Thursday, March 31, 2011

Workout Randomness

I don't usually do the bullet-point posting thing, but it seems to fit with the total randomness theme:
  • With the exception of the last three years, I've been pretty fit my whole life.  I kind of took it for granted.  Taking it for granted sucks when you're trying to get back to being fit.
  • (Guys, close your eyes, you might not want to know this.) This working out thing has totally straightened out my whole wacky period thing.  I was having the most bizarre periods for the last year, to the point that I asked my doc if I could go back on birth control just to straighten it out (she said no, BTW).  I started working out and VIOLA! normal periods.  Hmmm... (Okay, guys, you can open your eyes.)
  • My boobs are disappearing.  I'm okay with that.  I'm a stomach sleeper and they were in the way. (Oops, guys, you probably didn't want to see that either.)
  • But now I have to buy new sports bras.  That sucks, because I just bought my current sports bras.
  • I see my trainer more often than I see my husband.  That makes me sad.  I really love my husband.
  • However, spending two hours a week with my trainer is making me feel better, which makes it more enjoyable to see my husband.  I don't feel all fat and nasty around RCC.
  • Well, I sometimes feel all nasty after a hard workout - I hate the sticky, dried sweat feeling.
  • RCC has lost 35# or so since January 1st. Me?  I've lost 9#.  We both had more than 40 to lose - he's close to his goal; I'm not even a quarter of the way.  That's kind of sad, too.
  • I've lost an inch from my waist, hips, calves and neck.  That makes me happy.
  • I had no idea I had a fat neck (but the double chin should have given that away).
  • My trainer cracks me up.  He's a young 'un, but we do a lot of laughing during my session.  Mostly because we're both smart-asses.
  • He invents exercises for me.  I'm not kidding, you can watch the crazy wheels spinning in that little pinhead of his.
  • That little bastard also gave me an exercise last night that he thought I couldn't do. It was a side plank with my upper leg raised off my support leg and then my free arm was doing rows with a resistance band.  I nailed that exercise!
  • The problem with nailing the exercises he invents and thinks I can't do is that he invents harder ones.
  • A couple of weeks ago, he had me do a V-up ("teasers" for you pilates folks), log roll to my stomach and do flutter kicks for thirty seconds, then log roll to my back and start all over again.  That one?  Yeah, it kicked my ass.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with the Bosu ball.  I love being able to see my balance improve, I hate some of the torture the little bastard comes up with. You can use the Bosu with the ball side up, like a FitBall or you can use it with the ball side down, like a balance board.
  • I've been doing exercises on the Bosu at almost every training session for two months - that Bosu and I, we're tight.  Except for Tuesday.  Tuesday, I fell off of it *twice* while trying to get on it.  The guy working out next to me laughed his ass off.  Okay, so did I.  The little bastard almost peed himself he was laughing so hard.  Third time's a charm - I managed to get on it and do my torture.
  • I'm not the only one talented enough to get her hair caught in a resistance band.  Last week, another one of my trainer's clients did the same thing I did, only she yanked on the resistance band and lost a chunk of hair.
  • I almost threw up when he told me that.
And absolutely unrelated randomness:
My baby girl comes home tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Post I've Been Avoiding

And I'm still just sitting here with my fingers hovering over the keyboard...

Okay, the grandma thing.

Yeah.  Not ready for it.

Digger moved home from Wyoming a few weeks ago to find a job, get enrolled in school, and find an apartment for him and Cowgirl.  He had a sound plan.  RCC and I were okay with it.

A week after he moved home, Cowgirl told him he was going to be a daddy.  Scared the bejeezus out of me.  He's my first born (read: my baby).  Now, I know they already had long-term plans, but this really speeds things up. 

Hell, I was just getting used to the idea that any girl he dated could potentially be a DIL.  I was 18 when I got married, and I was thanking my lucky stars that at 19, he wasn't looking like he was going to follow in my footsteps.

I'm apparently very old fashioned in my thinking.  I was worried about a DIL, not grandchildren.  Now I'm getting both - and at a much younger age than I had anticipated.  I had hoped that my kids would wait until they were older to get married and have children of their own.  Afterall, didn't they remember how hard it was when they were growing up?

There is something to be said about having kids young, I'll agree with that.  I mean, I had three by the time I was 23.  My body bounced back after each pregnancy and I had the energy to chase after three kids and work three jobs.  But the three jobs were the problem - who wants to do that when they've got little 'uns at home?  I had no choice - I was married to an alcoholic who drank more than I made.  I did college at the same time - took six years to get my bachelor degree.  Who would choose to do that?

Being a young parent is hard, but it does have its benefits - I'll never deny that.

But there's something to be said about waiting, too.  Being settled in a career, having a reliable income.  Figuring out who you are as a person.  All bonuses.

I never expected my kids to wait until their 30s to have kids of their own, but I had hoped they'd wait until they were at least 25 so they'd have time to do "kid" things - college (the "traditional" way), travel, lousy jobs.

On one hand, I'm cautiously optimistic about being a grandma.  On the other hand, though, my heart's breaking for Digger and Cowgirl.  They're excited and they both have good heads on their shoulders, but it's going to be a long hard road.  I know that it's pessimistic of me, but our life didn't start coming together until just three years ago - I had hoped my kids would have an easier road than that.

RCC, however, is *thrilled*.  He's excited about being a grandpa and is already planning on spoiling the baby rotten.  He's a good balance to my consternation.  It's no wonder I love that man.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Sleeping Brain Is Kinda Smart, Sometimes

I know I promised a more comprehensive post on the whole "grandma" thing.  I'll get around to it eventually.  I really will.  Once the shock wears off.

Remember when I had the man cold?  I whined and was basically pathetic for one week.  Yep.  One week.  That's all it took to kick it.  And then I was feeling pretty cocky again, because everyone else battled it for weeks.  I only prayed for death for a couple of days during my week-long illness and then I bounced back and was feeling great.

Exactly two weeks later, I noticed a rash after I worked out.  Wasn't a big thing, just an itchy rash under the elastic of my sports bra.  I chalked it up to a sweat rash.  But that stupid rash persisted over the weekend and began to spread.  I didn't worry much about it, I just figured that I had spread the rash my scratching.  Most sweat rashes are fungal, so it was absolutely possible for me to have spread it by scratching.

By Monday, the rash had spread from the area under my sports bra to my entire abdomen and I started to get concerned.  Not to mention the amount of time at work I was spending scratching.  It's hard to type curricula when one or both hands are otherwise occupied.  I made an appointment with my Nurse Practitioner for Tuesday morning, opting not to go to the gym on Monday night just in case whatever I had was contagious.

By the time I got to my appointment at 8:30 Tuesday morning, the rash had spread to my armpits and back from my abdomen.  Even more scary, it was trying to move south.  Now, I don't mind scratching my torso like a monkey, but I wasn't going to be scratching *down there* like a male toddler who just figured out what was in his pants.

My Nurse Practitioner is an amazingly smart woman, who took one look at my rash and asked, "have you been sick?  Had a cold or anything?"  I told her no, forgetting that two and a half weeks earlier I'd been dying a slow, pathetic death because I had a head cold.  She continued to look at the rash and said that it looked like pityriasis rosea, which commonly appears a couple of weeks after a viral infection, at which time I remembered my man cold.

Great.  Now I had a diagnosis for my rash.  What on earth was she going to do about it?


It's viral.  Tincture of time is what's required.

Dang it.

So, armed with the knowledge that it's not contagious and it was okay to continue to go to the gym, I went for my usual workout with my trainer that night.  I did okay during the workout.  My trainer did a good job of keeping me occupied; I almost forgot that I had the rash.  Until I finished my workout and the sweat started drying - then it was like taking an acid bath.  Miserable.

The rash continued to spread in places I didn't want it to.  By Thursday, my torso looked a lot like this...

Google images

It was sooo attractive.  Let me tell you, you've never seen anyone change in a locker room as fast as I did.  I was afraid that if anyone saw my rash they'd kick me out of the gym.  It was a lot harder to concentrate on my workout, but I finally got completely focus and ROCKED my workout.  My trainer and I were talking about my rash and when we were done, I thought I'd show it to him, so I lifted my shirt just high enough to show him my abdomen.  He looked at me like I was the world's biggest wuss and said, "that's not nearly as bad as you described."

Huh?  Was he blind?  Did he not see the horrible rash that literally covered me from neck to hip?  I wasn't sure how much worse he had expected it to be.  In disbelief, I looked down and saw only a few spots.  What the ..?  Just two hours before I would have scared small children with the hideousness that was my skin.

I couldn't figure it out.  It was like a miracle cure.  I was seriously perplexed, but shrugged it off, only a little chagrined that my trainer thought I was being a wuss.  I dragged my sorry butt to bed and fell asleep with minimal scratching (for which I'm sure RCC was thankful), hoping I'd started to kick the rash like I'd kicked the cold - in just one week.

Still with me?  This is the part where I get super impressed with my sleeping brain.

About two a.m. it dawned on me...moderate to intense exercise releases epinephrine and cortisol - both of which are used to battle inflammation.  Instead of using cortisone cream, I had inadvertently released my own cortisol systemically. 


Instant cure for pityriasis rosea.

At least until it wears off, which was approximately the same time I woke up absolutely impressed with my sleeping brain.

Too bad my awake brain isn't that smart.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mr Daddy, this is your fault!** - TST

True Story Tuesday - just do it!

Or, it may be the fault of my grandmother, who recently asked Digger when she could be expecting a fifth generation.

Digger, you didn't have to comply.  I'm too young to be a grandmother.  Hell, my friends are just starting their families.  And,'re still a baby!

It could be worse, I suppose.

It could be me who's pregnant. GAK!

A more complete post will be forthcoming.

**Ok, maybe not actually his fault, but he has been calling me Granny GunDiva for a while now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

28 Hours of Hope Update everyone who linked up, re-posted, or donated to the 28 Hours of Hope.  If you haven't donated and think you can make it through the day without your espresso, why don't you donate your coffee money for the day?  Every little bit helps and together over $36000 was raised.  There's still time to donate (about 45 minutes), so I'll leave the link in the sidebar. 

Thank you all so much!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Dangers of Working Out

Most of you know I've been fighting the battle of the bulge.  As with any battle, this one is fraught with danger.

I anticipated sore muscles and knees.

I already had a run in with my PSVT.

I've dealt with muscle cramps.

And foot cramps, which are the worst!

But I never anticipated that this little jobby would get the best of me...

It's just a little resistance band and while I've worried about them breaking, I know they're unbelievably strong and that I'm not BA enough to snap one.

Last night, I was working with my trainer and we had the resistance band looped around a pole.  He had me facing away from the pole with one handle in each hand so the band was behind me.

So far, so good.

Now my trainer has me figured out.  If I get to throw something, or punch something, or do anything to improve my shooting muscles I'm in.  The exercise was to step forward with one foot and extend the arm on the same side, like I was throwing a hook to someone's jaw.  Of course, I was good with that.

I took my position, stepped forward and threw a right hook with the resistance band in my hand.  Apparently, I didn't have my elbow up high enough though because the resistance band came up over my shoulder instead of passing underneath my arm.  Since I threw my right hook and really put my body into it, my ponytail swung with the momentum.

And that's about when thing went south quickly.

My ponytail swung around my right shoulder, right about where the resistance band ended up since my elbow was too low.

I completed my punch and relaxed back into the starting position.  Well, I tried to relax.  Once the tension on the band was released, it grabbed my ponytail and rolled it up like a roll up sunshade.

I felt the pull on my scalp and realized what had happened and froze.

"Um...release it...releaseit...release..." I practically begged my trainer.

At first, he had no idea what I was talking about.  And then he stepped to my side and saw my hair wound around the band.  I still couldn't move.  If I let go of the band, it would have wound my hair up even tighter.  I tried reaching forward again and only succeeded in pulling my hair more.

He sputtered a bit and fumbled around trying to figure out how to get my hair unwound from the devil band. I'm pretty sure I heard him muttering about a job description. I couldn't do anything to help since the mess was behind me and my arms don't bend that way.  Eventually, he was able to take the band away from me and carefully unwind it from my ponytail before we both lost it.

I'm pretty sure that my abs got more of a workout from laughing than from any of the other exercises he had me do after that.

And sadly, that's not the only time my long hair has caused me discomfort...

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I've been told that as we age our perspective changes, but I never much bought into it until recently.

In 2003, I'd gained a bit of weight and decided it needed to come off; after all, I weighed 139# when I gave birth to Monster and had ballooned up to 152#.  I hit the gym, hired a personal trainer and went ape-shit trying to lose weight.  After eight weeks with the trainer and doing two-a-days on my own, I had lost exactly 2/10 of a percent of body fat.  I was the fittest I'd been since high school, but I was still, in my opinion, fat.  According to the BMI charts, I was borderline obese.

I went to my doctor and armed with my record of working out and non-weight loss and she started me on phentermine in order to give my metabolism a "kick start".  It worked beautifully.  I continued at the gym with the trainer and two-a-days and added in soccer.  I'd taken up soccer when I was thirty, but really got into it in 2004, playing on three indoor teams and two outdoor teams.  The weight melted off, in what seemed to be no time, I was down to 124#.  I felt great - I hadn't been a size four since high school.  I went off the phentermine and held that weight for six months or so on my own, but it came with a cost.  It took six days a week at the gym, for an hour and a half each day, plus hours of soccer to maintain that weight.  On Sundays  - the one day I didn't go to the gym - alone, I played almost three hours of soccer; an outdoor game near home and another in Denver.  For over a year, I was able to maintain that grueling schedule of gym and soccer.  In the summer, I added in working at the livery, grooming, tacking, riding, and feeding.

Then I got laid off from the family practice I was working at - suddenly my work hours changed drastically and I was working when normally I'd be at the gym.  I was teaching full-time, which mean very long days - not that I hadn't been working long days before - but a different type of long day.  I was no longer moving non-stop eight to nine hours a day at work; it was the end of the tourist season, so I was no longer doing physical labor three days a week at the livery either.  I had to suddenly quit playing soccer, since I was teaching nights until 10 pm, there wasn't time for me to play any more.  I added weight slowly.

I knew I was gaining weight, but it seemed to be manageable.  In 2008, when RCC and I met face-to-face, I wasn't pleased with my weight - I was back up to 152#.  Once we started dating and took up dance lessons, I dropped quickly to 141#.  I felt good again.  I had gotten the call from Heidi that I was to be a part of the cast of Horse Master with Julie Goodnight, so I felt extra pressure to lose more weight.  I felt the extra pressure, but lacked the extra time.  I could give up time with RCC to work out or I could continue to with our relationship.  Honestly, I've been able to not look my weight my whole life.  Even at 141#, I didn't necessarily look it - I was still wavering between a size six and eight.  I could wear a six, but an eight was much more comfortable, which was what I ended up wearing on TV.

I got back from shooting Horse Master and got engaged the same weekend I returned.  That started an in-ernest round of meeting each other's families and getting to know all of the future in-laws.  My weight ballooned; by 2009, I had gained twenty pounds, so that on my wedding day, I was over 160#.  Yikes.  And it didn't stop, the pounds just kept coming. 

I hit my all-time high of 189# in July of last year, before I got control of my portions.  Working as a crew member for Horse Master, I lost five pounds in the five days we were shooting just because I was up and moving all the time again.  I was thrilled and got control of my portions.  People are actually surprised at how little I eat.  A child's portion is often too much for me.  One take-out meal can feed me for three days.  That's also when I bought the Soda Stream and vowed to quit buying Coke for the house.  I still drink Coke, but it's a lot harder to do when there isn't any handy.

At the beginning of the year, RCC and I both decided we had to lose the weight we gained.  We gained it side-by-side, almost to the pound.  Since he had previously lost 82#, it was important to him to get back to his pre-me weight, just like I wanted to get back to my pre-him weight.

I started 2011 at 183.5# and continued to change my diet and portions.  In January, I lost four freaking pounds, getting down to 179.5#.  In February, I hired a personal trainer and started hitting the gym again.  I gained back a pound.  I eat carefully, stopping when I'm full.  I take my vitamins.  I attend my training sessions even when I'm sick.  I still drink Coke, but rarely finish one.  Two, three drinks and that's all I need.

Throughout this whole thing, RCC has changed his diet.  He's cut out soda completely, and now solely drinks water.  He's very controlled in what he eats.  A bowl of cereal for breakfast, a salad with protein on top for lunch and god-knows-what for dinner.  He's cheffing at a dining hall - his choices are endless, so he never gets bored with his menu.  He also never eats after 7:00 pm. 

I've lost three pounds.  He's lost 31#.  And he hasn't stepped foot in a gym.  That's what pisses me off the most.  It helps that his job is much more physical than mine; he's working on his feet ten hours a day, I'm sitting on my arse in an office.  It also helps that he's got an endless choice of food; I'm limited to what's nearby or what I remember to take to work.  My snacks at work consist of one low-fat Laughing Cow cheese and five pretzel crisps (100 calories total) or one string cheese.  I also keep Harvest Bars on hand, but can only eat about 1/3 - 1/2 of one before I'm full.

And, before you all yell that I need to cut out my Coke drinking, I'm just going to say that you all can go fornicate yourselves.  I don't do a whole lot that's bad for my body, leave me alone about my Coke drinking.  Hell, I only have alcohol a few times a year and I don't smoke or do drugs, so excuse me while I indulge in my one bad vice.

So, on Friday, I ended up back in my doctor's office, again armed with my food diary and my work-out plan.  Again, she's put me on phentermine.  The lowest dose, as I want to be able to sleep at night and the higher dose is not conducive to sleep.  I'm hoping that the little boost will be what I need to start seeing results.  At the rate RCC's losing weight, it will only be another two weeks before he weighs less than me, and I can't have that.

I know, you all are asking yourselves what this has to do with perspective, since that is this post's title.  You see, I've been doing a lot of thinking about me and my body in the last eight weeks.  I've even pulled out old pictures from when I was 124#.  I felt great then, and I thought I looked great.  But now when I look back at those pictures, I long to be that weight, but I honestly looked anorexic.  Deejo told me when he saw me for the first time after I'd lost the weight that I'd lost all of my curves.  I can see now that he was right.  I was little more than muscle and bone, and not even well defined muscle.  I wasn't skinny-flabby by any means, but I looked unhealthy.  My trainer at the time had the balls to tell me that I still had nine pounds to lose before my abs would be better defined.  At least I had the good sense to tell him to go to hell; I wasn't going to put the work in it would take to lose another nine pounds.

I look back at the pictures of me on Horse Master and remember how fat I felt, but I don't look bad in the pictures.  I look healthy, even though according to the BMI charts, I was overweight at 141#.

Here I am, at 180.5#.  For the first time in my life, truly fat.  Almost morbidly obese according to the BMI charts (BMI 34), certainly obese enough to qualify for lap-band surgery (which I won't do - ever) and my perspective has changed yet again.

The thought of being a size four or six is tempting, but when I look back at what I looked like as a size four, I think I'll pass.  Besides looking anorexic, it took a lot of time away from home to maintain that.  Six days a week at the gym for an hour and a half; two 90-minute outdoor soccer games; and three 44-minute indoor soccer games, plus travel time to and from Denver for four of the teams.  All in addition to working three to four jobs - the clinic (FT), the college (PT), the gun shop (PT) and, in the summer, the livery (PT).  That adds up to a lot of time away from home.  I understand that when I was doing that, I was hiding from home.  I took the kids with me to all of my soccer games, but home was too stressful, I didn't want to be there.  The real world - where there wasn't enough money to pay the bills and the crushing loneliness of being a single mom and not wanting to face the break-up of what I thought was the most amazing relationship I'd ever been in - waited for me at home and I didn't want to be there.

Now, I want to be home.  I have an amazing husband, great kids, and a job I love.  There's no reason for me to hide out any more, which makes it a little harder to throw myself back into the frenzy I'd maintained before.

In honestly appraising my photographic past, I'll always want to be that skinny little girl of 2004 - 2007, but skinny's not happy.  I want happy, which just happens to be a little chunkier than skinny.

Size eight, here I come!