Body Back #13 Healthy Weight Loss- February 26, 2015

NEDAwareness_2015_Shareable_Athletes

As I work out and continue to lose weight during my Body Back journey I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the issue of healthful weight loss and eating disorders. I can think of no better week than now. It is National Eating Disorders Awareness week. As someone with great awareness of eating disorders, I like to pass on the message of good health this week each year. Many years ago as a high school student and aspiring ballerina, my dieting got out of control and my battle with anorexia began. Fortunately, I was 15 and my parents made sure I got excellent treatment. I have been in remission for a very long time and as I’ve said previously, an eating disorder is no longer part of my life. I have healthfully gained and lost weight over the years and now have a healthy relationship with food.

I feel so fortunate to have gone through that battle when I was very young. It made me a savvy and critical media consumer with so many extreme beauty messages out there. As a teenager I became very aware of my mental health and that has served me very well in adulthood.

When I was at an in-patient treatment center the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school I met many women much older than me who had been sick for decades. After hearing their stories, I knew that was not a path I wanted for my life and I worked very hard to take steps to beat anorexia.

So many of the women I met were mothers. Many were “fitness enthusiasts.” Their dieting and exercise was out-of-control. They were suffering as their behavior became compulsive and obsessive. They were sick. Any time a family member battles a mental illness, the family does too. The children suffered as their mothers suffered. When I had children, I wanted to make sure that I was a great example of health and good body image.

The 2015 NEDA Eating Disorders Awareness week theme is “I Had No Idea.” It’s about early intervention. Here is a free, anonymous online screening that may help someone.

Like I said when I started this, I took the “I love my body, I don’t care, let’s eat a cupcake!” thing a tad too far and was eating a bit too much junk and being too sedentary. That’s not a good example either. So, I looked for a good program. Before I ever started classes with Fit4Mom and before I started a program like Body Back, I made sure to look into the ideals of the program. While Body Back does encourage weight loss and features high intensity workouts, it DOES NOT promote extreme dieting or unsafe exercise.

I’m raising a daughter and a son. Most often eating disorders effect women. I NEVER want my daughter to suffer as I did. I will always be forthcoming with her about my battle, food and exercise. (Age permitting of course. She’s 4.) If you think because you’re just raising sons that you don’t have to worry about this, you couldn’t be more wrong. The National Eating Disorders Association reports this year that “10 million men and boys will battle some form of the illness at some point in their lifetime and, due in large part to stereotypes and cultural bias, males are much less likely to seek treatment for their eating disorder.” I believe it. The battle to make the team or the demand for athletic scholarships could push a kid into unhealthy behaviors, boys included. I feel it’s just as important to discuss healthy eating and body image with my son as well.

There are mothers out there who become consumed with “losing the baby weight” and their pursuit of fitness becomes dangerous. If you have a friend who you think is suffering, learn about how to reach out to her. Know that eating disorders are a mental illness and need to be treated as illnesses. Read more on how to help someone you love.

Someone asked me yesterday if losing the approximate 15 lbs. I have lost put me at my “ideal weight.” I don’t have an “ideal weight.” Body Back is just helping me have the fit body I need to be the best mom I can. For me, it’s all about balance. I killed it with good workouts this week because I wanted to and it felt good, not to be thinner. I enjoyed a snow day brownie with my kids too because I refuse to deprive myself to the point of misery or diet to obsession. Never again. Balance. Fit4Mom and Body Back encourages a community of healthy moms. I’m proud to be a part of that. I hope this helps someone.

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Yes Day- February 24, 2015

snow day yes day collage

We’re ending another snow day. Another day gone with no preschool, no playgroups, no workouts and a shortened workday. No amount of hot chocolate, movies or sledding could save our sanity by 5:00 pm.  I tapped on my husbands headphones as he diligently filled out spreadsheets at his laptop. He came home early to work from home as the threat of even more treacherous roads loomed. I said, “We’re going out to eat with the neighbors.” He looked up at me and down at the kids and said, “Yes.”

I’ve seen all of you excelling mothers out there with your homemade snow cream, handmade crafts and smocked little painters at easels happily painting the cold day away. Well done. Be sure to tell your troop leader you earned your Pinterest badge.

Don’t mind me. I bitterly say that out of jealousy and shame.

I’m ashamed that I was damn near losing it by the end of today. Don’t get me wrong, now that I’m not working, I love snow days with my kids! I get to enjoy some fun without constantly checking my laptop or phone. I don’t have to wait for “the email” from the boss about whether the office is open, sealing the day’s fate. I don’t have to wonder what ungodly hour I’d be freezing my tail off to tell television viewers to stay off the roads as I ventured out on them. (Yes, I was a news reporter in what sometimes feels like a past life.) 

But practically an entire week of snow days? That’s different. I felt shame that I was seriously sick of my children when evening came. The whining. The tantrums. The crying. Chasing one while peeling the other off of me was exhausting. My daughter looked at me about this time and said, “Can play with the iPad again.” I stopped and looked at her and said, “Yes.”

She looked surprised. That’s when it hit me. Sometimes you just have to make it a “Yes Day. ”

“Mommy can I watch another movie?”

Yes

“Can I have another cookie?”

Yes

“Will you open this for me?”

Yes

An entire bag of blocks gets dumped in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Yes, that happened. I’m letting it happen.

“Can we eat pizza for lunch?”

Yes

I watch as he feeds the dog cheese from his highchair.

Yep. I just let it happen.

I didn’t make it enough of a “Yes Day. ” I didn’t pick my battles. I let it get to me. Of course Yes Days can’t happen every day. I would raise spoiled little assholes that would still be demanding I open applesauce pouches for them after college. But, sometimes? On some snow days? For my sanity? Yes. It’s okay to have a Yes Day. It’s even okay to toast to Yes Days with a drink. Cheers to spring being a few weeks away.

drinking beer on a snow day

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Body Back #12, Life Happens- February 22, 2015

My neck and arms are sore. Not from lifting weights, but from gripping the toilet as I puked.

I had to take a shower to wash off the sweat. Not from working out, but from my fever breaking.

I most definitely lost weight this week, but not the way I would like to.

My blog has been sad and lonely this week. All the crazy started Monday night with the ice and snow. Tuesday was a blast with the kids in the snow. Wednesday we tried to have a blast again. That’s when I got a blast alright. Charlotte and I were sledding with the neighbors. It was me versus a tree and the tree won.

Ice on my back after sledding. Ooph! That tree hurt, ya'll!

Ice on my back after sledding. Ooph! That tree hurt, ya’ll!

She wanted to go down the hill and I obliged by going down the icy hill first to make sure it was “safe.” I was able to stop myself with my feet. I went back up the hill, foolishly said it was “totally fine” and put 30 lbs of 4-year-old on the sled with me. That weight was all it took. I couldn’t stop us with my feet this time. My back into the tree stopped us. All the breath was knocked out of my lungs. I knew I was hurt. Ice and prescription Ibuprofen from labor and delivery were my friend for the next few days. The snow delayed our usual Wednesday Body Back workout until Friday. I took it easy with a modified workout. Things were okay. Not too shabby. Stiff and sore, but okay.

Then Friday night came. I went to go see a friend’s new baby and life was good. Right before I went to bed I mentioned to Greyson, “Ugh. My stomach is a little off.” I didn’t think anything of it until 3:00 am. I won’t give you the details. You can imagine what was going on. It wasn’t pretty. Saturday evening I went to urgent care after many hours of not being able to hold anything down, including water. I was diagnosed with a stomach virus. The doctor took a look at my back and gave me some tips for healing my bruises and pulled muscles as well.

I have been so focused and in the zone during Body Back. I have diligently logged all my food, been to every class and done every supplement workout. There is an intensity to this eight weeks that is hard to explain. It’s a commitment. You’re in it to see results and when you’re not in it 100%, it’s frustrating.

But life happens, even during Body Back. Snow/Ice storms, sledding accidents and stomach bugs happen. I just have to remind myself to not let it get to me. If it slows me down this week, then just do all I can the next week. I’m sad I’ll miss class tomorrow, but I’ll bring it the rest of the time. For now I’m taking my medicine and hitting the sack with my heating pad. See you soon when life is a little better.

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Body Back #11- Sugar Detox

Body Back Sugar Detox collage

I’m sitting here drinking something I think I invented, but have not Googled it to see if I actually invented it. I call it “Honey Milk.” It’s really what it sounds like. We’ve had two snow days here and everyone was all like, “Hot chocolate!!! Snow day!!!” Then I was all like, “Wait! I can’t! Our Body Back challenge for three days is no sugar!”

Our instructor Christie has challenged us to eliminate processed sugar. We can have natural sugar like honey and maple syrup. Sugar, fructose, dextrose and a bunch of other sugars disguised with fancy names are out. I really wanted my warm, sweet, snow day beverage fix. Here’s what I came up with:

Almond Honey Milk:

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1 tbsp. honey

Sprinkle of cinnamon to taste

Heat milk in a saucepan or microwave. Stir in honey. Add cinnamon. 

After I drank this I realized the almond milk was sweetened. Womp womp! So much for my quest to avoid sugar. I will make sure to buy the unsweetened almond milk. I’m pretty sure Trader Joe’s has unsweetened vanilla. You can also add vanilla extract.

We don’t have sugar cereals around here. Actually, we don’t eat much cereal. Which is insane, because that’s all I used to eat. Charlotte saw some “Frozen” cereal in the store. No. Everything the child has is embossed with  a goofy snowman or “so-close-yet-so-far” sisters. I can’t buy her “Frozen” cereal that is really just Lucky Charms. No way. I also try to keep the candy to a minimum and we keep desserts to once or twice a week. But, hidden sugar is EVERYWHERE! It creeps in everything we eat. Bread, peanut butter, ketchup, oatmeal etc.

Oh! Another fail in the sugar ban: salad dressing. My favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette from Trader Joe’s also has sugar. That’s why it’s so delicious.

salad dressing collage

This has made me realize how extreme my sugar addiction is. For real, I could eat dessert after lunch and dinner. I could drown a waffle in syrup every morning. Gah! Waffles! I have not had a single delicious, sugary latte since Body Back began six weeks ago. I’m not craving them anymore. I think if I keep reducing my sugar, I won’t feel that craving as much. Honey and fruit as natural sweeteners have been the way to go for me and quite literally kept me afloat.

Have you done a sugar detox? Did you eliminate everything? Even honey? My girl Erin did a sugar detox recently as well. Let me  know what is working/worked for you! 

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Body Back #10 Workout Love- February 15, 2015

It was Valentine’s Day this weekend. So, naturally this happened:

valentines workout

No! It’s not what you think you perverts! Plus, he’s not that lucky to have me take pictures of it. This is me doing wheelbarrow push-ups while he is in a wall sit. Our Body Back instructor Christie gave us a Valentines workout to do with our lovers. Ugh! “Lovers.” I hate that word. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon “That word bums me out unless it’s between the words “meat” and “pizza.”

Okay, she gave us a workout to do with our husbands. We had to do each exercise 14 times. (Get it? Feb. 14th?) Then repeat the whole series again.

Valentine’s Partner Work-Out

1. Wall Sit/Tri-Dips

–One person is doing a Wall Sit while the other person is doing a Tricep-Dips on their knees. — SWITCH POSITIONS

2. Plank High Fives

–Both are in plank while doing high fives. Both right hands clap then left.  –SWITCH POSITIONS

3. Wheelbarrow Push Up/Wall Sit Squat

–One partner is in a wall sit while holding other partners legs so they are in a plank. As the plank partner does a push up, the wall sit partner squats down slightly.–SWITCH POSITIONS

4. Dynamic Lunge

–Stand arm distance away holding each other’s hands. One partner lunges forward with right leg as other partner lunges backward with left leg. Reverse motion so right leg partner lunges back and other lunges forward with left leg.  –SWITCH LEGS

5. Back To Back Partner Sit-ups

–Sit on the floor back to back. Hold arms together. Stand up slowly while straightening legs and pushing against each other’s backs. Then slowly sit back down. 

6. Core Partner Leg Toss

–One partner stands up with feet hip width apart. Other partner lays on the floor with head near partners feet. Hold onto their ankles put legs up in the air. Standing up partner pushes legs down while laying down partner tries not to let legs hit the ground. Then bring legs up slowly. –SWITCH POSITIONS

Naturally my husband wanted to get frisky as we got sweaty. I told him there was to be no funny business until the workout was done. He had trouble with this rule. I mean, can you blame him? These buns are getting tight!

Yet another reason to do Body Back, ladies. Who needs Fifty Shades of Grey?

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