Category Archives: exercise

Tooting My Own Horn

I have shouted it on my Facebook status.  I have shouted it in Facebook groups.  I have texted it all over the world.

I ran 3.1 miles (5k) without stopping last night for the first time in a few years.

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And that was after walking a mile.

2015-01-22 20.07.57My legs felt okay this morning, until I did my 21 day fix dirty 30 workout.  That dude is killer and now,  feel every muscle I have ever used!!!  But I did it.  I am back to running!!!

 

 

Not Sleek But Me

I have really turned up the exercise lately.  Truly, it is that and not the medications that are getting me through the hard days, it is the sweat and work.

I am starting to understand why people say “skip the meds, I’ll just wing it.”  But that is another post, so back to exercise.

I am pretty in love with exercise programs put out by Beachbody (Insanity, P90x, PiYo, and others).  Each one offers you the challenge of getting a free shirt if you send them before and after photos and complete the program.

I finally did it!

PiYo.  I owned it, except the days it owned me, but we’ll pretend those days I owned it too, mkay?

Here is me in my free shirt.  I wish I were more sleek but for now I am an extra curvy curvy girl.

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I’ve Been Avoiding This

You may have read my whining about my stomach issues.

I had tests done.

I went to the hospital.

I got good drugs.

I had more tests.

I took medicine.

I had allergy testing done.

I lived for weeks on a liquid diet.

I cried.

I got no answers.

I had no relief.

But I had a niggling thought as to what it might be.  No, oh no, it couldn’t be that.  I would never be able to give that up.  That couldn’t be what it would take for me to feel better.  The thought continued to bug me.  I continued to tell it to shut it.

Back and forth.  Over and over.

I finally couldn’t deny the possibility…

Processed sugar appears to be my enemy.  You know, yummy sweets.  Candy.  Cake.  Cookies.  Many beloved foods.

Sigh.

Now I know there are other contributing factors.  My medications, abdominal migraines.  Those are a bit out of my control.  But this one–as hard as it might be, I have to at least try.

Last night was a bad night with my stomach…I  had eaten a pop tart and a kids mini twizzlers pack.  I paid the price.  It was not pretty.

My motivation today has been pretty solid.  I have not strayed.  Right now, I am eating baby carrots while one of my girls has a yummy pop tart.  The smell might be about to make me crazy, but the stomach issues feel like they are going to kill me, so…here goes!

The Redesign

As you know, I have been trying over and over to get myself sorted out to exercise eat better.  It is finally beginning to come together.

The exercise part has always been easiest for me.  I started doing PiYo 6 days a week.  I love to hate that workout.  It pushes me, it has me drenched in sweat and I hurt afterward, but I can do it.  And I am seeing improvement in my form and strength. I was able to do several side planks today without falling over.  2 1/2 weeks ago I tried to do one, fell and landed on some stuff.  I ended up with big bruises and scrapes.  Today I did them almost no problem.

I’ve also been walking and running.  Last week I did 2 miles straight.  Today I did 3/4 of a mile very easily.  I stopped only because I had other things I needed to do.  I’m getting there and it feels great.

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I still don’t know what to do for my eating, but I’ll work on figuring that out.  The last few days I feel like I have made some progress.  Minus the piece of brownie I had tonight.  I’m hoping I can make changes bit by bit.

As of yesterday, I have lost 4 lbs in the last month and 6 1/2 inches on my waist.  My jeans fit noticeably better today.

Yesterday, I looked at a magnet a very close doctor friend of mine had given me.  She has tried to help me over and over to work on getting healthier.  Her picture is directly in my line of sight when I open the fridge, so I decided to put her to work.  I made a little speech bubble like they show in the cartoons that said, “have you drank water today” and put it over her.  Then I decided my fridge could serve up even more encouragement.  I added things like, has the treadmill seen you lately? Eat carrots instead of chocolate.  Is PiYo done?  Grab some fruit.  Shop healthy.

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*Please excuse the magnets on top of my friends.  It is important to protect for safety reasons where they are exactly.

I am hoping these in your face reminders will keep me on the straight and narrow.

How do you keep yourself on track when getting healthy?  I’d love to hear all your tips and tricks.

I am hoping each and every one of those notes will keep me on the straight and narrow.

Turning the Tables

Okay, here is a TMI post.  Read or don’t read.  You’ve been warned.

As I have mentioned, I am exercising and trying to figure out my eating like crazy.  My typical day includes 90 days of exercise.  I start with PiYo in the morning and then in the evening hit the treadmill.  I watch Disney movies (what??  I like them) and walk.  Well, most of the time.  Last Tuesday I RAN two miles on the treadmill.  I was watching Mulan.  I walked .18 of a mile then threw a shirt over the treadmill display and decided to run until they got to the part where the “soldiers” were singing about wishing they had worked harder in gym class.  That is, at my pace, two miles into the movie!!!!!  I am telling you what.  That run still makes me  smile.

Thursday night I watched Aladdin and logged 1 mile running.  There wasn’t quite as much in me that night.

Today I ventured outside.  I was so excited to try and pound out a mile or two.  Two bad I took the route that starts with a steep and then long hill, running into the wind.  I made it half a mile and had to slow down to a walk.  And coughed for a couple hours afterward.  I guess that cold last week is still hanging around.

I want to run 5K again, 3.1 miles, so bad I can taste it.  My goal is at least a 5K to celebrate my 40th birthday.

There is a wonderful beauty in the irony that will hold.

On my 20th birthday, I had been sick with Multiple Sclerosis for five years and was taking the first medication to ever show promise in giving a person more times in remission, but not necessarily better long term outcomes.

By my thirtieth birthday, I had done 15 hospital stays over a two year period, including learning how to walk again–twice after the MS yanked that freedom from me.  I was, by that birthday, into the second year of doing pulse IV steroid doses every 3 weeks just to try and be mobile.  We had to plan my meds around my wedding in hopes I would make it through the ceremony and honeymoon without the wheelchair.  I love my wedding pictures,  but hate the moon face I had thanks to those medications.

Thankfully, I went into remission, we had Caitlyn, then we had Sue, and finally Patrice.  I ended up being one of the very blessed people who experienced remission during and after pregnancy…and ever since.

Roughly four years ago, I ran my first step.  Then started doing 5Ks, a 10K and ran the five miles across the Mackinaw Bridge on Labor Day 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, the high doses of a particular medication I took for the Bipolar caused extreme muscle weakness.  I stopped running and lost my confidence entirely by May 2012.  Exercise and strength have been missing ever since…until about a month ago.  A friend of mine and my dear cousin, along with a host of other people had been encouraging me to keep trying.  And I finally started again.  It didn’t go well at all.  So I went back to walking and started doing PiYo.  I am now a little over a month into those Beachbody workouts and I feel so much stronger.  I am back to craving exercise, it makes me feel good no matter what the scale or Bipolar tell me.

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I’m seeing the start of weight and inches lost.  Here’s the TMI:  I have lost 6.5 inches around my hips and an inch in one leg.  And remember those steroid doses?  They gave me the gift of a rotten layer of fat over my ribs.  I hate that fat.  Maybe more than any other jiggles on my body.  But this week, I realized, I can no longer pinch the fat there!!!  There is still a lot there–40 pounds to lose–but progress is good.

I love that I am taking off that Ab weight.  The MS left that horrible junk, but now I am showing the MS who is boss by exercising, living, and doing.

So instead of those battles with MS during those other decades?  This decade, I am going to celebrate strength and sticking it to the MS.  I’m going to take my strength and work and run with it!!

What’s That Pose?

I grew up very conservatively.  The churches we attended taught the Bible very well, but some had a few “extra” rules.

Yoga was one example.

I was taught Yoga was evil.  I was taught it was focused on emptying your mind which would allow spirits to come in.

I never questioned it.  It was just truth.

Fast forward a few years, okay, a lot of years.  There was Yoga on the Wii Fit.  It said nothing about emptying my mind.  And trust me, my mind was FULL of thoughts, “please dear God, don’t let me fall flat on my face.”

Recently, I have discovered PiYo.  It has Yoga and Pilates and sweat all together.  It also has me praying, “dear God, don’t let me fall on my butt!”

Today the girls asked me if they could try a Yoga challenge they found on-line.  I watched, originally to oversee what they had found to make sure it didn’t lead them astray, but it ended up being the funniest part of my day!!!

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Perfecting the Side Plank

Back in the day, you know, when I started dating hubby, I was a size 2.  More than a few of my clothing pieces came from the children section at the store.  Problem is, food had always been social to me.  If I was alone, eating was way down on the list of priorities.  I once ate the same can of jellied cranberry sauce for dinner every day for a week.  But introduce boyfriend/future hubby, and all bets went out the window.  We ate together often.  Suddenly, what, and when, I ate was important.  We were trying new places to eat.  I was making new recipes when he came over.  Add in multiple steroid treatments for multiple sclerosis and you end up with a 25 weight gain in 25 months.

Two more years brings 19 more pounds.

And then two babies in 15 months.

I did finally get back down to 129 between baby 2 and 3.  After my youngest, I once got back down to 132…but the scales have not been kind since.  But I am back on the wagon.  I am walking/running/exercising most days and this week I started tracking my food to see where that lands me.  Candy, er Halloween, week might not have been the best time to do that…but I am learning about my eating and I am learning new exercises, like the evil Side Plank.

I started PiYo a couple weeks ago.  It is a combo of pilates and yoga.  You put together stretching and dynamic movement to get your butt kicked without a single jump.  The plank is back enough, weight balanced on hands and feet, knees up, back  flat, thighs sealed together–and then you cross one leg over of the other, balance your feet on the crossed over combo and lift all of your front weight onto one hand, with the other one pointing to the sky.

It is a delicate balance.

I fell one day last week and bruised up one arm pretty good.

And it has me thinking about all the balance it is, will take to figure out my weight and strength and my duties as a homeschooling mom. There are more than enough duties to go around.

On one hand, I need to have lessons organized for each day, and the right exercise planned for my body each morning.  I have to set my alarm early enough to get exercise done before school needs to get started.  On a good day, I even organize book work the girls can do before I come down from my morning PiYo workout.  That, gives us all a great head start, if they can work on their phonics material and reading before I hit teacher mode.

Throughout the day, I try to walk more, but my primary focus is on getting the girls’ minds full of knowledge, lunch and dinner on the table and I TRY to get the house somewhat in order.  That last part is a real kick in the pants.  There is always more clean up that can be done.  Ugh.

In the evening, I try to have everything on the MUST DO list completed by 8 pm, so I can hit the treadmill and knock out 2 or 3 miles.  The bigger goal is to get down there without the girls joining me, but it never fails, by that time of night–they still like me!!!  And still want to be with me!!!  It is truly confusing to me.

It doesn’t work every day.  It doesn’t work a lot of days.  But it is the goal.  I try to balance it all in my home and family life, just as I do in the evil that is side plank.

It gets a little better every day, every week.  SOMEDAY–I will conquer it all, right??

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Time for Thanks

Days don’t always go as easily as we would like.  I’ve had more than a few of those lately and I am profoundly tempted to come here and whine my little heart out, but I think today needs something a little different–thanks instead of whine.

We are truly having an amazingly beautiful fall.

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Monday night we had some dear friends over to enjoy dinner with us before they  head to their missionary post in Bangladesh.  We are going to miss them.  But we are so proud and excited to see them head to fulfill what the Lord has called them to.  We are supremely honored to love them near and far.  And so thankful for new technology that will help us stay in touch.

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I got a mental health day yesterday.  Don’t all teachers need that? 😉  I had a doctor appointment that I could not take the girls too.  Hubby took a day to be the substitute teacher.  I wanted to feel cool so I wrote out 2 pages of instructions.  I went to my appointment while they tackled the first subject, then I took my proofreading project to Starbucks and used a gift card to get one of the fun drinks, without coffee (yes, you can do that) and sat and read.  I felt so cool.  Next I came home and took the opportunity to run on the treadmill (yup, I am up to a mile at a time!!!).  We ended our day with a couple laps around the block as a family.

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Seriously, I felt really cool writing up the lesson plans and notes for hubby.  And he noticed some things that we could do to better support one of the girls’ learning.

And, I am beyond excited that something clicked in my brain this weekend and I am back to craving exercise.  Truly craving it.

(I don’t know what that weird dot is on my nose)

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As I said in the beginning, there have been some challenges lately.  And some of them have rocked me to the core, but for today, I needed to pass on a little thanks.

I hope your fall is treating you well and showing you lots of beauty.

Shaun T for Kids

Recently, I have been renewing my relationship with the workout Insanity (by Beachbody).  It is a, well, insane workout led by Shaun T.  He kicks your butt.  You know you have worked out when you are done.

Yesterday, I experienced that kid version.

I took the girls to a fun fitness day at a local park.  They had lots of stations the kids could work through…a small balance beam, an obstacle course, beach ball volleyball, T-ball, some hurdles, potato sack racing, the list goes on.  The target audience is up to age 5, but they allowed my older girls to participate.  We tried every station and had fun.

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Then the workout began.

The leader led us through getting ready, and going, on a camping trip.  We did squats, we did frog jumps, we did rowing, we did running, and many other things, all put into our story as fun activities.  It was great watching the kids do the exercises and games.  I joined in on most of them as well, and I am still feeling it today (lots of squats).

It was a blast and definitely got the kids active.  It was an amazing program.  The lady who led it does Birthday parties.

Now THAT is a party I’d be thrilled for the girls to attend!!!!

My Body Image

“Mommy, your belly is big.”

“Mommy, you’re fat.”

“Mommy, you’re as big as daddy.”

I know the girls aren’t trying to  be mean.  They don’t know what their words do to me.  But man, they hurt.  I try to block them out, I try to laugh them off, but it doesn’t work.  I am back to being the fat kid in school.  The one with fat ugly knees.  And thing is, I am.  I have put on so much weight.  I am the heaviest I have ever been, outside of pregnancy.

One hundred and twenty-nine pounds is what I weighed when I got pregnant with Patrice.  I had worked hard to get the weight off.  It allowed me to avoid sugar issues in my pregnancy with her.

It took me a while, but I got back down to 132 after Patrice was born.  Then medications started curtailing my exercise and others increased my appetite exponentially.

So here I am, big.  Really big.  I hate it.  I hate seeing myself in the mirror.  When I don’t see myself, I can pretend my exercise I am doing is making a difference.  When I do see myself, I see the truth, a very, very overweight woman who obviously doesn’t take care of herself.

I am beyond frustrating.  Since I started exercising and slowly cleaning up my eating…my weight has gone up.  Five pounds up.  I hate it.  I can’t stand it.  I am so ashamed.

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I’m losing hope.