Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

How can I become one of the fittest of them all?

Perfectly timed with the first day of Fall, my abs finally made a reappearance. Right as we kick off Eating Season, where they’ll soon make a hasty retreat like Punxsutawney Phil on groundhog day… extreme candy corn ingestion soon to commence.

The backstory: Since I sew, I know my measurements. Or at least know OF them. There was a point last Winter where I knew ignorance was a sanity savor and I didn’t want to see the realities of my hip measurement. Yet, given the increase in hip and waist, my overall weight has not changed all year. The dramatic spike in family dinners, sitting at a desk job and general decrease in daily physical activity (no going to the beach one a week) took it’s toll in re-compositioning my body.

For the first time, in possibly my life, I dreaded swimsuit season.

Side story: We’ve been discussing Hubby opening a training facility, “Vance’s Gym”, out of our garage. Somewhat jokingly at fist. He’d like to do something similar to Competitive Edge (also started in their garage), but he’s more interested in nutrition and client goals. Which is great, but when I get back to working out, there is only one thing I wonder: “will I ever be fit again? and how long will it take?” I’d dare to guess most who are starting on a new fitness routine wonder these very things.  I was unsure how this would venture would eventually pan out and I dropped the idea of recruiting him clients. First, he needed a willing and forgiving guinea pig – ME.

Early June, right around the dread of swimsuit wearing, we had family visit.  Much like you’d expect from close family, they say what’s on their mind. One such comment was made about hubby not looking his physical best. Granted he competed on stage in his 20s, so anything is probably down from there, but never the less the comment was made and something about said comment really struck a cord with Vance. I will say, the comment was likely targeted more at our meat deficient diet than anything else. Regardless it fired the motivation to get in shape with my dear hubby and I was pulled along in the process.

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My dream physique. Not there yet, but it’s the goal.

In truth he’s made workout programs for me in the past with semi successful results. I don’t really enjoy working out. Running. Well, I love running. Biking I can tolerate. Lifting weights, feels great when it’s over, but prior to and during, ugh. I range between a complaining child and a she devil sporting a short fuse. It’s painful. For. EVERYONE.

So here it is, three months later, I’m not running any more than I was before. I’m not consuming more meat than I was before, I weigh the same weight and yet, I’ve dropped an inch from both my waist and hips. AN INCH!!! Yet maintained my same chest measurement (small miracles I know). And best of all, I’m likely stronger than I have ever been.

Hubby knew my goals:
I didn’t want to add meat based protein to my diet.
I want to look more muscular, but in a lean way.
I want ABS. Dear me, come out little abs, we won’t hurt you.
I didn’t want to lose weight.
I want my clothes to fit better. and lastly
I want my shoulders and arms more defined and toned.

Best of all, I’m still eating sourdough bread, pizza, beer and ice cream…I’d say I’m a success story for Vance’s Gym.

Now from my historic unsuccessful workout knowledge, I know it’s always a work in progress. The struggle to not indulge in apple fritters and Sublime cupcakes every chance I get is an absolutely REAL struggle. Almost near the level of the struggle to find motivation on those “too tired”, “too busy” “too…my kids are bugging me and I’d rather be scrolling Facebook” days. But the playoff in the mirror and the mental high: EVER SO WORTH IT!!!

The Making of a Runner (or two)

Friday was my boys’ first experience in competitive school athletics…RUNNING CLUB!! Sure they ran their mini miles when we were regulars at Stroller Warriors in Hawaii, but this was all their own. They had to run their own race and face their inner doubts without mom, dad or brother there to help them along.

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Starting line for Brendon’s heat. They all were roughly this size.

I’m so proud of them both.

What I did not expect – There would be 1000 people there to watch K-3rd graders compete in a single event per student. It was a huge cross country meet; not actually sure how many different schools were represented in total. Nor did I expect how fun it would be to watch the race. The excitement of the run event, whistle blowing, crowd cheering, encouraging yells near the end of the course…it reminded me why race events are so vital to keeping motivation with running. Nothing to do with winning at all; just the thrill of the personal best. Something I’ve been lacking all year.

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Their Game Faces! Ha! Brendon was really upset I wouldn’t let them play at the playground BEFORE their race in the blazing heat. John at some point had earlier in the day, colored his eyelids.

While the temperatures had dipped to high 80s a week ago, it was a blazing 107 by my car thermometer on Friday at 4pm and likely closer to 110 on the hot pavement and semi dried grass where the school meet was held. At one point I did question the sanity of letting children run in this type of weather, but the races went on.

John: Never really loving to run; he has always seemed to question the running with the “why are we doing this” type of attitude. His group was second to go and I full well expected him to not finish the course, but he did finish. He cried for at least half of it, wiping his tears and running it into the finish chute. Stating he never wants to run again. After I told him that was it for the day, he seemed to perk up quite a bit. Turns out there was a boy who had stopped running along the course, crying,  who John wanted to help, but he knew he had to keep running. He came in near the front of the overall pack.

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John, in the center, black shirt nearest the bleacher. Headed for home.

Brendon: Known since he was two as our “Running Boy”, loves to run. Plod along is most accurate. He saves his energy by taking it nice and easy, which is fine by us. He came in somewhere in the last third of his age group; hot, sweaty and tired. He was a little saddened when he found out there were medals and he didn’t receive one. There were whispers it was top ten, but who knows how many were actually given.

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Brendon coming into the finish.

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My finishers!!

Thankfully, there were sno cones for sale, which the boys both equally deserved and relished after such a hot run. With the turnout and overall event size, I somewhat expected to run into someone I knew. True to expectation, I saw one of my clients there. I imagine the scene after I walk away: him telling his family, “That’s my architect.” And in my sassy, Seinfeld loving way I anticipate they respond, “I don’t see architecture coming from her.”

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A snowcone finish! What a great idea. Next meet, we must remember more cold water.