Tales of my Fitness Past – Part 1

Today was a fabulous day at the gym.  I had my weekly training session with my personal trainer, who is just about the best coach, EVER.  Seriously, I can’t even tell you how motivating this man is.  He gave me the heads up that this week we’d be going heavy on the weights, so I came prepared.  Monster Smoothie AND a breakfast sandwich.  I was ready.

I lifted to total failure on every set and did things I never thought I’d be able to do.  Dumbbell rows with 35 lb weights?  That was me.  Bench presses on the Smith Machine, watching over 100 lbs get racked on a machine and then killing it.  It’s empowering.  I love it.  I feel so kick ass.

My trainer was pretty giddy, too.  Maybe he’s being complimentary to motivate me, but it’s working.  He kept remarking how surprised he was by how I take to these workouts.  We don’t do them every time for sure, but when we do, it’s awesome.

We talked about my fitness past quite a bit during cool down on the crank cycle.  Yes, my nemesis is now my cool down.  He told me that I was about to start seriously shedding weight and I’d be left a skinny, tough, strong, chick.  I told him that strong and tough would not be a problem, but I’d never be skinny.  As we talked it became obvious that he thought I had been a lot fitter in my past than I have been.  And that I’d been a lot smaller.

My truth is, I really haven’t!  I was a short skinny kid until I finally got my tonsils out at age 8.  Then, I started to grow.  Everywhere.  Even when I was active, trying to play sports, I was still a sturdy, thick girl with more than a little baby fat.  Since I’m a big believer that you have to understand your past to make sure you’re on track for your future, I’m going to revisit that kid, and bring any readers who are interested along for the ride.  There will be photos and embarrassing hair, I promise.

Here are me and my parents. My dad had a lot more hair! My mom had a lot less chin. I had fewer teeth. It’s a little scary how much I look like both of them.

Let’s talk about my parents briefly.  My mom is very petite.  And before she got in to her late 30’s, she was also extremely naturally thin.  It didn’t last once her metabolism shifted, but she definitely was a twig!  Look at that photo, she’s totally a babe.  My dad has always been a solid guy with some extra pounds, but strong as hell.  From his side of the family, I am descended from farmers and sailors.  We definitely have the body for manual labor, and the asses and guts from being sedentary from not having to do that kind of work.

My parents had a meat and potatoes diet.  (We *are* Irish after all.)  Vegetables came from a can.  Soda was the beverage of choice.  I went from a bottle for milk to a Pepsi bottle as a kid.  Still, I was skinny.  I took after my mom.  I was short, not the shortest kid in the class, but short, and very tiny.  I was also really, really sick.  I acquired a Strep A infection that did not go away.  I was a carrier.  I missed a ton of school and was always, always sick.  The doctors didn’t want to take my tonsils.  It’s a pretty invasive surgery for a kid and they wanted to make sure they exhausted all of their options.  By 2nd grade, the options ran out.  I saw a specialist and was scheduled as soon as school got out.

Also at this time, my mom noticed that I’d fall down a lot.  I was always taking a dive in the dirt when running around, twisting my ankles constantly.  Come to find out, my hips rotated ever so slightly inward.  Also, my knees were normally hyper-extended when totally straight.  I share the trait with a couple of cousins.  There was nothing to do for it, since I was still growing.  But I definitely heard the message – you’re fragile, you’re broken, and you have to take extra care.

I was a typical little kid.  I liked to run around, swing, play kickball.  I learned to swim as soon as I could.  Mom made sure of it.  One thing I didn’t have was much upper body strength.  I could climb a rope or a tree.  I do think the tree thing was scary because I thought about falling.   I had a pretty crappy diet, and carte blanche to eat ice cream after surgery.  I probably wasn’t getting enough exercise because of being sick, and I have some genetics working against me.

Then, 3rd grade.  It was the worst school year of my life.  I drew the teacher that seemed to like to pick on a couple of kids in her class every year.  And I got to be that kid.  My body was recovering from being sick for so long, and I was starting to really stand out in school.  My teacher made a point to constantly criticize me.  How I looked, how I performed in school, everything about me was fair game.  I was miserable, and despite their very best efforts, my parents couldn’t get me out of her class or her job dismissed.  I had to suffer through it for the school year.  At the end, I was left damaged.  And I turned to things to make myself feel better.  That included food.  Lots of food.  Especially sweet things.

So genetics, behavior, diet… You can probably guess what happened next.

(Stay tuned for Part 2)

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Inside your home

It’s tough to get on early enough to take part in FMM on the West Coast! But I’m going to keep trying!

The rules from Kenlie:
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: http://www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic! Inside Your Home

1. Do you live in an apartment/condo, townhouse or house? I live in a condo, but it’s townhouse style.  I’m in the second unit in, so I do have shared walls on 2 sides.

2. What is your home’s coolest feature? Aside from the Hollywood Glam bathroom (which is awesome, but mostly due to my decorating) – my favorite feature about the place is the spiral staircase to the second floor.  I always have wanted to have a spiral staircase, since I was a little kid.

3. Do you enjoy DIY projects? If so, what are you working on now? I do enjoy them.  I’m just lousy about the execution.  Our last home improvement project was adding lights under our kitchen cabinets.  We got a  kit from IKEA and it turned out pretty great!  I still want to try and make my own tile mosaic back splash behind my stove.   I just don’t have a lot of room, so I think I’d have to make it on a board and then mount it to the wall.

4. When using the dishwasher do you use powder detergent or liquid? I use those little pouch style guys from Finish.  I think I usually get Finish Quantum.  I’ve found it to be the best at cleaning and not leaving spots.

5. Do you have a TV in your bedroom? No.  I firmly believe in keeping TV out of the bedroom.  I hate having it on when I’m trying to sleep, and I believe the studies that show it’s harder to get to sleep if you’ve just watched television or been on the computer.  I like dedicating my bedroom to sleeping, reading, and of course, other activities.

6. Is your range gas or electric? Electric, but at least it’s the sealed glass top kind.  I miss gas stoves and I think it heats better, but there is no gas in my whole community, so what can you do?

7. How often do you sweep/mop/vacuum? Not nearly enough.

8. What is your favorite place to shop for home furniture and accents? I love IKEA, but World Market is also really awesome.  I love their stuff.  I do have a lit of a modern vibe to my decorating taste.  I’ve recently discovered Z Gallerie and I’m pretty much in awe of their stuff.

9. Do you decorate for holidays? Usually.  There was one year when it just didn’t happen.  I still want to get a real Christmas tree sometime, but I don’t want to bring in any more spiders.

10. If you could have HGTV come in and redo one room in your home which room would you choose? Probably the kitchen.  It’s small and has original cabinets, it’s the room we are working on slowly to upgrade.  We replaced the appliances already, but I’d love to have the cabinets refurbished, replaced or wrapped.  Also the big fluorescent light has GOT to go.  We want to remove all that and have can lights in the ceiling and hopefully remove the drop.

I got really crazy when it came to planning the layout for the office/guest room. I actually made a scale room with scale furniture footprints that I could move around. It all worked out though!


Getting REAL

I stepped on the scale today. I’m not someone who weighs myself all that regularly. I don’t let that number hold power over me. It’s just one of many metrics I can use to calculate how my health is getting better. But, pleasantly, I’m down 3 lb.

Not so coincidentally, my husband has been insisting we improve our dinners this week. He’s a Type 2 Diabetic, managing very well with diet, exercise and a little medication. So dinners were healthy and relatively low carb. (And a little boring.) On my own I’ve been managing to eat breakfast. That’s huge for me. Also, get some snacks in. I know that I need to eat more often, but I get so easily distracted. But it’s a missing piece of the puzzle.

It’s 30 days until my next 5K race! And I totally haven’t been run/walk training. But, it’s 30 days until my next 5K race! If you want to see my participant website, go here. You can even donate! The San Diego Komen Race for the Cure is kind of my barometer. This is my third one and I use it to gauge how I’m doing.

My team in last year’s Komen 5K.

I decided to try and calculate my goal time for completion and pace and DAYUM. I got to hustle! So, as fun as my yoga and other fitness excursions are, I’ve been neglecting time on the treadmill. I have 30 days to get this one nailed. And don’t think I won’t.

Swimming is love

Of all the wonderful events of 2012, one of the best has been finding my love of the water again. Our complex has a nice community pool and we started to take advantage of it in June. Once I got some swim suits that fit me, I’ve been chlorine laden and never looked back. My husband probably loves the hot tub more, but I love the pool. I love laps, I love floating around watching the stars. I even love skimming the bugs out.

Today was another scorcher in SoCal. (See! You can take the girl out of Maine, but she still has a wicked vocabulary!) A few friends and I decided to beat the heat in the pool. We bobbed around chatting for awhile, but after a sunning break, I did a few straight up free style, but I had some trouble with my breath out for some reason today. It took a lot of force to get it going. So, I ended up doing laps with the swim board. Nice and slow. I practiced my kick, my torso placement, alternated hands one of the board, one on the stroke, but I kept my face out of the water. It wasn’t ideal, but it gave me a lot of staying power. I ended up doing this for an hour. I felt accomplished but not body tired. I got a nice bit of golden brown on my skin that will have to last through the winter. (I don’t try to tan, it just happens and I absolutely will not go in a tanning bed/booth.) More importantly, my face freckles are out looking like mud spatter, just the way I like them – no joke.

Several hours later, my hamstrings have started to yell at me. I guess an hour of swim laps was a little much on the day before my training date. I’ll get my ass kicked one way or another tomorrow. I’ll hurt before or after, but probably both. And I love it.

FMM: Uniquely You

Here’s my answers to All The Weigh‘s Friend Making Monday. Head on over to her site and add your own!

1) Do you prefer to talk or text? Usually I would rather text. Talking is fine if there is any explaining to do or if we need to discuss something. Working in a call center made me HATE talking on the phone needlessly. A brief text exchange makes my blood pressure much better.

2) How often do you make your bed? Rarely, but that’s not my fault. My husband is an anti-bed maker and it’s a battle.

3) What sounds do you hear right now? Cars driving by on El Camino Real.

4) List three things that you always carry with you. My cell phone (iPhone now!), my Coach wristlet, a desire to kick ass.

5) What are your favorite TV shows? Vampire Diaries, How I Met Your Mother, and Revolution.

6) Is there a hobby that you’d like to devote more time to? If so, what is it? Photography/Lomography. I just don’t have the time and $$ to invest in developing the photos and I don’t have a negative scanner, so it’s hard to share the good ones.

7) What is your favorite drink? Lemondrop martini.

8) Share a couple of cool facts about your family. My Mom’s side of the family is descended from Leif Eriksen. My Dad’s great grandfather was a sea captain.

9) List one thing that you will do for yourself today. I’m going to swim and hang out with good friends by the pool.

10) Share something that you’re thankful for today. I’m thankful that my cat loves me, even though she likes to tell me so by waking me up in the middle of the night.