How I Turned a Guilty Pleasure Into Something That’s Actually Good For Me

Welcome to the 398th Metamorphosis Monday!

I guess you might call today’s Before and After a “Good Habit” metamorphosis or maybe a “healthy” Before and After.

I don’t have a lot of time for watching TV and truthfully, there aren’t very many shows on that interest me these days. I did come across two recently that I enjoy; I’ll share those toward the end of this post in case you’re not familiar with them.

Even though I don’t watch a lot of TV, one of my guilty pleasures is watching the occasional 10-15 minute YouTube video featuring the un-boxing of a dreamy handbag or perhaps a review of a fragrance or some other item that’s on my wish list. If you’re ever in the market for a new handbag, camera, makeup, jewelry or fragrance, do a search on YouTube and someone has probably shared and reviewed it. Seriously!

Since I  sit way too much as it is, I’ve been thinking about how I might work in a bit of exercise throughout my day, other than what I get running up and down the steps. I don’t really enjoy exercising so I knew it needed to be something I could do in 10-15 minute increments, several times a day. Mentally, I can cope with the idea of exercising in 15 minute increments several times a day, as opposed to trying to schedule a 30-45 minute block of time, which I know will never happen. I’d rather clean bathrooms then exercise for the sake of exercising.

So, the deal I made with myself is I’m allowed to watch a short video by one of my fave YouTubers, as long as I’m using this little stepper while watching.

Before I purchased the stepper, I was reading one of the 200+ reviews online and one person mentioned that she keeps her stepper near her desk and uses it every hour throughout the day for 10 minutes at the time. She’s lost something like 60 pounds doing that! I wouldn’t mind taking off a few lbs before my winter hibernation and the inevitable holiday nosh fest sets in. Since I started using the stepper around two weeks ago, I’ve lost around 3 lbs and that was with no change in my diet.

The thing I really like about this stepper, is that I can do anything for 10 minutes, even something I don’t especially enjoy like exercise. I may not do it every hour like the reviewer I read does, but I can handle 3-5 times a day. And the good thing about doing it in spurts like that is it keeps my metabolism cranked up throughout the day–always a good thing!

This one is adjustable for three heights. I’ve been using the middle height because the first level up felt way too easy. If you’re interested in a stepper, you’ll find the one I’m using and enjoying here: Stepper


Timing My Workouts

When I purchased the stepper, I started thinking about how I would time my 10-minute workouts after it arrived. I knew I could use my phone, but I also knew that would get tedious very quickly, especially if I’m hopping onto my stepper 3-5 times a day or more. So I Googled to see if there was a timer out there that was mindless to use, something I could set/activate in one step.

I was delighted to find there was! This little cube will time anything in 1, 5, 10 or 15-minute increments. It’s super complicated and hi-tech to work. πŸ˜‰ You pick it up, flip it to the number of minutes you want and set it down. That’s it! Seriously, that’s all you do. The timer starts automatically and lets you know via an audible sound when your time is up. In case you’re curious, there’s a little window on one side where you can see how much time is left as it counts down.1-5-10-15-second-timer

These timers are available in various increments, so whatever increment of time you think you’ll use the most for an activity, there’s probably a timer for that. You’ll find the one I purchased that covers 1, 5, 10, and 15 minutes here: Timer. You’ll see the other increment timers at that link, as well.


So, I’ve made exercising as easy and doable as possible for myself. My stepper is right here beside my desk, I use it while doing something I enjoy (watching a video) and timing my workouts is easy and actually kinda fun with my little cube timer.

I think that’s the clue to exercising regularly, you have to find something you enjoy and is readily available. In a perfect world, I’d live near a biking trail like the Silver Comet Trail and would bike there daily. I absolutely loved biking on the trail for the full year that I did, but unfortunately, it’s a 45-minute drive from my home and it simply isn’t safe to bike there alone. (Google “Attacks and murders on the Silver Comet Trail” for more info on that.)

Two Favorite TV Shows

One day while eating lunch, I flipped over to the Travel channel and discovered two shows I had never seen before. I was surprised how much I liked them since I don’t enjoy much of what’s on TV these days. So I thought I’d share them in this post in case you’ve never seen them and would find them interesting.

Mysteries at the Museum

One show I enjoy is Mysteries at the Museum. Have you watched it? Apparently, it’s been airing on the Travel Chanel since November 2010, but I just discovered it.

In Mysteries at the Museum, the host, Don Wildman, highlights an object that’s on display in a museum somewhere in the United States. Its physical appearance is described, then a fascinating tale unfolds leading to the explanation of how that object ended up playing some very important part in history, important enough that it ended up on display in a museum.

The stories are compelling and really draw you in. Besides being educational, I find the show really fascinating and exciting. Occasionally, some of the stories can be a bit morbid, but that’s pretty rare. I definitely recommend it if you love a bit of intrigue and enjoy learning new things.



Expedition Unknown

The other show I discovered recently is Expedition Unknown. It appears to be a fairly new show with the first episode having aired in January 2015. I’ve only seen one show and a few minutes of another so far, but basically, the host, an Archaeologist named Josh Gates, is on a quest to determine if some of the stories and myths we’ve heard over the years are really true.

The Travel Channel describes it this way:

Expedition Unknown chronicles his global adventures as he investigates iconic unsolved events, lost cities, buried treasures and other puzzling stories. Armed with a degree in archaeology, a quick wit and a thirst for action, Gates investigates recent developments before embarking on a detailed exploration. Whether he’s trekking through Fiji in search of Amelia Earhart’s remains or diving into the deep seas of Panama to locate Captain Morgan’s pirate ship, Gates’ roughshod expeditions lead him one step closer to the truth.

Anyone else enjoying these two shows?



Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday is a party that’s all about Before and Afters. If you are participating in Met Monday, please link up using the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address.

To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking or DIY related.

Do not link up to the party if you’re doing so to promote a website or sell a product.

Do not link up a post that was just linked up last week since readers would have already seen that post.

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. Way to go, Susan, on getting inspired to do good for yourself! The two shows you mentioned sound intriguing. I’ll have to check those out. Thanks for hosting Met Monday – a good way to start the week!

  2. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for recommending TWO tv shows that I’ve not seen!!! Honestly, it’s become depressing to me – pretty much “all my” favs have been cancelled (not sure “what” that says about my selections…) I’ll definitely give a try…even PBS has become… judgmental..IMO. Good work on the stepper, too!! franki

  3. Thanks for the party Susan, your new stepper and timer are a great idea. I try to get up and walk for 5-10 minutes every hour if I’m working and incorporate household tasks into that time…it’s a great way to re-energize and get things done at the same time πŸ™‚

  4. I don’t know anything about a stepper. I’m curious, all you do is step up and down on it?

    Thanks for sharing about Mysteries at the Museum. Sounds interesting!

    • Yup, you step up on it and then back down, back up and back down. I swap which foot I’m starting with pretty often during the 10-15 minutes I’m stepping. You can work up a good sweat, depending how long you do it.
      My Endocrinologist recommends these for all his patients to do while watching TV. He’s been telling me about it for years and keeps one in all his examining rooms to show his patients. I’ve never had any interest in getting one until now because (as I told my doctor) I almost never watch TV. But now that I’ve subscribed to several YouTube channels that each post a few times a week, I have a really good excuse to use one.
      My legs have always been pretty strong since I run up and down the steps in my house all day long, but I can tell they’ve gotten even stronger. It’s also good for the hips. I sometimes use hand weights while stepping, raising them above my head and to the side, etc… It’s the least boring, painless way I’ve found to get in some exercise during each day.

  5. Thanks so much for hosting!!

  6. I’m with you Susan… not too many shows on now that interest me. I do like the old reruns, and especially the old movie channel… just watched Casablanca last night.

  7. Hi Susan,
    I’ve watched Mysteries at the Museum quite often, it is very interesting. But now I will watch with my stair stepper, mine is a little older but I can put it up one notch to get a better workout. Love those timers! I haven’t watched Expedition Unknown, sounds interesting.

  8. I am not a big tv watcher either…same as you, very few shows interest me. I do however need to increase my movement and this sounds like the perfect way to do it!! Off to peek at these products! Thanks!!

  9. Congrats on your new fitness routine, Susan! What a great idea to break up your exercise and find something that works for you. Besides painting furniture, I’m also a Zumba / fitness instructor. Did you know you can also use your step for lunges and squats? Either moving or stationary. Just make sure to never let your knees extend beyond your toes (think 90 degree angle.) And don’t forget to invite your arms to the party .. πŸ˜€ Keep it up, Lady!

    • I didn’t know about the lunges and for squats…very cool! Cynthia, do you know of a video on YouTube that shows how to use it for that?
      I have been using some hand weights to work out my arms while I step. Thanks for the encouragement! πŸ™‚

  10. This inspires me to get back on my rebounder! …easier on my bad knees…also, forgot about youtube un boxing purses…will have to look up my new purses…had not purchased a new handbag in years, but recently bought 3… Never thought I really needed another hand bag as all my leather purses hold up so well. I bought good quality leather bags even as a 10 year old with my babysitting money…at 50 cents an hour! lol! BTW how many peeps would hire a 10 year old babysitter these days or even a 15 year old…?:))

    • lol So true! My weaknesses are handbags and perfume…and the occasional bracelet. πŸ™‚

      • I had the job of my dreams since my weakness was shoes and handbags …being an illustrator for US Shoe Corporation in Cincy. We had a small art dept. and a terrific perk was the shoe and purse sales at the company…dirt cheap!

  11. Thanks Susan for MM party!

    Have a great week.

  12. Aren’t you smart! That sounds like a great way to lose weight in most doable way. Good for you Susan! Yes, my husband especially likes Mysteries At The Museum. We have been watching for a long while now. I crave English drama especially after Downton Abbey.

  13. Will definitely check out the shows you mentioned, I am always looking for something to watch when I am folding laundry. Thanks for the party!

  14. Thanks for hosting Susan! I love the idea of using the step for a few minutes at a time, and the timers are a great idea! I have a step that I should move into my office and start using!

  15. Well, can I say how much I love that timer! Fiddling with my phone or watch is just too high tech for me. I love the idea of that little cube. Ever since my daughter gave me her old fitbit, I have been a fanatic about getting my 10,000 steps in. It is surprising sometimes how hard it is to get there. Even on days you think you’ve been quite active. Imagine me walking in circles at 11pm just to nudge my watch counter over the finish line! Leaving tomorrow for a trip to Croatia and Slovenia so I know I will be walking like crazy and won’t have and trouble meeting my goals there.

    • That is too funny about the walking in circles. lol You go,Girl!
      I have a Microsoft band that I don’t wear as much as I should. It annoys me how often I have to charge it, doesn’t last long. I should charge it up and wear it, though.
      Have fun, Patricia! I want to hear all about it when your return. Are you traveling on a tour or is this independently?
      Yeah, I love this little timer! I also use it for when I have something cooking in the oven. I come to work in the office and I’ll flip it up so I won’t burn whatever I’m baking.

  16. This is brilliant. You’ve hit on all my exercise dislikes and how to solve them. I had a stepper in a closet for years, and donated it just a few months ago. I get a bit of exercise “kicking myself” when that happens πŸ™‚

    • lol You are too funny! I like this one since it’s adjustable. I don’t know if I’ll ever advance to the top height, the middle one is enough for now. πŸ™‚

  17. So have both these shows always set to tape–always interesting. I am a history buff, so I always check out the History Channel. They are now re-showing The Tudors–my favorite thing I have EVER seen on television. It’s on Sat. nights late hour, think it’s on Ovation. Of course it does not hurt that Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a king I would have been willing to risk my neck for–in my younger days. At almost 70 it hits me that I could be his mother. Well, at least it’s good to be the Queen Mother

    • I’ve never seen that one…will have to watch for it. I sometimes watch the History channel, too. I normally am not that into history but when they make it interesting and share it in more a “story” form, I really enjoy it. It’s hard for me to grasp that some of these things actually happened, hard to imagine living back during those periods.
      lol about Jonathan Rhys Meyers, I’ll google him to check him out. You have me curious now! πŸ™‚

  18. Thank you, Susan, for hosting. I love the stepper! That is a great idea to keep on the move.

  19. This looks like such a easy and almost painless way to exercise. Very clever. And aren’t those timers cute? Thanks for hosting, Susan

  20. I agree with you that there is very little on television that I enjoy watching lately. I have seen Mysteries at the Museum and I love it! There is also a similar show called Mysteries at the Monument. I enjoy all those quirky “who knew” moments and you always leave learning something new.

  21. Thank you so much for hosting Susan! I am definitely going to watch Mysteries at the Museum! πŸ˜‰ Great post about making exercise fun and easy! πŸ˜‰

  22. bobbi duncan says

    I’m ordering that stepper!!!! I just hate to exercise, unless it’s walking. However, I can do 10 minutes on the stepper several times a day. I love the two shows you mentioned. I, too, find little in the way of interesting TV viewing these days, and really am not much of a TV watcher anyway. BTW, I forgot to tell you about a great Williamsburg blog I came across called Making History. I love it! They have such interesting subjects on the history, docents that live there, the craftsmen, the animals, events, etc., etc. I think you will find it interesting since you love Williamsburg. Let me know what you think about that blog. Hugs!

  23. What a good idea for your health! I have seen both of those shows and enjoyed them.

  24. I need to try this! My grandson and I love Mysteries at the Museum. I’ll have to check out the other. Thanks for hosting! Hugs…Debbie

  25. I watch both shows you mentioned and Mysteries at the Monument that Leslie wrote about. I like them all, but my favorite is Mysteries
    at the Museum. Good idea on the stepper. I belong to a gym but it is annoying trying to find an hour of time to spend up there. I feel like I have to stay at least that long to make it worth it. But what you are doing seems so much more practical.

  26. I used a steppper up and into my 50s. Unfortunately, the constant stepping ended up putting too much strain on my knees. It did help me keep my weight in check, but i ended up tearing my meniscus and developed chondromylacia or the flap above my knee pulled out from all the stepping. This was the beginning of the end for me physically. I had two surgeries which worked until i had a big spill playing pickeball. Now i am sidelined and can barely walk. I have gained 50 pounds in two years. I am miserable. Well, so much for my poor me moment. I still constantly try to pull myself back but at 67…. Not sure of what my chances are. Moral….do not jump for a shuttlecock at 65 and land on your face from a flying in the air position. You might land first on you face and break off your front tooth and screw your body up forever. Learn your age limitations and proceed carefully.

  27. Have you seen Better Late Than Never with Bill Shatner and company? It’s hysterical.

  28. Hi Susan,

    I love the show “Mysteries at the Museum”! It’s addicting! Travel Channel has a marathon of episodes on Thursdays, I believe. The stepper you featured looks like a great idea for me when I’m obsessively watching the marathon of this show! Lol. Love your posts…I really enjoy your tablescapes. πŸ™‚

  29. I have watched Josh’s show and it is great! He had one on syfi channel for about four or five years called Destination Truth where explored all unknown things. It was a great show and can watch online now. I think he is looking for Yeti for his first show this year. Enjoy!

  30. I watch Mysteries at the Museum. I love to visit museums. The timer looks really cute the one I use can clip to my clothes or fit in my pocket. I started using one years ago when I started following the blog. It has been very helpful to me. I get side tracked very easily I had a stepper like yours but I haven’t seen it for a while. I think someone decided I didn’t need it anymore.

  31. Dana Lavelle says

    I just love your blog! I bet I could use the bottom step of my basement stairs — this is just what I need when winter hits Michigan! Going to start today!

  32. Susan, are you still using your little stepper? Did you find it helpful? I’ve wondered about these little things, myself. I love the little timer cubes. How brilliant! Unfortunately, they are no longer available at amazon. I wonder why. They seem like something lots of people would like to use. Do you still use yours?

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!