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January 25, 2015

I Can't Watch "The Biggest Loser" Anymore

I'm not the biggest TV show watcher. I'll admit that. Very few shows have captured my interest enough that I will set aside time to sit down and watch regularly. Of course with DVR and Netflix, I don't have to make time other than the time I actually HAVE, but even then...when I have down time, the first thing I plan to do is not usually watch a TV show.

That being said, over the years, some shows HAVE captured my interest on occasion and one of them a couple of years ago was The Biggest Loser. First I have to say that my woman-crush on Jillian Michaels most likely played a part as I really like her. I wish I could have her train me a few times, just to go through the experience. I like her intensity and I like the fact that she shows how much she cares. I know not everyone is into her style. That's okay, just my own preference. And...it was why I started watching the show at all.

The first season I watched was whenever a young woman named Danni from Chicago area won. I LOVED that season. I never felt put off by the challenges they put the contestants through (at least that season, nothing bothered me) and I loved seeing that young woman's determination and competitive spirit. I thought she looked fabulous at the finale. When she came out, she looked buff, not anorexic, and just full of life. I think she weighed in around 135 which is within the healthy weight range for her height (she is my height if I remember correctly, and while 135 would be on the low end of the healthy range, it was still within that range).

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When that season caught my eye, my family was watching one evening and the group was running a 5K. It seemed that perhaps they weren't yet ready for such a challenge, but they all persevered one way or another. It was so neat to see them walk/run or do whatever they needed to in order to finish and I was hooked after that episode.

The first time I was truly disappointed in the show was last year when the woman won who got down to like 105 pounds. She looked anorexic on TV, and Jillian Michaels' reaction to her is all I needed to see to know that it was as bad as it looked. All accounts state that she put on 20 pounds soon after the weigh-in at the finale and I'm glad because she did NOT look healthy. 

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And I had damage control with my 13-year-old at the time who now weighs 123 pounds and is almost 5'5" tall. She is NOT fat and the last thing I wanted her to think was she somehow needed to weigh 105 pounds. But, I gave the show a chance again this past fall and began watching this current season.

I lost interest in this current season at some point. I was trying to figure out just what about it was bothering me. With this season, they have a bunch of people who had been athletes at the highest levels (olympians, professionals) in their younger years, but they were now obese. Honestly, this crew was something that should have kept my interest. I have been an athlete all my life. I played basketball and volleyball in high school. I was a swimmer. I was a rower in college. And I, too, became obese as an adult and have turned a corner and gotten my health under control in the last couple of years. So I wondered why I wasn't more interested in watching this show.

Dani and Helen enjoy this show and they recorded it each week to watch on the weekend. They asked me every weekend whether they should save it after they watched it and I finally told them to stop saving it...just delete when they were done because I most likely would not watch it. 

And then I realized I was a bit concerned that they were watching it.

This season, perhaps it was 6 episodes in...or maybe it was 8, I am not sure, but they had a "Temptations" episode. Basically, they were going to be putting the contestants into a room full of unhealthy, tempting foods for a period of time. This, alone, might not have bothered me so much. I mean, as someone who has overcome obesity and many food issues, I recognize that I am going to be in the vicinity of unhealthy foods -- trigger foods! -- and I need to be able to make the best choice for me...sometimes that is going to be indulging a little bit, sometimes it might be avoiding it altogether, and all the time deciding the right thing to do will be hard.

However, they "tempted" the contestants with the fact that if they chose to eat something in this room, the contestant who ate the most (calorie-wise? I can't remember how they measured it) would receive a 1-pound advantage on the scale. So basically, if you were going to break down and cheat on your diet...you better go whole-hog on it and try to get the 1-pound advantage on the scale...never mind the fact that a measly 1-pound advantage is SO not worth derailing your lifestyle changes.

I think this is cruel. I would think it was cruel if I was a contestant and I can't stand to watch it. These people are only WEEKS into this immersion of healthy changes and you're going to basically encourage them to sabotage all they have worked for. That episode, I kid you not, I was CRYING because I couldn't bear to watch these people who had worked so hard for the past few weeks throw it all away simply to receive a 1-pound advantage at the weigh-in. These people have placed their trust in this program, the trainers, the producers, the "game makers" so to speak -- and the people in whom they have placed their trust BETRAY them by tempting them unfairly and in one of the most cruel ways imaginable.

Maybe I feel this way because I know how hard it is to stick to a plan without outrageous "temptations" and contests thrown at you. Perhaps the show and the viewers feel it is justified because of the $250,000 prize at the end. But, what about the people who don't win? What about their psyches and the fact that you're toying with them in a very vulnerable spot. I suppose people might say, "Oh well, they signed up for it..." And, I guess they did, but even if they signed up to have their weight loss journey picked apart by the whole world, that sort of "temptation" could be crushing. These people have already succumbed to gluttony in their lives...why would you encourage them to do that, simply to "stay alive" so to speak in the contest for another week?

So, I cannot watch "The Biggest Loser" anymore. Dani and Helen have continued to watch it, but I have let them know why I object. I think that at their ages, they just want to see who wins in the end. Sarah hasn't shown that much interest since I stopped showing interest. 

I guess if I were to watch any Reality TV show regularly, I might come to the conclusion that I don't want to watch it anymore because of something along these lines. What is it about our culture that helps this sort of thing succeed? Is it the fact that SOMEONE wins the temptation challenge, even though the majority lose? Are we happy to see SOMEONE overcome the odds and not give in regardless of the temptation of getting a 1-pound advantage on the scale? Or are we just wallowing in our own filth, so to speak, happy to see that most everyone else fails the way we would? I don't know.

But I do know that I won't be watching in order to find out anymore.

January 1, 2015

2015 - You Got Your Work Cut Out For You

Happy New Year!

Wow, I haven't been blogging much, eh? I am not sure how much that will change with the new year. With all of the changes in 2014, my available time for writing has been cut to bare minimum levels.

Here are some photos to share that show how I've enjoyed this holiday season. Craig had time off from work at this time of year for the first time in all of our 15+ years of marriage. The kids, of course, were out of school. And I also had vacation scheduled. So we've had lots of time to hang out and do fun things as a family. We stayed home on Christmas Eve since I did have to work that day, but went to Mass together, came home and had some food and watched "It's A Wonderful Life" before heading to bed. 
Sarah made some yummy treats!


My children dressed and ready for Christmas Eve Mass

Christmas morning was fun. The kids got some cool presents. We went to their Grandma's afterward to have lasagna and open presents there. After that, we went to Craig's sister's for more dessert and more presents. 

My girls and I got some Royals gear...
During the week between Christmas and New Year's we did things like go to the library, hang out and watch movies at home on our new TV, enjoy our new refrigerator (two items that were part of our family Christmas this year), watch football, play with the kids with their new toys, work out, sleep in and go to Dave & Buster's for a family fun day. Much fun was had by all.


*****
Every year, the proverbial New Year's Resolutions posts make their rounds. I'm no exception. I like a blank page as much as anyone. As I thought about what 2015 might have in store, however, I realized that 2014 was a really good year in the realm of attained goals. I lost the weight I wanted to, I set and met fitness goals I wouldn't have dreamed about before 2014. Financially, we made some sound decisions and look forward to the future doing the same. The kids all grew in numerous ways. If there was one place I can see major room for improvement (for me) it would be my spiritual life. The challenge Father posed in his homily at last night's Vigil Mass hit home with me. It's been a few years since I have set some spiritual growth goals for myself and I think it's high time I set to work on that again. Even though I met many fitness and health goals during 2014, I still have room for improvement there as well.

I am nothing, if not goal-oriented. That's been my mode of operation all of my life. So, I shall kick off 2015 by listing out some of my goals here. (Maybe if I actually redesign the look of my blog I can list them out in a sidebar or something to keep me motivated...)

Spiritual Growth Goal(s):

  • Pray a morning offering upon rising each day. This is something I've been meaning to start doing for probably 10 years now and it's high time I stop meaning to do it and just do it.
  • One extra Mass each week. I think once a week, I could walk to the downtown Cathedral and make it to Mass over my lunch hour. We go each Sunday as a family. Back when Sarah and Dani were babies, I made it to daily Mass before work for several months, maybe even a year, but change in employment caused that to end. Maybe I can start making my way back to a daily Mass this way.
I think that's manageable enough for that side of things.

Health/Fitness-Related Goal(s):
  • Maintain my strong performance with regard to the 5 biometric standards they check each year (cholesterol, resting heart rate, blood pressure, glucose and BMI)
  • Paleo way of life, 100% (no falling off the wagon after 30 days... :/ )
  • CrossFit at least 4 times per week (been doing this for over a year now, so just a maintenance thing)
  • Improve my Triathlon time from last year
Personal/Other Goal(s):
  • Save enough by August to pre-pay pre-K tuition for Vincent. This will help the cash flow enormously come August.
  • Achieve other financial savings goals (we have goals related to a new car purchase, housing updates, summer camps for kids and vacation/travel)
  • Read one fiction book per month
  • Make progress toward my life goal of working in a business partner role within Human Resources (this would be a change in direction in career that's not 100% necessary, but something I'd really like to try)
I would like to update my blog. I mean, the look of it. I know I want a cleaner format, but I don't have much creativity to contribute other than that. And I also don't know how to do it myself. So, if you have some suggestions of someone I could pay, or even someone who might just be able to help me do it myself, I'd love to hear it. :) 

There you go. As you who have followed my blog the past few years know, for me to achieve goals, the first step is to get them out in an accountability format. 

Cheers! Here's to a fabulous 2015.


December 5, 2014

7 Quick Takes - 92



Thank you to Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for hosting the 7QT. Holy Moly! I haven't participated since October!! Yikes! Well, I know the blogging has been slow around here. But that's the only part of my life that has been. Happy Friday!

**And then, Jen goes and changes up who is hosting! I guess I am glad that I started back up this week... hmmm, guess I should get a new header picture...I will have to see what's going on!


--- 1 ---
The school Christmas program was last night. Dani, Helen and Dominic performed with their classes.
Helen and Dani look so grown up!!
Sarah kept Vincent at home and Craig had to work. It was rather odd, sitting in my chair all by my lonesome. Someone said that I must not know what to do with myself. Oh contrare! I've learned to appreciate the times I don't have someone calling "Mommy!" or saying, "I need..." or "I want..."

I enjoyed the program, though. Dominic played the part of Joseph. That was cute. (Remember when Helen was Mary a few years ago?) Helen was so cute...as soon as she found me, she waved and then she and I would lock eyes and she'd grin at me whether she was singing or not! Dani was a part of a group singing a descant during the last song and it sounded so good. I really hope I can get Dani back into her music a bit more...we stopped guitar lessons a year ago, but if I can figure out how to get it back into the budget...I see how passionate she is about music, I would like to try and cultivate that, if possible. 

One of the things I cherish about my kids being in Catholic school is the opportunity to do a Christmas program. It was short, sweet and very good!

These two are so cute!!

 
--- 2 ---
This is a kettlebell.







Sometime before December started, someone from the Box put out the challenge to do 300 kettlebell swings for 30 days in December. Of course, crazy me, I can't resist this sort of thing -- so I signed up. Holy Moly, that's a workout all by itself! I have been doing them before the workouts every day. I find that mentally, doing 300 swings in a day gets easier every day that goes by. I'm positive that the day I don't do 300 swings will be the day I end (and fail) this challenge. So...I'm going to keep going to 30 I guess. My shoulders were crazy-tight yesterday and I told the chiropractor so. He worked on them, but I still feel tight through there and my lats and upper shoulders/back area.

Today I decided to run my stopwatch on my phone to get a gauge on how long this sort of thing takes (I knew the general time, though). I do these in sets of 25. 25 swings takes me about 45 seconds. So I do 4 sets of 25, resting 45 seconds in between. Then I give myself an extra minute to rest before the next 4 sets. It took right about 20 minutes.


--- 3 ---
Oh yes. Tonight will be my first trip back to Allen Fieldhouse to watch my Jayhawks play basketball! Yay! I'm excited.

Due to Craig's new job and our hectic schedules, Craig's mom has had to find others to take her to the games. :( But I was happy to find one I could make and I think we'll settle in and get to make it to a few, just not as many as we have in years past.

The Jayhawks look to be pretty good this year. Unfortunately, I think Kentucky has a team that very few other teams could beat, if any. They handled the Jayhawks pretty well a couple of weeks ago. But, KU will still be in the conversation for another conference championship, tournament run, etc. I love men's college basketball!


--- 4 ---
Did you see this game going around?






Fun that they pick Effie Trinket as the photo for this
I saw a few FB friends post it, so last night I got on Google on my phone to see what came up when I put in "Michelle Meme." The first one was this, and made me laugh out loud:

I'd never seen it before, but apparently it gets
enough hits that it's number 1

Since the First Lady has the name of Michelle, there's an Obama Meme that comes up 2nd. It wasn't all that funny, so I'm not sharing. But then this one...number 3...it was perfect!!
 
Ummm, hello! I have been hungry since I was born!! LOL
 
So? Anyone else want to play??
 
--- 5 ---
Well, I got one of my drafts published this week. I had to go through that post and rewrite some of it because I started it 8 months ago! Isn't that crazy? I guess I start, then I don't like the way it's going so I stop. I figure I must have looked at it 5-7 times over the course of those 8 months and just couldn't put it together the way I wanted.

That's the thing about being so busy and writing not being my job. I don't practice it enough to get really good at it. Then I get a semi-decent idea to write about, but I don't have time to flesh it all out at once and since I'm out of practice, it takes me longer anyway. Oh well. Such is life.
 
--- 6 ---
Sarah told me the other night to stop saying, "Well, that's how it is as you get older." Apparently I have been saying that a lot. I notice. But, still. She is in 8th grade and life is starting to get a bit more "real" to her. The schoolwork takes more effort, she's busy with her extra-curricular activities, she helps me out a lot on the homefront and she's trying to get a babysitting business going. There's a lot to do! I have figured out, though, that sometimes she just wants to talk at me and doesn't want my advice or commentary. I have been trying hard to remember the part about her not wanting my advice or commentary. It's hard to withhold, but I try to remember that she just wants me to listen. So...I try to listen and keep my mouth shut. It's difficult, believe me, but I'm getting better at it.
 
--- 7 ---

Taylor Swift's new album, 1989, is  my favorite ever! It has been a LONG time since I have listened to an album straight through and loved every song on it. Oh...probably since Taylor Swift's Speak Now album. I know Taylor Swift doesn't need promotion from someone like me. But I can't help it. There are a few songs on this album that I would listen to on repeat. She's got a gift for the catchy tune and rhythm paired with lyrics that take me back to whatever age Taylor Swift is in the songs she wrote. So, anyway...good album.

I think Craig and I decided no concerts for the girls and just figured that's a lot of money to spend for little kid entertainment. I've done it...I took all three girls to see Taylor Swift three years ago. It was a lot of money and it was hard to stay throughout the whole thing at their ages so I thought I wouldn't do that again. But there's a part of me that would feel guilty if I were to go to see Taylor Swift in concert and not take Dani with me (she's a huge fan).

What do you all think? This trend to taking young girls/kids to concerts? Do you do it? What's a good age to start taking them? I would imagine it varies by temperament and level of disposable income for that sort of thing. I still wonder what you all think?
 
BONUS: Oh, it's Advent! I love Advent. Dominic's been the one committed to uncovering the little windows in our Advent calendar and he seems to enjoy it. I wish I knew how to limit the hustle and bustle of this time because I know I need to settle down more in my prayer life for Christmas preparation. Are you doing anything special with your families?

Busy weekend around our house -- basketball scrimmage, service hours, babysitting, cleaning. Have a great one!

Be sure to go visit Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 1, 2014

My Strong-Willed Child

He's the child I never knew I missed.

I wasn't quite ready...but you can see Vincent was :)
He's the one that made us say, "If he'd been first...he might have been last."

He loves to say "CHEESE!"
He tests my patience. Yet he fills my heart so full it could burst.
He wanted us to have "silly sticker noses"
I'd always heard about this thing called a "strong-willed" child. I thought, perhaps, I had seen glimpses in my other children. But I only learned how naive I had been when Vincent was born into our family. Because our experience with him highlighted for me that the glimpses of "strong will" we'd seen in the other children were just your normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill challenges of normal-tempered children at different stages. Vincent showed us that "strong willed child" means strong-will, all the time, every day, every minute, with every choice and every occasion.

Vincent goes all-out, all the time. Even in the beginning--I can look back to pregnancy and labor/delivery and say, "I should have known..."

Vincent was the one of my pregnancies where we checked progesterone early and often and it just kept plummeting. It was Vincent who wouldn't cooperate at 12 weeks and let the doctor get a good heart beat with the doppler thingy and so he had to do a pelvic and jumble things around until we heard it and put my mind at ease. It was Vincent who forced his way to 27 hours of induced labor including 16 hours of "good" contractions before finally deciding to descend and be born in the matter of about 5 minutes. All on his time, you see. I joked with my doctor about whether this was a "5th child" thing -- the kid taking his sweet time to be born (my doctor had shared that he was a 5th child...) Honestly, the newborn months are a blur (as they are with all the kids), but as we emerged into our new normal, Vincent still exhibited this all-out, all the time personality.

Three-and-a-half years in, I regularly acknowledge that Vincent is my strong-willed child. He's wild. He's loud. And...he gets what he wants more often than not.

He loves cars...so surely he enjoyed playing this game with his daddy.

I've tried to be a mother twho "chooses" the "battles" carefully. But I never had so many to choose from before Vincent! I never realized how blessed I was with the older four that "choosing my battle" meant just once or twice a week. Because with Vincent I am choosing between 6 or 7 a day (sometimes the choice between 6 or 7 happens between 6:15 and 7:15 a.m.!!)

The fact that Vincent is 3-and-a-half-years-old now only exacerbates the issue because now he can talk (and yell, scream, etc) and make sure we know what he wants and that he won't back down. Sometimes I force my hand and he has to do it my way -- and I'm rewarded with a screamfest for the ages. More times than I like to admit, I give in and decide it is not worth it to fight.

A mom often ponders whether she is doing a good job at being a mom. When the kids are older, you start to realize that each of them has a personality and temperament that determines how they behave and what kind of mom you are seems to have less and less to do with anything. With Vincent, I question even more, my abilities, than I did with the other kids.

He's the first one that's been in daycare for his whole life, we've had an awesome experience with our daycare, too. The woman who cares for Vincent all day is gentle, kind, loving and still firm -- is his experience the reason he is so different?

Vincent is the first of my kids to reach this age without another child joining the family (on Earth) -- does that motivate him to behave the way he does? I experience so much more of Vincent because I don't have a baby on my hip, I'm convinced. Is my perception colored by this new and different experience? I am sure it is.

And perhaps my perception is colored, too, by the fact that I miss his little brother at times. Who knows what kind of child Vincent would be with Gregory tagging along...?

Sitting in the Darth Vader chair...hmmmm
While Vincent takes so much of my energy with regard to discipline and formation, he also replenishes my emotional stores faster than I remember it happening with the other kids. Vincent works hard and loves harder. He looks up to Dominic with a ferocity I haven't seen in the other kids. He pays enough attention to his sisters that he knows which of them can provide him with what he wants when he wants it. He makes my heart melt when he requests a hug and a kiss before I leave the house or leave him at daycare. He doesn't say "I love you" all the time like the other kids did when they first realized how much I liked hearing them say it. But he says it when I least expect it and I can feel his emotion reaching my heart every time he says it.

A strong-willed child is a special experience. Yes, it can be difficult and worrisome. But, at least in my case, it's accompanied by such passion! I love that. 

It is only because Vincent joined our family, that I am able to experience it.

November 20, 2014

Well, Hello There...

Allow me to (re)introduce myself...

Since my last post:
Sarah helped Dominic by pulling his first loose tooth!
Wow! Can't believe losing teeth has
already started for him
My "oldometer" ticked up for another year
(how awesome is this card?)
We test-drove, took home for a day, committed to buying
and then backed out of buying a new car
(maybe I'll post on that someday)


Sarah's 8th grade volleyball team took first in division,
and 2nd in City Tournament. What a great year.
Great girls and coaches!

I found a box that had these pajamas in them and they fit Vincent now!
Holy moly, he is getting big (and even more cute, if that's possible)
Took the boys clothes-shopping and found these cool
Lego Star Wars pajamas for Dominic. Perfect.
Wow, it has been awhile, right? I admit that the longer I go without writing anything substantial, the less I care to do so. We've changed our course in the past couple of months. That's a good thing, but it also means that a new form of "busy" has materialized.
First of all, Craig is still working nights. And that is fine honestly. He had been working nights for the past 10 years at the casino. It's just that the hours are a bit longer, so he's going in more like late afternoon/early evening and working through the night. The good part: He is home in time to help get the kids all ready and off to school before he goes to sleep and he's up in time to get them from school before heading off to his next day of work. The not-as-good-but-bearable part: This means my day really begins when I get off work. More on that later.

Secondly, the job is such an improvement over the casino. He's working at the Ford plant on the assembly line. The benefits are excellent and he gets paid overtime when he works it. Novel concept. :) I think he seems to enjoy the work he does, too. Craig's always liked cars (Vincent's obsession with them gives me some idea of what Craig may have been like as a child) and this gives him an opportunity to be up close and personal with at least one make and model. :)

So while all of this has occurred, we have had to make some changes to the way things run around the house. Craig used to do all the grocery shopping, for example, on Friday mornings. Well, that isn't possible every week anymore, so I have had to re-learn how to grocery shop and fit it into an already jam-packed weekend. The first two times I kept going over budget. It was really ticking me off. But the third time I did it, I made my list and I pulled out my phone and added things up as I went and ... Woo-Hoo! ... I was under budget and I got everything on the list! Also, Craig used to get some of the laundry done on Thursdays/Fridays and that's not happening anymore either. This past weekend was the craziest as every person in our family had to get their laundry done on Sunday. I am planning to get on that earlier in the weekend coming up so we don't have that happen again!

And then...there are the activities for the kids. Right now, Sarah has club volleyball, Dani has swim club and Helen has basketball. I'm thanking God for inspiring me NOT to put Dominic and/or Vincent in anything right now because I could not get them there. Mondays are the craziest since Helen and Dani both have practice at 6:30 and then Sarah has practice at 8 all the way across town. I think I'm getting a system down and this coming Monday, I think I'll be able to do it with one less trip across town (I've been heading over there twice -- once for drop-off and once for pick-up) since I will just have us all hang out across town while practice is going on. Dani has practice MOnday through Thursday. Sarah has practices Monday and Wednesday. Helen's practices are Monday and Saturday. So there's a lot of driving around for me during the week. I have no doubt that it is all worth it, but it's been an adjustment for me because I had grown to love having my evenings free to do as I wished.

I had already started going to CrossFit in the early mornings (5:15 -- bright and EARLY) so that hasn't changed. Craig's able to make it to the 6:15 a couple of times a week, too. The kids are pretty good at getting up and around most mornings -- now that the girls are pretty self-sufficient in that arena. So, the exercise is still happening.

As you can imagine, the schedule in the evenings makes it difficult to do dinner. We do a lot of breakfast for dinner so far. I hope we can get some good crockpot things going now that the cold weather is here. But we seldom eat together. Dani is usually grabbing something early so she's ready to swim. There are snacks, with no real dinner-time routine. It kind of drives me bonkers and makes me think I suck at this whole Mom thing, but I don't know what else to do at this point since the evenings are just too crazy for anything else.

Through all of it, though, I was able to spend the weekend two weekends ago (the one before Veteran's Day) doing a huge clean and purge of the house. So now at least, I like being in the house for the time I am there. Our garage is clean and uncluttered and so is our basement. I know where everything is in the storage room, too. And I have been on the kids to keep it straightened up, too (you would not believe the places I found the many puzzle pieces and telepods the boys had scattered all over -- well, maybe you would). The side benefit of being so busy? There really is only so much time the kids are in the house to mess it up. :)

We'll see if I can get the 7 drafted posts in any shape to be published in the near future. #dontholdyourbreath

That's just a little bit of word-spew from me to let you know that while I may feel like I am drowning, I'm still alive and well. And happy, for the most part.

Cheers!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 




November 3, 2014

Monday Mumbles - 78 (CrossFit Competition Edition)

Happy 9th-to-last Monday of 2014. (Why do I like counting down Mondays?)

Let's mumble, shall we?

1. First CrossFit competition ever this weekend is in the books. It went all right. The hard part about doing things for the first time is not really knowing what to expect. The things I will make sure I do better next time:
  • Buy/Wear clothes that fit properly. I haven't updated my workout wardrobe very much in the last year...it showed -- fortunately not too much -- but adjusting my clothing while trying to complete burpees or transitioning from jump rope to sit-ups was not that much fun.
  • Drink more water. I didn't get dehydrated, but I don't think I was in the best shape where water intake was concerned.
  • Try to farm out my kids to friends' houses if I can. My kids do an awful lot to pitch in and help me out on a regular basis -- I'd like for a day I am competing to be fun for them instead of a drag. They just aren't into this CrossFit thing like I am (yet).
  • Stick with Paleo regimen for the whole month leading up to it. I fell off the wagon when the gym's "30-day challenge" ended at the beginning of October and never really got back on it before this competition. My body processes food more efficiently eating that way and I really do notice a huge difference.
2. That being said, I had a good time and I think I did pretty well for my first competition. I ranked 15th out of 28 women in the scaled division. My ranks in the workouts broke down like this:
  • WOD 1: 9th -- this WOD played to my strengths as Deadlift is one of my better lifts and the weights were good for high reps
  • WOD 2: 23rd -- this WOD was one of my weakest lifts -- Snatch. But, I did PR (80#) but it was only a power snatch. I need to keep working on sticking a Snatch in the squat position. Dang 41-year-old hips and knees!
  • WOD 3: 16th -- I completed this WOD last for the day and I felt wiped out. I thought afterwards that maybe if I hadn't eaten my meal about 60 minutes before, I might have been better, but I don't know. It was a paleo meal, so the food wasn't the problem, but maybe the timing of eating it? It was a WOD that was 3 rounds of 400m run-30 single jump-rope jumps, 20 ab-mat situps and 10 shoulder-to-overhead presses. By the third time I headed out for 400m run, I was over it. It helped me push to get through that last round, but I know I didn't run the way I typically do (but, of course, my pants were falling down, too). However, I think 16th is probably about right for that performance.
  • WOD 4: 12th -- this WOD was one where you picked up 80 pounds (two plates that totaled that) ran down to a sled-type thing, loaded the weight and then pushed it to the finish line. I did it in 27 seconds (well slightly more than 27 seconds). I liked that WOD a lot, but it was over so quickly!
  • The way the competition score seems to work is to add up your ranks in each WOD and that is your score. You want a low score. My total points were 60. It seems like if you want to be in the running to win a competition, it's good to win at least one of the WODs and/or be in the top 10 for most of them. (The competitor in me takes note of such things.)
3. My kids were great. I wish I would have taken a picture of them being good. I had Dani, Dominic and Helen with me. Sarah stayed at home with Vincent since he'd been fighting off a cold most of last week. Dani got up from her perch to come watch a couple of the WODs, but on the last one, she informed me she was just gonna wait in the chair. ha.

4. When we got home, I was wiped out. I couldn't really rest that much, though. I guess my body needed to calm down a bit from the day. I have also noticed this phenomenon when I have run half marathons or even when I did my triathlon. You'd think you could take a nap...but you really can't.

5. Oh and during that last WOD, I thought more than once that I was never doing a competition again. I'm sure that feeling will pass and I'll do another one. I'm too competitive not to.

6. I was HUNGRY Saturday night, too. Now, I typically can put some steak away. I am a meat-loving fool. But I even surprised myself with the amount of steak and crab legs I ate Saturday night. Yes, I stopped at the grocery store and picked out a couple of bacon wrapped filets, a ribeye and a pound of Alaskan Snow Crab Legs. I didn't eat all of it Saturday night...but a pretty good portion.

7. I was so wiped out, that I forgot to set our clocks back Saturday night before I went to bed. Doh! So, Craig and I got up and got ready to go to 8:00 a.m. Mass Sunday  morning and were just discussing getting the kids up when Craig looked at his phone and saw it was only 6:00 a.m. and not 7:00 a.m. I just went and ate breakfast. I guess that's a positive.

8. Helen and I had a little afternoon date yesterday. It was fun. She's so sweet.

Mommy-Helen Selfie
9. I am clearing out our storage room so that we can then clear out and clean the other side of our garage in the hopes we will buy a new car soon and have a place to house it. I went through one box in the storage room that had this "love note" from my Sarah. It is probably about three or four years old.

I miss Sarah's love-notes

10. We have a busy week ahead. We spent about 10 minutes before dinner yesterday going over how it's all going to go down. Lots of driving for me, lots of kids getting their homework done efficiently and being ready to go when it is time.

So, deep breath. Here we go.

Have a great week!


 



October 31, 2014

One Year of My New Life

Remember this? Here I Go Again

One year ago today, I walked into the Weight Watchers At-Work meeting to weigh-in for the "first time" again. I am happy to report it was my LAST "first time" and I made changes that started that day and stuck with them now for a year.

One year ago on November 1 (tomorrow) I went to my first CrossFit workout. I had surgery six weeks before and had abided by the "no lifting" restrictions. But I was cleared and ready to go. I remember that workout like it was a year ago. :) We did back squats. We did Cleans. And I was oh-so-very sore all weekend long. (I also came down with Strep that weekend, which was not so fun.)

Today, I reread several of my posts over the past year and I link them for you now:


Tomorrow, I will compete in my first CrossFit Competition. I'm nervous. But it's the good kind of nervous. I am entered in the scaled division and I just hope to do the very best I can and see how it goes.

As I think about this past year the main thing that comes to mind is my focus on maintaining these changes I have made. AS my initial "Here I Go Again" post mentions...I had always been an active person, but the food was my problem. I'm not going to lie, even with the changes I made this year, the food is still my problem. It's something I cannot ever let myself become mindless to ever again. I will forever need to keep track of the food I eat on a daily basis. I will forever need to regroup after my inevitable falls "off the wagon" and get back to tracking.

Actually, I've been "off the wagon" for about four weeks now. It's just been crazy with our schedule and Craig's new job. I'm hopeful I can get back on now. Does that mean that I've gained 15 pounds? No. But it means that if I don't get it in check, I might. Does that mean I haven't worked out? Nope. Still haven't had more than a 2-day layoff for exercise in a year. But the exercise isn't the problem.

I recently reviewed the time since November 1 to see about workouts and was pleased to see that it was true that I had not had more than two days in a row with no formal/vigorous exercise since then. Even when we had a 2-day road trip for our vacation, when we arrived at my sister's, I headed out for a 5K just to get something in on that 2nd day. I try not to obsess, however, my anxiety kicks up if I start thinking I won't be able to get a workout in if I didn't get one the day before.

In the last few months, I've had some interesting internal struggles with what I've done and how it impacts my family. First of all, there's no question I am healthier and a better mom when I feel good about myself -- both my actual health and my appearance. Secondly, I know I'm showing my kids what a healthy life looks like and I'm proud of that. The struggle comes in where the potential for weight-related problems rears its head with my kids. My kids are growing right now and are active and make (for the most part) healthy choices in the kitchen. But it was recently pointed out to me what my transformation in the past year may look like to them -- especially my Helen, who wants so much to be like me in all ways. I believe my kids are proud of me for making healthy changes, but I worry that my girls (especially my girls) gain or retain some part of MY insecurity with weight and body image by seeing me work so hard to change my own weight/body to fit something I am happy with. This is a real concern. I want my girls to know they are beautiful no matter what. I worry that because they've watched this transformation over the past year, that they may think that I don't think I am beautiful no matter what. So, that's probably a post for another day. But it's something I've had on my heart for a few weeks.

For today, I am going to celebrate. I'm going to celebrate the fact that my weight is in a healthy range, that my cholesterol (both the good and the bad) are in optimal ranges, that my resting heart rate is fantastic and that my blood pressure is excellent. Today, I celebrate the fact that I know eating a cookie is not going to derail my health because I know to limit my intake to just one (or two! haha) and not eat the whole box. Today, I celebrate that I understand how processed foods and sugars impact my body and I know how to make healthy and moderate choices on those. I celebrate the fact that I can Back Squat 185 pounds; I can Front Squat 145 pounds; I can Hang Squat Clean 130 pounds; I can do good-form "perfect" push-ups to the tune of 10 at a time; I can do unassisted kipping pull-ups. I could go on, but I won't. I feel so empowered from all the goals I have reached in the last year and for that, I am grateful and I want to celebrate it.

Many of you have sent me congratulations and celebrated my success over this past year. Thank you for that. I knew that I needed a lot of accountability and  checks to keep me going and I appreciate that you all agreed to help me with that.

My journey is still far from over, though. Because I believe the hard part is in the maintenance. Yes, losing weight is hard -- I'm not going to deny that. But I'm discovering that maintaining those changes when the weight is gone can be its own kind of incredible struggle. When the focus is not so much on losing and you can widen your lens-of-life and look at more things everyday -- taking the time and the part of your lens to continue to focus on your health still takes effort. Some days that effort is easier than others. But no matter what, I must continue to focus on maintaining these healthy changes.

My focus continues to be on these main things:
  1. Tracking my food in a food diary
  2. Exercise most days of the week (this typically means one true rest day per week and sometimes two rest days per week, depending on the schedule...usually NOT two days in a row if I can help it)
  3. Stick to the Paleo philosophy most of the time
So, I'm going to allow myself a "Birthday" Treat -- if you will.

My New/Healthy Life is 1-year-old today.