Helpful Hints When Starting a Treadmill Routine

Proper footwear is a must for safe treadmill use.

As most of you know, I hate exercise.  But it is a mandatory part of my week if I want to continue eating nachos while watching the Biggest Loser with some sort of a clean conscience.  I wasn't born with the metabolism to eat whatever I want and not gain the weight, so while some people exercise for good health, I exercise to eat things I enjoy.  It is a totally screwed up way of thinking, I know this.  But it works.

I've tried to trick myself with different things to do while on the treadmill to keep things interesting. Some things work, somethings don't.  I compiled a short list to help you if you've decided to make 2013 the year you finally get a treadmill and not for your cats or children to climb on or to hang clothes on, but to get your butt moving.

1.  DON'T  watch Nicholas Sparks movies while on the treadmill.  I put on Nights in Rodanthe the other day and as if I wasn't gasping for breath enough as it was, I started to cry when Richard Gere died and ended up a blubbering mess, crying and trying to breathe all at the same time while trying to maintain a decent jogging speed.  I was so entranced by the movie I lost all critical thinking skills that would've told me to either a) get off the treadmill or b) slow down a little or c)the thing that makes the most sense - get off the treadmill altogether and hop on the couch with a box of tissues and a blanket.

Nicholas Sparks movies are never a wise choice for treadmill entertainment.

2.  DO put a motivational photo up on or near the treadmill - this can be either of yourself in a bathing suit or a bathing suit you saw in a catalog that you'd like to fit into.  You could also put an unflattering photo of yourself or someone else if that's what really drives you to push harder. 

A photo of you or someone else in a bathing suit could prove to be helpful during a workout. Or not.

3.  DON'T  use a complicated piece of technology such as an ipod touch or any of those mini devices - too many music choices during a dreaded workout will tempt you to keep changing the dial and not pay attention to your footing and it could lead you a tangled mess in your headphones leading to possible injury.

Thumb Circles should not be included in your treadmill routine.

4.  DO   try to diversify your treadmill workout to avoid boredom.  Use the incline throughout your workout to increase the intensity and calorie burn, walk at a really fast pace that almost feels like a jog, and once in a while do a sprint for 30 seconds or so.  The sprints will make you appreciate the jog more, the jog will make you appreciate the fast walk more, and the fast walk will make you appreciate sitting on the couch more.  Simple basic principles of laziness really.

5. DON'T  try to jazz it up too much like our friend here in the Youtube video.  Applying a funky dance routine can lead to twisted ankles, pulled muscles, and possible head trauma.  Get into the routine, but don't bust a joint trying to bust a move.  I love this girl - but a treadmill dance routine is not for the faint of heart or clumsy.

6.  DO  keep fluids nearby.  Water, Gatorade, Red Bull, 5 hour caffeine drinks (kidding!), liquid sunshine, anything like that is nice. It's important that you stay hydrated.

7.  DON'T keep a flask, an open beer or glass of wine in the drink holder - save that for the couch after the workout.  We're here for a job.  No one should be guilty of TWI (treadmilling while intoxicated).

Friends don't let friends walk drunk.

8.  DO get to know your treadmill.  Each treadmill is a little different, but most have two buttons: START AND STOP.  The start button is green - like go.  The stop but is red - like - Hell no I'm not spending another minute on this thing! For safety, almost all treadmills come with an automatic stop-button . On mine it's a clip that can attach to your shirt or shorts and on the other end is a magnet so if you trip and fall on your shoelaces that you didn't bother to tie well, like I often do, you'll pull the safety cord— and the treadmill will shut off, leaving you on the floor, clueless as to how far you actually walked/jogged. Not cool.

9.  DON'T   hang on your machine.  No one likes a cheap date - not even your treadmill.  Have some pride in yourself. Watch your posture while exercising. Whether you are walking or running, keep your shoulders back and head up looking forward. Use your basic walking or running stride length, and try to swing your arms at your sides to help you move faster. Make sure your heels land first then push off with your toes.  If you're going to be on it, work it like a pro.  I'd recommend putting a mirror close by so you could check your stance, but if we liked what we saw when we looked in the mirror, we wouldn't be on the treadmill in the first place now would we?

Try to avoid short naps while on the treadmill.

10.  DO   remember to warm up and cool down - this does not include assuming the fetal position on the floor and falling asleep before your routine begins nor does it include starting in warm up and staying in that mode the whole time.  If you can carry on a phone conversation with a friend while you are on the treadmill, your heart rate isn't getting close enough to heart attack zone to actually make a difference! Hang up the phone and walk!

Hope my little list helps you in your fitness quest!  Good luck, and remember what Jack Lalane always said.."I hate exercise..but I love results!"

(Reposted from last February...)


Why I do What I do...

Most of you know how I feel about January, 2013 so far.  I think it has been a real asshole to many.  Between sickness, a few losses to Cancer, bitter cold, bad news and other untimely aggravations, it's almost gotten the best of me.

Most of you also know that the reason I started this blog over a year ago was to make my corner of the world, or even my contribution to the world, a few funnies when you need them.  A silly story here, an outrageous opinion there, nothing too serious, some random thoughts, some relatable content.  I'm not trying to get rich with the pennies that I've accumulated over 13 months, nor do I think I will write the next Oprah book club selection.  I'm just trying to reach people like me who might have had a shitty day, need a giggle, know they're not alone.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Simplicity.

Yesterday I worked, got the kids to and from where they needed to be and sat down for my daily session on Facebook.  As I scrolled through updates and posts, one common trend stuck out.  Admins banning people who had nasty comments, people contradicting a joke that was posted, commenters looking for a fight or a reason to put someone down, people judging each other - etc.  It all weighed heavily on my shoulders.  Granted, I see this kind of stuff all of the time and have learned to scroll, ignore, delete, move along - whatever self -defense mechanisms I've learned through this gig, I've implemented.  But yesterday was different.  Yesterday felt like it was too much to bear.  I slammed my computer shut as if to close the door on every mean person out there and had that random thought pop in my head to just walk away from all of it.  Unplug.  Quit.  Stop trying.  Give in.  Let 'them' win.  Evil Finally Beats Good  was the headline running through my mind.  Instead of going to the pantry to look for every salty, crunchy snack to stand there and graze on until the feelings passed (and instead replaced with feelings of guilt from the bingefest), I got my workout gear on and hit the treadmill.  And I ran.  And every time I wanted to stop, I got mad and pushed through it.  FOUR miles later I was wiped.  I walked a bit more to cool down and I did a mental check, and the thoughts had subsided.  Wow.  This feels good.  A big exhale and I got off the treadmill and jumped in the shower.  All of the anger washed down the drain - I even thought of some funny things somewhere between the 2nd shampoo and conditioning.

This morning, I got up to find an email from another blogger I helped to get started quite a while back.
DG--I’m sorry, but I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind for like two days now.  So I just have to everything ok?  If so then maybe you are just on my mind.  Not a bad thing, since you are one of the most amazing people I have ever had the blessing to interact with...but..I’m thinking about you.  And sending huge hugs.  Just in case. xo T

And then I remembered why I do what I do.
Connecting with people I'd never normally meet in real life.
Touching the hearts of others with a story.

Reaching out to someone in a similar situation - someone trying to find their place in the world, someone trying to get through Motherhood, someone's hand to hold that would otherwise feel alone.

Her note, though short and sweet, filled me with a renewed sense of purpose. It reminded me that there are two ways to look at everything - you can see the good ( and there is SO much of it out there), or the bad. You can choose to put your energy toward the joy, kindness, friendships, and love of others - or you can let the bad gobble you up and send you sinking in to the deep abyss of depression. It's a battle. Some days it's a tougher battle than others. But damn it - it's a battle I choose to fight.

I may not win any contest - I may not get a book deal - but that's not why I do it. I do this to spread cheer and smiles to others - and though I know I'd be able to help so many more people if I could win Powerball - I feel like I'm already rich from reaping the benefits from the friendships I've formed by putting myself out there.

As I said in my response to "T" when I ask myself "what's wrong with people?" or "why are people so mean?" My answer is - "People" are not mean - some people are mean. The majority of people are still very good. Like her. She is what is right in this world. Taking 2 minutes out of her busy day to just say "hey, not sure if you're ok, but thought I'd just drop a quick note to make sure.." So today I choose to refocus my energy and remember to put my stock into the idea that more people are good than not - they may not get the attention that they deserve - or be in the spotlight - but I can mentally get them back there and notice them - and for that ability alone, I'm grateful.

So "T" (and anyone else sending kind thoughts on a daily basis), I accept your hugs with open arms and a gracious heart, and send my appreciation for reminding me that I can choose to be brought down by the negativity of the miserable people out there, or I can continue to be uplifted by the good and kindness of others.

Good. For the Win.

Until next there someone you should reach out to with a short, sweet note of kindness? What's two minutes out of your day? It could mean more than you know.

Big hugs and love to all of you - until next time,



How To Annoy Your Husband During a Football Game


Ahhh the Championship games are here.  After this - the Super Bowl.  Another long NFL season is coming to an end.  Fantasy Football is over - the obsessing over every injury, every yard, every interception is done.

This is it.  This is my last opportunity to pay my husband back for the ridiculous, annoying commentary he has bombarded me with during my one to two hours of peaceful time without the kids around and tainted my show watching all year long.  Dancing with the Stars would be accompanied with wardrobe comments, questions about this and that - critiques on hair and body.  Grey's Anatomy would be peppered in sarcastic remarks about Patrick Dempsey's hair and what's so great about him, and how gaunt so and so looks, and how this or that would never happen.  And not just any Grey's Anatomy episode - but the post-crash episodes this season when Sloane (McSteamy) died and I was crying my eyes out. Nevermind if he busted me once -in -a-blue-moon sneaking a Housewives of Somewhere episode - ohhh then I just turned the tv off instead of listen to his verbal pecking the whole time. Yes. Paybacks have been coming for a while.

Looks like today's the day.  His beloved Patriots are in the Championship game.  He's giddy with excitement.  It's my time to shine - and really drive a point home here.
I hope you're ready for a long, torturous season of American Idol after all of the football you made me watch

It's the third quarter.  I've compiled a list of all of the things I've done so far.  I think at this point he knows it's a joke/experiment/blog research because he knows I wouldn't normally put so much effort into trying to annoy him.

Here's my Top 10 Ways to Annoy Your Husband During a Football game - also known as paybacks for peanut-gallery-type commentary on my chick flicks and girly shows.

1.  Talk incessantly about the uniforms.  Seriously.  The Ravens pants are HAWT.  I love the solid black tighty spandexy pants they have on.  I can't tell where the pants end and the socks begin.  I wouldn't mind a pair to kick around in.  The black with the  flashy B on the it.  Much better than those awful misty-grey pants with the stripe down the thigh that the Pats are wearing. 

2.  Yell for the other team just as much as the home team.  This will cause confusion and irritation.  Tell him you feel so sorry for the losing team, the head coach of the losing team who will probably lose his job and not be able to support his family, and especially for the wives of the losing teams' players.  Trying to over-humanize them will drive him to drink.

3.  Ask questions and use other sports' terminology like why did they call that a foul ball?  Be sure to over complicate your questions just to make them stop and answer them.

4.  Talk about the cheerleaders any time they do a close up.  This will  distract them and they will miss their chance to drool over them.  Point out to them which ones are wearing false eyelashes, cake makeup, have had collagen injections and or breast implants.  Then, just for added fun, talk about the exploitation of women.  That might make him leave the room or just hand you the remote and give up.

5.  If he asks for anything...a beer, nachos, whatever.  Sigh really loud and say your back is killing you but no problem, you'll be right back.  Bring him a beer without the bottle top removed - sit back down - and then make him ask you again to bring you a bottle opener.  If he does, glare and ask him if his legs are broken.  So much fun!!

6.  Pronounce the players' names wrong - saying them sloooowwww and phonetically then ask what kind of name that is and start to question the origin or nationality of the player.  Find someone you know with the same nationality and start telling a story about that person if you can.  Just keep talking.  And talking. And talking. 

7.  Over-cheer and overreact for every little thing - including things like a 2 yard gain, an incomplete pass or a yellow flag.  You could even bark like a dog and do Arsenio Hall style arm movements and jump out of your seat.  It will annoy them to no end - not to mention they won't be able to hear what the call was because you are being too loud.  (Be careful though, this could cause them to rewind the play and add extra time onto the game).

8. Bring the kids' Nerf football into the family room.  Insist he keep throwing it back to you.  Wait until he's not watching and throw it toward his head and yell THINK FAST! Also, if you are indulging in popcorn or m&m's and the like - insist he open his mouth and try to catch a kernel of popcorn in his mouth.  Anything you can do to keep annoying him - it's like the "I'm not touching you , I'm not touching you" game from grade school where you keep poking around their face.  Yes, these are childish and immature - but greatly rewarding and entertaining.

9.  Talk about the dangers of football during any and all injuries and say, "see, that's why I don't like football - it's just too dangerous and someone ends up getting hurt in every game."  It's also fun to point out that they would never last five minutes in a game.

10. If he's in a Fantasy Football league, be sure to say "you shouldn't have played that guy, that's going to cost you.." or other unwanted, obvious bits of advice/information that he is already saying in his own mind.

In conclusion, I want to say this.  I was born and raised in Canton, Ohio.  Home of  everything football.  I grew up with Buckeye Fever, Cleveland Browns Heartache, and everything in the city revolving around football.  My dad and brother never missed an NFL game on TV.  I've been dealing with this for years.  My husband loves the game, my kids love the game.  I really don't mind it....but I have made a sport out of razzing these guys when they get too serious about the game.

If I'm being honest, I love the game, I love the lazy Sundays on the couch and I love the excuse to eat bad food and be part of America's favorite pastime (eating, being lazy, and watching tv). 

Enjoy the game...until next time - Go New England Ravens! (kidding!)


Knock Knock...


Remember Me?

I'm "After the Holidays."

I'm the guy you promised all of those things to...should I refresh your memory?

After the holidays, I'll organize and give away the kids' clothes that don't fit.

After the holidays, I'll sort their toys.

After the holidays, I'm going to organize my closet like a pro.

After the holidays, I'll start putting some money away in savings.

After the holidays, I'm going to eat right.

After the holidays, I'm going to get to bed earlier.

After the holidays, I'm going to get on an exercise routine.

After the holidays, I'm going to start cleaning this house on a regular basis.

After the holidays, I'm going to watch less TV.

After the holidays, I'm going to unplug from social media more often.

After the holidays, I'm going to read more.

After the holidays, I'm going to calm down and regroup.

After the holidays, I'm going to cut back on shopping and spending.

Every time I think of all of the things that are knocking on my door after the holidays, I think of this scene from the Shining. 

Knock Knock.

Who's There?

You Know.

You know who?

Exactly,  You know who this is now open the door, it's after the holidays and I'm going to kick your ass.

Lovely.  I am pretty sure I deserve it.

Are we READY?  Let's do this.

Cheers and love - and here's a duster, some garbage bags and careful not to shoot your eye out.