Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My so-called life, in photos

The holidays are around the corner (or tomorrow). Things are about to get crazy. And yet, we still have life day to day.

I know it feels like I just did a day in the life post but the truth is our schedule has changed since then. A lot. 

5:02 a.m. The alarm goes off. I stumble out of bed, hit the ladies room and eat half of a mini bagel before heading to the basement. NO, I don't change out of my pajamas because my pajamas were workout clothes.

5:15 a.m. Fire up Turbo Fire's Fire 45 workout. Yeah, I was on fire.

5:20 a.m. Glance over and see Mark hop on the treadmill.

6 a.m. Decide to skip the Stretch 10 portion of the program.

6:01 a.m. Check the weather and see that is in the balmy mid-40s. I wonder if Miles will wake up in time for us to squeeze in a few miles.

6:15 a.m. Make a small breakfast in the hope that the run will happen: 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1/3 banana sliced, 1/2 T raw almond butter and a sprinkle of coconut and cinnamon.

6:57 a.m. Realize that my miles have been thwarted by a tired Miles and opt to take a bath. I read three chapters of "The Silver Linings Playbook" and try to be quiet.

7:15 a.m. Miles is awake. I pick him up, make him surrender the paci and take him downstairs.

7:20 a.m. My spirited child decides that playing with Denali's KONG is a far more exciting thing than getting a diaper change.

7:30 a.m. Breakfast. Miles gets a whole wheat banana pancake with peanut butter while I make a veggie egg white scramble with pepper jack cheese. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him stand up in the chair and try to step onto the stove. I give him a piece of sausage to distract him.

7:45 a.m. Turn on "Bob the Builder" and hold Miles while I eat.

8 a.m. Begin the hourlong frenzy of trying to clean, do dishes, play with Miles, put away laundry, do laundry and get ready for work. Miles plays with blocks happily and tries to drink my "coppee." I should probably be less proud that Miles knows what coffee is.

9:05 a.m. Put my bags by the door and put a coat on Miles. I realize that not only does he not have shoes on but I can't find them. Make an executive decision to put him in snow boots for daycare.

9:20 a.m. Drop off Miles at daycare but only after putting a sock and his boots back on.

9:30 a.m. Arrive at work. Drink coffee. Do work stuff.

11:45 a.m. Go to lunch with my work husband at the hospital across the street. I end up with a black bean burger on a wheat bun, sauteed summer squash and red bean and rice soup. Not the smartest selection, I realize, as I'm planning turkey burgers for dinner.

1:17 p.m. Take a brief moment to start on a Brooks Running wish list. I'll send it to Mark but I do it more in an effort to win some stuff.

1:20 p.m. Work. Attend my second and third meetings of the day. Snack on an apple with raw almond butter, celery sticks and dry roasted edamame.

5:35 p.m. Arrive home. The only perk of working 37.5 hour work weeks is working 7.5 hours each day. I kiss Mark and Miles and as I look over my shoulder, I discover a box on the table. It turns out I received a shipment of Grapples. I take a big whiff before getting started on dinner. We're having turkey burgers, and the guys have some roasted potato wedges while I have a salad with a balsamic vinegar-dijon mustard mix.

5:55 p.m. Dinner is on the table, and I revel in silence that Miles is actually eating in his chair. We've had issues at dinner with him wanting to either not eat or only eat on our laps and from our plates.

6:20 p.m. While Mark cleans up, Miles and I head upstairs to pack for our upcoming trip to Cincinnati.

7 p.m. Miles is ready for bed, and I'm ready for a run. Mark puts him down while Denali and I head out for 3 miles.

8 p.m. Turn on Ken Burns' "Civil War" on Netflix and nod off.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Strong is the new sexy

I was post-BODYPUMP and post-shower and in a big ole hurry to get dressed so I could meet my friend for a little shopping/girl-time. I threw on a long navy blue sweater and grabbed my skinny jeans. I put one foot in and tugged. And tugged. And tugged. I put the second foot in and pulled. And pulled. And thanked God I only have two legs. After what seemed like 10 minutes, my jeans were on.

Painted on.

I threw the pair off in disgust, swapping them for a more forgiving bootcut, and stomped down the stairs.

"I think my calves are too big for my skinny jeans," I lamented to Mark.

In his sassiest voice, he said, "Girl, there ain't nothing skinny about your legs."

And then I told him that we were seeing "Twilight" and not Oscar-worthy "Lincoln." I might have also told him that he was a jerk. (Note: He has assured me that he never meant to offend.)

I remember the day I was able to buy those Old Navy skinny jeans. It seemed like such a huge victory - not only did I like the size on the tag but I was wearing a style I never thought I could. I wore them every chance I got, feeling skinny and confident, until my pregnant belly could no longer squeeze into them.

It was a celebration-worthy event post-partum, as you can imagine, when I was able to pull them on again and wear them with my favorite J.Crew riding boots. It was as if I was back. The me I had worked so hard for.

You can imagine then the disappointment I felt on Saturday when it was apparent that they no longer fit the way I liked, and Mark's facetious comment stung. I tried to chock up the ill-fitting pants to swollen legs from a hot shower and hard workout but I knew, deep down, that I couldn't deny the fact that my legs are bigger. I've noticed it when I wear my cords, my calves straining the fabric. My riding boots don't seem as loose.

But I also can't deny that they are bigger, in part, because they are stronger.

Regular BODYPUMP classes, "extracurricular" strength workouts and high mileage from marathon training, left my legs lean (with the exception of extra skin and stubborn cellulite that serves as a reminder of my obese days). I can squat more than 45 pounds for an entire BP track. I can see my quads with a little flexing. I have a bit of definition between the hamstring and gluteus maximus. Oh, how I love that curve.

When I lost weight, I surprised everyone by getting rid of a rather, well, voluptuous bottom. I was looking in the mirror recently, and I noticed that it seems to have returned.

With a  (bit of) vengeance. And, to be honest, I think I rather like.

I might not be as slender as I used to be pre-baby but I feel like I look healthier, fitter and stronger. I am not sure if I've ever felt prouder of the body - not only because of the way it looks but because I can see the fruits of my labor. And the results only motivate me to work harder. Become stronger.

It might mean that I might have to abandon slim cut styles or wear a size bigger. It might mean my ego might get a bit deflated when shopping for clothes. It might mean that things will hug me differently than before.

I refuse to be self-conscious. No tantrums (from now on) will be thrown and tears will not be shed. Why? Because strong is the new sexy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dear Santa

It's not even Thanksgiving. Not even. And yet, at dinner on Friday, my mother-in-law requested that I give her - of all things - a Christmas list. A Christmas list!

OK. Let's end the charade. I'm not really aghast - in love is more like it. I have fantastic in-laws who love to give gifts and love even more to give gifts that people really want. While I might be busy planning the perfect cheese tray to take to my aunt's house on Thursday, I decided that I could be just as gracious and find the time to answer her plea.

It's easy for me to just throw out some running gear but this year I'm trying to be a bit more, well,  balanced with my requests.


Yoga mat. When I first tried yoga (thanks, Crunch DVD), I picked up a basic mat at Target. It was nothing special and it did the job. Until I left it on the basement floor for longer than I should of. Given that we do get some water there with a big storm, the yoga mat became soaked and smelly. I tried to rinse it but abandoned the task fairly quickly, deciding it would be easier to just get a new mat. I'm not very snobby when it comes to mats - I'm not hitting up hot vinyasa classes regularly - and like the printed Gaiam mats, the Flower of Life mat in particular.

Even if you already have a mat, a second one is nice to keep in your car for a spontaneous Piloxing class or Pilates session.

Tanks. Winter is near, and everyone is talking about base layers and half-zips. While I'm not against those things - and require them for outdoor runs - my mind is on tanks. Since I began teaching BODYPUMP, my desire for more fashionable tops has skyrocketed.

I am partial to the R-Gear Shades of Gray ($34.99), lululemon Back Burner Tank ($58) and the handful tank ($48). I won a handful tank via the Body Glide Facebook page, and I loved that the padded top meant I didn't have to wear a sports bra. It does run a tad big - I got a small and could have maybe squeezed in an extra small - but found it to be cute and functional.

While it's not a tank, I'd also like a shirt from the another mother runner store.

Stocking stuffers. The moment I saw it I knew I was in love.

The 'Twas the Night Before the Race mug is big enough to wake my butt up after a 5 a.m. alarm and cute enough to keep me motivated to run all winter long.

Other little things that are always good: Asics or Feetures socks (the only ones that my second toe can't poke a whole through), BIC Bands (I have one that has seen better days) and Yurbuds (as I'm taking to listening to podcasts on my lunch runs).

Beauty + Fashion

I am not the most fashion, beauty-centric gal but there's a few things that I'm antsy to put into my drawers.

Boscia B.B. Cream. I first fell in love with this stuff when I got it in a Birchbox, and it's a great moisturizer-makeup product that evens skin tone and offers SPF protection without being a foundation. It's pricey ($38), which is why it's a great gift - something you want but wouldn't buy for yourself.

Aveda Hand Relief. The minute the mercury dips below 50, my hands become dry, red and cracked. The hand relief from Aveda is the only product that offers help without being greasy. Bonus: It now comes in a Rosemary Mint scent.

TOMS. It's quite possible that a pair of TOMS shouldn't be listed under fashion but I got a pair for my birthday and love them. If someone ever tries to take these away, I will kick them in the face. I really like the Grey Pop Cords for winter.

In a similar vain, my boss wore moccasins today and they are uber cute. Pretty sure I'd rock a pair like these all winter.


My husband meant well but for our first Christmas as a married couple, he gave me a blender. A BLENDER. Astounding, I know. Even more so that we are still married. I have matured since then and now welcome kitchen gadgets and accessories as gifts.

Rice cooker. I am trying to eat more brown rice these days, and it's a pain to cook. It takes too long to do it after work and I sometimes forget to do it in the morning. I'd love one that I could set and forget.

Whisk. It's dumb. Really dumb. Except the only whisk I have belongs to my Cuisinart hand blender, and I don't want to fig it up just so I can scramble some eggs. I also know that I can easily buy one but I always forget and/or hate to add that much more to my already high Target bill.

Giant muffin tin. Is an explanation needed? Muffins are great, giant muffins are greater. (P.S. I'd also like to make egg muffins/patties for me to freeze.)

What's on your list this year? Any suggestions for my in-laws?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

31 going on 15

My teenage self is haunting me. Everywhere I seem to click on the Internet, I find sidebar ads for delia's.

You know delia's - the clothing-accessory catalog that ignited my love for body glitter, overpriced sock monkey slippers and clothes my body didn't dare fit into. It makes me feel all angsty thinking about it, and I'm oh so tempted to dig out my Doc Marten's and my uniform skirt.

And, yes, I still have my Doc Marten's.

Alas, I decided that I could find a better way to channel my inner teenager. Like shopping at Old Navy for a new dress to wear for my Saturday night date.

I didn't date much in high school but I'm pretty sure an invitation warranted such a shopping trip. I probably would have tried on more than four sweater dresses and opted for something a little more low-cut. I had bigger boobs then after all. And I would have been trying to impress not one guy but three - Mark, Jacob and Edward.

Yes, I dragged my husband to "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part II." And I made him take a cheesy photo of me as Edward, Jacob and Bella looked on. I guess if I was really 15, I would have posted it immediately to Facebook. Total fail on my part.

Now that's better - dress, tights

I more than made for it when I saw the $#%! tease of a trailer came on for "Catching Fire." There might have been squealing and slapping of the chair. Might have.

I'm pretty sure once the intro started rolling that my inner teen buried herself back in my belly. I spent the next two hours only mildly enthralled and didn't once giggle when I saw Jacob's abs. I even found myself mocking the ending, which reminded me of the beginning of a soap opera.

Probably why I needed to solidify my return to adulthood with a Crispin cider at dinner with Mark.

We had a Living Social deal for a cute little spot near our house, and it included two drinks, two soups or salads, an appetizer and two entrees. Their burgers are great and it makes a feel decidedly hip to eat there.

Sort of like a teenager. But not.