Jet Lag and Playing Small

Hello and happy Wednesday! I’m still recovering from jet lag over here. I just returned from my surprise work trip to Sydney, Australia on Sunday, and though it’s 5:15am here on the U.S. West Coast, my brain and body want me to believe it’s actually 10pm. I am quickly running out of coffee. Send provisions.

But my trip was AMAZING. Most of it was work, but I stayed an extra day so I could do some touristy things. I would have felt shattered if I didn’t travel to the other side of the planet and not see at least ONE koala.

img_0872.jpg

Also, the hotel I stayed at had hands-down the most awesome hotel gym ever. It was actually a REAL gym/health club that hotel guests could use for free. I forgot how nice it was to have a gym in the same building!

img_0696
I am SO NOT COMFORTABLE with public gym pics

Okay, time for some real talk, y’all. The past few years have been tough. I started this blog seven (!!) years ago with the intention of defining myself as a “fitness” person. I thought that if I blogged about my workouts and diet I would magically become all fit and healthy and find a voice and tribe and be a prominent leader in the blogosphere. I absolutely love and enjoy reading blogs, and writing for my own is super fun for me. But I get hung up on the wrong things. I constantly get swept up in the comparison trap, trying to mimic the bloggers I admire when I’ve never been one to fit in any sort of mold. I immediately jump to “oh, I should monetize my blog and try to make money, or it’s not worth my time,” instead of enjoying the process as a hobby for what it is. And worst of all, I get stuck in Impostor Syndrome, feeling that I have nothing of value to share, and “what do I think I know” and “who do I think I am” and all the other crazy negative self talk that comes with trying to lay the guard down and put yourself out there.

The truth is, I think about blogging every. single. day. In my head, I narrate events in my life for a future post. But that post is rarely written. And often, I half-write a draft and it just sits there until it’s no longer relevant and I end up deleting it. I just don’t make the time. And quite honestly, I’m scared to, as well. I’m scared to be real about my struggles and faults and Real Life stuff. Because I don’t like only showing the glossy good days and upsides; it’s not real, and you deserve real. You deserve to read something relatable and authentic, because there’s enough of the “everything is amazing and look how awesome I am” content out there. And the biggest of all, I’m tired of hiding parts of myself. I’m tired of separating and isolating the “personal me” with the “public me” with the “professional me”. While there is a line between what’s personal and what’s intimate, and there is a time and a place for disclosure and sharing, I am tired of being so cautious about how I present myself here, in my own freakin’ space on the internet that I pay for. I shouldn’t be afraid to be honest with who I am and what I’m up to. I’m tired of playing small.

I want to blog more. Whether I actually get down to making the time for it or not is yet to be witnessed. But I wanted to throw it out there, see what the Universe has in mind for this little corner of the internets. Odds are pretty good that I’ll keep writing half-draft posts every month or so that never see the light of day. Or maybe my blog will take a new direction, with whatever inspiration comes my way. Whatever the case, if you made it reading down this far, thank you for hanging in there with me while I sorted out my thoughts.

That was a lot. Here, I will share an amusing meme with you that I had posted to Instagram last week:

img_0640
source

Now go make it a great day!

She Did What Now??

What is up, beautiful people? I’m taking advantage of the downtime that resulted in a delayed flight to say hi and check in. How are things going?

I traveled to central Oregon this week for my company’s offsite retreat. We had gorgeous weather, and I had such a great time getting to know all of my coworkers better and participating in all the activities and shenanigans planned. And my hotel was GORGEOUS.

You couldn’t beat the view from the back porch.

Since I had a bit of downtime between sessions, I took advantage of the fitness center while I was there. I forgot to pack my gym shoes, so I decided to work out in my Converse and see how I liked it.

The verdict? I kinda liked it.

They’re actually quite comfy, and stable.

I hadn’t been working out consistently in a while, so it was great to have a full fitness facility at my disposal. I just roamed and played around with kettlebells, dumbbells, and even found an oly bar. I finished up with some core work and a good stretch.

I think I need to join a gym, since it’s hard to work out at home; I get too distracted with all the other millions of things I should be doing. And CrossFit has been difficult because my schedule gets weird and I can never make the class times. If I joined the local 24 Hour Fitness, I would have the distraction-free fitness focus with the flexible hours just 10 minutes away. And there’s a facility near me that has child care too, so on the days I have the kids that might be an option to me.

Oh, in other news, I signed up for a half marathon.

WHO AM I WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??

Realize the last half I ran was four years ago, and I have yet to finish my full Couch-to-5k plan. So I’m going with the strategy of putting money down on a deadline, and see if that gets me motivated. Plus one of my friends is also signed up for the same race, so I can use the accountabili-buddy system as well.

Amy tips for easing back into a consistent running routine? I just know I’m going to go too hard too soon and end up with overuse injuries. Wish me luck!

Go make it a great weekend!

The Workit30, Days 1 & 2

While I’ve been feeling pretty good about life in general, I’ve noticed that a lot of healthy habits have been slipping. Despite constantly thinking about what I need to do, I’ve only been working out about once a week on average, and I may have had corn dogs for breakfast the other morning in a rush to get out the door. Darn adulty things and poor planning keep getting in the way.

I know I don’t have it in me to do a Whole30 yet. With the rabid Holiday season upon us now, I have some even to go to or host every weekend until New Year’s, including both of my kids’ birthdays.

IMG_9355
That’s right, bitchez. I’m almost a toddler now!

I know I need to do something to pull my healthy habits back on track. I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin on my commute to try and inspire me, and decided a challenge with some at-home support sounded like a good idea. So Hulk and I cobbled together what I’m calling a Workit30 (in homage to the Whole30), a 30 day challenge to work out every day.

Here are the rules:

  1. Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes
  2. Any moderate to high intensity exercise counts – running, weights, power or flow yoga, HIIT drills, etc
  3. Low-impact stuff like walking only counts as a recovery day, and must be preceeded and followed by a moderately or high intense workout day
  4. Warm-up, mobility work, and stretching/light yoga are encouraged, but don’t count towards the 30 minute minimum time

We started on November 5th. I went on a 2 mile run/walk using my Couch to 5k app. I have literally been doing a couch to 5k for ten months now, because I never finish the program, and when I want to get back into it I just restart at Day 1.

This morning I threw some weights around in the home gym. Olive participated by selecting random trash bits on the floor to chew up in her favorite garage spot, the trampoline.

IMG_9360
You weren’t using this piece of cable, right?
  • Squats 3×10 @ 45lb
  • Bench press 3×10 @ 45lb
  • Assisted pull ups, 1×8
  •  deadlift, 3×10 @ 45lb
  • Kettlebell swings, 1×10 @ 35 lb

I’m hoping by the end of the 30 days I’ll have more of a rhythm going when it comes to working out, and maybe get a bit of my strength back. Let me know if you want to join in, or if you’re doing a similar challenge right now.

Go make it a great day!

A Bad Example Day

Yesterday was quite the “bad example” day. I started out by doing Week 1 Day 2 of the “Champion” Spitfire Athlete workout. I don’t remember the details, but there were a lot of squats.

IMG_9153

Of course I did it on an empty stomach, and only drank coffee with milk afterwords.

Once at work, I felt hungry so “Second Breakfast” was a side caesar salad that I found in the fridge, a granola bar, a handful of Cashew Clusters, and more coffee with milk.

Blogger trick: only photo the salad, not the Cashew Clusters. That way, it's healthy!
Blogger trick: only photo the salad, not the Cashew Clusters. That way, it’s healthy!

So of course that meant Lunch was a burger and fries. Grass-fed, of course. We’re all about health here.

IMG_9155

I had an appointment in the city, and afterwords felt really “ugh” about everything. So I picked up some cookies from Whole Foods as a snack for the ride home. Turns out that was dinner, because when I got home Hulk was getting a new beer batch ready and the stove was commandeered for mashing. That was fine, so I had a couple beers to wash down the cookies.

I’m starting to feel kind of foggy in the head and tight in the pants, so I think the “consume all the carbs” phase needs to move on now. I haven’t slept well this week, and I’m very certain that’s a huge part of it. It’s time to reclaim the bedtime and get back where I prefer to be.

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Ralph the Bear says, "Cheers to that!"
Ralph the Bear says, “Cheers to that!”

Some Days are Like That, Even in Australia

Yesterday was one of those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days for me. I can’t even explain it. Monday I went to bed feeling all the gratitude and warm fuzzies about the world. Tuesday I woke up and felt like Kill All the Things. And I’m not even on Day 5 of a Whole30!

Breakfast

Since I was all grumpy, I skipped out of the house as soon as I could after the usual kid-wrangling to avoid making the rest of the family miserable, and grabbed a sausage breakfast sandwich from the deli by my office. Their breakfast sandwiches are magical, being hand-made on a toasted croissant. It’s a nice food-treat to start the day. I also downed a couple of coffees with milk.

Lunch

I was still feeling sort of reclusive, so I went to a nearby cafeteria where I knew it was chicken tandoori day. Some chicken tandoori, curried veggies, and rice were some good soul food. I also walked to and from the office, so it was a good sunny mile walk each way.

IMG_9145

Snack

I wasn’t hungry in the afternoon, but I did indulge in some mood-eating. A KIND bar and a few Andes mints were a decent distraction, washed down with a couple Diet Cokes.

Workout

I came home to some good family news, so that perked me up. No public announcements yet since it’s not quite a done deal. True to my “no beer before barbells” rule, Hulk offered to put dinner together while I worked out in the garage. I started the Champion program on the Spitfire Athlete app. I didn’t have time to get through the whole workout, but I completed most of the weight lifting and skipped out on core work.

  • Assisted pull-ups, 3×12
  • Cable pulls (I modified with a band since I don’t have a cable to pull), 3×12
  • Bent over barbell rows, 3×12 @ 45 lbs
  • Reclined dumbbell arm extensions, 3×12 using a 10lb plate
  • Inclined reverse dumbbell flys, 1×12 @ 3 lbs (yes, 3. It was either that or 40)

Dinner

Hulk outdid himself for dinner: hamburger patties topped with cheese and fried eggs, with a side salad and peas. We ate on the patio again, and I showed Squish how to angle his fork through the patty to make a sort of meat-on-a-stick method of eating the hamburger, rather than cutting it into bites. Then we drank some beers on the porch while watching the sun set. Hulk took care of the domestic stuff while I went to bed early and read my book. I’m almost done with “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and I have only cried twice so far.

I know I’ve been succumbing to emotional eating lately, and I just have been allowing it. It’s hard not to have Whole30 rules to fall back on when things are difficult. I know what’s wrong – I want to do all the things and am frustrated that there are only 24 hours in a day –  but eating just seems easier than fixing it. There are also a couple other health-related things I’ve been meaning to explore, such as maybe giving myself a caffeine holiday.

I’m also really trying to figure out how to get more exercise in, and I’m caught in “mom guilt” whenever I take time out for myself, which was part of why I was so grumpy yesterday. I had planned on working out in the morning, but then children/life happened, and it didn’t get done. I’m so sick of falling victim to excuses, but I just can’t get myself together. I know I need to take care of myself in order to take care of everyone else, but it’s so much easier in theory than in practice. I think I’m going to get up at 6:00 for a run, but then at 5:58 I have a tearful preschooler climbing in my bed after a scary dream, and while I’m getting him settled I then have a baby that’s all “IT’S [6:17 in the] MORNING WHY AREN’T YOU ALL READY TO PARTY YET? And why are my pants so squishy?” and by the time I’m done with her diaper blowout the preschooler is now awake and asking for “milk and chocolate toast” and my window of opportunity to scrap together any time for myself this morning is firmly shut. Fortunately this phase of life is temporary and I’m doing my best to appreciate the little things involved with taking care of small children (stop growing up!) but it’s hard when I know I need to exercise and rest and keep myself sane above it all. But tomorrow is always another day.

And that’s it for this day. Go make it a great one!

 

Runday Funday (and a Rant)

So, the other day my friend texted me, “How about we do a half marathon together? In April? In Hawaii?”

Um, okay. Sounds like a horrible idea!

690x380-Hawaii-Sunset

So now I really do have to run and stuff. It’s no longer a “eh, I should probably get back into shape again” sort of deal. Now we’re in full-blown, “I have eight months to train and I’ve done NOTHING” mode. And even if Hawaii doesn’t happen, #gottahavegoals, right?

This morning was a 1.84 mile Couch-to-5k run. I’m on Day 2 (again)!

*This would be an inspiring running scene photo if I had remembered to take a picture, but I was too busy listening to “The Paleo Women Podcast” and dying trying to sprint up hills to do so because why run when you can sprint?*

I’m also going to focus on leg and core strength in these early stages of training, so last night after we put the kiddos to bed (early!) Hulk and I threw some weights around in the garage gym. Gym dates are back!

  • Back squat 3×10 @ 45 lbs, then 3×5 @ 65 lbs
  • Deadlift 1×5 @ 65 lbs
  • Kettlebell rows 3×8 @ 25 lbs
  • Some half-hearted kettlebell snatches that weren’t feeling it
  • Push ups 3×10

While we were lifting, I went on a rant about the “dad bod” thing. I’m super sensitive about society’s and the media’s shaming of women’s bodies, but now that it’s becoming more apparent with men too (not that it wasn’t always there, it just wasn’t on my radar) I can’t even anymore. I’m sorry that my six-pack-abs isn’t taking priority over sleepless nights trying to keep tiny humans alive. I get the whole “if it’s important to you, you’d do it” idea, but some things can’t be and are not everyone’s priority. Life is fluid, we will go through periods of motivation and focus on one thing or another, and that’s okay. We do not have to be perfect at everything all the time. And we all do stupid stuff that can hurt us. Don’t judge the overweight guy because he doesn’t prioritize diet and exercise, but he might have a great relationships with people close to him that make him happy. He has his own life to live. And this other guy with the six-pack might be eating right and working out a ton, but he can’t sleep because of work stress and has no real friends because he’s a total jerk. We all are working on our own version of ourselves, and there are so many other opportunities for growth and improvement other than body composition. Let’s focus on the good things that other people do and stop wasting time pointing out how others can do better. Okay, rant over.

Go make it a great day!

Snaps for September!

How can it be the last day of August already? I still think it’s June in my mind.

download

(Side note: Calvin and Hobbes was the best part of my childhood. They practically raised me.)

I’m wrapping up my Whole30 this Friday (woot!) and now that the end of this challenge is in sights, I’m looking forward to the next one. Right now it feels good to be challenged, so I’m rolling with it. So for September, I’m going to get back to the gym and running again. What will be nice is having a whole week in Alaska that I can use to “reset” some habits. Do you use vacations or travel to try and adopt a new habit or mindset? I find that getting out of Dodge helps me to put things in perspective, and when I get back home I’m usually pretty recharged to tacking life again head-on. And it’ll totally be do-able to work out in Alaska given that we have no real plans or schedule yet. All I know is we’re flying into Anchorage, and if we don’t get eaten by wolves or bears or something we’ll fly home the following week. Real vacations don’t do plans.

I also want to knock out some goals for the month:

  1. Work out six days a week (one rest day in there)
  2. Do one pull-up (assisted somehow)
  3. Do a two minute plank
  4. Squat, deadlift, and bench 100# (this one might be tough for a month, but we’ll see)

Okay, now I feel really pumped and want to run like 10 miles now. But instead I’ll go to work and sit at a desk all day. That’s fun, too.

Go make it a great day!

Back to the Barbell

Hello, old friend.

  
Yesterday I woke up and decided it was time to Lift All the Things. Squish and I headed to the garage gym for a good lift. Of course Squish came along because 1) he is now my alarm clock without fail coming in my room every morning at 6:30 and 2) to Squish, the garage is like a mystic land of enchantment with so many mysterious objects to play with and ponder.

My reentry into the world of weights is loosely based on a recent grocery shopping experience. I went to the store to grab some Whole30 grub for the weekend. Since in my head I forget that I no longer live in the city and don’t need to physically carry all of my groceries home, I just threw food into my reusable grocery bags and when they’re full, I’m done shopping. I had two very full bags when I decided to grab a couple cases of sparkling water. I figured with a bag on each shoulder and a case in each hand I can do this, right? So I squatted on the floor to pick up the cases … And I could barely stand back up. So now I know that my one rep squat max is approximately two bags of groceries and two packs of soda, and I should probably work on that.

In other news, I finally have a “real” home office! So excited to work from home without the chorus of children playing interrupting my calls.

  
The next step is to make it pretty. But I’m good with functional for now.

I am on Day 15 of Whole30. Halfway there, woot! I’ve actually been cooking quite a bit and not trying to go the “can’t even” route as much as I want to. Except for that day when it was a bajillion degrees and we have no AC and I took the kids to the grocery store just to cool off. Then it’s prosciutto time.

  
But on regular days when I feel like just throwing some chicken apple sausage on a salad, I question if that’s really all I can do, or can I roast up some veggies as well? Usually I’ll find the gumption to make some new food.

And if not, there’s always ceviche! The grocery store by my work just put in a ceviche and poke bar. I’ll be feasting on shrimp and tilapia if you need me.  

And this little gem just came in the mail for me today:

  
I just listened to the Calton’s interview on the Balanced Bites podcast the other day (I think it was episode 203? I’m a bit behind) and was really enjoying all of the geek-tasting info on different sources of vitamins and how they work (or don’t work) together. Plus if you order the book before August 31st you can get $200 in coupons to select whole food websites, so that alone caught my interest! If you go to the book’s website The Micronutrient Miracle there is more info there on the giveaway. Not an affiliate link, I just think it’s cool if you’re interested.

That’s all for today. Go make it a great day!

Easter Festivus and Equinox Love

We had a nice little Easter festivus over the weekend. Squish participated in his first egg hunt where he was an active egg hunter, and not just cluelessly following my prompts to the hidden eggs. Actually, by the time I realized he was up and got out of bed myself, he had found most of the eggs and already plowed through half of his chocolate bunny. I’m glad he’s so resourceful and self-sufficient.

IMG_8045

Buttercup was less hopeful, but she enjoyed the shiny colorfulness of the plastic eggs.

IMG_8055

And my paleo pancake Easter brunch earned a two-Squishy-thumbs up from the most discerning food critic at my table.

IMG_8053

In addition to managing Easter Bunny activites, I did get a couple of good workouts in. Saturday was Gym Rat Day, where I got my squat on. Then Sunday I braved the grey, rainy morning for a Couch-to-5k workout.

IMG_8059

Week 5, bitchez! I’m now 1 mile shy of completing a 5k.

Then in the afternoon I finally cashed in my birthday gift certificate to Kabuki Springs & Spa for a massage and soak in the baths. This is the best spa in SF, I swear. I had an amazing, relaxing Swedish massage that felt awesome on my post-run legs. Then I soaked in the bath house and steam room and drank copious amounts of cucumber-infused water. I headed home in a fog of post-spa bliss.

Meanwhile, my membership at Equinox is finally processed, so I’m a “real” member now! Woot. I tried to get a non-blurry picture of my pass, but it wasn’t happening this morning pre-coffee.

IMG_8065

I had submitted my application over a month ago, right before my last trip to Pittsburgh. Every time I’d go to the club hoping I was finally processed and in the system, I wasn’t. They were cool about it and let me work out anyway, but it was kind of annoying to give my whole story to the front desk person every time (I’m not trying to scam a free gym membership, really!) Finally I asked who I could talk to to get my status escalated, and Jamal hooked me up. Thank you, Jamal!

Speaking of Equinox, I. Love. This. Gym. It has so much stuff, my mind was blown my first day. I just wandered around for about 20 minutes, trying to soak it all in. Any workout you want to do, they probably have the gear for it. And it’s really clean, too, and they have Kiehl’s body products in the locker room. It’s starting to become my most favorite place in the world.

Time to go try and take over the world again. Go make it a great day!

A Rest Day and Some Pre-Easter Revelry

Today I took a rest day. Four days in a row of getting about six hours of baby-induced interrupted sleep then getting up with the alarm at 5:30 a.m. were not doing me any favors. I passed the kids off to Hulk for bedtime and crashed early last night, “sleeping in” until 6:30 this morning. I feel so much better with the extra sleep, and I’m sure my legs will thank me on my run tomorrow.

Yesterday was gym day for my Spitfire Athlete strength training program. I headed to the fancy Equinox gym for squats, bench, and deadlift. Awkward no-I’m-not-taking-a-picture gym pic time.

IMG_8027

I like how my bedhead is making my bangs flip out. I didn’t even try to fix it, it was too rad.

On the family front, the grandparents sent the kids some Easter goodies, so we had a little plastic egg party. Buttercup is a little confused around her first Easter.

IMG_8029

Squish tried to be a good brother and help her out. And for some reason they’re both in their St. Patrick’s Day shirts. I didn’t plan this, I’m not that crafty of a blogger mom.

IMG_8036

“Mercedes needs more eggs.”

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the new baby rocker! Remember how I went to the StitchFix launch a few weeks ago? Well, I won a 4Moms rockaroo infant rocker* in the raffle! It’s so pretty.

IMG_8022

The fabric is really soft and velvety, and the rocking mechanism is really quiet. It’s a front-and-back rocking motion as opposed to the side-to-side motion of her current baby swing, so it’s a good variation for baby placement options in the apartment. Plus, the little stuffed toys on the mobile are easy to pull out, so when Buttercup gets big enough to grab them she can easily pull it out to chew on play with it. Normally she goes after the attached toys to her mobiles and jumper chair and cries when she finds they are firmly attached. If you’re expecting, I would definitely recommend this for your registry.

That’s all for today. I’m just taking it easy, still eating my super awesome Whole30 food (on day 6!), and living the dream.

Now go make it a great day!

*No affiliate links in this post, just for info only. I’m not that cool.