Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 79 - Back on Track!

Yesterday I was very happy because my weight had finally started to move again.  Today, I am thrilled that I am starting to feel like I did before I ran out of my mB12.  Today, I felt alive, and had energy.  We actually started working on clearing the garage today.  (Every fall I try to get the garage cleared out before the first frost.)  It felt good to be able to do things.

Then, when I started exercising, I realized I was getting back to the place where it was actually fun.  I started with half an hour on the elliptical.  I was able to keep my heart rate right around 140 for most of the time and still breathe through my nose.  It felt really good.  I did two 45 minute sessions on the bike to finish up the exercise.  On the bike I was able to keep my heart rate around 130.  It was a great exercise day!
As I keep going on this journey, I’m finding out more about myself, my priorities, and what I really can do when I work at it.  All my life I’ve been really good at accomplishing my goals.  At school and at work, whatever I decided I wanted to do, I did.  But losing weight was the one thing I couldn’t do.  No matter how many times I tried, I just couldn’t do it.  But, now I am realizing that I always gave up too fast.  When it got hard, it was easy to say that I just wasn’t capable of it.  Now, I realize that when it gets hard, I have to work harder.  And this time, I will succeed.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 78 - My 11 Week Results!

Finally!  I had a great weigh in this morning!  After waiting forever for the scale to move, it finally dropped.  The official weight this morning was 322 pounds, for a total of 26 pounds lost in eleven weeks.  I’ve been grinning all day today!

I’m not really sure what made this week so much better.  I haven’t really changed much, and it was a hard week because of all my mB12 issues.  So, maybe taking a few days easier gave my body a rest it needed, or it could be it was just time.  No matter what the reason, I’m beyond thrilled.  It felt so good to see the scale drop!
It was a fairly busy day.  Michael had a CST appointment this morning, and then Steve and I went to visit a Saturday camp we are thinking about for him.  The program would be for four hours on Saturdays, and it looked really nice.  Between walking to the program and around to all the different locations they use, I figure I got about half an hour of walking on the tour.  I’m not sure if we’ll be able to sign him up, but it’s definitely a great program. 

After we got home, I did a four mile walking video.  It was nice to be able to do the video at full speed again.  I enjoyed the feeling when my legs just knew which way to move because I’ve done it so many times. And, I love that my balance is getting so much better.
But, the best part of the day didn’t have anything to do with exercise, or the scale.  I had bought Michael the game ‘Operation’ while we were out.  He saw it on the table and wanted to play it immediately.  It was so much fun to sit and play a regular board game, and see him enjoy it appropriately.  Plus, it’s good for his fine motor skills!

I finished the day with half an hour on the bike while Steve took him into the hyperbaric chamber. It was nice to ride the bike and just reflect on the day, and the week.  While it was definitely a hard week, there are a lot of good things, too.  And, now that the scale seems to be moving again, I really hope it keeps going.  I’ll be working extra hard this coming week to make sure it does!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 77 - Slowly Getting Back to Normal

OK, I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.  It is really scary to think that missing my B12 can have such an impact on my life.  I literally felt like I was sleep walking through the last few days.  But, today started to feel a little bit back to normal.  I had an appointment at lunch, so all my exercise was after work, but I did get it all in.  That makes me feel incredibly happy.
Tonight’s yoga class was great.  I brought my mat from home and it really seemed to make a difference.  It’s a little longer than the mats at the gym, and softer.  It’s a lot more comfortable to work on.  I actually did every down dog tonight and even held them.  Now, she doesn’t hold them as long as the other classes, but it felt good to be able to hold them as long as the rest of the class.  And, my balance was really good too.  It just felt like my body was happy tonight, and I didn’t realize just how much I missed that.
After yoga I came home and did a few chores around the house, and then did an hour on the bike.  It was nice to watch TV with Steve and still get my exercise in.  The bike is nice because it’s pretty comfortable but still gets my heart rate up.  It’s a nice balance to some of the more strenuous classes and videos.  And, since I’m still getting back to myself, I thought it was a nice way to finish the day.
I am hoping to sleep in tomorrow and really get back to 100% for tomorrow’s workouts.  It’s going to be a fairly busy weekend, but I have high hopes that it’s going to be a good one!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 76 - Another Rough Day

I was able to get some mB12 today, but I think it’s going to take a few days to recover.  I am still completely exhausted and barely functional.  This morning, Michael woke me up before five and I just couldn’t get back to sleep.  So, I decided to go down and ride the bike for 45 minutes before work.  I kept it light and it felt kinda good.  The day at work was low key.  I was able to get a lot done and my stress level was fairly low.

Once I got home, I collapsed for a few minutes and tried to get up enough energy to exercise.  I decided my best bet would be to do a five mile video.  That would give me a total of two hours for the day.  But, by the time I was in the third mile, I knew I was in trouble.  Even keeping it light, I just couldn’t keep going.  Somehow I managed to finish the third mile, but just barely.  After that, it was all I could do to sit upright in a chair and stay conscious.  So, I got in an hour and half.  Not quite what I was hoping for, but still really good, considering.

After resting for a while, I was able to go into the chamber with Michael for an hour.  I was hoping to get a nap, but Michael was not on board with that plan.  Even though he was watching videos on his tablet, he still needed constant attention.  No nap for me!
I am planning on going to bed early again and hoping for a full night’s sleep.  We switched Michael’s melatonin to the time release version, so I have some hope.  And, maybe two days back on the B12 will be magic and I’ll be back to myself.  Cross your fingers for me?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 75 - Dragging Myself Forward

I’m still without my mB12.  So, basically, I’m a walking zombie.  I have a huge day at work tomorrow, and I think I’m going to be stealing one of Michael’s.  We have the same exact prescription, so I can just replace it when mine come in.  I just can’t take this complete exhaustion.
I dragged my sorry butt to both classes tonight, but I could tell that it was far from my best effort.  In muscle challenge, I lowered all my weights by 2 pounds and still struggled.  In yoga, I didn’t even attempt down dog.  But, I am giving myself lots of credit for getting there and doing the best I could.  This journey is not about perfection, it’s about doing my best. 

I wish I had something inspiring to say, but all I have is to just keep moving one foot forward at a time.  Even though it’s painfully slow sometimes, you’ll get there eventually.  And, it’s so much better than moving backwards!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 74 - Missing My MB12

Rest days are absolutely wonderful.  And this one was sorely needed.  I ran out of my mB12 shots and I can really feel myself running down without them.  I really hope they come in soon.  I had a revitapop this afternoon, and it helped some, but it’s nowhere near as effective as the shot.  When I was in with Michael tonight, I almost fell asleep in the chamber, several times.  It wouldn’t be so bad, except that he likes his company to be awake, so he kept waking me up.  Oh well, it will be another early bedtime for me.

I’m really frustrated that I ran out of the B12.  I thought it was a regular refill, but it needed reauthorization, and that can take a few days.  I had been starting to feel much better, and my cardio sessions were actually starting to feel a little bit like fun.  Right now, I barely have the energy to keep my eyes open.  I am hoping that once they come in, it will only take a day or two to take effect.  I want to get back to feeling like I can do anything I set my mind to!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 73 - Restless and Not Rested

Two hours of exercise on not very much sleep is really, really hard.  I managed to get through both classes, but not as well as I’m used to.  Part of the problem was that Michael was restless last night and he came in and woke us up for cuddling three times.  Then, I just couldn’t get back to sleep.  Tonight I am planning on getting to bed early!  Cross your fingers that Michael sleeps well tonight?

I should have known that a day with little sleep and a dentist appointment first thing would not be the greatest day.  But, at least it got better as the day wore on.  And, even though I wasn’t at my strongest, I really did enjoy the classes.  I’m getting to know some more of the people in the class, and when my cousin comes, it’s just more fun.  And, tomorrow is a day off, so I will get to recover a little bit and hit it hard again on Wednesday.  But for now, I am going to finish my night time chores and get to bed.  Good night!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 72 - Breakthroughs in Fun

Today was another wonderful Sunday.  My brother-in-law got Michael this morning so that Steve and I could sleep in.  It was so amazing to sleep until I felt like getting up.  Of course, Michael had a strong influence on when that was.  Yesterday, he found some tokens for Chuck E Cheese in a cup in the garage.  So, today, he wanted to go use them and made sure we knew when they opened.  There was one particular machine he really wanted to play with.  He talked about it all the way there.  Of course, when we got there, the machine was gone.  I held my breath and prepared for his reaction.  I have to say I am so proud of him.  He didn’t fuss at all.  He was clearly disappointed, but he found other things to do.  And, he even got to play pinball in the ‘big kids’ section.  I think he really liked it. 

With sleeping in and our outing, I was late getting started on my exercise.  I decided to do a five mile video first just to see how moving felt.  It was great.  This was the first time that I did the video not praying for each mile to end.  By the end of the stretch, I was fully cooled down and recovered.  That has to be a first. 
I decided to the rest of the exercise on the bike.  I set it to level four and really wanted to see how close to 75 RM I could maintain.  Turns out, it wasn’t all that hard.  I was able to keep my heart rate in the low 130s and breathe through my nose the entire 45 minutes.  And, once again, I found myself enjoying the workout and recovering very quickly. 

There really must be something to this breathing through my nose thing.  I know it sounds like you couldn’t get much of a workout without breathing through your mouth, but you’d be really surprised.  The more I practice, the better I get.  In the walking video, my heart rate got to about 85% sporadically and I was still able to maintain it.  So, I understand from the articles I’ve been reading that it’s really important for maintaining the right oxygen levels in your blood and tissue, but don’t really fully understand the whole thing.  What I do know is that my workouts seem to be getting better the more I practice it.  If you know more about this whole idea, please let me know!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 71 - Ten Week Results

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten weeks already!  In some ways it seems like I’ve just started, and in others, it seems like forever.  But, I am officially down 18.5 pounds.  I was hoping for a bigger number, but I really am happy with all the non-scale progress I’ve been making.  I really enjoy being able to do more things, I know my flexibility is greatly improved, my blood pressure is down, and my so is my stress level.  There are so many different ways to count progress, and I have to remind myself that the scale is just one of them.  And, pictures are great too.  Here is this week’s progress pic – I can definitely see the difference!

My parents came to visit for a couple hours today.  They haven’t been here since the beginning of the year, so it was a big deal.  We had done a major renovation this spring – we replaced all the carpeting downstairs, the steps, and in the hallway upstairs with wood flooring.  We also repainted the whole area.  It looks so much nicer now, and I really wanted them to see it.  Even though they could only stay a short time, I wanted it to look great.  So, my first hour of exercise for the day was aerobic cleaning!  Between the frantic decluttering, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming and dusting, I got quite a workout. And, it was worth it.  They liked the way everything looked, and Michael had fun showing off.
The second hour of exercise was more traditional – a four mile walking DVD.  It felt good today.  Maybe it was just that my muscles have mostly healed from Wednesday’s class, or that I was happy that the house was in order, or something else entirely.  But, no matter what the reason, it felt really good to do the video and just move.  By the time I got to the stretching at the end, I felt great.  It was nice to feel good at the end of a workout instead of my standard exhaustion!
I need to work on my patience.  I want to see the scale move for me like it does on TV.  I do know that’s not realistic, but it’s hard to not hope for it all the same.  But, so many people keep pointing out that I am building a lot of muscle.  I have been going to the muscle challenge class twice a week, doing yoga three times a week, and doing a ton of cardio.  All of that is going to build muscle, which does weigh more than fat.  And, it’s more metabolically active, so that’s a good thing long term.  I just need to keep my short term goals in perspective.  God, please grant me patience, but hurry!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 70 - Friday Night Treat

I know everyone loves Fridays, but I especially do.  Friday means Friday Night Yoga.  After a really long week, you would expect a class at 5:30 on Friday afternoon to be empty.  Not this class!  Every time I’ve been, it’s been really crowded.  The classes on Mon and Web are definitely harder, but I still get an incredible workout on Fridays.  I think what makes the difference is that she has such a strong emphasis on stretching at the end of the class.  When I leave, I feel like all my muscles have been worked hard, and then turned into wet noodles.  I leave relaxed and happy.  To me, that is absolutely priceless.

At lunch time today, I did a four mile walking video, and it felt really good.  I am getting better at working hard but still breathing through my nose.  It was great to see my heart rate hovering around 80% and still be able to maintain it.  There were a few times when I had to take a deep mouth breath, but not that many.  What I really like is that I’m learning to try new things without being terribly afraid of them.  Or at least, not afraid to the point that I don’t try.  I like that!
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  Lots of stuff going on at work, but nothing over the top.  Michael had a great day and we are getting ready to go in the chamber before bed.  Sometimes, it feels like things are coming together and I can actually relax a little.  I don’t know if it will actually happen, but it’s a nice feeling.  Plus, tomorrow is the ten week mark.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress pictures, and just being proud of myself for making it through. I am still doing this!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 69 - Stressed and Tired and Achy

Today was another crazy day.  I woke up this morning and did 45 minutes on the bike before work.  Then, I had a full day of work, followed by a late meeting.  It was 6:00 by the time I got home only to find Michael in full meltdown.  It took forever for him to calm down, and then I had to take him into the hyperbaric chamber for an hour.  It was after 8:00 before I could get on the bike and do an hour.  So, I was a few minutes short of my two hours today, but I’m quite proud of myself considering everything. 
In addition to the craziness of life, I am so sore from yesterday.  I don’t know how she keeps finding new muscles to hurt, but she does!  Today, the tops of my thighs and my glutes are screaming at me.  I know it’s good, but ouch!

After having such a long, stressful day today, I am pretty sure I will sleep like a log tonight.  I am hoping to get to bed soon after I post this and maybe catch up a tiny bit on sleep.  I really wanted to have a longer, more insightful post, but tonight I’m just dead tired.  I am proud of myself for making it through the day, but so ready for bed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 68 - Mid Week Muscle Challenge!

I love my two hour classes at the gym, and I hate my two hour classes at the gym.  The first one really wore me out today.  It was really leg intense tonight and I am sure I will be feeling it for a while.  Then, yoga was pretty intense too.  The good thing is that I think I’m getting a little bit better at both classes.  I still have a long, long road ahead of me, but it’s not as intimidating as it used to be.  I do have to admit that I look forward to Fridays when it’s ‘just’ yoga. 

Other than going to the gym, it was a pretty quiet day.  I was supposed to have a meeting this morning, but it was cancelled at the last minute.  So, I had a little extra time to deal with the work emergencies that kept cropping up.  I know the meeting will be rescheduled, but it did count as a nice break.
Tomorrow is going to be crazy busy.  I have a full day of work, then a late afternoon meeting.  I am still trying to figure out how I am going to get all my exercise in.  Right now, the plan is to get up early and ride the bike before work and see if I can sneak in a walk at lunch time.  Planning ahead on office days usually doesn’t work out for me, but I can try!

The other thing that I’ve been trying to do is breathe through my nose as much as I possibly can.  I didn’t realize it made a difference.  But, the more research I do, the more important it seems to be. Apparently, it can influence your oxygen saturation and even your blood pressure.  Who knew?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 67 - A Wonderful Surprise

Wow.  I was just totally shocked by the progress I’ve made, and it caught me completely off guard.  As some of you know, we do hyperbaric oxygen therapy with Michael.  Generally, we do an hour a day for 30-40 days and then take 30-40 days off.  Stopping always happens when Michael starts getting fussy about going in and staying in.  By the time we start up again, he’s missed it and is eager to go back.  So, flexibility in the dates is really important to us.  Since he can’t go in by himself, either Steve or I always go with him.  That’s the background.

When we stopped doing the last round of therapy, I was having a hard time.  My back would tighten up on me during the hour essentially lying on the floor, and then I would have a real hard time climbing out and moving around.  Many times I would get out of the chamber and go lie down on the bed until my back felt OK enough to move.  Pretty sad, huh?
Well, tonight was so different.  I was comfortable lying in the chamber for the full hour and could have gone longer.  Then, when it was time to get out, I was able to get right out.  My legs were stronger so I could stand up almost immediately, and my back was perfectly fine.  After I got over my shock and hugged Steve to death, I came right downstairs to write this blog.  I am grinning from ear to ear.  I am guessing that all the yoga classes have really helped with all the muscles I need to get up and down.  Overall, I am just so much stronger than I was when I started.

The best part of all is that this was completely, 100% unexpected.  I know I’ve made progress and I’ve lost almost 20 pounds now, but I just hadn’t felt any different.  Tonight I got a tangible reward in my real life.  All this hard work really is paying off!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 66 - Muscle Exhaustion

Today was much better than yesterday.  Work was fairly calm, with just a few flurries of chaos.  I can handle that.  Michael was much calmer, so I was much calmer.  Funny how that works!  Although right now I feel beat, exhausted, and far from calm.

I love the muscle challenge class, and I love yoga.  I just wish I had the stamina to do them back to back better.  But, I’ll get there.  Both of tonight’s classes were pretty intense.  I have a feeling that I’ll be finding the magsoothium before bed.  My arms and shoulders are still twitching, so I know that I worked them to their limits.  I’m exhausted, but proud of myself, too.
Tomorrow is an office day, and a rest day.  I’ve been doing a little bit of reading about the importance of breathing through your nose when you’re exercising.  I think I’ll do some more research in that direction.  With Michael and the hyperbaric chamber, I know how important oxygen is to health, and I’m really curious to learn more.  If you know of any good resources either for or against, please leave a comment?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 65 - Ups and Downs

Why is it that the days you plan to do so much end up being the most unproductive?  I had high hopes of getting so much accomplished today.  But, it didn’t quite work out.  I did manage to get my exercise in, but the pile of chores around the house not so much.

I did a four mile walking video, 30 minutes on the elliptical, and 30 minutes on the bike.  I do love that I have a large variety of ways to get my exercise in.  I never get bored, and my muscles never know what to expect.  I think I’m really lucky.
Outside of the exercise, the rest of the day didn’t really go as planned.  But, I got to spend some time with my mother-in-law, Michael, and Steve.  Unfortunately, Michael’s moods have been up and down all day, so he really took a lot of attention.  And my MIL didn’t get as much time with Michael as she would have liked since he was so grumpy.  But, tomorrow is another day.  I hope it goes much more smoothly!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 64 - Nine Week Results

I love Saturdays!  It’s a day that we generally just get to hang out as a family.  There are always errands and things to do, but it just feels so much more relaxed and peaceful.  I woke up this morning and went to the gym for a half hour stretch class that was followed by an hour interval class.  I really enjoyed both classes, but the intervals kicked my butt.  The nice thing was that it counted as an hour and a half of exercise.  So, I just had to add half an hour on the elliptical and I was finished with the day.  Easy peasy!

One thing I have noticed is that the exercise is definitely helping with my stress levels.  Before I started this, I was always wound really tight.  I found myself snapping at Michael more than I wanted to.  I know that all moms with special needs kids have huge levels of stress.  I also know that I just wasn’t handling it well at all.  It took a lot of people reminding me that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of Michael.  I finally get that. 
Now that I’ve been doing this for a while, I feel much calmer.  I find myself listening more, laughing more, and just appreciating my life more.  I don’t fully understand how spending two hours a day exercising can make such a profound difference, but it’s undeniable.  It’s probably a combination of a million things – I’m sleeping better, there are tons of endorphins running through my system, I’m making myself a priority, etc..   It all adds up and I really do feel like a better wife and mother. 

When I first started, I was feeling so guilty for taking so much time for my own needs.  I felt so selfish taking time and resources to do this.  But, honestly, I am so glad that I am.  I feel like my reserves are deeper.  I don’t feel like snapping all the time.  I have pride in taking care of myself.  Best of all, Michael is understanding the importance of exercise.  This afternoon he wanted to do yoga again, so he could be healthy.  So, if you have any doubt about taking the time for yourself, please know it’s worth it.
All that said and I forgot to make the big announcement.  It’s officially nine weeks now, and I was at exactly 330 lbs. this morning.  That is exactly 18 pounds in 9 weeks.  It’s still slower than I had been hoping when I started, but I can’t deny how happy I am, and how proud I am.  My clothes are starting to get looser, and some shirts that I had stopped wearing because they were too tight are now back in rotation.  It feels good to know that I am doing this, and it is working!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 63 - Gently Plugging Along

I’m feeling a lot better today, but wow, I am so sore from yesterday.  Who knew that being sick could stress as many muscles as a really good workout?  Sheesh!  Overall, I’ve been tired, weak and dehydrated today.  But, thankfully, my stomach has settled down and I am on the road to recovery.

Because of all this, I took it pretty slow today.  I went to my favorite yoga class and then spun my legs on the bike for a while.  It was nothing overly dramatic, but enough to count for my two hours.  I really didn’t want to miss a workout, but I wanted to take it slower, too.  I figured this was a good compromise.
My head is still a little bit foggy, so I don’t have any huge insights for you today, but I wanted to check in and let you know I’m still on track and plugging along.  Good night!

Day 62 - A Day Late and Hour Short

This is a little late.  I had a pretty good day yesterday.  I did a four mile video at lunch time and was planning on doing an hour on the bike after dinner.  Then, dinner didn’t agree with me.  I spent the entire rest of the evening wishing I never had dinner.  As a special treat, Steve had gotten some items off the Whole Foods hot bar.  I’m guessing either something didn’t have all the allergens labeled, or there was something wrong with it.  Either way, I was so sick.  But, only missing one hour isn’t that bad.  At least I did something.

This morning I’m still feeling a little queasy and weak.  I am hoping that as the day goes on, I’ll feel stronger.  My favorite yoga class is tonight and I have to be there!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 61 - Thank you Jeannie!!!!

I spent a second day in an all-day training class.  When I got home I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  Worse, I was having a hard time getting myself excited for my muscle challenge and yoga classes tonight.  Then, I got a text message from my cousin saying that she was planning on meeting me at the gym at 5:30.  In that one instant, I went from ambivalent to excited!  I do love these classes, and it’s so nice to share them with people I love.  That was pretty much the turning point in my day.

I was still sore from Monday’s muscle challenge class, so I was not sure what to expect tonight.  But, if someone can find my lower abs and work them, I’m all for it!  The cool thing was that as we went through the workout tonight, I was able to figure out exactly which exercises are the ones working my lower abdominal muscles.  And, I think they will be sore again tomorrow.  I really don’t like the pain, but I love knowing that what I am doing is working.  And, if anything can help me lose a millimeter off my belly, I’m thrilled.
After the first class, yoga was especially challenging tonight.  My arms were so tired from the weights, there were a few times I just couldn’t hold them up to do the pose properly.  But, I did the best I could, and that’s all I can ask of myself.  I left class tonight feeling like I had worked every muscle in my body. But, I also felt totally relaxed and at peace.  That feeling is incredibly addictive!

Tomorrow will be a straight cardio day, which I am looking forward to.  But, even more, I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep tonight.  Good night!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 60 - Resting My Sore Muscles

Thank goodness for rest days!  It was so nice to come home after being out all day and just collapse for the evening and hang out with Steve and Michael.  It felt so lazy and decadent, but oh so nice.  Of course, I have muscles screaming at me, so there is always the reminder of reality.  But for now, I just want to focus on the rest and relaxation of the last several hours.  So nice!

But, I realize that at the muscle challenge class last night, I found my lower abs.  I have done sit-ups and other ab exercises where I felt my obliques and upper abdominal muscles, but nothing has ever touched the lower muscles.  Today, every time I laugh, cough, or move, I feel them.  I know it’s a great thing, but it is definitely catching me off guard.  And those biceps that I felt shaking last night?  They are definitely sore tonight.  But again, it’s a great thing.  I love that I can work hard enough to change my body. 
Tomorrow is going to be another super busy day.  I have class all day again, then will have to race home to get changed for the gym.  It will be a huge challenge to do two classes after sitting in a classroom all day long.  I know I’ll be ready for the movement, but I also know I’m going to be tired.  But, like always, I will just do the best I can.  I can’t ask or expect anything more than that.  But, I am looking forward to trying.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 59 - Jam Packed with Crazy

Today was absolutely insane.  I had two meetings for work, back to back from noon until four. Then I had a parent support group meeting at seven tonight.  Not a lot of free time to work with!  So, I took an early lunch and did an hour video this morning, then showered and headed out to my meetings.  After work, I raced home, changed, had dinner and ran out of my muscle challenge class.  Then, I went straight to the parent support group meeting with the air conditioner on full blast so I could cool down enough to be presentable!  What a day!
What I liked the most about the day is that I proved to myself that I could handle it.  I had to be a little creative, but I got everything in.  I have to say, though, that I am so glad I made the time to go to the muscle challenge class.  The regular teacher was back from vacation, and it was an intense class!  I have a feeling I will be feeling it tomorrow (and probably the next day too).  Once I sat down in the waiting room, I realized my biceps were shaking.  It was a strange feeling, but kinda good too.

The really cool thing came at the end of class though.  There was a standing stretch that involved bending one leg so that your ankle was on the other knee, and then sitting back.  It’s a really great stretch for the back of the leg, but took a lot of balance.  I actually was able to do some of it.  I couldn’t really sit back, but I was able to balance with the leg bent over.  I was proud of myself, and it felt really good.
The parent support group meeting was really good, too.  It is so nice to get together with parents who understand the challenges of raising kids on the autism spectrum.  You can talk about the most outlandish issues and at least one other person (if not everyone) will have gone through the same thing.  That kind of understanding and support means so much to me.  And, some of the parents in the group follow this blog, so it’s even more support.  Overall, even though it was a crazy day, I wouldn’t trade one minute of it.  But, I am also happy tomorrow is a rest day and should be much more low key!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 58 - Eight Week Results!!

OK, a day late, but hopefully worth the wait!  Eight weeks in and I’m at 332.5.  That’s 15.5 pounds down in eight weeks.  It’s a lot slower than I was hoping for when I started this journey, but I’m still thrilled.  When I look at the starting vs. today picture, I can finally see whole body changes.  I keep looking at the picture and smiling.  That says a lot!

Today was a busy day, and made getting the exercise in a challenge.  Steve came home from the wedding early this morning, so I didn’t get to go to water aerobics this morning.  As soon as he got settled, I asked him to take the progress pictures.  Then, Michael had KEEN Music at 12:30, followed by a picnic in Virginia.  We didn’t get home until almost 4.  That’s really, really late for me to start exercising.  But, after the weigh in and pictures this morning, I wasn’t going to let anything slow me down today.
On the way home I really had to give myself a pep talk.  But, once we put everything away, I popped in a five mile walking DVD and I was off.  I was more tired than normal, just because of running around all afternoon.  But, it ended up being a good workout.  Then, we had a DVR’d football game to look forward to.

We ate dinner during the first half of the game and then I was on the bike for 45 minutes during the second half.  I even managed to keep my average heart rate at 123!  So, that really does reinforce for me that my legs are getting stronger and my stamina is improving.  It’s taken the full eight weeks to get here, but it feels great!  And, the Redskins won, so I’m on top of the world tonight.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day 57 - Creativity and Congratulations!

Today was my niece’s wedding.  I was sorry that we all couldn’t go, but Steve went.  It was nice because he was able to skype the wedding so I could watch it with my mother-in-law.  That way none of us missed it.  Sometimes technology is really, really nice!  Best Wishes to the new couple!!!

Because we had some strange time restraints, it was easiest for me to stay home and exercise today.  I did two 45 minute sessions on the bike and one 30 minute yoga DVD.  For the second bike session, I set the workout to random.  It was challenging, but fun!  And the yoga was hard but relaxing, as usual.  I am still thrilled that I’m getting stronger each time.
I know today was supposed to be the eight week weigh-in and pictures.  But, because of Steve traveling and the wedding, I couldn’t do pictures today.  I figure I’ll do the weigh in and pictures tomorrow morning and post them in the afternoon.  I’m actually looking forward to the pictures.  The other day, Steve commented that my butt was looking smaller.  I like that!

So, on a number of fronts, today was all about flexibility and creativity.  Two things I need to work on, but that can be incredibly rewarding.  I will keep doing this!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 56 - Strength and Balance

As hard of a day as yesterday was, today was good.  Michael is still struggling with fall allergies, but he’s doing much better.  And, I think I’m getting stronger.  I did a 4 mile video today at lunch time and actually enjoyed it.  It felt good to move.  I still have a long ways to go before I’m doing the full video at 100% intensity, but I’m getting better each time.  It makes me smile to think that I’m actually enjoying it.
But, what is making me truly happy is that today was Friday Yoga.  It’s my very favorite class.  It’s still hard, and I am dripping with sweat, but wow is it relaxing too.  When the class is done, I feel like my entire body has been stretched and massaged.  It’s a welcome, relaxed feeling that I don’t get very often.  And, tonight I even managed to do three down dogs.  Again, it wasn’t as long as the rest of the class, but probably ten seconds each.  For me, that’s a major accomplishment.  And, my legs are getting stronger, too.  When it was time for tree pose, I was able to hold the pose on each leg the entire time without falling out of balance.  I never thought I’d be able to do that!
 am learning more about myself as I keep going in this journey.  It’s definitely not what I was expecting, and so far from what I was hoping for, but it’s still pretty amazing.  I am thrilled to be doing this!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 55 - A hard, rough day

This has been a hard day.  Starting from the moment my alarm went off until now.  When the alarm went off, I did manage to go down and get 45 minutes on the bike before work.  Work was challenging, to say the very least.  Then, I got a call from school that we had to come pick up Michael because he wouldn’t settle on the bus.  Steve went to get him and somehow managed to get them both home safely.  Things went downhill from there.

I was really happy that I did the exercise before work because I was totally convinced I wouldn’t get any more in for the day.  Michael needed 100% focus and attention.  But, when he had settled enough that we could get an idea of what was wrong, we gave him a lot of food to eat, and followed with a Benadryl.  Twenty minutes later, we had our happy kid back.  What a relief!
When things calmed down I was able to get back on the bike and do another 45 minutes.  I had been hoping for another 30 minute session to get my full two hours in, but that just wasn’t in the cards.  Michael still needed a lot of time and attention.  The great thing is that I found a kids yoga dvd on Netflix and he did the entire thing.  But, it was a kids DVD, so no mommies allowed.  That was fine though.  I was just happy to watch and encourage.  It was what he needed, and it was really calming for me to just be the coach for a bit.

So, even though I didn’t get all my exercise in, I still consider the day to be a success.  We all got through a really rough day and ended on a good note.  In my book, that’s a win!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 54 - A Down Dog Victory!

Tonight in yoga class I was able to hold a down dog for about 15 seconds.  Now, to most people that’s nothing to be proud of.  For me, it was a HUGE accomplishment.  I am incredibly proud of myself, and my arms!  Especially since the yoga class was after the muscle challenge class.  My arms and shoulders got an extreme workout tonight.  I will be feeling it tomorrow and the next day, more than likely.
I noticed again today that my body was ready to exercise long before class was due to start.  I really like that my system just seems to gear up and get ready, fully expecting me to need the energy.  I’m not exactly bouncing off the walls, but I can definitely sense a feeling of expectation.  Movement is becoming habit.  That is exactly what I was hoping for.  It is taking longer than I expected, but now that it’s kicking in, I’m really happy.
Normally, I’d try to write something insightful, but my brain and body are just done.  I am seeing an early bedtime in my immediate future.  Good night!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 53 - A Make Up Day!

I did something today I didn’t think I could do.  I got in two hours of exercise on a Tuesday!  I chose Tuesday as my rest day for two reasons – there aren’t any classes at the gym that I would like to take, and I’m in the office all day, so I get up early and come home exhausted.  These are big reasons why it’s hard to get the exercise in on Tuesdays.  But, since I took Sunday off, I really wanted to make up for it today.  So, my reasons became excuses, and out they went!
This morning, I got on the bike first thing and did 45 minutes before work.  It was hard to get my heart rate up – I was so tired and my legs just didn’t want to move.  But, I did it.  And, I think I actually had a little extra energy at work today.  That was a surprising bonus!

But, when I got home, I really was exhausted.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  I talked with Steve and told him I still had to do an hour and fifteen minutes of exercise.  He suggested doing the 4 mile video that I really enjoy.  He’s a smart man.  The hour went by pretty quickly and I got in a great workout.  Then, after a rest and some dinner, I was able to finish up with 15 minutes on the bike.  It was a lot less painful than I had anticipated. 
I’m really happy that I got the exercise in today.  It would have been really easy to say that it was a rest day and I was sticking to my schedule.  But, after a little bit of soul searching last night, I realized that I was actually rested and ready to go.  I had no need of a rest day, and I didn’t want to give myself an out that I didn’t need.  So, today became a make-up day.  I am really, really proud of myself for that.

To balance out the pride, I do want to be realistic.  I’m sure there are going to be days that I won’t be able to make up.  And, I worry about putting a lot of pressure on myself to not mess up.  But, I feel so comfortable with my support system.  I know that between Steve, the rest of my family, and my friends, no one will let me get away with being lazy.  And, hopefully, no one will let me do anything silly, either!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 52 - Labor Day and Good Expectations

Today was a great day.  It was Labor Day so we got to spend some quiet time together and just relax.  My Mother-In-Law came over for burgers on the grill, so we even got some extra family time in.  That was nice.

I’ve been feeling a lot better today.  I still have some pain on deep breathes, but nothing like it was on Saturday.  Since the doctor said it was fine, I went back to my 2 hours of exercise today, but I broke it up into 3 sessions on the bike.  It was low intensity, but long duration.  I like it!
Tomorrow would normally be a day off, but I think I’m going to try and get at least an hour of exercise in, if not two.  I didn’t like missing sessions over the weekend, so I can use the rest day to make up for it.  I’ll still keep the intensity low, but get the time in. 

Steve was funny this afternoon.  At one point he noticed that I had a bunch of nervous energy building up and suggested that it was time to exercise.  His theory is that my body is really used to the exercise now and expecting it.  I really think he’s right.  That is so shocking, but really, really cool.
I was expecting magic to happen at the six week mark.  I didn’t really see anything major, but this might just be it.  I really love the idea that exercise is becoming a habit and that my body is starting to crave (or at least prepare for) the exercise.  This could be a great thing!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 51 - Rest and a Plan

I got a little concerned last night that the pain in my lungs just didn’t seem to be getting better.  So, we decided to check in at one of the local urgent care centers.  The doctor was really great and listened carefully to what I told him.  He listened to my heart and lungs and decided that the pain was most likely musculoskeletal.  That was good news.  He said I should take a day off, take ibuprofen three times a day, and use moist heat.  Then, if the pain lessened, it would be safe to get back to exercising.

So, I took today off and followed the doctor’s recommendations.  The pain is definitely less tonight than it was, but it hasn’t gone away completely.  But, now that I know that it’s nothing serious, I know that I can get back to work.  Steve (the designated voice of reason for this journey) and I (the very impulsive, obsessive one) decided that if I’m feeling OK tomorrow, I can do one hour of exercise and then see how I feel.  It sounds like a good, safe plan.
I don’t like taking unscheduled days off, but I also know that this is a long, long journey and I need to live through it.  And, I’m hoping that the rest and ibuprofen will make me even stronger!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 50 - Pain and Failure

Today I feel like a failure.  The scale didn’t move this week, and I barely got in 45 minutes of exercise.  I have been so exhausted all day, I just felt like a zombie.  When I did get on the bike, it felt like a major effort to just pedal.  Steve was a little worried about me and had me quit before I was supposed to.  My lungs ache so badly that every breath hurts.  I think I’m glad I listened to him.  I’m really not sure what’s going on, but it’s a little scary.  Such a big change from yesterday.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, leave me a comment here or on facebook?  I could really use the encouragement.