Thursday, June 25, 2009

Real life doesn't suck

I still don't have enough time to blog, or read your blogs which is most unfortunate for me, but thought I'd put up a quickie post. Work is crazy, home is a mess (I just unpacked last night, & am still doing my laundry from the trip), and summer evenings are late for the family. Not much time for the things I love, like blogging.

Monday was horrible. I was so vacation sick, it tore me up inside. I didn't want real life. I wanted my island life back.

Tuesday was better. Getting to workout helped. Yesterday was full fledged normal, & it felt good. I decided that I can deal with real life as it is, & maybe even work to make it better.

Tuesday I ran 2 miles on the treadmill (dangerously hot here) & lifted weights on actual weight machines at the gym. First time I've done that at the Y. It's probably been 10 years since I touched a weight machine. Lucky for me they are mostly idiot proof. Whatever I did was effective since I've got sore muscles.

Yesterday I walked 2 miles with my friend at the Y while our kids had swim lessons. Not much, but better than nothing.

Tonight I'm running 30 minutes & lifting weights for 30 minutes.

I'm building up some consistency with working out before I increase the amount of time I exercise. I went 2 weeks without any exercise. I missed it terribly.

Unless swimming in the ocean while on vacation counts. Which sort of does, but the swimming was offset by the countless Bushwhackers I drank on St. John (the best alcoholic drink ever invented, IMO).

We did have an awesome vacation. One of these days I'll detail the fun. The pictures really tell a better story, though. I had no idea I could feel so confident & happy in a bathing suit & revealing clothing. Maybe it was the sea air. Or the drinks. Whatever, I'll take it. I had a blast.

& I was definitely not at my skinniest weight on this trip. I weighed 157 when we left. I weighed 161 when we got home. Yesterday I was down to 159.8. I've got some work to do, but something strange is going on with me. I care about my weight, & I'm working on getting back into my comfy zone of 150-152, but I'm not destroyed over the gain. I'm not walking around all mopey & depressed because my body isn't perfect.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not "giving up" & staying at 159--I can't run fast for very long and my pants are snugger than I like. But I still look great. And I feel great. So why obsess over 10 lousy pounds? They'll come off as they come off, while I'm living my life healthfully & happily.

I think it was being able to physically do so much on St John--like swimming, hiking, walking, without ever feeling out of shape or tired--& look so good on St John, & be so happy on St John. The vacation mojo has carried over to real life. I hope it sticks around for a long long time.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I'll write more when I have a minute--catching up from vacation is going to take weeks.

But I wanted to share a few pictures & let you all know we had the best time.

I found the blue dress on St John. My girlfriends convinced me to buy it. I'm so glad I did, because it made me feel beautiful.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

We'll get there fast & then we'll take it slow

Friday we leave for the first real vacation we've had in years. Just me & Mark & 3 other couples who are our closest friends. Mom is keeping my kids for 9 days.

We'll have 7 days in St. John in a hugely gorgeous house on top of a mountain overlooking the ocean. We are taking a sail trip to the British Virgin Islands one day on a great big boat, with real sails & everything, & we will be the only 8 passengers. Other than that trip, we have no plans (the guys are doing a deep sea fishing trip another day, but we girls are plan-less).

I am so excited I'm about to pee my pants. Oh, wait, I just drank a liter of water. That's not excitement.....

But before Friday afternoon gets here (we drive to Chicago & fly out on Saturday morning), I have a crazy stack of stuff to do. Won't even give you the details. Just imagine packing your family up for separate trips & getting all the work done at the office, & trying to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

On top of that, it's VBS week at our church. I'm not teaching, but the kids are there from 6-8 each night, & I am watching three kids in the nursery (VBS helper's toddlers) on Monday (yesterday) & Tuesday. It's quite a loony bin at our house.

Let me rewind a bit to Sunday. I got up at 5:30 a.m. & ran 6 miles before church. It was so great. I felt amazing & energized. Could have run a few more miles if I'd had time. Topped off my week at 16 miles, so not 20, but not horrible. It was still 4 days of running & 1 day of Shred DVD.

Flash forward to Monday morning. I weighed 158.0. Not so good. 6 pounds more than my comfy weight. 10 pounds more than my skinny weight. I want to be my skinny weight, less about 5 pounds.

So I've got some work to do when I get back from vacation. We did eat out twice on Sunday (once at lunch for a faux-Father's Day for Mark, since we'll be driving home from Chicago on 6/21, and once at dinner--Mexican--with friends). So I've got a wee bit of water to drop.

But mostly it's fat. I can see it & feel it. Which is a bummer since I'll be living in my swimsuit next week.

I don't mind, though. I'm still 50 pounds lighter than I was 3 summers ago. I still look great in my clothes. I still feel good. I'll be able to DO everything--snorkel, swim, hike, walk. And I can wear whatever I want, walk everywhere without being exhausted, not be embarrassed about what I put in my mouth, smile a real smile for the camera and not dread the image on the screen. A much different vacation than it would have been a mere 30 months ago.

I have a lot of work to do to get out of town. & I have a lot of work to do when I get home, on many fronts. In between, there's gonna be no work at all.

It's going to be all play. And joy. And peace. And fun.

Peace out until I return!

Friday, June 05, 2009


I got home from work tonight, after running 3 miles in the most gorgeous weather, to find my children as sweet as sweet can be. I love it when they are like that.

They were on the floor playing & Sophie decided to do a backbend. She's been able to do them since she was 5, when she took gymnastics for 6 months (she has balance issues & could never master walking across the balance beam, so we switched to swimming).

Anyway, every so often she breaks out into backbends like some people break into song. She challenges herself to see how long she can hold them. Tonight she got all the way to a count of 94 (we are counting fast). She was so proud of herself. (As I am writing this she tried again, after having dinner & resting a while, & got to 105! Her goal was to hit 100...I love that she sets goals for herself.)

I was proud of her too.

Before she did the long one, she did a few quick ones. & I got on the floor with her to see if I could do one. I had tried to a while back--can't remember if it was this year or last. I remember being able to get myself about half way up, & that was it.

Tonight I went right up. It wasn't easy, but I was surprised at how strong I felt & how I lifted from my core & went all the way up, lifting my head off the floor & everything.

I did it 4 more times, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

Then we did a few pushups & we worked on Sophie's form some more. She did one really solid push up (on her knees) & I think she finally "got" where her arms & butt were supposed to go. We'll continue to work on it.

She's getting so tall (she's 4'5''! at 8 years old!). & her belly is not flat, but she's thinning down a lot and it doesn't bother her like it used to. I think if we continue her swimming & we work on strength at home (& continue to talk about nutrition even though her diet is far from perfect), we'll make baby steps in the right direction--which is healthy & strong & confident.

More than anything, I want to be the example that I never had growing up. I want her to see a mom who is strong, & is happy with how she looks, & isn't obsessive about the scale or food or exercise or extra fat on her body. I want her to know I like myself.

Because some day, some day way too soon, someone's going to say, "You are just like your mother." And I want her to smile & say, "Thank you. That's the greatest compliment you could give me."

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It's an UP Day

No, this isn't a review of the new Pixar movie UP (but we did see it Saturday at the drive in & it was wonderful--actually a better grown up movie than kid movie, IMO, but the kids loved it, too).

I'm feeling good today. Up.

Which I will take over down any day.

Yesterday afternoon I didn't get out of work until almost 5, so I picked up the kids & decided I would do the 30 Day Shred the minute I got home. And I did. Not the exact minute, but before I did anything else significant, I worked out. With my kids. It was so great.

I stopped the DVD several times to help Sophie with her form. She cried a little after I helped her do some pushups. She told me how she couldn't do pushups the right way--getting up on her toes & getting her forehead all the way to the floor is what the gym teacher at school tells them to do (what's up with that!). I reassured her we'd work on making her upper body stronger & she didn't have to get her forehead to the floor. We worked on her squat form too. Luke lifted his little blue 2 pound weights merrily as could be. They both got bored after about 10 minutes & went to play in Sophie's room while I finished up.

Then this morning, wonder of wonders, I got up at 5:30 a.m. and went running.

Yes I did!

And it's in no small part thanks to you guys who commented about how great it feels to get the run over with in the morning and how much better you feel during the day.

I was awake at 5:15 when I heard the dog's tags jingling. She's sectioned off in the family room/kitchen* by a gate, but the gate isn't locked so she can get through, which she does when she's heard the teeniest clap of thunder. She's such a wuss when it comes to storms (although, it had stopped storming by then, so I don't know if she'd been in Sophie's bed all night & decided to get up then, or what).

So Sophie woke up at the same time (because Lucy heads straight for her bed) & took her back to the family room, along with her pillow so she could keep Lucy company. (*The cat owns the rest of the house; he's old & he was there first so he gets the bulk of the real estate. Besides, Lucy owns the whole backyard. Earl Grey hasn't seen the outside except through a window for 10 years.)

I lay in bed for about 15 minutes & thought, what the heck? I'm going to get up & run.

I must admit, I felt pretty full of myself out there in the cloudy cool (humid) air before the sun was all the way up. I only did 3 miles, but they were good miles. I did intervals the first mile or so--running hard for 30-40 seconds then walking to recover (I'm not sure I'm up for tabata's yet. Those look freaking hard.)

Tonight my girlfriend who's a hairdresser is highlighting me back to blonde, just in time for our island vacation in a little over a week. I. can't. wait.

Here's the scoop on the roller coaster that is my emotional state. I called my primary GP yesterday morning & saw him in the afternoon. I described what was going on with me. He explained that wellbutrin can trigger anxiety in some people, & it can make some people feel like they are on a roller coaster. I agreed--the 300 mg I was taking last winter made me supremely anxious & we switched back down to 150 mg. He also reiterated that I am on wellbutrin because it's the only depression med that doesn't cause weight gain. Right again.

At this point, I'm a little nervous that he's going to suggest another antidepressant. Thankfully, he doesn't.

He goes right into a discussion of bipolar disorder.

He confirmed what I had researched online (God bless the internet). Classic manic/depressives (what it used to be called before the bipolar label came into fashion) can, for example, have two weeks of severe depression, unable to get out of bed or function at all. Then they can have two weeks of euphoria, spending thousands of dollars or going on other types of sprees (drugs, sex, cleaning, you name it). They cycle back & forth. This was treated by lithium in the old days.

Now they know that there are many types of bipolar disorders. He thinks I might be a bipolar despressive. And he said the medication used to treat that is not one he prescribes.

He referred me to a psychiatrist. He has one in mind who he is going to pull strings to get me into. They will send me intake paperwork, then we'll eventually get around to an appointment. I don't know how long it will be, but at least I am heading in the right direction.

In the mean time, he wants me to stay on the wellbutrin, although I have reservations about this--what I read, wellbutrin can cause mood disorders to cycle faster, which makes perfect sense with what I've been going through. I may have always had this bipolar dysfunction in some fashion; the wellbutrin has just amplified it so I actually notice it more because the ups & downs are more frequent. But, I'm not stopping it until I'm put on something else. Can't just stop a powerful medication like that.

When I look back at how my dad behaved in my childhood, I think he may have the same mood disorder problem too. He's been on antidepressants for at least 20 years. I'm guessing it's still prozac or zoloft. I don't know. I haven't talked with him since his birthday last September. That's a story for the psychologist, not for here.

It feels good to know there's a next step in progress.

Monday, June 01, 2009

20 miles, but I want more

I love having goals. Goals make me do what I need to do, even when I don't want to do them. I don't meet every goal I set, but for some reason goals for exercise really work for me. Especially in the running department.

Last week I ran 20.06 miles over 5 days. I had two days where I only had about 25 minutes to workout. I could have easily shucked it & not run. Both days I had to drive to the gym to go running (one day was Sophie's swim class, so I was there already, but it was still on the treadmill). I ran 2 miles on each of those days. Not much, but they helped give me a mental boost and since I ran them fast I burned a fair amount of calories.

Something is better than nothing, any day.

The other three running days were 3.4, 8.5, and 4. The 8.5 mile run was on Saturday. The 4 mile was on Sunday.

I'm taking today off.

My May mileage is 72.32 miles. That's the most miles I've run in ANY month. Ever. Even without the 13.1 miles from the Half Marathon on May 2nd, it's a decent running month.

As I've said before, my goal is to run 20 miles a week for several months to get ready to train for next year's marathon. I know I can do it. I've succeeded now 2 of the past 3 weeks.

But, you know, I have to wonder if this 20 miles a week thing is a good idea.

Primarily because I haven't lost any weight from the increased mileage. I know, I know. Weight loss is absolutely, positively 80% diet, 20% exercise (in the real world, anyway. I don't have 6 hours a day to workout like they do on The Biggest Loser). And my diet has been far from where it needs to be if I want to get these pesky 10 pounds off.

And I'm not lifting weights or doing any resistance workouts. It truly takes 5 days a week--at least for now--for me to get in 20 miles. I need those two rest days. But I need to build my muscles, too.

I want balance in my exercise life. All running & no other exercise to round out my fitness is not balance.

Obviously, if I want to do all that I want to do, I need to make time to workout more than once a day on some days. The idea of that is quite appealing. I'd love to do a pilates DVD or Jillian's 30 Day Shred in the a.m. and then run in the afternoon. Or vice versa, since the temp today is going to be (gulp) 91 degrees.

It's that a.m. workout that is going to be the problem.

Mornings & me don't mix. And unless it's for a race, mornings & me & exercise don't mix.

I'm going to have to figure out a reward of some kind that's motivating enough to get my butt out of bed at 5 a.m. to do something about this dilemma. Fitness for fitness sake would be nice, but I'm not there yet. I need something else, I think. I need a goal & I need a reward.

Any ideas?


Thank you for all your comments to my past two posts. I'm waiting to hear back from a couple of people on recommendations, then I'll make that tough first call. "Yes, hello, I'm broken & I need to be fixed." It's okay though. I know I could be broken into a thousand little pieces, and I'm not. Maybe just 5 or 6. It would be really great if I could get into one solid piece. Hopefully I'll find the help I need to get there.