Can’t…Breathe…Anymore…

Sooooo one handy dandy thing that I did not take into consideration when preparing myself (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually) for the move to El Paso was the elevation change. I mean, I was aware that there would be a considerable elevation change-Fort Rucker sits at about 365ft, El Paso sits at about 3,800ft (above sea level) but I wasn’t really thinking about it until Brian went for a run/hike this morning in the mountains and talked about having more difficulty than usual breathing. The workouts I had done up until now were either PiYo or Isometrix (balance poses) so I hadn’t attempted any flat out cardio yet. I attributed my lack of strength to simply not having worked out at all for a week. But then today I tried “The Accelerator” p90x3 workout and whoa. Just, whoa.

At one point I had to stop and turn the volume up because I couldn’t hear what was being said over top of my breathing. Yikes.

So, we aren’t in any stupid high “going to cause elevation sickness” range, but it’s enough of a jump to have a considerable impact on my stamina. Maybe some of my muscle failure on moves I previously had finally built up some endurance on -aka, pushups- is in part due to my body acclimatizing.¬†I was actually doing pushups on my toes almost every time they were required in the PiYo workouts. Now I’m back to collapsing in a puddle after one. Sigh.

That’s what I’m going to blame it on anyway. ūüėČ

Exercise While Moving with Toddlers…

…is in the form of carrying both screaming and wailing¬†25lb+ toddlers up to the hotel desk at 11pm where the manager doesn’t care that the rooms are booked in your husband’s name, she gives you both keys at once and hastily indicates the elevator.

…is in the form of various “in the car” yoga poses such as, “Driving Toddler Feed” which involves stretching arm into the back and blindly finding hands or mouths to shove in Triscuits while maintaining control of the vehicle. Or “Passenger Double Hand Hold” where the passenger remains buckled but twists around to hold the hands of two crying toddlers until they fall asleep. Or the numerous¬†variations of¬†“Middle Console Balance” while adjusting the tablet, fetching sippy cups, and retrieving toys.

…is in the form of chasing a one year old away from the moving van ramp and a two year old down the hotel hallway.

…is in perfecting the gas station “Snatch and Potty” every time “PEE PEE!” is yelled from the backseat.

…is in the necessary gymnastics required so sleep (ha!) in the same bed with an exhausted, squirmy two year old without letting him-or you-fall out.

And then, of course, the sheer amount of boxes, and furniture, and bags, and things that needed lifting, and setting down, and picking up again, and slid, and pushed, and pulled, and moved, and…buh.

Needless to say, formal exercise did NOT happen over the past week. Tonight marks one week and a day from my last workout, and my first workout in our new home 20+ hours away from the old one.

And clean eating went out the window for the past week as well,¬†and¬†my stomach was a knotted ball of stress the entire time so anything I did manage to eat threatened to come¬†back up.¬†It’s been a rough week.

All that to say, tonight I did the Isometric p90x3 workout. I didn’t want to. At. All. But you guys made me. I couldn’t write about how important exercise is and then flake out. So I did it, and I feel so much better. It was something just for me, completely separate from the move, and gosh darn if it didn’t work out some of those stiff and sore muscles from lifting/carrying/rearranging. So. I’m baaaaccck. Hopefully more posts will follow shortly. ūüôā

Slump

“And when you’re in a slump,¬†you’re not in for much fun

Un-slumping yourself¬†is not easily done…” -Dr. Seuss,¬†Oh, The Places You’ll Go.

I had that awesome happy moment of feel good when I realized I’d trimmed some inches off last week, and I started p90x3 charged up and raring to go. But, honestly, I’m now in a slump. I almost didn’t work out at all today, feeling grumpy and tired and just icky. There is so much to be done to get ready for this move, the house is so chaotic, the boys are alternately clingy cuddle monsters and hyper misbehaving fools because that’s how they deal with stress-and it is so obvious to me that they are stressed which makes me feel like I’m a terrible mom because not only am I not able to spend as much time playing/reading/engaging with them as normal, they need¬†more time then usual since I should really be helping them adjust better to this huge upheaval of their little lives. I’m worn out. And irritated. And trying really hard not to think about how much I’m going to miss my neighbor and her twins. I’m a mess, you guys.

I managed to work out, but it wasn’t pretty. For the sake of honesty; I stopped a bunch, I modified some, I skipped the cool down and did my own. Then I found Brian and griped to him about the workout before showering. Although I like Tony’s coaching style better then I like Chalene’s, when I finished a PiYo I was SORE. When I finish a p90x3 I typically am sweaty, breathing hard, and my joints are achy-but no muscle soreness. I clearly don’t have the muscle strength to do half of the exercises correctly, and he moves at such a quick pace to cram everything into 30 minutes that I don’t ever have time to get the hang of an exercise (or a direction IN the exercise) before he’s changed it up-which just leaves me feeling frustrated. I’m scrambling around like a demented bug, hopping, crawling, spinning, flailing-it’s ridiculous. And for what?

You know what would motivate me in these workout videos? Someone WITHOUT a six pack and bulgy muscles hopping, crawling, spinning, flailing-and collapsing-just like me. Someone who isn’t in sync, can’t bounce around all speedy and hardcore, who flubs a landing, who stops in the middle of an exercise, who¬†doesn’t have it all together. And then maybe at the end they could do an “after” picture of that person after they had completed all 90 days of the program. Show me people LIKE ME who are getting results. Show me that my struggling and sweating and tripping over my own feet will give me progress. Put someone ordinary in the workout videos, so I can cheer them on in my head while we both stumble through the moves.

So I grumbled my way over to my neighbor (who is two weeks ahead of me in this program) and she reminded me of the progress she’s noticed in her strength and weight redistribution and now I feel a little better. Which just makes me feel worse because WHO AM I GOING TO GRUMBLE TO WHEN I MOVE?!

Well. That would be you guys. Do you ever hit workout slumps? What do you do to help overcome them? Anybody have progress to report? I know in my head that exercise is worth it, but right now I’m just not feeling it.

Moment of Truth

Last night was the moment of truth. We were going to Brian’s Aviation Ball- I had to get dressed. I’ve been cleaning up my diet since February, started and stopped running for a few months before finally being consistent in July-August. Switched from running to PiYo in September, started p90x3 on Monday, and I’ve been drinking ShakeO for a little over a month. Now, I had to fit into a dress I hadn’t worn since college. A form fitting, sleek and satiny affair. Simple-which meant no frills, ruffles, shirring, tucks, or pleats to hide behind.

It zipped!

I would be lying if I said it fit me just the same-I’ve had two kids and my body shape has changed because of that-but it zipped! It was snugger then I would’ve liked, but it fit.

I was told so many times before having the boys¬†that “kids will destroy your body” and “you’ll never be that skinny again” and I am firmly sticking my tongue out and saying, “PHHHHTTTTTTTTT” to all that negative, confidence destroying BS. Your body absolutely changes when you have children-and some of those changes don’t change back-but they don’t wreck your body. Soda does. Fast food does. A sedentary lifestyle does. An unbalanced diet does… And you can fix it. Don’t blame your kids, our bodies are designed for pregnancy and childbirth, which means they were designed to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Stretch marks may be forever, but pregnancy weight doesn’t have to be.

Yes, I Would Like Some Cheese

I’m done with one month of PiYo. I did the calander, start to finish. I did all the workouts. I’m supposed to tell you now how amazing and life changing it was, how fantastic I feel, how I’m never going back to eating 4 oz of goat cheese and an entire box of triscuits on the couch while heckling American Ninja Warrior in my pajama pants.

Well.

Truth is, I don’t feel great. Let me do a quick run down of how my month went.

1st Week: Ok, I can do this, not too hard. Feels good to workout a bit, definitely feel it in my arms. Her “modifier” lady could probably bench me I am so out of shape.

2nd Week: YEAH MAN. I’M A BEAST! WOOOOO!!! THAT’S RIGHT, CHALENE, WE ARE AWESOME!

3rd Week: I’m still doing this! Look at me! Sticking with a program for longer than 2 weeks! Don’t really feel like I’m ever going to be as ripped as bald guy¬†there, but hey, it could happen, I’ve still got a week left.

4th Week: I am so tired of these workouts. Say that smarmy thing one more time and I will KARATE CHOP YOUR FACE.

Tonight, final workout: Yeah, you’ve all got your six packs and half of you have had children or are over 40 or a Nobel Prize winner or WHATEVER, OK, I GET IT. I GET IT. It’s 9 o’clock my house has passed disaster and moved right into “need archaeological dig to find kitchen floor” I feel so flippin’ bloated (thanks PMS) and it’s RAINY and has BEEN RAINY so the boys are nuts and I’M GRUMPY and I don’t want to hear you tell me how great I feel because I DON’T FEEL GREAT. STUPID PIYO!

PiYoEnd

Yes. I would like some cheese with my whine.

That said, I lost 3.25 inches total spread out over waist, hips, and thighs. So it wasn’t a total bust.

Honestly, working out and eating well can’t be JUST about end goals, although those are really important to keep you motivated. You’ve got to examine your priorities and place your health near the top.¬†You have to understand that¬†everyone needs to exercise¬†regularly.¬†Not just the obese, not just athletes.¬†Everyone.

That’s the only thing that keeps me going on days like today, where everything is a disaster and I feel like I will never make any progress. Even if I never lose one more pound or one more inch, my body¬†needs exercise. My immune system, my skeletal system, my digestive system, my cardiac system, my nervous system…no matter if I DO get a nice 6 pack and killer thighs-I will STILL need regular exercise.

So I did it. I’m not feeling on top of the world, but I am glad I finished.

Tomorrow starts p90x3.

Water You Waiting For?

Water is A-mazing, y’all. No, really. It’s basic biology-cells need water to function at maximum capacity, drink enough water and they function GREAT. Adequate hydration has been linked to everything from weight loss (because it helps boost that metabolism, makes you feel fuller, half the time you think you’re hungry you’re actually probably thirsty…) to the skin fountain of youth (har har). I always kinda did the pee test for hydration. You know, dark and stinky=drink more, light or clear=fully hydrated. The problem is, for me anyway, I’d just yo-yo around. Oh no, I’m dehydrated *chug chug chug* ok now I’m fine *avoid water like a cat* oh no, I’m dehydrated again! And repeat.

It came as no surprise to me that drinking the correct amount of water was highly encouraged in the coaching group I joined, and, I admit, I somewhat smugly figured I was doing just fine since I avoided coffee and soda already so usually if I was drinking something it was water. But then I actually started keeping track of my water intake, like, really keeping track-and I was falling woefully short.

So I filled up an empty gallon jug and made it my goal to drain the thing by the end of the day. I made it three quarters that first day, and by day three I had finally managed a full gallon. The difference was startling. I had SO MUCH energy. Like, whoa. My husband even commented on it, something to the effect of, “Man, screw 5 hour energy, you just need to drink a gallon of water apparently.” It was great, guys, fantastic.

Are you waiting for the “but”? Yup, there is one.

BUT the recommended daily water¬†intake is your weight divided in half translated into ounces (plus or minus for things like activity level, heat index, etc.). So if you’re 100lbs, you should drink 50 ounces, 200lbs=100oz, 300lbs=150oz, etc., etc. Well, a gallon is 128 ounces. I’ll give you a hint- I do not weight 256 pounds. I was drinking WAAAAYYYY too much. By the following week I was having random dizzy spells and shivery weakness. The answer to the question, “is it possible to overhydrate?” is “yes”, ha. I backed off, but still kept track, and now I get the energy without the weirdness.

I’m telling you this because you should intentionally¬†drink more water. Seriously. Anyone ever heard the recommendation that to maintain a healthy weight you should make sure you get enough sleep? As the mom of two small kids, I HATED that recommendation, especially when dealing with a newborn. Every time I read another article about the benefits of sleep I wanted to chuck my tea mug at the computer. I always felt like they were accusing me of not making sleep a priority (mama bear hormonal rage didn’t help) when I would give almost ANYTHING to sleep a solid stretch of time greater than 3 hours. The point is, sleep is still something of which¬†I haven’t been able to get “the recommended amount” because-kids. Water intake, however, is much more manageable. So DO IT.

Email or facebook message or comment or whatever if you’re interested in doing a “water challenge”. It’d basically be calculating your target water intake and trying to meet that goal for five days straight. I know lives are busy and worrying about your water level is probably low on your priority list, but the thing is, if you can do it for 5 days you can eventually do it for 10 days, and then 20, then a month, and soon you won’t be thinking about it, you’ll just be used to it and it is so very good for your overall health! And THAT is the end game.

Here’s a link to a WebMD article about water and the benefits. There is so much information on the importance of hydration, but this is a good general place to start.

WebMD