the long road to healthy

November 11, 2009

a fresh start

Filed under: family, fitness, weigh in — karena @ 5:25 pm

When I wincingly stepped on the scale this morning, it did not groan under my feet and cease functioning. No warning lights flashed, no sirens went off.  Today’s weigh in — 170 even.  Not great, but given the abuse I’ve handed my body over recent weeks, not bad.

My plan for this week is simple — get back on track.  Get back to counting calories and watching portions.  Get back to a daily exercise regime.  No huge changes or ultimatums.  Calories in, calories out.  So far this week, I’ve logged a whopping seven miles — that’s a combination of walking and elliptical.  Not huge, but a hell of a lot more than I’ve logged in weeks, so I’m allowing myself a measure of pride.

In December we’re taking the kids to Paris and I’m going to race my husband to the top of the Eiffel Tower (well, the second stage — you can’t actually walk all the way to the top), so I’m on a mission.  It would be a lot easier to beat him if I was carrying…. say, ten pounds less up the stairs with me.  That’s my goal: 160 by December 22nd.


September 21, 2009

True Confessions Monday

Filed under: family, fitness, keeping it real — karena @ 3:13 pm

It’s time I finally got my act together and recommitted to this journey.  It’s a long road, but it’ll be a hell of a lot longer if I continue walking backwards.  So, in an effort to get back on track, here are my true confessions.

1. Last Monday morning, I officially started homeschooling my five year old.

2. Monday afternoon, I seriously contemplated sending him to the local schools.

3.  This week has been all about finding the balance of school and parenting.

4.  It has NOT been about exercise and portion control and healthy eating.

5.  I’ve had at least a glass of wine every evening.  Often more than one.

6.   My husband and I always swore we’d never get a Wii.

7.  We scoffed at people who raved about how great it was.

8.  Saturday we caved and bought one.

9.  I’ve had more fun in the last two days than I’d have thought possible.

10.  Things are looking up.

September 18, 2009

trip to Scotland

Filed under: family — karena @ 9:21 am

There is no way I have enough time or patience to post this all over again.  Can I please refer you here, and here, and here, and, finally, here!

September 15, 2009

haste ye back

Filed under: family, fitness, keeping it real — karena @ 7:18 pm

We’re back, and slowly attempting to get back to normal life, whatever that is.  Scotland was…. awesome.  Incredible.  Bonny.  My husband and I spent a good portion of our time there trying to figure out if there was really, truly, a way we could stay there permanently.  We both know it’s simply not practical, but, oh!  In our hearts we desperately wish it were!  It was two weeks of relaxation, luscious surroundings, enjoying each other and the kids, and visiting with good friends.  And the bonus?  No internet.  Funny, I imagined I’d go stir crazy without it, but it was wonderful.  No constant e-mail checking, no blog updates, no mindless celebrity gossip.  I’ve actually been loathe to sit down at the computer since we returned home on Sunday.

I gained back nearly two pounds over the two weeks we were gone.  Actually, I’m rather amazed that it was only that much.  Oh, I had such high aspirations!  I took my mat, and plenty of Hilary and Elsie podcasts to keep me motivated.  But the lure of the pub, and good conversation, and freshly caught fish and chips… it was all too much.  I drank too much, ate too much, and relaxed too much.

But now… sigh… we’re back.  Jillian has been busting my ass for the last two days.  Hundreds of loads of laundry have been done.  Billing has been caught up.  Healthy food is being ingested.  There’s no way I’m ready to weigh in tomorrow, but I’m trying to get back on track.  And that’s got to count for something.

August 18, 2009

random thoughts…

Filed under: family, fitness, general, yoga — karena @ 12:10 pm

My five year old is sitting at the kitchen table behind me, putting together a Lego project intended for a kid twice his age.  And singing “Highway to Hell” at the same time.  I’m not sure if I should brag or not.

I’ve had a crappy yoga practice two days in a row.  Yesterday, just as my power yoga practice was starting to build intensity, my Ipod ran out of juice.  Did you know you’re supposed to charge them?  Huh.  I didn’t.  Then today a DVD I’d ordered arrived, and I eagerly put it in as soon as Harry went up for his nap.  It was ludicrous.  At about 45 minutes in, when the demonstrator literally started humping the floor, and the narrator started going on about how this was cleansing toxins from her body, I had to turn it off.

The five year old is now playing under my desk, and has just told me that my feet are like caveman feet.  I think I need to vacuum.  And maybe mop.

I have a to-do list a mile long.  It’s getting longer while I sit here and play with my blog.

The new picture in the header is of me and my two boys on the shores of a small loch in Scotland last year.  We’re going back in ten days.  None of us can wait.  We go up at least once, often twice a year.  It’s our second home.

I don’t want to step on the scale tomorrow.  Because despite working out daily, my husband and I have also been *celebrating* his long weekend — with dinner out and copious amounts of wine.

Sigh… can’t procrastinate any longer.  Time to whittle that to-do list down from a mile long to just a kilometer.  After all, we are in Europe.

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 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!

July 28, 2009

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.

June 27, 2009

our new bathtub

Filed under: family, general — karena @ 6:40 pm

Ready for it?

As excited as I am?

Here you go!!!


OK, so technically we do have a bath upstairs now, we are not allowed to use it. I KNOW! Trust me, I KNOW. It’s only the shell of a tub. We have to wait four to six weeks for the casing and the shower door to come in. We have to wait a few days to use even the shell of the tub, because the cement is still setting. Apparently, tub installation is done much differently here than in the states. Who knew? Not us, apparently. If I’d known, I sure as hell wouldn’t have planned to have a new tub/shower installed during the summer.

Yes, I know. Short, chubby women should not wear capris. You don’t have to lecture me. But it’s in the 80s, and muggy 80s at that. And I haven’t shaved my legs in over a week. And THAT, above, is the closest I’ve gotten to a bath since last Friday. AND I’ve given up wine for this week.

….only twenty-four hours to go…

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