Meet my little fitness friend

Sometimes, it’s not enough that I truly love boot camp.
Especially considering that I love food even more than the class, so that sometimes – more often than not, really – cancels out the good I do with my fellow campers.

And – watch out for falling excuses – with summer being my busiest season at work, it’s been hard to make the three-times-a-week vow I made to myself all those weeks ago.  

But still I trudge, still I attend, still I make sure that I do my Air Climber as many mornings as I possibly can and go to boot camp when my schedule allows, which will hopefully be more often as concert season winds down.

So to help me keep myself in check, I enlisted in some help from a handy-dandy little app on my iPhone: My Fitness Pal.

Basically, MFP is a social-media site for dieters. I use it as a food diary, which tracks how many calories I eat, something that I’ve really never done and also to keep a record of my workouts to tally the calories I burn, etc.
I’m amazed at how many foods MFP has in its arsenal, I’ve yet to find something that didn’t register.  

As someone who’s always kept a journal and takes very easily to keeping a food diary, keeping MFP updated has become second nature. I love that it puts out status updates like
“nikkimm33 completed her food and exercise diary for 07/06/2011 and was under her calorie goal” or “nikkimm33 burned 1236 calories doing 80 minutes of cardio exercises.”

But I definitely didn’t like the one I got Monday:
“nikkimm33 has not logged in for 3 days.”

For a few months, I just saw my own updates, but some of my coworkers have recently joined MFP, so it’s nice to see updates from their fitness endeavors, and honestly, be challenged by them as well to keep doing my thing.

Do you use My Fitness Pal? I’m nikkimm33, as you might have gathered by now.  
Let’s be friends, and inspire each other to get to our fit, happy places!


Checking in

It’s been two months since I last wrote, and I have to say that aside from the past two weeks, I’ve been pretty active on the exercise front.

So much in fact that when I last attended boot camp, way back on June 11, I worked up the courage to get my measurements done for the first time since I joined the class.

At first, I was really disappointed to learn that I didn’t lose any weight – but I didn’t gain either, so go me!

Then my trainer told me that I went down considerably in inches – all around, so go me part deux!

Then she told me that I was down 7 percent body fat, which fueled me through the rest of the class so much that I missed the rest periods and just kept on holding planks and doing abs. Ahh, how far I’ve come from the post where I wrote that I was the only one in the class who couldn’t do even one plank.

Then I shamefully missed two weeks of classes, and like a dog with a tail between its legs, I dragged myself back tonight, and though I felt terribly out of shape and out of breath, I made it through, so glad that I did make myself go tonight – and looking forward to going back at least two more times this week.


Accomplishing April

While I got a bit derailed at the end of the month due to a family death and a very bad chest cold, I’m declaring the month of April a success.

How so?

Because of April’s 30 days, I was active for an impressive (for me) 17.
Though it’s only half plus two, it still constitutes “more than half,” right? (Here’s hoping).

A (blurry) photo of the month of April from my exercise log book.

Especially when we take into effect that March clocked in with just five of 31 – and three of them weren’t workouts, they were moving, which was technically a gruelling workout in and of itself, but you catch my drift. 

While my exercise days in April ranged from just doing the quick, travel-version of Windsor Pilates to the several bust-my-ass boot camp days, the point is, I did something. For 17 days. And aside from the last week of the month where I didn’t do anything but blow my noise and cough, which should really be an exercise for how it hurt my back after a few days, there were only a few days time in between my workouts, instead of the lapses I’ve been known to have.

And over our Easter mini-break, I made sure to take some vigorous walks through the monstrous hills of the Long Island community we spent the weekend – and made sure to notate my foods in my food diary app.

If that isn’t success, I don’t know what is.
But wait until May, self. We’ve got to outdo ourself.


Well look at me go!

I am happy to report that I, Nikki M. Mascali, did not one but 10 planks last night at boot camp.

Yes, I said 10.

I’m flabbergasted because at Monday’s class, doing even half of one seemed unattainable.  When I got my body into the position, I could not stop saying, “Ohmigod” to myself, and that pushed me to not lay down to rest. It made me want to hold it all that much longer, despite shaking like a Polaroid picture almost the entire time. 

Now, that great feeling of accomplishment went right out the window when I felt like dying after having to run up and down the dike in a local park for 10 straight minutes, I made it to the top seven times and to the midpoint twice, and it was brutal, especially for someone as out of shape as yours truly.

But I did 10 planks! And didn’t give up on running that steep bitch of a hill even though I felt like my lungs were going to burst and my legs were turning into jelly! And I was even able to muster enough strength to keep up with the three rounds of walking lunges!

And I think that, my friends, is well worth me giving myself a round of applause!


No. More. Push. Ups.

As soon as I heard the adorable instructor say that we didn’t need any accoutrements but a yoga mat at boot camp last night, I knew I was in trouble.

No equipment = me as the weights. 

Needless to say, this class was less fun, mostly because it kicked my ass doing things that I despise: push ups – more than I ever have before – plus squats, jumping jacks – which I haven’t done since I was a kid and decided right then and there that I loathe immensely – sit ups and other torturous moves for a straight hour.
I think I was the only one in the class that couldn’t manage even one stupid plank.

By the time cool down came, I wanted to die but walked out of the class feeling like I didn’t really do anything. There was no serious soreness like there was last week, no slow walking or aches that I could wear like a badge – until this morning when my arms were like, “What the heck did you make us do?”

I’m pretty sore right now – and I couldn’t be happier. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s class to see what torture awaits!


Pretty ‘sneaky’

I took the first of many steps in getting myself to a fitter, happier place when I bought these snazzy Sauconys Saturday.

My new Saucony Women's Grid Cohesion 4 sneakers. I plan to put a lot of miles on these babies!

They were the first pair of exercise sneakers I’ve bought in probably five years, and when I put these babies on, I could totally feel the difference in an instant from my old and tired Sauconys.  I was instantly inspired to move in them and couldn’t wait to put them on this morning for my walk/jog. I plan on putting them to the test at boot camp tonight.

What is your tried-and-true exercise shoe?


Giving myself the boot (camp)

Well, now I’ve gone and done it, but drastic times (read: last scale reading) call for drastic measures.

I  signed myself up for boot camp classes, and went to my first one last night.

This is what my body felt like doing afterward.

What an intense, completely exhausting and absolutely fun way to spend an hour.
Though my sore body is in total disagreement.

My body ran in place, did leg lifts, bicep curls and squats using a 12-pound bar, curtsy lunges and dozens of other exercises that kicked my ass – including planks (done badly, I might add, but still, planks!)

My plank looked NOTHING like this.

I had expected there to be a lot of “meatheads” or uber-fit goddesses to make me feel even worse about myself, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Everyone, from the instructor to the other attendees, were so friendly and welcoming that I seriously can’t wait to go back next week – several times.

It just felt so good making my body actually do something, and while I huffed and puffed a little louder than some of the other attendees, I knew I was doing something amazing for myself.

And just as I conked out at 9:45 p.m., an ungodly early hour for me, I felt proud of myself for actually going through with it and not sticking with the Nikki norm of, “Tomorrow’s another day.”

And when I had to gingerly ease myself down the stairs thanks to my aching thighs, I feel proud because I got them from moving, not from carrying extra weight (though I’m sure that doesn’t really help much).

In all honesty, boot camp was the first step – the first serious step – I’ve taken since starting Run, Nikki, Run. I feel like I’ve done myself a disservice for wasting so much time not doing anything, and to myself, I apologize because the next few weeks ain’t gonna be easy, but I’ll get better and stronger and fitter and happier with myself.

Hup two, three, four …