Tag Archives: Exercise

Adventures in Greece

Me on the Aegean Sea!

I’m back from my adventures in Santorini, Greece, and it was fabulous. I could talk to you about the historical sites, the amazing vistas of the Aegean sea, the kindness of the Greek people or the holiness of Good Friday’s lantern ceremony, but today I’ve got one thing on my mind.

Food.

I’d been on a special eating plan since November. I called it my “Santorini Bikini” mission, and by avoiding sugar and carbs I lost 25 pounds.

I was ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille, and planned to say YES to every sugary and decadent opportunity that came my way from London to Pyrgos.

After all, this was vacation – and for someone who enjoys food like me, I wasn’t about to deny myself gastronomic adventures on a trip of a lifetime.

Each morning, a breakfast tray of pastries – both sweet and savory – were delivered to our little villa, with dips of honey and chocolate and jam. Like the Cookie Monster, I devoured them; crumbs flying over the bedsheets.

In America, there’s a Wawa or CVS on every corner. In Santorini, there’s a bakery.

I made Mark stop at EVERY SINGLE ONE, from Pyrgos to Kamari, to Fira and Oia. Sticky, gooey, flaky treats abounded. These Greeks love their sweets, and coupled with rich, dark coffee – oh my!

Aside from the pastry shops, dinner was never complete without dessert. They have a traditional “orange pie” which is really more like a cake; warm and covered with ice cream. Oy! Mark’s favorite was cream cheese baked in phyllo that literally had us groaning out loud.

I came. I saw. I ate.

Upon my return, I said, “Brenda, don’t get on the scale. Give yourself a week or so to eat normally so you don’t have scale-shock and its accompanying depression.”

But I couldn’t help myself.

Eyes winced, I stepped on, prepared for the worst. I was braced to see that eight or so pounds had been packed on during my eating adventures.

One.

Just one pound!

How in the world?????? I ate everything! I ate Mark’s leftovers!

But I walked EVERYWHERE.

We walked up to the Parthenon. We hiked to the top of the Akrotiri lighthouse. We trekked the entire stretch of waterfront in Oia, Fira, and Kamari. Once we parked our car, there was no option but to tackle the terrain one step at a time.

It didn’t feel like exercise. It felt like…an adventure.

Most days I sit at my computer for a minimum of eight hours, and too often (when it’s not a Zumba night) I go right to the dinner table or settle in for the American Idol results.

Methinks moving more will be part of my daily routine. Especially if it means I can eat cake!

More on adventures and the new WOW, coming right up!

https://youtu.be/OXW2zNJt_g0

I love an invitation from the universe to ENJOY. So if you’re looking for a sign, this is it!

Happy Mothers Day and love to you all –

Brenda

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Intent on a Challenge (and the New WOW)

Our recent week’s word was INTENTION. After a lackluster Zumba class, I realized it was time to seek a new exercise challenge.

It’s not that I have lost any love for Zumba. However, I seriously have ALL of the moves DOWN. When I know the steps by heart, my brain disengages and it tends to wander.  And it wanders to thinking about work, laundry, bills, cellulite…

…all the thoughts that I hope to gloriously escape from for the hour that I’m shaking and shimmying.

When I set my intention to find a new challenge, I saw THIS:

Any headline that says “Shake Your Booty” is bound to grab my attention.  

And the description?  “Fly’s most popular class, Throw Down, is the ‘most unapologetic, booty-shaking, hip-hop class in town.'”

Where do I sign up???

The studio was described as “more like a nightclub” and visions of me with my sky-high purple hair and Madonna moves from the 80’s propelled me to the Throw Down class.

I had good INTENTIONS.

This was hard-core. Zumba is more like my happy family, full of high-fives and guiding  me through the salsa steps with a smile and claps of encouragement.

Throw-Down was like my car breaking down in a bad neighborhood and the residents looking at me menacingly like, “What’s the problem?  Fix it, b_ _ch.”

The music menacingly pounded as the disco balls played with the strobe lights. Most of the class had obviously done this before, not only from their seamless moves but also from their oh-so-toned bodies.

These ladies had swagger.

I had agita.

Within minutes, I also had worked up quite a sweat and completed my first ever burpee. (For the uninformed, as I was, a burpee is that horrendous fall to the floor on all fours move that lasts for just a couple of seconds before you are required to jump upright again.)

When they went left, I went right.

When I began to clap (as we do in Zumba) at the completion of a song, the Throw-Downers looked at me as if to say, “So. Not. Cool.”

Oddly, I was not intimidated. I stank to the high heavens at this new form of exercise (during, AND after!), but I DID get what I wanted.

CHALLENGE!

And I was so busy trying to keep up, I didn’t think once about my growing “to-do” list at home.

Sometimes when you set an intention, you get exactly what you need.  Maybe not in the package you expected, but if you look at it the right way, it’s still a gift.

Here’s the story of the BEST answer to the question, “What are your intentions?” followed up by a brand new WOW:

Ahhhhhhh…PEACE.

Yep, who couldn’t use a hefty dose of THAT.

Peace be with you.  And me.

Have a beautiful week, friends!

xoxoxoxox

Brenda

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