Saturday, November 21, 2009

Challenges and holidays

Ah, metaphors, how I do appreciate their coping spirit. Not altogether floating butterflies or stinging bees, but holidays are similar to a boxing match. I feel like I've received a "One, two, whammy" to my whole body...or an injection of cortisol. What would I be using as a flight or fight here? The preparations are coming together. The ring is being staged...the publicity is buzzing like hot electricity over a loud speaker. On the plus side, my home is getting an overhaul and the grand sweep is making life--or at least the rooms I live in less congested. On the other side, you guessed it, so much to do so little time before the big match.

I joined the GGX challenge through Gold's gym. I was so excited that my winning enthusiasm convinced my husband, my mom and my friend to join with me. Within the second week (of complete exhilaration on my part and waning motivation for the others) I hurt my knee. After my trainer at the gym told me that he wouldn't let me workout with him until I had it checked out with my doctor I was extremely discouraged. Then, I went to the doctor and was told all the things I thought I'd be told. There is a slip for an MRI hanging around at home somewhere but it is to be used as a last resort.

I can't believe it. A KO in the second round. Since then I have felt a hunger inside that is causing me to eat with wild abandon. There is no reason for this and I am disappointed in myself. After all I have accomplished! I mean...I'm down three pants sizes and two bra sizes...almost 3 cup sizes. This here is the incredible shrinking woman for real! Yet, I feel unmotivated to do anything active now because hurts.

There is nothing funny about taking a trusted part of your body for granted. So I feel great in my smaller clothes. I feel sexy and stylish because fitted clothing looks sharp on me. I adore the remarks of my friends and family--particularly my husband and children who notice everything. I look younger in dress, but I feel older in appearance. There is something to say for being more filled out--it's a bit youthful to have full cheeks and supple limbs. Without the extra weight and inches my skin is looser and that my friends is not a friendly combination with gravity.

I keep reminding myself that I still have access to the gym until the end of the year. There are still 5 weeks left in the challenge. I can still pull this off! If I could stop using my knee so it would get better than I would be ready to burn up the floor with all the different classes available. I am desperate to get in and train on the equipment! I will get back in there...I want to make it through another round!

Another painful punch from the season is the rate of illnesses. My youngest son caught a cold in the first week of the challenge (first experience in a group daycare environment at the gym) and has been sick for three weeks. My older two have been in and out of illness but not at the same time so while my eldest is ill now, my middle is well...but she was ill two weeks ago whilst her older brother was full of energy. This makes it all the more difficult to get the necessary rest and I can say it's taking its toll on all of us.

Here's the powerful silver lining. My motivation and smelling salts if you will. I have gotten rid of all my bigger clothes (save dress clothes...that's too expensive to let go of right now) so my mind is in the loop. It knows what needs to be done and is yelling to my body...there is no going back, the shrinking must continue or be sustained but bigger is in the past.

The holiday season is just like the raging fans around the ring. They come, happy and shiny bringing anticipation and anxiety. They make us do things we would not do reasonably within a year...and there is no going back. People are waiting with expectations and judgment is heavy on the ropes. Fleeting in their nature, always on to bigger and better things before the final bell. I mean, really? Decorating for Christmas the day after Trick or Treating? Seriously?

But I'll make myself get through it. I'll instill the traditions in my own family that have been graced upon me over a lifetime--with a few modifications. Turkeys are dressed, houses are draped and the adoring fans sing with cheer for the victorious. Just like a tough workout, if I can get through the holiday season, I can get through anything.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Review of Under Armour Stabilty D High Impact Bra Womens

Originally submitted at The Sports Authority

The Under Armour® Stability D High Impact women's bra provides the enhanced support you need to get through your toughest workouts. It's crafted using the moisture-wicking HeatGear® performance fabric that draws sweat away from your skin and provides optimal ventilation to keep yo...

Always the first sports bra I reach for

By Kim the Crossfit enthusiast from Frederick, MD on 10/7/2009


5out of 5

Cup Fit: Feels true to size

Band Size: Feels true to size

Pros: Good Support, Durable, No uniboob, Straps That Do Not Slide, Comfortable, Breathable

Cons: Wish I had more

Best Uses: Everyday Wear, Low Impact Exercise, High Impact Exercise, Jogging, Gym

Describe Yourself: Practical, Frugal, Sexy, Stylish, Conservative, Comfort-oriented

This is the first sports bra I have found to pass the dressing room jump test. All of the different brands I tried on before this bra allowed my breasts to either jiggle, bounce or slap together. This one minimizes the bust so there is no bounce. I feel attractive even when I am doing some unattractive things; it has a stylish cut that is flattering.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Fitness guru

Why is it that many people who have lost weight (and in the process of the trial, learned a great deal about themselves and life), want to become personal trainers? Why!? Yet, here I am, wanting to go get my graduate degree in nutrition and exercise science. Here I am feeling exuberant with each new day and wanting to MOVE around. I am to the point where I feel cranky if I haven't been as active as I want to be.

What's more, I find myself wanting to take on kids! I have a new job, which I am LOVING with Funfit. My classes are offered through a rec center, but there is an actual location with a gym set up for kids. What a fantastic concept. Since I have been teaching this class I feel so energized! It's just fun!

The conflict. While I am feeling energized and having fun and wanting to go further my education...I feel like I am not doing enough activity. All the things I have been doing over the past few months have been wonderful but now, they aren't enough. I am thirsty and looking for some adventure--frugal excitement.

It's time for new shoes so that I can get moving!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Elite Advice

My brother, an avid crossfit enthusiast, gave me this link as a comment to one of my other blog posts. I watched it and was both encouraged, inspired and deflated all at once. Bodies as machines. Ruthless and rigorous in the pursuit of fitness. Gotta say, there are many exercises included in a crossfit routine that are well worth their salt and completely free--box jumps on a park bench for example. Actually everything done in the video can be modified, which I'm sure is part of the appeal. I particularly like the theme that everything is about ideas. Life is ideas on overload. When we run out of ideas...well you get the picture. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

halfway mark

7.30.09 Halfway to my goal! Down two dress sizes :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

long time no see

So much has been happening this July and I've been out of town. However, I have been diligently fitting in exercise as much and as often as possible. Today I am happy to report that after a few weeks using my real bike outside (I got a bike rack for my van!!!!) I happily used the recumbent tonight and broke my own record. 16 miles and 430 calories in one hour. Woot!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I've been wasting time online tonight because I am too exhausted to sleep. My eyes are heavy and strained and I know I should be striving for those 8 priceless hours of sleep...but I am reading.

Here are two golden nuggets I found on my exploration of the Internet and one lead to the other. Very insightful and useful information on both pages. I am now a follower of the second link because it offers many other interesting articles.

Today was a meeting day and weigh in. I have found that I need a new scale. I think I maintained my same weight from last week--neither gaining nor losing--but I can't tell because if I even vary my stance or lean in any direction I get a reading that can be as much as 20lbs off. Normally weighing 20lbs less would be rewarding, but it is just frustrating. Tomorrow is my physical and I should get a more accurate reading first thing in the morning. (Also, Zumba starts Tuesday and I am still UBER excited!)

I passed out the exercise log my walk jog class used for monitoring aerobic fitness and heart rate. We discussed set backs from the week and gave each other suggestions and encouragement for fighting our blahs. My mom-in-law brought back the bikes she had taken two weeks earlier, all fixed by my talented and capable dad-in-law. Del and I took out my bike with Arthur on the back and had an exhilarating 3.4 mile stint to celebrate.

Speaking of celebrating: Last night, because I wanted to fit in some cardio, I used the recumbent bike for my usual 30 minutes and I WAS ELATED when I hit 8 miles at level 10 in the 30 min, and maintained a strong hold in THR zone for the workout: 143! So very exciting I was giddy for hours--which I will be more cautious of in the future, because I did this at midnight and then was unable to fall asleep until 2.

Also yesterday I push mowed an acre and finished up what was too dark to cut last night this afternoon--with Arthur on my back. AND today I wrote down the actual calories of my food, instead of just the food items and coloring the square--which ensured I stayed under 1500. I feel a bit successful today. :)

This week will be a true challenge because each day has a lot of activity...riding to and fro in the car for different doctors' appointments. And my modified lifestyle will be going on the road for several days which will make fast food a temptation. Hopefully if it comes to such things I will remain disciplined and not sabotage this week's progress. I have my resistance bands and they are ready to travel!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

C is for Cookie

and that's not good enough for me! Gram Crackers and baked chips have been sabotaging my efforts this week. I feel disheartened. While I am still writing down what I'm eating, it is hard to stop eating the Grams (I just love them so!) and I will instead write things like "lots o chips" or "stack of Grams". I have put in a lot of cardio this week and have increased my biking to 7 miles in 30 minutes. This has put some strain on my knees, and this is the third day I woke up with pain in my arches...I am wondering if I need a new pair of shoes. Money has been stressing me out as well. Whenever I am worried about money or panicked about bills I feel overwhelmed and want to eat junk food. I become cranky and agitated and then after I've indulged in the food, I feel guilty. It's a vicious cycle.

I am feeling slow and under motivated. Also, I think the biggest frustration comes from a lack of meal planning this week. We have not made our weekly menu or done our food shopping (mostly because of my preoccupation with other bills and expenses) and last night dinner was at a diner to pacify the kids after a big day of errands. One of those errands being a pick up--my dress is in! (It is still lovely and the goal oriented person in me is determined to look great in it by September!)

I can't really complain about the results; they are here and have been consistent. I have lost a chin and can actually feel that my face is slimmer (I can feel my cheek bones and jaw!). My bras are feeling roomier and my pants fit correctly. My legs feel stronger and I can bend and stretch further. I know that change is happening and each morning I am excited to wake up because the transformations seem to happen overnight.

Perhaps I have hit my first roadblock in an otherwise obsessive preoccupation. Just the same, my rational brain says tomorrow is a new day and after reading several blogs/articles/newsletters I know I am already doing the magic combination...(Calorie intake conscious, cardio/toning routines, Pilates/yoga for flexibility and balance). I just need to control my cravings by controlling my stress...and be patient.

Pushing forward: After talking to a friend about the benefits of weight training and toning, I went out today and got some resistance bands and a stationary ring for my yoga ball. I'm excited to use them and have taken them out of the boxes. A

step in the right direction!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Change Up

Today's workout included a 45 minute yoga restoration routine on DVR. After all the recumbent use it was nice to have a change up. Since the goal of restoration yoga is to remove stress from the body and open hip-flexers and release tightness in larger muscles it was very enjoyable. Especially Pigeon!

Using my yoga ball after the routine to do a few extra stretches and crunches also helped to lengthen all the tension I have been feeling in my legs.

The kids and I took a quick paced 10 minute walk in the neighborhood--I really felt this in my calf muscles and was excited for a long walk at this speed...then I got a blister on the back of my heel. I'll have to wear flip flops for a few days so it will be all healed up for ZUMBA!

After some pruning in the front gardens (large overgrowing trees, shrubs, and bushes got a trim), the rain heaved itself down on us in a flooding wash. So while in the garage I remembered my weight bench! 5 rotations each of 5 bench presses and 10 reverse crunches. Because of the pilates I have gotten pretty good at the reverse crunch. My arms and chest really need more attention though--I've been doing push ups but not regularly.

The diet is still going well, too. Today I used last nights roasted chicken to make an awesome chicken salad. I will definitely be making this again.

Two cups pulled chicken, shreaded in food processor (the little model),
Two carrots and two celery also shreaded in processor.
4 tbs Lime vinegerette dressing.
1/4 cup rasins.

Mix and serve. Yeilds 5, 1/2 cup servings. We used whole wheat saltines and it was delicious. The kids really liked it and wished there was more! Next time I might even try some nuts.

After dinner (Jesse's famous Chili served with rice) we went as a family--J, too!-- on a small walk down the street and back playing a fun game of tag as we went.

Sunday is the next group meeting and MiL is picking up our bikes while she is here, to have them maintanenced. I am so anxious to get on a bike outside!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Calorie Conundrum

Lately I am too active for the 1200 a day and need to do 1500 (a sentence I never thought I'd say again...too active!) I am doing well so far with a 12-1500 calorie intake (diary is on the fridge!) but each day I seem to be missing more snacks and not drinking enough water. I don't understand how this works, because I am consuming WAY less than ever. This is completely unintentional and I will have to focus more on consuming the six small meals. But, I thought I'd be more hungry. The water is a no-brainer, I need to get better about that, but the day seems to disappear before I can float away on it!

It's only day 4 with the tracker but I think it is easy enough to fit into a daily routine. I was at a cook-out the day before last and managed to remember what I was consuming instead of blindly chowing down (something about old dogs and new tricks comes to mind).

Either way, we are going to have a weekly weigh in to record the ups and downs of weightloss. (I've lost 3 inches in 3 weeks and 6lbs at two lbs a week!)

As far as activity. I am steady on. Yesterday Mil, Fil and Jesse played tennis. J said it was a good time and they will do it again. I think I might tag along next time, good cardio mix up.

ETA: Did my 20 min Pilates today because of the rain and will likely use the bike. Read this article and am reminded that my Walk Jog Coach from Hood highly recommended a heart rate monitor, too.

Monday, June 15, 2009


A group of us are on a support mission: My mother and mother/father-in-law, Jesse and myself. We have had a first meeting and discussed our agendas and goals. Then MiL passed out calorie diaries and the food categories for keeping track (VERY HELPFUL).

Yesterday was a very active day. We did eventually make it to Sugarloaf. Just me and the kids and I brought Abby. We took the green path up, first time this season (the side with the stairs from the top parking lot) and I puffed like a locomotive with Arthur on my back. I thought Abby would be more of a puller, like she is with mom, but no, she always walks beside me (so I should have known she wouldn't pull me up!)

I sweat more with the walk up and back down than I have on the past 4 trips to Sugarloaf (we have gone every Sunday in a row) and more than I did with my morning bike ride. I have no idea how many calories that used but I had been following the 1200 calories and was at 921 by the walk (with the only meal left being dinner). I was lightheaded when we got home. We had vegetable stir-fry with lean pork and brown rice. I had a small helping (which was SO hard) of rice, using my MiL's chart.

After talking to "the group" about the lightheadedness I understand that yesterday was too active for 1200 (pilates, biking, and climbing) and on days like that I might need 1500.

(left 10.20.08/right 6.14.09)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I read that biking 5 miles in 30 minutes is a great cardio workout. The article said that 4 miles in 15 minutes would be just as great a workout. So this morning after Del went to school, Julie and I followed the 20 min Pilates DVD as a warm up (because I was a tad stiff this morning after yesterday's activities) and then I used our recumbent bike to pedal 4 miles in 15 min.

I had set the time for 30 minutes, but after 15 I was ready for an end. I think that is another "work up to it" goal. Just the same, the nice thing about the recumbent bike, other than low impact, is the read-out of statistics. My heart was in the THR and I did burn off my yogurt and blueberries from breakfast. Of course, this left me famished about an hour later so we've already had our leftover split pea soup and bread (w/mozzarella cheese).

Without burning out for my potential off day, I am looking for MORE to do, now.

Also, it occurs to me that my schedule is tentative and more of a suggestion than a rule.... So far it is working out!

ETA: I biked 15 miles after that first 15 minute attempt. I am still working up to 30 minutes, but by then I want 8 miles!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baby-steps in Leaps and Bounds

After finding that my exercise buddy, my husband, is happier participating if there is an objective (not just a hamster on a wheel), I struck off on my own this morning. Del and I walked to the bus stop and once he was on board I continued on a walk jog. The first of hopefully many.

It is strange how I talked to myself out-loud. Telling myself when to start jogging and looking for the visual clue that I could stop again. I know that my duration will increase, but I was pretty exhilarated after just two reps of jogging. Since I have shin-splints I just want to be sure that I don't screw up my legs before Zumba.

Funny thing is, since I have started this more active trend, I can't stop moving. Active Inertia has taken hold. Throughout the day I look for more ways to move. I feel restless. Jesse said, "Sit DOWN" the other day because I was a live wire of energy. If I can maintain this high and not injure myself I think the weight will pretty much just fall off.

Letting go of sugar is a different slice of cake. Since I covet sweets I am on an uphill battle. I have read that this powerful desire dwindles as exercise increases and milestones are passed. But a spoonful of coconut is divine all the same.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Well here's a list instead

I can't seem to figure out how to get my chart into this post without making it a picture in Photoshop, (which I did, but then couldn't figure out how to manipulate it in Photoshop.)

So, my chart that is posted on the fridge:

Sunday: Pilates and Cardio. The Pilates--I have been using a Windsor Pilates DVD of the 20 min basic workout and for cardio, the family and I (including Jesse) have been going to Sugarloaf Mountain to hike. I carry Arthur in the backpack for convenience and a challenge.

Monday: Weight Training/Resistance. Last week I used the bench weights, this week I used the weed-whacker to trim the front yard (gotta say the weed-whacker presented a decent challenge, I had jello arms). Today I also played frisbee with Jesse and Del and then took a walk around the neighborhood with J after the kids were in bed.

Tuesday: Pilates workout again. Starting June 30th, Zumba will be the cardio.

Wednesday: Cardio and Weight training/Resistance. Found the dumb-bells so I will do some of the Rep Reebok exercises I remember from a class a few years ago.

Thursday: Currently Thursdays are abs/buns/thighs by Windsor Pilates, 2 DVDs for 43 min, but I am going to move that to Fridays after Zumba starts. And then move Friday's to Thursdays.

Friday: Off. Weigh Day.

Saturday: Cardio.

Each activity for each day has a box to check off and the weigh day has a line to write the weight. The first week I lost 6lbs. However, after this weekend I may have gained it all back. My sister was in town and there were MANY parties on Saturday (4 to be exact) where excess calories were consumed. I also sabotaged this week by spending a weeks worth of groceries on all you can eat crabs with the Austins. Jesse said, "it wasn't worth it because (he) is too cheap to appreciate such an extravagance these days". Part of me agrees, but that irrational glutton in me says it was SOOOO worth it. Yum!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking the making

I am using this second blog as a place to keep track of progress. A place to make me feel accountable for my actions before reasons harden into excuses. This blog will be used to post fitness achievements and setbacks.

This morning I created a weekly fitness plan and posted it to my fridge, next to the menu for the week. Already I have bypassed brownies at breakfast and hot dogs at lunch in favor of yogurt and bananas for b-fast, a small bowl of Wheat Chex for a between snack and then chicken for lunch with milk twice already today and three glasses of water.

Tuesday: Flexibility and Cardio

Julie and I got out our yoga mats and followed a DVD for a basic 20 min Pilates workout. After lunch I used our recumbent bike for 10 minutes, using the cross-train mode for 2 miles. That's all I could do before Arthur needed to be put down for a nap. Julie is holding me to my promise for a walk when it cools down so that will be today's exercise finished. Tomorrow is weights/resistance.

Pushing for results and looking to cross the finish-line.

I have never seen our fridge so full before. This is a pic of the food needed for the menu of the week.