Hi there, folks.

If you’ve been following along with:

five days five ways | because every day is different

…then you know that until this past Saturday, I’d been blogging all things fun and funny for 19 straight days, with the goal being to complete the full 31 in the month of October.

And then, I didn’t post on Saturday or Sunday.


But I had a pretty good reason.

Remember this post in which I mentioned various ailments I was combatting, including back pain and poison ivy?

Well, it turns out when you combine intense nerve pain in your back with blisters that start turning purple, you don’t have back pain + poison ivy at all.

You have Shingles.

And if you base the prognosis for your survival on the tone of voice and facial expression of the PA at Urgent Care who pronounces your sentence diagnosis, you’ll probably suspect that you only have a few weeks to live.

By the time you get home and are considering tearing your own skin off and throwing it away, you’ll be convinced of it.

Which is all to say that this past weekend has not been my favorite.

I’m feeling a bit better this morning, but blogging new stuff is still fairly low on the “feel-better” protocol list, so I thought I’d repost my first ever fitness vlog for Move-it Monday, since watching me bumble around making a video seemed to entertain some of you the first time around and might be a source of amusement again or maybe for the first time for those of you who are fairly new around here.

P.S. If you’re feeling motivated, you can even take the fitness challenge that I issued at the end of the post. It may be 10 months old, but it will still make you sore, I promise!

Originally posted January 16, 2012


A couple of editorial notes:

1) As an amateur vlogger, v-logger, or (just in case there really is a silent “l”) vogger, I wasn’t super-familiar with how loud to talk. You might want to turn the volume on your computer all the way up for the mumbly parts and then down again as needed.

2) Yes, it’s January 16th, and I’m wearing a sleeveless top and shorts, which is made possible by a) the fact that it wasn’t very cold—maybe 60-65 degrees and b) adrenaline (such as the kind that warms the blood when one is attempting one’s first vlog).

3) I was reacting to the slight chill in the air by some mild congestion (which turned into full-fledged nose-wiping later on…be very glad that part didn’t record right). Hence, the nasally quality of my voice (or maybe that’s just how I sound on video).

4) Yes, I realize I’m like 4 miles away from the camera (and I’m too much of an amateur to figure how to crop the video…I tried…it didn’t go well). I was trying to make sure that you could see all the cool moves I was going to show you. 

Did I already say “blogger fail?”

Hope you were at least mildly entertained by my first attempt at vloggitude.

Here’s a “real” video that I snagged from Youtube to help you understand the basics of a bodyweight squat (or, if you choose the more advanced options they show you toward the end, a weighted squat).

A couple of editorial notes on this video:

1. If you have any knee issues, squats may not be for you. However, you can always test the move by doing “baby squats” first. The chick in the video gets loooow, but you don’t have to.

Instead, you could do a top-half squat and not even drop your tushy as low as the bend-line of your knees. If you do them more quickly, then you will get a cardio workout in addition to the toning aspect of the move. 

Because I teach a weight-training class in which we emphasize reps (we do squats for 5-6 straight minutes) over BIG movements, I tell my participants to avoid letting their bums drop below their knee-line.

2. They touched on this, but I wanted to emphasize that the most important things about squats are: a) POSTURE (feet under shoulders, chest up without arching your back, shoulders down away from the ears, abs braced), and b) KNEE alignment, your knees should stay above your shoelaces, never forward over your toes, and the middle of your knee should aim for your middle toes (not out like a frog or in like they’re knocking together).

3. You really do have to get your bottom pretty far back there. I always tell my BODYPUMP participants that they’re reaching with their rear-ends for a stool they can’t quite reach or—even better—they have to get a shot in the rump, and they need to give the nurse the best possible target.  The more you tip from the hips (what he calls “breaking from the hips” in the video) and push your hindquarters behind you, the less likely you are to end up with any knee issues.

(I think I just won the award for most euphemistic references to the “gluteus maximus” in one post).

4. I didn’t just choose squats randomly. They really are one of the most effective shaping, toning, and even heart-rate boosting exercises that practically ever’body (see my video) can do!

And now for the challenge I said I would be issuing (and participating in) each week:


3 sets of 20 “halfway squats” (the tush doesn’t go lower than the bend in your knees) 4 days this week.  (Try to do them together with as little rest as possible in between, but if you need to spread them out throughout the day, that’s okay).


Same as above + a 4th set of 10 “full-range” (all the way down and up like she does in the video) squats each day.


Add a dumbbell for the “goblet squat” and do 3 sets of 15 full-range squats 4 days this week.

**For an even more advanced option, hold at the bottom of each squat for 3 seconds, then explode to the top (make sure to keep the knees from locking out once your return to a standing position.

Happy squatting!

P.S. Heiny, tushkis, watermelon, derriere, ham, fanny, seat, booty, bohonkis…(just making sure I’m a shoe-in for that award I mentioned earlier).


  1. Oh no 🙁 I’ve had shingles (when I was 15), and it’s awful! Hopefully it’ll start feeling better soon. I found mine itched less if I covered them in a really thick layer of neosporin and a band-aid, so there was no rubbing, and ibuprofen helps with the pain and the bit of swelling. And from my experience, no matter how little you scratch, you’ll still have a little bit of a scar, which will fade with time. My guess is that they were close to their worst when you went in, so that would mean that they’ll be getting better from here.

  2. As someone who has had shingles a few times in the last few years – I can relate :o(( I usually get it when I am really run down or stressed to the max…take care and try try try to get as much rest as humanly possible (with five little ones!) Praying for you x

  3. oh noes – shingles are awful. It’s my understanding that they have a tendency to affect the nerve endings embedded in scar tissue (beyond scratches and soothing cream). They’re related to chicken pox, no? do you have to quarantine kiddos?

  4. Oh wowsa! Singles = Not funny……nope, nothin’ even remotely funny ’bout ’em! Never had them myself, but all my patients (part-time pharmacist) tell me its painful. Wish I had some great remedies or could even come wrangle the kidlets to help you rest. How awful that it comes up when you are stressed to the max to make that time even more……Stressful! I wish I had some wonderful remedies for ya’…..not much to offer but my sympathies & prayers!
    On a fun-nier note…. I still enjoy this vlog you posted. haahaa! And will have to try the challenge again….last time, well, I was SORE. And if I went as far as the girl in the video each time, I would need to call 911 🙂 LOL!
    Get better soon friend!

  5. Abbie, I am fairly new to your blog and your v-log was seriously fun (and funny). So sorry about shingles–prayers being sent your way!

  6. PS: Here are a few more: badonkadonk, bum, cushion (thank you, Spinal Tap), booty, backside, buns (of Steel), derriere, patootie, seat, tukus. It’s clear I need to get out more.

  7. Dude!!! I’m so sorry that you got shingles! I never knew what that was until reading the definition you linked here. That’s crazy, and I hope you get feeling LOTS LOTS better. Like NOW!!!
    P.s. thanks for sweet workout vid, er, vlog. I’d get right on that, except I just spent the last 2 days “processing game” which is a nice way of saying I’ve been cutting, sorting, bagging, wrapping, and freezing the elk and deer my husband, bro-in- law, and nephew “harvested”. It’s nice to have organic meat and all, but right now a nice salad sounds pretty good!

I love hearing from you guys!