Since last June when the Y was opened locally, I had to re-do my fitness routine. There were plenty of other wrenches in that machine too: summer is always crazy, kids needing different things, new school schedules, clients that I need to take care of etc. I think I have found a decent balance and, at least right now, I’ve got a pretty good handle on things.
For my record to look back on, and, if you would like to know what a stay at home mom/freelancer does to not devolve into a pile of fat here are some notes/thoughts
- FitBit. I have worn it for a year (and gone through 3, but, they replaced under warranty so I’m not too mad). I like the tracker, it tells me many cool stats even if it won’t acknowledge some workout classes as ‘workouts’ but the added interaction with a few friends in groups, and, challenges to myself to meet the goals has helped. I average over 50k steps a week these days
- Kids. So kids at home definitely HELP my step count because I’m going going going. With 3 in school 3 days a week I notice the days I need to motivate myself to not just sit at the computer. Warning to office workers! you probably don’t move around enough. I know if I do a sit and work day I hardly get 2k steps and that is mostly before and after work time doing stuff with the kids.
- Classes. In Shoreview I didn’t do classes because I didn’t want to rush to get there on time, they were an extra fee, and, they didn’t assure child care so I just contented myself with ‘doing my own thing’ and that was a good start. I got confidence on heavy squats and on the machines etc. BUT classes are way better. They push me to work longer, harder and different. When the Y opened and included classes (although the price of the Y reflects that!) I wanted to make sure I got my money worth and actually went to a class a week. I’m up to 2 regular classes and I try to get in a 3rd.
- ‘Date’ night. At Shoreview, Lars seldom went with me and usually only went with the kids swimming. He could also use more exercise in his life so we started picking a class *together* one night a week. Finding something we both like and can do/is challenged by is not easy but right now we are doing an ab class on Thursday nights. It is something we do together and working out with another person always makes it better (and you are less likely to blow it off). Lars also found another evening class he likes and I plan on joining it too once swim lessons are over because the timing just won’t work right now.
- Swim lessons. Speaking of those lessons, I still say that Lars teaching the girls was way better but Fiona needed a jump start and Niamh and Zoe needed some refining so we sprung for lessons this season. The hidden benefit is that 2x a week I am at the Y for an extra time and I can use that time well by working out. I do want to watch them learn so my options are more limited, but, I’ve found that there is a spin bike right at the window so I get a great view of classes and earn a few thousand steps.
- Older kids. I’ve had an elliptical for at least 10 years now and some years it is more like a towel rack but in the past 2, I’ve gotten good at setting them up for dinner, or, after dinner with a show and getting a solid 45min on days I don’t get to the gym. I like that I can leave them for a bit and I don’t (usually) have constant interruptions.
I think the key for me is accountability. Between the Fitbit and the company in classes, I do better. Classes push me to go longer too. The only real negatives right now are things I’m not sure how to solve; I have sold many hours a week to work, I also feel I need to clean since I’m home and between the two sometimes the workout gets skipped. I know that I’m the only one that cares if the house is clean but that is just something I can’t ever win on because I feel guilty for not doing the thing I’m not doing…
After all this I don’t think I’ve lost a pound, but, I do feel fitter and I am certainly stronger. No troubles carrying even my biggest girl. I think I’m also setting a decent example because I’ve heard all three parrot that we need to work out to be healthy and live a long time.
More than 3 things this week. Its been a mostly good week (glue eating aside)
#1 they say if you have your health… Well, I’m healthy and getting a bit more muscle. It’s a slow thing since I’m really doing more overall muscle things and squats (but I’m not putting my posterior on the internet) This shows my 6-month change
2. This is a project that took some thinking – I take cool pictures every year of the costumes that I work hard on but then they just live in my computer. This year I printed them all out and put them up! Each is just on a piece of scrapbook stock paper and clipped on so they are movable as I feel like rearranging. So far it has captivated Fiona who spends time every day ‘talking’ to all the pictures since a good portion is on her level.
3. Speaking of costumes – here is ‘red superhero’. Most easy costume ever! The arm things are socks with the foot cut off, and, I made a skirt from tied tuile. The other parts are purchased and super re-usable. Best thing is she loves it.
4. Told you Halloween would be prominent… This set of things were snacks for the Daisy troop and they loved them, they will also be reprised in the next 2 weeks lunches. Fiona was the helper and filled all the popcorn bags, helpers get to eat all that gets spilled right?
5. I made this cake as an answer to the pot luck inspiration ‘rescue’. As if D&D isn’t nerdy enough I asked the DM to give us a theme for the meal each time that is a hint for the game. So far its been fun! I searched the internet and nobody seemed to have a lifesaver cake out there so I made this up from known parts. It is 1-part ‘jelly’ roll (cake baked super thin on a cookie sheet on parchment paper), 1-part rainbow cake (divide the white cake batter and color, then, stripe the colors onto the cookie sheet), 1-part whipped cream to roll it up with and finally, 1-part lifesaver gummy candy. I think the long thin IKEA tray also helps, that tray always makes me happy 🙂
6. Last but not least a new game…. We don’t go out much so any ‘entertainment’ budget can go to fun games. This one is a new twist on the game Pandemic that we love. It is an ongoing game so you need a group that will keep playing over time AND it evolves like a choose your own adventure novel. It has 12 ‘acts’ and so many cool things that I can’t wait to play. Bonus, each game only takes about 1.5 hours so no huge commitment 🙂
This weekend we are taking a road trip that I hope will be full of fun. I’m looking forward to seeing the western friends!
Running…. a necessary evil in some ways. Long ago I figured out that I was not coordinated enough for sports like tennis or golf but running takes very little hand eye skill. It is also a way to melt off weight. I’ve read plenty of things that say walking is just as good but I get so bored walking and running is just so much faster.
At one point I was a good runner, on a team with a trainer and everything. A part of my brain can’t give up those stats and anytime I run a slow mile I hear echos of the past telling me to speed up. Now I do a 5k here and there but I basically just run to run. Usually at some point I start really feeling strong running and end up running faster. This year I used the elliptical all winter to try and get to that point faster in the outside season and based on that plus some weight training I’m happy to say my mile time is under 9 min and hovering at 8.40 already! I have no clue if I’ll ever run something more substantial like a 10k or a Half or even a marathon. My sister and so many friends have done marathons but I’m not sure I can commit to doing anything for 5 hours, not to mention all the time you’re supposed to run before to work up to the 26 miles. I’ll put it in the ‘maybe’ category and that is an upgrade from the ‘never’ status it has been for years.
Here are my top ten reasons to run;
1. Next to no equipment needed, all you need is sneekers.
2. I can listen to my book in peace – I like audio books, way more distracting than music and the pace is more steady
3. I can run away from my family for a while – I always go back… but for half an hour I can be gone with a good reason
4. Good to check out what is going on in the neighborhood
5. I can do it alone, without help (other than kid watching). No depending on a team or a group. I can do it when I have time and I want to.
6. I can pretend to be athletic
7. It validates my oreo’s
8. It is faster than most other exercises, and, if you want to be done faster, run faster!
9. It is portable, I can even run on vacation, its actually extra fun to cruise a new area
10. Running is something I can measure myself against – faster, slower, longer – I get stats and I like stats – and it is entirely based on my work not the work of a team or luck or anything else. Other than sometimes blaming nasty weather, everything else is just a variable (like how hills affect my time etc).
Running is just the sport for me. I hope my body lets me keep doing it for a long time. I like that if I’m fast or slow I’m still ‘in the game’. I did field hockey and soccer and you just can’t do that as an adult without massive commitment to a team, if they even exist, and they only run for a season so the rest of the year you are SoL. Speaking of, its about time for me to get going 🙂
ps. I want to mention this but other peoples dreams are usually even more dull then lists about why they like to run. However. 99% of my dreams that I remember are just like my regular life and completely dull. Better than bad dreams – but – the awesome dreams I have I’m Running, really really fast, like practically flying but I know I’m absolutely running. I love that feeling and those dreams and in some ways I’m always chasing that dream when I run in real life.
Last month I upgraded from my beloved 4s to a 6 and wow now I can’t go back. You never really get rid of a phone, they get passed down to children or knock around in drawers but like the Shakespeare quote “bloodless remnant of thy royal blood” the spark is gone from the phone now replaced (yes… I memorized all of Queen Ann’s soliloquy in Richard III and the majority is STILL taking up space in my head) The iPhone 6 is a whole size larger and many times OS newer and personally I like the change to OS8 and I’m ok with the size change.
Poking around on the new phone I noticed an app labeled ‘health’ and more or less ignored it since I supposed it would link to a fitbit or fuel. I did really really like my fitbit but it is lost somewhere in my house and I tried to find it using the location techniques but never narrowed in. Moving on from fitbit was a bit hard because not only was it a gift that I appreciated and had even requested, I LOVED the stats. I didn’t like remembering to put it on and apparently I was unable to keep track of the wee thing (smaller than a machbox car). Every so often I think about getting a new one but then I don’t and you know how that goes.
On vacation, because I had next to no internet, I had down time to play around with my phone and opened up that mystery ‘health’ ap. Wow-oh-wow my phone actually IS a FITBIT without the issues of losing it or forgetting to put it on because I love and use my phone often, and, it is the size of a healthy serving of meat. The bright side is that it has been tracking my steps and stairs and runs for over a month. The not so bright side…. I had no idea it was literally recording my every step….
I am sure I’m not the first person to discover this app since the phone and OS has been out for a while but just in case you didn’t know, your iPhone with OS8 is recording recording recording.
Bottom line, I am glad to have it tracking stats I’m interested in. Even with the number of times I leave my phone on the table while doing things I walk a good amount a day, averaging nearly 3k without trying and that is just time I have my phone on me. I’ll have to try and keep it with me more to see how I really do now that I know it exists!
Ps. it still can’t count small flights of stairs, just like all other trackers. I go up and down short flights in my split level house constantly but never get credit for more than 4 or 5 a day.
This is a real account of my real workout last night (written then but published now). It is not fake. It is not embroidered…. you can’t make this up
the scene – I live a mile from the arctic circle so we have summer daylight til 10pm but it is already too dark to run at 6 here. Husband and Child #1 are at karate. Child #2 and #3 eat a good dinner, taking only 45 minutes to consume 4 fishsticks and a bunch of peas. Actually a LOT of peas since Zoe spilled the bag and since the floor was clean for once I cooked them. (See cooking them kills any germs) Anyway, dinner, bath, pj’s, last potty and amazingly enough it is 7pm on the dot so I allow myself to put on a Dora for them. I dash to my room to put on something I can work out in and run downstairs(3 sets) to the elliptical pausing for .5 seconds to turn on the baby monitor.
On the elliptical – mess with the iPad stars app to get to my current addiction The Chair
run run run
hear something 10min in, run upstairs (3 flights) to sort out the very minor issue. Thank god it isn’t poop or blood (all other mess can wait!)
10 min left in Dora – back to the machine (down 3 flights)
iPad dies because you only get so much on once charge and I do ask a lot of the little guy. – upstairs again,(2 flights) Dora only has 2 min anyway, preheat the oven for the bread that finally rose.
(1 set up) Bedtime books, bedtime tuckin, down the stairs for a cracker, back up to give it to her.
(down 1 set ) Settle #2 with her show (up one set of stairs) put bread in the oven
(down 2 sets) to the machine again this time with an extension cord and charger
Run run run – I love Shane Dawson – run run
?what is that noise? Is #3 calling? – slow down, pause show, Hear her playing with her toys – back up to speed
Beep beep! bread done, hop off, (up 2 sets) bread out, back to the machine (2 down)
run run run run run – getting good here, 20min straight!
Hear husband and #1 come home and hop off to tell them to shower (#1) and kiss the baby (husband) – back on the machine
run 10 more, realize that all together I’ve done 12+15+25+10= 52!!! where did I create that sort of time!!! Must be a time warp down here. Get off the machine and write it down.
Counting all those stairs that is a real workout. I’m not sure how the breaks factor in but lets call that interval training.
And that is how I plan on getting rid of the 5lb I don’t want around my middle – elliptical and stair dashes