Catch up time

I haven’t written in a while. I have thought about writing on this blog many times but I somehow never made time to do it. If only there was a chip in my head through which I could download my thoughts so wherever I am and no matter what I’m doing I can write. I need to get my thoughts down…get rid of the clutter in my mind. It helps clarify my thoughts, goals, yada yada. So here I am months after my last post not able to fall asleep (it’s 4:20am now and I’ve been up since a bit before 3am) and I figured this was as good a time as any to write.

I changed my blog theme too. I wanted something clean and simple. I added a photo at the top – kids running freely down a path. Running free without a care in the world. In some ways it seems that kids are so free but then I see my kids struggle – held back by their fears sometimes. They do care and they do create their own limitations. I try to give them the room to be kids and explore and be free. D stops herself because she needs to be in control. She doesn’t like to try something new if she doesn’t feel immediately that she can do it. G is the opposite – she is my adventurer willing to travel into the unknown. G doesn’t give herself boundaries much of the time and sometimes it’s dangerous. D and G balance each other out. After G does something D is more willing to try it. And, when G is running off into the “wilderness” of the world D will call her back and help with boundaries. They are so different but complement each other so well. Sometimes it’s hard to believe two such different little girls were born at the same time. They are almost 4 years old. Wow!

Summer vacation starts today. My girls finished the school year yesterday and now it’s on to our summer adventures. Some weeks they are with me, some weeks in various camps and then we have a trip planned to see family. I hope to make this a fun, memorable summer. Last year was so challenging when I couldn’t take them out since they would run off in different directions and not listen so well, and they were a bit too young for camps (just missing the age 3 cut-off).

Many of my previous posts focused on my “body clutter” – I have been trying so hard to get back in shape. It has been almost 4 years since I’ve had my twins and I have struggled immensely with getting my body back to a state I’m comfortable with. I finally took the step of getting a personal trainer. This is a luxury but I wasn’t able to do this alone. It is worth the money if it will help me feel better. I am definitely getting stronger as she pushes me through the challenging workouts, however, the fat hasn’t exactly been melting off. “It takes time,” my trainer says. Well, the clock is ticking. We have a trip out east planned to see my family and I’d like to go with clothes fitting properly and feeling good. I have 2 months to really whip myself into shape. This week, for the first time I saw a slight weight loss on the scale. Previously, it was static or a gain – hopefully because I’m building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat (or so “they” say). So, I’m going to keep at it and see what happens.

I am trying to modify some bad habits/patterns in my eating as well. I have often eaten dinner with my kids early and then eaten again later with my hubby. I realized that I was eating a meal and a half or sometimes even two meals. Ugh! I am now eating only with my kids and then having a fruit or light snack later if needed. I wake up feeling much better when I eat earlier. My hubby works out at night so he eats pretty late but I workout in the morning so I shouldn’t be eating at 8pm or 9pm. I’m working on it. I am definitely not perfect but I’m trying to improve.

Another area I have been working on is getting rid of the clutter in the house. The kids have grown out of clothes and toys and I keep telling myself I’m going to sell some of the nicer stuff but I never get around to it. So, I finally gave it all away. It was nice to get it out of the house. I still need to clean out papers in the home office and just get more organized but it’s a work in progress and I am making small steps. It’s tough to work on when the kids are home but I’m hoping to do a bit each day and have more of a minimalist home.

All wheels are in motion.

Cheers to a happy, fun summer! And, happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

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Off the wagon

I am so far off the wagon that I am just about under its wheels right now.

I managed to keep momentum going for 5 weeks of workouts 6 days per week and sometimes two workouts – a video and a hike or elliptical, etc. I was doing great and feeling stronger. But, I was disheartened by not losing weight. I know everyone says that muscle weighs more than fat and I was building muscle – blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah. That doesn’t make me feel better even though I was feeling stronger. Let’s see some flab disappearing even if the scale doesn’t change! Ugh!

So after those 5 great weeks we were going away to visit family – the murder of a good exercise and eating routine, right??!! Well, I was pretty darn good. I ate fairly well with just a few treats and I even worked out a few times. It certainly wasn’t 6 times that week but in the past I wouldn’t bother putting in the effort at all when I went on a trip to visit family and ran around all over the place. I was proud of myself for pushing myself to the gym at night with my husband when I’m a morning workout person and dislike workout at a night immensely. We had family who could watch the kids and it wasn’t going to work for the morning when we were rushing out to go places. My husband and I even used our date night (our one and only in a year) to go workout first and then go out for dinner. We have no family where we live and we don’t have a babysitter we can use regularly. This trip to see my family was the only opportunity for someone else to stay with our kids and for us to go out. And I worked out first!!!

Okay, so enough pats on the back for my 5 weeks plus the week away. What happened next??? We got back home across the 3 hour time zone and we were all out of sorts and trying to get back on schedule. Somehow, I lost my motivation and let the disappointment from the lack of flab melting away get the best of me. My 3.5 year old twins started waking up at 4:30/5am EVERY morning.

Hey, kiddos, don’t you know that’s MY time??? I sleep and then workout at 5:30am. When you are awake I can’t do a proper workout since you keep interrupting me saying you need to go potty or you’re hungry or you need help with something. It’s just not a peaceful way to start the day and I can’t get a good, hard, focused workout in. Ugh!

So those are my excuses – jet lag and children. Okay, so we got back on February 10th and now it’s March 8th. I have been trying to get back on track and workout even with the kids awake in the morning. And I’m trying to get them to sleep later. Today was my first successful day at that. Maybe, just maybe it will get back to normal (whatever normal is) and I can’t workout peacefully in the morning. I still don’t feel completely motivated but if I can just do it maybe the motivated feeling I had before will come back. I want my body back, darn it! Get lost, flab!!! You don’t belong here anymore!!!

I contacted a personal trainer. I’m desperate. She is going to try and put together a plan with me and I’ll workout with her a couple of times each week for a bit to get started and establish a routine I can do on m own, and get some guidance on food so I can improve there too. I did fall into a trap of making myself feel better (very temporarily) with sugar treats and I need to get back on track.

But what about melting away the flab? I need to feel better. I need to get leaner so I need to focus on my workouts and eating better again. I need to not feel disappointed by flab not melting away quickly enough. Need, need, need. Get back on the wagon! Spring is almost upon us. It’s time to feel better about being in photos with my kids. It’s time to fit back into my clothes or get rid of them and buy new.

I promise myself that if – no, make that WHEN – I reach my ‘feel good’ goal I can treat myself to a new wardrobe. Yep, that’s my treat and I’ll deserve it. There is nothing like being 44 and having a twin pregnancy only a few years ago to send you into a rabbit hole. But it’s time to come out!

Back on the wagon again…

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Happy birthday to me…

It’s my birthday today. I’m 44.

I’ve never minded birthdays and getting older. It is what it is and that’s not going to change whether I have a fear of aging or not so what’s the point? Also, I can’t really complain… There are definitely things I want to improve on but I am also blessed. I am reasonably healthy. I have a wonderful husband and adorable twin daughters. I have a lot to be thankful for.

I don’t really make a big deal out of birthdays but I do appreciate getting a thoughtful card and a phone call from certain people in my life (my husband, my kids – with help from my husband since they are too young to get/make a card by themselves, and my mother). My father doesn’t send cards. He never has. He sends a text or an email and typically calls at some point so I don’t expect more from him than he can give. I receive texts, emails or calls from my sister and other family members and friends. My mother-in-law always thinks ahead with her card.

Things have changed, though. My mother used to be one of the first to call and her card used to arrive in plenty of time before my birthday. My step-father passed away a little over a year ago and my mother has been focusing on her life, rightfully so. She has a boyfriend and says she is happy and she’s doing her own thing. Her own thing. I am happy she is able to be independent since this is really her first time living on her own.

But…

Let me remember this feeling… I received her card yesterday – just in the nick of time for my birthday. Great, she remembered! And, it was a very thoughtful card in light of our relationship. Now, it is 11:30am my time and 2:30pm in her time zone and I have yet to receive a phone call.

Yes, I’m 44 and I still appreciate getting a birthday phone call from my mother. After all, I wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for her. I would imagine a mother would always remember her child’s birthday and want to share it as soon as possible with a simple phone call.

I want to remember this feeling for when my daughters are 44. I’ll be 84 at that time and G-d willing I am alive and still with a reasonable amount of mental clarity. I want to make them feel special and know that I will never forget the day they were born. That was such a momentous day that I want to call them first thing in the morning (in whatever time zone they are in) and wish them a happy birthday and celebrate with them if even for a moment. I want them to know they are on my mind always and they are so important that wishing them a happy birthday comes before just about anything else.

The day my daughters were born was life-changing. Every day with them is a gift and I want them to feel special all the time but especially on the anniversary of the first day I held them in my arms.

Today is a happy birthday for me just because it’s another day to be alive and appreciate all of my blessings. Happy birthday to me…

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Feeling unmotivated :(

Each morning last week I had a hard time getting going and working out. I thought this lack of motivation was because I wasn’t feeling great due to PMS. Well, that should be passing me by but this week – the fourth week of my more intense workout regime (and better eating) has been tough too.

I am frustrated. I’m not obese but would like to lose 15 pounds (maybe even 20 if my body will let me). I have been working really hard and I’m not seeing great results. I know, I know… It takes years to put on the weight (and a twin pregnancy) and it takes time to get rid of the weight… Muscle weighs more than fat… It’s harder to lose weight as you get older (I’m forty-something)… Blah, blah, blah… I’ve heard it all but it’s still frustrating. I have lost a couple of pounds in the 3.5 weeks of this intense workout schedule. I have been working out 6 days a week during this timeframe and they are intense workouts – sweat and all. Some days I have even done two workouts adding on a hike, heavy duty walk or another workout video. I do feel stronger. I know there is some muscle in my core now but I’m frustrated by seeing the flab on top of the muscle still. I want visible results!

Now! (as my toddlers would say)

I know how this goes… We get motivated to exercise because we know we need it and it will do us good. Then we don’t see results fast enough so our self-talk suggests the exercise is not working and there is no point in doing it. It’s much easier not to exercise. Let’s just sit on the sofa and watch the terrible shows on TV and let our brains turn to mush so we don’t realize how horrible we feel.

Despite the challenge to get motivated last week I pushed through and did my workouts and always felt better afterward. And, so far this week I have been doing the same. I would like to up the ante and exercise longer and harder but time, energy and kids keep me from doing that. This frustration from not seeing as much of a result as I would like at this point is working against me too. Why is my body not responding? I have been watching what I eat in addition to working out. Portion control. Staving off my chocolate cravings (ooh, what I wouldn’t do to eat some serious chocolate right now!). Trying to eat whole foods, natural foods, less processed stuff, sticking with chicken, meat, fish, veggies, and fruit. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do??? Do I really need to consult a professional and show them a list of every item I put in my mouth to figure this out? Grrr, I’m frustrated! I can’t possibly be working this hard and avoiding chocolate like this for nothing. I better see some results and SOON!

So yesterday I came across this article that talks about motivating yourself and self-talk and here it is for reference and to remind myself to stop saying, ‘I’m not seeing results’ and start saying ‘results will come; be patient.’ And, to remind myself that I feel stronger and I can feel some muscle underneath this flab and someday, somehow this flab will disappear and I’ll feel even better.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/20/rethink-your-workout-stick_n_6458040.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

And now I’m going to workout…

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Reminders…

We are faced with so many images of perfect bodies and promises that if we follow some exercise program or diet we will have that body. We will have the flat stomach, toned arms with no “flappers” and toned, strong legs. It seems though that there is a shift and people are starting to talk about accepting ourself for who we are. The messaging is moving toward the importance to exercise and eat in a way to keep ourselves healthy but it’s okay if we don’t have the perfect body shape. The images that are out there are not necessarily real and the people who have these “perfect” bodies are not necessarily healthy. As long as it’s not impeding our health let’s show ourself some acceptance. It’s not accepting our “flaws” as these are not necessarily flaws at all. This is just the way it is.

Here is an article that talks about just that.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6489466?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

I must accept my stomach as it will never be flat after having twins. It’s my badge of honour for a challenging pregnancy that yielded two amazing children.

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Conquer the cell phone!

I did it… I woke up, changed into my workout clothes and went straight into my workout video. I did not look at my cell phone. No email. No Facebook. No news. Nothing. I opened up my workout tracking up right before I started my workout and started the tracker and then put the cell phone back down. That was it.

I know this is only one time but I must celebrate the small successes. Then perhaps I can repeat them.

Now it’s time to hit the shower.

Have a great day!

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Remember how this feels

Clutter:
I wake up in the morning still a bit foggy and definitely tired. (Does anyone really wake up refreshed and ready to go, go, go???) I don’t want to get out of bed. There are so many ways I could be productive – exercise, organize things in the house (and there are still plenty of areas to do that), get my kids’ snacks/lunches ready for school, get meals ready for dinner so I could spend more time with my kids in the afternoon instead of cooking and the list can probably go on. But I can’t get out of bed. I want more sleep even though I know I won’t fall back asleep. Or, I am tempted to pick up my cell phone and check email or Facebook or read some article.

Clarity:
I completed a workout. I am hot and sweaty but feel invigorated. I feel accomplished. I got up out of bed and worked out even though I didn’t want to get out of bed. I feel like I had a great stretch. My body feels strong. My mind feels clear. I am ready for the day (after a shower, that is). đŸ™‚

Remember how this feels as I write this while I’m still hot and flushed from my workout.

Bridge the gap – just one push to get out of bed and start the workout. One very big push each morning. An early push – before picking up the cell phone without laying in bed with my thoughts. Just get up so the stress of time before getting the kids to school is not on my shoulders.

This is the way to start my day!

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