Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'd rather share some pointers

Alright, if I haven't gotten this across to you yet - I really, really suggest you go try out LA Boxing.  The first class is free to try, so you have nothing to loose.  I'm not just saying this because I was lucky enough to fall into this sweet gig of putting LA Boxing "To The Test."  I'm saying it because it's different, fun, effective.  Heck, I am already conniving and planning so that I can continue attending classes once my three months are up.

It's that awesome.

Since I'm feeling less like a newbie there, I thought I'd share some pointers for you to use once you go to take your first class:

  • Be prepared to sweat.  And not just that "hey, I just half-assed it on the treadmill" kind of sweat.  More like, "I didn't know that body part even knew had to produce sweat" kind of sweat.
  • Come early.  You're going to need to get gloves and get your hands wrapped.  Plus, you'll want to either A) Find a heavy bag near where the instructor shows combinations or B) Find a heavy bag in a corner so that you can make a futile attempt to hide.
  • Bring water.  I go through a whole bottle and a half during the class.  Sweat makes you wish you were a camel.
  • Don't be scared.  If can do it, you can do it.  Only, you won't look like you're about to die. 
  • Take a friend.  She'll hold you're hair while you are throwing up.  You don't really need to do this (by any means) but, she'll tell you that your side kicks are money, even if you look like an idiot.  See, here's my friend, Meghan, who tells me I'm doing awesome, even when I'm looking a little green. 

  • Stash a snack in your car.  I have a decently long car ride back home, and if I didn't bring a banana to calm the shakes, I think I would have already crashed the car into the neighboring pizza store.
  • It's okay to talk to your neighbor.  Even if they can't tell you whether the combo is jab-jab-hook or jab-hook-jab, they can at least share that knowing "wow, this is the best/hardest workout ever" look with you.
  • Thank your instructor.  It's a nice thing to do, so just do it.  (Plus, maybe if you do, you won't get called out on skipping that last sit up.  But don't count on it.)

Now, go take a class.  Did I miss anything?  Report back to me and let me know what you thought.  Ask any questions you may have in the comments below - or let me know when you want to meet up, so that we can sweat together.  

. . . Mandy

Disclosure: As a participant of #Fitbloggin' 10, I was offered (by LA Boxing) three months free membership, free personal training, and merchandise - all in exchange for blogging my *honest* opinions once a week.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'd rather shrink for summer

Well, I totally forgot to update you all on the 21 Days Challenge over at Shrinking Jeans.  I'll do a quick recap for you...

Sisterhood 21-Days Challenge

  • Working out most days of the week.  I did pretty well with this - I think it could have been better, though.  I did my boxing and yoga, but I have slacked on the training walks.  
  • Went vegetarian for 21 days.  This was super successful!  I wasn't expecting to make this a permanent change, but it definitely showed me I can cut back on the meat and feel great.
  • Vitamins didn't happen.  Just couldn't find one that sat well with my tummy.  Not giving up on the search though!
  • Water intake was slightly better than normal.  I have made best friends with my water bottle, but I really have no idea how much I'm actually drinking.
Now, moving on ... the ladies are starting a new challenge - The Shrinking Days of Summer!

I run with the Sisterhood

You know I'm all over it - like sand on a beach.  (yeah, I'm corny...and what?)  I hope that it brings more umpf and motivation and will power to my game.  Cause I'm really at this annoying stage where I'm working my butt off and not seeing the results I want.  I'm not sure if it is a result of self-sabotage or just plain impatience, but either way, I'm done with it.  So, bring it on Sisters!  

And if you really, really, need to know, I'm at 205.2 pounds presently.  I'd really like to get back to "onderland" as soon as possible, as I have never loathed a two more in my life.  

Want to join me?  Come visit the challenge here!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'd rather vlog, LA Boxing update

I'm doing my update via vlog today.  Check out Jen's blog that I mentioned: Jen in Real Life.  I'd love to hear from you if you have any healthy living updates, tools, or gripes. 

Disclosure: As a participant of #Fitbloggin' 10, I was offered (by LA Boxing) three months free membership, free personal training, and merchandise - all in exchange for blogging my *honest* opinions once a week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'd rather have a cool app

A while back Mariana from Riding With No Hands introduced me to SparkPeople.  It really is a fantastic site that helps people reach their healthy goals - for free.  They have nutrition, health and fitness information in all forms and types, including articles, interactive tools (fitness trackers, meal planner) motivational tools, and a huge online community.

While it has so much to offer (so, so much) I had one problem with it - I was majorly overwhelmed.  There was just too much for me to focus on, and I found myself losing track of time every time I got on.  I quickly bailed on the whole thing, altogether. (Sorry for going MIA in your group, Mariana!  No hard feelings?)  It was a bummer to know I was wasting such an awesome tool kit, but sometimes you just have to have the right fit for it to work.

Since then, I have had the pleasure of becoming a smart phone owner.  (I heart my Droid.)  I've seen so many great apps to use for healthy purposes - and have used a hand full of them.  But guess what I just stumbled onto?  A SparkPeople app!

And it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.  Here's why I'm using it:
  • It helps you determine your goals - weight loss, calories in, and calories out.
  • There is a food tracker that includes an optional menu plan, tailored to your calorie needs.
  • There is a fitness tracker as well, that calculates your calories burned based on the activity you did.
  • Multiple status bars and reports show you where you are in your goals - including a weight graph and a water tracker. (Which I was really happy to find - there is a severe lack of good apps for simple water intake.)
  • Links to just a few SparkPeople articles. (This is great for me, I can go look if I want, but I don't feel overwhelmed.)
  • Plus, you have the option to link to a SparkPeople online account, or just do the app by itself.  If you link up, all of the info automatically shares between the app and site.
Of course, you can always go to the mobile site with any web-enabled cell phone, but (besides the Android) this app is also available on the Blackberry and iPhone.  I also found another handy little SparkPeople app - SparkRecipes.

It's perfect for finding tons of healthy recipes.  It includes a search by keyword or by category/course/cuisine/occasion or dietary needs.  Each recipe also includes nutritional information, and the option to view it online to get comments and ratings.

These are my new tools to help me kick butt.  Got any to share?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'd rather get schooled, er, trained

I have to admit, the first time I walked into LA Boxing for a personal training session I was nervous.  Honestly, I was so scared my stomach was doing back flips.

I'd never really had a personal training session before, so I did my homework. I learned I was going to be partnered up with Donte Brown, so I looked him up on the local LA Boxing website.  The site said he had been training for over a decade, had been a trained boxer for even longer, and that he was one of their best.  And then, there was his photo that said, "mmm-hmm, I know you may think you're gonna live through this, but I'm gonna try my best to show you otherwise make you have a workout the likes of which you've never seen before."

What, you don't get that from the photo?  Well, I guess it reads more "I'm bad ass" than "I'm gonna kill you," but I was already freaked, so I took it there.  Oops.

Turns out, in real life, he is all smiles.  Immediately my freak-out level went from a 9 to a low 5 when I met him.  (If I were a sane, mildly healthy person, it would have been lower, but I'm not.)  I promptly told him how scared I was and he said not to worry.  I didn't believe him, but I figured the chances of me actually dying that day were slim, so I gave it a go.

First up,  I ran up and down four flights of stairs for what seemed like eternity, but was probably only 4 or 5 minutes.  I got a little light headed, but still felt like I'd live - at least for a few more rounds.  Then, I went through a few more tests - jumping jacks, squats and lunges, and more running while punching with dumbbells.  I have no idea how I made it through all that. (I get winded just climbing up my own steps with a load of laundry, people.)  But I did, and he was there, cheering me on the whole time.

Not all of the sessions have been the same as that one, but one thing that is consistent is teaching.  Donte is determined to turn the gym into a world-class boxing gym, so he not only makes you sweat, he teaches you something.  I'm pretty sure I have an ugly boxing technique, but at least I'm learning.  We do combo's and drills in the ring, on the heavy bag, at the speed bag and at the double end bag.  Thankfully, he knows that when I'm getting too dumb to do know my jab's from crosses - or when I'm turning green - that I've pushed myself to the limit.

He has listened to me during class and knows what is going to motivate me.  He knows I'm determined to not be one of the last walkers back to camp on my next Susan G. Komen 3-day for a Cure walk, unlike previous years.  So he urges me to run a little longer.  He knows I miss the buff shoulders I used to have in high school, so he makes me do punches a little higher.  He knows I want to slim down, so he makes me work hard for the whole. entire. hour.

And even when I think I'm feeling sick, I still end up amazing myself that I can run laps around the gym while carrying a 16 pound sledge hammer.  (I took a picture as proof - those are my feet at the top of the picture.  I couldn't hold the hammer anymore or even take the picture myself because my muscles were shaking. Donte gets the credit!)

In summary:  Personal Training + LA Boxing + Donte = GOOD.

Disclosure: As a participant of #Fitbloggin' 10, I was offered (by LA Boxing) three months free membership, free personal training, and merchandise - all in exchange for blogging my *honest* opinions once a week.

I'd rather be mingling 5/16

Monday Mingle time again!

Now don't faint - I know it's crazy - I'm posting this on Sunday.  I'm not last-minute for once.
No, you haven't stepped into an alternate universe.  Don't fear, I'm sure I'll be late again next week.  (And huge thanks to you those who still commented even though it was practically Tuesday when I posted. Smooches!)

Now, just a warning that I have my helpers with me again this week.  (Shh, don't tell them, but I was secretly hoping to do it alone this time around.  And I was hoping to do it earlier in the day, outside, when it was sunny and I was more alone.)  Damn, turns out I was kind of last-minute anyway.  Gah!

Ahh well, they add spunk when I might have put you to sleep.  ;)

And here is the picture I was talking about - beware the ugly cry:

I was an utter mess.  So was Riley.  We just wanted our little buddy back!  I might get a little sniffly this time around too.  But, I think I'll bounce back much easier this time.  Even quicker if I can find a couple of moms to have a few margarita's with!  

Till next week, minglers...

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'd rather be mingling 5/10

It's Monday Mingle time again!  Please join us!  (I'm late, as usual, but it doesn't stop me, so don't let it stop you either!)  And next week are my questions, so you should totally join us for that!

Speedy is our host, click her button below to learn all about how to join in.

One more thing - I'm doing my first giveaway - a Thriv natural performance workout shirt - and I would love it if you entered! ;)  

Now, enjoy my cooky mingle!

I'd rather take a kick butt workout class

I was talking to my Dad this weekend, and he asked me what I did at LA Boxing.  It made me realize most of you probably have no idea what goes on in there. So this week, I'm going to do one post outlining the classes, and one post outlining what my personal training session looks like.

First up - the classes.  I've only personally taken the kickboxing and boxing classes but they also have abdominal work classes, martial arts classes, and MMA classes.  I've got to admit that I'm kind of nervous to do the other classes, as the boxing and kickboxing are more than sufficient in kicking my butt.

If sufficient means: walk away shaking, having used every single muscle in your body, and drenched in sweat.

The classroom isn't your typical lay out.  First, there is a big metal rig set up in the room, from which, 25 or so heavy bags hang.  There is no "front" of the room, as the instructor walks around a lot.  He may come back to one bag to show you the next combination, but trust me, there is no "hiding." (I know this because I "may" have been hoping to go unnoticed.  I "may" have been hoping to wuss out a little and take it easy.  I "may" have figured out that both those things would never happen.)  The instructor also comes around with pads and practices one-on-one during the session as well.

If you are a first timer, you need to get to class early to get your hands wrapped and get gloved up.  Then once class begins, the instructor pumps up the music, and you begin an hour-long super intense workout.  (And yes, it is intense for me, but it is also intense for everyone else in the class.  I've seen strapping young guys covered in sweat, panting, looking like they may pass out.  It's not just me.)

You'll work your bag with different combinations, depending what class you take.  But this isn't just an upper body workout.  Be prepared to drop on the ground and do push-ups, sit-ups, and various other forms of torture exercises.  You might end up shadow boxing, jumping rope, or even running laps through the bags.  I have found that the instructors have some kind of sixth sense and know when a person is pushing themselves enough or not.  If you are slacking, you'll hear about it.  (In the most caring, "get your ass in gear," "don't waste your time," way possible.)  And when it's all over, you'll get a chance to stretch and marvel in the fact that even though you are covered in sweat, you somehow did not melt into a puddle.

You will be tired.
You may be a little out of it.
But you will feel damn proud that you lived to tell the tale.

I live to tell the tale.

PS - I'm giving away an awesome Thrive natural performance shirt that would be perfect for any LA Boxing workout, as it is wicking, anti-odor, and really comfortable.  Check it out here!

Disclosure: As a participant of #Fitbloggin' 10, I was offered (by LA Boxing) three months free membership, free personal training, and merchandise - all in exchange for blogging my *honest* opinions once a week.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'd rather giveaway an awesome workout shirt

UPDATE!  Here's the winner:

Congrats Karla - but I have no way to contact you!  Reply again or email me (the addy is in my about me section) and then we'll get the t-shirt to you.  Thanks! 

A while back, you might have heard me mention Fitbloggin'.  It was an incredible conference, held in Baltimore aimed at
"those that blog or want to blog about fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle no matter where they are in the journey."
I had such a great time there.  I met so many great bloggers, and got to speak with a lot of great companies as well.  Everyone I met was so friendly and willing to share and connect.

One such company was Thriv.  Thriv Natural Performance was one of the sponsors of Fitbloggin', so naturally they gave us all a look at their awesome line of active wear.

The clothing they make uses a patented technology that transforms bamboo and cotton into a material that provides SPF and anit-odor properties, wicks, is super breathable, and is beyond comfortable.

I know this all first hand, because they also gave each of the attendees a shirt to take home!  Seriously, it is the softest workout shirt I have ever worn.  The first time I put it on at Fitbloggin, I woke my husband up just so he could feel how soft the shirt was.  And it has really stood up to the test of time.  I wear it through some seriously hardcore workouts, and have washed it a dozen times, and it comes out perfect each and every time.

Are you wondering how to get one?  Well, they have a (ever expanding) line at that you could check out.  And you could find out more by contacting them on Facebook or Twitter.


You could enter to win one right here!  (Can I get a woot-woot for my first ever giveaway?!)

Thriv will be giving one of my readers one of these - you'll get the pink one below (for women) or the blue one (for men.)

 To enter choose any one of the following methods and leave a comment at the bottom of this post.  The more methods you do, the higher your odds of winning.  Feel free to do as many methods as you like, but each method is only worth only one entry, with the exception of tweeting.

  • Comment below telling me your favorite workout or when you might use the shirt.
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed - it's the toast up there on the left.
  • Become a google follower of my blog.
  • Tweet  "Enter to win a @thrivnp performance crew shirt care of @LastMinuteMandy at" (This one method can count as one entry every day of the giveaway.)
  • Sign up for the Thriv newsletter. (I really suggest you do this anyway, as they give away 50 shirts a month to the newsletter readers.)

I will choose a winner May 14th, using the random number generator.

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'd rather make a habit.

Alrighty, time for a check in on the scale and on the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans 21 days challenge.

I'm down just a bit from last Wednesday (which I still think was a freak off-number day), but from last Monday I'm down by 2.8 pounds!  I'm psyched about this - mostly because I know I've also gained muscle weight as well.  How could I not, when my buddy Donte (from LA Boxing) has been making me run while punching free weights or while carrying a 16 pound sledgehammer?!!  I really have to take my measurements and take a picture, though, because I think that will really tell the tale much better than the scale will.  (Oh, and also?  I fit into a pair of shorts I haven't worn in ages.  Hells yeah!)

Sisterhood 21-Days Challenge

Now about the challenge:

Working out: check.  I've been kicking arse.  Seriously.  I've been walking, yoga-ing, and boxing like a champ.  Plus - at my personal training sessions I've had to run.  This might be nothing of significance for most of you (it's just a minute or two of jogging at a time) but before this - I would only run from a fire.  Maybe.  So the fact that I'm able to run is not only incredible, it's down right shocking. 

Eating vegetarian: check.  It hasn't been very hard, either.  I love seafood (that really helps) and I've tried out a few new recipes with soy protein crumbles.  My kids are even digging on it!

Drinking water: check, mostly.  I have been filling up my water bottle often, and chugging away.  Problem is, I think (judging by this water calculator) that I should be drinking 85-105 ounces of water a day, and ... um ... I so don't.  So I still have to keep adding more fill-ups.

Multivitamin:  not so much.  Well, I did manage to take it 3 times.  The results were not favorable, to say the least.  I think I may have to resort to Flinstone's chewables, because like a child, the big-girl vitamins made my twummy hwurt.

Seven days down, 14 more to go.  I'm feeling good - how about you?

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'd rather be mingling 5/3

Oh, how I've missed Mingling.  I'm off to visit you all now.  If you want to join us, click the button below and you'll head over to the directions and the link up.

And here is my vlog - not too exciting this week.  I'll try to spice it up next time.  (Someone want to teach me how to add in the music like you pro's do? Please?  Bueller....Bueller?)

**Holy cow, vimeo took a good 6 hours to upload.  Wow. This is just barely a Monday mingle. Hmpffff.**