Thursday, April 07, 2011

An Update ... and Pics

I wasn't going to post about this because I don't want this to become a weightloss blog. but ...
It's funny because since January I've lost close to 25 pounds which is great. It's funny how you start doing something and it works, and then you think to yourself how weird it is that you've been trying for years and suddenly there it is. And it seemed kind of easy.
And also. People are noticing. Which is kind of awesome. It's also kind of weird because as much as it's great and I appreciate it, in the back of my mind I kind of think "hmmm ... did that person think I was fat before?" Which dumb mindset. but true.
Anyway, over and over people keep asking me what I'm doing.
So, in answer to the questions ... it's all very simple. I finally listened to what every fitness expert says. You need to burn more calories than you consume. You need to eat healthy and exercise. And drink water.
That's all I'm doing.
I don't doubt that other programs work. I've done Weight Watchers many many times. I think it's great. I lost a lot of weight with it. Here are my personal issues with it. First, after awhile the points get to me. Some people love it. I get obsessed. And I try to cheat it. Which isn't effective. Second. The weigh-ins. I don't work well under pressure. I hate someone else seeing the number before me. I hate that I feel like i have to justify every ouce to the woman behind the scale (even though you don't). And you have to pay for this. I should say - I hit lifetime. (also known as goal weight) It's very close to the weight I am now (9 lbs) and I was 10 years younger and hadn't had 2 kids. The fact that that number is in site amazes me. And I kind of want to go back for my last 5 pounds. We shall see.
It also occurred to me that maybe the next time I see my doctor I should ask her about "the number" - maybe I should set it lower than I did 10 years ago.
Actually, I just booked an appointment with a dietian. Maybe she will have an idea.
It's funny how I'm open to these things now.
I've heard good things about other programs. I just didn't want to spend the money. I always assume that spending money means I will lose weight. Doesn't quite work that way.
And I don't have a trainer. I have had trainers. But, I don't belong to a gym. And most trainers don't like 5am appointments. Plus, I am not that friendly at 5 am. I have an eye rolling issue. My last trainer called me on that.A LOT. (i.e.Him:  Is it necessary for you to roll your eyes when I say do 20 push ups. Me: Yes.)
Here's what I did.
1) I set a goal for myself. So, I wanted to lose 30 lbs (well 32) but I broke it down into 10 pound timeframes. Ten pounds by Valentine's Day, 10 pounds by my birthday (May) and the final 10 pounds by my 10th anniversary (July). Yay for being ahead of my schedule.
2) I sat down for about an hour and figured out, thanks to a computer program and blackberry app, how many calories I could eat, how much I'd need to work out, etc. It's all math but I hate math. So, I kept it really really simple.
That was the easy part. Here's where it got hard. I made 2 committments
1) I promised myself that as much as this is about the numbers (I don't get people who don't care about the number on the scale) I was going to follow my program regardless. I always make the mistake of giving up when I have a gain or giving up when I'm close to a goal and don't think I can do it. So. I get one rest morning a week. Every other weekday I'm up at 4:45 and working out by 5. I'm done by 5:30. Workout times vary on the weekend. I have coffee brewing while I work out. If I have a bad day I keep at it. I write down my food. If I have a bad day I start again the next day. And if I screw it up I give myself a break. That is a really nice feeling.
2) Team Awesome. My friend committed to doing this with me. We don't work out together. We don't look at each other's food journals. I like that. What we do is check in with each other on workout days. On our blackberries. I don't want to explain this one much further. But, I will say that being committed to a morning check in - and having a supportive friend cheering you on (who you are cheering for too) makes a huge difference.

So ...
I'm doing it.
There's no magic. I am doing the Kettleworx program which I love (though the Sarge kicks my butt) 3-4 days a week. On alternate days I'm running just under 5 k on the treadmill. This is my morning. In the evenings I try to get in another workout. I love that I can run outside now some days. But I'm also happy watching tv from the treadmill.(I aim to brun 400-500 calories a day)
I'm eating about 1200 calories - 1500 calories a day (closer to 1200) and that is a lot of protein, the good carbs (mostly in the morning and at lunch) and tons of veggies. I've tried really hard to cut out sugar. And I'm getting there.
Sometimes I have a cheeseburger. I occassionally eat dark chocolate. I'm eating a lot of almonds, but they are unsalted which is a great way to moderate how many I eat.

I'm running a 5k race at the end of April. With my dad. He's fast. I plan to try to match his pace. At least at first. And I really want to push for a September 10k.

And I really need a new wardrobe! Because for once none of my clothes fit me, but instead of being too small they are too big. I'll take it.

And I'm happy!

Before ... and After

Here's me around November. I'm not a big before and after person. But, when I saw this picture I wasn't too happy with myself. And then I spent 2 months eating more and deleting picture of myself. I am surprised I kept this one.

And this is now. Or a couple weeks ago (and a couple pounds) ago.
(I know. I just posted it. But i'm having picture issues.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let's Belay ...

Last night I spent two and a half hours at a rock climbing gym.

Let me back up a bit.

Matt is a very active boy. But he's not a fan of team sports. I've been debating putting him in soccer and football but he's not interested.

One day we talked about indoor rock climbing.

Yesterday I called to find out more.

It turns out that you kind of need a partner to rock climb because one person holds the ropes (belaying) while the other climbs. So, if I want to take Matt rock climbing I need that skill. So I signed up for the belaying class.

One hour, they promised. "It's as easy as driving a car."

I failed 6 driving tests.

I doubted I'd be done in an hour.

Regardless, I put on my lululemons and a cheerful t-shirt and off I went to belay.


They didn't tell me I'd also be climbing the wall.


The class was taught by the guy who teaches the kids - so he really got it when I explained my need to make sure I understood safety so I could protect matt. There were also only 2 other people in the class.

We started off by putting on harnesses (sounds sooooo simple). And then we moved on to tying knots. I still don't know how I figured that out. And I will practice.

And then we learned to belay. And took turns belaying each other and climbing the walls.


I have no idea why I had never considered this but I loved it. I loved both parts.

My first climb ... Well I'm a little scared of heights so when I first looked down it was a little startling. But you know, if turned out just fine. Well until I had to let go and trust someone to help me down. I spent a good couple of minutes clinging to the wall. And then I decided that I would just climb back down.

And then I learned I couldn't do it all my way. And the ride down was incredible.

After about an hour of this, and proving to the instructor that we were capable belayers we got a quick tour of the gym. And we were done.

And then instructor offered to work with me a little more. He knew I was still pretty anxious about locking Matt in and being responsible for him.

We then did several more climbs. I practiced my knots. I learned how to tie matt into a harness (different from tying myself in). And then we practiced over and over. The teacher actually "fell" a couple of times to show me that I had the tools to manage a fall.

(Is it wrong that after the first fall I thought it was kind of cool?)

After 2 and a half hours I left knowing I could do this.

As I was leaving I said to him "are you sure I can handle this? I think I've got it."

His response?

"You had it in the first 10 minutes. It just took another two hours for you to develop the confidence."

And if that isn't true about my life in general I don't know what is.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

And She's 3

Yesterday we celebrated Chloe's 3rd birthday.
Technically her birthday is tomorrow. But, don't tell Chloe that!
I'll be the first person to tell you I welcome this age. Just as much as I'm fully embracing Matt turning 7. I love my kids to death. I just find hte older they get the more I enjoy them.
This is true of my Chloe.

Chloe's birthday party of choice was a princess party. She knew what she wanted. She wanted to wear a princess dress; she wanted to get her nails done with friends; she wanted cucpakes at home.
She wanted her mom to dress like a princess.
She got her wishes.
We've seen a lot of change in Chloe in the last while.
My little girl has started karate. I think she's doing okay. I don't really know for sure since I don't drop her off or pick her up. But I know she loves it.
She has also developed friendships.She always talks about a little girl she is friends with at Matt's school. She was of course invited to Chloe's party.
She is completely in love with her cousins.
And then there is her relationship with her big brother. Chloe can drive Matt insane. Matt can drive Chloe insane. But they also PLAY. I love watching them playing together in the playground or in a play place. They are non-stop.
And this child is strong willed.
She knows what she wants and doesn't want. And she will tell you. She knows the rules and constantly pushes against them. That may scare some people. Not me. I really want a strong willed daughter. As I see her grow up I am confident that she will be able to stand up for herself.
But at the same times she is so sweet and kind and loving.
I love that she adores her family, her pets and her dolls.
I love that she craves cuddles - on her own terms.
I love that she dresses herself in crazy outfits. That she adores shoes and that she truly believes that her "bibbidi-bobbidi-boo stick" (wand) holds magical powers.
I have no idea what this year will hold, let alone what magic my daughter has in store for me as she grows up.
But, I can't wait to find out.
Happy birthday, Baby Girl, Princess Coco. Miss Chloe.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Going For 20 ...

There's absolutely no question that I have talked a lot about weight on this blog. It's one of those things that no matter how much I avoid the subject in my life it's always there. Always bugging me. Always on my mind.
Here's the thing about me, my weight fluctuates with my mood. And god knows my mood fluctuates a lot. I've often said that there's nothing chocolate can't cure. And, that's not just a line for me. I really do believe that. (though it's not just chocolate. chips, candy, steak ...)
And, I'll say this has been true most of my life.
It's true exercise helps. I actually enjoy working out, to a point. When I'm stressed a good (short) run calms me down. Or at least channels the frustration. So, I've relied on burning calories so I'm not a million pounds.
But I've also learned something about myself. An amazing guage of how well i'm coping in life is whether I get up in the morning and work out.
I mean, we all need rest days, of course. But, if I'm not up and working out 3 out of 7 days. and can't drag myself out of bed - that's kind of a problem. And it means life is getting too much for me.
I should have had a nice clear sign when I quit my gym membership with no workout program in sight. Or when I was waking up progressively earlier to get to work. Or just getting annoyed at life.
Thankfully Christmas came. And I took a couple weeks off. And we decided to keep the gym memberships cancelled. And we got a treadmill. And life got back on track for me.
Except I went one step further. And I decided to watch what I'm eating. I didn't go back to the old fall back of Weight Watchers (no offense to it, I've just done it a lot). I simply downloaded an app that lets me track calories.
And I made a decision that I'm sticking by.
I will get up and exercise because it keeps me sane. And my mood will not control my eating.
Period. To stay on track I'm writing it all down (or typing it in to be exact).
So that I can see that I'm in control.
And when I miss a day or lose control it's not going to own me. If I have chocolate it isn't an excuse to eat a cheeseburger. It's just chocolate.
Here's the thing.
I've been doing this for 7 weeks now.
And I'm feeling good about myself. I'm enjoying the workouts (I've added kettle bells - OMG - so good so hard). I'm feeling healthy. I'm enjoying salads.
And I've lost weight. I've lost 17 pounds. I've finally passed the number that I never seem to dip below. And I passed that 8 pounds ago.
I have about 20 to go. And I think I'll get there.But, 17 is a milestone for me. I'm actually not afraid of the scale these days. And I'm enjoying the process.
And soon I will hit 20 lbs lost. Who knew 2011 would be the year to do this?
Anyone wanna run a 5k with me this summer?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Karate 2.0

I haven't posted in awhile. I think maybe since summer. it's not that I don't have anything to say. quite the opposite. The thing is, when I started this blog i had aspirations of being a writer, and felt like no one wanted to read what I had to say. And then my job changed and bit by bit I've been writing more and more.
Sometimes to the point where I can't put a sentence together.
And I'm not complaining. I love it. But, this space has been quiet. I know. It's a combo of having a lot to write, and also something more. It's this thing called parenting. And trying to balance what you say about your kids and not say, etc. I don't care if I have 5 readers or 500, the truth is I think about my words and how they affect my kids.
But then today ....
Today was my daughter's first karate class. She will be 3 next month, and she needs something. And karate seemed right up her alley. She's a princess, but she's feisty. And she needs to channel her energy.
This is the same karate dojo where I brought Matt. We had a love-hate relationship. He wanted to do karate. i wanted him to do karate. but it just didn't quite work. Nothing is the right fit for anyone. And he was struggling with behaviour. I pulled him because I didn't see eye to eye with the Sensei. He wanted to "train" Matt. Not a bad call. But, I wasn't ready for the tough firm correction. Matt was 4.
And over the past 2 years things in Matt's world have improved.
Yes he's on meds for ADHD. but he's matured. I've matured. we've learned to talk about issues and to manage anger and frustration. I've watched my child grow into a kid who can focus just fine when he likes what he is focused on.
And i realized the other day that I'm doing just fine as a mom. My kids are sweet and respectful though energetic.  They eat their vegetables. They dress themselves. They make me laugh.
And I realized I was ready to go back to that dojo and try again.
it's funny going back with a totally different child. With the child who runs out to say "I'm having fun" and charms the pants off everyone and instead of having a meltdown flashes her signature smile and makes everyone laugh.
Not better. Different.
i'm not sure how to explain this any other way, other than to say that it made me so proud to be the mom to both of my kids. I was sitting in the totally familiar place, calmly waiting for my daughter to finish, and all I could think about was how worth it all of these struggles with Matt have been and will be.
The truth is, sometimes you have to see how far you've come to appreciate where you're going.
I know I'm not in for an easy ride. but after a day like today I can't wait to see what the future holds.
(oh and maybe i'll start blogging about it)