the long road to healthy

August 19, 2009

wednesday weigh in

Filed under: 21 day challenge, weigh in — karena @ 7:47 am

Hang on, I’ve got to run over to the Sisterhood for a sec…. OK, I’m back!  I had to go and get this:

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Because I have finally earned my 5# button. Remember, I got it once, but then gained a bit back, then my scale went crazy, and all hope of earning the button seemed out the window? Well, what do ya know? Working hard, watching your calories, and not saying “to heck with it” when you make one little mistake and throwing the whole day away… it all adds up.

I’m down to 163.0, which is down 1.5 pounds since last week’s weigh in. I’m pretty chuffed! This weekend I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped — a few too many glasses of wine, etc. But rather than blow the whole weekend as a result, I stayed on course. I still worked out. I watched my calories during the day, even though I knew I’d probably be indulging in the evening. And here I am, smiling.

My habit training is going quite well, I think, but in much more general terms than I had originally delineated. I’m getting a good night’s sleep, every night. And I’m working out, every day. (Every day except for one planned day off per week.) And I’m updating my blog, not daily, but regularly.

Sadly (??) I’m not going to be around for the start of the next challenge. We’re leaving for our vacation on the 28th and will be gone for two weeks. No internet connection, rarely even any cell phone coverage. Maybe one of my *big sisters* can slip me the deets a couple days ahead of time, so I can play along too?

*hint, hint, wink wink*


August 16, 2009


Filed under: 21 day challenge, yoga — karena @ 1:29 pm

The habits I’m trying to form haven’t so much changed as been re-formed.  Does that make any sense?  I have to update the training log, but I’ve done intense 90 minute power yoga sessions nearly daily.  They leave me dripping in sweat (cardio: check!) and muscle sore (weight training: check!).  But I’m not getting in the separate workouts that I had delineated at the start of the 21 day challenge.  Sleep: I’ve got that one covered!  I don’t think I’ve slept this well since having my first son, five and a half years ago.  Granted, to get that sleep, my husband and I are taking turns — one of us taking the toddler into the big bed, the other crashing in the bottom of the bunk bed.  It’s not the ideal, but it will pass — the five year old no longer demands to sleep with “compny” and I’m sure Harry will outgrow it as well.  And sleep…. ahh, glorious sleep!

Today’s yoga practiced pushed me further than any has pushed me yet.  It left me literally dripping in sweat.  It also left me determined to get a real mat, as the fitness mat I’m using is too cushy and slippery — I find myself sliding all over the place, fighting to keep my pose.  Although I suppose that’s helping me to engage my core!  It also left me elated!  For the first time ever I was able to perform side plank pose.  I was only able to hold it for about five breaths, but that’s a first for me!  Also, today, I was finally able to flip my dog.  I couldn’t get to wheel pose, but I think that’s more fear than physical inability.

Waiting for me after practice:

IMG_5706Stash: green and white… ahhhhh

August 14, 2009

habits gone awry

Filed under: 21 day challenge, family, keeping it real — karena @ 8:00 am

Yes, I’m still here, and yes, I’m more or less on track with my habit-forming goals.  The only area I seem to be suffering in is keeping the blog updated.  It’s summer, I’m busy with the kids.  Also, I’m finding there just aren’t enough hours in the day to be Super Mom, a housekeeper, a chef, the librarian, the live-in nurse, get an hour and a half of exercise, stay on top of the billing, pack/plan for our upcoming vacation, etc.  But I will get back to the blog — I miss it, and that’s how I know it’s already a habit.

No time to find more excuses.  I’ve got to chauffeur my oldest to swim lessons…

August 9, 2009


Filed under: 21 day challenge, fitness, weight training — karena @ 7:00 pm


A print from one of our favorite artists, Erté.

Five days in… are any of my goals showing signs of becoming habits?

Well, the sleep thing, oh, yeah…. Getting enough sleep is addictive!  It’s been a little difficult to put the book down, or stop ironing, or sacrifice internet time so as to get to bed at a decent time, but the reward of not sleepwalking through the morning has definitely been worth it.

The cardio — well, we all know I’m up in the air as far as what *cardio* really is for me right now.  Let’s just say, I’m getting in a workout every day, and loving it.  And I’m really loving the five day split for weight training — I feel like I can really target a specific area and give it my all, rather than having to save some muscle for later exercises.  It also feels like it takes up far less time.  Overall, I’m probably spending more time per week with the weights.  But I don’t have to lay out two or three one hour blocks during the week to devote to it.  Roughly, it’s taking me 20 minutes a day.

Blogging — well that’s well on its way to becoming a habit here.  But on our family blog and my homeschooling blog, I’m completely slacking off.

August 8, 2009


Filed under: 21 day challenge, C25K, fitness — karena @ 6:39 pm

DSC_1017The four of us, June ’08.

Today’s my day off from exercise, so not much to report on.  I’ve spent the day contemplating the future of my *running career* and sports bras.  Aren’t I deep?  And, ironically, one has nothing to do with the other.

I’ve been loving the running.  I love the time out, challenging myself, the fresh air… so much of it.  But one thing I don’t love: I can feel my knees.  They feel… thick and heavy and incredibly present.  And, really, you shouldn’t be able to feel your joints.  Sure, you crack your elbow into the wall and you feel it.  But I shouldn’t be aware of my knees every waking hour of the day.  I’m not in pain yet, but I’ve been dealing with the bum knee thing since high school, and I know this to be a precursor.  The wise me would stop before it starts to really hurt.  If I pull back now, I won’t have to spend a week or two gingerly walking around the house, unable to workout.  I won’t have to send my five year old on errands to go upstairs and get extra diapers for the toddler.  I won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to pop some IB just so I can get some sleep.  But, if I pull back now, I’ll be quitting something I really, really want to accomplish.  Sigh… I know the right thing to do.  I just don’t want to feel like a quitter.

In slightly less despondent news, why in hell is it so difficult to find a good sports bra?  I’ve got about five different kinds upstairs in my drawer and, let me tell you, they all suck.  Probably because they are all sports bras carried by the local department store, rather than a really serious sporting goods place.  I’ve decided, whether I continue to run or not, that I need to invest in a couple really good ones, and damn the price.  So, any suggestions?  I have a suggestion for you — I have no idea of the quality of their product, but you need to go here and take the bounce-o-meter test, just for fun.  And, owww, no wonder it hurts!

August 7, 2009


Filed under: 21 day challenge, family, fitness — karena @ 6:17 pm

Karena, Scott, John ChristmasMy two brothers and me, Christmas, indeterminate late 70s

How’s it going?

  1. 5:45 — I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I said I was going to try to make this a habit.  Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I declare that, Harry starts sleeping like the proverbial newborn babe.  My purpose in listing this goal, however, wasn’t to be sadistic and make myself get up before the crack of dawn.  The purpose, really, was to fit a workout in before the daily grind got started.  And the following occurred to me today: my husband doesn’t actually leave for work until 8AM.  It takes me, at the most, an hour to get out for my run and the walk home.  I make the kids’ cereal (Cream of Wheat and applesauce) ahead of time anyway, and I can easily pack dh’s lunch the night before as well.  Sure, I’d be sacrificing a half hour or so with him, but he spends most of that time catching up on e-mail and ignoring me anyway.  (He’s the kind of guy you don’t talk to before he’s had two cups of coffee and some alone time.)  And at that time of the day, the kids are pretty self-sufficient.  So as long as I am out the door at 7, I can still get my workout in first thing without sacrificing more than ten minutes of sleep.  So I’m rewording my first habit.  Instead of *get up at 5:45*, it’s *get my workout in first thing in the morning*.  Another caveat, that’s for run days only.  I’m not about to struggle through my yoga with dh guffawing into his coffee.
  2. 7 hours of sleep — that and more last night.  It feels great to get a real night’s sleep.
  3. cardio — 60 minutes Ashtanga today, plus about fifteen minutes trying to work myself into a headstand.
  4. 5 day split — today was chest.  And I wish I’d bothered to check my latest  issue of Oxygen and follow their routine before I started!
  5. blog — here I am!

August 6, 2009


Filed under: 21 day challenge, fitness — karena @ 6:27 pm

TUNNELMy brother and me.  Possibly the last documented photo of me as a blond.  A real blond, that is.

We are two days into the 21 day challenge at the Sisterhood.  How are you doing?  As for me, well…

  1. 5:45 — didn’t happen today.  Harry woke up in the middle of the night and crawled in with us.  I woke up just before the alarm was to go off and… well, he just looked so damn cute and peaceful I couldn’t bear to wake him up.  And, yes, I wanted that extra hour myself.
  2. 7 hours of sleep — yes.  Since I nixed #1, I was able to fulfill #2.  Sometimes there’s a trade off.
  3. 30 minutes of cardio — 60 today.  I used to do a lot of Ashtanga Yoga, and decided to dust off one of my dvds today, since I missed my morning routine.  It’s not as hard-hitting as running, but ashtanga isn’t sitting around *stretching* either.  It felt pretty good.
  4. 5 day split — today was back and abs.
  5. blog — check!

In review: luckily, these are habits I’m working to form, so not being perfect doesn’t make me feel like a failure.  In retrospect, I wish I had gotten up and worked out before the temp hit the 80s.  I think of all the things I want to do, getting up early is going to be the toughest.  But I’m working on it.

August 5, 2009


Filed under: 21 day challenge — karena @ 12:08 pm

Karena's 1st Christmas

My first Christmas.  Back when chubby was cute.

Staying accountable with all the new habits I’m trying to form:

  1. 5:45AM — he he, well, yeah… I set the alarm for 5:45.  But when I woke up at 4AM I shut it off because I thought no way would I be ready to run in a couple hours’ time.  Luckily, little Harry knows what is in his mama’s best interests.  He came running into our bedroom at five minutes to six, desperate to be on the move.  So, by ten after the hour we were out the door.  LOL, he’s my trainer!
  2. 7 hours of sleep — yup.  Lights out at 10:30, and luckily no little boys needed me during the wee hours.
  3. 30 minutes of cardio — 40 actually.  I did W2D2 of the C25K, then did a brisk walk home.
  4. 5 day split — today was shoulders.  It was great.  And exhausting.
  5. blog — well, yeah!?  I’m here, aren’t I?

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