Tag Archives: motivation

Half Way There

So – life has been busy lately. Somehow 20 weeks have passed and I’m sitting at the half way mark of this pregnancy. How did that happen so quickly? It terrifies me that in another 20 weeks, my whole life is going to be turned upside down.

20 Weeks! (and sorry! I am not giving anyone the bird, it's extremely hard to hold my phone and take a bump photo - WOOPS!)

20 Weeks! (and sorry! I am not giving anyone the bird, it’s extremely hard to hold my phone and take a bump photo – WOOPS!)

It makes me think about training for my first athletic races and how nervous I was….how much I was scared to even say out loud that I wanted to consider training for my first 5K, and then my first triathlon. Saying it out loud made it so real. And that meant that I had to actually start preparing my body for the upcoming race. Preparing myself for something that I had never done before and something I wasn’t 100% sure I could do.

Being pregnant is sort of like that (but on a much more epic scale). I knew I wanted to start a family, and that once we decided to actually do something about that idea, it was really throwing all control up into the wind. And when we were blessed to become parents – it’s been this really exhilarating and frightening experience – one that feels much like a race. Of course, it’s important to mention the races I’ve participated in have never been about beating anyone – it’s only been a personal challenge for myself. Being able to answer the question, “Can I do this?” with a resounding YES!

And so here I am, at the half way mark of this crazy adventure and I’ve had some major ups and downs, there have been tears, enormous physical obstacles to overcome (and more to come), there has been joy and fear. So much – and yet, I am still moving forward with my eye on the prize. I can do this. I am “training” for motherhood at this point.

Making tough decisions about work, my personal life, my health, my home, my finances – and mentally and physically preparing myself for what happens when I cross this finish line. Today definitely marks a special day in this adventure – where time seems very real to me and I can sort of see the outline of the finish line ahead. I can see the calendar months flashing by, taking me quickly to the point where I must be ready for what’s next. Or, at the very least, open to learning what I need to learn to move forward.

It’s definitely the most important challenge I’ve ever accepted in my life. It’s bigger than any other item on my bucket list and it’s a game changer. Every other decision in my life will be impacted by this one decision I made with my husband months ago – that we would try and start a family. And now – this little life is taking form inside of me – becoming it’s own little person. And somehow – at the end of another 20 weeks, I’ll be able to call myself a mom. That is pretty amazing.

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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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Holiday Weight Gain – How are you preparing?

Happy Monday! There are a lot of reasons I hate the onset of colder weather, but lately I’ve been appreciating the lack of mosquitoes eating me alive every time I go outside to play Frisbee with my pups. As winter approaches, it’s easy to slack off on your fitness and healthy living goals. Putting on those comfortable sweaters instead of squeezing into your swim suit makes those extra pounds seem nonexistent. Trust me, they are still there!

Even though I’m not in weight loss mode now since I’m pregnant, I’m still trying to get my head focused on staying as healthy as possible during and after this pregnancy. And if you are like me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (and all the other holidays celebrated) all mean yummy food, tasty drinks and time NOT spent at the gym. So even though I’ve accepted that I will indeed be gaining weight over the next 6 months, I want to be gaining weight for the right reasons. Note to self: Giant Gingerbread Cookies & Triple Fudge Squares are not the right reasons. Continue reading

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Water Wings & Things

I have no idea why I decided that reconnecting with my inner swimmer was a good idea as we start moving into the winter months. There is nothing more fun than being freezing cold BEFORE you jump into slightly chilly water and then being even more cold as you desperately grab your towel and gear to get back to the locker room to shower and dry completely off before you head outside into the windy night.

Great idea, Dre!

But, I have to be realistic with myself that “going for a walk” every day is just not going to cut it. First off, I only ACTUALLY go for a walk maybe 2-3 times a week even though my goal is every day. So that isn’t a great success rate. It’s not that a walk is difficult, it just seems boring to me after years of high intensity cardio kickboxing or classes set to fun music blasting over the speakers. I need something that challenges my coordination and my mind in addition to just being a good workout.

On the other hand, I realize that working out while pregnant is a different story than just working out in general. I have more things to consider, and like it or not, it’s harder to catch my breath now that things are starting to happen inside me. Walking up stairs winds me more than usual and doing something as simple as vacuuming couch cushions got me out of breathe. It’s super annoying. And then I remind myself that there is a greater purpose  behind all of it and it’s not a forever thing. That helps. A little.

Exploring a New Workout

I’m sure my aerobics class will be pulling moves like this in no time.

So, yesterday I checked out a water aerobics class offered at my gym. Other than it being sort of freezing, I thought it was a good class. Definitely more low key, low intensity than I’m used to – but that IS sort of the point, I guess. And she did have us do some drills where I got to push myself a little harder and I liked those. We worked a lot on resistance stuff – so I felt like that was something I don’t do often enough. We used water weights and did some shoulder work, triceps, biceps – it was good stuff. Everyone was super friendly, and I definitely think I’ll go back.

It’s sort of interesting being back in the “searching for what works for me” stage of exercise. I feel like I went through this process several years ago and discovered I really liked TurboKick and group exercise. So in going back to my roots, I’m remembering that I’m way more likely to keep up with work outs if I’m part of a class/group program. So the water aerobics fits the bill for that. It’s definitely a class you can chat during which is different for me – but I liked it.

On Wednesdays, our gym offers another class called Water Running. The same instructor leads it and she said it’s more cardio focused – so I’m curious to give it a go. Of course, I’ll update you on my thoughts. I’ve never considered a water running class before – so I’m not even sure what to expect! But the part I hate about running the most is the pain in my joints and injuries – so running in the water might be an awesome solution.

Hey – maybe I’ll even find a 5k water running competition. It’s always fun to train for something!

So – in going back to this place in my life where I’m trying to find what works for me again – it’s reminded me of a few key decisions you have to make if you want to try and lead a healthier life. Funny enough, deciding to be healthy is only one piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle. You have to do a little soul searching, too.

1) What are your priorities? Write them down & rank them.
2) Does your schedule reflect those priorities? (As in: If your #1 priority is your health….are you making time to prepare healthy meals and work out? If not…this is a red flag!)
3) Think of a time in your life when you were successful at something – what were the key factors? How can you replicate this in your current situation? (Example: I’m always more successful when I’m part of a group who are trying to accomplish similar things – so I know for me, finding a workout I can do with a group of people will help me stay on track vs. just trying to do something on my own 100% of the time).

Once you have these three items checked off – you can move to the next step which is actually making changes to your schedule and exploring options that are a match for your preferences. Of course, we’ll talk more about those next time!

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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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Filed under Challenge, family, food, goals, health, Life, motivation, paleo, primal, Results, what I'm drinking, what i'm eating, work out

11 Facts about me (that I know you can’t wait to know)

Alright, friends –  I know I’ve been slack. Life has just been SUPA crazy lately and my blog has taken the brunt of the stress. BUT, one of my lovely readers has nominated me for the liebster blog award and I figured that would be a low stress way to get back in the blog game! You should check her blog out, she’s super inspirational and funny and was one of my first ThirtyStory followers! So go meet Cassie over at Journey to Awesomehood.

Here are the questions she posed for me to answer:

1. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

Hmmm, I really think I have a well rounded personality. I can get along with almost anyone.

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you want to live?
I have lived abroad before – and I’m not sure I would want to permanently live abroad. I’m actually super happy with where I live now. If I could change anything it would be that we could afford a ridiculously amazing house in our current city with a beautiful back yard and people to take care of all the upkeep for me. 🙂 The only thing is that I’d also want all my awesome neighbors to transplant to a new ‘hood with us.

3. What’s your favorite planet?

I have never really thought about this one before. I’m going to go with Earth since I have some pretty serious ties to it. 🙂

4. What cheers you up the most when you are feeling down?

Watching one of my favorite TV shows usually helps get my mind off things. Or reading a really awesome book!

5. What is one goal you want to accomplish before the end of the year?

I really need to find a new workout plan – I’m in between at the moment and it’s not working for me. So I want to research some ideas – I’m thinking I may start swimming again since we have a nice indoor pool at my gym.

6. You just found a large sum of money on the street. What do you do with it?
Well, I would probably look around to see if I could tell that someone dropped it that was still in the area. This would be my attempt at doing the right thing because I would hate to take someone elses money. If it truly was just lost money and no one would claim it – I would probably use it to pay off some bills. I am boring like that. But my hubby and I are focused on paying down our credit card debt (we are close) so that is all I think about when I run into extra money.

7. If you were on a liquid diet, what do you think your favorite food would be? (Can you tell I am looking for ideas. ;p)
Well, since it’s fall – I would probably try to find pumpkin inspired things to make. So maybe a pumpkin/cinnamon yogurt smoothie or something. Could you make pumpkin cheesecake into a smoothie?

8. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
I enjoy the community that regular blogging brings – which I’ve been sorely lacking lately. I have made some really good friends in my life from blogs – but I’ve kept some sort of blog for probably the last decade of my life.

9. Do you have a favorite game?
I am a big party pooper – I hate board games or really any “games” in general that people always want to play at parties. I just want to hang out and have good conversation and don’t want to be forced to play Trivial Pursuit or Apple to Apple (which i still don’t get). If I had to pick one  game – I would say Pictionary because I like to guess/draw pictures. Catchphrase isn’t too bad either – although sometimes it makes me feel dumb because i have no clue what the word is 🙂

10. What is your least favorite chore?
I hate mopping.

11. Do you know how to tie a scarf?

I actually learned several new ways to tie a scarf thanks to one of my co-workers. I am a regular fashionista now.

Okay – that was pretty fun. Fun for me, boring for you? Who knows!

Because I’m a bad sport, I’m not nominating anyone to continue the blog award. 🙂 I know, I’m such a rebel without a cause! I will do some research this week and share what my new work out plan will be for the rest of the year!

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Filed under just for fun, Life, motivation, Uncategorized, work out

New Realities

I’ve been on a soup kick lately. My hubby recreated my favorite soup from Olive Garden – the delicious Zuppa Toscana. His version was equally delicious and I think I ate about a gallon of it for lunch. Now i’m extremely full and probably make a swish swish sound when I walk.

After a a L-O-N-G day of work yesterday, I arrived early at work this morning trying to mentally prepare myself for an earlier appointment. That appointment didn’t show up, so that sort of sucked. I mean, I arrived early for nothing! It did give me time to sit and check my email while I sipped on my coffee, I guess. I just can’t wake up today. It’s one of those beautiful it’s-almost-Fall-days outside, and all I can think of doing is taking a blanket outside and lounging in the grass and letting the sun warm my skin. As I was taking what I would call a “slow walk” with my co-worker after eating all that soup, we were listing all the things this weather made us want to do. We both ended up listing things and then saying, “oh to be in college again!” College was certainly one of the few times in my life where I had gaps in the middle of the day to do things like go lay in the quad, or go out to eat at 2am in the morning and still maintain a normal life. When I do things like that now – it throws a huge kink in my life.

For instance, staying at work until 9 last night completely deflated me for today. I’m just tired and feeling a little down today (despite my delicious soup, of course). As I was walking to my car last night, a student who attended my presentation was walking with me and we were talking about how different a college student’s schedule is from a professional working person (for the most part – I’m sure there are exceptions). He was telling me his normal bedtime is about 2am. Oh, I remember those days. Now about the only reason I see 2am is because I drank too much water for dinner and I have to get up to pee. But when I asked him the last time he saw 6:30am, he agreed it had been just short of forever. I joked with him about enjoying the crazy schedule while it lasted – because once college is over and perhaps the first few years of working while you are still vibrant enough to go out on weeknights and still function at work the next day, it all changes whether you want it to or not.

I used to be a night owl. I would stay up so late. And I would get up early to get to work and just do the same thing over and over again. Now – I prefer to be in my bed all washed up and teeth brushed by 10pm so I can do some reading and be well on my way to sleep between 10:30-11pm. I set my alarm for about 6:42 (roughly, right?), knowing I’ll snooze at least once. Without fail, I struggle to get up every morning despite having 8 hours of sleep. What happened to that night owl who didn’t really require sleep? Perhaps I was more caffeinated than I remember in college?

All of a sudden, I’m just aware of some of these small changes in the type of person I am. The type of person I’m growing into…or growing up to be. I’m sitting here thinking that if I just could get home a little earlier I could get the floors swept and de-clutter the kitchen table before dark. And that idea sounds really appealing to me (not because I enjoy cleaning, but because that would mean that i’d be finished before I’d normally get home from work – SCORE!)  If you could see me right now, I’m totally making a disgusted face AT myself. Who am I?!

I guess it’s natural. Priorities change as you get older. I’m sure I’m nowhere near the finish line of personality and priority changes in my life, I’m only 31. But when I think back just 10 years, I was 21 – living out my senior year of college. President of my sorority, editor of the student newspaper, intern extraordinaire, babysitter of the year, 3.8 GPA. I seemed to be doing it all so well, and I don’t remember ever feeling this tired. I guess life has a way of sneaking up on you – taking you by surprise. Maybe working on a college campus amongst all these energetic and never-stop-to-rest students, I’m constantly reminded that that time in my life is over. And it makes me sort of sad.

Until I remember all those papers. And the friend drama. And the boy drama. And being totally broke all the time and not having a kitchen or any private place for just me. And maybe, it’s a worthy swap, after all.

Being a grown up can be pretty good – maybe I just need to embrace nap time again.

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