Monday, October 17, 2011

C25K... I'm off the couch

This is not what I look like when I run, I'm way more graceful!
So, in my journey to fitness and skinnydom I have set a goal to run a 5K.

Yep... me... a 5K... what am I thinking? I'm excited about the idea of running a 5K, it was a goal of mine prior to having Moose, that I never saw come to fruition so now is the time. I feel like it would be an amazing sense of accomplishment to run/jog the whole thing and finish. Ok, so it's not as great as a marathon or anything, but I'm taking baby steps as I'm generally not a fan of setting goals because it makes your failures that much more prominent, but this is one I am really hoping to stick with till the end.

My vehicle for achieving my goal is the C25K app. So far I love it, my body, not so much (in fact, I think it's screaming for me to stop). The premise is a no brainer, run and walk until you build up the strength to eventually run the whole thing. Duh, sounds simple enough. What I really like about it, is that while you are doing the plan you keep the app running (will also sync with your iTunes playlist) and it tells you what to do and when to do it. I like that, guide me oh electronic fitness coach, guide me. It takes all of the guess work out of it. I don't have to constantly check my time on a stop watch, or keep track of how many sets I have done. It also has a place where I can journal about the day's run and it keeps track on what day I am on.

I, of course, happen to be an overachiever, I am already on day 3 and I just started on Saturday morning. I know what you are thinking, "But Jen, you are only supposed to do it 3 days a week." Well, yeeeees, and if I had read all of the instructions thoroughly, I would have known that, but I don't like to read instructions so my body is paying the price! My bad... Anyway, the makers of C25K claim to take you from the couch to completing a 5K in 9 short weeks and if I can make it, anyone can.

Now that I have completed the first three runs in record time, I am walking around like either a 98 year old woman riddled with arthritis (only I think I grumble and complain more) or an 11 month baby old learning to walk (and still, I think I stumble more). Even though I am in pain, it's a good pain. It's a pain that I can live with because I know that I am doing something great. I am being an active mommy for Moose! I also have to give credit to my hubby. He has pushed Moose in the stroller and ran with me two of the three times and I love the idea of doing it as a family.

I do think that I have found the perfect pair of running shoes. Let me know what you think...
Haha!!! I love them!! Can't you just see me running down the street in these?

To the moon & back,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's... What's my... What's my motivation?

Ugh.... So, I did the unthinkable tonight, I looked back at pictures of myself prior to Moose.

Before - 199 lbs (ack!!!)
A little history about me, I have been on the heavier side most of my life. I've been just a little overweight, really over weight and straight up what I would call fat (it's not insulting, when I'm referring to myself, ha!) and then, for a brief shinning moment (about 2 years total) I was at my goal weight. It took two years of hard work and dedication, but I lost almost 80 lbs and was not only the thinnest I have ever been, but also the healthiest and most in shape. I could jog right at two miles straight without stopping. Yes, me, who would get winded walking to the mail box, could run and I loved it. I lost the weight and kept it off for a little over 2 years (until I got pregnant). I wore a bikini for the first time since I was like 5 and I went from a size 18 to a very comfortabe size five (I don't remember EVER being a size 5, I was a size 9 in 8th grade). Ahhh.... size 5... you seem like such a distant memory now.
After (pre-baby) - 125lbs

Now, I'm not so much a 5 as I am a size 11. I know that's not fat, please understand that I am NOT saying I am fat. I am saying that looking back at photo's of when I was thrilled with my overall image makes me sad and makes me really want to get back there. I am saying that I am not content with where I am now.

Here's the problem... MOTIVATION! Yep, I have a motivation problem and a temptation problem (mainly stupid pumpkin stuff, stupid fall and your stupidly delicious coffee drinks and pumpkiny goodness).  Ugh! That being said, I am really gonna try to get rid of the extra pounds now. I mean really, I can't keep blaming it on Moose now that he's like 2 years old. At some point I have to take responsibility. Since I am the one who is shoveling bite after bite of pumpkin cheesecake in my mouth (ahhh, pumpkin cheesecake, why must you be the devil?) Tonight my salad for dinner and my snack of carrots, radishes and snow peas was negated because of said pumpkin cheesecake.
Current (post-baby) - 150 something...

How did I do it before? Well, as cliche as it sounds, diet and exercise. Although I will say my definition of "diet" was a complete lifestyle change. I literally watched what I ate and portions were EVERYTHING. Anyone who saw my pantry at that time, thought I was a freak. As soon as I got home from the grocery store and farmers market, I spend a few hours portioning and prepackaging everything, frozen meats, veggies, snacks, wheat pasta, etc... Everything got sorted into snack baggies and was portioned in 1 to 2 serving sizes. That took all of the guess work out for me and made it so easy to just grab and go. I was very dedicated (I can't remember a time when I was more dedicated to something). The best part was that Jon and I did it together so I didn't have to worry about cooking differently for him. He lost almost 80lbs at the time, too. (He did it in 6 months as compared to my 2 years... stupid boys and their fast metabolisms).

Jon has agreed to try it again, plus we want to be good examples for Moose (although, he eats way better than we do, I am super strict about what goes into his mouth). I would like to run again, but the thing I hate about running is the whole getting used to running again. Jon is amazing. He can go 6 months or more without running and get out and run a 5k with no problem (stupid boys and that whole "hunting" gene). He is the best running coach ever, though. He can always make me go just a little further each time.

Ok, I think I have really talked myself into it. Let see how this goes. I'll keep you posted, but, no worries, it's not going to completely take over my blog.

Love, hugs & caffeine,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Three Generations & a Baby (or toddler as the case may be)...

aka - The trip from hell...

So, choosing to go on a 9 day trip with my mom, son, aunt and grandma seemed like a good idea at the time, however, after 2 ER trips, a total of 32 hours in a car (not counting random trips about town), sleepless nights due to snoring as well as late night bathroom trips which involved lights and running water (in a very small hotel room) and never being able to choose a place to eat, I may have rethought the trip.

I found out that I had to go on a business trip to Louisville, KY, which is only about 2.5 hours away from one of my best friends' mom's house. I thought, "Great! We will leave a few days early and head up to see Sarah." (I haven't seen her since June). I asked my mom to go with me so she could help with Moose while I was working and she agreed. Then she asked if it was ok if Granny came. I said sure, the more the merrier. My mom mentioned it to my aunt (her sister) and she seemed to really want to go, so my mom asked her as well. So now we have 4 adults and a 2 year old in a Honda Pilot.

Sunday morning arrives (the day after Moose's birthday party... what was I thinking?) and we head out... Leaving at 8:00am... oh wait, we have to go by my Granny's house to pick up some medicine to drop off at with my aunt which is sort on the way, but not really. Ok, 9:00am and we are on our way!

Moose did amazing on the trip. I was so proud! We ended up stopping outside of Chatanooga, TN, for the night but we still needed to eat. Out we go again looking for food. "How about Mexican?" My mom asks. "No, I don't like that kind of food... What is that again?" Granny replies. Mama says "It's tacos, mama. You like tacos." Granny "That's not a meal, I want a meal." Ok... what's next? "Oh how about Ryan's Steakhouse?" mom asks. Granny, "No, you know how buffet's do me." Hmm... ok, finally we decide on some other restaurant.

Ah... sleepy time... ZZZzzzzz, ZZzzzz, "What is that?" I thought. Snoring? Seriously? This is a very small hotel room. My mom is tossing and turning. She gets up and rummages though her purse and come back to bed. "I have ear plugs in my purse, but I can only find one." I'll take it, I thought. It has to be of some help. So I take said earplug and put it in my ear. I then shove my other ear in the pillow. It sorta works. That is, until I roll over. I then take the earplug out of one ear and switch it. It was a long night.

The trip to IN was amazing. It was so good to just hang out with Sarah again (I hate that she live in IN, yes I said hate, I'm ok with that) and her parents made it feel like home away from home. This was also the uneventful part of our trip, very relaxing, very nice.

Then we get to Louisville. At this point, Moose is really starting to cough, get fussy, and not want to eat. There are so many things that it could be (travel, teething, allergies, etc...) that we don't think anything of it. That was Thursday. Friday morning my mom woke me up (I was sleeping on the couch in the separate room so as to actually sleep before I had to be at the tradeshow at 8:30am) at 2:00am. "Moose is shivering and she keeps waking up coughing and whimpering". As my brain adjusted to being awake, I said "What do I do?", of course, cause I reverted back 16 and not a responsible mom, as I have stated before, I am not good in an emergency). Mom thought we should take him to the ER. Um... Ok... where exactly is that? We are 14 hours from home and I don't know anything about Louisville. So we ask the hotel desk clerk. She gives us the address, all I can say is thank goodness for GPS'! After about 4 hours in the ER, we find out that it is Hand, Foot & Mouth disease which is a virus and only treatable with motrin and tylenol. Fantastic, can't wait to see that bill.

Back to the hotel. I ran into my boss in the lobby (it's not 7:00am) and she is getting ready for the show. She asks if I am ok and my reaction is to turn into a blubbering fool. She tells me to get some rest and come over when I can. Thank you.... I have really great boss'.

Nap, nap, nap... Wake up at noon and head over to the show. About an hour and a half later, I get a call from my mom. "Honey, we are taking granny to the ER." She had been having dizzy spells, swelling and wasn't feeling right. "Ok, let me know how it goes." So now, my mom and aunt are dealing with a sick 2 year old and a sick mom. Great trip. My aunt spends all afternoon in the ER with her and mom spends the afternoon with a sleeping Moose.

Bleh.... Crappy trip. The tradeshow was less than successful to say the least and my toes are still numb from standing on concrete for about 10 hours in very unsupportive shoes.

The trip home was way less eventful, but did I mention that my boss was ticketed on the way up to the show because it is apparently illegal in GA to not move over to the other lane if a cop has some one pulled over. Oh, yea, then their car broke down and stranded them in Louisville for an extra day.

Fun times... I get to do it all again in Feb, only this time to Vegas!

"What?" not "Why?"

Several months ago, my brother-in-law (who is a phenomenal preacher) did a sermon on asking "What?" instead of "Why?" It's a great idea, the basis of which is when something bad happens, ask yourself, "What can I take from this situation?" or "What's the best way to turn this situation around?" instead of asking, "Why me?" or "Why did this happen?"

None of us know God's plan (man wouldn't life be simpler if we did!), so none of us will ever be able to answer the "Why" question with any certainty. We can, however, answer the "What?" question because that's our experience and what we are taking from it. Plus, asking "Why" can be more of a way to wallow in your own self-pity instead of trying to take ownership and change the situation.

Now that I have said all of that, I have to say I am still horrible at this whole question thing. My mind instantly goes to "Why, why, why.... woe is me... WOE IS ME!" I know it's all about changing my mindset, but man is that hard. After all it's been the only mindset I have had for 31 years, you know, the whole old dog/new tricks thing.

My family's life has been stressful lately, to say the least. We have lots of stuff going on all at once and I tend to look at it and go "Really? Cause I need more on my shoulders right now? Why can't anything go right?" but I know I am not the only one stressing and I should be asking "What can I do to help this situation? How is Jon feeling about all this? Is there something I can do ease the worry on his end?" I know I need to have faith, but when things seem to be going bad, it's hard not to say why. As in, "Why can't I strangle the driver in the car in front of me?"

Ahhh... life, with all of it's ups and downs, is worth it, especially compared to the alternative!

Here's to asking "What" not "Why"!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mommy-hood Changes Things...

...and that's great. In fact that is the way it should be if everyone would take it seriously. But I feel as though there are an aweful lot of mommies out there that sugar coat being a mom. In my opinion, not all things about being a mommy are peaches and cream and I feel like it's taboo to talk about that.

Having Moose was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. He is the coolest little guy I have ever met and he just gets cooler by the day, but being a mom (a good mom, a REAL mom) is hard work. It's taxing, totally self-less and at times, it's no fun (gasp... did she just say that?). Yes, I did. You always hear other moms say, "Oh, it's different when it's your own child." Yea, it is, the difference is, at the end of the day, that baby is your sole responsibility and no one elses (aside from their dads) and they have to go home with you!

No matter how much a child is planned, I really don't think that there is anything that can prepare you for what you are about to embark on. It helps to have a great support system of family and friends to lean on, cry with and ask for help, but still at the end of the day, that baby goes home with you. As much as I love Moose and as great as he is, when I left the hospital with him, I had no idea what to do with him. I was totally lost and grasping at straws. In fact, when we walked into the house with him for the first time, I looked at Jon and asked "What do we do with him now? Do we hold him? Feed him? Lay him down? Put him in his swing? Take him back to the hospital and ask for an instruction manual?" I think we eventually opted for just staring at him hoping the answer would come to us!

In my situation, I do feel like part of the joy was stolen from me by postpartum because I didn't feel that instant connection to him. In fact, there were times in the beginning where it was so overwhelming that I thought my life was just over and things would never be the same and I couldn't imagine what I had gotten myself into. I was half right, my life would never be the same, in most all ways it would be way better than ever before.

I am the baby of the family (a bit spoiled, I admit... ok a lot spoiled, but that't not the point) and I didn't grow up around babies. My sister is 8 years older than me and when she had her first child, I was a self-involved teenager wrapped up in my highschool sweetheart who was stationed in Germany in the Army, so I wasn't around much to help with her new baby. When she had her second child, I was still pretty much a newly-wed totally engulfed with being a wife, so even though I was around the second one more, it still wasn't much and that was over 10 years ago. Point is, I had no idea what to do with a baby and I know I'm not the only one. My hubby had never even held an infant until Moose was born. We were definitely the blind leading the blind!

I remember the first couple of weeks actually dreading sunset. Why, you ask? Because I hated the night. Nighttime meant we would be on our own until at least morning. No more curious friends and family members stopping by. He would be all ours for the next 14 or so hours, no help, and that scared the crap out of me. What if he starts choking while he is sleeping? What if we don't know what to do? And heaven forbid, what if he just stops breathing. Yes, the night held a whole new world of uncertainty.

The daytime brought a million more questions that I didn't have the answers for, schedules, feedings, rashes, teething, etc...

The only thing about parenting that I know without a shadow of a doubt is that no decision I make every totally feels like the right one!