Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Abs Issue

Holding steady at 124 lbs. I weighed myself this morning for the first time in a long time. I have felt so good lately that I haven't really cared what my weight is. I am loving my morning workouts.

I have said before I think I have reverse body dysmorphic dysfunction (I think I look way better than my weight suggests). Since I love my morning workouts so much, I also have the reverse problem that most people have. I wake up before my alarm (5:00 am) excited to workout. The snooze button never gets used. I am still just keeping my cardio intervals under 30 minutes for the most part, but the leisurely pace and time to actually stretch and listen to the radio is addicting. By Fridays, my body is usually ready for a rest day but my mind is not. I got up this Friday just to spin my wheels on the bike and read a magazine. I am so thankful for this time, and still my workouts are 'me time' driven and not 'lose weight' driven.

Despite my writing in 2 online journals and explaining till I am blue in the face that what I am doing is not time consuming, just CONSISTENT. People still do not believe my methods. I don't care, but it saddens me that people think there still has to be over obsessed, deprived, extreme way of doing things in order to lose weight. I guess because if they believed it was this 'easy', they would have to face facts that they could do it too.

It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. 20 minutes a day may be easy for some, but with a newborn and 3 year old this was so challenging. Yet, I stayed consistent. Every day. 20 minutes. I may not have showered, I may not have made dinners, I may not have grocery shopped but I got my 20 minutes a day and am thankful for it.

That is all I can attribute to my weight loss. Consistency. What I can attribute to my abs-well, I had to be patient and see if this really worked before I wrote all this, but I think I can now.



By no means is this an ideal stomach for most. By no means is there a 6 pack there. For the record this was after a day I had cookies as snacks and McDonalds for meals. By no means is this the end result. But considering my stomach was 47 inches around and I weighed 181 lbs on the day I came home from the hospital 7 months ago, I'll take it.

I am going to post my postpartum ab routine only because I want to dispel this myth that more crunches is the answer. And the myth that the only way to a flat stomach postpartum is to have 'hernia' surgery. (now the skin...well, that's another story). What isn't a myth is that abs are made in the kitchen 90% of how your abs look is attributed to diet. Which I why I don't have a 6 pack, but I don't know if I ever want to give up my homemade ice cream on the porch with my kid in order to have one.

this is what I did:
1-2 weeks postpartum: laid on my side trying to pull my belly in. Simple as that yet my mind wouldn't make the connection. This took a long time to get.

3-4 weeks: Once I could do it sidelying. I tried it on my back, even harder. I would use a towel to squeeze my abs together as I did this. Began to ad kegals (they were too painful prior to this.)

Neuromuscular retraining of the deep abdominal muscles on back. Began to add dynamic movement while maintaining that deep ab contraction. I would do this while lying in bed, any time I would think about it.

Began activating them while driving.

2-4 months: could not really lift my head while performing exercises because I was still so weak it hurt my neck, so began to add arms to the dynamic activity, bridging (all with head down on the ground).

4-5 months: Began adding some mini-crunches, lifting the head, rope climb, but still not able to come far up off the ground.

Kept abs contracted during all weight lifting.
Planks on knees then transition to feet.
Holding plank position and adding dynamic activity of upper and lower body.
Knee grabs.

6 months: Added resistance-

Weighted cable rotations
Using a weight to do overhead lat stretch with a mini crunch
Weighted oblique rotations
Progressed to dead bug on a bosu
A couple crunches here and there, usually with a medicine ball
Plank, push up, on elbows, then up

7 months:
Crunches are still last on the list if they make the list at all.
Reverse crunch
Use glider disks for plank/pike


This isn't descriptive, it doesn't have pictures demonstrating these things like a good blog should, it doesn't encompass every exercise. But what I hope it shows is that a million crunches are not, and not even suggested after a trauma such as pregnancy. The progression of doing things correctly and simply is more important that just doing an ab routine that you read in a magazine.

Laying on my side, that's where it all began.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Morning Mornings








I have begun waking in the mornings to workout. Finally all the stars aligned and it's possible for me to return to my favorite way to start the day. Wake up at 5, get some email time in, head to the gym while listening to morning radio and get my sweat on before the sun comes up. I come back ready to face the day and stay 5 minutes ahead of the "Mommy's!" and the "I needs".

I didn't do it today, because I had planned to work out with my trainer at 11:30. Lesson learned. Add sleeping in with a sick nanny and I felt like I was one step behind all day. Turned out to be a good day despite this but my mind was still in a cloud. Some fresh made chocolate chip cookies (a project for my son and I while baby took her morning nap) comprised my preworkout snack.

Although I only had 45 minutes because I had to feed a baby in the gym nursery before my trainer, I still had a great workout. Motivated and strong. I think it helped that I finally was working out with someone who lifted a little lighter than me. I felt strong and fit and worthy to be working out in the weight room. Maybe next time I'll even start wearing my weight lifting gloves.

After missing today, I am more excited than ever to return to my mornings. I learned my lesson and am thrilled to return to a routine that I have missed for over a year.

* I am also thinking it's time for the abs post. I had to wait and make sure that what I was doing would really work. I'll take pictures and lay out the routine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm There

I thought I was, I tried to tell myself I was, but I wasn't.

In this progression the key to changing bad habits or 'failing' or 'falling off the wagon' is to never force yourself into doing something before you are mentally ready. I never have seen someone go from Quarter Pounder to Low Sodium Lean Meats cold turkey and have it stick.

I do and always will believe that the key to maintainable weight loss is moderation. This is such a hard concept to physically follow. By approaching weight loss in the manner that I do after such a huge gain, I feel like I can finally achieve this in my life.

The recap can be seen in my STAGES page specifically, but big picture:

* Begin eating 1/2 portion sizes of your normal meals.
*Cut soda from 3/day to 1/day. (real soda, stay away from diet)
*50% of the time when eating out chose grilled chicken salad with cheese and dressing.
*Begin eating at home more.
*Begin replacing chips with nuts and fruits.
*At home, start decreasing the amounts of oils, fats and salt you use.
*75% of the time when eating out chose lean meats, carb and veggies.
*Begin to cut out the processed foods.
*90% of time when eating out make smart choices, pass up on cake and dessert.
*Continue to treat yourself to things that are really worth it and you can't get everyday.
*Weigh your food (not measure). Begin to learn about portion sizes. Really learn, you will be shocked at how little food is actually a portion.
*Take the dressing and cheese off your grilled chicken salad.
*Pass up on hot dogs, burgers and cake if you don't really really don't want them. Eat them when you do. But think twice before you make that decision.

And here is where I am now....
I did begin to weigh some food on a food scale. Measuring is not accurate at all but I do use this method for some items for ease and because I really don't care that much right now. I did not do this in order to count calories and have a set number I wanted to achieve in a day. I still have an infant and 3 year old in the house, who has time?

I did it in order to readjust my eyes to what a real portion size is. I have a very distorted view that 3 tacos, 1 bowl of cheese dip and 80 chips is a 'portion' of dinner. I did it for a short time, just to get an idea. I also needed an idea of how much I was eating in case I plateau and need a starting point in which to cut back upon. Again, I am not counting or cycling or planning. I am just learning.

I also began to see a shift in my mentality this week. With my renewed sense of energy and love of life again, I am really not wanting to undo all my gym time. I have limited precious minutes in the gym. I love a cookie, but not enough to eat them all day (except for that one day) and cover up all my hard work.

This has been my problem in the past. I would run 20 miles on a Saturday morning then eat so poorly I looked like I never worked out a day in my life. I always had the knowledge of how to look good, just never the will.

Now, I want to look like I am working hard because I am. To tears most days.

Anyone could stop at any stage of what I have done and live a healthier better life. My goal was to take it as far as I could go-to a balance of a diet free of processed foods and rich in vitamins and minerals and workouts for the mind, body and soul. I thought I was ready after my trip but I wasn't.

Now I am and here is how I know.

This week we had a pool party to attend. For the past 62 lbs I have eaten the hot dog and chips but eaten such small meals or made smarter choices during the day that it has not mattered or interfered with my weight loss. This past party I chose, because I wanted to, to eat at home my chicken and veggies. I would've eaten a hot dog if I wanted, but I didn't. It's that subtle difference of telling yourself you can't have something and not wanting something for yourself.

Took my kids to McDonalds to play and eat while my husband was out for the night. Past 62 lbs: cheeseburger (no bun), small fries and coke. Tonight, I didn't want to feel bloated and gross and didn't want it. So grilled chicken and yogurt parfait it was.

That's how I know. I am going there. Not worried about weight anymore. Worried about what foods are going to give me the most energy, health benefits and satisfaction. Tomorrow that may be a cookie...today it was grilled chicken and a yogurt parfait.


My new workout routine since it is time to start leaning out in conjunction with a leaner diet:
Monday: full body heavy weights with trainer
Tuesday: interval cardio
Wednesday: yoga, interval cardio
Thursday: full body heavy weights with trainer
Friday: interval cardio
Saturday: full body fast twitch class (weights)
Sunday: outdoor SS run

It is time to decrease the SS cardio, although, how do you decrease it from 20 mins? But I must begin higher intensity intervals. Here is a great explanation, although I consider mine to be 30-45 seconds. http://www.dashingdish.com/2010/09/the-benefits-of-interval-training/

The weights are doing a great job but now I must shed that last layer of fat (the skin is not going anywhere I am afraid....). This is how to do it.


Updated pics soon, computer issues have made blogging and pictures a chore.





Sunday, September 19, 2010

Welcome Back


Came back from my trip and fell right back into life. No yoga, no egg white omelets and blueberries, no balance between reading, resting, organizing and just breathing. I still wasn't eating cookies all day (okay, I did one day), but fell right back into the trap of burning the candle at both ends. I wish I could say the trip made it almost okay, but honestly, the worst was yet to come.

My body started just telling me enough, you can only go at such a pace for so long. I got sick, I got tired, I hurt my neck trying to get a 20 lb baby in a carrier into the car. Birthday parties and family outings were scheduled of what seemed like every moment of our days. Innocuous enough, but put together with trying to take care of two children put me so close to a panic attack on a regular basis. Add that to the end of the summer blues where my kids and I were so sick of looking at only each other all day that we had to call daddy home from work one day, it got ugly.

Needless to say, keeping a happy marriage is the last thing on your mind at this time and the most convenient person to take all your stress out upon is your husband. Things got ugly.

I began to question everything about my life. Not only did I really want to stay home, but why did I have kids in the first place? Did I want to stay married? This is so hard, the hardest thing I have ever done, yet hiring more help was still not the answer for me. I couldn't find a solution.

I say this in complete honesty because I hate when people just say everything is great and mask that sometimes life is just hard. I also write with honesty about how hard it got because I am sure that is the reason why I feel so wonderful now. If you don't have some bad times, you never really appreciate the good.

And then things got good. Really really good.

A couple things happened at the same time that turned the tide.

My son went back to school. Not just going to school, I get to drop him off in carpool. When you have a 20 lb child to get in and out of the car just to drop off and pick up your son at school for 3 hours, this is a huge huge wonderful convenience. She takes her morning nap, I drop him off without leaving the car, and I've started trying to find reasons to stop at Starbucks. We have structure, we have plans, we have lunches to pack and places to be and I love every minute of it.

My daughter started sitting up. This means I get to take her to the grocery store and sit in a cart, she can spit up and burp herself, and keep herself entertained while I do things around the house. She is so fun and lovely and joyful. I think I'll keep her after all.

My husband and I have really communicated and worked on our marriage. Date nights where I am getting dressed up, having wine and just enjoying being us again. I truly feel that we are making our marriage so strong by getting through these tough times instead of just 'being'.

I fit into my old jeans. Let's face it, that's what this blog is about. I feel amazing. I had lost motivation because I was so close to my goal yet so far from having the lifestyle to allow me to eat better and exercise with more structure.

I have been keeping a daily journal of diet and exercise and may start doing it here. I lost the drive but I didn't gain any weight during this time. I just kept doing what I was doing.

Since I have returned from the depths of the earth, I am ready now to take on a new step and challenge. I am not pressuring myself because I still find myself trying to do this at 6 months whereas I did it at one year with my first child.

I started with a big trip to the grocery store. Buying fresh fruits and veggies, organic, natural snacks for the kids and lean meats. With this little face leading the way.



**note: I've added a daily log and stages page to help me keep track****

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Now I'm Hungry



So Canyon Ranch may have lost their mojo, but there were some things I could count on to revive mine when I was there....


My favorite view as I run on the treadmill for my morning workout.

.

Egg White Omelet with Feta and Veggies, Bfast Potatoes, Fruit

Mango Mojito and Fish Tostada

My Favorite Yoga Spot






Grass Fed All Beef Hot Dog, Baked Artichoke Fries, Slaw

Short Ribs with Bok Choy and Mashed Sweet White Potato

Raspberry Cheesecake Mousse

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Au Revoir Canyon Ranch

Weight on their scale when I arrived: 131.6 lbs
Weight on last day: 128.1 lbs

Not bad for eating the most delicious food and barely working out.
My normal meals:

Egg white omlete with spinach, mushrooms, feta cheese, breakfast potatoes, fruit with mint and passionfruit juice (under 400 cals)

Fish tostada or grass fed all beef hot dog with coleslaw and artichoke fries, or veal bacon with avacodo mayo and heirloom tomato BLT on GF bread (all under 400 cals)
Gluten free oatmeal cranberry cookie (170/2)

lara bar (somedays)

Braised short ribs with mongolain bbq sauce, mashed white sweet potato and bok choy or
Lamb chops with kale, plantains and corn relish (under 400 cals each)
Creme brulee or Raspberry cheesecake mousse (under 200 cals each)

Spa services:
Hot stone mani/pedi
Deep tissue massage
Contour and lift facial

Workouts:
Stretch class
Buff booty ballet (x2)
Let's Dance class
Meditation and Breathing
2x 20 mins on tm
20 mins on step mill
my own abs and yoga

I enjoyed the tropical rain forest showers, igloo, herbal laconium and ice cold towels in the spa.

Then why might I not come back for my next planned trips?

Throughout this entire trip I struggled to find my peace. I thought it was just me being unable to relax, forcing it too much. I had such high expectations for this trip, maybe it was just not fair to ask it to meet them.

Don't get me wrong, I eventually found my peace. I am going home with not only a renewed sense of energy, but a renewed sense of focus as well. I realized how good my body feels with the right fuel, maintenance and relaxation. Those goals met, check.

However, it feels ridiculous to say that this wasn't a wonderful vacation, because it was. But the essence of Canyon Ranch was lost and I noticed. I noticed in a big way.

The essence of this place is to take your health and awareness to the next level. It is so different from a Ritz. At a Ritz you can lay by the pool, get spa services, relax and have great meals. That is not the goal of Canyon Ranch.

There is an air around here that makes you want to read about ways to meditate, love yourself and learn about living a present life (all books in the gift store). You are surrounded by people on solo trips in workout clothes and moving on between classes. The staff is reassuring and calming. Tea is handed to you at every room you enter. A haven of breathing and thinking.

or at least it used to be.

This trip, this trip made me feel like I was anywhere else in the world. Cell phones were used everywhere as their 'no cell phone policy' was not enforced. Children and families made this feel like Disney World. They claim it was never a policy to not have children under 14. But I swear that was one of the draws when I initially came. I could get over that if they had pools open for adults only, but they only had one, that didn't get much sun. The service as far as room cleaning and turn down service was horrible. Even a Holiday Inn has the maid come daily right?

And the spa, apparently is open to the public this month and was unaccommodating (despite my booking my appointments before I arrived) and packed. These plus a lot of other little things that I really wish I could have just glossed over. In the past, I have. The service is never spot on but because of the aura that was Canyon Ranch, I never cared or focused on it.

This time, I could not gloss over. Because in addition to the poor service, something else was missing - the essense of Canyon Ranch. I am not picking to be snobbish or a diva. Honestly, those things don't phase me when I am at a Ritz (well, they don't happen at the Ritz). But here, here was supposed to be special.

How can I expect to zen out when there is a cell phone ringing next to me at dinner?

Again, it's just because of the so called focus of this place that these things matter so much.

Was it a great trip? yes, of course. Do I regret coming? come on, I'm not an idiot. Will I come again? not sure. Would I recommend it? not like I would have a year ago.

I look forward to seeing my family. I look forward to them meeting their new mommy. You know, the nice one that didn't cry all the time. The one that made fresh foods. The one that didn't groan and moan every time she got up out of the chair. The one that could get out of bed in the morning.

I can't wait for them to meet me again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Listen

If we would just shut up for a moment, the universe usually tells us what to do. Problem is, our thoughts are usually talking too loudly to actually hear it.

Feeling sorry for yourself in this place is just blasphamy. Yet, I did this morning, and in turn beat my self up even more for feeling sorry for myself in this place.

After hearing about the special treament he is getting (without an ounce of solicitation on his part), I cried a little to my husband. I cried because I was desperate to relax, to have the ultimate experience and it wasn't working! I cried because this is my chance to recall what living in the moment and loving myself was and it wasn't working!

I tried all my old tricks, run on the treadmill, lay by the pool, long long dinners. Yet, I was still too tired and beat down to even take yoga this morning. Frustrating. In my head all I could hear was "I am going back the same person I was when I left."

Then I shut up and listened.

I tried the treadmill. I listened to my body and got right off. I decided to head to breakfast. With nothing to read (I have read 5 magazines already and had none left). I had no choice but to listen during breakfast. Just sitting and thinking I decided since I couldn't even relax and handle yoga, I would head to Stretch Class.

Simply Stretch.

Me and the grey haired men. We stretched. The instructor, in a gorgeous Aussie accent, said silky smooth words like "surrender, delicious and delightful." I did, and it was.

10:00 am on Saturday and I finally smiled, relaxed and just enjoyed. Then, instead of the Boxer's workout or Beach Conditioning of my previous trips. I finally committed to Buff Booty Ballet. A class I have drooled over since my initial trip but have never taken.

Nothing like that same Aussie calling us "beautiful ballerinas" (that was a stretch). Add that to a choreographed routine to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and this middle aged mom of two was giggling with joy.

What has worked in the past was not what I needed this time. This time I needed to just laugh, slow down and enjoy. I am enjoying myself so much now that I tried to to book an extra day and change my flight. It isn't economical but it's my Eat, Pray, Love moment of-it's finally working, I need to savor.

I go to change my flight. She couldn't find me on the 10 am flight I thought I had booked. Turns out, my flight is at 10 pm. This was not intentional but considering my state of mind when before I left, not surprising.

The universe is telling me, I am listening. Instead of incurring the extra cost of a flight change and another night of the room, I have now found an entire extra day that I didn't expect.

I hear you! I promise to use my remaining time wisely. Only doing classes that feel right and good. Taking pressure off of myself to make this a complete workout and relaxation trip and make it a mindful trip. Rescheduling my facial I had to cancel for today for tomorrow at the same time I thought I was to be on a plane home.

The facial thing makes me feel slightly spoiled, but when you proudly wear throw up from head to toe (literally) everyday for 6 months, the fact that this reschedule worked out is heavenly.

So if we just be quiet for a moment, the universe will usually work things out for us. If we listen.

The fact that it was in an Austrailian accent didn't hurt either.

Interesting

This trip has been slightly different than in the past. We'll let the subtle changes in service and focus of the resort wait until later. In terms of me, and my goals and meeting my goals, it's been a little different as well.

The reason for this trip is to refocus my life. After the birth of a child you give every moment, thought and breath to your child. At least I do since I refuse to get more help than I have already. One can only continue that pace for so long before losing focus on themselves. This trip is to remember that the better place I am in, the better I am for my children.

I am having a hard time relaxing this trip. Despite all efforts of the pools, ice cold towels placed on my eyes as I lounge in the spa, the massage and the serene environment. I cannot find that place I am so desperate to reach. Maybe I am forcing it too much. Maybe I still cannot get over the reason why I need this trip in the first place.

The treatment my husband is getting at home is striking. Since day one with my first child my belief has been that we are parents together. These are OUR children, not just mine, and anything I can do, he can do. I will never understand the mentality of the mother only giving bottles, making rules, doing bedtime routines. I may do it more efficiently and set the schedules because I do it more often, but I should always have the flexibity of walking out of the house at any moment in time and not having to give instructions as if my husband is a babysitter.

My husband in turn, is great at taking care of our children, full capable and makes decisions without having to consult me.

So why is it, when he has them for not even one full day by himself during the course of 3 1/2 days, has he received 4 phone calls to see how he is doing? one offer to pick up my son for dinner one night? and the offer of my parents to come up after taking my daughter for the night and feed and bath her again to give him a break?

Having the spectacular husband I have, even he commented to me "why doesn't anyone ever call you to see how you are doing?"

And that is why I need this trip. For 6 months straight I have done what he will never, ever do for one full day. Physically and emotionally he will never experience what I do. I used to think he needed to. Then I realized, that is okay, he doesn't have to experience it as long as he understands.

As long as he understands why I need a trip like this.

Writing this has helped a little. As a stay at home mom you can feel very alone, isolated and completely, utterly, absolutely underappreciated. A trip like this makes me feel like I matter again. Like my health and well being do matter again.

Thank goodness I have a husband that understands all this, even if no one else does.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 2

After a full nights rest my internal alarm woke me at 5:30 am. Perfect. Without a roomate I am able to turn on all the lights, tv, open the shades and begin my day. I watch the news, eat my Lara bar (because a zone bar just sounds so gross, ha!) and lounge for a while then head down for my sunrise workout.

20 minutes on the treadmill as the sun comes up over the ocean. Feeling so much better than yesterday I decide on 20 minutes of 'the monster'. The stepmill machine that, no matter how many years I have attempted it, is always hard. Interrupted halfway by a text from my husband saying how the baby slept great but son was up all night. Stating that they are both pretty tired and have a medical question for me...I'm still a mom no matter how far I go right?
With that solved I head back to finish the monster. Abs and then stretching in the open room overlooking the ocean for yoga.

I do my own version of yoga. I listen to Sophie B. and Jack Johnson and speed it up a bit. It's not exactly the meditative, calming state that I suppose I could use, but it's a start.

Starting to get hungry but there is too much more to get in before breakfast. I head to the Spa. Alternating between the Herbal Lanconium and the Igloo with mists of menthol I try to relax and get in a zen state. Not quite there yet but enjoying myself nonetheless.

After showering in their fully stocked showers I finally head to breakfast. Egg white omelet with feta cheese, spinach and mushrooms, potatoes and fruit. All for the low low cost of 370 calories. I took a picture but cannot upload them yet. Again, the amount of food you get when it's veggies and healthy choices is enough to leave a little on the plate (yes, I did).

Pool time. It's great. I don't want to complain, it's great. However..... one of the biggest draws to coming here is the no cell phone and no child policy. Both of which are really not being enforced on this trip. I am starting to notice very subtle changes that perhaps a bad economy is forcing. You can't be picky about who your guests are anymore.

I have my lunch by the pool, a grass fed all beef hot dog, coleslaw with a side of artichoke fries (in place of the bun). 300 calories. With water. I do have a goal afterall....

I am full but not stuffed. I am learning portion size. I am savoring every bite of food because 1) I have time to do so and 2) it is good food. You notice good fresh food. You taste good fresh food. Think about that, when was the last time you really TASTED just another hamburger or piece of pizza? Well...those can be good too at times...

One square of dark chocolate and I am back in my room for a nap before round two. On deck tonight is another workout, massage, dinner and maybe candelight stretching class.

If I can stay awake that long.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You Know You're Tired When...

..you are too tired to go to meditation class.

I am in my utopia. This is no ordinary vacation. This would not be considered an induldgent treat to some, but to me, it is pure heaven. I would love to write the background, the essence, the meaning for me behind this trip, but I am too tired. Instead I will describe my day and it will be obious why I come here to finish one chapter and begin the new one.

Upon arrival at 10 am, I sit am a handed a tote bag with the best reusable water bottle ever. I am handed a cup of flavored, non caffinated, sugar free tea. I am shown to my room. Clean, crisp lines with natural wood and blue tiles that make me think of the ocean. The ocean that is right outside my window. A fully functional kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath the size of my son's playroom with a vanity. My playroom for the next 3 days. Although a vanity is really unnecessary considering this is a place where makeup is a waste of luggage space.

This is not a frilly, overdecorated, stuffy kind of room. It is not the Ritz. That is why I love it so much. Although still comfortable, this room (this hotel) means business. While the rock gardens, fountains and outdoor seated areas are gorgous, they are meant to be enjoyed while in your workout clothes. They have a no children and no cell phone rule. Exactly why I come here.

I head to the pool that overlooks the ocean in my new white bikini. My thoughts when packing it where "who cares, I don't know anyone there." But I must admit I felt great in it. After making sure my stomach had plenty of sunscreen applied (since it had not seen sunlight for 1 1/2 years), I order lunch. The menu is a clean eating, calorie conscious, gluten free person's dream. Next to each item is the calories/fat/carb/protein breakdown. When they tell you the specials, they tell you in calories, not dollar amounts. Heaven for someone who is looking to reaquiant their eyeballs for what a healthy portion means.

After a very hard and long day yesterday, and a very long morning of travel, I opt for the mango mojito and fish tostada with a side of fruit. Everything in the drink is organic and natrually sweetened and the tostada is a huge portion (for 200 calories). It's amazing what 200 calories looks like when it is all fresh herbs, fish, fruits and veggies. I took a picture-it was beautiful.

The water was perfect but after only being away for a couple hours I still had to try hard to get out of mommy mode. It took me a while to realize I could jump in the pool and get my hair wet because I was able to shower whenever I wanted. What a concept. After lounging by the pool and admittedly getting too tired to continue, I head upstairs for a nap. A nap that is interrupted by the housekeeping because I had requested the batteries in my scale be replaced. Yes, in this place you want to weigh yourself AFTER the vacation.

I head to the gym for my 20 minute run. I try. I am overlooking the ocean on the treadmill, I have my great song, I have my red bull (bought at Publix, they would never sell such blasphamy here). I couldn't do it. I finally just got so tired I couldn't even go one more step. So I head out to the grassy area overlooking the ocean and do yoga. Listening to my new favorite girl power song "Just the way you are" over and over.

Then shower. Then manicure and pedicure. Then more wonderful tea. Pure indulgent heaven right there.

Head to dinner only to find out I am too early for them to start serving. Go ahead and make me feel like an early bird senior why don't you? I head to the gift store to browse the fancy dark chocolate bars, crystals and books on healing, meditaion and health.

Then dinner....Although my goal is to teach my body how to be content with meals at about 500 calories or less...I could not help myself. Gluten free bread to start (really!), a glass of wine, devils on horseback (dates filled with goat cheese wrapped in bacon), diver scallops over a corn risotto. Then...dessert...a gluten free cranberry cookie with vanilla ice cream. Now, the portions are small (the ice cream was the size of a melon ball scoop) but I am stuffed and don't plan to go all out for the rest of my trip.

Stuffed and tired. It is now 7:42 pm and I am about to retire for the night. My 3 year old is still up. I hope tomorrow to have a renewed sense of energy to enjoy some of the 30 classes a day that they offer.

If not, that's okay too. If I just sleep for the next 3 days I think this vacation will already be classified as a success.

It's weird being here by myself. Completely necessary but weird. I miss my husband dearly. Yes, I guess the kids too because that's what I am supposed to say, but I really miss my husband.

I guess that is what he would consider success.

Monday, August 16, 2010

(PICTURES) 5 MONTHS LATER..





5 months later......

Diet

Subtle changes are happening. As I feel better about myself, I am paying closer attention to what goes in my body. I am reaching and craving smarter choices. This is another phase of the plan. I really don't believe you make dietary with your mind. You cannot tell your body what it wants and force it to eat salads all day then lose your mind the next time you are in the presence of a cookie. Your body has to want to make smarter choices as well. If you change your diet slowly, it will.

Since I am still getting the comments such as "oh, you did a diet meal delivery system right?" and the "you must be working out forever", I figure I will just lay it all out. If they still continue to disbelieve, oh well.


Here are a few typical days over the past 5 months:
gluten free pancakes with turkey sausage
zone bar
grilled chicken, broccoli, homemade fries, slice of cheese, coke
protein shake (scoop of protein powder with water)
1 slice gf bread, 1 slice cheese, turkey, handful nuts

or

zone bar
chicken salad (with mayo), fruit, coke, Lindt or Godiva Truffle
protein shake, nuts
Mcdonalds small fry, one cheeseburger (no bun), coke

As I am feeling better (and spending money on my trainer), it's transitioning to this:

corn flakes, skim milk, small box of raisins, protein scoop with water
zone bar/coke
chicken breast, cheese, nuts, annies gf bunnies
chicken burger patty (slider size), slice of cheddar, sauteed zucchini with parm. cheese, spinach with carrots/tomatoes and ranch
couple bites of gf cookie cake before I threw the rest (a lot) away
(at least there are some veggies entering the picture)

I did eat an entire package of gluten free bakery cookies this weekend. It was fabulous and a rare treat. For someone who never thought they would eat bakery treats and haven't in 7 years, it was worth the wait!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Then the Clouds Parted

This has been a tough week to say the least. That last post was only about 3 hours of a day that only got worse from there. Honestly, for the past 5 months days like that are the norm. Was is not normal is me not being able to handle them and move forward. But we all have our boiling points don't we? I could not have reached mine at a more perfect time. This is the week I leave for my trip. I haven't even written about it because I haven't even had a moment to think or daydream about it. This trip represents a turning point in my journey which I will discuss as it gets closer. Coming out on the other side of a very tough week, I have made some observations.....

This morning I went for a run outside. Something I have not done for a month. It was humid, about to rain and I am beyond exhausted. I talked myself into it thinking the fresh air would be good for me. It would help clear my head and part the clouds that have been behind my eyes for so long.

I ran the route down Peachtree Road through Buckhead where I ran my very first mile, and my very first 20 miler. I have run these streets for (gasp!) 12 years. As my feet hit the familiar pavement I knew every crack and bump by heart. What was new were my surroundings. I used to run by bars like Buckhead Saloon and LuLu's Bait Shack that I had left just hours prior to my run. Those bars and their familiar smells have been replaced with wine bars and Hermes. The sadness and nostalgia for those familiar surroundings hit me hard. What hit me harder was the fact that life moves on. We are constantly changing and evolving creatures. You can stay and relive in the memories of dancing at Buckhead Saloon, or you can change with your surroundings and grow and adapt and window shop in that Hermes.

Deep thoughts, but these thoughts can be applicable to many things currently going on in my life:

1) The Body: We constantly need to re-evaluate where we are and where we want to be. I have tried lots of programs and plans. Most of them have worked for me at the time despite their differences. It just depends on where you are and what your goal is.

My goal for the past 5 months was to stay sane and get 20 mins/day for myself. The goal now will be weight loss. I need to change. I cannot just keep doing what is familiar (running) and easy (20 mins) for my body. As I get stronger, fitter and lighter, I need to make new challenges.

2) The Mind: I realized this week that relaxation, meditation and yoga are all my form of a 'diet'. I always say "I'll start doing it on Monday." I never do. This trip is usually a finishing step for my transformation. I was not physically or mentally prepared for this trip before this week. I didn't plan that, I planned the trip on the only day I could get someone to watch my kids, but funny how things work out. I find myself saying "after my trip, I will take the time to focus on the mental aspect."

I decided not to wait. Part of my transformation to my best life includes yoga, being aware of your surroundings, learning how to relax, being closer to loved ones, opening your eyes and making the most of each day instead of letting the days just happen to you.

It's hard to do this when your head is clouded from your day to day tasks. What fun is raising a family and having someone you love next to you if you are not going to take the time to appreciate it?

I did some yoga today. Not at all like I hope to add as part of my regimen, but it's a start.

3) The Diet: A plateau is not a bad thing. A plateau means you have made lifestyle changes and are not just 'dieting'. If you were just dieting that scale would go up and down on a regular basis. (b/c haven't we learned by now diets don't work). I am proud of a plateau. As long as the scale doesn't go up, who cares if it goes down?

Well.... I need it to go down a little more. I have enough wiggle room in my diet that I can clean it up a little more without having to count calories. Yet. Remember, I said I will not count macros every again, but calories do have a place. A big place.

Calories In < Calories Out = Weight Loss
That is how you lose weight. So simple everyone is so skinny and fit right?

I will eventually need to count calories, to re-establish portion sizes and control. Not yet. But it's coming. For right now I will tweak with getting better balanced meals, cutting out some sweets and making smarter choices a bigger percentage of the time.

We must keep evolving.

As I ran through Buckhead this morning I realized I could wish for the time I had before, wish for the flexibility I had before and wish for the recovery time I had before. Or I could adapt to my changing surroundings of having two kids and figure out how to live my best life at this present moment.

Good run.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

umph.

how's this for attitude....I am losing it. I am about to just blow. For anyone who thinks I am just eating macros and spending time counting calories and spending hours in the gym, f-you. I am a real stay at home mom that got up all night with a baby, just to put her paci in but still...then she woke at 5:30am, then I spend the early morning cleaning up ants in our kitchen, then having to do laundry b/c you can't leave laundry down in our mold infested laundry room, then trying to get a baby back to sleep who wont go back to sleep, then covered in throw up 3 times, then heading to the grocery store at 7 am so I can get babyfood and diapers for the day, forgetting the sausage and having a zone bar and one link of turkey sausage for breakfast, then getting 2 kids (a baby that still hasn't napped) ready to drop kid off at sports camp, picking up the house, drinking my red bull to get my 20 mins in before a waxing appt b/c I am actually going out tonight! then kid won't go to camp, says he's tired and cries, so take everyone home, put everyone in bed, still haven't gone poop and have to cancel my waxing appt and gym will have to wait (as well as 30 other errands), now I am going to be dependent on my husband who likes to walk in at the very last minute if I have somewhere to go, to take a shower or get dressed.

(and this is just another day, I have still lost 57 lbs with this being my life).

I'm gonna try to go to the gym again later. good thing I got more red bull at the grocery store this morning.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happiness is.....

....getting your rings resized.

....getting your rings resized and having to explain the 'orange stuff' in them is carrots because you just had a lovely lunch alone with your daughter at the mall.

....basking in the irony of asking the Godiva lady where the bathing suit section is as you wait for her to package your key lime pie and strawberry truffles.

....realizing that you were satisfied after just one of those truffles.

.....finding not one, but two dresses to wear out to a girls night this week. Not buying either one, but knowing they are there and they fit if you so desire.

....finally being able to complete a full round of your cardio. Before today, I was only doing the full incline for the last half of the intervals.
1 min @ 6.5 mph
1 min @ 7.0 mph
1 min @ 7.0 mph @ 8% incline (all rounds!! okay, I stopped at 6 but still!!)

....having two kids that nap at the same time.

...having enough energy (for the first time in 5 months) to not have to nap with them.

....finally committing to a shower at the gym (albeit 15 mins) and having multiple people comment about you being dressed. (specifically "wow, I haven't seen you in real clothes for 2 years!")

...fitting into a size 4 dress (even if it is with spanx)

Happiness IS NOT:

...wearing spanx in Atlanta in August.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back on Track

You have to listen to your body. Not the little whispers such as "I'm tired", "I don't feel like it", "I don't have time". But the screams of "I am sick, hit a wall and am going to make myself so much worse if I keep going". When you are sick, don't work out. I didn't yesterday.

Instead I walked into the walk-in clinic that is open on Sundays. 3 minutes later I walk out with steroids pumping through my veins, a prescription for a dose pack and antibiotics. By 7 pm I felt like I could tackle the picking up, laundry, and 2 kids again.

So 128. I'm not really a fan of diet tricks. It's never worked for me to chew my food for 20 seconds, drink a glass of water before lunch, eat slowly, don't eat after 6pm. But....today I had a thought, it's worked today, who knows if I will remember it tomorrow.

My thought was- "128 feels good. Watching that number continue to go down feels good but right now, all I care about is keeping that number from going back up to 129. When I eat today, I will think....is this going to make that number go up or help me stay at 128?"

This doesn't mean I am not eating. It doesn't mean I am not having a couple gluten free Annie's chocolate and vanilla bunnies as my carb with my chicken salad from Cafe at Pharr. And my coke of course. What it does mean is that I am not mindless eating, eating huge portions or eating something that I am not really craving.

Thanks to the steroid shot, I was able to work out with my trainer. It's still pretty miserable but (and maybe thanks again to the steroid shot) I felt like I was able to have better form and complete more reps before having to take breaks. Starting to feel less sorry for myself during the workouts and that's encouraging!

128!! Woo hoo!! I might actually keep that bikini after all!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

The Good: 128 this morning!!!
The Bad: I am so sick with a sinus infection
The Ugly: 11 days until my trip and I just might not make it. Sick, tired and a comedy of errors are making me just about lose it. I'll pull it together no doubt, but 11 days sounds just too far away right now.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nothing then Everything

What a difference a day makes. Friday I tried to get my 20 mins on the TM in. By Friday my body is beat up, tired and has nothing left. Mostly because of the kids and all our activities of the week. I got on the bike for about 20 mins and just spun the wheels. I could tell my body was not up for anything more strenuous than that.

Saturday morning comes and I find myself with a lot of gym time available. The most I have had since I have had the baby! I was not going to let my tired, sore body pass up this opportunity. This time, I just fit in anything and everything I could and told my poor tired body it could rest later.

I am supposed to do a 3rd day of weights since I only have my trainer for 2 days/week. My normal instructor was not there for my fast twitch class so I went to plan B:

Squats with 20 lbs 3x30
Row with 55 lbs 3x20
Plank with alternating knees

Step ups 3x30
Chest Press with 20 lbs 3x20
Dead bug

Walking lunges with overhead press 5lbs
Ab roller, reverse crunch

At this stage, I have moved past this basic, high rep program but it's all I have patience for while lifting on my own.

TM workout:
1 min@6.5 mph
1 min@7.0 mph
1 min@7.0 mph@8% incline
repeat 7 times

Yoga stretches.

I even showered....

99% of the time I get 20 mins. Today, I felt like I had to fit everything in because I had time. I am still in 'what you can, when you can, make it count' mode.

Now the food. With 9 lbs to go the food has to be fined tuned. But with a 5 month old and a 3 year old bday party to attend, I am still eating like I have 40 lbs to lose. Small bites of crappy food.

GF pancakes with turkey sausage
zone bar
boca burger with cheese (no bun)/coke
mimosas
milk duds (1/3 box), 1/2 apple
risotto, grilled chicken, green beans

I didn't expect to be working with a trainer so soon or to only have 9 lbs left at only 5 months. After my first baby it took me 7 (I think) months to get here. So I find myself trying to juggle the 'newborn-ness' and getting smarter about my workouts and food.

There is no timeline. There is no goal. In fact, I always find myself losing focus when there is the added pressure of a date. However....a little extra motivation....By chance (I swear!) I met the personal shopper at Nordstroms. After speaking to her I got so excited and downright giddy at the thought of real bras, undies that are not the size of my king size sheets, coats, makeup and clothes! This was so motivating to hurry up and get to my goal!

With food like today however....



Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Journey

Developing a healthy lifestyle after a lifetime of bad habits, spinning wheels and misinformation is a journey. No doubt.

I call what I am doing a journey because I am slowly progressing the best life I envisioned. I call this a journey because there will and have been bumps in the road. Very rarely is a journey one straight shot to the goal. I have always believed you have to have the bad days in order to appreciate the good. So when I have a bad workout or day, I just take it for what it is and hope tomorrow will be different.

This morning was a bad 'day', this afternoon was different.

First off, yesterday was a great day. Apparently after my trainer I was feeling so hot and strong and fit I decided to try on bikini's for my trip that is 14 days away! It didn't look great. 129 lbs before baby and after baby look totally different. But...I bought it anyway. Keeping the tags on, I thought if this body image keeps up, I will actually wear it in 14 days.

Took a picture to update the blog. Image, yet again, doesn't match what I see in camera. note to self: must get a new camera.

Then this morning. We all need a bad workout but it's so frustrating when time is so limited and precious. My husband was to be gone at night (makes for a super long day for me) so he let me go to the gym in the morning without time constraints! Such an opportunity! I get there and I am tired, in a bad mood (long momma story), had to get a treadmill in front of the mirror, could not get over the image I saw despite how good I felt the day before.

am TM workout: 11 minutes of walk/ try to run but not really. Then left defeated.
Was not able to eat much all day. Not recommended! But when husband is out, for some reason momma doesn't get to eat. I haven't figured out the equation as to why, but it always happens.

But since husband was out for the evening. I decided to try again and take advantage of the gym nursery for a 20 min babysitter before kiddos and I headed to the pool.

pm TM: 5 min@ each 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 mph. Felt great and strong. Hopped off and headed to the pool.

You need to realize that a bad workout, attitude and body image can change day to day. But it can also change hour to hour. It's all in how you perceive your life, your reaction to your life, and how much control you take over your life.

This morning, I was at the mercy of my surroundings, angry at something someone else did in their life and feeling sorry for myself. (sorry to be cryptic but it would be a momma rant and not sure that's the direction I want for this blog).

By this afternoon, I realized I am working as hard as I can, moving as fast as I can and am proud of my life as I possibly can.

And that my friends, is the journey. The ups, the downs, the navigating new hurdles in your lifestyle. At the end of the journey I will look back and thank goodness for the good days and bad that got me there.

And maybe...I'll actually post that pic.





Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You Are What You Eat

When I was pregnant I ate Rolos, 3 cokes/day, McDonalds and cheese. It felt horrible. I was lazy, tired, couldn't walk up or down stairs and was miserable. What you put in your body is 90% of how you look and feel. This should be the first thing addressed with trying to lose weight and live a better lifestyle, but for me, it's the last.

Increasing activity is usually so much easier for people. Especially for me. Food has so much emotion and history attached to it, that I slowly progress into different eating habits. If I try and change too drastically (like most people), I will fail.

As you move more....you weigh less.....you feel better...you begin to notice how bad foods make you feel crappy and make you want to move less....you want to feel good again...so you eat better...move more...feel better...

It's a positive cycle that begins with exercise for me. I think I have that down now.

I am noticing small changes in my food choices. Not just "I should eat this" but "I want to eat this". As you feel fit and strong and well rested, you really begin to notice what is going into your body. Really begin the THINK about it. I am not thinking too hard, still not weighing or planning foods, but I think twice about what I fuel my body with.

* Began shopping at Whole Foods. Just going into that store makes me want to eat healthier.

*Began cooking at home more. This week: homemade sloppy joes and chicken enchiladas. Both under 400 calories/serving made from my clean, healthy cookbooks.

* Taking note of organic products. Foods that are eaten on a daily basis, dairy products and fruits and veggies. Buying lean, hormone free meats. I don't think everything needs to be organic but thinking about the foods that we ingest on a regular basis without the pesticides and crap, makes me feel a little better.

* Ordered meal delivery system again for breakfast only. Mornings are busy. I thought I could start with my egg whites and corn flakes but I continue to find myself eating zone bars. No more. I ordered gluten free pancakes with turkey sausage for breakfasts. All the other meals are coming together now that baby girl is becoming more predictable. But I still believe breakfast sets the tone of your day.

Some believe a calorie is a calorie. Well, I guess I do too. But I know that eating 2000 calories of candy and coke all day vs. 2000 calories of veggies and lean meats and potatoes (or whole grains for those that can), you feel different, and yes, you look different.

Eating smaller portions of the same foods I ate during pregnancy helped me get to a smaller version of that person. Beginning to eat cleaner 90% of my day is helping me feel better, stronger and look more fit. The next stage is to balance meals with heart healthy choices, organics, vitamins and minerals, and foods that make you feel great and stay healthy.

Although I have no research to prove it at my fingertips, I get sick a lot less when I am eating well. Currently, I have the beginnings of a sinus infection. When I am run down, burning the candle at both ends, not doing my yoga or eating right, these come about every 6 weeks. There is no calling in sick with my job. When I eat well and am well rested, sinus infections are far and few between. That's worth the extra expense of a $8 salad with walnuts vs. a $2 cheeseburger!

So far today:
26 mins on TM
5 min warm up
1 min @ 6.5
1 min @ 7.0
1 min @ 7.0 @ 8% incline
Repeat 7 times


Breakfast: zone bar (food hasn't come yet!)
Snack: bites of salad with goat cheese, walnuts, artichokes, red peppers and spinach
Lunch: corn tortilla, one slice cheese, turkey, almonds and cashews (not sure if I will ever again count nuts, I hope not to, but never say never.....), coke
Snack: out of protein powder, no snack
Dinner: 1/2 roast beef sandwich on gf bread, no mayo, fruit on side, water, 1/4 cup soft serve

It feels good to be conscience of what I am feeding my family and myself. It feels good to be packing lunches again instead of stopping for fast food. I still will use my fast food trips for emergencies, don't get me wrong. Currently however, I feel too good to even think about a greasy french fry right now.

The better you eat, the better you feel. Make smart choices 90% of your day. Let the transition begin!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Humbled

Feeling good, feeling strong, feeling fit. And then.....

Today my trainer had to move me to 12:00. My client cancelled and this left me with a full morning free. Hating to waste free time, I tell my husband I am going to the grocery store then steal 20 mins in the gym! Just my 20 min sweat, me, mindless time. Grocery store with no kids (heaven), shower and hair washed in the morning (never happens), errands (got so much done without kids!), and a visit to my old workplace.

This visit left me feeling very nostalgic for my working days. I love what I do (physical therapist) and never was there a day that I dreaded going into work. Staying at home for the early years is very important to me. I realized today, however, I look forward to the day I head back to the clinic.

Souper Jenny's is open again! This is the place that serves the most amazing piece of gf cake I have ever had. They have been closed for a month and opened again today! I beat the crowd and got my piece of cake, but vowed to not touch it before meeting my trainer.

My trainer. I am trying so hard. Today we switched it up to full body (instead of UB/LB like the last 2 weeks). I didn't want to cry the entire time like usual, but it was still a fabulous workout. I worked out at the same time as one of his long time clients. This mom has a great great body. So thin but fit. Muscular but not 'bulky' as they say. Thin but not skinny fat. I probably had a good 20 lbs on her.

I know my trainer makes all his girls lift heavy but I thought surely since I was in weight loss mode (and it's so unbelievably hard) he had me working extra hard. Plus, these girls are very thin but toned (again, not a word I use but something people can relate to). Let me just say...

She kicked my butt. She lifted heavier, had better form, could do pull ups, and didn't look like she was going to die like I did. I do realize that I had not lifted anything but a pack of Rolos during my pregnancy but wow, was this humbling.

Lesson learned....I know I am on the right track. I know it will take time. I know that I am doing this the right way and not wasting time. And I know if I stick with it I can kick butt like she did today.

I also know I need more pictures. Coming... but again...how do you find time?

I haven't eaten the cake yet. I took a couple bites and it's as good as I remember but who knows if I'll finish it. Definitely a long way from the all or nothing mentality of long ago.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Balance

It's an ever evolving idea that we are always trying to strive towards. As moms, balance is a nice idea but I'm not sure we ever achieve it. As someone who is a mom and trying to lose weight, it's darn near impossible. You must pick your priorities and be okay with the tasks that get left on the table.

This week, I had to find balance.

1) Literally. I had to find my center of gravity, core muscles and equilibrium and balance during a lot of the lifting I did with my trainer. He doesn't have me doing overhead press on a gym ball, nothing like that. But even just step ups make me realize that after prolonged inactivity, ruined abdominals, baby hormones, ligament changes etc, it's impossible to balance! This is something we forget to retrain after a pregnancy and I must incorporate more of in my routine.

2) After my last post about my crazy day, I realized that the food choices may be misleading. Because I balance out days like that with days like yesterday. My last post was about me squeezing in every minute on the treadmill that I could and putting my kids and errands first at the expense of not feeding myself properly. That is fine, somedays. But you must balance that out with a day like yesterday:

Breakfast: turkey sausage and corn flakes
Trainer
Lunch: popcorn on our living room picnic, 3 meatball roll up on a corn tortilla with a slice of cheese and a coke
snack: zone bar
Dinner: Filet, broccoli, little potato, gf Chocolate Thunder from Down Under (split 3 ways)

I also choose to play with my son and his new toys and send my husband for the cake instead of sneaking in 20 mins at the gym while picking up the cake myself. Balance.

Then you have to realize you had Chocolate Thunder from Down Under last night and you have to balance that with passing up on cake today. Just because it's a party (vacation, holiday, bad hair day, whatever) doesn't mean you lose sight of your goal. Pick your battles, pick your treats.

3) Need to balance out all this cardio and weights now with a little yoga. This is always the last installment of my weight loss journey. It's probably the most important but always the last to join the program. Skipping warm ups and cool downs makes for one tight ball of twine of a body. I love yoga, I love the way it feels afterwards, and I love it makes me feel more balanced in my life. Time to do it.

4) Have fun. Throw a 3 year old birthday party at the pool. Balance the urge to super organize, over decorate, over feed, over think and realize that all a 3 year old needs is a Lightning McQueen (or fill in the disney character du jour here) cake. Okay, I still had the food, drinks, and gift baggies but given my learned trait to over entertain, I showed some restraint. And it was fabulous. It was relaxing, low key, fun.

Most importantly, I got to take off my cover up off, be proud of my body and relax because I felt I had worked so hard to earn that right. I may not be rocking that hot bikini bod yet, but I certainly earned the right to walk tall and not care about those last 9 lbs.



Balance. This week I did a little for me, a lot for the kids, a little for me again, ate a lot good, some bad and oh yeah, is there still time to fit spending time with my husband in there? Thank goodness the weekend is not over yet...

Friday, July 30, 2010

!!!

I hit the 120's!!!
129.9 to be exact. But that 2 is there!!!
time for a picture.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just Another Day

.......Maybe I cried because I was so uncoordinated while attempting a clean and press with my trainer. (Yes, I said clean and press. Told you I was not messing around).

But after a day like today I have to realize that I am trying, after a day like today, I am trying.

(5am, plan on going to the gym but husband claims I can go before he goes to work)
6:05 am: eyes pop open, go downstairs to make bottle
6:15 am: baby wakes, feed, giggle with, burp, do laundry, put clothes on
7:15 am: put baby back down
3 seconds later: 3 year old wakes, make bfast, get clothes out, give kisses, eat zone bar
7:45 am: finally head to gym. now only have 20 mins at gym before rushing home so husband can go to work

TM workout: 3 min warm up
1 min 6.5mph @ 0% incline
1 min 6.5 mph @ 9.0% incline
1 min 7.5 mph@ 0% incline

8:15-9 am: organize party supplies for 3 year old bday party this weekend, pick up house, pack up food, bathing suits, pj's, towels, pool toys, goodie bag to keep 3 yr old occupied at MD's office.
9:30 am: feed, clean, change, pack up 2 kids
10:00 am: MD office, shots for one, rash for another
10:30 am: want to stop for fast food to bring to pool, instead, go to sandwich shop, get chicken salad, ham and cheese for 3 year old.
11:00 am: have a fantastic time at the pool with kids: chicken salad, 1/2 coke, couple chips, throw the rest away because it's time to get in the pool!
1:00 pm: get both kids in bed. ahhhh..... am so hungry and tired, walk into kitchen. Walk out after a protein shake with water and bite of apple.
2:00-4:00pm: hold baby girl during her nap since she is having a hard time after shots
4:00pm: feed baby girl, get snack ready for awake 3 year old, play with both, zone bar, 1/2 coke
5:35 pm: husband walks in, I walk out. need to pick up cookie cake but really wanted to get back to gym for 20 more minutes. I can either 1) be late to a hair appt (not an option, I hate being late, even with 2 kids, I try to never be late) 2) not go to gym 3) not pick up cookie cake.
5:38 pm: walk in gym

TM workout #2:
5 mins @ 6.5 mph
5 mins @ 7.0 mph
5 mins @ 7.5 mph
5 mins @ 8.0 mph hit stop button. run out of gym.

5:59 pm: run up to get cookie cake (gym is in the mall!), notice the gf cookie!! I want one! I ask for one. Then the guy is so slow to get my cookie cake, I say forget it. No gf cookie today.

6:15 pm: made it to hair appt right on time, to the minute.
8:00pm: pick up 1/2 sandwich on gf bread from Jason's Deli! Turkey, tom/let/cheddar cheese. pickle, couple chips. stop and pick up balloons.
9:00 pm: set up for Blake's bday tomorrow.
9:45 pm: ahhhhhh shower. finally.

I may not be able to clean and press right now, but I do feel like a superwoman today.



Monday, July 26, 2010

That Didn't Last Long

I changed the plan.

As committed to my goal as I am, I am also committed to being a mom. There is such a fine line between doing for ourselves to make us better, happier people and giving up time with your kids. For each person, this is different.

How much time are you willing to keep that kid in a jog stroller? How much time can you handle leaving them in the gym nursery? How many times a week do you want to bring them to the gym? How much time away are you willing to spend?

For each person this is different. Did I mention that yet? And we are not to judge anyone for whatever their answers may be.

For me, committing my kids to one hour in the gym nursery 3x/week was too much. Having a trainer on Fridays so I could take Fast Twitch T/Th meant I would have to do that. Now, I'll bring them for my 20 min cardio without an ounce of guilt. But being committed to being gone for one hour that often, I'm not ready.

I am with my kids most every minute of every day except for M/W mornings. Friday is reserved for playgroups and outings. I decided I was not willing to interrupt that fun, unstructured time together with my children. So here is the new plan:

M: trainer
T: cardio
W: trainer
Th: cardio
F: cardio
S: Full body fast twitch
Sun: cardio

I will give up my beloved Fast Twitch classes during the week. Until my son goes to school in the fall, this makes me comfortable. Do what you need to do to get your workouts in, but don't do it at the expense of precious time or mommy guilt.

I cried in the locker room this morning after my trainer. I'm not really sure why. The workouts are so hard, I am trying to be so tough but it is taking every bit of strength out of me. Mentally and physically. I may have cried because I was so proud of myself. Or I may have cried because no matter how hard I work I still won't look like most of the girls in there with these hips of mine. (I know I promised I wouldn't say that but come on, we all have our moments).

Maybe I cried because I realized that starting to take more than 20 mins/day really does make you feel guilty. But I am pretty sure I cried because I am so proud of myself for pushing my body even harder as soon as things get easy. Yeah, I hope that was it....

Speaking of getting easy.....did I mention I am sleeping? And with sleep comes the craving for fresh, healthy, homemade foods. I went to the grocery store. I started thinking twice about what I put in the cart. I pulled out the cookbooks!

I love the Canyon Ranch cookbooks and The Food You Crave
The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life

These are normal foods, healthy and clean, can be modified to be gluten free very easily and it's all real food! I will never ever not in a million years put fake food in my house again.
Real foods = real satiety.

Low fat, no fat, low carb, diet. All foods made in a laboratory. All foods that keep you fat. I promise.

It's still a challenge to find the time to cook so I plan out my meals all week. Well, 2 meals. It's a start.

Up this week:
Beef Tenderloin with chocolate sauce/green beans and mushrooms
Shrimp Bake with feta cheese
Spaghetti and Meatballs (out of the children's cookbook so my son and I can make together)

I don't plan on taking pictures of food but if they turn out especially pretty I just might.

Remember-always have a plan, always have a backup plan, always be willing to change the plan depending on what you are comfortable with. Good luck with your plan!


Edited to add: The hip thing is what it is. I haven't thought about my body shape since I came to terms with the fact that liposuction is not an option for me. But when you have to explain to your trainer why you cannot do hammer curls with proper form because your hips get in the way....well, just brings them to full attention.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stay with Me Now....

WEIGHT: 131 LBS!
LBS LOST SO FAR: 55
baby is 5 months old
LBS TO GO: 11!!

I know there is at least one of you out there reading. My dear friend and fellow blogger Heather. Thanks Heather for the kind words and 'referral'! Heather (The Long and Winding Road) has an amazing story to share. Her story takes her all the way from overweight and starting down the road towards diabetes, heart disease and other ailments...but instead she steered in the other direction and competed in a figure competition. Now, she is finding the balance between the two to live her best life. An intriguing and inspiring story that is worth checking out for the before and after pictures alone!

So someone is with me. And I hope you stay. Because I am afraid here is where I may lose people.

My focus has always been to show that anyone can lose weight and change their lifestyle. It doesn't require a miracle pill, liposuction, or a privileged life. Basically a good jog stroller and voila. No excuses.

After my last pregnancy I lost 75 lbs without a trainer, meal delivery system or extra nanny hours. It can be done. And it took me about 9 months.

This time, I knew the stages to go through, the progression that would be made and what to expect. So I prepared. By saving my pennies during the pregnancy and not buying clothing (I hate spending money on maternity clothes!) massages, going on trips or out to dinner. I knew where I wanted to spend my money this time.

This week, I am using those pennies. Here is where I hope I don't lose people. I never want someone to say "Oh, you could do it because you hired a trainer and someone else to make your meals." "I can't afford that." Well, I just lost 55 lbs without any of those things. 20 minutes a day. You CAN afford that.

Stage 4 (?) is on. I am so comfortable at this weight. But comfortable isn't the goal now is it? I said I would take it to the next level and it's time. Stages 1-3, anyone can and should do. Move more, eat less. I could continue along this path and lose the last 10 pounds over time and look fine. But fine isn't the goal now is it?

It's time.

I don't think it's realistic to ask you to work out hard, make healthy meals, have the fridge stocked and take care of yourself on no sleep. Sleep deprivation is the number one hinderance to a healthy lifestyle. When you are not sleeping, you do what you have to do to survive. For me that meant a food delivery system for quick easy meals. Like a prepackaged frozen meal except for me that isn't an option because it has to be gluten free. I never did eat the meals as intended, I used them as an emergency meal when the threat of not eating was present. It also meant lots of cardio because cardio is mindless and easy.

But I am sleeping now. Oh, am I sleeping. Sleep, glorious sleep.

So now it's time.

I cooked (see the next post).

I met with a trainer. Hardest thing ever. (only because the memory of running my first minute after the baby is diminished...) I am lifting hard and heavy with no whining. I want to cry. I want to stop. I want to beg for a magic pill. This is the stage where I may lose the rest of you. I want to show you girls that lifting is not just for boys.

The intensity of workouts has just bypassed normal people/normal bodies. Cardio, a little lifting and a couple grilled chicken salads is great and healthy and man, do I wish most people in my life would do it. But I'd like to not be normal. I want people to say "wow, you really do put flaxseed in your cereal?"

New workouts=need a new plan. I can't just get out and run everyday now. I must rest and let my body repair. I learned this the hard way this week. By thursday my body hurt, ached and I was worthless with my trainer. so....here's stage 4 (or 5, or whatever we are on....)

MONDAY: Upper body with trainer
TUESDAY: Lower body fast twitch
WEDNESDAY: Cardio/yoga
THURSDAY: Upper body fast twitch
FRIDAY: Lower body with trainer
SATURDAY: Cardio (running outside or full body fast twitch)
SUNDAY: Cardio
Rest days occur when my body tells me.

and we all know my kids are laughing at the plan....

So stay with me, if anyone is in fact there at all. This is where it gets good. This is where we start realizing what our bodies are capable of. And read the next post...this is where we realize that the food we use to fuel it really does matter. Stay with me, because we are about to enter "Your Best Life".