Friday, December 17, 2004

Strength training

Today I asked one of the serious strength trainers at the gym a question about what I should do to strengthen my arms. At first, he seemd a little irritated that I interrupted his concentration. But then he pointed me in the right direction and mumbled something about which machine to use. So, after I had done one rep on it, he came over to show me how to do it right. Apparently, I wasn't using proper technique. He then walked me over to other machines and proceeded to teach me what I should be doing. He was so cool....he worked with me for an hour and a half and showed me strength training for 7 different muscle groups in my arms and shoulders!! MI'm really tired from it all.....but I feel great! While I was working my triceps, I started praying to Jesus; thanking him for giving me the endurance to do what I was doing. Just as I reached the last two reps ("T" was having me do five reps of 10 or 12 or 20), where I would usually have a lot of trouble and would be [i]really[/i] shakey, I felt as if someone had put their hand on the weights bar and lifted it for me. I looked up, expecting to see T doing it to help me out, but he wasn't. I really feel like I was getting divine help. It was a little reminder that He will be there for us when we need his strength.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

How to make a center-pull ball

A friend of mine, Laurette, recently taught me to make a center-pull ball with my yarn, rather than letting the skein get tangled up or having the traditional yarn ball rolling around the bag or on the floor while I'm working on a project. I have been using one of the balls and it is SO convenient! The ball sits flat on the table, couch, or in my doesn't move around or get tangled up! The yarn comes out of the center without any problems. I love it!!

This center-pull ball is just the coolest thing. Yep, it's easy to entertain me these days. :) Anyway, here's some pics and instructions to help you make your own center-pull ball!

Begin by untangling your yarn! Now, you may procede. The yarn in your left hand is going to be the yarn you begin your project with. (This is good to know if you're using varigated yarn and have a preference over which end of the skein you want to begin with.) I like to leave a little bit of a tail sticking out when I make my balls so I can easily find the yarn when I'm ready to begin. You'll find out later why having the tail is a good thing. Next, wind the yarn around your two fingers in a figure 8 pattern.  Posted by Hello

See how the yarn goes up, over, and between each finger. Click on the photo to get a close up. Posted by Hello

After winding the yarn in the figure 8 pattern about twenty times, carefully pull it off your fingers. Posted by Hello

Fold the two sections of yarn in half, creating one neat mass of yarn. Sort of dig your thumb into them a bit. Your thumb is going to create the hole the yarn will be pulled out of. Posted by Hello

Another angle showing how the two sections of yarn fold in half and become one.  Posted by Hello

Start winding the yarn up, over, and around the folded pieces all the while rotating the ball around your thumb.. Be sure to keep your thumb in one position while winding the yarn around it.  Posted by Hello

As you can see, the ball is starting to take a nice shape already. Make sure to continue rotating the ball for ease of winding. Posted by Hello

I always try to wind the ball evenly for aesthetic purposes. I can't help it, I'm neurotic like that. At this point, I tucked the yarn into the hole because it was starting to annoy me. Unfortunately, that was a mistake. By the time I was done winding this ball I had a really hard time finding the yarn and pulling it out. I think next time I'll poke most of it in and leave about an inch sticking out. Posted by Hello

We're almost done! Note how my thumb is clearly well hidden by all the layers of yarn. Try to leave a flat bottom on the ball so it will sit nicely without rolling around while you're pulling out the yarn. Posted by Hello

Woo hoo, we're done! See the nice hole my thumb created in the middle to pull the yarn out of?  Posted by Hello

Three balls all ready to go! They all look slightly different, but they all work great. I can't wait to get started on a project using the red yarn. I'm currenlty using the green yarn on a project right now. I'll post pictures when I'm done with it.  Posted by Hello

Here's an example of two different finished balls. They're the same brand, yardage, etc. I wound the one on the right and Laurette wound the one on the left. I'm sure there is no right way. It's just a matter of preference! I like mine a little bit broader so they will sit more comfortably on the table or next to me on the chair. I guess I'll find out as I progress through the ball if I should be making them more like the red one. :) Posted by Hello

Life giving water!!

So, I've been having a hard time drinking all the water in my weight category. In the beginning, I was having a hayday drinking 24 glasses a day, these past couple of weeks I've been lucky to get three a day!

Late last week, I started drinking 40 oz of water in the morning on my way to and from the gym. Trapped in the car, what else am I going to do? I have a case of water on the back seat and whenever I want more, I reach back and grab a new bottle. It has become apparent that if I drink as much water as possible while in the car in the morning, that I have less to drink later in the day! And it's easy for me to forget to drink water when I'm busy doing stuff, so the early morning drinking is the best thing for me.

And of course, I always have at least 16 oz with my meals. I'm not sure how valid this is, but it seems that if I drink water with my food that it will digest easier and quicker. That's probably not realistic but it feels good to me.

We all know that we need 64 ounces of water a day. But don't forget; for each 25 pounds you are overweight, you need an additional eight ounces of water.

On a side note, Laura pointed out that several people in the First Place group have lost enough weight to decrease our water requirement by eight ounces!

Oh, and one more thing...God loves you!