"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Glad I Took This Break

Throughout the course of my trip I had various subjects I'd like to blog about, but to start out I just want to mention something I almost added into my post from yesterday....

Short Story:
I've been home a week now and I haven't exercised a lot yet.  And in all honesty I'm okay with that.  

Long Story:
There are moments I look at pictures from this time last year, or last fall and I see how much thinner I looked and I know it's not just the ten pounds I've put on, but it's also from the trimming up that occurred from training for a half marathon race.  I didn't even realize it was happening until about the end of August when people kept complimenting me on losing more weight and I knew the scale wasn't moving so it had to be all the running I was doing toning up my muscles.  

This can make me a tad sad, because despite having excess skin removed from my abdomen I don't fit in some of my clothes like I did then.  However, then I remember that I really don't have the desire right now to get up early every morning and run.  And I'm SO GLAD when I returned from our trip I didn't have to jump back into a training plan.  

Last year I was up for the challenge during the summer, but not this year.  This year so much happened from January to May, on top of things I'd already planned to do/be a part of, that I needed a break.  

And my summer is turning out to be a perfect break.  

In fact, yesterday I missed my HIIT class waiting for a garage door repairman who never showed up so I told myself to just go for a walk because it was getting later [read: warmer] in the morning.  I began walking briskly and before I knew it I decided to jog.  

I only made myself jog for maybe 1.5 miles and I didn't worry about pace.  It was awesome and I felt so good!  

When I decided not to run the 13.1 race in September this year I did say I would run a 10K in October and I know now that I will still do that.  It's been six months since my mom died, since I had surgery and my son is well on his way to complete healing from his skiing accident finally so I feel energized and ready to begin training in a few weeks.  

It's a good feeling, but I guess more than anything I wanted to share this because this is real life.  This is what my new ending is all about -- making my new healthier life work around what happens and not beating myself up if I'm not as "diligent" as some when life throws a curve ball.  

I have plans to exercise tomorrow and I will get it done.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying summer break with my family and knowing that if I need to take a break it will not completely derail me from being a healthy, happier me. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back from Vacation

A week ago I was in the process of getting to an airport and making my way back home.  Due to a storm in our layover city we ended up not arriving in our local airport until 1:30am Wednesday morning, but we made it safe and sound.  It was three weeks of fun, tears and yes...food.  

The good news is that when I was weighing my largest suitcase a week ago to make sure it wasn't over the 50-pound limit I saw that I had not gained one pound on our trip. 

*Happy Dance* 

The only post I wrote on vacation was at my mother-in-law's, which subsequently was the only week I had the time to get in some exercise.  I knew that was how the vacation would go, because the second 2/3 of the trip was mostly full of a week-long conference and other activities with my dad.  

I allowed myself to enjoy food and visiting without thinking too much about my weight.  However, I did notice a couple things: 

  1. I did not snack at all, because we were eating three full meals every day. 
  2. I even found myself not wanting full meals for dinner because I wasn't really hungry after a large lunch.  Sometimes I opted for a dessert instead.  It was yummy and satisfied what I really wanted when I knew I didn't have the room for a meal AND dessert.
  3. During the conference there was a donut break and I took cheese sticks for myself, only having a donut the last morning. 
  4. I kept water with me and tried to get in at least 2-4 cups a day.
Im pretty sure these few things were key in keeping me from gaining weight on our trip.  I seriously figured I might be up about 5 pounds, so having not gained any is exciting for me.  :) 

In the days since we've been home I've only been out for real exercise twice.  That's just how it happened and I'm okay with it.  We didn't realize how adjusting back into a time zone three hours different than where we'd spent the previous three weeks would affect our sleep patterns and such, so it's taken me a minute to get back into feeling "normal" after returning home.  

However, beginning yesterday I've been tracking my food again and been feeling more back on track.  I still need to get back off the ten pounds I gained and I'd like to lose another ten at some point, so vacation eating is not going to last all summer.  

Exercise will still be up and down because of summertime schedules, but it will get done as well.

So, thanks for stopping by.  I'm not dead.  I haven't given up.  And I'm back.  Because my new ending continues to include healthier eating and exercise habits, even in the midst of summer vacation[ing].  :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Running Across the Country

Okay, I wasn't running across the country, but I was across the country and running.  We are visiting family and my daughter and I went out for a run yesterday morning.  Yes, me ... Running on vacation.   Miracles will never cease. 

I was kind of dreading running in the heat and slight humidity here this time of year, but it wasn't bad at all.  In fact, when I saw 80 degrees I wasn't too scared.  I guess because I had just run in that temperature on Monday with about 75% humidity I knew it really couldn't be any worse.

So, as I was finishing up my morning devotions and my daughter was waking up I asked her if she wanted to go run.  She was game and we went out.  There was bright sun and really that was the only rough part of the run.  Even with a visor, I told my husband, I think my eye balls might have gotten a little too much sun. 

We were bright red when we finished, but we felt great!  So far we've only been eating about two real meals a day and I've enjoyed sensible portions -- not too much and not diet "barely satisfied" portions.  I'm enjoying myself, but not losing site of my health in the process.

In fact, I think we inspired someone else to get moving ... This morning my husband went out for a run himself.  :-) 

Once again folks I'm experiencing a victorious moment in my new ending in life.  Gory!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Motivational Monday - HIIT Classes are Working!

I've really been wanting to go for a run lately, but with the weather being warmer I've been hesitant to go out.  Once or twice I've run on the treadmill at the gym and it feels good when I'm done, but it's nothing as nice as running out of doors. 

Well, my daughter's cross country practices are now during my [favorite] gym class times, so today I decided I'd go ahead and run in my neighborhood after dropping her off at practice instead of trying to squeeze in half of the class at the gym.

It was warm and humid, but I planned to just go run 3 miles and take it as easy as I needed to.

What a great run it turned out to be!  I finished my first mile in 12:10 and ended up averaging an 11:52 pace for 3.18 miles.  Woot!  With the temperature being about 75 and humidity around 65% I expected to average around a 13:00 minute mile.  

As I ran I realized, my HIIT classes are working.  The strength training and cardio intervals don't always burn a lot of calories at that time, but I can tell I am getting a little stronger.  And now when I went running I saw the positive impact the interval training makes on my running and I was thrilled.  

I still have no desire to get up early and run three days a week right now, but I'm encouraged to see that my efforts at the gym are paying off in my running as well.  :)  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Workout Buddy

Let's pretend I didn't look at the scale and see a higher number today, okay?  Then I can write the post I planned on prior to that moment.  But before I "ignore" the number virtually, let me tell you my reply was "Oh, no I don't think so!"; as in, "I know I woke up feeling swollen in my abdomen, which is normal after a day of the HIIT classes, but we are going to be careful with the food so that we don't see that number again. "   It was up about 2 pounds higher than I've ever seen.  

TOM is visiting and we all know what that causes.   I've also noticed up to 24 hours after my weight interval classes I can be swollen in my abdominal area (dr said that would be normal for up to a year) and I know even though I've indulged as normal during PMS I have not eaten 7,000-1050 calories extra in the last couple days to see that kind of a gain.  

So, I'm going to be honest about it on here, but I'm also going to not let it do anything more than motivate me to be careful.

And being careful leads me to what I originally planned on writing about today....

I have a new workout buddy for the summer.  We may not always get to go to the gym together like we did today, but my daughter has joined cross country and will be working out daily between running at practice and going with me to the gym.  

She wants to try the classes I take, but days like today when there isn't a class that fit my busy day we will do cardio.  She hopped on the bike and I did the Arc Trainer.  

After my vexing peek at the scale today I wasn't motivated at all to exercise.  Even as I was working out I was thinking, "Really?!? It seems it is not as easy to lose this weight as it was even five years ago. Is it hormones?!?  Did I get used to eating like I could/did when I was training for the half marathon?!?!"  

I didn't voice any of this to my daughter and when we were done she commented, "That felt good! I'm glad we went."  

Me too.  

When I stop and think about it, it's a miracle that I am a mom who will be exercising with her daughter.  It's a miracle that I'm telling her, "After we run this errand we can go to the gym tomorrow morning if you want." and it's not "I can drop you off at the gym." 

Some days this food-maintenance-need to lose a bit again-phase of my life right now seems so vexing, but then I remind myself that I have changed and there is hope to keep it in control.  And this summer, with my workout buddy to keep me accountable and motivated me I know I'll be fine.  :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Motivational Moment -- We Are Athletes

Hello!  Well, I seriously did not think I hadn't blogged since posting about being so tired.  oops.  

I'm happy to say I got to bed earlier a few nights and over the weekend I was able to sleep a bit extra, so I've been feeling better this week so far.  I told my husband my thoughts about needing more rest to recoup from the harder workouts and he agreed.  

Thank you for the comments and hints about taking care to get rest.  I took everything into consideration.  :) 

Now for what I wanted to share on Monday.... 

My Monday class is called "Total Athletic Conditioning" and it's about 50-55 minutes of high intensity interval training.  Lately the instructor has been using the tabata timers for the workouts.  20 seconds of the exercise with a 10 second rest, 8 rounds.  

I love it!  It's intense, but for short periods of time.  By the 8th round of whatever pair of exercises we're working through it's tough, but it's still only 20 seconds at a time.  She covers everything from squats with a weighted bar to football runs, where you run in place "feet together...feet apart".  

This past Monday we were near the end of the class, pushing through a cardio interval when she says something to the effect of, "You've got this!  Come on athletes!"  

That's all I needed to hear.  

I'm not super competitive, but I do like encouragement.  Being told I was an athlete made me smile, and it made me want to push harder. 

Why, yes I am a pretty simple woman who spends a lot of time cooking, cleaning, crafting a lot lately.  I'm a stay-at-home mother of three teenagers who could outrun me any day, but I am also an athlete.  Woot!  

She made my day...and now I finally got a minute to share that with you.  :) 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Am So Tired

Lately I've been so tired that I seriously started wondering if I was having pre-diabetes issues.  With a school schedule that requires my kids, and thus me, to get up at 6:00am hitting an afternoon slump is something I've become used to.  I either combat it with an afternoon coffee or taking a nap when I get home from picking all three of them up (about 3:10pm).  Sometimes I do both.  

Actually, lately I've been doing both.  I've even had days where I have two cups of coffee later in the day because I'm so tired and it doesn't even help.  Thus, the reason I was wondering if there was something more going on with my body.  

Then it occurred to me, when the soreness from the class I took Monday was still bothering me as I set my bike up for the cycle circuit class yesterday... I think my body isn't recuperating from the heavy workouts like it did pre-surgery. 

hhmm....  This more intense fatigue is kind of sporadic and didn't really start until recently, which coincidentally is when I started taking the classes.  

I've been excited that I can keep up in the classes.  I'm like, "Woot!  I may not be able to squat as low or do more than 2 real pushups yet, but I can keep up with the class when it comes to the cardio intervals and getting reps in...low in weight as they may be!"  

Our instructor is about 6 1/2 months pregnant and yesterday she made the comment that she has the energy to get through the classes she teaches, but she doesn't recuperate as easily right now.  "My body will be like, 'We are not doing anything today!' and I just have to listen to it." 

Ah ha!  I think I may be in a similar boat -- except my abdomen shrunk and she can still whip our butts with a baby belly protruding all cute and everything.  

Anyway...I digress.  After she said that I really got to thinking.  

I'm glad my muscles are remembering what it is to exercise and that I can keep up in class for the most part, but I think I need to really try and get more sleep; even if that comes in the form of a regular daily nap.  When 4 cups of coffee day aren't taking away the fatigue, then something else has to change.  :)  

Also, school will be out next Friday and then I will be able to sleep at least til 7/7:30am and more if I need it most days.  I'm hoping the later alarm will help me get more full nights of sleep.  

On a side note, it's one of the reasons I didn't want to do the half marathon.  Half marathon training requires getting up early to run outside before it's too hot.  With how I've been feeling lately I just want to get a full night's sleep again.  

I've never done well on pretty much less than 7 hours of sleep and I'm thinking here recently my body may be asking for even more than 8 if I'm going to push it with exercise.  I've also decided that I may stick with walking on my off-class days to keep the habit of exercise alive without over taxing myself.  We'll see.  

Anyway...I don't have any other signs of pre-diabetes, so I'm going to see how things go once we start our summertime schedule.  If nothing changes, then I'll worry about looking into blood work or something more serious.  However, I don't anticipate having to do that.   

I think I simply need more sleep.  :)

Whew... that a long post to say that I am very tired and I think my older body needs more sleep to continue healing from surgery and begin getting stronger again.  :)

p.s.  I've tried getting to bed by like 9:30, but that is so rare.  It's great when it happens, but I'm usually in bed around 10:00-10:30 and sometimes later.  Just so you know...