Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Girl Named Weight Loss Advisor

I pay $18 a month for Weight Watchers. A couple years ago (between kids), I thought I'd been on it long enough that I could do it on my own and stopped, and started gaining weight. There's something about the accountability. This January, I started taking it seriously, along with my running. Exercising is a MUST with any diet. It keeps you healthy, helps you lose weight, gives you more energy, gives you more self esteem, it has endless benefits. You just have to find something you can do, and set a schedule, and DON'T let yourself stray. If you take one day off, that leads to 2, and 3, and week, and a month. I run 3 days a week, and do P90X at least one day. I usually give myself Wednesdays and Sundays off. But I don't stray from my schedule (I have before, and didn't run for almost a month. It took me 6 months to get back to where I was). It's a common excuse to say "I'm too tired to exercise", but it's a catch 22 - if you MAKE yourself do it, you will feel less tired! And the effect is multiplied with more exercise. Yesterday I didn't feel like running, I felt like going home and putting on my pj's. But I made myself go out (running outside is MUCH harder than on the treadmill) and did 4 miles - and set a new record for my fastest 5K in our neighborhood (there are SO many hills it is a slow route), so after I did it I felt much better and was glad I did. I also set new goals for myself, and try new workouts to keep it fresh. I recently decided to do a 10K, and started training. It's mixed up my running enough to refresh it and make it exciting for me again. Another common excuse - "I have kids and work, I don't have time to exercise". Well, I have 2 kids and work full-time - you have to MAKE time. Do it before your family wakes up in the morning, or do it after they go to bed at night, or do it on the weekends when someone can help watch your kids. Even 30 minutes a few days a week is better than nothing. We make time for the things that are important to us, so that is a good way to evaluate what is important - watching tv or exercising? Checking Facebook, or exercising? You make the choice; I choose running. 

I think the key word is routine. Get in a routine with what you eat and when/how you exercise. It takes 6 weeks to make something a habit. You also have to reward yourself every now and then. Don't do it with food (although you need to have a treat every now and then) do it with something you like - buy yourself a new outfit when you reach a milestone, or get a massage, or go see a movie you wanted to see.  You just can't let yourself stray or get off course. I've lost 40 pounds since January, and it's because I've worked HARD, made myself exercise, and not eaten things I shouldn't eat. It sounds simple, but it's hard. I remember when I was in college and I hated it, my mom told me "It's not easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it and have degrees, then they would be worthless". The same concept applies - It's not easy, if it were, everyone would be skinny and fit. But that's not the case! If you are one of the people that are motivated and dedicated, you will see the rewards and can be proud of how you look and what you've accomplished. 

I have a lot of friends and family ask me how I lost weight, and comment on my running progress, so I thought I would share my strategy. It all boils down to 2 words - HARD WORK. I also have to give my husband credit, because he also decided in January to lose weight and get in shape (he's lost over 40 pounds!), and his support and participation by my side has helped me more than he knows. I honestly couldn't have done it without him. I'm not at the end of my journey, I still have 30 more pounds to go. But I know I can do it, I just have to be patient. There will be setbacks, there always are. It's what you do afterwards that matters - do you give up and start eating what you want, or do you get right back on the diet? Yesterday I went to put on dress pants (I usually wear jeans to work, but I had a meeting so I thought I would dress up!) and the pair I put on used to be SKIN TIGHT, so much so that I could not wear them. They are now too big to wear!! I put on another pair, same story! I now have 1 pair of dress pants that fits, and they are almost too big. The feeling you get when all your clothes are too big, is wonderful! It's the only sure way to measure your success in weight loss, and have a tangible outcome. It does mean spending money on new clothes, but who doesn't want to do that?! 

The biggest goal for me and my husband is to be healthy for our girls, and teach them a healthy lifestyle. We want them to see us exercise and want to do it as well. We want them to eat healthy and continue this through their lives. We want to be around when we're older to see them get married, and spend time with our grand kids. Leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to guarantee this. Plus, we don't want our kids to have the "fat parents" at school! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Girl Named Relaxed

 We had a nice relaxing weekend at Covington Lodge (my boss' lake house) this weekend! We had it planned for a while, and it of course decided to rain ALL weekend, after being in a drought all summer. I appreciate the rain, I just don't appreciate the timing of the rain! We had planned to have a picnic, go on a walk and play outside all weekend - we ended up staying inside, watching movies and eating all weekend. It was still very nice and relaxing though, despite the fact that I probably gained 5 pounds!

Friday night we had a nice chicken dinner, and were able to eat outside on the covered deck - we of course had Sweet Baby Rays, because we love Sweet Baby Rays! (that is a reference to the last lake weekend with friends, anyone that was there will understand!)

Then we watched tv for a while, and the girls were so happy to be there! Claire was especially happy because she found a guitar to play.

Saturday night we made home made pizza. I am not a cook, I try, but it never works out well. This is how the pizza turned out - we still ate it, it wasn't bad, just a little crispy! Making memories...

We were able to build a fire in the fire pit Saturday night and make s'mores, so that was exciting! Sunday morning it was still raining, but while I was packing the car the girls went on a little walk - 

I think this picture represents our weekend well - minimal fighting between the girls, just good loving family time. It was exactly what we needed after the week we all had last week with Pete being gone and the issues he had getting home with the flight cancellations. Weekends like this help ground me - help me to appreciate what I have, and spend quality time with my family, and enjoy the girls while they are still small. I am so thankful for my little family! 

P.S. I would like to add - the low point of the weekend was on the drive home - Claire started crying and said "My mouth hurts!" then promptly threw up all over herself. (we should have known because Kylie said the same thing the last time she threw up). So we had to find a place to pull over, get her cleaned up, and luckily we had spare clothes for her to change into! We stopped and got her Cheez-its (the closest thing the gas station had to crackers, don't judge us) and a Sprite. She seemed fine after that...I think it may have been dad's driving on the hilly and windy roads from the lake! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Girl Named Guilty

Lately, with the girls starting preschool and Claire crying every day, I have been feeling more and more guilty for being a working mom. Kylie says almost every day "I just wish I could stay home with you every day, as a family" and it breaks my heart. I keep telling myself it's irrelevant because she will be starting kindergarten next year anyway, so staying home is pointless because she will eventually have no choice. Then I decided to train for a 10K, so my runs 3 nights a week have turned into at least one hour runs, so by the time we eat dinner, do baths and I run, Pete has already put the girls in bed so I feel like I'm missing out on the few minutes I get in the evening with them. There's a constant struggle with spending time with them, or doing things to make myself healthier and happier. Last night Kylie was complaining that her stomach hurt, and got up several times during the night, but didn't get sick. I took her to preschool today because she had no fever and no signs of being contagious, but she clearly didn't feel 100%. I sat at work all day and wished I was able to stay home with her and hold her and baby her so she would feel better, instead of sitting at preschool where no one cares if she feels bad. Then, my friend Erin posted a link to a blog on Facebook, and it was perfect for what I was going through:


It is worded so well, and goes through the guilt that both working moms and stay-at-home moms feel. I think a mom probably has guilt no matter what, because there's always going to be something we wish we did better, or we did more of, or we could do to be a better mom. I don't know any mom that sits down at the end of the day and says "I am a perfect mom and I did everything I wanted to do today, and couldn't have done it any better!" I so, I want to meet her! There are obviously merits of working and of staying at home, but I don't believe kids that are products of either environment necessarily turn out "better". It's a personal choice, and both are good decisions for different reasons. I choose to work because I went to college for 6 years to work. I enjoy working, it keeps me busy and keeps my brain working. It gives me a reason to dress up. It helps me interact with other people. It helps me appreciate the little time I have with my kids. I've thought about staying at home many times, but I know myself well enough to know I would wear PJ's every day, I wouldn't fix my hair, most days I wouldn't leave the house, and I definitely wouldn't interact with any adults besides my husband. I would be miserable. I'm lucky that all of my best friends are also working moms, so I am able to talk to them and share my feelings and they share theirs, and it really helps to have that support system. I know once the kids are in school it won't matter as much, but right now it's hard to leave the house for work on Monday mornings.