Sunday, November 27, 2011

Health and Whimsy: Continuing Success

Hello ladies,

I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had an enjoyable holiday. The Schuylkill River path was well travelled Thursday through Saturday. It was inspiring how many Philadelphia residents and tourists were making use of the city's green spaces.

Below is my favorite sculpture in the North Terrace of the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial Sculpture Garden. The exercise path travels through the garden.

Poet: He Shaped Our Dreams

This week, I am down two more pounds, which brings the total to 19 pounds lost since September 1st.  My silhouette looks leaner even than a week ago. On Friday, a man in his late 60s jogged by me and saluted. Such moments are nice, especially from people who have been focused on fitness for a long time.

I decided to purchase P90X for working out at home. The main reason I chose the set was the affordability. With tax, I paid $75, which amounts to $6.25 per DVD. Even if I only enjoy half the DVDs, it still is a good value.

My goals with P90X are to have the opportunity to gain strength and practice exercises I will later be doing in group classes at the gym. I am not swayed by the dramatic before and after pictures or expecting similar results in a short time. A person working out in a test group with trainers and nutritionists monitoring their progress will likely have different results than a person working out at home without the same support. This isn't to say I don't expect to use and benefit from the DVDs. I am just realistic that I won't be ready to appear on the cover of Fitness by March 1st. Thankfully, that's not my goal!

I chose the 12 DVD box set without the nutrition books. Preferring a vegetarian, whole foods approach to diet, I have no interest in their supplements and meal plans. While I'm sure it would be useful to some people, the philosophy is different from what has worked for me in the past. I wish the fitness guide would have been packaged with the DVDs. With a little research, I was able to quickly locate the information for workout schedules, printer friendly worksheets and a breakdown of equipment required for each DVD.

If you are interested in working out with DVDs at home, I recommend perusing The site provides short clips of each DVD for sale, allowing you to preview the workout before buying.  I advise choosing the video by your current skill level (beginner/intermediate/advanced) along with the personality of the instructor.

Behaviors that helped this week:

  • Focusing on fresh produce. On Wednesday, I shopped for fruits and veggies at the Korean grocery store so there would be no room in my fridge for any foods not befitting of my goals. 
  • Moving my snack time to within 15-20 minutes before and after my workout. While I didn't consume any additional calories with the change, my body seemed to burn fuel more efficiently. I wasn't hungry for a snack later. 
  • Purchasing a new sports bra. Check out the underwire styles from Champion. These provide much more support than the compression tanks with the elastic band. 
  • Packing a snack for my trip to the mall. Even though I was meeting a friend for lunch first, I stashed a peanut butter granola bar in my purse. I did end up needing it and saved myself the trouble and expense of trying to procure a healthy snack in the Food Court. 
  • Accomplishing what I can. Since I had to order a new DVD player, adding to my program this week wasn't practical. I was still able to walk 5 times, 4 miles (6.4K) on each occasion.  I found a pair of cross training sneakers at the Nike Outlet and tee shirts at Old Navy for 75% off. 
Goals for next week: 
  • Try DVDs from P90X. My new DVD player is due to arrive Tuesday night. I was able to preview several of the DVDs at my friend's house while cat sitting this week. Yoga X looks like a carbon copy of gym classes I have taken in the past. Core Synergistics has unique body rolling moves mixed with classic exercises like jumping jacks and lunges. While both these videos appear challenging, I feel confident I can attempt the modified versions of the exercises. The Chest and Back program looks beyond my skill level at this time, but I can revisit it when I get stronger. If you decide to add a workout DVD to your regimen, I advise taking the time to watch the program first. Having a general familiarity with the routine will help you be ready with whatever equipment you need and will maximize your time when exercising. It can make the transitions from one move to the next more flowing. 
  • Organize my exercise equipment. This has been in the back of my mind for awhile. I am arriving at the point where if I want to workout at home, I need to get set up. 
  • Get an idea of how I want to restructure my routine. While I don't expect to have my regimen set in a single week, paying attention to how my body is feeling will certainly give my clues to when I need to add or subtract activity. 

Do any of you like to keep fit using DVDs at home? Do you have any favorite titles or instructors? For those in the US, how was your holiday?

Health and Whimsy is intended to be a journal of my personal experience. Please consult a doctor before making any changes to your health care regimen. 

Happy painting, ladies!


  1. I have used fitness DVDs at home for 9 years this month. I have a large library of DVDs, as you can imagine.

    Having the availability to workout on my own time schedule has been key to my success. No matter what time I get up, I can still workout first thing in the morning.

    I shall have to share with you a photo of my home office/fitness room. I love having a room dedicated to workouts.

    My workouts consist of a bit of everything. Back in April, I added a running regimen as well. I also do kettlebell workouts and those are hard yet give me results fast!

    You should do very well with P90X. I'm enjoying reading about your progress.

  2. Thanks! I would love to see a picture of your fitness room! I do best when there are two factors present: options and consistency. Videos are great to get me going. I love being able to pause and practice if I need to. I saw kettlebell dvds. They look really interesting! I definitely want to give that a try. I am so impatient for my replacement DVD player to arrive tomorrow. I should be able to get started on Weds. I really enjoy walking, as you do running. I'm looking to create a blended program between the DVDs and walking.

  3. I'm so happy for you. You really are moving forward with getting healthy. I lost 5lbs last week. Now this week I'd be shocked if I lost. Too much food from Thanksgiving!

  4. Lucy: Thank you! You are doing great too! As long as you hold steady the week after Thanksgiving, you will be ahead of the game. It's positive even to maintain this time of year. :)

  5. I like that statue. It seems Mayan. That means it won't be there next December when the solar flare comes. Hopefully, one day I will walk with you. But before such time you will probably be able to walk to my house. I'm impressed. Love, me.

  6. Claire: There are a series of statues along the river. I'll be sure to include pictures of the others in future posts. The next post will show flowers. I am sure you will approve. :)


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