Friday, September 18, 2009


My stated goal when I started exercising was to stop what I thought was a pretty sudden weight gain. Thanks to the 'Divorce Diet', that's not a problem now. I would feel like a fraud if I was to continue to update this blog with my status in terms of inches/measurements. In my view, a fitness blog is for holding yourself accountable and for sharing what might work for others, whether it's actual techniques/training schedules/diets, or whether it's your motivational attitude. I don't think it would be very motivational for anyone to read about results due to the 'Divorce Diet'.

But instead of giving up entirely, I will continue to focus on my true goals going into this:
- to be stronger
- to have more endurance (better cardiovascular capacity, ability to run with ease, ability to play, hike, etc.)

Regardless of how my body looks, I want to feel great. I want to be full of energy. I want to be strong and tough and be able to play and hike and swim and run as long as I want to.

Today I took the garbage out to the dumpster. I had really loaded it up with heavy stuff. I could easily carry it with two hands, but when I got to the dumpster, the lid was on. I am only 5'3" tall, so the dumpster is already taller than me. There was absolutely NO WAY I could hold the lid way up over my head and fling the garbage bag in at the same time. It was a tiny little thing, so stupid, but it was SO FRUSTRATING. Fortunately my kids were there, so they lifted from the bottom and I pulled from the top, and we got it in just fine. But if I was actually in good shape, things like that would not even be a problem.

I have an 8-hour test coming up for work at the end of October. I may put my exercise goals on hold until after that is over. I know exercise would have so many benefits for my mind (more energy, better ability to study/think clearly), so I will try to do both. But I may go really easy in the next month. After that I'm not sure what will happen since it will be getting cold outside and I am a huge wuss. But anyway, we'll see.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Divorce Diet

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been under a lot of stress. I finally spilled the beans on my regular blog and admitted that I am going through a divorce. Apparently I am now on the Divorce Diet. I have been told I look like I am losing weight, and I was somewhat dismayed to find out today that this is true. I was getting ready to go to swimming lessons this morning, and put on my lace-up board shorts. The last time I wore them was August 21st, 3 weeks ago. The shorts fit completely differently this time. I had to lace them much tighter. I'm not sure what my weight in numbers is, but I measured and have lost over an inch around my hips since July.

Now, of course I want to be skinny and hot. But I want it to be on MY terms, because of MY effort. This just felt like another way I'm not in control of my life. I assure you that this difference is solely because of the stress and resulting way I've been eating, not because I decided to eat better and followed through, and definitely not because I've been exercising consistently.

Friday's food is a good example of how the Divorce Diet is going for me. Before I left the house, I grabbed a piece of whole wheat toast with butter, which I usually love. It tasted like cardboard. I ate about 3 bites. I got to work and started drinking my green smoothie. It was gross, way too sweet. I made myself drink about half of it. When I walked upstairs and opened the door, I could literally smell the Cookie Friday cookies 10 feet away, which I've not experienced before. I grabbed four cookies off the plate, but saved them for later because they didn't seem appealing at all right then. I had a peach and an apple sitting around, so I cut them up. They tasted really weird. They had been sitting for a few days, but they looked fine. Either they weren't fine, or my taste buds are messed up!

Finally, it's lunch time, and I'm absolutely starving. I brought leftovers from the night before, when I made whole wheat pasta with Onion-Blue Cheese sauce from this recipe. The sauce is supposed to go with steak, but I haven't purchased beef in quite a while and didn't feel like doing so now. The sauce was pretty gross. Blue cheese used to be my FAVORITE, but now it made the sauce nasty. I think it would have been great without the blue cheese. Again, either my taste buds are weird, or I just got some gross blue cheese. Either way, lunch was gross and I didn't eat much. By 5:00 I was absolutely starving and remembered my 4 cookies. I ate them and they tasted fantastic -- the first thing of the day that was palatable! I don't even remember if or what I ate for dinner. I think I ended up making Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for the kids. Nice. I usually refuse to buy it.

So that's my general pattern -- I'm not in much of a mood to cook real dinners, the food I eat tastes weird, and then I get so famished that I'll eat something really unhealthy/sugary. At least my form of the Divorce Diet involves losing weight instead of blimping up -- I am grateful for that :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Megan posted an after-run picture in which she thinks she looks bad. I figured I'd post mine as a show of solidarity.

This is how red I get when I run. And I don't even run that hard yet! I just thought I would share this in case anyone things they look funny after they run -- you're not the only one. I guess I should be grateful, because when people see me, they probably think "Wow, she must have worked out so hard!!!"

Barefoot Running

I went barefoot running last night and loved it. I went to the high school track, because I don't trust the roads/sidewalks for barefoot running, and I don't have the cash for a pair of Vibram Five Fingers yet. My theory was that the kids could play on the field/track while I ran. I figured my 2 year old would scream the whole time, but hoped for a miracle. He screamed the whole time. He did the same thing when I started doing the Shred DVDs -- he was incensed that I was right there but wouldn't hold him for THIRTY MINUTES! At the track, I was actually running away from him, so you can imagine how much worse that would be.

I hate running with the jogging stroller SO MUCH that I was hoping to find a way to bring the kids and not have to use the stroller. Maybe he'll get used to it and realize that I'm not leaving, I'm just running around in circles. But I'm not sure I'll be able to stand running around in circles very long anyway.

Barefoot running was very comfortable and felt very natural. I'm a very natural girl at heart, and anything that brings me closer to nature feels right. I've always thought the idea of shoes was ridiculous and have never put shoes on my babies when they are inside or on safe surfaces outside. So it made perfect sense when I found out I didn't need shoes to run either.

The main benefit of barefoot running is supposed to be injury prevention. I have not been running long enough to have had any injuries, and I hope to keep it that way! I really do see myself as a runner. I'd love to keep running and do some races, and keep it in my life as a way to stay healthy and strong for many years to come. So I love the idea of barefoot running for injury prevention.

The only time I had any discomfort whatsoever was after my run, when I walked for a lap. My feet were stinging a little bit. I'm not sure if it was the actual motion of walking that caused this, or if I just hadn't noticed it until I slowed down. Anyway, I think barefoot running is a keeper and I'm going to have to save up for those Five Fingers!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Sleep is related to exercise, so I'll write this here!

Last night I don't think I got any sleep. I got in bed very late, 1 AM or so, and my mind was racing. I have a relaxation meditation I listen to when I can't fall asleep. It's called "A Meditation for a Deep Rejuvenating Sleep" by Peter Tongue. I did Hypnobabies hypnosis for childbirth when I was pregnant, and I fell asleep EVERY time I listened to one of the CDs. The sleep meditation sounds very similar, so I am very well conditioned to fall asleep when I hear it. I have literally never made it through the entire meditation before falling asleep. In fact, I found out last night that I have never made it past the first 3-4 minutes of the 14 minute track!

Last night I listened to it THREE TIMES and heard every word. It was actually kind of cool, because I found out that the meditation calls upon the archangel Michael as a protector during the night. That's cool because I have my own little Baby Michael who sleeps with me every night, thought technically I'm protecting him rather than the other way around.

Anyway, I listened to the relaxation thing three times. Nothing. My mind was just going crazy, imagining all the fun possibilities my future holds (at least it was a happy sort of racing mind!). Laying there awake was starting to make me feel really weird, so I got up and dug out my old high school yearbooks. Everyone was so hilarious! I was actually laughing out loud (usually I just smirk a little when I see something funny). Of course, this could have been the direct result of it being 3 or 4 am, not an actual measure of how funny it was. After a little while, I got back in bed. Still nothing. Just lying there awake. I didn't ever look at a clock because I knew I would be horrified about how little sleep I was going to get.

The kids weren't sleeping well either. Michael woke up repeatedly. My 5-year old had come in during the night, and every time Michael would kick him, he sounded wide awake. It was just a really weird night. I think I may have finally fallen asleep fitfully for a little while. It was relatively easy to get up when my alarm went off at 6:30, because I didn't feel like I had gone to sleep in the first place!

Now I feel compelled to run hard and fast to reset myself. (That is, if I can stay awake long enough!) I am going to make a very concerted effort to go to the track as soon as we get home tonight. And I am going to run barefoot. I have been wanting to try it for a while now. In my mind, I see myself running fast and easy, flying, completely effortlessly, completely strong, for miles on end. My reality is different, but I love that picture in my mind.

Here's hoping to a great run and a better night's sleep tonight!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sweet Tooth

Something very strange has happened. My obsession for sugar is missing in action. I haven't been exercising. I haven't been eating all that well -- OK, but not great. The only thing I can think of to explain this is that I have been under a tremendous amount of stress. I still eat, but food usually doesn't taste very good. I noticed over the past few weeks that I haven't been buying candy bars at work or taking cake/candy/cookies to work with me, and I've been just fine.

Of course, if sugar is offered, I'll definitely eat it. On Cookie Friday, I had a big handful of cookies. Today, I was thinking about how I hadn't been eating much sugar and decided to be rebellious and buy some M&Ms. They are typically one of my favorite candies, but this time they were absolutely disgusting. I felt like I was eating paint. Then, my kids had an orientation at their school, and they had tons of cookies and other treats. I had a chocolate M&M cookie, and it was also gross.

This is very weird. I still think about sugar and bought ingredients to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but my usual sweet tooth is nowhere to be found.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Goal

Now that it is very unlikely that I will be able to train for my secret goal, I can safely reveal what it was! :-D I wanted to race on a Ragnar Relay team. To do this, you get a team of 12 people, and each of you races three relatively short legs of a 188-mile course. Each leg ranges from 3 to 8 miles. I felt that this would be a goal that would stretch me quite a bit, but would still be do-able.

Now with my husband gone to work in another state, I don't think there's any way I can train for this. In order for me to run, I have to take all three kids -- one in the crappiest jogging stroller ever, and two on bikes or scooters. The training schedule is 20 weeks long. By the 8th week, you are up to three 30-minute runs and one 50-minute run each week, and they only get longer after that. I think 30 minutes is about the limit my kids would be able to do on their scooters/bikes. They are only 5 and 7 years old. Also, the jogging stroller slows me down SO much and I hate it SO much.

We have zero money to pay for babysitters, especially not 4 times per week. Same goes for running at a gym. I suppose maybe if I found another mom to trade babysitting with, it might work. But that's quite a commitment. It's one thing to leave your kids sleeping at home with Daddy. It's quite another to haul them off to someone's house 4 times per week, likely requiring them to miss out on sleep.

But maybe I can still do it by taking the kids with me. Maybe the kids will get stronger as I do and will be able to do the longer times. Maybe I will be able to use the jogging stroller effectively and not have it make my shoulders/arms kill. Or maybe I am just looking for an easy way out of this goal!


I have totally fallen off the exercising/eating well bandwagon. As far as I remember, the last time I Shredded or ran was July 29th. My son had a doctor's appointment that day, so I weighed myself. 119 pounds. So I have lost 4 pounds since my previous weight of 123 on June 12th! However, I am not sure if this is a success. I was hoping to build a lot of muscle through Shredding. But I'll take it as a success for now ;-) Although given all the information below, it may be a moot point.

I ate mostly raw the week of July 27-31, ending the experiment with salmon and potatoes for dinner on Friday the 31st. I felt great the entire week. My abdomen was always flat, and I just felt good. I didn't have hugely massive amounts of energy or any big changes, but I felt good. The most dramatic thing that happened was that on Cookie Friday at work, I was able to SKIP the cookies EASILY -- I had no craving for them at all. It was EASY. That has never happened to me with sugary treats like cookies, ever.

The next week, I continued to eat raw some of the time, other healthy foods some of the time, and also some crap (Moose Tracks Ice cream, Zingers, etc.). I had made some raw veggie wraps, so I was able to have those for lunch every single day.

By the next week, August 10-16, I was back to eating excessive crap. One day, I had a banana, toast/butter, nuts/seeds, cookie dough, asparagus soup, chocolate bar, spaghetti, a Blizzard, and fries. A little treat is fine, but cookie dough, a chocolate bar, a Blizzard, and fries all in one day is not fine. The only raw foods the entire day were the banana and nuts/seeds. It seems that with me, it's all or nothing (name that song). If I am doing well with raw food for breakfast and a green smoothie later, I am usually doing well the rest of the day. But If I am eating crap, I am eating a lot of crap, and few to no raw foods.

Looking back, I think the main problem contributing to this lack of good eating and exercise is some major stress I was under. On July 28th, my husband casually asked "what if" he looked for work in a city 1500 miles away. On August 3rd, he was offered a job there. On August 5th, his background check was finalized and the job offer was official. On August 12th, he left for the far-away city. Incidentally, that was also the Blizzard day. My husband has done this before, gone to far-away cities to work for a few months. But I don't like it. I need a LOT of time to get used to new ideas, way longer than 1-2 weeks. So to say that was and still is stressful is a huge understatement. I am now essentially single parenting, which means I am under a lot of stress and I cannot jog alone.

Sunday night I made a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting. Mmmmmmm, so good. I have planned all healthy or raw meals for dinner and leftover-lunch this week. Last night my mom took the kids and I school shopping, so we had Red Robin for dinner. And of course we'll be working on that delicious cake all week (and I have a recipe for another, far more decadent, chocolate cake I HAVE to make). But hopefully I can get back on track with healthier eating habits and start exercising again, even if I can only do DVDs at home. Maybe I'll save that other cake for my birthday (the ingredients I would need would be $20-$30, so it really is a special occasion cake), and then take most of it to work to get rid of it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finally Shredded Again

After my two short jogs on Saturday, I was all fired up to Shred early Monday morning. But Sunday night, our baby got sick with a high fever. He's still sick (Wednesday night), so it's been difficult to get any time at all to exercise. Baby (who is almost 2) woke up repeatedly Sunday night, and Monday morning I needed to stay in bed with him to cuddle until I absolutely had to get up to leave. Tuesday was much the same.

This morning I had to stay home with Baby while my husband went to the surgical center for a diagnostic test, and I did get a chance to Shred (Day 17, by the way). I ate mostly raw Monday and Tuesday, and today I woke up shaky and weak. I had a bit of my coconut chocolate pudding and a sip of almond milk. It didn't seem to make any difference at all. I tried to Shred anyway. Surprisingly, I was able to get through the workout quite well. I did mostly non-modified exercises. I felt much more shaky and weak after my workout. I ate some nuts/dried fruit and still didn't feel much better. I still hadn't had an actual breakfast at this point though. Then I went to pick up my husband from the surgical center. When we got the news that he was absolutely fine, suddenly my shakiness/weakness were gone. So it may not have been food related at all :-)

Sick baby calls again, so this post is over!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back in the Saddle (I Hope)

The last time I exercised (Shredded) was July 15th. Extra work, family, etc. kept me busy in the evenings, and since I was staying up so late, I was getting up late too. I finally managed to get some exercise in on Saturday the 25th. I jogged 1.5 miles (to work) and then a couple of hours later jogged 1.5 miles back home. Each time I was running at approximately a 12 minute per mile pace. I am pretty sure that on my past runs, I was running at a 15-minute per mile or slower pace. The main difference might be that I was running without a jogging stroller this time. While this running time is still pretty slow, it gives me great hope that I may be able to reach one of my exercise goals (which I still have not revealed on this blog).

Today I decided to start eating all raw. I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up with it long term since I've put almost no planning into it, but I did OK today. I had:

- hot pink smoothie (coconut water, beets, carrots, dates, cashews [not raw], strawberries)
- Bubbie's naturally fermented pickles [100% raw]
- 1/2 cup almonds, walnuts, dates, dried apricots
- spicy sprouts
- green smoothie (greens, flax oil, bananas, peaches)
- raw stir fry salad (cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, bean sprouts, garlic, ginger, soy sauce [not raw], olive oil)
- a bite of chicken that the kids were warming up [obviously not raw]\
- chocolate 'pudding' (coconut meat, cashews [not raw], walnuts, cocoa [not raw], honey [not raw], agave nectar, vanilla [not raw?])

Friday, July 17, 2009


I thought about jogging today, but I ended up making excuses and slacking off. I didn't Shred either. Tomorrow our schedule is packed, and I'm not sure if I'll have time to do anything. We are going swimming (though I heard it was just a splash park) at our family reunion, so I will make an effort to walk around instead of just parking my bottom in one spot. I'll also try to only eat what I'm actually hungry for. I will be bringing Chandelle's Raw Peach Crumble for the potluck. I had been looking for potluck recipes, and she posted this in the nick of time. I had all the ingredients except peaches on hand, and I picked up some nice ripe peaches tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Before Pictures (Kind of)

I took some true 'Before' pictures back in June, but I am too scared to post them. I wore a sports bra and bike shorts, and I NEVER exit my house wearing that little. Even when swimming, I wear a swimming suit with board shorts over it. So I'm not brave enough to post those yet. Since I couldn't post them, I took fully-clothed pictures on July 1, 2009. This is about 10 days after I started exercising.

(Side note: I am guessing that a lot of my body image issues could be solved by not wearing Mom Jeans. I thought the only way you could avoid Mom Jeans was by wearing low rise jeans. There is no way those would work with my body, and I would be very uncomfortable in them. So I figured it was a lost cause. But I stumbled across this fantastic post about wearing flattering non-Mom Jeans and my life has been changed! I actually know what to look for now! I keep waiting to be able to afford some awesome jeans, but I think I'll give up on that for now and go to the thrift store and see what I can find.)

Don't mock my awesome smile:

As I hope you agree, I don't have a weight problem. However, I would like to stop looking pregnant from the side and I would like to reduce some flab around my high hip area. All my excess weight goes straight to this area, and if it gets worse, it will look really bad.

Regardless of the above, I have decided that my primary goals with this exercise program are to be strong, feel full of energy, and feel healthy and joyful. I need to refine those a bit, but that's my main focus, rather than getting to be a certain size or losing a certain number of inches.

Emotional Eater

I'm definitely an emotional eater. I don't go crazy with it, but food definitely helps soothe me or energize me. If I get a difficult assignment at work, I always want chocolate, immediately. This evening I had a rough time emotionally and was left feeling drained. I didn't think I would be able to move my body enough to exercise. So I made some brownie batter and ate that instead. I know that working out would have lifted my mood instantly, but I chose the less healthy route instead. If I ever feel like that again, I will take the middle route and go on a walk. A walk is easy enough that there's no excuse not to do it, and it's much healthier than downing a ton of sugar.

No More Ow!

I didn't want to leave that last post hanging so long.
After last Thursday I continued to Shred every other day, but doing only low impact exercises. By yesterday, I felt like I was healed enough to try the full impact again. I did it last night and as of this evening, I still feel great!!

Yesterday was Shred Day 16, and Calendar Day 26.

Food is going kind of well. I used to have to bring loads of sugar to work or buy 2 candy bars during the day. I haven't done that in a while now. I am still weak if sugar is presented to me, and sometimes I'll really pig out, but overall, it's not the constant day-to-day thing that it was.

Today I had to drive 170 miles, and no matter how far I drive, I get SO TIRED. I picked up a shake at Arby's to keep me awake on the way back. I figured Arby's would be a lot lower in calories than Baskin-Robbins. Turns out I was wrong. I should've just gone to Baskin Robbins - it tastes much better. The Arby's shake had 640 calories! Oh well, I'd rather be alive and drinking a 640-calorie shake than dead in a car crash!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Today is Shred Day 13. Everything from my knees down aches or is very tender. It doesn't feel like muscle pain. It doesn't hurt badly, but it is very, very tender, and I'm a little worried. The outer sides of my knees, the fronts of my knees (right below the kneecap), down the outer sides of my calves, and my ankles all hurt. The calf muscles themselves don't hurt. This seems to be bones, tendons, or ligaments.

If I knew what exercise specifically was causing the problem, I would modify it, but I'm not sure what it is. It does hurt to do jumping jacks. But it would make very little sense for them to be the culprit now. I did tons of them with no problem in Level 1. There are only a few as part of the warmup in Level 2. Maybe it's the high-impact of the high knees? The high impact of all the cardio? I don't know. I think I'm going to need to rest tomorrow and do something else. And then after that maybe I'll try running in place instead of some of the cardio exercises.

Despite what I said two days ago about just wanting to take the easy way out, I'm starting to want to master this thing! So having to modify heavily is quite disheartening rather than relieving.

Food today:
1 oz. pepper jack cheese
1 piece toast with little butter and honey
2 C green smoothie
BBQ beef on white roll
gross Wal-Mart potato salad
baked beans (with tons of kinds of beans, from garbanzos to limas!)
Fat Boy (I should have resisted; I picked it up literally on the way out the door from work!!)
delicious homemade potato salad

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Checking In

It feels like it's been days since I last Shredded, but I only skipped one day. Yesterday we went on a 'hike' to a waterfall, but it was a nearly level trail, so it was more of a saunter/walk.

Anyway, today is Shred day 12, calendar day 19. Today's Level 2 workout was so much easier than Monday's. Kind of. The difference may have been that I'd only had 5 hours sleep before Monday's workout. Also, today I did some of the modified lunges from the beginning, knowing that otherwise I'd die at the end. I thought that by the end of Level 1, I was the cardio master. But the Level 2 cardio exercises really do me in! Today I felt a lot more interested in taking on the challenge and beating the DVD!

As for food:
peanut butter/honey sandwich
tortilla + squash/chickpea salad
a tiny bit of trail mix (almonds + raisins + M&Ms)
single scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream
rotisserie chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad

For me, that was actually a VERY good sugar day. The trail mix had maybe 5-10 M&Ms in it, and usually I prefer eating a huge bowl of ice cream, not a single scoop :-)

3 cups green smoothie
squash + chickpea salad
2 tortillas
small apple
3/4 Kit Kat
a bunch of rotisserie chicken
3-4 bites of ice cream

Monday, July 6, 2009

30-Day Shred, Level 2

Today I started the first day of Level 2 of the 30-Day Shred. I think this is Shred Day 11 and calendar day 17.

I think I died. I don't really remember much of what I did this morning. My DVD stopped working right in the middle of a strength exercise, and it took 4 full minutes to transfer it into the other computer and get it going again. During a 20-minute workout, that's quite a long break. Even with that break, I was still dying. I took full advantage of the need to watch the exercises so I would know how to do them. I can't even think of which exercises I did full-versions and which I did modified. I don't want to think of them!!

I realized that I really don't like to do hard things. Some people revel in the challenge and they want to push themselves to win, to beat the challenge. Not me. I just want to skate through, calm and relaxed and easy. Or, I want to improve so slightly that I don't even notice it getting harder. Not this sudden death by pain thing. I haven't written about it here yet, but one of my exercise goals involves a running race. I am seriously questioning that now. Races are hard! You HAVE to push yourself. I don't know if I have that much character yet.

I took my measurements this morning:
Neck: 12.5"
Upper arm: 11"
Ribcage/chest: 27.5" (-1")
Waist: 27.5" (-0.5")
Hip: 37.75"
Thigh: 21.5" (-0.25")
Calf: 13" (+0.25")
Weight: ? (no scale)

That's very little change. I am surprised about the loss of 1 inch from my ribcage. I may have had some back fat that I am losing, or maybe I am just not measuring consistently. I expected and hoped to get bigger calves, since mine are like toothpicks. I expected to see a lot of changes to my hips/waist.

I guess the lack of loss means that I need to consider improving my diet for real, instead of just talking about it a lot. To this end, I brought only the following foods to work today: green smoothie, really raw almonds, an apple, a tortilla (white flour, unfortunately), and Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad. I am having S'mores tonight (at least 1) when we go up the canyon. My new goal, as of today, is to limit myself to 1 treat per day. So if I am having the S'more later, I won't have anything the rest of the day. That had better be a very good S'more!!

Food over the weekend was not the best* and since I've been eating this way all along, that likely explains the lack of inches lost:

Saturday: 1 piece pizza, a carmel, strawberries, 2 eggs, 2 toast, bite hot dog, green smoothie, 1/4 funnel cake, corn flakes/strawberries/bananas/milk, chocolate covered ice cream bar, 3 big pretzels, 7(!) Fudge Stripe cookies.
Sunday: 2 pretzels, 2 Fudge Stripe cookies, corn flakes/bananas/milk, chocolate truffle (300 calories), part hot dog + ketchup, rocky road ice cream, butternut squash chickpea salad, potato salad, BBQ chicken, potato/butter/sour cream, and green smoothie.

*I refuse to beat myself up over poor food choices or assign extremely negative words to them. I think that's far more unhealthy than just eating them and moving on, or eating them and enjoying it!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mornings are Best

It seems that it is easiest for me to exercise in the mornings. I am getting to the point where I'm dreading exercising throughout the day. What's the point? I want to have a perfect body and feel 1000% better and have perfect health instantly. I get bored when I don't see instant results. If I exercise first thing in the morning, I avoid most of this process. If I exercise after work, I think about it and dread it half the day.

I don't think that any exercise DVDs will hold my interest long term. I am definitely going to finish the 30-Day Shred and then use that and other DVDs on days I don't want to get outside, but I think that a variety of exercises, particularly outside exercises like running and biking will hold my interest better in the long run. But the problem with outdoor exercises is that I hate the heat and the cold. So that leaves about 4 weeks out of the year where the temperature is just right :-)

I did Day 8 of the Shred yesterday morning. Today we left the house at 6:30 a.m., so I put off exercising until later. I thought about doing it all day kept putting it off and didn't see any way I would ever get through the workout, if I even got started. I got about 5 hours sleep last night and I was beyond exhausted. Finally it got late and I started Shredding at 8:45. Suddenly everything was great! I made it through the workout just fine.

I realized that I am having trouble with my pushups because I am doing them way too slow. I went faster this time and was able to do 18 for the first set and 12 for the second. They are still the modified (on knees) pushups. I might be able to switch to real pushups but only do a few.

Today was Shred Day 9 and Calendar Day 14. That makes it sound like I've skipped a lot of days. I skip Sundays no matter what. The first and second weeks I skipped a day and did no other exercise, and then there was 1 day that I did other exercise.

I wasn't sure if I would be ready to go to Shred Level 2 after 10 days, but I think I will try it. I would still like to MASTER Level 1 though. I want to get to a point where I can do all the exercises easily. I guess there is no point to doing that more than once though -- if it's easy, it's not going to be doing much for me.

I have heard some people say the Shred is hard on the knees and shins. I haven't noticed that at all until today. The outer left side of my knee is a tiny bit tender. I'll keep an eye on it.

Tomorrow we will be leaving early for the 4th of July parade, and I don't want to Shred in the morning since I just Shredded tonight. So I'll have to psych myself up to do it tomorrow afternoon or evening. Maybe it will be a nice pre-fireworks activity :-)

Food yesterday: 10 strawberries, 2 cups green smoothie, 1 Kashi cracker with cream cheese (from co-worker), 1/2 orange roll with frosting (from a different co-worker), a little curry soup (from a third co-worker), 1/2 Quizno's Honey Bacon Club, 1 almond cocoa ball, tortilla + cream cheese, rotisserie chicken and lots of extra skin, peas, rice, about 2 T M&Ms. Well, obviously I got plenty of calories, but still tacked all the treats on top. Sugar fail. Well, actually, Sugar Win. It's Getting Off Of Sugar Fail.

Food today: 3 C green smoothie, McDonald's Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, 1/2 C orange juice, bits of tortillas with cream cheese, Snickers, chicken/rice/peas/cream cheese, 2.5 slices pizza. Unless I forgot something, I did better on sugar today. But the McDonald's and the pizza more than makes up for that.

I don't think I am going to track calories at this point. I think it will start making me crazy. But if I input my food into FitDay, it automatically calculates the calories. The main problem is the sugar. But I am not ready to release my grip on it. When I'm exercising, I feel really powerful, and I want to give up sugar. But when I'm done, I start thinking about all my favorite treats - oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, brownies, ice cream, M&Ms, Nestlé Crunch Crisp, Twix PB, . . . OK, I'll stop there!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


My post titles are getting really annoying. The idea was that someone doing their own 30-Day Shred would be able to easily see where I was in the program without having to read through every post. But it's annoying me now, so I'm ditching the 'Day 7' title but will include the information in the post.

I got up early to Shred today. (Shred Day 7, Calendar Day 12) It went very well. I am doing the full versions of every exercise except those darn pushups!! They completely kill me. Kill. There are 2 sets of pushups in the workout. Each lasts 30 seconds. On the first one, I did 12 modified pushups. The first 8 or so were very good pushups. I only got to 4 in the second set! My arms were about to collapse/die.

This time I paused the video for about 45 seconds to stretch out my quads before starting the stationary lunges. And I started with the opposite leg I usually do. When I switched over to the leg that has given me trouble, it was fine.

The only other exercise that really does me in is the lateral lunges with shoulder raise. You are holding dumbbells and as you go down into a lateral lunge, you keep both arms straight and raise the dumbbells out in front of you to eye height. My arms/shoulders are dying by the end of that one, but I'm able to do the full (non-modified) lunge.

As for food -- I usually don't count calories. I've had an account at since 2002ish. I have tracked my food probably 20 times since then. And some days I apparently left off after lunch and didn't even finish tracking the whole day. So I'm not really obsessed with calories. But seeing that yesterday I only ate 1900 calories, and 1/3 of it was sugary treats makes me think I need to be eating more food! If I ate more good-quality foods, I probably wouldn't have such strong sugar cravings. I've always tied my cravings to the types of food I was lacking (not enough protein or not enough fat), but maybe it's simply not enough calories.

I also think that counting calories could get pretty dangerous for me. I was already a little freaked out that 1 date had 66 calories. My Hot Pink Smoothies have 1/4 cup dates in them. This is about 4 pitted dates. That is 264 calories, over half the calories in the entire quart-sized smoothie, just from the tiny amount of dates. I just thought the concept was ridiculous. I didn't realize dates were a calorically dense food. My other struggle is worrying about the calories in sugar. I love my sugar! I don't want to go crazy worrying because I ate a 500-calorie treat. I do want to 'get off' sugar, but not in a crazy-making way.

Back to eating more food. I am not able to eat a lot at one meal without feeling uncomfortably full. Oh, I can pack it in if I want/need to (mostly on holidays, if the food is free, at Chipotle, or at Tucanos/Rodizio Grill), but if I actually pay attention to how I am feeling, my body doesn't want me to eat a lot at once. But I don't want to be a grazer either. I think there is something to the idea of only eating 3 times per day. Supposedly your leptin levels get all messed up if you're constantly eating.

To help add more calories today, I had a homemade tortilla with about 2 ounces of cream cheese on it. I heated it up and ate it as an appetizer to my lunch of rice + beans/tomatoes/corn/onions/garlic/chilies. Usually I would have just had the rice stuff. For breakfast I had the leftover 1/3 of my Hot Pink Smoothie and 1 pint (half) of a Green Smoothie. Today's green smoothie had lettuce, spinach, chard, flax oil, bananas, and peaches. If I get hungry again this afternoon I'll have the rest of the green smoothie or another tortilla + cream cheese. I brought 1/4 cup M&M's to work, so I may end up eating those at some point.

Dinner tonight will probably be salmon, a potato, and vegetables. I'm trying to get my kids to like quinoa, but they are hating it so far. Maybe if I give it to them every single day they'll eventually give in and realize they won't die if they eat it. It really does sting when I carefully plan and cook a healthy dinner and they come to the table and their faces fall, or they burst out crying. I guess it's my fault for not feeding them this way all along! We are all sugar addicts together.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I did not exercise today. I had a reasonable dinner, but it was too heavy for the hot weather, and then I discovered a plate of chocolate chip cookies I had forgotten about. I went to throw them out and accidentally ate them instead. After all that, I felt way too full to exercise. I have wanted to switch to exercising in the mornings anyway, so tomorrow I will get up early and exercise then.

Food today:
2/3 Hot Pink Smoothie
11 chocolate covered almonds
Chicken, quinoa, and stir-fry vegetables
1/3 cup M&Ms
a bite of cheese
Rice with black beans, tomatoes, corn, onions/garlic/chilies
2 chocolate chip cookies

According to, this adds up to 1900 calories, 660 of which was treats. Also according to FitDay, my lifestyle of being seated all day uses up 1925 calories. I have absolutely no idea if this is accurate or not. I looked up caloric needs calculations on several websites and got widely varying results. I have trouble knowing if I am actually hungry during the day, as I like to be eating something constantly, and I'm (obviously) addicted to sugar. It's difficult to tell whether I just want something in my mouth, if I want a treat, if I'm thirsty, or if I'm really hungry.

Monday, June 29, 2009

30-Day Shred: Day 6 (Calendar Day 10)

I did not formally exercise Saturday at the family reunion. However, I did go on several walks and traipsed around a meadow/creek all while holding a 30-pound baby.

I ate all kinds of non-optimal food at the reunion -- the best was the white chocolate fountain with graham crackers, Oreos, marshmallows, brownies, strawberries, and pineapple! Second best was the delicious diner breakfast on our way back. Diner breakfasts have got to be my favorite meal in the world. Mmmmm. When we got home, I didn't feel too well. I think that once I decide to start eating better, I'm affected more by non-optimal foods than I would be had I not made the decision to eat better.

I will continue to list the foods I eat each day as a record for myself, even though I'm sure it's boring. I'll just stick them at the end of each post.

Today, most parts of the 30-Day Shred were a lot easier. I was able to get through each cardio section very easily. The ab exercises seemed much easier. Two things still absolutely KILL me. The first is the pushups. I did worse on pushups today than I did last week. Last week I was doing up to 12 in 30 seconds. Today I only got to 8 and that nearly did me in. And of course I'm still using the modified position. The second killing thing is the stationary lunges (one leg forward, one back). I always stretch/pull/hurt the left quadriceps muscle when I start this. The simplest explanation is that I'm just not warmed up enough when it's time for this exercise. Today it was bad enough that I couldn't do any lunges on that leg at all. Tomorrow I plan to stop the video long enough to stretch the quadriceps out for a few seconds before I start that exercise. In addition, I should probably stick with the modified version until I am stronger. I am still using the 2.5 pound weights on everything.

Things my kids did during my workout:
Pushed on my back and feet during pushups (completely killed my concentration and ruined the whole set)
Scattered plastic army guys right under my feet
Wadded my floor mat up
Gave me hugs
Untied my shoes

Food for the day -
corn flakes with milk (I was STARVING within 2 hours)
kim chi
2 tortillas with cream cheese, shredded chicken (very little), & green onions
13 Dove brand chocolate covered almonds (mmmmm, yummy)
(At this point in the afternoon I was going crazy with boredom-hunger -- you know, when you're so bored you just want to eat something?)
chicken (very little again), quinoa, and stir-fry vegetables
1 Hostess Snowball (I have been wanting to show these to my kids, and I finally found a package at a convenience store in Cedar City!)
1.5 mini banana nut muffins (ate them because the kids left them lying around)
some M&Ms (very late night snack)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bra Fitting and Sports Bras

One benefit of never exercising was that I was able to avoid the fiasco of finding a sports bra until the ripe old age of 27. Before children, I wore typical bras that you find in cheap stores. I never owned a sports bra, since you don't really need one if your maximum impact exercise is walking fast.

Last year, I decided that if I was going to jog, I needed a real sports bra. If you wear a normal size, apparently you can just walk into the store and buy a bra. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do that since I had kids and I learned about True Bra Sizing. If you have not been educated on True Bra Sizing, you need to go check this post and these two. The moral of the story is that unless you've been professionally fitted (NOT at Victoria's Secret, PLEASE), you're likely wearing a band size that is way too big. You should add a maximum of 2 inches to your rib cage measurement when determining your band size. So you probably need a smaller band than you have now. When you go down in band size, you need to go up in cup size. Let's say you thought you were a 34C, but you determine that your band size should really be a 30. Since you went down 2 band sizes, you need to go UP 2 cup sizes. You're probably a 30E (assuming we're counting sizes as A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H. . . and skipping double/triple letters - make sure to always check the sizing, because every company does it differently, of course).

Good luck finding that size in stores (hint: you won't, even Dillard's only has a few bras in a 30 band size). If you find yourself in the 'freakish' category of bra sizes, is your new best friend. They carry everything from the teeniest bras to the mammoth bras. They have very good return policies, because they know you'll likely need to try several bras before you find the right fit. The best way to do it is order a bunch and return the ones you don't like, but I've never had enough reserve cash to do that. So I just order one at a time and keep returning until I get it right.

Anyway, back to the point. I needed a heavy duty sports bra. Sports bras you can buy in department stores are completely ineffective for me.

Runner's Corner
in Orem actually had a very good selection for my range of sizes. I needed one just one size bigger, and they special ordered it for me. But it wasn't quite right -- too much movement and bouncing. If I was going to spend $45+ on one item, I wanted it to be perfect. I ordered the Shock Absorber Max Sports Crop Top from Figleaves, but it looked really lumpy and terrible under clothes. So I returned it and moved on to the complete Granny-style, but best sports bra ever -- the Enell. The Enell is fantastically ugly. But it will give you the best support of any sports bra, as long as you get a small enough size -- it's supposed to be really tight. The Enell site has good instructions on fit.

So now I have the Enell, and I don't have to worry about bouncing at all. If you have a bigger cup size and are serious about not bouncing, skip straight to the Enell.

Friday, June 26, 2009

30-Day Shred: Day 5 (Calendar Day 7)

I thought I wasn't going to be able to Shred today because I did it last night, and in 90 minutes we are leaving for a family reunion. I may be able to get in some sports or running at the reunion, but I didn't want to try to shred (and pee my pants) in front of everyone. But when I woke up this morning, I was feeling really good, so I worked out. I don't know if it's a good idea to repeat the workout 11 hours later, but oh well. At least I did some form of exercise today. The workout was definitely harder to get through. I had to do all modified lunges (no full lunges). My arms are shaking a bit now.

The food for the reunion is being 100% supplied by a grand-uncle, and I have absolutely no idea what he's making. Most likely your standard home cooked foods - bacon and eggs, sandwiches, hamburgers, etc. I plan to eat whatever is there and however much I feel like :-) I will try to be reasonable though. If I don't *really* want something, I won't eat it just because it's there. I'll be bringing along some dry oatmeal in case my kids just can't stomach the foods, and I can have that for a snack if I really need something.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

30-Day Shred: Day 4 (Calendar Day 6)

I had a great dream last night. I was in fantastic shape -- sleek, fit, and strong. I woke up so motivated. I am supposed to be to work at 8 and I woke up at 7:20. I was so motivated that I considered working out even though it would make me even later to work. I didn't though.

Food today:
- About half of a hot pink smoothie. I added ground flax seed to it today, and it was kind of yucky.
- Tortilla with refried beans, sauteéd vegetables, and Southwest Quinoa (yes, once I make something I try to eat it until it's all gone)
- cookie dough (equivalent of 2 cookies)
- sauteéd chicken breasts, baked potato with a little tiny bit of butter/sour cream, and stir-fry veggies
- several tablespoons of delicious sour cream off of Baby's plate (oops)

Since I didn't have a full Hot Pink Smoothie, I was kind of hungry this morning. All morning I was craving a Las Vegas sushi roll. It's got avocado, cream cheese, fish of some sort, some other stuff, and then it's tempura fried and topped off with a delicious sweetish sauce . . .mmmmmmmmm, YUMMY.

My quads were still a bit sore today. I was able to do more of the non-modified exercises in the 30-Day Shred tonight. I did full lunges, but then when it was time to do lateral lunges, my quads were shot from the regular lunges, so I had to go back to modified lateral lunges. I am still doing all modified pushups. The easiest part of the workout for me is the last 2 minutes of cardio. The cardio in the middle circuit is pretty hard to get through, but then when I get to that last circuit, it's so easy to go all out.

My almost-2 year old is SO precious when I'm exercising. Every time I get down on the floor, he gives me such cuddly loves! It makes it VERY hard to do ab exercises, but the sheer preciousness probably is just as good for my body :-)

My quads are pretty sore right now. They're not painful, but when I try to walk, I'm a little shaky. I may need to go back to all modified lunges until I develop some actual muscles.

Now that I'm finally ready to go to bed, I REALLY want some cookie dough. WANT. I am going to skip it though. No need to eat when the pleasure will last about 10 seconds and I'll be asleep 10 minutes later.

(I'm listening to my favorite Michael Jackson favorites as a little homage. No matter how strange he was, he still had some fantastic music and dance moves.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

30-Day Shred: Calendar Day 5

Today I was a little sore in my quadriceps, but it was quite minor. I did want to exercise today, but didn't get around to it. I got home from work around 6 pm. I had to take a kid to buy water balloons, make and eat dinner, do a couple of hours of work, go to the library, get quarters for laundry, and do 3 loads of laundry. I've finally gotten all that done, and it's 11 pm. I am interested to see if my soreness is completely gone tomorrow, and how that will affect my workout.

As for food today:
breakfast: 2 eggs over easy with sauteéd peppers and onions
lunch: tortilla with refried beans, peppers/onions, and sour cream
snacks: chocolate chip cookie, handful of chocolate covered nuts
dinner: tortilla with refried beans and Southwest Quinoa
snack again: 2 lumps of chocolate chip cookie dough

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

30-Day Shred: Day 3 (Calendar Day 4)

Today I was actually less sore than yesterday. I thought it would be worse since I did yesterday's workout while I was still sore, but it actually decreased. I was still sore in my butt, quadriceps, and chest, but it wasn't bad.

For breakfast I had half a hot pink smoothie (the beets and carrots in the smoothie make it somewhat cleansing, and I felt a little nauseated drinking a whole one yesterday) and a banana. Lunch was leftover Southwest Quinoa. I had two cookies again for snacks. I also had a peanut butter and honey sandwich mid afternoon. For dinner, I had fajitas, which included homemade whole wheat flax (both freshly ground!) tortillas, canned refried beans, sauteéd onions, red/green bell peppers, and squash, and some sour cream. I also marinated some leftover steak in olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and fajita seasoning, and then sauteéd it quickly. I intended to skip the steak, but the marinade was so darn good that I kept snitching some. The kids had some cheddar cheese on theirs. I am a fan of raw dairy, but I know that the typical grocery store dairy products are just not good. I also have congestion pretty much year round, so someday I'll probably go off dairy to see if it helps.

I did Day 3 of the 30-Day Shred. It went pretty much the same as before. I'm still doing the modified exercises. Some of them were a little easier today. I discovered that if you have problems with postpartum bladder control when jumping around or sneezing, you'll have the blessing of experiencing that problem during these workouts. I noticed it a little the first two days, but it was much worse today. I'm not sure if my bladder was more full or what. As for post-workout soreness, now that I've showered and have been sitting around for about an hour, I am VERY sore. Much more sore than I was directly after the first two days of workouts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

30-Day Shred: Day 2 (Calendar Day 3)

Sunday was a rest/recovery day. I was sore, but not terribly so. In the past, I've been sore to the point where I can't even bear the thought of walking. I had a few moments where I'd think, "do I really have to get up out of this chair?" but then I'd do it and it wasn't terribly painful.

Today I was still sore. Even after only one day of working out, I was motivated to try to eat better. I ate a Hot Pink Smoothie for breakfast, kim-chi and a tuna sandwich with pickles, onions, and spinach for lunch, 2 chocolate chip cookies for a snack, and Southwest Quinoa (also a GreenSmoothieGirl recipe) for dinner. Two chocolate chip cookies may be excessive for a strict dieter, but for me, that is fantastic. Usually I would have about 6 chocolate chip cookies plus a few (or ten) huge spoonfuls of raw cookie dough.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to do any of the exercises given my soreness, but I tried Day 2 anyway. I am still doing all the modified exercises. Every time I went down on the floor for abdominal exercises, my baby would try to get me to nurse him. Fortunately there is absolutely no way he would ever be able to get into my sports bra of steel (it's an Enell), so he quickly gave up that idea and alternately laid on me or kissed me instead. I did the workout in our bedroom with the laptop, and that was a good idea. I cranked the window air conditioner up full blast and turned the oscillating fan on. I was still pretty sweaty at the end, but not as bad as on Day 1. I was still shaking after it was all over.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

30-Day Shred: Day 1 (Calendar Day 1)

I started Level 1 of the 30-Day Shred. The workout is made up of three 6-minute circuits. Each circuit includes 3 minutes of strength exercises, 2 minutes of cardiovascular exercises, and 1 minute of abdominal exercises. There are three ladies demonstrating the exercises. They include high intensity exercises for seasoned exercisers and low intensity/modified exercises for beginners. I used 2.5 pound weights and did the low intensity/modified exercises. Doing it this way, I was able to get through the whole video. I wouldn't say it was easy, but it wasn't impossible either. My quadriceps ached badly during the lunges, even doing the modified version.

I waited until my baby (nearly 2 years old) took his nap to start the workout, but of course he woke up and screamed his way through most of it. It was very difficult to stay focused on the exercises while simultaneously trying to avoid bashing him with the hand weights.

By the end, I was drenched in sweat, my face was beet red, and my arms and legs were shaking, so I guess it was a pretty intense workout for me.

Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred: Baseline

For a while now, I've been reading accounts of bloggers doing Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred and having great success with it. Motherhood Uncensored has a whole site dedicated to the Shred. Back in April, I ordered the 30-Day Shred DVD from Netflix, bought myself a yoga mat and hand weights, and then made a bunch of excuses about why I had to wait to start doing it! Then two of the bloggers I read became Shredheads. Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil began Shredding recently, as did Frema at What Are You Looking At?. Inspired by these two ladies beating me, I finally got around to doing the Level 1 workout today. I took 'before' pictures, and those will NOT be shared here! I'm not that brave yet. I might share them with the 'after' pictures later. If you think there's a compelling reason you need to see them, email me.

I plan to gauge my progress by waist/hip measurements, the way my clothes fit, and improvements in strength and endurance. I guess I will measure the last two by whether I can do pushups or play with kids without feeling like dying. I carry most extra weight between my waist and knees, so I think that measurements other than waist and hip won't show much change, unless I gain a lot of muscle. I took all the measurements anyway, just to see what happens. I don't plan to weigh myself very often, since I am hoping to gain muscle. Also, I don't have access to a scale. I wrote out my weight history in my last post.

My starting measurements are:
Neck: 12.5"
Bicep: 11"
Upper Arm: 11"
Ribcage: 28.5" (bust measurements are useless, since it changes hourly because of breastfeeding)
Waist: 28"
Hips: 37.75"
Upper Thigh: 21.75"
Calf: 12.75"
Weight: 123# (I am 5'3", FYI)

Clothes: Size 8 is not comfortable. Size 6? ha ha ha

Strength: Not much (yeah, I know that's not much of a quantitative measurement, sorry)
Endurance: OK (again with the not-so-quantitative). I 'ran' a few weeks ago, and made it 13 minutes. When I calculated my pace later, I was doing a 17-minute mile. I could probably crawl faster than that, so this is not much endurance.

Gaining Weight?

I've always wanted to get more toned, fit, and trim. I want to gain strength and endurance. But I'm the type that will exercise for a day and then forget about it again. Inspired by my friend Megan who writes Run! Fat Mom, Run! (and Backyard Farming), I decided to run a 5K. I started this blog to document my progress from Couch to running a 5K, using the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. I started in June or July 2008 and kept running (shuffling, actually) through October. I made it from being able to run 1 minute at a time to being able to run for 30 minutes! By "running", I mean that I could walk faster. I was doing 15 minute miles when I slacked off. But I was moving in a jogging sort of motion! It was getting my heart rate up in a way that speed walking has never done for me. I felt so powerful and awesome. My whole life I have been convinced that I am just the type of person who cannot run. But I can! I still intend to write a few posts about that experience, but since it's been a whole year since I did it, the details will be sparse.

From October 2008 through February 2009, exercise remained on my "to do" list, but I never actually did anything. Then, in February or March, my pants suddenly got tight. I had been thinking I needed to get some new jeans in a smaller size soon, and then suddenly my regular size was tight. It seemed to come on suddenly, with no obvious explanation. I thought that people usually gained weight over the holidays and winter, not just as winter was ending! The difference was so surprising that I even wondered if I could be pregnant, even though I was 99% sure I wasn't. A negative pregnancy test confirmed that. I had been attempting to night wean my nearly-two year old and thought maybe he was foregoing a lot of milk (milk production could burn up 500+ calories per day). Or maybe my metabolism just changed. I am nearing 30, so that could be possible. I tracked my eating on for a few days. I thought I was eating somewhat healthfully, but found out I was eating 800 extra calories per day in sugary treats some days! I'd have a good breakfast and then see that someone had brought doughnuts in (300 calories). I'd get hungry for sugar after lunch and have a candy bar (250 calories). I always have homemade treats on hand at home for after dinner. A piece (or two) of cake adds on another 300 calories. But this is how I always eat (I have written frequently about my sugar addiction at my regular blog). As far as I know, nothing about my diet had changed recently. I tend to be extremely unobservant about things like diet and my body, so I could be wrong, but I think I was eating normally. Unfortunately the pants tightening continued, and soon I was back in my post-baby one-size-larger pants. Now even those are a little tight.

At a doctor's appointment on February 5th, 2009, I was 116 pounds, which is pretty typical for me. I don't have a scale and usually only know my weight when I go to a doctor's appointment. I took a health-related class at BYU the week before my Freshman year started, Fall 1999. We were weighed, and I remember weighing 125 pounds at that time. I lost 10 pounds my first semester due to all the walking and cooking on a tight budget. So I have been about 115 pounds since early 2000. After my first baby, I got down to around 105 pounds, due to busyness/stress, a lot of walking, and extreme breastfeeding. My baby didn't eat many solids until he was over a year old. Babies that age need 1000 calories per day, so apparently I was using up 1000 calories per day nursing.

I started using (it is a free service where you can track food, weight, activities, moods, and body measurements, and it is very awesome) back in 2003 when I got pregnant with my 2nd baby, and since then I've recorded the following weights:

August 2003 - 106 pounds
December 2005 - 118 pounds
January 2008 - 124 pounds (5 months postpartum, Baby #3)
September 2008 - 120 pounds
February 2009 - 116 pounds

When I went back to the doctor a week ago (June 2009), I was faced with the evidence that I really had been gaining weight; my pants had not been shrunk in the wash. I weighed 123 pounds. Now, the weight itself is not really a big deal. I have some fat, but I am not fat. I was very concerned by the 7 pound gain in 4 months. If this continues, that's 20 pounds per year. . . not a path I want to head down.

Faced with the reality of the weight gain, I have decided to start exercising for real. I've been wanting to do the 30-Day Shred I've been hearing so many bloggers talk about. I decided I have two options. I can do the 30-Day Shred and keep my diet the same -- try to eat fewer treats, but not really worry about it. Or I can do the 30-Day Shred in the mornings, get serious about cutting out sugar and getting back to the diet I want (all whole foods, a lot of raw veggies, including green smoothies), and 'run' in the evenings. I'd like to do the 30-Day Shred alone to see how much effect it has by itself, regardless of diet. But if I decide I want to get fit fast, I might throw in the running and the improved diet. For now I'll commit to the 30-Day Shred.