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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 18 - Spit in Goggles, the Nobody's Perfect Diet and Pretzels

Happy Saturday!  I went swimming again!  I really didn't want to, but once I got in the pool, I actually started to enjoy myself.  I planned on doing another 30 minutes and this time, I would count my laps.  I actually found that counting the laps made me feel more motivated.  I got 30 in about 30 minutes and decided to bust out another 4 laps.  I was surprised at how much stronger I felt today.  Still probably don't have a very good stroke, but I'm not too worried about it.  I just want the exercise and that heart rate was certainly up!

Side note:  saw a dog pooping on the way to the gym and another one pooping on the way home.  What's that about?

Thanks to a bunch of Facebook friends' advice, I tried putting spit in my goggles to avoid the fog.  I have to say it worked a tiny bit, but still had pretty foggy goggles.  Hmpf.  Probably just cheap goggles.

This week I am going to work harder on my nutrition.  I have been eating far too many treats lately.  Admittedly, I'm kind of an emotional eater.  Plus I just plain love to eat.  I always say that I work out so I CAN eat eat eat!  Now that my workouts are less intense, I need to start watching a little better.  I am a very healthy eater, but I am not perfect.  I have a tendency to be a perfectionIST, but never perfect.  That means that sometimes I eat the devil's WHITE FLOUR!!  GASP!  To be honest, I really do strive to eat all whole grains, but I do love my thin crust mediterranean deLITE pizza from Papa Murphys made with white flour.  SUE ME!  Oh, and I love a shiver from TCBY.  Get over it!!  I am going to make up a diet plan called the "Nobody's Perfect Diet."  It's where you eat all your fruits and vegetables, Shakeology, whole grains, subsitute applesauce and ground flax seeds in your baking, lean meats, etc.  HOWEVER, you still enjoy whatEVER treats you want, in moderation.  That means wine on the weekend, white bread pizza on OCCASION, birthday cake at a party, and sugary frozen yogurt if you deserve it (you know you do).  In my opinion, you can't eat perfectly all of the time and I just simply to not identify with people who do (or at least SAY they do). 

This past Christmas I read a Facebook post from a fitness professional whom I trust and admire, and this silly post has stuck in my mind like white flour on my ribs:  she stated something like (not a verbatim quote): "I was doing some major Christmas shopping at the mall and found myself STARVING! I ALMOST bought one of those pretzels but thank GOODNESS I had a P90X protein bar in my purse!"  One of her followers said something along the lines of "Man, I would have thought that a plain pretzel might be one of the healthier choices at the mall."  To which she responded something like, "Oh, maybe, but I avoid white flour at all costs."  Now, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my P90X protein bars and really do think that they are a better choice than a pretzel at the mall, (And you can buy them from me here!! I know, shameless plug).  HOWEVER, I wouldn't advertise to be a perfect person.  If I were hungry and a plain pretzel sounded good, why not?  Maybe then I wouldn't eat pizza for dinner after something like that, but I wouldn't advertise that I was some sort of super human. 

Really, I just feel much better when I eat healthy and nutritious food.  I don't eat chicken nuggets every day, however I WILL be eating a pretzel at the movie theater the next time I'm lucky enough to find a babysitter to go. 

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 15 - Swim caps, goggles and FINALLY some real laps

It's a good day so far!  Unless you count me checking my Facebook fan page and noticing that instead of 302 fans, I now have 299.  That means a few folks "unliked" me.  Hmpf..."get over it, Jennifer!!!" Okay, moving on!

So the week started off pretty good with consistent exercise.  I decided to try the recumbent bike again this week, so on Monday I did it only at 1-3 resistance level.  I kept my sweatshirt on the whole time (45 min) in order to sweat more.  I didn't sweat very much, but enough to feel that my workout was light, but still not too bad.

Tuesday I did the bike for 15 minutes and then a new arm routine from my Oxygen magazine.  It was a bicep/tricep routine and I loved it!  It was only about 20 minutes long, so I did about 10 minutes of abs and that completed a pretty good workout for the day.

Today was the day for me to swim again.  I didn't make it to the pool last Sunday as I had hoped.  Between my friend Lori busy with family stuff (she was only visiting for the weekend) and my dear husband leaving me for a business trip at 5am, I just didn't get that accomplished (no gym daycare on Sundays).  But I DID do some preparations for swimming by making a little stop to the Swim and Run Shop on Saturday.  I bought a swim cap and some swimmers shampoo.  I will NOT turn these lovely golden locks green!!!  When I swam last Friday, I held my head out of the water as high as I could and, man, was that a bad neck cramp!  I ALMOST splurged on an underwater MP3 player, but I figured that I'm not a good enough swimmer to deserve a special treat like that yet. 

I had to wait until after 10am because of water aerobics (no laps during class!!) which was a little annoying.  I like to get my workout over with as SOON as I can, which usually means waiting for the gym daycare to open (8:30 or 9am depending on the gym).  But there would be NO excuses today.  I had no special plans for the morning, so Anthony and I packed up and headed out. 

Side note:  I had to practice putting on my swim cap 6 or 7 times at home before trying it in public.  It was surprisingly hard to get on!  I followed the little diagram it came with.  You know, the "proper" way of putting on your swim cap.  It kept slipping off my head and giving me some lovely static eletricity.  I have heard that wetting down your hair helps, but that seems like a hassle (more excuses from me?  you're kidding!).  I finally was able to get it on without it popping it off by just yanking it on.  It didn't look right, but that's probably b/c I had my hair piled up on top of my head.  I looked like a Cupie Doll instead of an Olympic swimmer, but that somehow seems more fitting anyway.

Into the pool I went.  Today I was at a different Idaho Athletic Club than last week, so it was another new experience.  I didn't see any kickboards, but that was okay.  I had a swim cap and goggles now, so I felt more ready to swim laps (just like a big girl)!  My first lap down was the crawl.  I was surprised at how well I remember how to do this.  I'm sure my form and technique could use some fine tuning, but I really don't care about that right now.  I went up and back and by the end of those 2 laps my heart was pounding and I was out of breath.  WOW!  This really IS a good workout!  To heck with kickboarding for 35 minutes!! 

I decided that my goal today would be to swim for 30 minutes.  I could do anything for 30 minutes.  Heck I could eat a whole bowl of popcorn by myself in 30 minutes (in fact, I'll bet I could do it in 20)!  So I decided that will be my goal as I'm just beginning.  I am too busy concentrating on what I'm doing to count laps, but I want to do that eventually.  Just a few more times of just swimming as much as I can in 30 minutes without dying.

To be truthful, I wasn't able to continuously swim.  I would have to pause after each lap, but tried not to rest for more than 30 seconds.  That's hard work!!!  By the end of 30 minutes, I had done the crawl and the breastroke and I was panting!  As I was getting dried of and dressed, my heart was STILL beating.  I think that I actually got a good workout today.  I'm so proud of myself!!

One of the most bothersome things during my swim was my right arm.  It was very sore from lifting yesterday.  Oh, and the fact that my goggles kept fogging up and getting water in them.  I think I'm going to have to invest in some new ones...

So I want to have a modest goal when it comes to swimming, as it IS a bit of a pain to get to the pool.  I want to swim 1-2 times per week for 30-45 minutes.  I hope to be up to 45 minutes soon.  I don't know how long it will take me to get there, as I was EXSTATIC today to see the clock when my 30 minutes were up.  I'm sure, just like anything, it will take practice.  But at least I'm feeling a little more confident about my new undertaking.

An update on my foot:  I called the doctor yesterday to ask why my foot is STILL hurting after 6 weeks.  I asked if it was okay that I had been walking around my house barefoot, up and down stairs, all over every room cleaning and chasing after children.  They told me that I should be in my shoes with the rigid insole at all times (besides showering and sleeping).  Drat... who wants to be in shoes all day every day?  Oh well...short term ... short term...

The better patient I am now, the sooner I can return to teaching my classes AND go to Turbo camp in July.

Tomorrow's workout:  45 minutes on recumbent bike with light resistance.  Friday:  shoulders and legs.

Plan out your workouts, people!  Hold yourSELF accountable for your goals!  Thanks for visiting and listening to me rant and rave.  Stay cool...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 10 - Finally Swimming!

See??  I TOLD you I'd swim by Sunday!  I didn't want to, but I bit the bullet and did it.

Back in November when the good Dr first put me in the boot and told me I couldn't teach for about a month, I asked him, with a tear streaked face, what kind of cardio COULD I do?  He said swimming was the only thing I could safely do.  No water aerobics (that involves impact on the floor of the pool and I have to avoid ALL weight bearing activity on the foot), but swimming would be fine.  Immediately I made a mental note: "I guess there's no cardio for now..."  Yes, I basically let the suggestion of swimming go in one ear and out the other.

Fast forward to last week when I got the boot off for the SECOND time.  The doctor reminded me that swimming is going to be my best and safest option to get some cardio.  If you read my Day 7 entry, you will see that I tried a 2nd option (recumbent bike) in hopes of avoiding swimming and I just simply hit it too hard.  I've been SO good in avoiding the bike this week b/c I vowed I would (see??  this blog IS keeping me accountable!!).

Why am I so averse to swimming, you may ask?  Well, my internet friend, I have a million excuses:  first, I have not even been "swimming" since I was a teenager and was a lifeguard.  I know HOW to swim, but I never ever do it for sport.  So that, in and of itself, is my top reason.  Just plain unsure of the unknown.  I know how many calories I can burn teaching my favorite classes, doing spin class, running, etc, but I have never been convinced I could burn as many calories while swimming.  I know that it's supposed to be a wonderful form of exercise, but it seems like you have to swim for hours just to equal the calorie burn of one run or cardio class. 
Secondly, it seems like such a hassle!  It's one thing to finish a cardio session drenched in your own sweat, but it's quite another to be drenched in chlorine.  Don't you think?  Your hair is all matted and stinky and can potentially turn green.  It's hard to run to the bathroom if you need to.  Or what if the daycare lady has to come find you because your little one just pooped his pants?  It seems like such a bother to get out of the pool to go change a diaper.  I don't think I'd be getting back into the pool after that.

My third excuse is just SO vain that I hesitate to even say.  Oh well, why stop now?  I've always been very self conscious of myself in a swimming suit and, although I LOVE the beach and sun and sand, etc, I have always had big time issues with wearing a swimming suit.  My husband has been angry with me on more than one occasion where I have conveniently "forgotten" my swimsuit on a vacation where there may be a hot tub.  I can be a real brat, by the way. 

Also, I know I can't swim laps in a bikini, so I knew I'd have to go out and get a new suit.  Ugh... that means trying on swimsuits in the winter.  No thanks.  However, I've been avoiding it for too long and I finally bucked up.  This will be a great workout and it's my only chance at getting some consistent exercise (other than my upper body and ab routine... I need to switch things up!).  So yesterday I went to the lovely establishment known as Costco (I was told they have cheap suits there) and mananged to end up with one of the ugliest suits they had.  Geez - why did I think black with white flowers would be flattering?  And, is it SUPPOSED to make me look like I have 4 butt cheeks?  Disgust! 

Okay, time to get over yourself (sorry, just talking to myself for a minute...) 

After getting a good swimming pep talk from my best bud Lori (who has been swimming as part of her Iron Man training), I decided to don my suit and hit the pool this morning.  I have belonged to this gym for almost 6 years and I have never even stepped foot into the pool area.  I had no idea of what to expect as far as the size of the pool or the rules, etc.  The doctor suggested simply kickboarding for 20 min or so.  So that's what I did.  I found a kickboard and I did laps with it for 35 minutes.  I was actually surprised at how fast the time went by.  I was sure it would be so super boring that I didnt know if I could even last 10 min in there.  But after 35 min, I got out and headed home.  Truthfully, I don't feel like I got a very good workout.  I didn't stop at all during that time, but still don't feel like I burned very many calories.  I plan to go again on Sunday with Lori and she is going to show me some good stuff.  I am also going to look up to see if I can find any info online.  If this is going to be one of my main forms of exercise over the next 6 weeks, then I'd better figure out some fun and hard routines.  Kickboarding for 35 minutes every day is NOT going to cut it, folks.

If you have any good insight on swimming or any advice, please feel free to share!  I'd love some support from actual "swimmers." ;)

So, in closing, take it from me:  get out there and do something you've never tried before or something you haven't done in eons.  What are you so afraid of?  I was so embarrassed to be seen in my swimsuit, but no one in the pool area gives a s**t.  It's like I always tell my Turbo Kick students who feel self conscious.  No one is watching you but YOU.  Everyone is just trying to workout so get over yourself!  (I'm such a hypocrite, aren't I?  LOL)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 7

Today is one week since I went to the orthopedic doctor.  Doesn't feel like that long ago... my foot still hurts...  

We arrived in AZ for a vacation on Thursday afternoon and on Friday I checked out the club house in my parents' neighborhood.  I was expecting a treadmill (which I can't do) and some weights (which I could utilize).  I was pleasantly surprised to find...(drum roll) a recumbent bike!!  Yay!  Got my tunes going and hit the bike.  They also had some great weight equipment, so I did 2 rounds of my circuit.  I repeated the same routine on Saturday during naptime for the boys.  Saturday evening, my husband and I hit Scottsdale for a date.  I secretly brought a pair of dress shoes (very low heel and comfortable inside).  NO, my rigid insole does NOT fit in them, but I figured it wouldn't hurt for a couple of hours!  I know, it's vain... I'm just sick of wearing athletic shoes all of the time!

On Sunday, I decided to skip the workout.  We had planned to go to the Pheonix zoo and I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking.  Truthfully, my foot was hurting and I was a little scared to workout again.  Plus I knew I'd be walking all over airports on Monday on our way back home. 

By last night BOTH of my feet were hurting.  The pain is on the top of the foot and radiates down toward the tops of the toes.  It's just a dull achey pain that doesn't really go away.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit like a Debbie Downer.  BUT, the today is a new day.  Here are my positive thoughts:  I just got home from a 5 day vacation in AZ.  We did a TON of walking and I'm sure I just overdid.  My right foot is probably hurting because I've been overcompensating for the injured left foot.  Also, ever since I was released to do the recumbent bike, I think I've been pushing too hard on it.  The truth with the recumbent bike is that I kind of talked the doctor into letting me do it in the first place.  He really only wants me to swim.  He said I'd have to have VERY LITTLE TO NO resistance.  So how much resistance did I have last Wednesday?  5-7.  That's not being a very good girl. 

No recumbent bike this week.  My goal is to buy a one piece bathing suit this week and go swimming by AT LEAST Sunday.  I've heard that Costco is a good place to buy one.  I'm sure it's super sexy.  ;)

Anthony (the 17 month old) and I just got home from the gym and grocery store.  I did 3 rounds of my abs and weights circuit.  It felt really good.  No weight bearing activity on my foot besides walking around.  I promise to ice my foot tonight.  I really really promise!!! 

Until next time...  stay safe out there!  This week:  train smarter not harder!!

I may not be able to Turbo, PiYo or Hustle yet, but I'm still happy 95% of the time!!  LOL

Greetings from the Ostrich Ranch in Casa Grande, AZ!

Date night in Scottsdale!

Eating lunch at the Pheonix Zoo.

Feeding the giraffes.

Havin' fun with Grandma.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day Two

Packing for a trip to Arizona and wondering how to fit that rigid carbon insole into my flip flops...  Hmmmm, guess those are out.  In fact, ALL shoes besides athletic shoes are out.  That thing doesn't fit into ANYthing.  Oh well.  An excuse to buy more athletic shoes...

Here is the mantra for today...instead of focusing on what you CAN'T do during an injury, focus on what you CAN do.  For me, it includes: all upper body weight training, abdominal work on the floor, leg work on the floor, leg extension and curl (machines), leg abduction and adduction (machines), recumbent bike and swimming.  It's all about reconfiguring your routine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day One... after the diagnosis

A very short background on me:  I'm a fitness instructor and my favorite classes to teach are: Turbo Kick, PiYo and Hip Hop Hustle.  I also enjoyed weight lifting and running (well, enjoy running is a bit of a stretch...).  In short, I LOVE to excercise, jump, kick, move and sweat.  And, more importantly, I NEED it just like some people need water.  I am a Class A Number One Grouch when I don't get the proper amount of exercise.

Which leads me to my story of being an injured fitness fanatic.  It, in short, blows.

As some of you may know, I've been in a "walking boot" for the past month.  I was actually BACK in the walking boot this past month.  I wore it through most of November after feeling some pain in my left foot.  It felt like I pulled a muscle in the top of my foot and really only hurt when I was jumping.  A visit to the orthopedic doctor, and xray and an MRI later, Dr Nilsson informed me that I have an "almost" stress fracture of the 3rd metatarsal.  What does that mean!??  Think about taking a rubber band and stretching it until it almost breaks.  It becomes weak and frayed and barely in tact.  That is my third metatarsal right now.

Dr Nilsson put me in a walking boot early November and told me to wear it around for 3 weeks.  Yay!  I can do that!  Then back to teaching, right??  Well, he released me after 3 weeks and said to take it easy.  In fact, his quote was, "Now Jennifer, if it hurts, DON'T DO IT."  I was made to repeat that several times back to him to ensure he knew I heard him.  However, I have a really special skill of hearing without really listening.  I know, I have many talents.  All that I could really hear was, "You can go back to teaching Turbo Kick, Jennifer!  Congratulations!!" 

Well, as the month of December progressed, I soon realized that I had been teaching my classes while still in pain.  What was it that the good doctor said again?  Oh yeah!!!  I remembered it that one morning early January when I limped to the telephone and started calling subs.  I visited Dr Nilsson later that same day and guess what?  Back in the boot!!  This time for FOUR WEEKS!!  "Okay," I thought, "I am going to DO THIS this time.  I'm going to be good and really rest my foot.  I'm only going to lift weights and do NO weight bearing exercise with my feet.  I will rock this recovery!"

Fast forward to yesterday, February 8, 2011.  The exciting doctor appointment that had me all giddy!!  He was going to say I should rest my foot without the boot for 2 more weeks and then go back to teaching my classes.  I just knew it!!

I sat on the table, took off my boot and sock and revealed my pretty pedicure (I didn't want the good doctor touching those knarly things that had been hiding in a boot for a month!).  Dr held my foot and applied pressure to the injury site.  "Does it still hurt here?"  Sigh, yes... it does.  "How about here?"  Hmpf, yes, actually.  Dr then informed me that I will need to take another month off.  I could take the boot off, but I have to keep a rigid carbon insole in my left shoe for the next month and STILL no weight bearing exercise for another 4 weeks.  UGH...  okay, okay, I can do that. 

"Then I can go back to teaching after that, right?  I'll just do low impact until I'm better!"  "No," explained the doctor.  I would have to take the month after that and increase activity by 10% each week.  "It will be at LEAST two more months before you can teach your classes or do any impact activities."

As sat there, hunched over on the examination table, I realized... this is for the best.  I knew in my heart that I was not healed enough to resume my usual activity YET.  I wasn't ready for the news of TWO MONTHS, but I resigned myself to the facts.  If I didn't let myself heal properly, I will NEVER be able to go back to my favorite activities.

So here we are.  Day One of my two months.  Look out April 9th!  I hope to be a very good girl so I can be back by then!!!  That is my goal, that is my motivation.  That date on the calendar is like a's like the finish's the day I can start to resume my favorite exercises...slowly, but surely.

There you have it.  I started this morning with my Shakeology for breakfast and went ahead and whipped one up for lunch ... it's waiting for me in the fridge ready to go.  I fixed breakfast for 2 little ones, lunch for the preschooler, changed wet sheets from the baby, brushed everyone's teeth, got everyone dressed, did a load of laundry (yes! before 7:30a!) and loaded up the gang.  Dropped off Alex at preschool and Anthony and I headed to the gym.  I did 37 minutes on the recumbent bike (thank you Turbo Kick music!!!) and followed it with a short 10 minute weights session. 

You can knock me down a peg, but you can't push me off the ladder!  (That's today's positive thought...not saying tomorrow will be as cheery, but I'm really really going to try!).

Now, off to be a mommy.  My exercise is done for the day and I'm happy.  My last thought... I REALLY hope I don't lose my job at the gym.  I love my classes and I love my participants.  I can't wait to see everyone in 2 months!! (hopefully...)

Until next time...