bloggy topics

I always know I’ve gone too long without blogging when people start emailing me to make sure I’m ok!  Don’t worry, after 6(?) years of blogging I’m not likely to give it up!  Silence usually means that I’ve been spending all my time doing non bloggy things, and somehow I feel sort of guilty when I bore you all with my life.  But here I am, about to bore you!  First, a little sewing content:

I finally managed to find the Fall Butterick patterns on sale – I’ve missed the last few, but they were at Joann’s last week.  My favorite is this dress, which I’m making from the purple leopard ponte knit I found at fabric.com.  The actual scale of the print is smaller, but I didn’t feel like taking another photo to get it to work.  I really like the pleating on one side – let’s hope it looks good in real life!  I’m not using a lining (suprised?  I didn’t think so.)  I am making the version with sleeves, because I don’t have many dresses that have them.

I hope to get to work on this cut tonight, and maybe sewn on Friday and Saturday.  I seem to not have weekends lately, due to performances and socializing, and that’s when I usually do my sewing!  I’m also pretty uninspired in these in between seasons – I don’t want to think about the cold yet!

So what else have I been doing?

I’m still on my exercise plan – I know, I can’t believe I’m sticking with it either!  Right now I’m doing the Ballet Body Periodization plan.   It’s a series of internet downloads that you string together into long workouts.  They build on each other, and you get to do your own choice of cardio every other day.  I really love the workouts – it’s kind of a combo of Lotte Berk/Callinetics style barre with some yoga and pilates.  There are a lot of body weight resistance exercises (planks, pushups etc.)  I’m getting some real strength gains, which is pretty exciting to me!  I never thought I could enjoy pushups after my high school gym trauma, but here I am, doing them a few times a week!  I’ve been doing dance and step aerobics a lot for cardio, which is required 2-3 days a week on the plan.    I didn’t think I would like step, after having done it in the 90s, but I found some fun videos, and even bought a full sized step (my old one is smaller than the ones in the gym.)  I keep the height low (4 inches) and have no knee problems from it.  I actually think the combo with barre is making my knees stronger.

If you are interested, here are the dvds I’ve been using for dance/step:

Christy Taylor: Mission Possible is what I started with.  It’s half dance aerobics and half step.  The music is super fun, and it’s not hard to catch on (keep in mind I have a dance background, so… YMMV, but this is the one that was recommended to me as her easiest.)  I also have Fit to Dance, which has step and weights, which includes a techno version of Dance of the Sugarplum fairy from the Nutcracker.  I do love weird techno mixes.

For dance I also recommend Petra Kolber.  I have Bootcamp Boogie and 123 Dance, and they are both fun.  Kind of medium level choreography I think.  Bootcamp Boogie is the easier of the two.  The music is ok – better than many, not as good as the Christi Taylor dvds!

I have some others (I put out a call to my friends for dvds, and you wouldn’t believe how many people want rid of exercise dvds… less guilt that way!  I’ve also been hitting garage sales on weekends.)  I have two of those infomercial sets – Turbo Fire and Rockin Body.  Rockin Body is mostly hiphop type dance, and it’s fun and easy – too easy for me I suspect, as I actually like choreography.   I haven’t tried Turbo Fire, which is a sort of kickboxing with pretty good music.  It’s very fast, and I haven’t done kickboxing since the 90s – might have to brush up with one of my ancient Tae Bo tapes!

I’ll try to be better about updating!  It may be more dithering, since I haven’t had time to sew, but I do find that I miss the blog when I haven’t written in a week or two.

 

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10 thoughts on “bloggy topics

  1. Reading this, I am inspired to recommit to my workouts (it’s been a few months…. anyhoo!) So, good for you! And, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that dress made up. I’ve been eyeing that one myself. Of course I missed the Butterick sale but it seems that it’s never that long before Joann’s puts them back on sale again.

  2. Jeanette says:

    I can’t wait to see your finished dress. I have that pattern, too, but haven’t made it yet. Congrats with sticking to your fitness plans, too!

  3. Good for you for keeping at it. The dance sure sounds like a fun way of getting your exercise. I love the dress, too, and it’s going to look so chic in the leopard print!

  4. I’ve been looking at the ballet body plan and am seriously considering starting it. It looks quite varied and what normally kills me with exercise is that it’s so repetative and dull! I’m wondering, though, if I’ll be ok using a chair as I don’t have room or money for a barre. Also, did you start with the beginners section and if so do you think it would be suitable for someone who’s totally unfit and isn’t a dancer at all?? Thanks for posting the links!

    • It is really varied! For the first month you do three workouts per week, which are entirely different from each other (except for one repeated ab segement.) You repeat this set for 3 weeks, then have a recovery week followed by new workouts. If you are a subscriber you can sub in the weekly download in one of those workouts (I have been doing it in Basics I.) Have you done any type of Barre exercise before? It isn’t really like dance at all, so don’t worry about that. A lot of Barre workouts use only tiny pulses, which work but are sort of painful. Leah’s workouts use both larger range of motion and small pulses, so it doesn’t feel as monotonous to me.

      I had a chair when I started, and then bought a fluidity bar on Craigslist for cheap. The chair works fine except for a very few segments that require you to be able to pull away from something (nothing in the first month – even the foldovers will work using a closed door, hanging onto the knob with one hand and the frame with the other (shown in Anatomy focus: Glutes in the first set of workouts, but not in the basics.) A chin-up bar installed in a doorway at hip height is another sub that I have read about but not tired.

      The Basics are good because she clearly explains form, which is really important. As you get stronger, your form will get better, and the exercises actually seem harder! If you are uncertain, I would try basics I (on their own, or they come free with a new subscription.) Don’t be worried if you can’t do all the reps without stopping right away. I’m good with glutes and abs, but I always have to stop and shake things out in the upper body and plies! My other suggestion is to buy a good thick mat for all the plank work (I got mine at Target, it wasn’t cheap but it was worth it) Don’t put your hands on the mat, because it compresses your wrists, but it saved my knees for all the plank and balance work. I hope this helps!

    • Forgot to say… there are a number of people doing the plan on this forum: http://forum.videofitness.com. I’m doing the checkin on the challenges/checkins board. There is lots of good info there, and on the ballet body periodization thread on the general discussion board.

      On Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 2:19 PM, Jessica Mills wrote:

      > It is really varied! For the first month you do three workouts per week, > which are entirely different from each other (except for one repeated ab > segement.) You repeat this set for 3 weeks, then have a recovery week > followed by new workouts. If you are a subscriber you can sub in the weekly > download in one of those workouts (I have been doing it in Basics I.) Have > you done any type of Barre exercise before? It isn’t really like dance at > all, so don’t worry about that. A lot of Barre workouts use only tiny > pulses, which work but are sort of painful. Leah’s workouts use both larger > range of motion and small pulses, so it doesn’t feel as monotonous to me. > > I had a chair when I started, and then bought a fluidity bar on Craigslist > for cheap. The chair works fine except for a very few segments that require > you to be able to pull away from something (nothing in the first month – > even the foldovers will work using a closed door, hanging onto the knob with > one hand and the frame with the other (shown in Anatomy focus: Glutes in the > first set of workouts, but not in the basics.) A chin-up bar installed in a > doorway at hip height is another sub that I have read about but not tired. > > The Basics are good because she clearly explains form, which is really > important. As you get stronger, your form will get better, and the > exercises actually seem harder! If you are uncertain, I would try basics I > (on their own, or they come free with a new subscription.) Don’t be worried > if you can’t do all the reps without stopping right away. I’m good with > glutes and abs, but I always have to stop and shake things out in the upper > body and plies! My other suggestion is to buy a good thick mat for all the > plank work (I got mine at Target, it wasn’t cheap but it was worth it) > Don’t put your hands on the mat, because it compresses your wrists, but it > saved my knees for all the plank and balance work. I hope this helps! > >

  5. I am a huge, but now bored, Lotte Berk fan. Thanks for the link to the workouts! I have injuries and damage from a misspent youth so I have to modify most everything, but I am always on the lookout for body weight and dance inspired workouts.

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