Living healthy as a busy Mom with two little boys

I think I can…… September 20, 2012

Filed under: Running — fitformyprinces @ 10:23 pm

I’m currently running my way through Couch to 5K for the 4th time.  Some people may think that the program doesn’t work since I’ve had to do it so many times.  However, I like to think that I keep coming back to it because it does such a great job.  See I have very specific (and mostly good) reasons why I’ve had to do it so many times.

I first did C25K in January 2007 when I first became interested in running.  I completed the program the first part of March and ran a 5K without stopping.  And after that I didn’t stop either.  I ran a 10K in May 2007, a half marathon in September 2007 and a full marathon to celebrate my 30th Birthday in December 2007.

Then I got pregnant with my oldest child and stopped running.

I started C25K for the second time in the summer of 2010 after my oldest child was about 18 months old and I had found determination to get fit again and lose the baby weight for good.

Then in August of that year, I broke my foot and couldn’t run.  While I was still on crutches, I got pregnant with my youngest child.

I started (and completed) C25K again in July 2011 after my youngest son was born and completed the program prior to returning to work last October.

Then, unfortunately, I lost all desire to maintain any sort of healthy lifestyle and running went out the window.

And that brings me to today.  I started C25K again 5 weeks ago and have been faithfully completing my runs (with kids in the double jogging stroller and our faithful German Shepherd at my side) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.

Just two days ago I completed Week 5, Day 2 (W5D2) of the program even though I was on vacation with the boys in Washington DC.

So what has me thinking I can (or can’t)?  Well tomorrow morning I’m doing the (dreaded) W5D3 run.  Anyone who has gone through this program knows what I’m talking about.  It’s the 20 minute with no stopping run.  The run that prior to it leaves you full our doubt.  When you start the program you start with a 1 minute run followed by a 90 second walk.  Then you build up to a 90 second run, then a 3 minute run, followed by a 5 minute and later an 8 minute run.  So as you can see, the buildup is gradual over the first 5 weeks.  My last run (W5D2) was an 8 minute run, 5 minute walk, and 8 minute run.

Then …. bam-o ….. go run 20 minutes without stopping.  Are they crazy?

Well, no, they’re not crazy.  I know in my head it works.  After all, I have done it before.  And I’ve done it with worse physical conditioning than I have now.  So I know that I ‘can’ do it.  However, that inner voice is still leaving me to doubt myself this evening.

So no matter what happens tomorrow morning, one thing will be certain.  I will definitely give it my all.  And in doing so, I’m mostly certain that I will succeed in completing the run, uninterrupted.


Biggest Loser Calorie Knockout September 5, 2012

Filed under: Biggest Loser DVD — fitformyprinces @ 4:47 pm

Biggest Loser puts out a couple of workout DVDs a year or so.  At least that is how it seems.  I personally own at least a half-dozen of the DVDs they’ve put out but hadn’t done this workout at all yet.  So, I decided to give it a try.   The DVD features contestants from Season 12 of the Biggest Loser.  That was the season where they split the contestants up by age and had Bob Harper, Dolvett Quince, and Anna Kournikova as trainers.  This contestants featured are Vinnie, Ramon, Rebecca, Sunny, John, and Antone.  This DVD has a warm up and cool down, plus three circuits that you can do individually, all together, or in any combination you choose.  I personally split this up into two separate days since the first day I was looking for a very quick workout as I had already done a morning workout that day.  Then this afternoon I did the other two circuits back to back.

Circuit 1 – Anna Kournikova is the trainer and she alternates between one minute of strength and one minute of cardio.  I thought the moves themselves were ok, and it got my heart rate up to the fat burning zone, but the whole circuit just seemed a little awkward.  It seemed as though her audio was dubbed over the top of the workout and just didn’t seem to flow well.  Additionally, while the back of the DVD says all three of the circuits are 15 minutes each, the counter on my player said this was only 11 minutes long.  However, for someone starting out, this will definitely get your blood pumping and you’ll burn calories doing it.  For me, just finishing up level 3 of 30 day shred, I just didn’t find it to be as challenging as my body wanted.

Circuit 2 – This is Bob’s circuit and he throws everything at you.  Strength moves, plyometrics, isometric stretching, and some yoga.  My body was S.O.R.E after his 15 minutes.  This circuit is no joke and was definitely a great workout.

Circuit 3 – Dolvett runs this circuit and he does so tabata style.  What is tabata?  Basically it’s intervals of high intensity followed by active rest.  It is somewhat similar to the Firm Express system that I completed in July but slightly different.  Dolvett shows you three options for a move that you do high intensity for 20 seconds and follow that with a 10 minute rest.  I spent the rest time kicking out my legs loosely so that I was still moving around.  You repeat this 8 times per move for a total of 4 minutes each move.   I really liked that there were three different modification options for each move as it left a little something for everyone.

I would definitely do this DVD again, but I’ll probably skip Circuit 1.  Anna was just too annoying for me and I didn’t feel based on my own fitness level that it was an efficient enough use of my workout time.  Circuit 2 and 3 were great though and I think they’d work best in tandem.  Circuit 3 I felt gave me a better cardio workout whereas my muscles were definitely fatigued doing circuit 2.  Combined with the warmup and cooldown those two circuits would take a total of 40 minutes, which I can definitely fit in most days.


Goodnight my angels …. August 30, 2012

Filed under: General musings — fitformyprinces @ 10:20 pm

I know that this is a healthy lifestyle blog, but this post will deviate from that theme.  But, I feel it’s something I need to write.

Back in May we were so very excited to hear that my brother-in-law and his wife were going to have a baby.  Actually two babies….identical twins.  Any birth is something to celebrate, however, these babies would be the only souls on earth to call me Aunt and my boys’ Cousin.  I was even more excited because this was right before I was to move up here with the boys so we would be here when they were born in December.  We’d be here to watch her belly grow, be here to throw a baby shower, and be here right after the birth so I could breathe in all their newborn deliciousness.

I was even more excited about a month ago when they found out that the babies were going to be boys.  Awesome …. two more little boys in the family.  I imagined the family get-togethers with four little boys running around playing.

Everyday, I fell more in love with them and I was so excited to meet my nephews.

Well, as I’m sure you can already guess, we heard this morning that those sweet boys didn’t make it.  We are all heartbroken over it.  None more than my brother-in-law and his wife.  I cannot even fathom the pain they are feeling.  Especially her.  There is just something about being a Mommy and seeing ultrasounds of the life growing inside of you, and ultimately feeling them move around.  You can’t help but fall in love with them.  They are a part of you.  And now, because she was too far along for a DNC, she has to have labor induced so that she can ‘birth’ the two dead babies.  I’ve done it twice, labor is no fun.  But you go through it, because you get the sweet reward of your baby at the end.

I haven’t even really been able to properly cry for these little guys yet, because I’ve been trying to stay strong for my in-laws who are completely devastated by the news.  I have listened to a few songs that help me keep some perspective when bad things happen.  Music has always been very therapeutic for me.

Just know little ones, that your whole family misses you and loves you and I’ll still hold you one day.  It will just be in Heaven instead of here on Earth.  Rest in peace sweet angels.   I know I’m not alone in saying that, I love you, and I will not forget you.


30 Day Shred August 29, 2012

Filed under: Jillian Michaels — fitformyprinces @ 4:05 pm

I bought the 30 Day Shred workout DVD way back in the summer of 2010.  And it sat on my shelf.  It sat through me being sidelined with a broken foot from August through October 2010.  Then it sat for 9 months until June 2011 while I was pregnant with my youngest child.  It sat again while I completed the 60 Day Slimdown last summer and while I started Firm Express and then ultimately stopped all exercising and eating right.

When I finished up Firm Express last month I knew I wanted to do this program since I had heard such good things out of it.  I knew it was hard, because people who I know to be in good shape told me it was killer.  Plus I’ve done some of Jillian’s other workouts before and they are b.r.u.t.a.l.  In fact, that broken foot I spoke of….. yep, happened during a Jillian workout.

But broken bones aside, I knew I wanted to do it.

So what is it?  A simple google search told me that the program lasts for 30 days (well duh) and you do each level on the DVD for 10 days.  So Level 1 on days 1 through 10, level 2 on days 11-20, and level 3 on days 21-30.  Each level has 3 circuits.  Each circuit starts with 3 minutes of strength (2 separate moves), 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  On the program you do need a mat if you are working out on hard floors and you will need a set of handweights.  I used 3 pound weights for almost all days of the program, but a few times I did bump up to 5 pound weights.

And as you couldn’t tell already, since you do each level for 10 days and the program is 30 days long it means that for 30 days you will exercise every single day.  That was surprising to me, since I had always heard that you need to let your muscles rest 48 hours between strength training.  But, I decided for one month I’d set aside conventional wisdom, listen to my body, and modify if I felt I needed to.

Now it did end up taking me 32 days to complete the 30 Day Shred.  Since I live with my in-laws I am limited as to when I can exercise in the living room.  Unless my mother-in-law has an afternoon appointment, I have to wait until after she goes to bed in the evenings.  But I can’t wait too long or my father-in-law will need to have the living room for his own resting purposes.  So basically I have a window between 8pm and 10pm from which to get both kids to bed and workout.  Usually this works fine.  I get the boys asleep by 9 or so and then workout.  But on the evening that should have been Day 23, my youngest son just would not go to sleep.  Well, let me rephrase, he’d go to sleep, but the moment I went to actually place him in bed, he’d wake up and start screaming.  So, Mommy duty prevailed and I ended up delaying Day 23 for 24 hours.  I also ended up delaying Day 28 for 24 hours since my husband was in town for the first time in 2 weeks so I decided a day to spend 100% with family was in order.

So enough talk, here are my stats.

Measurement                Start          End            Change
Weight                           201.2         186.3          -14.9 pounds
Arm                               14″              13.5″           -1/2 inch
Chest                             35.5″         34″              -1 1/2 inches
Waist                             44.5″         42″              -2 1/2 inches
1″ below belly button    50″           46 1/2         -3 1/2 inches
Thigh                             25.75″       26″             +1/4 inch (more muscle?)
Calf                                17.5″          16.75″          -3/4 inch

So I lost nearly 15 pounds and 8 inches total.  And I’ll just say that I earned each and every one.  30 Day Shred is literally a butt kicker.  Every time I started a new level I was physically spent at the end of it.  But it was also nice to see the fitness gains I made during each level, because by the time the 10 days were up, I knew I was still working out hard, but I wasn’t to the point where I was necessarily going to collapse.

These workouts are definitely challenging and I would caution anyone who is a beginner to exercise in any way to wait until they have a little higher level of fitness before undertaking this challenge.  Especially Level 3 which incorporates a lot of plyometrics.  If you have joint issues at all I’d either modify modify modify, or wait to do this workout until you have some better joint health.  I personally, wouldn’t want anyone injured, and if you have concerns at all about this workout, definitely discuss it with your physician first.

The biggest positives I see to this workout DVD is the fact that the workouts are short.  They say each one is only 20 minutes, but my DVD timer was more like 25 or so once the warm-up and cool down are added.  They will definitely get you a great workout and allow you to get back to your busy lives.  I also like how she structures the circuits.  The 3-2-1 system gives your body time to rest the muscles from working hard during strength while you do cardio, and when you’re breathing hard after pushing yourself while doing the cardio, you get a minute of ab work (most of the time involving some sort of floor work).

I didn’t personally see a lot of negatives.  I suppose if you’re a stickler for doing all the exercises at the same speed as the people on the screen and not modifying them at all then you could easily get injured using these DVDs.  In fact a lot of the one star reviews on were from people who got badly injured.  I personally noticed some knee pain after the first day of doing Level 2, but I kept at it (just lowered the intensity and modified on key moves) and it went away.  I finished sans injury.

The only other things that bugged me were the intro the DVD.  It was 2 minutes of Jillian introducing the system, which is great on day 1.  But after that I really didn’t need to spend 2 minutes watching the.same.darn.thing.  And the last negative that I see was just the boredom factor.  By the time I got to day 7,8,9, and 10 I’d been doing the same workout every day for a week or more.  I knew what was coming next and wanted something new.  But overall I’d say that is a very minor complaint because if you follow this system, after 10 days you move on anyway.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the results and would recommend this DVD to someone wanting to kick it up a notch.

Thanks Jillian for a hard fought 15 pounds.

Next up ….. honestly, I’m not sure.  I know that Lindsay Brin has a new series coming out this Fall called Pretty Fierce.  I definitely want to do that since I loved her 60 day slimdown.  I’ll probably just keep a good mix of workout DVDs mixed in with Couch to 5K while I wait for that to come out and then start that program.


Tight spaces August 28, 2012

Filed under: Non-Scale Victories — fitformyprinces @ 1:48 pm

When my oldest son turned one we bought him this play house.  It remained a favorite toy of his until probably the last 6 months or so (right around when he turned 3, which is the upper limit of the manufacturer recommendation).  Now his 14 month old brother loves to play with it.  In the approximately 2 1/2 years that we have had this toy, I have never been able to squeeze myself through the door opening.  I decided to give it a try today and …… I made it.  I didn’t even have to suck anything in.  Now granted, I more or less slithered through on my tummy, but anyone in an adult sized body would have to do that since it is meant for 1-3 year olds.

I just love that I can fully play with my kids now, not just chase them around, but through, the play house too.  And that is better than any number on a scale.



Blessings August 27, 2012

Filed under: General musings — fitformyprinces @ 2:35 pm

Sorry I have been neglecting this blog.  I swear I’m busier now that I’m staying at home than I was working full time.  Somedays it would be nice to add a few hours to the day, however, since I’d have to spend those extra hours chasing the kids around I still wouldn’t get anything extra done.  : )

I’ve also been having some woe is me time lately.  I’ve been struggling with feeling underappreciated, only getting to see my husband a couple weekends a month, and just the general financial problems with trying to sell a house in this economy.  Even though I’m generally a positive person, it’s been hard not to feel negative about all these situations.  But then I hear of things that family, friends, or random strangers are going through and it really brings me back around to how blessed I really am.

1. I have two healthy handsome little boys.  Really there is no greater blessing than this as far as I’m concerned.  I know many people who have struggled with infertility, some who have had pregnancy losses (multiple losses in some cases), and some who are currently having issues with their pregnancies that could result in losses (one is twins).  The fact that I’ve been able to conceive my two children without problem, having very easy pregnancies, and have two completely healthy children is miraculous to me.  I thank God each and every day for the gift of them in my life.

2. My husband (for the most part) is healthy.  I can’t say he is 100% healthy because he has had some health stuff going on, but nothing that is life threatening in any way.  I can’t say that for everyone I know.  A girl I went to high school with lost her husband earlier this year.  I hear stories on the news all the time of husbands or wives who lose a spouse.

3. My parents (again for the most part) are healthy.  I’m nearly 35 years old and not ready yet to say goodbye so I’m very fortunate that they are presently healthy.  I have to say for the most part because my Dad did have a heart attack in 1996 when he was 48 years old, but since then he has incorporated a healthy lifestyle and is going strong.  Mom was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago or so but lost about 50 pounds and has completely reversed it.  I’d say compared to some people I know at their age (yes Mom and Dad, I’m outing you as both turning 65 this year), I’d say they’re healthy.  Having them alive and well is a huge blessing because they’re not only my parents, but my friends as well.  I cherish their advice and l love seeing them play with my kids.

4. My in-laws are still around.  Since my mother-in-law is still suffering so much after her stroke I can’t say that they are healthy, but considering we weren’t sure she was going to make it in July 2011 when she had the stroke it’s just a blessing that they are still here.

5. I am healthy.  Now I go to get a physical done on this Friday so who knows, I could get told I have some horrible disease then, but as of today I feel completely healthy.  It’s a blessing to have good enough health to spend time with my kids, to play hard with them, and to be able to go out and live life.  That same girl I went to high school with who lost her husband earlier in the year, is currently fighting for her life after being diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks after her husband unexpectedly passed away.

6. I have a roof over my head and food in my pantry.  I don’t have to fear that my children will go hungry or be unsafe.  This sadly isn’t the case for thousands (probably millions) of untold people around the world.

And there are many many many more things for which I have been Blessed but those are the most important and most relevant to a blog about healthy living.  When I reflect back on those things for which I have been Blessed, it definitely makes it easier to deal with those things that had been getting me down.  In other words, I would gladly feel underappreciated every single day if it meant that all my loved ones were healthy.  I’d take financial hardship anyday and have my family intact.

I think more people should focus more on what they have, rather than what they don’t have.  The world would definitely be a nicer place if that happened.

What is your greatest Blessing today?


Dead Last Finish August 10, 2012

Filed under: General musings — fitformyprinces @ 11:28 pm

I just finished watching the women’s 1500M final race that aired on tonight’s Olympic coverage. Just as the last lap of the race started, one of the American runners (Morgan Uceny) tripped and fell down. She then proceeded to kneel on the track while bawling and punching the track. While it was heartbreaking to watch her dreams be crushed, I couldn’t help but be extremely disappointed and appalled at her behavior. Yes her dream of medaling was over and that can be devastating to many people, but instead of having a temper tantrum on the track, it would have shown good sportsmanship and maturity if she had instead gotten up and attempted to even finish her race. She completely missed out on an opportunity to inspire people. A dead last finish is so much better than a did not finish. What a shame and a waste. The good as I see it, is that my 3 year old was watching it with me and I was able to tell him that if he ever falls down while competing, that it’s important for him to get up and finish.

I’ve been a dead last finisher before. I ran cross country in 7th grade and in my first meet I finished dead last. In fact the next person ahead of me finished several minutes ahead of me. It was tremendously embarrassing to me personally, however, at the end of the year my teammates voted me team captain, basically because they said I gave it my all and that was inspiring. Sometimes the most inspiring performances are not those by the winners, but by those who won’t give up.