the long road to healthy

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 4, 2009

new challenge at the Sisterhood!

Filed under: C25K, fitness, weight training — karena @ 4:03 pm

21 Days with the Sisterhood!

I’ve been refreshing the Shrinking Jeans site every five minutes all day long, I swear it.  I was itching to find out what the new challenge was, and to get on with it!  And, finally, it’s up!  (Remember, I’m in  Belgium.  By the time the girls get up and moving, it’s late afternoon for me!)  So the new challenge is a relatively short one — 21 days.  The mission: form new habits.

Funny.  I always kind of think of habits as a bad thing.  I’m always trying to *break* myself of my bad habits.  Drinking, slouching, pouting when things don’t go my way… The idea of forming new, healthy habits intrigues me.  I want to approach this in a positive way.  Not, I’m going to stop drinking. Yes, I know stopping drinking would be a positive, but that statement has a negative connotation, ya know?  And besides, I’ve already got that one pretty much beat.  I haven’t been posting much these last couple weeks, but I have been busy.  I’ve been limiting my wine to one night a week, and it’s been working really well.  No jitters or anything 🙂

So, the new habits I’m going to form during this 21 day challenge:

  1. Set my alarm for 5:45 so I can get my workout in early. I love working out first thing in the morning.  I hate getting up. But when I do workout first thing in the day, I’m more motivated to stay on track with everything else.  And obviously, less likely to skip my workout!
  2. Do my best to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. My littlest is still often up during the middle of the night, and sometimes that can’t be accounted for.  But me staying up until midnight to read a trashy romance novel… well, that I can account for!
  3. Get at least 30 minutes of cardio six days a week.  Preferably 45. I’m into week two of the C25K — that covers three days.  But I want to add some cardio to the other days as well.  The more I move, the quicker the weight will move.
  4. 5 day split weight training. This is a new one for me.  Previously I’ve done upper body one day, cardio the next, then lower body, then cardio, then upper, cardio… you get the picture.  Instead, I’ll be working shoulders, chest, back/abs, bis/tris, and legs on different days, but more intensely.  This is an approach, along with the more frequent cardio, that I’ve been looking into.  What better time to try and implement it than in a 21 day challenge!
  5. Blog, blog, blog!! I’m very lax at keeping accountable, I know.  It would do me a world of good to get in here every day and journal — the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  Even if it’s just a few words, I need to do this!

That’s my plan!  What’s yours?

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.

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