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.

It’s More Then Weight Loss – An Update

I have this wary relationship with scales and measuring tapes. Growing up with a mom who was (among the many hats she wears) an eating disorder specialist made me keenly aware of issues like self image, the media’s portrayal of normal, photoshop, food relationships and assumptions, etc., etc., etc. And for that awareness I am truly thankful. I have a little voice in the back of my head that checks my “healthy binges” to remind me not to overexercise, to cherish the body I’ve been given (its lack of curves a source of much angst in high school), and to wear what makes ME feel pretty-societies fashion opinions be darned. But it also makes me leery of scales and measuring tapes.

So. With a mild sense of concern I “taped”  and weighed myself within the first week of starting PiYo and recorded the measurements. I’m in the middle of the last week of the first month (how’s that for precise, ha) and I’ve been sporadically weighing myself throughout. Anyone who weighs themselves consistently knows that your weight fluctuates from day to day- your “water weight”. And you are also heavier or lighter at different parts of the day so you should weigh yourself at the same time and the same place to get consistent results. I didn’t do any of that, I weighed myself whenever I both remembered and there were no kids present. It came as no surprise that at one point I had lost three pounds from my starting weight or that recently I had gained a pound, but even though it isn’t a surprise-it’s still frustrating. You workout daily, you want to see results gosh darn it!

Tonight I casually took a few measurements just to see if that made any difference (even though my weight “loss” was only a few ounces according to the scale) and I was VERY surprised, and gratified, to discover I’d lost an inch around my natural waist, and half an inch around my legs. Progress! Measurable progress! I LOVE progress!! It’s not so much that I have a lot to lose (5-10lbs max), more that I want to redistribute the weight-get me some muscle, lose me some fluff. 😉 I’m actually really glad I taped.

I don’t have target numbers-maybe I should, but I don’t. But I did take a “Before” picture. I want to be fit and toned, I want my body to be sound, my immune system strong, my energy levels high, I want to physically be in excellent health. And thanks to my mom, I know that doesn’t mean just numbers on a scale or on a measuring tape. Tonight, however, that measuring tape was a nice concrete reminder of progress in my “weight redistribution effort”.

I s’pose measuring isn’t so evil after all.

P.S. It also holds me accountable. Maybe one of the reasons I shied away from “Before” pictures or measuring in the past was then I couldn’t rely on the, “Well my jeans feel a bit looser I must be doing ok” as a measuring stick. That’s a pretty subjective measuring stick and one that didn’t really hold me to my efforts. If I really want this, I need to admit I want it, ESPECIALLY to myself. Pics and measurements are a good place to start.

Drinking the Beachbody Koolaid

I keep trying to find ways to write a blog post that talks about Shakeology, should I ease into it a bit guiltily? Laugh at my absurd obsession? Try to be all inspiring and stuff? Truth is, any of those perspectives would work but I am a bit frazzled with all the move chaos so my creative juices aren’t in full flow.

I do feel slightly guilty for how much I am enjoying Shakeology because I usually just don’t like shakes or smoothies. They’re ok, but I rarely seek them out, even milkshakes or malts are just  “eh, take or leave it”. And I’ve had my fair share of health drinks/meal replacement shakes/protein smoothies and they all leave an after taste of dried feet. Gross. So, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I like the taste of Shakeology-I look forward to drinking it. Not the vanilla flavor-gag me with a sock-but the tropical strawberry and vegan chocolate are very palatable and absolutely not feet tasting. At least, when you add over a cup of various fruit to your blender along with the powder, haha. To be fair, I can drink them just shaken in water, but I don’t like them as much that way.

It may have gotten a bit out of hand, though, because I was without it for over a week and when it finally arrived in the mail I was so excited I almost Instagramed a photo of the box. Then I was like, whoa, that’s a bit much, nobody cares about your box of nutritional powder. You’re welcome, Instagram followers.

I don’t know how to be all “light a fire under your butt” inspiring, but I WILL say that as a meal replacement Shakeo is quick and easy, doesn’t make me hungry 30 minutes after drinking it, it’s quick and easy, it tastes good, it’s quick and easy, and I think it may actually help keep me from snacking the rest of the day while giving me a nice boost in energy first thing in the morning. Did I mention it was quick and easy? Or that my two year old likes to push the buttons on the blender and my one year old thinks my Shakeo cup is just the coolest thing ever to lug around nonstop? You can’t beat a drink that is ALSO child entertainment.

ShakeoZ1 ShakeoZ2 ShakeoZ3

After we finally move and get settled I’d like to write a post comparing Shakeology with Soylent since Brian drinks Soylent as his meal replacement (I couldn’t stomach the taste day in and day out but he doesn’t mind it). They’ve got very different back stories and different ingredients and serve slightly different functions but kinda have some similarities, too. Biggest difference is Shakeology is entirely real food ingredients and Soylent uses synthetically derived chemical components for some of it’s nutrient sources. And the taste, they definitely taste different.

ANYway, anyone else have a meal replacement drink they like? Have you had any luck losing weight or gaining muscle or dropping blood pressure/improving lab levels or boosting immune system, etc., etc., etc.? This is only my second month on Shakeology, and the biggest thing for me is it seems to balance out my blood sugar in the morning so I don’t crash and get all woozy mid morning. I tried drinking Ensure during a race (I think it was a race? maybe just a training run?) once. It was rough. I kept burping up that nasty aftertaste. It did provide me with nutrients but, ugh. Almost bad as trying to eat those racing GUs gel packet thingies. Blech.

There you have it, I am totally drinking the Beachbody koolaid. I’m one of them now (cue horrified screaming in the background).

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

Embarrasin’

So I signed up to be a “Discount Coach” through Beachbody so I could get…wait for it…a discount! My discount is on Shakeology (a meal replacement type drink that I am cautiously enjoying but it’s only been a week so I’m waiting to give it my complete seal of approval). One of the most cost effective ways to become a coach is to purchase a “Challenge Pack” which you customize for what you want, and for me it was my ShakeO order and the exercise pack for “CIZE”. It’s a dance program exercise thingy, and I got it so that I could maybe get Cade and Zane to join in because I want them to witness me exercising as a normal part of life and dance is fun, right?

Oh man. It was disastrous. Cade was thrilled when I turned on the TV mid morning instead of one of the usually scheduled “TV times” but his excitement quickly turned to puzzlement at the appearance of Shaun T with a bunch of back up dancers and thumpy music. His puzzlement rapidly became disapproval as I started flailing around tripping over my feet in my attempts to follow along. He flung out his hand and yelled in horror, “STOP MOMMY STOP!!” repeatedly.

Sheesh kid, way to bolster my pasty white girl hip hop confidence.

As a nice counterpoint, Zane was giggling madly at the dancers and flinging his own arms up and down and twirling his wrists. Super cute and I wish I had my phone set up to video him, but I was too busy relearning my left and right feet.

Well, Cade finally ran to the couch to watch in scowling disapproval (so much for me getting him to join in) and Zane became so enthusiastic that he wrapped himself around my knees with the tenacity of an octopus (future parents take note-small children develop an uncanny ability to utilize phantom limbs that make it impossible to pry them off of you). I finally gave up when Zane started wailing because I wasn’t picking him up-but I made it to the last 8 minutes out of 30!

At the end of the workout I was definitely sweaty and tired, my heart rate nice and high, but it didn’t surprise me. I knew dance was stinking hard work, I’d watched my sister dance for years. What surprised me is how sore I am ALREADY even though I did nothing but the easy basic for beginner program and the moves did NOT seem that difficult physically, the challenge mainly seemed to be the whole “arms do this while feet do that independently but in rhythm” thing. It hurts just sitting here typing this.

Anyway, I’ll give it another go tomorrow. Maybe Cade will warm up to the idea with enough repetition? (HA!)