Thursday, June 30, 2011

5K Complete!

Yesterday I slept-in intentionally, in order to be rested up for my 5K after work, and my day started in higher-than-usual spirits.  I had a great day at work until about 2:00 in the afternoon, when I learned that my younger son will be kicked out of summer camp at the end of the week, due to "bad" behavior.  My mood really sank then.  I began feeling sorry for myself, feeling like I am not a strong enough person to handle being the mother of two special needs kids, wishing just for one day to be able to leave them in someone elses care and not have to worry that the phone call will come where the caretaker says, I can't handle them.  As I was wishing for "normal" kids, I thought about them, and what they are going to have to face their whole lives, people treating them as if they are wrong for being who they are.  And now, we are faced with having to quickly find an alternative, which will only raise my stress level in the following week or so that we have care arranged.  Needless to say, I had some rough moments yesterday, and my mind was definitely not where it should be for running, but when I told my husband that I was thinking of not doing it, he said, "F*#! everything else, do it!"  So I did.
The 5K was along the beautiful Fox River Trail, just a few feet from the river.  It is a nice paved path with a beautiful view.  Even as I started running, my mind was still not in the right place, and I seemed to notice every single step, feeling challenged straight out of the gate.  For a while, I was happy for the distraction, for having something else to focus on, my tired legs, my ever-tightening hamstrings, the furnace that was building in my shoes.  I kept looking for the halfway point, and it seemed to never come.  Then, finally the halfway, a quick drink of ice-cold water and back on the trail.  As soon as I turned around to begin my last half, my hamstrings tightened to a level I have never felt them, but it was followed shortly after with a slight rush of endorphins.  I wanted to stop so many times, but then I would think, the finish line is right beyond this next turn, and I kept going.  Plus, I told my self that this is likely the only time I will ever do this, so I needed to know if I could do it, and I would never find out if I quit.  So, I decided that no matter how slow I had to go, I was going to finish this thing running.  At the end, I could see my husband and kids waiting for me, and it all came together in one moment, I waved at my adorable kids and said, "Yes!" as I crossed the finish line.  I didn't break any speed records, finishing in 46:46, but I did what I set out to do, despite everything else, and that was truly a priceless feeling.  And, it is symbolic of my journey in general.  I know if I keep pushing, I can and will get where I want to be, it is just a matter of time.  I am okay with my pace being slow because I know the race is not for the swift but for the sure and steady.  I ran a 5K.  It isn't front page news, but for me, in my life, it is something I will never forget!
Here's to reaching goals!  Happy day to all my awesome readers!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Long Time Coming

This was one of those all-too-familiar mornings where I woke up feeling like I wanted nothing more than to climb back into bed and skip my workout.  But since I was the one who made the decision to stay up late last night, I didn't let myself off the hook.  Once I got a little caffeine in my system and strapped on my shoes, I was good to go.  I have been doing really well of keeping up with my goal of drinking at least a gallon of water a day, and find that I usually exceed it without even trying, so I should be good and hydrated for my run tomorrow night.
The scale dipped down to 152 yesterday, and has settled in at 153 today, which has me happy, since I had been stuck at 155 for quite some time.  Once my weight holds at 152 (a 40 pound loss) I will post some more progress pictures.
Last week I had some blood work done, and was really happy to find that all my numbers are looking good, even after taking myself off the cholesterol medicine about a month and a half ago.  That is a huge victory, especially since the FDA just sent out a recall warning that the drug I was on causes muscle wasting at higher doses.  My goal has always been to get off all medications, and since I have lost all this weight, I am certain I can.  The only one I still take is for blood pressure, and whenever I take it, my numbers are at the low end of normal, bordering on too low, so it is only a matter of time.
The past couple days, I have been really aware of my body, and how much I have lost.  I am in the rare and wonderful window of being able to see exactly where I have come from and also where I am going.  Every week I see more muscle development and less ugly stuff, I can see parts of myself starting to look "normal", which is something I have never been able to call myself.  In my lifetime I went from being a very skinny, underweight kid (my mother's nickname for me was "baggers" because everything was so baggy on me) to fat by the age of eight.  I never felt normal, and I desperately wanted to be like everyone else.  I didn't want to be the one who started dieting at the age of thirteen, and never stopped thinking about it and trying to lose weight or worse, letting my size totally dictate how much joy I was getting out of life.  I have been ultra sensitive and aware of how my body made me different from everyone else, and how no one who was "normal" could understand what I was going through.  I was sure that people were looking in my shopping cart at the grocery store and looking at me and thinking, just stop eating junk, just workout.  I remember many times, becoming vaulnerable to my husband and crying on his shoulder that I couldn't let go of the things that comforted me, I didn't have the willpower, certain that I would always fail, always be a disappointment to both of us.  So to say that I am starting to see signs of normalcy is more than just a passing statement, it has so much pride and joy attached; it has been a long time coming.  When I began this journey, and many times along the way, I have focused on how good I would look once I reached my goal, but the side effect of losing weight the right way, the pride and all the "Yes! " moments, are the real reward.  And nowadays, I invite anyone to go ahead and look in my shopping cart,and I don't even care if people are passing judgements about me, because I am on my way to the top!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Slow Down

Getting back into the swing of things has multiple benefits, my favorite of which is extremely deep and restful sleep, the kind where you wake up stiff from not turning enough.  This morning, the awesome-sleep-stiffness was accompanied by some still-sore muscles from my new strength plan, which makes me happy to see that it is an effective workout.  In the past, that combination of truths would have been enough to make me justify no working out.  Today, though, after about ten solid days of rain, it is finally a beautiful, sunny morning.  Even the birds are tickled pink.  I creeped outside while my family was still sleeping, and got in a good session of cardio.  My back and hip were still stiff and felt like they needed to pop, but did I turn around? No sir.  I just adjusted my pace to do a longer interval of lower intensity.  And while I was doing it, I realized how hard it is for me to walk at an easy pace while doing cardio, which is the intensity that burns the most fat.  Mentally, it is hard to retrain myself that I need to walk slower sometimes if I want to get the most out of my workouts.  I have always subscribed to that school of having to totally exert yourself during cardio, (ie walk as fast as I can for about an hour) so my body is used to walking faster than I have to.  I tried to stay aware of my pace today, especially after my hip popped (man, do I sound like an old lady) and realized that part of the problem is that my fitness level has improved, so my "easy" pace has changed from where it once was.  To help me stay on my slower pace today, I listened to reggae instead of dance or rock music, which not only helped me slow down but really lifted my mood.  By the time my cardio was done, I felt great, not a bad way to start a Sunday/family day.  Now that I had this low-intensity day, I am also realizing that I hardly ever do full-on low intensity cardio, so I will be more aware of it and be sure to add it in more often.  It's all about balance and continual renewal.  I have been doing the same interval cardio for too long (60 secs high intensity with 30 secs moderate) and this too, needs to be freshened up.  It's convenient to do the same thing over and over, but it isn't very productive.  In order to continually see progress, the body needs to be tricked into change by doing things differently.  What works for a while will not continue to work forever because our bodies are so very adaptable.  So in my learning process, it is all coming full-circle.  Sometimes the best way to get ahead is to slow down.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Freshen up!

After a week of rest, I have been easing back into my work load carefully by doing morning-only cardio sessions this week.  Now that my body is starting to feel much better, I tried out a new strength plan today.  I am doing it as a circuit and it includes a combo move of twisting hammer curls to Arnold press which makes my arms burn.  When I finished my workout, I looked at my arms in the mirror and they looked really nice!  I am sticking with a total body workout at this point, but I think next time I change things up, I will switch to split workouts, working only one or two body parts per session. 
As I have noticed in the past, the strength training has not only made me feel good physically, but mentally also.  This month's issue of Oxygen really helped to re-inspire me, with articles about staying on track mentally by imagining yourself fit, and an always a helpful article by Jamie Eason about keeping things fresh to keep tricking your body into growth.  I knew I really had to freshen up my stale strength training, so today was about getting back on track, not that I was off really, just not that focused lately.  It is amazing how something so simple as a change in workout can bring your fitness goal back into the forefront.  Just exhausting a new set of muscles reminds you that your body is changing, every new ache telling you something big is happening.  It is a recharge that was much needed for me, as I have been stagnent for a while now, and seem to always have a "sticking point" down around the bottom half of a ten pound range.  I haven't been posting my weigh-in's lately, as I used to do on Mondays, because I have been staying around the same for so long.  I think I started the week out at 155 and was there for most of the week, but today I was 153 due to taking some benadryl at bedtime, which tends to dry my out a bit.  I am quite sure I have seasonal allergies which are leading to sinus congestion/headaches.
Now that my mind is back on track, I will focus on setting small monthly or weekly goals again.  My 5K is in 5 days, my goal before that point, is to drink at least a gallon of water a day, to make sure I am properly hydrated for the event.  My monthly measurements are just a few days after that, it will be interesting to see if I am still losing fat despite the scale being stagnant.  If nothing else, this has been a pretty interesting, and very rewarding experience. 
Happy Friday everyone, hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Learning Experience

I've been MIA for a bit, laying low and resting, and it has been a learning experience.  It took my body most of the week to feel healed from my intense, overtrained state I was in the preceding week, and I could tell that the break was necessary.  It makes me wonder just what I can handle without sending myself into overtrain state.  I am still learning about my body.  It's the first time in my life that I've been this active for this long.  Well, except for childhood.
I have been keeping my diet fairly clean, but there have been a few off-track moments that accompanied the week of rest.  It made me realize how well the clean eating and exercise really play off each other.  When I workout in the morning, I don't have any trouble staying on track with my eating, but if I am "resting" it is an easier transition (in my delusional mind) to have something I wouldn't normally eat on a training day.  It doesn't help that we have had so many "special events" on the weekends lately, weddings, family outings, road trips.  This past weekend we had a special lunch with my father-in-law, at an authentic Mexican restaurant.  I had a gigantic chicken and bell pepper burrito and I ate some chips and salsa beside.  Then yesterday, in celbration of Father's Day, my mother-in-law had a cook-out so I ate a burger and some potatoes, and finished with a piece of her award-winning cheesecake.  I found the cheesecake to be way too rich and sickeningly sweet, but finished my piece out of respect.  In the past, I would have thought it wasn't sweet enough, it's funny how much better I can taste things now that I've been eating so clean.  It's good that it happened that way, or I might have been left with cravings.  I don't like the way all that less-than-clean (and much higher-carb) food is making my body feel, even today.  I am retaining so much water and I just feel heavy, like just walking is a struggle.  My body will hopefully elliminate that extra water early in the week so I can start feeling like myself again.
On Saturday, my husband proved his love for me by buying me a Rockstar Recovery energy drink, which I drank right away in the morning.  It made me feel so good, that I figured I might as well make use of that energy boost and get out for a little cardio before breakfast.  As soon as I started walking, I realized that there was less than 2 weeks until my 5K, so I decided to run.  It was a bit awkward because my clothes are fitting so loose that I had to keep adjusting them every few steps, but once I got a good sweat going, things went a little smoother.  I did my 3 miles in about 32 minutes, then walked another 20 minutes for a cool-down.  It made me feel good to know that I could do it, even after a full week of rest, and having only have run a handful of times.  My knee really felt horrible for the following 2 days, so I really have to make the 5k the last time I run for any extended period of time.
This morning my quads and hams were still sore from the run on Saturday so I did some interval walking outside.  It actually helped my legs feel better to walk.  I think that if I have learned anything from my previous mistakes, I am going to start listening to my body more, instead of trying to force my way through tough spots.  I am learning that there is a difference between challenging myself and exhausting myself, and there needs to be a lot more balance.  I can always do low-intensity cardio and stretching when I am over-stressed or still sore from a workout.  I have come to realize that my body is not ready to be going full speed all the time.  Time to let go of  the antiquated "no pain, no gain" mentality.  I need to stop looking to my body builder husband as an example, he has been doing high-intensity, high-stress training for years, and his body can handle that, but mine can't. 
So for this week, I am going to focus on being on-point with my eating, make sure I get in at least two weight sessions, and the rest of the days cycle my cardio between high and low intensities, and most importantly, listen to my body.  Thank goodness we don't have any special events planned this weekend, so I will probably just have one, less crazy cheat meal on the weekend, and get everything back to where it needs to be.  My weight dipped down to 153 this week, a new low, but this morning I was back up to 156.  As always, a work in progress!  Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lose Weight by Skipping Workouts

I am on a break.  Even as I say that I think, I should be working out instead of blogging, but that kind of mentality has led me to burnout.  Last weekend I worked out all weekend, played hard, and followed it by a stressful work week, complete with two-a-day workouts.  By the time Friday came, I knew I was overtraining and my body was starting to feel aweful.  I was always tired, and it's the kind of exhaustion that caffeine can't even touch, as if getting up from a chair is a major chore.  My energy reserves were (and are still) sapped and my body has begun to object in a major way to the levels of physical and mental stress I have been putting it through.  All in the name of busting through a plateau. 
But that 's what we do when we want to see results, right?  If the first 200 mg of ibuprophen doesn't kill the pain, we take another pill; if the weight isn't coming off, we work harder on less calories.  That was my mentality anyway, and a huge part of why I had never been very serious or successful at weight loss in the past.  The misconception that you have to torture yourself in order to lose weight is pure myth.  All last week I was at 158.  After all the work I did (and unfortunately, some skipped meals led to less calories due to being busy at work) the scale did not budge all week.  Moreover, my muscles took much longer to heal, so I was working out already-sore muscles.  So Friday came and I was already feeling like I was getting sick, sore throat, itchy ears, stuffy nose, mouth sores, so I didn't work out at all.  Not even a little cardio.  Nada.  I felt guilty, but I stuck to it.  And I didn't work out on the weekend either.  I did a some interval cardio yesterday, and it felt fine, but today I skipped it again.  Guess what happened to my weight?  This morning I was 154.  My husband said that it was probably due to cortisol from all the stress I was putting my body through.  I have noticed the same result in the past when I've taken a break and I always find it fascinating.  After a break not only am I always lighter, but the weight continues to come off easier for a while, and I find myself having more energy, which equates to being able to really push myself to get a great work out.  I find a break also helps to re-motivate me, realign my focus and re-inspire me.  So, while I've kept my eating squeaky clean, I am giving my body the time it needs to repair itself, and my mind the time it needs to rejuvinate.  It's a win-win scenario.  It's really easy to get caught-up in the "no pain no gain" philosophy, but if you aren't giving yourself proper rest, you will end up counter-acting your hard work.  Had I known I need to skip a few workouts in order to see results, I would have gotten fit a long time ago! 
As for this week, I am going to nurse some swollen tonsils and ear infection, drink a whole heap of hot tea, and breathe for once.  I hope you are all enjoying some beautiful summer weather!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brain Mush (Can't Wait For Friday)

I am exhausted, and I can't wait for Friday to come!!  The two-a-day workouts would be fine, if I were also getting my calories at regular scheduled intervals.  Lately I have been missing entire meals, which is leading to a calorie deficit, and my energy stores are really low.  It is leading me to a sore throat, which is usually my indicator to take a break or else.  Last time I didn't listen to my body I ended up with bronchitis.
My iPod was out of battery this morning, so I had to walk without.  Boy was that boring!  Plus it was only 55 degrees and the wind was blowing 20+ miles per hour.  I spent the whole time wishing I had worn a sweater and shaking my cold fingers to get blood back in them.  What a strage summer!  Today's walk was low intensity.  I haven't been doing enough low intensity cardio, and I know that I need to in order to burn more fat.  I am really beginning to enjoy my morning cardio sessions, and as crazy as it sounds, I am getting accustomed to waking at such an insane hour to do it.
I ran out of my medicine and didn't take my diuretic last night, so the scale scared me a bit this morning.  I mentioned to my husband that I've been the same weight for a while, and he basically told me that if I was eating the same things for a while now, that I would have to change my diet.  I thought he meant to shock my body.  He meant I need to start to lower my calories.  I told him that if this is all the father I get by doing what I'm doing, then that's where I am supposed to be.  He is still dieting like he's preparing for a contest, almost driving himself insane with the calorie depletion.  I am not going to start changing my diet to reflect something that I will not be able to sustain long-term.  That's why I'm doing this.  Not to lose as much weight as possible so I can look good for a short time and then what?  Part of the reason the South Beach Diet works so well for me is that, for the most part, it is really easy to stick to because I never feel deprived or calorie depleted.  I honestly cannot stick to a diet where I have to be uber-conscious of every calorie, every carb gram, every protein.  I don't want to have to think about any of that.  I simply choose foods from the "approved" foods list and I know I'm fine.  I need to eat now, as I will when I reach my goal, so I will be sure that what I'm doing will continue to work long-term. 
I officially registered for my company's 5k run on June 29.  I think I am ready, even though I don't run very often.  I am going to try to run my 3 miles again this Sunday, and then make sure to run at least once a week until the event.  I think the run will help me to stay more focused on my long-term goals.  I will be looking at getting new running shoes next week, so I have time to break them in beforehand.  Right now, it is the main source of excitement for me.  I may even reward myself for my progress with a cute new workout outfit.
Well, Friday is almost here, thank goodness!  Just sleeping in is such a treat!  Happy end-of-week!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Turkey Dogs and Pop Tarts

Last night after work, my husband took my kids to the gym with him again.  It is a nice treat for me to have the quiet time to get my second workout in.  But last night I didn't workout, and I actually ate something sugary.  Why did I do that to myself?  Up until recently, I have been so smart and determined, not having sugar because I know the blood sugar roller coaster it puts me on.  But last night, my resistance was low and there are a few reasons. 
I have been under a lot of stress lately.  I was expecting some stress to creep up once I started work, but only a little bit of stress is coming from work.  The other stuff is the daily hassles we all have, financially, coordinating child care, remembering deadlines and finding out all the intricate details to each new event so as not to get in a bad situation.  We had a horrible experience with the daycare my kids were at for the last month, and I am happy they are going out of business because they were doing really crooked things that cost us double the amount we were expecting to pay, making it impossible to pay other bills, etc etc. 
At work, my eating schedule is dictated by my customer flow.  Since I'm the only one who works there, it is pretty relaxed most of the time, but there are times when I have sales reps and customers lined up for my time, so eating on a set 3 hour interval doesn't happen some of the time.  On the really busy days, I find I usually end up so depleted and dehydrated, just because there literally isn't a moment to sneak in back to grab a bite.  Yesterday I had a rep that took up some time, and a few orders, and several "special situation" things to make a judgement call on, I spent my entire day taking care of things I couldn't get to on Monday.  I was late for two of my meals, and one of them was my dinner after work.  So, by the time I got home and my family was out the door, my body was in "indulge" mode.  Thank God there wasn't anything too dangerous in the house (candy, cake, ice cream) because I would have had a field day.  Instead of waiting for a turkey burger to cook, I decided I would try to be reasonable and have some turkey hot dogs.  They are allowed on the South Beach, and I ate them on a 100% whole wheat bun.  It was all going smoothly, but then I needed to add some (not SB approved) ketchup.  I tried to tell myself that that was my guilty indulgence.  it didn't work.  If a person can't have a squirt of ketchup from time to time, that's not really living normally, is it?  When I finished my four hot dogs (two buns) I still had that horrible, unsatisfied feeling.  It was not naughty enough.  So I had two pop tarts.  The truth is, they did nothing for me.  They didn't taste that good.  They didn't have as much sugary pleasure as I expected them to, and they didn't give me a sugar high.  And the kicker is, it didn't make my stress go away. 
The combination of stress + hunger +  being alone all led to a low level of inhibition.  There are a million times when it rears it's ugly head, through a variety of moods.  I usually handle really well, recognizing it's factors, and head it off with a sesible meal.  But, I am not going to dwell on it, it was a moment and it passed.  I learned from it.  This morning I got up and did my cardio and felt good.  All that stands between a good day and a bad one, is our own mindset.  Yesterday was a good day.  Today will be even better.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tranquil Morning

I am getting used to waking up at 4:50 am, I even woke a few minutes before my alarm today, feeling really well rested and refreshed.  It was nice to not have to drag myself out of bed, or try to talk myself out of going back to sleep, which I think about doing way more than I actually do it. 
My kids wanted to go to the gym with my husband last night, so I had a full hour and a half to get in a great weight training session and a 10 minute cool-down walk.  I felt really good afterword, and I think it accounts for why I feel so rested today.  I am happy to report that the same workout I've been doing for too long now is still effective, I still get sore from it.  I will be changing my weight training at some point this weekend, though, I really need to freshen things up.
This morning I did about 25 minutes of interval cardio, most of it moderate to high intensity, with a long cool-down.  The sunrise was bright pink this morning, cast against some light grey clouds and a bit of fog, it was really tranquil and beautiful, and the temperature was just perfect.  For a moment I thought about the snow, and it's inevitable return, and to my surprise, it wasn't as depressing as I suspected it would be, I just thought of it like any other challenge, there's always a way to get through it with my sanity, I just have to find the key.
One of my kids got a free pedometer from school yesterday and I put it on just for fun.  I will wear it all day, to see how many steps I take, just out of curiosity.  I am already over 3,000 just from my morning cardio.  I plan on doing some more cardio after work, as today is the last day of school for my kids and there won't be any homework, hallelujah!  Time to turn up the heat on this thing and see how I can do by the end of summer.  It would be nice if I hit my goal before the snow falls, then I will be in maintainence mode, and won't have to do two-a-days. 
I've decided in my "free time" to teach myself French, just for fun.  I've always loved the sound of the language but it has been a complete mystery to me.  So, for today I will say, a bientot!  Au revoir! (and if it applies to you, bon appetit!) Have a great day everyone!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rose's Lesson

My morning funk lasted until noon, I tried many things to get myself to feel alert and normal this morning.  I drank a boatload of extra caffeine, I stretched, I even danced in the back office where no one could see.  Then slowly, after my second meal (greek yogurt) which was late by an hour due to heavy customer flow, I started to feel normal again.  I think I may be getting sick, my sinuses feel extra stuffy lately. 
Then something amazing happened to change my bummer outlook on my weight loss.  I have this particular customer, we'll call her Rose.  I have helped her at every office I have worked at (except when I lived in Las Vegas).  Rose has a very peculiar taste in eyeglasses, and prefers to wear the absolutely largest men's frame she can get her hands on.  And I mean, 1970's big, the kind where your entire smile is beneath the lens.  She also has a tendancy to be a little wishy-washy and go from optical to optical, deciding she's found exactly what she's looking for, and will return as soon as she...(fill in the blank; has money, has an eye surgery,has a ride, etc).  She likes to book appointments for surgery and not show up, which is how my company ended up taking her, because she's been kicked out of several other surgical offices for not showing up for her appointment.  I helped Rose select the perfect pair of glasses last Friday, and I ended up spending about an hour listening to her tell me of her financial and health woes (remember, my optical department is inside of a health clinic, so it reminds people of all the things wrong with them, not just their eyes) and she left my office thanking me for not trying to force her to change her mind and chose the "little glasses that everyone is so fond of".  I knew that just by listening to her, she felt validated.  She returned today for her sugical consult, a little late for her appointment, but she followed-through.  Everyone was a bit irritated because not only was she late but she loves to talk your ear off.  I admit, when I saw her check in for her appointment, I "hid" in my back office, busying myself with lab work, to avoid giving her the oportunity to stop and chat with me, making her appointment even later.  When Rose finished with her appointment some time later, she breezed right past me, stopping only to ask me if I used to work at (name of place I worked at from 2001-2004) and I affirmed that I did, years ago.  She said, "Wow, you used be a real big girl, you really lost a lot of weight!"  I was stunned.  Not only did she remember me from seven years ago, but in so much detail that she was aware how much weight I'd lost.  She said she didn't want to impose, but was curious how I did it and I told her, even wrote the name of the book down for her.  She complimented me again and again, and even congratulated me.  I told her that she really made my day, and I meant it.  Here the woman everyone was trying to avoid like the plague was the one who really changed my mindset today.
As she exited my office, there was a teenage boy in a wheelchair who was having problems maneuvering, and despite having bad knees/hips, Rose helped him get his chair positioned better. 
I feel like an idiot for whining about my body image.  Rose has a laundry list of problems, and though she may get lonely and want to share them with someone, she isn't whining about them, and she even finds time to think of someone other than herself.  Lesson learned.  So glad she's my customer!

Rewiring

Ugh!  This weekend took it out of me a little bit!  The road trip was fun, but between that and our Sunday obligations/errands we didn't really spend much time relaxing, and I was going and doing all weekend up until my bedtime last night.  My kids are in the middle of another nasty cold (summer colds are the worst) and my older son had another hyperactive episode last night at bedtime, raising the tension of the household and my blood pressure.  I sure hope they diagnose him at his Dr. appointment this week. 
That being said, I was successful in getting my workouts in all weekend, and stayed active all weekend.  Which is good, considering I had two off-plan meals this weekend, at the horrible "mexican" restaurant on the peninsula, and then two slices of pizza at the birthday party last night.  I wasn't going to eat the pizza, but the host ordered a special pizza just for my family, so I felt obligated.  It sat like a brick in my stomach and made me want to drown myself in fluids.  I had to skip a meal afterword due to discomfort.  The heat and the fat content did not mix well.  I don't need to eat like that for a while now.  Yuck.
This morning I woke about a half hour before my alarm was set to go off, and as I was considering what type of exercise to do, and whether or not I would reset it for a later time, I fell back asleep, and it went off at the regularily scheduled 4:50am.  I forced myself to sit up in bed while I decided whether I was going to get up or go back to bed.  I was certain I didn't have a strength workout in me, but I decided to do some cardio this morning and then try to squeeze in a weight workout tonight after work.  The kids only have 2 and a half days of school left, I am hoping they won't have homework this week.  Then I can set the new plan in motion to do cardio before work every day, and either another round of cardio or weights after work.  I'm getting to that point where I have to fight for every pound, every inch, and I am guessing I still have about 20-25 pounds to go until I am content with where I'm at. 
I have been struggling with body image a lot lately.  The results are coming slower than before, and when I look in the mirror, my eye goes straight to the parts I don't like.  Yesterday I got a new dress, just a casual tank dress that is really cozy in the hot weather, but all day when I was wearing it, I was thinking, I should really be more covered up, my arms and stomach are too fat to be wearing a sleeveless, somewhat form-fitting dress.  When I looked in the mirror, it looked fine, I might even say it looked good.  But there was my mind trying to set me back again.  Some days I just still feel like I am 200+, and my mind can't wrap around the fact that I am any different than I had been for years.  I think I just need to rewire my thinking.  I can do this.  20 more pounds should be easy, I've already lost nearly twice that amount, and even more if you count the pounds I've lost before I started this particular attempt.  Maybe all I need to do is put on a piece of clothing that I used to wear.  Actually, this weekend was the first time I wore my swimsuit that I purchased for Thailand in Feb 2009.  I was too embarassed to wear it then, and it just hung around collecting dust since.  When I put it on this past Saturday, it hung off of me.  My husband took a photo of me in it, and I had to delete it, it looked so horrible.  I honestly could have used something about 4-5 sizes smaller. 
So my challenge for myself this week, is to get my mind back in the right place.  I have all the pieces of the puzzle in order, I just have to focus on what's ahead and what is possible instead of what I don't like at the moment.   I have to realize that I am in the process of changing, and that if I'm unhappy with how I look right now, it is only temporary.
Here's to the start of a new week.  It's going to be scorching hot here, hope everyone stays cool and has a great week!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Finally Worked Out a Solution

Every time I weight train on the weekends, I am reminded of why I don't do it.  For me to be at home but unavailable to my kids, gets under their skin like an hour long crying jag gets under mine.  It's not their fault, completely unintentional, but it falls into the "don't push this button" zone, when you know you can't have something you only want it more.  So for my kids to be in the room with me, but unable to get close to me (for their safety and mine) is like a subtle form of torture for all of us.  And even though my husband was in the other room watching a movie, they only wanted my attention, which they got by irritating each other or by running back and forth in my room, forcing me to pause, sometimes mid-rep so that they didn't bump into the weights.  It has led to the conclusion that I need to join a gym.  I won't be able to be there during the week, but it will be vital for the weekends.  And, at $10/month, it's a very worthwhile investment.  After my weight work, I put in a half our of cardio, fifteen minutes at high intensity, fifteen at moderate intensity. 
My husband and my older son, Israel at Fish Creek beach

My younger son Zach.  He adores trucks

My son Israel acting silly, and me at the horrible restaurant
Yesterday was beautiful weather, 85 degrees and sunny, albeit quite humid, so we decided it would be a good day for a road trip to the beach.  About an hour north of Green Bay is a Door Peninsula (Door County), surrounded by the bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.  The coastline is beautiful and charming, dotted with quaint shops, eateries and beaches.  We particularily enjoy the beach at Fish Creek.  After a few hours of playing hard in the water, we had lunch at a local mexican restaurant, which looked absolutely authentic and charming from the outside, but in reality, the food and service were very subpar.  On our way back to Green Bay we stopped at a waterfall, just to cap off the day.  It was a fun day in the sun, and we were all thoroughly exhausted by the time we got home.
This morning's workout was exhillerating!  I hit the pavement for some cardio as soon as I awoke.  The weather was absoultely perfect, a slightly cool breeze stirring up a sunny, much drier day.  I encountered so many people while I was out walking, and I will tell you that the people in Green Bay are the friendliest lot I've ever been around.  People were so happy and pleasant as I passed by them, it just made my morning.  I tried to keep things at a moderate pace, to try and burn more fat than calories, but some songs just amp me up and I had to keep reminding myself to slow it down a little.  I originally thought I would go for a run this weekend, but I think I might just switch my 5k registration to this month rather than waiting for July's run.  I think I am ready.  I am not planning on making running a lifelong thing, it is too high an intensity for me since I want to maintain and even add muscle to my physique, but it will make me feel really great to complete a 5k.  Running is a little too hard on my body.  Last week's 3 mile run made my legs, back, and hips sore for the better part of the week.  The ibuprophen I took before the run helped my knees not feel too bad, but having to take ibuprophen before doing something is a good sign that it's something I probably shouldn't be doing long-term.  And I'm OK with that.  Running isn't a passion, just a test of my fitness level.  I can't outwit my age.
I'm happy I didn't back out of my weekend workouts this weekend.  It proved to me that there is a roadblock there, but also that there is an answer to that problem.
Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, June 3, 2011

P.S. I Still Hate Photos of Myself!

Recently, one of my Facebook friends requested some photos of me to help inspire her to lose weight.  So the past few days I have been taking a whole heap of photos, trying to get some I feel acceptible to post.  Posting photos here is one thing, because everyone knows my deal, but Facebook is different.  Not everyone signing on is ready to see my less than flattering photos.  But I got a few to turn out, so I posted them.  In the process I discovered that I am still really dissatisfied with how I look. 
Don't get me wrong, when I look at photos of me from before, I am really proud of what I've accomplished, but I have finally crossed the threshhold of feeling thinner than I look, and that is a bit disappointing.  At the same time, it just adds more fuel to the fire, and gets me pumped up for staying commited.  I'm glad I left the days of shoving comfort food down my throat every time I felt disappointed in my appearance far far behind me.  Now it makes me feel like working out really hard.  Both can be dangerous if not moderated.
I did take measurements on June 1, and there is still progress in the measuring tape.  I won't bore anyone with the details, but things are still moving in the right direction.  I have lost 7 inches off my bust!  The oddest thing about losing weight is, your undergarments no longer fit, and it makes you really realize just how much junk was actually once in your trunk!
Not much else going on.  I have a kids birthday party to go to this weekend, so I am saving my cheat meal for some greasy, cheese pizza.  I plan on doing a muscle workout tomorrow and trying another 3 mile run on Sunday.  I was going to wait until I lost a full 40 pounds to post any more photos, but I am stuck on a plateau agian, just 4 pounds shy of that mark.  God only knows how long it will take to get those 4 off, so I'll post these now, and bid everyone a fantastic weekend!