A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Need Motiviation

Well, I post about the good stuff, so here is the other side of reality.. :0

I have worked out some, but have not done as much as usual. I recently had a fun girls' weekend and ate and drank things that were not all that body-friendly and I am feeling it. My clothes are tight (and I am at the top range of sizes in my closet!) so that is getting me down.

I work out a lot, but still the weight hangs on. I have always exercised but the past year I do even MORE. Humm. I am working on finding the right balance/attitude to clean up my diet. The books I have read are great, but I do like to eat for comfort so will probably always deal with that! Also, I notice my age has a lot to do with it.

At age 47, I find my body is much more sensitive than it used to be, to food and what I put in it. I can *feel* bad eating the next day. Wine is metabolized pretty much like pure sugar on me. Also, I can't just drop the weight like I could even 10 years ago.

My BMI and body fat are a bit high and my chorlestoral is hanging at about 200. Good blood pressure an no other health issues. So I am lucky with my genes, but could really improve and better guard my health with better eating. That is good motivation. I have watched my boys clean up their diets and exercise just after talking about diabetes and other problems that can occur. So, that is good for all of us to do.

Well, God created our bodies and knew what he was doing! But I see my unhealthy habits very strongly reflected in my body, so maybe that is my watch word to keep working on better habits. It is a journey, yes it is.

Thanks for letting me vent! :)

(Umm.... just looking at that picture I posted on the top of the page.. wouldn't that spoon be just perfect for mixing up some brownies??? lol)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

More pool activity

Today, I jogged for 45 minutes in the pool!

I feel great and I'm so excited...because when it comes to jogging...

I am NO landlubber....

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pool and Biking

Well, tonight, the kids and I and two of their friends rode a 3 mile bike ride and played at the park...then we came home. The kids then played hide and seek for 1/2 hour while I sat in a chair out front watching because I'm tired tonight - I took these rascals swimming this afternoon - I did 30 laps and played with the kids - the other day, I did 20 laps and the time before that I did 40 laps - on weekdays, the pool is very crowded so sometimes it can be challenging to do it, but I love that I feel this tired.

I really do.

Hope you ladies are all well!

Sharing some fitness sites...

Video Fitness ~ I mostly visit the Reader's Forum, lots of helpful ideas on video workouts and on general fitness.

Taebo fan's page ~ again, I usually hang out at the forum.

Calorie Queens ~ forum and info about their helpful book and way of life eating. Inspiring!

The US Navy Seal Workout

Free workout routines

Extra pounds dotcom ~ a fitness/weight loss blogging area

The 90/10 Weight Loss Plan ~ good info here, good book!

Old Fashioned Work out

I strapped on my polar heart rate monitor and mowed the lawn today..I burned 439 calories!
And yes, I did turn off the self propel feature, so I was really pushing!

Saved a trip to the gym, too. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Running and Spinning

This past week I saw an old college friend who is a physical therapist. She told me I CAN run again.

I quite 8 years ago because every time I ran, I got this really bad pain in my left shoulder. She gave me several sports massages and 'released' the muscles that were tight and then showed me how to do it. We went to a running store where they watched my gait (I pronate) and I bought some good shoes. I realized I have been running on cheapies the past years, so duh, no wonder I hurt.

Anyway, I have done two short runs.. and no pain! I am so excited, as I miss running. I will have to get up early to do it in Houston as it is so hot and humid this time of year, but plan to a few days a week.

And... today I tried a spinning class! I have done it *once * before about 3 years ago. This time was great!

I had my padded bike shorts (lovely, just want I DON'T need in that area.. more padding!), but it was so fun! Here is what it was like:

The room lights were dimmed and about 10 of us were on our spinning bikes.
Martha (the cute, young, blonde, thin, vivacious) instructor led us.
She put on some great rock and other music and led us through our paces. This was an 'endurance' class, so she would tell us to work on our form how hard to work, etc.

I liked it in that I could set my own resistance. It was like running in that you could veg out into your own world. I like group excersice, but I miss this.

I wish my polar watch had been working, cuz I bet I burned a lot! Then after I stuck around for a 30 min pilates stretch class.

Good day. I have been putting on some weight lately, so am trying to track a bit bettter what I eat. But it is really fun to have a couple more workout options.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pain and Gain

Gain: I'm rediscovering how poorly I adjust to change. Bill's new job pretty much rules out spending time with him AND exercise out of the house. The net result of his being gone for long hours (decreased exercise) and not having the extra help plus a project I'm helping with (increased stress eating) has been that I've gained a little weight. Not much, but I'm cusping a place I don't want to be.

Pain: The project is mostly computer based and one frantic day last week, I worked until my hand was numb, ignored that, worked until my back and shoulder ached, lay down to stretch and...I'm not sure, but there's a lot of bearable shoulder and back pain which is pointing towards a doctor's appointment this week.

Pain: Has been an opportunity to offer it up and pray more for many special intentions including all of us here and the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Gain: I'm starting to focus on what I can do. This past week I did a quick exercise bike workout, a run walk that improved my shoulder, and a 2 hour walk/date with Bill. I've realized that instead of having a scheduled plan, I need to plan to be flexible. My goal needs to be "daily aerobic exercise", not "xyz" for "abc time" at "pdq hour" the way I like it to be. And I need to dress for success. After my morning shower I put on my workout clothes so I'm ready whenever I need to be.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New "Plan"

Isn't it amazing how life changes? I am finding this humorous--though really, about a week ago-I didn't :) I had my goals and plans all set and voila--my daughter now rises at 7am!! Yea! So. Regroup. Redo. Hmmmmm....new "plan."
I enjoy(ed) my exercise in quiet in the morning, alone, without interruption--for about 2 weeks. Now, it is a whole new experience :) It takes a long time to accomplish things physically and be a good and attentive momma.
I now do my 15 Minutes for Dummies workouts in the am-with interruption and little voice asking me to pretend something while I huff and puff and push and lift. Oh, and try to pay attention to my instructor on the TV--with a tracking problem. I have a lot of trouble doing the warm ups on this tape. I was never a good aerobics participant. Give me a softball or basketball or a pair of running shoes and I am fine. But having my left foot and right arm doing different things at the same time-NOPE!! Add in that adorable little voice of my dd--I get so lost. But, I am moving and trying to warm up. The exercises after the warm up have been wonderful and I try to get through the 4 workouts on the tape in one week. So, get that, only 4 days of exercise! Only 15 minutes! But, I notice a difference strength-wise so that is working, so far. I hope to get to a point where I can do 2 sections a day-30 minutes a day. Not sure dd will allow that though :)
Still walking and changing the neighborhood on the weekends. People are actually waving before me now! Love it!
My new plan also involves moving more through my day. I now run down the driveway to get the mail--and I run back. I also run down the driveway to get the empty trash and recycle bins-once a week. I just can't run with them yet. I try things at the playground--the bear-walk bars(parallel bars), the slides, the monkey bars. We play red light green light in the yard. The dog and dd love this game. I try to get 4 times back and forth in the yard every other day. We played hide and seek the other day-I could not get away from ds, who is 9. He is fast!
So, it is summer and I am moving. And it is good.
Until next time....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Taebo Elite

I did some of the Taebo Elite workouts these last few days - modified as I am still officially on"being careful" after surgery. :-). These workouts were a gift to myself, a post surgery gift. They were recently released in Australia ~ released in the US in January/February 2006...

Friday I did Mission Two - all toning, with a few things like squat thrusts and jumping jacks to keep your heart rate up. I can't do those right now, of course, but I did enjoy the workout. I used only the weights, not attached to the resistance bands, as I am still taking it easy. 45 minutes.

Saturday I did Mission One - this is an easier workout, I used the full weighted bands and feel this would be a good intro to Taebo tape for those new to Taebo. When I am totally back on my feet, I think I could triple wrap the bands and work on form and up the ante on this one.43 minutes.

I did the standing abs portion of Mission Three ( Rock Solid Abs), as I haven't got the okay to do floorwork yet. I liked the use of the bands on this one and can't wait to do it in its entirety. I think Mission One and Mission Three together would make a nice fit for a workout - about 73 minutes if both done together.

Each workout has an 8 minute bonus segment - one is an instructional segment, the next is 8 minutes of weight training with dumbells and the last is 8 minutes of abs ( standing and floorwork).

Ebbing at the moment

Well, I guess in sympahty of Leonie I am at an ebb wtih my working out.. I have not been feeling that well and thus taking the workouts easy. I think it is nice to kind of step back now and then. It also suddenly got very hot here. We had a mild and wet May, but now the temps and humdity is UP. And you even feel it in A/C. Kind of drains you.

I started to beat myself up about it, but then as I read Body Clutter I am trying to become a bit more relaxed about it. It will come.

I also went out and bought some more workout clothes. I had been wearing mostly sport pants but they are just TOO HOT. I also am having hot flashes or something-- my body is going haywire. So I am going all shorts now and only had one pair. I was afraid people at the Y would notice I was wearing the same shorts (but different tops) 5 days in a row! lol

So, I bought a couple more shorts and some of those short length tights to go under them. Those are so when you are on the floor doing leg lifts you do not shock your neighbors... lol

I have been getting used to all the classes at the Y, but still would like to have something at home to do when I don't want to leave or drive. Maybe I will try the treadmill again? Or some videos.

How are you all doing?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Can you all do me a favor?

Could you set your alarms for 5:45 am CST and send good thoughts my way tomorrow (Monday) morning?

I have a Rball game at 6:15 am!! The old Rball instructor we ran into at the Y gave me the name of a woman who is about my level as we were both looking for an additional partner. She works, so weekdays has to play in the early am or evening.

So... we are trying it early tomororow! I just hope I am awake and don't get a ball in the ear.. lol

Ok, you don't have to get up early, but think about me when you do. This may be my first and last time. I used to get up early to run with my buddy, but we just threw our clothes on and headed out, little coordination needed. This time the light will be bright, raqcuets will be swinging and that little blue ball is fast! lol

How are you all doing with workouts, moving, etc?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to Leonie

Everyone at Lean But Not Mean wishes Leonie a very speedy recovery after her surgery!

I think this is an important part of health, fitness and life... to take the ups and downs and keep ourselves focused on health.. take it slow, ease back into motion and movement. And I know Leonie will be great at this!

I know for me, Leonie, I would have to deal with frustration of wanting it 'now'- but it will come and I know you will be back on your old schedule soon.

It is like Flylady lectures me, (and she does lecture)-- 'BabySteps!' or we will crash and burn.

Visit Leonie's link here

Welcome home Leonie! What are your instructions from the doctor about exercise? And how are you feeling?


Friday, June 8, 2007

"Body Clutter" Book Review

I am reading Body Clutter by Flylady. I am not sure if all of you know of the Flylady, but she has this whole wonderful philosophy of taking care of your home and your SELF- FLY stands for 'Finally Loving Yourself' and she helps you get free from the burden of clutter and cleaning your home with small BabySteps. I have found it a wonderful part of my life.

I really like the term- Body Clutter. To me, that says it all.

Anyway they have written a book on loving our bodies. I found the intro of the book very moving. A third person (Kelly) helped Flylady and her side kick write it and as she was talking with them, she realized things needed to get deep. For example FL and her cohort were saying how all the diets were out there and 'none worked'. Kelly said- "Yes they do, if you do what they say."

Flylady was speechless. Yes, they do. So it is deeper. Why can't we do' what they say'?

Well, I can't summarize the whole book, as FL got very deep into her life as she and her friend tried to discover 'why' they eat like they do. I found much of it very helpful. This is not a gloss-over book, but one that gets real.

Also, in keeping with her principles, FL talks about how to take BabySteps to get rid of our Body Clutter. Very small steps- do able steps, to help us eat better, move more, love ourselves.

I decided to follow it through (even though all of it didn't relate to me, much of it did) and did the journalling they ask etc. It was helpful as I have eating problems and know I eat when I don't need to. Why do I do this?

For my BabyStep this week, I am working on the habit of not grazing. Many small meals, but afternoon and evening are my worst. So my BabyStep is to plan a snack at 3:30. (don't skip!), then not eat except for dinner. This is a big step for me, as I graze, snack all the time, while cooking for others, etc. So, that is my goal for now.

I thought I would share some quotes as I read through.... and post them here. If this book sounds interesting to anyone I would be happy to lend it out. My library had 32 people waiting on it, so I bought it.

Make it Fun!
So how can we make moving fun for
us? First, by letting go of our perfectionism and that internal need to compete
with some imaginary foe. Moving is not a battle to the death; it is a habit we
are practicing to help us live long and healthy lives. If we start out tyring to
kill ourselves to get in 'shape' we will not stick with our moving routines. It
becomes too hard. We can't live up to our perfectionism. One way we can make
moving fun is to find something that we like to do: dancing, walking, swimming,
aerobics, yoga, tai chi, gardening, fly-fishing, hiking, etc. If you're not
sure, think back to when you were a child and the activities that you liked to do

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bikes, Turtles, Blades and Burritos

What do they have in common? Read on and see!

It all began at 10:15am when we left the home for our journey...destination: breakfast at a local cafe.

So, here was the view from where I sat - on MY BIKE!

Chomping down breakfast...

Afterwards, we picked up a friend and rode to the park to play where we happened to meet this sweet creature in the grass at the field...

Watching this turtle, we were able to slow down a bit...at first we watched him - he was about 50 feet from his water source. Then, after we moved a significant distance away, he darted for that water source only to find that he couldn't get back under the fence.

So, I picked him up and put him in a place where he could go under the fence and get back to the water.

Once near the canal, he drove at break-neck speed...


And we rode leisurely home.

All in all, our ride was about 7 miles whereupon we returned the safety of our shell and ate lunch.

Unlike the turtle, we did not eat greens.

We had black bean burritos and corn.

(Photo credit top 2 pics: me/turtle pic - Kaya, age 10)

Elegant Simplicity

I've been thinking a lot about my workout style, the hows, whens and wheres, and how I got to what I do now. My conclusion has been that the driving factor for me has been that whatever I do, it must be elegantly simple (read "cheap").

I've tried a vatiety of workouts at a variety of times and have discovered that I'm uncoordinated (sprained my ankle at step aerobics), lazy (won't get up early regularly), and obsessed about the wrong things (tweaking my workout outfit so it matches just right). I need a schedule, need an incentive, and need someone to help push me along. I like things that involve my body but allow my mind to roam free. I want the majority of my workout time to be actual exercise (not driving). Mostly though I realized that I have to be willing to try anything.

I have done exercise a variety of ways, but I find that I always come back to running/walking which really only involves good shoes and a route and swimming which is only slightly more involved with a suit, cap, goggles and pool. They are both adaptable to time of day and company of children. They both can become complex (add ipods, water wicking clothes or towel, specific workouts for speed or endurance, special foods, magazines, events to register for.........) or stripped to bare essentials sort of like a classic outfit.

I'm grateful to have figured this stuff out since next week Bill goes to work at the Pentagon. His hours will be FULLY different from his student hours which means I'll have to change my workout routine again, but at least I know where to begin. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How do you journal?

I would love to hear what works and doesn't work for you all journalling.

Do you like to track every bite of food? Do you just track in general? Do you count calories? Do you add up exercise?

I have recently begun tracking (loosely) again and am using a homemade color-coded excel file. So far I like it in that it does not take up too much time and I can see at a glance if I am doing well or not in an area by color.

What has worked or not worked for you all?

Monday, June 4, 2007

What makes your heart sing?

Cindy asked this question on her blog. And do you know my answer?

Working out!

Yes, I love playing basketball or cricket or skateboarding with the kids. And I love going on family walks. But for my mental health and joy and fitness and weight, I also need my own workout. Where I push myself and use muscles I didn't know I had!

My heart sings after a good workout. I have been known to sing out loud, jump in the air with enthusiasm and to ask why others don't work out when it can make you feel this way. What way? Like a million bucks! lol!

My dh and kids tease me about this but I truly love my workouts. I love the endorphin high and the way I feel after a hard workout. I'm on a high and want to share that with others.

Like this morning. I did Taebo Celebrity Fit Cardio followed by the floorwork section of Taebo Ultimate Abs. I rocked, I had fun, I was smiling at the kids at the end.

My heart was singing. :-)

Introduction (at last!)

Hello, everyone! I have been viewing this blog for a few weeks now (and have been inspired, although not inspired enough to get off the computer and actually EXERCISE, so here's hoping that making myself accountable through posting will change all that :-)).

So here's my introduction: My name is Niamh (pronounced NEE-iv), I have two fabulous children (the youngest of whom is 18 months old, the elder is 3 3/4), a wonderful husband who just turned 40 this past week (and is thus inspired to have a lifestyle change himself) and a 2-year old english bulldog (genetically chubby, with no plans to change ;-)). I have about 10 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. My goal, however, is less about weight loss (although lets not kid ourselves here, I'd have a small party for myself if I lost the last 10 pounds!) and more about getting strong and fit (I've only been really fit once before in my life, and it was only for about a year, and it involved going to the gym regularly but with a horribly cranky attitude towards the whole thing...lean but exceedingly mean ;-). Also, I want to work on my eating habits, because they have always trended heavily towards carbs and chocolate. :-)

My plan:

(1) I picked up Rachel's recommended book about running and was TOTALLY inspired, so I am going to sign up for a 5K (several months from now) and work towards that (I always need some sort of external motivation)!

(2) I am going to make myself accountable re: healthy eating. I will start a food journal and occasionally report in re: said food journal :-).

So I have a question for the group (Trying to develop a system. A girl needs her systems :-)). When does everyone find time to exercise? During the day? After the kids have gone to bed? Before they wake up? With them? Any tips for fitting it in?

I am looking forward to being part of the group. :-) Thanks for inviting me!

When do you exercise??

Hard week and I am feeling guilty. One weight workout and one walk with the dog. That is it!!
I usually exercise in the am. I like having my workouts undisturbed. But, I have been VERY tired. Dd has been sleeping poorly and life has been happening again. So, I have trouble rising out of my comfy bed before 8.
Diet-bah, tired and not wanting to cook. Lot's of eating out and chocolate.
I will try again next week as this week we are finishing up dd's gymnastics class(show today!) and ds's soccer season(they are 7-1). Hoping when life slows down a little I can develop the habit and it will be established for when chaos reigns again :)
Keep up your good work everyone. While I am lacking this week, you do inspire me!!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Race For the Cure

Weight: 132 lbs Water consumed: 50 oz (bad) Races run: 1 (v. good) Moments spent feeling like am doing something worthwhile and am a part of something greater: approx 1,267

12:07 am For second night in a row in bed after midnight, and today is race day. Last night could not put down Bridget Jones and tonight had typical Pre-Race Safety Pin Crisis. After having a lovely date with Bill, did pre-race prep: lay out shirts, socks, sneakers, grind coffee for quick am cup, do dirty laundry dive for running "foundation garments", etc. only to discover that there are 12 places to pin bibs and 5 pins. Bill drove around Alexandria attempting to find an open store at 11:30pm with no luck. Finally decided to sew bib to shirt. Sigh. At least this solution is better than Bill's First Marathon Diaper Pin on Race Bib Debacle.

5:45 am Ugh. Must get up to begin hour commute to Start line. Can barely open eyes.

6:30 am Brief panic when could not find lid to French Press, but all worked out. Wondering about benefits of drinking coffee and being able to drive safely vs real issue of not being near a bathroom for at least 2 hours.

8:00 am Last minute bathroom trip resulted in finding only 2 portajohns which were padlocked and nothing else in sight. Dash back to start finds us on wrong side of the fence. After horn blows, jump it and being running in the crush of people trying to actually win the race. First spiritual moment of the day as I look at the 69,000 runners all coming together to raise money to find a cure for breast cancer.

8:02 am Thomas asks to walk. Anthony says his feet are hot. It is quite hot and humidity is crushing. Begin to wish we could have found a bathroom. Bib falls off shirt.

Mile 1 Interminable (although was terminable, obviously). Note that, bizarrely, clocks are placed at mile markers although race is 5K. Time 14:25. Give the boys there head so the next mile is spent sprinting and weaving in and out of people running at a rational pace trying to keep up with boys. Only heard supportive and uplifting comments about boys.

Mile 2 Time 27:14. Passing Washington Monument. Race seems so long and really not feeling well due to race jitters, coffee, and lack of available bathrooms. Thomas also doing the potty dance. Leave race route to find relief.

Mile 3.2 Continue hunt on path parallel to runners but have no luck. Rejoin racers with Finish Line in view and find, mere steps from the line, bank of 80 empty portapotties. Hurrah!

Finish Line Moment of humility when I realize that after laughing up my sleeve all morning at people who have pinned their bibs to their backs making the time tag unreachable, I have handed our tags to the Channel 9 News Crew.

Post Race Starbucks Even notoriously frigid Starbucks is warm and damp with a crush of racers. Had a lovely and inspiring talk with a pink race-shirted survivor who has one treatment left. Thomas and Anthony ask if next year we can push James so all the April birthdays can celebrate together. :)

Summing it Up...

Bike riding
Baseball at the park
Playing at the park
That pretty much is what we've been doing these past days and today, the selected activity is....swimming!

A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Thought for the Day

"Good friends are good for your health."

~Irwin Sarason

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! And happy people just don't shoot their husbands!"

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde