Move It Mama Monday! Me and my Wii games

You may have noticed there was no Move It Mama Monday post last week. That’s because I was 3/4ths dead after getting through RavenCon and Spring break with my parents visiting.

But it’s a new week now and I finally feel human again, so I’m starting to get back into the swing of things. And part of getting back into the swing means me evaluating what I want to do exercise-wise.

Lately, I’ve been spending more and more time on Wii Fit Plus with the occasional round of Just Dance. In fact, on Friday evening, we had a friend, Mich, come over for dinner and after eating quiche and pie and ice cream, we all decided we needed to work off a few calories. So we popped in the Just Dance game and 45 minutes later we had a room full of sweaty, exhausted people. I think we danced to about 13 songs, each running a little over 3 minutes. Hubster was so sweat-soaked, he had to change clothes afterward. Fortunately, Mich and I recalled previous bouts of Just Dance and dressed for the evening in sports bras, t-shirts, and sweat pants.

So Just Dance is on my list of favorites right now, but it’s a game I prefer to play with other people. Not as much fun doing it by myself. Wii Fit Plus is ideal to do by myself, but I’m hitting game fatigue with that one, having played it so much lately.

I’d like to get back into EA Sports Active again, but can’t until I get a new exercise band and some gloves. I’ve ordered said items and they should show up in a week or so, so that will take care of that problem. I’ve also gone ahead and ordered Walk It Out! because I’m itching to try a new game. I’m hoping this will keep my active and entertained through the summer, when it’s harder for me to get to the Y because the kids are home.

There’s one new game coming out next month that I’m very curious about – All Star Karate. It looks like the first Wii exercise game I’ve seen that actually combines some story-telling with the workout aspect. The screen captures on Amazon make me think this will be a decent workout, akin to Gold’s Gym Cardio, but with more variety. However, I’m a little put off by the feature of being able to “slap sensei whenever he nods off.” Being a black belt, I can tell you the last thing you want to try is to slap the instructor. Whoever came up with that feature of the game obviously knows jack shit about karate.

But, I may still get the game next month or in June, since it does boast other appealing features like being able to program your own katas. In the mean time, I’m going to try to get back into EASA and see how Walk It Out! works. I’ll post a review on the later when I’ve had a chance to play with it for a while.

Move It Mama Monday! I finished EA Sports Active’s 6-week challenge! Now what?

Well, I finished the new EA Sports Active 6-week challenge two weeks ago, just before heading out to Farpoint. I was doing the medium level challenge, since I remembered how I’d fared doing the hard level challenge in EASA’s previous incarnation. I can say I did finish the challenge within 6 weeks. However, once again I did not lose weight. I was losing weight for the first four weeks, but then the last two weeks I had some problems. First off, I hit a high stress month, and I missed a lot of my regular non-EASA workouts as a result. Second, my hormones are all out of whack right now, probably a hangover from the previous quarter’s fertility treatments and my age. I’m 40, very soon to be 41. I expect my body to do wonky things like suddenly pack on 6 pounds. And the stress of so much going on this month did not help with my eating habits. I don’t care what anybody says, eating right takes a lot of work, and it’s hard to maintain healthy habits under stress.

But I completed the challenge, so my big question is, “Now what?” EASA recommends I do another challenge at the next higher level, of course. I’m not keen on that idea for a couple of reasons. The first is that EASA’s 6 week challenge requires four workouts every week. It’s hard for me to fit that in along with regular water aerobics classes and karate classes. Those classes take up my mornings most days, leaving me unable to do anything else until the evening. I could do 20 minutes or so of exercise in the evenings, but even that is hard to fit in. Princess has needed more supervision recently for her homework, which eats into my evening time. Plus, I really need to get back into cleaning the house. I can either do 20 minutes of exercise or 20 minutes of cleaning, but not both during the evenings. Trust me, I’ve tried. I’d have to live a very regimented life to do that, and that’s not possible with kids.

My other problem is that the workouts for the EASA challenge got longer the farther I got into the 6 weeks. Initially, the workouts where only 20 minutes long. Toward the end, they ran as long as 38 minutes. That’s a lot of time to devote in the evenings to a workout! And again, very hard to accomplish when I’ve got homework to supervise, a house to clean, dinner to make, children to read to, etc.

So what to do now? I figure with my schedule I could do 3 regular workouts a week, on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Sunday and Wednesday workouts would be on days I have nothing else scheduled, exercise-wise, so I can afford to spend more time on a Wii workout. As much as 45 minutes, even. The Friday workout would be on an evening when I don’t have to worry about homework or cook dinner. That’s pizza and movie night, so I can easily squeeze in 20-30 minutes.

The question is though, do I stick with EASA for these 3 workouts a week, or do something else?

I’m thinking of doing something else. I’ve done EASA for 6 weeks straight, and while the latest incarnation is better than the previous, I am still getting bored with it after so many weeks. I’d like to cycle back to Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout and Wii Fit Plus. Gold’s Gym really lets me work up a sweat in very little time. And Wii Fit Plus would let me work on my core muscles and balance, as well as have fun with the games. So I’m thinking of using primarily those two programs on Sunday and Friday. I might still use EASA for Wednesday, but I’ll need to figure out if I’m going to build my own workouts or use some of the pre-programmed ones.

Of course, I could always check to see if there are any new Wii workout games out there. But for now, I’m moving back to Gold’s Gym and Wii Fit Plus. I don’t know if I’ll lose any weight with this, but the goal these days is to just keep moving and stay as healthy as I can.

Move It Mama Monday! The new EA Sports Active

Guess what I got for Christmas! The new EA Sports Active. You know, the one labeled “More Games!” My younger sister gave it to me as a gift, and it has been very much appreciated, let me tell you!

If you’ve been following Move It Mama Monday for a while, you’ll probably recall I had a love/hate relationship with the previous incarnation of EASA. I liked that the game included plenty of strength exercises, but I lamented its lack of cardio activity and the damage it seemed to do to my knees. After completing my one and only 30-day challenge with the original EASA, I wound up having to take 2-4 Advil a day for a week to deal with the knee pain I suffered. In the end, I pretty much shelved EASA in favor of Wii Fit, although by that point I’d played Wii Fit to death.

Well, out comes the new EASA, and so far I’ve completed 6 workouts on it in the last two weeks. I definitely think the new game is an improvement. For starters, all the preprogrammed workouts now include a warm-up and cool-down session to help loosen up the old joints. Many of the original exercises that caused me so many problems with my knees have either been replaced or reworked, although this game does still include a lot of jumping around and lunging, so be careful if you have bad knees. Many of the strength exercises have been reworked too, making them more effective and easier to do in my opinion. And the biggest change? The scenery. No longer are you stuck at the local park/track doing your workout. Now the game centers on a beach resort, which I think is an improvement.

For my first three workouts with the game, I picked sessions from the preprogrammed workouts menu. I stuck with either the medium or easy workouts, recalling how much I had hurt when I first started with the original EASA. The workouts at these levels are still intense enough to make me really sweat, which made me very happy.

On New Year’s Eve, I started my 6-week challenge. Apparently too many people (including yours truly) had trouble completing the old 30-day challenge within 30 days, so the time frame was expanded to 6 weeks. It’s still a demand on the schedule though, requiring 4 workouts a week to meet that 6 week goal. I can do it, especially since I’ve started doing shorter workouts in the evenings anyway, but if you’re already on a regular workout schedule with some other activity, you might want to think twice about the 6-week challenge.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress with my 6-week challenge (and once again, learning from prior experience, I opted for the medium intensity challenge, not the hard!). Meantime, here are a quick list of the pros and cons that I see so far with the new EASA.


  • The exercises I hated most, the ones that really killed my knees, appear to be gone or replaced by exercises that aren’t as painful to do.
  • The new scenery is much nicer. Quite frankly, I was getting pretty dang tired of that park in the old game. If I’m going to work out in a virtual world, then I’ll take a virtual tropical island any day.
  • The new EASA now uses the balance board to check your weight every week! And you don’t have to put up with any snarky attitude if you gain a couple pounds. The game just tracks your weight; it doesn’t try to destroy your soul (like a certain Wii Fit game that shall otherwise remain nameless…).
  • There are some interesting new games, like squash, water skiing, an obstacle course, etc., that are fun to do.
  • The challenge now takes 6-weeks as opposed to only 30 days. I can handle 6 weeks.
  • No more freaky inspirational videos from Bob Whatshisface! I don’t know about you guys, but that very nice man who pimps EASA really creeped me out every time he showed up on camera. The way he grinned, I was afraid he was going to jump out of the TV and eat me!

Now for the cons:

  • The game is still rough on the knees. I’m hoping that getting back into my regular water aerobics class will fix this. Water aerobics seems to go a long way toward strengthening the muscles that support my knees. I’ll need that to keep up with all the lunging and jumping that still shows up in EASA.
  • The new EASA doesn’t seem to have “More Exercises” so much as “All New Exercises.” In other words, a lot of the old stuff is gone. While they updated and improved the boxing, I have yet to see the tennis, volley ball, or baseball games. I can’t say yet if those are really gone, but from comments I’ve seen on line, it looks like they may be. This would be a shame, because those were the games that I enjoyed the most on the original EASA.
  • The warm up and cool down are the same for every single workout. I was hoping for more in the stretching department. Instead, every workout starts and ends out with the same exercises. That’s not just boring, it’s a waste. They couldn’t put together a few more warm up and cool down routines? How about more stretches for the arms and legs? Neck rotations even! Bah! I will never find a Wii game that really includes stretching.

And that’s about it. I’m hopeful that between my regular daytime workouts (water aerobics, karate) and regular evening workouts (EASA, Gold’s Gym Cardio, Wii Fit Plus), I’ll be able to get myself back into shape. We’ll see what the results are in a month, I suppose.

Next week, I’ll make a list of New Year’s health and fitness resolutions. I should have done that this week, but what can I say? I was just too danged excited about the new EASA.

Move It Mama Monday! What Wii game should I get next?

Well, I’ve had a week with Wii Fit Plus, and I do enjoy it, but I have to admit to some disappointment. For starters, I was expecting to be able to access all the different exercises and games in the “Make My Own Routine” section. No such luck. For some reason, Wii Fit Plus only lets you build personal routines using the yoga and strength exercises it seems, in spite of the fact that the mini routines already built into the game include the original cardio games and the new Wii Fit Plus games. I was also hoping for more cardio activities in the new Wii Fit Plus, but there seems to be a real lack of those. The closest I’ve found to new cardio games is the bicycle game (which lets you race all over the island searching for flags to tag before racing to the finish line) and the rhythm kung fu, which really isn’t all that cardio intensive. There is a variation on the running in the My Wii Fit games, which offers new routes to run and then quizzes you on what you saw while you were running. That’s nice, but would it have killed Nintendo to include new boxing and step routines? Aside from the Island Lap in the run, the boxing is the most cardio intensive game they’ve got, and I do it so frequently I can pretty much do it with my eyes close now. And the step routines never, NEVER change. These two things both need a serious update.

Having said that, I’m thinking of picking up yet another Wii fitness related game, and I’m trying to decide which one to get. There are four I have my eye on, including:

ES Sports Active: More Workouts – True, the original game did kill my knees, but EASA definitely has more upper body strength building exercises in it, and I like the sports drills. It’s a bit expensive ($36.99 on, but I hear the new version includes stretching exercises, which would be a serious bonus. The game is only available for pre-order right now. It comes out 17 November.

My Fitness Coach – I’ve seen this online before, and wondered about it. Apparently, if you’ve got a step, a balance ball, a heart rate monitor, and hand weights, you can get a real workout with this game. I have all these items, so this would seem like a good choice. The game doesn’t make much use of the Wii balance board according to reviews I’ve read, and it’s an awful lot like a gym workout, but those people who like it swear by it. It also includes stretching exercises, again something I would like to see show up in exercise programs. The cost on this one is much lower, $19.49 on

Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout – the companion game to My Fitness Coach. This one does use the balance board, and looks to have lots of boxing games in it, along with some other exercises. The emphasis does seem mainly on boxing, from the reviews I’ve read, but as I mentioned above, the boxing in Wii Fit is one of the most intense cardio workouts available in that game, and I get a decent workout from that, so I’m not adverse to trying more boxing games. This one also gets pretty high ratings, and the price is $19.49 on

Yoga – a fitness game that looks to include as much game as fitness. From what I’ve read online, you can choose to play the game whereby you explore the yoga temple and unlock new yoga challenges as you seek to gain the level of yoga master. There are a variety of settings to work out in, and the game definitely uses the balance board to check your balance and steadiness in each pose. The pluses on this one? I like yoga. I think it’s a great strength and stretching workout, and this game looks to offer many more poses than the ones that show up in Wii Fit. I really like the idea of having an exotic environment to explore as well as a game goal to achieve while I work out. The cons? I hate the look of the stick-thin supermodel who’s the spokesperson for this game. Honestly, I’m a generous size 12. I work out and I eat healthy and I have been a size 12 since my early teens, and all I can think when I see a model that thin is, “Someone’s been starving themselves!” Thus I despise having emaciated runway models tell me how to be fit and healthy. It smacks of hypocrisy to me. If she shows up a lot in the game, it’s going to be a real turn-off to me. Like EASA More Workouts, this game isn’t out until 17 November, and it’s the same price($36.99 on

After looking through all this, I think what I’ll end up doing is order My Fitness Coach and Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout at the beginning of next month. The fact that I can get both these games for only a few dollars more than one of the other two games, and the fact that My Fitness Coach and Gold’s Gym Cardio are already available make them the obvious choice. I’ll try them out, see if I get the kind of workout I want with this combo, and then reconsider how badly I might want the other two games.

Move it Mama Monday! Wii Fit Plus

So I was sick two weeks, and not getting much moving around done, certainly not getting any serious exercise done. This is to be expected when one is sick. The general idea is to rest rather than run one’s self into the ground. But resting for two weeks left me feeling like a big squishy slug. Not a feeling I enjoy.

Still, I couldn’t seem to throw off the lethargy from being sick. Then Wii Fit Plus showed up in my mailbox, and suddenly I had the urge to get up and move.

I’ve been waiting for Wii Fit Plus ever since I found out about it earlier this summer. I pre-ordered my copy at the beginning of the month, eager to try it out, and then waited and waited and stayed in bed sick. I just happened to be in a slow recovery phase when the game arrived, so I decided to try just a few minutes, because you know I’ve been sick and I don’t want to overdo it. 45 minutes later, I was sweating and woozy and addicted to Wii Fit Plus.

Obviously, I enjoy the new game. After having worked with the original Wii Fit since last February, I was getting bored, which is never good for a fitness routine. The preview shots and videos of Wii Fit Plus intrigued me and made me curious to see if Nintendo had done a massive overhaul of the game. There were certain deficiencies in Wii Fit that I desperately wanted to see corrected. Did Nintendo fix these things?

Eh, yes and no. The two biggest changes in Wii Fit Plus are the new Training Plus games and the My Wii Fit Plus category in the training options menu (that’s the menu you go to after you select Training at the main calendar, you know, the one with the piggy bank waiting for you to choose what to work on that session). The Training Plus games are a combination of balance, coordination and brain games with a bit of aerobic workout thrown into some of them. These games are in a separate category from the original Balance games that came with the original Wii Fit (lest you worry, all the original games and exercises are still included in Wii Fit Plus). Among other things, the Training Plus games include Rhythm Kung Fu, juggling, the chicken flying game, a marching parade game, a bicycle game that allows you to determine where you go on the Wii Fit island (I like this one just for the fact that I can finally explore the island on my own!), a snow ball fight, and several others. A few of these games have caused me to sweat a bit, namely the Kung Fu and the bicycle game. Most test the brain, balance and coordination.

As for the yoga and strength categories, those are still the same but with 3 new exercises each. Personally, I would have rather seen at least 5 new exercises in each, but 3 isn’t bad. Nothing has changed in the aerobics category that I can tell.

Then we come to the My Wii Fit Plus category. Selecting this option takes you to a “locker room” where you’re given a variety of menu buttons to choose from, including Wii Fit Plus Routines, My Routines, and Favorites. The Wii Fit Plus Routines are preprogrammed routines that focus on particular areas for you to work on – balance, arms and shoulders, etc. You have to poke around a bit to see what each one really does, since some of the titles don’t really tell you much (there’s an over-indulgence routine that I discovered is supposed to focus on calorie burning, and a Shape routine that looks like it’s supposed to focus on the waist line). None of these routines is more than three exercises/games long, and none lasts longer than 8 minutes. The advantage of these preprogrammed routines is that they do let you get through the exercises faster. Without the routines, you do spend a little extra time selecting individual exercises and going through menu options before actually getting to an exercise. With the routines, you zip from one exercise to the next. That’s a bonus in my opinion because it means a 45 minute workout could actually only take 50 minutes to do as opposed to an hour (those of you who have used the original Wii Fit will know what I’m talking about). Also, the routines allow you to mix things up, going from yoga to games to aerobics and back without having to do a lot of switching around in the menu. Again, this speeds a workout along greatly!

One thing about these routines is that they all seem to select exercises or games at the beginner’s level, as opposed to the advanced level. I haven’t set up any of my own routines yet (something I’m going to try this week) to see if I have the option of using the advanced levels of things like the running, cardio boxing, etc. I’m hoping so.

Other things that have changed in the Wii Fit Plus. Wii Fit Plus now tells you how many calories you burn while working out. I have to admit, they show me burning far fewer calories than I would like. Also, Wii Fit Plus gives you the option of setting a calorie burning goal for each day. Unfortunately, any activities you do outside Wii Fit Plus aren’t counted toward that calorie goal, although when you list them in the Fit Credits menu, they are tallied up there and added to whatever you’ve done in Wii Fit. But during the actual workout, they don’t show up.

One more interesting option, you can now change players while working out. In the yoga, strength, cardio and balance games menus, at the very bottom right corner is an option to switch players. Doesn’t look like you can do this in the My Wii Fit Plus, but if you want to work out with someone, you now have the option of switching back and forth on every exercise. I don’t know yet if this means you can finally have another person’s Mii race with you on the 2-person race. That would be nice, especially since my girls like to race me when I’m working out. But it does mean if I want to spend an evening doing a workout and the kids want to play along, I can let them (though that option has its own hazards).

The whole game has a slightly revamped look. The colors are bolder, the appearances of the personal trainers are a bit different, though both are still rather mannequin like. My biggest question is whether or not the Wii Fit Plus is still as snarky as the original Wii Fit. That’s something I’m sure I won’t find out for a few weeks. When I first started using the Wii Fit, I recall it being very supportive with all its little comments, but then one day when I suddenly put on a few pounds (it was water weight, can’t do a damned thing about it at my age), Wii Fit got all persnickety and demanded I explain why I had suddenly turned into the Fat Lady at the circus. It did not help that the stupid thing didn’t even give me the option of listing “water weight” or “hormones” as one of the reasons why I had packed on 4 lbs over night. I haven’t used Wii Fit Plus long enough to see this come up yet, but if it does, I’m going to be sadly disappointed. No one, and I mean no one, likes to be sniped at for things they can’t control. (BTW, I have noted the Wii Fit Plus does seem to feel the need to get a little snippy if you miss a day for your fit test. That bit of snark has apparently not changed a bit.)

Over all, I like it. I would have liked to have seen more exercises added in the yoga and strength section, especially exercises that targeted the upper body. I also would have liked to have seen new cardio activities added. But the routines are a great idea and I’m looking forward to setting up my own. And I have to admit it, I really like the new games. If I’m not feeling well, I can at least get up and do the games, and while they may not give me a heart pounding workout, they will at least get me moving and that goes a long way toward making me feel better when I’ve been sick a while.

Move It Mama Monday! Still feeling ill

I don’t know what I caught, but I’ve been out of it most of the past week. I managed to get to the pool on Monday and had a great swim, then I was flat on my back Tuesday and Wednesday. I did a light workout on Thursday and felt exhausted afterward, so that’s been pretty much it for exercise since then. I’ve slept so late some mornings it isn’t even funny, and I’ve been doing most of my work from bed. Every time I think I’m getting better, I end up feeling crummy again. So who knows. I’m going to continue to take it easy on the exercise front for a while.

In other news, I ordered the new Wii Fit Plus, which became available today. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new game is like, and will give a report here as soon as I’ve had a chance to hop on the balance board and play with it. Then I’m going to have to figure out how to work it into my regular workout schedule.

That’s probably the big thing on my mind, fitness-wise, these days, aside from being sick. I’ve settled into a new work schedule since the kids started back to school, but I’m still figuring out the exercise schedule. I want to hit the pool at least twice a week, the dojo three times a week, and that leaves two days a week for Wii Fit or running. I’d throw in a few extra workouts, but I also need time to clean the house. Ugh. I despise house cleaning, but it’s got to get done, so I’m trading the time I had hoped to set aside for fun little mini-workouts to do the cleaning instead. We’ll see how that works. I figure if I do three house cleaning sessions a week, I might be able to steal back one morning for a Wii Fit mini-workout, but we’ll have to see.

And that’s all that’s going on right now. Going to rest a bit more today, and see about doing a light workout tomorrow. Have fun!

Move It Mama Monday! When the kids are sick.

Yes, I’m getting this post out late today. My apologies. I had planned to get it written yesterday and then schedule it to run first thing this morning, but I got hit with a ton of deadlines. I have four e-chapbooks (smaller than an e-book, bigger than a breadbox), coming out in the next week or so, and I had to get a lot of stuff done to make sure that happens.

So today’s post is late, but that’s okay because the whole day was sort of thrown out of whack when Pixie woke up this morning sounding like she’d swallowed the granddaddy of all bullfrogs. My poor little pooter has a mild fever, a runny nose, and a nagging cough. None of this is slowing her down, mind you, but it is enough to keep her out of preschool for today and tomorrow. Can’t be too careful with the H1N1 virus running around, I suppose.

So I unexpectedly have a child home today, a sick child whom I cannot take to the Y nursery anymore than I could send to preschool, and that puts all my carefully laid out plans for the day into the trashcan. Or does it?

I actually look forward to the days the kids are home sick. It somehow lifts the burden off of me to meet any other responsibilities beyond bringing my baby warm ginger ale to sip and watching Disney movies on the couch with her. I call these days “Blow Off Days,” because I have the perfect excuse to blow off work, exercise, what have you. Depending on the severity of illness and my desire to take a break from the usual routine, I may blow off everything or just a few select items on my daily to-do list.

Since Pixie’s really not all that ill and since I’m gung-ho to catch up on a lot of stuff I’ve been putting off all summer, I opted to only skip a few things today. Rather than hit the Y this afternoon for a lengthy karate practice, I pulled out EA Sports Active (yes, my one month moratorium on that game is up) and did a short 20 minute workout. Then I popped a Disney movie in the DVD player for Pixie and hit the office. While she played downstairs and watched her movie, I worked on finances, e-mail, and other odds and ends. I took a break every now and then to check on my little poot, but she was doing fine, so I let her be.

At lunch, I decided to pop Pixie in the jog stroller and I took her for a nice walk around the neighborhood. Nothing too fast, just a chance to get outside for some fresh air. We stopped at the local playground for a bit and played there, then returned home. Pixie is in bed now with some of her Barbies while I finish up more work in the office.

I did not get the hard-charging workout I had planned for today, but that’s okay. I had other options, and I think that’s what’s important. It’s hard to keep up with kids, work, AND exercise if you don’t give yourself options. And while I might miss the sweat inducing activity I had planned, let’s face it. If my kid is sick, I may be sick too soon. Taking a bit of a break right now instead of running myself into the ground might not be a bad idea.

Pixie will be home again tomorrow; she has to be fever-free for 24 hours before she can go back to school (again, can’t be too careful). But that’s okay. She’ll be well enough that I can take her to the dojo with me tomorrow for kobudo class. I have a kobudo test coming up this Saturday, so I need the class. But I won’t be staying for the class of open-hand karate following afterward.

After all, I got a sick kid, and we could use the break.


I believe on October 4th, Nintendo releases the new Wii Fit Plus. I’m chomping at the bit for this one. I love Wii Fit, but I’ve done it almost to death at this point. I need something new. EA Sports is also releasing an update to EA Sports Active, which includes new exercises and workouts. I had thought about pre-ordering this, but decided I’d rather look into some other Wii fitness games instead, like My Fitness Coach. This game actually looks like it might include some stretching exercises, something that both Wii Fit and EASA have so far ignored. Although, maybe the new Wii Fit will surprise me in that aspect. One can hope.

Move It Mama Monday! I’m Free!

Ah, school is finally started! Both Princess and Pixie are out of the house all day, and I have the place to myself. Once I get the kids off to their respective schools, I can take off and do whatever I want. And what I want to do is…

Huhn. Good question. What do I want to do, now that I can go exercise without being saddled with two kids?

Well, for starters, I want to get in a lot of karate practice. I’ve got a test in a couple weeks, and I need to brush up, rebuild my endurance after so many weeks of vacation and visiting relatives and other general discombobulation.

What else would I like to do? Get back on track with my physical therapy. My knees are better than they were when I stopped doing EA Sports Active, but they still crack and pop too much for my comfort. So back to daily therapy we go!

Get back on EASA. Yes, I actually do miss that knee destroying game. I’m hoping if I eliminated the lunges, I can get back to using the game on a regular basis, maybe a couple times a week. It’s got a lot of fun games, plus upper body exercises, and I do work up a sweat on that game.

Actually, I’d like to get back in the habit of doing two workouts most days; a main, hour-long workout in the morning and a mini cardio workout in the afternoon. This is for two reasons. First, I really do need the activity. Without the kids to chase around, I will probably spend a lot more time on my ass working at the computer. Not good for me in general. Second, I get the sleepies in the afternoon. That extra 20 minutes of aerobic activity, whether it be walking, DDR, or the elliptical machine, will help combat that, and hopefully keep me perky and alert all afternoon.

I considered adding “lose weight” to my list of goals for the fall, but I’m thinking no. Rather than be concerned about how many pounds I’m packing, I’d rather focus on how much (healthy, non-knee destroying) activity I get and on how much healthy food I can eat. I am trying to move more to a vegetable focused diet, with two out of three meals having fruit and vegetables as the main course, and fruits and vegetables as snacks during the day. Besides, I can lose weight, but invariably, sometime around mid-cycle, my body packs it back on in water weight. So I’m wondering if I should take a slightly different approach to my workouts.

Maybe, during the middle of my cycle, when I’m most likely to pack on the water weight, I should do mostly cardio activity – karate, running (yes, I have found I can run again), elliptical, DDR, swimming, etc. Then during the rest of my cycle I can split my workouts between cardio and strength. I’m hoping the extra sweat I get from the extra cardio will help me fight off that water weight, but again, I don’t want to focus on losing weight, just on being healthy.

So that’s the goals for the next couple of months. Next Monday, I should have something to say about finally having a week to get back to the Y!

Move It Mama Monday! Dear EA Sports Active

Dear EA Sports Active,

I want you to know, we’ve had a lovely couple of months together. Really, I’ve had such a great time with your 30 day challenge and daily journal. But I think it’s time we take a break. Now before you panic, this is a break, not a break-up. It’s just that I need some time away from you to figure things out, like why my knees have been feeling like crap ever since we’ve been together, or why I’ve done nothing but gain weight since you came into my life. I know, these are difficult questions, and you’re not necessarily at fault. In fact, I don’t want to blame you, but I need to start looking for solutions to these two very troubling problems, and that means cutting back on possible contributors. Again, notice I say possible, not definite. I’m not blaming you. Really, it’s not you at all, it’s me, me and my bum knees.

I expect you won’t see me for about a month. While we’re apart, I want you to know I will be revisiting old friends, and yes, that includes Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution. I know you may not be comfortable with this, but I want to be upfront and about what I’m doing. And you are certainly free to hang out with whomever you choose. I don’t want you to be jealous, but I’ve always felt close to Wii Fit, and my knees are certainly more comfortable with the balance board than they are with your lunges and jumping, so I think maybe this is the right thing to do.

Again, we’ve had a wonderful couple of months together. All those training exercises, the upper body workouts, the volley ball and the tennis and other games… All that will remain very precious to me, and I’m certain that at the end of a month you and I will be seeing each other again, although maybe not as much as we had been seeing each other before. After all, Fall is coming up, and with the kids going back to school I’ll be hitting the Y more often to swim and lift real weights…

Oh, I’m sorry! Your weight training program is great, really! You should be proud of it!

Anyway, I have to go. I’ve got a weigh in at the balance board coming up, and I don’t want to miss that. Wii Fit gets so prissy if I miss a weigh in. I’ll see you in a month, I promise.

Yours truly,


Move It Mama Monday! Wii, My Weight, Everything

Oy! I’ve been busting ass lately, trying to lose those LAST 10 POUNDS, and have had no success. In fact, the scale is actually tipping in the opposite direction. I weigh more now than I have in a while. However…

My clothes still fit fine. And I can see more muscle definition in my legs, arms, and pretty much everywhere else. AND, most importantly, Hubster says I look goooooooooood.

I know, that last part is pretty shallow. I shouldn’t depend on someone else’s opinion of how I look to validate that I do look good. But the fact is, I can’t see my own ass without a 3-way mirror and I know he stares at it all day when he’s home, so I consult with the expert on that matter. If he likes it, it’s fine.

But the not-losing-weight thing. What’s going on there? I’ve increased the amount of water I drink, hoping to stave off excess water weight gain at those certain times of the month. I’ve upped my intake of fruits and vegetables, in an effort to fill up on healthy stuff and prevent me overeating meat and other not-so-good for me things. I’m certainly doing more activity around the house. I spent a few hours this week scraping the old vinyl linoleum off the kitchen floor, and let me tell you, that ain’t no picnic. That activity alone should have caused me to sweat off a few pounds, but no, it didn’t. I’ve put in over four hours at the dojo this week, 2-3 hours on the Wii (EASA and Wii Fit). I’ve spent two hours on yard work, three hours on dedicated house cleaning. I’ve been pretty much go, go, go all week.

And yet my weight has gone up, up, up. Huh.

One thing I’ve also notice is that I’ve been getting some seriously rough, dry patches of skin on my forehead. One minute, my face is fine, the next it looks like it belongs to a monitor lizard in molting season. This leads me to think that something is going on with my hormones, and since my weight fluctuation seems tied to my menstrual cycle, I’m wondering if that’s what’s going on here. It could be. Or I could be sneaking in a few too many bits of chocolate, that extra soda here and there, dinner out last week…

I dunno. All I know is, I don’t want to starve myself, I do want to keep exercising, and I still fit into my favorite pair of jeans. Oh, and Hubster says I look gooooooooooood.

On to other things. I’ve found the more I play with EA Sports Active, the better I like it. Now that I’m no longer chained to that bloody 30 Day Challenge, I feel free to create my own routines. Remember how I said you couldn’t get a decent cardio workout from EASA? Well, it turns out you can. What you do is create a new workout and fill it with the cardio activities and all the sports activities. I’ve made up three of these workouts already, mixing and matching the dancing, running, boxing, and other sports together. The workouts I make range from 18-30 minutes, burning from 90-140 calories. I find I tend to burn more calories than EASA predicts, which is good, though the workouts also run a bit longer than EASA predicts (not a huge problem there unless I’m tight for time that day). I’m usually sweating like crazy after one of these cardio workouts, so that’s a good sign.

As for the strength training exercises in EASA, I’ve found I have to limit how much of the lower body exercises I do per workout. I can fill up a workout on upper body with no problem, cranking out reps of biceps curls, shoulder presses, etc. But do one too many sets of lunges and I pay for it the rest of the day, and probably the next. So, to make sure I get a lower body workout, I’m going to make some workout routines that mix just a few of the lunges and squats and jumps with the sports and cardio. It’ll work like this: cardio/sport, cardio/sport, lunges, cardio/sport, cardio/sport, squats, etc. That’s two aerobic exercises for every lower body exercise. And keep in mind the roller blading exercises in EASA count as lower body exercises, not aerobic.

Final thought for the day — I wish someone would make an adventure exercise game. I recently got Wii Sports Resort, and I love it, but only a few of the mini-games offer any sort of exercise, and those, not as much as I’d like. I’d love to see someone come up with a Wii game that combines exercise with an adventure or game of some sort. Like say, an ancient Olympics game, where you represent one of the original Greek city states in a competition. You have to out run, out lift, out throw yourr opponents to win medals. Or something along the lines of the Lego Star Wars or Indiana Jones games, where instead of operating your character via a remote while sitting on your assets on the couch, your character only runs when you run, fights when you fight, etc. Isn’t that what the Wii was supposed to do in the first place anyway?

Okay, that’s it for me today. I’ll be in Chicago next week, so I don’t know if there’ll be a Move It Mama Monday blog post or not. Will depend on my schedule while I’m there.