Archive for March, 2011


Fun, Fun, Fun

I didn’t walk today even though it was GORGEOUS outside. I did, however, do FIRE 45 from TurboFire. I was a little concerned that I would DIE because it’s been over 2 months since I’ve done TurboFire and it’s intense cardio, unlike walking. It was challenging (no big surprise), but I made it through. I have to say that Chalene Johnson is a genius. The way she mixed the music and sound effects makes the workout SO….MUCH….FUN!!!!! And, she knows just what to say at the right time to keep me going even though it’s a DVD and I know it’s coming.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to ChaLEAN Extreme Push Circuit 2 which I love for different reasons. There’s something about pushing yourself farther than you thought you could go and lifting heavier weights than you ever thought you could that’s so rewarding…mentally and physically. The bottom line is that if you’re going to stick with something to get results it has to be something you enjoy or you won’t keep it up long enough to reach your goal. Yes, exercise can be fun. You just have to find what works for you. If you want some help with that contact me on facebook. 🙂

I stopped doing CHX a couple of weeks ago, not for any good reason…just because (I don’t recommend taking long breaks), so I decided to start the Push Circuit over again. I could visibly see a difference in, well, everything so I was concerned that I wouldn’t even be able to match what I had done the first time around. I used my chart as a guide and did the best I could. It was challenging, but felt great. If you’re trying to lose weight I can’t say enough about the importance of strength training…not just physically, but mentally, too.

Standard Bicep Curl – 20lbs/6 reps – same

Standard Squat – 25lbs/8 reps – same

Single-Arm Bent-Over Tricep Extension – 10lbs/8 reps – I went lighter because 15lbs was extremely challenging before

V-Press Biceps – 15lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme – same

Single-Leg Squat – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – same

Overhead Tricep Extension – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – lighter and it was challenging, but I think I could’ve done 25lbs/6 reps

Hammer Biceps – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – same

Heel Squat – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme – same

Push-ups – 6 on knees + 3 extreme – same

Today was the first meeting for the local weightloss/fitness challenge group which was a lot of fun. It’s been a while since we’ve had guests who are older than our kids and didn’t want to play Call of Duty. 😉 Since we met around dinner time, we ate and it was really good. One of the members has been doing the Shakeology 3-day cleanse so we had food that would fit into her eating plan. I don’t think any of us felt deprived and everything was from the top two tiers of Michi’s Ladder, a breakdown of which foods are best and worst to eat for overall health. The Ladder consists of 5 tiers ranging from the best of the best to the stuff that should be avoided at all costs. Contact me on facebook for more info about Michi’s Ladder and other great tools for weightloss and getting fit.

Breakfast – Chocolate Shakeology made with 8oz water, 4oz organic skim milk, 1Tbs sugar-free butterscotch pudding mix, 3 ice cubes (I cannot even tell you how delicious this was)

AM Snack – P90X Chocolate Peanut Butter protein bar

Lunch – I woke up kind of late so the protein bar kind of acted as lunch, too

PM Snack – Fiber One Oats and Chocolate bar

Dinner – lemon garlic rosemary marinated chicken breast filets, grilled; delightful salad with “artisan” lettuce from Costco, romaine, carrots, baby peppers, cucumber, radishes and homemade dressing (recipe from the Team Beachbody newsletter) including avocado, fat free plain yogurt, parsley, garlic, red onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper; tomato basil soup (recipe from Sam the Cooking Guy) that was heated in the crock pot on high for a couple of hours before serving

I don’t have calorie or burn totals because my BodyBugg subscription just expired and as much as I love it I’m not ready to renew yet. Feel free to order Shakeology or an awesome Beachbody fitness program through my Beachbody Coach website to contribute to the fund. 😉

I already rambled on about philosophical things today so this is just going to be a bunch of photos from my walk. I’m not sure if it was the weather or what, but everything looked incredibly interesting today and I took a ton of pictures. The ones that didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped didn’t make the cut, but there are still a bunch. Scroll over the images for more info (although they’re mostly trees).

These first two were actually taken from the deck before I headed out.

I put my cell phone next to these tiny daffodils for scale. I’ve never seen ones in bloom that were so small before.

This one surprised me when I uploaded it. I had no idea I’d gotten a shot of that bird flying by.

Ok, that’s it. Hope you have a great week!

My son suggested we go for a walk yesterday. He was kidding. I did go, though. That’s three days in a row so it’s looking like I’m getting back to normal again. Just have to say that after not walking for over a week, Thursday’s walk made me realize how quickly we lose what we don’t use. Ouch!

I started to take some photos and realized the batteries in the camera were dead. That problem is solved now so I’ll have to get out there today and take some. I could’ve said, “maybe I’ll get out there and take some,” but I’m learning that thoughts and words have a profound effect on the outcome of our lives. By simply changing “maybe” to “I’ll have to” I’ve set myself up for success because I’ve told myself I’m going to do it. My attitude is completely different.  Instead of thinking of my walk as optional I’m planning the best time to go.

I used to hate exercising, but now I love it and the workouts I do now are more challenging. If anything, you’d think I’d hate it even more, but I took Chalene Johnson’s advice and started telling myself I love it. There are times when the workouts feel especially tough. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do this today. I just don’t have the energy,” I tell myself I can do it and that I’m fine. It may sound crazy, but it works. And not just with exercise. We can change our perspective on anything by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

I’m realizing that I need to expand my ability to do this to other areas of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and talking about how I’m not organized or good at keeping the apartment clean because of my background. I’m not saying that those things weren’t true, but now I’m going to tell myself that I’m awesome at organizing and cleaning. Does that mean that suddenly everything will be perfect? No, but now instead of focussing on what I can’t do I’ll be looking for ways to be better.

In the past, I’ve had a pattern of starting things and then not finishing them. I think it’s fairly normal to not finish every single thing we start, but once I had given myself that label I became “the person who never finishes anything” which set me up for failure. Now I’m going to be “the person who follows through and finishes things.” No doubt the temptation will arise to quit things when they get hard, but now I know how to push through it. Instead of telling myself I might as well give up because that’s what I always do I can talk to myself the same way I would a friend who is tempted to quit something worthwhile.

The Golden Rule says treat others the way you want to be treated. I think there’s a flip side to that. Treat yourself the way you want other people to treat you. If a friend kept telling me I might as well give up because that’s what I always do or I can’t do something because I don’t have what it takes to succeed I would be seriously offended and probably wouldn’t be their friend very long. But that’s exactly the kind of stuff we tell ourselves on a regular basis. We need to learn to be our own biggest cheerleader and stop sabotaging ourselves. When the negative thoughts start to seep in and take over we have to make a conscious effort to fight them off. Thoughts are only as real as the actions we take because of them. If the thought crosses the mind of a successful person that they’re not successful does that make it true? Not unless they allow themselves to believe it and stop doing the things that have made them a success.

I dare you to try it. Identify something negative you continually tell yourself that keeps you from doing something you want or need to and start telling yourself the opposite. If you find yourself thinking it won’t work, you’re still doing it. Cut it out. Adjust your attitude so it’s positive. You CAN do this. Now I’m going to go for a walk, just like I said I would. 🙂

Me: Hey, other than stopping to eat for a few minutes you’ve been playing that game all day. We need to go outside, get some fresh air and get our blood moving. Ooo, I know! Let’s walk to Alton Baker Park! (I tried to sound as enthusiastic as possible without being cheesy hoping he would just go along with it.)

Him: I don’t wanna go for a walk. I just want to go out and play with my aerobie (it’s like a frisbee, but open in the middle).

Me: Well, the best place to do that is Alton Baker so let’s go. (Big smile on my face.)

Him: There’s no open space there.

Me: Um, yeah there is. You know, the big field right in the middle.

Him: Oh. Yeah. But there’s lots of bird poop there.

Me: Well there’s lots of dog poop here. I’d rather step in bird poop than dog poop.

Him: I want to take my scooter, but the pavement is too bumpy.

Me: I’m sure we can find a path that’s not too bumpy.

Him: I’d ride my bike, but it’s too heavy.

Me: I don’t think so. You’ve had that bike a couple of years and I’m pretty sure you’re big enough to handle it just fine now.

Other son: I can’t ride my bike because the tires are flat and we don’t have a pump.

Me: I know we have a pump somewhere.

Other son: I guess we could rollerblade.

Him: I don’t want to do anything that needs a helmet.

Me: That would be walking.

Him: I don’t wanna go walking. It’s too far.

Me: Ok, listen. We need to get outside while it’s nice.

Him: It’s going to be boring.

Me: It doesn’t have to be.

Him: I’ll just stay here and read.

Me: We need to get outside and move around.

Him: I’ll just stay here and do TurboFire.

Me: Come on. We’re going for a walk.

Him: Why?

Me: Because I said so.

Him: That doesn’t work with parents…only between older and younger brothers.

Me: Come on. Get ready to go.

Him: I don’t wanna go.

Me: This is not a negotiation. Let’s go.

Him: (huffing and puffing as he walked to his room) I’ll just stay here and read.

Me: Get over it. It’s just a walk. It’s not like I’m moving you Somalia or something. (I know, it doesn’t really make sense and was probably offensive to someone somewhere somehow.)

Him: Well then I’m going like this. (He was wearing only his camo pajama pants.)

Me: Fine. Let’s go.

Him: Ok, but this is all I’m wearing.

Me: Ok then.

Other son: You’re going to embarrass our whole family!

They walked out the door into the hallway while I put on my shoes, hoping he was just bluffing…trying to suck me into a bigger argument which might have resulted in me saying we’d just forget the whole thing. Moments later the door opened and he walked back in and took off his shoes.

Me: What are you doing?

Him: Changing.

Me: Ok. (Thank you God!)

We finally headed out for our walk to Alton Baker Park. As I stepped outside I noticed the sky had suddenly grown dark, the temperature had dropped and the wind was blowing like crazy. But at least we were walking…fully clothed.

The bright pink thing behind his back is the aerobie. Gotta love the togetherness.

I figured once we really got going those endorphins would kick in and we’d all walk happily along together. In the meantime, I started taking photos of things that caught my eye.

It wasn’t long before we reached Autzen Stadium and PK Park where a baseball game was going on.

Other son: It’s starting to rain.

Me: Just a little. If you want we can stop here and play in the parking lot for a while.

Him: I just want to go home. Besides, it’s too windy to play anyway.

By that time it was really starting to come down and the raindrops were freezing.

We headed back, getting soaked. I’m pretty sure he was glad he decided not to venture out in just pajama bottoms, although we would’ve all been better off with jackets. I think we both won this time. He didn’t have to go all the way to Alton Baker Park and I managed to get him outside for at least a short walk, but more importantly when our similarities rose up and threatened to cause a major clash between us we both managed to get through it with our dignity in tact. He’s a great kid, but every once in a while we butt heads because we both tend to be quite stubborn. Whenever he starts acting like he shouldn’t have to do something because he doesn’t want to, I instantly think about all the times my mom gave in just to avoid conflict when I acted the same way. Sometimes I’ve taken it too far, but I’m learning little by little to strike a balance. The good thing is we can all have a sense of humor about it. Later, after we were all dry and fed, he suggested we go out for a walk. Brat. (I mean that in the most loving way.)  😉

“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

There are so many times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and be done with it all. I even attempted to commit suicide in high school. Not exactly something I’m proud of. If my friends hadn’t intervened I wouldn’t be here writing this today. Now it seems like a lifetime ago or even the life of someone else. At the time, I felt like I had put a lot of thought into the decision, but the reality is that it was extremely impulsive. It’s quite sobering to think how easily we can make a decision that will completely change the course of our lives…or end it.

I’ve always been great at starting things, but as I look back there are very few things I’ve stuck with all the way to completion. Even recently I decided to start a local weightloss challenge. Flyers went out to 240 families plus a few friends were invited. As the first meeting approached I had no idea how many would show up, but I was hoping for a lot. But just like the walking group, no one from the apartments showed up. Ok then. As much as I wanted to have a positive attitude I was seriously irritated and discouraged. Of course, there was still the group of friends who wanted to join, but couldn’t make it to the first meeting. I was so tempted to give up and forget the whole thing because it didn’t go as I had planned.

Just when I was about to tell everyone the challenge was cancelled, I had a conversation with a fellow coach that made me realize my motives were all wrong. Instead of thinking of the group as just a way to build my business I should’ve been focussing on the individuals who were excited to be getting help with losing weight and living healthier lifestyles which is really what this is all about. I have no doubt that the time spent working with the group will not only be good for them, but for me, too. I had forgotten that everything happens for a reason and almost ruined it for them and me. Now I’m excited to get back on track with the challenge even if it’s not exactly as I originally planned. 

It’s been said that it’s always darkest before the dawn and so often we give up right before we receive the amazing things that were meant for us. The hard part is hanging in there when, from our limited perspective, it seems the perfect time to quit. If we know we’re trying to accomplish something that will improve the lives of others or ourselves we have to keep going, to be relentless. We may get tired and the temptation to quit will be there, but we have to keep going one step at a time even if all we can see is that one step in front of us. The more we exercise our faith the stronger it will get. That doesn’t mean that life will get easier and the temptation to quit will go away, but we will find ourselves able to take on bigger and better things.

People who have accomplished great things didn’t suddenly wake up one day able to do them just like a person who can lift heavy weights wasn’t able to do it the first time they tried. It’s a process of overcoming increasing challenges. A person who starts off only able to lift 5lbs has the potential to lift 50lbs, but they’ll never be able to do it if they quit when the weight increases. We have to be willing to push through the challenges even if it hurts a bit at the time because that’s the only way we will be able to accomplish more. Never give up. If you keep going, no matter how hard, you’ll back at your life and know it was all worth it.

What is “normal”?

I’ve spent some time recently thinking about why it’s so easy to fall back into old habits even though I know that not working out and not eating healthy food just makes me feel like crap. Some people just seem to naturally do the “right” things and make the “right” choices without having to give it much, if any, thought while some people (hand raised) have to think about every decision or they automatically end up doing the things that aren’t good for them.

I think it has a LOT to do with how we were raised. I’m not trying to blame anyone because I believe most parents do the best they can with the knowledge and means available. It’s just that we are so impressionable when we’re children and the things around us, no matter how “wrong”, were normal because that’s all we knew. After my parents got divorced when I was 4 (I think), my mom and I moved in with her parents. My grandmother (I later found out) had been the victim of some kind of abuse (didn’t get any details…it was amazing I even got that bit of info) and continued the cycle with me.

Because no one outside our home knew about it, no one did anything to stop it so in my mind it was normal. For a long time my mom didn’t even have a clue because it all happened when she was gone and my grandmother would always be sure to tell her version of the story as soon as my mom walked in the door which always led to me having to apologize to her for my bad behavior. I’m not saying I was perfect, but now I know I didn’t deserve the “punishment” I got. It wasn’t until I got a little older, maybe 9 or 10, that I realized what was happening was wrong and didn’t go on in most homes, but by that time it was such a part of who I was that the long-term damage was done.

Then on top of all that craziness, we almost never ate at home. We went out to eat every night, usually at restaurants that served mainly unhealthy, high fat foods and I was allowed to order anything I wanted. Occasionally my mom would suggest I get something on the healthier side, but I don’t think she liked conflict so she gave in if I acted like I didn’t want it. Oh, and we also had a maid that came twice a week to clean the house and do the laundry. So at my grandparents’ house I never observed or participated in a regular schedule that included preparing healthy meals, cleaning up afterward, or any other chores for that matter. NOT GOOD. As an only child I mostly played alone and would often “play” with the Windex, cleaning the windows for fun or the Pledge, dusting the furniture. I actually wanted to do those things back then and got great satisfaction out of cleaning things.

Every Friday I’d spend the night at my dad’s house. Talk about the complete opposite environment.  He and his wife were two people who had regular jobs (did I mention my mom was an opera singer, my grandmother was a retired singer and my grandfather was retired but spent hours each day inventing things in the basement?) and stuck to a regular schedule and ate at home more than once every month. If we didn’t go out for pizza, we’d stay in and have things like spaghetti and garlic bread and salad and iced tea with mint from the garden in the backyard (my dad hated lemon in his tea, but loved mint). Then we would all help clear the table and she would wash the dishes while my dad and I would dry and put them away. Seems like a simple thing, but to me it was almost magical. My dad would tell me about how when I was really little I loved helping him do the laundry even though I could barely see over the top of the washer. And he had this big bowl in his closet. Everyday when he came home he’d toss in the change left in his pocket. When the bowl got full I got to help sort it and put it into rolls. Maybe that sounds like a mundane task, but I loved it and it’s still one of my favorite childhood memories. 

Since most of my existence was chaotic and seemed very unstable, the simple chores were the highlights. Doing them made me feel like I was contributing something and working together on tasks made me feel like part of a team. Having a routine meant there was something I could count on. I can’t help but wonder how different my life would be now if I had spent most of my time at my dad’s and only one night a week with my mom and grandparents. While the thought of not living with my mom all those years breaks my heart, I know for a certainty that my idea of “normal” would be completely different. Perhaps eating healthy and drinking plenty of water would come naturally and cleaning the house wouldn’t feel like something that’s “not my job”. Maybe I would’ve learned to follow through with things and have some consistency in my life without going through mental acrobatics to think that way.

I shudder to think what I’ve already determined is normal for my kids. Although an improvement in many ways over my childhood, the life we’ve lived still isn’t what I’ve wanted it to be. My husband and I have tried to implement some kind of routine for our kids because both having grown up in homes with a complete lack of structure, we see the need, but nothing has ever stuck. I want my kids to grow up knowing how to do things like laundry, cooking and cleaning, but time has slipped by without me taking the time to show them. Now my older son is in middle school and we have a good relationship, but he is a “tween” and the thought of folding laundry doesn’t exactly appeal to him. It would’ve been so much better if I had started sooner, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on the idea altogether. When my boys grow up and get married I want their wives to only cook and clean for them because they want to out of love, not because they’re expected to. And I don’t want my sons to marry someone because they think they need someone to take care of them.

While there are certain things we have zero tolerance for in our home like being mean or disrespectful, there are other things we’ve let slide like allowing our surroundings to be cluttered with things that should’ve been put or thrown away long before. And our eating habits…not ideal. I’d love for all of us to gather at the table for dinner, but our schedules don’t allow for it. We all eat at different times and at different places…the kids at the table and my husband and I on the couch. I suppose it might help if the table was clear from clutter so there would actually be room for more than two people to eat there. Each issue is related to another and it all boils down to our baseline “normal”.

I think it’s a step in the right direction to at least identify what feels normal so we can decide if we need to make some major or minor adjustments. The things that really do need to change are worth fighting for and that’s exactly what it is…a daily battle. Some days the fight is easier than others and some days we temporarily give in because we grow weary and can’t see an end in sight, but if the change is important enough we have to keep fighting no matter what. And little by little, as we find ourselves dealing with the same things over and over again we start to figure out the best way to overcome and make a new life for ourselves.

I did have one victory today, with the help of a friend. We went walking and then had lunch together. One thing is for sure, if we’re going to fight to change our lives having friends who support us is more precious than all the money in the world.

I Feel Fat

It’s Spring break and my whole family is home. It’s great, but I’m completely off my regular schedule. I haven’t gone out to walk in over a week and it’s been about the same for ChaLEAN Extreme. I was about halfway through Push Circuit Week 2 so I’m going to just start that one over…soon. I’ve been pretty consistent for a while now so why have I suddenly turned back into a couch potato? Good question.

I think it finally started to bother me that no one had joined the walking group. I was going to bed early, giving up time with my husband at night, to get out and walk at 8:15. Why 8:15? I thought (actually I know) there are a lot of moms who take their kids down to the bus stop and don’t run off to work afterward. I figured they’d like to go walking soon after the bus leaves since they’re up and outside anyway. Guess I was wrong. That’s fine, but I no longer see the point of sacrificing time with my husband if no one is going to join me.

I miss walking so I’ll start going again soon. I also miss working out. With the boys home (including my husband) and only one TV there haven’t been too many opportunities to push play. It’s amazing how quickly we lose what we don’t use. Even though I weigh about the same, I feel fluffy. Kind of like a big blob. When I was working out regularly I felt strong and, well, not fluffy. It is a good reminder why I started working out to begin with. It is possible to lose weight by simply cutting back calories, but that’s really only part of the equation. To be healthy and fit (a much more important goal than simply being lighter) you have to change your lifestyle…permanently. It’s a matter of eating healthy food, building muscle and increasing cardio endurance. You can lose weight eating nothing but candy as long as you consume less than you burn, but you’ll probably end up worse off from a total health standpoint than if you hadn’t lost the weight at all.

That being said, I’m going to go make some Shakeology. I love knowing that I’m getting all that good-for-you stuff like wheat grass, spinach, spirulina, etc. while drinking a shake that tastes like I’m being bad. 🙂 If you want more info about it, there’s a link on my facebook page. I’d love to make it easier by linking it here, but this blog site doesn’t allow those kind of links. Oh well. 😉

Maybe I’ll get out and walk today. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll start my food journal again today. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll workout today. We’ll see. Not exactly the drive and determination I’d want to hear from the people I’m coaching for sure. I think I need to spend some time whipping my brain back in shape so I can have the right attitude toward my life and doing what I need to do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The past few days I’ve been staying up late with my husband (til at least 3am) and sleeping in til almost noon minus the hour or so I’m up getting the kids off to school. On one hand it kind of makes me feel like a slacker because I haven’t been taking my walks (no one was showing up anyway) and I’ve gone a couple of days without doing my ChaLEAN Extreme workouts. But it’s been great spending quality time with my husband. I know I need to get back into the habit of walking and working out (if you don’t use it, you lose it…and gain some weight back), but I’m seriously thinking about changing the times I do everything.

I may have the opportunity to start some Fit Clubs in area community centers as part of my fitness coaching business and the evening is probably the best time for that anyway so I’m seeing a shift coming. And hopefully if I change the walks to later in the day more people will come. At this point I’m not sure if no one is coming because they’re not interested at all or because 8:15 is just too early.  I guess we’ll find out.

Oh, and I’ve been taking a break from my food journal (maybe not the best idea, but it is what it is) because it was kind of driving me crazy to pay such close attention to what I was eating. I realize that not paying close attention has, in a big way, gotten me into this situation of needing to lose a lot of weight so I’m probably going to have to just suck it up and do it anyway. Once I’ve come to terms with this fully I’ll start posting the journal again.