12 Weeks of Maintenance – Wrapped Up!

It was getting pretty tough to focus on this 12 week challenge since I started PiYo 3 weeks ago – PiYo has  ended up taking quite a bit of time.  I knew my running would take a hit, and am honestly glad that it didn’t take a bigger hit than it did.  My goal was to run a minimum of 240 miles and I ended up at 229.77 miles prior to resetting running goals in week 10 to reflect the time required of PiYo and weather considerations (it is so wet and cold outside – I haven’t run outside in 3+ weeks, sigh).  I’m pretty darn happy with that and if nothing else, it reminds me it’s time for a new pair of running shoes  😉  I’ve definitely put 500 miles on the ones I’m currently wearing.  HA!

At the end of the day, most goals were met and I lost weight, if only 2.6 pounds (I did weigh 1.2 pounds less yesterday when I thought I was done with this challenge, but that’s OK).  My goal was to maintain, so any loss is a win!  I never went above 145 pounds and my body fat did not go above 24% – both of those were my highest-priority goals.  If fact, I lost 1.4% body fat, ending up solidly in the 21%-range (21.4% today) and I could not be happier with that!  I have never had body fat percentages this low before!   I think you can see the changes in the pictures – things really tightened up!

I almost spent 5 hours a week being active – and I have the PiYo challenge to thank for that.  I was slipping big-time on this goal but then PiYo started and it’s not a big calorie-burner, so I had to step it up to keep burning my calories while getting stronger and more flexible.  I ended up coming in under my weekly 5 hour activity goal by only 9 minutes a week – and when you consider my steps per day – I bet I met the goal.  I move a LOT chasing these kids around  😉

Another great challenge with most goals met!  I can’t always control how much time I can spend being active, but I can modify calorie intake to off-set those challenges and that’s what I did.  I’ve learned these last 12 weeks how to plan each day the night before, and to think about modifications when things don’t go according to plan.  A great thing to figure out, no doubt!

Summary (09/02/2015 – 11/25/2015)

  • Weight:   140.4 Pounds
    • Number of Weeks Meeting <=145 pound goal:  12 weeks
    • Pounds Lost or Gained (started at 143.0 pounds):  2.6 Pound lost
  • Body Fat %: 21.4%
    • Number of Weeks Meeting <=24% goal:  12 weeks
    • Body Fat % Lost or Gained (started at 22.8%):  1.4% Lost
  • BMI: 22
    • BMI Points Lost or Gained (started at 22.4):  0.4
  • Time Spent Being Active (goal is 60 hours):  58 Hours 12 Minutes
    • Number of Weeks Meeting >= 5 hour goal:  4 weeks (average of 4 hours 51 minutes per week, which is very close to the weekly goal!  Only off by 9 minutes per week)
  • Miles Run:  229.77 Miles (averaged 19.14 miles per week, only off 0.86 miles per week)
  • Measurements:
    • Natural Waist: 27 inches (27.5 on 08/29/15)
      • Lost 0.5 inches
    • Belly Button: 31.5 inches (31.75 on 08/29/15)
      • Lost 0.25 inches
    • Hips:  35.75 inches (35.75 on 08/29/15)
      • Neither lost nor gained inches

12 Week final

12 Week final side


In My Arsenal

We have slowly built up quite a collection of fitness “tools” in our house.  I’ve always been one to “go big or go home,” so my need for tools and gadgets is not a surprise to those who know me.  I throw myself into anything I set my mind to (job, crafts, cake-making (I have a coffee cake in the oven right now), fitness, fashion) and getting the results I want requires the right tools  😉


Gym Membership

We have a YMCA membership, but I’m not a “gym girl” at all.  I’ve never been one to get dressed for the gym, make my way in and pick a machine or attend a class, and make friends with people there.  I like to do a lot of things privately, and working out is one of them.  It’s weird, I know.

There was a point in time last year when I went to the Y quite a bit just to get some alone time without my kids, but every.single.time I put them in the childcare center there, I felt guilty.  I know that a lot of moms do this, and I think it’s great… but it’s not me.  I stay home with my kids so that we can do things together, not so I can put them in 2 hours of childcare each day or even 3 days a week. I felt so uncomfortable about it, and really despised the whole gym atmosphere because I lacked privacy, that I quit going.  We go once in a while to use the pool  😉

Body Fat Monitors

We met doing an extreme fitness bootcamp (my husband taught it) and that experience made me realize that a body fat monitor was a MUST.  We bought the one that they used at bootcamp (Omron) and used it regularly for a few years.

A couple of years after we met, we did a different fitness class that used a body fat monitor built into the scale, and the reading was quite different from our hand-held – so we got the scale (Tanita).  I’m always amazed because for my husband and our male friends (yes, I made them test them out for me), both of these monitors give them the same readings, but for years and years, the readings for me were 6-8% different.  In the last 2-3 weeks, those readings finally lined up for me and almost match.  Because of my history with these monitors though, I still use both to measure my body fat percentage.  Bad habit!  I use the hand-held Omron as my measuring stick when I report my stats because I’ve had that one the longest and don’t have to convert when I look back on past stats (yes, I have spreadsheets dating back to 2006).

For fun, I recently bought some body fat calipers because some people believe they are the be-all-end-all of all body fat monitors.  I will say, the reading from them was anti-climactic.  It was the same as the hand-held and the scale, but wasn’t as exact (it has a range – not a specific reading).  I’ll only use the calipers at initial, mid-challenge, and final check-ins because of the range – checking weekly wouldn’t show much difference.

Activity Monitor

I use the Garmin Vivofit wristband to count my steps and also monitor my heart rate when I feel like checking in on that.  I chose the Vivofit over the fitbit because of the display (the fitbit with the display was recalled at the time) and the heart rate monitor functionality – I already owned the Garmin HR strap from prior use with my Garmin Forerunner running watch.  My husband works for Mic.ros.oft so I think their new fitness band (Microsoft Band 2) will be under the Christmas tree this year and I’m excited about that!  It is pretty slick and it could really motivate me to try new fitness challenges!

Running Tools

The best thing we ever bought was the BOB running stroller.  I bought it for myself for my birthday when my oldest son was turning 1 because I thought I’d get back into running.  I didn’t.  When I was finally ready to get back in shape, I started running with my younger son and he absolutely LOVES it.  He will go with me for up to 9 miles (I’ve not yet tried taking him for longer) any day of the week and often times asks to go.  It’s very motivating to be asked by your toddler to take him for a run  😉  In the summer months, I log 15-25 miles a week with that stroller.  Hands-down, it’s the best thing I ever bought for myself!

I use Endomondo premium on my phone to track my workouts.  I tried a bunch of different apps and that one fit my needs the best.  It is ridiculously accurate with mileage and has a super easy layout.  I barely use their online app – I just log everything through my phone.  The online app, though, has lots of reporting tools that are right up my alley, and I’m sure I’ll start using them sooner than later.

We have a treadmill in our home gym, handed down by my grandpa who used it just a few times.  It does the job and purrs like a kitten!  It’s a Nordictrack 2000 – it is 15 years old and you would never know it.  I put 15-20 miles a week on it during the winter months, and probably 5-10 a week in the summer.  One time, we had a power surge and the treadmill refused to turn on, and my husband was convinced he’d be buying me a new one within days because he knew that I could not survive a week without it.  It recovered within a few hours and is as good as new again.

Interval/High Intensity Training, and Cross Training

So back when I was going to the Y, I started attending INSANITY classes and fell in love with them.  I would go and write down every move we did, then come home and write them up on poster paper and hang them in my kitchen to do my own workouts.  This required an interval timer – so I got one (Gymboss MiniMAX).  I used it all.of.the.time for months and months, and I could not have been happier with it!

Then… I got…

Beachb.ody On De.mand (BOD) – and let me tell you – it is fantastic!  I am not a BB coach and I’m not affiliated with BB at all – I’m just a happy customer  😉  BOD has INSANITY and TurboFire, which I was enjoying so much at the Y, so I have everything I need to get crazy good workouts at home.  I no longer need my interval timer (but I still love it!) because I’m dialed up to BOD workouts telling me what to do and when.  The intensity is great and I feel like I’m in a class at the gym.  This fits in perfectly with my hang-up about working out privately!

We have mats galore to facilitate my interval training.  Big mats, yoga mats, thick mats, etc.  It’s ridiculous but they all have their purposes.  My favorite right now is actually an equipment mat handed down by my in-laws and it’s really big and gives me lots of space to workout and sweat!

I LOVE specialty fitness shoes.  I am a firm believer that you need the right shoes for the job.  For INSANITY, I wear my Asics Gel-Fortius TR’s because they have a low profile but provide excellent grip for jumps and side lunges.  Wearing running shoes for INSANITY puts too much between your feet and the mat, and the soles are too squishy.  The Gel-Fortius TR’s were created with crossfit in mind, and I like that – that means sticky soles.  For Turbofire and sometimes PiYo, I wear Nike Studio Trainers.  They’re not pretty, but they do the job well and again, they have a low profile which is better for TurboFire than runners.

We are deciding if we’re going to get my in-laws’ elliptical machine.  We want it, but we don’t want to have to move it.  That decision probably needs to be made in the next 2 weeks.  If we get it, I’ll be excited to add that to my routine.  It will be nice to be able to burn calories without having to run 5 days a week – my knees would thank me!

Strength Training

I wish I was more motivated to do strength training.  I get on a strength kick, and then I get off of it.  Right now, I’m on it.  It’s amazing how much better your body looks and feels when you’re doing more than just cardio.

I am in the midst of the 8-week Beachbody PiYo program and I LOVE IT.  It has made a huge difference in my flexibility and I am getting stronger by the day.  Within 2 weeks, I dropped a full body fat percentage, and that is HUGE.  I am a believer!

We love cardio kickboxing and my husband is a fabulous instructor, so of course we have a Century Wavemaster punching bag in our garage!  We have heaps of gloves as well, ranging from 12-18 ounces in weight.  Nothing feels better than hitting and kicking the bag and it does wonders for strength.  I’ve missed it quite a bit and am ready to get back out there a bit this winter.

Part of the bootcamp class, where my husband and I met, included resistance band training for strength.  They really work and are easy to take with you when you travel, so we have a full set of those for when we feel the urge to use them.  It’s really hard to feel the urge though…

Our latest and greatest addition to our arsenal is the hoist prime 8 weight machine.  This was handed down from my in-laws and it’s really nice to have.  My husband really enjoys lifting weights so this has been a bit of a dream come true for him.  I will use it once in a while, but I prefer plyo and PiYo for strength.  I’ve never been one to enjoy weight machines.


We try to be a paleo family when we eat at home (most dinners and breakfasts – usually 6 nights and mornings a week) and really watch how we eat when we’re out.  We never order fried food, our kids have never had chicken fingers or mac and cheese or grilled cheese, we really limit grains when we’re out, and we cook only whole foods – no processed foods at home.  Moving into this way of eating was a hard transition for me because I do the cooking and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it, but my husband bought Sarah Fragoso’s “Everyday Paleo” cookbook and it is amazing!  We have made so many of her dishes and they are fantastic and easy.  Once we made the transition to eating this way, it’s become very easy to plan for and execute.

Don’t be fooled though.  We have our occasional frozen pizzas for dinner and the kids had pizza rolls today for lunch because we were just done.  And… my biggest need in the world is Diet Pepsi.  I drink way too much of it every day.  A good water drinker I am not.

I log every.single.thing.that.goes.into.my.mouth into MyFitnessPal.  The minute I stop tracking my food, I lose control and plump up.  I know what each food is worth in regards to calories, but this has become such a habit that I feel thrown off if I don’t do it.  And calories add up – it’s amazing how a couple of quick choices during the day can set you back.


For now, I think we’re pretty stocked up on what we need to be successful.  There’s always some new program, some new craze and maybe I’ll check it out and maybe I won’t.  As long as I can stay focused with what we have – and we have a lot – then there shouldn’t be a need for more…. except shoes.  I need a new pair of runners  😉



8 Week Countdown to NYE – Week 2

Week 2 (Ending 11/18/15)

  • Week 2 Statistics
    • Weight:  138.6 pounds
    • Body Fat %:  21.3%
    • Time Spent Being Active (>= 5 hours): 7 Hours 5 Minutes
      • Miles Run (15-20 a week when decent weather):  13.11 Miles (HORRID weather)
    • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 6 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Thursday – PiYo lower body (21:00); Ran 4.5 miles in 45:00; walked 0.51 miles in 7:00
    • Friday – PiYo Sweat (37:00); INSANITY Pure Cardio (38:00)
    • Saturday – PiYo Core (30:00); Name Game (27:00); Abs (3:00)
    • Sunday – REST
    • Monday – Ran 4.5 in 43:10; Walked 0.10 in 2:00; PiYo Upper (20:00)
    • Tuesday – Ran 3.0 in 32:30; Walked 0.50 in 7:30; PiYo Sweat (37:00)
    • Wednesday – TurboFire FIRE 45:00; PiYo Core (30:00)
  • Notes: 
    • I am exhausted and am finding myself rather fatigued quite easily.  I’m struggling
    • Just two days into the week and I’m at 2.5 hours of exercise.  Body fat is still in the 21%’s so yesterday’s wasn’t a fluke.  Not sure what to do with this information… loving it but scares me about it going up again, which we know it will
    • Exercise room is almost done – and we have a big mat I can use for BOD.  This is going to be a productive winter!
    • 139.6 On Tuesday morning!!!!
    • I’ve updated my training spreadsheet to just list BOD instead of a specific workout.  I’m finding that the kids’ schedules are making it hard to commit to a specific program and I need to be flexible
    • I have noticed a change in my physique after just 2 weeks, and wasn’t sure if it was my mind playing tricks on me… so I took photos and put them beside my starting photos.  I think there’s progress!  Things are definitely tightening up
    • I am 0.8 pounds away from my all-time low weight, and that’s when I was nursing a baby.  I can hardly believe it!
    • I got body fat % readings of 21.1% this morning (Thursday), which is an all-time low, but it bounced between and that 21.4% so I went with 21.3%, which turns out to be my lowest ever


2 weeks

Goals for the Next 8 Weeks:

  • Finish on 12/31/2015 SAFELY in the 130’s (meaning a couple of weeks prior to 12/31 weighing in in the 137-139 range)
  • I’d really, REALLY love to see a body fat percentage in the 21% range again on my handheld body fat monitor
  • I want to see major changes in my physique since I’m so dedicated to PiYo
  • Complete 5+ hours a week of dedicated exercise
  • Run 20-25 15-20 miles a week on average
  • Complete the full PiYo 8 week program
  • Supplement my fitness with at least 2 BOD (bea.chbo.dy on dem.and) workouts a week
  • Stay within daily net calorie goal of 1390 calories at least 5 days a week

Starting Statistics on 11/05/2015

  • Weight:  140 pounds
  • Body Fat %:  22.9% with the handheld (22.2% with calipers, 22.8% with the Tan.ita scale)
  • BMI:  21.9

A Year and A Half of Fitness Logs

When I started this blog, I decided to move my old fitness logs from my personal blog to this one.  I like to keep things in the same place and easy to find!  If you’re at all inclined, you can find my old logs at the links here.  They are in chronological order (of course they are!).

Paleo Adventure – All about the first 5 weeks of my family going on a strict Paleo diet (it was fantastic!)

Fitness Stat-urdays – Second 10 Weeks – This is a log of my first self-guided challenge after losing the initial 25 pounds with Farrel.ls Extre.me Bodys.haping from June-August of 2014

Happy Healthy Holidays – My fitness plan and log for getting through the holiday season of 2014

Fitness Stat-urdays – First 10 Weeks of 2015 – A log that is exactly as it sounds – kicking off 2015 the right way!

Marathons for Sammy – My fitness log from my self-imposed running challenge while my cousin was in a coma in 2015

8 Weeks Left of Summer Fitness – The plan and logs for finishing out the summer on task and in shape!

12 Weeks of Maintenance – The log of fitness to maintain a 40-pound weight loss


8 Week Countdown to NYE – Week 1

Week 1 (Ending 11/11/15)

  • Week 1 Statistics
    • Weight:  140.6 pounds (up 0.6 pounds)
    • Body Fat %:  21.2% (1.7% down – and both monitors had the same number – we’ll see tomorrow!)
    • Time Spent Being Active (>= 5 hours): 7 Hours 4 Minutes
      • Miles Run (20-25 a week when decent weather):  19.01 Miles
    • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (1390): 6 days
  • Exercise: 
    • Thursday – 56:00 of INSANI.TY
    • Friday – Ran 4.75 miles in 45:21; PiYo upper body 20:00
    • Saturday – PiYo lower body 19:00
    • Sunday – Ran 4.0 miles in 40:00, walked 0.4 miles in 5:30
    • Monday – PiYo upper and lower 40:00; Ran 5.41 in 61:00 (walked the last 6-7 minutes)
    • Tuesday – PiYo core 30:00; Power incline walked 4.45 miles in 60:10 (4.5 mph for the first 4 miles, then 4.0 mph cool down)
    • Wednesday – PiYo Sweat 37:00


  • Notes: 
    • Kicked off the week with two INSA.NITY programs and I had forgotten how hard those are.  Kicked my butt
    • Loving PiYo so far – it feels so very good!
    • With the treadmill in the living room now, it’s pretty hard to sit on the sofa and watch TV when I could be treading
    • What a week! 7 hours of dedicated exercise… I may be dropping dropped my mileage goal just to keep things realistic. 7 hours is a lot
    • Very happy with the drop in body fat – I don’t expect it to stay there, but I do think it will stay in the 21%’s with this big jump down.  I’m not sure what to attribute this to, but I’m thinking the strain to my muscles with PiYo… burning calories differently
    • Gained 0.6 which is just fine with me.  Starting at 140.0 was a SHOCK last week and just the day prior to my initial weigh-in, I was 141.4.  Weight is fickle – I don’t worry about 0.6 pounds!
    • I made butternut squash soup in bulk this week so we have it for Thanksgiving.  I made 8 quarts of it!  I used coconut oil instead of butter and greek yogurt cream cheese instead of the regular stuff, upping my protein and lowering my fat contributions to the soup.  It tastes better than ever, so we’ll keep these little changes going forward!

Goals for the Next 8 Weeks:

  • Finish on 12/31/2015 SAFELY in the 130’s (meaning a couple of weeks prior to 12/31 weighing in in the 137-139 range)
  • I’d really, REALLY love to see a body fat percentage in the 21% range again on my handheld body fat monitor
  • I want to see major changes in my physique since I’m so dedicated to PiYo
  • Complete 5+ hours a week of dedicated exercise
  • Run 20-25 15-20 miles a week on average
  • Complete the full PiYo 8 week program
  • Supplement my fitness with at least 2 BOD (bea.chbo.dy on dem.and) workouts a week
  • Stay within daily net calorie goal of 1390 calories at least 5 days a week

Starting Statistics on 11/05/2015

  • Weight:  140 pounds
  • Body Fat %:  22.9% with the handheld (22.2% with calipers, 22.8% with the Tan.ita scale)
  • BMI:  21.9

My Motivation has Arrived!

My doorbell rang yesterday, and both boys went running to see who it was.  I knew who it was – I’d been waiting for him all day.

“It’s the mailman.  And he has a BIG BOX!  Can we get it off the porch?”

I held my breath as I fast-walked over to help them (don’t worry, there’s a top latch out of their reach that they can’t open).  “Please be the box, please be the box,” went the thoughts in my head.

It was THE BOX!

I let those boys rip that box open like I’ve never let them do before – the faster the better!  My little guy only cared about the packing bubbles and my big kid exclaimed, “It sparkles!  What is it?”

It was my NYE dress and earrings.  I was giddy!

I tore the bag open, held it up to me, and immediately admired the perfect length!  I have a long torso and pretty short legs (yes, it’s true…), so most dresses and skirts need to be altered or ordered in petite.  This dress didn’t come in petite, so I was taking a chance.  It also was from ModCloth, a store whose sizing I haven’t quite mastered yet but from the size charts, their things run a tad small.  So I ordered the size that fit the measurement guides and not proper tag sizing, which is so deflating sometimes (it’s an 8).  Because of their free exchange policy, I ordered up knowing I could size down if needed.

I ran back to the closet, ripped my clothes off, and threw that dress over my head with so much enthusiasm, I couldn’t believe it.  It went right on.  It felt perfect in the hips, a tad big in the chest (which is what the size charts indicated would happen), and pretty good in the waist.  I turned to look in the mirror, and a few happy tears fell out of my eyes.

I have dreamed of wearing a dress like this since I was a senior in high school.  I still remember the dress in the catalog that I wanted, and I told my mom that I was going to get in shape and get it for the spring formal.  Being the realist that she is (and you may gasp as you read this, but I truly took it as honesty and not hurt), she took one look at it and said, “you won’t look like that in it, no matter how great of shape you get into by then.  You’re not built like that girl.”  I was so deflated.  I swore to myself that she was wrong, but she wasn’t.  I didn’t even try to get in shape for it – I just forced it into the back of my brain and moved on.

Here I am, 21 years later (unreal), finally buying a dress that fits like that dress I pined over so many years ago.  I guess it’s never too late to make dreams, no matter how silly, come true.  HA HA!

This is my before picture – my “I may be healthy and thin enough, but my arms need some work” photo.  This is my pre-PiYo photo, wearing the dress that is my motivation to keep on keeping on, even though I have some seriously sore abdominal and back muscles after a week of PiYo workouts.  This is my, “2016 is going to start out healthier than any other year in my life” photo!


“How Do You Stay Healthy?”

People ask me quite often what I do to stay healthy, and what we do to keep our kids healthy.  This is such a personal question because there are so many ways to take care of your health.  Some people believe that eating a dairy-free diet is the key to good health, while others believe that vegetarianism is the key to staying healthy, and some people believe that cutting carbs alone will keep them healthy.  “What do you do to keep healthy?” is a loaded question and the answer on the tip of my tongue could, quite literally, offend someone if my beliefs vary significantly from theirs.

It’s a lot like discussing parenting.  😉

But – because I keep getting the question of, “how do you do it?”, well, I’ll tell you!

I think it’s probably obvious by now that I am a “fitness junkie.”  Friends describe me as an obsessive person who throws myself 100% into whatever it is I’m focused on at the time.  I think they’re right.  What really works out in my favor is that I like to focus on things for a very long time – years – which makes for long-term health success.  Whether it be saving money, fine-tuning my fashion sense, feeding my family, or working out – I make a project or a game out of these things and focus on fine-tuning them until they’re just right for me.

When our son was about to be born, my husband and I talked a lot about how we were going to feed him.  We were both pretty healthy eaters and had done lots of research on different lifestyles and diets and were pretty sold on the paleo lifestyle for many reasons.  We truly believe that gluten and processed foods are not meant for our systems and that it’s probably best to limit those things and focus on a whole-food approach to eating.  We chose to raise our children as close to this diet as possible and for the first two years of our older son’s life, he ate nothing but whole foods that were prepared by me – I made his baby food, which was actually really fun, and he ate only dairy that was made with whole milk (we did buy his dairy products).  We were very strict with him, to the point of aggravating our parents.  Our son is still a terrific eater who yes, eats his fair share of unhealthy food, but has still to this day never had a fried chicken strip/nugget, macaroni and cheese, PB&J, or grilled cheese sandwich.  We’ve offered these things to him, but he has no interest.  I consider that winning.  Our younger son, well, we lost the battle early when his grandparents fed him nothing but toast for 4 days while we were in Colorado.  You win some, you lose some, and you move on.

At home, we cook nothing but whole foods.  We buy nothing that is processed (besides broth, black beans, condiments) and we cook fresh vegetables every night.  We have never brought white potatoes into our house and we only buy bread or crackers on special occasions (for fancy cheese – we love good cheese!).  We use onions, apples, and pears as fillers instead of bread crumbs when mixing up ground meat and butter lettuce is our go-to for buns.  It sounds quite complicated, but it’s very simple – because it’s just how we do things.  I enjoy cooking and I really enjoy presenting my family with home-cooked meals.  We did something different this year and purchased a quarter hog from my friend who raises free-range hogs and chickens.  It is amazing how different the free-range pork tastes, and her chickens are fantastic (we buy 10 whole chickens every 6 months or so).  For beef, we almost always buy grass-fed beef and we really enjoy using ground bison for a change of pace.

I came home from the grocery store the other day, thinking about this post, and started sorting my groceries when I noticed how unbalanced things were.  Mostly fresh foods, just a few prepared foods as basic ingredients, and no chips or crackers.  That’s pretty much how it always is when I run to the store.  I took photos of my refrigerator and pantry without organizing them – I just opened them up and snapped photos so I could evaluate them for myself.  I was pretty happy with what we have going on.

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It’s really important to us that our kids grow up healthy and strong.  My husband and I met in an extreme fitness class and working out was a major pillar of our relationship.  We really want our kids to grow up active and healthy and we believe it all starts with setting a great example for them.  We talk about exercise with them almost daily and my younger son enthusiastically goes for runs with me in the BOB stroller.  They both love to watch me run on the treadmill and they’ll jump in and do workout videos with me.  I think our focus on health is working out because they both ask to go for bike rides on a daily basis “to get some exercise” and they work until they’re winded and I need to push them home.  🙂

To keep myself healthy, I do one major thing – I keep changing it up!  When it comes to exercise, I cannot let myself get bored so I set out my goals for 8-10 weeks at a time and get to it.  Sometimes I focus on my running, other times I focus on variety.  Right now, I’m focusing on bringing more strength and flexibility into my life while not decreasing my weekly running distance.  I do whatever it takes to keep things interesting.  I hold myself accountable by checking in daily on my blog and updating the important stats.  It’s really important to me to record everything because there have been times when I’ve looked back to see what was working for me at a particular time that maybe I should consider doing again if I get into a slump.

There are things that I should be doing to further improve my family’s and my own health.  There are so many toxins in our air, so many pollutants that we come into contact with that we don’t even think about.  I think of things like second-hand smoke and carbon monoxide and I protect my kids from those on a daily basis, but radon has never been on my radar.  I hadn’t even heard about radon being a concern until my friend was selling her house and the inspectors got after her about some barely elevated levels.  We laughed about it, but it turns out it’s not something to laugh about.   Asbestos, which is so deadly and causes mesothelioma, also known as “asbestos cancer,” was quite important to us when we were buying this home and is the main reason for us choosing a home built after 2000.  We will never live in an old house for a lot of reasons (oh the maintenance!) but asbestos is at the top of that list.  I do wonder what other materials were used in our house that will be determined to be toxic in a decade or two.

Being healthy is a choice, and it’s an individual choice.  How I choose to be healthy is what works for me and for our family.  I hope that maybe you found a little nugget in this post that can help you be a healthier you!





The Plan… For the Next 8 Weeks

I joined a challenge to stay fit through the holidays.  I got my PiYo DVD’s a little later than the start date of the challenge, but that worked out well because starting when I did gave me exactly 8 weeks until New Years Eve (I mentioned in a prior post that we have big plans for NYE this year).  I always like to go into a challenge with a plan.

Here’s my plan:

  • My “week” will start on Thursdays and end on Wednesdays (NYE is on a Thursday this year).  I started PiYo this past Thursday so I am well on my way into week 1.
  • I will weigh in and measure body fat on Thursday mornings and report weekly on this page.
  • I will only plan out my workouts in addition to PiYo two weeks at a time so that I don’t overwhelm myself and feel defeated if I have to change daily plans based on how my body is feeling – there are always workouts on BOD that can be done in place of something I have planned in advance.  I like to be flexible.
  • I do still plan to run 20-25 miles a week in addition to PiYo.

The PiYo schedule is set for me, which is nice.  I am familiar with INSANITY so I’m doing some of those workouts in addition to PiYo a couple of days a week via BOD (Beac.hbod.y on De.mand) for the first two weeks.  The days I don’t do BOD workouts, I’ll run in addition to PiYo.  So far, I’ve done everything as planned with the exception of the Align workout (I started it, and then decided to do INSA.NITY instead) and the run on Saturday – we just ran out of time on Saturday.

PiYo Schedule

In regards to nutrition/eating, I’ll stick to my daily calorie goal of 1390 net calories or less a day.  With exercise, that is SIMPLE to do – without exercise, it is doable if I’m cognizant of what I’m eating and plan ahead.  Nutrition shouldn’t be a problem for me because I’ve been tracking my nutrition daily for almost 1.5 years and I pretty much know how many calories are in the things I eat.

I think it’s pretty simple – just have to stick to it.  That should not be a problem!


Exercise Room… Underway!

Many years ago, my Grandpa had a treadmill that needed a home.  We drove the 110 miles with our old (now sold) 1989 Chevy pickup to get it and had a hell of a time getting it out of my Grandpa’s 1960’s basement.  The stairs were narrow, the ceiling was low, and I thought my husband was going to divorce me for even suggesting he lug it out of there.  He and our friend got it out… barely.  We brought it home, and I didn’t use it for 3 years.

Now I use it 3-4 days a week.

My husband We swore then that we would NEVER bring another big piece of exercise equipment into our home.  NEVER.

We now have a weight machine in our house and an elliptical trainer on the way.  YES – you read that correctly.  My husband’s folks are moving into a smaller home to simplify their lives and had two pieces of equipment that needed a home.  My husband said no to the cross trainer at first, but my older son just LOVES it and he can’t say no to him.  So, it’s coming down next time my in-laws have a chance to bring it.  We brought the weight machine down yesterday and it is in our house!  Mats for our exercise space are on the way and so is a new light for the ceiling in there.  With all of the equipment being free, our exercise “room” has only cost us $80 for the treadmill mats, and now another $120 for the entire floor mat and new light.  For $200 and a lot of sweat and effort, we have a full in-house gym.  I cannot believe it!

I have always wanted an exercise room.  I am so excited!  We moved the treadmill out of the guest room and into the bump-out in our basement where everything will end up going, and I ran on it tonight.  I love the view and that the kids can be in the same room as me when I exercise, but the ceiling fan is no longer above me and boy oh boy… did I sweat this time!


Look at that sweat!

Two Days In…

I started a new challenge yesterday to get me to New Year’s Eve.  NYE is on a Thursday, so starting yesterday was perfect and is an exact 8 weeks.  I have already ordered my dress and earrings, and I am super anxious to see how different the dress looks between the day it arrives (next week) and the day of NYE since I’m doing a lot of strength training these next 8 weeks.  I am a bit nervous that the size I ordered may be too big by the time I wear it, but we’ll see.  I’ve never ordered a dress from this place, so it’s a bit of an unknown – and it was in UK sizes and not US sizes, even more of an unknown (because you know, the Brits are totally shaped different from Americans – HA HA!).

I did INSANITY Cardio Power/Resistance and Cardio Abs yesterday for a total of 60 minutes.  I was feeling that one today, holy hell.  I used to do INSANITY all the time, but haven’t done it in 8 months so it was a bit of a shock to my system.  Today, I did PiYo Lower Body for 20 minutes and then ran 4.75 miles in 45:21, so I got in over an hour of exercise today.  It was really rough running with such sore legs and abs, but that’s always a good thing!

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the PiYo program since I despise yoga.  Nothing can make me swear like a sailor like yoga can.  I just hate it.  I am not bendy at all and yoga just brings me no peace at all, because I can’t do any of the things they tell me to do and then I’m mad at myself the whole time.  My friend swore this was going to be different so I finally bit the bullet and bought it.  And you know what?  I LOVED IT!  It felt so good to stretch so much and feel every.single.vertebrae pop as I stretched further and further.  It was, in a word, awesome!  I am actually excited to do it again tomorrow, and I didn’t think I’d ever say that about anything that contained yoga elements.

The run was a decent pace, and it was on the treadmill at 3% grade.  It was just really tough because I was so sore.  And… truth be told… I finished up all of Law and Order SVU the other day and now I’ve got nothing to keep me engrossed while I run downstairs. I did watch Property Brothers, which is one of my faves for running, but I’m almost done with that series on Netflix too.  Ugh.  Suggestions?  Anyway, I was dripping sweat like a crazy woman, so the run did it’s job.

I wore my heart rate monitor for both days and that’s always enlightening.  I got up to 155 today while running, and 154 yesterday during INSANITY.  I’m pretty happy with that, but I can be working harder.  I need to be working harder.

In other news… I got body fat calipers yesterday.  I have wanted, and wanted, and wanted these for sooooooo long to see just how their measurements compared to my scale and handheld body fat monitor.  My hand-held has always been 6-8% lower than my Tanita scale measurement, so I’ve always been curious as to which is correct.  Well, in the last week, those two measurements have been only 1-1.5% different.  I noticed my thighs getting much thinner and wondered if my body was doing something with my fat/weight distribution.  Turns out, it’s been working hard.  Using the calipers was anti-climactic because it said 22.2%.  Well, the Tanita scale said 22.2% today, and the hand-held monitor said 22.8%.  I guess that I’ve been getting accurate numbers all along with the hand-held.  No ah ha moments with the calipers, and that was disappointing.  But I still like having them.  I love my fitness tools!

After my workout today, my big kid gave me a big thumbs up.  These kids, I tell you, they know how to give me the time and space I need to stay in shape.  I really appreciate that!

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