three days in

Well, I am now officially three days into the Insanity Max 30 program.  I am feeling really good about my workouts and nutrition - although I am still working on trying to limit the amount of sugar I consume (specifically sugar in fruit).  I've been good at limiting unnecessary/unhealthy carbohydrates and eating adequate protein.  I've also been doing a Shakeology shake each day... which I can honestly say I am really enjoying and do feel is making a difference.  I really look forward to the shake each day, I notice I crave it and it does seem to be helping with my energy and sugar cravings.

As for the workouts... whoo wheeee!!!  They are great.  Yesterday I completed Tabata and I also did a long walk with my family.  Today I did Sweat Intervals (and was completely soaked after), did the Ab Max workout and did a long walk.  I can say that I am feeling it... although not so much that I can't walk.  Today was the first day I was able to complete a few of the exercises non-modified, not for the entire time, but here and there.  It will be a journey and process.  I am anxious to see how I progress over the next few weeks and hopeful that my next progress check (with photos and measurements, etc) shows improvement and serves as motivation.  I'm sure that improvement is happening because I can tell in my pajama pants (which I happen to spend a considerable about of time in while I am on maternity leave).  The workouts have really helped my mental outlook also.  They have however, left me very tired by about 5:30.  I know my body will continue to adjust, right now I just take it for the fact that I am working my body.

I am hoping to maintain this balance because I notice how much healthier I am mentally when I am eating better and working out.  I know I need to be patient to see the physical progress as well and know it will come with consistency.  I already feel better in my skin.  I am anxious to see how much better I will feel even a month from now when we go on vacation!

Here we go...

Today marked the first official day of the new challenge I started (Insanity Max 30).  I have tried a couple of the wrkts late last week so I had a small taste of what was coming but today marked the first official day.  The program consists of 30 minute workouts 6 days/wk.  No equipment necessary, just your body weight.  Lot of plyometric type moves - I have been doing the entire workouts modified because I am 1.) out of shape 2.) overweight.  These modified workouts are still amazingly difficult and leave me feeling "workout satisfied" after them.  Today we did the Cardio Challenge workout, I can already tell the improvements I've made in the couple of weeks I've started working out.

I did notice that I am feeling pretty tired right about now.  I am guessing that much of that has to do with the fact that I am also watching my food intake and trying to cut down on sugar.  I think feeling tired is my body adjusting to the new style of eating and also trying to find a good equilibrium to settle into where I don't feel super tired/hungry but also don't overeat.  It will take some adjusting to.  I am curious to see how a full week of workouts will feel, how my body will adjust, etc.

In addition to this new challenge I learned of some things that have been going on at work, things that could ultimately impact me and my workload.  I am not going to go into details but what I will say is that I recognize this is a good time to continue to test my faith and commitment to my family and my health.  Something that I will need to maintain a focus on as I return to work (which isn't for several more weeks but I really need to be able to have good boundaries before going back).

More to come on all of this... hoping to get a good nights rest as I am feeling like I need it!  Hopefully Harper agrees that a good nights rest is a good idea :)

My baby put me on a diet.

What a weird title for a post that came out of no where.  Yes, I know... I've been gone for a long while.  BUT - I am back now, at least temporarily.  I am coming back to my blog because it sort of represents a place where an interesting journey began for me.  One where I documented a mental break through in physical achievement I had not experienced yet.  And although this was years ago, I find that it is just the reminder and motivation I need to begin documenting my journey yet again.

So, a lot has happened over a couple of years.  I won't bore this post with the details but I'd say the notable change worth mentioning is that I had a baby.  Yep, a baby. One of those miniature versions of yourself that sends you to the brink of exhaustion like you've never experienced.  Granted, this was a welcome addition (actually a begged for addition) and we are loving life with our new little girl, Harper (who is snuggled into my chest as I type this).  At just over two months I am finally feeling as if I have emerged from the fog of the newborn black hole that you can not even begin to understand until you've experienced it.  SO.MUCH.RESPECT.FOR.MOTHERS.  Holy moly is raising a baby a test of your willpower, patience, etc.  I now understand what all new mothers mean when they say "it's a lot of work".  I also know what they mean when they say "but its totally worth it and it's the best thing in the world to be a mom".

You may be reading this and wondering why I have arrived back on this blog and what I will be writing about now.  Well, I need an outlet.  I've been off work for two months and have another two to go.  I want to capture my thoughts and journey somewhere.  Naturally, this is a good place for me.  In addition, I am venturing on a new wellbeing journey and think it is exciting to continue my story from the same place I began to document it.  I am not sure if anyone will read this and that's ok.  I realize that most likely no one cares about my trials and tribulations like I do but I need this for me.  I'd like to document my new journey as a mother but also my new journey adjusting to my new body and regaining some of what was lost through pregnancy (actually, I shouldn't try and fool you... much of it was lost long before pregnancy, for a plethora of reasons... of which will most likely become intertwined in future posts).

For this first official post I'd like to declare that my baby put me on a diet.  What the heck does that even mean you ask?  Well, aside from the obvious that most all new moms feel (the need to loose the baby weight) I've found that breastfeeding a baby can result in mom going on a diet herself.  At least, I would assume this to be true of any mother who wants the best for her baby after finding out the baby's comfort could be improved through nutritional shifts by the mother.  I've learned that Harper is sensitive to some foods I eat, most notably dairy.  So, for starters... this boob buffet is going dairy free.  Honestly, she's doing both of us a favor by forcing this on us.  Mom needs to learn to cut down on the cheese and yogurt, etc.  She's also forced mom to pay much closer attention to the quality of foods consumed.  These behaviors presumably will lead to improved health and the sibling of improved health, better physique.  That's my round about way of declaring that I need to loose weight.  My nutritional habits will be part of this journey, first starting with removal of dairy, unnecessary sugars and increasing the amount of healthy protein and vegetables consumed.  Let me be clear here though... removing sugars from my diet will leave me sucking my thumb curled up in a ball crying on the floor in the corner.  I love me some sweet treats, and yet I know and understand that sugar is my enemy.  This is true for a number of reasons but one of the biggest is because I was diagnosed with PCOS a little over a year ago (more on that later).

Secondary to food, I'd like to declare that I am re-instating physical activity.  Partly, for the benefits of weight loss (a girl don't need to deny this being a big motivation) but also because it feels good to move my body again - well sorta.  Right now it feels a bit more like a hippo trudging through concrete but I know it will feel better again soon.  I also need to regain a regular physical activity schedule as a stress outlet.  If there is one thing I know intimately about myself it is that I am a much happier/productive/loving person if I am working out regularly.  This will be critical as I prepare to go back to work, which can be very high stress most days (don't get me wrong, I am blessed to have made an amazing career shift in the past couple of years but along that way I've lost a bit of myself and my regular schedule of working out).  Can I also mention that working out is something I recognize will help me be a better mother?  I recognize that my health and happiness are more critical now more than ever for the future of my daughter.  Amazing, how that transformation can take place in your mind nearly overnight.  So, don't be hatin' on my assuming this is some New Years resolution.  Timing may be suspect but this is more of a New Life resolution, for my new life as a mother and to accommodate the things I have learned to be true of my needs so that I can ensure that I am a great mother for years to come.

So, where does this leave me now?  You want details of what I am going to do about this?  I decided to take "before" photos... if I muster up the courage I will post them but not just yet.  In addition, I have weighed myself and taken circumference measurements.   Documenting all of this is critical for me to find ways to capture success.  I have slowly been modifying my diet over the past few weeks and will continue to do that in the coming weeks.  Much will be discussed related to dietary habits/recipes, etc.  I am also going to be completing the new Insanity Max 30 workout program, which is 60 days long.  Perfect timing to be just wrapping up when I return to work.  That hell inflicted journey starts Monday.  I've already tried a few of the workout DVDs and have done a few other workouts with my friend Emily (yep, the same gal I spoke of years ago).  She's a rockstar friend, true support system and amazing motivation (she herself has battled PCOS and looks and feels better than ever after two kids).  The initiation into working out has been good - for once in my life I've been easing my way into something.  Totally not my style, however, I know I need to be careful and want to ensure sustainability.  These workouts are the one thing I feel I can do completely for myself and I don't want to jeoporadize that joy.  Don't get me wrong though, even the "easing into" I've done has left me sore.  In fact, I sit here typing this with a tore up booty from a class that I took from Emily earlier this morning.  My whole body has been sore for a little over a week and I know that ain't going away considering I'm doing the entire DVD completely modified - thus, I've got lots of capacity to continue adapting to.    

So there you have it... the rest of the details will be forthcoming in future posts and historical details will be intertwined in those posts as well.  I don't want to bore you with all that here and now and besides my carpel tunnel is flaring up and I don't feel like typing much more at this point.  Signing off... until next time.

Overcoming the fear...

If you have looked at my blog posts over the past years (which have become much more sparse - lol) you would know that nearly two years ago I suffered a major bicycle accident.  Aside from the physical injuries, which were significant, I had MAJOR psychological issues after the accident.  Although the psychological ramifications didn't really surface fully until about a year after the accident, I assume this was because the first year I was preoccupied with healing physically.  I had reoccurring fears and thoughts of the accident happening again or turning out differently (meaning, leaving me off worse than I was or currently am).  These thoughts started to invade my life, all hours of the day - and I mean ALL hours.  I was losing sleep, up all night with irrational anxiety and fear.  I finally sought help.  My doctor diagnosed me with PTSD.  Yep, shocker.  I thought to myself that how could I have PTSD?  I mean, that's so serious.  That's something I think is more deserving for people who have been through much more serious situations than I.  I think of war zones and all of the amazing people who serve our country so we can have the freedoms we have  (if you are reading this and have or currently are serving our country... THANK YOU by the way).  I underwent counseling and was treated with anti-anxiety meds.  Long story short, I am beyond that now.  I am off meds and although I still have fearful thoughts at times I also have hopeful thoughts and I am able to move beyond any anxiety that surfaces.  All of this is to say that where I am today is much different than where I was 6-12 months ago.

Through this journey I still haven't really conquered the fear of riding my bike.  Yes, I took it out for a ride on a local paved trail about a year ago but I haven't taken it for a ride on the road and especially haven't taken any rides downhill.  I have verbalized how I wanted to conquer the fear and I wanted to take my bike out but never had.  I now realize, I just wasn't ready and by giving myself the ok to not do it was where I needed to be.  Well, today marked the day I was ready.  I had been thinking about it for weeks now, visualizing me riding and building up my confidence.  I don't want to ride my bike alone and honestly I just can't (yet).  So, I really wanted to do this with someone who I feel would be supportive of me.  Of course, my husband is a perfect fit for this need.  We rode our bikes to the gym today.  From our house to the gym.  One small detail I should share is that we live on top of a hill - there's no getting around it, we have to go downhill to get out of our neighborhood.  Of course, that also means we have to go uphill to get home.  These are fairly high grade hills, so this is serious stuff!  The hubs had gotten our bikes ready, tires pumped, etc.  My heart was racing as we left the house.  I warned my husband - I may need to stop and I HAVE to go slow downhill, I don't want to feel the feeling of my bike getting out of control again like the last feelings I remember before my wreck.  We took it easy down the hill.  There were a few times where I felt a little unstable.  There were moments my palms were sweaty.  There were moments I wanted to turn around and go back home,  Through all of that I decided that I really needed to push through - I could take breaks.  I could go as slow as I wanted but I needed to keep going.  After the first couple of hills out of the neighborhood I started to feel a little more confident.  The last hill I went much faster than I had been going and I heard my husband cheering behind me, "you're back!"  That made me feel good.

On the way back home, I wasn't scared for the same reasons.  I wasn't thinking about wrecking again on my bike.  I was actually more concerned with being able to make it back up the hills!  Some of these hills are quite steep and I am not in cycling shape (remember - I have only been working out again for about a week consistently!).  Well, I made it.  I'm not going to lie though it was tough.  My lungs were on fire, my quads were throbbing and I was sweating like I was in a sauna.  You probably could have pushed me over with a feather at some points I was riding so slow!  But I made it home and I feel accomplished.  It may seem small to some people but to me it was truly a milestone.  It's amazing to me that I have done so many things that require such dedication and determination... I mean, Ironman isn't for the faint of heart and yet today I was almost starting back over.  Physically and mentally, I felt like a beginner but that's ok.  I am ok with that feeling, in fact, in some ways I am truly embracing it.  Because I am on a journey for improvement and I am grateful I can be in the moment and enjoy these moments.  I am humble to how quickly things can change, good or bad.    

I have active friends who have never suffered an accident like the one I did.  Some of them are empathetic about how difficult of a mental journey, and sometimes still physical journey it has been for me.  Others are completely ignorant and naive and can't relate because for whatever reason they don't realize it could happen to them so easily.  In some ways these certain friends have portrayed themselves as self-centered.  To the friends who have been empathetic, supportive and authentic to me - THANK YOU.  You all should know who you are, if I have talked to you about the fears I have and how I have felt about all of this over the past two years... you are one of these great friends that I am saying thank you to.  You were part of this journey for me to get to where I was and am today.   

It has been a variety of emotions but today I am at a place where I continually try to be grateful for all I have and I am humble to the fears I still have from the experiences of my life.

Green theme

I am not going to even start by explaining why so much time has passed between my last post and this one (yes, again... another long gap of time).  Nor am I going to tell you about all of the food photos I have taken during my hiatus with every intention to post and share (those will eventually make it onto my blog, eventually).  No.  I am not going to do either of those things.  I am just going to start by telling you about today and even a little of yesterday.

I have had a hankering for some green foods lately... perhaps the old bod is tired of refined carbohydrates and sugar.  Perhaps, for the first time in a long time I actually want to eat the things I should be eating (and should have been eating for while now).  Honestly, I don't really care what is causing this.  I running with it, running with my green theme!  So, what does "green theme" mean exactly?  Well, it means that I am incorporating LOTS of green foods into my diet.  If you think about it most all of the green foods I think about are all very good for you (aside from decomposing foods that are bacteria houses, aka moldy).  I have lots of green things in the kitchen right now, the fruits of my labor after a trip to the grocery store.  What's available for my culinary pleasure you ask?  Well, here are a few of the items;

  • Zucchini
  • Avocado
  • Green Peppers
  • Brussell sprouts
  • Green onions
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Snap Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
They all sounded good so they made the trip from my cart to my kitchen! 

What else is new?  Well, workouts are new.  I worked out yesterday and today.  Felt great, a little sore tonight but it's an indication I worked hard :)  Here is what my "workout weekend" comprised of (don't mind the random reps/sets or names for the exercises on some of these);

-Stepmill intervals (20 mins)
-Plie bar squats (3 x12)
-Bench push ups (3 x 8)
-Narrow body weight squats while holding 5lb dumbbells in both hands above head (3 x 12)
-Hamstring ball roll ins (2 x 15)
-Bridge (2 x 30 seconds)

-Treadmill intervals (6 mins warm up, 24 mins HIIT (8 rounds))
-Side lunge/woodchop shoulder press (3 x 15 each side)
-Partial turkish get ups (3 x 8 each side)
-Walking lunge with bicep curl and shoulder press (3 x 12 each leg)
-Mountain climbers and cross climbers (2 x 24)
-V-knees ups (2 x 20)

Now... on to make sure my workout weekend doesn't leave me as only a weekend warrior but rather a weeklong warrior...

Jump shots and sweet potato pucks

It's still all good in the hood with me... I just got done with a workout session (at home with my kettlebells, spin bike and elliptical) - but hey, a sweat session is a sweat session!  Had an early morning workout tues at the gym, EARLY bird.  I felt tired, didn't want to get outta bed.  It was rainy.  I was cozy.  However, I did it - and felt great afterwards (especially coming home from work and feeling like I had a free pass to veg out all evening :)).  A side note to all of this... my little girls only workout group is reassembling and growing!  I swear - someday I will do this for a living (again).  

I recently started playing basketball again.  Great workout and a lot of fun.  Playing sunday nights with a group of gals, fun to have the energy to do these things in my life still.  I LOVE feeling empowered again.  Feeling so empowered that I plan on completing my first triathlon since Ironman 2011.  That's significant.  I plan on sharing the journey back to training here, on this silly little blog that serves as my keyboard outlet.   

What else is exciting....?  The hubs and I are headed on vacay in May.  Hawaii, yes, AGAIN.  For the past five years we have done an annual Hawaii trip.  Generally at this time of the year I would be feeling overwhelmed, like I needed to be going balls to the wall to get ready for the beach.  This time I don't feel the same pressure.  I know I need to loose a few lbs but I'm just going at my pace.  Not putting too much pressure on myself and enjoying the journey.  It's a feeling I haven't felt in a long time, freedom, balance, and clarity. 

Lastly, what is with the "sweet potato pucks" in the title?  Well, something that has become somewhat of a new obsession for me.  Trader Joes frozen sweet potatoes.     

These can be found in the freezer section at trader joes.   Inside the bag you find little "sweet potatoe pucks".  One serving is 5 pucks.  You just heat in microwave for one min or so (or leave out to thaw) and there you have it!  roasted, mashed sweet potatoes.  Nothing else added and only 80 calories per serving.  I freaking love these little suckers.  

Who put the cheese in cheesecake?!?!?

As promised I am still here... blogging (albiet somewhat periodically) but I am still here.  Update on the past week - AWESOME week.  I had many great workouts, a couple that left hurtin for a few days but that's all good.  Sign of accomplishment, work well done.  One workout in particular (Wed evening) I did with a friend of mine who loves the same type of workouts I do.  I brought the "pain" all the well knowing what we were getting ourselves into... and yet not an ounce of sanity set in as I crafted the torturous 1hour together.  Here's how the workout went down;

25 minutes HIIT Cardio

Strength Circuit (three rounds of each pairing of exercises, no rest... quick quick quick);

-Jump Lunges (30)
-Bench Step Ups with DBs (30)

repeat three times... next set;

-Negative Pullups (8... insert devil face here)
-Pushups on Med ball (12)

repeat... you guessed it three times... next set;

-Pikes on ExerBall (25)
-Back Ext on ExerBall (25)

Generally I would have done another set of exercises, but really this was plenty for a fat ass gal who is reclaiming her physique.

All in all - had a great week.  Four solid workout days and some progress to show for it in the waistline.  LOVE that :)

Lastly, I want to share a new healthy dessert recipe I concocted/tried this evening.  High protein, low sugar cheesecake.

Here are the basics;

3/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1 TBSP sugar free jello pudding (I used white choc flavor)
3 (or so) TBSPs unsweetened almond milk
1/3 scoop vanilla protein
sprinkle of stevia

Place all in heavenly blender - aka - Vitamix and blend till smooth.  Makes two servings, place in two small bowls to chill in fridge for 30mins.  Top with fresh strawberries.  Divine.  Lovely.  Delish.  YUM.  


About Me

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I have been athletic ALL of my life, I think at this point it would be safe to say its in my DNA. I have played many competitive sports (volleyball, basketball, track), have played recreationally (soccer, softball) and have been working out since I was in 4th grade. I started lifting in 7th grade - yes, was even starting to learn the full on olympic lifts. I now enjoy running, hiking, skiing, hangin out at the lake and just being active. I have run a couple of marathons, and recently competed in my first figure show. I am not sure what the future holds for me with regards to my "exercise adventures" but I look forward to finding out...