Sunday, June 19, 2011

Horton Hears a Holla!

Hard to believe a week has gone by since I have invested 14 minutes a day to 10 Minute Trainer.  I have to say, I appreciate how short it is.  That is what got me doing anything tonight.  Apparently, today, there was not enough refined sugar ON THE PLANET to assuage my binge.  Hot fudge sundae... check.  Lemonheads...check.  Peanut butter toast...check. (No, not the, "I-love-Mother-Nature-organic" crap...Jif, baby!)  So, at around 9:45 tonight, I had talked myself in to and out of working out.  Then, I came to the realization: How lame would it be, JoLynn, if you cannot even do 10 minutes of something?  And so, I sit here, waiting for my sweat factor to die down before I can try to go to bed.

Sweat? (you say incredulously)  How can you possibly be sweating?  Well, you have to recall two things: (1) I am a walking hormone.  I have had issues with body temperature since my early 30s, thanks to a lovely little condition called PCOS.  So, putting on socks makes me sweat.  (2) It's Tony Horton.  Have you done any of his workouts?  The man does not mess.

To summarize this week:
Monday: Warm up---Cardio---Cool Down (14 minutes)
Tuesday: Warm up---Total Body---Cool Down (14 minutes); Zumba (60 minutes)
Wednesday: Zumba (60 minutes); Fine Toning Express (30 minutes); No Tony Horton...are ya kidding me?  Why did I need it?
Thursday: Zumba (60 minutes); fatigue setting in; no 10 Minute Trainer
Friday: Warm up---Yoga Flex (12 minutes)
Saturday: Warm up---Total Body---Cool Down (14 minutes)
Sunday: Warm up---Cardio---Cool Down (14 minutes)

Foodwise, I have hovered between the same two-pound range.  Depends on the day.  If I had eaten and not worked out, I would have definitely gained.  No question.  Too much convenience eating.  At least when I was in school, I was in control of lunch (which was usually an Uncrustable).  This week was sad for me AND my kids.  We will be correcting that next week.  My complexion and my attitude will thank me.  But that sundae was awfully good. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Let's be careful, Generation X

Today, I am waxing philosophical about my generation of parents.  We have the opportunity to open up a world for our children that is beyond anything we could have imagined when we were younger.  With opportunities come responsibilities.

Portable electronic devices
We can now have access to our children anywhere there is cell phone service, and that is just about anywhere.  What a blessing!  They can grab information anywhere they need it from small handheld devices with network capabilities.  The world is literally at their fingertips.

But they don't need them at dinner.  And they don't need them at church.  And they don't need them to avoid a conversation.  It's so easy to make the iPad the new babysitter.  I came face to face with this on Thursday night.  There was an Open House for Autism Camp in my son's school district.  This is an extended school year program specifically for students on the spectrum.  It is to bridge both academics and social skills for the students.  Many parents brought their kids to the Open House, but I am still wondering why.  Many of them sat with their Samsung Galaxy or their iPad or what have you... totally ignoring the speakers.  Now, granted, Max did not last long, either, but that was due to the fact that it was a large crowd in a school cafeteria with horrible acoustics.  Scott walked around with him and let him explore the school rather than let him sit there and ignore the world as he delved into a game. 

Being at everything
I am still fuzzy on how this started.  It was somewhere between when I was a kid and when I became a parent.  I am reading a book right now about teaching literacy in the classroom.  One of the core parts of this method goes well with my philosophy of teaching: stay out of the way.  There is a LOT being said right now about teachers getting students to be "college ready."  The US Congress is discussing re-authorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), lovingly dubbed "No Child Left Behind," as it will sunset in 2012... a school generation after its ill-advised conception in 2000.  The reauthorization, we are told, will be tweaked to stress college readiness skills. 

My question is: What are college readiness skills in 2012?  It isn't your parents college readiness, that's for sure.  I went to college with a typewriter, and graduated 4 years later in 1991 using 5 1/4' floppies and the earliest version of Word Perfect (black screen, green font...holla!).  Within 10 years, I had e-mail and the Internet at my disposal.  I had graduated with an online Master's degree.  Times are a-changing rapidly.

As parents, we can provide our children with laptops, cell phones, iPads, and, oh yeah, money...whatever the college believes is needed for an education.  But we MUST provide them with skills of independence.  How are we doing that by micromanaging?  Do we really need to be at everything?  I am not talking about the big things, like games and graduations, and such.  I am talking about practices.  I am talking about being at every game.  I am talking about interfering with the coaches and what they are trying to teach the children (that is not our generation of parenting, but it's becoming way too commonplace).  I am talking about constantly contacting teachers and fighting children's battles for them.

Remember the chant, "Let them play!"  It rang in my head as I took Ignatius to the park when he was younger.  Full sized adults on playground equipment.  An anachronism to the highest degree.  There's a reason we don't fit down the slide anymore.  It's because the intent is for the children to play and potentially socialize with other children. 

When I send my son to college (or whatever school he needs for animation) in 4 short years from now, my goal is to give him the gift of independently making decisions that are in his own best interest. I hope to send him with the ability to problem solve, to work with other people, to be known as the dependable group member and not the slacker.  I hope to send him with the skills to advocate for himself, to respectfully disagree, and to always be polite to others.  At the same time, I want him to be able to stand up for himself and let a bully know that his parents will support him giving a good ass kicking when called for (sorry folks, with boys, sometimes, it's called for).  I also want him to acquire the gut instinct when the odds are stacked against him, when things are not safe, and when he needs to remove himself from a situation.  Those are some heavy duty goals.

I know, I know.  If we're not at everything, our kid might miss out on something.  Yes, the ability to listen for important information and relay it to the people who need to hear it.  That's what they miss out on. 

Jacks of all trades, masters of none
I was involved in an incredible amount of activities when I was younger.  I was not pushed into any of it.  I wanted to do it all.  That meant going to school on the bus at 7, having track practice after school until 5, walking to Wendy's for some dinner, returning to a 6:30 - 10:00 PM play practice, and waking up the next day to do it again.  That meant spending Saturdays at volleyball tournaments without my parents because I did not need them to be there as I sat through a bye and chatted with my friends. (They did come for some of the games though.)  It meant one parent taking and another parent picking up from weekend basketball games when I was cheering (called "carpooling").  It was all commonplace.  I did not feel rejected.  No therapy needed.  I could care for myself.  That was the underlying theme.

Why do we believe that our children must be involved in 10,000 activities at our urging?  Why are we unable to just give kids time to play... to chill out... to (gasp!) do nothing... to self-entertain... to possibly play a (non-electronic) game with a sibling?
Don't get me wrong
I sound as though I am beyond reproach.  I am not.  We all get sucked in. I love all things electronic.  I am typing on my laptop right now.  I enjoy the socialization of social media (Facebook especially) and playing Words with Friends.  Ignatius just got off the Wii (he has a 1 hour time limit) and Max just got off the iPad.  What's going on now?  Ignatius is helping his dad in the yard (oh yeah, there's reluctance, but one day he'll realize the value of what his dad is teaching him... and I mean being able to do something instead of paying someone else to do it), and Max is "making money" from paper and making his own wallet out of paper.  Am I directing any of this?  Nope.  Do my children feel unloved?  I challenge you to prove that one.

Monday, June 13, 2011

10 Minute Trainer Day 2

Max and I worked hard for 10 minutes this afternoon. We participated in the Total Body workout. Holy smokes. This is no joke.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tony Horton Abridged

The same information gurus who snagged me into buying P90X have succeeded again.  They succeeded mainly because I love Tony Horton.  I loved P90X, and, if I did nothing related to working or raising kids, I would have no problem doing P90X.  It just fatigued me after 45 days to the point of being nonfunctioning.

So, having consistently completed Zumba for a couple years and inconsistently running for the past 6 months, I decided to indulge in Tony's newest endeavor: 10 Minute Trainer.  Here are the tiers, according to JoLynn:

Tier 1: Complete a 2-minute warm up, a 10-minute activity, and a 2-minute cool down every day.
Tier 1.1: Complete a 2-minute warm up, 2 or 3 10-minute activities, and a 2-minute cool down every day.
Tier 2: Tier 1 plus Tony's eating suggestions (which include Shakeology...which literally made me sick to my stomach...)
Tier 3: Tier 2 plus add another 10-minute workout or two

Many things come with the program, but I will warn you: the salespeople on the phone are barracudas.  They try to sell you everything under the sun.  I hung up one time (and they called me back!) because they were so pushy.  I was nice and said I was hanging up, but she was ruthless, this gal.  Well trained at the art of the Beachbody sell.  But no means no, man.

With the informercial's offer, you get:
  • Cardio
  • Yoga Flex
  • Total Body
  • Lower Body
  • Abs
  • a tape measure
  • an exercise band (I got the 20 lb one as I have many varieties of lighter bands at home)
  • a cardio belt door set-up
  • the 2-day jump start (Shakeology recommended... expensive and really gross...sorry Tony)
  • a 4-week workout schedule
  • Rapid Results Guide Book
  • Measurement Tracker
  • the Lean Jean plan (lose 1 jean size in 10 days claimed; eating plan + 2 workouts a day)
  • Tony Horton's 10-Minute meals
Since I am still doing Zumba 3 to 4 times a week, I am starting with just a 10-Minute workout a day with warm up and cool down.  After the first 4 weeks, I will add another workout, if I feel it's necessary.

On Day 1, Tony recommends taking some photos.  I did, and they are locked in Al Capone's vault.  He also suggests measurements.  So, here goes blogland--->
Chest (sports bra on) 39 7/8"
Right arm 14 1/2"
Left arm 14 1/4"
Waist  33 7/8"
Hips 42 1/2"
Right Thigh 27 1/4"
Left Thigh 27"
Weight: 194.6 lbs (yeah, I posted it)

Tonight I did the Cardio workout with the Cardio Band.  Whew.  I was definitely sweating.  Is was not too hard or too easy.  And it really was just 10 minutes.  He has you do moves that work more than 1 muscle group at once, so you are maximizing the workout you are doing.  Could definitely feel Zumba helping with this one.  I felt pretty good about my ability to do the exercises.

I might try some of the recipes he offers, but food plan wise, I think I will just stick to what seems to work for me: a modified version of Weight Watchers.