s spirits, and providing an overall sensation of well being.  I often have to remind myself, when I absolutely dread tearing away from this ‘puter to jump around like a freak for 45 minutes to an hour or to lift heavy dang objects only to put them down again, that it is vital to my survival.  At times like this, I say to myself … “Hey, self!”

one workout away



Then I’ll go put on a video, where it sits at the menu, and lollygag around in an effort to delay the start of my workout.  I will change into my gym shorts and sports bra; maybe even floss and brush my teeth, cuz hey … who wants bad breath when you’re panting up a storm; and sometimes I even wash my feet cuz I don’t wanna put clean socks on dirty feet … then they’d be dirty from in the inside out … yuck.  Yup, I tend to delay gratification, hehe.  After about 20 minutes of this and realizing the effects of my pre-workout supa powa shake are wearing off … I hit it hard.  I’d like to think I have some semblance of self-discipline, at least in the area of fitness, but I struggle with motivation at times:


This morning I sucked down my usual shake, which consists of about 10 oz. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a handful of crushed ice, a frozen banana, a blueberry Activia yogurt, 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein, 2 scoops of Jack3d (that’s where the supa powa comes from), and a spoonful of psyllium fiber (low-carb diets are notoriously low in fiber so I supplement, and yes, I take in carbs before each workout).  Then I thought, “What-should-I-do? Cardio or weights today?”  I wanted something heart pumping and sweat inducing to shake off some stress.


I know what you’re thinking … “Aroo?”  That’s Sammie speak for “What da shiznit?!”  Well, I decided instead of cardio or weights, I would trim-a-tree-ersize!  This Holly tree, which is huge and quite pretty, blocks my side walkway some.  It never dawned on me to cut some branches off til it was suggested to me.  I dunno what it is about yard work, I just don’t really know what needs to be done.  That said, I had to consult with ole Sad Eyes, cuz she really likes to hide under this tree:


This was taken a couple years ago; she has a tennis ball in her mouth and is cooling off in the shade of the tree.

As per usual, I didn’t think to consult with her until AFTER I’d already started.  She seemed pretty cool widdit:


I guess the branches are quite tasty.  Besides, there’s still shade under the tree, just no camouflage effect:


Oh boy, there’s that birdfeeder a-hangin’ down that was once hidden by the recently cut branches.  I reckon I’ll hafta go back to filling it up again … been on a low budget, thought I was gonna be moving, so I stopped buying bird food.  It’s getting terribly ‘spensive.  Y’all been noticing that everything monetary is going up, except wages?!  Sometimes I stand in the grocery store in awe of the price of butter.  Anyway, the wild, feathered, flying fruitcakes retaliated by dive bombing the house in kamikaze fashion, yup … suicide dive bombing.  The more cowardice birds have been leaving soupy li’l puddles on the roof of da house and all over da BeastMobile … bastids!

As with pressure washing, once I get started on something, I don’t wanna stop.  Well, looky there, I have another Holly tree:


While this one isn’t really in the way, I thought it only fair that I treat it the same as its sibling.  I found myself singing Christmas songs while cutting branches (have a holly jolly Christmas, blah-de blah blah blah blah blah, say hello …).  As I was humming melodiously, I ran into an obstacle:


A birds nest!  I thought, “OMG, OMG, OMG … what if there are babies in there?!  I hope I didn’t piss Momma bird off.”  So I got a step ladder thingy and checked it out, sure that I would fall off of it like the klutz that I am, grab the branch for support, and send the baby birdies plummeting to their sudden deaths.  But I mustered up a gracefulness I never knew I possessed, climbed up the li’l ladder, and peeked into the nest … nuthin’ in it but a deployment letter from the US Army.  Daddy had been sent to Afghanistan to serve our great nation, and I reckon the family went with him.  I didn’t have the heart to tear their house down, so it remains, ready for a hero’s welcome.  That is why the front branch is a bit lower than the others:


As I was working on this 2nd tree, I managed to yank off the remnants of a boo-boo, a burn I sustained a few nights ago.  Thankfully, I am proficient in first aid:


Yup, all well and good til the sweat started dripping down my arm, like 10 seconds later, promptly sliding this bandage down to my wrist.  Oh well … A for effort.  The scar will be that much more pronounced now.  I’m working on a pizza scar.  Dunno if it shows well in this pic but there is an old scar underneath the new boo-boo on my forearm:


Both scars come from the heating element in the top of my oven.  Both were sustained cooking frozen pizza.  The bottom one’s name is Digiorno CTC (classic thin crust):


And I call the new, recently ripped open blemish Harry (HRI) … for Homerun Inn.  Interestingly, my mom used to call my dad Harry … hmmm:


That there is some darn GOOD stuff.


I figure I will make a circumferential scar (big word, huh?), maybe cook up some Totino’s, Celeste, or Red Baron to further the burns.  Then I will get an Italian tribal tattoo to cover the scars up.  I just dunno if Italy has tribes; history wasn’t my thang!  Ix-Nay da tribal deal then … pepperoni laced with minced garlic perhaps?  Or maybe I will have the words … “When your eye hits the sky like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” inked around my forearm, but I assure you I won’t go THIS far:


Yowza, you can find anything on the interwebz!  Darn it … I always get off track.  I guess I just wanted to point out that exercise is something you do, strenuous in nature, that is out of the norm for what you usually spend your time doing.  So trimming trees, which I do almost never, is great exercise and gets something else accomplished to boot!  AND, it is a great antidepressant.  Jus’ sayin’!  It also helps with sleep:


Silly mutt is yelping right now, probably dreaming of chasing a squirrel … I love her!


Ok, so I looked up the word frenzy in an online rhyme dictionary, and I kid you not one of the rhymes listed was “penis envy.”  I just couldn’t figure out how to use that in a title that would be at all relevant to this post.  Instead, I made up a word.  I am making this post more for me cuz I need some motivation … selfish, huh?  Nah, this might help some of y’all too, and it this stuff can apply to anything in life, not just fitness and diet.

Beast mode

As of this morning (well after I type this post), my BeastMode is back on!  Kinda hard to be in BeastMode when I’m sitting on my fanny messin’ around on the ‘puter.


It was my desire and plan to go back to the low-carb lifestyle starting yesterday.  HOWEVER, I still had two pieces of pizza in the fridge hollering out to me and some onion rings in the freezer begging to jump into the hot tub (fryolater).  So I sizzled up the zesty rings and gobbled them down just as quickly as I could – had to get them outta the way!  I was good with the pizza and only ate the cheese and pepperoni.  Today is another day to put a halt to this PMS-induced, carb-cravin’ pigfest.  Did you know the more carbs you eat, the more you crave?  Ugh!  Best for me to just avoid them as much as possible.  And exercise … sheesh … haven’t done much of that lately either.

What was your excuse

I’ve got a few excuses, but only one is remotely legitimate.  I mentioned before in a past post that I’ve been getting really tired lately and sometimes not even able to get through a full workout; a lot of my videos are an hour or longer.  I still dunno what that was about, I reckon just part of the hormonal imbalance that I am blessed with combined simply with aging.  Last time I worked out, I told a friend that for some reason I am feeling weaker instead of stronger.  He looked at me and said, “Overtraining.”  Hmmm … my buddy JD told me the same thing a few weeks back.  As of today, It’s been a week or more since I’ve done anything physical besides walking.

Every damn day

I’m not sure I agree with this every damn day thing, but I do agree we all need to just do it, three times a week at least (I’m talking exercise folks – get yer minds outta the gutter or help me pull mine out, hehe).  I was working out every day … I guess cuz I felt guilty.  I have plenty of time since I’m not working so I should use it wisely, right?  No excuses!  Then I thought about my usual fitness pattern over the last few years, which was odd to say the least.  There were many times, even perhaps once a month, that I wouldn’t exercise for a full week, and my weight or body size didn’t suffer.  I always felt stronger when I got back into it.


That’s just it!!!  My third excuse.  I’m BORED with my fitness routine, tired of the same old videos.  I’ve got some great programs and lots of DVDs, but I’m just at a point where I want a new challenge, something different.  So this morning I ordered this and I can’t freakin’ wait til it gets here:


It’s a 90-day program, 6 days a week, but none of the workouts are longer than 35 minutes.  Aahhh … that’s right up my alley.  Variety is the spice of life baby, and if I can get in 6 hard-core workouts a week in a half hour a day essentially, then bring it on!

Gonna try something here … dunno how well it will work or slow it will upload to da BeastSite … a motivational montage:

Greatest battleYour biggest challenge

A little motivationStayingfatOvernight


Slow12weeksNo time for excuses

Be your own best friend, not your worst enemy!

Plenty of obstaclesInsidebiggirl

BSSomeone busier

I have a ton more … I could do this all day.  But I’ve gotta unleash my beast and hit the workout sanctuary.  I miss the way I had it before I thought the house was sold:


Those fitness pics were incredibly inspiring, especially when I was at the point of exhaustion during a tough workout.  Now there’s nothin’ on the walls but flowery wallpaper … ick!  Oh well.  I miss this girl, too …


Time to kick her ass and become even better than the old me!!!

Sitting on your ass

Yeah, yeah, I know, but it feels like concrete is running through my lazy veins.  Only one way to fix that:

Set yourself on fireFire_Lion_by_Daelyth

Burn, baby, burn!



Do I look like a badass warrior chick?  Had some lady on the side of the road paint my face like Mel Gibson’s in Braveheart.  Oddly, since the very moment she finished glopping me up, I’ve been speaking with an Australian accent … it’s kinda sexy, actually!  From now on, I shall be called Queen Boudica (or Bouddica — I’ve seen it spelled both ways), or if that’s too hard to remember, howzabout Queen Bootylicious, cuz I don’t think Boudica was Australian.

Jus’ being silly … I’m exhausted, even though I did drink one of my famous supa powa shakes before the race.  I sold my doggone blender, but my neighbor, whom I affectionately refer to as Ma Kettle, gave me this new one absolutely free of charge:


Pretty sweet, huh?  In the cup I put some almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, two scoops of Jack3d, a banana, blueberry yogurt, and some crushed ice.  I flipped it over and hooked it up, but I couldn’t get the blender to turn on.  I was thinking, “Oh my freakin’ head, you get what you pay for, or in this case, don’t pay for.”  There was a caution statement on it saying everything had to be on just right or it wouldn’t work (for my safety, of course).  So I tried to unscrew the base, but …


I unscrewed the cup instead … typical.  Well, there was no way I was gonna run this race without my “go juice.”  Desperate times called for desperate measures:


Howzabout a nice bowl of vomit?  Not really but quite a resemblance, doncha think?


The electric mixer was no match for the crushed ice, and … I later found out … not much of a match for the banana either:


Ew … chunks.  I am a self-professed picky eater.  Fruits and veggies are not my thang.  I don’t like bananas, but I like ‘em liquefied up into a smoothie; I don’t like tomatoes, but I love tomato sauce and ketchup; I don’t like coffee, but hand me a bowl of coffee ice cream and I’ll devour it; and blueberries … yuck, but blueberry muffins … YUM!  I could go on forever.  Thankfully, the ice in the powa shake gave the nanner chunks a sort of ice cream feel, so I was able to choke ‘em down.

Oh yea, so the race … this is the fine, young man who organized the event, Dave Linn.  I have a lot of admiration for Dave, as he has overcome some big obstacles in his life but always maintains a positive attitude.  Love his shirt here:


Oh and just before the race started, this lady serenaded us with her bagpipes:


I usually cry when I hear bagpipes … love ‘em, but Warrior chicks don’t cry … we’re tough … sheesh!  Thank God she didn’t play Amazing Grace!  That would’ve been it for this Queen Boudica.  I would’ve surrendered to the Romans instantly.

The race started, and somehow I ended up way in the back.  Or at least it seemed like a lot of runners got ahead of me.  I thought, “sh*t,” but maintained my strategy of starting off at a slow-to-moderate pace instead of balls to the wall.  I kept reminding myself that this was my first race and it was me against me … not me against the other runners.  Ya, whatever lol.  Not gonna lie … I don’t like running and never have.  It is not a normal part of my fitness regimen.  The course had a fairly long, steadily climbing hill in the second half.  I had to stop and walk some … wah, wah, wah.

Here I am at the end … it felt very good to be done, especially cuz I knew I’d never hafta do it again.


Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I ran it.  I just doubt I will ever run another.  I had a respectable finish for a nonrunner … 4th female in my age group (medals only for first through third, though, pooey).  If I counted correctly, I was the 10th female over the finish line out of 42 total female runners, and finished 30th out of 80 total runners.  My time was 25 minutes and 33 seconds.  Had hoped to get under 25, but dems da breaks.

This guy, Wallace, came in last place in the race … the caboose … but came in first place in my heart:


He was awesome!  Wallace is 83 years old and ran it in a li’l over 51 minutes.  He’s a tough dude.  I was told it took him over an hour to run it last year, so he has improved greatly since then!

I did score a pretty cool T-shirt for running the 5K:


And I do believe this warrior chick has earned a nap … off to La La Land y’all … hot diggety!



Not real proud of that hairdo, LOL, but I am proud of the hard work I have put into staying in shape.  I ain’t no spring chicken, about to turn 44 here in a couple of months.  What some people call addiction or even a waste of time cuz hey we’re all just gonna die someday anyway, I call dedication, discipline, and perseverance.  Exercise has enhanced my life in so many other ways than just looking fit.  It’s helped me build self-confidence and fight stress and has helped me to dramatically improve my poor self-esteem and bad body image, which so many of us deal with daily.

In the above pic, I had just finished Pure Cardio by Insanity.  I giggle at the end every time right before the final stretch and here’s why:


There are sweat-drenched athletes flopped out all over the gym floor in exhaustion, yet at the bottom of the screen it says, “Never Stop Moving.”  Classic!

As far as crazy or fun loving and adventurous, I think I’m a li’l bit crazy but a lotta bit fun loving and adventurous.  When people call me crazy, it take it as a compliment. I’ve gotten a ton of giggles and compliments for my e-mail addy, which is  I think it’s cute … clever … and kinda funny!  Do I really think I am King (or Queen) of the jungle?!  Heck no … but I do think we ALL have a creative, energetic beast inside us that if we just strap on some courage and shake off our fears, i.e. unleash da beast, we can do amazing things, stuff we’ve never even imagined.  The sky is the limit.


This is so very true … I’m living it.  Life ain’t always easy, but having chosen a new path of positive thinking after feeling sorry for myself for so many years, I have learned that anything is possible.  I have learned that my self-worth is not based on whether other people like me or accept me or not.  I’ve learned that nobody can love me fully until I love myself first.  I’ve come a LONG way, and I know I still have many miles to go … got a demon or two I need to shake, and I will.

Meantime, I’m gonna be the one on the right:


The smiling, happy, and yes … crazy one!  Yea buddy.  Y’all have a great Saturday … beautiful day here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  As my mom would often say, “Keep smilin’!”


No membership fees, fresh air, sunshine, and a cool breeze … can’t beat it!  Yup I crammed all this workout gear into da Beastmobile plus a bunch more fitness videos.  The only thing I forgot was my exercise mat:

There’s something about working out when people are walking by and some even looking over from their campsites.  It made me work harder!  I figured they were already getting a chuckle outta what I was doing, but I sure didn’t want them laughing at me cuz I couldn’t keep up or my weights were too light.  The only danger to that is the possibility of injuring myself while trying to look all strong and stuff.

Peeps should start pouring into the good ole KOA this afternoon, I reckon, with it being the weekend and all.  I got new neighbors last night.  Hubby is from Massachusetts and wife is from New Hampshire … super cool … yankees!  They pahked theah traila and cah in the site next to mine.

Steve came back this morning … he’s pretty ballsy and will be lucky to be alive by the time we leave on Sunday:

Sammie has a few kills under her belt.  I don’t think she means to kill cuz she kinda leans over the deceased beings, squirrels or chipmunks usually, and wonders why they stopped playing chase.  Steve got away this time, hope he’s counting his blessings:

I walked SSE shortly after my workout.  She began walking really fast, so I could tell she was onto the scent of some type of creature … she got right up into this snoozing kitty’s face:

I thought for sure Kitty would jump up and claw Sammie’s eyeballs out, but the dang thing slept right through it all.  Sweet-lookin’ thang but not much of a watch kitty!

I wonder what kinda trouble I can get into today.  Only thing I HAVE to do is meet the kids when they get off the school bus.  They tend to get busy playing on the bus and forget to get off unless I’m there to remind them.  Here they are waiting for it this morning:

Catch y’all on the flip flop and don’t worry, be happy!


Or at least it’s the face of a chick who just completed Insanity Pure Cardio.  As far as the hair … this “hippie hair growth” thang is turnin’ more into “how soon before I can dye my curly locks and look just like Bozo” kinda thang.  It was a great morning for a workout … 64 degrees, with a nice breeze, which, naturally, mostly subsided while I was working out.  Then the dang video stopped for some odd reason … got some goofy error message.  I knew there were three more exercises, and I knew what they were, so I just wung it and completed the workout without Shaun T’s guidance.  Adapt and overcome baby.

This is Steve the Squawkin’ Squirrel.  I heard this God-awful noise and looked beside me.  Steve was upset and wanted to be sure I knew.  Sammie translated for me.  Steve was angry cuz he missed breakfast.  I don’t blame him, as I had the breakfast of champions:

A greasy grilled cheddar cheeseburger, medium raw, and a Diet Coke.  I can’t live without this first thing in the morning … I know, kinda bizarre.  It is what it is. Squawkin’ Steve was lucky Sammie was tied up.  Obviously,  he is unaware of Sammie’s award-winning squirrel-chasing skills.

I broke down last night and called for pizza.  I haven’t had Papa Johns in a long, long time, and since I got jipped out of it in West Columbia that night, I decided splurge:

It was delicious … only problem was they didn’t put any of that garlic butter in there for dipping … doggone it!

Looking forward to seeing what I can get into today.  I don’t really have the urge to go into town or to the beach.  I’m really just diggin’ the campground life.  I think I could live like this forever.  For now, I will leave you with another game of Name that Bird:

I dunno what the heck it is!




If I didn’t know any better, I would think this woman was either a professional fitness model or someone who not only competes in but places very highly in bodybuilding/figure competitions on a national level.  I’m no competition judge or fitness expert, but I’ve thumbed through several muscle magazines throughout the years and seen a lot of pics of women who compete professionally, and this girl, in my humble opinion, rates right up there with the best of the best.  This is my cousin, Beth, 5 years ago at age 41.  Wow!

Hmmm, how do I say this?  I don’t have the closest-knit family for sure.  There’s no hate; it’s just that we mostly only see each other at weddings and funerals.  It is what it is.  It’s been years since I’ve seen Beth.  That said, Facebook, while I sometimes think is going to contribute to the demise of society, is also a wonderful way in which many family members and I have reconnected.  I posted these pics of me on Facebook, or some like it, a while back:


Beth complimented me on the pics.  I got curious and went to her page and was astonished and so very impressed with what she had accomplished:


My pics?  Not bad for a 40-sumpn-year-old cop who was working 12 hours a night.  Her pics?  A-freaking-mazing for a 40-sumpn-year-old mother of two!

Since all these pics were taken, we’ve both hit some rough patches in life, bumps in the road, setbacks, whatever you wanna call ‘em … it happens to all of us.  Beth told me she gained a significant amount of weight and essentially stopped caring.  People who work out are no different than those who don’t in that we all face difficulties in life, we all have bills to pay, we all have only 24 hours in each day, we all sometimes put other peoples’ needs and wants ahead of our own, and I dare say, we all feel kinda crappy about ourselves at certain times in our lives.  The difference is, we eventually muster up the strength needed to pull ourselves out of the doldrums and give ourselves the attention we so deserve.

I’ve come to believe that in order to be the best person you can for those in your life, you first must take care of yourself, the others come after.  It sounds selfish but it isn’t.  Taking care of your own physical and mental well being and, in essence, loving yourself, enables you to love more freely and to allow others to love you.  Dang, that sounds a li’l mushy.  What I mean is that it’s true, nobody can love you til you truly love yourself.

I’m not saying either of us is there yet mentally or physically, but we are works in progress.  I am happy to say that Beth, now age 46, is back on the path to fitness, having lost the weight and gained some muscle back.  I am also not trying to imply that one has to be “ripped” and/or super thin to be healthy or happy.  Exercise releases “feel-good” endorphins.  I do it now for sanity, not so much for vanity.

That said, time for some high-intensity interval cardio!

Thanks, Beth, for letting me share some of your story … you are a great inspiration.  Smile




If it is, then this lioness was on fi-ya this morning.  Apparently, my fire alarm is not working properly, cuz I was smokin’ my workout and it never went off.  Ok, maybe I am exaggerating, but I WAS breathing quite heavily while doing this video:


First of all, the cover is misleading.  It says there are two 30-minute fat-blasting workouts.  You can combine both workouts into one long workout, which is … 80 minutes???  Fuzzy math, for sure.  I usually prefer shorter, intense workouts, alternating cardio and weights each day, 30-40 minutes per workout.  This particular video alternates weight exercises with about three minutes of high-intensity cardio between each weight move.  It’s cool cuz she does three levels of cardio, a minute each, and you can choose to stay on level one through the whole interval if that is the best you can do.  I always try to push myself up to level three but am not always successful.  I’m satisfied as long as I improve each time.

The weight-lifting portions of this video involve a lot of compound moves such as lunges with triceps extensions and squats with biceps curls.  These light-weight, high-rep exercises burn a buncha calories and can wear your butt down.  One thing I like about this particular video is a 30-second countdown clock comes up at the end of each interval, so just as you are about to give up and fall into a heap of hot and sweaty mess, you see there are only 30 seconds left.  You can do anything for 30 seconds, right?!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Today, this 80-minute workout took me over 90 minutes.  It is a high-intensity session, and the instructor, Jari Love, goes from interval to interval with literally NO rest in between.  If I feel like I need to rest to catch my breath, drink some water, stretch, call 911, or whatever, I hit pause.  I don’t recommend going off and cleaning the bathroom or cooking a 4-course meal during your rest, but I do recommend taking enough time to bring your heart rate down just a tad, particularly after the cardio intervals.

Oh, and Jari likes to mess with your mind a little.  She’ll say, “How many more reps?!  Ok eight more.”  Then she’ll count two reps on each side as ONE!  More of that fuzzy fitness math.  Then at the beginning of one of the cardio intervals, she said, “Now we are going to do the Charleston.”  The wha … ?  To me, doing Charleston is hitting Wet Willie’s on East Bay Street in the beautiful historic downtown and drinking a couple Bahama Mamas before browsing all the wonderful shops.  Well, she meant the dance move … and yeah, I am not coordinated at all with that sorta stuff.  I made it through, but it looked more like I was doing MY version of Charleston.


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