Slow and Steady

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Five: Rainbows & Unicorns

If you want to be happy, be.
~Leo Tolstoy
I had an amazing post ready, pictures and was deleted and I have lost my momentum. Hopefully I'll feel motivated to re-type tomorrow, so for now a very short, but wonderfully true Friday Five. Have a great Friday everyone!
  1. I Feel Happy
  2. I Feel Healthy
  3. I Feel Hip (you know, like a cool kid)
  4. I Feel Hot (the sexy kind, not temperature)
  5. I Feel wHole (I tried the H theme for as long as I could)
Big Picture: Losing a blog post just gives me more time to mentally compose the re-take.
Why I Kick A$$: Because despite a frustratingly slow process , I have stuck with being healthier in a more balanced way for much longer than I have tried before.
Thankful Three
  1. For my work team, it was a tough week, but we pulled it out.
  2. For pretty new clothes
  3. For my current endless pot of smiles both internal and from my family

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Motivation: Today's motivation is brought to you by the letter "P"

We must take care always to keep ourselves,
by suitable establishments,
in a respectable defensive posture.
~George Washington

OMG what does that quote even mean? LOL Actually, I picked this quote because today my employer (the Federal Govt.) has given it's workforce the day off to honor our forefathers. Tomorrow is the nations best guess at George Washington's birthday so I am going with GW for today's quote. I also like this quote because it can be applied to our own individual lives.

Today's motivation is brought to you by the letter "P" and as GW said, we must keep ourselves in a respectable defensive POSTURE. For me lately that has meant focusing on my food intake and building consistency with my workouts. In this way I am posturing myself to defend against aging prematurely & keeping my body healthy and protected as much as possible against disease.

My suitable establishments? The gym, the outdoors, farmer's markets, even my choice to walk at lunch and my snack choices are a reflection of the suitable established practices of a healthy person. Being a healthy person is respectable. Being a healthy person is who I want to be and what I want to look like. First impressions say so much about a person and I want someone to look at me and know I am an athlete. I want to unconsciously stand tall and keep good posture. In order to do that, I know I need to focus more on my CORE. So today I tried something new! I tried pilates and it was just delightful. It was mat-pilates, no machines. I definitely understood the different exercises and how they played into my normal daily activities and I would like to incorporate more of this in my workout routine. No I haven't been living under a rock, I have known about pilates, but most places around here do their classes mid-morning and there is no way I can work that into my schedule except on days like today when I have the day off and gyms still offer classes.

The Big Picture: Posture is as much about how you position your body, as it is how you carry yourself. Attitude, energy and communication are huge factors in positive healthy posturing.
Why I Kick A$$: I have played gourmet chef the last two days and the food has been great!
Thankful Three:
  1. For new Golite clothes that shipped today, YAY!
  2. For workout partners, having them makes such a huge difference.
  3. For sleep, I got plenty of it last night and I have room for a short nap right now! Nighty, nite!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Sampler: Food, Fitness and Fun

Balance is beautiful.
Miyoko Ohno

Wow, where does the time go? While I still feel very busy, this moment I am feeling like I am closer to having balance, I really am appreciating how things are falling together and I am trying to stay patient with the things that are not moving as quickly as I would like them too. It is late so I am just going to do a quick catch up:


What is working? Roasted Unsalted Almonds, V8 low sodium vegetable juice, whole grain bread from Trader Joe's as well as the British style English muffins and multi-grain oatmeal. I love fiber. With my previous eating habits incorporating fast food for lunch every single day I was only getting 10-15 grams of fiber a day. Now I am usually at 15 with just my breakfast. I am also chugging the H2O. Hydration has become a mainstay for me now and I am very happy with how easy it was to build that habit, it used to be so hard. Not sure what clicked, but I am happy it did.

What's not? Pretty much anything super processed. Don't get me wrong, I devoured a chocolate brownie thing for Valentine's day, but the better I eat the easier it is it is to realize how yucky certain things are for me. Today I had a great meal, there were a couple things on the menu that I was iffy about blueberry muffins from a package and crescent rolls from a tube. I was right, they have wreaked havoc on my digestive system. Boo. Will I eat other processed food that doesn't fight my tummy? Probably, but my hope is that the more whole food I eat the less desire I will have for the crap.

So this week Super Hubby came up with a brilliant idea. One I have had for over a year, but have been too lame to ask about. He suggested that we walk during our lunch break instead of eating out to fast food as we normally do. Monday was a rainy day, but instead of bailing on the walk plan we headed across the street from my office to the Home Depot and walked every single aisle. The whole old people walking the mall? Yeah I totally get it now. LOL What else is new in fitness land? I had a nice self directed workout with a friend Thursday night. We are going to try and make it a weekly thing. We warmed up with a jog and did the following workout over the course of 45 min to an hour.
  • Warm up
    • We just ran down the block and back
  • Block 1 we switched off activities
    • Step slides with a band-3x 1 minute as many as we could do (both directions)
    • Lunges (stay in place and hop to switch sides)-3x 1 minute as many as we could do 
  • Block 2 we did together
    • Ran down the block and back to keep the heart rate up 
    • Karaoke-3x across the street and back
    • Butt Kickers-3x across the street and back
    • High Knees-3x across the street and back
  • Block 3 we switched off activities
    • Wall sits- 3x 20 sec hold, 10 sec rest
    • Planks- 3x 20 sec hold, 10 sec rest
    • Crawls- 3x 1 minute
  • Block 4 
    • Sit ups 3x 1 minute as many as we could do
    • Medicine squat with ball to out side of foot, bring to the top and down to the other side 3x 1 minute as many as we could do
    • Bicep curls- 3x 1 minute as many as we could do (free weights)
    • Chest press-3x 1 minutes as many as we could do (free weights 
I love creating workouts and I am very excited I have some company now. If only I could be consistent. Eating habits are coming along, hydration is coming along, I know I get fitness to be more of a habit, but for now I have to keep working on it. Consistency, consistency, consistency. I am currently addicted to Pinterest and often see workout suggestions like this one...I think I am going to start fiddling with some. They are straight forward and honestly they are better than sitting around doing nothing.

Oh there is lots of fun happening. Thursday my workout date really felt like a total social visit, we just so happened to be sweating the entire time.Yesterday was the most productive day of the year so far. It was all about kindergarten registration. I visited 5 school sites, entered the lottery for the enrollment, hit two school district offices, managed to get a pedicure with my friend whom I haven't hung out with in a while and had Sushi Friday lunch with both my friend and hubby. I am pretty sure I could live off of hamachi nigiri.

I even had time for Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Today was a great family day at my in-laws country house. I got in a nap, read my book and pop outside to enjoy the scenary briefly. It was relaxing for me, my dogs ran free, my kids had lots of attention from their grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins AND I got a Thanksgiving style meal in February. Pretty great all around. Tomorrow will be fabulous too!

The Big Picture: Life is a process, live in the process! I too often expect the end result before I have even gotten started on the work needed to get there.
Why I Kick A$$: I was pretty much super mom yesterday so I am going to where that badge of honor for a while.

Thankful Three:
  1. For Gluten Free Flourless chocolate cake--delish!
  2. For attentive day care providers and getting a heads up on a possible ear infection early enough Friday that we could get a pediatrican visit in before the long three day weekend. Woo Hoo on avoiding urgent care & emergencies for the double ear infection. The Bug is taking it like a trooper though.
  3. For new kitchen organizers: canisters and a new bread basket

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Summary: I Love My Life

I can often suffer from the grass is greener model of thinking. I wish I was one who could be one of those people who wanders around blissfully happy, but I am not. I have to remind myself to smile instead of looking so serious all the time, I don't usually jump up and down giddy about wonderful things that happen to me and I definitely don't "feel" happy all the time. I grew up in a household of straight faces, we were pretty serious all the time and while we were happy, it wasn't an overt expression of our identities. So what did I go and do?

I married a man who is silly, who grew up in a household that was expressive about being happy and he smiles generously. It is pretty refreshing, but that level of being - identity is still a conscious effort for me. This is especially true when I am feeling any level of stress. Today I smiled about something and physically felt the change that it brought about. I felt warm, I felt energetic and realized--WOW that was easy. (Ugh, I just typed that thinking of the darn Staples commercial). So today I need to remind myself that I live a pretty charmed life. I have an amazing husband, I literally am breathless when I see him and contented of the heart knowing we are together. My children are so amazingly beautiful, healthy and intelligent. I am 99.9% Healthy in every way. I am good at my job and fortunate enough that is keeps our family in a comfortable lifestyle. I also have an amazing extended family.

Check out my weekend:
Saturday: Stayed over at my brother and sister-in-laws in SF Friday night and got an early start on an 11+ mile walk along the peninsula Saturday morning. Stops included an amazing pastry shoppe, the best fruit salad ever at a hippy dippy shop that used "plastic ware" made from plants so it was 100% biodegradable, a quick walk up on part of the Golden Gate, then a cupcake shop in Ghiradelli Square called Kara's that had the most amazing coconut cupcakes and several gluten free options for my sister-in-law. Then of course we had pumpkin curry with fried yam strips on top for lunch. Pumpkin curry, makes total sense. So delicious. I also had a drink called a Thai Smile...totally made me smile.
Yes we're twinsies, my SIL gave me an extra layer that just so happen to match her blue mid-layer.
There were funky parts to my Saturday too. I was in a taxi cab crashed. Later got into another taxi and he didn't know where he was going, got out half a block later. Took BART, then another cab and OMG the short little ride cost like $30! Yikes! I was also an hour late getting home. This is where instead of stressing over how lame all that was, I really am thankful my niece was home to watch the kids and that my mom and aunt were around to take her to work and watch the kids until I got home. I have friends and family who don't live close to their families and struggle with babysitter issues. I can sometimes under value the convenience of having so many childcare options around us and the time and freedom to participate in so many non-mommy things on weeknights and weekends because my kids have so much family around them that love them and love spending time with them. Thank you to my extended family, you guys are so freak'n awesome!

Sunday: Oy, my weekends are full, but in the most lovely ways. Wonderful leisurely morning with my son while Super Hubby and The Bug were still in bed. Oatmeal breakfast, fun and gourmet baby shower with a room full of smart, talented and lovely ladies, then a quick visit to my cousins....I don't she them often enough, then the park with the family, a grocery trip and superb dinner with vegetable bar. Yeah, I live an truly wonderful life.

The Big Picture: Life is what you make it and I have spent plenty of time making sure we have the things we need to be happy and creating the environment we need to be happy, but I some times forget to actually BE happy. I love my is my new mantra.
Why I Kick A$$: I tried and triumphed over my first attempt at a mini-juice fast. Apparently I do have discipline!
Thankful Three
  1. For clean eating (mostly) TMI: PMS symptoms virtually gone and so are some digestive issues after less than a month of true healthy eating efforts
  2. For friends who support the food lifestyle change by sending sample menus on FB
  3. For the most amazingly beautiful and leisurely 11+ miles with my SIL yesterday... I really needed it

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tidbit: The Picture of Health

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking
if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  

A quick recap of where I am and where I have been since Friday. A short notice invitation to a wedding had me in Reno, NV Saturday and right back home Sunday morning for a gym workout. Talk about whirlwind. Unfortunately there were some casualities. I lost my ATM card as well as my Starbucks Gold Card...tragic I know, but I survived. The wedding was lovely and I was so glad for my parents and in-laws for pulling babysitting duty so I could celebrate with my cousin in this life cycle event.

Monday I went to the orthopedist for my shoulder pain. The pain is consistent with a torn rotator cuff, but because there wasn't a traumatic onset, we are trying a course of therapeutic pain management and inflammation control for 3 weeks and we'll re-evaluate. If it doesn't improve, then we'll go the MRI route. I am hoping time, rest and pain management will help.

Today I saw an endocrinologist. It was less than exciting. The good news is I am off a medication that I had been taking for over a year. While I am in the doctor's words, "The picture of health," I am still concerned about my weight gain and general fatigue. His prescription? Eat less, sleep more, workout more. The guy is a genius, I know. I was annoyed that he wasn't more attentive, but basically he ruled out every issue from Thyroid problems to Diabetes so I can't really complain, I guess I just have to try harder.

I was recommended the Forks over Knives movie by a friend and enjoyed it, this same friend recommended  the book, Food Rules by Michael Pollan so that is the next step in figuring the "diet" that works for my body and life style. So far our family has really shifted into more heart healthy foods, less processed junk, more plant based foods, whole grains and limited eating out etc, but it is time I take it to the next level. What is the next level? I have friends who are every type of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, paleo-diet followers etc. I am not into fads, but I am into what works and recognize that changes as the chemistry of my body changes and the environment within which I live changes. Unfortunately, I missed the memo on the last change and find myself struggling to feel in sync. 


The Big Picture: What works for everyone else might not work for me, but it worth a try to find a better more healthy balance.
Why I Kick A$$: Apparently my "fat" version of myself is not so fat. Not that I'll be complacent, but I'll at least try to judge myself less harshly for a while.
Thankful Three
  1. For supportive friends
  2. For new followers, thanks everyone!
  3. For renewed determination 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Five: I Heart Food

Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women.
~American Heart Association

  1. With so many health issues in our extended family recently, the big New Year's resolution wave on Facebook and the push of whole foods in blog world, I figured it was time to at least pay attention. At the urging of a friend, my hubby and I finally watched Fork over Knife. We couldn't finish it in one sitting (I fell asleep), but day two we wrapped it up and feel somewhat more informed. The statistical data was quite interesting and we enjoyed seeing how focused some people were in committing to a whole food-plant based diet. I don't think either of us are ready to totally vegan or even vegetarian for that matter. With the changes Super Hubby has made on his own these last couple of weeks and my desire to shrink my waistline, I can definitely say I am being more conscience with my food choices this week. I love having the support knowing Super Hubs is on the same page. He has tried to indulge me in the past, but usually not for long because he was doing it for me, now that he is doing it for himself, it is so much easier for me to ride the amazing waves he is making. He's already down 1 belt size in less than 2 weeks and his objective is not even to lose weight!
  2. I found a great little 10 day pledge from Tonia on Racing with Babes that she found HERE. I am following some, but not all. I am trying to ease in and while these 10 things seem perfectly reasonable, it is actually really hard for me so most is better than none. It is the breads that get me most I think.
  3. Workouts, what's working and what's not? Late nights while good for my work out, totally screw my schedule, I get to bed late and am tired in the morning. After work gym time is good if I actually force myself to leave the office. Weekends are going ok, with Sunday's almost being a shoe for a fun work out with a fellow pre-school mom. Well I looked back at January and on average I was only working out 2x per week. It is better than nothing, much better than December which was pretty close to zero and about on par with how I was in November post a late October half marathon. My goal, if I dare state one, is to work out a bit more in February. I hate that I am afraid to put a number on it, I am afraid I'll fail if I do. So I will play it relatively safe. With 29 days in the month of February this year, I will say that 10 would be good, 15 delightful and anything more than that freak'n amazing.
  4. It's Super Bowl weekend! Woo Hoo! Just kidding, I am not really so much into football.
  5. I signed up my son for tot soccer, should be interesting. He is very energetic so running is not a problem, running with a purpose...well we might not be there yet.
Why I Kick A$$: I did hit the gym yesterday after work, but before my fancy chiropractic appt.
The Big Picture: Try new things that are healthy for me in any increment is a good thing. I don't have to be a vegan today or ever, but raw whole foods are yummy and any portion of said food daily helps me be a better me.
Thankful Three
  1. For a husband that leads by example
  2. For heart health awareness month
  3. For being 1 day closer to the weekend