the long road to healthy

July 28, 2009

True Confession – the late edition

Filed under: keeping it real, nutrition — karena @ 12:19 pm

OK, so I didn’t read this post over at the Sisterhood until Tuesday, but I’ll still play along!

  1. I got up at the crack of dawn and went jogging!
  2. Only because my toddler was already up and poking me in the back — “Mama, up!  Mama, up!”
  3. We went out for lunch today and I had salad.
  4. Taco salad, that is.
  5. I only ate half of the bowl.
  6. But all of the sour cream.
  7. Finally, I drank three glasses of wine last night.

And you?  !


the way to start a day

Filed under: C25K, family, fitness, good eats, nutrition — karena @ 7:01 am

Harry, the toddler, has been waking up between 5 and 6 AM recently.  It’s agony.  I hate sacrificing my sleep, even if it’s for some cuddly toddler love.  I want to sleep in — which, as all moms know, means make it til 7 without being awoken by matchbox cars running a race up and down your body, or little boys calling from the bathroom for you to come help wipe their butts, or a big CRASH! followed by uh-oh coming from the toy room.

Anyway, yesterday the parts finally arrived to fix the jogging stroller, and dh got it up and running again.  So this morning, when Harry got up at 5:45, I had no excuse.  I waited about twenty minutes, hoping I could wish him back to sleep.  No such luck.  I got up and, without so much as a cup of coffee, headed out the door with him.  And you know what?  It was nice.  It was still cool and crisp.  I didn’t have to contend with traffic.  Harry loved seeing the canal boats  traveling alongside us.  And I didn’t waste an hour sitting on the couch nursing a cup of coffee, wondering where I was going to find the energy later in the day to workout.  The best part?  I feel incredibly noble and healthy!

What a great way to start a day!  Of course, that could just be the combination of exhaustion and endorphins making me say that.

The other way to start a day:


A Green Monster.  Or a Green Smoothie.  Or, as my husband calls it, The Snotblower.  I started making these about a week ago.  The funny names were what enticed my kids to try it.  The taste is what forced me to make a second for myself since my five year old sucked down an entire one on his own.  And, yes, that’s a pint glass.  The recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
  • 2-3 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of lite milk (I use soy, but skim would be fine too)
  • 1 frozen banana

Put it all in your blender, in the order given, and blend away.  Once everything is blended, I turn it up on high and let it go wild for a full minute.  The smoother and the creamier, the better.  If you don’t have frozen bananas, try a banana and some ice cubes.  No, you can’t taste the spinach.  Really.  I swear.  The proof: my five year old has had four of these in the last week.  That’s eight cups of spinach.  Which is probably eight times the amount he’s been willing to eat in his entire life up until this point!

July 26, 2009

a fresh start

Filed under: C25K, family, fitness — karena @ 7:00 pm

Today, as promised, I am back on track and feeling great.  I’m using SparkPeople to track calories in and calories out, as well as for a little additional motivation.  Seeing the calories add up makes me thing I’ve been off on my “estimation” and that has probably contributed greatly to my lack of progress.

Today, I started something I’ve been wanting to do for years now.  I finally dug deep and started the Couch to 5K program.  I’ve always secretly wanted to run, but found it too embarrassing/intimidating to start.  But I finally decided I was more embarrassed to be in the shape I’m in than to be seen actually doing something about it!  The walk/jog actually wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.  I found it very empowering to be out there doing it.  And I loved the time alone!  That’s a rare commodity in my life!

Unfortunately, that is also where a bit of a problem comes in.  My family was, I’m afraid, less supportive than I’d hoped they’d be.  My husband doesn’t like to have his evening rearranged — supper pushed back, having to be on  his own with the kids, etc.  He suggested I wake up early in the morning and go, until I pointed out that the toddler is usually up an hour early, and that would mean he would have to get up an hour early with him.  Nix that idea.  He said we’d try it and see how it goes with me running in the evenings.  But he didn’t sound happy about it.  To be fair, I should point out that he’s also concerned I might re-injure my knee.  But that’s not his primary concern.

My five year old was the big surprise.  Or perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised.  He’s always been very clingy, and because of our living situation, isn’t used to being left with someone else.  So he bawled when I tried to leave the house.  He doesn’t want me to go.  But man, I need some time to myself at some point!  I felt pretty badly as I left, but I did my best to shake that off.  I will not let them make me feel bad for trying to do something good for myself.  I’ve put everyone else first for years now.  I am going to squeeze some time to put me first into my life.  I have to.

gather round, class

Filed under: general — karena @ 12:52 pm

I think I’m happy with the look and the layout of the blog.  For now.  I wish the font was a little bigger, but I can probably find where to change that.  And most of you probably aren’t half-blind like me, so it’s probably not much of an issue.  I like the colors — fresh, crisp, healthy-looking!  Don’t they make you want to eat a salad, or have a smoothie instead of a bowl of ice cream?!  Well, that’s how they make me feel, anyway.

So, what’s with all the French, you ask?  Well, the longer I live here, the better my French is getting.  I’m finally getting to the point that I sometimes think in French, rather than in English.  Not deep, philosophical things.  But giving directions, reciting phone numbers, simple Q&A sessions… I find myself thinking in French first, then having to double-back for the English.  It’s pretty cool.  I’m in the French zone, if you will.  So, while playing around with the theme, I thought I’d bring a little of my French into play.

The few smatterings of French you’ll find here:

  • Moi, mais en mieux.  Basically, that means “me, only better.”  Because no other titles I came up with looked/sounded right once put to page.
  • Entraînement = training, ie. that’s where my workout log will go.
  • Le régime = the plan, the blueprint that’s going to take me from fluffy to fit.
  • Les mesures = the terrible, horrible, scary truth of numbers in black and white — weight and inches.
  • Je lis = I read.
  • J’écris = I write.
  • Autrefois = in the past.

I hope you like it!

lies, all lies!

Filed under: oops — karena @ 11:20 am

So, my scale started acting screwing this morning.  I weigh 125!  Hooray!  The battle is over.  Oh, wait, now I weigh 225.  Now 140.  So I replaced the battery.  Now my scale consistently says I weigh 166.5.  That’s two pounds more than it said yesterday, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat half a cow or something in the meantime.  Luckily, the Great Battery Change/Scale Rebellion of ’09 took place between challenges at the Sisterhood, so I won’t have to report this as a gain.  Still.  It sucks.

July 25, 2009


Filed under: general — karena @ 11:52 am

Still alive, still on track.  I’m getting over a nasty bug that laid me low for a couple of days.  Still have not resumed exercising, but am functioning normally again, so will get back on track with my workouts tomorrow.

I’ve been playing around with the design around here.  Expect more changes to come.  I love WordPress, and I love *free*, but I’m a little annoyed that I can’t load my own theme.  Trying to remember what annoyed be so much about Blogger that I decided to move…

July 22, 2009

weekly weigh in

Filed under: keeping it real, weigh in — karena @ 5:00 pm

It’s final weigh in day for the Shrinking Jeans summer challenge. I’d love to be able to post here about how awesome I did, and how fantastic I feel to have seen it through and made such great progress.

But I just couldn’t seem to find that “oomph” I needed to really make any headway.  I got too busy with other things — all good, noble, profitable things — and put my fitness journey to the side.  As I look back through my archives, I see lots of good intentions over the last few months, but all quickly abandoned when “life” got in the way.  Sigh.  I really, really want to lose this weight and be healthy and happy with my body.  It is daily on my mind.  So why haven’t I been able to commit?  Not to one particular set of goals, but to my own health?

I’ve just started back on a highly structured program that has worked for me in the past.  But I feel no joy.  Because I don’t think I’ll see it through.  I think that, before I’ll be able to move forward with my weight loss, I need to figure out exactly why I’m giving it the short shrift.  Do I not think I’m worth it?  Do I like to “hide” behind my weight?

I’m afraid that the reality might be that I’ve given up.  I go through the motions and say the right things, but I fear a large part of me (ha ha, even in the midst of self-pity I am humorous) has simply accepted that this is “me.”  That I’m the short, fat, quiet one in the corner.

This week’s weigh in: 164.5

That’s up 1.5 pounds from last week.

July 21, 2009

BFL trial week – Day 3

Filed under: fitness, nutrition — karena @ 7:22 pm


  1. eggbeaters and bell peppers, half a banana
  2. cottage cheese and strawberries
  3. a huge salad with tuna, lite balsamic dressing
  4. Boca burger, one piece of whole grain bread cut into two, pickles, ketchup, mustard, tomato, mustard, and green beans
  5. popcorn, and wine (what, wine’s not protein?  now you tell me!)
  6. ?

Sigh.  I really don’t want to add fish into my diet.  Ironically, I didn’t become vegetarian to save fluffy animals and slimy fish.  But, in light of much of what I’ve read since going veg, I’m really hesitant to add it back in.  But in less I eat edamame at every in between meal, I’m going to come up short.  Thinking… thinking…

workout: lower body

  • quads: squats, at 0,2,3,4,5,6  (might go up next time if my knees don’t object to today’s workout)
  • hamstrings: deadlifts, at 2,3,4,5,6,7 — definitely go up next time
  • calves: single leg raises, at 3,4,5,6,7,8 — definitely going up
  • abs: crunches for the first five sets, reverse crunches for the last

What, that doesn’t make any sense?  In BFL, you gradually increase your weights while decreasing your reps.  Then, for the last two sets, you use weights that allow you to do maximum reps, but almost to exhaustion.  I’m making it sound far more confusing than it actually is.  The “official” explanation can be found here.  Except that, instead of changing to a different exercise for the high point, I’m sticking with the same exercise.  For lower body only.  Because there are only a few quad/ham exercises that don’t obliterate my knees.

So  the numbers up there, they are the weights I used, per set.  And before you go thinking I’m a complete wimp, those are in kilos.  OK, still wimpy, but 2.2 times better than you thought, right?!  I’m hoping to increase weights quite dramatically in the first few weeks, once I see what my knees can withstand.

BFL trial week – Day 2

Filed under: fitness, nutrition, The Daily Shred — karena @ 5:21 am


  1. scrambled tofu with peppers
  2. cottage cheese and an apple
  3. chickpeas, tomato, and cucumber w/ a little balsamic vinegar
  4. peanut butter on rye crisp-type crackers
  5. leftover pasta from yesterday
  6. Camembert and whole grain baguette rounds (oops), glass of wine

Obviously, meal six was not the best choice I could make, and certainly not BFL-approved.  This is a trial week, don’t forget!

workout: cardio

  • Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred

OK, I’m actually completing this entry first thing in the morning of day 3.  I’m am now contemplating the wisdom of shredding the day before a lower body workout!

July 19, 2009

BFL trial week – Day 1

Filed under: fitness, nutrition — karena @ 5:56 pm

I’ve decided, after many, many volleys back and forth, to return to a regimented plan like BFL.  I find myself in need of the structure a plan like this provides.  This worked very well for me in the past.  It’s a lot of work, but so is carrying around 20-30 extra pounds on a 5’2″ frame!  It will take a week or so to get back in the swing of things, and to get all the “right” foods in the house, hence the “trial” label above.  I won’t be full-blown BFL until I get those small details sorted out, and, I must confess, the wine out of the house.  But I figure there’s no use putting it off for a week when I can at least make a decent start.



  1. scrambled tofu with peppers
  2. lentil soup over a little rice, baby carrots
  3. apple and one tablespoon of peanut butter
  4. pasta with sauce — TVP, tomatoes, and spinach added ((and a glass of red wine))
  5. ??
  6. ??

Ideally, I should be getting six small meals a day.  But Sunday is my day to sleep in, so I missed one meal.  I may have another light one this evening.  I always had problems fitting in six while doing BFL in the past.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day!  Also, for any “real” BFLers that stumble by, I realize my meals are low on protein, higher on carbs.  I’m a vegetarian, with the occasional portion of fish thrown in (like once every few months).  I may up my fish intake to help get a better ratio, but I’m not going to obsess about it.  And I know that pasta isn’t an ideal BFL-food, but the sauce was very heavy on veg, so the ratio of veg to pasta worked in my favor.  And I don’t do whey powder or shakes or energy bars.  I like real food, and I like to cook my own food.  Granted, that may be why I have 20+ pounds to lose, but that’s a topic for another post!

workout: upper body

  • chest: dumbbell press, flyes for the highpoint
  • shoulders: shoulder press, lateral raises for hp
  • back: bentover row, one arm rows for hp
  • triceps: tri extensions, dips for hp
  • biceps: curls, reverse curls for hp

Overall, I’d call today a pretty successful start.   Let’s keep it up!

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