Spiders and Balls – What do they have in common?

Hey everybody, it’s April. Today I experienced two amazing ways to get your heart rate going. The most recent was just now. Deep in thought of how to start this blog, I reached for my 1/2 bag of peanuts to snack on and pondered how I should start. As I reached across my desk, past my ignored Algebra book and directly onward to the land of salty-calorie dense goodness that my body so badly needs after today, I felt a little tickle. Responding quickly to the tickle, my hand twisted around to reveal A SPIDER frantically trying to make a landing on my math book. That spider dropped as quick from my hand as the amount of faith I had in the citizens of California when we chose to elect an action hero for a governor, deny gay people their rights to love, and allow fracking for natural gas in a state with extreme earthquake potential!

Anyway, after I kindly brought the spider to a place where it could be happy and free, I took my pulse after this occurance and it was definitely way above my target heart zone… so that’s cool… I guess.

And it gave me a great way to open up this blog post to talk about my SECOND way of getting my heart going!

Today, dear readers, I want to talk about BALLS.

No, not the kind of balls that never get cleaned in a child’s ball-pit, you dirty, dirty mind!

I want to talk about exercise balls. Stability balls. Balance balls. Fitness balls. Torture balls. Whatever you want to call them. Here’s an example: Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit (65cm)

For Wednesday in Pilates our teacher had us using balls in a way I never had before. I’ve done crunches, push-ups, and horrible leg lifts with the ball between my legs going up and down.. up and down… up and down… but never like this!

This exercise is AMAZING for your abs and back muscles!

We started the class out bouncing our ways to fitness doing what seemed like easy and basic moves at first… until you did a few of them and realized that lifting both your arms up as you used to legs to balance yourself was much harder than it seemed. I also realized that I definitely need to make sure that I *always* wear a sports bra to class because it figures the ONE time I didn’t, those balls had me bouncing more than my checks did when I was living on my own for the first time.

Jumping jacks on balls!

The pace was as fast as we wanted it to be as we did a variety of lifts with our arms and legs while still bouncing up and down on the ball. If you guys have a ball at home, I highly recommend just sitting on it, bouncing around while lifting up your arms or legs at the same time for fifteen minutes. It’s quite the work-out!!!! We even were doing jumping jacks on the balls! Check out the picture for an example of the way your body should be but imagine that image while bouncing your butt up and down on the ball at the same time. It took me a few tries to be coordinated enough to manage it but once I got it, it was actually fun!

After our time bouncing on balls was over, we went back to our usual spot on our mats, panting and dreading what came next. I glanced over at my classmate, Daniella, and we gave each other fearful looks but then were followed by big smiles because we KNEW we would get through this.

Our teacher had us do moves one would expect with a ball, like I had mentioned before with sit-ups and push-ups. One of the moves that I found challenging but amazing was a “hip lift” where you lay on your back with the ball at the base of your feet. You pull the ball towards you while inhaling, and then push the ball back out with your feet but also use the ball to help LIFT your hips and butt off the ground. Repeat 1o times. Then switch. (lift as you pull the ball forward, lay flat as you push the ball out). Repeat 10 times. Then pant on the floor like a dog who just got home from the dog park.

Pilates hip lift

After Pilates was over, even though my next teacher SAW me doing those jumping jacks on the ball AND gave me a thumbs up, it was time for yoga. My yoga teacher announced to the class that we would be doing yoga with the ball and immediately, the few of us who do both classes let out a loud groan that echoed through the gym. I swear my Pilates teacher and yoga teacher arrange things like this.. haha.

I survived through yoga and made it home without passing out from exhaustion.

And one of the best parts of today is that I weighed in after the classes for my weekly WEIGH-IN WEDNESDAY and lost 3.8 pounds since last week’s weigh in. YES! Now, I did have some factors contributing to that as my “moon” was last week and this week I’ve just been ROCKING my fabulous habits for eating and working out.

I’m incredibly hopeful that I’ll be able to win the dietbet that ends this weekend. I’m also feeling quite happy that I’ll be starting off my 30’s (my birthday is in a month!!!) as a much healthier, flexible, and happier person. I hope you guys like my Pilates posts and let me know if you are interested in learning more poses! I was always pretty afraid of Pilates for some reason but now that it’s been almost three months of it, I believe this will be a type of exercise I never stop doing.

But tell me, do you have any experience with exercise balls? What are your favorite moves?

I hope everyone has a lovely “Pi” day!







Random Thursday Thoughts

Hi guys! Um – Tomorrow I’m going to THAILAND! I am so excited it’s not even funny. The past week has been a flurry of packing, cleaning, getting travel shots and little errands here and there. It will be so nice to just relax for two weeks with no thoughts of thesis or work or chores or any of that! That said, I have a line up of amazing guest bloggers for you guys, so please be sure to come back and keep reading the Double Chin Diary while I’m gone. Show them some comment love! I’ll also check in once or twice with some pictures!

So, after a 1 pound gain, my total for the goal of Thailand Twenty is that I lost a total of 10.6 pounds! I’m disappointed it’s not twenty, but realistically, 10 pounds is great! 10 pounds is a lot! I’m not going to “give up” on my trip, but ease up a little bit on what I’m eating – because everybody deserves a vacation. Plus, Matt and I have a lot of activity planned – like hiking ancient temples in Chiang Mai, snorkelling in the crystal waters of Krabi and strolling through the streets of Bangkok. I’ll actually probably be a lot more active on this trip than I am during my usual 8-5.

Here’s a couple random thoughts I had this week:

photo 2[1]I struggled this week with Holiday eating. When I saw this giant ice cream cone, I had to take a picture because I feel like this week I’ve been a bottomless pit. I saw this and the first thing I thought was “YES. ROCKY ROAD.” I used to be obsessed with icecream, but now I’ll buy a tub and it sits in our freezer for weeks until it’s so freezerburned I have to throw it out. But my sugar cravings this week were through the roof – probably from doing low-carb for a few weeks.


Rocking a doggy dalmation print.

Rocking a doggy dalmation print.

I feel like despite my struggles with my weight, I’ve gotten more bold about clothing choices thanks to people like The Curvy Fashionista. Remember a couple months ago I blogged about how I’d love to own this dalmation sweater? Well, I was at Old Navy with pal Sally and I thought, why the heck not?! Here I am rockin’ it, and feeling good. It’s funny that I felt “wild” in something as simple as a dalmation print sweater, but I felt confident in it and was proud I took a step out of my fashion comfort zone.A couple of years ago I would have never worn skinny jeans, calf boots OR a dalmation print sweater. So yes, woohoo for fashion risks!


Balance Ball Chair!

Balance Ball Chair!

Santa came early this year because of our trip, and look what Santa (Matt) brought me! Since I work from home I can be a little more unique with my workspace, and I was dying to try one of these balance balls. I feel like I have a weak core, and I know this chair will help make me strong like a tree trunk. Plus, who doesn’t want their very own bouncy ball?! When I get back I’ll give a full report on how my new bubble-butt chair is treating me.


Showing off my chike and purple manicure!

Showing off my chike and purple manicure!

And lastly… when I get back, I have a great giveaway coming up from Chike! I recently tried Chike’s chocolate meal replacement shake, and dang, this stuff was good. You know how most powdered drinks have that chalky kind of grainy thing going on? Not this one. I mixed it with some cold milk and it was almost like drinking a milk shake. Works for me! So stay tuned and at the new year we’ll have a great giveaway package from them!

Well guys – I’m out! Thanks so much for reading! It means a lot to me and April to know that we’re not alone on our journey and that you’re out there cheering us on. I hope you have an amazing holiday season!