I’m Happy . . . and it feels good.

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We escaped to the Cities for a long weekend with the kids and it was great to get away and spend quality time as a family without the distractions of home.  I was again reminded that my life is very blessed.

Upon returning home from our long weekend, the sun and warm weather FINALLY returned to the northwoods.  I don’t know if it was the sun or vitamin D pulsing through my veins but I had quite possibly the best week ever.

The week started with a fabulously relaxing yoga session and ran into an old derby friend, I then went grocery shopping where I spent $120 for a weeks worth of groceries due to some killer coupons. SCORE!!

Tuesday was the most perfect day EVER, I woke up and rode the kids to school on their bikes, ran into 2 more friends and caught up, I did 5 loads of laundry and hung them out on the line (heaven!!), cleaned the house, prepped dinner, rode back and picked up the kids from school, we stopped over for them to play at a park, then back home for snack, a little outdoor playtime, dinner, a family game of Scrabble and then a walk in the woods with a dear friend. I seriously could have died in my sleep that night and have been content.

Yesterday continued to be a great day.  Bike ride, pilates, dinner with friends and an amazing concert by Actual Wolf and Trampled by Turtles.

I can’t believe how different my life is right now from a year ago, but its like I am living the life I am supposed to be.

All I have to say, Life is Good.

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Insanity Week 1 and Hair Day 3

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So, I am proud to say that I survived my first week of Insanity and I am already seeing results. The muffin top is shrinking and a couple pounds are gone. The biggest adjustment has been the food. I have had to increase my calorie intake by 800-1000 calories, which you think would be counter productive, but its working.

The workouts are challenging, but doable. Again, I am really happy to have developed a moderate level of fitness before I started this. If you are new to fitness or maybe just a casual worker-outter. I would recommend doing Fitness Blender Videos for a couple weeks to get conditioned. They are easy to follow, well produced and best of all, they are FREE!!

The most challenging workout so far has been the Pure Cardio. Most of the Insanity workout are 6-7 minute warmup and then a 5-7 minute stretch followed by 15 minutes of intervals that are 3 minutes on then 30 second of rest. It then finishes with with 3-4 minutes of stretching. Pure cardio messes with your mind a bit. This workout starts the same with the warmup and stretch, but then does 15 minutes straight of intense OUCH!! I don’t know that I have ever sweat that much before. Definitely feeling it today. Tomorrow is a rest day and I am really looking forward to it.

NOW FOR THE HAIR!!!!

So in my mind, I have always had the most amazing flowing locks of hair. In reality, I have fine, short hair. I finally suffered through a grow out for more than a year, ugh and I am excited to finally be able to wear the I have always wanted. My mom thinks they are awesome as she has always wanted the luxurious flowing hair herself. The hubby and kids aren’t too sure. I sported them out in public for the first time yesterday. (Sidenote: it was a funeral, perhaps not the best place to debut new hair, but its my new look)

Things I was not expecting was to feel a bit weird wearing them. I know they are fake, but have a commentary running in my head if other people think they are. We live in a small town. Anyone who saw me on Tuesday with my short brown hair would see that I now have long blonde hair. My final conclusion is that they make me feel better. I like what they look like and I feel that is what is the most important part.

I will keep you posted on how it goes.

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So Long Cocktails, Hello Pilates Reformer.

While its no big secret, I have struggled with my weight my entire life.  I have fluctuated up and down.  I have tried every fade diet from Weight Watchers to Herbalife, to every exercise crazy from ZUMBA! to Kettlebells.  While I am sure all of things diet plans/programs work for some and have for me to to some extent, they really haven’t had lasting effect.

Roller derby for me was going to be that magic bullet, that one thing that was going to give me back that 17 year old body I once possessed (even though at the time I thought was fat).  While derby has certainly helped with my self confidence and for once in my life I actually feel ok in my own skin, I now just want to look better,  I want to be faster on the track, I want to hit harder, I want to be me just healthier.

This is a far departure from my old train of thought that if I lost weight I could________________(fill in the blank with whatever accomplishment or task) I had continually used as a procrastination tool.  I started a Roller Derby team, I helped pull together a great group of smart, fun women, I learned the sport of derby, I made new friends and have grown more as a person in the past 11 months than I have really in my entire life.  This body, this person I am is really capable of doing anything in the state that its currently in.  No change needed, but am I the healthiest I could possibly be.

Life’s Little Reality Check

This past weekend on our annual 4th of July trip to our friends cabin, our friend, Pete, ended up with gout.  A condition I am only familiar with from an episode of King of the Hill when Bobby gets it because he was eating too many chicken livers from a New York style deli. Upon further investigation, we found that diet is the primary culprit of gout and your body’s early warning sign of future health problems including heart disease and diabetes.  Pete’s too young to be dealing with gout and it made me start reflecting on my own habits both good and bad.

While during the derby season, I averaged at least 6 hours of physical activity which was great.  But as my activity level improved,  My eating habits declined.  Fresh fruits and veggies were replaced convenient foods and regularly meals consisted of take out.  Here’s a graph representing what my diet has looked like over the past 11 months.

Mmmm. . . . .Bacon.

With derby came large amounts of stress and a general lack of time for things like cooking, grocery shopping and sleeping.  I thought once the season was over, I would have more time to get back to the healthy eating of years past, but the first month of “off-season” was just as busy if not busier than our regular season.  I would spend evenings relaxing, enjoying a cocktail and after that second cocktail some chips and salsa sound tasty and before you know it not only have you consumed too many cocktails but there is an empty bag of Dorito’s left on the counter. Pete’s gout was that reality check that as my physical appearance wasn’t keeping me from things I had wanted to do, my bad eating habits weren’t from lack of time – they were habits and needed addressing. I was the only one that could really do anything about them.

The Gameplan

The week prior to Pete’s gout I had started packing my own lunches and breakfast to bring to work.  This was a good start, but we still needed to work on the evening routine of junk food and liquor.  Because as of late I can’t seem to do anything without dragging Kellie along with me, we decided to clean up our act and hold each other accountable.  The first being laying off all cocktails.  The second was to stop the junk food and replace it with healthy meals and snacks.  The third was to incorporate more physical activity and somehow SHE had talked me into doing a pilates reformer class with her.   I perhaps should have looked at this before signing up the class is tomorrow and I will keep you posted on how it goes.  All I have to say is that I am glad we purchased a private lesson.

So, so long cocktails and hello pilates reformer.  Here’s to many more healthy choices.