Thursday, February 25, 2016

Down With Yoga February

So Monday is the last day of Yoga February but I am officially putting a fork in it today.  It was an epic failure.  

On a whole for the month, I think I did yoga 4 or 5 times.  That is pathetic.  Out of 29 days, that is only 17% of the month.  I tried a variety of videos from Yoga with Adrienne which are on YouTube to a Living Social deal I bought for six months of the Yoga Collective's online workouts.

I would really like to say that I gave it my all but I think we all know I didn't.  I just wasn't into it.  It wasn't easy breezy like my other workouts.  And this is why:

  • You need quiet for yoga.  That is a thing of the past in my house.  Every single time I roll out my mat, Max shows up with his iPad or his toys.
  • You need to be able to clear your mind.  That is clearly impossible for me.  My brain NEVER turns off.
  • You need a lot of time for it.  I tried the 30 or 40 minute videos but they just don't give you the good stretch that you get from a 60 or 90 minute class.
  • There wasn't enough sweat.  When I work out, I like to get sweaty.  I crave it!  Yoga just didn't give that to me.
  • I can't do yoga in the morning.  I prefer morning workouts.  I have tried yoga in the morning a couple of times but I am too stiff and it is borderline painful.  So now I have to do it at night which is a lot harder to fit in.
In reality, I spent most of the month doing more Barre 3 workouts which are clearly my jam.  I lurve them!

But I did promise myself that I was going to try new workouts this year, so on to new things.  Starting Monday, the next 12 weeks are dedicated to the Kayla Itsines Beach Body Guides.  I am not going to lie, I was really hesitant about this.  I have recently read some bad reviews online.  But I was clicking around today and I found a 10% off code here, which brought it down to $45 American dollars.  And that isn't so bad to try something out.  

So fingers crossed that this one keeps my attention!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Being Super Mom

You know those weekends when you spend hours prepping for them.  You hunt online for fun things to do with your kids.  You plan multiple outings per day, to try and keep the little monsters busy.  And then all of your choices are epic failures....  Yeah it was that kind of weekend.

I knew the weather this weekend would be really nice so I was determined to spend our time outside.  For Saturday, I thought we would go to a farmer's market and then we would go to the beach for a nice walk.

The farmers market turned out to be a farm stand on a deserted road that just sold sweet potatoes and eggs. $12 and five minutes later, Max and I were back in the car....really disappointed.  I had hoped that he would get to see some animals and that there would be more produce to pick from.  But no to both.

The best part of the farm was this cool mailbox.  

From the farm, we drove back to the house and picked up the dog.  I should have remembered how badly behaved she is in public but I was still riding my "dreams of a perfect Saturday" high, so I dragged her with us.


We got to Silver Sands State Park in Milford and was really beautiful....and really fucking cold.  The wind coming off the ocean was crazy strong and I spent about 30 minutes eating my hair until I finally threw in the towel.  Of course Max didn't want to leave and I had to basically drag him back to the car crying.  Oh and Finley tried to eat a dead fish.  Good times were had by all. 

He sobbed the entire way home and when we got there it was only noon!!!!  All my plans were a bust and I still had eight hours to fill.  So I did what any self respecting parent would do.  We went to the grocery store.

I took Max to Stew Leonard's in Norwalk because the store is so much fun and they have tons of free samples.  We ate and shopped our way thru the entire store.  He got a toy and I ate a ton of cinnamon buns.  And there was peace in the land again!

 Chiquita is my favorite!!!

 Sunday we got up and I introduced Max to the culinary joy that is boxed cereal.  He loves Rice Krispies because they are "talking to him".

The babysitter came over and I treated myself to six miles and a giant coffee from Starbucks.  I even got a chance to test out my new running watch.  It is very high tech and a little ugly but I love Garmin watches so I know it will grow on me.

I ended the weekend with a sweet potato hash made with my $12 sweet potatoes, apples and onions.  So delicious!

What did you guys do this weekend?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Treat Yo'Self

As parents or even adults, it is really hard to put yourself first.  Yes I want to lay on the couch, drink wine and watch endless episodes of the Gilmore Girls.  Instead I am laying in a pile of matchbox cars, watching endless episodes of Rescue Bots while a nervous golden retriever and a small, very talkative little dude lay on top of me.

But it is important, every once in awhile, to do something special, just for you.

Last Saturday, when it was -7 degrees out, I scrapped my morning run, scheduled a babysitter and took myself off to get a manicure.  Two hours, a hot coffee and sweet purple nails later, I was ready to come back and tackle being a mom again.  Maybe some would say it was selfish that I did all those things just for myself.  But I would tell them to suck it!  Because it was important to have that time for Alex. (In case you haven't noticed I really love talking about myself in the 3rd person)

In the line of treating myself, I decided to pur-chase myself some new running clothes.  I am determined to get back to running.  I miss it so much but it is really hard to find the time.  In January, I only ran once.  So far in February, I have run only once too.  Basically, I am sucking at running.

Now before I pull out my hair shirt, lets remember that it is winter, fucking freezing out and Max has been sick almost weekly lately.  This means that running has been placed on the back burner....a every week basically.

Enter running bribery.  Hey Alex, you want some sweet new running gear?  Bitch, you gots to run to get it!  You can't be sitting around the house, eating candy corn in tight ass running pants.  Get your ass out there for a couple of runs and then you rock hard legs will look super amazing in new running tights.  You see where I am going with this?

So I headed over to Oiselle and bought myself some new swag.  Haven't heard of them?  My super running crush Kara Goucher is sponsored by them.  And who doesn't want to be like Kara right?  Ummm me!

So if I have new swag, then I need to get out and run.  So it is time to bring back the weekday lunch run.  It will suck ass to run in the cold but if I do it now, I will be kicking ass come spring!

Let's all raise our coffee cups (it is too early for wine, right?) and swear that 2016 is the year of treating ourselves better!  Whose with me?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Working Out and Losing Weight

I am starting to feel like this is the only thing I talk about any longer.  If you catch me walking around with one of those huge jugs of water and cutting all the arm holes out of my t-shirts, then please bitch slap me please!

At the advanced age of 33, a light bulb finally clicked on for me.  I take pretty good care of myself but I could do a lot more.  It also became really clear that no one is sabotaging me but myself.  I spend each week eating healthy and then I spend each weekend destroying it.

No amount of healthy shakes and vegetables can combat an entire weekend dedicated to candy corn, pizza and wine.  Sad news for all of us right?

So I decided to make Alex a priority in 2016 and so far I have been pretty successful.  I have lost 9.5 lbs since the New Year and I am so excited about that.  I put on one of my tightest pairs of jeans yesterday and I didn't feel like they were sawing my internal organs in half.  Success!

I also have started a true love affair with Barre3.  I bought an online subscription back in December, since there aren't any studios located near me.  I seriously can't stop doing these workouts.  And the real reason I can't stop is because I am seeing results!  When does that ever happen?

My abs are finally showing up, my arms are more toned and my legs have the muscles they used to have when I ran marathons!  I am so excited about all of this.

I haven't enjoyed working out this much since I was running full time.  I love to work out and I do it because I know I have to.  But I can't say I have ever really loved it.  I seriously love it right now!  I am drinking some Barre3 Kool-Aid!

I still want to lose some more weight and I am determined to stick with this.  But it is important to celebrate the successes when you have them, no matter how big or how small.  It is important to not constantly beat ourselves up too!

So this is me, patting myself on the back!  Alex, you are awesome.  Alex, you have a sweet ass.  Alex, I am shocked you are single.  Ok...enough of that!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Yoga Challenge Continues

Here we are twelve days into the month and I am finding the yoga challenge to be a little bit difficult. It isn't that I am not bendy enough.  Or that I don't like yoga. Or that I don't have enough free time. 

My problem with yoga is that I can't clear my head. 

On the first day of the challenge, I was laying on my floor, in pigeon pose, texting a customer. The next day I tried to do it with Max sitting next to me watching cartoons. Nothing about Transformers: Rescue Bots says relaxation and I finally gave up. 

Since then I have found that the entire time I am sitting "still" and breathing deeply my mind is racing. I fix my ponytail, adjust my sports bra or pick dog hair off my pants. I think of the things I have to do. My mind continuously drifts and I have to force it back. The hamster wheel literally never stops turning. 

Because of this, I am not really enjoying this challenge.  When I run or do other workouts, I am just focused on breathing and staying alive.  When I do Barre3, I am just praying that my legs don't collapse.  There is no time for other thoughts, so I feel really light and clear after my workout.  

Yoga isn't giving me the same feeling.  I just feel really frustrated when I am done.  But I am determined to stop the madness and find the peace and quiet that I crave. So I push on in hopes of that calmness. 

But a small part of me wonders if I am just not made for that type of calm. Maybe my peace comes in the middle of a grueling long run. Or at night when I lay in bed with a book. 

We will see what happens in the next 19 days!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Stemming the Flow of Crap

When is too much stuff enough?  I have been struggling with this for years.  It was a huge obsession before I had Max.  When I moved back home to CT there was another huge purge.  But here I stand, still surrounded by “stuff”!

I recently went thru my closet and Max’s.  When I pulled out all the stuff that didn’t fit or that we would never wear, I was left with eight bags of clothes to donate.  That seems so excessive that it made me a bit sick.  Especially because after we were done with this, I still have two full dressers and a full closet. 

So I tried something new.  Each week, I lay out all of our outfits for Monday thru Friday.  It is the only way we can make it out the door each day.  So I started doing this on laundry day.  That way, we had to wear different outfits from the previous week.  With this new method, Max’s dresser is still overflowing.  I hate to just get rid of things but how many t-shirts can one three year old need?

Given that line of thought, I really started to evaluate all of our things.  And basically what I see is a lot of stuff that never gets used, some that gets used all the time and the stuff that “You can never get rid of.”  For example, I love books.  I love to buy them and I love to read them.  Books are a wonderful thing.  But if I never plan to read them again, isn’t it better to give them to someone else who will enjoy them.  So one of my 2016 goals was to finally read all of the books in my bedroom.  There is a stack on the bedside table and a stack on the desk.  The library books are on my dresser and there is a full Kindle in a drawer.  As I type this, I just ordered two more books from Amazon.

Max’s toys are the biggest allotment of “stuff” in our house.  They fill boxes, bins and cabinets.  They are in his bedroom, the family room and the playroom.  Once they are broken, I try to throw them away.  But when I really delved into this I realized I was one of the biggest offenders.  We go to the grocery store and he gets a car.  We go to Target, he gets another car.  They are so cheap but how many Matchbox cars can one child have?

During the recent snowstorm, I just started purging.  I cleaned out the pantry and threw away old food.  I went thru the Tupperware and donated half of it. I bagged up his old toys for friends with younger children.  With six bags of donations in the basement, I still feel like we have too much.

I don’t want a bare house with nothing in it.  But I feel like I am constantly tripping over things and restacking them.  Then I move them to another room and I rearrange them there.  So the big question is how do I stop the stream of things into our house? 

And I realized that the problem is me.  When you are sad, you buy new pants.  You read an article and you jump online to buy a new book or a new product you read about.  But when the UPS and Fedex man know you by name you have a real problem.

So given that, I am going to try to cut myself off.  It is going to be so hard because I seriously love online shopping.  Let’s see how I can do….

Friday, February 5, 2016

No Wine for Alex

The end of January means the end of my no drinking month.  I actually did more than a month but “Dry January” is apparently a thing, so we are sticking to that label. 

Given the stuff that happened with my ex-husband I really don’t drink a lot.  But every Friday and Saturday night, after Max goes to sleep, I am definitely cracking open a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for a glass or two. 

But the holidays meant a lot of parties and dinners and by the end of Christmas I felt bloated and disgusting.  So it was clearly time for a cleanse.  And nothing cleanses the body more than cutting off your alcohol supply.

Though I don’t drink a lot, when I drink, I lose all control of my mouth.  After one glass of wine, suddenly a roll of cookie dough seems like a really great idea.  So in an effort to clean up my diet, it was clear that I had to stop drinking too. 

It really wasn’t that bad.  I definitely missed my Friday night glass of wine, especially after a rough week at work.  But I slept a lot better without the wine so that was a plus.  I also lost almost 8 lbs in January so clearly not drinking helped me sew my mouth shut too.

I think I am going to keep it going for most of February too.  I really want to lose some more weight and this is helping so why not give it a try.  Plus I need to kill my current love affair with candy hearts so maybe this will help me maintain some kind of control....HA HA HA HA

Did you give up alcohol in January too?

Monday, February 1, 2016

One Down, Eleven to Go

It is hard to believe today is February and my January Barre3 challenge is over.  On one hand, I hate winter, so I am thrilled January is behind us.  On the other hand, I really loved doing Barre3 this month, so I am a little sad this challenge is over.

As you know from my last update, the 60-minute classes were just way too much for me.  I didn’t have the time or the energy for them.  After I got over the flu, I stuck with 30-minute classes but in the end I decided that though good, they weren’t enough of a challenge for me.  Like Goldilocks, the 40-minute classes were just right!

I can’t tell you how much I love Barre3.  I know it has only been a month but I have really seen results.  I can feel that my abs and legs are much stronger. If I stopped eating so much I might even have a six-pack!  But the best thing that came out of this is my arms feel so much more toned.  I really struggle to tone my arms so I am so pumped about this. 

I also only ran twice in the whole month of January, which was a serious bummer.  The flu plus that big snowstorm last weekend really killed my plans.  It has become so hard to fit in a run, especially with the cold weather, that I am seriously considering the purchase of a treadmill.  Then I could run at any time, I wouldn’t need a babysitter, etc.

My February plan was to focus on yoga.  But given how much I loved Barre3, I think I am going to split the month.  I think I will try 2 days a week yoga and 2 days a week Barre3.  Hopefully one day a week will be a run and then a day of rest.  We will see how it goes.

How are your 2016 fitness goals coming?