Saturday, February 25, 2012

Have You Seen My Marbles?

Have you seen my marbles? Because I seem to have lost them. I met up with a mom friend (Hi Lauren!) and her toddler son at the Bay Area Discovery Museum for some fun in the sun and to distract from my kids not having their dad around this weekend. It was slightly hectic, as it usually is trying to track two toddlers moving in two different directions. At one point we decided to go to another part of the museum and I asked Lauren, "where's Marek?".  Wait for it...I was holding him! This beats asking where my sunglasses are when they're on my head, or looking for my cell to put something in my calendar while I'm talking on the darn thing. This is a 35 pound kid that I was both carrying and looking for at the same time. Someone should probably take my driver's license away.

I think I'm operating on some kind of system overload a fair amount of the time. I know it will get easier as my children get older, and I know that will happen in the blink of an eye so I just try to go easy on myself and not judge too harshly. At least I didn't lose him this time.

Keeping the whole family/work thing rolling is no easy task and I can't imagine how I'd feel if I weren't exercising. I suspect I'd be doing a lot of self soothing with food. Heck, I do a fair amount of that now. What I save in groceries alone probably covers the monthly gym costs. I know I write about this exercise is keeping me sane theme a lot but holding the benefits of exercise in the forefront of my mind helps with the motivation.

Alright, on to the meat and potatoes. I made it to the gym yesterday and did a 2 mile run on the treadmill in a little more than 32 minutes. I was doing 5.0, 5.5, and 6mph speeds, alternating every minute or so, at 1% incline. I was pressed for time or I might have done a little more than 2 miles. Might. Then I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training. I've added in some of the Swiss ball exercises the trainer gave me, and dropped some too. So far I've dropped the Alternating Superman (too easy/boring) and the Reverse Bridge Straight Leg Raise (too boring/time consuming). I don't like exercises where you have to hold each rep for 5 seconds. I get bored. I guess I like to keep moving. Once I've made my final decisions on the new Swiss Ball stuff I will have to update my current workout post.

Speaking of the Swiss Ball - I found something new that I did today. But before that, a quick gym rundown. My mom came over and I headed to the gym after putting the kids down for their naps. I did 25 minutes on the upright bike, Level 6, and I'm getting more serious about making the jump to Level 7. Level 6 just isn't packing the same difficulty punch it used to. But I'm not in a hurry so I'll observe a little bit longer. After the bike it was on to chest/triceps/core. 

So Ian, the trainer, was there and I asked him about this Swiss ball exercise I've seen other people doing. Turns out it's called the Jackknife (I love that name). He asks if I want him to show me how to do 'em.  Yes indeed.  I get into position and whip out 10 of these suckers and hop up with a red face and my heart pumping.  I love them!  I don't quite look like this woman when I do them but that's ok, I can do them.  In fact, I don't think I want to know what I look like when I do them.  Besides, hard core, that is.  I did another set of 10 later and have officially added these to the ab rotation.

After the gym my mom and I took the kids out to dinner.  I wanted Mexican food because I knew I'd eat healthier there but her stomach's been upset so we went to a diner.  And I had a burger.  with fries.  The burger was really good (carmelized onions, cheese, jalapenos and a spicy aioli, yum!) but the fries were mediocre.  I shouldn't have eaten as many as I did but such is life.  I should get a "life is too short for bad french fries" bumper sticker.

Well, it's getting near 10pm.  I've been trying to do a better job of going to bed at a decent hour so I'm calling it a day.  I had a good idea for what to do with the kids tomorrow but for the life of me can't remember.  My mom has already agreed to stay long enough for me to go to the gym so at least that's covered.  Man, this weekend is flying by!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chuga, chuga, chuga

Last time I posted I was wondering if I'd get to the gym on Wednesday night.  The good news is that I did.  Miguel gave me a little bit of flak, which is unusual, but I went.  And it's a good thing I did because yesterday (Thur) was so hectic I couldn't get there at all.  So now I'm still on track (hence, my train sound title) to meet my goal this week.  Today is super busy too so this will be a short post. 

I hopped on the scale this morning hoping for some positive feedback and bing!  171.6 pounds.  That's a 2.6 pound drop from last week.  But I don't think I really lost 2.6 pounds this week because the week prior I was 172.2 so I think last week's weight was a fluke.  Maybe I was retaining a bunch of water or something.  Doesn't matter, I'm heading in the right direction. 

I've made some better choices this week, trying to reign in the random food intake that's been happening that I've been choosing a lot since - well, since my grandfather's funeral.  And I wore a skirt today in the hopes that it would remind me to make better choices.  It's not particularly tight but just having less clothes covering my body has an effect I think.  I couldn't fit my whole self in the picture (I had to stand on a box to even get the skirt in the picture) but there you go.  The denim skirt is a somewhat new purchase, I snagged it at an Ann Taylor loft outlet store for less than 5 bucks!  It's a size 8, which I am not, I am firmly in the size 10 camp, but it's really stretchy and I could tell the size 10 would be too loose before long.  Still, despite my higher brain knowing it's not true, on some deep, primal level it feels good to have the number 8 on my tag.  Ah the psychology of women and size.  Now I just have to laugh at myself because I started out by saying how busy today is but I still had time to take a picture of myself in the bathroom!  I know my fellow bloggers will understand. 

This weekend will be tricky.  Miguel is pretty much out of the family picture, he's got some stuff going on with his friends so I'll be essentially on my own.  My mom is coming to hang out with us tomorrow and will spend the night so that will help.  She's already given the all-clear for me to go to the gym while they nap.  Hopefully I can convince her to stay long enough on Sunday for me to go to the gym that day too.  And look at the weather forecast!  I have to dream up something fun to do with the kids.  Can't let these dry winter days go to waste. Maybe a hike is in order. We'll see...I may not be dress my kids cute with gel or bows in their hair mom but I can be take my kids on fun adventures mom.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sand, Water and Friends at Stinson Beach

I went to the gym yesterday and just knew I needed to run outside.  The treadmill is still quite tough for me mentally and the sun was still out so I did 3 miles outside.  Running felt like more of a challenge than I expected, I think it’s because I've shifted the focus to cycling and I’m no longer doing long runs on the weekends. The first mile I did in a little less than 12 minutes, the second was the same but by the third I felt like I wanted to push things some so I did it in a little less than 11 minutes.  I did 3 miles in 34 minutes and was happy with that.  I headed inside to do my strength training, chest/triceps/core.  I started with pushups, they were harder than they have been.  I checked my log and I haven’t done chest/triceps in a week so I think that’s why.  I tried one of the new Swiss ball exercises the trainer gave me, not sure if I will keep it.  And I added a new twist to my plank, I held the plank with arms straight for 20 seconds and then I lifted one leg for the remaining 20 seconds.  The next time I lifted the other leg.  It was a nice change and definitely a challenge.  I’d like to say I left the gym feeling great but I didn’t, I just felt glad it was over.  That’s just how it goes sometimes.

Today I am home with the kiddies, the funnest (pretty sure that’s not a word) but hardest day of the week.  A friend emailed last night about going to the beach and that sounded like a fabulous idea (Thanks Sara!).  So the minute we got up this morning I was working to get out the door in time to meet everyone to caravan the hour or so drive.  Boy did we have fun!  Well, most of the day.  We had a big wave scare the crap out of all three of us.  I was holding Myra and watching Marek play in the waves as they washed up on the beach.  Marek got knocked down and was flailing so I set Myra down on the beach to go help him.  Well, the wave was big enough that it reached where I left her and when I turned around to bring Marek out of the water I see Myra on her back with the wave rolling past her.  Fortunately she was on her back and it wasn't deep enough to cover her face but she was terrified!  I’ve got Marek in my arms and I’m running back to get her.  It was a scary moment for all of us.  Afterward Myra would not let me put her down, she’s never held me so tight, but she did after about 30-45 minutes. And later she let me walk her back to the water so that's a good sign. I was worried she'd be traumatized for life but she’s a trooper.

I know my children are having a different life than the one they would be living if I never started this journey.  Instead of Wednesdays being a fun-filled day of activity they’d probably be TV Wednesdays while I sat around being too tired to move.  I was that out of shape before.  I am so happy for me that I get to be the mother I want to be, that I have the desire and the energy to get them out the door and having fun.  I can build sand castles and chase them in the waves all day long.
MandM_20120222_17Ok, back to today.  It’s a day off from the gym, unless I can go tonight when the kids go to bed.  I hope I can because otherwise I have to go Thur, Fri, Sat and I’d have to take Sunday off (because my body doesn’t like going four days in a row).  I’d rather go Sat and Sun, weekend gym visits are easier than hurried weekday ones.  If I go today I can take Thur or Fri off and exercise Sat and Sun.  But Miguel has a busy weekend so I’ll be mostly on my own, so maybe it won’t work.  Gym planning is never easy with this life of mine.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Clouds Roll In

Ups and downs, that's what this journey is about.  It's never all sunshine and weight loss.  Sometimes it's clouds and weight gain.  The point is to tread water while the clouds are out so you're ready to go when the sun starts shining again.  I had a great weekend, action packed and fun.  But the clouds rolled in yesterday afternoon.  In the morning we took the kids out for some fun, going to a park where there's a lagoon and lots of ducks to feed.  We were there for hours and had a blast.  I climbed, ran, lifted, pushed, jumped.  With my kids there's no sitting on a bench reading a book.  Maybe some day that will happen but for now they still require 100% involvement from mom and dad.  It was a lot of fun.

Back at home we put the kids down for a nap and I was thinking I'd go to the gym.  Wrong.  I was exhausted!  I felt super tired.  So tired I wondered if I was getting sick or had bone cancer (yes, I'm a little dramatic at times).  I decided to skip the gym and plotted out a new plan for the week.  Sun = bike ride, Mon = day off, Tue = gym, Wed = day off, Thur/Fri/Sat = gym.  That will hit the target of five days of exercise.  It's nice when these unplanned gym-off days come early in the week so I can change the plan to still meet my goal. 

Before I close, a quick word about weight.  This past week I was back up to 174.2 pounds.  Ouch.  That's where I was a month ago.  And I don't have my period to blame.  It's no mystery, I've been eating too much.  I've been acting like I can eat whatever I want and we all know that's not true.  And I suspect that might have something to do with feeling drained and sick-ish yesterday too.  The body doesn't run so well on junk.  So I'm thinking about joining Weight Watchers and doing the online-only program just to help with the eating.  I won't have to fit meetings into my schedule and hopefully I can handle the tracking.  I'm going to mull this over for a day or so because I don't want to sign up ($$) and then not do it. 

So, hopefully getting to the gym today will clear the clouds and get my energy level back up.  That's it from me.  Happy Tuesday!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fitbie Fame and 30 Miles on the Road

I'll try to make this brief, but I'm not making any promises.  First up is some fun news.  I'M FAMOUS! Well, not quite (thank goodness), but my blog is currently being featured on msn's fitness site,, in their 10 Weight Loss Bloggers You Should Follow article.  I received an email from them a little while back asking if I'd agree to an interview.  Me?  Of course I was totally shocked.  You'd have thought I'd won an Oscar.   Blogging is a typically thankless job which is no matter because I do it mostly for me and for the person I might motivate.  Motivating even one person would make it worth it.  But it's nice to be acknowledged and I always get that from the comments but to get it in such a public way, it's a cool little bit of recognition.  So, without further ado, here's a screenshot of me in all my famousness.

How awesome is that?  And the other nine blogs that are featured are so super cool, I am in good company to be sure.  Miguel took the picture that they used and asked how much he's going to get.  I said he could have 50% of my earnings - zero.  Being rich is overrated anyway.

So, back to our regularly scheduled program...yesterday was a day off from the gym but I had a little bug in my brain to do something fun.  Miguel went mountain biking in the morning so the afternoon while the kids were napping was up for grabs.  I rounded up a friend for an easy bike ride in the afternoon.  Perfect.  

We started out with a plan to ride to downtown and maybe have a glass of wine.  We started riding and quickly found ourselves doing a big loop around the outskirts of town before circling back to downtown.  We stopped at a Mexican restaurant and had a drink.  Lovely.  We rode home and when all was said and done it was 10 miles.  This is why I exercise.  To be able to hop on my bike and go on a little cruise around town is such a gift.  It was so fun, I saw some parts of town I didn't know existed and I had a good time chatting with my girlfriend.  While I'm getting more used to this new me Michelle, I still am surprised sometimes.  Like, my definition of fun is a 10 mile bike ride?  Hello, who am I?  Oh yes, I'm a fit, healthy woman who actually enjoys physical activity.  It wasn't one bit about exercise - I didn't even wear my heart monitor!  Or my Garmin.  Or my bike shoes.  Total. Leisure. Ride.  

In the evening Miguel and I went out on a date night while my mom watched the kids.  We had a very nice dinner in San Francisco and I ate everything.  Fried lobster appetizer, steak, potatoes au gratin, and a super yummy banana cream pie.  Other than the little bit of cucumber salad that garnished the appetizer there wasn't a vegetable in sight.  Oh, and two glasses of wine.  Yum!  We came home exhausted.  

This morning I had a 30 mile road ride on the calendar with Melissa.  The conditions for today's ride were SO much better than last week.  Sunny skies, almost no wind - perfect cycling weather.  We hit the road around 10am and had a great day riding and chatting.  The route was great, enough hills to keep things interesting, not to mention gorgeous scenery riding along the bay.  I had some soreness in my left shoulder and my left butt bone (what do you call that bone in your butt?) was hurting me for about 1/2 the ride.  I don't know what's up with that because my right side is fine.  Anyway, it only really bugged me for the middle portion of the ride.  I hope it's ok for the Cinderella ride.  Speaking of that, Melissa tells me I have to at least wear a tiara.  Here's the info from my Garmin on today's ride:

31 miles, 2 hours, 45 minutes of riding time, average 10.1 miles per hour.  I'm happy with that.  And the very good news is that at the end I felt like I could do it again.  Last week's ride left me totally wiped out but today's was much better.  And Melissa said our ride today is more what the Cinderella will be like so that's good.  Now all we need is good weather (we already agreed to bag it if it's raining).  Average temps on that date are 67 degrees so hopefully we'll be fine.  (update: no, we weren't fine but no, we didn't bag it.  Read all about it here.)

Well, that's it from me!  In a few minutes I'm heading to a friend's house for a girls night and tomorrow is a family day.  Still don't know what we're doing but I'm sure it will be fun!  Whew, I'm ready for a nap!