Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reflections and Realizations

The tone of my blog feels (to me) pretty positive. I tend to write a big picture recap and since my posts are mainly focused on weight loss, it's been going in the right direction.


But I need to reflect on the past 4 months. Make no mistake, this was the hardest thing I have done in my entire life. By 'this', I mean trying to be a functioning member of society while bringing home a new baby while trying to find my best self again while having very little help. I do admit to the help I have, 11 hours/week, but up until last month, I was present while I had that help.

Looking back, I cannot believe what I did. As mothers we all do it (most of us) yet we still feel very alone. I can count how many times I had a hotel room booked to leave for the night (I never did): 2. I can count how many times I have broken down and cried in a locked bathroom: 4. I cannot count how many times I have threatened divorce to my husband.

Yet, we survived. And here we are on the other side. I have 2 beautiful babies that make my heart ache every time I look at them. I have a marriage that is stronger than ever. I am thanking God every day for the family and gifts that have been blessed upon me.

This was quite a different picture than that of the past 4 months.

So was worth every minute. I have babies that nap great and sleep all night. I am at a place physically where I feel strong and confident and not afraid to wear a tank top. My husband and I laugh again.

1) I do have knuckles, ankles and collarbones after all.

2) It's time for a trainer. What lots of cardio does is make you a smaller version of yourself. Doesn't do much to make you rock that bathing suit. I love my cardio, it got me this far, but now it's time to bring it home.

3) It's time I bought some shorts. When I reach my goal weight of 120 and do my wardrobe makeover, I hope to get some new workout clothes. If you like the way you look when you workout, you are more likely to work out harder. Until then...I will go with my old friends. I went shopping and finally got some clothes that would probably last me years.
3 tank tops (L) from Old Navy: $8 each
2 pair of black Soffee shorts (XL,L): $7.99 each
1 package of socks: $15
And that will hold me over for quite a while. Why I didn't buy a sports bra so I can stop doing laundry every day? Who knows.

4) It's our own fault. Try this experiment: give 10 women a compliment. A real compliment, not something insincere. Make it about their weight or looks. Pay close attention to how they respond. I am willing to bet more often than not, they respond with a negative.

I am going to quit blaming the "media" for women's poor body image issues and start looking at how everyday people speak in front of each other and young girls. No less than 5 times this week have I given a compliment only to hear:

"oh no I don't look good, I want to lose at least 15 more pounds"
"but look at this belly pooch"
"no way, these pants are so tight"
"I have to work off that cookie I ate"
"I didn't eat sugar for weeks and did so well until last night, ugh!"

Instead of blaming the media for images of skinny women, let's listen to ourselves and start taking responsibility for the example we are setting.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Running on Full

It took me until my 6th marathon to consider myself a runner. It was my favorite race, The Marine Corps Marathon in DC, and I ran it in 3:47 (PR). I felt good the entire way and I had a great time running the race. I then felt I deserved to be called a runner.

That was the weekend I got pregnant with my first child. I really don't know that I have considered myself a runner again since then.

I love races. I love the thought of my children cheering me on. I love the sense of accomplishment after a race. That is why I ran my favorite half marathon, The Atlanta Thanksgiving Day 1/2 Marathon, 4 months after my son was born.

That is why I signed up to run The Peachtree Road Race 10K on July 4th (in 7 days!). And that is why I had to go out and run today to see if I could even run for more than 3 miles, something I had not done since my daughter was born.

I have received numerous kind and generous compliments this week. To each I replied "thank you, I have been working very very hard". I leave it at that but the meaning behind my response is probably not what people are thinking. I wonder if people assume I am working out hours a day and starving myself eating only chicken and vegetables.

When I reply I am working very hard, it means I am making the most of my workouts in what limited time there is, working really hard to not skip breakfast, and fitting in my workouts no matter what the day brings. Here's a recap...

Sat: Full body fast twitch class (left early to go see the Gecko exhibit at the museum)
Mon: 18 mins TM run (had to leave early to take son to camp)
Tues: 2.5 mile run with jog stroller at 11 am, 85 degrees (didn't want to leave baby girl in nursery after already signing up for class)
Wed: 20 min TM run (after going to the grocery store, had to leave to take son to camp)
Thurs: 2.5 mile run with jog stroller at 11 am, 85 degrees (still didn't want to leave baby in nursery)
Fri: 20 min TM run after hubby got home from work (kept son home from camp, was sick)
Sat: Full body fast twitch class (left early to meet family at the pediatrician for sick son)

There was no weight training during the week because I couldn't make it to the gym without my kids for longer than 20 mins, they or someone else was sick in the nursery. Every night my back was killing me because I didn't even have 5 mins extra to do my abs or a stretch.

But that's not the point. The point is not to complain about how little time I had, the point is to say that "thanks, I have been working very hard" by fitting in what I could and making the most out of my workouts. By showing you can workout even when your kids are attached at the hip.

Here's a picture to prove it. Me and all my glory (a front shot of those birthin' hips) after a run around the park. 85 degree Atlanta humidity weather. Think it's time for me to trade in my black yoga pants (that are pulled up because I was dripping wet)?

This morning I finally got to go for a run without time constraints or children in tow. For the first time all week both kids slept through the night (one was sick, one decided she was ready for some rice cereal). I got to run at a decent hour (8 am) and it was a beautiful morning.

5 miles. I ran 5 miles. It was slow, steady, hot and hard. But I felt strong and encouraged that I may be able to run/walk this race.

So maybe I am a runner again. Maybe I am returning to that person I once was. Maybe it's time I bought myself some shorts....

Product Update:
Withings Scale: I'm not a fan of gadgets. I don't even wear a watch when I run. I think the more technology you are worried about the less you are worried about what your body is doing. I got this scale because I thought it would be cool to keep track via graphs and updates that would be visible on the blog. If you look at the stat page you will see this:
But then they also have a website you log onto and you can see it in graph form:

It's actually pretty cool. It is showing after the initial drastic weight loss, I am doing exactly what they say you should, 1-2 lbs/week. I am comfortable with that progress considering if I lost it much faster I would probably gain it back even faster than that. I needed a new scale, and I am pretty pleased with this one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Plan B (again)

WEIGHT: 135 (.7)

Today was one of those days that reaffirms my dedication as a mother and as someone who loves fitness.

1) Rush to the gym to make the 10:00 Fast Twitch class. The class that I never miss, the class that I plan on all week and is the only weight training I am getting right now. As I finish feeding Aubrey her bottle in the gym nursery minutes before class is about to begin, I overhear a mother telling the angel of a caregiver that after many diagnoses, they finally figured out her son had staph. "He's fine now...".

I know staph is on every surface of that gym. I know staph is probably on my skin right now. I know that child probably was fine by the time the mom brought him back to the gym. I know that my 4 month old will probably get so sick from my 2 year old and there is nothing I can do about it.

But to witness this child scratch his leg, then touch a toy, I just couldn't do it. The momma gene went off and I just couldn't know what I knew, see what I saw and leave her there. So I packed up and left.....

2) go run at 11:00 am, 85 degrees, in my pants and husband's tshirt, with Aubrey (not fond of running too much with her yet), and in the blazing sun. This completely changed my plans for the day because now I had to go change my pants since the poise pad did not do it's job and I had wet down to my knees. The joys of post pregnancy bodies.

I realized today I am still a momma first. I can and will change plans when, in my mind, it's in the best interest of my children. As disappointed as I was to miss that class, the momma voice spoke louder than the wanting to be skinny voice.

In addition, I realized that there is no room for excuses. I could find 89 excuses a day to not work out. If you just stop making excuses, you'll see you can always fit it in.

I also realized that I must really love working out. I have never been able to care so much about my body image that I do very unsafe or extreme things. I love my body right now and don't have enough drive to be skinny to run in the heat like I did today. I did not run today because I thought I needed to continue losing weight or keep on track. Because honestly, I like where I am. I realized I ran today because I love to run and exercise. I love for it to be part of my day. I love the sweat and the energetic feeling afterward. If my motivation was purely to lose weight I would've just stayed home.

It worked out, I actually had a good run, Aubrey slept the entire time, and I took a shower. Something I apparently don't do enough because everyone who saw me afterwards was shocked to see my hair down and in real clothes.

Speaking of 'real clothes'. Finally got up the courage to try pants on. After a baby this is especially hard because the scale may say one thing, but the body says another. Hips, ribs and belly are all spread out a little further than they used to be at this same weight. So you see the scale, think "oh, I wore these pants before when I was this weight", try them on and can't understand why they don't fit over your knee.

Size 10 petite at 135 (.7) lbs. But at least I got them over my knees this time.....

Thursday, June 17, 2010


14 weeks

So much has occurred since the last post but I have not written because I am actually reading a book! A big one! More on that later but I have chosen reading over writing during my free time lately.

It's time, however, to get my bearings again by posting. Life has once again taken a turn (for the better) and it's time to re-evaluate.

This week has been all about temptation. On some occasions I have given in, on others I have resisted. Temptation is at every turn. I am hoping by writing again about the big picture I will resist a little more than give in to.

I had my 3 month followup visit for my OB. My weight (on their scale with clothes) was 142. Follow along now..... Technically I was 144 at my first OB visit at 8 weeks. My goal is 120 because that is the weight I maintained after my first child. I gained about 15 pounds trying to get pregnant with number 2, and gained another 5 in the first 2 months. So... although my goal is 120, it rang loud and clear that I had lost all my pregnancy weight!! (technically).

TEMPTATION: Feeling so good I was tempted to get another piece of GF lemon icebox cake that is only available in limited quantities. As soon as I had in my head I had lost all my pregnancy weight I decided I could use a piece. Instead of eating the entire piece like I had not too long ago, this time I did it right, I took a couple bites and threw away the rest. Temptation averted. (kindof)

TEMPTATION: There is a brilliantly marketed diet pill on the market. It is just the newest thing but the way that's it's marketed, you really believe EVERYONE is taking it. In fact, lot of people I know are taking it. I have a little bag of 'testers' in my night stand right now given to me by a friend. I know I am overanalyzing and over thinking this, but this presents a problem for me.

Of course I am tempted. And I really don't think it's that big of a deal, I have taken things before I had children and don't judge those who do. But after children this presents a dilemma for me.

First of all is the safety aspect. Lots of people thought Ephedra was fine for a while. Do I want my children having to say their mother had a stroke because of diet pills?

Really though, the problem lies within raising a daughter (and son, but especially a daughter). My daughter is 3 months old. She will never know I took diet pills. But in my mind, my job as a mother is to set a good example of a healthy lifestyle. If I can't do it without diet pills, what is that teaching my children? The thought of my daughter ever taking a pill to be 'healthy' or to get to a desired weight or even just to learn how to eat better is heartbreaking.

The thought of my daughter ever feeling the pressure to fit into a certain size jean or compete with the bodies of her friends is even more heartbreaking.

I am not almighty judgement and better than thou. In fact, next week I may change my mind and be taking them. I promise to own up to it if I do. But for this moment in time, I have to keep plugging along because if I don't learn how to do this without pills, how will I ever teach my children how to? Temptation averted. (for now)

TEMPTATION: Margaritas and Mexican. Our fun family night out. Instead of our usual, we opted for a fresher way to do our ritual this week. We went to a restaurant that serves homemade, organic margaritas that you can get without the sour mix and specialty tacos with fresh ingredients. Skip the chips and cheese dip and we had a lovely time without all the grease and fat and guilt! Temptation averted.

TEMPTATION: A book!! A couple blissful weeks got me feeling a little confident. A recent trip to the bookstore and I picked up a paperback I have heard about. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Weighing in at over 600 pages this was quite a goal. I have People magazines from 3 weeks ago I haven't flipped through yet I see my lifestyle getting back to normal and I think I can read a book. It is a great book. I am so tempted to read it every moment I can. After a week I am halfway through and I have realized how relaxing reading can be. Temptation happily given into!

My workouts have become very strong and might I say....kick ass.

Current cardio workouts:
1) run around Chastain Park with double jogger
2) my 21 minute intervals on tm (1 min@6.5, 1 min@7.0, 1 min@8.0)
3) 20 mins with increasing speed every 5 minutes (6.0-7.5)

Fast Twitch class Tues/Thurs/Sat.

I need to get back into the weight room for back issues but still cannot commit to a trainer and specific appt. times. That will be next though.

Although I have my meal delivery program, I don't follow it at all. I am still using them as quick, readily available meals. I would like to devote this week to following them specifically. I cannot continue to lose weight if I do not continue to change my diet slowly.

Just a final note...I don't watch Oprah, at 4 pm everyone wakes up from their naps and it's go time. For some reason the other day the tv was on the station and as I was feeding baby girl I heard 30 seconds of the show. Literally, just this 30 seconds. It was someone giving financial advice but these words (as I paraphrase) caught my attention: We have enough women in this world that are defined by the shoes they wear and the things they have. There are enough women who look to men to make them whole. Let's not teach any more women to behave like this.

I will save this for another post. But the words were so striking to me as I held my daughter in my hands. I never want anyone to misinterpret this blog as I need to lose weight, have nice shoes and get my teeth done to be a whole, complete women. Or even worse, that I need those things to be attractive to my spouse or friends.

This blog is about being strong and powerful and learning how to take care of myself while enveloped in a world of motherhood that can make us forget how to be those things.

Again...that's for another post, right now I'm off to read.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This week has been a week of breakthroughs.

After working my butt off learning baby girl's schedule last week, we are finally getting to enjoy it. She is happy, talking, eating, sleeping, and sleeping. Did I mention sleeping? Once we got her to sleep most of the night last week, she decided to revert back one night and wake at 2 am. I decided I had had enough. For the past 14 weeks I have tried not to let her cry at all for fear of waking my son (and husband). I finally decided to do the dreaded "cry it out". I never had to do this with my son because he was able to establish great sleeping habits by 6 weeks.

With much anticipation, I warned my family it was going to be a long night. I told everyone to be ready for crying and I promised it would be worth it. So....3:30 am rolls around. I hear her stirring. I go in, give the pacifier and walk out vowing to not go back in. Like always, pacifier falls out and she starts to fuss....then we go...2 minutes later she was asleep. Blake never woke up, neither did my husband. I was back asleep until 6:30 am.

Why did I not do this weeks ago? Sigh...

So after really having full night's sleep. I'm talking 9-6:30 am, I have had a fitness breakthrough.

The past 14 weeks:

My workouts were driven by the need for Red Bull. Meaning, I would drink one then do 20 minutes of exercise to justify drinking it.

My workouts were driven by the need for sanity. Meaning, I would look at those moments away from my children alone as "my time". Listening to music, clearing my head.

My workouts were driven by the need to remember that my body used to be able to do these things. I missed running and lifting so much. After 9 months you forget your body used to be capable of such things.

Last week I began really feeling my workouts. I noticed I was putting in effort, keeping my abs tight during lifting, not taking as many breaks on the tm, pushing myself a little harder. Last week was a breakthrough of sorts. I was now working out to lose weight. Not just to move for the sake of moving. I was working to look better. Not just to be proud of being there in the first place.

It feels great.

To pay attention to your body, what it's capable of and appreciate that you can work hard again.

I have now been taking my class for about 3 weeks. I wish I had taken measurements prior to starting. Who had the time though? Although my weight is the same, I feel really strong and tight. Don't get me wrong, I will not make the excuse that 'muscle weighs more than fat'. (by the way really? A pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat?). The scale is still a good indication of weight loss and I need to pay attention to that first. But since we have had this breakthrough week I now have 2 sleeping kids at the same time and can take measurements. The other good indicator of weight loss.

Measurements 6/10/10:
Biceps: 11.5 in
Abs at belly button: 34 in
Hips: 38 in
Butt: 39.5
Thigh: 23 in
Calf: 14 in

Hard to swallow those numbers. Still feeling like I look better than those numbers would indicate. That's what a breakthrough week is all about. It's about re-evaluating, refining focus, and remembering the goal.

Now that we have had a breakthrough week, the goal is to step up the intensity, fine tune the diet and appreciate how strong I have been feeling.

What's your goal?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dancing Shoes

What a wonderful, perfect weekend. With a perfect weekend, comes a wonderful, perfect way to start the week. Such a contrast to last weekend and last week. This weekend we relaxed, had no where to be and nothing to do.

I know people have their thoughts about scheduling children. A lot of people think children are made to fit into the schedule the parents put them on. It is in fact quite the opposite. I am a slave to my children's schedule and I like it that way. I was able to let my children follow the nap times, feeding times and playtimes that works best for them. This in turn makes for very happy babies that eat and sleep well and are nothing but a joy to be around.

We were still able to go to the gym, walks, the pool and tons of outside time, but all around when it was the best times for them. Since we had such a nice relaxing weekend, I woke this morning with a renewed energy and focus on my weight loss goals. Last week was all about surviving and not gaining weight. This week is all about getting back to that focus of the last 20 lbs.

Yes, still 20 lbs. Despite my being 4 lbs away from my 135 lb goal, I decided to jump the gun on one of my rewards. Since Canyon Ranch is still a long ways away until baby girl sleeps through the night without a doubt, I put my focus on the shoes. The unbelievably indulgent, ridiculous and impractical shoes. I do laundry every day so I can wear the same sports bra and workout pants daily. I don't want to spend $30 on a new sports bra.

Yet, I will spend money on a pair of heels that I will probably wear once a month. Call me crazy. But I bought them. I bought them early because we had a wedding and it was the last of the social events for the summer that I knew I would wear them. A point my husband suggested I really didn't need them in the first place. But he is learning sometimes it's not about being sensible.

I put the shoes on (with the same green dress I always wear) and it was like Dorthy and the Ruby Slippers. I clicked my heels and all of a sudden my hair was not in a pony tail. My workout pants were gone and the circles under my eyes disappeared. (Okay, maybe not, there is not enough concealer in the world for that to happen). For a night, I was not mommy with spit up on me. I was the woman my husband married. The one who can complete a sentence. The one that cared if she had something in her teeth. The one that smiled. Remember her?

The shoes were worth it.

So after a wonderful weekend I woke this morning at 4 am with baby. After feeding and putting her back down I went to the gym. By the time I came home, showered, got both kids dressed and fed, made the beds and picked up the's 8am. What a wonderful way to start a week.

AM: TM speed workout
1 minute intervals x3 with increasing intensity x 7 @ 6.0/6.5/7.0 mph

PM: run around park with double stroller (felt so good today went again for some fresh air!). Took my time, threw rocks and raced the little man.

Ab workout:
dead bug on round side of bosu
rope climb on round side of bosu
push ups on flat side of bosu
knee jabs on flat side of bosu
roll outs with ab wheel (only 10)
lower ab raises (only 10)

Still not a crunch.

I have a break with my meals since I did not reorder in time so breakfast today was:

Egg whites with cheese/turkey sausage (bites of hash brown casserole from last night)
Plan: zone bar
chicken salad/coke
zone bar
turkey breast/veggies/potato

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

Every day for the past week I have wanted to write. My meals were delivered, we had a holiday weekend where I maintained my weight, we had more going on socially than we had in months, I went shopping and I am being consistent with my fast twitch classes. With all of these moments I have had a lesson learned or milestone met.

But I couldn't write, because the reason why I am learning all these lessons and meeting all these milestones got in the way. My kids. I am not a big believer in always putting your kids first at the expense of your mental and physical health, or at the expense of a happy marriage. With a newborn, it happens. This week it happened day,night,day,night and is it day or night?

At 3 months the world expects you to join it again. Or maybe that's just the pressure we put on ourselves. I got a little confident and had a weekend filled with dinners with friends, a date with the husband (finally!) and family visits. What that left me with on Tuesday was a baby that reverted back to waking at 2 am every night, a 2 year old that started acting like a 2 year old and sleep deprivation that brought me to tears. More than once.

Still, there are some positive notes that I want to reflect upon. My meals were a great idea! I may still stand and eat while bouncing between 2 children, but at least I get a meal. This has done wonders for my energy levels during my workouts. I always know they are available so I don't just eat crap. Well, not always....

I also went shopping and got a few staples. A couple white shirts, a couple cute scarves and a cardigan from Banana Republic. I put them in my closet together so all I have to do is grab the 3 hangers and have an outfit in seconds. It's all very simple and can go from dinner to the playground, but putting real clothes on makes you feel better. Even if they are covered in spit up.

A holiday weekend came and went and I stayed at the same weight. Many times during the weight loss process losing weight is not the goal. Not gaining weight is. I ate my meals when I needed them, but ate lots of homemade food when it was made for me. I am not turning away burgers with friends and my mom's party potatoes. I ate them all within reason, enjoyed my social activities and didn't gain a pound.

Until maybe tonight.

Sleep deprivation makes you crave carbs. I am beyond sleep deprived. I am to the point where I am scared to go to sleep because I know I am going to wake 5 minutes later. There is nothing more I have been wanting than a big slice of cake. I am smart enough to recognize that that piece of cake may provide some short term pleasure but long term pain. With Celiac Disease my choices are so limited. I either have to make something myself or eat what resembles cardboard. After 5 days I have managed to not just eat crap just to eat it. Most of the treats I could have are not worth it and I am too tired to really care.

Until tonight. A momma friend was out to dinner and saw a piece of gluten free lemon icebox cake. She dropped off a piece. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Layers of lemony, moist cake with the fluffiest cream cheese frosting. If anyone has CD, you can appreciate the beauty of normal looking piece of cake that we can eat. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever eaten. There was no way I was passing up such a rare opportunity. There was no way I was going to obey my rules and just eat half of it. I ate it all with such joy and happiness. And with each bite I remembered that I have people in my life who love me enough to bring me a piece of cake, just because.

If it takes a piece of cake to bring me joy, happiness and a short term burst of energy right now, I'll take it.

Workouts Now:
Mon/Wed/Fri: Outdoor run or TM speed workout
Tues/Thurs/Sat: Fast Twitch class

Typical Diet:
Breakfast: omelet with potatoes, zone bar or turkey sausage
Snack: protein shake with milk or chocolate truffles
Lunch: Turkey sandwich or chicken with quinoa and veggies
Snack: zone bar, apple, shake, cheese stick and nuts
Dinner: Chicken, potato, veggie or chicken salad