Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

A New Normal

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

The kids go back to school today after being home all last week. HALLELUJAH. I honestly think part of my recent emotional breakdown was due to having zero time to myself last week. Kids are hard, man.

Speaking of my emotional breakdown, I need to thank every single person who commented or emailed me or gave me a hug in person after I left that big mess of feelings here. (When bloggers say that I always imagine they’ve been completely over-run with supportive emails – I got four, but they were all super amazing.) Knowing I’m not the only person who feels like this instantly made me feel 100% better. I mean, I already knew other people felt like this since I’ve had approximately 3,000 different versions of that same conversation in my lifetime so far, but sometimes it’s nice to just PUT IT ALL OUT THERE and be reminded people are wonderful and lovely and good and willing to cheer me up even if I say “don’t cheer me up!”

I’m taking every bit of advice and encouragement to heart and doing my best to be as kind to myself as every has been to me.

Last night I took a shower with the fantastic new philosophy body wash I bought myself as a treat. I stayed up too late finishing some new artwork for over the fireplace I’m really, really excited about. Today I’m going to the gym, but I’m going to do the stuff I like – the elliptical and the weight machines – and not feel bad I’m not running on the treadmill. Then I’m going to pick up the kids and go do something fun. We’ll run around and enjoy the weather and maybe get a scoop of ice cream and I’ll take five hundred pictures of them. Then we’ll come home and chill out and read books and make something delicious for dinner and talk and laugh and enjoy the life we’re living. I’ll feel the sun on my skin and see the trees about to bust into full leaf and taste every bite of my food and smell the flowers my children pick for me and listen to their laughs and shouts of joy.

I will not let my internal voice be the loudest thing I hear. I will not let it stop me from enjoying the life I have now, even if I’m not comfortable with who I am. I will NOT let this attitude spill over into my children’s minds.

I can’t fix who I am on the outside until I get things back to normal – or maybe until I reset my normal. I need “lose weight” to be at least fifth on my list of daily thoughts, behind “Be a good wife”, “be a good mother”, “enjoy this day and “damn, this bacon is delicious.” Maybe some day I’ll bump it off the list completely. For now I’d just be happy if I can look at a photo of myself ans just think “Wow, she looks happy.”

p.s. My very dear friend Katherine volunteered to sign me up for the Mom on a Mission Challenge to remind me to take care of myself. I gladly accepted her gracious offer and I’m looking forward to really focusing on my own health and fitness in May. It has a small buy-in but you can win cool prizes – and you can be on my team even if you’re not a Stroller Strides member. If you’re interested let me know or check out the information here. I’m not getting anything out of other people signing up and no one asked me to recruit anyone, I just needed the encouragement and a friend recognized that. I’m a very lucky woman.

Yoga Power!

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I’m currently in an exercising up-swing and feeling pretty good about it. I don’t exactly like working out but I don’t dislike it enough to quit doing it entirely, so I’m feeling Healthy and Strong and Inspired To Eat Better and all that other stuff healthy living experts are always shouting about. I’ve been going to Stroller Strides and not looking for excuses to slack off anytime there is any running involved (“Do you need a snack honey? Or a drink? Or potty? Do you want to go to the potty again? Oh no, you dropped your toy, let me take 5 minutes picking it up!”) but there are a lot of classes we can’t make it to because of nap times/gymnastics/distance. So to meet my 5-days a week exercise goals I’ve been doing a DVD at home.

Image from Amazon

I got this when I attended a class from Bob Harper himself (NAME DROP) at BlogHer last year in San Diego, but I didn’t try it until a couple months ago. I took yoga as an elective in college (one of the perks of a degree in underwater basket-weaving) and for a few months before my wedding but haven’t done much since. The prenatal yoga DVD I half-heartedly rolled my eyes through a few times was mostly hippy-dippy connect to the sooooul insiiiiide you stuff and barely counted as being AWAKE, let alone working out. But I like yoga and I like Bob so I thought I’d give it a shot.

And it’s good! It’s not easy, deep breathing yoga but it’s not impossible either. I’m still doing some of the easier modifications and there is NO WAY I’m ever going to be able to do some of the stretchy stuff because I am just not that flexible but I’ve been doing it regularly and I’m getting better. There is no jumping around, which is a big plus for me because I always feel foolish jumping around in my living room (Oddly, I don’t feel foolish trying to wrap myself up in a pretzel, even though I am sure I look ridiculous). Bob is very encouraging and I have no desire to mute him – unlike some OTHER popular Biggest Loser trainers on their DVDs. And although I immediately resented the girls in the video for being impossibly thin and good-looking, it’s nice that they struggle through some of the poses. I’ve decided not to hate them.

I would say if you’ve never done yoga, this isn’t a good place to start. There isn’t much explanation of the postures and correct forms and it would be easy to spend half the video twisted around trying to watch the screen. Personally, I spend a lot of time twisting around to watch the count-down clock in the corner. The cover says there are “2 sweat-making workouts!” but really there is one hour-long yoga routine and one 15 minute ab-work routine. There’s about 40 minutes of hard stuff, 5 minutes of abs and 15 minutes of stretching in the 60-minute workout, so in my head I’m counting towards the 45 minute mark as soon as it starts. But I am Making An Effort and Being Healthy and blah blah blah so this is a nice-but-challenging at-home option.

(Not-a-disclosure-disclosure: I got the DVD for free at BlogHer as a reward for getting up at 6:30 am for a yoga class but no one asked me/told me/encouraged me/paid me to review it in any way – unless you count getting to meet Bob in person which wasn’t exactly a hardship.)


Friday, May 7th, 2010

12 weeks ago I posted about the Get Fit Challenge at my Stroller Strides class and how pathetic I was for only being able to do 8 push-ups. Well 12 weeks is apparently more than enough time to see an improvement if you go to class almost every single day because this morning I did 20 PUSH UPS. 20 real, straight leg, not so wimpy after all push-ups. I still don’t think they’d pass boot-camp inspection but they certainly weren’t easy.

I also improved my plank hold from 1 minute 7 seconds to 1 minute 31 seconds, which was pretty good considering it was after those damn push-ups. Not so much improvement in my crunches (53 last time, 56 this time) but in my own defense ab exercises have been making me nauseous this week so I may not have tried as hard as I should. PREGNANT LADY EXCUSES, I HAS THEM.

I didn’t write down my time on the shuttle run last time but my time today was 10.3 seconds which sure SOUNDS impressive. We’ll call that an improvement too. I need all the positive reinforcement I can get from my actual fitness though since after 12 weeks of working out at least 5 days a week, making healthy choices like salad instead of french fries and not buying a single bag of candy I lost a whopping…zero pounds. Zero. I weigh exactly the same thing I did when we started. My SS instructor told me it was totally OK! I clearly gained muscle mass! I’m pregnant! (MORE EXCUSES, WE HAS THEM) but it’s still heart-crushingly disappointing. I was hoping to be down enough that this pregnancy’s weight gain couldn’t possibly put me over -insert own personal horrifyingly high number here- but no such luck. I guess I’ll just have to wait another 9 months before I can start a crash new diet.

Until then, I’ll just keep doing push ups.

Boring Fitness Update #1

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

A little while ago I posted a list of fitness goals I had for myself. I thought putting it on the internet would be a good way to keep myself on track and create some accountability. But since my fitness manifesto, no one has asked me even once why I am surrounded by this pile of Diet Coke cans and York Peppermint Pattie wrappers. YOU GUYS ARE NOT DOING YOUR PART.

I have done a pretty good job attending Stroller Strides, which, by itself, is making a difference. I’m now 4 lbs under the “pre-pregnancy weight” on my medical chart and only 10 lbs away from my actual pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve been told that as long as I’m nursing, losing those last 10 lbs might be the hardest weight anyone has ever tried to lose, but I’m determined to at make every effort. Although I doubt the 20 lbs more I’d like to lose after that is going to be a walk in the park. More like the world’s longest marathon barefoot in the snow up hill both ways. Like the olden days.

My real motivation for losing another 30 lbs is my friend Erin’s wedding in September. I cannot put off ordering the gorgeous J. Crew bridesmaids dress she picked out any longer, but ordering a dress sight unseen means all I have to base my size on is MEASUREMENTS. In INCHES. Which I have to take WITH A TAPE MEASURE. And guys, the biggest size the dress comes in is a 16. Normally, I wouldn’t be anywhere near a 16 but since it’s a “bridesmaids dress” they run small. Because how dare you even think about being involved in a wedding unless you’ve successfully dieted your way down to a respectable size, like a double zero. (Which is an actual size this dress can be ordered in. DOUBLE ZERO. LESS THAN ZERO.) My plan is to call the girl at the bridal shop and ask her to realistically tell me if a) a 16 will fit over my boobs and b) how much extra room there is in the mid section in case possibly maybe my stomach has, er, expanded by September. No, I have nothing to tell you.

Since the giving up soda and candy plan has been a total bust, I’m going to add the world’s most terrifying exercise video to my workout plan. That’s right. I am now the proud owner of Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred. I’ve bullied E into doing it with me so for the next month don’t expect to have any conversations with either of us that don’t include “OMG MY AAAAAAARMS. They HUUUUURT. And my LEEEEEGS are SOOOOOORE. Let me tell you more about this workout thing I’m doing! Wait, why are you running away? Come back! It’s REALLY INTERESTING.”

***Don’t forget I’m still looking for donations to help me reach my March of Dimes fund-raising goal. Any amount you can give helps, be it $1 or $20. Our team is doing the best we can but it’s hard to keep badgering people you know for money – so I’ll badger my blog readers instead! Just kidding. All you have to do is click on that purple widget right over there ——–>and you’ll help with RESEARCH and SCIENCE and stuff. Thanks so much!***


Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Eight is how many push-ups I could do in one minute at yesterday’s Get Fit Challenge testing for my Stroller Strides class. They weren’t even good push-ups, although they were real on-my-toes push-ups. Still, anyone who’s ever been through boot camp would have been ashamed of my wimpy noodle arms. I did slightly better on holding a plank position (1 minute 7 seconds) and did a fairly respectable number of crunches (53 in one minute). There was also a shuttle sprint where I ran with a baby shampoo bottle baton from one line to another and back again, all while flailing my arms and legs around in the least coordinated way possible, a la Phoebe from that episode of Friends. Being laughed at by a bunch of toddlers isn’t very good for one’s ego.

In 12 weeks I retry all those tests to see how much I’ve improved my fitness. April, my instructor, also took “before” pictures in which I slouched and scowled as much as possible so my “afters” are guaranteed to be an improvement, even if it’s just because I’m wearing mascara and sucking in my gut. Then she made us run a bazillion flights of stairs, do an insane number of lunges, and kicked out butts motivated us to really focus on being strong mamas.

12 weeks from now is May (MAY! That’s a whole month after APRIL, when my baby will be ONE) and May means skirts and tank tops and no more strategically fashionable scarves to hide my extra chin so it’s a good time to finally be back in (almost) good shape. The fitness tests are a really tangible way to see how I’m doing and a much less depressing measure than my weight, which seems to be glued in place with the world’s strongest super glue.

At least I can pretty much guarantee I’ll be able to do more than eight push-ups.