Good evening! I feel so much better now than I did earlier.  I hate to admit this — but I had yet another wedding-related freak out around 3 PM.  I just put my head on my desk and cried.  In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t deal with stress very well.  It just overwhelms me! Focusing on the positives (marriage, love, presents) helps! 🙂


But after a sweaty elliptical session (I did 30 minutes on the elliptical while reading New Moon), I feel much, much better!


December Challenge – Making Abs Fun, Day 3


Introducing…. the Captain’s Chair!

Photo courtesy of some random webpage I Googled and then lost.  Sorry, dude! At least you look hot!


Anyway, the Captain’s Chair is a fun contraption at the gym that can give you a GREAT, EFFECTIVE, and SHORT ab work out.  Basically, I love it!


The best exercise in a Captain’s Chair is exactly the one shown in the picture


  • Position yourself in the chair and let your legs hang loose.  Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears!
  • Bring your knees to your chest and hold for a beat. 
  • Slowly let your legs move downward, and pause. 
  • Don’t use the motion to help you lift your knees back up (that’s cheating!!). 
  • Start off trying to do 10 or 12 repetitions and at least three sets (which is what I did at the gym tonight and trust me…. it was challenging!).


According to this website, you probably don’t want to do straight leg lifts, unless you are super strong and can maintain proper form.  Incorrect straight leg lifts can be bad because you can strain you back.  Specifically:


  • You increase the weight that you have to lift (and not in a good way). Whenever you move your legs, you increase the challenge on your lower back. And when you straighten your legs your ab muscles and hip flexor muscles have to work much harder.
  • You stretch the back of your thighs (hamstrings). If you are stiff and inflexible, you will have to fight against you own stiffness and will have trouble lifting your legs to the correct height.
  • You shorten the muscles in the front of your thighs (rectus femoris/ hip flexor). When your knees are straight, the front of the thigh does not work as well to lift your legs, so the hip flexor muscle that attaches to your back has to pull harder to lift your legs.


To recap, here’s the December Challenge so far:


Today’s Eats!


My mid-afternoon snacks consisted of Grape Nuts


And an Apple with PB…


Most of the PB went on Maggie and James’ noses. Is it mean that I like to torture them by putting PB on their noses….just out of tongue’s reach? 🙂


She looks pissed, huh?


Dinner was whole wheat ravioli with steamed broc!  Yum!


Sorry to cut this short, but I’ve got tons to do… and the best way to deal with stress is to take ACTION!  So, "to-do" list, here I come!


Oh, PS – Dress fitting went well! I need to let it out a little on the sides, but the seamstress did comment: "You look skinnier. Not skinny enough for that little dress, though."  HAHAH!  Oh lord.  Well, now she gets $50 extra to left out the dress. 🙂





  • VeggieGirl December 9, 2008, 6:08 pm

    Great challenge!!

    Aww, cute PB-covered pup nose 😀

    Hooray for the dress-fitting going well!!

  • inmytummy December 9, 2008, 6:11 pm

    That Captains Chair thing is so hard. My shoulders/arms always get tired after like 5 reps. Apparently, it’s good for other body parts too!

  • Erin of Care to Eat December 9, 2008, 6:12 pm

    I find that pushing my lower back into the chair really helps me work even harder!
    You princess! Stress is stressful! I’m sorry things are kind of crazy for you with the wedding. It makes sense though. It’s only like the biggest day of your life.

  • Heather December 9, 2008, 6:18 pm

    Yeah, I like that captain’s chair thing – I had no idea what that was called though.

    I am sure you look gorgeous in your dress. 😀

    Hangry Pants Heather

  • carolinebee December 9, 2008, 6:21 pm

    hahaha sorry about the stress-y…but at least you don’t have PB on your nose 😀

  • jenngirl December 9, 2008, 6:33 pm

    Sorry about the stresses, but you’ve got your mind in the right place, focus on the positives!! 🙂

    haha yes, that is definitely torture, poor puppies, I’m sure I torture my dogs in food-related ways sometimes too…

    Glad your dress fitting went well, I’m sure you look beautiful in that dress!!

  • Lyss December 9, 2008, 6:42 pm

    I had a wedding freakout the other day, too. As much fun as you think it’s going to be, wedding planning is more stress than anything if you ask me!

    And the captain chair is my FAVORITE way to work abs!

  • Oh She glows December 9, 2008, 7:16 pm

    “Sorry dude, at least you still look hot”

    LMAO….ohhh you can always make me laugh! Thank you for the smile!

    Glad the workout helped your stress! I can so relate..


  • Meg December 9, 2008, 7:26 pm

    I love the Captain’s Chair!

    Glad the dress fitting went well! I hope all is stress free from here on out! Just remember the true reason for the wedding!

  • Erica December 9, 2008, 7:28 pm

    I am the same way with stress (which is probably why I’m having so many digestive issues right now- we still haven’t sold our house in MD-yikes!) If you ever just need to type your frustrations out- feel free to email me! I know how crazy all that stuff can be!

    I cannot wait to see the pics of you in the dress- you’re going to look so gorgeous!

    Eats look good- especially din din!

  • K December 9, 2008, 8:03 pm

    My dog gets PB on her bottom lip and since she can’t lick it off it’s usually just stuck there until I wipe it off. I feel so bad – I must be teasing her with it!

  • Marissa December 9, 2008, 8:03 pm

    You ravioli with broccoli looks really good! I don’t handle stress well either and def. had a few good cries

  • strongandhealthy December 9, 2008, 8:22 pm

    Love the PB on your doggie! Glad you had a great day!

  • Katie December 9, 2008, 8:25 pm

    I think you’re doing a great job planning the wedding and keeping up with your life. And you’re always so positive! A little freak out every now and then is just fine.

    I can’t wait to see the dress! But, if Future Husband can wait, I guess I can too.

    Have a great night!

  • Victoria December 9, 2008, 8:28 pm

    I’m in love with the captain’s chair! My all time favorite ab workout.

  • Andrea of Care to Eat December 9, 2008, 9:58 pm

    Excuse my French, but that seamstress sounds like a bitch! Why would you say that to a bride? Is she new?
    The “captain” looks like a young Ryan Reynolds. Nice use of google images 🙂

  • just me December 9, 2008, 9:58 pm

    yay for successful dress fitting but boo for freak out…when i get stressed i have a tendency to throw things…at least you didn’t do that. 😀 haha.

    love the pb noses…i need to do that to my dog when i go home and see her!

  • imadedinner December 10, 2008, 4:42 am

    UGH I’m dreading the alterations stage of the whole dress thing… I haven’t even gotten my dress yet!

    I love the PB noses 🙂

  • Lara December 10, 2008, 5:38 am

    So sorry you are suffering from a little bridal stress but hopefully it will lift soon as the excitement takes over!
    Just a friendly piece of advice: please be careful in how much you let your dress out–I think most brides drop a few stress “pounds” (I’m sure it’s water weight or something) in the days before their wedding. I did, and I had to have my dress taken in THE NIGHT BEFORE. It was a total disaster. Sorry, I’m not trying to be a know-it-all or anything, I really just don’t want this to happen to anyone else! 🙂

  • Caitlin (see bride run) December 10, 2008, 5:39 am

    andrea – dont worry, i found it funny, not insulting!

    imadinner – alterations are $$$. buy a cheap dress!!!

  • Anonymous December 10, 2008, 9:39 am

    ummm. . .yeah, that IS mean to do that to your dogs. I’m being serious. Oh and all of the stress you are going through just confirms the fact that I am eloping.

  • Caitlin (see bride run) December 10, 2008, 9:46 am

    anon – they like PB on the nose, i swear. i was just joking about being mean to them. obviously i love my dogs more than life!

    and the stress of the wedding is worth it in the end. 🙂

  • Anonymous December 10, 2008, 10:09 am

    Ok, I came back because I felt badly about the comment I left and then I saw your comment back and felt worse. I came off pretty harsh and I do apologize. I love your blog and your attitude about food. . .and it’s obvious that you love your dogs. I guess wedding planning seems so crazy to me. There’s so much to think about and worry about but you’re right, it will be worth it for you in the end and that’s all that matters.

  • Caitlin (see bride run) December 10, 2008, 10:12 am

    ANON – thanks for coming back. it was nice to see you come back to respond. seriously, thanks!

    wedding planning doesnt have to be like this. simple weddings are beautiful too, and sometimes i wish we were doing that, but in the end — its always been my dream to have a big hooplah and although it makes me want to tear about my hair, i know it will be that much more satisfying. 🙂

    whatever you choose to do when you get married will be perfect for you, no worries!

  • MacDuff December 12, 2008, 10:51 am

    Oh my gosh, I would have strangled that seamstress with a yard of tuille if she had said that to me. You have the patience of a saint.

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