Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
But at any rate, here is a link to today's article I wrote for Examiner, Is it a cold, or swine flu? I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to leave a comment on the Examiner page. Thanks! (and wish me luck with this darn internet connection!)
Saturday, October 17, 2009
How have you dealt with it?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
“Wow,” he said. “You handled that really well.”
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Here's a link for Week 5 of Biggest Loser 8. Feel free to leave a comment on the Examiner page. I asked lots of questions at the end and love the hear your feedback. There are also links to videos, trainer tips, and profiles of various contestants each week.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
But today, at 8 am, I pulled into my garage after dropping off the kids at school and realized the house was all mine for the next 7 hours. I honestly didn't know what to do with myself at first. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. First I spent some time just enjoying the quiet, going over emails, finishing a cup of coffee. Then I realized that I was just going to sit on my butt all day if I didn't get moving. I cleared away all the medicines that had been crowding the kitchen counter. All the papers that had just been left there until I could get to them "later." I gathered up all the table linens and tossed them in the washer. Then I did sheets. And then towels. I don't normally do laundry on Mondays, and in fact I find it a tedious chore (if only I could train it to fold itself!), but this felt like the right thing to do.
If everyone's getting better, then let's get rid of all the germs and START FRESH! I had a lot to catch up on from last week, but the more I thought about it, the more overwhelmed I became. So I figured this is just one day. I'll do what I can do today, and that will be enough. Some days it's more important to lay the foundation than to build three new floors, you know? Even SuperMom needs a day off once in a while. I looked at all my assignments, came up with a reasonable plan for the week, scheduled some appointments, did some very low-key research, and then ... I took some time to just relax. Could I have gotten more done if I really pushed myself? Sure. Would I have enjoyed it? Uhhh, hell no. But after the past 11 days, I wasn't going to let myself feel bad about it.
Now I've got the washer and dryer humming along, I have fresh linens on the kitchen table, my kitchen counter is recognizable again, my kids should be home from school in about 30 minutes, I'm not anywhere close to being "caught up" on work like I had intended to be by now, but I couldn't care less. I hate to go all Scarlett O'Hara here, but tomorrow is another day! I know what I'm capable of, and it'll all get done in due time.
What do you do to get back on track after your routine has been derailed?
Friday, October 09, 2009
So, I’m thinking of moving my blog to somewhere other than blogspot. It’s been good for my purposes so far, but it may not accommodate all of the changes I want to make. Would love to hear your opinions/suggestions in the comments if you are so inclined.
One of the features I want to add is a tab/section for workout playlists. When I was a fitness instructor—long before the days of mp3s, or CDs—I loved creating playlists with fun themes to complement different workouts. My fitness level has certainly changed from those days—tell me again, why did I give up a job that paid me to work out a minimum of five times a week?—but I still love creating playlists for different workouts.
Here’s one I like for a run/walk on the treadmill. It’s just the list, sorry. No links to download, but if you think you’ll like this kind of thing as a regular feature, I’ll look into it.
Run It Out Playlist
1. Rich Girl, Hall & Oates
2. Gonna Fly Now, Rocky Orchestra
3. By the Way (album version), Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Eye of the Tiger, Survivor
5. Rock You Like A Hurricane, Scorpions
6. Message of Love, Pretenders
7. I’ ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight, U2
8. No One Is To Blame, Howard Jones
This playlist is about 31 minutes. I like to use it for what I call a “dirty 30,” one of those workouts when you don’t have a lot of time, but you still want to get moving. Hall & Oates is a nice, bouncy warm-up. Trying singing along, from your diaphragm, on the don’t you know’s. Rocky music, Gonna Fly Now & Eye of the Tiger, is great motivation. By the Way has a nice shift of speeds if you like to do intervals. If I don’t feel like sprinting, I’ll change the elevation on my treadmill to make it more challenging. Try to clap and keep pace on the oooh-ahhh’s. Scorpions—if this isn’t the best song for running on an incline, I don’t know what is. Admittedly, the lyrics are totally sexist. But that’s not really what I’m thinking about when I’m working out. Message of Love has a good, easy beat to use for pace. Dig with your elbows to get more momentum as you run. The U2 song is the pusher. Just push through that and you know you’re almost at the end. I think the lyrics help, “It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain, when you start out the climb.” Finally, a nice cool-down with Howard Jones.
Let me know if you like it/how you would use it.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I'm at my local cafe today and it's not really helping my writing mood that they have the radio set to country music. Getting all serious into my work and they're playing Here's A Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares, by Travis Tritt.
Seriously, not helping ....
It's frustrating to feel like I'm losing ground on my big project this week, a project I really wanted to do for me, but I'll just trust that there will be time later on to get back to it. I started feeling a little guilty when I left them both home, sick, and told my husband I wasn't sure when I'd be back. But then I figured that this is probaby keeping me healthier and I shouldn't worry about it too much.
What do you guys do when you get sidetracked like this? Any thoughts?
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Well, the truth is, it’s been a really, really long time since I cared about what people think of me. Like, since I was a senior in high school. And I learned that lesson pretty fast. People who think less of me because of what I say, do or think, or how I look, aren’t really worth my time. Harsh? Maybe. But unabashedly true.
And then today it hit me that agonizing over not being where I want to be is subscribing to that same defeatist, all-or-nothing mentality that vaulted me up to the 200+ pound mark in the first place. And now look where I’m headed … again.
People always say I don’t look like I weigh what I weigh. For starters, I’m 5’9”. That’s five inches taller than the average U.S. woman. I got me a little more frame to fill. And—oh, how to say this delicately?—I’m sorta on the chesty side. I once read a medical chart that said I should weigh between 120 and 145. And I thought, “120? Sh*t, I have that much in my bra!” (Subsequently, that was the last time I paid attention to a medical chart.) I lost 55 pounds a few years ago, took 9” off my waist and only 4” off my chest. My jeans dropped from a size 18 to a size 10, thisclose to an 8, and I still have to buy an XL top, or shop at Lane Bryant for bras. (*cringe*) The girls are here to stay, no two ways about it.
But regardless, I could be doing better. In order to make progress, I think it’s necessary to revisit the past. What were my successes, and where did I fall short? My top weight, at least the top weight I admit to, was 229 pounds, just before I moved to Idaho in June 2004. (OK, don’t tell anyone, but just before I delivered my daughter, I was closer to 250. Linebacker size. Two weeks before she was born, the nurse weighed me and told me I was 248, and after that I told her not to tell me my weight anymore. But that’s just our little secret, K? All right, thanks.) I’m going to really go out on a limb here and post the picture, taken in August 2004. OK, look. What do you see? A fat girl, right? A fat girl with a bad haircut. (Short? What was I thinking?) But that’s not all I see. I see a girl who was really unhappy and unhealthy, just reacting to life, eating anything and everything because it was available, losing her temper a little too often and feeling very sorry for herself. Misery personified.
Now check out the next picture. That’s me just one year later, in 2005, 55 pounds lighter and much happier and healthier. That’s a girl who said “Eff you, misery! I got stuff to do. I deserve a better life than this, and I’m gonna fight for it!” That’s the girl who met her friend at 0:Dark:30 every morning to hit the gym. And then made time to lift weights at night when the kids went to bed. That’s the girl who stopped buying cookies because she figured out she couldn’t eat what wasn’t there. (Duh!) That’s the girl who found a way to be active no matter what, whether it was going out to play soccer (which she hates) with the kids or shoveling 49 yards of dirt out of the driveway to put in the backyard, busted ankle and all. She made it a workout, whatever it was.
So where is she now? Somewhere between those two pictures. Not where she wants to be. But she has come to the realization that it’s not all or nothing. It’s day by day, and each one is a new opportunity. And if she falls, she’ll get back up. It’s only a failure if you refuse to try again. So I’m officially dropping the guilt today. It never helps anything anyway. No matter what size pants I’m wearing, I know a lot about health and fitness. I have much to say and share and do. And I still want to help others achieve their own success, one day, one pound, one good decision at a time. Because THAT is where I want to be.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Wait, what was that last one? Oh, yeah. Be myself.
And there's the crux of it. Crazy as it may sound, I've been soooooo busy lately that I sort of forgot to do that. The simplest thing in the world. When I started this blog a few years back, it was for a couple reasons. First and foremost, it was to communicate the changes I was going through and, as a verrrrry close second, to help others who had given up on health and fitness. I wanted to show people that there is a better way to go through life than zooming through a drive-thru window or sitting on your ass (does that count as cursing?) and watching sports instead of actually getting up and playing them.
Like many work at home moms, my day is never done. No, that's not a plea for sympathy. Believe me, I could use it, but I have other things to deal with. The point is that I am continually juggling multiple deadlines, in addition to homework supervision, menu planning, grocery shopping, church activities, laundry, etc., etc., etc. Factor in the schedules of the other three members of my family, other numerous obligations, and the stress that has come from our world's financial meltdown and how it's affecting our household, and it's a lot to handle. I feel like I'm stuck in a hole right now and I need to get out of it. Fast. I find one of the easiest ways to deal with it all is to just work my ass off. (oops, cursing again) So that's all well and good when the paychecks roll in. Except I've been neglecting something: Being myself.
So ... with a much-needed break in my schedule, I am taking this week to give my blog a serious makeover. It may take more than a week. But that's fine. I want to do it right and if it takes a little longer, it's worth it. Speaking of what I want:
- I want to provide good, solid information that everyday people will find interesting and useful.
- I want to create a community of people who have both succeeded and failed at living a healthy lifestyle and see how we can help each other.
- I want to share my (eyebrow-raisingly intimate) love for food and demonstrate that it's not a crime to indulge once in a while. Some of the buzz words around here are "sometimes foods" and "all things in moderation." Life is not an all or nothing choice. Just be smart. You can make substitutions. You don't have to agonize. You can eat a smaller portion. Or you can just have the damn brownie, enjoy it, and hit the treadmill later. No. Big. Whoop.
- I want to gain momentum as I get myself back on track, too. It's been a while since I've exercised regularly. I'm not gaining, but I'm not where I want to be, either. I have dedicated so much time and energy to earning income that I've just let that slide. And I miss it. But every day that goes by, it becomes more of a routine to look past the treadmill and find something else to do. I want to feel that encouragement again and get back to the point where I wouldn't dream of a day without doing at least something to burn a calorie.
- And most of all, I still want to show others that a healthy lifestyle is possible. For all of us. Myself included.
I have had numerous ideas for this blog over the past several months and haven't made time to write about them or implement them. But that's going to change. I'm hoping to not only get back on a regular writing schedule, but make some major changes in the look of the blog as well. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time but just haven't made time for.
That ends today. Like Sam Cooke sang, A Change Is Gonna Come, and here's hoping it will be better than ever.