Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 9: a quickie

  This was going to be a nice long piece about the freedom of wearing spandex, the challenging thrill of biking uphill and down through Euclid Creek park, and the benefits of having a plan in place when birthday parties are on the horizon.


  But Mom has had her free time and is needed now.  So trust me when I say that spandex is my friend (thank you, Jayne Williams – Slow, Fat Triathlete), and that I am beautiful (thank you, Caityln Boyle – Operation Beautiful).


  Here's to a happy, healthy weekend for all of us.



Friday, July 8, 2011

July 8: Accomplishments and Challenges

Borrowing an idea from my favorite blogger (, here's a list of this week's accomplishments and upcoming challenges,


This week's top 3 accomplishments:


1.    lake swim:  Tuesday morning's swim showed me that I've got courage and stamina.  Everything about the morning took courage:

·         \swimming in a new place and a new medium

·         donning a wetsuit (I'm grateful for the lack of mirrors at the beach – no one else did or would have criticized me, but I would have ripped myself to shreds)

·         accepting that I am imperfect and slow (I'm grateful for the guard who asked whether I'd be back next week and assured me I'm welcome – THANK YOU for that!)


2.    vegetables:  This week I treated my body to vegetables!   

·         dinner salads: It started when my Wonderful Husband made a dinner salad.  The next night I made a dinner salad that spilled over into the next day's lunch!

·         snacks: When snacks were called for, vegetables to the rescue.  I enjoyed taking the time to prepare vegetables, knowing that on our little outings I could be proud of what was in our snack cooler.  And last night I even munched on celery (thank goodness for hummus).


3.   blogging:  This week's writings haven't been the most inspirational, but I'm proud of taking time each day to think about nutrition and to put forth the effort to sort through my thoughts. 




1.   birthdays:  One house, three weeks, three birthdays.  Factor in friend and family parties, and that's a lot of cleaning, company, birthday cakes, and party food.


2.   heat:  Hot, humid weather wreaks havoc with my innards, and all I want to do is curl up somewhere and sleep.  Despite this, I still need to prepare healthy snacks, workout in suffocating air, and keep from becoming a train wreck.


3.   deadlines:  The triathlon is July 24 – I'm excited but also putting pressure on myself.  Lighten Up's final weigh-in is July 30.  I'm not excited (I wish the contest were year-long) and I'm putting pressure on myself.


All in all, I'm excited!



Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 7 ramblings

Exercise Preface:  It's been two whole weeks since I was last able to get to a WOW class.  Getting there today was great, and I'm reminded why it's so important for me to work out with a trainer.  Not only does David instruct me and push me, but his presence distracts me from negative self-talk.  Rather than waste my time mentally questioning my abilities, when I work with a trainer I concentrate on following instructions and using good form.  The result: my muscles are plum tuckered out today.


  Yesterday's Smiling Apple food diary was a success!  Or rather, I was successful at using it all day.  The biggest improvement was that because I tracked what I ate, I made myself eat more vegetables.  So today's another day, and I've already started filling in my Smiling Apple.  I tell you, there's something about a smiling apple that makes me want to track.


  One of the benefits of tracking what I eat is less money spent on wasted groceries.  My grocery cart is normally filled with healthy food, but sometimes my food phobias get in the way of eating that good food.  When I focus on reaching quotas of fresh fruit & veggies, I seem better able to find ways of dealing with food phobias.


Exercise Postscript:  I wish I had a cardio trainer, too.  I often wonder whether I'm pushing myself hard enough or pushing myself the right way.  But money doesn't grow on trees, so my cardio work is in my own hands.  All of this is a learning process: I'm gaining control of my eating and learning to lift weights slowly and precisely.  I'm sure I can figure out how to increase my speed and endurance.  I think that identifying those two goals is a first step.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 6: Food Diary

  Don't panic!  I'm not going to write a list of what I ate.  At least, I'm not going to put it up here on the blog.  What I will put here is a URL for a nifty web site:

I really don't feel like describing everything that's on the page; suffice it to say there's a ton of information under categories such as Improving Calorie Awareness; How Much Should I Weigh?; Eat Intentionally, Not Accidentally.

  I stumbled onto the site today when I was looking for a printable food diary.  Since going meeting-less with Weight Watchers, I played around with different options: online food tracking, notebook, loose leaf paper.  This site offers several different ones to suit different tracking preferences.  I'm pretty happy with the one I printed today and have already started filling it in.

  I swear that when it comes to food journals/trackers/diaries, I'm like a preschooler.  I'm easily distracted and want something new.  When tracking gets boring and chore-like, I stop doing it.  So I feel pretty jazzed that I found a food diary with a smiling apple and pear on it.  How could I get bored tracking my eating habits when I'm looking at happy fruit?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5: Threes

  I'm sure you've heard that the third time's the charm.  Things happen in threes.  Three strikes, you're out.  Playing a new board game with friends recently, I decided that I need to play games three times in order to get the knack.  The first time is just to get familiar with the pieces and the layout.  The second time is to understand the rules a little better.  The third time is for putting it all together.


  I had lots (lots!) of time to ponder all that while I was swimming in our lovely lake this morning.  The first of three training swims, today was step one: getting familiar with the pieces.  In this case the pieces were head gear (including goggles, ear plug, band-it and swim cap), fashion (I wore a wet suit for the first time in my life! - thank you, Buffy!), and a lake (murky open water).  I'll be the first to admit that I was pretty nervous about this morning's adventure.  The butterflies in my stomach had arrived on a Sunday evening afternoon, so I had plenty of time to feel fluttery.


  To make a very long story short, I swam out and swam back, about eight tenths of a mile.  I nearly cried twice (once before the swim – out of fear; and once after the swim – feeling pathetic), and I smelled so funny when I got home that my dog inspected me for what felt like hours.  The end.


  BUT.  Lest you think this was a bad experience, let me set you to rights.  This was a very good experience.  As the water captain of my inspiration and motivation team (also known as Team Karin), my Friend Buffy did a bang-up job.  So what if I was the absolute sloooooowesssst swimmer out there?  Buffy reminded me that a.) I did it; 2.) many other people either couldn't or wouldn't do it; and C.) I'd swum pretty far off course, so maybe I wasn't that slow (I love you for that one, Buffy!). 


  We had perfect swim conditions this morning: perfect water, perfect sky, perfect sun, perfect temperature.  It was glorious and new and amazing.  Sun and water are the things which heaven are made of.  I swam farther than ever before and did so non-stop.  I felt very safe having my own life guard (a benefit of being slow) and I could work on how to swim while wearing all that gear and not being able to see without my glasses.


  Everybody should be lucky enough to have a Buffy in their lives: someone who inspires by example and is unflinchingly encouraging.  Who but Buffy would loan me books about slow, fat athletes?  Who but Buffy would have an extra wet suit I could borrow – without my even asking?  Who but Buffy would say, "If you even think about not swimming here next week, I'm calling your husband?"  (Though he defers to Buffy in all things aquatic, my Wonderful Husband every bit the motivator and encourager, and he doesn't allow me to give in to my fears.)


  When I got out of the water, I really did wonder whether I'd have the guts to try this again next week.  I already know I'm the slowest swimmer but still capable of doing it; must I really do it again?  Heck, yeah!  This week was about learning the pieces.  Next week I'm going to understand it a little better.  The week after that I'll be an old pro, which is good since then I'll be doing my first triathlon!


  Thank heaven Buffy'll be doing the tri with me (though way far ahead of me) and I'll have my Wonderful Husband and our three kidlets at the starting line, at the finish line, and in my heart.


(P.S. Yes, I know I have to track my food.  I'll get on it.)





Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4

  After a relaxing holiday weekend filled with family and friends, it's time to put my head back on straight and do the exercise and healthy eating thing again.  Sure, I biked a couple miles this weekend and I choked down some celery, but I also moved way less than usual and ate hot dogs.  What better way to get back on the straight and narrow than by starting Tuesday morning with my first open water training swim?  Tune in tomorrow.