Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone.

I really have a love/hate relationship with the holidays.  But there are reasons behind it. 

1) Holidays are very food-centered type of events.  Even though we rarely go to anyone else's homes for holidays, we still cook quite a feast in our own home.  My husband and I do together because, hey, it's only on the 'holidays' that you have reason to cook your favorites (ie, green bean casserole, scalloped corn, decadent desserts, buttery potatoes topped with fat, greasy gravy).  Holidays make it hard to stick to healthy eating (and with my birthday being this weekend, it was a double banger!!)

2) Stress.  Yes, again, that nasty 4-letter word (ok, I know it's 6 letters, but if you count S as one letter, it sounds better!!)  Trying to get the Easter baskets ready (or birthday presents or Christmas presents wrapped) and trying to get the house a little more presentable - not an easy feat when the kids are awake, and adds to the stress when you're staying up late to finish it and, therefore, not getting enough sleep.

3) Uncooperative children.  Somehow, they know that no matter how much we threaten that the Easter bunny (or Santa Claus) is not going to come, that he will always show up.  So they have no special reason to be good on this particular day.  Actually, they choose to be worse... and that takes us back to #2, which brings us to arguments.  Not fun.

Why do I LOVE the holidays though?

It's a day that my husband and the kids are home with no other commitments.  Since we've started holding most of our own holidays, we don't have any pressure of when we need to be where.  We can take our time and do it on our own schedule.  And now, we can choose our own menu.

This Easter we decided to keep the meal simple and not go overboard with all the sides.  Besides, how many leftovers did we really wanna shove into the fridge to forget about (or overindulge in)?  Ham in orange soda and pineapple juice with pineapple rings, baked potatoes, and baked beans.  Oh yeah, and the butter-laden garlic toast that my grandma decided to bring over.

Which brings me to another point.  We've tried keeping it pretty healthy around here.  I know chocolate is a major weakness of mine (and my husband knows it well too), so I try not to keep much of it around the house and my husband keeps his stash well out of reach (my fear of step ladders ensures that, but that story is for another time!)  We did get the children some candy for their Easter eggs - some M&M's.  I also bought a 6-pack of Reese's (yyyyyyyuuuuummmmm!!!!) eggs - 2 for each of the kids, and a treat for me and dad, and a huge lollipop for each of the kids.  But I only bought how much they will eat.  No extras because I don't want that extra temptation in the house, especially right now.

But that's never quite good enough... Someone always thinks it's ok to bring in more candy and sugar "for the kids."  Which is frustrating.  And I have shared this with this particular person on several occasions.  What is particularly hard is this person is one of the most critical people when it comes to questions about my weight and weight-loss.  It is a person who often speaks out of turn and makes very inappropriate comments.  I'm getting frustrated because this person knows it bothers me, but when it's family, you can't completely avoid them at all times.  For now I'm going to do a "grin and bear it" approach, and have my husband put all the sugary junk up!!

It is so hard to get to the gym during daylight hours when it is so beautiful out.  I got a workout in, but not in the form of the gym.  After the Easter egg hunt and lunch, we played outside with the kids, blowing and chasing bubbles.  The kids got kites for Easter too, so we went to a couple parks trying to find enough wind to make them fly.  No breeze for us today, but we'll just pick another day.  But it is a good workout, running with the kite string in your hand, dodging puddles and almost-3-year-olds who think the greatest thing in the world is to run in front of Mommy.  Or the jumping-dancing-twirling moves to make huge bubbles, then chase them down before they made it to the fence or got too high to reach.  It made for a fun workout.

Maybe that's something that's missing in all our lives.  The time we actually spend playing with our kids and being kids ourselves.  It's an amazing workout, and there are times I have trouble keeping up with my kids.

This week's goal (weather permitting) - to get out and run around the yard/park more with the kids.  We had a fabulous week a couple weeks ago where I had no problem with it - then the snow fell again.  But it should be nice for the rest of this week!! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day - and Birthday!!

Today's a pretty big day.  It's the day I official admit I'm OLD.  I'm no longer a pup.  I hit that magic age that every woman denies - the big 3-0.  My husband is taking me out tonight to a pretty nice 'supper club' then drinks, so I'm most likely not getting a workout in.  (Well, not a CONVENTIONAL workout, but I'm sure we'll burn some calories off  ;-) )  Didn't get to the gym Wednesday night since hubby was a little later than planned getting home and I had a show to close.  That had me worried, especially since Thursday morning was weigh in for TOPS.  So, when I went to close my PR party, I decided to walk there.  At least that way I got 2 miles (give or take) of brisk walking in!!  And the weather was beautiful for it too!!  A bit cool, but it feels so good when you're sweating!

I was sooo nervous when I got on the scale. I was doubly nervous since I wasn't staying for the meeting since my daughter had a doctor's appointment.

The result?

Down 2 whole pounds!!

I had only worked out one day all week, plus my little walk Wednesday night, since I'd had that awful cough.  And I hadn't been eating the best either.  Feeling guilty about a lot of what I had.

But that 2 pound loss had me so happy - bringing my grand total to 6 pounds since March 24, my first day, and my daughter's birthday.

Well, yesterday's missed workout wasn't completely a waste.  I used the time to do something for myself that I think I've earned, plus added to my overall wellness: a one hour hot stone massage, courtesy of a gift card I got for Christmas from my hubby!!  Tomorrow, it's back to the grind with a high intensity workout!  The plan: DEFINITELY interval training (whether I do it on the elliptical or the treadmill is yet to be determined!) and working in some of the weights!  My 3 lb hand weights can only do so much!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crazy Ideas

Maybe I'm addicted to school.  Maybe I don't know what I want to do with my life.  Maybe I'm not ready for the real world.  Maybe I'm just full of crazy ideas lately.  I really don't know the answer.  Or why I thought it would be difficult to tell my husband of my next 'brilliant' idea.

I have a lot of trouble with motivation.  I don't know why that is either.  Maybe it's this Minnesota cold.  Maybe because it's easier to imagine than do.  Maybe I'm lazy.  Who knows.  They're all excuses anyway.  I have to get past that. 

Curiosity has me wondering about Health and Exercise Science.  So I've started exploring.  The thought occurred to me - if I was studying it so much on my own, why not study with an accredited university and get the papers to go with it?  Maybe if I started studying it, I would HAVE to go to the gym more.  An excuse to go.  An excuse to outweigh the other excuses (besides being another piece of paper - ya know, just an over educated idiot.)  I think it would be GREAT to become a trainer and to help people meet their goals.  I KNOW what I need to do, I KNOW how to do it, I just lack discipline.

Another thing that's not the most helpful - the gym I belong to is on the very other end of town.  Both of the gyms are, pretty much.  And the YMCA?  Yet on another side.  It would be so WONDERFUL if there was a gym on the South side of town, but I really doubt that will ever happen.  I would LOVE to belong to the YMCA and be able to use the track and the pool and take the classes, but that's not even affordable anymore!!  It's really disheartening that a city that is famed for the "Blue Zone Experiment" can't even provide a year-round venue that is practical and affordable to EVERYONE!!  Besides the fact that the hours are about impossible for me since I workout around Scot's schedule and my home business schedule.  Some (most) nights I like to go about 7:30 or 8pm, some nights I'll go after doing a party or after class on my way home.  I guess there are certain sacrifices I have to make to have 24-hour gym access.  Maybe once the little man gets a little bit older, I can look into the YMCA a little more.....

My other crazy idea:  to write a 'healthy cooking' cook book that uses ingredients that REAL people have access to without spending half a year's salary on one shopping trip.  I have WeightWatchers, Hungry Girl (which, by the way, I've started watching her show on The Cooking Channel!!), and Biggest Loser cookbooks, some of the recipes are fabulous and easy to make!  But some, the ingredients are ridiculously expensive or extremely hard to come by, particularly in Minnesota, especially in the winter.  And being a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom), I'm learning to adapt because we don't have the extra to spend on the expensive 'healthy' foods anymore.  My biggest challenges when it comes to cooking is making something healthy, something the whole family will like, and being able to add extra fat and calories to the healthy meals to help the little man out with his dietary needs.

Well, they're something to think about anyway.  I am going to give the cookbook idea an attempt this summer since I don't have any classes to worry about (other than a one-day thing on June 4) until fall.  I think the hardest part of it would be to figure out what the nutritional values of the foods would be. 

I've also decided to have my question for the day in here, just as a part of the learning experience.  My question for today is Why did my shins start to hurt right away yesterday?  Thanks to a referral to a great "runner's website" I got the answer - shin splints.  Which I didn't think could happen in the very beginning.  Probably related to the fact that I didn't stretch as much as I should have.

New goal:  Stretch before each workout!!

I was up a 4 this morning, so considering it is now after 11pm, I think that it's time to head to bed.  I didn't get a trip to the gym in tonight, but I DID walk about 2+ miles (to a friend's house and back) so I got some exercise in.  I found my hand weights today too, so that's a good thing!!  Really hoping weigh-in goes well tomorrow!!  And I've managed to up my water intake, so hopefully that will help me :-)  Tomorrow we'll see...

Goodnight for now!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day One in Action

I was having a bad day.  I wasn't going to sit here and take all my stress out on my husband and my kids.  They were not (all) the cause of today's issue.  Off to the gym. 

Day one of c25k. 

Except I'm not a runner.

I can't run.

Today's cardio called for 5 minutes walking warmup, followed by intervals of 1 minute running/jogging and 1 1/2 minutes walking for the next 20 minutes, and ending with a 5 minute cooldown.

I started out alright with the walking.  3.0 mph seemed a decent warmup speed.  Then the jog.  First interval, not too bad.  I have had this awful cough for a week, but it didn't seem to come up at all during the jog or the walk.  Yay!! 

Second run interval - ok, why are my shins hurting?  This isn't good.  Still no coughing though!!

I survived to the 15 minute mark.  At that point, my left knee and my shins were aching.  But the program calls for 30 minutes!!  Well, the elliptical solved that!!!  I picked up on the elliptical where I had left off on the treadmill.  MUCH easier on my knees and shins!! 

I finished the 30 minutes with no coughing fits and sweating pretty good!!  Was tempted to check out the weights, but there were WAY too many people (men) there for my comfort level, especially since they were all buff in shorts and sleeveless shirts, and here I'm chunky monkey in my sweats and fleece pullover.  I have hand weights here at home - I'll dig those out tomorrow (since it's too late to make that much noise tonight!) and hopefully I'll have a chance to hit the gym tomorrow night too!!  I feel soo much better now too!! :-)

Goal for tonight/tomorrow - LOTS of water!!!

The Beginning

Stress.  My biggest issue right now.  But why?  REALLY?  Why??  Because it's part of life.  "What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger," right?  Not always.  Sometimes it drives us insane and makes it difficult to function on a daily basis.  We need an outlet, a way to release all of that stress that builds up in us.  It used to be much more manageable before life got in the way.  I almost miss the times when my biggest concerns were what I was going to do on Friday night.

After high school, and going through hell with my ex-husband, I became a gym-junkie.  I gained 15 pounds in muscle and was in the best shape of my life.  That is, until I became pregnant with my daughter (the first big blessing of my life).  I gained a total of 31 pounds when I was pregnant with her - a very healthy amount.  After she was born, it seemed I was pretty on track with losing the baby weight.

But my joy was short-lived.  Within a few months, I gained back all of the weight I had lost.  As time went by, I gained more.  I started college when she was a few months old.  My (then) husband and I were fighting a lot, which caused stress.  The college added to the stress.  Then I found myself to be a single parent, working full-time, and going to college full time.  (if you notice I pattern, I'm no stranger to stress!! hahaha!!)

After my ex-husband I split up, I met the second best thing to happen to me (after my daughter) - my current husband.  Life was going good, but I had gained almost another 30 pounds.  I lost half of that 30 before my husband and I got married. 

Then came my third blessing, our son, born 38 weeks after we were married.  With this baby came another 36 pounds and hypoglycemia.  My doctor assured me that all of this was normal, I had nothing to worry about and every pregnancy was different.

Our son was born jaundiced, which I was told is pretty normal for a 2 week-early induction.  A week on the bili-blanket - check.  Follow up with the doctor at one week - check.  Receive newborn screening results and Cystic Fibrosis diagnosis - check?  Another layer to the stress level.  Several appointments made over several weeks at Mayo getting my son's disease under control (after fighting through the numerous poopy diapers and constant feedings because he could not digest his food.)

All through his appointments, I noticed I was losing the baby weight - yay!!  And losing more!!  Oooh, I was lower than my pre-baby weight!! yay!!  6-week postpartum checkup and bloodwork - uh oh, another request for bloodwork.  Then a third test.  And the weight started coming back..... fast!!!  And then some..... More than 70 pounds in total before it was all caught up.....

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. 

More stress.


Can't win for losing.

Weightwatchers - check.  I'd seen some real life results - amazing results - from co-workers.  Unfortunately, once I decided to stay home with the kids, that was no longer in the budget, and all 24 pounds I had lost there came running back on during the end of that stint.

Now I'm self employed - and work from home.

More stress.

I've decided a support group is what I need.  And thanks to a dear family member, I found that support in TOPS.

TOPS - Taking Off Pounds Sensibly.

No diets to stick to.  No programs.  Just support.

And accountability.

I am almost 3 weeks into it.

Week 1 - lost 3.25 lbs
Week 2 - lost .25 lbs
Week 3 - lost .50 lbs

I'm afraid of week 4.

I have been sick since last Thursday.  Horrible coughing, sore throat.  Really have not done much of anything since then.  Tonight I'm going to head to the gym.  Have a training program I want to try, recommended by my friend Dayna.  c25k.  We'll see how this goes.