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Stress and Eating

It doesn't take a genius to know that stress and eating can go hand in hand.  I know the last few weeks have been terrible for my routine and that I have probably gained a few pounds.  If nothing else, my clothes feel a little tighter and I don't like it.  My stress level is seriously hovering around an 8 most days (on a scale of one to ten) which is due to all of the changes over the last few weeks and also because I have not been fully relying on God.  Basically, the root of my eating boils down to not dealing with my stress in healthy ways.  It also doesn't help that I have been battling a cold the last week--which is probably itself just another indicator of the stress that my body is under.  I have been exercising (but not enough) and I have been eating out (more than I would like).  Now, I could beat myself up about my choices but it would simply be another stressor to add to my plate.  Instead, I will try packing a better lunch tommorrow for school and check my weight on the scale at school tommorrow and deal with the results.  I will choose to spend some quiet time with God everyday and pray for my family and even myself.  If I eat out, I'll simply make the best choice possible and be content with that instead of getting down on myself for not wanting to cook after a long day at school.  I think that this blog is rambling....and I should get to bed before marathon Monday begins.

Oh, and thanks for those of you that have sent me a note of encouragement over the last few weeks.   It means alot and I don't take it for granted! 


We live in a busy world and we often have crowded lives.  I certainly felt that this week.  It is no small feat to get two small children out the door, drop them off at two different locations and then be at University before 8 am.  Then to go to class all day and to the university gym/pool, only to repeat the pick ups, make dinner and do several hours of homework in the evening (or, have a four hour night class!).  Lather, rinse, repeat five days a week.  In my school program we are expected to do as much (often more) outside the classroom as we do in it.  Suffice it to say--it can be tempting to skip having a Sabbath on Sundays.  It can be tempting to simply work all through the day instead of stopping to connect with God and community. But, I have learned that this does not work and that I am more productive when I purpose to take a Sabbath.  I know this because I have done it both ways.  During my first degree I did not make it a priority to take a Sabbath and I often felt drained and exhausted.  I had a decent grade point average but not stellar.  Conversely, during my second degree (with more responsibility on my plate, including children/pregnancy) I decided to make it a priority despite my misgivings.  I had more energy for my family, felt better and had a better grade point average.

God's command to take a break is for our benefit and pleasure.  That's not to say we have to be legalistic about it like the Pharisees (who were rightly called out on this by Jesus) but that it is good and right to take a Sabbath.  It forces us to be be more productive through the week and to plan better for it.  It is worth it!  If you don't take a day of rest....seriously consider it.  Even God rested on the seventh day--surely we need it too.  

Running Endurance

So, my running endurance has had a definite setback.  In December I had a nasty cold and then the holidays hit hard and I did not make it to the gym very often.  I have been easing myself back in during the month of January and yesterday was probably my first earnest attempt at running in several weeks.  Wow--it doesn't take long for your endurance to be reduced dramatically.  I'd say in November I could easily run at 6 mph for 30 minutes on the treadmill which is about 5 km (though in the summer I learned that outside is much, much more enjoyable).  However, yesterday, I was pushing myself to do 1 km at 6.5 mph and 6 mph respectively.   I still got in 6 K with walking (at about 4 mph) but the running was much more difficult than it has been.  I've also noticed my lack of endurance in the pool.  I am beginning to feel a little frustrated (but I won't let it get me down completely) because I feel like I am having to start from nearly square one and I was in the middle of the board before! I know that I have months to train for the next triathlon (we only have a short summer season here) but I would really like to be semi-competitive in a sprint distance race this year.  That's not going to happen if I can't even run 5K!  I will just keep challenging myself though and use my exercise as a way to blow off school steam and since there is plenty of that--I'm hoping I'll have more for the track (and the pool and the bike).

The Busy Mom-Student-Triathlete Workout Plan

Well, I have gone over my schedule for school including assignments and internship (hello, three hour process!) and I have settled on a workout plan.  It is certainly not as much workout time as I would like but at the same time it does give me a much needed brain break while still having time to do the heaps of homework that I will be facing in the months ahead (and even have time left over to cuddle my cuties).  I think I am starting to understand the phrase "carving out time" more than ever.

So the workout schedule:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: Noon hour swim

Tuesdays: Run

Thursdays:  Bike

Notice swimming is three days a week.  There are three reasons for this: the pool is quiet, they have a towel service (reducing the amount of time I must spend doing laundry) and because it is my weakest area and requires my attention.

I am not sure what I am going to do during my three week block (an internship) when I am at a high school all day but I am toying with the idea of biking or running during the noon hour if possible or biking to and from my placement.  What do busy high school teachers out there do?  I've got some time to think about it though since that isn't until March.  However, the adage rings true for me as well: "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail".  I'm just full of cheesy catch phrases today, aren't I?

Also, there are no brick training days just yet but once school is over, then I can ramp that up--they require longer time blocks than I can afford right now.

I also plan on using my new xbox kinect to get my dance on or whatever.  After all, periodic physical breaks during hours of intense study can increase productivity! 5-10 minutes of movement every hour can help prevent back and neck injuries and helps to stimulate the brain.  Speaking of which, I think I am due for one....probably overdue.





New Year, New Gym

Well, I have returned to school and things are already starting to get crazy.  One of my professors told us to expect about 2 hours of homework for every hour of class time--and this class is 4 hours long!  So I have 24 hours of in class time and about 48 hours of homework every week (72 hours of work a week).  Add to that, basic maintenance of the house and childcare and you leave a recipe for very little time to myself.  In fact, I am only writing this blog because I have only had a couple classes and my baby is sleeping.  I'll be working on homework again soon though.

So, what about working out and training for my next triathlon, you say?  Well, I've sandwiched it in between classes at the university gym.  So far, I like the new gym even though it is pretty busy to say the least (probably has something to do with the first two weeks of January but I can't say for certain).  Anyways, the gym is covered by my student fees (we pay for it anyways so I might as well use it) and they have a track, two gymnasiums, a cardio area and tons of weight machines and free weights.  Also, I don't need quarters for a locker because I rented one for the entire semester (which is awesome because otherwise I would have no locker at all).  The locker room has showers (with private stalls), a sauna and plenty of plug-ins and mirrors to get ready for the day, not to mention the cool antique scale I can't help but try out on my way out the door.  There is also a pool and though it is pretty small, it is big enough to do laps (which I did today---yeah me!) and it was quieter in the pool.  Today, I found out that there is a complimentary towel service which is so great because I wondered what I was going to do with a wet towel in my locker three days a week.  I am working on getting a training schedule together and have already carved out some specific times for exercise.  It's important and in this ultra busy season it may just be the sanity saver I need to keep plugging away at the mountain of homework that has begun to pile on my plate already.  If there is silent on this blog for a while, you will know why!  May God continue to bless you on your weight loss/maintenance journey.


The First Two Weeks of January

As a self-declared gym rat--I dread the first two weeks in January.   The gym is brimming with people who probably have the best intentions but fail on follow through.  I'm not going to lie, I get a little irritated when they come in and take over the place.  I know it's a little selfish and I just try to find a quiet corner to do my thing in anyways.  Usually, you get a handful that keep up with it and you'll see them for the rest of the year which is great.

Well-meaning people often vow to go to the gym everyday for the next year and to shed a certain number of pounds by the following year.  It's wonderful that they (or you)want to make positive changes in their lives: I applaud it!  However, I encourage you to take a step back and make manageable, measurable goals that will not completely exhaust your resources before the end of January.  Instead of buying that expensive gym membership, get a punch pass and start slow.  Ease yourself into it and enjoy it.  Maybe an hour everyday to start is just too much--even a walk around the block will get you closer to your goal!  Resolve to move forward and give yourself grace to miss a day or two and still keep going.  Just my two cents.

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