Sunday, January 29, 2012

Doing Life - Week 4

I had a great week, thanks for asking!  I just posted about our Buddy Challenge and I have to honestly say it was exciting. I had fun pairing up with Kelli. Even though I'm 10 years older, I felt like we had a lot in common.  It's nice to have someone new to talk to about the ups and downs of not only weight loss and healthy living but about life in general.

Before this week, I'd been struggling to get my workouts in.  I would walk and do my C25K workouts while Nate was in school but that's only twice a week.  It's hard with Mike's schedule if he was working on days Nate was out of school.  This week Sallie came out to my 'hood and walked with me twice.  One day we pushed 2 strollers and it was great to get out when I normally wouldn't have been able to.  I also put a shout out to friends on FB and asked if anyone I had a double jogging stroller I could test drive.  My friends came through and I picked one up on Wednesday.  I had already worked out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday but Nate was itching to try out the new stroller on Friday so when the weather cleared up and it got gorgeous out in the afternoon, we hit the road.  About a mile away in our neighborhood is Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve. I don't know why we go there so rarely.  It is beautiful.

We played. We threw 100 sticks in the water. We walked the Kids Trail three times.  It was wonderful.  The next day, Nate wanted to go to the lake again so we all went as a family.  I'm telling you the double stroller is awesome.  I worked out 5 days in a row.  I got in 4 hours and 14 minutes of exercise.  I'm so proud especially since last week I only managed 1 hour and 44 minutes.

I've also been trying to improve my plank time.  I started at a painful 50 seconds.  My new best is 1:20 seconds.  My goal by next Sunday is 1:30.  I can do it!

Saturday we had my friend Karrie take Claire's pictures.  I'll certainly post those when I get them back. To hold you over, here are a few pictures I took this week. Isn't she delectable?

She's getting so big, isn't she?  She's sitting up, eating baby food, and chatting up a storm.  I'm still in awe every day that I've been blessed with my two kiddos. What was once thought impossible has become possible and is my life.  How did I get so lucky?

The Do Life Week 4 Buddy Challenge

This week our challenge was to buddy up with another member of the Do Life Challenge.  I grabbed Kelli (aka Nikki) before others could get to her because I, too, was worried about the "being picked last" element of the challenge.  It's a little out of my comfort zone to play picksies with someone I don't know, but I have to tell you how much I enjoyed Kelli's company this week.

Although we are a few *ahem* years apart in age, we both have similar struggles with juggling a family (she's got a daughter and 2 step-sons), work (she's a teacher), and working out (with plans of a half in April and in the Fall).

I knew I was going to love Kelli when the first text message I got from her said "Not to freak you out, but I'm looking for a half marathon this fall, and it's plausible that I can do the Rock & Roll one with you!"  She lives in KY and I'm in VA. My first thought was "holy crap, that'd be awesome!". It really pumped me up that I would have someone from Do Life to do it with and it motivated me to actually visualize myself running it.

Kelli is funny, she has great insight and ideas, and it was so refreshing to meet someone new.  She is committed to a healthy lifestyle. She has begun Clean Eating and vows to eat clean every day, no exceptions, no excuses.  And you know what? She has lost 4 pounds since Monday! She sent me pictures of her food and DAMN - it looks yummy!  There seems there are always temptations thrown in the way, but this week Kelli avoided a bake sale at work and made it through a huge potluck dinner without eating any of the offerings.  She stayed on track and her willpower and determination really rubbed off on me and made me do the same.

Another awesome thing Kelli is doing is starting a Biggest Loser Challenge at her school.  She already has 10 teachers signed up and she's taken it upon herself to put together a basket of goodies (cool stuff like work-out DVDs, water bottles, and yoga mats) that the weekly winner of the weigh-in can pick from.  What a great incentive for the challengers!  I want to be a part of it! :)

I could go on and on but you get the picture.  She's awesome! She's motivating! She's Doing Life!  Gooooo, Kelli!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do Life Challenge - Week 3

This week our challenge was a scavenger hunt. On Monday I looked at the list, rolled my eyes, and thought no way. Then I wondered when I got too old to have any fun.  Well, fast forward to today and I hadn't completed any out of a list of 40.  Here's what I've got tonight:
6. Longest run/walk of the week. 3.7 miles (my car said 3.8)
11. Ignoring (my own self-made) a warning sign. Don't Eat That Cupcake.
17. Me wearing 7 shirts. Bonus cute baby in the background.
18. Me and my girls holding Do Life signs. Claire ate hers.
20. Me in a plank position. Outdoors.
22. Do Life dog. Holla Bosco.
28. Wearing my favorite sports team gear with a double peace sign.
29. Holding a sign with how many minutes I worked out this week.
34. Standing beside a Ferrari.
39. Me in a top hat.
This week I finished Week 1 of C25K. I'm looking forward to starting Week 2 tomorrow.  I've GOT to find a work out plan for the days with both kids and Mike working. Gah. Sob story.

My plank times have been getting better.  I started at 50 seconds. I've done a 1:03 and 1:06 this week. I've got to do better with my eating.  At the beginning of last week, I was up 1 lb, which means I'm only .2 less than when I started. We ate out too much this week. I ate too much this week. I've done well with my less soda goal though. Also, in the spirit of last week's Pay it Forward challenge, I paid for someone's lunch at Subway on Monday.  I've been in this lady's shoes - she got to the register and realized her wallet was at home next to computer where she bought something online this morning.  I felt for her.  I paid and she was so appreciative.

This week I'm challenging myself to stay on track and use my SparkPeople app to track my food.  Have a good week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yea for today

I'm feeling good today! I got my work out in is morning. I did Day 2 of C25k and walked. It was 60 minutes and 3.8 miles. I felt a bit sluggish and slow today but I was out there! In the crazy wind! I did the C25K portion first so I could get it out of the way, honestly. I did feel different today. I didn't care if people were outside. I didn't care if they were watching me. I was just proud that I was out there. Tonight I timed my plank and I beat my time from last week by 11 seconds! That's a 1:01 plank, y'all. It was hard but bam! Done! See you out there tomorrow!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Do Life Challenge Week 2

Holla!  Another week down in the Do Life Challenge.  This week's theme was "Do Unto Others".

I'm finding my way in these posts.  I'm gonna do a list for my sake then expound on it.  Boring, even to me but I need to see point-by-point what I've done.

Brighten someone's day.  Twice (two different people).
-I went to the Naro Cinema on Monday night.  I had two tickets left in my ticket book and after I used one for my admission, I gave my last one to the ticket window attendant and asked that she give it to the next person in line.
-When leaving the play place (at Chik-fil-a, ahhhh!), I told another mom (whom I didn't know) how well her son and mine played together.  As a mom, I know how nice it is to hear that your kid is a good companion to others.  I made her smile.

Reassess Push-ups.
-Did I even mention push-ups last time? Well starting week 1, I did 14.5 modified push-ups.  Starting week 2, I did 16.  Small steps, right?

Reassess Goals.
1. I'm still doing awesome with my water.  I have only 1 soda a day (2 on rough days, which was 2x this week). Such a difference from 7-8 sodas a day with no water.  Also, not buying canned soda is so helpful now.  I LOVE an ice cold can of Cherry Coke Zero. It's helping to just avoid the temptation!
2. Still not stretching at night. Or day. Honestly though with more exercise, my back is not hurting near as much.
3. My sleeping habits are getting better. Slowly but surely.  It helps that Nate is consistently asleep between 8:15-8:45 p.m. these days.
4. I did my best to take advantage of Nate's school days to get my exercise in.  Tuesday he stayed home sick so I improvised.

Portion Sizes/No Seconds
-I'm more conscious of how much I'm eating.  When I eat healthier items, I'm still wanting and granting myself seconds.

Exercise 150 minutes 
-Fail. I got in 111 minutes.  It's much harder when Mike is on his "Hell Week" at work. Friday I spent cleaning the house which should count as exercise but I don't how to estimate that.

1. Think about how someone did something for me that changed my day and/or life.
The one thing that I thought about was when I was in the hospital 12 years ago and needed so much blood.  The good people who take the time to donate blood literally saved my life.
2. Where am I now physically and where do I want to be in 11 weeks?
Well right now I'm at my heaviest I've been with the exception of pregnancy. I don't have the energy or endurance I'd like to have. Even in the 2 weeks since the challenge started, I am noticing a change in that.  I'd like to shed at least 12 pounds by the end of this challenge.  I'd like to be in a consistent exercise routine. I'd like to be able to run 3.5 miles without stopping. I've got a Half Marathon Relay to get ready for, ya know! Oh, and the most important thing to me is to be out of maternity clothes for good.
3. Which area can I improve since Week 1?
Hands down, this one is food.

Okay, on to my week.  This week Nate stayed home from school on Tuesday so I wasn't able to get out in the neighborhood to walk since Mike was working.  I did what I could at home though.  I did 200 jumping jacks (not in a row - in sets of 50).  I accepted Ben's Plank Challenge and got on the floor and held a plank for 50 very painful seconds. Wednesday I got my jumping jacks in and took a good walk.  Thursday I rocked it by taking a 30 minute walk and added on Day 1 of the C25K. I got a total of 60 minutes in and I felt awesome! The jogging portions were better than I expected them to be.  I didn't let myself get ahead of myself by thinking about how many times I had to do the walk/run intervals. I just focused on each minute jog then each minute-and-a-half recovery walk.  It was awesome. It was doable. I felt strong. I didn't feel guilty for taking time for myself (Nate was at school and Claire fell asleep in the stroller 30 minutes into our outing, so that helped).

I'll get to some of my 4 good things a day list in a second but I have to say how thankful I am to be making that list.  Friday I cleaned my house in preparation for Bunco.  It was a lot of work and I had errands to run. I had a feeling that not getting my walk in was going to make me spiral down and I was right.  I haven't exercised now since Thursday and I haven't been  very mindful of my food intake.  That's not entirely true. I've been very mindful of EVERY little thing I've eaten and even though it was bad, I didn't stop.  Well, at least I know myself. Next time I need to make better decisions to break that cycle.

So, all of that to say I was happy to have my list to look back on and see that my whole week wasn't a wash.  I did good things! I exercised and felt great! I pushed myself! It's easy to forget those good things in just the few days I have been down.  It's a reminder that tomorrow is a new day, blah blah blah. This is suddenly feeling very cliche. Ups and downs are typical. I just need to focus on having more ups than downs. So here are some things I did this week that I was proud of:
-I was down 1.2 pounds from the beginning of Week 1.
-I did 200 jumping jacks twice this week
-I used sugar free syrup when I ate pancakes for dinner (baby steps)
-I didn't have seconds on Carvel ice cream that I really wanted
-I completed Day 1 of C25K and survived
-I tracked all my food for one day
-I resisted apple pie and vanilla ice cream. I wasn't hungry and I didn't have enough calories left to stay within my daily goal.
-I cleaned my house better than I have in *ahem* the past year.

So here's to Week 3! I'm ready for ya!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do Life

Have you heard about the Do Life Movement?  I'm a big fan of Ben Davis (and Jed and Pa) and his motto of Do Life.  The best thing about Ben is that he feels like a friend.  Like an IRL friend.  Corny but I've been following his blog for well over a year and he's motivational, goofy, and just like you and me.  No joke. And he's originally from Arkansas so I feel like I know him because I am originally from Oklahoma.  Practically neighbors. Ha!

I signed up for the Do Life 12 Week Challenge.  It's a great tool to become/stay motivated in the first 12 weeks of the year.  It seems kind of involved (which I guess any committment should be) but I am really enjoying it.  This week's theme is "Assess, Resolve, & Act".

My 5 quantifiable goals to work on this month are:
1. Drink fewer sodas (I was on the same path as Jed.) My goal is to make water and soda 1 for 1, starting with water in the morning.
The first few days I drank 3 diet sodas and plenty of water.  It was much easier than it has been in the past.  One day I only had 2 sips of Mike's soda and I had no ill effects.  I drank one last night with dinner and none today.  I'm feeling GREAT!

2. Stretch daily. I have some PT stretches that work wonders on my back and hips.  My goal is to stretch before bed and work up to doing it 2x/day.
I feel better when I do it, but honestly I didn't do it every day this week.

3. Get more sleep.  Feel better.  I'm quite the night owl.  I crave the time alone at night after the kids have gone to bed.  I'm normally watching TV or on the internets and end up staying up way too late.  I've been working on 5-6 hours a night.
Shocking, I know, but cutting out soda has helped. (Duh) I still like my quiet time but I'm also working on my addiction to my iPad.  Nothing is really THAT earth-shattering that I need to be connected so much.  So, my point is that I've been getting more sleep and in turn feeling more rested when I wake up.  That also means I have more energy during the day.

4. Exercise. Especially use the Tuesday and Thursday mornings when Nate is in school to get my work out in.  Walk. Use time wisely. Get the family involved. *The goal for beginners this week was 120 minutes.
I tried to be gung-ho on Tuesday.  (I put my Do Life shirt on before taking Nate to school so I'd be reminded to not let my morning slip away.)  It was the coldest day of winter so far but Mike, Claire, and I bundled up and took a 40 minute walk in the freezing-ass/windy-ass cold.

We did it. We survived.  My legs hurt for 2 days after.  But yesterday I walked for 51 minutes and today I bundled up Nate and walked for 31 minutes.  *Note - the best motivator for exercising is telling your 3 year old he's going to ride with you when you exercise the next day.  He will then wake up at 7:45 a.m. and say I'm ready to go in the blue stroller, Mama.  **Side note, on our walk Nate asked what year it is.  I said "2012".  He said "2012 is exercise" and he's damn right. I made sure to tell him that he was right and that in 2012 we are going to exercise and be healthy.

5. Watch portion sizes. Don't eat 2nd helpings. Eat healthier snacks. Cut back on dips and dressings.
I did much better with the quantity of food I ate this week.  There is still room for improvement.

We were asked to identify our biggest excuse and how to eliminate it.  I started with "No Time" but I knew that was bullshit since I'm home every day.  It's really I'm too tired or too lazy.  Even working out these 3 days, I feel much better and feel like I can do this.

I used the message boards and found others who needed encouragement.  That's what is great about this.  We are all there to support each other.

The hardest task of the week was to take time each night and write down 4 things I did well that day.  Some of my highlights during the week were:
Choosing Baked Lays over french fries.
Eating all meals at home.
Drinking more water.
Getting out of the house and being more active than sitting on the couch.
Committing to running the Rock n Roll Half Marathon Relay with Mike.  You heard me right.  It's Labor Day weekend so we've got 8 months to train and get ready.  There is a 7.8 mile section and a 5.2 mile section.  Training will decide who is doing which (I hope to do the longer run).

So this is my official submission for the Week 1 Challenge.  I'm looking forward to what next week holds!