Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the category “exercise tips”

Needing a good kick.

I have been unhealthy. Very unhealthy, lately. I am working on fixing this. I am pretty sure that what I have been doing is stress eating. I can’t seem to get enough carbs/sugars. The problem with this is that sugars are addicting and can lead to an eating pattern like the one I currently find myself in. So, I need to break the cycle. I need to find healthier snacks that will help take the edge off of the sugar cravings.

I also need to get on a more regular exercise schedule. I have been running a couple times per week, but I need to get better with it. I am going to register to run the Bloomsday Race in May. I only have little more than 3 months to be able to run a 12k. I can currently run 2 miles with little problem. I’m slow, but I can do it. In the past I have done 3 miles. too was going to sign up for the Gold’s Gym 12 Week Challenge again, but we are trying hard to be frugal. It is only $25 for members, but that is $25 I can put towards our dinners. I already feel like I am spending too much with having a gym membership. Which is why I do try to use it.

So, I have come up with a tentative plan:

  • Blog at least once per week. If I have to talk to people about what I have been doing, I usually make better decisions.
  • Really get on track with C25K. I figure once I get my stamina up for a 5K, working towards a 12K will be the next step.
  • Keep to my workout schedule. I make a new one each month when the new schedule comes out and tweak it with how life changes that schedule.
  • Make a weekly menu. In case it might not be apparent, I tend to be a list-oriented person. I like the challenge of trying to complete what I have set up. With a menu, I will make and eat what I have written down. Therefore, if I have a healthy menu, I will then eat healthier.

So, I have my plan. I tried to keep it simple and not too daunting. Later, I will post my exercising schedule. Gold’s has a ton of new classes coming out this weekend, so I am waiting for an updated class list. Then I will post it on here. That way I will be held accountable to keep up with it for the 5 readers I have ūüėČ

On a parenting note: Sam did GREAT today in the kid care area at our local grocery store (ALL grocery stores should offer this – the kids are happy and the parents are not ripping out their hair by the time they are done shopping. This is a big deal because any other time I have tried to leave him with other people, he screams the whole time I am not there. So, this is a welcome breakthrough. I am thinking of testing it out at our gym tomorrow. *crossing fingers* All I plan on doing for exercise tomorrow is running.

Well, that is it for now. I feel better now that I have this actually written down.

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The Big Check-In

So, last Saturday I had my 6 week check-in for the Gold’s Gym 12 Week Challenge. Not great news, but not terrible, either. I lost a few pounds and a few inches. However, I also lost some muscle. Doh! Not at all what I was going for. However, I will go into more detail about how that came about later on. For now, I will post my stats:

Before:

Weight: 170.8 lbs
BFI: 30.1
Waist: 36
Hip: 42
Thigh: 20

Now:

Weight: 167.8
BFI: 29.5
Waist: 36
Hip: 41
Thigh: 20
Not a huge difference, but a little.

Now, the reason this bit of difference doesn’t bother me is because it would appear that I am pregnant. Yay! I found out a few days after my weigh-in. I have decided to stay in the Challenge, not for weight loss, but to remain on a healthy schedule. I want this pregnancy to be healthier than my last one. I am hoping to keep diabetes away with a healthy diet and exercise regime. I really want to have a home birth with this one. I have done the hospital birth with my other two. I want to experience it on a more personal level. The healthier I am, the fewer complications I should have during pregnancy. Now, I will need to cool it with some of the classes in the near future. For now, here is my current work-out plan:

Mon: 9:30 buoyancy Burn/9:30 BodyPump/swimming (Sammi usually has therapy at 11, so I will most likely be swimming laps)
Tues: Running
Wed: weights + cardio/11 am Yoga
Thurs: Running
Fri: 9:30 BodyFlow/weights + cardio/swimming
Sat: 9:30 BodyCombat/Running
Sun: Hike/Walk

I want it noted that I am not just starting up on this exercise routine! I have kept up with my exercises 3 – 5 times per week. A pregnant woman should NEVER just start-up a physically taxing schedule if she is not used to it. It is harmful to her and to her baby.

I also plan to keep up with MyFitnessPal. Also, as mentioned above, not to lose weight, but to keep myself on a healthy diet. I will be changing my settings so that I will be getting slightly more calories. I have NO intentions of starving or harming this little baby in way, shape, or form. MyFitnessPal is able to tell how much more I need of certain vitamins, proteins, etc., and it will at the same time let me know if I have had too much of something. Love that app/website.

I also have an idea that has been brewing in my mind. I am going to start a page listing healthy, inexpensive recipes. Preferably easy ones. I got the idea from One Hungry Student. This blog is a group of college students posting cheap-o eating ideas. I remember my ramen days. Too well. I really wish I had had the knowledge then that I have now regarding cooking. And nutrition. So, that will be a future project.

While I am checking in, I will also give an update on my boys:

Sol is really making me proud. He is doing AWESOME in school. He reads about a book a day. I am loving it. Right now, he is in a challenge to read 10 hours to win theme park tickets (to a theme park we are already going to this summer – woot!). He has already read over 8 hours and there are still 20 days left in the contest. He has really become a great big brother. His little brother looks up to him. They both have a lot of fun playing games.

Sam is making strides in his therapy. He was recently given new goals since he has way surpassed his old ones. He still has a little catching up to do, but he is working on it. He has finally broken out of the 2% range for weight. He is now in the 10% range. He still looks too chubby to me to be that low, but whatever. He is healthy and he is happy.

Ugh.

So, today was my first day of the Gold’s Gym 12 Week Challenge. I got myself weighed, measured, and pictured. I will be writing down the measurements, but the pic will have to wait:

Weight: 170.8 lbs
BFI: 30.1
Waist: 36
Hip: 42
Thigh: 20

The Domestic Pagan would like us to do the measurements every week, but I am going to go only with the Gold’s measurements so I don’t use too many different pieces of equipment. I can tell you that my scale tells me a different weight than the one above (of course it will also tell me a different weight 5 minutes after I weigh myself). So, my measurements will come up again on March 3. Because my Gold’s Challenge started a few weeks after the Get Off Your Broom Challenge, I have decided to follow the Broom Challenge a few weeks behind.

The First Week:

“The Week One Mini-Challenges
I’ll be honest. This week’s mini-challenge isn’t really mini. It’s kind of big and has quite a few parts. I know it’s a lot of work already but in my opinion, these mini-challenges are probably the most important ones of all! They will be the foundation of your success.

First, I want you to take a before picture. Oh the horror! Don’t worry. I won’t be requiring that you post it if you don’t want to. However, you may want to post it at the end of the challenge when you have your after picture. It’s a great way to really see what you accomplish in the next 3 months.

Second, I want you to take your weight and the measurements of at least your hips, waist, and chest. Your thighs and arms are optional. You are doing both weight and measurements because this challenge is about fitness, not just about losing weight. If I lose 5 lbs but my waist hasn’t gotten smaller, than I know I haven’t truly succeeded. Now that you know your starting stats, what are your goals? What can you reasonably accomplish in the next 3 months but is challenging enough to keep you striving? You may even want to break your goals into 3 month increments.

Third, I want you to make a plan. This is the hardest of the three mini-challenges. There are so many diets and exercise plans out there that choosing one can be absolutely overwhelming. It may take some research on your part, but along with knowing where you are going (your goals) you need to know how to get there (your plan). Make this plan as simple or detailed as you would like. Maybe your plan is simply to cut sweets and exercise five times a week. Or maybe you have a plan that includes a comprehensive exercise program that includes cardio, yoga, and strength training and a vegetarian diet complete with menus and a list of superfoods that you should eat.” From Get Off Your Broom

First and second = done.

Third:

1. I am going to work on creating and sticking to a weekly menu that will be approx 1700 calories and contain plenty of fruits and veggies. I don’t want to make it lower since I am still breastfeeding. However, Sammi has started to wean himself. If he stops, then I will lower this to approx 1500/1600 calories.

2. I will get in some sort of exercise every day. Even if it is just a quick walk around the neighborhood. Workout schedule:

  • Sunday: run/hike Badger Mtn.
  • Monday: BodyPump/Buoyancy Burn
  • Tuesday: BodyCombat/Run
  • Wednesday: CXWorx/Yoga/Cardio & Weights
  • Thursday: Run
  • Friday: BodyFlow
  • Saturday: Cardio & Weights/run

I wanted to make this schedule somewhat flexible. I do like to have some other choices every once in a while.

My goals:

  1. I will use MyFitness Pal every day.
  2. I would like to get below 160 by the end of the 12 week challenge.
  3. I want to gain better control over snacking. By the end of this challenge, I want my willpower to have control, not the cravings.
  4. I will add more vegetables to my diet. Less carbs and sugars.

This seems like a pretty simple and straightforward plan, but I know that I will be struggling with them. My willpower needs bulking up as much as my flabby arms do.

Phew! I can do this!

Get Off Your Broom Week 4 Check-in and Week 5 Challenges

First, measurements!

Before:

Weight: 172
Hips: 43″
Waist: 39″
Chest: 42.5″
Thighs: 23″
Arms: 12″

Now:

Weight: 167.2 (-4.8)
Hips: 43″ (no change)
Waist: 38″ (-1″)
Chest: 41.5″ (-1″)
Thighs: 21″ (-2″)
Arms: 11″ (-1″)

It would appear that I am melting! meeellllting! Slowly, but the numbers are there! W00t! I was actually a little worried about this week. I came down with a cold and it really knocked me for a loop. I basically had no exercise after Wednesday. However, this will change this week (due to one of the challenges and one of my own mini-goals). I am feeling better now and have no excuse to at least go for a walk. I get lazy when I get sick, but the last time I tried to run before I was recovered, I ended up with bronchitis. My lungs take forever to really recover from a cold. I will be running this week, but very slowly.

Incorporating my Pagan values was a huge help. Whenever I really wanted to eat something deliciously bad for me, I would remind myself that my body is a temple and meditate on that for a few seconds. The craving would usually just go away.

Week 5 Challenges

“There will be three mini-challenges this week, which will appear simple. The reality is that they may be simple but they are not easy. They will take a lot of willpower and some planning ahead to stick with. Now that we have observed our habits and started to change them, it’s time to work on making them consistent. Remember, these mini-challenges are always optional.

Part 1 is to exercise at least five days this week. (At first I wrote “five times this week”, but if you are like me you would take this literally and cheat.¬†Oh I did Zumba for and walked the dog today. That’s two times so I only have to do three more times this week.Nope, we should to be exercising almost every day. )

Part 2 is to eat more fruits and vegetables, or in other words a more plant based diet. Maybe you aren’t going for the goal of a vegetarian diet like I am, but studies show that even if you are a meat eater more fruits and vegetables helps weight loss. (But don’t cheat and eat a bunch of potato chips and french fries and count that as vegetables.)

Part 3 is to drink plenty of water every day. I’m not going to suggest that you drink 8 glasses every day because I honestly don’t know how any does that. I’ve also researched it and no one actually has a clear answer on why 8 was the definitive number. A good rule that I have heard is to drink one glass of water with every meal and snack that you have.” From The Domestic Pagan
Part 1
I have already scheduled some sort of exercise Mon РSat. I did cardio and weights today and will be running tomorrow. I am leaving on Friday for a small family vacation, but managed to think ahead as to what type of exercise I can do before we leave and while I am there. One of my personal goals for this week is to make it to at least 1 class at my gym. So far I have been mostly doing the elliptical machines, weights, and treadmills.
Part 2
Yikes. I do not know why I have so much trouble getting fruits and veggies into my diet. This will be a goal I am going to be working on for the rest of this challenge.
Part 3
I already try to keep a glass of water at hand everywhere I go. I will drink it if it is handy. I will forget about it if it is not.

Get Off Your Broom Week 3 Check-in & Week 4 Challenge

Week 3

I really struggled with Week 3. I had such intense sugar cravings that did not seem to want to go away. Even when I gave in to them. They just hung around. Funny that the Week 3 Challenge was to find out about what causes cravings… I’m going to go with my body starting to get ready to return to its cycles. At least for those cravings. I have no idea what else they could have been. My body has been threatening¬†to restart its periods for a few weeks now. Up until this week, it has mostly been severe cramping. My son is almost 1, so it is getting close to time to restart.

For a really great blog on food cravings, I recommend checking out The Domestic Pagan’s post for this week’s check-in. She found some great info and articles. I feel so lazy now.

I actually did pretty good with exercise. I didn’t get as much weight-lifting in as I would like (as in none at all), but I got in a good bit of running and discovered that I am now averaging about 2 miles in the same time that I had been doing 1.7 miles. I also made sure to walk as much as I could.

Now for the measurement:

Weight: 168.0
-.4 this week
-4.0 total!

I will be doing my other measurements next week. I think they will be pretty good. I have noticed some things fitting differently and my belt is loose on me now… I might need to find a new one.

Week 4 Challenge

“There will be two parts to this week’s challenge.

Part 1: How balanced is your diet? Are you eating healthy, wholesome natural foods or are you simply eating less crap than before? If I’m honest with myself and you folks, I know my answer is that I am simply eating less crap.

A balanced diet, despite what the food pyramid tells you, won’t actually look the same for everyone. (I know, I’m no nutritionalist but the common food pyramid was created by the United States Department of Agriculture¬†not¬†the health department.) If you are diabetic or a vegan, a balanced diet is going to look a lot different for you than for someone who is eating a more traditionally balanced diet. I am striving for a mostly vegetarian diet so I look to the¬†vegetarian food pyramid¬†for guidance.

Part 2: In the previous post, I wrote about how I’ve been struggling to make this fitness challenge more “witchy.” If we do do things witchy all the time like Magaly says, then making a fitness challenge more witchy shouldn’t be hard, right? What can you do to combine your spirituality and practice with your diet and fitness regimen? Some suggestions include using the witches pyramid (to know, to will, to dare, to be silent), to use the elements to balance your diet and fitness routine, base your diet on the Wiccan Rede (to harm none), or to do ritual or magick to aid you. Can you tell I’ve put some thought into it already?”
From The Domestic Pagan

Part 1

I have to be honest. I’m with The Domestic Pagan. I’m eating less crap. I am working on eating more balanced. MyFitnessPal actually helps with that. During the day, I can actually see what nutrients I am lacking in my diet. I am also working on creating a weekly menu. I like to use the Alli website to help with this. I tried using Alli a couple of years ago and was actually pretty successful. I don’t care for the pill thingies so much, but I LOVE their recipes and how you can plan an entire week (or more) with their website. Most of the recipes create single servings and are easy to make. For dinner, I will double the recipe so my husband can enjoy it also. His favorites are the vegetarian stuffed squash and the vegetarian stuffed peppers. Anyway, this is a great challenge and I look forward to working with it.

Part 2

I once read (I am pretty sure it was in a Buckland book) that we need to consider our bodies as temples. They are a gift from the God and Goddess and we should take care of them in respect to that. We should be careful of what we put into our temple. This is a concept that I can easily combine with the Part 1 Challenge.
I can use my cooking time to put in loving and healthy thoughts into my food. I have a penchant for kitchen witchery, this would be a natural way for me to hone that skill and to add a bit of “witchyness” to every meal.
I may also do a bit of spellwork to help me with willpower…

Frak it.

Today will be my “bad” day. I had the most intense cravings for chocolate and nothing helped. Not even chocolate. I gave in, hoping to quell the weird need for it, but I still wanted chocolate. I should change that to “want.” I still want chocolate. I just drank a bunch of water and having a full belly seems to be helping. How bizarre. Usually if I get a craving like that, it will go away if I give in to it or if I just ignore it. Oh well. Hopefully it will be gone tomorrow lol.

I haven’t been very good about exercising lately. I have been walking a lot, but I haven’t been getting in my running or weights. I hope to be able to go running tomorrow morning. I am also hoping it will be nice enough that I can go to the animal shelter to get a running buddy. I do enjoy running with a dog.

On a similar note, I did take Sol to the shelter today to walk a dog. Sammi and I took a spill while walking near the river. The puppy we were walking got a little upset, circled us, then curled up in my lap. I think he was really worried about Sammi and kept trying to lick his face. Such a good pup. His name is Alpha Romero and he is an Australian Shepherd. He was only 4 months old. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing in the shelter. He is a good natured little guy and absolutely beautiful. I will not be surprised if he gets a new home before this week is up.

That is pretty much it for now. Just wanted to post a quick update before going to sleep.

Get Off Your Broom Week 2 Review & Week 3 Challenge

Recap of Week 2:

Weight: 168.4
-1.6 lbs!
-3.6 lbs total

I definitely did better with the stress, emotional, bored eating. However, I did break my fast on fast food and ice cream. I just needed a cheeseburger sooo badly. The ice cream was part of a malt I had in Seattle when I took my son for a doc appointment. No reason for it, but DAMN it was so freaking good. I haven’t had a malt in years. The calories alone were more than twice my daily allowance, but it was worth it. I did walk for about 2 hours (carrying an 11-month-old the whole time) to help burn some of that off. I did pretty good with the exercising. I love my new gym! I did 20 minutes in the cardio theater and didn’t even notice lol. I was sweaty, but really enjoying the movie. I also did my first ever stint at running on a treadmill for my C25K program. The steady pace did help me to go farther than I do on trails, but I think I do prefer to run outside.

Thinking on the subject of emotional eating seemed to help me curb those cravings caused by emotional, stress, and boredom factors. Other than the milkshake, I actually did pretty decently with the eating last week.

Week 3 Challenge

“This is going to have two parts. Remember it is always optional. Part 1 will be about investigating the cravings that we have that aren’t due to emotional eating. Why do we have a sudden craving for something sweet or salty that just seems to come out of the middle of nowhere? Should we give in to these cravings or suffer through them?

Part 2 has to do with body measurements. If you have not yet started keeping track of your measurements, I want you to buy or borrow a measuring tape and start! Keeping track of your weight is helpful but not always a true gauge of achievements. My week 2 results are proof of this.” From The Domestic Pagan
Part 1
I’ve been thinking about this. Sometimes I think that a craving is there for a reason. You might need more salt, protein,¬†gluten, carbs, fat, whatever. I really do believe that our bodies let us know these things. I also believe that if you are craving something that is not especially good for you, try doing something else to distract yourself (go for a walk or drink water – sometimes reading the nutritional info on whatever I want also helps). If the craving goes away, you didn’t really need it. If it remains, give in to it, but try to be responsible. Don’t eat the whole tub of ice cream. Measure out a half cup of ice cream, then top it off with nuts & fruit (pineapple + coconut is super yummy on ice cream).
Part 2
I mentioned before that I will really do body measurements the first Saturday of each month. You are all lucky I am even weighing myself each week lol. Yes, it is important to keep track of the other measurements, but I am not going to do them every week.

A Mid-Week Update

Until today, I had done well with my meal plan. Today… I just couldn’t seem to resist chocolate. One day of indulgence isn’t too bad. I just need to be sure to control my impulses for the rest of the week. I am looking forward to my run tomorrow. I wasn’t able to run on Tuesday. We had doctors’ appointments and Sammi needed more blood work done. Bleh. However, I did walk all around Pike Street Market. If you haven’t been there, it is a huge place. It was my first time seeing it. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t that lol. I enjoyed myself and Sammi seemed pretty interested in all the goings-ons as well.

I have changed gyms. I decided it was not worth my time to drive all the way out to my old gym only to get in maybe 10 minutes before the nursery calls me in to take care of Sam. My new gym has all the same classes, is nearly $40 less per month, is 5 minutes from my house (rather than 30 minutes), and I can receive passes to visit other gyms across the country (will be handy when I visit my bro and mom in December). I will miss the indoor track. A treadmill really isn’t the same as running on the ground. However, I haven’t even been going to the gym to run. I have been going to the animal shelter walking paths. So, I think it all works out. If the weather is really too poor for me to run outside, I can use a treadmill every once in a while.

 

Get Off Your Broom Week One Challenges

OK. Today was the first day of the fitness challenge. I feel like I did very well. Now to see if I can keep it up. I ate fairly healthy and logged everything in MyFitnessPal. My nutrition was mostly on target, except for sodium. I’m not too worried about the salt as I usually have very little salt. I also went jogging today.

Now for the challenges:

Challenge One

A Picture. Eek. I am going to have to post this later since my camera needs charging. I will do this tomorrow.

 

Challenge Two

Measurements:

Weight: 172
Hips: 43″
Waist: 39″
Chest: 42.5″
Thighs: 23″
Arms: 12″

 

Challenge 3

 Make a plan.

Exercise plan: I will jog 3 days a week, weights 1 – 2 times per week, and a class at the gym at least 1 day per week (yoga, pilates, BodyPump, BodyCombat, etc.).

Eating plan: I am still breastfeeding, so will need to be sure to keep up my calories, but not overdo the calories. So a healthy 1500 – 2000 calories per day. Stressing the healthy. I am totally cutting fast food out of my diet. I don’t like it anyway. Ice cream is also cut. I believe I posted about my reasons for that. Now, I do know myself and my addiction to sugar. I will allow myself 2 unhealthy dessert-like snacks per week. If I can keep up with that, I will lower that to 1 per week before the challenge is over.
This will also be a good way for me to try two new recipes per week. Yay!
Oh, I also wanted to mention the MyFitnessPal will also help me to keep track of my nutrition to make sure that I eat what I need to in order to keep a healthy diet.

Goal: My ultimate goal is to get down to 135. For this 3 month program, I will be happy to lose 10 lbs (162) and 1 – 2 dress sizes.

Jogging Advice

I went for a jog on Saturday, Sept 10. With my jogging stroller. My totally wonderful, awesome orange BOB Revolution jogging stroller. I love that stroller. My circuit was longer than I had thought. I wound up going 2.25 miles. I did walk most of that for what I consider a good reason…

I was jogging back home after having gotten the half-way reminder on my C25K app, when I noticed that my stroller was getting harder and harder to push. At first I thought it was just me, “I must be way more exhausted than I thought”, “this hill is actually steeper than it looks”, “I am way wimpier than I thought I was!” Then I noticed that I had to work really hard to keep my stroller in a straight line. I had the front wheel locked… What the Hades was going on? Just as this thought was going through my head, I started to hear a new noise over my music. A muffled squeaking. With irregular thumps. I look down at my wheels and all of them have goatheads:

Picture from Bike Noob

 

Which ultimately means they were all flat. All three of my stroller’s tires were as flat as pancakes. I still had one major hill to go up… I was bright red, dizzy, and super sweaty by the time I made it home. Tomorrow, I will be running without the little guy and I will be fixing my tires with slime. That was my running adventure this weekend. Lesson learned: To make a run extra hard, do not slime your jogging stroller tires…

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