Posts Tagged ‘treadmill’

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It’s OK Val, we all fall into a rut sometimes. Even though you were once a hot, chiseled, latex-wearing tight little package of twisted steel and sex appeal, try not to let this current sad state of affairs get you down. You’ve gotten a little chubby! That’s OK! Just put down the sandwich and get right back on that hamster wheel. Am I right?

Well unfortunately, Val and I both know it ain’t always that easy. I remember what it was like to feel like a hot and sexy superhero too. It was awesome!!! Kickin some ass and takin’ names. 45 minute Insanity workout everyday, showered, dressed and ready to take on the world by 9 am? I think SO! I worked hard, I felt great, I looked good! I laughed in the face of Danger!!! I pinned a plethora of healthy meal ideas and fitness motivation pictures to my Pinterest Board. I was unstoppable!

So what went wrong, you ask?

Queue Swimsuit Season please.

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Now to be clear, I was feeling pretty darn good right around March/April. I’m always in the best shape of the year at the most pointless and inopportune time of the year. Exactly when everyone is wearing parkas and sweaters and hiding on their couches under a Snuggie, that’s when I look best in my bathing suit. Its like a law of nature. Why? Because January to April happens to be my “slow” season for cakes, and I have the time to make working out and eating healthier into a part-time job. Which, let’s be honest, it really needs to be in order to look even remotely close to one of those ‘motivational’ fitness models. The trouble with those girls, however, is that they start out looking MOTIVATIONAL but after a month or two of working out and trying to eat “clean”, the only thing all those motivational fitness pics on Pinterest motivate you to do is give your computer the finger, type “quick and easy desserts” into the search bar and forget you ever saw them.

So ANYWAY, as I was saying, I was rockin’ my bikini in April. Well I live in SASKATCHEWAN and we get approximately 2 DAYS of hot beach weather per year and they generally don’t arrive until late July. That’s a tough row to hoe, my friend. That’s basically a 3 month all-you-can-eat BOOOFAY of hotdogs, macaroni salad, ice cream and beer to barge through before arriving at DESTINATION:SMOKE SHOW in July. And if you’re willpower-challenged like me, it’s pretty much a lost cause. You see, friends, I fell into a rut.

My Rut started where most ruts do, in the kitchen, but not for the reason you think. I found myself at the end of my 2 month Insanity program at approximately the same time my busy season started gearing up. This was the perfect storm, a combination of excuses ranging from “I’m too busy” to “I’m too tired” to my personal favorite, “I can afford to take a little break and reset my metabolism.” Before you know it, my running shoes have collected a layer of dust, I’m covered in frosting, and I’m shoveling cupcakes down the hatch with reckless abandon in the interest of “quality control”.

So much for my swimsuit dreams. I take my cake breaks on the couch, drinking beer and eating sandwiches, trying not to make eye contact with the poster of Jillian Michaels taped to my treadmill. I begin wearing my yoga pants a lot. I start to try and rationalize the situation, attempting to spread a little silver lining around this unfortunate cloud of despair. Maybe all this cake will go straight to my boobs!
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Or not. My tank tops are tighter, but in all the wrong areas. I begin to lose hope. Every day that passes is another day closer to “Someday, when I feel like working out again,” and that day never comes. Welcome to my Rut. Its deep and dark and smells like fried chicken.

Yesterday, I threw caution to the wind. I caught a glimpse of my ass in the window of the ice-cream shop (where they know me by name) and went straight home to lace up the runners. Today, I groaned and creaked to life as my super stiff body tried to roll out of bed. And so, I’m back on the hamster wheel. Come on, Val! There’s room for two!

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Hi, Remember Me?

It’s been awhile. Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been soooo busy working out and focusing on eating well and living a healthy lifestyle that by the end of the day, I’m just exhausted and haven’t found the time to blog.

hahahah ya right. You wanna know what I’ve really been doing for the last 2 weeks? Eating chocolate bars. True story.

Not to mention, totally avoiding exercise at all costs. Siiiiggghhhh. It was a good run while it lasted.

OK, let me redeem myself a little here, I’m not giving up!!!! But I do have to come clean and admit to myself and the general public that I have gotten somewhat complacent and dare I say lazy in the last couple of weeks. I could feel it slowly coming on, like you know when you’re starting to get the flu, and you feel that little yucky twinge in your gut? And you stop, raise one eyebrow, and think, “huh. that was strange.” And you carry on with your day. And then a couple of hours later you hear a gurgle down below and you have a seat and wonder if maybe you should go to the bathroom, just to be safe? Until later that night, when you’re doubled over the toilet while your 6 year old holds your hair back and you’re wearing the old black sweatpants “Just In Case” an accident happens and you think, “Yep. Definitely feelin’ pretty sick!” Well that’s what it’s like when your exercise regimen is beginning to lose steam. Maybe you are forced to skip a workout one day because of logistical impossibility. The next day, suddenly, it becomes a little easier to talk yourself into skipping again. Like, “Golly Gee I sure had a lot of extra time yesterday when I didn’t do my workout, I bet if I just let one more day go I could really get a lot done off my To-Do-List and then I will get right back at it tomorrow!” MMMMM-HHMMMMM. Then you get up the next morning feeling kind of guilty, until you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “Hey, I haven’t worked out for 2 days, and I still look pretty damn good!” Then not only does it seem somewhat pointless to keep busting your ass in those crazy workouts, but the trip through the kitchen also starts to take a bit of a turn. Bread starts looking really tasty again. Just one piece of toast for breakfast won’t hurt. Geez, people eat this stuff all the time! Yogurt is getting boring! A little break won’t hurt anyone! Well, that’s where it starts. And then eventually you end up like me, eating chocolate bars every day and baking Sticky Buns at 10 pm on a Monday night. And like the pathetic mess doubled over the toilet with the flu, you eventually find yourself wondering how things went to hell so quickly.

Today was supposed to be the day that I took my “After Insanity” photos. It would have been the first day after the entire 9 week program, and the plan all along was to track my progress and report my measurements. And I have to say, I did do really well! I lost 4 jeans sizes, and definitely toned up. I have an ass I am proud of!!! I still am not really weighing myself because I don’t own a working scale, but last time I got on the Wii I has down a couple pounds. So whatever, I did well! I accomplished what I set out to… I feel good in a bathing suit! HOWEVER…..I am not posting my measurements/photos for 2 reasons: 1. I looked better 2 weeks ago before I fell off the wagon and 2. I really don’t think anybody gives a shit how many inches my waist is or how my bum looks in a bikini.
Am I right? That’s what I thought. The reason you all read my blog, I am guessing, is because it’s nice to know that somebody out there struggles with the same annoying bullshit that you do, and that you’re not alone. So that is what I’m here to report to you. The results of my exercise program and quest for a better body……here goes.

Exercise is hard goddamm work. I said it. If you want to lose weight, you gotta REALLY want it because ladies, it is ALWAYS going to be easier to sit on the couch and watch Dr. Phil. Nobody ever got a beach body or fit into their skinny jeans by taking leisurely strolls around the block and doing “5 minute abs” once a week. It takes sweat. It takes persistence. It takes a dash of vanity and a shitload of motivation; because let’s be honest here, nobody ever launches a major weight loss program “just to be healthier”. I think everyone in some way wants to look better, to some degree. And it takes momentum. You are not going to want to work out and eat clean and drink 8 glasses of water every day and all that bullshit right out of the gate. It takes time, getting used to a new routine. The results of my experience in this area, were that it does get easier. It becomes a welcome habit. Eventually you start looking forward to it, not because of the pain and agony you may feel while you are exerting yourself but because of the incredible feeling of exhaustion and elation and pride when you finish. That is the hook right there. The payoff is the power you feel when you’ve defeated your pessimism. And, of course, results, which brings me to my next point.

If hope and pride are what bring you to your workouts every day, Results are what keep you going. Results are the reason, whether your desired result is measured with a scale, a tape measure, a heart rate monitor, or a blood pressure cuff, when you finally start to achieve what you’ve been working towards, it’s kinda like crack. Very addicting! It somehow makes it much easier to keep sweating your ass off in spandex, when the spandex is getting noticeably looser. When you begin to realize that you are capable of accomplishing a goal, whether it be big or small, you definitely feel a bit more empowered. Suddenly, it’s like you’re 5 years old again and your dad is telling you that you can be anything you want to be. The world feels full of possibility. You begin to believe that you could actually achieve something, just because you decided to. Why? Cause you’re awesome! But don’t get too comfortable with those results. If you’re like me, they can turn on you.

At some point, positive results begin to work against you. You used to look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I gotta get back on the treadmill.” And now that you’re lookin good, you sometimes look in the mirror and think, “Damn I look good!” Which can go either way. It will either make you want to keep going, or if you get to the tipping point like I did 2 weeks ago, it makes you think maybe you don’t have to work so hard and you can relax a little! This is a slippery slope, my friends. What your mirror won’t tell you, is that the reason you look so damn good is because you work hard, but your eyes are focused on your tight bum and your flatter tummy and you’re all gaga in love with how your skinny jeans are fitting you and you decide to celebrate with a nice little Hershey’s with Almonds. And before you know it your treadmill collects a layer of dust and you’re bribing your kids to get in the car and take a late night run to 7-11 because mommy needs some chocolate. Nevermind that all they want is a slurpee and some gum…that lady at the checkout thinks the 4 family sized chocolate bars are actually for The Family and I’m not going to tell her otherwise. You see, life is like that. Up and down. Sometimes you’re winning the race, sometimes you trip on your laces and eat dust. But you just gotta get back up. Right?

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I went out on the weekend and saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time. It was great for my ego (ha ha). People were telling me all night how great I looked, asking me what I was doing differently, etc. I was proud of my results and hard work. But I also felt like a real douchebag! I had a big chocolate bar for supper that night, and washed it down with a Diet Pepsi. And, some fries a little later. And a couple few whiskey cokes at the bar. So as I was divulging the details of my intense workout program, there was a little chocolate bar with devil horns on my shoulder whispering in my ear, “Hee Hee Heee!!!! Don’t forget about MEEEE!!!” I felt like a fraud, actually. Like at any moment, all those chocolate bars and pastrami and cheese sandwiches would gang up on me and my ass would expand like a busted can of biscuits, Nutty Professor style.

I woke up Sunday morning, still not worried about what I was going to eat that day or if I would get a workout in. I blame the ladies at the bar and all their effin compliments. It was Sunday, after all, the glorious day of Rest otherwise known as My Diet Starts Again Tomorrow. So I did what any hungover girl would do, I grabbed an extra large milkshake on the way outta town and slept the rest of the afternoon. Later that night, my man asked me if my head had shrunken back down to size. I thought he was referring to my hangover headache but what he really meant was had I gotten over all the ego stroking that went on the night before. I had to giggle.

When I woke up Monday morning, I vowed to get this train back on track. And I did! I had a great run, and felt exhilarated, powerful and alive when I was done. I ate a really healthy lunch, and did not buy a chocolate bar for the first day in a week and a half.

And then, at 7 p.m., I started a batch of homemade sticky buns. Ironically, a recipe I found on Pinterest while browsing for Fitness Motivation. Such is life. 🙂

So the moral of the story here kids is that in many ways, perfection is an illusion. Even those fitness models who have rock hard abs and an ass to die for probably had one to many cupcakes once or twice in their lives. Jillian Michaels was a fat teenager! Everybody falls. Everybody quits. Everybody fails. Humans, we ain’t a perfect breed. But for the most part we’re stubborn, or stupid, or both, and we just keep trying. It’s pathological. It’s a curse. It’s a blessing. It’s the reason I have jeans in my closet in every size from 28 to 33. So if you’re feeling a little discouraged, no matter what your challenge may be right now, cut yourself some slack and start again.

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Let’s do a brief Recap of today, shall we?

Today, I repeated the phrase, “Holy Shit” in my head approximately 39 times in 60 minutes.
Today, I laid on my livingroom floor gasping for breath while my 5 year old asked me if I was o.k.
Today, I started Phase 2 of Insanity.

Now, I have to admit that despite my “RAH RAH!” Go-Fitness!!! attitude lately, I was really kind of dreading today. On January 2, I made a promise to myself to get my ass in shape come hell or high water, and I’ve been doing a pretty good job. I got on the treadmill consistently. I counted my calories and kept a food journal, as annoying and crazy as it sounds, because I know that it’s the only thing that keeps me on track and accountable for what is going down the hatch. 5 weeks ago, I made a deal with devil, otherwise known as Shaun T, to take the “Insanity Challenge”. It was hard, but hell I was loving the results so I kept going. After 4 weeks, there is a one week “Recovery Period” where you basically do a slow, stretch/tone/yoga dvd every day instead of the crazy freak show workouts you’ve been doing for 6 days a week for the past month.

I did not do said Recovery dvd’s.

My plan was actually to use this week to get back to the treadmill and enjoy some jogging, as I have been missing it and too tired to do it in addition to the Insanity workouts. And then I went and got all crazy and disfigured my foot or something in a freak stiletto accident and I decided I better just use the recovery week to “take ‘er easy”. Which apparently also meant “eat whatever I want and worry about it later.” I still like healthy food, don’t get me wrong!!! But I was definitely affected by that strange phenomenon that occurs when you skip a workout (or 5) and suddenly don’t feel as motivated to put the cupcake down. At first, it was like, “Hhmmm…maybe I’ll have an extra scoop of peanut butter today”, and by the end of the week it was more like, “WWHHHEEEEEEEE! This is FUN! Cookies and Cupcakes and Butter Tarts, OH MY!!! What else can I eat?!?!?!”

Cut to today. Monday Morning. Day 1 of Insanity, Phase 2. This is no joke. Remember when i told you about laying in a puddle of my own sweat and maybe a little urine on Day 1 of Insanity Phase 1? Well today, I laid on the floor twitching, wondering if I was actually going to barf like the contestants on Biggest Loser. I had a brief vision of Jillian Michaels looming over me hurling Loser insults like rapid-fire. Sorry Jillian, you’re gonna have to take your condescending negative reinforcement tactics elsewhere, I’m way too exhausted to give a shit. According to the Fit Test, my fitness level has actually increased significantly since day one, but according to the look on my kid’s face as I panted and swore and wheezed, I clearly needed medical attention.

I had mentally prepared myself for this. I knew it was going to be a notch tougher than the last round. Shaun T does warn that you will have to “Dig Deeper!!”, after all. I also knew that after taking a luxurious and lazy week off, my body would probably go into shock. I was looking forward to getting back into a routine, but I was afraid. I spent the morning doing what I do best; procrastinating. I know I normally would be working out by 9:30, but I think I better make my bed first. Hmmm, the baby doesn’t quite look ready for a nap, I better just wait. Don’t want to have to quit halfway through! I think I’ll just have a quick snack out of the fridge first….. MY, oh my! Looks like the fridge could use a good cleaning! This could be awhile….

Finally I bit the bullet and just did it. It sucked. It was horrible, and hard, and I thought I was going to die. I counted down every second on the timer…ok just 30 more minutes….just 25 more minutes….dear jeesers please let me just make it to the 4 minute cool down. I was sucking air like my lungs had holes in them. The “actors” doing the workout behind Shaun T were dropping like flies. I began to silently question my motives. Did I really want to be in shape this bad? What the hell for?? Why am I doing this to myself?

Because I can. And I did. And I will again, tomorrow.

And because I have lost 12 inches off my hips, thighs and waist in 55 days, Bitches!!! BOOYAH!
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….. Oh, and 3 off my chest….BOOO!

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It’s official, I’m a loser. But hold on! Not THAT kind of a loser! I’m super cool! But I have begun noticing a certain trend going on in my life lately. I’m Losing Things. My mind? Maybe, but other things too! Here is a quick inventory of things I’ve lost:

My Boobs. This is a sad and unfair bi-product of losing weight, being in my 30’s, and breastfeeding 3 kids. I once had nice, perky, happy boobs. They joyfully greeted me every morning throughout my late highschool and college years, well into my early twenties, right where they belonged: high on my chest and pointed towards the sun like eager little trained puppies. Not too big, not too small. Just right. Then I got pregnant at 25 and it’s been a downhill slide down the slippery slope of Sag and Shrivel ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I sure enjoyed them while they were at porn-star status during my pregnancies, but I have to say it is a sick and cruel little joke God likes to play on pregnant women, giving us the boobs we’ve always wanted and at the same time, ramping up the readout on the Bitch-o-meter during one of the most unsexy times of our lives. And then, of course, the Milk Comes In, and your chest becomes some kind of freakish side-show, stretched beyond the parameters of what you ever thought was possible. And finally, after filling and emptying and feeding on demand for however long you decide you can handle it, they start to shrink. And shrink. And shrink. Until what you’re left with is most closely comparable to two tube socks with a small handful of rice in the bottom. Now throw in a little weight loss and what you’re dealing with can only be described as sad and unfortunate. I still have a sports bra that I wore when I was 15 years old. When I was 15, it was nicely filled out. Got a little snug in college when I put on the Freshman 15, but still fit. Honest to God, I still wear it today when I workout! Unfortunately, in addition to being almost totally threadbare and discolored, its also BAGGY, which is something a sports bra should never be. And I no longer wear it for the same reasons. I used to have to wear a sports bra to keep my boobs from bouncing around and getting in the way. Now I have to wear it to keep them from getting caught in the track of the treadmill when I run. Sad reality. I now spend my free time browsing breast augmentation sites on the internet.

Cravings In an effort to maximize my potential for positive results while following this Insanity workout program, I have put an effort into eating better. I’m not following any type of low carb this or cabbage soup that, just making a conscious effort to eat small, balanced meals often throughout the day. I eat leaner, cleaner, fresher. The result is not only have I noticed a difference in my energy level and my waistline, I’ve almost totally lost all of the cravings for sugar, salt and junk that used to strike often. I eat whatever I feel like eating for the most part, but I have noticed after making a few changes over the course of a few weeks, that what I feel like eating has definitely changed. I crave green crispy vegetables. I can’t get enough! I stand in front of the produce section at the grocery store and fantasize about how delicious those adorable little Brussel sprouts are going to taste for supper tonight. I used to binge on junk food, especially on the weekends. If I was left alone in the house with no kids or other adults to judge me, I would rifle through the kitchen like a greedy little toddler looking for the junkiest, most forbidden treats I could get my grubby little hands on! Now that I have removed the ban on any food and allowed myself to have whatever I want, suddenly, the desire to “cheat” on a diet is gone, because there is no “diet”. If I want it, I eat it. 9 times out of 10, when I really think about it, I don’t really want junk that bad anymore. It’s weird! But I’m totally enjoying it. And, enjoying unlimited access to peanut butter as well! Life is Good!

Excuses I have mentioned recently that I have actually started looking forward to my daily workouts, something that is a relatively new experience for me. Although I have never regretted a workout after it’s done and always feel glad that I made the effort in the end, I typically used to view exercise as a necessary evil and something to be tolerated rather than enjoyed. This attitude made it very easy to talk myself out of exercise on many occasions, and to come up with all kinds of excuses as to why I could or should skip my workouts. They ranged from fairly valid, (I’m exhausted, and they say a mother should sleep when the baby sleeps, right?) to completely irrational (If I squeeze in a workout right now, I won’t have time to shower, blow-dry, and do my makeup before I go outside to CUT THE GRASS.) Now that I have established a consistent routine, I find that there are no more excuses that hold any weight. I look forward to the “Me” time, and especially to the feeling of satisfaction that comes after I’ve just given 100%. My body feels good, my mind feels good, and it would take a lot to talk me out of that kind of reward now. Suddenly I can’t think of any good reasons to cheat myself out of feeling better. I’ve rounded up all of my excuses and traded them in for a nice tall glass of Shut The Hell Up, thank you very much. And I have to say, I don’t miss them!

Inhibitions Now as I write this I am laughing because those of you who know me best, know I never really had many inhibitions to begin with. But as many of you might be able to imagine, a few extra pounds can make even the most confident person feel a little more inhibited in their day to day life. For example, the simple act of exercise itself used to make me self-conscious. I have almost always worked out in the privacy of my own house because God Forbid anyone would see the red-faced heavy breathing sweat monster that I become when I exercise. (It always boggles my mind how anyone works out on their lunch break and then goes back to work without showering and totally getting redone again, because I become a greasy puddle whenever I physically exert myself.) Even though I used to live in total isolation on a farm, I would still close the blinds while I exercised for fear that someone driving by might catch a glimpse of me working my glutes in a deep squat. And you can forget working out while my man is in the house…totally out of the question. How embarrassing! But I am happy to say, that attitude is becoming a distant memory. I’m not sure if I am becoming more confident, or if I just don’t give a shit anymore, but the thought of someone “catching me” in a workout is much less atrocious. I know I look like a drowned weasel after I finish a run. Deal with it. The next step is to stop holding in my farts when I’m jogging! hahaha

Self Doubt. Now I realize that self-doubt is an inherent human condition, and we are all stuck with it to some extent. However, I have been noticing that successfully making positive changes in my life has quieted the annoying voice in my head that tends to second guess every decision I every make. Suddenly, I am much less confused about my personal opinions, my direction, my goals, my convictions. I feel as though my ability to take the wheel in my life has strengthened. I believe that I can do the things I set out to do. It is not just about sticking to a workout routine or an eating plan. It is about making a decision to change something, and setting a plan to be successful in changing it. Taking control. Reclaiming power over my own life! I highly recommend it. I walk around for the majority of the day with the old SNAP! remix “I’ve Got The Power” pulsing on a continuous loop in the background of my brain. My new Anthem! I’m so cool.

The moral of the story, kids, is that being a loser isn’t so bad! Gaining is sometimes overrated, watching an episode of Hoarders proves that. Losing is where it’s at! In an effort to spread a little Monday Morning Motivation, I would like to pose the question to my readers: What can you possibly do today to be a Bigger Loser?

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Why, hello Shaun T. We meet again. As much as I hold you in deep disdain and find your penchant for screaming “PUUUSH!!!” alarming, I must admit I’ve begun to look forward to our daily rendezvous. It seems you’ve had an interesting effect on me, one I never anticipated. At first, I feared you. (So much, I actually peed myself, haha.) Then, I hated you. And now, my heart is all aflutter with anticipation while I’m lacing up my crosstrainers. You’ve got the body of Adonis and the voice of Will Smith, and you make me do things, crazy things, I never thought I’d do! How do you work that voodoo magic that you do?

I’ve been following the Insanity program for over a week now. I mentioned previously that I had been working out via runs on the treadmill for about a month prior, in “training” for Insanity. Now that’s Insanity, right? But I honestly think I would not be pulling off this workout now if I hadn’t! Let me give you a little visual on what the floor looks like when I finish a 40 minute workout with Shaun T.:

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That’s SWEAT on the floor. Not Pee! I swear! 🙂 But seriously, this is an intense workout! I’ve never been one to shy away from physical activity but just watching the promo’s for this program made me want to grab a jar of peanut butter and lay on the couch watching Biggest Loser. But I didn’t. I pushed myself, and I’m so glad I did. Here’s why….

I’ve been like millions of other women out in the world who have a vision or a goal in their heads about what kind of life they want to live or what kind of body they want to have or whatever, and just wait for some miracle to happen to make it come true. And then I cry in my peanut butter when, “Surprise!” nothing changes. Why did nothing change? Because I changed nothing. I realized this. A lightning bolt struck me one day and I finally got it, that if I want different results, I have to try a different approach. I’ve gone on workout kicks before too, but after about 2 or 3 weeks, they fizzled out as I got more and more comfortable with believing that what I had achieved so far was “good enough”. This time around, something in me keeps telling me to Push Harder. Every day I try and give it a little bit more. Go a little faster. Go a little longer. Try a little Harder. The result is that I feel strong. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I feel like I am in control! Which, as any fellow Control Freak might agree, is a pretty fabulously powerful feeling.

Crazy things are happening. I wake up in the morning after being up 3 times with the baby, but I am not tired. I am not grouchy. I can’t wait to put my feet on the floor and breathe today’s air. I don’t snap at the kids. Butterflies trail behind me as I make breakfast, even BEFORE my morning coffee! Oh, you spilled your milk and cereal all over the table and floor? No problem! What’s that? You forgot to tell me you need 2 dozen cupcakes for the bake sale this morning? Let me just whip some up for ya there SweetCheeks. I did a week of Insanity, I can handle anything you little turds are gonna throw at me! I’m Bad Ass!! Holy Patience, Batman! Suddenly, I don’t feel like I’m going to lose it on the 99 year old driving 2mph down mainstreet in front of me. But even that is not the most miraculous thing happening.

I feel good about myself. I look in the mirror and I like what I see, because I am finally realizing that my body is a vehicle and a tool, not an identity. My body is capable of anything I ask it to do, if not today then maybe tomorrow, which is pretty amazing. I am starting to understand the cliché that “beauty begins on the inside”. Power, Strength, Endurance, are all qualities that must begin as inner virtues in order to manifest physically. And they do. My muscles, my cardio capacity, my posture are all improving slowly but steadily. I am beginning to walk differently, with purpose. And ya, maybe a little swagger! Can you blame me, my ass looks good in my jeans again!

There is so much value in feeling pride in your achievements. This doesn’t just apply to working out! I really want to extend the challenge to any of you out there who may be feeling defeated, or just feeling like you need a change, to try something different. Change your inner dialogue. Push yourself to break out of the box that you have put yourself in, labeled, and packed away on the shelf. Talk yourself out of your excuses!

One of the ways I decided to break out of the old routine was to start this blog. Not only was writing something I had always enjoyed and missed doing, but was also a great way to become more accountable for my goals. I mean, if I SAY I’m gonna do something and everyone out there reading this knows I said it, I’m much less likely to go back on it! Now that I’ve gone and said my ass looks good in my jeans again, you can bet yours that I’m gonna be workin’ out again tomorrow!

Peace Out!
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Insanity has arrived. It usually visits me every day in some form or another, but yesterday it came in the form of a Fitness DVD collection and a promise that this “Insane Workout” would get “Insane Results”. Well here’s hoping.

Like so many other people out there desperate for change, I have ventured down many different avenues in a quest to lose weight and tone up time and time again. Some of them worked, if only until my love of peanut butter, marshmallows and chocolate bars won out. Generally speaking, the best results have come from the boring, annoying old “Eat Right, Work Out A lot” route, which I have to admit is pretty satisfying if you can stick with it. But even at my fittest, I was never really TONED. Sometimes thin, sometimes in shape, but never Really Lean and Toned….which brings me to Insanity. Literally.

Even though I have been consistently running every day, I feel like I need to ramp up my workout. I am in pretty good cardiovascular shape right now, but you probably wouldn’t guess that by looking at me in a bathing suit. I try to cut myself a break because baby #3 isn’t even 8 months old yet, but at some point you gotta get back on the hamster wheel and I feel like it’s probably time. I want to be healthy, have more energy, feel good about myself, blah blah blah, but the real reason I am doing Insanity is because I want to LOOK GOOD! Totally vain, I know, but whatever. My clock is ticking ladies! Looking hot in that suit is definitely on my Bucket List and this is one goal I feel like I am ready to take one final kick at.

Why now? I’ll tell you. The baby maker is closed for business and the boss is ready to take her body back. Seriously. After almost 8 years of renting my uterus and other miscellaneous sublets out to these squatters, I am ready to finally reclaim my real estate and give it a little curb appeal! I have spent the majority of the last 8 years either pregnant, nursing, or waking up every 2 hours and operating on absolutely no sleep. Stretching my body out to ungodly proportions. Riding a terrifying, hormonal emotional roller coaster. Eating macaroni and cheese leftovers and hiding under a t-shirt and behind the diaper bag at the beach. Mommy needs to get her groove back. Now that being said, my 3 little twerps may have hijacked my once glorious boobs and left me with a couple of deflated water balloons, but the rest I have to take responsibility for. My kids didn’t give me this ass, Peanut Butter did.

So……I open the mysterious brown box marked INSANITY. My fingertips are quivering with anticipation. The body I’ve always wanted is in this box!!!! It feels like Christmas back when I was a kid and getting gifts was fun and not a tortured exercise in feigning excitement and disguising disappointment. I hold in my hands the most terrifying home workout on the market, or so I hear. Shaun T stares back at me with his deep piercing brown eyes, the caption at the bottom of the picture reading, “Prepare to Get Your Ass Kicked”. Good LAAAWD what have I gotten myself into. Well, let me tell you exactly how it’s going so far.

Day 1 is the fit test. This is where you are supposed to follow along with these 3 insanely fit people and perform 8 different “moves” for 1 minute each, and record how many reps you can do. Then you repeat the test every 2 weeks for 60 days. Now I have to say, after the fit test, I was feeling a bit like a bowl of jelly but not totally out of breath, and I figured, “Hell, that wasn’t so hard. I think I should really squeeze in a run, too.” I mean, the baby was still sleeping and you can’t waste a golden opportunity like that. So being the idiot that I am, I hopped on the treadmill and did a nice leisurely 60 minute run. Wow! This feels great! What was I so worried about? I am obviously in much better shape than I thought. I actually start to wonder if I am too advanced for Insanity.

Cut to Tuesday morning. I hear the baby awaken and I turn to roll out of bed like I do every morning. Huh. That’s weird. My body is not working. I seem to be paralyzed. I wonder what could be causing this? It occurs to me that I am obviously still asleep and having one of those dreams where you try to run or jump or something and you can’t move. OK Better wake up now. I punch myself in the thigh. There! definitely felt that! Now I’m awake. OK Lazy bones! Wakey wakey Eggs and Bakee….I’ll just put my left foot on the floor, and then the right …..OH GOD THAT HURTS!

I’m feeling a little stiff! OK no problem, that’s to be expected. I hobble around slowly and painfully, getting the kids off to school. My 7 year old asks me why I am walking funny. The entire time, I am wondering how in the Hell I am going to do Day #2’s workout. surprisingly, by the time I get the baby all ready for his nap, I have moved around enough to loosen up a bit and I put DVD 2 in the player. OK, LET’S GET EXCITED! Time to get INSANE, BITCHES!!! hahahaha. The Fit Test wasn’t that bad, how much harder could this workout be?

20 Insanely Fit people are jumping around on the screen behind Shaun T, sweating, out of breath and desperately counting the seconds until the next water break. And those are the professionals! I was a puddle on the floor. If Sweat is just Fat Crying, then my fat was hysterically begging for its life. At one point, I was jumping up and down so vigorously that I actually peed a little. Yet another physical injustice I can thank my 3 kids for. But I was IN THE ZONE! the INSANE ZONE! So i just kept on going. What’s a little pee when you’re dripping in sweat already?

By the time Shaun T is finishing his last stretch, I am laying on the floor with my towel on my head staring at the ceiling fan and wondering exactly how much of the puddle underneath me is sweat and how much is pee. I try to get up and I feel like the Tin Man looking for an oil can. The baby is looking at me like, “Who are you and where in the hell is Mommy?”.

For the rest of the day, I continue to get stiffer and stiffer. My arrogant confidence disappears like a fart in the wind. I sit here now, typing, afraid to finish because that means I will have to close up my laptop, peel myself off the couch and climb the stairs to get to bed, and the thought of moving my muscles is terrifying. And you wanna know what’s really Insane? I’m gonna do it again tomorrow!

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I have read a lot of fitness magazines in my past. This was back when I was young and dumb and thought that READING about getting in shape would give me a better body. All I really got out of those magazines was the odd good workout playlist. I did however notice a lot of “tips” for maximizing your workout. Work many muscle groups at once? Interesting. Choose an activity you enjoy? Good point! Drink plenty of water and eat lots of protein? BOOORING!!!! !Let me tell you something about maximizing your workout. Before you have kids, maximizing your workout means doing the right exercises in the proper sequence, etc etc blah blah blah. After you have kids, maximizing your workout means getting as much physical activity in as you can before someone is either crying or bleeding or covered in shit.

I like to run. It’s my go-to cardio workout. I have a treadmill and I love to crank the blood-pumping rap and hip-hop and challenge myself to beat the hell outta that machine every time I get on it. But let me tell you, it ain’t easy!!!! Actually the running is the easy part. Getting the treadmill out, the baby asleep, and the workout in, all in time to go shower and pick my son up from school, that’s the hard part.

Let me give you a little glimpse into the typical morning in my house. (I say ‘typical’ but what I really mean is ‘the last 4 mornings,since I started working out’.) I wake up in a haze at 6:30 when the baby won’t go back to sleep, and decide I can squeeze a good 15 more minutes of sleep in if I just let him chew on electrical cords on my bedroom floor with the door shut so he can’t escape. JUST KIDDING!!! He chews on my slippers and my unplugged curling iron. After about 5 minutes it becomes painfully clear I am not going to get any more sleep and I dredge out of bed and down to the kitchen. Time to make the kids breakfast…so I whip up waffles, scrambled eggs, and bacon or sausages, depending on what the kids feel like having that day. JUST KIDDING!!!! Those little sandwich-grabbers get cereal or toast and if I’m in a good mood, a drink of something. Then I get my coffee and my spoonful of peanut butter, and the world is right again. After coffee #2, life is like one big Broadway Musical, and butterflies trail behind me from room to room as I sing everything instead of speaking it, all while I pack lunches and shuffle the kids out the door to catch the bus. Ain’t Life Grand?

So now it’s time to workout. I have to admit, after day 2, I actually start looking forward to my morning workouts. It’s the closest thing to “Me” time I can get, and I feel so darn good afterwards! Now this is where it gets logistical, it’s all about the timing. Baby is ready for a nap…quick, dig out the treadmill. I live in a shoebox, and the only place to put the damn thing is in a dark corner behind a pile of stuff. I move the living room furniture to make room. I move the vacuum cleaner and the 50 lb box of scrapbooking paper out of the way (into the bathroom because that’s the only place for it). I pull the treadmill into the living room,plug it in, cue the workout music and put it on pause. Baby is starting to get a little fuusssyyy!!!!! I run upstairs and slap on my workout clothes. Uniboob sports bra? CHECK. 1982 track shorts? CHECK. Baby is freaking out. I head to the kitchen and warm up a bottle, plug it in baby’s mouth, and fill him up nice and full because when the rubber hits the road I don’t wanna have to stop to feed anybody!

SO! Time to workout. Now I have trained this little monster to actually fall asleep in the swing as Lil’ Wayne or 50 Cent blares at an ungodly frequency in the background, while he watches the hypnotizing pendulum of my legs moving back and forth on the track. What an Angel! Mommy gets a good hour in as he sleeps soundly. What a relief. I hop off the treadmill, eat a banana, towel off and stretch. Still sleeping! What to do, what to do…. I know! Why don’t I quickly take a shower before he wakes up! Good Idea! Move the vacuum and the 50 lb box of paper into the livingroom (talk about maximizing your workout!). Jump in the shower, quick quick! Has any mother out there ever had a nice long relaxing shower when there’s a baby in the house? Turn off the water…I still hear the music because I know that when I turn it down the little bugger wakes up every time. Time’s a tickin! Almost time to go pick up my 5-year-old from Pre-K. I towel off and creep out of the bathroom….

He’s not bleeding! He’s not crying!
But guess what?

He’s got a diaper full of shit!