First Use of the New Balance Ab Wheel

I fully admit that I have an odd fascination with random workout tools. I think it comes from a childhood where things like the Thigh Master and the rowing exerciser. Both still disturbingly on sale on etsy and e-bay, I checked. I actually broke my toe with the rowing exerciser. I wanted to see how far the spring would stretch then I lost my grip on the slick handles. I smacked myself in the face and the handle whapped my toe (I was barefoot). It was not a good day.

The fascination remains, although now I actually read instructions.

I have however heard good things about these ab wheels and heard no stories of tow breakage. I was looking into picking one up to try, mostly because I need to do some work on my mid section instead of simply walking for my workouts and I can usually count on myself to give any new thing at least thirty days to see if it does anything. Then I ended up getting the Fab Fit Fun Box (I used my referral link for this so I think I get some kind of store credit if you use it. If that bothers you no worries, just goggle it instead of using the link) and this New Balance Ab Wheel was one of the items. I selected it.

the three exercises

It was easy to assemble and I have to be honest, it looked a bit like a toy. Still I was glad that the handles are textured for a more secure grip and since it was here, I figured I would give it a try. Like skincare exercise tools aren’t magic, so even though I did give it a first try i know I have to commit to using it for a month before I see any results. So this is just a first impression of the work out and a recording of measurements before the month begins.

The first think i noticed was that the wheel didn’t really like rolling on carpet. It didn’t roll smoothly and was hard to control. So I lay down the yoga mat. This worked fabulously well. It provided a smoother surface with no carpet fibers and the slightly textured surface of the yoga matt helped with my control. So I can tell you right away that I will be pairing this with my yoga mat.

The booklet that came with the Ab Wheel has three exercises listed on it so I did one set of each. As I progress maybe I will add in more but one set worked well for a first try. I did notice that Even though I was working my abs while using the tool I was also very firmly gripping those handles. I don’t know why but the first few exercises I sort of felt like it was going to suddenly roll out from under me and then I’d smack my nose into the floor.

textured grip of handle a plus

I didn’t it behaved exactly as it should. My other fear was that as the athletic woman in the photo is much smaller than me, that the tool would not be good with my weight. while the wheel is plastic and the handles rubber, the shaft that runs through the wheels and is covered by the handles is metal. It was easily able to support the weight I put on it for the exercise.

I’ll admit, my focus was on the balance and not injuring myself. Which I managed to do and will hopefully not focus on so much moving forward. The first two exercises were on my knees and went fairly well. The standing workout pose “Pike Roll” took a little bit more time to get used to. And the next morning I felt that one in my calves as well as my abs.

carpet vs. Yoga mat. Go for the yoga mat as its textured surface provides a little grip and you can control it more easily

I did feel the efforts from the day before. The Ab wheel may look like a toy of some sort but my body certainly feels the effects of using it. As I feel the muscle stiffness in the abs where the tool is supposed to work, then I feel I have at least used it appropriately.

And so the month begins. Before I end this post, there are the small matters of the measurements. I figured Waist and Hips would be appropriate so those are the two measurements given for the start of the thirty days with the New Balance Ab Wheel.

Waist: 48 inches

Hips: 50.5 Inches

I suppose we will se if in thirty days wither of those measurements change. Let the trial of the New Balance Ab wheel begin.

Weekly Weight: 219.0 lbs

As always it is a delight to see the numbers on the scale go down. It is even more delightful when it comes after two weeks in a row holding steady. I have gotten more into the habit of recording what I eat in my food diary on my My Fitness Pal Page. As you might recall my goal in July is to build that habit of recording food in the food diary.

For me that is one of the most helpful things I can do when I am trying to monitor my caloric intake and burn. It is a very simple concept (whether you use my fitness pal, another app, or a notebook and pen) writing down what you eat helps you keep track of what you eat. I know, not rocket science.

I personally like the app versions because when I use a pen and paper I tend to generalize which the computerized systems don’t seem to like. When I use a notebook I’ll right down ‘some grapes’ if I try that with any app it gets sassy with me.

App: ‘Oh some grapes, hmmm? I suppose then they count as some calories don’t they?’

Me: ‘Fine it was a cup, a cup, I even put them all in the measuring cup instead of a bowl just so I know, happy?”

App: Yes, thrilled, that’s 100 calories. As a reminder you are watching your sugar intake.”

And yes I do have these conversations with the app and yes I generally think that the app uses the same voice as Hedonismbot in Futurama in case you want to get a fully accurate picture of what goes on in my head.

But all that aside, I only missed one day of recording my meals so I feel pretty good about it. The habit of recording is slowly coming back to me. When I stop recording I start guessing about my calories, this looks like an ounce, a cup, a tablespoon, instead of weighing it out and then slowly my portion sizes increase without me really noticing. So for me it is an important tool.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 220.0 lbs

This week’s Weight: 219.0 lbs

Lost this week: 1.0 lbs

Lost thus far: 27.0 lbs

And so I am in a good place and moving forward. Not bad for a Friday morning.

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Weekly Weight: 220.0 lbs

The Scale, July 1st, 2022

Yup it is one step forward and one step back. Although I have to admit that I was kind of expecting this a bit. My birthday was Monday and there was a large ice cream cake. It can only stay in the freezer for so long and so each day has featured a slice of cake. It wasn’t as massive a sugar bomb as I did to myself at Easter (note to self, must avoid Marshmallow Peeps in the future) but it is far more sugar than I am accustomed to consuming. I enjoyed it as well as the rest of the celebrations, but i am also very glad that Wednesday’s company finished it off.

There was also a couple of meals out this week and while this week started off nice and cool, the weather quickly warmed back up and my walking time shortened. I also didn’t replace it with Yoga. So I didn’t stick to my meal plan, I didn’t stick to my exercise plan and yeah, I gained back the weight I lost last week.

Also I have been trying to remember to log things in to the My Fitness Pal app, but this week I didn’t. I probably should have mad more of an effort to do so, but there is something that feels vaguely shameful to enter large slice of ice cream cake into a fitness apps food diary. I know the computer isn’t judging me, but it doesn’t feel good. So since it was my birthday cake and not something I just decided to randomly have, I decided I didn’t want to enter it. But then I felt bad about leaving it out of my totals so I just didn’t log my food this week.

I know, its a lot of baggage for a food log isn’t it?

But I didn’t want to lie to my food log because I would always know I had lied and I didn’t want to make myself feel bad. I am back to logging my food in though as I know it does make a difference. So next week I hope to be back on track.

The Stats:

Starting weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight: 218.4 lbs

This weeks weight: 220.0 lbs

change this week: +1.6 lbs

Lost thus far: 26.0 lbs

And so that is the state of me as we enter July. My goal is to try and log in my food diary every day this month and see how well that helps me out. I know it has been successful in the past, but only when I make a habit of it. Plus I kind of like having a monthly goal. Since I have so much weight to lose, it feels good to have a manageable goal. This month I have to log my food in each day. Since I know it will ultimately help me establish a habit that helps me lose the weight, I feel pretty good about setting it. If it works out I may start setting a monthly goal for myself each month. I like the thought, i just need a little planning.

And so, we begin July.

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Weekly Weight: 218.4 lbs

The scale: June 24th, 2022

Good morning my darlings. I hope your Friday is off to a good start. I know it is just a number, but on mornings when I see the numbers go down I feel very happy indeed. And it may just be a number on a scale but it is also validation that my work is paying off. The sweat has been worth it and I am on a good path.

Actually in addition to the sweat one of the things that has been fantastic for me has been writing things down. It’s like a strange budgeting dance, Calories consumed versus calories burned instead of income and expenses. While I have always kept a loose track of these things I have noticed the more attention I pay to that balance sheet the better my success rate. For a long time I used the My Fitness Pal website/app to keep track of things and then I got a bit lazy.

I told myself I knew how many calories were in the things i ate since i ate some of the same things routinely. And while that is true, a simple scrambled egg doesn’t change its calorie count just because you don’t write it down, not writing it down would occasionally lead me to forget that I ate it when thinking of the calories for other meals. Admittedly that wasn’t the biggest downfall for me.

My dieting problem has always been portion size. I’ve noticed when I write things down I simply pay more attention to the amount that I am eating. I don’t guess as much. It ends up being one cup of grapes instead of some grapes. Or eight crackers rather than a few crackers. Or whatever it is I am eating. And while that doesn’t matter as much with some foods, with things like cheese, meat, pasta or rice the calories can accidentally add up quickly.

The last few weeks I started with a notebook and just jotted things down, but I find I really like the fact that an app or website calculator asks for specific amounts when you log your food in. So I have gone back to the My Fitness Pal app. I’ve tried several and it is the one I seem to end up going back to. I’ve got the free version but i am thinking of trying out the paid premium version to see if there are more tools available to use. If I do I’m sure I’ll end up posting a review about it here. Although I have to admit I really do like the free version.

I suppose that is the long winded way of saying that as I am working on losing weight I find writing down what i consume in a food log (whether digital or with a notebook and pen) really helps me stay on track. And once i get into the habit it is easy to maintain.

I suppose that is like any other habit actually. It’s starting the habit that is the difficult part. Once it becomes habit, it is simply habit. although I have to say with so many weird weight loss schemes and things out there, I really like that the one that helps me is simply writing things down. Sometimes, simple works.

The Stats:

Starting weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight: 220.0 lbs

This week’s weight: 218.4 lbs

Lost this week: 1.6 lbs

Lost thus far: 27.6 lbs

And so we keep rolling on. My birthday is Monday and while i was hoping that I could have my weight start with a one and not a two by my birthday, events out of my control torpedoed pretty much every plan i had this spring. I am happy going into my next year that I am back to the slow and steady weight loss. I know that eventually i will get to where I need to be. I just have to work on my patience and not want everything now.

Normally at this time of year I look back over the past year and do a self assessment of how my personal year and the half calendar year thus far is going. It is both a mid year assessment and m=personal new years and I tend to adjust things. While I’d rather not relive the first part of the year. I am happy with the way things are going, weight wise and plan to continue my journey. As for what I’ve learned, two things spring to mind. They are lessons that I’ve had to learn repeatedly in my life at various times. Keep it simple and be patient. Useful in weight loss and a great many things besides.

Weekly Weight: 220.0 lbs

I know, the scale is just a number. However it does feel good when that number goes down. It feels especially good when you weren’t sure if it would.

This week was a hard week for me. On Monday I got up thinking I would get a walk in early and I ended up using my walking time to water the garden. I attempted a short walk but the heat was so oppressive that I just couldn’t do it. while i did get my timing down a little bit better and was able to get the morning watering in before the heat hit, walking was simply a no go this week.

usually we get this kind of bone soaking heat in the Dog Days which start late July and can run though August. They came early this year and I just wasn’t prepared. And even though I complained about the lethargy I felt at the beginning of the week, looking back (mostly through garden notes) in past years I have always felt it coming the first few days where the temps spike and soak the world with heat and humidity. The sun beating down on the house causes blinds to be shut on the side where it strikes, the open and shut rotation of blinds changing as the sun tracks across the sky. this makes the house feel shadowed and half asleep. which brings on my annual heat lethargy.

The different I think is that i expect those few days in late summer where the heat becomes too much. We went from just getting hot to oppressive really quickly this year. but as always after a couple of days letting it settle in, the routine shifted and things adjusted. Where I like it is a thing. we are lucky in that the winter isn’t harsh. i have to adjust for rains and blasts of icy winds, but there are maybe a couple of weeks in the winter where i can’t face being out doors. The summertime here though can be a killer.

Literally. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke have taken down many a person. I’ve made myself sick with it, in fact i did so earlier this month (a mild version that warned me to think about when I went outside but caused no permanent damage). Our winters don’t have the biting killing cold other places have, but the summer heat and humidity make up for it. it is just usually more bearable until later in the summer. August is the month where you begin to despair of ever seeing autumn and think happy thoughts about possibly relocating to northern Canada just so you can take a deep breath without feeling like you are drowning in humidity soaked heat.

the heat is like a live beast. You move slowly so as not to draw it’s attention and try to travel after dark when it might be resting.

with the switch, I wasn’t sure i would actually lose any weight but apparently I did. To be honest, i think it is less lost to the effort department and more because it was too hot to actually eat.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight: 221.8 lbs

This week’s Weight: 220.0 lbs

Lost this week: 1.8 lbs

Lost thus far: 26.0 lbs

I think my body has adjusted. There will be slower movements and adjusted timetables for a while, but I am hoping that the lethargy has moved on and that even if i am moving slow, I can still get back to moving. Just indoors, and with a lot of water.

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Weekly Weight: 221.8 lbs

The Scale: June 10th, 2022

I know, it is a gain of 0.4 lbs. But I am not going to be upset about that. Clearly a gain is never a happy thing to see, however. As I skipped my walk and yoga yesterday due to an onslaught of phone calls and the inability to get away from my desk for any length of time, I am perfectly fine with the 0.4 gain.

I knew I wasn’t going to get any exercise in. Yesterday I barely had time to run to the bathroom when I needed to. (There was a computer systems crash elsewhere and items had to be recovered and or revamped or redone – luckily it wasn’t my computer system that went down). There were a lot of panicked calls and it was just one of those days. I compensated by watching what I ate like a hawk.

My balance may have been a little off but i can’t really sweat less than half a pound. The day was crazy and extra long and I did not compensate myself for getting through it by overindulging when the day finally ended. For me, that is a win, even with the slight gain.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 221.4 lbs

This week’s Weight: 221.8 lbs

Change this week: +0.4 lbs

Lost this far: 24.2 lbs

With luck today will be a little calmer and there will be less panic, r at least whatever panic happens won’t include me. Either way, I stuck to my meal plan last night instead of ordering take out and I am quite pleased with myself for that.

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Weekly Weight: 221.4 Lbs

I know these pictures are often off kilter and cut off, but todays is a little worse than usual. I know that bugs some of you and I am sorry. The reason is that the glass surface of the scale is reflective so I try to crop out as much reflection as I can.

Despite the slightly wonky photo, I am actually quite pleased with the numbers it is showing. Before the world blew up in a wave of Easter and personal family drama, I actually had a sit down with my doctor about my weight loss, or at the time lack there of. I had charts, I had graphs, I had food journals. What I didn’t have was answers.

I think I might have actually scared him a bit if I’m honest.

I’m not sure how often doctors are presented with records and then asked to explain and extrapolate.

I tend to return to historian mode when looking for answers. There are the fact and then there are the meaning of the facts. I had the facts and I wanted the meaning.

He got over it and was, I think amused as the surprise faded. He made some suggestions, I took notes and tried to implement them. well technically I made plans to implement them after the Easter Holiday and then my plans were torpedoed, but now I am implementing them.

And it is nice to see them paying off.

This week is all about adjusting the schedule and convincing myself that I need to get up earlier so that I can walk before the heat hits. Its time to work on avoiding that heat stroke, baby. Once I feel stable I will be incorporating more afternoon strength building and flexibility work outs (indoors, again avoiding that heat stroke)

Thus far I am happy with the way it is working.

The Stats: Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight: 222.8 lbs

This week’s Weight: 221.4 lbs

Lost this week: 1.4 lbs

Lost this far: 24.6 lbs

My goal is to lose around one pound per week. This week I managed to exceed it. If this keeps up until I end up in the healthy zone I will be a very happy camper.

yoga gear

Weekly Weight: 222.8 lbs

The Scale: May 27th

The last weigh in for May and I am pleased to see the scale numbers descending. It is a very good feeling. I was a little surprised actually. It has been a strange week. My schedule was off, we had workmen at the house on Monday so I couldn’t leave, we had rain that flooded the park and then when it finally looked like a walk was allowable, I realized the weather had officially shifted.

no longer could i just look outside to make sure it wasn’t raining and that I needed a break. We have entered the time of year where a walk is the first thing on the days agenda. Which means that the entire schedule for my work days has to be adjusted. Walking after about 10 in the morning is just not going to happen. Anytime I need a work out after ten am it is going to be an indoor one just to stave off heat stroke.

Which also means I need to shift my shower times (because I am going to sweat even on the early morning walks and don’t want to sit around all stinky for the day’s work.) Most of my interactions are on the phone or via computer so I’m the only one who knows, but I feel grungy, which I don’t like.

I know it sounds strange but the summer time is always a strange workout set up. There isn’t just the time a daily work out takes away from your work day (which can be substantial), but in the summertime there is an extra dimension with the heat. To get the work outs in it needs to be a priority, but at the same time there are many other priorities in the work day. Summer time scheduling always makes me feel like I’m doing some sort of complicated word problem for an unexpected math class. As though one of my old math teachers has snuck up on me when i wasn’t looking and announced a pop quiz.

If a short walk takes forty-five minutes and requires a ten minute cool down before a shower can be taken, and a shower where the hair is rinsed but not washed with products takes ten minutes less than a shower where the hair is washed with products and a walk can only occur before ten am, what time do you need to set the alarm to allow your hair to dry before the 11:15 zoom meeting next Tuesday?

Fun stuff. I’m actually going to have to get a new hair dryer at some point soon. The cool setting on my hair dryer is no longer blowing quite so cool and using the hot air function will just make me sweat again so, it is air dry the bangs and wrap the still wet part up in a knot on the back of my head when meeting’s arise time.

It’s not an actual complaint, more something I never realized would happen when I began seriously trying to better my health through regular exercise. Somehow it simply didn’t factor in that the exercise had to be fit in somewhere and that that somewhere would require conscious thought.

Summertime is just the season that requires a bit more thought for scheduling than others. Things to think about.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last Week’s Weight: 224.4 Lbs

This week’s Weight: 222.8 lbs

Lost this week: 1.6 lbs

Lost thus far: 23.2 lbs

And so my darlings, with the scheduling for next week needing a bit of a look through and Friday’s work to get started, I leave you. while it was an off kilter week, in the end it worked well or at least I lost a little bit of weight. I’m hoping to keep this trend going.

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Weekly Weight: 224.4 lbs

The Scale: May 20th, 2022

This week was about getting food back on track and exercise arranged in a more or less usual fashion. There were some extra garden exploits that I’m sure burned extra calories. Last week there were a few days I didn’t feel like eating at all and then came the arrival of comfort casseroles and food was eaten whether I was hungry or not. Now I am back home and it is more normal.

I had no clue what was going to happen when i got on the scale this morning and honestly I suspected there would be a weight gain. I was presently surprised by the 2 lbs loss. Pleasantly so. At the same time I am not sure I can take the credit for that. It was a very up and down two weeks with a lot of emotional upheaval. I am hoping that the weight is gone and I can continue the steady slope into a healthy weight loss.

Also I planned to try this before everything happened. As it is I will be giving it another week before I sign up but there is this site called Yoga Works. It has oodles of yoga classes that you can stream from home and I think I would do better with my inside workouts if I had a set yoga class rather than things I cobbled together from You Tube Videos. we are getting into the season where I can go on my walks if i leave first thing in the morning. Any later and the heat and humidity sap my energy for the day instead of simply providing an exercise outlet.

Which means I need to incorporate more indoor workouts. So I will be inventorying my in home work out gear and seeing if there is anything I need to add with a Prosource fitness order and bulking up my fitness clothing collection and then signing up for the Yoga Works. Since I can’t help but review everything, I’ll let you know how I feel about it as I use it. But I think I am going to give myself another week to settle back into normal before I sign up for it. I’ll post the link below for anyone else interested. As for now, I am going to be happy about the two lbs lost, however they ended up getting lost.

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last weigh in: 226.4 lbs

This week’s weight: 224.4 lbs

Lost this week: 2.0 lbs

lost thus far: 21.6 lbs

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Weekly Weight: 226.4 lbs

The Scale May 6th, 2022

It is the day of reckoning. My first time on the scale in over a month. I knew I gained weight, but I have to admit the scale almost made me cry this morning. I know it is just a number, but it still hit hard.

While I am surprised by how much was added, I am not surprised that it is an increase. Right before I stopped getting on the scale I went to the doctor who basically told me that the reason my scale numbers weren’t really moving is that I actually wasn’t eating enough to balance my exercise and my body just wasn’t having it. So things got adjusted.

And then the meal plan went out of the window. Thee was a holiday and several family events. We had out of town visitors and choices were justified. Instead of keeping myself to a single Friday night Happy hour glass of wine or cocktail, many sociable drinks were consumed on numerous nights (some alcoholic some not, all more calories than I am used to).Larger portions were also justified as Holiday favorites come once a year.

I can’t regret the carrot cake. I make it once a year and it is one of those cakes I could happily just sit down and dig in with a fork and eat until I am sick. I am not a huge sweet person but this has just the right spicy sweet and tangy notes to be my dessert kryptonite.

And just when I thought the holidays were over until Thanksgiving, Cinco de Mayo showed up and I celebrated with friends at a restaurant that is known for it’s generous portions. It has admittedly shifted the meal plan so tonight is a salad night instead of an indulgent Friday night meal, but there are no complaints from my baby doll, Last night was indulgent.

And I forgot that I would have to get on the scale this morning.

But it is what it is and at least I can stop worrying about how much I gained and take it as an extra incentive to get back on track. The next celebration is my birthday which is at the end of June. (June 27th in case you are wondering) so as extra incentive to stay on track, if I am good then my birthday can be celebrated with an expensive bottle of champagne and any cheese plate I decide to concoct. But until then, I need to reign in my indulgences and get back on track.

The worst is over though, I stepped on the scale and the numbers didn’t kill me. Now I just have to let the desire to see those numbers decrease fuel me into getting back into what I know I need to do. I know ups and downs are par for the course, but I have to admit my darlings, this one hurt quite a bit.