Weight On

I want to add weight onto my bar like nobody’s business.  The instructors always say to find your weight, what feels good, what pushes back just a little…  So I try to, but of course I assume I’m always going to take the easy route so I want to add weight.  Then more weight.  I want o make sure I get my maximum workout and don’t look like a wimp!  It’s not too heavy!  Grin and bear it!  Or groan and bear it.  Grrrrrr!  Except I’m trying to be smart.  In the same way that I’m trying to think about food as fuel in a much more cause/effect kind of concrete way, I’m also trying to be smart about lifting.  When I started running, I had nothing to lose.  I was not my full 340 when I started running, but I was about 270.  I literally said that I could live without my knees if I smashed them to dust, but my heart would benefit from their sacrifice.  I can’t live without a heart, but knees?  Yeah.  That’s a pretty dark and desperate place to be.  Now is different, though.  Now I know the glory of a deliciously long run, the joy of a fun Zumba class, the beauty of hiking to alpine lakes, the confessions of my daughter as we run.  I enjoy the endorphins and the lovely side effect of my fitness based health changes- weight loss has been nice and a more typical body style that, while not necessary to leading a full, happy life, is admittedly kind of fun to take shopping.

Wow.  That was a lot of wordiness to get to the point that I talked to my instructor about adding weight to my bar today.  I’ve gone from the smallest weights on my bar possible to 3x that amount now in just about two weeks.  Today I wanted to add more weight, but unlike days of yore, I want to be stronger, healthier and undamaged WITH functional knees, elbows, shoulders, back and everything else.  I’m straight up greedy, now.  First she suggested just adding weight to one or two routines per step up.  Shifting all of my weights or many routines in one go could really damage me.  She suggested keeping a lot of my weight right where I’m at while I work on my form and then suggested that I set up my free personal trainer session with her!  I was being a bit lazy about setting that up, so it felt really good to take advantage of that, with an instructor that I really respect and like a lot.    Prior to today, I didn’t think I got to choose who I work with.  The free training session went from feeling like a sales pitch to a legitimate opportunity.  So, next Tuesday, I’ll be hanging with Jessica.  🙂

After I got home, I gardened a bit before Bradley and I headed out to a walk to finish out our steps for the day.  My daughter ended up hosting a sleepover, Jude was knee deep in building the Starship Enterprise and we found ourselves in the evermore common and unnerving position of having privacy and time away from our kids without having prearranged it.  We manufactured a cute little date night on the back patio, but we both commented on how true it is what we’ve heard: parents go from not having any privacy or time to themselves to having way more of it than they ever realized they even wanted.  I’m glad we still have many salad days ahead of us, but I have to admit that times in Lj House are a’changing.

Three More

I made an ambitious plan this week.  I was talking to a friend who is fairly consistently fit and he mentioned how important it is to work out frequently and if you’re going to work out to leave it all in the gym. At the end of my reps I shouldn’t be able to lift the barbell. My arms and legs and back should feel like they can hardly lift themselves, much less anything else!  When I hear things like that I panic. I think what if I get too tired? What if it hurts? What I  always need to remember is that if I can’t do the work that I have the permission and the wherewithal to stop whenever I need to.  Anyhow after I had that conversation with my friend I decided to go ahead and see what I really capable of in the gym. I made this schedule intending to challenge myself, to give myself my own personal boot camp!  My purpose is to prove myself that I can. It’s to build belief in myself. It’s to build confidence. It’s to go for it. It’s to build grit.  It’s to prove I can do it! Guess what? It’s Wednesday, and I haven’t missed a work out yet!

I think the strangest thing on that schedule is working out twice in one day. There are two days this week that I have planned a run on the same day that I am lifting, and that’s pretty foreign to me. When I think about working out I think I’m just getting it done, so to have a second workout in the same day is weird and wrong to me. LOL!  The good news is that I already see results.  My stomach is already flatter, my face is thinning out, my arms look stronger- everything is swollen and tight.  Bradley took a picture yesterday and I was so pleased.  I’m excited to continue on to the end of summer.  If I keep my variables tight, I might have an interesting before/after in September!  I never thought I’d be the kind of person who is interested in playing around with food and exercise to se how much I can change my body in two months.  NEVER.😳

Today I hit another lifting class, did a massive Costco run and then I get to party tonight.   No time for crafting today!  And have I mentioned how deeply happy I am in this version of my life?  Ridiculously so.

The Week in Review

I have to confess: lately when I spend an hour writing and publishing a post it gets deleted by WordPress!  I’m not sure what’s up, so I’m going to play catchup today with a picture post so I can keep track of what I have going on:

7/10 took me to a new gym at Ballinger and a new class. Spinning ain’t my thing- in that it intimidates me- so I made sure to nestle in between two wonderful ladies, Drea and Macky. I’m adding this class to my short list of MUST ATTEND EVERY WEEK. While there I noticed they offer a couple of 5:45 AM classes every week. I’m thinking of going to the spin boot camp class and a 5:45 AM class when the school year starts. Maybe if I preplan a couple of non negotiable gym workouts into my week it will be easier to meet my fitness needs during the school year. 

7/11 was one of those weird days.  Like, we just couldn’t get it together and figure anything out.  I ended up being kind of depressed until the rally that nihght.  I made a few signs to share my message with the school board as they made their way into meeting.  See, our union and district came to the bargaining table and when the union made a request, the district just said no without offering up other options.  The reps and teachers were all baffled by this response as we teach our students to never say no without coming up with an alternative.  Just saying no is unacceptable.  I was pleased when one of the board members asked Bradley specifically about his sign, and he told them that he sees inequity in class size, teacher support and special education services as markedly different in the two districts that he works closely with, and in his observation, one is not even close to equal with the other.  He also shared a bit of my story of imbalance in my classroom of 29 second graders, nine with special education needs, nine enrolled in our English language learners program and skeletal support.  I was so proud of him.  Afterwards we walked around, held hands and felt all romantic before we hit the Trader Joe’s.  😉

7/12 was finally birthday celebration day for Bradley!  He chooses a random summer day to celebrate as he hates his December birthday.  It’s between Christmas and the New Year and has always felt forgettable to him, so we wait and celebrate in the sunshine!  We had a huge breakfast then headed to the zoo.  Bradley acted like it was his last time with littles, as suddenly they’re seeming so old, so we did it all.  We rode the carousel, ate ice cream and popcorn, picnicked and, of course, saw everything.  Afterwards we had grilled vegetables and a Legend of Zelda marathon.  We are LOVING the new game.  There’s so much to do and our kids are astute enough gamers now that they can beat the bad guys.  This was definitely a day of seeing how big our kids are all of the sudden.

I met Drea for Body Pump class on 7/13, Thursday morning.  The instructor was new to me and whoa.  I got one of the best workouts for Body Pump!  Ballinger has it going on!  This is another class I’m excited to return to.  I was so sore I didn’t work out on Friday!  LOL!  I love that.  It will only get better.  

On this day I felt so fat.  Like, irritatingly so.  I try not to focus on appearance, but I can’t help but see my stomach jutting out.  I kinda decided I am going to diet some of the unhealthy fat off.  It will be hard in summer, but oh my gosh.  I’m hating the way my shirts fit me this summer compared to last.  My oh my.

On 7/14, Friday, I skipped working out because of my jelly arms, legs, back, fingers, toes, arches, neck…  did I miss anything???  Yeah.  Sore.  So I did a little craft therapy.  I love behaving like an artist.  Like, I love creating, I love making and I had the best time making that altoid tin diorama for Drea that night!  The party was nice.  It was lovely to put the Facebook profile with the people, if that makes sense.  The picture of the ladies was taken at the party, and I was alarmed at how beautiful we all are.  No one has a half closed eye or partial word coming out of her mouth, but more than that, we look happy.  Happiness is beauty.  It’s one of my favorite pictures ever.  Those are some brilliant, compassionate, gorgeous women I get to share a school with.❤️

Guinevere and I hit the road on Saturday with good intentions but gassed out before we could make our goal of six miles.  We were about to turn to add the final two and she suddenly turned and pleaded with me to go home.  I was hot, tired and had residual jelly legs.  I was more than happy to stop.  After that we headed to Michales and spent the remainder of the afternoon crafting to our heart’s content.  I made bracelets, she made flower crowns.  Both of us were so happy.

Today we were legend!  Well, not really.  But we did get our miles done in decent time.  To commemorate our first big push, we got medals! I bought them ages ago on clearance for exactly this purpose.  When we were about to hit five miles today, I told Gigi that we could be done, but if we hit six we’d get the pi medal.  She wanted the pi.  She got the pi!  Lol!  We have a few more medals to earn for our ninth mile- which is a bff pbj linking medal, for the eleventh mile we get a Dr. Who medal, and there may be more in store for us.  Who knows what else might happen?  After the excitement of medals, Gigi and I settled back into Makersville. I experimented with dioramas in jars while she made a show flower crown.  A great day AGAIN!

Busy Hands

In addition to being a workout addict this summer, I’m also dedicating myself to staying busy through crafting.  I don’t even know what it is about a glue gun, paper, glitter, sticks, ribbon and fabric but when I’m with ‘them’ I think my mind just slows down, I focus in one place and just breathe.  I have figured out that making stuff makes me calm, so I do.  I just make.  My daughter runs a booklovers Instagram feed with two of her best friends, and it suddenly occurred to me that I can make to my heart’s content as therapy but what should I do with all of the products?  She and I put our heads together and decided to open up an etsy shop to sell the stuff we are making.  We realized that almost anything can be marketed with a literature connection, so I’m a busy bee over here making bracelets, mobiles, wall hangings and more.  It’s been really fun to dream things up from the pages of our favorite books!  We are pretty excited.   After I open the shop I will be sure to post a link.  

The dark side of my busy hands?  Crafting necessitates visits to the craft stores where I find ALL of the things I need to complete today’s craft, something to work on for tomorrow, something to fix a broken thing and there’s always something to set aside for the future.  And paper.  Man.  Can I buy paper.  Sheesh!  Today I bought some stuff to decorate with, some binding for some pennant flags and a whole new Project Life starter kit because I’m always looking for new ways to document my life.  Man.  Another hundred bucks like WHOOSH!  LOL!  In my defense, everything was on clearance or sale EXCEPT the bias tape.   Of course.  The other stuff are all things that I’ve been keeping an eye out for and showed up as a good deal today.

I conquered my fear of pilates today with my first ever pilates class.  It was one of those classes where you feel like you’re not really doing anything and then all of a sudden you realize you’re dripping sweat and your heart rate is chilling in fat burning zone!  LOL!  I met up with a few more of my girlfriends, Janice, Jessica and Julie, and I have to say that having friends there makes it so much better.  When you suck at folding yourself into a flat origami crane, it’s so helpful to get to turn to your friend next to you and just laugh!

*I noticed the craft store needed a little reorganization…  

long run tomorrow…  whatever that means!


Today was hot from the second we woke up.  It was one of those days where you rolled over and were already sweaty, before you even got to kick off your covers.  It lacked that freshness that morning is supposed to offer up, so instead of bounding out of bed and embracing the bare moments of coolness, we laid in, picked up our iPads and decided to go for a hike in the shade a bit later instead of a blistery hot run on the pavement at all.  Now I remember why the long run is so difficult to achieve in the summer.

Anyhow, we left and realized our Discover Pass had expired so we parked in the neighborhood across the street from the park and walked in, instead.  I’m always game to tack an extra half mile or two onto a a walk or hike, so it was cool with me!  LOL!  I had a really nice time running and walking alongside my girl.  I’ve come to really value the conversations and doors that open up when we sweat together.  

Anyhow, this is how we got busy today.  I’m considering my first ever pilates class tomorrow.  Am I crazy?!?!?!  

Every Day

After Monday’s Body Pump class, I wasn’t too sure how ready I was going to be for a swift return.  I spent the last couple of days stretching out my armpits and arms in every doorway I came across.  Yesterday on my run my upper body felt sore with every step!  My legs and feet were just fine and those are the parts that got worked!  My shoulders, however, were another story!  Ha!  But today came, nonetheless, and I found myself in Lynnwood at the gym, again, lined up behind a weight set ready to go.  I swore to myself, though, that if the instructor started going after the triceps again that I was out of there.  Sure enough, 2/3 of the way through the class she started talking about tank top season and the triceps!  Of course I just dove in and did the workout, I didn’t walk out.  😉 Again, the class was fabulous.  Last time I did it, I didn’t go beyond the five pounders, but today I pushed just a little because the small ones felt too small.  It was definitely heartening to feel a little growth so soon after restarting the classes.

It’s super satisfying to step back into daily working out.  I’m pleasantly surprised at what an esteem boost it is.  ❤️

A little snap of last night.  We laid low, stayed close to home and had a super chill, super fun night together.  

Independence Day!

On holidays it’s become a bit of an obsession for me to ‘get a good workout in’ before I feel like I can really relax and enjoy myself.  Furthermore…  the food.  Holy canolli!  No matter how healthy I try to be and balanced with vegetables and stuff, the sheer variety of choices is a lure to me and I want to try all the things then get seconds on what was the best.  Eyeroll.  I use control, unlike days of yore.  I’ll literally make a plan and try to stick with it by prioritizing what looks interesting and what I can live without.  It sounds silly, but for a food addict like me, these kinds of strategies are key if I want to beat the statistics and not gain my weight back.  I know this is off track but it’s the way my mind works, however I really connect to people’s stories of addiction and recovery from drugs and alcohol.  Listening to Macklemore’s Starting Over, where he talks about relapsing back into sizzerup then heading back to a meeting moves me tremendously and I connect to the public pressure he’s put on himself, the fear of failure, leaving behind the scent of poseur…  it’s shocking how similar my recovery can feel.  I don’t say that often, but damn.  I have to eat so dealing with this demon is a daily occurrence…  A lifestyle.  It has to be.  Anyhow.

We went for the First Ever Annual Lj Independence Day 5k!  I roused my family bright and early and we hit the road right as the heat started to hit.  We ran a little slow since not everyone has been training this spring, but all of us made it.  At the end, each of us collected our fancy schmancy handmade medal.  I’m excited to keep on with this tradition if only to get to make medals every year!  I was especially gratified when Bradley thanked me for taking him out and running.  Made me wanna shed a lil tear!   

This afternoon I got all serious about documenting my arm progress.  I wanted to take pictures so I could see the changes, come August, but I was pleased to see how my arms already look.  I’ll still be excited to see the changes in August, but wow!  It’s so fun, the privilege of a healthy body.  I truly am grateful that I’m capable of making the changes and playing the game of seeing what I can do.  I decided to make a comparison to the arms progress pics I made four years ago and was so pleased to see how far I’ve come since then!  After feeling all cocky at seeing that, I decided to really test my mettle and made this:

I’ve been feeling super down about my weight gain.  I saw some ‘beginning of second grade with Mrs. L’ compared with ‘end of second grade with Mrs. L’ student pics at the end of the year and I felt super discouraged that the kids weren’t the only ones that grew.  I showed some serious side to side growth.  I screwed up my courage today and put this together and discovered that it’s not nearly as bad as I thought!  Yes, I have gained a larger circumference but it’s not totally horrible.  My thighs, belly and boobs seem to show the most but it’s not so terrible!  I’m having the opposite response than the one I usually have- usually I’m unpleasantly surprised!  Ha ha! Onward into summer!  Tomorrow I’ll tackle another body pump class.  

Pump It

I made use of my gym membership today for the first official time!  There’s a body pump class near my house almost every morning at 9:30 AM.  I left my house at 9:10 and was home and in the shower by 10:50!  I call that a good turn around and one that I’ll be able to repeat regularly through the summer!  As an added bonus, one of the things we’ve been trying to problem solve is when or how Bradley will do his work.  He is recording a lot of music right now to release when he publishes his graphic novel and people in the house are noisy when recording.  Microphones hear everything and he’s been going stir crazy with thoughts but no opportunity to workshop and record them.  I was so happy to find him immersed in his work upon my return and feel like we’ve found a win-win solution.  I get to meaningfully work out without feeling guilty and he gets to get some serious work done!

This was the ‘good’ selfie! 😂 Derpy workout pic of the day returns!

Body Pump class is focused on form and repetition at first.  After you get going and are competent with how to lift then you can add more weights over time.  What I know I can do in my head compared with what I think I’m capable of are two different things at this point, and lucky me these days, I have the wherewithal to know that!  I walked in and started getting my bench ready like I’ve been going to Body Pump on the regular when all of the sudden I imagined how running would feel like tomorrow.  Then a repeat body pump class on Wednesday.  I put back the ten pounders and stuck to the fives and under!  I felt like a wimp, but halfway through the first set I felt so relieved to only have the bar and five pounds to work with.  My arms were burning!!  It was a great class and I’m pretty excited  repeat it over and over.   I’m planning to take some measurements and photos today to be able to see the end of summer changes come August.  Earlier this year my friend Jess at Runs for Coffee started a weight lifting plan and the difference in her arms after two months was just amazing.  I’m hoping to mirror her success:

Ps: no clue as to what’s going on with the extra picture.  I’m just ignoring it and hoping it’ll go away.  Like the boogeyman at midnight.  Lol

Summer Daze

My default finally seems to trend toward health.  It feels like I’ve retrained myself because I was not comfortable with what was happening to me over the spring.  After a lifetime of seeking a  healthier balance, it feels good to know that my natural leaning is away from choices that will compromise me long term.  Today I went on my second run of the summer season- It’s silly how I second-guess myself so much. I’ve been quietly doubting my ability to return to running after my year off due to my injury coupled with the huge work caseload. I honestly thought that were it not for the two 1/2 marathons looming in late August (The Iron Horse Half Marathon) and September (Beat the Blerch) that I may not have returned to being a runner at all. Now I clearly see that it’s all a head game for me and how my power of self can be compromised just by my own self doubt. It feels incredible to be getting my mojo back! It was also pretty awesome to visit the best smelling rose in the world today, too.  I just love that thing!  I will run an extra half mile just for the opportunity to smell it, and good thing I did today.  This bloom is about to drop and it will be a few weeks before she sends some new ones up.

Last night marked our annual end of the year party for the big kid.  She had two friends over and they burned homework, went book shopping, ate junk, played guitars, laughed, sang and slept in a tent.  It was such a classic summer night.  Bradley and Jude had a sleepover in the boy’s room which left me alone with Fred in my big bed.  I slept like a stone and woke up with a clear head and some summer goals for myself:

  1. Relax.  Take the time to pull yourself together.  Meditate.  Build positive habit energy that is not rooted in stress or anxiety.  Build resilience.
  2. Run often.  Three regular runs a week with one long run is best, but three runs total is also ok.  Add one mile per week to the long run and get as close to the half marathon distance as possible by the end of August.  This week we will run four to five miles as our long run and will increase from there.  When we reach the milestones of six, eight, ten and twelve, we get medals!
  3. Attend body pump classes 2-3 times a week.  Remember: It’s ok to lift and run on the same day.  Zumba is fun, but don’t focus on taking Zumba classes.  Spin and weights.
  4. Pay attention to diet, but mostly just to avoid gaining weight.  Focus mostly on healthy eating and building good dietary habits.  Lose weight in the fall.
  5. Be crafty.  It’s another kind of therapy.  Work on school, but let the craftiness also be for my soul, not just my job.

June Happened

June totally happened for-ev-er!  Holy cow- that was the longest end of year e-vah!  My last contract day didn’t happen until June 27th.  I joked about how funny it was that I could actually do Independence Day themed art and it was relevant!  I’ve never had that happen before- honestly that part was kind of novel and fun.  What wasn’t fun was that the kids were SO done by the second to last week and it was just keeping the lid on the boiling pot.  We made it through to the other side, though, and as of Wednesday I was a classroom free woman!  I replaced it, however, with a house to clean and redecorate for summer, so I rolled into that all hardcore on Wednesday and finally, by Thursday, it was summer.  Except I was depressed, of course, so I selfishly went for my first run of the summer, shopped at Goodwill, made crafts, watched Real Housewives and snuggled up on my man until I felt like myself again.  It’s so good to be back!

On Friday I rejoined the gym.  My friend Patty invited me to a Zumba class and after…  I’m now a member again. I don’t even know how it happened so fast! I jumped after the term ‘limited time’ was bandied around which had the just right effect of making me panic and fear losing it so I did it! Lol! I didn’t get the absolute best deal, but I did get the deal that had no sign up fee AND allows me to go to all of the gyms, and that’s what I really want. Now, to figure out my body pump class schedule.  I’m really excited to get some good form and solid muscle build.  I feel like if I get some solid training and confidence under my belt then I can take training into my own hands.  I have a friend group who has pointed out to me where the fit people are and where the chubby people are- toned, muscled people are generally on the weight machines.  Focusing entirely on cardio without building muscle is only doing part of what I need to do for my health. When I looked at the class schedule, I saw that 24 Hour Fitness has boosted their class schedule, and between my two gyms I should be able to hit things pretty well this summer.  Between the gym classes and half marathon training, I should be in good shape again for my 44th birthday!

I’m super chubby and heavy right now.  I have a pretty solid sugar addiction and a weigh in hovering around 210-212.  While I’m not thrilled with the gain, I’m focusing on the exercise side of things for now.  I know how summer goes and I don’t usually do very well losing fat during the summer.  Come September, I get back on the eating schedule provided by the public school system, so I’ll hit that side then.  Maybe September and October can be focused on chipping away at my twenty pound gain!