Archives for June 2010

My collection of home fitness equipment

Over the years, I have collected all sorts of home fitness equipment. Just a moment ago I gathered almost all of my equipment into one heap and took a picture of them. Oops, I forgot to add  my fitness dvds and books!

  • Here is my list:
  • a yoga mat
  • a stability ball
  • pilates ball (the small red ball),
  • 2 sets of hand weights
  • 2 elastic bands of differing strengths
  • 2 yoga blocks
  • 1 yoga belt (handy for stretching)
  • 2 kettlebells
  • one weighted ball (1 kg = 2 pounds)
  • 1 dyna disc
  • 1 balance board (not in the picture)
  • a pair of push up handles
  • pair of ankle weights and
  • 2 tennis balls


I also have a pilates ring – the kind of ring you can  squeeze between legs – but it is somewhere collecting dust. I also had a gymstick, but I borrowed it to my friend and haven’t seen it since.


My favorite piece of fitness equipment has been a broomstick I use for exercising and stretching my upper body. After the broomstick come the elastic bands and hand weights.

I had to buy a basket for small pieces of equipment because  I used to trip over my stuff.  I doubt whether my insurance covers accidents that are caused by exercise equipment lying around my apartment.  Based on my personal experience, exercise pants with too long legs are the most dangerous thing of all.  Because I’m 5ft 1in, all pants tend to be too long for me (and I tend to be lazy to shorten them!).


As a rule I can say that the cheaper the piece of equipment, the handier it seems to be! At the moment I do not own any big pieces of home exercise equipment like stationary bikes or elliptical devices. but if I had to pick one, I would probably get a Concept2 rowing machine I have used in gym- the kind that works with air pressure.

Wait, I forgot to mention my nordic walking poles… Nordic walking is one of my favorite forms of exercise, too bad that my left knee does not allow me to take as many walks I would like to.


What do you want to be able to do at age 50?

At age 50, I want to be able to swim like a seal, dance salsa 2 hours a night (if I feel like it!) and sleep like a baby. man diving into water

At the moment I cannot salsa, swim like a seal (I do swim, but more like a cat in a panic attack) and rarely sleep like a baby.

Now that I have rediscovered my body thanks to Feldenkrais Method,  I’m curious to find out what my body can do if I put in the effort.


I want to elaborate on my long term goals and explain why I chose these goals instead of something else.

  • I want to be able to swim really well, immerse myself completely into water, and also be able to dive into water head first. I chose this goal because I remember how enjoyable it was as a child to swim and play in water. I really miss that. For some reason I never learned to dive into water head first like many people do. Well, there is no reason why I could not learn better swimming technique.
  • I want to be able to do push ups (well, 20 push ups!) with a straight body. I used to do some ashtanga yoga, and I remember how frustrating it was to watch other people do proper push ups (chaturangas) when I could not.  NOTE: At the moment I’m barely able to bend my elbows and lower my body a couple of inhces, when I’m doing push ups on my knees. I guess I have some way to go . 🙂
  • I would like to be able to dance salsa, because it looks fun and I believe I would enjoy it. I used to dance (ballet, modern dance) pretty seriously in my late teens and early twenties’, so learning to salsa should not be too hard.
  • I tried kettlebells last summer and I really liked them, but the problems in my left knee and hip (patello femoral pain syndrome) prevented me from continuing with them. Training with kettlebells is fun and intensive, quite different from boring gym routines.  Since then I discovered an even cooler form of exercise – clubbells.  I just add them to my list of things to take on when I’m ready. 🙂


With these long term goals ahead me, I have a a lot work to do. First I have to figure out how to fix my knee and strengthen my body generally.

I expect my sleeping problems to take care of themselves when I’m at the stage where I’m hurling clubbells overhead as a matter of fact.


101 Days of Summer: second week wrap-up

My second week has been ok. I have exercised and done 4 Feldenkrais lessons. I have even eaten sensibly and moderately, and I certainly feel a little bit lighter.

  • knee strengthening program x2
  • 30 min walk
  • 45 min joint mobility drill
  • 4 x Feldenkrais lesson

The only problem is that I only did my knee rehabilitation program 2 times instead of three.  For some reason the pain in my left knee was aggravated, and I did not want to make it worse. Now I wonder what caused the pain and what movements I should do differently or perhaps leave out. Bloody knee! If I did not have this knee problem, I could do whatever I wanted for exercise!

I also prepared my first new dish. I had chosen Biz’ Best Buffalo Chicken Chili to experiment with, and it was a good choice, because it was very easy to prepare. The chili is delicious and very filling,  it must be all the beans. I have enough chili to last for the next 3 days. 🙂A bowl of Best Buffalo Chicken Chili

I think I’m going to prepare the chili for my parents when I go home on vacation. My father is going to love it, because he loves hot and spicy foods.


I wonder if the weight loss strategy I have chosen will be successful. I haven’t  bothered counting calories or even kept a food diary, and that might become a problem in future, when I have other things to think about. Hmm.

Next week I will be attending  a conference for a couple of days. I have no idea what kind of food the conference venue is going to serve, maybe I should think of some kind of contingency plan before that.


Takeoff video for the 101 Days of Summer Fitness Challenge

Below is my starting video for the 101 Days of Summer Challenge. Take a note of my double chin and flabby underarms.

I don’t actually know how much I weigh at the moment (even though I can guess) and I’m not going to start weighing myself now. That is mainly because I do not want to get obsessed with scales. (I’ll write about that later).

Size 6 is my final goal and I think I need to lose 20-25 pounds of fat to reach that size.

My goal pants  are an old pair of size 8 (38) jeans. If they fit me comfortably when the challenge is over, I have reached my goal!


Here we go!

how is the dietI did not want to start my blog writing about weight loss, but it is a way to get started.

And is there any topic more universally shareable than his or her weight loss goals  and weight loss progress? I sincerely doubt that.  I think that the vast majority of men and women in the Western world can’t avoid getting intimately familiar  with the subject at some point of their lives.

I just hoped my first post and my first publicly announced goal would have been something Now everyone is going to find out how shallow I really am!


I got involved with Biz’s 101 Days of Summer Challenge last week.

Every participating blog master and mistress (there are now ~50 participants) can set her own health and fitness related goals for the challenge, and I thought it would be a good way to continue my quest for a saner lifestyle.  Biz is going to keep track of us weekly and give us a spanking if we stray too far from our goals.

My goals for the 101 Days of Summer Challenge

  • dress size (pants size)  from 10 -> 8   (size 40 to 38 in Finland, or 12 to 10 in UK)
  • exercise consistently 4 times a week
  • Feldenkrais method exercises 4 times a week
  • learn to prepare 10 new dishes, preferably vegetarian

In case you wondered, I’m 5ft1in (155 cm) tall. (Imagine something soft and round, like a pillow. Or don’t imagine, because  you are soon going to have (a) visual proof soon enough. )

I chose these exact goals for many reasons. Even though I do not want to be shallow, I want to lose weight in order to look prettier.  And I think dropping one dress size in three months is doable, but not too hard.  I don’t want my whole life to revolve around weight loss and eating.

I decided that it is a good idea to try new dishes at the same time, because I tend to eat the same foods all the time and it gets boring. Finding new dishes should not be a big problem, because most of the participants are  foodies. ( I already have  two promising candidates I found in Biz’ and Marianne’s recipe collections).

To keep my body functioning and pain-free, I need some regular exercise.  I don’t know how much my exercise (and movement) regime is going to help with weight loss, but it is better than nothing. Doing Feldenkrais method lessons is NOT going to help, because they mostly involve lying on my back and occasionally some vigorous crawling.