Tag Archives: toddler

Hiatus

Well, I guess that’s one resolution down the drain.

Pause for a moment.  I’m going to apologize now, because I may sound a little whiny for the remainder of this post.  Rest assured I’ll be back to my witty blogger self next post.  Just bear with me for the time being.

This is not my first blog.  I have, in fact, created four blogs to date — this one included.  With each one, I have been inconsistent at best.  Inconsistency is kind of a thing with me.  It’s on my list of things I’d like to change.

My first attempt at blogging was inspired by a close friend of mine who happens to be a mommyblogger.  She was packing (and shopping!) for BlogHer ’08 and Tweeting about it.  (Um, do I need another reason to shop?  Abso-freakin’-lutely!)  Plus, the Twitter thing just looked like fun — that was my first exposure to it.

Then she came back the next week with pictures, stories, contact info for new friends, and tons of swag.  She got cool free stuff in the mail for her review blog.  Plus, she’s actually a really talented writer.

Fame, fortune, and cool shit?  Sounded like a plan.

Obviously, this was all easier said than done.  My mommyblogger friend had been blogging steadily, probably at least a few times a week, for almost five years by the time I got started.  She had a good readership going, and like I said, she had a separate blog for product reviews.  She already had a lot of good connections with other mommybloggers, and she’d already been making money off of her blogs.  I should have known that when it sounded to good to be true, it probably wasn’t what I thought.

When I started my first blog, I wanted lots of traffic.  So I told all my friends and family all about it.  I wanted everybody to visit.  I wanted feedback from people I knew and trusted on my writing ability.  I didn’t know I was setting myself up for self-censorship.  By telling everyone I knew, I didn’t have a place to vent.  Sometimes you just need to air things out.  That’s what anonymity is good for.  I’ve since learned my lesson, clearly.

I also didn’t feel like I really had my own identity as a blogger.  I jumped on the mommyblogging bandwagon, reading the folks on my friend’s blogroll, participating in her memes and contests, and just kind of piggybacking on the contacts she already had.  It didn’t feel right.

A few months after creating my mommyblog, I created a separate blog for essays that were spiritual in nature.  I’m Wiccan/Pagan/Neo-Pagan/a blend of many diverse paths that end up being a fairly unique religion that works for me.  But I didn’t really want to put all that pressure on my mommyblog.  There’s an awful lot of baggage that goes with that particular spiritual label, and I wasn’t ready to accept responsibility for losing readers just because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with my beliefs.  I thought that by being open about my spirituality, I would be opening myself up to rejection all over again (since I’ve opened myself up in my personal life to most of those people I’m close to).

With both my blogs, I ran into the time constraints of a mom trying to work full-time, take care of her toddler son, take care of dinner, groceries, cleaning, etc., and attempt to emotionally support a husband who was in school and student teaching to get his license.  I wrote more and more infrequently, and eventually, I abandoned both blogs.  Even after I lost my job last July, I didn’t try to get back into the blogging thing.  I figured it was too late to resurrect either one of my sites.

Last November, I created a new blog, with the idea that I would start it off by participating in NaBloPoMo, and thus kick my habit of inconsistency in blogging.  (Actually, my inconsistency basically permeates every facet of my life.  This is something I’ve had trouble with for as long as I can remember, and is one of my big projects in therapy.)  I didn’t even make it past Day 2.  So what did I do?  Give up.  I told myself if it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t worth doing.  I deleted the blog.

That brings us to this blog.  I’m still having trouble with the inconsistency, the perfectionism, and the lack of confidence.  But today?  Today I am publishing a new post.  And that is good enough, dammit.

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Filed under All about moi, Goals, Good enough dammit, Info

Couch to 5K: Week 1, Day 2

I did Week 1, Day 2 of Couch to 5K on Thursday.  It went well.

Maybe a little too well.

I did the workout at my dad’s gym — I got a free trial membership for a week there — at about 1 PM, alone.  I’m aware that I did my Day 1 on Sunday, and that’s three days in between workouts, rather than one or two.  What can I say?  I’m a stay-at-home parent of a toddler who doesn’t have reliable babysitting.  I did it as soon as possible, and that was Thursday.

But it really seemed almost… too easy.  Like I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as Krista pushed me.  I was on a treadmill, since there was no indoor track, and I didn’t feel like running outside (maybe when the weather gets warmer here in Central Ohio).  I had a hard time at first, because I’m not really used to running on treadmills — like at all — but it was mostly with speeding up and slowing down when I transitioned from running to walking and back.

But I felt it was easier to breathe than it was on Sunday, and my legs didn’t hurt while I was running.  I mean, it wasn’t cake, but it certainly felt a lot easier than I figured it should have.  Krista said for her, things didn’t get easier until Day 3 of any given week when she did the C25K program.

Then again, the woman I babysit for on Saturday mornings (she’s training for a marathon, and that’s when they run) said it should be easier for me than it would be for someone who’s heavier.  I don’t have extra weight that I have to carry around the track or on the treadmill with me.  And Krista said before she started running, she had a good 100 pounds on what I am now.  So I guess that makes sense.

But even the next day, I had no pain or soreness anywhere in my body at all.  What’s up?

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Day 1 of Fitness Plan

Well, today was supposed to be my Day 1 of the Couch to 5K programKrista and I had planned to meet at the YMCA on her side of town.  And then this crazy blizzard happened.  They really should make the start of the calendar year a little later so that those of us who would like to incorporate specific exercise into our New Year’s Non-Resolutions can do so.

But there I go, blaming anything or anyone other than myself.  I suppose I could try to find a free or inexpensive indoor track on this side of town.  Any suggestions?  (“This side of town” meaning the east side of Columbus, Ohio.)

So here is Day 1 of my fitness journal:

  • Woke up at 8:30 AM (Not off to a great start — I didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 AM, with the television on and everything.  Bad Mel!  No cookie.)  Felt EXHAUSTED and pretty hungry.  Weighed in at 108.2 pounds.
  • Ate breakfast at 9:25 AM: 3/4 cup Lucky Charms cereal with 1/2 cup of 2 percent milk; felt not quite satisfied
  • Drank 8 oz. water with 2 ice cubes (who knows how much that translates to when it melts, and does it matter?); felt satisfied
  • Hungry again by 9:50 AM; ate a snack at 10:35 AM: 1/2 of a 100-calorie package of Cheez-its and 1/2 of a 90-calorie package of Quaker Mini Delights (Chocolatey Drizzle flavor — 1/2 of each because I had to share with my son; we had like no food in the house); felt satisfied
  • Drank 8 oz. water with 2 ice cubes; felt unsatisfied again
  • Went to Kroger feeling hungry and bought 1 gallon of whole milk, 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk, 24 oz. cottage cheese, 1 dozen large eggs, 2 lbs grape tomatoes, 4 Braeburn apples, 1 Haas avocado, creamy peanut butter, 1 loaf of whole wheat bread
  • Proceeded to shop at both Kohl’s and Kroger, feed my son, put him down for a nap, and take care of a few chores, ignoring my hunger
  • STARVING by 2:10 PM when my son falls asleep and I’ve microwaved my lunch: 1 large bowl of cheese ravioli and some kind of tortellini with alfredo sauce; felt satisfied and kinda sleepy
  • Drank 8 oz. water; felt really full — almost uncomfortably so, but feeling gradually faded to satisfied throughout afternoon
  • Saw that someone had cut up some Triple Crème Baby Brie and had a few pieces because it looked good.  No, I wasn’t hungry.  It was tasty, though.
  • Ate dinner at roughly 5:30 or so (forgot to check what time it was when we sat down): whole wheat spaghetti and beef/bean/tomato/cilantro chili; felt mostly satisfied
  • Drank 2 oz. of water before I knocked over my water bottle and spilled the rest; felt satisfied (at least hunger-wise, not so much with my gracefulness)
  • Remembered the chocolate milk I bought; drank 8 oz.; felt a little thirsty and pretty tired

Some thoughts and observations:

  • Except for where I noted, I forgot how tired I was.  This seems to be pretty usual for me.
  • I tried to eat about a serving-size worth of food so I could keep track of what I’m eating and how much.  In some cases, I didn’t know what a serving was of a particular food, and in the case of lunch today, I didn’t care.  I was starving out of my mind and had to eat a LOT of food, NOW.
  • I realize I violated the unwritten rule of not grocery shopping while hungry, but at least I bought (for the most part) healthy food, and a lot of it was produce.
  • I tend to get distracted when I’m hungry, if something else needs done, especially where my son is concerned.  Before parenthood, I would eat breakfast first thing in the morning upon waking up, or at least right after I weighed in if I was tracking my health that closely.  Notice that today I didn’t eat until about an hour after waking, even though I was pretty hungry at 8:30 this morning.
  • I did pretty well with resisting processed foods and treats once I bought some healthy snacks, even though I didn’t eat any of the produce I bought.  Maybe just knowing the healthy snacks were there if I wanted them was enough to avoid binging on sweets.  That, and we’re almost out of Christmas cookies.
  • I did snack on the Brie and the chocolate milk.  Maybe I need a few treats during my day to keep me on track for the most part.  And there are certainly worse snacks.  Another idea is to gradually wean myself of eating junk — might stick better that way.
  • I consumed way more sodium than I was aware of.  This should be less of a problem as I read more labels and buy more whole foods.
  • I am a little hungry again.  I think I’ll go have an apple.

I did track my calories and other Nutrition Facts where I could, for anyone who is interested (I included the apple I’m about to eat):

  • Calories: 985
  • Calories from fat: 288
  • Fat: 31.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 13.25 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 82.5 mg
  • Sodium: 1499.5 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 168 g
  • Fiber: 15 g
  • Sugar: 74.5 g
  • Protein: 55.5 g

Obviously I didn’t count all my calories.  I did not have information for the ravioli or tortellini, as they were leftovers from dinner a few nights ago (though I did have it for the alfredo sauce — damn, it had a lot of sodium!), or most of the chili (1 lb of ground beef [not sure how lean], can of tomatoes, fresh organic cilantro — but I included the information for the pasta and the can of pinto beans [the beans also had a lot of sodium]).  I have no idea how many extra calories that adds up to.  I’ll try to be more precise tomorrow, if I can.

Good luck to the rest of you attempting a healthier lifestyle this year!

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Fitness Plan

Prior to the New Year, I’d been thinking quite a bit about trying to get into shape.  I eat like crap, stay up late, and don’t exercise.  I’m fairly certain chasing a toddler doesn’t count.

Most of the time in the past when I’ve set out to “get in shape” I’ve had a problem with consistency.  You could say it’s kind of a recurring theme in most aspects of my life.  I’ve made a number of different attempts: journaling what I eat, what I weigh, what I do to increase my fitness.  I’ve tried increasing my fruits and veggies, increasing lean protein, decreasing sugars.  I’ve used a Pilates DVD, gone to a gym, even played Dance Dance Revolution to make my workout routine more fun so that I would hopefully stick with it this time.

Well, this may just be the latest in a long line of failed attempts, but I’m ready to try something new.  I’m ready to put forth my best effort to become a healthier person — and I think it’s important to decide exactly what that means for me, and what I want out of this new goal.

I’ll be honest: I’m not overweight and never have been — actually, I’m far from it.  I’ve even been underweight a few times in my life.  Part of my goal, uncommon as it is, is to gain a little weight.  After all, muscle weighs more than fat, and I figure if I eat in a healthy manner that’s not a whole lot more or less than how I currently eat, and exercise regularly, I should gain a few pounds as I become more fit.  This morning I weighed in at 108.4 pounds.  I’m between 5 foot 3 and 5 foot 4, so a healthy weight for me (according to WebMD) would be between 104 and 145 lbs.  I’m fairly small in stature, so I’ll still want to weigh in on the low end of that range.  I think between 110 and 120 sounds reasonable, assuming I’m taking in enough fruits, vegetables, and water, and including a bit of weight training in my exercise regimen.

One of my bigger issues right now is the lack of rest I get.  I’ve noticed myself really starting to get addicted to my “me time” after my son goes to bed.  It’s like I start watching television or surfing the Internet and I just can’t stop.  Check out the timestamp on this post.  Go ahead, I dare you.  Yep, I live in the Eastern Time Zone of the U. S., and yes, I’ve changed my preferences so that the time and date are accurate to my location.  That is early for me.  Part of the problem is, I’m not really sure how much sleep I actually need.  I’ve trained myself to ignore what I need and run on very little sleep, but I’ve also trained myself to go back to sleep and take full advantage whenever my husband offers to get up with our son.  I’d like to listen to my body, find out how much sleep I really need, and then give myself a stern talking-to train myself to establish a reasonable bedtime and stick to it.

Now for a little more controversy: what to eat?  Because I don’t intend to lose weight, I will be trying for roughly 2000 calories.  That is actually less important to me, however, than what I am taking in.  I will be following the philosophies of an author by the name of Michael Pollan.  Recently my husband and I read his most recently published book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.  I have not yet read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which Pollan wrote before In Defense of Food, but both books are critically acclaimed and, I have heard, very good.  The basic premise of what I call the “Michael Pollan diet” is to eat real food, rather than processed; more often than not eat fruits and vegetables; eat whole foods as much as possible (buying the whole chicken rather than boneless, skinless breasts); and try to eat the greatest possible variety of foods.  By eating in this way, you get the nutrients you need without having to worry about it so much.  If you are interested in these theories, I highly recommend Michael Pollan’s work and have linked his website above.

As for the exercise?  Definitely playing that part by ear.  The friend I mentioned before is starting a Couch to 5K program this week.  Just the word “running” makes me cringe.  And why would I ever want to run a 5K?  But the truth is, there is strength in numbers, especially where working out is concerned.  Krista is looking for a workout buddy just like I am.  And if I truly want to make a positive change in my life, I might as well keep an open mind as to how I get there.

So here’s the plan:

Goal: Become a more healthy person overall by eating right.

1. Listen to my body, determine how much sleep I need, and get that much sleep most nights.

2. Eat real food, not processed junk; place an emphasis on fruits and vegetables; and attempt to cool it a bit on the carbohydrates.

3. Make an honest effort to complete the Couch to 5K program.  Eventually address each of the following aspects: overall fitness, endurance, tone, balance, strength, and flexibility (more on those later — babysteps, babysteps).

Results:

1. Gain 5 to 10 pounds.

2. Feel rested and refreshed the majority of the time (hey, I have a toddler, and I’m not perfect); reduce adverse symptoms of irregular sleep patterns.

3. Reduce headaches, stomach cramps, irregularity, and other negative side effects of poor diet.

4. Increase energy level, fitness, and endurance.  Reduce lower back pain.

P. S.: Hey folks!  I can use all the help I can get.  The buddy system really does work for working out, and even moral support within the blogging community is beneficial to sticking with it.  Tell me what you’re doing to get and/or stay in shape.  What are you eating?  What do your workouts consist of?  Leave me a comment, and your email address if it’s not linked, so I can respond.

Edited to add: I will not be making any restrictions on when I eat, other than eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full — at least until I start to see patterns in my journal.  I would like to establish three approximate mealtimes and two approximate snacktimes in between.  Tune in tomorrow for Day 1 of my journal!

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