Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Athletics Update

Remember this?
Time for another physical fitness goal. Not because I'm terribly out of shape, but because over the past year I've slipped slightly from my desired health and accompanying appearance. Like I said, nothing dramatic here, but I don't want to let all that hard work slip any further! It helps me to focus on a goal. and it just so happens that the first week of June my BIL is getting hitched (to a really fabulous gal, btw) and I'd like to look (and feel) AWESOME for their special day! To be clear, this is NOT my before picture. :)

Being accountable helps me a ton. I can earn 4 points every day, which I record alongside weight. So here are my objectives (I'm not sharing my ultimate weight loss goal because I don't want anyone to judge me):

  • sugar only 1 bite a day: I opted for the 'one bite' rule rather than 'zero' or 'only once a week' options. I found that the sugar once a week thing became a binge day (I found myself saying, "hey, today's my sugar day, I can have that and that and that"). I think it is better for me to discipline to 1 bite, well-chosen, to savor each day. "Sugar" includes sugary kids cereal, regular sugary yogurt, jam, and obviously dessert. 
  • carbohydrates 2 1/2 servings a day: I have often indulged in way too many slices of fresh homemade bread. Yes, it is complex and healthy, but calories are calories. 2 servings means I can have a good cereal for breakfast and a carb for lunch or dinner (salad, protein smoothie, etc are options for the other meal). The extra 1/2 means I can have pita with hummus or something else as a snack, but can't overdo it. No extras for second helpings at meal time. If I'm still hungry, have second helpings of veggies. :)
  • water 4 large glasses a day: I found the 64 oz rule was way too much water for me. maybe tmi, but I spent way too much time running to the restroom. 4 glasses is realistic for me: 1 in the am, 1 with lunch, 1 in the pm, 1 with dinner. I don't count the water I drink during exercise towards my 4 glasses.
  • exercise 5x's a week: This is intentional, 45 minute exercise. Walking doesn't count unless it is looong, like 2 hours pushing a stroller at the zoo. I actually plan to exercise 6x's a week, excluding Sunday, but the 5x goal is what I'll hold myself accountable for. 
There is no individual reward for the points, those are just tools to get me to my weight loss goal. When I reach that, the reward is a new item of clothing. 

Eric and I have also been talking at length for some time about how little I've been able to utilize my gym membership this winter bc Caroline has had a cold pretty much since October. I think I've averaged about 3x's a week all winter, because I can't bring snotty noses along and keeping the kiddos healthy has proven a challenge. Also, this is NOT an announcement, but sometime this year we would like to begin expanding our family. That means a few months of ZERO gym-use because I usually get too sick to do much of anything. Then there are the last few months of pregnancy that also get less use from a gym and the first 3 months when a baby can't go to the gym. Finally, Eric does not have time to go to the gym unless he goes late at night after the kids are in bed, which doesn't appeal to either one of us. He'd like to work out at home. So. We were looking at quite a bit of money to pour into a membership that wouldn't really go to any good use. With all those things in mind, we've decided to cancel the membership at the end of the month and instead invest in a few basic exercise equipment purchases that we can use at home. during nap time. workout date night. that kind of thing. It just makes sense for our family at this time.

Thus, in addition to my revamped healthy goals, I have been working on designing an exercise plan. The cardio and yoga are easy, actually, thanks to youtube. But I also wanted to have a circuit-training "MIX" class, like the one that kicks my butt every Saturday at the gym. I'm still getting it figured. I understand how to design circuits, have all my possible exercises written out and categorized... what I'm lacking--and please don't laugh if you don't think this isn't an integral part of exercise-- is a way to get my MUSIC to coordinate with the high intensity-low intensity switches. What I mean is, I like to do high intensity when the music is most intense, generally the chorus. Verses are great for build up or low intensity. But the circuit thing is typically "30 seconds high intensity 30 seconds rest" between 6-8 exercises then repeated for 5 sets with a 3 minute recovery between each set. You see my challenge? How do I get my music to coordinate with 30 seconds on 30 seconds off for basically an hour? Or, alternatively, do I just follow the music and switch to high intensity when the music does? Which would give me some exercises lasting WAY more than 30 seconds and some rests lasting way more than 30 seconds. Also, if the music doesn't coordinate, then I am forced to watch the second hand on the clock, which I don't like. I'd rather just pour all my energy into the exercise and push through to the end of the time without craning my head to watch each second drag by. Know what I mean? It would really help if the music could cue me. Any suggestions? If you've got experience with this, please share!

Well, there you have my fitness update and goals! Keep me accountable. I'll be reporting back after the first month. I'd love to play along with you! If you decide to design your own healthy goals, I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Our Spunky Caroline is 2 Years Old!

Happy Birthday to my dear, affectionate, vivacious, passionate Caroline!

2 years ago you joined our family. 
Since then, we've never had a dull moment. :)
We've enjoyed every single one of your delightfully frequent hugs (except Gwen, who bemoans the fact that your hugs for her always become wrestling matches)
and we've delighted in your silly faces, noises, and antics. 
We can't believe how much you love to hurt yourself-- when will you figure out tantrums don't serve your cause?
We are amazed at your dare-devil nature-- don't think for a moment that this shorty is mild-mannered, bc she will barrel right over you, jump, run, kick, climb, wrestle...and, yes, bite. 

You are such an active gal, scarcely sitting through an entire book. You love learning, but are definitely a hands-on kind of explorer. Coloring, painting, and sorting of small objects like buttons are the only activities that you will "slow down" for, instead preferring to run around like a crazy woman. Everything you do, you express physically. If you are happy, you wrestle; frustrated, you throw a monster tantrum; tired, you bite. Lucky for us, when you are feeling affectionate, you also freely demonstrate your love with hugs, cuddles, and kisses. 

We sure love you, little stinker, and are so grateful to have you in our family!

Caroline has a few favorite games:

  • "push" (which means, she wants to sit on the floor and push you over, laugh about it, sit on you, then get up and do it again)
  • "chase" (the classic doing laps around the kitchen-livingroom loop)
  • "climb" or "up high" (she wants to climb up to STAND on your shoulders, be thrown, etc)
  • "gotchu" (being tickled/wrestled all over the floor). 
She has a few favorite toys/activities as well:

  • bouncing on balloons (a balloon with helium is probably her favorite toy ever) 
  • bubbles
  • swings, slides, and climbing-- and jumping off things!
  • coloring with markers (30% of the time they end up ON her skin, but she throws a fit if you even suggest crayons instead!)
  • mini-hand-held princesses (she calls them "schwin-cess")
  • rocks (throwing them--we're working on that)
  • and anything that Gwen happens to be interested in at any given time. 
And a few favorite foods (don't be fooled--when I say 'favorite', I mean these are the ONLY things she will condescend to put in her mouth):
  • fruit (besides bananas) --sometimes this is the only things she will eat... all day. We NEVER offer her fruit first bc if she sees it, she will spit out whatever is in her mouth to make room.
  • veggies: green beans, peas, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower (sometimes)
  • hot dogs, bacon, pork loin, eggs, and salami (sometimes)
  • cereal (though she is picky about the kind), goldfish crackers, homemade bread (sometimes), rice (sometimes), potatoes (sometimes), and spaghetti (sometimes)
  • candy (all the time), ice cream (all the time) and surprisingly, not so much a fan of cake or cobbler