Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm still here!!!

OK, I danced with the stupid sugar long enough. I have had it. (For today...I'm not making any sweeping statements anymore...)

Today was my first day of clean eating in a looooong time. I've decided to make the following changes to my diet:

  • No white sugar
  • No white flour
  • No processed foods
  • Avoid wheat (as much as possible)
So, today, I followed these guidelines, and I ran 3 miles and I also drank tons of water. Wonder of wonders, I was under my WW points and only 1400 calories, including a yummy banana baby for a snack. I think I might actually be on to something here.

Tomorrow, I plan to do some speedwork and then yoga. Keep the food clean and I should be able to really make some progress!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The INSANITY continues...

Ever had one of those days where nothing goes the way you've planned? Hmph - that was my Sunday. My Achilles was still hurting from last weekend's mud run. Add to that the fact that I was standing in line for five hours waiting to audition for the Voice. By Sunday, my Achilles was swollen and sore. My trainer (and everyone on the Internet) recommended I rest, but I tried to go out for my run, anyway. The day was beautiful, it wasa nice 78 degrees, sunny and clear.  Stlll, the Achilles didn't care how beautiful the day was. Running was not in the cards for me.

Instead, I thought I would take the girls to Sesame Place. At least then I'd get a lot of walking in. Twenty minutes into the ride, the road felt like it was opening up, and I smelled smoke. My tire had blown! What little shoulder there was was blocked with cones. Somehow, I made it to the shoulder safely and by God's grace was followed into the shoulder by a Turnpike official who helped us get towed to a Pep Boys nearby. By the time we got the tire fixed, it was nearly 5 pm. Too late to even bother.

Today was a new day. I'm happy to report that I did the week 2 Fit Test and improved on all seven of the exercises. It was a really good workout, and I"m glad I did it. Tomorrow, I'm trying for a double. Maybe even a little running. :)
I'll check in then.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

PMS...again already?

Isn't it amazing the way PMS creeps up on you? You would think after 29 years of experiencing it, I wouldn't be so surprised when it arrives. This month, I found myself freaking out about how much money we didn't have and dipping into the stash of frozen chocolate bars before i realized that this behavior wasn't entirely unfamiliar to me. In fact, it's a pattern that repeats pretty much monthly, the week before my period is due. This month, like every month, I started to have crazy anxiety about my finances and was convinced we were nearly destitute despite the fact that nothing has changed about our situation since last week. I started dipping into my frozen chocolate stash several times a day when just a week ago, I'd forgotten it was even there.

I have certainly tried all the tricks to remind myself it's coming and prepare myself - downloaded apps, marked it on every calendar I own, even set alarms. I've made progress - at least now I recognize it as it's coming on rather than in retrospect. Don't they say admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it? Truth be told, it doesn't make it that much easier to endure. I thought I heard somewhere once that there have been women who have literally gotten away with murder by pleading temporary insanity. I certainly believe it. I am definitely a nut job that time of the month - well, much moreso than any other time of the month.

Whether or not awareness of the problem in itself is the solution, it is definitely making for a much smoother ride. I'm still working out - most days twice a day. This is helping my overall mental health immensely. I'm drinking lots of water and aside from the chocolate moments, I'm still eating healthy and the scale is still my friend. Overall, though I'm a little snappier with my family than I'd like to be, I'm in generally good spirits. I'm being gentle with myself and treating myself with tender loving care.

So, what about you? How do you manage that time of the month? Is PMS even an issue? If so, how do you handle it? Do you chart it? Use an app? Hole yourself up in a red tent? How do you manage without alienating yourself from your friends and family despite the havoc hormones can wreak in a relatively short period of time?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

INSANITY Day 9...seeing progress!

The scale is moving, for sure. I have lost about another pound this week, I think, for a total of 5 pounds in two weeks. That's not the most exciting part, though. I can see myself getting stronger.

Last week on Tuesday, my plan was to do INSANITY in the morning and then run 3 miles later in the day (I am training for a half marathon at the end of August). I was so exhausted that I couldn't get the run in. I was disappointed, but decided not to be too hard on myself. My focus during this process is on my progress over the next 60 days. There's no way I'm going to be able to do everything 100% from the start.

This week, I had my mud run on Sunday and wasn't sure I was going to be able to do INSANITY at all the next day. I did it, though I had to take most of the hopping out because my ankle was so sore. Today, just a day later, I kicked A** on INSANITY Pure Cardio (dripping sweat, but I barely had to stop at all for extra breaks - less even than the people on the video, though I wasn't jumping anywhere near as high as they were). What's more, I was able to go to the gym and RUN THREE ADDITIONAL MILES in just under 40 minutes. YEAH, baby. That's how you dig deep. I might actually have a shot at one of these Beachbody challenges!

I'm going to post pictures in a couple weeks. Can't wait to share them! My size 16 shorts are loose, so I know changes are happening...until tomorrow!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm an ATHLETE, yo!

OK, twice in one night...that's right.
I just posted something on Facebook and I had to share it with you guys. I took a picture of one of my injuries from the mud run and I posted that I knew it was a little bonkers for me to be taking pictures of my sports injuries. One of my friends remarked that maybe the running was shaking my brain loose or something...My response:

"Tee hee! I've always gotten a kick out of my sports injuries. I was so NOT an athlete. I've taken pictures of all my really good sports injuries - when I nearly knocked myself out chasing after a tennis ball and ended up with a lemon-sized egg on my head that had everyone thinking I was being beaten by my then boyfriend, now husband....when I jumped off the cliff at Rick's Cafe and landed on my ass and had a bruise from the bottom of my butt to the top of my I said...bonkers. Frankly, I'm still pretty amazed that I have somehow morphed from the girl who got picked last for every team to a damn nearly fearless athlete who will try anything once."

It's never too late to become an athlete. Why not start today?

INSANITY Day 8....Still on track

OK, so I took a couple days off. Well, no not really...I took ONE day off. Saturday I cued up the DVD and my jumping jacks looked like a granny two-step. Sunday, I had a mud run - the Merrell Down & Dirty. I KILLED those obstacled, thanks to my coach kicking my butt in kickboxing for 2 months and INSANITY and TRX and all the other crazy stuff I've been doing since May. I texted my trainer and told her that I was really banged up - my elbow is scraped, my knee is seriously bruised and my Achilles was screaming from the beginning of the race all the way to the end. She suggested maybe I swap my planned INSANITY workout with the INSANITY recovery workout. I thought that was a good plan.

When I woke up this morning, I had a fierce resolve. I bounced up at 6 am and got my INSANITY on. NOT the recovery DVD, but the Cardio Power & Resistance that was on the schedule. I'm not gonna tell you I was able to do 100%; my Achilles was killing me, even with the right sneakers and the Achilles bandaged up to keep it stable. I couldn't do all the hopping that Shawn T called for, but my knees were above my hips, dammit!

I'm happy to say that my weight continues to go down. I am SO excited about that. INSANITY works, people. I am about to be living proof of THAT!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

DAY 6...Out of Steam.

I know, I know. It's too soon to have lost my fire. But honestly, I was just too tired to do it this morning. Last night, I took my kids to the Flick 'N Float at our local pool and I got to bed way too late. When I woke up, I still had my mojo about doing INSANITY, but when I actually had the thing cued up and running, not so much. When I realized my jumping jacks were going to be more of a two-step you might see in a ballroom dance class designed for senior citizens, I realized I should just stop. I told myself I could always do it later, or maybe I would do my 10-mile training run after all.

After a morning spent in the rain at my daughter's swim meet (which she won, I might add), I did, in fact, don my runner's gear and headed over to the running trail. Unfortunately, it started raining quite heavily on the way over and again, my inner child was not having it. She was sulking, pouting and whining, "Do I HAVE TO???" Rather than force it on the poor thing, I called my trainer and explained what was going on. Her explanation was immediate and simple:

"Your body is telling you it needs to rest. You have been pushing hard. Give yourself a break."

So, that's what I did. I still find myself toying with the idea of popping the DVD in and pushing through it, as my inner critic is trying as hard as it can to shame me into breaking my self-enforced rest day. I have a 5K mud run to finish tomorrow, though, so I know better than to go against my trainer's advice. I firmly believe that it's an important part of becoming an athlete to honor your body's need for rest as much as you honor it's ability to push beyond what you thought were the limits.

Tomorrow is a new day full of opportunities to go hard and test my limits. Maybe I'll even have enough energy to make up the missed INSANITY work out after my mud run. And if not? We start fresh on Monday.

Oh, and did I mention that I lost 4 pounds since Monday (Boo ya, baby. Time for that Pandora bracelet!)

Until tomorrow,


Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 5 INSANITY - Building a Foundation

I actually think I've gotten into somewhat of a groove with INSANITY and healthy eating. I can see myself achieving my goals because I have built up some positive momentum. Each day, I roll out of bed and just do the DVD. I don't really think too much about it, it's kind of like brushing my teeth (except longer, harder and much sweatier). Anything else I have planned is in addition to INSANITY. What this means is that many days, I don't do anything else because I'm exhausted.
I'm sure my friends are wondering why they haven't seen me at boot camp lately.  Honestly, I haven't been able to get myself to do it. My marathon training has also suffered slightly, I must admit. But this weekend, I intend to get my run in, even if it's just 6-8 miles, in stead of the 10 miles I'd planned. It's hot and with my daughter's swim meet, I won't be able to get out there before noon. Better 6 than nothing, right?
I can see big changes happening already. I like to think it's INSANITY doing its magic. I've dropped over five pounds this week alone. I'm hopeful that even after this first week, I can consistently lose 1-2 pounds. That will put me at or near goal by the end of the year.
The other thing that's amazing is that it's getting easier and easier to stay on plan in the face of temptation. This evening, I took my kids to the pool and to the Flick 'N Float at our local pool and all around me, people were eating soft pretzels, candy, popcorn, pizza, ice cream. I had a salad with grilled chicken and a diet coke. (The diet coke was my splurge.) Came home hungry and had some green tea with almond milk and a teaspoon of raw honey. 'Night night now.
For those of you new to INSANITY, give it a try! The beauty of it is that it's never more than 45 minutes or so. Also, Shawn T keeps it really nice and varied, so it's not boring at all. Best of all, you sweat buckets, which is how I know I'm getting a really good workout.
Until tomorrow!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

INSANITY Day 4...Recovery My Ass

I have broken a lot of bad habits in my life. I quit drinking alcohol when I was 24 - 17 years ago.  I quit smoking a couple years after that. I quit serial dating when I met my husband. I quit eating crap a few years ago. More recently, I quit making excuses and started getting really serious about getting in the best shape of my life. 

Because I have broken so many bad habits, I have - historically - dug my heels in about some of the more benign-seeming habits I've adopted over the years. For instance, having a sweet snack before bedtime is something that my parents ingrained in me as a habit; I don't even know when it began. When my sister recently told me she was going to try to stop eating snack before bedtime, I was like, "More power to ya..." and filed that one away in the category of "Things I'm Not Going to Bother Giving Up Because I've Given Up Enough Already and Who's it Hurting, Anyway?" 

A couple nights ago, when I started this crazy INSANITY program - which I do every morning before I even brush my teeth - I suddenly became willing. it no longer felt right to have a big huge snack before bed.  I never thought I would get to that place of willingness, but what do you know - I'm here. Some nights, like tonight, I might have a cup of tea with a little almond milk and a teaspoon of honey. Other nights, like last night, just water. I'm embracing it as a bad habit, broken. I've always wanted to break free of that snack habit, and maybe, just maybe, this is getting me one step closer to this dream body of mine.
What habit are YOU willing to give up to reach your goals?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 3 of INSANITY...Breaking Bad Habits

I have broken a lot of bad habits in my life. I quit drinking alcohol when I was 24 - 17 years ago.  I quit smoking a couple years after that. I quit serial dating when I met my husband. I quit eating crap a few years ago. More recently, I quit making excuses and started getting really serious about getting in the best shape of my life. 

Because I have broken so many bad habits, I have - historically - dug my heels in about some of the more benign-seeming habits I've adopted over the years. For instance, having a sweet snack before bedtime is something that my parents ingrained in me as a habit; I don't even know when it began. When my sister recently told me she was going to try to stop eating snack before bedtime, I was like, "More power to ya..." and filed that one away in the category of "Things I'm Not Going to Bother Giving Up Because I've Given Up Enough Already and Who's it Hurting, Anyway?" 

A couple nights ago, when I started this crazy INSANITY program - which I do every morning before I even brush my teeth - I suddenly became willing. it no longer felt right to have a big huge snack before bed.  I never thought I would get to that place of willingness, but what do you know - I'm here. Some nights, like tonight, I might have a cup of tea with a little almond milk and a teaspoon of honey. Other nights, like last night, just water. I'm embracing it as a bad habit, broken. I've always wanted to break free of that snack habit, and maybe, just maybe, this is getting me one step closer to this dream body of mine.
What habit are YOU willing to give up to reach your goals?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Today was successful, although I didn't get everything done I had planned. I also went slightly over my planned calories but still had a respectable number (1850), especially considering what I burned with that awesome INSANITY workout. Boo ya.

Tomorrow, I meet with my trainer - Chrissy of  Her workouts vary, so I don't feel comfortable having it replace my INSANITY workout. Instead, I'll do the INSANITY workout as soon as I wake up and then work out with her later in the morning. Still having a hard time getting my training runs in - I'm exhausted from my workouts and can't get myself to go out and do another 45 minutes of cardio. I know I'll get it together, though, so I'm not too worried. I have been faithfully doing my long runs, and I know that's the most important factor. I ran 6 this past weekend and have 10 scheduled for this Saturday. Then, an adventure run on Sunday with the kids - that should be fun.

Hubby got injured - I think by the Fit Test yesterday. It's a bummer, because we're sort of in this thing together and I really don't want him to get discouraged and quit. I need a partner. Well, I don't NEED one - I do a pretty good job keeping myself motivated - but I was looking forward to having us both end up with ROCKIN' after pictures, if you know what I mean.
Anyhoo - in diet news, I did pretty well today. Calories were a little high, as I mentioned, thanks to a dinnertime board meeting at Cosi. Who would have think a freakin' Cobb salad would have over 700 calories? And I forgot to order the light dressing. Fuckity fuck. But I just logged it and moved on. I know I am losing weight at a rapid pace - doing everything I"m supposed to. Not worried one bit.

I will keep logging in every day to let you guys know how I'm doing. I plan to update my progress pics every two weeks, too.  Not sure if anyone is reading, but hey - just in case. Until tomorrow - stay fit!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Channel Your Inner Athlete

I see my personal trainer every week. When I first started seeing her, I am slightly embarrassed to think of how often the words "I can't..." came out of my mouth, not to mention tears and frustrated strings of profanity that would make a marine blush. I was frustrated with my injuries, my slow weight loss, you name it. I was focused on the negative and couldn't shake it. My lowest point was when I walked out of a TRX class halfway through because I was so pissed off that I couldn't do what the rest of the class was doing. Soon after that, I decided I was done with the self-pity and negative self talk. I'm an ATHLETE, for frig's sake, I told myself. I ran a marathon in 2005, when my two oldest daughters were 1 and 3.   I completed a triathlon after singing the national anthem for the event (see photo). I ran a half marathon less than nine months after my son was born, despite the fact that I still had over 50 pounds left to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Whether I'm kickboxing, running, or lifting weights, I can channel my inner athlete - my own Sasha Fierce (though she's more like Gabby Reece in my head) - and kill it in the gym. I don't care WHAT the devil scale says.

Today, when I got to my trainer's house, everything looked wrong. The garage door was closed, which it never is. Her car was nowhere to be found. I wondered briefly if I had the day wrong before realizing I was parked in front of the wrong house. I felt like a douchebag for a minute, then shook it off (or so I thought). When I finally got to the right house, my trainer had a circuit of exercises for me to complete for 50 seconds each, with squat jacks in between. The first exercise was called "Get Ups," and you're supposed to squat down and sit on a bosu ball (that sort of half exercise ball thing that's flat on the bottom that trainers seem to like to use to make already near impossible exercises like push ups and planks virtually impossible), then stand up from sitting and do a quick jump. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. My trainer was so sweet about it, and just went on to the next exercise, Ball Rolls. You put your feet on an exercise ball, lift your butt up so you're in a bridge position and then lift it up higher and pull your feet in and then back out. I personally think the bigger your ass, the harder this exercise is to do, but then, I guess that's the point. You feel this one in your hamstrings, glutes - whoa mama.  I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. Then, when we went back up to squat jacks I realized I had somewhere along the way slipped into my preteen picked-last-for-the-team persona where everyone could run the 600 meter and I was walking by myself (or with one of my equally non-athletic friends) around the field as the gym teacher surreptitiously checked her watch and reminded me that I still had to make sure I had time to change out of my gym clothes before next period.

Just then, I literally shouted (out loud) "SNAP OUT OF IT!" Of course, then my trainer just chuckled to herself, maybe nervously wondering if I was actually going bananas in her garage and if any one would hear her scream. (Not really - her husband is a bad ass cop who completely adores her and would probably have Special Forces all over the house if I so much as stepped on her toe by accident...) Better safe than sorry, I explained about my new Gabbi-Reece-esque persona and how she had just left the building this morning, without a permission slip. I needed her, and I needed her fast. Maybe only for this 45-minute session, but I would be damned if I would go through the rest of that training session as the girl whose wrap-around skirt fell down during basketball drills in the 6th grade. I was going to snap to attention and give it my all. 

To achieve my goals, I need to be present and accounted for at all times.

Right then, I did exactly that - I snapped to full attention and you know what? That bosu ball was my BITCH.  I rocked those Get Ups and the Ball Rolls right after, like it was nothing. (Although my hamstrings and ass muscles beg to differ, given how sore they are...) I felt so much better as I left and even now as I remember.
So, I offer that to you today as a word of strength and encouragement. Whether you're running on empty and still have to cook dinner and get the kids to bed, whether you're facing an intimidating coworker who's undermining all your efforts at work, or whether you're training for a distance run and trying to find the courage to lace up your sneakers and take those first few steps, find your inner athlete and let her take over. Flex your muscles, stand up tall and GET IT DONE. Nothing can stand in your way.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Just eat a meal already...

My day started off great, but way too early. I have been in a TRX challenge at my gym that has me getting to the gym at 5:50 AM every Tuesday and Friday. This is about 3 times earlier than I usually workout. I'm up for it - three more weeks, so I'm gonna have to be. (Or is it four?)

Anywho...if I didn't believe how important sleep is to the weight loss journey, I believe it now. Not only does it dull the intensity of your workout, it also makes you more susceptible to making poor food choices. Case in point - after a fairly healthy breakfast, I proceeded to have chocolate for lunch. I came home from an afternoon meeting STARVING (oh wait - maybe I had a healthy salad at lunch...good veggies but more calories than I thought I had today) and then had protein pancakes followed by pretzel nuggets for dinner.

In the end, it's more important to have healthy meals, even if you have more calories, than to eat crappy snacks all day. The good news is I was able to stop eating after the pretzel nuggets and keep a handle on things. In years past, I would have just said "screw it..." and ended up eating thousands of calories over my goal and gaining back some of the pounds I worked so hard to lose. Not this time. I'm staying the course and I will have the beautiful, fit, toned size 8 body of my dreams.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Memorial Day to Remember

Memorial Day is about remembering, especially remembering those heroes who died for our country. It has also become a holiday about food - hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill, fancy cakes decorated to look like the American flag, beer, ice cream, and lots of sitting around by the pool. I can remember holidays past gaining ten pounds in the four-day weekend without breaking a sweat.
This past Memorial Day I spent in the usual way - with my husband and kids, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law down in Delaware. What was different about it was that my focus during this visit was spending time with family - laughing at "We Bought a Zoo," hanging out by the pool with my squirmy son and three water baby girls, walking the 3-mile trail with my sister-in-law while we caught up on what we had been doing over the past couple months.

I have to admit that I have employed some new habits that have made it so much easier to enjoy the holidays without overindulging. I brought Shakeology, which has become my dinner of choice, and had that for dinner each night. I started my days with a 6-mile hike. I drak tons of water. I logged my food on my iPhone using MyFitnessPal. And you know what? Despite the fact that my birthday, the start of my menstrual cycle and the Memorial Day holiday all happened in the same week, I didn't gain an ounce. I'm pretty proud of that fact.

Memorial Day is about remembering - and now I can enjoy making memories that have more to do with good times shared with the family than poor food choices I regret when I step on the scale come Tuesday morning.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Down 8 pounds in just 9 days. Amazing.

So, I am finally seeing big changes - 8 pounds in just nine days. I started kickboxing on May 8 and started Shakeology a couple days later. Thanks to my crazy workout schedule and Shakeology for dinner just about every night, I am free of cravings and eating better than I ever have. For example, here's my intake today (I am way hungrier on kickboxing days):

- Breakfast: fried egg, pumpernickel bread, whipped cream cheese
- Midday: Shrimp bao from Trader's, edamame crackers, homemade oatmeal cookie
- Lunch: Salad with guacamole, salsa, light ranch dressing and chicken
- Dinner: Shakeology with 1 T peanut butter and 1/2 banana, 2 coconut date rolls
- Snack: Arctic Zero

Less than 1500 calories and I burned almost that amount between the kickboxing and the 3.5 mile walk/run later with my 9-year old. The most amazing part is that I don't feel like I'm punishing or depriving myself, which is why I stopped Dreambodies last summer. I feel energized, and proud of myself. Most of all, I feel optimistic - I am going to get there this time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Never Give Up...Never.

When a caterpillar goes into its cocoon, to the naked eye it looks as though nothing is happening. But inside the cocoon, a miracle is occurring. The caterpillar is becoming a beautiful butterfly.

My friends, I have been in a cocoon for the past year. That doesn't mean that nothing was happening. Quite the contrary. I have been learning so much about what my body needs, reclaiming my athlete mindset, adopting a way of eating that is a lifestyle, rather than a diet, exploring new ways to exercise that feel as much like fun as they do a means to an end.

I have begun replacing my final meal with Shakeology. Not only has this done all the things it claims - reduce cravings, increase my energy, and lead to rapid weight loss, it has helped me to reduce my overall calories for the day.

The butterfly is in progress and ready to make its debut. Don't miss the miracle. It's coming soon to a blog near you.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 3 - Still on FIRE!!

Hidy ho! Day 3, I suppose of the new phase of this journey. OK, I'm not just saying this because I'm a newly minted Beachbody coach (although I please assign me as your coach, if you don't already have one - my coach name is Liimu), but I am in LURV LURV LURV with Beachbody Shakeology and more optimistic than I have been since I started with Tony in 2008.

The weekend went so well. I had my Mother's Day lunch - enjoyed every single BIT of my short stack of pancakes, bacon and omelet (WITH cheese). But then, here's the difference. In the past, I would not have been able to keep from having a Wawa hoagie and chips with my family for dinner. I was not even a little bit hungry. I had homemade kale chips and a chocolate Shakeology shake. Yummy yum yum.  Amazingly, I was DOWN a half pound on Monday morning.  A holiday weekend and I indulged in a cheat meal and a rest day and was STILL down a half pound. YAY!

OK, so here's my biggest news. Many of you who know me know that I have been a runner since 2005, when I ran pretty much every event in Philly, including the Broad Street Run, Philadelphia Distance Run (1/2 marathon) and Philadelphia Marathon. I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon last November and then injured myself in January and hadn't run since...until today.

Today, I ran 3.1 miles without stopping!!! WOO HOO! I am registered for a half marathon in August and I believe I will actually be able to run it! I am amazed!! Amazed and so grateful.

I have been harnessing the power of the law of attraction, visualizing my perfect body, and the Universe has just been sending me so much to assist in my journey, including:

  1. My meditative hike
  2. Kickboxing
  3. Shakeology
  4. Chrissy, my trainer
  5. Arctic Zero

I am already seeing huge changes, including increased energy, reduced cravings, reduced bloat. My size 18 pants were loose today and I was able to put the belt on the second hole, rather than the first, which is what it's been on for the past couple months. SO exciting!! I am going to be at my goal by the end of the summer - I am so excited for you guys to see my transformation!!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'm ba-a-a-ack! (Again...)

Big things happening over here in LiimuLand.  Huge.

I was working out with the world's greatest online trainer, Tony DiCostanzo of Dreambodies, again beginning last October. That's what got me to my all time best post-baby body and I will always believe that he has an excellent program that gets huge results. The problem for me is that I just couldn't get my mind in it again. It's one thing when you don't know where you're going. It's another thing all together when you do know what you're getting yourself into and you're not able to get your mind to come along for the ride. So, I quit. I know, I know...that's what Tony said, too.

Of course, I quit leading into the holidays, which I can't say has been one of my best decisions to date, but I went through the holidays with an in-person trainer who began taking me on a very gentle journey out of the realm of dieting and punitive exercise. See, the thing is that I've been dieting since I was about 8 years old. And as much as Tony wanted me to see his program as a lifestyle, I could never really see it as anything other than a diet. Even the "cheat" days fed into my idea of it as something I would go "off" when I was rewarding myself. It's an ass-backwards way of thinking if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. But that's the way I thought most of my life, and as a result I was usually either dieting or bingeing.

After working with my new trainer, Chrissy of HealthyFitGirl, I have begun to learn how to ADD good foods into my diet, rather than take foods I like out. There are only so many calories in the day, so as a result many of the less healthy foods have been eliminated.  I'm quite amazed at my progress, when I think about it. I juice green vegetables regularly, if not daily since the beginning of the year. My family cupboards are no high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil free. I bake kale chips and healthy cookies made with things like chia seeds and ground flax to have for a snack when I'm hungry. I have smoothies with glutamine and wheatgrass!

But here's the thing - I wasn't losing weight. Because I'm carrying around quite a bit more than I need (about 50 pounds more than I need), my joints started to really suffer and honestly, that scared me more than anything. So a few weeks ago, I decided to do what all the magazines said - I started walking. Four and a half miles at first, including some pretty steep trails, and just about every day. This was more of a meditative thing than anything else, but as I kept doing it, I started getting really into it and even started adding some jogging intervals.  My joints still hurt, but the pain wasn't getting any worse. I still wasn't losing weight, but I was getting tighter and I was definitely starting to have a more positive attitude about it all.

I also began a couple months ago (at my trainer's suggestion) logging my food in MyFitnessPal. I have used a lot of websites and apps for logging my food and of all of them, MyFitnessPal is definitely the best. It gives an accurate count of exercise calories burned along with the extensive database of foods for calories consumed. You can even scan in foods using a barcode! And it has this cute thing at the end of the day where when you're finished logging it will tell you how much you would weigh if you ate that same way every day. Best of all, perhaps, is the extensive nutritional breakdown it gives you, including not only the basics of fiber, protein, fat, and carbs, but also sugars, trans fats, sodium, etc. I learned that my sugars and bad fats were inordinately high. Also, I was eating back a lot of the calories I was burning.

So, this week I tried something new. First, I upped my activity - I started kickboxing twice a week (which I LURVLURVLURV!!!) and even went spinning on Friday. Second, I ordered Shakeology and reintroduced smoothies into my plan. Third, I finally got on the bandwagon of slowing down my eating come the afternoon.  I realized that I was getting a lot of my calories from 2 to 7 and sabotaging my efforts. So, I really start to slow down now around 2 pm and it seems to really be helping.

That's where we are as of today. I'm going to be very diligent about posting my results here, especially because I definitely plan to weave P90X and INSANITY into this, along with Shakeology, and I'm determined to have one of those amazingly successful before/after stories that they use on their site or goes viral or something.

If you have suggestions or questions along the way, please comment. I fully intend to have one of those bodies that makes people ask - how do you have a body like that with four kids? What do you do to workout? And then when I tell them, say to themselves "Oh, hell, no...I couldn't do that." But here's the's been a gradual journey for me to get to where I am and become an athlete. I'm there already and my body is simply catching up with me. But anyone can get their mind. And once your mind gets there, the body is bound to follow.

Until next time!!