Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Going Back to Basics . . .

Bascom Mall, Madison, WI

Thank you for all your support while I was feeling crummy and bad about myself.  I have taken that time to make an action plan.  But first, I went back to basics . . .  walking.  

Living and working in Madison, WI, I am inspired to walk around my surroundings.  We have Bascom Mall, which is a steep inclined walk up to the President's Office.  I made a plan to walk up and down Bascom Hill everyday when I am at work--at least 2 laps around.  For this week, that is Spring Break, I've been walking with my admin ass't around a bike path off of Lake Mendota.  We've walked daily for 45 minutes talking and enjoying the scenery.  A very pretty path that shouldn't be walked, run or biked alone, but nice with company.  We are walking 4 days this week.  We have Friday off, and I will walk at home. Yesterday, I took my pedometer with me and logged in over 11,900 steps before arriving home for the evening. 

I went back to my arm routine last night while watching The Biggest Loser.  I will do the routine on Thursday and Saturday, as well.  I wrote down my routine for the day, and I also wrote out my goal for the month to come.  

Goal #1: I am starting an eating plan that will help me lose 10% of my body weight.  I am at the 205 lbs that I seem to teeter-totter on, as my average.  I hope to get to 185 this summer.  Goal #2: Run 8K in April--Crazy Legs, which is the most popular race in Madison.  I am registering for it on Friday so I won't back out.  Goal #3: I am going to start journaling my meals.  I hate doing that because it forces me to face myself and the truth about my eating, but it must be done.  Lazy pants or not, I want to get down to 150, and I won't get there doing what I am presently doing.  

And of course, I will keep you all posted on how I am doing. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In a Rut . . .

October 22

I am bored.  Can't get myself motivated.  I am having a bunch of emotions coursing through my brain.  I have a stye that is painful.  My Aunt Flo will be making an appearance soon.  And my hubby has been traveling constantly with work.  With work and 3 kids, I am beat.  The stress tends to show on my face, with either a zits or pink eye; now a stye. 

I will workout tomorrow, but my heart isn't in it.  I am bored.  I need to figure out a way to change things up.  I do enjoy going to the gym, but it isn't conducive to my life.  It gets difficult to manage it all.  I would like to add a couple more pieces of equipment, but that takes money we don't have.  And I know we should have to spend a fortune to workout.  But I need variety. 

I am going to try to be positive and change things around.  For now, I am going to be grumpy and miserable. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On track . . .


I had a really bad IBS episode this afternoon.  I haven't eaten dairy, but I started taking fiber pills with a probiotic inside.  I don't know if that was the culprit, but the fiber pills are supposed to help, not make things worse.

Despite not waking up early to exercise, I made sure to be active this evening.  I did my upper body strength training routine, and I did 20 minutes of Yoga.  I did the Shiva Rea: Daily Energy DVD that I purchased earlier this month.  I was really intimidated to try it.  Let's face it, I am not a skinny mini, and Yoga moves can be very intense.  I tried the first 20 minute program, Earth, last night.  It was amazing.  I loved the flow of the movements.  However, this evening I did another 20 minute segment, Fire, and was not so great for me because it involved too much flexibility.  One thing I did like in this routine was the child's pose.  Very comforting and relaxing.  I hope to do a week of Shiva's DVD because I want to try them all so I can make sure of which workout I like best and eventually combine them to make a longer program.  That is the beauty of this DVD: 7, 20 minute programs that can be interchanged to make a complete program.  Love it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Temptation . . .

Picnik collage

A gift from a friend as a "thank you" for hubby's recommendation. And she ran a 1/2 marathon after losing the equivalent of a 4th grader. I did taste, but I will not be indulging in any more.  The old me would have eaten as much as I possibly could.

Feeling Results . . .


I think the hardest part of this journey for me is not "seeing" the results of all my labor.  I actually feel great physically and am emotionally better.  Working out has produced so many feelings: feeling stronger; feeling those cut muscles underneath the flab; feeling the strong quads and hamstrings from doing a ton of squats, plyometrics, and Warrior I and II; feeling that "high" after completing a hard exercise DVD; feeling my muscles tingle the day after a weight training routine; feeling leaner muscles and flexibility from Yoga; the exhilarating feeling of keeping my body in a plank for more than 30 seconds; feeling lighter while running 5Ks; and on and on and on.  But none of that makes me happy when I don't see the results on the scale or when I haven't been able to move down a size in clothing.

I am grateful and proud of my accomplishments.  I will continue to make fitness a life long journey, but sometimes, I wish I could just have that size 10 jeans and dress as a byproduct of my fitness.  But I know that I am still struggling with combining every element of weight loss: calories in versus calories out.

I will soon post pictures of a "not so lovely" thank you gift from a friend of ours that lost a tremendous amount of weight through diet and exercise.  She has recently finished her first 1/2 marathon and asked me to run a full marathon with her and another friend next year.  I haven't turned them down.  

Monday, March 22, 2010

Starting the day off right . . .


I always have the best of intentions and do a pretty good job at starting my day off right. Eating a healthy breakfast is a top priority. I usually will eat oatmeal or steel cut oats cooked with rice milk, currants, cranberries, and walnuts.  I like having an egg cooked in the microwave.  And a banana caps off my breakfast.  But for as good as I start off my day, I have these moments where I have a lapse in judgment.  I tend to forget that I shouldn't throw away a good morning's workout on a Clif bar and multiple in between meals snacking, when I am not a marathoner, or on a sugary latte, which as of late has become my Kryptonite.  I have given up on the 2 cups of white rice that I would eat for dinner, and I am now back on my brown rice kick.

This weekend, we travelled to Minnesota and stayed in St. Paul.  We ate out for each meal.  And let me say that we went to the best Chinese restaurant, but I don't ever want to go back there.  The manager brought us so much food and take home package of noodles and fortune cookies.  He was way to generous, which we reheated in the hotel.  The kids wanted to go back the next day; even my son, who never eats Chinese, ate everything. 

Of course, I could have made healthier choices.  What gives me the idea that vacationing is a free for all when eating?  I don't have to make myself waffles at the complimentary breakfast at the hotel.  I would have been just fine with oatmeal, hard boiled egg, and orange.  I did do that on Saturday, but Sunday was all waffles . . . and Friday too.   

One of the things that I've failed to do on this journey is to journal my eating.  I know for a fact that this is critical in weightloss; I did it successfully at least once before.  Weight Watchers encourages such things.  One of the best leaders I had offered us prizes for submitting our journal in a weekly raffle.  It wasn't much, but it was motivation.  And I can't guarantee that I can still make myself write out my eating despite knowing full well that it helps. 

Fitness wasn't the best while away.  There was great cardio equipment at the hotel's gym, but no weights.  And with all the activities, it was hard to steal away time to go to the gym.  Hubby was working during our trip, and with 3 kids, there wasn't much to do with them while he had the car.  No local parks, and I didn't know where to drive to anyway.  Excuses?  Maybe!  But I did go for a short walk with them.

I am back to it today.  Baby woke up crying at 4:10 a.m., she soon fell back to sleep on her own, but I was wide awake.  At 4:30 a.m. I started my arm routine.  It seemed to take much longer, but I was very happy with my routine. I then hopped onto the treadmill and did a random incline walk for 30 minutes.  I would have done more, but I needed to get myself and 3 kids ready for our day. 

GOALS for the WEEK:
* Cardio, 5 days
* Strength training, 3 days.
* Yoga, 2 days
* Drink a ton of water.
* Pack my meals.

I am not going to overwhelm myself with tasks, but I think these are manageable, especially if I do my morning workout and prepack my meals nightly.  What are your goals for the week?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fitness Friday

Arm Training Circuit.

Pretty good fitness this week.  Still working on my arms, but missed today.  I made the mistake of not packing my resistance bands.  We are traveling and our hotel has great cardio equipment, but no weights.  We were busy with many activities.  I will do an arm routine in the morning; even if it is only pushups and tricep dips.  I will be off to the workout room in the morning and hope to spend a glorious 80 minutes. 

But I must confess that I've not taken any care to eat well.  I am paying for it now.  I am stuffed and bloated.  We went to this fantastic chinese restaurant this evening, the waiter was way too friendly and generous.  He sent us off with 3 take home carts of fortune cookies, free lo mein, and the left overs were abundant.  After what we spent, we will definitely eat the leftovers.  No salad.  No fruit.  I will be eating lighter for breakfast, and hope to make better choices.  The water has been non-existent.  I am suffering.  I have to learn how to not slack off when we travel.  The good choices can be made, I just don't make them.

Tell me, how did you do this week.  Show me your fitness picture; before or after, and how you felt.  See you around the blogs.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Details of Arm Challenge . . .


I am happy! A better night's sleep will do that to a person.  The baby slept through the night.  The boy didn't throw up.  I put on 3 alarm clocks last night and we all were up and dressed by 6:15 a.m. I didn't exercise because I wanted my extra bit of sleep this morning.  However, I did do my arm sculpting routine last night.

While watching TV, I pulled out the 5 lb weights.  I cleared an area for my push ups and chest presses, and I banged out a routine.

I have a notebook in which I write out my strength routine before hand.  I ensure to have 2 exercises per body part: chest, back, shoulders, bicep, and tricep.  For example, last night I did:


Chest: Pushups--3 sets of 15 repetitions (reps), modified on my knees.  Go to shoulders after one set.
Shoulders: Front Raises--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps.  Go to Back after one set.
Back: Bent Over Row--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps.  Go to Biceps after one set.
Biceps: Hammer Curls--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps. Go to Triceps after one set.
Triceps: Bent Over Kickbacks--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps.  Go back to Chest and repeat down until 3 sets done.


Chest:  Wide Arm Press--5lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps. Follow circuit steps as in CIRCUIT ONE.
Shoulders: Side Arm Raises--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps.
Back: Wide Arm Lat Pulldowns--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps.
Biceps:  Bicep Curls--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps.
Triceps: Overhead Tricep Presses--5 lbs, 3 sets of 15 reps.

I completed Circuit One by doing 3 sets of 15 repetitions for each exercise by going from one body part to the next and then repeating.  I didn't want to exhaust my chest by doing 3 sets of 15 in one shot.  I moved on to the next body part so I could let the muscle recover.  I also didn't pause between muscle groups.  So I did one set of chest, moved on to one set of shoulders, etc.  Never stopping and no rest in between Circuits.

Once I completed 3 sets on each body part, I moved onto Circuit Two; starting with Chest down to Triceps for 3 sets of each exercise.  I believe it took me less than 25 minutes to complete.  I didn't keep track of time.  I wanted to really concentrate on contracting my muscles for each exercise, and focus on the body part.  But I wasn't slow either.  The right balance of concentration and moving through to the next exercise kept me focused and enjoying the routine.  I felt very aware of my muscles and how they were working per exercise.

I started the program on Saturday, March 13.  The goal is to do this routine 3 times a week with daily cardio for 6 weeks.  Cardio didn't happen on Sunday and Monday, but I am not beating myself up over it.  I will get back on it tonight.  And I also know that eating a healthy daily diet will ensure that I burn the fat off of these muscles I am working.  Otherwise, I will never see the results of all my efforts.  I wish I could have told that to my brain when I decided to have a latte and a chocolate muffin.  I blame that on sleep deprivation

I am really excited about comparing the results in about 6 weeks.  Stay tuned.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daylight Savings . . .


I was out of work from Wednesday evening and returned this morning.  However, not without drama.  I woke up at 7:10 a.m.  That means I had 5 minutes to get the kids dressed and breakfast-ed before the bus for school arrived.  I don't normally oversleep.  I had an awful night.  But I got them onto the bus. 

Last night, Hubby had the TV on in the Master and refused to turn it off knowing full well that I wanted to sleep.  Yeah!  He had his moment of stubborness and flat out rudeness.  He is crabby because he has minor surgery tomorrow.  The boy woke up at midnight with an earache.  Hubby, who is incapable of doling out medication and treating minor pain and suffering, woke me up.  No fever.  Gave him two Children's Tylenol.   And despite his crying and discomfort, I put him to bed.

Baby proceeded to start crying at 1 a.m. to which I picked her up, gave her Ibuprofen and juice.  At about 1:30 a.m. I hear boy run to the bathroom and spill his guts all over the wall and floor.  Great effort to actually get it in the toilet, but missed miserably.  Hubby went to clean boy's room.  I cleaned up the bathroom with the baby in my arms.  I am mentally filing away that the boy may be allergic to shellfish because he had the crispy shrimp for lunch.  He claimed that he will, "never eat shrimp again."

After Baby watched an hour of Nick Jr (thank you Nickelodeon for making this a 24 hour channel), I put her to bed and tried with all my might to sleep in the den because I was pissed at hubby for being rude and inept at nursing a kid back to health.  I probably fell asleep by 3:30 a.m.  My alarm was set to ring at 4:50 a.m.  But I figure I slept right through it.  Awful feeling to wake up and rush around like a maniac. 

I sent everyone to school and baby to daycare because I had to go to work.  I'd already missed so many days.  I am trying to have a semblance of a career and make money for this family.  I can't possibly be a SAHM anymore, but I am feeling completely inadequate at being both a career woman and a Mom, and wife, and commit to myself.  However, I am pushed along by the fact that my mother was a single parent.  My best friend is a single parent.  We all know someone who is struggling with making a job fit their home life.  I am no different than everybody in the world.  And I can't quit this career path that I worked so hard for. 

But when these tough days happen there is always something that has gotta give.  I refuse to give up on eating right today.  One thing that I am most proud of is the fact that I pre-made my steel cut oats last night.  I also prepacked my lunch out of leftovers.  I grabbed some fruit for snacks.  I have snack goods in my drawer and the office fridge.  That will be a life saver today.

As far as exercise, I will have to do it tonight when the kids go to bed.  I am excited about my strength training routine.  I don't want to fail doing that.  

Speaking of working mom's who are doing this wellness journey, I want you to visit my friend Necia.  Necia is my blog friend, connected through our mutual love of spinning fiber and knitting, even sewing.  We've never met in person and we've never talked on the phone, but she is a great friend that encourages me and motivates me to do well in whatever I do.  Her new journey to healthy eating, fitness, and weight loss sparked my preparation and organization last night.  She gave me the motivation to make a few days worth of breakfast.  I packed my lunch last night because of her batch cooking and packaging efforts this weekend, which she posted on Facebook.  She has started to go to the gym and work on her fitness.  With a full time job and a commute in the Tri State Area of NY/NJ/CT, a hubby, and two kids (one is an infant), she is a super mom who deserves a lot of support and encouragement from this fantastic community.  Show her some blog love . . . please. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

03/12/10--Fitness Friday


I am having a great week fitness wise.  I am making this a priority again, instead of sleeping in and then feeling super guilty for not meeting my daily goal.  Except this morning; sick baby that must be held.  Can that be considered an arm training routine?

Arms Before 3/11.10
My arms before shot to compare in 6 weeks.

So tell me, how did you do this week? Add your link of your workout or post workout photo, please.  See you here:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Arms . . .

side plank

I am still obsessed with arms.  Can't stop obsessing.  When I read Tricia's post on arms, I immediately started planning my "arm challenge".  We all need a challenge to keep us inspired and motivated.  I figure I would take about 6 weeks to work on my arms.  I am working on a plan to make them stronger and hopefully, leaner.  Lean would be great.  I strongly fear that my bat wings will not go away. 

My plan is to first use the weights that I presently own, but within 2 weeks, I will buy a kettlebell and a medicine ball.  Mostly, I will use my body weight, such as pushups and Yoga routines.  Jillian Michael's DVDs and the Jackie Workout DVD is great for arm work.  I will take a bit of each program to work on my "problem" area.  But I've got to face facts.  I have a lot of problem areas.

I've worked out everyday this week so far:
Monday--60 min walk on treadmill
Tuesday--30 min walk/run on treadmill; 15 min upper body circuit DVD
Wednesday--25 min 30 Day Shred Level 3 with 5 lb weights. 
Thursday--60 min walk on random incline program 2.5-5% incline.

The goal is to do an activity everyday.  Something for at least 30 minutes (thanks, Seth).  But I won't beat myself up if I can only manage a short circuit workout.  

For my arm routine, I hope to do arms on MON, WED, and FRI.  Cardio days will take TUES, THURS, SAT, and SUN.  I won't forget my lower body and abs.  Those will come with the circuit routines that I plan to incorporate on Mon, Wed, and Fri.  Because the legs are already a large muscular body part that gets a lot of use with walking, running, and the plyometrics in the DVDs, I am not going to do any additional strength training on legs.  However, as a woman, I know that my upper body will never be as strong or as muscular as my legs presently are or can be in the future.  I know I have to do more to achieve those strong arms.  And the plan is to follow Tricia's routine and incorporate other routines so I can work toward those toned arms I've always dreamed of. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What Being Fit Means To Me . . .

Soccer Mom

For as much as I want to hit snooze 5 times in the morning when it rings at 4:50 a.m.  I am quick to think about why I get up so early and exercise.  And the main reason is this little girl who loves to run and kick soccer balls.  When she was a baby her first word was "ball".  She ran around trying to kick balls.  She got so adept at kicking the balls into our plate of food and knocking over large glasses of water.  She is powerful. 

I started being more aware of my body after having my girl.  I became frightened at the prospect that she would start gaining weight and be the overweight child that I was, and the overweight woman that I once again became.  I so didn't want that.  She has always been slender and strong.  She knows her limits with food.  Give her a box of Valentines chocolates and they last almost a month; one remains and that is because I asked for a piece. She didn't even eat her birthday cake this weekend.  What kid takes one bite of cake and hands it off to her mother to eat? 

I want to be like her.  I want to run as fast.  I want to be as slender (well, within proportion, of course).  And most of all, I want her to want to model after me too.  She knows that I get up in the early morning, get dressed, and exercise.  She sees me set up the Yoga mat and do a routine.  She's also taken care of her baby sister while I do these activities, and then I'll put on a kid's DVD for her to do.  When I ask her to sit with sister, I'll say, "I need to exercise", and she understands and supports me.

So, for as much as I want to lose weight for me, I also want to lose weight for her. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Feeling Beautiful . . .

You Are Beautiful graffiti

Even with no weight loss and starting to lose a sense of control over my weight loss and fitness, I am still trying to keep positive and do more things for myself to show me that I am beautiful as I am.  I took my daughter to get our hair cut.  It took her a significantly longer time to get her hair detangled and cut because she has hair for 3 children, and as long as a mermaids.  I wanted us to have a day of beauty.  I had been neglecting myself in the grooming department.  I no longer seem take the time to get my eyebrows groomed.  I don't get manicures and pedicures.  I would love to get a facial.  A massage to make my sore muscles un-tense, would be fabulous.  

As I walk from work to my parking log, I see this sign.  And despite being dressed in clothes that are worn and a bit big, hair that is pulled back in a bun or ponytail, and not a stitch of makeup, I sorta do feel beautiful . . .

Friday, March 5, 2010

Not Flattering . . . Friday Fitness--Mr. Linky

jackie warner workout first time.

After so many wonderful comments yesterday, I realized that I needed to get my arse in front of the TV and do a DVD.  I purchased 3 DVDs from my wishlist, two online and the third from Target.  I got the Jackie Warner workout.  And let me say that this was a bit . . . how can I say this?  Manic.  It was pretty fast pace.  It seemed much faster than Jillian Michael's style.  

I started by doing the 40 minute workout.  I wanted to get as much of a workout experience so I can adequately review.  The circuits are split into body parts: Hamstrings, Quads, Abs, Arms, Triceps, Chest, Back, etc.  At the start of the circuit, she does 3 exercises targeting that body part.  On the second repeat of the circuit, which she calls the Power set, she explodes into repeating the set much faster and targeted, but she also doesn't do as many as the first set.  That put me off a bit.  It left me wanting to do more.  I am used to Jillian Michaels doing at least 30 seconds of an exercise and me doing about 16 repetitions per exercise.  I can see a benefit from the Power Set by using a higher weight when weights are being used. 

I found that Jackie went really fast.  By the time I set myself up to do the exercise, she was already on the third to fourth repetition.  It left me feeling like the slow, fat girl in gym class.  It was very hyperactive and then you move onto the next body part.  When I've done other DVDs, even when there is a lot of breathless cardio in between, I easily can get set up and keep up with the models.  This DVD didn't leave me breathless and tired, nor incapable of doing the next routine, it was just so fast to set up; especially when going from standing to floor to standing. 

Modifications were not present.  Some of the routines left me wanting some sort of modification because I wasn't strong enough to do a routine, like some of the ab work.  I didn't want to slack on that, but I physically am not strong enough to sit on my butt with my arms behind my back and my legs ready to kick forward and pull back.  I did one leg at a time and hope that in time I will be strong enough to do them like the fitness models. 

I will do this DVD again because I loved the arm and chest routines.  The other DVDs that I've done didn't concentrate on my strength of doing upper body.  With Jillian DVDs, I do lower weights and high reps for "lean" muscles, but i want to be a strong gal and I want ripped arms.  *sigh*

On another note, join me on Friday Fitness Mr Linky style and add a picture of your workout or post-workout, and tell us how it was. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Helpless . . .

January 27

I was a bit crabby this week, and had quite a tantrum.  I refused to eat well.  I refused to exercise.  I was plain, old angry with everything.  Frustrated!  I just wanted to allow myself some time to get that emotion out before I once again follow the path on this journey.  I've been thinking of ways to get out of this funk.  Kinda hard to do when I "think" I am doing all the right things.  I know that I am not.  So, I am working on a plan to revitalize my enthusiasm for getting up at 4:50 a.m. to start working out at 5:00 a.m.; pack my meals; and de-stress.  I feel pulled in so many directions and when that happens, I shut down and "stuff" myself with food for comfort; like last night's reception and buffet food.  It was a smorgasbord, and I lived it up.  And yes, I feel "yuck"!

There are so many things that fall on my shoulders and I am just tired.  Exhausted!  Emotionally and physically.  If I can't do it "right", then I don't want to do it at all.  And that isn't what I want to teach my children.  Tonight I will try to do 30 Day Shred and Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga, so I can center myself.  While I hesitate to call it "depression" because I am not stuck in bed with the covers over my head, I am willing to call myself in a highly functioning depressive state. 

One thing that may cheer me up is buying two things from my Wishlist.  Just the thing I need.