Monday, March 29, 2010

Keep pressing on...

Despite my sprained foot, I managed to get a workout in today.  I focused on my abs and think that I worked them pretty good.  Sometime before the workout I began having a pain in my upper back.  I don't know if I injured it last night or want, but it hurt and felt like it was about to "catch".  I persevered and did the workout, and I think it might have helped to loosen that sore spot in my back.  It is feeling better now.

I also weighed myself today and it seemed that some of the weight had come back.  Not good news!  I want to get discouraged by this, but I am going to keep going.  Keep pressing on - even with a still-recovering tailbone, a sprained foot, tight calves (probably because of the foot injury and/or compensating for it), and a sore back.  Don't think about the injuries or pains, just think about the prize that is waiting and keep pressing on!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pain doesn't always mean gain ...

I had a lazy start to the week in terms of exercise, but was trying to make up for it at the end of the week.  On Saturday we took a walk to the park as a family and most of us played basketball together, too.  I got a pretty good workout in, and then rested while the others played (basketball, riding bikes, etc.).  Just before we left I decided to shoot a few more hoops.  I want to say that was my mistake, but I think it should really the real problem was my choice of shoes.  I wore my "shaping" shoes to maximize the benefits of the walk.  They are not supposed to be worn when running, and a thinking person would know that applies to basketball, too.  Okay, so I knew it, I just thought it would be okay.  I started out gingerly and things were fine, so I thought it wouldn't be a big deal.  It was okay, until the very end when I turned my ankle going after a rebound.  I limped home where I promptly took ibuprofen, iced it, and propped it up.  I slept  with it propped up last night, too.  I am glad to report that I can walk on it normally (most of the time, anyway).  It is bruised and swollen below the ankle bone and up the side of my foot.  I am glad that it is not any worse than that!  I won't be able to walk (for exercise, or in those shoes) for a couple of days probably, but I did get a workout in tonight.  I used weights to work on my upper body, and my foot held up fine for that.  At least I didn't use this as an excuse to not do anything today.  I think I am making progress!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Closing in on 15 ...

pounds lost, that is!

I was not all that healthy this weekend, but I am still seeing improvements overall.  I think I am sleeping better.  (I haven't asked Steve if I am snoring less, though.)  I am still losing weight and inches.  I feel stronger.  I played airplane with the boys last night and it didn't tire me out like it did the last time I tried to play it with them.  (In case you aren't familiar with this game it involves me laying on the floor and holding the boys up in the air with my feet.  I don't have a picture of me playing it with the boys, but here is one of me playing it with my niece several years ago.)  It is a pretty good workout for my legs (and maybe even abs?) trying to keep the wiggly boys balanced.  (I don't hold on to their hand and my legs are fully extended when I play with the boys.)  Maybe I will work that into today's exercise routine.  ;-)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I know better!

But I still don't always do better.  I did get some walking time in today.  Unfortunately, I also probably consumed more calories than I meant to.  I forgot that I ate some dark chocolate at home, and enjoyed a few too many "goodies" while I was out running errands.  I thought I was showing some restraint until I realized how much I had actually accumulated.  OOPS!  Tomorrow is a new day - and one that will be spent at home, so there should be fewer temptations!

Pushing through - sort of

I haven't been feeling the best this week.  I am happy with the results I have so far, but have been "coasting" instead of making a concerted effort this week.  I did make myself work out some tonight, and I did feel better afterward.  Tomorrow I need to do more cardio.  I also need to go to sleep.  I think I will work on that now.  ;-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Back to the routine?

Not exactly.  I was able to stick to a better diet today, but I didn't get any real exercise in.  I did take the boys bowling (but didn't get to participate myself).  I also took them to a cake walk, where I danced around the circle, but not continuously or strenuously.  I found out that I can't hula-hoop anymore (thanks to a moms-only hula-hoop competition that I entered).  I think I might invest in some hula hoops for the boys and me.  I used to be good, and I would like to practice some more.  Exercise is about burning calories and having fun, after all.

Speaking of having fun, tomorrow we will be having some fun green foods to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  The coolest thing is that they will be made with spinach juice instead of food coloring.  (I am looking forward to trying more new recipes from The Sneaky Chef!)  I'll let you know how they turned out and what the boys thought of them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Best of Intentions ...

can sometimes get waylaid by real life. I am not trying to say that I am a victim of my life, but sometimes the unexpected happens (or the "planned" don't go the way I had expected). I had planned on posting to this blog every day Monday - Friday, but that's not what happened last week. We were preparing for a family camping trip and that took precedence over everything else.

I am glad to report that the trip did happen and that we had a good time. We were all a little wind-burned and chapped upon our return, but nothing too bad. At least, nothing that we aren't recovering from quickly. Steve and I have decided that camping is fun, but it reminds us of all that we have to be so thankful for! Things like a house, hot and running water at the turn of a handle, electricity for heating and cooling the house, etc. How spoiled we are compared to so much of the world!

Anyway, I did view this trip as a vacation, and did not stay to a strict diet. I did have some s'mores and banana boats. I also found myself snacking more throughout the day. Through some planning, I at least had better snacks than I would have in the past. By the time dinner was ready, I was pretty tired so I didn't overeat there, either. At one point I thought I could feel the inches reappearing at my waist, but I think it was just water retention. I actually feel pretty good this morning.

As for exercise - I thought I would hike some, but that didn't happen. Steve did take a nice long hike by himself one day. I took several hikes to the bathroom. (It felt like a workout!) We did a short canoe ride our last day there. It was so nice! I had been white water rafting before, but not canoeing. I wished we had had nicer weather for that earlier in the weekend. I have discovered something new that I enjoy doing with Steve though.

Well, today it is back to the "real world" - sort of. It's the beginning of Spring Break so we will have a different kind of week. Today I am planning a trip to the library to get some books and movies. Later we will have a movie viewing at home (complete with a dark room and air-popped popcorn). In some ways it might be easier to get some more exercise in this week. Right now Evan is outside practicing basketball. Maybe he and I can play some basketball together later this week!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No pain ...

and it could mean you're not doing anything. I realized that I hadn't done an ab workout in several days (like over a week?) so I did one last night. I am feeling it today. It reminded me that I need to have that feeling more often. I have to keep telling myself - cardio and strength training. And balance in all things.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still more progress

As of yesterday's weigh-in I have lost over 10 pounds. My jeans were loose the first time I wore them (instead of after they stretched out). My stomach looks flatter to me, too. Yay!!!

I haven't been able to exercise quite as hard as I would like because I am still having trouble breathing. That sounds a little melodramatic. I just have heaviness in my chest still from the bronchitis.

I did get out and enjoy the beautiful day by taking Joel and a couple of friends to the park after school. I also wore my "shaping" shoes, which do seem to be working my legs out. My legs felt like I had worked out this weekend even though I just walked around in the shoes.

Part of me is so excited about the progress, but my fear is that I will slack off and think I have "arrived" - instead of using it for motivation to keep pushing on. I will just keep reminding myself of my final goal - after I stop waffling about what it is. ;0)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting noticed

I will admit that I am not one to shy away from attention. At times I might even be known to seek it out. Today at church I was making some greetings and trying to get the boys to their dad so he could take them to their classes when I received some very welcome attention. I saw one of the ladies from my Bible study group last year and stopped to say hi. She complimented me on my hair, and then asked if I had lost weight. Woo-hoo!!! It felt great to know that someone noticed!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Starting better!

Today has started much better for me! I am not feeling constantly hungry, and I am staying at home where I have healthier choices to eat. I even played some Wii tennis for 30 minutes this morning - and got a shower afterward! Wow! I know that's not the most intense workout, but I am still taking it a little easier because of the bronchitis. I am feeling better, but I don't want to push it too hard.

In other workout news, I have been wearing my new "shaping" shoes from Payless this week. Have I mentioned those before? It took me a couple of days to break them in, which hurt my foot. So then I took a break for a couple of days, but now they don't give me any problems. I do feel different when I wear them while I am out doing errands or walking Evan home from school. The main area that I feel them is my inner thigh. That seems kinda weird to me, but I'll take it. My calves are also looking more toned. Is this all wishful thinking? I don't know, but we'll see. I decided that it was worth a chance for under $40. I wanted a back-up pair of tennis shoes anyway.

We have been eating pretty well at home this week. That is mainly due to my wonderful husband cooking lots of food over the weekend, so that we had lots of leftovers. I made some of my artisan bread this week, too.

Speaking of the bread, I was wondering if anyone had any tips on types of whole wheat to use. The only ingredients in the bread are water, yeast, salt, wheat, and honey. It tastes good, but it comes out so dense and doesn't rise very much. I have been using packaged whole wheat flour from the regular grocery store. I have tried active dry yeast and rapid-rise yeast. Any other suggestions on things to change?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rough day

Today was not a good day for me. Actually I just didn't make good food choices. The rest of the day was pretty good. At least I am towards the end of the steroid pack, so hopefully that will help with the hunger. Tomorrow's a new day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A picture is worth a few words

And I am going to expound on the picture in this template with a few words myself. If you look at the side, you will see a road. As you look at the header, you see that the road leads into the mountains. To me this was a good picture of this journey to better health that Steve and I are taking together. Here are some of the key points to me:
1. It is a journey (or process) that will take time.
2. The climb will get rough in places.
3. There will be peaks and valleys - or even plateaus.
4. The journey is taking us to a better place with a healthier view (of ourselves and the world).

As for the title of the blog, "Do or do not ... there is no try." This is a quote from Yoda, which Steve likes to use on me often. I do tend to get discouraged and make excuses for myself, so I am trying to remind myself that I have a choice to make when it comes to this journey. I may be limited by bronchitis, but it doesn't mean that the journey has to come to a standstill.

So, today I made the choice to walk for 30 minutes before starting my shopping at Costco - wearing my Payless version of "fitness" sneakers (the kind with the rocking sole that are supposed to do wonders for all sorts of things on one's body). My leg muscles do seem to be feeling it tonight, too. I will probably continue with that sort of exercise for a few more days until the bronchitis clears up. Unfortunately the steroids for the bronchitis are making me more hungry. I am working on choosing healthier snacks, but that is an ongoing struggle! In general, I don't crave the sweets as much anymore, but every now and then the cravings hit me full on. I seem to be in one of those periods right now. I think I need to buy some more fruit for the house - pronto!

Here's to healthy choices with a healthy goal in reach!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Down for the count?

I have been battling sinus problems for over two weeks and finally went to the doctor today. the diagnosis is bronchitis. It has left me feeling tired and unable to get a full breath. I still put in several hours at the spring carnival at Joel's school and made myself walk to Evan's school to pick him up, but that was about it. I had hoped to be more active this week, so I am praying that the medicine I have been given will kick in tonight and I can get some real exercise in tomorrow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Getting started

I was finally inspired by these pictures of me to get serious about getting healthy - again. I had started a couple of years ago with a gym membership but that didn't last long. I tried using a gazelle glider in my house, but that just attracted little kids and I was scared I would hurt them. It also had started making weird squeaking noises that WD40 wouldn't get rid of anymore. I tried taking walks in my neighborhood, but that was difficult with a 3 year-old tagging along. He complained if he walked and if I pushed him on his bike. Then just before Thanksgiving I totally wiped out on my kitchen floor and broke my tailbone. So, I just stopped trying to exercise for the most part.

Then came my anniversary in late December. For our joint present, my husband bought us some exercise equipment and developed a "get healthy" plan for us to encourage each other. My initial reaction was that it was not the most romantic present, but I have grown to appreciate it more each day since then. The plan incorporates exercise, healthy eating choices, and working on our relationship with each other. We started it in January, and this blog is going to be a sort of journal through the rest of the year and my progress on the plan.

My tailbone was (and is) still healing so the exercise was pretty mild at the beginning. I got a little more intense and the tailbone started hurting more. I am still trying to find the right balance with the exercise amount and intensity. For the most part I use the Wii to get my exercise in. For a lighter exercise I will play tennis for about 30 minutes. For a more intense workout I will do a routine on EA Sports Active. (I love that game, by the way. It gives a really good workout!) I also use a Denise Austin book, Shrink Your Female Fat Zones, for strength training routines.

I had already begun to work on our family eating habits. I have been making more food from scratch (or at least from less processed beginnings). I had been trying to cut out most of the high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Since the challenge began, I have also been trying to cut back on overall calories and reduce the amount of junk food in the house. For snacks, I usually have fruit now. I have really increased the amount of fruit that I eat, but I still have trouble getting more veggies. I eat out more than I should, but I don't eat as much when I do. Instead of soda I will drink water or sweet tea. I will skip the fries, have fewer of them, or have a yogurt instead. I still have several cups of coffee a day, but I use less sugar and milk than I used to in each cup. Thanks to a really cool book that my in-laws gave me for Christmas, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, I have started making more of our bread, too. I still have to buy some every now and then, but it has helped to make most of the bread. I haven't gotten the wheat versions down yet, but I haven't given up on them.

So far, I have seen some progress. I have lost a few pounds and my clothes are fitting looser. I was even able to tighten my belt a notch! We are not talking "Biggest Loser" numbers, but it is progress all the same. Considering that I am still struggling with my tailbone I will consider these first two months a success.

I still have a long ways to go, and am not ready for the after pictures yet, but I am encouraged by what both of us have accomplished so far. Ultimately, this is about being healthier (not skinnier), and I do think we are healthier now than we were at the beginning of the year. Here's to more healthy times to come!