Monday, December 26, 2011

Project 40 to 41: Holiday Version

OK, so get this: I got "Just Dance" for Christmas. So psyched. Took it out of its shiny cellophane wrapper yesterday and danced for 40 minutes solid -- even with the boys butting in to get their grooves on. My nine-year-old was a riot. All over the place.

Then, with the boys out of school for winter break today, we hit the gym and rented a tennis court for an hour. I was busy getting a pedicure for the first bit -- but then my pretty red toes and I caught the second half. (I know. It was fantastic day.) Neither my 12-year-old nor I have mastered this tennis thing yet, but we managed to rally for 16 straight hits at one point, so we were feeling pretty cocky by the time we left. Plus all the wild hits had me ALL over the court, so I got a better-than-average racket workout. (We don't pay much attention to out-of-bounds lines.)

Tomorrow it's back to work. Workout plan: Huh. I'm not sure yet. But if the temps stay as freakishly high as they've been, it'll probably include Miss Daisy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My neighbor just gave me his massive P90X cd collection and a spreadsheet for keeping track of the related (insane) workouts.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha.


I'm totally going to do this thing, aren't I?

Project 40 to 41: Day 45

Why didn't I set my Project 40 to 41 goal to floss my teeth every day for a year?

That would've been so much easier.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Project 40 to 41: Day 44

You'd think, wouldn't you, that after 44 days this whole exercise thing would be part of my routine. I read somewhere when I was a kid that an activity becomes a habit after 21 days. Actually maybe my mom told me that -- and it might've been related to making my bed or cleaning my room or something.

At any rate. Here I am, 44 days in, and I'm still regularly surprised at roughly 10:30 p.m. when I'm thinking of bed -- and realize I HAVEN'T $*#((@#$*#$ EXERCISED YET.

This happened last night. Which explains why my "work-out" consisted of 20 crunches and a few yoga poses on the floor next to my bed.

What's wrong with me?

Maybe things will get easier after Christmas. I've been wrapped up magazine production for the last week while simultaneously trying to squeeze as much holiday spirit as I can out of my days. Add all the other life stuff in there and the days get tight. My stomach, unfortunately, does not.

Onward and upward!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Project 40 to 41: UGH

I'm so frustrated! I was REALLY REALLY REALLY looking forward to climbing in bed with my book just now. And then I remembered I haven't exercised yet today.


On Turning Ten by Billy Collins

I'm such a sap. This made me get all sniffly today. Maybe it has something to do with my youngest being nine years old...

On Turning Ten
by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Speaking Jenny: Kasson Luncheon

I had a (surprisingly) fun time speaking at the Kasson Lutheran Church on Saturday for their annual Women's Christmas Luncheon. The attendees -- about 160 in all -- were warm and kind and laughed at all my jokes, which is really my most important criteria when it comes to ranking an audience. (Professional or personal.)

I spoke on the "12 Ways to Take Care of Yourself (aka 12 Tips for Living Your Life)" -- based on a former Jen's World column. And while I don't want to give it all away, I'll tell you this: "Paint Your Toenails Red" was one of the 12.

Project 40 to 41: Day 30-something

Another quick note before I call it a night. Since I started today's workout 5 minutes after midnight, I suppose it technically should be counted on tomorrow's tally. But let's not be hasty. It may be nearly 1 a.m., but this is still my Monday.

The last four days have seen one rockin' cardio gym workout, one walk with Daisy dog (far shorter than it should've been), and two home strength/flexibility days -- including tonight's late-night offering.

Incidentally, this is one of those nights when I wonder if exercising was actually the unhealthy choice. I worked out tonight because I'm determined to do this thing -- even if it meant STARTING my exercise routine at midnight. But would it have actually been healthier for me to get to sleep at a decent hour?

Tomorrow morning and the inevitably busy day that follows is going to feel awfully early...

That's my cue to turn this thing off and hit the pillow like everyone else -- including the four-legged -- in this house.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Project 40 to 41: Day 31

Day 31! A whole month!!

And where am I? Well, I'm still sore from yoga on Monday. And I had a fabulous (FABULOUS!) treadmill workout at the gym tonight. Just felt so energized and lucky through the whole thing, even when I was busting my butt on the incline, because I can FEEL the difference between now and one month ago.

My weight hasn't changed. I don't have a six pack. But I can tell I've been moving. My flexibility is better. My energy is better. And I'm actually looking forward to my next workout. Who knew?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Project 40 to 41: Day 29

Just a quick check-in on a busy day. Yesterday was one of those weird, jumping jacks and jogging in place work-outs at 11 p.m. while watching Chelsea Lately and Friends. Those work-outs always feel like cheating a bit -- but I have few options when I've waited that long to get my exercise in. They'll have to do.

Today I'm heading to the gym at noon for yoga. If I get enough work done this morning and can spare the time, I may hit the treadmill as well.

What are YOU doing today?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Project 40 to 41: Day 26

Everything's rolling along beautifully: Yesterday I did aerobic (dancing, jumping, jogging in place) while watching the final Netflixed Mad Men. (Can't believe I have to wait 'til March to see what happens next. Also: Engaged? To her?? And what is up Betty's butt?)

Today I hit the gym while the 12-year-old took tennis lessons. 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by some mat stretching.

It feels GREAT to be on a roll. I had so much energy today during my workout -- even as slowly as I'm progressing, this whole "exercise everyday" thing is paying off. Happy, happy.