Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hot Chocolate and Bikini Bodies

So in my last post I mentioned my sister and I were going to be participating in the Hot Chocolate 5k and as of right now we're still hopeful that will happen. We were late and we missed the start of the race! We were only about 30 minutes late for the beginning of our wave but since so many people run it we thought we'd be ok but they sounded the horn for the last corral as we were walking up. It was really disappointing and in hind sight it turns out we could have caught up with the last group and run anyway.  At the time however, we were worried about missing the hot chocolate so we just got in line and got our finishers' mug. We felt like such imposters! Luckily though, the hot chocolate was delicious so we didn't feel bad for long! :) 

Many of you may have heard of Kayla Itsines who is an Instagram sensation (I don't have Instagram so my friend Dany told me about her) and her "claim to fame" is using diet and exercise to help women achieve Bikini Bodies. Now, I started the Bikini Body Mommy challenge a few months after having my son but I quickly fizzled. Although the exercises were fun and you could do them at home it was just hard to stay motivated on my own. Recently though Dany, her sister-in-law, and I decided to try Kayla's plan together (since then our friend Natell has joined!) so I'm hoping having others do it with me will be the motivation I need to get my butt in shape (and the rest of me too!). 

I'm not a believer in women needing to have this "perfect bikini body", so although the two plans I have used tout that as their end goal I really appreciate Kayla's mind set about what a bikini body really is. In her book she stated that her goal is to promote "a state of mind where you are confident and feel good about YOU". That is so awesome to me. I look forward to the end result and seeing, not only physical progress, but emotional progress as well. 

I'm a few days in to the plan (we started Monday) and so far it's going well. My body is definitely sore and I didn't do as much of the workout on the third day as I was supposed to but I at least did something! I'm also eating well and making a much more concentrated effort than ever before. We had to take pictures on the first day and we do so again in week 4. Maybe by then I'll feel comfortable enough to post them but we'll see. I do want to be honest about where I'm at but showing everyone pictures is terrifying to me. Stay posted for more updates as I go through this process! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back at it... for real!

Well, it has been WAY too long since I posted anything on this blog. I could use all my ready excuses: I have a baby, I work full time, and I have people I like to see when there is any free time, but honestly, I've just been lazy and embarrassed about my lack of progress so I haven't bothered to update this. I set up a lot of goals about a year ago and I didn't accomplish a single one of them. Not one.

This year has been really hard for me mentally. Not only have I been exhausted most of the time from taking care of a baby but any time I see another new mom who looks like she just walked out of a magazine cover I want to scream and cry. My body looks nothing like it did before I had my son and I constantly have to keep reminding myself that every woman is different and recovers differently. Also, I wasn't able to breastfeed which I realized I was kind of counting on to help lose the weight so I had a lot of grief surrounding that failure for so many different reasons. Every blog I read about losing weight after giving birth started with the same advice: breastfeed, and not being able to was the most devastating experience this past year. Luckily, I have had an amazing friend there to keep reminding me that I did not fail and that I did the best I could. She has been the best support to help me deal with that situation.

Before I got pregnant my body looked the best it had ever looked and I felt the best I had ever felt. My confidence was through the roof and I was so proud of the hard work I had put in to get in shape and be healthy. The last year has been the opposite of that. I am embarrassed about my weight, angry that I have been so lazy, and honestly, I have treated myself like crap over this stuff. It also hasn't helped that just a month ago I had co-worker ask if I was pregnant again. Yea, it's been a rough year.

I share all this because I am sick of reading blogs that are all "look at my great body after having my child 10 days ago", "look at me win a marathon with my newborn strapped to my back", and "breastfeed, eat only the rinds of fruits, and you'll look better than you did before you gave birth". Pardon my language, but that's bullshit. You want some reality? This is it.

Alright, pity party over. Here's a list of things I did accomplish: I completed the Peachtree Road Race (although I wasn't in shape to run it), I joined a gym (which until recently, I had barely used), and I have lost about 7 pounds since my last post a year ago. I see these accomplishments written here and all I can think is "I wasted an entire year" and "ultimately I failed because I didn't accomplish my original goals" and that does not feel good at all.

BUT, you know what I did today?? I ran 5k (mostly consecutively)!!!

That's right folks, I'm back at it! About a week before Christmas my husband and I started getting serious about eating better and living a healthier lifestyle. We began by focusing on our diet and I have started going to the gym more frequently. I've been doing well and have been running on the treadmill, using the elliptical, and lifting weights. I haven't run outside in a while but today was so nice I decided to give it a shot instead of spending such a nice day in the gym. I had to stop a couple of times to stretch out my calf but ultimately I totally did it!!

I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 5k, which is the first 5k I did two years ago, so this has been my motivation. I am excited about it because I'm doing this one with my sister, Jessie, and we have never done anything like this together before. Today really helped me get back in the swing of things mentally and I definitely feel like I am on the verge of getting back in shape again. The gym I joined has Zumba so I really want to start incorporating that in because I really love it and miss it. Also, Dany joined my gym and we're going to work out during the week so I look forward to that as well. She always pushes me and I love spending time with her so it always makes working out more fun.

Anyway, wish me luck! I am definitely going to keep up better with the blog this time. I feel that documenting my failures is just as important as documenting my successes. No one is perfect and if another new mom who is having trouble losing the weight stumbles across this blog I don't want them to think that any failures they face are reasons to give up.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Starting over

Now that my baby boy is here I am able to get back to training and I look so forward to it! I have felt (and have been) pretty lazy the last few months. I still walked until the end of my pregnancy but other than that I was not doing a whole lot and I really could/should have been. Oh well, I'm just going to look toward the future. Instead of having a whole ton of goals for the next year I am going to work on little goals throughout the year so I don't get overwhelmed and discouraged. I also plan on focusing on a word for the year instead of a list of resolutions (props to my friend Candice for introducing this idea to me). So I'll run through my goals and then let you know what my word is.

Goals for the next month:

  • Start Zumba again! I am STOKED about this!! I miss dancing and working out at the Zumba studio I used to go to. The owner and instructors are fabulous and all the ladies who work out there are super sweet so I can't wait to see them all again. If you live in the Buford, GA area I highly recommend Z Studio Fitness (check them out on Facebook!)
  • Eat better. This mainly means including more fruits and veggies. I am pretty lazy in the kitchen and like easy foods so I usually don't cook with veggies a ton (too much chopping, yes I'm THAT lazy in the kitchen) so I'm going to work on this and make it a habit.
  • Go for walks on non-Zumba days. I want to try and move everyday with the intention of getting out of my rut and getting my body used to being active again.
Overall goals for next 6 months:
  • Run two 5k races before June 1. 
  • Run the ENTIRE Peachtree Road Race. (For those of you who may not know my history with this race please read my previous posts about it.)
  • Get within 15 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. The original goal was to attain my pre-pregnancy weight but in order to ensure my goals are attainable I gave myself some wiggle room with this one. In the spirit of full disclosure I gained about 55 pounds during my pregnancy. My pre-pregnancy weight was around 155 and as of right now I'm around 200. I lost about 15 right after my son was born and have another 45 to go. 
Word for the year: grace

I chose this word because I have been feeling really anxious since the birth about not working out. I really had to keep reminding myself that I needed time to heal before I am able to get back to training and that has been hard. Also, I need to basically start over which is going to be challenging. I wanted to pick a word that reminds me to give myself some forgiveness when I can't run a 5k right away and when Zumba feels as draining as it was when I first started it. My body has not been as active as it was so obviously I can't pick right up where I stopped like the last 9 months didn't happen. I have a constant reminder that it did whenever I look at my son. I am thrilled to have that be the reason I took my break but need to keep remembering that it took time to get where I was and that it'll take time again. Also, since I have a newborn, there will be a lot of adjustment in my attitude about certain things that were easy before, such as my schedule. There will be days when he needs me and I won't be able to just go out and run or days when I'll be late for Zumba class because I needed to finish feeding him (I HATE being late for anything). This will all take grace and constant forgiveness of myself. 

So there you have it, my goals and word of the year. If you chose a word for the year or made some resolutions I 'd be happy to hear them and encourage you in those if you want to share them. :) Thanks for reading! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

My first marathon

I'm sorry for the sabbatical I have taken from blogging. My pregnancy kind of overtook my life but I am happy to announce that it is over and we have a healthy and beautiful baby boy now! He was born on December 5 at 6:46pm. He weighed 9lbs and was 22.5 inches long. This is the story of his birth that have dubbed my first marathon.

For about two weeks before my due date I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions and hoping I was going to go early or at least on time (mostly for maternity leave purposes) but alas, my baby had other plans. I visited my midwife on the Monday before he was born (already past my due date) and she checked me. I was 3cm dilated and really hoping I didn't have another two weeks of Braxton-Hicks in front of me! I went about my week still experiencing the practice contractions on and off. On the night of December 4 something shifted in the way the contractions felt. They were more intense and regular. I tried to sleep but every time it felt like I had finally drifted off another one woke me so I decided to just stay up and watch 80's movies. My husband wanted to stay up with me but I told him at least one of us needed to be rested for tomorrow. Around 7 the next morning my husband's alarm went off so he could get ready for work but I let him know that he can go ahead and call in because we were going to have a baby by the end of the day!

I called my Mom so she could come over and pick up our two dogs then started getting in touch with my midwife and a friend who was going to come and be with us for the birth. Everyone made it over around 10am and labor was definitely progressing at that point. We spent all day listening to music, joking, and trying to keep labor progressing. About midway through labor the birth pool I was going to use was ready and I can't begin to describe how good it felt to sit in that warm water. My contractions felt much less intense and I was much more relaxed.

After a few hours (pretty much all time estimates are completely inaccurate as I am relying on my memory which is not very helpful given the circumstances) my water finally broke and I was almost fully dilated. My contractions after my water broke were much more intense and much longer but the water definitely helped me deal with them. Finally, I felt the urge to start pushing and begun to do so with some guidance from my midwife. After about 30 minutes of pushing in the water I didn't feel like I was pushing effectively and my midwife suggested pushing on the toilet. I did so and after about another hour my baby boy was finally born in our bathroom on a birthing stool!

I had taken my glasses off and couldn't see him at first really well so I started yelling at someone to get my glasses and the first sight of him took my breath away. I cannot begin to describe how good it felt to finally hold that little man in my arms. Afterwards we got cleaned up, checked out, and we got to snuggle. It was the best feeling in the world.

This whole experience has been described as a marathon in nearly all the birthing books I read and they were absolutely correct. It was the most physically draining experience of my life. I can't wait to start training again and running a marathon one day just to see how it really compares. My labor lasted 19.5 hours but I plan to run a marathon much faster than that! :) Thanks for reading this and allowing me to share the amazing experience of my first, most wonderful marathon. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Peachtree Road Race-Part 2

Sorry for the hiatus between parts 1 and 2 but we have been traveling and I have not had time to sit down and finish this until now. Anywho...

So Kayla, her Brother-in-law, and I are waiting to approach the starting line. We were just walking along enjoying the atmosphere until we get to the starting line. We had decided to run as much as I was able to so that's how we began. It felt so incredibly good to run with a purpose again. I truly missed racing and although there was no chance in Hades I was going to win, it was still fun to feel that competitive rush again. We ran for .5 miles before my legs were done. We spent the rest of the 5.5ish miles alternating between walking/running based on how I was feeling. Kayla and her Brother-in-law were both very supportive and reassuring the whole time and I never felt like a loser when I did need to slow down and walk. We really enjoyed our time together and it was nice being able to take things more slowly and really have a chance to revel in the race.

Once Kayla and I (her Brother-in-law took off so he could finish the race strong) neared the finish line I felt immense pride at what I had accomplished. Although the overall race did not go how I had envisioned it, I was proud for having completed it and being able to get my first finishers t-shirt. After we drudged through the mud, collected our shirts, and found the Brother-in-law we headed to the Marta station. That's when the effects of not doing anything for several months and then running a 10k started to hit me.

If you have never tried to run a 10k with absolutely no training please, please, please take my advice and don't do this. If any of who have ever seen "How I Met Your Mother" and recall the episode when Barney ran a marathon with no training, it was kind of like that. At first there was a little pain, which I expected just because I had been so lazy, but over time it just got worse and worse and worse. By the time I got home I could barely climb the stairs from our front door to the main floor (yay for split levels!) and when I sat down in our tub to soak my legs in an Epsom salt bath I was legitimately worried I would never stand again. Guys, I was absolutely pathetic.

Looking back on it now it's actually really funny. I had to basically roll myself everywhere. If I wanted to lay on the couch I had to just drop down and hope I landed in a comfortable position because my stupid legs sure weren't going to be much help in repositioning my body. And don't even get me started on sleeping. There was just no way my legs were able to help me move from one side to the other (remember I am also pregnant and not allowed to lay on my back) so if, in my subconscious state, my body forgot about its handicap and started to try and move to the other side I woke up in agony and had to use my upper body to complete the turn. Luckily, this amount of pain only lasted about 3 days and then I was able to function normally again.

Overall, I am so excited/proud/impressed with myself for having finally done the Peachtree Road Race. This is something my husband and I have talked about doing for about 4 years and now I finally did it. I really look forward to doing it again next year and being able to run the whole race with my little Schatzi able to see her/his Mommy complete the largest 10k in the world!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Peachtree Road Race- Part 1

About 4 months ago Dany and I were talking and she was like "I want to try a 10k soon" and I replied "Yea? That could be fun" then she said "What about the Peachtree Road Race?!" and I said "Sure, why not?"...or something like that. Anyway, that's where our idea originated from. Since that conversation we added a couple more to our ranks. Dany, Freddy, Kayla, and I all signed up and waited the couple of weeks it took to find out if we's been accepted or not. As we each got our e-mails on March 25 declaring we were entered in to the Peachtree Road Race we posted our announcements via Facebook and got more and more pumped for it. I found out I was pregnant on March 28.

I know women can/do run great distances during their pregnancies. I know that I could have been one of those women. But honestly, I was just too tired. It seemed that no matter what time of day it was I could not motivate myself to train for that race. I luckily wasn't super nauseous but I was just so tired. For those of you who have been pregnant you know what kind of tired it is. For those of you who haven't been it feels kind of likes this: imagine the most tired you've ever been, then multiply it by 1,000, add in the fact that your muscles feel really weak from the exhaustion, and then go about your normal routine which only adds to the tired. It feels kind of like that. By saying this please understand I am in no way complaining, merely stating fact. And it's not a fact for everyone but it certainly was for me.

The first couple weeks of my pregnancy were discouraging. I had tried so hard to be the person who exercised often and ate right and all of a sudden I couldn't even summon the energy to walk a mile and my first aversion was to vegetables. I was elated to be pregnant but I did feel sad that I could no longer engage in my regular activities without the exhaustion seeping in and sucking away all the little pockets of energy I had. All of this was happening while the longest race I had ever undertaken was looming 3 months away from me. I was adamant toward the end of those 3 months, when my "training" consisted of successfully walking 2 miles, that I was only going to walk the race and would hopefully finish in just under 2 hours. Kayla was very encouraging and she, along with her Brother-in-law, promised to go at whatever pace I needed.

The day of the race had arrived and around 6:15am I got a text from Dany asking "Why did we decide to do this again?" and I replied "Because we thought it would be 'fun'". We all met up at a Marta station and rode to the race. For those of you who have never been to the race let me explain something. There is about a mile long walk from the nearest Marta station to the starting line, and a mile long walk from the end to another Marta station. This is important later. We got to the beginning, and Dany and her brother (Freddy was unable to go) went to go join their waves which started much earlier than ours. As Kayla, her Brother-in-law, and I waited to start we enjoyed the atmosphere and the excitement of the race. Luckily it wasn't raining, despite the 100% of precipitation that was promised, and although it was humid we were at least not boiling under the July sun.

To be continued... (Thus, this being called part 1) :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A needed update

As most of you have noticed (or no one has as I'm not sure anyone even reads this) but I have not posted since February. There is one really, really, really, good reason for this. At the end of March I found out that I'M PREGNANT!! This hasn't necessarily been the direct cause of my not posting but it has definitely over taken my life and now that I'm well in to my second trimester and feeling better I am going to redouble my efforts to try and pick this blog back up. This paragraph is actually being added to the beginning of a blog post I started about a 5k I ran at the beginning of March so I have left that original post as I started it for you to read.

Original post:
I have been meaning to post about past experiences related to dieting and more about that journey but honestly, at this point, I haven't really desired to relive those experiences enough to write about them. I have been enjoying my new healthy lifestyle and I'm sure at some point I'll want to explain more about the path I took to get here but right now I am happy living in the now.

I have been consistently working out for the longest period I can remember. I started on October 22 and between then and now the longest stretch I took off in a row was a week. This has been a huge victory for me. I now try to schedule my life around exercising instead of making time for it in my schedule. This attitude change has made all the difference in the world.

I ran my second 5k about a week ago (note: this is the one I ran at the beginning of March) and it was awesome! The route we did is a familiar one as it is the one I usually do with Dany and Freddy when we are training for 5k races. There is a pretty good hill in the middle of the course that has always kicked my butt. During this race I had forgotten to double tie one of my shoes and about halfway up the hill I had to stop and retie it. As I stood up to continue running I was struck by the realization that I had made it halfway up the hill and hadn't even realized it! I ran that hill like it was no big deal!! That was just the push I needed to finish out the race strong. I sprinted at the 2.9 mark as Dany as taught me and was able to finish the race in 30:04. I listed the rest of the stats below.

Finished: 30:04      Minute/Mile: 9:41      Overall: 182 out of 586     Age group: 16 out of 53

Present Day:
Since that race I also completed The Color Run at the beginning of April. I ran with Tell and another good friend of mine, Kayla, who had recently gotten bit by the running bug. The three of us walk/ran it and actually still managed to finish in pretty good time. Luckily, that race was more for the fun of it and we really enjoyed playing the different color zones and just having a good time while not being too concerned with our times. I don't have a record of my official time since I forgot to wear my watch that day but we finished around the 35 minute mark.

Before I found out I was pregnant a bunch of us signed up to do the Peachtree Road Race (10k). With the prospect of a 10k looming in front of me I was really excited about the opportunity to push myself further than I ever had. Around the middle of March though I started to become very tired and was not feeling 100%. Now I realize these were the early signs of my pregnancy and it pretty much left me so tried that running was not an option at that time. I still did Zumba but not nearly as often as I had before. Truthfully, I was really disappointed at first. Not about the pregnancy, but just that I had worked so hard to become the person I always wanted to be and now it was all being put on hold. I don't think there is a better reason to change my lifestyle, and at this point it doesn't bother me at all, but I do look forward to having my body to myself again and being able to pick up running more fully in the future.

I have definitely scaled back the exercising. I did Zumba until my membership ran out and plan on starting again after the baby is here but right now I don't feel coordinated enough to try and dance and I definitely don't want to hurt myself. I also did not train like I should have for the Peachtree Raod Race but more on that in my next blog post. :)