Category Archives: work out

Turbulence Training

Just because I haven’t been posting as often doesn’t mean that I’m not working toward goals! Today marks the wrap up of week three of a fat loss program I’m doing called Turbulence Training. I wanted to start working out again, but knew I had limited time and honestly – a little bit of a struggle about getting excited about the whole exercise thing as well. It’s way more difficult now to find time to work out and when I do have down time, I usually would rather sleep or catch up on all the stuff that needs to be done at my house!

So – what’s a new mom to do?

I had been searching for a program that wouldn’t take up a lot of my time, but would give me a total body workout. I needed something I could do during my lunch break at work because trying to commit to something in the morning or after work right now just isn’t realistic. I got an email from Dave at PaleoHacks (great email subscription if you are interested in Paleo/Primal stuff!) and he was putting up details about a conversation/interview with Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training and the Home Workout Revolution. So anyway, there are 10,000 workouts associated with these two programs and it’s a little overwhelming. But I ended up buying the Turbulence Training stuff to get started. It’s a digital download and pretty inexpensive. $7 gets you all the material for 21 days and if you like it, you’ll be charged another $37. So whatever, that isn’t  bad considering what I’ve paid for other programs in the past. I just need SOMETHING to help get me back on track.

So this program is cool because it has lots of options. I decided to do the 4 week Fat Loss Program for Women. There are many, many other options but the basic format is circuit training utilizing supersets and then an interval cardio at the end. So the whole workout is about 30-45 minutes (depending on how quickly you can get things set up to move through the sets). So that is pretty good! You do 3 supersets and some of them you do up to 3 times. It’s definitely a total body workout and I can tell that I’m stronger in week three for sure! In week one, just after the warm up circuit I was thinking to myself that I couldn’t possibly make it through a workout like that. And now I’m pushing hard during the warm up and getting faster with the transitions. It feels good to be doing something productive again with my workouts.

I haven’t seen much change in my weight, but I have been measuring and I’ve lost in that area – so I take that as a win. This initial “back in the gym” routine was more about just getting into a healthy pattern again of being active and working on my fitness. I will probably take on another 4 (or maybe even 12!!) week program from Turbulence Training since I have all the materials and resources! And I will probably be lining up some other goals for myself that focus more on my eating (and being better when we do eat out…as that seems to be my main issue!).

I’ll keep you posted on my progress – but if you are looking for a shorter workout that fits into a hectic schedule, or you want to do something at home that takes very little equipment – you should check out TT!

 

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Just like riding a bike

Family bike ride. :)

Family bike ride. 🙂

I can’t really remember when I started riding road bikes. It happened as a natural extension of my relationship with my husband since he is so into bike riding. Perhaps it was my brief relationship with triathlon’s that sparked my interest in bike riding again.

Growing up – I was constantly on my bike, blazing through my neighborhood with no fear. In the evenings, all the neighborhood kids would ride their bikes in a circle at the dead end on my street just because we didn’t have anything else better to do but it just seemed to feel like the right place to be.

Back then, wearing a helmet to ride your bike wasn’t a thing. So some of the crazy stunts I pulled, or just some of the stupid mistakes I made on my bike could have ended up a lot worse than they were. Usually I walked (okay LIMPED) away with skinned up and bloody legs or arms, only to be right back in the saddle the next day. I loved my bike.

I loved the feeling of the wind whipping through my hair, I loved how fast I could go and the feeling of your stomach dropping as you went for it down the steepest hill you could find. It was like freedom to me.

As I aged out of the “it’s cool to ride your bike” thing, I forgot about my bike. I think my parents gave it away to my cousin – I really have no clue. I think I also forgot how much fun I had on a bike until I revisited the idea as an adult.

And even then, I approached “bike riding” with so much more caution as an adult. Everything seemed harder and more complicated. The hills seemed scary, the idea of riding without a helmet absolutely ludicrous. What happened to that bike riding fool I was so many years ago?

I eventually found my grove again on the bike. I found friends who also liked to ride their bikes, and while we didn’t ever meet to ride in circles in my neighborhood – we did meet up to ride several mile loops that led absolutely no where. Biking became “exercise.” I enjoyed it, but I always felt like it was so much harder than I remembered.

When I got pregnant, my doctor banned me from road riding. I haven’t set foot on a bike in over a year. Last night, my husband aired up my bike tires and brought my bike upstairs for me. I pulled my helmet, gloves, special shoes and sunglasses out of a bag that hadn’t been opened in a long time. It was like seeing a good friend whom you’ve lost touch with – and while you are excited to see them, it’s weird at first no matter what.

I was terrified all over again. How do I change gears? Will I remember how to clip in and out – what if I fall and make my knee hurt even more? I didn’t want to go for a ride anymore, it seemed too hard.

I did it anyway.

My husband offered to come outside to help me get started – but I refused. I needed to just do this on my own. If I was going to fall, I wanted it to be on my own so I could just get back up again, shrug it off and not have to tell anyone about it in the first place.

That first down up stroke was the most nerve wracking. It was like committing to something all over again. It took me awhile to get my left foot clipped in. I got my feet squared away and started working with the gears, trying to remember how to do this, praying I wouldn’t screw things up and cause my chain to pop off (I seemed to always manage to do this to my bike before).

I only rode my bike for about 20 minutes. I avoided the big hills and kept it in an easy gear. My knee hurt. My posture was all wrong. I felt out of breath. But I did it.

And maybe this weekend I’ll do it again. And maybe the time after that I’ll tackle that hill in our neighborhood without throwing on the brakes. I have to get back to that person.

I know I’m looking for myself again. Waiting, wanting to see that girl fly down the hill, wind blowing her hair, eyes wide and a scared but excited grin on her face. I need to find her. I’m searching at the end of every street.

 

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Fighting My Way Back to You

Over the weekend, I made a decision. Screw waiting to “feel better” – I’m just going to go for it. I keep waiting for my knees to not hurt, to feel like they used to…but what if that NEVER happens? What if I always have knee pain from now on? Does that give me a good enough excuse to just not work out? Absolutely not.

I have always struggled with some different forms of pain during my working out years – foot pain, knee pain (of a different sort), back/neck pain…I’ve been through a lot of different scenarios – but I never let it stop me from working out. I realize this weekend that I may never be the same person I was pre-pregnancy again – my body will forever be different because having a child changes you. And instead of mourning that loss of who I was before, I have to start getting to know this new person. The new Dre. And if that means starting at square one again and building my way back toward regular exercise, then so be it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, folks.

And despite having some new types of pain and limitations – I can still work out. It just may look and feel different than it did before. I think a big part of this process was just not wanting to accept that I needed to start over, and what that would feel like. Being totally out of shape was something I could fortunately say I hadn’t experienced in awhile. Despite still having weight to lose before I got pregnant, I still considered myself to be more on the in shape side of things. I had great endurance and strength and I felt like my energy level was in a good place. When I got blood work done and my metabolism tested – everything pointed in a good direction.

But after almost a year of just being out of synch with that part of myself, it just felt like a long journey to start again. And I think that first step was the hardest one for me to take. But I decided to just jump back in and see how things went. So last night, I re-entered our make shift work out room, dug out one of my turbo instructor dvds and pressed play. I determined I would do 30 minutes of turbo and just modify it to avoid the jumping/high impact stuff as I knew my knees wouldn’t like that.

My joints screamed a little as I did my double bob and jab knees. My hamstrings screeched a little during those front and back push kicks. My shoulders and arms complained about the 4 crosses and triples to the left. But, man – my heart sang. It felt good to lose myself a little bit – or maybe it felt good to FIND my old self again. To put back on her shoes, to listen to her music – I found myself signaling the imaginary participants behind me to punch right. I found myself smiling as my heart rate climbed, and even though I couldn’t jump, I could still reach high and practice good form. It felt good, even if I felt different.

My workout was bittersweet. I was pleased with myself in just following through, and being able to do 30 minutes without stopping. But it was hard because I know that the old me would have had a lot more pep in her step and would have been able to do more. I know I’m on the way back to that part of myself, and I realize that it’s not going to look or feel the same for me in a lot of ways. But not trying isn’t an option. That is not a good enough excuse.

Becoming a parent involves a lot of sacrifices, but it also means that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of someone else. And I won’t let myself forget that.

I’m setting small goals for myself – 30 minutes of cardio 3x a week. I plan to do it after Daxton goes to bed around 8. I can carve out 30 minutes of my day three times a week. And maybe 30 minutes a week will turn into more, or maybe 3x a week will turn into everyday. Who knows, I just know that life is going to go on whether I participate or not, so it’s time to take matters into my own hands and try to figure out who this new version of me will be.

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Finding time for fitness

Today is a big day. It’s not my first day back at work – that was Tuesday. But it IS the first day that I’m able to hit the gym since I gave birth! I can’t believe it has been 12 weeks (almost 13) since I’ve set foot in a gym. But then I think about all the other things I’ve been doing these past few months and I realize it’s not all that unbelievable that I haven’t had time to go to a gym, especially since my gym is located where I work!

Anyway, today is the day. We have two weeks of summer schedule left so I’m taking advantage of my little one already being settled into daycare for the day and I’m going to go to the gym. I keep trying to think of how I’m going to fit gym time back into my life on a regular basis and I still am coming up short on ideas. I understand now why so many parents give up on their fitness goals – it’s REALLY difficult to find time to do it all. My biggest obstacle at this point is finding a window of time where I can go to the gym. Daycare is only for so many hours a day and with travel time – we are right on the cusp of having him there too long (and having to pay more). So that knocks out gym time  before or after work. My other thought is lunch time – but since I’m still breastfeeding, I have a pretty rigorous pumping schedule to fit in during my work day and lunch time is one of them. So by the time I pump – I don’t have much time left in my lunch hour…plus I have to actually eat during lunch as well. I just can’t fit it all in. Since my gym is where I work – and work is NOT close to my home, it presents a problem because coming BACK to work/gym isn’t an option in the evening.

So I may be looking at transitioning to home workouts only, or finding a gym closer to my house so that I could potentially hit the gym after Daxton is in bed for the night. Once I am done with breastfeeding, I’ll be able to re-evaluate my schedule and make the commitment to lunch time work outs although those are limiting since sweating hardcore means you have to shower and get ready all over again.

I thought I was busy before in my life, but now that I have a child and am working full time – it’s unbelievable how every block of my day is already accounted for – how does that happen?!

I’d love to hear how other folks have fit working out into a busy schedule. I’ll put it out there that I am in bed at 10 so that I can pump (asleep by 11 hopefully), up again at 2:30am to pump and then up for the day by 6am. So I’d prefer NOT to get suggestions on waking up earlier to work out because at best I’m getting 3 hours of “uninterrupted” sleep at a time each night. I just don’t think I could exist on any less sleep right now.

I am proud to say that making better choices this month has been helping. I am now only 7 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, so that is moving in the right direction!

Wish me luck at the gym today and I hope I get some interesting advice for fitting in my workouts from some of you fitness folks!

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When Nothing Else Works…

This whole being pregnant thing is a major cramp on my fitness parade. I’ve been trying hard to find ways to work out that still are fun and exciting – and of course, effective. But the word “effective” has lost it’s luster to me lately. What am I really doing, anyway? I think I’ve lived in a world where if I wasn’t dripping sweat at the end of the workout – I hadn’t really worked out. And I’m just not in a place at 31 weeks pregnant where I can push myself to that point, anymore. So I’m definitely stuck in a rut where I just am not inspired to work out because it doesn’t feel like it’s DOING anything.

I will say that my lifestyle is still pretty go-go-go. I’m not going home and immediately going to bed or sitting on the couch. On the weekends, we are still working on house projects, running errands, etc. I haven’t given up on life as I knew it – it’s just evolved to doing what I can right now. It’s weird.

Yesterday, I decided to try the yoga thing again. If you have read my blog along the way, or you know me at all (even though it’s been awhile since i’ve blogged here, I KNOW!) – you probably know that Yoga is not my thing. But I thought – I’m pregnant, stretching is good – I should give it a go. My chiropractor let me borrow a video that she had used during her pregnancy. I kept putting off doing it because it just didn’t sound exciting. But last night I finally hit play. During the intro part where the instructor comes on the video to tell you about herself, I kept repeating to myself: “Have  an open mind. Have an open mind.” I may have been making judgements about how the yoga was going to be just based on how this lady came across in the video. But I did it anyway – and I completed it.

But I didn’t really enjoy it. It wasn’t that everything was super easy and i wasn’t challenged. Having 25 extra pounds situated like a bowling ball between your lungs and pelvis is challenging even when I’m not trying to do a downward dog. But I kept getting distracted by how enormous my feet and ankles looks while I was in downward dog pose. And I thought – man, this is only going to get worse – I need more socks. More tall socks for sure. 🙂

But the video was a bit too “new age” for me. She kept saying things like “keep you heart soft!” and “breathe into the bottom of your belly – surround your child with air!” and I was like how the heck do I do that? I mean, a breathe is a breathe and lately – getting a deep one is a major win since my lungs feel like tiny little balloons right now. My favorite instruction from the yoga lady was “illuminate every cell of your body!” I literally had to just stop what I was doing and stare at the TV. What the heck is this lady on? If i knew how to illuminate every cell of my body, I probably wouldn’t need to be doing yoga. Or working – I’d be like a superstar or something. Or at least a circus performer.

I was irritated at myself by the end of the video. I wanted to have my mind changed, I wanted to find something that made me feel happy after the work out. But it’s just not yoga. Or maybe it’s just not THAT yoga video (I get that instructors make all the difference).

A lot of people have asked me what I miss most since I’ve been pregnant. Do I miss having a glass of wine with friends – for sure. Do I miss the luxury of a quick deli sandwich – yup. But I guess I’m realizing right now that the thing I miss most is just having a “go-to” work out that makes me forget about everything else. Right now – every work out feels “lame” to me – and I either try to turn up the intensity and realize that I can’t do that anymore – or I just feel like I’m not really using my time wisely.

I find myself thinking about what my work out challenge will be once baby is here. How will I challenge myself to get back into pre-baby shape? I’ll definitely have the motivation of extra pounds that need to be lost. But what about right now? I need something exciting, but healthy for me and baby. It just seems like right now I have a lot of questions but no answers.

I am crazy happy about being pregnant and can’t wait to meet this little guy. But I didn’t realize what I was missing until just lately – and I guess I have a limited amount of time to find something that is exciting before my requirements change all over again.

 

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Water Running: Great Change Up to your Current Routine!

I finally got to try out a Water Running class this week. It wasn’t the normal instructor – so I’m curious to see how the next class will differ. Either way – I sort of went into the class wondering what we would be doing for an hour and if it would be a decent workout or not. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of movements we did and how fast my heart was beating! For those of you with access to a pool but perhaps no access to a class version of water running, I thought I’d give you a run down (no pun intended) of things you can do in the water to get a good workout aside from simply swimming laps (which is no small feat on it’s own if you’ve tried it in your adult life).

You can start in the shallow end to get warmed up. Our pool has an open area and then about 4 lanes blocked off for swimming lanes. So we used the width of the pool in the shallow end from wall to first swim lane to do some shorter laps if that makes sense. We did the following:

Jog in the water (just like you would jog on land) forward to swim lane, return jogging backward. Keep your fingers uncupped so that you aren’t propelling yourself forward with your arms.
Move toward swim lane with alternating high knees, come back to wall doing butt kicks – focus on speed.
Move toward swim lane using a “skip” style – focusing on jumping out of the water and forward. So not focused on speed, but on height of your jump. Make sure you are switching which leg you are leading/jumping with. Return to wall in same style

Of course – you can repeat all these several times for a nice warm up.

The instructor also used Tabata style format to get our cardio workout in. If you aren’t familiar with Tabata – it forces you to work at high intensity for a short period of time and then rest and repeat. You can pick the times and how many times you repeat. For our class – we did different versions of Tabata. For example:

Shallow End Tabata (move so you are shoulder deep)
20 seconds: Sprint in place (focus on moving as fast as possible with hand/arm movement in water)
Rest 10 Seconds
20 Seconds: High Knees in place (focus on crunching and make sure you have your arms going)
Rest 10 seconds
20 Seconds: Butt Kicks (in place, quickly)
Rest 10 seconds

And then we would change it to 30 seconds with 10 second rest, etc. You could pick a variety of movements to suit your own needs and amount of time you have to spend for each section.

You will definitely feel all of these exercises in your hamstrings!

To really get into water running you have to incorporate the deep end – because jogging in the shallow end is super easy when you compare it to trying to propel yourself forward when you can’t touch the bottom. A few things on form when water running:

Don’t cup your hands – you want the forward motion to be coming from the leg movement. Pretend like you are doing a leg extension in the weight room – move your right leg to a 90 degree angle in front of you and pull back, repeat on other side – this is the motion you are doing to water run in the deep end. Your hands are moving, but fingers are straight, not cupped. Work to keep your body straight – not leaning forward or backward. You will feel like you are barely moving – but your heart rate will tell you otherwise!

When we got to the deep end wall, we did short kicks while holding onto the wall and  long scissor kicks (using Tabata style again). We also put our backs against the wall and arms on either side to support us as we lifted our legs straight up (back flat against the wall) and pushed them back down into the water. This was extremely difficult!

If you are comfortable in the deep end, you can move away from the wall and do another set of workouts such as the following:

30 seconds: Tread Water using hands and legs
30 seconds: Tread water using hands/arms only – keep legs straight (if this is too difficult, bend your legs some and that will help)
30 seconds: Treat water using legs only – put your arms out of the water to make sure you aren’t cheating!

You can repeat that several times and change up how long you are doing each thing until your hearts content!

Obviously once you are done with that you have to water run back to the shallow end!

A lot of the articles I looked at about water running show people running with floatation belts on. In our class, we didn’t utilize these, but I could see how you could probably work on speed more if you had a belt on to help you stay afloat. I’ll have to try that out one time to see what different it makes. Without the belt, I think it would be difficult to keep doing laps without stopping because it does require so much effort to stay afloat on your own and move forward!

This would be a great alternative to just swimming laps if you are bored with that routine. It’s also great if you are injured or pregnant and can’t do high impact stuff anymore! As always, check with your doctor before taking on any new exercise program as I am not a doctor and can only tell you my opinion of the workout!

 

 

 

 

 

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My Big Secret

It’s been a long 15 weeks in terms of trying to NOT tell you what’s really been going on with me on my blog. When I first started this blog – my goal was to help others be inspired to make healthier life choices, to create and meet goals for themselves so they could be happier people. My biggest focus was typically on losing weight in a healthy way, exploring different ways of buying and cooking foods, and picking physical challenges to keep myself (and hopefully others) motivated.

But the last few months – I’ve pulled a bit of a disappearing act. Not because things weren’t going on, but because I couldn’t really talk about losing weight or tackling vigorous work outs anymore. In fact, over the last few months, I’ve gained 4 pounds. I’ve incorporated wheat and grains back into my diet out of necessity. I have even had to quit teaching my fitness class – I’m not even allowed to do TurboKick right now. Doctor’s orders!

My whole life has changed.

And it will forever be changed because I’m going to be a mommy! 🙂

We finally made our announcement “facebook official” today – so I feel okay sharing my news here on my blog as well for the world to see. I guess part of my ThirtyStory was bound to include pregnancy, right? So now that I’m openly sharing my news – I hope to be able to share my attempts at trying to eat healthy and work out in low impact ways while I work on creating this little baby to be inside of me. It’s already been super challenging after 3 months of feeling like I could barely keep my eyes open, and dealing with the feeling of “I’m about to be sick” 24/7. Eating healthy has been a struggle, because for the most part – I’ve had an aversion to basically all the eating/food changes I had made prior to getting pregnant. I toughed it out the first month and refused to eat crackers or  bread to help settled my stomach.

But a woman can only take so much! So, I’ve been eating breads again – but trying to stay with non processed versions, so I’m not eating a ton of preservatives. I’m hoping that as I am now in the 2nd trimester I’ll be able to wean myself off a lot of the grains/wheats again so I can focus on getting my energy from healthy carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. It’s just been a bit of an uphill battle these last few weeks and I’m sure it’s far from over.  I’ve missed my Primal ways after working so hard to get there in the first place. I hope to find a balance between the cravings and my preferred eating styles.

I hope you’ll stick around so I can share with you my journey and as usual, I’ll tell you the wins and defeats along the way. And for those of you who have “been there, done that” – I’d love to hear your feedback and advice.

I’m excited about this next chapter of my life, and I’m so glad that you all are finally in on our secret and I don’t have to write mysteriously vague blogs anymore. Tonight I’ll be trying out my first water aerobics class – since I can’t do my high impact stuff, I thought heading to the pool might be a good option. I’ll give you the low down on how it goes next time!

Until then….thanks for hanging in there with me until I could be 100% with you again. I promise interesting and helpful content from here on out!

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