Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday Night at the Gym

It was one of those rare days where nothing was going on.  I had planned on a hike with a friend but that fell through due to rain, so I thought I would rest and relax.  I had some projects to work on and since it was a Saturday the kids would just play.

Everything went according to plan, until late that evening, suddenly I was feeling miserable.  This creeping sense of discontent was overtaking me.  I felt downright icky.  Anxiety was there on the fringes and I was getting cranky with everyone.

It was then I knew that I had to leave the house.  I had to go the gym.  Truth be told, I would have preferred a walk, fresh air biting my cheeks and filling my lungs, but it was too dark to go out by myself.  I hemmed and hawed, but finally gave in, knowing that only the gym would make me feel better.

I kissed the kids, leaving them in the care of the oldest, grabbed the keys, and headed out the door.  This was my third visit to the gym since declaring I was starting over on my journey to health.  It had been months since I had been last.

That first visit, I felt so embarrassed, so ashamed.  I felt like if I walked through the doors of the YMCA they would know.  They would know I put back on weight and that I had not been in forever.  I was really scared to go.

And how foolish that was.

The thing that really struck me, going back after so long a time, was how everything was the same, but so different.  I was taking the stairs up to the women's locker room, the same stairs that just months earlier I could have bound up with a smile and half a thought about it.  This time... this time, it was hard.  It felt a bit like a slap in the face. 

I remembered being so proud of being able to take those steps without a change in breath.  It amazes me how quickly those things can escape you.

I realized, however, on the second visit, that now I had something to look forward to.  I was going to keep taking those steps until I got that same feeling back.  I was going to keep coming and coming till those steps were nothing but a joke.

Book in hand, I headed out to find a recumbent bike.  There it was.  the one in the quiet part of the gym.  It was Saturday night and all but empty.  I slipped into the seat, set my book up, my phone behind it in case I was needed, and began to pedal away my stress and anxiety.

I read and read.  Pedaled and pedaled.  I have been having trouble with my feet, I think my shoes don't fit, so I kept adjusting my feet but kept going.  I would peek at the time and think, ok, a few more minutes, several times.  And then it was silly to stop.  The gym wasn't busy, no one was waiting for the bike, so I took advantage.

January 17, 2015: 15.27 miles in 1 hour and 5 minutes

I left a sweaty, smelly, but very happy woman.

It is strange how easy it is to make any excuse, to think of reasons not to exercise.  Despite knowing how good you will feel.  It is really a mind game in which you have to come to understand that sore muscles can be a celebration, not a thing to fear.  That any goal towards health is completely and totally worth it and in the end you will be swimming in endorphins!

I am so glad to find myself back in that shift of thinking.  Where nothing is out of the realm of possibilities.  That even though I grew up always picked last at sports- today... today, I am an athlete.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fitness Friday: January 16, 2015

Fitness Friday is about taking care of you.  
It is a quick look back at the last week and a quick look forward to the next week.  
FF is about making goals and motivating yourself to make better choices, 
getting active, and doing something good for yourself!
When we take care of ourselves we are actually helping taking care of those we love, too.

A picture of just one of my motivations!

Last Week's Miles:


It was all cycling which is good for my knees.  But soon I need to get doing some more walking and then running...

Total Miles This Year:


Goals for Next Week:

Ok, woosh, let me see I want to get in 25 miles this week.  That will will double my miles so far this year.  Most of my miles are cycling, with a little walking, so I should be able to log those miles cycling.

Reading about running while pumping away on the stationary bike


Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run.  I really like this book.  I have wanted to be a runner for a very long time and this is really motivating me to get out and do it!  Heminsley writes in a very personal way and convinces you that you can accomplish anything with the right sports bra!


source unknown

Around the Web:

The blog post I am sharing is all about me.  I know, I am so vain.  Anyway, my beautiful niece who has lost 80 pounds, has been sharing stories of other people's journey to health and weight loss.  She asked me to name 3-8 things that I learned on my journey.  I, of course, wrote so much she had to make it into two posts.  What can I say?  Anyway, check it out here: Journey to Health: Amy, Part 1.

Funny of the Week:

I tried to form a group of local ladies, but they just laughed.  No idea why?  ;)  I couldn't make it through the whole video, but my daughter told me to scroll to the last few minutes.  I won't spoil it.  Hey, got to admit, at least she is out there moving it. 


"Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil. 
 This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones." ~ Proverbs 3:7-8


So, I have done something crazy.  Ok, ok, crazy for me.  After talking with a friend we have decided to run a 5k.  I have 12 weeks to get ready.  I have never been much of a runner and I am pretty slow.  But my thoughts are... I CAN DO THIS.  I think it is a great start and will be just what I need to motivate myself through these next few months.  After all, we all know I would do almost anything for a cool t-shirt.

How about you?  
What are you going to do to take care of you? 
Share a link and please link back here!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fitness Friday: My Journey So Far

I am hoping to soon make Fitness Friday more of a check in that perhaps others will like to join in with as well.  In the mean time, I wanted to share with you my journey so far and why I wanted to make this blog.

May 2012 ~ At our biggest
Four years ago (was it really that long?) my husband Tony and I decided it was time to get healthy.  That did mean loosing weight but the ultimate goal was to be able to live life the way God intended us to.  We longed to be active family, creating and nurturing times with our kids that they would always cherish.  Times that were not just about food.

You see, when you get a family this large, sometimes the easiest way to celebrate a special occasion is with food, lots and lots of food.  Cakes, pies, cookies, homemade bread… these things were a part of our daily lives.  With 11 people in your house, trust me, every week if not everyday, there is something to celebrate!

We had to learn to make healthy choices, to face the fact that food addiction was a major issue in our lives, and if we wanted to see our grandchildren we needed to make big changes.

When one of our children was having health issues our doctor recommended making her gluten free and we went along for the ride.  What we found out was very surprising.  More than a few of us are gluten sensitive in this house, especially me. 

Tony and me when we were at my half way point in weight loss
My health and well being changed dramatically after I got past the first few weeks of withdrawals.  In fact, in the beginning stages of our journey I went and had half a sandwich at a fast food joint.  I got so sick I was cramping in the car and my head hurt so bad I had to go straight home and go to sleep!

All in all, Tony and I lost a significant amount of weight.  I lost over 70 pounds and Tony lost about 100!  We ate mostly a Primal diet, which is similar to Paleo but we ate dairy.  Basically, we ate a lot of meat, vegetables, and little to no sugar or gluten with tons of exercise.

When I hit my goal weight, I did what a lot of people do.  I relaxed a bit and stopped working out.  I brought gluten free grains back into my diet.  I started to put back on weight, but it didn’t seem too significant.  I was content with my size and health.  And that is when I got pregnant.

Oh boy, is it easy to make excuses when you have a bun in the oven.  Silly isn’t it?  You know that you aren’t really eating for two, but in the throws of it you sure can forget.  I had a really hard pregnancy.  There were some terrible things going on in my life and it lead to a lot of problems.  Depression became a very serious issue and I started to eat lots of sugar and wheat again.  Two things that can compound depression.

I started packing on the weight.  I gained literally 10 pounds in one week at a certain point.  It was spiraling out of my control.  I knew what I had to do but I just couldn’t bring myself to it.  I ended up the late weeks of pregnancy going to a new doctor and it was discovered that I had gestational diabetes.  My diet changed drastically (no wheat, no sugar) but the depression was still there.  Not nearly as bad, but that black dark voice was still whispering in the back of my mind.

After I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, breastfeeding didn’t work and the depression came back in full swing.  I blamed myself and felt like a consummate failure.  Soon I was eating dessert every night and craving Pizza Rolls.  That resulted in about a 50-pound weight gain since I had reached my goal weight in 2013.

Anyone who has dealt with depression knows that it can feel nearly impossible to surmount that abyss.  You know what you have to do to make things better but it seems so unattainably out of reach that any small set back can feel like a crushing defeat.

It has taken me months to get to the point where I know I can do this.  I have done it before and I will do it again.  I am eating strictly Paleo now and feeling better than I have in a very, very long time.  We all have bad days, but the depression is all but gone and I am getting active again.  Changing the way I eat was the first step; the next was getting moving!

This blog is a place where I will chronicle this journey, all the successes and failures.  It will be a place to encourage and motivate, hopefully not just myself, but you as well.

Me now ~ here we go again
Thank you for taking the time to visit me and I pray that our Lord will bless you and that you will feel His guiding presence in whatever journey you are on.

Monday, January 5, 2015

First Walk of 2015

I was so stressed out.  The day was not going well and I needed out of the house.  I needed to move, and quite honestly I needed time alone.  So I slipped on pants over a pair of leggings, grabbed a thermal shirt, lugged into the new coat I had to buy because I was too big for the old one, and finally put on my tennis shoes.  As I was ransacking my room looking for knitwear to keep me warm, I realized I usually make things for everyone else and that if I was going to do this on a regular basis I would need a hat of my own.  So I grabbed Tony's hat, swung a scarf around my neck, and walked out the door.

I had to idea where I was going or how far I was going to walk.  I just knew that the anxiety and stress of the last few months were not going to get any better until I started to do something about it.  And that meant exercise.

I had tried twice in the last week to go to the gym, but everything seemed to get in the way.  My own sorry excuses or bickering kids... it was always something.

It is funny how so often we know exactly what we need to do to make ourselves feel better.   It is the same thing with anything in our lives.  You want a better marriage?  You spend time with your spouse.  You want to learn a new skill?  Get researching!  You want to be have a better faith?  Spend more time in prayer.  You want to loose weight and fight depression?  We know we have to eat better and exercise.

It is so much easier said than done.  Our human nature is drawn towards sin.  Towards things like gluttony and sloth.  Those are my big demons.  It is important to understand why we have the demons we do, in order to fight them.  Sometimes it is so easy to ignore the reasons, isn't it?  And that is when we have to acknowledge that we can do nothing alone.  That only through the strength of a higher power can we fight those demons that keep us in the patterns that will destroy us.

So here I am, walking my neighborhood, realizing I have done this before and I will do it again.  I did it with a lot of hard work and with a focus on being healthy.  I did it with the knowledge that it was what God was calling me to do, not just for myself, but for my family, and for Him.

So I will keep lacing up my black and purple tennies and hit the road.  And I will keep doing it again and again.

I have done it before.  I will do it again.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fitness Friday: Get Moving!

Ok, Fitness Friday is moving to my healthy living blog!  
Go check it out: 

Fitness Friday: A New Beginning

No makeup and decked out in knitwear.  Let's roll!
Welcome to my journey to health blog.  Sorry, it doesn’t have a name yet.  I have been thinking about this for awhile now, but only today decided I needed to start and start NOW.

So why, you ask, am I doing this?  Well, I decided I needed to journal this journey back to health.  I have done this before.  I lost 70 pounds not too long ago.  And then pregnancy came and I gained back 50 of it.  I could not mentally figure out what to do and let every excuse in the book stop me from maintaining my health with my pregnancy. 

So I have weight to loose.  Goals to make.  And I need to be accountable.

I hate to do this at the beginning of a new year.  It almost seems like I am asking for failure.  This is NOT a New Year’s Resolution.  This is a life resolution.  A promise to myself to take better care of me.  I want to have many years ahead of me and I can’t do that if I am obese and eating poorly.  I have to get up and get moving!

So I did!  I took my first walk of 2015 this morning.  My first 2.68 miles of the year.  And I learned quite a lot.  I learned that running is probably not in my near future and that cycling and walking might be my best bet for cardio right now.  My knees and back could not take running.

So this blog is going to be all about healthy choices.  Eating, moving, and living a good and healthy life.  This blog will be all about my journey and will help me to be accountable and to help motivate me to keep going when things get rough.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fitness Friday: Christmas Nom Noms

Whoops, it is Saturday evening.  Well, I will use the holidays as an excuse.  Speaking of which I was naughty, how about you?  Everything was gluten free but, for sure, was NOT sugar free.  And I paid the price.  I felt so sick.  While Nanimo Bars are tasty, I think the sugar coma after was not worth it.

I did make good choices, too!

For Christmas Eve breakfast we had Paleo Coconut Pecan Breakfast Bars.  These were so easy to make And everyone loved them.  Even me, and I am not a huge banana fan!  I also made sure we had some protein too!

Mmmmm, bacon.
But for Christmas Day we had a lovely frittata with roasted sweet potatoes.

For lunch... well, everyone gorged on chocolate, chocolate, and a little more chocolate.  I also made grain free sugar cookies which the children decorated with green sprinkles and mini chocolate chips. 

We decided to go to the movies that afternoon.  It was the first time in a long time we had everyone home at the same time and we couldn't help ourselves.  I was SHOCKED at how many people were there, which was very naive of me, considering so many movies open Christmas Day.

Our decision to go to Big Hero 6 (which was AWESOME, btw) made it so that we couldn't have the Christmas dinner I had planned.  Ok, ok, I was going to put the ham in the oven before we went... and I forgot.  So we had pizza.  Calm yourself!  It was with a cauliflower crust (similar to this one minus oregano) and the kids ate all of it, except Sweet Pea, who was probably full from eating all her treats and some of the other kid's as well!  But my pickiest eater ate all of it!

For dessert we had Naniamo Bars (made with gf graham crackers), fudge (I always use the marshmallow fluff recipe on the back of the jar, without the nuts of course, and I have conveniently lost any recollection of how much sugar was in it... I am lying), but we did have some healthier choices too!  Like this Paleo Pumpkin Pie and Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

On the Feast of Stephen, we had our Christmas dinner, which was a beautiful spiral cut ham, a small leg of lamb, asparagus, and red mashed potatoes.

So all in all, we made good choices.  But the things that were bad were very bad and they ended up being a huge temptation to us all.  The next day, I told Tony I HAD to get out of the house.  I wanted those sweets so bad and even though I knew I would feel crummy after eating some, I still wanted them.  So it is definitely safer to not have that stuff in the house.

After all, when one over indulges in sugar, there is always one thing you can count on...

The sugar crash.