Bookstore Finds

ballet 002

 

I go into my local bookstore today to do some perusing.  I can easily spend hours in a bookstore dreaming of all the books I want to read and wishing I had a room of my house just dedicated to books.  It will  have comfy broken in old leather chairs and a roaring fire… Of course this room will be located next to my in-house dance studio too.  I wish!  I’ll keep dreaming it though, because, well, it’s fun!

I find that the bookstore has added a large-sized used book section.  Oh yeah…love me a deal…so I start walking around…and lo and behold on an aisle end-cap is the biography Margot Fonteyn: A Life by Meredith Daneman.  I say to myself,  “Winner-winner-chicken-dinner!!!”  Ok, not out loud, at least I don’t think  I did..anyways… Very excited to find this book.  She was one of my idols growing up..so beautiful, graceful, and strong.  I snatch that right up. It looks new to me and had a great price of $6.50.

So this leads me in search of more ballet bibliophilia.  I go to the magazines and to every book section that ballet or dance could possibly be stocked.  I mean this bookstore is like a warehouse…and all I find is Apollo’s Angels and two others that didn’t tickle my fancy.  Apollo’s Angels is on my list of must reads but the budget this week say’s it is not.  So I settle for flipping through it while sipping my coffee and admiring the pictures and notating in my mind to set aside some moolah to come back and get this one day.

Now that I am on the ballet book hunt, I dash over to the other big bookstore in town and find Pointe Magazine.  I know I am ages away from getting back en pointe but I couldn’t resist.  It’s so pretty and glossy!!!  I also picked up a new notebook as my new ballet journal for writing thoughts and blog ideas in now.  Ballet is pretty and had to upgrade from my boring plain blue one, right? Right.

I had to throw in one last picture of Margot, because, well she is just so beautiful!

Margot Fonteyn

Review of Xtend Barre: Lean and Chiseled

First off, I was so excited to start my new “dancery” workout video I had to start wearing some dance gear!  I broke out some of my ballet items I had bought a few years ago when I took some classes.

Mac Toothies 011

How about them leg warmers and ballet shoes for ya?  I loved every second that I wore them!

Ok, so back to the subject matter at hand…

I thought Xtend Barre: Lean and Chiseled was AWESOME.  It felt like it was a ballet dancer’s workout video. My Jillian Michaels video’s do not shine a light to this one.  It truly gave me a fantastic workout and it kept ballet and dance elements throughout the whole workout. The movements were not your typical workout moves,which was very refreshing.  By the end of it, I was very glad I decided to start  getting some conditioning because I learned that I am severely out of shape. At several points, I had to modify the exercises by stopping or just doing some demi-plies or tendu’s to give myself a breather. I got a very thorough workout without any high impact movements. I need to be able to strengthen my ankles and feet for ballet class and this workout will certainly be helping.

Ok, so I admit it, I was sweating by the end of the upper body workout..shhh….  So, I really did get what I was asking for in this workout!

Here is a breakdown of the whole thing…

The workout is a total of 55 minutes long.  You can do the whole workout from beginning to end or you can choose which segments you want to do that day.  I like that a lot.  At this point, I need to break it up until I have gotten in better shape and can do it all from start to finish at once. Below is the order of the workout:

  1. Warm-Up (Great!)
  2. Upper Body (Seriously, this will make you sweat)
  3. Barre ( Very good, almost felt like a ballet class)
  4. Core (Not your average crunches)
  5. Cool-down (Just ok)

Since I need to break these up due to my fitness level, I will do Barre/Core on one day and Upper Body/Core on another day.  Of course, I’ll do the warm up each day as well.

The only cons I have for this workout is the music is a little cheesy rumba-zumba like.  It truly would be better with some classical music but that is just my preference.  I didn’t really like the cool down either.  It was too fast paced.  I did some of their stretches and I ended up doing my own slow stretches for about 20 minutes to work in time on increasing my flexibility.  They do some stretching at certain points during the barre section of the workout, which I liked.  Trust me, you will need them at those points!

In conclusion, if you are looking for a good workout to compliment your dance class or want just a ballet-esque workout Xtend Barre: Lean and Chiseled is a good one to do!

Water World

Now that I have made the decision to get back into dance, my whole life has changed.  I am making changes with a purpose and I can’t wait to make them.  I have made a lot of changes to my diet by eating just healthier and my body is feeling better.  Like it hasn’t felt in years!  I’ve really just added in more veggies, choosing good proteins and eating more of it, and limiting sugar and carbs.  All while maintaining a good portion control.  I have eaten what I wanted and did not deprive myself.  I even had a scoop of chocolate ice cream the other night.  The world did not end. I woke up the next morning and did my week #2 weigh-in…I had lost a total of 4 lbs for the week.

Now here is the shocker for anyone who knows me in real life…I am drinking water. Crazy?  I know! Like out of the tap with ice!  I’m a rebel with a cause. (Scoffing at Britta pitchers everywhere).  It just happened one day.  I am a sweet tea drinker…like me and Uncle Si could go head-to-head sweet tea drinker.  I drank the last of a pitcher Saturday and I was still thirsty and didn’t want to make another one at the moment.  Reluctantly I thought, I need to drink more water anyways, filled up my glass with ice, and poured on the tap.  I haven’t looked back since.  It’s been  five days now and I feel like I can’t drink enough water.  I had one-count-em ONE glass of iced tea with dinner last night.  I drank six glasses of water total yesterday.  VERY proud of myself.  Plus, I want the water.  I’m practically craving it.  I wake up in the morning parched and reaching for my water-glass on the night stand.

Water tastes awesome!  I just think of all the calories I am saving and giving my body the goodness it needs to help me with my weight loss.  Drinking more water has always been such a hurdle for me and feeling like I did a grande jete over it with ease and leaving it in the rosin dust, is awesome.

Weight Loss Results Week #2

I am so excited about these results!  Drum roll please…

I weighed in this morning at 188!!!!!  I lost 4 lbs this week.  WOW!  I have not seen the underside of 190 in over 2 years.  I am shocked at the results I am having.  I have only adjusted my diet (eating plenty..no starving myself at all) and I am beyond pleased with how things are going.

I have lost a total of 7 lbs in the past 2…count em…2 weeks!  I  did not expect this at all.  I was going to be happy to lose 1-2 a week.  I have a lot to lose and it is so encouraging to have gotten off to a good start.

33 lbs to go!

 

 

 

Let’s Get Physical, Physical!

Now that I have your attention, that phrase isn’t what you think it means and no, I can’t sing it like Olivia Newton John…

I am just getting itchy to dance.  I seriously feel like a kid getting all antsy with excitement thinking about Christmas.  Only, my Christmas is in August, in a ballet studio, with no tree or decorations.

The other night I even had a dream I was back in the studio dancing.  I had on my pink tights, long-sleeved black leo, and pointe shoes.  I couldn’t do all of the combinations, but I was out there and dancing!  It felt so good to extend my legs and the pointe shoes were the prettiest shade of pink satin. After I woke up, I realized I must be thinking about dancing too much or reading too many ballet blogs.  I think it must be a combination of both!

So, I realized I needed to start doing some kind of physical fitness to help with getting ready for ballet class.  The Jillian Michaels on my DVD rack just isn’t cutting it.  I want something that feels…dancey!  I scoped out Amazon and found some really great options. Ballet Beautiful: Body Blast and, Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled.  I ended up ordering the Xtend Barre video because from its description and reviews will help me with the conditioning I need with the “dancey” feel I want.  I can stream Ballet Beautiful (which was cheaper than its’ DVD equivalent), so when I want to branch out on my workout options, I can!

              

I don’t expect my dance training to come from a video, I am saving that for the dance studio. I was amazed at how many ballet class instructions DVD’s there were…little scary! I am so excited to receive my video , it should arrive by Thursday.  Yay!

I can’t wait to get started and I hope these are some great appetizers.  I’ll let you know how I like them.  If you have any suggestions on what would be a good video or a conditioning activity, I welcome your comments!

This Never Gets Old…

I received an email from my mom today titled, “Your blogs”

The content read:

 I am sooo proud of you. 

Much love
Mom

Even when you are a 37-year-old wife and mother yourself,  it is always good to hear that from your mom when starting on something new. 🙂  This definitely works in with my latest motivational post and I had to share it.  Thanks Mom!  Love you!

Keeping Up the Motivation…

“I can either keep my dream bottled up inside my tiny head, perfect and safe, and die filled with regret.  Or, I can do the hard work and attempt something beautiful and amazing.”   This is a quote from the blogger at Beauty. Grace. Strength.

I found it resounding with so much of what is propelling me back into dance classes.  Also, I think it speaks to many adult beginners of ballet of why we are pulling on tights and funny shoes to push ourselves, work sore muscles, and spend countless hours dreaming and thinking of the next time we’ll be back in the studio.

Knowing I have 4 months until my first class, I am working hard at keeping up my motivation, and I wanted to share her quote because it was very motivational for me and I hope it is for others too.