Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm not OK with just OK. (a pain week)

This week has been full of ups and downs where this challenge is concerned. I have some pretty gnarly endometriosis. That combined with my PCOS occasionally results in a perfect storm. I call it a pain week. This week has been one. Even my ND who always has a homeopathic solution just sent me home with some vicodin and recommended "taking it easy". Every time I go from sitting to standing, walk, or laugh, it feels like I'm being sawed in half. Good times.

The thing is, I'm on the fall challenge! While I feel that a pain week is an extenuating circumstance, I still have felt determined to keep it going. Yesterday it was first thing in the morning and today... just now. Just before midnight. I've been waiting for a moment when I don't hurt so much and getting up to do a 10 minute online workout. 10 minutes is NOT the 40 minutes I promised myself. A friend said "That's OK, at least you're doing it!" but all I heard her say was OK. I am not OK with just OK.


It's been giving me the blues these past two days. I'm trying not to have a pity party. I know in another day or two I'll be feeling fine again... it's just so frustrating feeling limited when I'm motivated to do so much more.

I had signed up for a studio class tomorrow but just cancelled it. This evening was an especially bad pain night and I don't want to rock the boat. I rescheduled for Friday and dangit, I'm going to make it! Tomorrow I'll try at least a second 10 in the day. Maybe a 40. We'll see.

Sorry for this whiney post, but I didn't want you to think I'd forgotten about you or anything.

The good news is with all this extra sitting around, I've gotten another 5,000 words into my novel writing process. Silver lining!

I hope you're having a better week!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Whatever works!

Today it was trashy TV. I'm on my period (sorry for the over-share!) and all I want to do is eat candy and lay on the couch in this precious window of time in which the twins are napping simultaneously. I have an episode of the Vampire Diaries on DVR. No, I'm not proud of my tweenage taste in TV, but I promised you honesty in this blog. Besides, don't knock it till you try it :)

Anyway, today I wouldn't let myself lay on the couch to watch my show until I did my workout. I spent a little quality time with Candace, and now I'm flat on my back with a heating pad on watching this amazing show and talking to you. Bliss!

I say, whatever works!

Another thing that works when motivation is nowhere to be found is my husband. I know that if I tell him I don't feel like working out he will call me a wuss without fail. I hate being called a wuss like Marty McFly hates being called a chicken. I press play immediately just to prove him wrong. Even though I know he's going to say it, it still works. Nowadays I'll put on workout gear and then waltz right up to him and whine "Baaaaabe, I don't wanna workout today." knowing that whatever he says next will be just the thing!

What are your tricks to get yourself moving when you're not feeling it? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Will & Grace (Jenn 2.0)

No, not the show... but I loved that show. I mean, what a cast, right? So good.

This will is the one I'm known for as a bullheaded don't-tell-me-what-I-can-and-can't-do I'll-do-it-myself Taurus. Since I started my barre3 journey in January, my will has evolved through several iterations. In the beginning I'll admit it was a little flimsy.

Something along the lines of: "I will do this 28 day challenge. At least I think I will. I mean, I don't think I actually can, but I'm sure as hell about to find out."

After a month of 6 days a week, my will had upgraded to: "I will look way better in my dress for the Grammy Awards than I thought I would!"

After the Grammy's, it was more like: "I will eat cheesecake and drink wine as a reward for a month of kicking butt. I will totally start working out again... most likely."

By the time May rolled around: "I will lose these 7 lbs I gained back and then some."

By July?: "I will live this way for the rest of my life. I will show others that it can be done and hopefully bring some loved ones along for the ride."

That brings us to now. It's October. I'm totally bought in to the barre3 lifestyle and feel like I've passed the point of no return. My preferences have totally changed. I have gained body wisdom and learned that cheesecake makes me feel terrible and I much prefer a handful of trail mix with a nibble of dark chocolate to quell a sweet tooth. Sure there are times when I have a treat, but it's a decision that is made thoughtfully and not as a reward or a "cheat". Eating whole foods and being good to my body are part of who I am now. There are days when I don't want to get a workout in, but I know for absolute certain that I will feel much better if I do. I'm upgraded. Jenn 2.0.

So, now my will has evolved to get better at this practice. Sweet Candace has been making graceful movement look like child's play to me now for the better part of a year. In the beginning, I'd wobble and even stumble. Now I'm to the point where I can follow her, but I still don't come close to graceful. That's my new goal. To at least once in a while... sometimes... move with grace.

Funny story - my Mom used to call me Grace when I was a kid. It was her way of making fun of me because I was such a klutz. I fell down on the regular and have the scars to prove it. I tripped over my own feet, fell off of bikes and out of trees, walked into walls... you name it. Grace was an insult, if a loving one. Finally, I think just out of fear that I'd mortally injure myself, she signed me up for ballet. I turned in my basketball shoes for tights and a tutu for one school year. I never danced a recital, never became a beautiful dancer... but I did get a bit sturdier on my feet.

In my time with barre3, I've learned to believe a lot of new things. I believe that I'm capable of changing my body and one day reaching my goals. I believe in kale. I believe in spending money on really great yoga pants. I even believe that if I work hard, I might be capable of grace.

Like actual grace, not ironic grace.

Time will tell, but where there's a will... there's a way.

Today I did Ballet Boot Camp with Candace. Taking it one day at a time.

...and just because...


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mixing it up.

Hi y'all!

You are looking fit and wonderful today ;)

So, today was so completely productive. I woke up crazy sore. Like, almost in a bad way. I had planned a morning 40 minute online vid with Candace, but decided to wait a bit to see what my body was going to do. My Mom and Grandma are both in town this weekend, so I invited them for brunch and made a healthy egg bake with tons of veggies and canadian bacon. Then we took a walk to the park to play in the perfect weather.

Here's my Grandma. 86 years young... giggling like a school girl and playing on the swings with my boys.

I know what you're thinking and yes. I hope to heck those genes pass down to me! She looks 70. Amazing. 

Anyway, when I got back I mowed the yard. 45 minutes later I was a sweaty mess. My muscle soreness felt better so I did a 10 minute vid when my friend Sarah came for a visit. We did it together which was great. This afternoon brought with it more yard work and lots of activity. This evening, I spent some time on the TreadClimber until I was sweating buckets. I feel like that should do it for today, right? 

I figure I probably got in a good 80 minutes of exercise all in all. I'm going to count it as a sticker. Tomorrow, Candace and I are on! 

I haven't been following the meal plan but I'm going to next week for sure. I keep seeing everyone posting yummy pictures. Can't wait to try some new recipes! 

Hope you're off to a great weekend! 


PS: I'm tagging along to church in the morning with Mom and Gma and trying to find an outfit that goes with my barre3 bracelet. I feel like it's bad luck to take it off! So La Bamba. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gonna make you sweat!

I'd like to begin this blog post by taking a moment to share an important informational film with you.

There now. Don't you feel better? I bet you did a few involuntary dance moves too which burned like 50 extra calories at least. 

So, to the point... today I did the hot new Interval Strength online workout that everyone is buzzing about. So fun! It's super hard and made me sweat a whole bunch. Definitely not one I could do without a shower afterward. It's a good one to break up too though if you need to control the sweating thing. 

It's a great buttkicker and it goes by quickly. Lots of cardio and some fun big movements. I just wish that the background music was some sort of amazing 90s dance music (see above). 

If you haven't tried the workout yet it's 40 minutes and TOTAL body. Check it out:  You know you wanna! 

Well today is Friday and it was only my third day getting a workout in this week. I'm going to do 40 tomorrow and 60 on Sunday online, catch a class in studio on Monday (so I can put my stickers up on the board!!) and then take Tuesday off. 

How is week 1 going for you guys? 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thank me very much?

Hello friend!

I'm still reeling from the stress of the last couple of days. Today I had every excuse in the book all lined up of why I couldn't squeeze in a workout. I was on a conference call and just decided to click around the barre3 site to see if I saw a workout I thought I could manage in my wuss mode. I looked at the 10s and thought, well I could do one now... and then 3 more throughout the day. Knowing how unmotivated I was today though, I clicked right to the 40s. I promised myself at least 40 minutes a day 5 days a week in this challenge and dangit, I want to do it!

I looked down to inspect my outfit. Leggings and boots, dress shirt, cardi. Not workout gear. Then I saw the title of this one - "Barre3 on the Go" I hung up the phone and just hit play. I kicked off my boots and got to it.

I feel SO much better. When I don't keep my promises to myself, I feel like a loser... and then it's a downward spiral from there, right? Like, I missed my workout today so I might as well eat candy corn and try to be better tomorrow... all that. Now I feel energized and more importantly, I got a mood boost out of it. Pity party officially over.

In the last breath of the cool down, Lisa said "Thank yourself for taking this time today." It might be because I took a class with her Monday in studio, but I was pretty certain she was talking to me directly. I caught myself obediently saying "Thank me." out loud before I even processed it. I knew I needed it today... totally felt guilty for taking the time... but in truth, I really needed it. Thankful that I could be nice to myself today.

I hope you're giving yourself the time today too!


PS: Yesterday I snuck away for a few minutes to soak up a little vitamin D in the perfect fall sunshine. My talented friend Kamina Kapow caught it on camera.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stress Mess

Ugh. You guys. It's been a crazy couple of days.

Realizing that this isn't a diary... I'll spare you all the details. Let's just say that between work and family matters, I'm a wreck. I feel so blessed to have a wonderful support system in my life.

That said, yesterday was a rest day. Today I got 10 minutes in, but I'm calling it a rest day as well. I did the 10 because I use barre3 as a stress management tool. During this challenge, I want to hold myself accountable to at least 40 minute workouts 5 days a week. That means tomorrow - Sunday are workout days for me. I'll report in!

I'm also a stress eater. I wish I were one of those people who can't eat when they are stressed. I'd be so skinny! Me? I reach for horrible things. I'm pretty proud of how I've kept that in check these past two days.

We can do this!

I hope you had a better day than I did. Here's to tomorrow being even better!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Pride and Penance

Though I can talk for hours about how barre3 has benefitted me so far, I think the best win has been getting my self-worth back. At some point in my weight gain spiral 7 years ago, I decided I deserved to get fat. I decided that I couldn't be thin. I decided I was incapable of self control. What's more, I held myself against prejudices I had about fat people. When I got to a certain weight, I started taking privileges away from myself. Like, you're too fat. You don't deserve nice shoes. You'll just ruin them with your fatness, Fatty. Fat girls don't get to get manicures. What's the point? A polished sausage still looks like a sausage. At one point, I even took shaving cream away from myself. Yes. I know that sounds totally nuts. I decided my legs were so big that it was wasteful to use nice shaving cream. I told myself that if I ever got back to a normal size, I could earn it back.

I've never told this to anyone.

I just feel like it's important to be transparent and put it all out there on the table.

This is me at my most uncomfortable:

Versus now:

Yes, that was more than 60 pounds ago... but it's not just the weight. It's the life I'm living. It's the way I'm treating myself. The self-talk. The things I believe to be true about myself and what I'm capable of.

I was letting that weight get in the way of everything. The ability to love and be loved. Success at work. My creative outlets. Everything.

Maybe not to the extreme that I was at.... I mean, looking back now I know that I was clinically depressed among other things. I think that all of us get hung up on it though, right? Like, oooh when I lose 10 lbs, I'm going to do ______. I used to say, when I get to my goal weight I'm going to start a new band. A very wise (and grumpy) old man told me a couple of years ago: "What does fat or thin have to do with singing?". I think that was a life changing moment for me. I realized he's exactly right and started the band right away. My weight was only holding me back because I had decided it had to.

Whether it's your weight or another goal, are you paying penance for something? Holding yourself hostage and punishing yourself because you haven't hit a certain measurable milestone? Pride is a weapon.

Knock it off.

You are worth happiness right now. I promise. We all are.

This summer, I bought myself a can of really fancy shaving cream. I didn't even realize I was still punishing myself until I walked down that row in Target and saw a whole world of products I never look at.

I'm also working on the gilt associated with food. There is something inside of me that still panics if I put anything "bad" in my mouth. Like one bite of cheese is going to undo all this work I've done and all the changes I've made. I now believe that I'm incapable of backsliding. I feel worthy of health and well being. I know that in my head, but I still feel the guilt sometimes. Keeping it in check is the key.

Thanks for reading this. I needed to vent and let go of these things. I truly hope that by sharing some of the skeletons deep in the darkness of my past that it has helped you in some way. If you're punishing yourself, even in the smallest of ways, just know that that's how it started for me. One thing, then another thing... that lead me down a path I could not find my way back from for a long time. You might feel like it's insignificant to have a cupcake and then pay for it by running. Just check in with yourself and make sure that your self-talk is respectful and deserving of how amazing and capable you are.

We deserve this. All of the beauty and all of the love. All of the balance. All of the time.


Fall Challenge Kick Off!


A new challenge, a new theme. I saw this picture and thought it represented this challenge so perfectly that I had to use it.

It reminds me of a quote I love. "Success is a staircase, not a doorway." Truer words were never spoken. This next 4 weeks will be another flight of stairs for us. I'd like to think it will be a pretty flight of stairs on a hiking trail in the woods on a perfectly crisp fall day. The kind of flight I don't even mind taking because I'm so excited to see where it leads. Aren't you? 

I spent my summer devoted to barre3. I also lived life and did a lot of traveling and just participated in general summer shenanigans. Still, I'd say I was following the 80/20 rule. I ate whole foods and got my workouts in 80% of the time. I'm down 20 lbs since June with just 30 or so left to go. Just about 5 lbs a month which my Doctor tells me is wonderful. Of course I'd like to look like a supermodel overnight, but for me, this journey has been about building sustainable habits and a better way of life. Slowly and surely. I'm watching my little number shrink. 

My summer was a flight of stairs. I'm on the landing and stepping on to the next flight. Too many stair analogies? I can never tell. Anyway, you get what I'm saying. 

Usually when I'm about to start a "diet", I pig out a little the day (or a couple of days) before. This time I realized I had never really come off the diet... because it's not a diet... it's just how I eat now because I prefer to. Still though, feeling like I should have a last hurrah because it's what I've always done, I made pancakes for breakfast. They were GF and we used real maple syrup... so no huge stretch there... but I did have a big glass of POG. That was the cheat. I never drink straight fruit juice. SO sweet! I totally didn't like it. After breakfast, I helped myself to like 5 mini candy bars from the Halloween stash. By noon I felt completely dreadful. It's been so long since I've had that much sugar. My body revolted. 

For dinner I made spaghetti and meat sauce... with spaghetti squash as noodles because that's just what spaghetti is now. My kids think it's the norm, so it's the norm. Ground turkey in the sauce. All healthy and yummy, save the big handful of cheese I threw in to make it nice and creamy. We had a salad and water. Realizing I had failed at "cheating", I had a nice big slice of this amazing soufflĂ© from Papa Haydn. Again though, I think because I ate candy all day, I felt horrible. 

We went to a wedding the day before out at Edgefield. I had a few glasses of wine to get that out of my system. I felt guilty though. One glass now and then is one thing, but 3 just messes with everything. I took a break for a little carousel horse under a tree... careful not to spill my wine of course. 

In summary, I'm happy to begin the challenge today. I feel like I need a detox after yesterday! I have a total junk food hangover. 

I got a couple of new workout shirts which I think will motivate me to get to class. I'm pretty sure an angel loses it's wings every time you buy something cute and then leave it in a drawer. 

Truth be told, I don't feel like going to class today. I'm going anyway though. I have a noon with Lisa in Lake Oswego. A foundations to kick it all off. I'm most excited to put my sticker on the board. I  plan to take at least one class a week in-studio (yes, just so I can get stickers... my inner child is a total teacher's pet) and the rest online. 

What are your plans for the challenge? 

Here we go! 


PS: A few more pics from our super fun fall weekend: 

My bestie at I in the haunted forest at the Pumpkin Patch

Easton on a wagon ride
Xander on a wagon ride

My boys

Hubby & I

Corn Maze


The Fam