Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

This is a continuation of my post from the other day. I had many comments, messages, & emails and a lot of you had some questions which I will answer here. I had thought of adding in the “food” part of my weight loss journey to the previous post but it already had topped out at 1,ooo+ words. So here’s what you asked for.

To lose 30 lbs since Dec. 1st did I do any exercise or any diet other than Zumba?

-The short answer is “not really.” I have been doing Zumba since Sept. I went from 2-3 classes a week to 2-3 days doing it at home when it was not offered at the gym. I don’t enjoy lifting weights but they are beneficial and I target my arms in particular by doing 3 specific arm exercises with weights starting with 5lb dumbbells in each hand and I now lift approx 17.5lbs@. It takes less than 10-minutes and that’s fine with me. I hate any exercise that involves the floor and Zumba helps your hips/waist and core but I wanted more so I added 100 crunches a day- done on a weight bench so I don’t have to get on the floor. I am up to 180 crunches a day as of this morning. You can work your abdominals every day so I do them 6 days a week and the weights are every other and that’s it for additional exercise. I was walking in the evenings when it was nice but due to the foot pain and rain that has been curtailed.

I was given a calorie/heart-rate watch for Christmas –  as the key for me BESIDE taking measurements was to know just how many calories I was burning. Of course its not as many as you think when you finish laundry or vacuuming – you do burn but it’s in the 1-200 range. I burn on average 1,000 calories and HOUR in a Zumba class. Once I had a concrete number it was a lot easier to manage my food intake. I am not on a diet, no packaged foods, shakes, meal replacements, bars, etc. I simply cut back. One motivation was the cruise we leave on on Saturday, I wanted to see how much I could lose before we left. My goal was 30 and I hit it.  Now, we all have been eating more salads and I have yogurt for breakfast as I LOVE dinner and would rather save my calories for then but we are not denied anything. Saturday, as a pre-Mother’s day treat we went for seafood. I had lobster, fried calamari, and a piece of decadent chocolate cake, I left most of my fries as the cake was more important – no one told me too  – it was a cheat day and my choice and dinner was a chef salad and no one felt deprived. I will say that I am one that has to have some kind of carb with lunches like salads and sandwiches. Special K’s Cracker crisps have been a lifesaver for me! you can have 27!! for 110 calories. Most chips or tortilla chips are 130-140 calories for roughly 8-13 chips. Can YOU stop at 8 chips? I can’t – I love counting out my 27 chips and seeing them on the table – psychologically it’s about the quantity and physically they taste good and coupled with a salad its a 400 calorie lunch! I am not a STRICT calorie counter but once I knew what I was burning I wanted to see what I was actually consuming and thought how many Zumba classes is it going to take to get rid of that?! Some foods were very surprising both good and bad in the calorie per serving and it helps just to be aware and we make decisions – if you want to eat ALL that then you have to step up the exercise the next day or it’ll be on your hips. It’s a choice and a balance and we are all eating healthier and more mindful and we actually spilt a piece of Ouzo poundcake for dessert the other night and I still lost a pound the next day.

I also suffer from sciatica which since about 3 months into the Zumba has lessened quite a bit. With the weight-loss I can go a week without throwing a knot in my back whereas before, I was in pain every single night. I had pain patches and was constantly having the knots “ground” out by the Mr. I also have suffered from knee pain since High School. It is almost non-existent as well. My joints are looser due to the exercise even with all that salsa and merengue and there is less weight for them to carry around.

Zumba has a Zumba Gold program for anyone with ailments of back and knee and for the older generation – it’s less impact and just as fun! So if you don’t think you can handle a regular, try a Gold or an Aqua Zumba in the pool. Zumba also builds into its routines and instructs us to do so as well several levels. So when we make a routine we start off slow, the next time we add a jump, the third time we add a kick. You can do all or just stay at the 1st level the choice is yours!!

Aside from my foot pain (which is tweaking my back a bit) I feel MUCH better than I have in years, the chronic pain that was my constant companion is gone and I have a lot more stamina and I now don’t have an aversion to sweating – it means my heart-rates up and the pounds are going down!

This is something with no end. This is not a diet that took out my carbs and fruit and sugar and adds them back in a week or  a month, this is not packaged food. I cook every night for us and I needed to do this this way, as we are Italian, we LOVE to eat, I like to make BIG Sunday dinners  I just needed to be mindful of what and how much and to literally get my ass in motion.

I think that answers everyone’s questions and concerns and I wish you all the best on your healthy journeys whatever they may be and I thank you for all your support and positive comments! I feel great and I am going to enjoy this cruise in clothes in a size that have been absent for years & I no longer dread the airline seat!

If you have any further comments or questions don’t hesitate to comment or message me!

Now, I am off to Zumba!


“Come on over and join me on Facebook! “Like” my page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melissa-Rossetti-Folini-Bee-Leaf-Works/123347344351416



“Story Times Good Enough to Eat! : Thematic programs with edible story crafts” by Melissa Rossetti Folini – Libraries Unlimited/ABC-CLIO – Jan. 2010 – 3 5-star reviews on Amazon.com, also available from Barnes and Noble  or from the author.






Read Full Post »

As regular followers know, I am a writer, poet, speaker, etc. What you may not know is I am now a certified Zumba Instructor! In the past I have written of my disdain for exercise and how my Personal Trainer husband could care less how much I weigh or whether I accompany him to the gym. He took it in stride when I scoffed at his “no carbs after 4pm” rule. No Carbs?? hellooooo “My name is Melissa and I am a Carbohydrate addict!” Really, LOVE my potatoes and Bertucci’s rolls, Olive Garden’s Breadsticks..ok I need to stop. Anyway, I have tried different exercises over the years and all the fad diets as well and nothing stuck as 99% of exercise, I HATE, and when you put forth a mammoth effort and you don’t see results yet go a weekend with no exercise and high calorie food and it shows up immediately…well that just ain’t right or fair.

My husband is now a General Manager of a gym and I went through one of his 8-week boot camp classes- hated every minute, heckled him throughout, refused to put down my kettlebell between reps for the simple reason I didn’t want to bend over and pick it up again.(Anyway it’s about the same weight as a really heavy purse only not as attractive.) I found I did have more stamina at the end of the 8 weeks and I went from doing “girl” push-ups to 45 “guy” push-ups. I was very proud of that, but the scale NEVER. MOVED. Can you say frustrated??!!

So I had been watching exercise infomercials from the couch like everyone else and saw one for Zumba, I love to dance, always have and this looked like fun, BUT I am not one to order  off the T.V. so I just watched my 30 mins and got on with my life. Then in September of 2011 he was finally given permission to start offering Zumba classes at his club. I took one class and my friends, the rest is history! I had a fantastic instructor, that was pregnant by the way, and Zumba’d with us right up until TWO days before giving birth. I went to her class twice a week and got so good that I actually had people ask if I had dance training, have I been doing Zumba for a long time?..etc…I also had several members either tell me or my husband that they would stand behind me  so they could watch my feet in case the room was so crowded they couldn’t see the instructor. I was very flattered. Eventually everyone asked if I was going to be an instructor. I just laughed. How could the overweight, anti-gym girl become an EXERCISE instructor?? 1. It’s WAY out of my comfort zone and 2. I hated to exercise remember? 3. Only size 4 barbie-look-a-likes were group exercise instructors…right?

I let the idea sit for a long time..One certification class went by and I was unable to attend anyway and by the time the next one popped up I was warming to the idea. It was now April, and I was now doing Zumba at home on the days I was not at the gym and I added a 3rd class at the gym with a different firecracker of an instructor and as I have a very good memory, I memorized all their routines and was now able to Zumba 6 days a week and I LOVED it. I added a very minimal specific weight training routine to my schedule along with good old fashion crunches (done on a bench) and since December 1st I have lost 30-pounds!

Now, since September 1st I have lost 16 inches overall! Most noticeably 5 1/2 just from my hips. I now only have one chin and a jaw line I haven’t seen in decades! I will stress the importance of measuring yourself as there were times that scale crossed its arms, shook its head, and simply refused to budge but the measurements were going down, the clothes were fitting better, and then voila after about 16 weeks of regular exercise the scale began its descent!

With that encouragement and motivation I took that instructor training and became certified on March 4, 2012! ironically as I was preparing a class routine/song list I began to have severe foot pain. So the anti-gym girl 1. finds an exercise she LOVES 2.gets in better shape 3. Becomes certified to teach others and then gets an injury in the two most important body parts in Zumba, her feet! Ain’t that a kick in the teeth?!

Now the old me would have thrown up her hands and thrown away her sports bra and said “see, exercise is bad for you.” However, I have been pushing though the pain and I keep shaking it at home and in class to the tune of 1,000-1,100 calories burned an HOUR. They still hurt but I ice them, massage them, and have shoe inserts and I just crank my iPod and keep going. I know they will get better and I am on a journey I won’t be derailed from!

As such, I have finally gotten my self and my confidence to the point where I will be teaching a song or two this coming week and going for my 1st audition for a Zumba teaching position as well.

It may sound cliché’ but when you find an exercise you like you WILL stick with it! I am living proof! The girl who loves her potatoes and hates the gym is  30-pounds lighter physically and mentally in the best place I have been in years. I am happy to teach others how to shake it- “give me an hour and I’ll change your life! “I’m not saying Zumba is the answer to your health/exercise prayers but it was mine – so keep trying new things until something clicks and more importantly stick with it long enough for results to show up (more than 7 days!!) and take your measurements I can’t stress that enough!

Yes, I am still writing up a storm that is my full-time vocation/love. Zumba is my 2nd! Hopefully I will be in a place soon where you can all come and dance with me!

A few before and after photos, as isn’t that always the best part of those infomercials??! 🙂

My Birthday October 2011




Christmas 2011






Things were definitely tightening up but the scale remained the same














May 5, 2012 we have a waist!










Zumba instructor shirt

-30lbs and 16 inches overall!

I welcome your questions and comments..please feel free to post below!




“Come on over and join me on Facebook! “Like” my page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melissa-Rossetti-Folini-Bee-Leaf-Works/123347344351416



“Story Times Good Enough to Eat! : Thematic programs with edible story crafts” by Melissa Rossetti Folini – Libraries Unlimited/ABC-CLIO – Jan. 2010 – 3 5-star reviews on Amazon.com, also available from Barnes and Noble  or from the author.



Read Full Post »

So day 3 was “hands,” I found it’s hard to take a picture of one’s hand when one of them is holding a camera, lol so, mine is of my one hand perched over my keyboard where it spends a good 75% of the time!Image

Day 4 was “a stranger.”  When you work from home you may see stange things but not many strangers, so I am posting an old picture that has someone I don’t know.This photo was taken at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH. I was shooting the garden and if you look close there is a woman in period dress with hat sitting on the bench near the building.


Day 5 is “10 am.” At 10 am this morning I had just finished exercising. Something I hate but have chosen to make a valiant effort at as it’s critical to my heath and state of mind. Some days I have to fight for every minute of the workout and other days I’m all over it. The key I have found after being anti-exercise for the major portion of my life is finding something you like, enjoy, or will tolerate. For me it’s Zumba. I discovered it in Sept. and have been hooked ever since. I have always loved to dance and that’s what Zumba’s all about. it’s not your Mother’s Jazzercise class! So today’s photo is of my ipod and my heart-rate/calorie counter watch (a gift from my personal trainer husband) I completed a 50 minute routine from ones I memorized in class and burned 949 calories! So it’s a good day!






“Like my page on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melissa-Rossetti-Folini-Bee-Leaf-Works/123347344351416



“Story Times Good Enough to Eat! : Thematic programs with edible story crafts” by Melissa Rossetti Folini – Libraries Unlimited/ABC-CLIO – Jan. 2010 – 3 5-star reviews on Amazon.com, also available from Barnes and Noble  or from the author.






Read Full Post »

In the last few days we have had enough rain where it can be measured in inches. Roads and backyards are flooded, School has been cancelled and front lawns resemble  Medieval moats! If this nor’easter had been snow we’d be in hibernation until June, but at least you can plow and shovel snow. How do you get the Exeter River off the road? How do you keep mother nature from dripping down your ceiling and puddling on you floor? The World has had a lot of weather challenges lately and I’m not sure what kind of test we are taking but I sure hope we pass!

Wet weather however, inspires a lot of creativity in myself personally as the house feels cozy, the rhythmic beat of rain is calming, and it’s too gross outside to do much else. So I sit in front of my big picture window and write! As writing is now my profession this really helps productivity, as I have said before you actually have to put your butt in the seat at your desk and write or paint or whatever it is you do. Just wishing and hoping it were so won’t make it materialize on paper or canvas. This is where the perspiration part of “genius” comes in to play.

Speaking of writing and being “chained” to one’s desk. For the month of April I will be participating for the first time in “Script Frenzy” this is a sister to “NaNoWriMo” in November which I started but had to abandon as the manuscript I was getting paid to write came in with a short deadline, so clearly that took precedence. I will attempt it again next November and in a few weeks I will try to commit one of my screenplay ideas to paper. 30 days=100pages! Now, as I write or research some part of everyday, obviously I am always working on one or twelve projects at a time. However, I do like the advantage of challenges and short deadlines and pushing yourself to see if you can block out all distractions and put the pedal to the metal and get it done. I wrote a novel in 3 days I sincerely believe I can write a script in 30!

Now April is also National Poetry month and as poetry has become the major breadwinner for me lately this month is dear to my heart. Last April, the month before my wedding, I participated in the Writer’s Digest Poem-a-day challenge. I managed to complete one poem every day using the prompts provided and some really good work cam out of it. When the challenge started there were a lot of promises made about the results and outcome and due to an overwhelmingly large response, the administrator wasn’t able to follow through and as a result it felt that our poems were being help hostage while we awaited results. There was finally some closure a week ago. Yes, s weeks before the next challenge starts. After 11 months I am now free to take those poems and do what I wish with them. Some have already been polished and added to my chapbook manuscript-in-progress and some will be shopped out to magazines. I won’t be participating this year, but for the simple reason that I am putting my energies into the Script Frenzy. But I do love a challenge and you never know, I could find myself participating in both at the last minute!

Now, this brings me to my 40 after 40 list:

#’s 1,2, & 4 have to do with being in better shape and I can proudly say I have ridden my exercise bike for 40 days in a row (& counting) yes, in a row, not one day off, Even my Personal Trainer husband can’t say that!!! Although he can burn more calories in a 2-hour gym session than I probably burned all month, but I have stuck with it and they say 3 weeks makes (or breaks) a habit. The jury is still out on that but thanks to some large books and “The Time-Travler’s Wife (thank you, Emily) and Lady Gaga I am still pedaling strong!

# 9 has to do with a screenplay so I ‘m hoping to check that off May 1st

# 36 is in process thanks to my freed poems!

# 40 has to do with attending a conference or workshop and thanks to two leads yesterday and a grant application I am hopeful I can check that off before October!

In other “Life’s Lists” news “Story Times Good Enough to Eat!” Found its way to #1 on Amazon.comx Children’s Services list on March 11th! Thanks to all that purchased a copy. I have actually written as a goal on my Master list to have a #1 bestseller, I never though this would be the book that would do it but I am proud and very excited to see tangible realization of my dreams! This goes to show as well to be open-minded about your goals and they may not happen exactly as you wrote them down but there are many variations on a theme. For instance, I did not have a novel on the New York Times Bestseller list but a book I wrote and created made it number on the most popular online book website there is. I’m calling it a dream fulfilled!

I also had a nice article on my poetry, writing, and my book in lasy Thursday’s Tri-Town Times.

How are you doing on your dreams?

Have you taken the first step and made a list? You can’t go for what you want, until you know what it is! identify your dreams, give them a sense of reality by writing them down, then give them wings by identifying the steps you need to take to make them come true. If this seems overwhelming and unattainable to you. Let me first say that, 1. I have done and it is working..read the blog posts!! 2. Let me help you! Contact me and we’ll make you happy and on your way! I have been very fortunate, some is luck and other is all me and determination and I want to help you achieve your dreams too!

A very happy birthday today to my son (step) Michael. May you have many, many more!

make the best of it!


If you’re having trouble reaching or defining your goals visit my “Services” page.

Put my creativity to work for you!


“Story Times Good enough to Eat!” by Melissa Rossetti Folini released 1/30/10

Get your copy today! Makes a great gift for teachers, day-care workers, Librarians, etc.





Read Full Post »

“Idleness is the Holiday of fools” – That is what it said on a fortune cookie innards I found this morning while cleaning my old room. Now the kicker is a minute later I found a second one that said the exact same thing! You may wonder why I would keep a fortune that said that?! Well I am one of those people who keeps ALL my fortunes. I have several small trinket boxes full of them. Now when I got food poisoning from an egg roll close to ten years ago I stopped eating chinese food for about 5 years and that put a HUGE crimp in my collection. I do eat chinese food now , though very basic fare and NO egg rolls.  I also found one that said “your business will assume vast proportions.” Now that is one I could definitely get my head around! Still, I’m wondering why these particular fortunes were not in the boxes with their friends?? And I was far from idle crawling under my old desk dodging dust bunnies trying to unhook my old monitor os that I can bring down my desk and trade in my folding table I am working on now for my actual desk. no small feat I can assure you!

Speaking of not being idle. I found out on Friday that another one of my poems was published!!!! It’s called “Pond Hockey” and it was published in “The NH Troubadour” This is one I wrote last winter while watching Mike and my nephew RJ play a pick-up game of hockey. RJ’s 1st! Here’s the link if you wish to read it! http://www.nhtroubadour.com/your-troubadour/your-troubadour-januaryfebruary-10/

In other news my Story Time book is due out in less than 15 days and I can NOT wait to see it. I have promoting it and marketing it myself in addition to the publishers marketing blitz to reach as many people as I can. They have LONG arms but I have short ones! The short ones can reach community members and organizations in the State I have contact with that wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar of a publisher that large! Again no one will ever be as excited about your work as you will so be your own cheerleader!

As for “The List”:

#35 is close to completion as I have found a publisher to send the manuscript to, I have written a cover letter and I just need to tweak two lines in the story and then I will send it along and then I will wait, and wait, then wait a wee bit more for their answer. As it is a rhyming-text picture book, the lines to need flow, it’s not enough just to rhyme so those two lines have to go!

Several of the items have to do with general health, getting in shape, and fixing my back. They all kind of hinge on one another but I’m happy to report that 13 out of the last 14 days I have ridden my exercise bike and the duration has steadily increased. Now you do NOT have to exercise every day but since I really, really dislike it I find that if I’m willing to do it then I’m not taking a day off because the time will come soon enough when I find 100 reasons not to climb the stairs to my old room and my exercise bike! On a positive note I did survive a holiday party with all of Mike’s co-workers from the GYM where he is a trainer. Just think about that for a second – 5 Gyms worth of Aerobics, instructors, personal trainers, and pint-sized perky people in skirts that were less inches long than their heels were high!!! It took a lot for me to walk into that room but I had a pretty good time and watched the thinnest, perkiest people in the room dance and go home alone. The MR. said it was because they were too high maintenance and in love with themselves to have a date. He of course said I looked fantastic but I reminded him that he signed a paper 8 months ago that made him legally obligated to say that!!!! But it was nice to have a date and a dance partner and not sit on the wall hoping one of the drunk trainers might ask me to dance…I do NOT miss that pressure. The lesson here is that I did NOT wish to go for reasons mostly self-inflicted but I did and I lived to tell the tale!

There are going to be lots of things that are unpleasant and downright horrifying on this journey called LIFE but the more dragons you slay the better you will feel and the more confidence you will have and you will be that much closer to a goal-fulfilled happy life!!! Way too much to fit in a fortune cookie, but you understand what I mean!! 🙂

FTFDIA! – Right Em??!!


“Story Times Good Enough to Eat” by Melissa Rossetti Folini – release date 1.30.2010


I also have an author page now on Amazon as well! 🙂



Read Full Post »

The following is a list of things I have learned and come to terms with in the last few days:

1. The dog will always bark to go out the second you take your shoes off.

2.”The English Patient” is not a movie you can start watching in the middle and have any hope of being able to figure out what the heck is going. (I will read the book to see what I missed!!)

3. Social Networking sites are both a hindrence and a help

4. Just manually pumping up the exercise ball is sometimes exercise enough. To make sure your other bicep gets an equal workout, deflate the ball and pump it up again for ten minutes using your OTHER arm!

5.If you wish and wish for chocolate cookies but don’t actually  make them they will NOT appear. If you truly want to eat a homemade chocoloate cookie one must actually MAKE them or buy them. The same is true for your life: If you want to sell your painting you must actually paint it, if you wish to publish your book you must write it.

You can’t publish the book you never finished and you can’t make money from the dream you don’t take steps toward fulfilling.

You wish is the “seed” and it is free, but to make it a reality you must actually “plant it” (decide you want it), “Fertlize it”(Make a plan) “Weed it”(take actions from your plan and find what is and isn’t working) “Water it” (keep pushing even through dry spells and fear)before you can “Harvest” (Achieve your goal!)

That is my 2 cents for today! Which through saving and planning and action will hopefully turn into 4 cents tomorrow!









Read Full Post »