Monday, May 21, 2012

Committing to Shaping up my Shape

Exercise has never been a huge part of my life. It’s something that I think about quite often and there have even been a few occasions when I have actually worked out, but my work out stints have always been a short lived.

Growing up, my mom wasn’t much of an example because the woman never worked out a day in her life and had the nerve to look like she did. I’ll never forget how she looked when she left the hospital after giving birth to my brother. She didn’t even look like she’d just had a baby! She is very active and she eats healthy, but she never committed to a workout regimen. Due to good genes, she never really had to think about it.

I’m thankful that I inherited healthy eating habits from my mom because that is one less thing that I need to change about my life to make my body better, but I’m not an active person at all.

The closest I have gotten to a continuous workout regimen was when I used to attend dance classes. Dance is a full body workout, but I never looked at it that way because I was having so much fun and the time when by so quickly.

There was also one summer when I went bike riding in Central Park every weekend. I didn’t consider this working out because I was only riding once a week. I looked great that summer, though; and my thigh muscles were strong like bull!

I’m very short so I need to keep my weight under 130lbs. The second the scale even nears 130 I begin to panic. I’ve weighed 137lbs before and I didn’t feel good about myself because, for a small person like me, it’s too much. I promised myself that it would never happen again and I have been able to deliver on that promise by changing my eating habits. Too many Restaurant Picks and not enough home cooked meals is no good for maintaining.

Because I love to walk, I try not to take the train when the weather is nice if my destination is in walking distance. So on one of those nice days last week, I decided to walk to one of my restaurant picks because I had an hour to kill.

It was a great 2.2 mile walk and I asked myself why I wasn’t doing this more often. Especially since I have no excuse.

A few years ago I got caught up in one of those Bowflex infomercials which influenced me to buy a treadmill. (The Booty Slide is another infomercial that almost got me). My intention for the treadmill was a 20-30 minute daily walk/run to burn some calories and help me to stay in shape. I’ve used the treadmill sporadically, but never on a consistent basis.

Although I don’t work out at all, I do fantasize about it just about everyday. Fantasizing will not help me get into shape, so I decided that in April I would begin working out… Psych! Yesterday was the first time I finally, FINALLY put on my workout gear, unfolded and dusted off the treadmill. There was A LOT of dust on it.

I’m embarrassed to say that it’s been so long since I’ve used the treadmill that I couldn’t remember where the on switch was and it took me 10 minutes to find it. So sad.

My treadmill is preprogrammed with six 30 minute workout sessions (another reason why I have no excuse not to be working out). I chose the easiest one which consisted of a five minute warm up at 2mph. The speed then increases to 3mph and then 3.5mph. The incline rises and falls at levels 3, 4 and 5 about every minute throughout the workout and then cools down.

During the first five minutes of the workout I asked myself why I wasn’t doing this every day, but with 13 minutes left on the clock, it got difficult and I wanted to call it quits. Walking the incline on level 5 at 3.5mph was tough for me, but Daisy and Melissa could probably do this workout in their sleep.

I had the nerve to have my cell phone on the dashboard of the treadmill thinking that I would actually have a conversation while I was on there. I wasn’t out of breath, but there was definitely no breath left for talking.

Although I really wanted to hit the stop button, I didn’t. I toughed it out and I plan on toughing at least three times a week. I want to say that this will be something I do everyday, but I just need to be real with myself. I’ll aim for everyday, but I plan on working out no fewer than three times a week. Three times a week is definitely something I can do.

My goal is to make exercise a part of my life so that it’s not just something I do to get in shape for the summer. Eventually, I want to be in shape everyday and all year. The only way that’s going to happen is if I make a real commitment to myself. My track record hasn’t been so good, but some of my pants are getting snug so not working out is not an option.

To shaping up my shape!

~Louise C.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Summer's Coming!!

It was close to 9pm when I walked home last night and it was STILL light out. Summer is coming! I yeay!

As summer approaches I begin to feel a restless spark, which eventually becomes a full on burning desire to go on vacation. This happens to me every year on the first day that the temperature rises above 80 degrees.

I really don't understand why I can't sit my ass here in NY, one of the greatest cities in the world, like normal people and be happy and satisfied. No, I always seem to want more.

Growing up I was poor so there were no elaborate vacations. What gave me the travel bug and spoiled me for life were a series of trips with my church which took place every couple of months. In the winter I went skiing and in the summer I stayed at cabins in the Pocono’s or spent the nights or weekends at someone’s house who had pools or beaches in their back yards. I was poor but I lived a rich life, which gave me a rich mentality for rich dreams. And although I still don't have the money to live out my rich dreams, a girl can surely try.

Although I’ve never had to spend this much, my spending limit for vacation (including flight and hotel) is usually $1000 and under; but this year I just can't spend that type of money. I’m trying to save so that I can live out another of my high life dreams, so my limit has to be $3-400. Amazingly you can find some great vacation packages in this budget, but the problem is that everyone is also trying to save so there is no one to travel with. Waaah!! And although I had a fantastic solo vacation in Puerto Rico last year, if I could I would rather travel with someone this year.

I have Edward, but his feet are buried and cemented so deeply in the sidewalks of New York that it takes a lot of energy and a jack hammer to get him out. I just don’t have the patience for that type of reluctance. We both hate flying (HATE IT!!), but he does not share my zeal for exploring the unknown. My zeal is what propels me to take my shaky feet and put them on a plane.

Either way, vacation or staycation, I’m thrilled that summer is on its way!!

One of my favorite places to visit in the summer is the beach, but after I experienced beaches where you can see your feet in the water, I lost interest in NYC beaches. When I think of the beaches in New York the words, dirty and ghetto come to mind. I won’t even bother to share some of the things that I have seen wash ashore and right over my feet as I stood in the water.

I have heard that there are nice beaches in Long Island like Robert Moses, Fire Island and Montauk beaches, so maybe I’ll make my way to one of them this summer.

Central Park is also one of my favorite places to visit. I used to have at least two picnics in Sheep’s Meadow every summer, but I didn’t last summer. I don’t know why I fell off, but I am way overdue so there will be at least one picnic this year.

I’m really excited that New York will be implementing bike share stations. Because I don’t want to clutter my apartment with a bike, when I go bike riding I always rent one from those vendors outside of Central Park. It sounds like the bike share will be the more cost effective way to rent so I plan on taking full advantage. Great Hill, here I come… out of breath, shaky legs and all.

I love visiting with my homies, especially homies who live in far away places because it’s like going on a mini vacation. The best thing about this is that I have great friends who actually treat me like a guest so I never have to lift a finger. I plan to visit Chateau Quackenbush (which is the house of a friend of mine who lives in New Jersey. Not very far away, but mentally, I’m away) Visiting Chateau Quackenbush is like going on a spa vacation. Casa de la Torres is another up and coming friendly retreat which I also plan on visiting often.

We all know how much I love a restaurant and because of outdoor seating, I am looking forward to summer dining with my homies.

My birthday is in the winter so I live vicariously through friends with summer birthdays. Dais and Bea and Jude, make it a good one, okay? Because your birthdays are all about me… if you didn’t know, now you do.

I love street fairs, and wine tours, visits to Spa Castle and weekend getaways… Listing all of the things I love about the summer is just a way for me to talk myself into staying local and continuing to save my money. But because I’m so antsy, I may break down and book a tropical vacation… soon. I just can’t help myself.

What makes summer fun for you? Whatever it is, make it a great one!

~Louise C.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Danfredo Photography

A few months ago I had a boudoir photo shoot with the fabulous and talented Danielle of Danfredo Rivera. Due to the overwhelming amount of sexiness radiating from these photos (cause I am that sexy; wink) I felt a little squeamish about sharing them. But I HAVE TO promote her so here are a few of the safe photos:

I was amazed at the outcome because I really didn't expect to look as amazing as I did.

Danielle is not limited to boudoir photography; she also does family portraits, weddings, engagement, maternity, newborn…and just about any other type of photography you can imagine. See her flyer: 

I know I will DEFINITELY be requesting her services in the future, and until then, it would only be right to recommend her to everyone I know. 

Contact her!
Phone: 646.470.7734

See more of Danfredo Photography  HERE


~Louise C. 

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