Sunday, September 25, 2011


It's been awhile to say the least.  And I wish I could even begin to explain all three reasons I abandoned my blog.  But this definitely isn't the time or place for that.  I will say that the past 6 months have been some of the hardest I've ever faced.....but this isn't a blog about all the things wrong in my life.  It's a blog about what is right in my life and what I do as a working mom of a one and four year old to try and keep myself in shape.

I've decide to write again because I'm having some struggles in this area.  I'm also having some new types of success.  Oh and I'm doing my second Tough Mudder in just 6 weeks!  So where should I start....

The struggles....  I don't know what's up but for some reason there are a couple pounds I just can't keep off.  And I've never had that problem before.  I may have had those couple pounds before but the second I turn my efforts back towards working out, they always disappeared.  Not this time.  I feel like I am working out more than I have in a long time.  Actually I know I am. For the most part, I'm eating healthy- not perfect but I've never been the sort to follow a strict diet....I like wine and cheese and peanut butter too much for that.  :)  But I eat those sort of things sparingly.  And still, there they are....a handful of extra pounds that I cant seem to drop.  It's only 3 pounds.  Doesn't sound like much right?  But those 3 pounds have me teetering over the "magic number" that's embedded in my head after years of watching my weight for cheering.  I don't want to be over that weight.  BUT I don't know if I have a choice!  Is it age??  Are we supposed to just accept those couple pounds that won't go away?  Eff that! That is something I am NOT willing to accept.  I am gonna kick 31's ASS from here until 40!

The success............. A lot has changed in the past six months and the biggest change is that now I live in Virginia.  Its a long story - I'll save it for a rainy day.  The short version is that I have a new job that brought me to Fredericksburg, VA.  I am living in a beautiful home in a great location. And of course, I have two simply AMAZING babies.  I swear my little boy is the sweetest thing in the world.  I've never felt as loved as I do by that little boy.  My crazy, darling, ding dong of a daughter has such an infectious little personality and a stubborn streak like no other.  I truly love being their mom.

So what about the success on the fitness side of things?  Well.....I found my way to crossfit.  More specifically, RARE Crossfit in Fredericksburg.  And I LOVE IT!  It is something I know I can be really really good at....something I want to be really really good at.  Something I know is going to make me a better person....physically, mentally, emotionally - the whole nine yards.  (After I typed that saying I had to look it up to see what it actually means....I mean a first down is 10 yards so what is the whole nine yards?  Turns out its origin is one of life's great mysteries....)  I love pushing myself to reach a new personal best and I love the sense of competition, both with myself and with others.  I mean, we aren't out to beat each other but I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel good to knock out the WOD faster than the big guy next to me.  So here I am, 31 and a mom of two and finally finding the sport that I think truly fits my capabilities and personality.  I'm so excited to see what I can accomplish in crossfit.

Oh and I joined the RARE Mudders!  My gym has a team running Tough Mudder VA.  It's going to be a muddy, sweaty, crazy fun race and I can't wait!

Again - sorry about the wait.... I won't let it happen again! :) 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Dead Yet

So...I've been sick.  Really sick.  I got this sore throat thing with a cough and congestion that won't let me go.  It isn't just lingering, it is kicking my butt.  And yes, it is keeping me from working out, which is making me freak out because the Tough Mudder is only 10 weeks away!!!!

I don't have Kasey's superhuman powers so I have a long way to go to be ready.  Kasey has her goals (she will totally kill it on the monkey bars without question) and I have mine: SURVIVE.  Since the moment I committed to this crazy adventure I have felt nothing but anxiety.  This is a BIG goal for me.  HUGE. To say it is over my head is an understatement. So, basically, getting through it is my equivalent of Kasey's monkey bars.

Getting sick, however, has put me behind. Behind in my training absolutely, but more importantly, behind mentally. I really want to stand at the start line feeling as ready as I can be. 

So, is 10 weeks enough time?  I guess I will find out.  In the meantime I'll try to stop freaking out.  Any advice out there?  I'll take all the advice I can get.


My Apologies!

Let me start out by saying I'm sorry for taking such a long break from posting.....things have been pretty crazy lately.  I'm not going to bore you with all the details but it has really been hard to stay on track with my workouts, well at least as far as Insanity goes.  Work has been busier, we've been battling sickness on and just seems as those its become increasingly challenging to find the time to put in that Insanity DVD and push play. 

That being said, I have found a few new ways to make sure I'm still getting the workouts I need to be ready for TOUGH MUDDER in just two short months!  Thank goodness Jacqueline is here at work with me now - she holds me accountable and we have gotten in some really tough runs.  AND she convinced me to invest in a pair of Vibram's Five Fingers.  I was pretty skeptical at first but now I'm in love!  I feel faster and lighter when I run in feet get tired, which is a new feeling but maybe they were just out of shape and used to being cushioned in their supportive, fancy Sauconys.  Plus just imagine how much easier it will be to climb up crazy 12 foot walls and keep my balance across narrow beams with the use of my toes...  I went for the hot pink, Treksport model.  Figured if I'm gonna be wearing crazy shoes, I might as well get them in a crazy fun color!    

Oh and did I mention that Matt is back from deployment???  It has been great to have him home and see him with the babies.  Plus he managed to bring me home a TRX from Afghanistan!  So yes, perhaps I'm buying into all the fitness crazes.....P90X, Insanity, Five Fingers, TRX.....but they work and I have seriously loved all of them!  The TRX is no joke!  I just started using it and I'm sore in so many new places after a minimal amount or reps.  It forces you to use every muscle in your core to balance yourself for whatever type of exercise you are doing.  Its challenging but fun and the best part is I can do it anywhere.  I'm definitely a fan. 

So once again, I apologize for disappearing!  But now you know how I've been spending my workout time....not too much Insanity lately but I am still a huge fan and I will keep using the workouts as a supplement to what I'm doing.  I've just had to cut down and focus my time to make sure I'm prepping myself for Tough Mudder. 

Speaking of which..... I have a goal.  Well other than just doing Tough Mudder in general, I have a very specific goal for one of the obstacles in particular.  I want to make it across the Funky Monkey....which, in case you don't know, are some badass monkey bars over top of freezing cold water.  AND as if it wasn't hard enough, they like to grease a few of the bars.... So funky monkey here I come!!!! 

Thanks for being patient!  I'll be in touch again soon. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Training Plan...sort of

15 weeks and 15 obstacles

So I had this great idea to dedicate each week of training to one of the obstacles of the Tough Mudder. There are actually more than 15 obstacles, but a few of them can't really be trained for like jumping off a 15 foot platform into ice-cold water or yelling at the top of your lungs when you reach the summit. A few others simply involve endurance (running!) and I am already running three times a week.

My hope is that focusing on each obstacle will not only help me train better but also help me prepare mentally. The Tough Mudder will be as psychologically challenging as it is physically challenging.

This week I will focus on preparing for the Berlin Walls, a series of 12-foot high walls I'll have to climb over.

I see lots up pull-ups in my future. And core strengthening!

98 days left...

(And I don't know why it is doing this funky font thing but get the point.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tough Mudder

So Kasey talked me into the Tough Mudder.

I'm a little nervous.  Okay, a lot nervous.  It is going to be a challenge (by challenge I mean the hardest thing I've done since giving birth without medication) but it won't kill me.  One way or another I will cross the finish line.  I am committed to that much.

It does feel good to train for something though instead of just exercise.  I look like a crazy person jumping around the YMCA weight room doing scissor squats and mountain climbers and hanging on the pull up bar for as long as I can.  But I don't even care.  I'm on a mission. Twice this week I worked out so hard I felt nauseous.  Ugh!  It reminds me of track practice and I hated track practice.  But I am loving working out with a goal, and a lofty one at that. 

I have also really felt my body turn a corner.  Six months post c-section feels like a new me.  I can push myself harder and I don't suffer in pain for days after a work out.  I am sore but not in that injured kind of way as before. My wrist doesn't hurt anymore either. I am getting stronger and I feel it.  Getting stronger is like a drug, an addictive drug. I still have a long way to go to be ready for the Tough Mudder but I have four months to get there and I'm giving it my best shot.

I am excited to post the process!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Still Here

I'm still here.

I haven't posted in a while for two reasons.  One, I have been super busy with my tea company and posting here sort of fell to the bottom of my priority list (temporarily) and two, I had some issues with the password to sign in here (by issues I mean I was retarded) but I will spare you the ridiculous details...the point is, I'm still here, still working out, and still committed.

January has been a blur to say the least.  And it went out with a bang!  I spent the last two days of the month so sick with the flu I had to go to the emergency room.  I've been recuperating the last few days but I feel almost 100%. 

I have not jumped on the Insanity bandwagon just yet.  I am torn between another round of P90X before I do Insanity or maybe I should do Insanity first?  I am still laser focused on my pull-up goal and am excited to say I am making strength gains.  I took my son to the park the other day and tested myself on the monkey bars just to see and hurray! Improvement! Honestly though, I am enjoying a more flexible workout schedule.  The YMCA is my best friend these days and it allows me a very consistent routine.  I don't have to worry about my little one waking up from a nap during my workout and my 5 year old can play there also.  He is too big to put in a double jogger with his brother so unless my husband is home I can't get out for runs, only walks, and I have to walk at the pace of a five year old. The YMCA solves all my work-out challenges.  I am not sure I want to give it up just yet. 

Aside from my pull-up goal, I also have 10 lbs left to lose (truth be told I have not been trying all that hard to loose them...yet) and I signed up for the Camp Pendleton Mud Run on June 18th.  Since June is still pretty far away I'd like to do something, a half marathon maybe, in April to keep me focused, but I haven't decided what yet.  Summer will be here before I know it and I want to be ready.

I really liked Kasey's post on setting the example for our children.  I was in Trader Joe's last week with my boys and my older son was pointing at all the vegetables saying "Broccoli!  I love broccoli! Carrots!  I love carrots! Can we get tomatoes? Tomatoes are my favorite!" The employees were shocked to see a pre-schooler proclaiming his love for vegetables, but I was so proud.  As parents we hold so much power in our childrens' lives.  It really is up to us to instill in them the important things; faith, service, work-ethic, morals and values, and a healthy and active lifestyle.  Our health is such a gift.  It is not to be taken for granted and it is important to teach our children that as well.

Once I figure out if I'm going to do Insanity or not I'll post "before" photos if I need to.  My P90X "after" photos might suffice. Hopefully I'll post a video of me doing a pull-up soon. That would be way cooler than any after photo to me anyway.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Doing Work

The last two weeks I've been really good at "doing my work."  That's what my little girl calls working out. Its a pretty common occurrence for her to strike some crazy yoga-ish pose, run through the house or lift something over her head only to tell me she is doing her work.  Super cute but also makes me proud.....not just of her but it also fills me with a sense of pride for setting a good example.  She is only 3 but is already beginning to understand the importance of "doing work" to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle and more importantly, she LIKES it.  She wants to watch me do pullups and wants to join in on my crazy Insanity workouts.  She never complains when I drag her out in the stroller.  If I'm in workout clothes, she says "did you go for a run?"  I think she already understands that its important to her mommy - it makes mommy happy and therefore makes her life a little bit better too.

There are so many ways to set a good example for our we act, what we eat, the way we take care of our body.  Its amazing how much she acts like me.  She constantly imitates the way I talk to my baby boy.  She says things like "hi handsome baby boy" and mimics the voice I use when I talk to him.  Once again, super cute but it also illustrates just how much our little ones pick up on.  We are their role models.  How can I expect my children to participate in sports if I don't get off the couch myself?  How can I tell them they can't have another cookie and need to eat their broccoli if I don't follow the same rules?  In a world where it has become so easy to sit on your couch, where everything is available to you with the touch of a button, it takes a concentrated effort to get yourself out and keep yourself in shape.  If I'm not willing to make that effort, how can I expect anything different from my children?

So as I continue on this insane journey I've realized that I'm not just doing it for myself.  I'm doing it for Samantha and Sawyer.  I feel stronger, happier and healthier.  I have more energy.  I'm a better mother to my babies.  And most importantly, through my actions I am teaching them valuable habits that will help them become strong, happy and healthy too.

~ Kasey

Monday, January 17, 2011

Crazy Insane or Insane Crazy?

Call me crazy but I started Insanity today!  And I have to say (even just being one day in) that I LOVE it!  It's fast, tough and sweaty.  Even the warm up is tough.  Plus you got Shaun T pushing you along..... Sorry Tony but I have to say Shaun T is just a bit more enjoyable to workout with :)  And I feel like I'm working out with folks just like me - you see them break down and struggle with the workout.  They aren't Dreya Weber adding crazy leg raises to already tough exercises.  These people are pushing it hard and make me push it even harder.  PLUS it was fun!  I really enjoyed the workout and the time flew by.

As far as goals for the next 60 days.....  I want to maintain my strength.  I want to be able to do 20 pullups minimum.  I'd like to lose a few more pounds and get down to about 118.  I think this is the perfect workout program to do that because I won't be lifting any sort of weights.  I tend to gain weight when I lift, esp if I'm already in decent shape.  Plus, I have to RUN in addition to this.  Got lots of races to get ready for and I don't just want to finish them.  I want to push myself and beat some of my previous times (from years ago....).

For my Insanity "Before" pictures, I'll just be using my P90X "Afters"....I can't wait to see what I can do in another 60 days!   

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting into the New Routine

I made it back to California with my two babies and managed to stay sane on the flight.  Thank goodness for my mom who was willing and able to make the trip across country with me.  I honestly can't imagine doing it on my own!  We are settling back into things here and getting into a good routine.  I have to admit I've been slacking a bit on my workouts, at least on the strength training side of things.  Right now our daycare situation is a pain in the booty.  Sawyer is still on the wait list to get into Samantha's center so in the meantime, I am taking him to the hourly childcare center.  They only allow a max of 85 hours a month so I have to schedule his hours around work and meetings.....not to mention the hassle of dropping them off at separate facilities.  I can't wait to get a call telling me there is a spot open!  Needless to say, all the running around and trying to work full time has put a damper on my workout schedule.  So I've turned to BOB, my new BFF! (sorry Hilary - you'll understand that special relationship soon enough :)  My babies are champs in the stroller and we've managed to rack up some decent mileage in the past week.  

~ My babes out for a ride in BOB ~

And honestly, running is such a welcome relief.  I recommend it to any other moms that are craving a few quiet moments.  It's like a built in babysitter - one baby sleeps and the other enjoys the ride (while playing on an iTouch....another miracle worker).  And I get to put on my headphones and take a good 30-60 minutes just to let my mind wander.  All while preparing for my upcoming runs! 

Speaking of which.....I figure the best way to ensure I don't fall off the wagon is to register I did!  If I have clear and defined goals, I'm less likely to make excuses not to get that run in.  I'm thinking that around one race a month is realistic and thanks to some great friends and motivators, I've managed to plan it out through June.  So here we go....the first race isn't until March so I have plenty of time to get myself ready:

March 13: Safari Park 1/2 Marathon
April 10: Black Mountain Trail Run (15k or 5k....haven't decided yet)
May 15: Coronado Bridge Run?
May 28: TOUGH MUDDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
June 5:  San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon
June 18: ASYMCA Camp Pendleton Mud Run

I'm excited!  Let me know if you are interested in doing any of these with me.  The more, the merrier!  Jacqueline - you don't have a choice! :) 

Stay tuned for Insanity results!  As soon as the DVDs arrive, I'll be starting....well, if I can figure out where to fit it into my schedule.  Maybe after I get the babies in bed.  Thank goodness for early bed times and good sleepers! 

Keep "doing your work." (that's what Samantha calls working out)  I promise getting out for just 30 minutes a day for a walk or run will make a difference in how you feel, your attitude and your outlook.  


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rachel's After

Ok, since Kasey posted hers I had to post mine. BTW Kasey, you look amazing!

 I think this is the perfect time to bring the first phase of getting back in shape after baby to a close.  With the new year comes the next phase and we are both pretty excited about the goals we have set for ourselves this year.

Honestly I was not very excited to post my after photos.  I struggled with P90X.  Struggle is an understatement.  Frankly, it was over my head at this point.  But I didn't give up.  I still made fitness a priority and did what I could.  Until I saw my after photos I didn't feel that I made much progress, but the photos say otherwise.  I am proud of myself. Clearly, not giving up paid off.  I am so glad that I didn't throw in the towel. I am more motivated than ever to keep going.
Here are my before stats:

Weight: 142 lbs
Chest: 29.5"
Waist: 30.5"
Hips: 36"
R thigh: 22"
L thigh: 21.75"
Bicep: 11.24" (12"flexed)

And my after stats:

Weight: 132 lbs
Chest: 30.5"
Waist: 29"
Hips: 33.5"
R thigh: 20"
L thigh: 19.75"
Bicep: 11" (11.5" flexed)

And now the pictures...after and before side by side!

Although I am proud of the progress that I made I still am not where I'd like to be.  Ideally I'd still like to drop five more pounds (to my pre-pregnancy weight) and I am going to do a pull-up if it kills me!  I am also ready to start running again and have a half marathon planned in June and a full marathon in November. 

My next step is to give myself some time to focus on building the basic strength I need for P90X and I'll give it another go in March or so. When I can do one pull-up I know I'll be ready (I found a great pull-up program for those of us who can't do a pull-up yet-leave your email address in a comment and I'll send it to you). I am determined to finish P90X from beginning to end, I just need a little more time. 

Before I leave you with one last picture I'd like to offer some advice:  Something is always better than nothing.  Any progress is better than no progress. After two c-sections and the loss of my twin daughters my body was pretty worked. The last two and a half years have taken a physical and emotional toll me much greater than I realized. I was very discouraged in the beginning because I couldn't get my body to do what I thought it should be able to do.  But instead of calling it quits I just did what I could. I welcomed the reality check and ditched the perfectionist standards I impose on myself. Everyone has to start somewhere, the point is to just start...and then DON'T quit. Every little bit of effort has made a difference for me and it will make a difference for you too.  I still need another 90 days or so to really get where I want to be, but at least I'm 90 days ahead of where I was. It feels so good to start the new year off right!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The After!!!!

It's the start of a new year and I thought it would be appropriate to post my after pictures today.  Exactly one year ago, my husband and I had our wedding (3 yrs after we actually got married) on New Year's Eve.  On New Year's Day, I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive.  I had mixed feelings at the time - I knew I wanted to have another baby but I wasn't sure I was ready to put my body through that again.  Of course as the pregnancy went on, I became excited and when I met my sweet baby boy, I couldn't believe a doubt had ever crossed my mind.  BUT I still had to get my body be in the same place this New Year's Eve that I was last year. 

Here we are - 3 months after my start and I'm excited about my results!  It's a great feeling to set and reach a goal.  I haven't been near close to perfect on my P90X workouts.  I had to improvise, substitute, shorten and skip a lot of my workouts but I stuck with it.  I did the best I could and I'm proud of what I've accomplished.

Here is my list of BEFORE measurements:

Weight: 130 lbs
Chest: 34 inches
Waist: 30 inches (at belly button)
Hips: 36 inches
Right Bicep: 11.5 inches flexed
Left Bicep: 11.75 inches flexed
Right Thigh: 20.5 inches (mid-thigh)
Left Thigh: 20.25 inches (mid-thigh)

And here is where I am at today:

Weight: 119 - 121
Chest: 32 inches
Waist: 26.5 inches
Hips: 34 inches
Right Bicep: 12 inches
Left Bicep: 12 inches
Right Thigh: 18.75 inches
Left Thigh: 18.5 inches

Annnnnnnndddddd the pictures....both After & Before:




Just 3 months after starting my P90X ride, I am so proud to say that I reached both the weight and strength goal.  I am now 120 lbs and I can do 20 pullups.  I've actually made it up to 25 pullups in the past couple weeks.  I feel so much better, stronger, healthier and happier - I even look happier in my after pictures! :)

So now what??  I am heading back to California in just a few days....time to go back to full time work and leave the comfort of my family here in DuBois, PA.  I'm so thankful I was able to come back here for the past few months.  It definitely made an already difficult deployment so much easier....I think I would have gone crazy trying to handle a newborn by myself on top of it!  However, I am ready to go back to my own house and focus on his return.  I'm also ready to continue this journey.  As I've mentioned before, the past couple months have helped me remember just how much I love to workout.  Just how good it makes me feel.  I don't want to ever lose that again.  I only want to improve.  

I've set many goals for the coming year....the first one starts next week with Insanity!  I'm doing a Tough Mudder in May, the San Diego Marathon in June and the USMC Marathon in November.  I might do another Tough Mudder in VA this fall and a half in March....maybe this is a bit ambitious but I am determined!!  Plus I have the support of my hubby - he has already promised to watch the babies while I do my long runs.  I can't wait to get back to California where I can actually push the kids outside in the double jogger....I plan to rack up the miles on my BOB!    

One more goal - improving my diet.  That is one aspect of P90X I definitely didn't follow.  Don't get me wrong, I don't eat horribly but I could do so much better.  This isn't just be a personal goal but also one for my family.  If I feel this good working out, I'm sure it will only be that much better when I eat right.  I'm going to subscribe to Oxygen and to their eat clean magazine.  I tend to take the easy route when it comes to food but I know spending a few extra minutes here and there is all it takes.   

So stay tuned - I'll keep you updated on how things are going and if I'm able to maintain the same level of intensity in my workouts while being a mom, wife, full time worker, getting a degree and just living this crazy life.  For now I'll leave you with a final cheesy pose for my bro.....

Happy New Year!!!!