Sunday, April 27, 2014

An Honest Post about Weight Gain

I confess. I have gained some weight. I have a lot of excuses. It was a long winter, the kids are stressing me out, the kids are sick, it's my birthday, I deserve cake, and I could go on. I'm stopping with the excuses, and I'm coming clean. It's hard to admit you've gained weight, but I have learned that accountability is the key to fitness and health success. I've come up with a plan, and I need your help.

My goal is to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks or less. Less being the key word.

I have the Fitness Pal app on my phone. You can friend me @FitTriangleMom and follow along. I'll be eating and drinking 1600 calories a day.

Things that have worked before:
Green tea in the afternoons. It fills me up and gives me energy.
More fruits and vegetables in my diet.
Exercise at least 4x a week.
Small workouts on off days- jump rope, walking, etc.
Accountability: I'm going to share my workouts with you.

New ideas:
Mix-up my workouts. I'm going to try a kick-boxing class taught by my friend Trish at Excel Body Fitness. You can join me. Text code: XBFITNESS to 95577 to get a Free Week Pass coupon sent directly to your phone. They have childcare too.

I've also joined the Tone It Up Bikini Series 8-week challenge.

I'm most excited about my new FitBit. It should arrive in the mail any day now. I'm going to sync it to my Fitness Pal app and other fitness apps.

Do you have any ideas? What has worked for you? Your tips will encourage me and others as we begin this weight loss journey.

Are you ready? Let's Go! I know we can do it!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Looking for Windows

I opened the windows today. There is a light breeze coming in the house and the sound of birds chirping. It's finally spring, and I'm enjoying the warmer weather and watching the flowers bloom. My week has been stressful, so I'm savoring this open window time.

Last Saturday, we were visiting family for Easter, and my youngest son, Liam woke up at 3 am coughing. It was the dreaded barking croup cough. He was weezing and struggling to breathe. We have dealt with croup before, so we knew a trip to the ER was in order. We were 3 hours from home. We drove to the regional hospital in the area. The wait times were long and my nerves were shot. My son finally got the medicine he needed plus a chest x-ray, and friendly visits by the nurses. Unfortunately, the doctors were few and far between and seriously understaffed. Finally, 4 hours later and with an inhaler and spacer in hand we were released from the hospital.

We went back to my husband's Aunt's house. Besides a yucky cough, you would have never known Liam had been in the hospital earlier. He was back to running and playing with his brother. The Easter egg hunts we had planned on taking the boys were rained out. It literally rained the entire day. Two boys stuck inside and two overly tired parents don't make a good combination. We napped when we could and had pizza and chicken nuggets for dinner.

I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I went to bed praying for sunshine and health. The next morning, I woke up. I squinted my eyes and looked to the window. The sun was big and bright and shinning in my window. I looked through the window and saw plentiful green grass and the cutest gazebo with a swing in the middle. It was so picturesque, it could have been a postcard of a lovely park, yet it was a backyard carefully designed by a talented landscaper.

I thanked God for this beautiful window view and my son sleeping peacefully through the night. I felt like God was telling me to start looking for these "windows" throughout my day. Not all my days are sunshine and flowers, but these "windows" will sustain me through the thunderstorms.

While my youngest recovers from his cough and croup, we've been trying to do less which means not going to the gym this week. It's been hard, the gym is where I find peace and unstress, but I found some at-home windows to get my workouts in.

I set-up my own circuit in my driveway while my son got some fresh air. I did four sprints around the cul-de-sac, jumped rope, squats, lateral raises, and leg extensions. It felt great exercising outside and Liam wasn't exposed to any extra germs.

So when the dark clouds roll in and it begins to rain, I hope you will look for the windows. They might not open right away, but just wait they will.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Exploring and Enjoying

Routines, schedules and to-do lists seem to control my life. It's not a bad thing; it keeps me moving and things are accomplished. However this week, I tried to be less OCD about things I had to do, and put more emphasis on enjoying the beautiful weather and time with my kids. I still did my usual tasks-- laundry, cleaning, 3 days at the gym and dinner on the table, but I found windows in my day to explore.

The first stop on my exploration was the red caboose in Apex. My youngest loves trains, and he was bugging me to see a train. So after my Bible study and before preschool pick-up, we found "the little red caboose". We couldn't go inside it or anything, but Liam (2) enjoyed just looking at it and having his picture taken.

It was a beautiful spring day, so we continued exploring down Salem Street. Cute boutiques and shops line this street, and Liam and I enjoyed browsing and finding treasures within the stores. All Booked Up, a used bookstore had a kids room filled with colorful chairs, stuffed animals and books. Then we wandered over to The Rusty Bucket. Liam enjoyed the complimentary popcorn and cartoons while I uncovered treasures of my own.

All Booked Up
The Rusty Bucket

Laundry and cleaning filled my to-do list for the following day, but the sun was shinning, and it was warm. We could have stayed home and tackled these projects, but the blue skies were beckoning me outside. Big brother was having lunch at school, so Liam and I had a lunch date at Ashworth Drugs Soda Fountain in downtown Cary. We sat at a booth close to kitchen and dined on hotdogs and shared a Sprite. As we were leaving, the manager gave us a free chocolate milkshake. We took it outside and Liam savored every last slurp. He was a mess, but he had fun. 

Ashworth Drugs

We still had some time before preschool pick-up, so we explored some more. We saw that Annie's Attic, women's consignment store is back and now open next to Ashworths. Then we quickly walked in Gather. I love seeing their local NC products and smelling the coffee, but Liam wanted to touch too much and his hands were sticky, so our visit was short.

Ashworth Village

We found a perfect photo-op spot and then went to one of my favorite stores, The Purple Polka Dot. Liam wanted to run laps around the store (the sugar must have kicked in), but I was still able to look at the beautiful home decor, boutique clothes and jewelry. Wish we could have stayed longer, I found the cutest top and Liam found a hat.

The Purple Polka Dot

Oh well, it was another fun day of exploring and you know what? The laundry and cleaning was waiting for me when I got home. I'm glad I was able to enjoy the time with my son rather than worry about things to get-done.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

TrySports...A Perfect Fit

Trying out the new athletic store, TrySports.

I felt like a kid testing out my new shoes as I ran on the track around the TrySports store located at the University Mall in Chapel Hill.  My new shoes felt incredible as I passed by the wall of socks, all the colors, sizes and comfort imaginable. Then there was the women's athletic apparel with a wall dedicated solely to fitness bras and around the bend the yoga section with apparel, mats and accessories.


Yoga section

 A few more steps on track, I spotted the fitness equipment section. They have everything you would find at a gym available to purchase. The neat thing was the variety of Crossfit equipment, TRX gear and basic free weights and benches not to mention the different treadmills and ellipticals. Then I spotted him; my son Aiden (5) on the rowing machine just talking with the sales associate, Amy and rowing while his little brother Liam (2) stood watching the water whirl around in the rower.

Fitness Equipment

I was glad the boys were having fun while I found my perfect fitting running shoes. TrySports offers customers their signature service of finding the perfect fit. In just 5-steps, you can attain perfection in running or walking shoes, a shoe refit, a fitness bra or on your ride.

They also carry men's athletic apparel and triathlon gear- suits and goggles. They have a large road bike section for the cyclist enthusiast. It's equipped for repairs and other needs-- spinning shoes, pedals and apparel.

Running, Yoga and Fitness Equipment are the core offerings at TrySports, but making sure their customers find perfection within their sport is the heart of the store.

The general manager, Thijs, at the Chapel Hill store walked (and a little running) me through their 5-Step to a Perfect Fit for Running Shoes process. Thijs began asking me questions about my running. How many miles? How often? Location? Injuries? My answers helped Thijs get an overall idea of the type of running shoe I needed, but it was time to divulge into the science of the process. Next Thijs measured both of my feet-- length, width and arch length. I learned that my right foot is slightly longer.

The third step analyzes your arch by using the Footbalance scanning technology. It shows you how your arch and your foot supports the weight of your body.

The fun fourth step starts on the treadmill. Thijs fitted me in a neutral stability running shoe and had me run for a couple of minutes. Using their Dartfish Video Software Technology, Thijs analyzed my running gait and stride. He determined that my right foot turned slightly inward when it touched down. This was a problem that could be corrected with a stability shoe. I was one step closer to reaching perfection.

The final step was selecting a shoe. Thijs brought out Brooks and Saucony shoes. They both provided the stability I needed, but provided it differently. Thijs told me to pick the shoe that felt the most natural. I circled the track testing both shoes, and decided on the Saucony Guide 7.

All shoes come with inserts, but TrySports takes perfection to the next step and offers their customers inserts specially molded to fit their feet. Whether you purchase the inserts or not, they want you to decide if the customized inserts enhance your perfect fit.

Finding your perfect fit is just the beginning in the perfection process. Community events are the arms of TrySports as they reach out to the community and offer free yoga sessions, TRX and strength training classes, run groups, and bike rides and clinics.

I went back to the fitness equipment section to find my boys smiling. Amy informed me that Aiden rowed for 11 minutes, and now they were both ready to run the track again. With my perfect shoes in-hand, I corralled the boys once more and headed home.

*I walked around in the shoes for 2-days to properly break them in before testing them once again on the treadmill. Yes, it was still there. Perfection in every stride.

TrySports Chapel Hill

A special thanks to Thijs and his team for showing me the store and helping me find my perfect fit at the Chapel Hill store. For those who live outside the Triangle, perfection can be found at other TrySport locations in Charlotte, Wilmington and Mt. Pleasant, SC.

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