Monday, September 30, 2013

Twelve Weeks of Sweat For This?

Three months ago I got an e-mail that the university was offering an exercise program for faculty and staff that have a sedentary lifestyle.  It was one student's doctoral study to see what would happen if you take 100 or so people that do nothing and make them exercise like crazy three days a week.  My initial thought was, "how bad can this be?"  Famous last words...

I have a busy life, but none of it includes exercise and aside from grocery shopping and the never ending laundry, it has very little movement.  I figured I really had nothing to lose except a few pounds, and maybe my pants would finally fit.  The class started on July 17th, right after Ryan's birthday at Hibachi Japan. 

On the first day they had us do a ton of tests like how many curl ups and push ups you could do in a minute, skin fold measurements, balance tests, blood work, etc.  I was a bit disappointed and discouraged because I weighed more than I did when I gave birth to Colin. 

During our 12 weeks we met three times a week and exercised for about an hour.  On the first day I met two new friends and for some reason, they thought it would be a good idea to do kettle bell boot camp.  For 12 weeks I had bad thoughts toward our trainer, Oliver.  Oddly, he seemed to enjoy the fact that I was shooting him daggers from my eyes.  He liked it when we were on the verge of tears.  (Okay, that one might be a bit of an exaggeration as I never actually cried.)  He really did enjoy it when we came limping back day after day.  I kept trying to convince Jen and Lucy that Zumba and Yoga would be perfectly good alternatives.  They would laugh and go back for more punishment.  Like a sheep to the slaughter, I would follow them dragging my feet all the way.  As the weeks went by, I no longer felt like I wanted to vomit or curse Oliver to within an inch of his life. 

Every week we had to weigh in and get our blood pressure checked.  I watched my weight creep up and I was getting really mad.  I gave up my polar pop habit.  Who gives up 32 oz. of Coca Cola goodness every day and still gains weight?  I do.  Who gives us Lucky Charms and donuts in favor of fresh fruit and Frosted Mini Wheats and gains weight?  I do.  Who literally sweats their behind off and gains weight?  I do.  Overall, I gained close to five pounds.  There were a few times that I wanted to quit.  If I had been exercising on my own and Duane didn't need me for his dissertation, I would have totally bailed on this nonsense.  If Lucy and Jen weren't looking forward to seeing me and my smiling face as Oliver kicked our butts, I would have quit.  But I didn't.

Today we repeated the original tests.  I went from being able to do six (yes 6) push-ups in a minute to doing 30!  I know, right!?!  I lost fat on my arms, thighs and hips.  My balance improved by a ton.  My blood pressure was better, even though I take medication for that and hadn't eaten at Hibachi Japan, which is the equivalent of eating a salt lick.  I have to retake the blood tests on Wednesday, but I am sure they are better than they were. 

My pants still don't fit all that well, but heck yeah, I will take it.  Maybe we can concentrate more on my abs in the next 12 weeks.  Looks like Oliver is going to have an opportunity to have more fun at my expense.  He better watch out because Lucy, Jen and I are coming back for more. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For...

For the last six years I have been wishing that my boys would start to get along.  I dreamed of the day that they would play together in harmony and our house would be filled with the sound of joy, love and happiness. 

I think I have come to the conclusion that boys bond in a different way than girls do.  I grew up with three sisters, and I can safely say, with the exception of one time with Mary Beth in the driveway, I have lived 42 years without hitting, wrestling or tackling any of them.  Of course we fought.  It was not all rainbows and unicorns in our house, but we used our words. 

I finally figured out that over the last 12 months, when my boys are sword fighting, hitting, kicking or doing anything short of pulling hair, that is their way of showing affection.  It is currently impossible for them to be within reach of each other without one instigating a scuffle.  I finally get the phrase "no blood, no foul".  It goes against my every instinct to let this happen.  All I want to do is put them in separate corners of the house and go about my business knowing that they are safe from each other, but I also stepped back and listened.  They are laughing.  They are teasing each other, and there is genuine interaction that is different from when Ryan was younger and he was just bugging Colin. 

It would seam that the my boy's language is different from what I had with my sisters.   The sounds of joy, love and happiness are different, but they are here, and I should just be happy.  It is taking some time for me to get used to it, but I am getting there. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I know it has been a few months since I updated.  There are a few reasons for this which I will detail below:

  • We went on vacation.  It was not the best vacation I have ever been on, but I am sure there have been worse.  Dave's 100 year old grandmother passed away in March and we went to Vermont for her memorial service and then a family reunion.  For the last 30 or so years she lived in Florida, so I was somewhat surprised at the turnout she got.  She would have been very happy.  We then went to Boston so Dave, Colin and his dad could add one more park to their quest to visit all the Major League Ballparks.  I am amazed and just how nice the people of Boston are.  We had one woman help us who had just had her eyes dilated.  It was a really long drive and the bigger the kids are, the smaller hotel rooms get.  I don't think I am in a hurry to go back to the great state of Vermont. 
  • Colin and Ryan were both on the swim team this year.  When I signed them up I forgot how time consuming this can be.  Laura was in town for ten days and we had 4 home meets in that time.  It was cold and rainy for the whole summer and I was helping in the concession stand.  I have come to my senses and the kids are not swimming next year.  Ryan was also on his baseball team.  If you read my previous post, we all know how that turned out. 
  • Now that I have a full time job out of the house, my time for extracurricular creativity is greatly diminished.  It is now filled with less creative things like cooking and laundry.  Good Lord, does the laundry ever stop? 
  • In my new job I get to write copy that goes on the radio.  One of the objects is to keep it short and sweet.  I have had to change my whole mindset to completely opposite of what I do here.  It is hard to change gears. 
  • I have been reading some amazing blogs lately that have passages that make me weep because of the beauty.  I can not compete and it takes away my will to write.  Thanks Emily.  This is all your fault, even though I haven't seen you since you were ten.  Honestly, besides my two boys, she has two of the cutest kids ever and her writing is fantastic.  She goes on spectacular trips like her recent one to Iceland (I know, who does that?) and loves great food.  It would never occur to me to want to go to Iceland, but now I do.  I wish I could love food.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a good strawberry pie here and there, but I wish I could be more adventurous in my dining choices. 
Anyway, other things that I have been doing include and exercise program that is causing me to gain weight, (what is up with that?), and quite a few projects for work.   The kids are back in school which is time consuming, and I am already missing the hot days of summer. 

I will make no promises, but I will try to do a better job of posting.  I am always open to reminders and encouragement, so don't be shy.  I have to run.  Ryan has a small injury and there is a need for a band aid.