2014 Goals

Many people made New Years resolutions on Jan 1st.  I have done that in the past.  I start off strong then by Valentine’s day I have given up or completely forgot about them.  That is not surprising since a resolution is usually too vague.  Something like “I am going to lose weight.”   That is a great idea but there is no plan and no deadline.  That for me leaves room for failure.  This year I am doing something different.  I am setting goals.   I have a specific direction with check points along the way to ensure I reach my goal.

I like to set new goal each quarter.  That way I am  making changes more than once a year.  This quarter I am concentrating on two areas, Fitness and Finance.  My fitness goal is to complete Les Mills Combat.  This program is 60 days of mixed martial arts inspired workouts.  I have three boys currently enrolled in karate so it comes as no surprise that I wanted to try this program.  I have completed my first week.  It is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone but I am loving it.  In addition to Combat I am also participating in a 10,000 push-up challenge.  100 push-ups a day for 100 days.  I have completed 1600 push-ups this month.  My arms are sore but I feel strong!  Last year, I got off track with my fitness.  I was working out occasionally but didn’t have a clear focus.  Now I have challenge groups set up which help motivate me to work harder.

My finance goal this quarter is to pay off two credit cards.  Last September, my husband and I attended a 9 week Financial Peace University course.  We took this class in 2001  when we were first married.  But after four kids, and 12 years of marriage our finances had changed.  I am so glad that we took the time to retake this course.  Although the  steps were exactly the same I learned more this time around.  Funny how that works.  Even though I had been using a budget the last 12 years my husband and I were not on the same page.  This class really helped us get back on track.  It really helped us see how we were wasting money.   We realized changes were necessary.   For instance, we paid off debt 12 years ago but started using credit cards again.  We were falling back into old habits.  It was time to break them.   We have already made progress and the goal is to have both cards paid off by the end of March.

These goals won’t be easy but I am committed to reaching the finish line.

Taking care of Mom

As a mother of four my days get busy.  Rarely do I have a free moment.  There are meals to prepare, a house to clean, laundry to fold, and homework to check.  Then we add in the time I spend driving them to school, karate, and other social events.  I don’t want to sound like I am complaining because honestly I am so thankful that I am able to stay at home with my children.  I know they will grow up too fast and that I will miss all these busy moments.  However, the last few months I have come to realize that in order to take good care of my family I also need to take care of me.

For the past few months I have been putting my exercise routine on the back burner.  I have been working out a few times a week when I had time but I wasn’t making it a priority.  Like most moms do, I felt it was more important to tend to my family’s needs and I would just work out whenever I had time.  Then I noticed that I was overly tired and gaining  weight which  made me cranky.  Let’s face it when Mom is cranky  the whole house suffers.

Its time for a change.  I need to remember its okay to take care of me!  The first item on my to-do list is now exercise.  After I drop my older kids at the bus stop of course.  I  immediately put on my workout clothes when I wake up so there are no excuses.  Once breakfast is done and the kids are off to school my younger kids know I am going to take 30 -60 minutes to exercise.  Right now I am doing a 30 day arm challenge and the Combat program by Les Mills.  Sometimes my kids join in other times they color quietly or play in their room.  But the result is I feel better and have more energy throughout the day.  The bonus is my kids are watching me create healthy habits.

If you are interesting in joining a 30 day challenge or looking for accountability let me know in the comments.   We would love for you to join our group.  It is nice to have a group to encourage one another and stay motivated.  It makes such a big difference. What are you waiting for?  Make health and fitness a priority. I promise you won’t regret it.

We interrupt this blog

I have attempted many times this month to write a new post. Somehow here it is the last day of January and 3 weeks since my last post. At the beginning of the month I made a list of goals for the year. The good news is I have been working hard on those goals all month. However, that is also the reason I haven’t posted in 3 weeks. Some of you might remember that a big goal for my son, Owen, was to be potty trained. I am happy to announce that he is very close to reaching that milestone. But you can also imagine that about every ten minutes I must stop whatever I am doing to take him to the bathroom. I am definitely not complaining as it will be nice to only have one child in diapers.

Before I would do a lot of catching up on cleaning, laundry, or blogging on the weekends. But another goal I set for myself was to catch up on scrapbooking. My husband has been kind enough to let me have at least two hours every Saturday to lock myself in a room with my glue, scissors, paper, stickers, and hundreds of pictures. Since I am about 2 1/2 years behind this is going to be a long process. I have really enjoyed the two hours of quiet time. I find it so relaxing to organize the pictures and relive the memories. This weekend not only did I get quite a few pages completed but I also found some motivation for my fitness goals. Nothing like seeing a picture of yourself 30 lbs heavier to encourage you to work out. I have never been a fan of the scale since there are so many variables. But after scrapbooking the picture below I knew I wouldn’t have a problem completing my work outs this week! The first picture was taken the summer of 2009 a few months after my 3 child was born. I was heavier than I had even been and was just starting P90X. The second picture was taken last fall almost a year after my 4th child.  Now that I am on the right track towards my goals I just need to figure out how to add another 4 more hours to the day so I have time for everything.

 

Rockin’ Body

I love this time of year with all the christmas decorations, music and family traditions.    However, with all the christmas festivities,  I find it harder to keep up with my regular work out schedule.  So for the month of December I am going to change-up my routine and have a little fun.   All those homemade holiday goodies can be hard to resist so I am hoping these fun workouts from Shaun T’s Rockin’  Body program will help me burn some extra calories. 

 I have always wanted to learn how to dance.  But I have always been too embarrassed because  I have two left feet.    Well, Rockin’ Body feels more like a dance party than a work out.  I didn’t even realize that 45 minutes had passed.  The first few days were a little challenging as I tried to learn the choreography.  If anybody could see in my front window I am sure they would laugh at me.   But now 7 days into the program I am feeling more confident.   This morning I felt like I was doing awesome. I thought for sure the judges on Dancing with the Stars would give me at least an 8 for effort and musicality.  Then my 4-year-old walked into the room and says ” Mom, that’s not even close to what Shaun T is doing.”  Gotta love kids honesty.  They have a way of bringing you back to reality.  Oh well, at least I am having fun and burned some serious calories!

 

Time to Bring It Again

My husband has been riding his  bike to work since the beginning of June.  This has inspired him to want to work out more.   During a recent conversation he suggested a round of P90X.  I never like to shy away from a challenge so I quickly agreed.  I have completed the program before so I thought it would be a piece of cake.  I don’t like to admit this but….I was wrong.

Previously, I have followed the lean program which provides more cardio and less resistance.  I started 6 weeks after my pregnancy so I was focused on shedding the baby fat.  I reached my goal weight therefore toning up is now my primary concern.  My husband’s goal is to gain mass.  So we will be doing the classic program for this round. 

I am a creature of habit. I prefer to do my work out first thing in the morning to jump-start my day.  I am encouraged when I  cross exercise off my to-do list even before the kids are awake. It also gives me more energy to chase after the  kids.   However, my husband is NOT a morning person.   There is no way I can convince him to give up 90 minutes of sleep in order to work out before he has to go to the office.  So we are working out in the evenings after all the kids activities and dinner.  Today was day 4 of this new routine.  I had no idea that working out at the end of the day would seem harder for me.  It is a whole new adventure and I am curious to see if I learn to love the new schedule. 

I have discovered that I am more competitive now that my husband and I doing P90X together.  Of course I can’t lift the heavy weights like he can.  But I push myself harder to do more reps.  I refuse to do the girlie push-ups when he is in the room.  I attempt pull-ups without the chair.  In other words I get out of my comfort zone.  A little competition is good for a marriage right?

I am definitely excited for this round.    Only 86 more days to go!  Oh yes, I am counting down because  we have planned it perfectly so that day 90 is  the week of our 10th wedding anniversary.  Our reward for completing the program will be a vacation to San Francisco.  By vacation I mean no kids, so Mom if you are reading this it’s time to book your flight to stay at my house.

My Fit Test

As I mentioned in a previous post it is time for me to take a break from P90X.  However, I will not be taking a break from exercise.  I have started a new program called RevAbs.  The trainer in this series is Brett Hoebel.  Some of you may recognize the name from the current season of The Biggest Loser as he was one of their new trainers.  I have never watched any of the previous seasons so for me all 4 trainers were unknown.  I immediately liked the training styles of Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronova. Two of my boys are enrolled in Karate so the martial arts and boxing techniques were more familiar to me.  After a few weeks of watching the show I knew I wanted to try Brett’s at home program RevAbs. 

  The first step was to take measurements and complete the fit test.  The boys love to exercise so we made the fit test a family event.  The boys already knew how to do a lot of the moves from their karate warm-up.  They were very quick to tell me if I wasn’t doing something right and let me know if they were able to complete more reps than me.  I try not to laugh and just let them be my little personal trainers.  My Fit Test results from day 1:

Squat Hold- 1 minute and 30 seconds

Push ups in 30 seconds – 12

Jump Jacks in 30 seconds- 34

Plank Hold- 51 seconds

Cobra Hold- 1 minute 10 seconds

Crunches in 30 seconds- 25

Leg Drops in 60 seconds- 12

Side Plank Hold- 30 seconds on right and left side

My core strength is my weakest link right now.  I am excited to see how RevAbs changes that.  I look forward to taking this fit test again on day 90 to see the difference.

Ready…Set…Go!

Every April our town celebrates the Pear Blossom festival.  There is a street fair, parade, 5K, 10 mile run and my personal favorite the Mayor’s Cup.  All of the local schools send home flyers to encourage students to participate in the Mayor’s Cup.  It wasn’t even an option in our house as my 1st grader insisted we sign up the whole family to run.  So for the 2nd year in a row our family ran/walked in the 1 mile and 2 mile Mayor’s Cup.

 All the boys were excited to put on their running pants and tennis shoes.  Once we pinned on their race numbers they couldn’t wait to get to the starting line.   The first race was the 1 mile.  Hudson (age 4) decided he wanted to ditch the stroller and run along side Daddy and big brother Ethan.  He did great.  I walked behind them pushing  Owen (22 months) in the stroller and carrying Megan (4 months) in the backpack carrier.  Once we crossed that finish line the boys were happy to receive their red ribbons.  We asked them if they were ready to go home.  Ethan and Hudson both replied “No, we need to do the 2 mile race. ”  I am all about family fitness so it sounded like a great idea to me.  This time Hudson rode in the stroller so that Daddy and Ethan could run a little faster with some friends that we met up with.  As soon as Hudson sat down in the stroller he became my little motivator.  He would tell me that I wasn’t pushing fast enough.  I would just laugh and tell him that there were people in front of us so I had to wait our turn.  He then would tell me that I shouldn’t let them beat us so I had to run faster.  Who am I to refuse a challenge?  I found the drive to move a little faster so that we could pass some people.  This made both Hudson and Owen very happy.  Once the finish line was in view Hudson jumped out of the stroller and ran across the finish line all by himself.  He wanted to hurry up and get his 2nd ribbon.  It was very cute. 

In case you were wondering how little Miss Megan did….I think she would have preferred to be sleeping.  It was a little chilly but we had her all bundled up.  She never cried and just watched everything around us.  Then while we were at breakfast she fell fast asleep.   This really is a great family event.  It was the perfect way to start our day.  A family tradition that we will continue for many years to come.

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