Category Archives: Exercise

Back on the Workout Bandwagon

Wow, it’s been almost 3 years since the last time I actually did a workout (aside from a few hikes and the occasional evening walk with friends). Since the last time I posted (back in June 2011) about starting a new routine with my Mobile mom friends, I’ve quit that (I didn’t like working out in the oppressively humid summer heat in Mobile), had another baby (she’s now creeping up on her second birthday), and moved across the country from southern Alabama to southeast Alaska. A lot has happened, but that is no excuse for neglecting my body.

I’m going to be real here, I weigh 170 pounds. Now, just like I mentioned in that 3-year old post, I kept 10 pounds after giving birth the first time, another 10 after the second baby, and yes, another 10 after the third baby. I have no trouble losing the baby weight with breastfeeding and carrying my babies around, but the “little extra” that I seem to gain along with baby weight is my absolute nemesis. Now, I’m not humongous, but I am larger and jigglier than I’d like to be.

Over the past year or so I’ve scoured Pinterest and saved workouts that I thought would be helpful for the time that I’d be alone and can have uninterrupted exercise time. *cue uncontrollable laughter from all the stay-at-home homeschooling moms with small children* Yeah, these lovely, wonderful, goobers are with me all day and all night. There is no Alone Time. So, the only solution is to make these kiddos my workout buddies.

As I was eating breakfast this morning and pinning still more workout ideas, I thought about our daily routine and what pockets of free time we have. Usually we don’t start doing homeschool work until after lunch when Julie goes down for her nap, and the afternoons are spent doing school/housework/playing outside, then it’s dinner, bath, and bed. So the only time we could squeeze in a workout is in the morning between breakfast and lunch. That seems like a big chunk of time for most people, but for us it’s not really. By the time we finish breakfast it’s almost 9 am and we have lunch around 11:30. It is the perfect time though because we can exercise in our jammies, then shower, and get dressed for the day. That doesn’t contribute any extra “workout clothes” to my already massive laundry piles. Always a bonus.

We started this morning. My biggest kid (Jeremy – 7 years old) did almost all the workouts with me. He didn’t do all the reps, but he did his best. Jesse and Julie (4 years and almost-2 years old) tried to copy my movements and did really well for their ages and were totally adorable at it. I’m happy with the effort I gave and will keep the routine as-is for this week until my body gets used to it, then next week I’ll up the ante a bit.

Today we turned on some music and did 2 minutes of stretching, then we settled into the plan: 10 push-ups, 1-minute bridge (kids did crab walks), 15 tricep dips, 50 arm circles (each arm), 15 bicep curls (each arm, 16 oz. water bottles for Jeremy, 5 lb. weights for me), 20 squats, 20 lunges, 20 calf raises, 20 leg lifts (each leg, inner), 20 leg lifts (each leg, outer), 20 releve plie, 30 jumping jacks, 30 crunches, 20 donkey kicks (each leg), 10 grand battement (each leg), 50 flutterkicks. Then we did the arms again (push-ups – biceps) and 2 more minutes of cool-down stretching. This afternoon I’m hoping to add 30 minutes of cardio (hopefully a 5-mile bike ride) or at least a good brisk walk.

I’ve also started keeping track of my food and exercise with the Lose It website and phone app to make sure I don’t eat more calories than I need in comparison to the exercise that I do in a day. Today I am on track so far: I plotted the breakfast and lunch that I already ate and after adding the exercise from this morning, my cardio plans for later and our dinner plans, I’m left with a whopping 95 calories to have an afternoon snack. (Actually, the afternoon snack is the second half of lunch. I am a grazer by habit and tend to have small meal/snacks all day with a good dinner at the end.)

It’s only the first day, but I’m really hoping that I start building good habits. I’m not really changing our food. I’m eating the same things all day and making the same dinner as I would have before, the only thing I’m adding is exercise and I am really needing that to work for me. My Lose It plan has me on a 1244 net calories (intake minus those burned) per day budget which it says will get me to lose 2 pounds per week and be rid of this nagging 30 pounds by August 20. I’ll update this post later with my beginning measurements and clothing sizes as well. I am really dedicated this time to drop it and be at not only a healthier weight (the number on the scale isn’t a big deal to me, the clothing sizes and overall make-up of my body is my focus) but become a better example to my kiddos. We are a family of bookworms and we love our computers/tablets/electronics, we need to make a commitment to get outside more often to take advantage of the incredibly beautiful place we are so lucky to live in. Sitka is breathtaking and now that spring has settled in and our seasonal allergies have subsided, we need to get out and love it!

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Trying to Get in Shape

A handful of my friends and I have started a new workout. Bodies By Cindy, a local group of personal trainers, has started offering free boot camp classes twice a week on the Coast Guard base at lunchtime. They have also invited us to their free Saturday morning classes. I did all three workouts this past week and though I felt like I was going to pass out on Tuesday, I was doing much better on Thursday. This morning was pretty rough, but I got through it.

I am most definitely carrying quite a few extra pounds, and when we run or do jumping jacks I can feel all of the extra going up and down. After I had Jeremy my body bounced back pretty quickly, but I realized that an extra 10 stayed with me. 😦 Over his first few years I came to accept my new size and figured it was just what moms dealt with. No biggie. My new weight was still considered “average” for a woman my height, so I really didn’t worry about it. After I had Jesse, the breastfeeding helped me to drop most of the baby weight really quick, but again, 10 pounds stuck around – yes, on top of the 10 I had been holding on to for the past 4 years. 😦

My little boy is over a year old now and I’ve still got those 10 pounds, which means I’ve gained 20 pounds in the last 5 years. Uncool. It’s high time to get rid of it!

I have a hard time joining gyms and staying motivated because generally I don’t like working out alone. Yes, I know that at a gym you are not alone, but if I’m with people I don’t know I consider myself alone. I don’t know how to use the equipment and I really just feel ridiculous. I do much better in a class setting with people I know to help keep me motivated. These boot camp classes are exactly what I’ve been needing.

I totally ate it when running down a hill on the first day. Scraped up my forearm pretty good, but I kept going. Thursday I had to modify some exercises so I didn’t have to go down on my elbows. Now I have a beautiful itchy scab but I expect to be all healed up by next week. All in all I’m feeling fantastic, sore in places I didn’t know could get sore, but it reminds me that I’m doing a good thing for myself.

What’s funny is that I’m also making some little changes in our eating habits. At home I am the chef, so I set the menu and prepare all the food. Once in a while I leave the family to fend for themselves, but that’s rare. I’ve realized some of what I’m making isn’t all that good for us, but it’s really tasty. For the last week’s menu plan I’ve cut down on the heavy “meat & potatoes” meals and added more sandwiches and other light meals. So we’re having a filling meal (with correct portion sizes kept in mind) once a day and a lighter meal once a day. Breakfast is always whatever you can find because I don’t make that every day.

I’ve also cut down my sweet tea addiction. I was going through a full gallon by myself over just 3 or 4 days. Jason was going through Diet Coke like crazy. He has switched to sugar free lemonade (Crystal Light) and having a diet soda once in a while. I have limited my tea to just two glasses a day. Once in the morning (like a substitute for most people’s morning cup of coffee, I don’t drink coffee) and once in the afternoon. Ice water for the rest of the day. I have noticed some headaches stemming from what I think is caffeine withdrawal, but I can deal with that til I get used to my new intake.

Major thanks to my friends Ericka, Kara, Melissia, Brittney, Tonya, and Lisa for coming together and keeping all of us motivated. Pushing us when we want to give up. And reminding us to show up when we want to stay home and relax. I’ve rejoined a Facebook group comprised of my California friends who are all trying to get in better shape, so I’ll be keeping my blog up to date with my progress and use Team Zombie for another level of accountability.