Sunday, July 20, 2014

Insanity to Take It All Back

I wasn't going to even address that I am attempting the Insanity workout plan until I knew I could be successful with it. But as someone who tries to share the highs and lows when it comes to the motherhood balancing act, I figured this something I had to share before I knew whether I was going to succeed or fail again.  As I told my husband a month or so ago I just have to get it in my head that I really want this, that it is important to me, and I will do it. With most things in my life once I make my mind up about something I will push until I get what I want. However, over the last five years of motherhood I have failed miserably at this. Here's the background story.

As most know by now I was an athlete, and in the high school I went to, using one of your elective classes for weight training was not an option if you wanted to be a starter on our athletic teams. Through high school between weight lifting class and daily practices for softball and basketball teams most of the time I was getting in probably about two workouts a day, especially if it was basketball, with all those suicides! I never thought about it at that time as working out, but as I headed off to college I jogged and/or went to the gym a couple times a week. For the two years between college and when we bought our house in the city, I had Bettis as a puppy so him and I would jog. Now realize by jog because I hate to run to some it may just be considered a fast walk. When we bought our house in the city I got a gym membership to Golds. For the three years before Averi came I would go to the gym about three times a week. I went to the gym until I was around seven months pregnant with her. I pretty much had a six month maternity leave with her so I went back to the gym when I got the okay from my doctor. When she was six months I went back to work and this is where it all went to crap. Well, there's a second factor here in a minute.

I could balance work and the gym and I could balance work and a baby, but I failed miserably at balancing work, baby, and gym. I never got back in a consistent routine. When the weather was nice for a few weeks at a time throughout the year I'd get into a habit of walking regularly with the baby, but as soon as the weather changed for too long I'd give that up.

I'm not going to share my weight but I'll share my BMI info instead. Before I ever had kids I had a BMI of 24. Once you hit 25 you go into the overweight category. After the birth of each of my girls I would go back to that weight within about five pounds so I was toeing the line of being in the normal range to the overweight range. What happened later was not a result of not losing pregnancy weight. I breastfed both of my girls, and they do not lie when they say that helps you cut your weight quickly. I also only gained 20-25 pounds with each girl so that probably helped too.

The second factor came in probably a year after my second daughter was born. However, it was one of those things that you don't even realize is happening as it's happening. I've been honest before about being depressed and my reluctance to medically do anything about it. A year after my second daughter was born,  we were going through the process of renting out our first home and buying our second home. I am the one that handles our financially planning and managing. On top of that I was having my worst year ever in the classroom. Those two things combined also contributed to a rocky year for my marriage. My mom had told me once before how stress can be the big trigger in depression, and I guess moms don't lie. All that stress I think is what lead to my depressed, very agitated state. A year later though I would also learn I had a thyroid problem that the doctor says could also have chemically caused my depression. Either way in that year I think I dealt with my stress by eating my way through it. Ask my coworkers. I was never a big soda drinker and I reached a point where I was like a caffeine addict and had to have it everyday. If I didn't have it during the work day I was grabbing it on the way home, usually with a candy bar. If it wasn't a candy bar I was going to chik fil a for a milkshake. So that 20-25 pounds I would gain with each pregnancy came back and I didn't have a baby to deliver this time to get rid of the weight!

Last year was the year I think of as taking back me. My depression is gone, whether it's truly the thyroid medicine or not, I don't know, but I know mentally I feel SO MUCH better. So times knowing the difference from how I felt before to how I feel now makes we want to just shout out how happy I am again, hence maybe the sometimes too chirpy posts for some. Even though I definitely still get stressed and bitchy, it passes quickly. It doesn't consume my life like it felt like it did for a year. I'm human, right. We're all allowed our bad moments.

But last year I took back me. I loved my job again. I was even able to pick up teaching a college class, which I also loved, and worked towards some of my writing goals on the side. My family life was more organized and happy again. I found me again, the girl that can balance career and family and fit in time for something for myself.

Now I've decided is the time to take back that last part of me-my health and fitness. I think I finally got it in my head that I'm going to do this; there's no excuses or quitting this time. Now the unconventional timing part of this is I'm doing this at a time where we're also trying to conceive a third child so maybe it doesn't seem like the greatest time. But pregnant doesn't mean you can't exercise, and I feel if I'm already in the habit and been committed to this for months then it'll be easier to get back on track after I deliver. If it takes months or even a year to get pregnant, it'll be better to get rid of this excess weight before I get pregnant anyway.

So now you know the background so now a look at how this first week went. First I haven't worked out six days straight since probably high school. I have also never pushed myself like Insanity made me since probably Coach Godsey on the basketball court. My cousin is doing the same workout as me, and I have found this motivating as we check in with each other everyday and I think we're just competitive enough with each other that hopefully neither of us will quit before the sixty days are up because neither one of us will like the idea that the other one finished it when we didn't. I've also just discovered a friend of mine who started a FB secret girls fitness club so we help keep each other motivated too. My sixty days also expires the same day as the 5K she almost has me talked into running with her. I have enjoyed the workouts and now I see my cousin was right. I actually look forward to them.

Here's the thing I've been looking for. I need something that is going to work with my busy mom life. The gym doesn't work because if I stay too late at work then I feel I don't have time to fit it in before picking up the kids. I am not a get in the car at 10 at night when everything has settled and go to the gym kind of person either. I have also always had to drop kids off at daycare in the morning at 7:00 so dropping them off earlier isn't much of an option, plus I am not a morning person. Running/walking outside again hasn't worked the best for me because if I take the kids we have to stop and look at every mud puddle and insect crawling on the ground so it doesn't push me much. Even though there is a mile long dirt road behind our house that I've ran again I have to be able to leave the kids to do that. The thing I really like about the workout videos is I can do it right in my house with the kids either doing it with me or while they're playing or doing their own thing. It's not the same workout every day, and they push you outside your comfort zone. I did the videos five days this week but ran yesterday (alone), and I like the idea of that combination. Most of the time I'll do the videos but when I have an opportunity to escape my house and run outside then take it. I think I'm going to do this 5K in DC with my friend for this prostate cancer researcher's team in Sept so fitting in a run or two once or twice a week will hopefully be a good blend. My main concern with sticking with this is when I go back to work, but I will be down to the last four weeks of the nine weeks then. If I can stick to the 5-6 days a week for those first four weeks then I think I'll be good because after I'm done with Insanity I have my sights set on T25 I think and possibly cut back to four times a week. I have a couple friends that are on the beachbody train, and before I invest anything with money I always tentatively test the waters so if this goes well I have a couple plans in mind.

Last week my focus was just on getting into a workout habit and seeing how it went physically and mentally, but I've already started to think about changing my eating habits. I found these awesome chocolate peanut butter protein bars that are so going to be my candy fix solution. I have two friends that sell Beachbody products and just about have me convinced to buy into the Shakeology stuff so I think I may also try that to help with my afternoon problem as this is when I usually indulge in the bad stuff. I eat yogurt and granola for breakfast (when I'm working) and will usually bring salads, those frozen  supposedly healthy meals, or leftovers for lunch, and if we can get away from frying so many foods our dinners aren't too bad. It's my snacking habits I need to work on changing so thinking of protein bars, Shakeology, and visiting the Smoothie King for their protein drinks rather than the chic fil a when I'm on my way to teach my college class this Fall will hopefully keep me on track.

So what are my goals? 1. I want to lose the 20-25 pounds that will put me back into the normal weight BMI range for my height, which would also mean I would fit back into the size pants I use to wear before 2. Actually run a 5K (as in run the whole thing)  3. Eat better, not just to lose weight but to be healthier 4. Complete the taking back me goal with gaining back all my confidence inside and out.   4. Maintain, maintain, maintain- maintain my weight, my eating habits, my fitness habits, my confidence and positive outlook

Because there may be a baby interruption in here this could take a year to actually see how the story unfolds because no matter when that time is to me the results aren't final until I'm through with my childbearing days and my body is completely mine again (minus breastfeeding). But as the motto goes, why do something tomorrow that you can do today.

My book, Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas,  for mothers of any age (suggested by an older reader's feedback) focuses on women today accepting who they are. It examines how our 21st century digital world shapes our perceptions and expectations of our capabilities as mothers, wives, employers, and women. It will leave you with a humorous and inspirational look at the individual journey of motherhood that takes each of us from the girl we were to the woman we become. The book is also now available on the Amazon kindle for $3.99 and the Barnes and Noble Nook for $4.99.



  1. You sound just like me on this front. Good luck, #shineBlogHop

  2. Loosing weight can be stressful, good luck and I bet you will do fine! #shinebloghop

  3. You will do awesome! If you need someone to run with or do a race with just give me a call! T25 (also Shaun T) is good also and less time, Matt and I are doing that now.

  4. I have also had the most difficult time incorporating fitness into my days.
    I know that I'm constantly walking & doing but I'd like "intentional fitness." Does that make any sense?

    I look forward to reading more about your fitness journey.

    Thanks for sharing with the SHINE Blog Hop!