Slow and Steady

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December Update: My workout is being changed up

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - 
pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically - 
to say 'no' to other things.  
And the way to do that is 
by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside.  
The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good.'  
~Stephen Covey

So another month has passed and much of it has been same old same old stuff, but there is plenty of new so let's get started. I am not feeling particularly wordy today, so here I go with bullets:

  • Recovered from my slow start to November and was rocking out the workouts
  • Up'd my weight is almost everyone one of my lifts
  • Ran the Berekley Inaugural "Half," the 10 mile option. Took a wrong turn, ran 11.7 glorious miles. Looking at race photos from March of this year and this 10 miler, I look leaner, stronger and the smile says it all. I ran truly happy during the 10 miler. Fabulous time, great cool/cold temp running.
  • Skipped the traditional Thanksgiving with my family at my home then with my husband's family at their home later that evening by going to LA to spend it with my cousin, her husband and 5 year old. It was great to visit and lounge around, but even better than that? My kids met them for the first time and built a great bond with her son.
  • Went to Disneyland- kids first time, had a blast, they didn't melt down. WIN!
  • Ate at my favorite deli in LA, Canters
  • Took Wednesday after my AM workout to Tuesday off as order by my PT so I could practice how to breathe and engage my core properly
  • I lifted that Tuesday and Wednesday 12/3-12/4 and found out I had to stop lifting the afternoon of 12/4. Like stop olympic style lifting all together.
  • I feel a little lost not lifting, I had been doing so well and making noticeable gains both physically, mentally and increasing weight.
  • Skipped the last two December 5K options, considering a run this Saturday or Sunday, but probably won't get a "race" in this month.
  • Killing it on the treadmill. My old cruising pace was 5.0, kicking it up to 6.0 to run, sometimes 6.5 or 7.0. Now 5.0 is a good warm up or break between sprints, but I can cruise at 6.0 now and sprint at 7.0-8.5. Feeling strong.
Pretty short recap I know, I am still digesting the new routine my physical therapist has me on. My core does not engage properly so I am retraining it to work correctly which means baby steps with the workouts. So do over head weighted exercises, bridges, some tricep and bicep stuff, pull ups and dips on an assisted machine thing, squats and a couple more things. All my push ups are wall push ups until my core works correctly. Very different that what I am used to. It is a good workout, but doesn't feel strenuous enough nor do I break the sweat I'd like to either. Not sure how long I will have to take this approach or if I'll ever go back to more traditional lifting like bench press and dead lifts etc. I am scared I'll gain the weight back and lose my muscle mass. Skinny means such a different thing to me now. I feel great and haven't totally dropped a pant size despite losing about 8 lbs since September. My quads are getting pretty big, my tush a little tighter. This month I am doing a squat challenge with a couple friends since squats is one of my limited approved exercises. Hoping to have a great lifted bubble butt in a month LOL

Diet: Pretty much eat what I want, but have learned so much about moderation these last 3 months. Might consider low to no gluten and low to no dairy come January to test the effects on my body with regard to muscle and other inflammation as well as bloat and digestion. I am not intolerant to the best of my knowledge, not allergic and definitely don't have celiac. However, I do have some issues known to improve with these types of diet changes. Difficult for me to wrap my brain around because bread and cheese are my #1 and #2 favorite foods, but vanity is my new best friend. I like looking good, I like feeling good because it makes me think I look good too and geez-oh-pete feeling good and looking good does wonders for my psyche. We'll see. I plan to start slow in December. Gluten will be so much harder than dairy and I am not sure I am going to go full force with by product than I am going to look at the contributing foods. That's for another blog post I guess.

Why I Kick A$$: I'm really feeling the transformation in my posture and breathe with my CORE rehabilitation in such a short period of time.
Big Picture: Trying something new is not the end of the world and I need to embrace "new normals."
Thankful Three:

  1. For health insurance and an amazing PT
  2. For my current job, location and work-life balance
  3. For my health, I am so blessed to have mobility, workout options and the desire to be fit to feel good.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday: Late Night Edition-New Month, New Me... LOL just kidding

I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you have done. 
~Robert Downey, Jr.

I love the whole new me attempts by folks. Some, very few, make genuine life changing efforts and actually stick to them long term. My niece told me the other day, November 1st was a new month, she was going to be focused, she enlisted some friends to do this health kick with her and then a couple days ago I see her post a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey to Facebook. She didn't go out to get it, but her little brother brought it for her and she couldn't resist. She is 24. She is tiny. She is strong and athletic and 10 years from now she look back and wish she appreciated her 24 year old self more. LOL are we all destined to the same fate. I think of how I'll feel 10 years from now and how I'll think, man... wish I was more proud of myself 10 years ago. And so we grow and mature.

I'll spare you the minute details of the last couple months, but it was filled with fender benders, government shutdowns, birthday, a death and a couple more birthdays and me taking 1-2 weeks of eating crap and feeling like crap all while not working out. In my last post I told you all that I had done a hydrostatic body fat test in January. I was 196 lbs and 24% body weight. I tried lots of things to lose weight, then shifted to mostly lifting. The first week of September I started running again and took my next body fat test hoping for some lean muscle mass gain of 1-2 lbs. Boy was I kidding myself. what I was really trying to do was prepare myself for the fact that I hadn't really lost much weight, according to my scale and my size 12 pants that aren't going anywhere. Well to my surprise I had lost weight, gain only .5 lbs of lean body mass and that magic formula brought me to 21% body fat.

Holy Smokes people! 3% loss in 8 months is huge. My gains not so much, but as the tech explained, it is difficult to maintain lean mass and not to be discouraged by the little gain, but rather excited that I lost weigh without losing lean body mass. He also said, weight loss will continue to be difficult the leaner I get since there is less to lose. So, I am 21% body fat. My next trip to the dunk tank will be to check and make sure I am maintaining my lean body mass. I am trying to get used to the scale because since I started running in conjuction with my weight lifting schedule I am losing weight. Diet is not on point, but is more similar to 2 years ago where all I did was TRI training, no weights and could eat pretty freely and maintain. Obviously more calories out means I need more calories in. Unfortunately, that weight loss is only barely showing in the waist. I am still in size 12, but fit into 1 pair of size 10s lately. Most weight loss has been in my booty/thighs and back. The belly is always the last to go.

What has happened training/running wise? Started half marathon program 9/1/13. Dropped out a few weeks in, but kept up my Wednesday runs by doing the track at my son's flag football practice. Only did a long run of shy of 5 miles, then walked a 9K with a friend I was supposed to run with. She found out she is pregnant and it turned into a really nice power walk chatting away. Did a 1/2 marathon October 18th, was pretty impressed with my pace and endurance through mile 8. 9 and 10 were tough. The last 5K were pretty bad. Glad the scenery was nice because it was a slow calf cramp, charlie horse kind of finish.

On the horizon- I got a late start to November so I am making up for a few bad eating, no working out, bad sleep days. Today was a great one. Gym. a couple of short runs, 1 mile at break and a 2 miles at lunch, some core work and foam rolling tonight. I am hoping this will be a good start to finishing the month strong. I plan to run a 5K on the 23rd (hoping to PR), a 10 miler on the 24th and in December get busy on my 10K training for the Tinkerbell 10K in January. I'll be doing a couple 5ks in December just to focus on speed, then a 10K a week before the race to text myself. I'll have 6 days to recover before I have to turn around and do it again, so I think I'll be ok. I'll also maintain my weight training and instead of dropping down to 2-3 days a week as I had originally intended. The added strength has really helped my speed and recovery.

Big Picture: Everyday I move is good for me and is good for my family.
Why I Kick A$$: Because even after feeling like I have lost my momentum, 1-day is all it takes to get going. Just have to decide to do it.

Thankful Three:
  1. For everyday that I mature and have gain perspective about my body image and physical fitness
  2. For people who invite me to run
  3. For my dogs who took me on great runs today during our limited sunshine

Friday, September 6, 2013

Same Story, Different Day: My Complaining Diary

Sweat silently.  Let's have no squawking about a little expenditure of energy. 
~Martin H. Fischer

Oh yes, I am still ambitious and I continue to work on the slacker thing, but seriously I should just start calling this blog my complaining diary. You can go back a few years and it tends to be the same theme. Events, half-ass training, feeling fit and awesome then feeling fat and lazy. I guess such is the life of a former athlete and insistent wannabe fit person. Ok, maybe that is a little harsh. I am pretty fit. I can do what I want physically fairly easily. Be it outdoorsy, simply keeping up with kids or the like-- I am healthy, active, strong and yes a fit person. BUT--- yes here comes the complaining. I find that the older I get the more I cling the the vanity of my former, youthful self. I just read a great blog post from Mama Laughlin about her defining "you're fat" moment. And while I can't relate to that episode in her life or resenting others for making look easy (not really an issue for me), I can relate to the point she makes about, "Angry that I had to put so much effort into something I didn't feel like I should." So TRUE! Angry might not be the right word, but certainly frustrated. I don't understand why my brain can't transition to that of a casual athlete. You know, the kind that does a 1/2 marathon 1-3 times a year, I have had an off year so no triathlons this year, but I try to squeeze 1-3 in normally. Certainly a casual athlete is a step above or 2, from a couch potato. So when I say that I get frustrated that keeping weight off is so hard let me explain a bit more about why:
  • Normal. Average. Everyday. Non-athletic people cut 500 calories out of their diet a day and lose 1lb per week.
  • Normal. Average. Everyday. Non-athletic people who begin working our 3-4 times a week begin to lose weight steadily.
  • Normal. Average. Everyday. Non-athletic people who increase their effort to 4-6 times a week, begin to lose weight steadily.
  • Normal. Average. Everyday. Non-athletic people who try Chris Powell's most aggressive Carb Cycling plan The Fit Cycle begin to lose weight steadily.
  • Normal. Average. Everyday. Non-athletic people who changed from a casual basic weight lifting efforts to one that was recommended on a body building fitness competition site (Aussie's routine) begin to lean out.... ok, the muscle thing is working and more muscle burns more calories right? Hope the losing weight part starts up soon.
So yeah, I did all those things. I went to hydrostatic body fat testing, I know my basic calories to breathe is 1956. I know my desk job burns 480 calories. That on weight training days with low cardio I only burn about 250 calories and on higher cardio days it's 600+. I did the first two bullets from May to July and gained weight. Yes I understand it could be muscle, but I also knew I needed to step it up so I added the last 3 bullets these last 6 weeks. Guess what, I began to lose, but at a rate that was just shy of 1 lb a week. It feels like I am swimming against the current. Why is it so hard if I am doing so many things right?

This is where maybe my body still thinks it is an athlete? Should I be eating more? I'm tall. Have an athletic build, save for my soft mid-section. The weight routine is totally working so my muscles obviously remember what they are supposed to do and are responding more quickly that I expected. My bicep definition is there. My back fat is slowly, but surely slimming. I can see my collar bone (vanity points for me) and my quads, which are always somewhat big, have the bulge definition thing going on in the front. So WTF-- pardon my foul abbreviations, but seriously? Like Mama Laughlin said, it shouldn't be this hard! That is where I go back to realizing, maybe I am an average Jane. Maybe it will be this hard F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

My new half-marathon training program started this week. Since this will be my first training cycle, injury and health issue free since January, I am going slow staring with only 4-days a week running. I am hoping with more running and my genuine effort to be faster (First time in A Group which is sub-10 minute miles since 2006) will help with the burn, but only time will tell. I had planned to drop my 5 day a week weight training regiment to 3 days, but I think I'll keep up the current routine at least until the mileage starts to pick up with training, another 5 weeks. Let's see what these muscles can do? I already attribute the easy sub-10 pace at our mile test to the last few months spent on strength training.

Now before you go on guessing medical issues. I do not have PCOCS. It is not Hashimotos. My thyroid is perfect. My cortisol, blood pressure, insulin and any other battery of tests you can think of I have taken and passed with flying colors. I am the picture of health. So why can't I be happy with all that? I guess I kind of need that number. I know it is dumb. I want my belly to be flatter, my jeans size to be a 10 in stead of a 12. The scale to read 180 something not 190 something. So on Sunday I'll do another hydrostatic body fat test. The last one was in January and I was 24% body fat. Ideally I'd be all the things I listed and living in the 20-22% range when I am not in peak training and more like 18-20% when I am going at it hard core. I was 18% not too long ago... Like just 2 years ago, so it is hard for me to accept, that 24% is the best I can do when I am working for it. So wish me luck, that even if I didn't lose weight or fat, that maybe, just maybe I have gained a couple new pounds of lean body mass and that some day soon I'll figure this stupid eating thing out.

I almost think that the whole MyFitnessPal thing is not for me. That maybe if I just ate without thinking about it so much, it would all fall into place. I wasn't fat as a child. I had a 2 true FAT years when I stopped playing Div 1 basketball and was finishing up my degree. But the clear and vast majority of my life I have been fit. When I wasn't, it was pizza and beer so I knew why I wasn't feeling and looking awesome and easily fixed it with a re-connection to an exercise routine. It has not been so easy the last couple of years and I will admit the first year, I didn't try very hard because I didn't think I had too. I was certain it was a health related thing---I am a blamer. But after a year-ish of tests, I started trying, then trying harder and now my current effort and the fact that I am not leaning out quickly is just pissing me off now.

The Big Picture: I have a long life ahead of me, if my metabolism has slowed down or my body decided it really likes 190+ and a size 12, I might not be able to do anything about it. If I workout consistently, mostly eat well and can do all the physical things in life I want to, I might just start to focus on the good, instead of this tiny little 10 lb perceived problem just for vanity's sake.
Why I Kick A$$: So glad I was active as a child and built the muscular foundation I have now. I am really beginning to have an affinity for lifting weights and rocking my new more defined muscles.

Thankful Three:
  1. For a patient husband who puts up with my endless MyFitnessPal iPhone App use.
  2. For my body, yes I spend a lot time being frustrated, but I am so lucky to be so able bodied and active.
  3. For a forum where I can go MIA forever and just pop right back in and unload my craziness.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Tidbit: Tough Mudder Tahoe Summer

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful."
~E. E. Cummings

So about 3 months ago I got this text from my 23 year old niece. Her 21-year twin bother and sister were also part of the group text.
The original text was followed with this motivational statement

Super Hubby, happened to be signed up for this run too. Let me just get a few things straight here. 1. Super Hubby does not run 2. Super Hubby does not workout and 3. Super Hubby was indulging a group of about 8 of his friends. I had wanted to do this race last year with my sister-in-law and her BFF, but things didn't workout. Super Hubby was invited to do this and signed up for this event in January. Also in January a group from the gym I was working out at was putting together a team. I opted out for a couple of reasons 1. I didn't want to seem like the copy cat wife that can't let her husband do anything that she can't do and 2. I ended up having a health issue that side-lined me. When I got this text I held off on saying yes for a couple weeks. That health issue was still plaguing me, but confident that if I put positive energy out in the world, I would get positive outcomes, I signed up on May 1st for this July 13th event. On May 2nd I was told I had to have surgery. So much for putting the positive energy out there, plus a hefty registration fee down the drain. FAIL. 

You may be wondering why I wouldn't register for the event with my gym group so I wouldn't be a copy cat, but signed up when my niece asked. The answer is easy, there isn't anything I wouldn't do for family and in this case, what great memories to create! I was invited to hang with my nieces and nephews and got solidify my place as the cool aunty, my sister can be jealous now LOL

A month's worth of doctors office fiasco's pushed my surgery to June 18th. I went in for a pre-op the week before and wouldn't you know it, no surgery needed. SHIT! I haven't trained at all for Tough Mudder and now I get to do it! Woo Hoo. So I totally worked out right? Uh, nope. I am a self sabotager. Actually, out of frustration I hit the gym in mid-May figuring I'd better get strong so I can heal faster after surgery, not a sufficient amount of cardio, but lots of strength training. I continued this until the week of the race where I of course fell off the wagon. I do this so that if I couldn't finish I could blame it on not working out that week. Makes total sense right?! Uh, no, yes I am a crazy person LOL Without futher delay, I present to you my Tough Mudder Team.
Nephew, Niece, Niece's BFF, Me
Super Hubby and my niece-so super cute!
Sure things didn't go as planned from January to now with my weigh loss goals, my health issue, work or training for Tough Mudder, but I am really happy that my mind and body is strong enough to crank out 10.5 miles, 19 obstacles and 1800 ft elevation gain starting at 6800 ft above sea level. Yeah, I think that makes me pretty awesome. It was easier than I thought it was gonna be, but that doesn't mean it didn't totally kick my ass. I look like I was in a car wreck or something.
An early look at my knees
Just a few short hours later
Ok so I can't complain about bruises when Super Hubby looks like this

Why I Kick A$$: I was slow on the uphills, but overall hung pretty well with kids 10+ years younger than I am.
The Big Picture: It was a shitty spring time, but as my husband always says, things have a way of working themselves out. Maybe that positive energy May 1st registration the day before I my doctor's appt did it or maybe the 5AM gym workouts to get strong helped my health issue go away so I could do this awesome even with my niece and nephew.
Thankful Three
  1. While I didn't do the run with Super Hubby, it is cool that we did the same event the same day and can talk about the obstacles etc. together
  2. For having the fitness level to do something with no training
  3. For being silly enough to wear the crazy T-shirt. If you know me, you know I am usually too embarrassed to be silly.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Five: Because I couldn't just pick 1

Good for the body is the work of the body, 
good for the soul the work of the soul, 
and good for either the work of the other.  
~Henry David Thoreau

I love how so much time lapses between posts. I remember when I tried to post every day or every other, maybe 1x per week or strategically post on Monday's when everyone was plugging back it. The thing is I am lazy, I am the slacker that I claim to be, not always proud of it, but learning to accept it in many regards. Blogging is one of those things I am accepting. Like many of you I think of a new post every day, I flesh it out in my brain, get excited about it, but unlike most of the blogs I follow, I lack the follow through. Whether it be time constraints or the fact that I thought about it so much that I lost the energy to actually want to put the time in to type it up. I'll be maximizing this week's Friday Five by catching you up, as I do on the many things that have been going on since my last post. I'll attempt chronological order, but shit I probably won't be able to do that.

  1. So not too long ago, April 24th I went to a House Party! No, not that kind of party, it is concept born in the Another Mother Runner circle where two of my favorite running celebs, writers, bloggers, podcast makers and Runner's World contributing writers get a bunch of Badass Mother Runner's together to have community. Sure, for me that is mostly the Facebook posts they do daily or the emails, but hey, I dig it. AMR did a "House Party" in Sacramento, CA, but it was at the local fleet feet. It was so fun, there was a book reading, great shopping for both AMR stuff and discounted Fleet Feet stuff and lets not forget the food & drinks! I am so not a star struck person, but I couldn't resist getting a photo in. I ended up inviting a friend and my niece and we hit a trendy restaurant first, had dinner and drinks and then went to the event. I ordered a book and T-shirt and what luck, I received them the a week later even though they prepped me that it could take "several weeks." The timing couldn't have been more perfect, I had a shitty week and at the end of it I got my book, the next day my shirt and I got the smile I needed.
  2. I went to my doctor. I am gaining weight. I won't be dramatic and say that I am fat. In reflecting on blog posts, I think I talk about it too much and unnecessarily. I mean really, why does it take gaining weight to realize how good I had it. I remember working hard and getting to my happy weight and fitting in my size 10s with ease. I posted about getting tone, stronger and blah-blah-blah. Then I put on 5 pounds over reacted and went on a stupid 1200 cal diet and did the whole vegetarian, cut out fried food approach, with GUSTO I might add and gained another 5. GAINED! So I gave up for a few months. Really, the life I want to live is that of exercise, mostly good eating and comfort in my own skin and as a result clothes. Is that too much to ask? Anyway, I went to my doctor. He has some hunches, sent me for labs and will see me again on Monday to see if we can't figure out this weight gain, because remember that 5, well in a year and half it has turned into 15 to even 20 at times. I do admit I don't eat great, but I do workout and I do count calories. I have done the endocrinologist thing, registered dietician, caliper testing and hydrostatic body fat testing with BMR/RMR. I put in too much effort to struggle this much. My current doctor prescribed torture (only 3 weeks) is to eat less carbs. No he didn't say do Adkins or South Beach etc. He just asked what I normally ate, opened his eyes wide and picked his jaw up off the floor and said just eat less carbs. He said I am smart girl, track my food, eat less carbs and see me in three weeks for lab results and we'll go from there. HELLO I need more direction than that! So I am blindly, ok not blindly, I have scoured the internet, but basically with no real "plan"--I am eating less carbs. In 10 days have lost 10 pounds. I am not sure it is the less carbs or the fewer calories, but something is working. On the flip side, I have no idea where the 10 lbs. went, I don't look different, my clothes don't fit differently and it feels crazy to work this hard for scale results, but not feel it. P.S. I will never do this low carb long term. I have so much new found respect for those who HAVE to do low carb for their health conditions, this shit is hard! I find support by knowing I am not alone. Tonia over at Racing with Babes seems to be putting herself through the ringer with no positive results. In case it isn't obvious, I'm so not in her category of fitness, she is complete rock star, super committed and tough as nails, but sounds like she is having similar difficulties weight.
    Super Hubby makes the best low carb dinners, lettuce wraps
  3. I registered for Tough Mudder Tahoe Summer. My niece and nephew roped me in and I couldn't turn down an opportunity to bond, especially with fun physical fitness with my 23 and 21 years niece and nephew. I am just hoping to survive it.    
  4. The day after I signed up for Tough Mudder I found out I have to have surgery. Grrrr. I kinda new a surgery might be in my future, but it had been 3 months of monitoring my issue, I thought I would just be in perpetual monitoring mode. Um, not so much. It is fairly minor and if things go as planned it will be outpatient with only 2 weeks recovery. Since Tough Mudder is really a survival event, I don't need to worry about being fast, just being tough enough. Surgery sucks BTW. No it's not scheduled yet, but I am chomping at the bit to get it over with so I have enough time to recover for the summer event.
  5. Finally, you have suffered through the first 4 you can hang in there for the last one. It is my Mother's Day. Mexican Mother's day is May 10th every year. Each year it is better and better. I got cards from Super Hubby including a written reminder that I, if you can believe it,  I am the most beautiful woman he see's every day. He tells me every day I am beautiful and he knows I struggle with my current size 12 body image and am constantly striving for size 10. He tells me everyday, not kidding every-single-day that I am beautiful & sexy. I am an extremely lucky girl. He also paid attention  last week when I said I needed a fake plant to round out the decor in my office and got me the perfect one. My kids both drew pictures of me in the cards they gave me, gave me flowers, even daisies covered in spray glitter from my Bug. This morning I spent the day at Duder's school for Muffins with Mom. He didn't even noticed I passed on the muffins, he was just so excited I was there and could meet his BFFs mom so we could schedule summer playdates LOL Priorities. This afternoon, I will have a treat with my daughter at her school where I'll get pampered at a spa day. May I remind you that the Bug is 3 and pampered means, I will have crazy hair, purple eye shadow and 4 different kinds of polish on my finger nails. I know, sounds completely dreamy!! Here is how my daughter, who will ONLY wear dresses plays: by climbing the back stop at my son's T-ball game. The other picture is what happens when you leave your swim gear in the back seat, my crazy little Duder.
Why I Kick A$$: I am a mom!
The Big Picture: It's a 12. It is not the end of the world. We'll see what the dr. says Monday and once this surgery stuff is out of the way, I am seriously putting the MyFitnessPal away, hiding the scale and gonna try and live a body conscience free month. We'll start there. I'll go on perceived fitness, satiety for food and fit for clothes and just see if I can't do this with a less obsessive approach. Just an idea. We'll see after all these doctor appts are out of the way.
Thankful Three:
  1. Super Hubby
  2. Duder
  3. Bug

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Summary: Catching up to me

Make the most of yourself, 
for that is all there is of you. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday was a great example of how bad things lead to good things and cycling back over and over. I didn't get mad about the lame things and was really greatful for the good things. It is a step in the right direction of where I want to ended up. Someday when I grow up, I want to be able to decide I am happy, in control of my actions and responses and be. Be happy, Be confident, Be a mom, Be a friend, Be wife, Be a boss etc. and feel totally like it is my decision.

Perceived Bad: Woke up early because Super Hubby went golfing at like 6am so Krazy Kids woke up at 6 am too, so no sleeping in on my "sleep in Saturday"
Good: Up early enough to get everyone breakfast and ready for the gym with Kids Club hours before T-ball pictures
Perceived Bad: I locked my keys in the car Friday night & didn't realize it until we were heading out the door
Good: My inlaws only live a mile a way and have 2 cars, 1 of which is outfitted with 2 cars seats for my Krazy Kids, they didn't need both cars so my MIL hooked it up!
Perceived Bad: I left my regular swim bag in my car, didn't have a locker lock, swim goggles or anything like that.
Good: I had $20 in my wallet, bought new goggles, left my bag pool side, swam 1000 yards, the most in one session I have done this year so far and no one stole my stuff and we made it to t-ball on time

The day continued this way, each of the Perceived Bad could have cause me to have a personal, poor -me-temper-tantrum-meltdown, but it didn't. I find that I am a stronger me when Super Hubby is away, even for a few hours because I know I have no one else to rely on in those moments. I could look at that as bad, or that I am a bad person for being weak and childish when Super Hubby is there to pick up the slack, but instead I see it as a positive. I love, trust and know that I picked an amazing man who allows me to rest when he is around, I don't have to be Ms. Tough Stuff every second of every day and that is such a gift. Today I was supposed to volunteer during my kids religious school. The first 45 mins are parent-kid time and they suggested that this one time, parents didn't have to stay for parent kid time so they could volunteer to help at a baking workshop. I wasn't comfortable leaving my 3-yr old for that 45 min, even though there were plenty of amazing moms who would have taken her under their wing for that 45 min. My wise, confident, decisive Super Hubby pointed out that I am the mom. I don't need to feel pressured by the recommendation, I should do what I felt comfortable doing. WOW! Really? Just like that, DECIDE, no I am staying for the 45 min parent-kid session and will just volunteer my time after? So amazing, how do people do that? LOL I am so decisive at work, at home, being myself-- well that is something I am still learning how to do.

I might have some news on my next BIG event in my next post. I haven't officially registered so I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I can tell you it has me excited. Excited to train. Excited to get stronger. Excited to want to workout. I have been fleshing out my regular routine workout plans, but once I register for this event, the plans will have to become more aggressive than just walking a mile during my breaks or hitting Bikram every now and then or swimming an easy 1000 yards.

The Big Picture: The scale isn't moving, but I did get a compliment that I am having better posture, in the form of "You are standing so tall and look really strong." I'll take it!
Why I Kick A$$: Slowly but surely, increasing my swim endurance from 500 yards to 1000 yards. Hoping May will be my 1500 yard month. Since I am only swimming 1-2 times a week, I can't accelerate too quickly.
Thankful Three:
  1. For a desire to be fit again, I rally think the sun has a whole lot to do with this increased motivation.
  2. For family, specifically hang out time with my cousin. I really feel like myself when we're together.
  3. For wanting to blog this weekend.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Tidbit: I am still here

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, 
don't adjust the goals, 
adjust the action steps.

So it's been a while, here's a little update, my health situation is still unresolved. After a month of monitoring and restricted physical activity my doctor released me to resume normal activity while we monitor for another month. Lame to still be in waiting, but the upside is the working out again, I was on such a roll in January, I wish he would have left the exercise in the whole time. Although I got cleared to work out again on on February 28th it has been kind of a slow pick up. I ran/walked an 11 mile training run a few days after being leased only to be so super sore the following few days that I skipped my 12 miler the next weekend. I completed my half marathon on 3/17. I ran mostly until mile 10 when for the first time ever I got severe foot and calf cramps. I actually wasn't sure I'd finish! I think it stemmed from having had a stomach bug earlier in the week and not properly re-hydrating. The most important thing is hobbling or not I finished.

Since the half marathon my husband has totally stepped up to help encourage me forward. I have worked out more consistently this past week and a half and I am also incorporating more strength training and am hoping in a few weeks I start to feel stronger again. In the last week I have jumped on my bike and swam for the first time since last summer! I am really excited again and hope that my next doctor appt. next week is good news, I obviously do not take derailment well. I'm aiming for a minimum of 1 blog post a month, I'd love to say I'd do it daily or weekly, but seriously not in the cards these days, but I do enjoy posting when I give myself the opportunity.

Why I Kick A$$: I am back at it.
The Big Picture: Oh who the hell knows, I am not sure I am playing this fitness game the right way, but I guess it can't hurt to keep at it.
Thankful Three:
  1. For Super Hubby's support.
  2. For push-ups, they are my friend.
  3. For flourless chocolate cake.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Motivation: Walking

All truly great thoughts 
are conceived by walking.
Friedrick Nietzsche

So the last time I posted I was in the best mood and had gone on a trail run, uh hike, jog...whatever, then I registered for a local training group prepping for a half marathon in March and feeling on top of the world. I ran my first long run with them on Sunday January 27th. Mind you have I haven't run more than 1-2 miles since I can remember and I showed up and ran 5.35 non-stop in 1:02. This was good for me and especially my first time out after a long hiatus. That night I felt a tiny pain. The pain grew and grew and I decided to try and sleep it off. Monday morning, uh pain this there, doctor's office called and long story short I am sidelined at least until February 28th. I'll spare you the details of my health issues, it is not serious, but I am limited to walking for the remainder of the month until I go back in for a follow up. My hubby even asked the doctor for me if I could maintain my weight training and swim or something that is low impact and he said, absolutely not, I can't even do yoga!

So here I am post temporary sideline diagnosis and I am going back and forth with having mini pity parties for myself while junk food binging and then feeling awesome and eating within my calorie target trying to maintain my current accomplishments. It is such an emotional thing for me. I had really been doing so well with my weight training and I was really ready to add in cardio more consistently. Most of the pain has either shifted into dull constant annoyance with a few stretches of no pain at all. I am feeling more on the up and up, but the restrictions suck.

Today I did another long walk with my training group, yup, I didn't give up. I went from B group that runs 10-12 minute miles to D group that walks. I covered the same ground as my last run, 5.36 miles, but this time is took me 1:14 and I burned about half as many calories. Also, walking is tough, really super duper tough and uses all kind of funny muscles. Like I almost have a shin splint thing happening on my left shin. Ugh, I know some movement is better than no movement and really it isn't about the calories burned, it is about being fit, but still, I am vain, I want on some level to be thin, but apparently haven't quite committed enough to ditch the sweet tooth lol All in good time and in good balance. Perhaps this sideline is a blessing in disguise.

Why I Kick A$$: While I may not be feeling very successful on the health and fitness front, I have definitely been doing well at work.
The Big Picture: February 28th is around the corner, I am already feeling better and walking is keeping my legs used to pounding the pavement. This whole thing is just blip on the radar a very small set back if it can even be called that.
Thankful Three:
  1. For new opportunities.
  2. For lessons in needing to take care of myself.
  3. For a light weekend, much needed down time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Tidbit: This post is more than a tidbit

Instead of comparing our lot with that of those 
who are more fortunate than we are, 
we should compare it with the lot 
of the great majority of our fellow men. 
It then appears that we are among 
the privileged.
~Hellen Keller

I have had a pretty amazing weekend. It all started Thursday night when Super Hubby and I went to the Trampled by Turtles concert at the Fillmore in SF. We really love this bluegrass band and try to see them every time they are in California. The concert is one in a series of dates we have had over the last three months. Trying to make our couples time more date like has been fun. We have done mini golf, movies, bowling and now a concert. Oh to be young again. We still keep our usual dinners and lunches out together, but the activity based stuff is really fun!

Friday Super Hubs had to work while I had the day off. I had a few plans move around, but I basically landed on getting Duder a big boy full size bed, having breakfast with a very cool friend, lunch with the Hubs before he set out for his weekend fishing trip then the kids and I had dinner with his extended family including the New Jersey contingent who is visiting this week. It was a full Friday, but full of love, friendship, fun and gratitude. The Bug was less than thrilled with her new toddler sized bed and had more fun hanging with her Big Bro in his bed.

You thought Friday was full didn't you, well Saturday we knocked out soccer pictures, a couple hours with the New Jersey crowd, a soccer game where my Duder scored a goal from across the field, a birthday party at the science museum and dinner out with my BFF. Did I mention Duder scored a goal? So he is playing defense and goes to kick the ball to clear it and it is one hell of a kick and the ball rolls into the goal on the other side of the court. It is indoor soccer played on basketball courts at the local high school. He almost did it a second time, but the other team got to it.

Sunday, oh this was a major recovery day. We reluctantly got out of bed and met some friends at the gym for a workout date, stopped at Trader Joe's made a quick lunch and started some epic naps. The Bug and I slept about 2.5 hours and Duder went down for 45 minutes and after a mean look for waking me up, he laid down in my bed and promptly went back to sleep. He ended up sleeping an additional 3 hour nap. He obviously needed it.

I am one lucky girl, I got to go trail running. I really can't tell you how wonderfully excited I was about it. It is with a couple girls I ran with a couple years ago. One of them kept running and is now an ultra trail runner, the other finished her marathon and took time off and I am obviously getting back into it again. I was a little nervous to be using a non-family babysitter for the first time, but my gal pal swears by her and for good reason, she was great! Did I mention I got a new headband? Yup, it is pretty and was almost free. Free in that I really didn't spend money on it, but I did spend enough money at the shoe store to earn points to "buy" it.
Why I Kick A$$: While I may not get to spend frequent time with my friends, I have an amazing group of women I am proud to have in my life. When I judge myself or compare myself to others, these friends really add the perspective I need to ease my worry wort self.

Thankful Three:
  1. For being busy with family and friends when Super Hubby is away, makes the absence more palatable.
  2. For friends and family who share experience so I can learn from them, awesome-awesome people.
  3. For fitness, I am not the skinniest, fittest person ever, but damn it, I have been much happier and more balanced having fitness back in my life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Motivation: Getting Dunked

I keep trying to lose weight... 
but it keeps finding me!  
~Author Unknown

So last Saturday I had a great post planned where I would share with you the results of my hydrostatic body fat testing. A local crossfit had a mobile unit coming out and a good friend of my mine signed us up, I was looking forward to the 01-05-13 date for a couple weeks. We went and the parking lot was empty. My first thought was we were at the wrong place, her first thought, we were scammed LOL Actually, a pipe had burst late the night before and we didn't get notification. Our make up session was Friday 01-11-13 and I couldn't be more elated with the results.

The Beginning
In fall/winter of 2011 I started to gain a few pounds... like 5. Not a big deal. I probably over reacted and started watching what I ate along with picking up my running again. Suddenly my 5 was 10 and I couldn't get the scale to budge! Next steps: primary care, off the 1 medication I was taking, then referral to an endocrinologist in May 2012 and nothing. Blood work, fine. My eating, was healthy including a 6 week stint of mostly plant based diet and zero fried foods. I was eating 1200 calories and exercising. When that didn't work, I gave up, ate what I wanted and initially lost a few pounds so I started watching what I ate again and gained another 5lbs. Dang it! So I stopped exercising and didn't watch what I ate.

The Middle
I went to an RD in the late summer time and she informed me that I was way under eating and used a simple method of my body weight divided by 2.2 to find my weight in kilos and multiplied that by 20 to find my target calories for weightloss. I was also informed that it was unnecessary, unless training super hard, to replace my calories for regular workouts. I could just structure my meals so that I ate near enough my workouts or had snacks around then to stave off hunger. It worked for a few weeks, I lost 3 pounds and my goal conservatively was about 1 lb. a week. Then the weight started to come back on and I was too frustrated to play. So we are approaching the 1-year mark and I decided to workout again. I am going on almost a month of working out and eating 1700 calories. The first few days I lost 1-3 lbs. and then I was back up another 5 or more. I even got to a point where I worked out 12 out of 15 consecutive days. I have been doing lots of strength training and have been doing more and more cardio over the last two weeks.  In a year I have put on 15 pounds!

The Present
Am I losing weight? No. Does weight loss take longer than a month? Yes. I get it, but I feel hungry all the time, am watching what I eat and exercising, I should be seeing something. So fast forward to Friday. My body fat testing didn't yield shocking results. I had had quality caliper testing done in the late summer-fall and the results are fairly close. I am 24.3% fat. I need to lose 5.8 lbs to lower that percentage to 22% and any muscle gain changes the results dramatically. The ultimate goal is 20% or less. What was shocking news was to have my fat and lean body mass factored in to my RMR. When I run my RMR online based on height, weight, age and activity level it is usually in the high 1500's almost 1600. So I was worried a little with 1700 being higher than that, but the RD knows better than a computer generated generic number. With more information, comes a stronger answer. My new, old, whatever, my current RMR result is 1958 calories. Yes, to lay in bed all day and breathe is 1958. If I roll out of bed and walk to the bathroom, I am already creating a calorie deficit! Should I be replacing my workout calories? YES! So at 1700 calories I was already 258 under plus whatever I burned walking around doing my regular routine, let alone exercising. My body for a year has been in a perpetual state of starvation.

The Reason Why and What's Next
So why did this all happen late fall 2011? I stopped running. I took time off gained weight and when I went back to it, over compensated by restricting my calories. I can run and pretty much eat whatever I want. All I had to do was one or the other, but both was too much on my body, apparently. So I will be slowly upping my caloric intake 2-3 days at a time so my body doesn't hold on to everything thinking I will go back into a period of starvation. I am at 1800 and am eating more of my workout calories. On Wednesday I'll go to 1850, next Sunday 1900 and by 01-23-13 I'll be at 1958 and hopefully be consuming closer to all my workout calories. I know it'll take time for my body to adjust so I am hoping by the end of February I start to see a reduction. Once I stabilize, I'll start a normal weigh loss program, if necessary. You know, the 500 calorie a day deficit blah, blah, blah.

Why I Kick A$$: Because after only 2 days of upping my calories the scale ballooned 5lbs and it didn't bother me. I'll keep weighing in because at some point the numbers will be validating again, I just have to be patient in the mean time.

Thankful Three:
  1. For date night with my girlfriend
  2. For date night with Super Hubby
  3. For a wonderful dinner

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tuesday Tidbit: Super Original


  1. A firm decision to do or not to do something.
  2. A formal expression of opinion or intention agreed on by a legislative body, committee, or other formal meeting, typically after taking...

decision - determination - resolve - solution

Ok, so not exactly super original, yes I'll be talking about resolutions like most people in blogland. LOL ok, maybe not as I have already read some posts about how some prefer not to call them resolutions. I have heard To-Do-List, Goals, Challenges whatever, January 1 starts a new year and a natural jumping off point for things to do, change, accomplish etc. This is a concept that super hubby does not engage in, there is not planning ahead, if he wants to do things, he'll start the moment he decides he wants to do something and only tackles things he plans to truly complete. I wish I had his resolve to only spend energy on things I'll actually do and his sense of freedom from the rest of the worlds schedule. So here is our families' New Year's Whatever List:

The Bug: She wants to have a snowflake garden this year
Duder: He wants to go to the snow and learn how to make a snowman
Super Hubby: For a guy who doesn't set goals, he is planning to do a pretty cool activity this year, Tough Mudder! Yup, my husband who hates running and thought the Merrill Down and Dirty 5K was kinda challenging has just decided he'd do tough mudder with his buddies. He'll finish, have fun and likely do it all without doing a shred of training. I plan to beg and plead until race day for him to work out with me and run with me in preparation for his event, but really, just so we can hang out doing something I like to do.

Me: Geez where do I start? I have lofty ideas, hence the "Ambitious" part of my blog title. I am working on reigning it in. I am also a slacker so even if I have a narrowed list of things, I have a difficult time following through timely on my goals. I start strong and sputter, until I have only a vague memory of what I even started out to do. So with all this in mind, here is my list, my living list of things I'd like to focus on this year.
  1. Save more money, Super Hubby is going to find a good mutual for me.
  2. Take my family to Disneyland, shooting for this summer.
  3. Get leaner, I was going to say fit, I was going to say skinny, but I am already fit and I will never be "skinny." Generally leaner would mean losing about 10-15 lbs of fat, but we'll see how this goal changes after I get my Hydrostatic Body Fat testing and RMR results Saturday. I like how I look and feel in a 10 so that is the tangible goal right now because "weight" and the F*&^ing scale are not really anything I am happy about. The fluctuations are not making sense to me, but I feel good so I am just trying to focus on that.
  4. Run. I ran last year, but let my frustrations with my weight struggles derail me in late spring and never picked myself back up. On the schedule, a 10K in January, a half marathon in March and I am still looking for something for other months in the year. I would like running 2-3 days a week to become more routine for me without losing my strength training.
  5. Do things that help me be a happier person, things that are about me. Selfish, selfish me totally guilt free. Blog. Read. Spend time with friends, etc. I need to schedule me time. I find myself being jealous of the folks who have scheduled events like book clubs or bunco or take long weekend trips like my hubby takes with his fishing buddy etc. I just need to decide what would make me happy, throw it on the calendar and commit to it.
So not a ton of earth shatteringly fantastic ideas here, but I think these 5 things are manageable. How will I track? Eh, I don't want the tracking to be super serious, but I have been using MyFitnessPal for food and exercise tracking. I have tried dailymile in previous years, but I could hardly remember to log my miles. I will post my "ME" activities on the calendar and I will count races as me time. I am trying to pace myself here and not over commit only to beat myself up later for failing.

Why I Kick A$$: I started my list already....just gotta keep going.
Thankful Three:
  1. For tamales, have I posted this before?
  2. For cupcakes, damn it... this is not helping my cause.
  3. For having things to look forward to.