Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Update on My Life...

Consistency in blogging is not my strong point. It ebbs and flows with the tides of my life. Those who are closest to me have an idea of what I have been up to for the last 6 months or so. My poor internet friends get left hanging. Sorry. So, for your reading pleasure, a brief update:

  • Home-makeover was completed and we moved back in. Just as I feared, all projects not finished before move-in are still waiting for me to finish! I have lots of little touch-ups, and small painting projects waiting for me to find the motivation and time. (Maybe this summer.)
  • College son #1 is doing well in school. He may be changing his major to engineering. He has been investigating the possibility of doing a SEND International summer missions trip to Alaska.
  • College son #2 is also enjoying his time at a university in the mountains. He is participating in a 5-6 week STIM missions trip to China this summer. His plans are still to go to med school after finishing undergrad work.
  • Son #3 graduates from high school soon. He has been accepted to same school as son #2 and is very excited about living in the mountains too.
  • Oldest daughter completed her junior work and is currently working hard to finish her home schooling high school requirements a year early. If she does, she will be attending the local community college for her "senior" year. She is planning on spending her summer working with kids at the Word of Life family camp located in upstate New York. This is not a paid job, but she will earn scholarship money towards attending Word of Life Bible Institute which she wants to attend after high school.
  • Son #4 has turned 15 and is doing great. His skills with the guitar have increased and he amazes me with his ability, especially considering he has never had lessons. He plays each week with the praise band at youth group.
  • Daughter #2 will turn 13 this summer, but she already looks and acts like a teenager. Where did my little girl go? She is still playing piano and does so beautifully. She also has a lovely voice and sings with the praise band weekly at youth group.
  • Daughter #3 is may be the "baby" of the family, but she is no baby! Now 7 years old, she is reading well and shows a good head for math. This year in home schooling we have completed1st grade and proceeded to 2nd. She has also taken up the violin and definitely has an "ear" for music.
  • Hubby has changed jobs this year and is now working for the local university (can you say "vacation, sick leave, and health benefits?") In addition to working full-time and supporting this large family, he is pursuing his Master's Degree in Library Science and hopes to someday work in an academic library or some sort of archives.
  • I am still doing all the "mom" jobs around the house and homeschooling the 5 kids not in university. I have found a little spare time to knit a few things this year. I may start going to school in the fall part-time to pursue a nursing degree. I never finished my degree years ago and 20 years of being "mom" does not exactly give me a "marketable" skill. We do not know what the future holds and I am not promised that dear hubby will always be here to provide for me (although I pray for us to both grow old together!) I have no plans to abandon my children for a full-time job. However, it would be nice to be able to contribute to the household budget if the need should arise.

I guess that will get you up to speed on my world.

Oh, and just to explain the posts below from the last two days...I had a small "fitness" blog to track my progress as I attempt to eat healthier and get fit. I found the blogging software at LiveStrong greatly lacking, so I have moved those posts to my blog here. I have been tracking all my food online at The Daily Plate and exercising regularly. I have been learning alot about health and fitness and now know that the scale is NOT an accurate measure of "fitness" since a person can weigh less, but be less healthy and have more body fat. My goals now have to do with strength, endurance and bodyfat percentage.

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Current Workouts

The following was originally written 2/6/2009 in a "fitness blog" I had elsewhere. However, that software is lousy and I will be posting here instead! For continuity, I want all my older posts available.

Almost every day I start with a 30 minute bellydance work out. It is my wake-up, losen up, get ready for the day thing. To be exact, I am using the Veena and Neena Bellydance Fitnes for Beginners Basic Moves and Fat Burning Video. I do the Basic Moves portion. It does a nice job of working my core and arms. I have seen a drastic improvement in my posture since I have started this workout. I think that it is helping to strengthen and losen up my core and it has some moves that are really demanding on my shoulders.

After the 30 minutes of bellydance I usually do either 55 minutes of TaeBo Advanced or Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred workout. TaeBo has a lot of squats, kicks, punches, and a full 25 minutes of floor work doing abs and glutes. It is a killer. The 30 Day Shred works my upper body well. There are presses and rows and in level 2 there are lots of exercises in the plank position.

In addition to those things I walk regularly. I was doing the Couch to 5K schedule, but indications of shin splints made me set that aside for a while. I also find myself throughout the day randomly doing things like push ups, planks, wall sits, etc. I think this exercise stuff is getting addicting!

Whine! Whine! Whine!

The following was originally written 2/6/2009 in a "fitness blog" I had elsewhere. However, that software is lousy and I will be posting here instead! For continuity, I want all my older posts available.

Today, I feel frustrated. There are two issues getting me down.

One--I am wishing for more "instant" results. Yeah, yeah. I know that I am getting fitter, and I am thankful for that. But after a month and a half of eating carefully and exercising hard, I just wish I would shrink a little! Why is it that some folks seem to drop pounds and inches at a time, and I am working like a dog to stay the same size?? Whine. Whine. Whine.

Two--I am having a hard time eating enough calories! Yeah, who ever thought that would be a problem??? I changed my weight goal at The Daily Plate to be just 1 lb. a week because 1.5 lbs. is more than 10% of my current weight and I read you should not try to lose more than 10% per week. What a laugh! Who's losing any weight around here?. I figure if I am working out hard -- and I am -- that I need to give my body adequate nutrition. Truly, truly, I am not depriving myself. I am not going hungry. I am just trying to eat healthy, and I am consistently eating at less than 1500 calories a day, which is not enough. If I was losing weight, I would not worry about it. BUT, I am not losing weight, so my fear is that my body is holding on to the extra fat because I am not taking in enough calories. Some folks call that "starvation mode." What's a gal to do? I refuse to eat junk just to increase my calories. Many calorie-dense foods are high in carbs and/or bad fats. I am eating nuts daily. I have added cheese and meat to my diet again to add more protein. I don't know what else to do.

Come on, body! I am feeding you healthy food. I am giving you good exercise. Now shape up!!! (((I think I will just go take out my frustrations with some push-ups and see how you like that!)))

EDIT: Well, I DID go do push ups, and timed my wall sit which gave me the best time yet! Then I worked out on the step for 10 minutes to get the heart pumping. Then I shut myself in my room with some happy music on my ipod and danced my heart out for 15 minutes. Have to say that made me feel MUCH better!

Fitness, Not Vanity

The following was written 2/3/2009 and was published in a "fitness blog" I had elsewhere. However, the software is lousy and I will be posting here instead! For continuity, I want all my older posts available.

You know, I keep telling myself that my focus is on fitness and strength and endurance. This is not about numbers on the scale or jeans size. And yet, I keep weighing myself and feeling just a little sad when the scale does not reflect all my hard work. Soooo, I think I will take a break for a while from the scale and the measuring tape. That way I can truly focus on what is really important...that is, not how I look, but how I FEEL. Funny thing is -- I am pretty certain that if I can keep eating healthy and working out hard, eventually it will be reflected in the measurements.

Some Amazing Math!

The following was written 1/29/2009 and was published in a "fitness blog" I had elsewhere. However, the software is lousy and I will be posting here instead! For continuity, I want all my older posts available.

I just started logging in my eating and exercise at The Daily Plate on December 28, 2008...that would be 32 days ago. So, on a lark I went back and added up all my minutes of exercise and the grand total is 2583 minutes. Yes, that equals 43.05 hours of activity for 32 other words, 80.72 minutes per day. WOW!!!

Here's just a little break down of the majority of what I have logged:

25-30 minutes of belly dance almost everyday...a great warm up, good for flexibility and my core.

30-90 minutes of brisk walking almost daily

55 minutes Advanced TaeBo workouts 2-3 times a week

25 minutes of torture, ahem, I mean Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred (usually 3 days a week)

A little running as I have begun doing intervals ala "Couch Potato to 5K" and "Podrunner Intervals" workouts.

I have to admit I am proud of myself for working so hard...especially when the scale refused to budge for days at a time. I'd say that deserves a pat on the back and a celebratory glass of wine!

Progress Report

The following was originally written 1/30/2009 and published in a "fitness blog" I had started elsewhere. However, that software is lousy and I will be posting here instead! For continuity, I want all my older posts available.

One month of working out and eating healthy and here is my progress so far:

-Clothes are fitting better.

-I am sleeping better at night.

-Joint and muscle pains associated with fibromyalgea are almost nonexistent.

-More energy.

-Muscles in legs and arms are visible.

-Flatter tummy.

-Workouts that were almost impossible are now enjoyable (in a sweaty, work-my-tail-off sort of way.)

Statistics below do not show any sort of drastic, miraculous progress, but I know that I am gaining muscle and losing fat. And, the scale and measuring tape can not measure determination and the sense of satisfaction and well-being that comes from pushing myself and working hard. Would it be nice to go from flabby to fantastic in one month?? Yes! Of course it would, but that is so unrealistic and would require drastic measures that would be unsustainable. I've said this before, I am in this for the long haul and I am "okay" with the fact that this will take time.

I will end this with something that ballcoach67401 posted on the fitness forum at The Daily Plate:

There is truth in the old adage, "It is the climbing that makes the man. Getting to the top is the extra reward.'"

The benefit is in giving your best to this lifestyle change. It is in the self-discipline that we learn. It is in the numerous private victories that we have each time we exercise or eat clean. Remember, private victories must precede public victories, so if we concentrate on chalking up those little private victories (eating intelligently, working out when we don't feel like it, choosing our snacks wisely), eventually we will see a very public victory (desired weight loss or body change, i.e. smokin' hot body).


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