Monday, August 11, 2014

How my blog feels...

I can't believe I have deserted this place for 5 months.  Whoopsie!

I have worked out hard and then not and then some again and not at all.  My workouts have been and are anything but predictable.  And since I am currently in a summer induced hiatus (that's my story and I'm sticking to it), I've decided it's a good a time as ever to change things up again.

This blog served primarily to keep me fitness focused and motivated during my pregnancy and after.  Unfortunately, since I am back to my old "me", it's not functioning as a motivator anymore.  I still like dabbling in the social media outlets and since coming out here is pretty time consuming, I thought microblogging could be the next step in my endeavors.

I've revisited my tumblr page and will be posting on there.  I can reblog things a la pinterest style as well as adding new content of my own.  In addition to fun workouts or fitness tips that I come across, I'll enjoy updating it with the other things that float my, fashion, music, technology, food, parenting, travelling fashionably while parenting with the help of music, technology and food! Ha!  Come follow me and please let me know what you'd like to see more of.  I'll try to keep things fun and fresh and definitely full of adventure!!

See ya there!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ctrl Alt Delete...reboot!

My computer has been running really slow lately.  My phone is acting the same way.  It appears that I'm out of storage space.  Come to think of it, that extra set of garages is kinda full too.  It's amazing how many toys, bikes, gadgets, golf clubs and a plethora of other stuff a family of six can accumulate.

Although this could easily become a post about how I need to sell, purge and organize my life, I don't have a week to talk about all the things I need to do.  I'll tackle that a bit at a time.

Just as our homes and electronics get bogged down, so do our bodies.  In my case, I caved to my sweet tooth one too many times.  I was doing so well getting to my "fit, fab & forty" body and then the birthday came and I totally let the wheels come off the bus.  Cakes and desserts at the end of every celebratory meal and then a couple of holidays...Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras flanked the day with an abundance of chocolate and king cake.  I think that's all past us now but what remains is the incredibly sluggishness that I feel.

Good news bad news is still that I lost my butt.  I didn't necessarily gain weight but I feel "soft" and particularly around my middle. So, no butt and squishy midsection...that's where I am at now and I'll say, I'm not particularly thrilled with it.  Especially the sluggish part.  Granted, the weather has been incredibly bipolar and I appreciate it letting me use it as an excuse because...I just didn't feel like working out.  Shoot, I STILL don't! Bleh.

Case in point...I did week 4 & 5 of T25 twice!  Why?  Because I did such a crappy job of staying on it that I felt like I needed to redo it until I got it right.  And I still didn't.

Yesterday, although I felt like anything BUT working out, I knew I HAD to.  I have got to lift out of this funk and get moving again.  Rebooting the workout plan was probably the only way to do it so I went ahead and started the Beta portion of T25, week 1 last night.  I also tried to fix a healthy meal for myself.  Flying solo with 4 kids in the evening does not make for creative, healthy cooking, I learned.  The kids were fed, bathed, homework was done and everyone was in bed and yet, I never got around to eating what I made.  I had made a batch of quinoa which I knew I could doctor up with something I found on pinterest.  I did exactly that and tweaked it some more for the ingredients I did have (butternut squash versus sweet potato) and those patties just fell apart on me.  Oh, well...they tasted great, just not pretty.  Regardless, I ended up having a bowl a cereal after my workout because anything else felt too heavy at midnight.  Yes, midnight.
I had to also catch up on my yoga challenges...because kind of ignored that too.  Before I knew it, it was Tuesday.

The Cardio dvd was really what I needed...I didn't know what to expect and they REALLY step it up with intensity.  I was actually looking at that timer on the screen as it counted down wishing it would move FASTER.  Ugh.

I am looking forward to Speed 2.0 tonight but am afraid that after a week of trying all the workouts in the series, I will be bored.  Not to mention, I don't feel like I am getting any stronger.  I think I'll add some strength training somehow tonight however, long term, I need to find something else that will get me amped up.  Thank goodness for my aerial class...I really look forward to going to that every week.

I'll be searching for new ideas to keep things fresh.  Stay tuned on that.  In the mean time, I am hoping the weather cooperates more so that I can finally start taking my bike out for some long rides (fantastic glutes emerge here!).

Have a fantastic Tuesday & get movin' (no matter what time...just do it!)


Thursday, February 20, 2014

4 weeks in and I lost my...


Yea, I said it.  Consistent & frequent cardio exercise has that effect on me.  Apparently.

I was going to post this at week 2 and 3 but never got around to it...there are just not enough hours in my days! we are at the middle of week 4 of T25 and I can confirm that yep, I lost my butt.

Remember all those pencil skirts and pants I had "goaled" to fit in? (I just made up a word, I think)  They all fit.  In fact, I tried one on earlier this week and it was big on me.  I totally missed the wearing period on that one because now it's been relegated to the back of the closet due to "saggy pants syndrome".  Usually a phrase I save for pants, this particular skirt falls in that category.  It is highly unattractive.

My birthday is next week and celebrations begin tonight (which I am sure will extend until next month).  My goal of being in the "best" shape of my life is meh, pretty close.  Although I am thrilled to fit in my clothes again (because it was getting to be slim pickins' in the closet), my intent was never to lose a bunch of weight and be "petite".  I only use that term because my husband called me that is not a word you would associate with someone 5'9". Rather, what I want to be is fit and strong, which to me defines "best shape".

When I first started writing this a couple of weeks ago, my thought was to cut back on T25 and not follow the program to the tee.  I had been running and upping my mileage along with my weekly aerial class and nightly yoga challenges in addition to T25 and I knew I needed to cut back.  Of course, I didn't.  But then I got busy and naturally, something had to give.  I initially cut back on the running because it was the hardest to squeeze in and quite frankly the weather sucked. Sub 40 temps are not a favorite for this South Florida girl so that was an easy call.  It's warmed up now and I still haven't been able to pick back up on the running. This is frustrating to me because I had really cut my pace down pretty quick to a place that made me giddy of where it could go.  Breaking the consistency really puts me at square one.  Boo.

I kept at T25 because really, it's TWENTY FIVE minutes people!  Before you can start complaining about it, you're half way done.  The amount of sweat produced in that short amount of time is really amazing.  I figured some workout is better than no workout but really my "lass" situation is still not being tended to (albeit it's a diminished area).

This week has been a total bust.  I admit that right now.  I've skipped 2 days of T25 (for shame!) and tonight, I doubt I will want to give it a go after a couple of  birthday cocktails.  Ditto for the yoga challenge...I went to bed so late and completely forgot! Boo to me!  I have lots of work to make up for this slacking over the weekend.  A bike ride, run, aerial class and definitely some standing on my head is in order!

Gotta go now, I have to take my diminishing bedunkadunk out of here...there's a cocktail with my name on it!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

If the shoe fits...

Remember my issue with the foot cramping on my early review of Focus T25 here? Well, here's a quick update.  I found this blog post on the Shaun T website that hit what I was feeling on the head. --> 

Reading this article and some of the comments reminded me that a few years ago, when I first started running (for the first time ever) and got to the 5+ mile range, my knee and foot started hurting.  Long story short, running in the wrong shoes caused me to get plantar fasciitis.  As it turns out, I learned in my late 30s that I have flat feet.  What? They certainly don't look flat.  In fact, by looking at my feet, I'd say I have a high arch! I don't know how I forgot all those weeks of rehabbing, taping, ultrasound treatment and massages to help my condition but I guess when the pain resurfaces, so do the memories.  My doctor had me fitted for orthotics (which I never wore after spending a fortune on them) and I remember the diagnosis was something with a "fallen arch".  It appears to be a high arch until my foot hits the ground.  There, my arch does too.  When I switched out the shoes, the problem was solved.  (and poof, the memory of how I got there too, apparently).

This whole foot cramping during high impact exercise brought it all to light. It makes sense that my arches would cramp when I am jumping for a solid half hour on my toes.  The first thing I did was take my shoes OFF.  I was wearing New Balance Minimus because I knew that running shoes would be a bad idea and because I have no other cross training shoes.  These are pretty close to not wearing anything as the name implies and I usually love knocking around in them.  However, T25, them and me were not a good combo.  I didn't need more days of torture to figure that out.

Days 3 through 5 of T25 were fantastic...great work outs and minimal if no cramping.  My husband noticed on day 5 (when we worked out together again) and thought I was nuts to be doing it all barefoot.  I'll admit, the hardest things are: Jump Squats (the landing is hard on my feet...some cushion would be nice) and Mountain Climbers (Alternating leg lifts while in plank feet kept slipping with fast repetition).  Also, those days were not as high impact as the first two so apples and apples they were not.

Over the weekend, we did the Cardio DVD again (from Day 1) and we started the rotation again last night (Cardio Back to back!).  I did them both barefoot and my feet did cramp but not as severely.  I am not certain if it's that I am strengthening those little muscles in my feet and it's helping the situation or if it's because I'm just getting use to it.  Nevertheless, I will say that I still need some support for the landings and grip so I'll look to find alternatives to the minimus in a cross training shoe.

The search is not over but I am hopeful that those muscles ARE indeed getting stronger and relieving the tension from the fascia during all those jumps.  We'll see...I will update any findings, in the mean time I'll be "Focusing" barefooted!


P.S - an update to the T25 review, I'll just say this...I have done Cardio 3x now and it's getting easier.  So much so that I went for a run immediately after the 2nd time.  My thumper is getting stronger already! :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A new era has begun.

Or not. After years of spot work outs with Tony (Horton, from P90X, we are on a first name basis) my hubby and I have decided to mix it up and include Shaun T in our lives.  We borrowed an Insanity video recently that included the "Fit Test".  After watching from the couch in its entirety first (because "Insanity" is admittedly a scary term), we jumped in and did the test.  I was mighty proud of myself for getting the amount of reps that I did for some of those exercises! My biggest concern was the cramping that occurs in my feet when I do that level of jumping in most cardio exercises but I managed to make it through the fit test relatively unscathed. (I dealt with the cramps i.e. sucked it up).

We (meaning, HE) decided to do some research on some other Shaun T workout programs and came upon Focus T 25. It's also by Beachbody and it's a shorter version of Insanity. Lesser time per workout, 5 days a week rather than 6 but NO breaks between exercises.  We like the idea of a shorter work out with the same intensity which is also what P90X3, who just came out to market, is touting.  He compared the two programs and was leaning towards T25.  The foot cramp thing made me uneasy so I leaned the other way to P90X3 and because it also has a variety of workouts that I enjoy like Yoga, Pilates and some circuit weight training.  I seemed to have swayed him.  He pulled the trigger on P90X3 but somehow inadvertently, T25 showed up on our doorstep at the same time that he completed his order. Whoopsie! I guess during his initial research, he got trigger happy! Ha!  Rather than return it we decided to keep it and give it a go since it was IN. MY. HANDS! 

Monday (yesterday) was our first day.  My two biggest concerns were the foot cramps I mentioned and the other was whether 25 minutes would seem like a full workout. When I got home, my hubby had just completed it.  He was dripping in sweat (but alive) so I quickly changed and took my turn.  My initial thoughts:

OW, MY FEET!  Ugh.  I pushed and got it done but honestly, nothing, not my quads, calves or heart for that matter felt the pain like my feet did.  I'll have a separate post on this because upon googling late last night, I found it's a common issue and I am determined to figure this thing out.

After the heat in my feet subsided I felt like I could go for a run.  It went by very quick and like an intense warm up.  I'm thinking that they start you off "easy" so they can give you a one, two sucker punch later in the week to make you take back anything you ever said about the first couple of days. (so I'll tread lightly...:) )

It felt good to have so much extra time in the evening to work on yoga stretches and the challenge I'm currently working on (of course I am).  I also like that Shaun T is no nonsense.  He just cuts to the chase and before you know it you are jumping around the room with sweat dripping from your nose.  There is a short cool down after the 25 minute workout is complete to help stretch out those big muscles but that is not included within the workout time so you get a SOLID 25 minutes of GO.

Today, Houston is in the middle of a "Snowpocalypse",  meaning the whole city shuts down with the smallest threat of snow or ice on the roads.  Schools are closed and work is on a "if you have to come in" basis. So, I figured I'd get day 2 out of the way while hubby and I swapped half days for work.  I did "Speed 1.0" and I went for it barefooted.  Seemed crazy but surprisingly, much less cramping.  The jump squat landings were a bit hard on my feet but I sucked it up as best I could.

Again, before you can even want a sip of water, it's over.  The last 7 minutes were the hardest only because the baby who was watching me from the bouncer and had been laughing at my antics the whole time, was getting tired.  I had to add extra acrobatics to keep him entertained through to the end.

I should mention that my legs were sore when I woke up this morning so last night's workout was effective. And now, a few hours after day 2's workout, my legs feel pretty solid.  THIS is a step in the right direction!
My take away so far is that I have got to find a solution for the foot arch cramp issue.  Until then, I will continue to push through as long as I can. At the very least until the next shipment arrives on my doorstep! Stay tuned for a follow up review at the end of week 1.

Happy Snow Day all...stay warm!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Set a date & get a move on.

Daily challenge. Race Date. Coach Schedule. Workout meetup. Without these things, I am sure I'd be a total bum. I KNOW this and because of it, I try to always have at least one on the list going.

Over the last few months, I've gone on several runs, one good bike ride, a couple of swims, done some P90X workouts and have gone on plenty of walks but I have done nothing with consistency or on a schedule.  I have had no end goal in sight (other than fitting into my pants & pencil skirts again). I was doing just enough to keep me moving but I knew that once I went back to work, some level of discipline would be required so that I can stay fit with my crazy schedule.

So, right before the new year, I started looking for challenges, planned on meeting up friends on their long training runs and looked into following a "Coach" schedule from the new update on my Nike app. Aren't I resourceful?! I figured these were all things that would get me "there".   But then again...what was "there"?

I started to think about races to sign up for that will give me more of a definitive finish line (pun intended). I have a few goals swirling in my head but nothing I am willing to commit to just yet (especially on an public forum like the interwebs). Will it be my first tri that comes first or a half marathon? Maybe just PR a 10k?

But then, something BIGGER hit me in the back of the head while I was looking at dates. Um. My birthday! I have a whopper of a milestone coming up and I have always said I wanted to be in the "best shape of my life" by then. Well, crap! I totally forgot about that and now I am what...a month away?! Aaaaahhhh!!! Where has the time gone?!

All this to say that my ho hum approach will have to be stepped up for the next few weeks if I want to meet that goal. I guess first things first though.  What does the "best shape of my life" really mean? Well, I guess this is where I can cheat some, huh? I define this based on me and my life? Because, technically, I am already pretty close to being in the best shape of my life. I have been the fittest I have ever been in the last 5-6 years and more importantly the HAPPIEST. So, I'm done right? Oh yea, I still have to get into those pants.

But seriously, I need to define this so that I can have something to put a tack on or write it on that post it on my monitor. To me, being in the BEST shape is feeling strong, being tone, living a healthy lifestyle and...being confident enough to wear shorts.

Yes, that's right. Confident to wear shorts.  I said it.  That may seem silly (and my husband thinks I'm crazy) but every one has that "area" on their body that just makes them cringe, right?  Okay, maybe not everyone...most people. Fine, I'll speak for myself.  Yes, I have that area.  For me, it's the lass. You know, the area between the back of your thigh and your ass? There. And upper thigh area altogether could use some toning up.

Sitting down in shorts with confidence is a pretty solid goal.  In my mind.  Sitting down is the key piece of the goal though.  I am totally okay with standing, walking and running around in shorts (if they are not too short) but sitting? That's a different animal.  Tightening up the ab area where baby left squishy I'm throwing on to the goal too because...what the heck, I could use a fall back of success if this lass thing doesn't work out. (I hope you all have picked up on my sarcasm and sense of humor by now)

Anywaaaay....I have a few things going for me that will make this endeavor a little less painful and perhaps even achievable. For starters, these are the things that I am already doing (yay, me!):

~ 30 Day Yoga Challenge - keeps me practicing and engages my core daily (Abs!)
~ 10K Coach Challenge on Nike Ap - keeps me running MORE often (fat burning & some leg definition)
~ Green smoothie daily - I admit, I am addicted.  I've been doing it since pre baby and when I go without it, I crave it.  This keeps my nutrition in check by getting all my daily fruits and veggies (and then some).
~ Meet ups - I've been also meeting up with friends on Sunday mornings for long runs. The Nike coach would disapprove as I would be considered as "over training"'s motivated me to push the pace and distance.
~ Weekly Aerial Fabric class.  Good overall body workout but lots of core work. (more abs!)

My abs seem to be heading in the right direction but my lass was not mentioned in any of those things.  This is where the rubber meets the road. I'll be looking for some glute workouts on pinterest so pardon all the butt pics coming through on the board below, this mama needs to get squatting!

Now I have a fast approaching date to work towards.  I also will have measurable results which will be before and after pictures (that will never see the light of day).  My first goal for 2014 is set and I know it's going to be tough but my motivation is not only to wear those shorts but to wear them (and a bikini) on that birthday beach trip my hubby will be taking me on. (wink, wink - hi, honey!)

Stay tuned for progress reports.  I gotta go...I have some lunges to do.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

So where are we with this thing?

This thing we call a baby fitness blog, you mean? Oh yea. That. I admit, I have been a total slacker (in more ways than one). This blog has fallen so far back on the burner that it's not even in the kitchen. Wha? I have been exercising, which if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter --->, you know of my progress. I just have failed miserably to sit a write about it. Baby #4 is now 15 weeks old and a pure joy in our lives. He is so happy all of the time and flashes a smile so easily that I spend most of my time around him in an utter state of goo and gah. Not even kidding about that. Along with all my other "plans" for 2014, I do intend to keep this space updated with routines, workouts and may incorporate reviews on exercise gear, local "boutique" gym classes and share some of my smoothie recipes that have been a hit (not the beet one...ha!). Stay tuned and hope you'll come visit and join me in my journey on remaining "Baby Fit". ~V P.S. - I'll also start researching on how best to revamp this site. I am not thrilled with it's appearance but unfortunately, writing code is not something I am proficient at. Suggestions and tips welcomed! :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New year, new you happy you.

It's that time again where we tear out the last page of the calendar and start anew. The gym gets crowded, the 20% off Elfa sale at the Container Store goes over like Black Friday, social media is all abuzz with motivational fresh start mantras regarding your mental, physical and emotional state and the ads to a "new, better you" pop up everywhere whether for weight loss, botox, tanning or laser hair removal.

It seems that everywhere you turn, someone it trying to help improve you and your life or lifestyle. How to organize your life, quit smoking, get a new job, get your finances in order...all the answers seem to be thrown at you at the beginning of the year. Do we really go into such disarray throughout the year that we need that much fixing?

And why do we feel the need to get it ALL fixed at once? It seems awfully overwhelming.

I am not one to ever set Resolutions because I know all too well what their success rates are. Rather, I set goals for myself for things (or just one thing) that I'd like to work on for ME. There is no magical thing that happens at 12:01 on 1/1 so I loosely start thinking about it in the first couple of weeks of the year. This year, I have suggested to my family that we should create a goal board with all of our goals, mainly family goals.

It initially sounded like a chore. And admittedly, when I have to come up with work goals, I moan and groan too. There never seems to be any fun in setting goals other than the fact that meeting them gets you paid a bigger bonus. Am I right?

So what's the incentive to doing this at home? Well, having your opinion on family decisions count for starters. Getting to look forward to doing things together and working together to do it is a pretty good reason too. The sense of accomplishment you get from achieving a goal is pretty sweet and doing so as a team should make it that much sweeter.

We haven't quite "set" our goals yet but things we've tossed around is deciding when and where we would travel to as well as the planning of said voyage. DIY house projects are also on the table for discussion. Laying tile, painting, landscaping or simply moving furniture around and refreshing a room with new plants, art and window coverings could be an option too. As "head" of the healthy committee in our house, I vote for picking a goal to keep us all active and eating better (and at home). Minimizing our restaurant visits by pre-planning meals is HUGE on my personal list but by incorporating everyone else in the "active" part, I think the whole family will become more aware of how important nutrition comes into play with staying fit. 

We have already dabbled in fitness challenges together so keeping with this and getting outdoors weekly *should* be totally doable. Right?! I have many more ideas (entertaining more, volunteering in service projects, races, etc) but I don't want to over commit the family and set them (us) up for failure. Ahem. So, family, let's keep our goals ATTAINABLE. Let's just plan on having something to show for 2014 as an accomplishment that made us ALL happy.

Looking back at 2013, those accomplishments were not in the form of house projects, weight and honestly, I couldn't remember what our nutritional intake was (other than it was not in our kitchen)-- although a little of all of that did occur too. I can, however, say that the memories of spending time together whether in a rented Suburban driving across the Southwest or more simply when attempting a yoga challenge and having the family join in like circus clowns, are priceless. Those make me smile and warm my heart. I look forward to a lot more of those in 2014. :)

 Happy New Year!