Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New 2 U Cross Training Challenge

Although I completed my activity for the New 2 U Cross Training Challenge two weeks ago, I am getting my post about it in just under the wire, as it is the last day of the month. Not sure why I couldn't seem to buckle down and blog about it when I did it, or any of the time between then and now, but here it is anyway.

My kids got Just Dance 3 for the Wii for Christmas, and I found that it has a feature on it called "Just Sweat." I happen to really like Just Dance (although I like the songs on 1 and 2 better than 3, and wish Santa had brought one of those versions instead) and so the option to combine the game with working out? Sounded awesome.

So after finishing a level of the Shred one night, I popped the game in and went for it. (There is no video of this, as there were no witnesses. No one needed to see that :P ) Really, the Just Sweat version of the dances were a lot like Jazzercise, or at least what I imagine Jazzercise to be as I have never actually done it. And it did indeed make me sweat. But I didn't find it to be as fun as the regular dance versions of the game. I did a couple of the sweat songs, which were all that had thus far been unlocked, and then I switched over to the regular game to earn points and unlock some more sweat versions. Which took me a while since I don't earn as many points at a time as my children, specifically my eldest daughter. What can I say? I'm more of a free-form dancer.

I totally look like this when I work out - leotard, leg warmers and all. It's like they took a picture of me for this game ;P

At any rate, by the time I had finished my dancing/exercise, I was sufficiently sweaty and out of breath, and it was more fun than my average trip on the elliptical. I will probably revisit it as a for of cardio/cross training in the future. Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do for February - it is a shorter month, after all, and it took me 31 days to get this report in!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I got out of bed, put on my running clothes, dropped the kids at school and came home, then headed out the door. And from the very beginning, things felt bad. Physically, mentally, just in general. Without all the details, I struggled through a walk/run of 3.5 miles, a track of self-loathing, anger, exhaustion, and general despair playing over and over in my head. My body didn't want to submit to what I was trying to do either. It was one of those workouts that just wasn't good. And made me feel like I am a failure. I didn't even make it all the way home (which would have made it 4 miles) - I called my husband in tears and just asked him to come get me.

I am not one of those runners who loves every day that I am out there. I don't often feel like I am soaring as I run. It doesn't come easy for me hardly ever, and I normally have to mentally talk myself through a chunk of it. I read these other blogs where the women have lost a lot of weight and now are running fanatics, and their posts read like odes to running. They are faster, they have more joy in it, and they look like the shining example of what runners are. And what I'm not. I love the feeling when I have completed a run, and I do like to run (mostly.) But it isn't what everyone says it should be. And I feel like a failure compared against that.

I'm eating well, I haven't had sugars in over a week (as defined in my last post) and yet my workouts this week have felt harder, I'm having a hard time staying motivated in general, and the scale hasn't moved. I feel distraught and irritated and frustrated and sad and just tired of all of this. I'm tired of feeling like I'm not as good as everyone else, like I'm not successful, like I am not pretty or good enough. Like I'm just not.

I think that on a personal level, I am not taking enough time to build myself up. I'm not dedicating myself spiritually the way that I need to be, I'm not seeking comfort there where I should be. I don't think that is all of the problem, but it could be a start.

I'm tired of being at war with myself.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweetie pie

Today marks day 7 since I cut sugar out of my eating. So far so good. To be clear, I need to define what I mean by cutting sugar out, lest you think I'm more awesome than I actually am. For me, right now, sugar equals sweets - cake, pastries, candy, cookies, etc etc etc, soda or other sugary drinks, and adding sugar to my foods (such as oatmeal.) I have still been eating a tablespoon of peanut butter when I have a whole wheat English muffin at breakfast, and I know that has some sugar in it. As do some sauces I have used in my cooking lately. But for the most part, I am avoiding it, and I am feeling really proud of myself.

When I am having a hard time with no treats, and I really need something to get me through, I have some sugar free Jello pudding in the fridge, and also some sugar free hot chocolate mix in the cupboard. But I don't have it every day, and I don't have more than one of those on days when I do eat it. I am not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners, but when they aid in my being able to avoid sugar in certain moments, I will eat it. 

I've also cleaned up my eating, focusing more on whole grains instead of things made with white flour, getting more veggies and fruit in, and just being more conscious in general of what goes in my mouth. Some days I am still eating a little more in volume than I should, but for the most part I'm making some good changes.

I moved up to Level 2 on the Shred, and I forgot how hard it is! Between that and middle-of-the-night bowling last night with the hubby and his employees, my shoulders are pretty sore. I had meant to get out for a run today, but we didn't get home until after 1 this morning, and I woke up feeling like I was hungover, so I didn't make it.

How is everyone else doing?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jillian Michaels and I are not friends

You can stop smiling, Jillian. We all know you aren't that friendly.

I am a Shredder. At least part time. I pop that DVD in and put myself through 20 minutes(ish) of torture frequently. I think the workout is great for the amount of time you put in, and I think Jillian as a trainer or workout-pro knows her stuff. But I can't stand to hear anything she is saying during the DVD. Even what is supposed to be her congratulatory speech at the end of the workout grates on me. So I mute it and watch something else at the same time, either via picture-in-picture or on the computer near the tv. And in general, I'm not a huge fan of the interviews she has given, or her yelling at people on treadmills. She's just not my style. 

However, as I was running today, I was repeating one of her quotes over and over in my head. "Unless you faint, puke, or die, keep going." My legs were sore today (I blame the Shred, in fact, as well as my introduction to ice skating last night,) I was tired, and it was a hard four miles. But I just kept running that phrase through my mind and pushing through it. Near the end as I was getting close to home, I actually thought I might puke, and I said to myself "Well, if you puke you can walk. Keep going." And I made it home. So while Jillian and her yelling, pill-hocking ways may not be my cup of tea, I owe my (slow) but successful run today to her. Or whoever made up that quote and told her to use it during the Biggest Loser. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do

Sugar, we need to talk. We both know that you're no good for me. You taste all sweet and delicious at first, and you offer a spike of energy and happiness, but then a short while later you let me down. With a crash. I know we've had a long run together, and it'll be hard to say goodbye. But we both knew this day was coming. Sure, I am going to miss you, and it will be a bit awkward when we see each other across the room at birthday parties and the like. And we could make this breakup slow and painful, drawing it out. But I'd rather leave things the way they are now - before we both say things we don't mean and I end up really hating you. Maybe, someday down the road, we can be friends, meeting up for the occasional desert or cup of tea. But for now, I need to ask you to pack your things and leave the house. Take your leftover Christmas candy, the cupcakes we made on Sunday, and the root beer and ice cream that my mother-in-law left here when she brought dessert the other night. Please don't text, don't call, don't leave sweet treats at my door. I just need my space. It's not you - it's me. Ok, it's partially you. But we can't go on living this way. This house isn't big enough for the two of us. Especially if I keep eating you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back in the saddle

Got myself out of bed this morning with my alarm - trying to reclaim some of that feeling I had when I was training for my half last year and getting up with the alarm was part of my set, necessary routine and not something that I could question or change. Even when the kids have a day off from school and I don't have to get up. I don't have a headlamp, so I have to wait until it gets light enough to head out on the bike trail, which wasn't until 7 as it turns out. Despite the spring-like weather we have been experiencing here in Northern California (daytime highs in the 60s anyone?) it is, apparently, not spring. So it is still dark in the morning, and it is freezing. Or, actually, below freezing. I also don't really own appropriate winter running gear (I'd love to have all this stuff, but it is just expensive!) so I just did the best I could and then ran through the pain (or cold.)

I did somewhere between 2.5-3 miles, ran the whole time, and generally felt pretty good. I've taken too much time off from running, and have been waiting until the light/weather/universe makes it easier to get back into, but no more. I am unhappy with who I am right now, how I look, how I feel, and I am the only one who can change that. All the sugar in the world isn't going to make me happier, no matter how much it might feel like it in the heat of the moment. So I am forcing myself back into the healthy lifestyle (I've been doing Jillian, so it isn't like I haven't already started making steps back towards it. But it is time to really commit.)

Today is grocery shopping day, and I've got loads of great foods on the list. My workout is in (although I am playing with the idea of throwing Jillian in somewhere too.) The kids are home, which isn't always the most conducive to productivity, but I'm going to just do my best. Hope you all are too.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A thank you and a bike

I spent some time tonight reading blogs, and they were just the inspiration I needed to get my shred in before bed. So at ten pm I started Jillian up and I was off. It feels so much more peaceful to get it done than to spend the time mentally arguing with myself about doing it. Now I can sleep soundly.

I inherited a bicycle today. It is a hot mess - it was left outside in the weather for quite some time and is rusty all over and the tires are flat and the brakes aren't working. But it is a pink Schwinn hybrid/cruiser, and I am hoping with some hard work and love (and steel wool) I can fix it up. I've wanted a bike like that forever, and just can't afford to buy one. I am really excited at the prospect of using it for cross training. I live right by the American River bike trail and it beckons me to ride on it whenever I run the levee.

Thank you all for inspiring me to get my workout done tonight - hope you all are sleeping as well as I am going to!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sweating it out

There is nothing that a good workout can't make you feel better about - or at least make you forget for a little while. It's 9:45 pm here, but I got in The Shred and four songs on Just Dance (which I highly recommend for some cardio if you haven't tried it!) Now I can take a hot shower and go to sleep more prayerfully and peacefully instead of spending the next few hours worrying about things I can't fix tonight. Sometimes sweat is better than tears.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I think I know you...

For a while now, I've felt like I haven't recognized myself. Since my 10k on Thanksgiving, my exercise dropped dramatically and my eating, well, did not. December was a month of lots of food and little movement, and as a result I have just felt uggghhh. I haven't liked how I look, I haven't liked how I felt, and I haven't liked who I've been. So I set myself the goal of starting back in with the 30 Day Shred right after the new year, and this past Monday was the day to start.

I can't say that I jumped right out of bed and got it done. In fact, I didn't start the video until 10:30 in the morning. I kicked the kids out of the living room, set my tv to picture-in-picture so that I didn't have to hear what Jillian was saying and I could (kind of) distract myself from the pain by watching Grimm, and I did the dvd. Then I did it again on Tuesday (same time.) Wednesday I didn't get it in until almost noon, but I did get it in. Thursday I managed to get it in by 9 as the kids and I were headed to my parent's to spend a couple of days (oh how I love the chance to recharge somewhere and let other people help with the kids and feed me dinner.) Friday I didn't do the video since I was with my family, but I did walk for an hour.

Then, this morning, something wonderful happened. I was awake and out of bed at 7, of my own volition, and quickly changed clothes and got the dvd going so that I would have time to finish it before taking the hubby to work. By 8 he was at work and my workout was done. And I looked at myself and thought, "hey, I think I know you." It has been so long since I have gotten up in the morning and actually wanted to get my workout in first thing, and after a week I am seeing some of the chunkiness start to recede again, and I know that toning isn't far away if I just keep going, and I am feeling good. I loved how I felt and who I was when I was working out 5 days a week, or when I was training for my half marathon, and I was doing what needed to be done. And this morning, I got a glimpse of that girl again. And all I could say was "Welcome back."