Friday, April 27, 2012

The Real Hunger Games

I'm not sure if it's something that's going around... but most everyone I have talked to lately has had an insatiable appetite!  What is the deal?  Admittedly, I let me routine slide a bit.  But, I have been trying to get back into the habit of eating a healthy breakfast.  Normally, this is a real struggle for me, as I am rarely hungry in the mornings.  Well, that certainly isn't the problem any longer!  I'm hungry from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed!

Now, I try to make sure I am not eating all junk carbs or foods that are super fatty.  I eat a large apple or a breakfast bar with lots of fiber.  And I try to keep breakfast around 200 calories.  I never have a morning snack like some articles recommend, but today?  HAD to after my boss was looking at me all crazy as my stomach growled louder than the radio we have playing in the office.

I have tried that old myth, "drink more water; you are not hungry, not thirsty!"  Baloney!  I'm hungry, people!  Still, I try to drink as many fluids as I can to try to curb my appetite and my only reward seems to be trips to the little girls' room every hour on the hour.  Lucky me.

Am I the only one who feels like she's fighting a losing battle?  The more I work out, the more I want to eat.  The more I eat, the less I want to work out.  Have no fear- I'm not giving in that easily.  BUT I cannot help but feel a little discouraged!  All of this confusion has landed my slowly-improving, more-toned booty back on a plateau.

Do you have any suggestions on how to break loose?  Do I need to add more weight to my strength training? More reps?  Should I be varying what kind of cardio I am getting?  Now, that isn't easy when you go to a gym that doesn't offer any classes.  Right now I am looking to join my girlfriend every other week or so to Jazzercise the pounds away!  It worked for her- she looks incredible!  I am open to other suggestions too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Have you seen this INSANITY program that they show on TV??

To put it simply, it looks, well... INSANE!  I guess that's the point.  However, they promise intense results in no time flat.  60 days or some such craziness.  As all infomercial workout programs do.  Yet I found myself comparing the price of purchasing the DVDs to the amount of money I pay for my gym membership.  The DVDs are cheaper (than a full year membership), but not by a lot.

On the other hand, I have finally worked hitting the gym into my regular routine. I am going 3-4x a week, every week.   Now I am afraid to break that newfound cycle.  Plus, am I really going to jump around like a crazy person in my living room?  The idea of a little privacy appeals to me, but then I remember that I do not live alone...  I'd probably trip over my dog, collapse on my cat, and Andy would be trying not to crack up watching my pathetic, uncoordinated attempts to keep up with the hot bodies on the TV.  Yea, probably not for me.

But the results........  -SIGH-    I know they probably are not the same for everyone.  And that you probably have to eat dry celery and carrot sticks washed down my some chunky homemade juice. Yeesh.  But those amazing results........

I cannot lie to myself.  I know these 'cleanse' type diets and rabid exercise programs won't work for me.  The fact of the matter is, I love beer.  I love the occasional cheeseburger.  I will never, ever, ever give up pasta and bread completely.  Even though all of the programs promise big results in two months, I don't want a fast fix.  Now don't get me wrong, I wish this process was speedier.  But I am looking for lasting change.  An entire lifestyle makeover.  I don't just want to look better, I want to feel better, I want to BE better.  And I want to be healthier.  I want to live a better life overall.

No, I am not going to lose weight as fast as someone trying the INSANITY program or the Adkins Diet, but I truly believe that my long-term plan will have healthier, longer lasting results.  Baby steps until I reach my goal and am where I need to be.

So, I may not have that killer beach body in 60 or 90 days, but I am determined to lower my cholesterol, lose a little body fat and whittle my waist.... over time.  Mark my words...  Slow and steady wins the race.

Or maybe, I just like that 'moral' because as most of you know, I happen to be a teensy bit fond of tortoises and turtles.  :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Schedule" It?

I am no fitness fanatic.  However, I read Fitness and Shape magazines every month. Most often, they motivate me!  I love their success stories from normal people (not celebrities who seem to have unlimited funds and time) and find them to be a real inspiration.  The one thing that drives me nuts though is the incessant advice to 'schedule' your workouts.  Maybe it is because I don't yet have children and their schedules to contend with.  But really?  I need to write it on a calendar?

People ask me a lot where I find the motivation to go to the gym 4+ times a week.  The truth of it is:  I just go.  I rarely feel like it, but I always feel better after I go.  It has become routine to me, like a third job even.  True, sometimes I have to bribe myself with a beer or chocolate.  Nothing wrong with a reward system!  If it works for my dog, why not me?  ;)

I recently read in one of those magazines that people meed to shoot for 150 minutes of exercise a week.  I think that is a great thing to keep in mind.  Not all of my workouts are a full hour long.  For instance, tonight, I have to continue writing a 10 page paper for school.  Therefore, I will try to get a good, sweaty 40 minutes in on the elliptical.  Then I can still get home, shower, and try to cram 3 additional hours into this school project.  If I get enough accomplished tonight, I will extend my workout tomorrow night to make up for the shortfall tonight.  Is this what they mean about 'scheduling' my time?

I am also trying to incorporate more active activities on the weekends.  They might not be considered a workout, like fishing, or puttering in the yard, but it's better than melting into my couch.  Sometimes, they are a workout, like pushing a field 9+ times while pheasant hunting with Andy and our beautiful, talented dog, Claire. Hiking uneven terrain for hours is a killer workout!  Still, often these are impromptu adventures, not something I pencil in.

Maybe I am lazy.  Maybe I am less than organized.  I just don't see writing my workouts on a calendar.

Does anyone schedule their workouts in?  Does it work for you?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Swimsuits = Torture Devices

In every magazine, store or ad we see the constant reminder that "Swimsuit Season is Drawing Near!  Are you Ready?"  Ummmm... NO, I'm not.  Is anyone really ready for that?  But thank you for the reminder that I need to invest in a longer swimsuit cover-up.

I long for the good old days when, as a child, I spent every waking moment at the Mequon Pool.  We were there so often, my parents even bought my brother, Bobby, and I season passes and mom sewed the cute little strawberry-looking patch that was our ticket in on each of our suits.  :)  Ahhhh... the good old days.  We were there every day.  I was so tan... so fit... and I only remember being a little self conscious when an older boy came up to talk to me.  We were too busy to care and reveling in the days where a boy punched a girl to let her know he liked her.  (Once, a boy gave me a fat lip!  Unfortunately for him, my big, bad, muscular, carpenter dad had just arrived to pick Bobby and I up.  Dad lifted said boy out of the pool by his head and gave him the what-for.  I admit-  I grin just thinking about it.)

Fun, beautiful memories!  Sadly, now when I think of going to the pool or a lake, all I can think is "How in the world do I cover all of this dimpled flesh up?!  I always intend to do it without anyone noticing how self-conscious I am and that's why I'm covered from shoulders to ankle.  I've occasionally tried to pass it off as being careful about UV exposure.  I don't think anyone bought the BS I was selling, as they well shouldn't have.

So tell me ladies, why are we all panicking over a little skin?  My theory is: There is no such thing as a LITTLE skin in a ladies bathing suit anymore!  Sure, we don't have to wear a two-piece, but if we don't, they cut the leg holes up to our armpits so we can still look sexy and "elongate our legs."  What I'd really like is for them to elongate the fabric they're using!  And how about the adorable suits with the skirts??  I love the IDEA of them...  but it seems that either I look like I'm trying to wear a 10 year old's suit or I'm a fashion-forward geriatric but look fabulous for my age!!!

On that note, I'd love to see some alternatives to these basic options.  In fact, I am looking for the equivalent of  mens' board shorts!  Seriously now, why do they get to wear baggy shorts and still strut around like they are alluring as hell?  No fair.  I told a friend once that I was going to wear a tank top and a pair of board shorts to the lake instead of my usual suit.  He looked appalled!

I also have one request for the department stores out there...  Could you please find some lighting to put in your dressing rooms that won't make me look like I am jaundiced or dying???  For the love of Pete!  I am sure that I would buy a lot more clothing if I didn't look so damn sickly in everything I try on in those torture chambers!  Luckily, I have a pair of Tiff's that go shopping with me and they manage to look past my sickly pallor and tell me what to buy!  Thank goodness they are there, or I swear I'd sink to the floor in tears of frustration half of the time!  (Thanks ladies!)

So NO, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Shape, Fitness and every other magazine out there...  I am NOT ready for swimsuit season.  I don't know that I ever will be.  Ever.  Just thinking about it makes my guts twist in fear.  And what it all boils down to is that FEAR.  It's gripping, punishing, and probably  unjustified.  Face my fear to rid myself of it?  Been there, done that.  Doesn't work for me.  But given a tempting enough invite...  I may just don my swimsuit this year...  And I promise to try to do it with my head held high!