Who’d of thunk it?

I’m beginning to realize that I’m a person who could benefit mentally, not just physically, from getting to the gym on a consistent basis. I’m sure that any fitness specialist, doctor, gym rat, etc. would say, “duh” to my revelation, but even so, it still is a revelation for me.

All throughout school, I loathed gym class. I wasn’t good at anything, and failed almost every part of the Presidential fitness test. (I totally rocked the sit and reach, for what it’s worth.) Every year having a reminder that I failed at gym, even if I didn’t get a failing grade on my report card, well, yeah. Then I went to college and a friend of mine and I decided for some reason it would be a good idea to be gym buddies. We’d go to the gym together I don’t remember how often, but I don’t remember it being a thing that made my life significantly different or better. Since leaving college, I’ve had a few stints of getting to the gym on a semi-regular basis, but don’t remember any significant feeling of “wow, when I get to the gym I feel way better than if I miss a week”.

Last week I didn’t get to the gym at all. First there was a lot of snow, then there was a lot of laziness. I felt like poo by the beginning of this week. Yesterday, I probably could have gone on a murderous rampage from feeling so much like poo. Not physical poo, mentally, like I couldn’t stop being angry or frustrated or annoyed or any of those things. Last night, I decided that I had to get back to the gym because it couldn’t hurt, right? This morning, even though I hadn’t been there yet, I felt more calm. Now that I’ve gone, I feel a zillion times better, calmer, less irritated by insignificant things.

I’m thinking back to that quote from Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.” Exactly, Elle Woods. Exactly.

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in mama


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Not a morning person

So many exercise advice lists say you should get to the gym or exercise in some way first thing in the morning. For the most part, this advice is aimed at people who get up at the same time every day for work, but it can work for other people who don’t have such regular schedules. Whenever I read these types of articles or lists of how to stick with an exercise plan or whatever, I think it makes sense to get your exercise done first thing, shower then you’re ready for the day.

Here’s my problem with implementing that strategy. The few times I’ve been to the gym recently, I’ve noticed something about myself. The days I get to the gym some time in the afternoon, exercising feels good. I can push myself and I’m tired when I’m done, but it’s for the most part a positive experience. The past two Saturday mornings that I’ve woken up and gone right to the gym have felt horrible. My workout is hard and I’ve felt wiped out after both, rather than the strange tired yet energized that I usually feel.

I’m not saying I’m giving up on the idea of exercising first thing in the morning, but at least for now, it’s not for me. I have to wake myself up earlier so I can be awake a bit before getting to the gym. To be honest, this isn’t a new thing for me. When I was in nursing school and had to be at a clinical site very early in the morning, I woke myself up that much earlier so I would be awake enough before I would be able to eat some breakfast before clinical. Even when I worked at Starbucks and opened the store very early in the morning, I would not have been able to help customers right away. It took the half hour or so of doing the opening tasks before the store opened for me to mentally wake up enough to be pleasant to customers.

I have this history of not doing well right when I wake up, so it shouldn’t surprise me that getting to the gym first thing isn’t ideal. I guess this is just a long, drawn out way of saying that week 3 day 1 of couch to 5k, which pushed the running time up to 3 minutes, kicked my ass.

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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in mama


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First trip to the gym of 2014

It’s already the 9th of January, but I finally went to the gym for the first time this year. I even gave Grace at least five times to say she didn’t want to go, but alas I could not use her as an excuse not to get to the gym. It helps that both she and Charlotte love the kid zone at the Ambler Y, so she was pretty excited to go. I didn’t feel like I wanted to or had to start over at the beginning of couch 2 5k, so I started with what I’d done last, which was day 1 of week 2 (alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes). Here is a list of unorganized thoughts that I had while doing the work out and since:

*it took us longer to get dressed, shoes on, jackets on and into the car than we were at the Y, but we got there so whatever

*running with no music is a complete fail, but Caravan Palace pandora channel is a win

*I was really tempted to compare what the treadmill said were my calories burned to food in some way, but then I said screw it. I’m trying to eat what I want (as in, what I really want to be eating, not just eating all the junk food), not what I think I should be eating, so no.

*We didn’t have time to get to the pool after I did my workout, so we’re thinking of going again tomorrow. That won’t kill me, right? Right. Right…

*I’ve had a shower three days in a row. It’s like I’m on vacation or something.

So there you go. I went to the gym one time. Woo.

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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in mama


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New Year’s Resolution

Considering the possibility of paying a company tons of money so I can obsess over every piece of food I put in my mouth on the off chance that I’ll lose weight and that that weight loss will make me feel and be healthier, kind of makes me want to take a nap. It all seems so overwhelming, tiring, futile. So I am giving myself the entire year of 2014 to really embrace the “fuck diets” mentality.

My main goal for 2014 is to take my exercise/fitness/activity level goals extremely seriously. I want to be able to chase after my kids even when they’re running in opposite directions (as in, I want to have the energy to go one way and then the other, not that I think I’ll be able to go two directions at once). I want to be able to dance for more than two songs in a row. I want to some day be the grandmother who can chase after her grandchildren (or grandmother aged person who chases after grandchild aged children, not making any judgements about whether my kids have kids or not).

My secondary goal for 2014 is to write at least once a week on how my main goal is going, and to articulate more specific fitness goals. I’m hoping that writing about how I’m doing will help me be realistic in my current goals, yet help me develop new, better goals as I go. I’m also hoping that having a log of the year will help me see how far I’ve come both at the end of the year and as I go, to encourage me if I’m feeling lazy or frustrated.

My goal for January is to go to the gym and work on the couch to 5k running program at least twice a week. I have more long term running goals, but for now getting to the gym twice a week seems like a reasonably challenge. My secondary goal for January is to prepare more of the food I eat, but less in a “eat less fatty foods” way and more of an “expand repertoire of recipes I can cook without looking them up” way.

I know I could expand on a number of points in this post, but I’m hoping that leaving myself more to write about will get me to actually keep writing. I want to write more about why I feel the way I do about diets and why I don’t want to focus specifically on changing and restricting the way I eat. I want to write more about my running goals and my other fitness goals. I want to write more about what I hope to get from this year.

For now I’ll just say, “Happy New Year” and we’ll see when I post next. 😉

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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in mama


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Giant bowl of vegetables

I was going to call this post low carb lunch, but then I decided I don’t give a crap about fad diets or what things are called, just about good food. I saw a pumpkin muffin recipe that sounded good, but was turned off a bit because it was labeled “paleo”. I don’t follow the paleo diet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make those muffins, right?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, the giant bowl of vegetables, aka my low carb lunch. I bought avocados recently, but didn’t want them to go bad, so I was trying to come up with something awesome to use them in. Then I was feeling lazy a few days ago, so I just chopped up a small tomato, an avocado and some cucumber, mixed it in a bowl with some salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar called it a lunch. It was a giant bowl of vegetables, but so filling I didn’t feel like I wanted any bread or anything else with it. I also wasn’t grabbing random foods between lunch and dinner.

If I’d sliced the avocado and put it in a sandwich, I might not have had those feelings of satiety and deliciousness that came with the giant bowl of vegetables. I could’ve put lettuce in to make it a proper salad, but I didn’t want lettuce, so I didn’t make myself feel guilty for not having it. I’m thinking, as weather gets cooler, that it’ll morph into “bunch of vegetables all sautéed together”, but for the past four days I’ve really been enjoying the simplicity of chopped vegetables.

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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in food


CSA week 2

We share a full share of a CSA membership with both sets of grandparents, so each week we get half of the box and one set of grandparents gets the other half. We’re almost to week 3, so I figured I’d write a smidge on how we’ve been doing so far. Week one we received “farmer’s choice”, which included multiple types of lettuce, chard, and spinach. Week two we picked radishes, arugula, garlic scapes x2, and red butter lettuce.

So far, we’ve sautéed both the chard and the spinach, grilled some of the scapes, and had multiple salads with the lettuce and radishes. Not only have we actually been eating the CSA veggies, I’ve been keeping up with proper veggie storage (so the lettuce isn’t getting wilted or mushy, for example).

I’m looking forward to the next 20 weeks of veggies, and hopefully being as on top of using them all as I’ve been so far. Maybe my children will even eat some of the veggies, too (though I’m not holding my breath on that one).

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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in food


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Sweet potatoes

Somehow I’d convinced myself that sweet potatoes were more complicated to cook than white potatoes. I guess since I’d only really had sweet potatoes as some sort of complicated sweet potato with marshmallow topping or mashed or pie or hash, I figured they had to be highly manipulated before being edible. Then we got somewhere between 10 and 20 small sweet potatoes from our CSA boxes, and they were piling up so I looked into sweet potato recipes.

I know that I’m probably the last to know, but apparently you can bake sweet potatoes the same way you bake white potatoes: scrubbed, poked and in the oven for a while. I did make myself an amazing hash with the smaller CSA sweet potatoes, carrot, apple, bacon and apple cider, but I just baked the larger ones, smushed out the inside and mixed it with some butter.

For some dinners, I do a really simple variation of meat chunk (pork chops, chicken pieces, whatever) and potatoes in the oven, salad, rolls and maybe another veg (green beans or maybe some root veg in with the meat chunk in the oven). Recently, I hadn’t really been into the white potato so I hadn’t been making one for myself, but now I’m making a white potato for Andrew and a sweet potato for myself.

I know it’s a simple thing, but it feels good to become more comfortable with a greater variety of ingredients. I’ve been eating way more sweet potatoes this past couple of months than usual. I’m also open to try any other sweet potato recipes, if you’d like to share.

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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in food


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