People have asked me: “How do you do it?” My response is: “How do you eat an elephant?” I usually get blank stares back followed by an awkward silence. Then I add: “One bite at a time.”
For me, the question isn’t “How do you do it?” but “What do you do once you’re done?” I know all too well about setting a big goal, achieving it and then finding myself in the middle of the road thinking, “Now what?” All the glory is gone and just stuck. This happened to me in a very big way last year.
Back in 2010, my good friend Jenny encouraged me to go out on a freezing cold October morning and volunteer for a marathon. My job was to take off racing chips and hand out medals to the finishers. I saw the joy and pain in the runners. I also noticed some women who I was shocked to see finishing this race. I had just started writing my own blog because this weight loss journey I’ve been on has been on track for years. So I decided shortly after the marathon I volunteered at that I was going to do a half marathon. In October 2010 I was tipping the scales somewhere on the 270 range. I’m only 5′ 3″ so all that on my frame is way too much.
In the year I trained for the race I got down to 227. In the process of training I developed what is called jumpers knee and had to cancel a lot of the races I signed up for because my sports medicine doctor was not going to let me run in the races. I was devastated and I was a crying mess but I was determined to finish the half marathon. I spent all summer in physical therapy and was released to do a run-walk routine for the half.
I completed the race and I had no other plan in front of me and just like in the past I packed the weight back on. I experienced what’s called “post race blues.” I didn’t fail, I met my goals. But where I did fall short was making a future plan. I still had all this weight to lose but no plan of how to get it off because I was tired. Training can be exhausting if you let it.
Plan for success, plan for fun, plan for work. Just like in everything if you have a plan of action, passion and a willingness to accept constructive feedback then you have no choice but to be successful. This life and my weight loss journey is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Just like being a good wife, mother and friend you have to respect, listen, seek information and be willing to do things you really don’t feel like doing but in the end you’ll look back and be so thankful for the experience.
I am so thankful for my post race blues. It taught me that how important having a plan is.
What do you need to make a plan for right now? Post a comment and tell me!
Since Andy and I have been married we have never had a really good bed. It’s one of those expenses that we just never have put much stock into. In fact the kids had better quality beds than we did. Funny, in an ironic sense, how we always put the needs of our children before our own, but really we need to learn to put just as much stock into ourselves as we do our kids. If we are our personal best then we’ll be the best parents we can be to Anna and Jack. Being part of our personal best is ensuring a good night sleep on a good bed.
Back to the bed: As you know we won Challenge #4, which was to get the proper type and amount of sleep. At first I was not a happy girl because that meant I had to give up my late night me-time. (Shhhh don’t tell the good doc I’m writing this blog right now at 10 p.m. when I really should be in bed…thank goodness the sleep challenge is over…HA!) Andy and I were very motivated to win this challenge because we had a hunch that whoever won Challenge #4 would most likely be getting a new bed. We thought we’d just a get a new bed for us BUT the kids did too! WOW!
Before getting our new beds, we went through the bedMATCH process–it’s like matchmaking for mattresses! We took a few minutes to answer questions about our sleeping habits, body type and any pain we have. Using that information the computerized sleep diagnostic system actually picked the beds that were best for each one of us.
What we received were Kingsdown’s My Side Series 600 beds. Andy and I got a queen and the kids each got twin beds. This bed uses the latest technologies available in mattresses today–it’s a hybrid model that combines springs, memory foam and gel.
Here is a little more detail from the manufacturer on the beds we received:
Cool Wave™ Memory Foam: Specially designed to help you stay cooler at night as compared to standard mattresses. According to our sleep coach Dr. Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute, our bodies need to cool down at night in order to have a restful sleep.
Chilly Wave™ gel-infused lumbar support band. Again–the gel helps you to stay cool at night and this also helps provide extra support for your lower back.
Individually Wrapped Coils: Instead of one sheet of coils, these are individually wrapped for less motion disturbance. This way, when you roll over, your spouse won’t feel the “bounce” of the bed.
Full Body Surround Edge Support System: A foam encasement of the mattress’ core for added support. Essentially, this keeps you from rolling off the bed! You’ll also feel the difference when you sit on the edge of the bed–maybe to tie your shoes–and the edge doesn’t sink.
Semi-Flex Foundation: This is your box spring. Instead of being rock solid, it’s meant to flex with the mattress. It’s made from lumber cut from renewable forests and has steel supports.
We have been sleeping on our beds now for about two weeks and we LOVE them. I have never felt so refreshed in the morning and neither one of us have any back pain or any other kinds of body pain. The kids sleep so well and they too wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Plus they love how high their new beds are. It’s fun for them to get into bed.
When was the last time you bought a new mattress? Are you long overdue? Post a comment and tell me!
So with challenge #5 our goals were set by our trainers. Meet your goals, beat the others and get a prize. Andy and I were certain that we lost this challenge because we’ve had a lot of life happen recently. Having a special needs child and doing everything else that life demands can at times be taxing. At the time this challenge took place we were going through one of the most taxing times in our parenting life to date.
The A-team (yes that’s what I call the Avagliano family. I think they’re pretty rad) and the Lehmans did so well that we both got to choose our prize for challenge #5. We got to choose between the Epic Treadmill, Epic Elliptical, or the Epic Bike. Andy and I chose the elliptical.
Funny story about me and the elliptical. When I first decided way back in the day (oh maybe 5 years ago) that I needed to work out, the first piece of equipment I jumped on was the elliptical. I remember the first time like it was yesterday. I think within the first minute I was sweating so profusely and probably swearing. It was all I could do to last five minutes on that thing. I swore it off (literally) and said never again will my feet touch that machine. Then I decided it was a good idea to hire one of the trainers at my gym at work to whip me into shape and the first thing she had me on was that elliptical. I cried…really I did. For those that know me personally I know you’re not surprised to hear that I cried…I’m such a cry baby. Needless to say she knew what I hated and pushed me to love it. I went from barely being able to be on it for 5 minutes to 30 minutes.
We love the elliptical because you can get a great cardio work out without a lot of heavy impact on the joints and knees. Andy and I both love to use it before working out with Lass and Wes to warm up and we also like to use it as a means of cardio while working out–we do sprints on it. Our favorite cardio routine on the elliptical is to warm up at a normal pace for the first five minutes, then start sprinting. Go as fast as possible at the highest resistance we can take for 30 seconds followed by a 30 rest. Still moving on the machine while resting but not as fast and repeat for 25 minutes followed by a five minute cool down.
So what is your favorite piece of equipment at your gym? Post a comment and tell me!
People ask me all the time how do you make time to exercise. B.C. (Before the Challenge) I used the gym at my office. I’m blessed to have a wonderful, complete gym at my office that is staffed with great trainers, great equipment and great classes. I did go a little in the morning but my body doesn’t like to work out very hard in the morning. I need some coffee and a shower before I can work out. I know that’s crazy talk but if I don’t shower before a work out it just doesn’t feel like I’ve worked as hard.
I go a lot on my lunch hour and crank out a hard core half hour, some times 45 minutes, take a fast shower to get the sweat off or just wipe down with wet wipes, freshen the hair up and make up and go back to work. I bought a little fan to keep at my desk so I could fan myself if I’m still overheated from working out. Then I’d eat my lunch while working at my desk. When I was training for the half marathon I did a lot of running on my lunch hour and ran on the trails around my office. Now if you don’t have a gym at your office just take a walk around your building, go in a conference room on your break and do some push ups, sit ups, squats, etc. Where there is a will there is a way.
As part of this challenge we were given a membership to Gold’s Gym and access to amazing trainers. Now I train/work out with Lass at least 3 times a week. My sessions are from 5 to 6 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Andy works with Wes 3 times a week too. The gym is on my way home from work so I just swing in and punch out an hour and head home. Andy sets his sessions so that he goes between 7 and 8pm. Andy also will work out in the morning. Nothing like working with Wes but he’ll do some to build muscle and endurance. Plus Andy walks all day everyday so he’s constantly moving.
How do you make sure to get a workout in? Post a comment and tell me!
What’s one of the best ways to help your kid lose weight? Slim down yourself. That’s what a study that came out earlier this year from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and The University of Minnesota showed. Of course changing what I buy at the grocery store, for example, would have an impact on my children. But what’s been so impressive is that even in situations where I’m not in control, my daughter is making healthy choices!
From the beginning of the Healthy Family Challenge, my daughter, Anna, was really looking forward to working out at a gym. Unfortunately, at 9 years old, she’s too young to be allowed on the gym floor. When I broke the news to her, she was bummed. But I told Lass, my trainer, this and he developed a routine for Anna.
She does body weight squats, jumping jacks, toe touches and overhead presses with hand weights. Lass told her to do four sets of twelve reps each. For this month’s challenge she increased to 4 sets at 15 reps. She easily modified her workout and even added more. (Go Anna!) Plus, every day, she and her friends at daycare dance make up routines to do. Anna also loves to ride her bike around our neighborhood with the kids in town. And, of course, she tries to keep up with Jack, which is a tough job. He is consistently on the go!
For this month’s challenge, Anna, like me, was focused on losing weight. According to our doctor, she was at the high end of normal, so she wanted to lose a few pounds. One day, she went on a field trip to a pizza buffet and arcade with her daycare center. Rather than have 2 or 3 slices of pizza, Anna made herself a salad and had one slice of pizza because she wanted to make good choices. Amazing, right? She now feels so much better and full of energy and she doesn’t even miss the bad foods.
How have you helped your kids make healthy choices? Post a comment and tell me!