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

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


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.


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... 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


5 months later......


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


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


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. 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 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
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 weigh feel begin to notice how bad foods make you feel crappy and make you want to move want to feel good 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


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 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.