Women’s Health, Week Five: I’m Officially A Stalker

“Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you.”

-The Police

Ok, please don’t call the real police on me. It’s not as creepy as it sounds, I promise.

Sorry for the extended delay in wrapping this up. Between water days, field days and end of the year parties, the kids’ last week of school kept me pretty slammed.

Vanessa Hudgens is the cover girl for the May issue of Women’s Health, which has been my bible for the last thirty-one days. So, it makes perfect sense that after following the magazine with her on the cover that I should at the very least make some reference to her, right?

Did one better. I became her.

Ok, well maybe not exactly. Still working on those abs.

I did, however, follow her lifestyle laid out in 16 Healthy Loves (p.66) as the closeout blowout to this month.

#1: Yoga

Yup! I love my yoga. It is absolutely theraputic. I have missed going as often due to my back injury after the weekend, but after going I always just feel like a better person. Mostly because I’ve sweat up a storm while working into my always really tight hips. Which means I have some late night wine calorie wiggle room.

But I also love teaching the poses to my kids.

Me: “Samasthiti!” (They jump to attention, hands at heart center) Ok, this one is called, ‘Wheel Pose‘” (At this point, I’m attempting to get into position).

Lucy: (Executing perfectly and now watching me while upside down) “Mommy? I don’t think you’re very good at this.”

Me: (On my back) “That’s why it’s called, ‘practice.'”

Anyways, It’s nice to know Vanessa and I om regularly. Too bad we live so far apart, we could, like, totally go together.

#2: Cheat Days

Yup, again! But I’ve been so good, I really didn’t want to blow my diet.

So I only kind of did.

If your area boasts one, please get down to Ike’s Place and order . . .well, anything. I ordered the “Sally’s Ride” (vegan), but added the “Godfather” sauce. The garlic is still with me. But since I’m Italian, it’s all good. One gal in line let me know that the San Francisco location regularly has lines out the door. Fortunately for me, the San Diego location has yet to be discovered. Which is fine by me.

I only ate half, thank you very much. The rest, I’m saving for later.

In five minutes.

#3: Broadway

I’ve been listening almost non-stop to Avenue Q and singing at the top of my lungs. In the car. To all the parts.

Ray: “Why is our data all used up?”

Me: “Uuuuuuummmmm . . .the kids like to listen to Moana?

Ray: “Oh, well . . .that’s okay. Just maybe not as much.”

Okay.

#4: Long Term Relationships

Ray and I are still going strong after ten years! Mwah!

#5 and #6: Being On Powerless and Alan Tudyk

I went to go binge-watch the series, and it’s been cancelled. Which is a total bummer, as part of the reason she did this spread in WH was to promote the new season. It also made it difficult to find on the internet without paying. I found episode one, but two through four are MIA. The rest of the first and final season episodes are available using the NBC app.

Alan Tudyk is really fun to watch, his character is awesomely awful. Plus, he’s been in every Disney animated film since Wreck It Ralph. Which means I’d be a fan anyways.

Actually, the dialogue for most of the characters is pretty wicked: witty and fast with plenty of put-downs. Except for the main character of Erin (Hudgens), who can’t seem to stop smiling and cheerleading a group of people who obviously don’t want to hear it.

Poor girl, no wonder the series got cut. If you’re the center of all the episodes, you need more than one-note-cheery-Ana dialogue (not her fault). Maybe I’m too old and jaded to appreciate Pollyanna. Maybe I’m still pissed that they ripped Buffy The Vampire Slayer off the air (another Joss Whedon series). But I just had a hard time watching Hudgens constantly shoving rainbows and lollipops at my face. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy it any more than her co-workers on the show did.

#7-#9 and #14: Soulcycle, Other Group Classes, and Cool Sports Bras

I’ve joined the ranks of active women in their 40’s who want to save their knees. We still want cardio, just not the impact of asphalt or hamster wheel.

So, I took this week to try Cyclebar, who is offering totally free classes until June 18. This was my first experience “spinning,” and my friend Kaylie gave me the low-down:

Kaylie: “There’s crazy dancing.”

Me: “Dancing?

I finally hooked into the toe clips after a rather embarrassing struggle (yes, the toe clips won). Then all the lights went out except for a spotlight on the instructor, and several strategically placed red stage lights across the back of the room. Of course, the workout playlist took me back to my clubbing days.

But that was only in my mind.

The “dancing” involved coordinating an up-down body motion (either arm “push-ups” or booty push-backs, or both) with the movement of my legs. My forty-two-year-old body couldn’t quite keep the beat (so much for those dance classes, Mom and Dad). Likely as I get stronger, I’ll hopefully get more coordinated.

Hopefully. Because I think I’m totally hooked. As for Vanessa Hudgens enjoying the front row, I’ll leave that to her for now. Need more time to get my groove. Also, sorry,  not wearing sports bras unless covered by a top. I won’t get “motivation” seeing my body. Not next to the svelte twenty-eight-year-olds (oh, wait! Like Vanessa).

I also tried out a new gym, F45. It’s like Crossfit-lite, no barbells. Like Orangetheory-lite, no treads. But it’s not really “lite” at all. HIIT workouts give you all the cardio you need, and incorporates free weights, medicine balls, and random weighted hammer swinging and bag throwing. I felt a bit like I was training for either the zombie apocolapse or an upcoming obstacle course. But it was awesome. As soon as they come up with a location closer to me, I’m in.

#10 and #11: Avocados And Sweetsalt Food Shop

I’ve had an avocado on toast for breakfast every day since starting this whole thing. And that was easy because I love avocados. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top, on my way to healthy fat heaven. Check #10!

#10 was a little more difficult. I wasn’t going to go all the way to Los Angeles for a salad. So I Googled Sweetsalt Food Shop’s menu, and grabbed the ingredients to make their Pear and Pomegranate salad myself.

Problem: Pomegranates are not in season. I used strawberries.

Problem: I hate bleu cheese. Skipped it.

Problem: No candied walnuts. Used plain.

As for the pear vinaigrette? You can access this recipe. I added fresh baked salmon simply prepared with garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.

The result? A symphony. Soooooo good. Had it twice.

#12 and #13: The Show Must Go On And Mom

Mom: “Abby, you do what you need to do.”

Me: “Mom, I know, okay?”

My mom is an awesome tough cookie. I also bother her waaaay more than I should.

Mom: (after I had to call her back for the third time because I finally remembered why I called in the first place) “This is entirely too many times.”

Honest, too.

God, I love that woman. Just like Vanessa, yay!

#16 Lipstick

I noticed recently that my lips are thin. Way thinner than I ever thought they would get. I mean, I’m all lower lip and I’m sporting that get-the-hell-off-my-lawn look. Could I blame the children? So your face will actually freeze that way if you make it look like that enough?

Let’s not accentuate what we don’t have (the reason I forgo short shorts). Lipstick out, but lip plumper followed by lip tint? That is function meets fashion!

I’ve been using XXX Pillow Plumper and Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm. You have to wait a bit after applying the plumper before the tint, because it can be a bit sticky. I liked the vanilla smell, not so much the stickiness of the plumper. The cool buzzing on my lips makes me feel very little of that get-the-hell-off-my-lawn feeling, though, so perhaps I can reverse all this nonsense. And when I walk out the door with some sort of lip anything, I feel a bit more dressy.

*************************************************

So, there you have it! I made it through a fantastic month of awesome change, just in time for a messed up summer schedule to destroy all my hard work, yay!!

But I am using a lot of what I learned going forward. I’m doing the extra workouts suggested in the June issue (significantly harder than May!), I’m eating a whole lot better after having to cook more than normal, and I read June’s WH cover to cover.

I’m also seeing Vanessa Hudgens, like, everywhere.

I heard her voice in my living room, and turns out she was hosting the Billboard Music Awards. I watched an old episode of Sesame Street, and up popped a great parody of High School Musical. The other night, I turn on the TV, and there she was, judging the preliminary round of SYTYCD.

Hmmm . . .what a coincidence . . .

Maybe she is stalking me. . .?

**********************************************

Thanks, Women’s Health, for a great ride! It’s been real, and while I do not yet look like your cover girl, I have reignited my interest in doing my best to try to get there.

Peace!

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