Sunday, August 29, 2010

"I can see in your face that you're a loser!"

The title of this post is a comment that a friend sent to me on Facebook. I started a Marissology fan page and sent out invites for people to join. I suspect this friend saw new photos of me. The play on words caused me to laugh my ever decreasing tushy off. I won't call him out on it since he did send his thoughts in a private message, but it was just too cute for words not to share.

I do havesome BIG! Ginormous!! HUGE-GANTIC!! news to share. Kind of ironic considering the gargantuan news is about something getting smaller.  Yes, another weight loss update.

*cartwheel*

Today, August 29, 2010 I stepped up on the scale to have it remain for a week solid on ....... never mind the number.  It tells me that I have lost FORTY POUNDS of back fat, booty slap, jiggling cottage cheese and BINGO! wings since my decision to get healthy began with three shakes a day for 3 days with Shakeology on the 3-day Cleanse.

It has not been easy.  There is absolutely no sense in trying to make this journey seem more like gliding across terrain not met with obstacles.  Plus, it's been a joint effort of making healthy food choices (not perfectly, mind you) and working out diligently.  I make an appointment with my workouts as if they are the most important job interview of my life.  They are non-negotiable.  Period.

The incredible thing about not turning to the latest magic pill that might help me lose weight but destroy my organs in the process offered up from Big Pharmaceutical A-Z is that I know it's all me. My hard work and the encouragement of friends and loved ones brought me here.  Little ol' me who never thought she'd return to the energetic, glorious, fit person living deep within.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stand Tall

For as far back as I can remember in my childhood we were told to stand up straight.  Our mother was a stickler for good posture.  At any given moment one of us would feel the pressure of her pointy finger in the middle of our backs instantly causing our shoulders to pull back as if they'd been tethered with a counter weight.  Her reason to me was that it would make me appear confident, thinner AND when I aged and got bigger boobs they'd seem less droopy. 

Mom was right. Naturally.

My own son hasn't been inflicted with my index finger.  As he set off for the bus this morning I called out to him, "Pull your shoulders back!"  Instantly, he did.  But it looked painfully unnatural.  His head was still cocked down like the dopey vulture from the cartoons.  "We'll work on fixing that. Have a great day!"  And he shuffled off surely releasing his posture to the slumpiness that screams Shaggy of Scooby Doo. 

Poor posture isn't limited to my video gaming Mancub.  That's what I call his affliction. Gamers Posture.  It has been written that it is a trend amongst tweens and teens to slouch and skip sucking in the gut. Of course I can't find the blasted article where I read it. Curses! But trust me, I read it.  Even thin girls appear to have a paunch.  S-curve postures.  I see them all over our local mall.  It first came to my attention, this suspected trend, when Miley Cyrus was walking the red carpet for an awards program.  Then, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and a host of others trotted about in designer, one-of-a-kind gowns with posture reminiscent of the early stages in The Evolution of Man posters.  What in the world is happening? My poor mother would have a field day dissecting this tragedy.

From what I've been reading, technology is to blame, mostly.  Lap tops, texting, video games, etc... cause the user to roll the shoulders forward.  Muscle memory takes control.  Without daily corrective exercises to counteract the phenomenon, we're left with a youth parade of what appears to be slackers.  Sorry, the voice of my mother is infiltrating this blog post.  "STAND UP STRAIGHT!! You look LAZY!"

Now, incorrect posture isn't limited to kids.  Adults carry plenty of that burden, too.  It's never too late to fix it, don't ya know? However, like every thing else in life, it will require work but if you make it a family affair, then it is more of a labor of love.  You know what's coming, don't you?

Exercise.

There are specific exercises that target the muscles behind correct posture.  Between consistency of performing them and being conscientious, we can have a population that appears it is strong enough and confident enough to carry the world on its shoulders.

Since I am NOT a fitness expert or physiologist, I will leave you with this fantastic link for more ideas: Exercises to Improve Your Posture; Stand taller, look 10 pounds thinner.

As for my 16 year old son? He and I will be routinely 'pushing play' on Tony Horton's In-Home Boot Camp: Power 90.  Elemental exercises utilizing light to heavy weight (depending on fitness level).  Good old fashioned push-ups! One of the single best exercises to strengthen a person's core.  It'll be an excellent bonding time for the boy and me. 

Trust me, it sure beats the dagger-like point of my mother's index finger.  I am certain there's still a mark left in the middle of my back from her stern intolerance of poor posture.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Give me asylum: A monthly request

Right to the point: I'm a girl who has needed a check up from the neck up. Thumbing through the Yellow Pages for a shrink isn't what is inferred. Although, that would probably do me a world of good. After all, there are plenty of reasons for the manner in which I act and react to situations in my life. Knee jerk reactions that often leaving me wishing I was someone else.

Stop.

The eight sided, fire engine red sign is held up in my mind. Maybe it is progress that I'm capable of catching my negative responses to even the simplest things. However ... you knew this was coming, right? This past week has been very trying.

Why?

Well, facing my increasing age is not something that weighs heavily on my mind.  Getting older means I'm still here on planet Earth.  Good, right? Yes, but as a woman it's often a battle of the hormones.

Guys, this might be the point where you wince or stop reading.  It is your decision, but it could get graphic.  I'm writing this from the top of my head and knowing which direction I'll take is a mystery.  If you choose to be brave and hang out for the duration, thank you for making like Alan Alda.

My age, which is 45, doesn't show on my face.  Genetics have granted me few wrinkles and decent skin tone and complexion.  As a little girl I'd admire my mother as she slathered Second Debut moisturizer to her face and neck.  I learned that moisturizer is key.  Unlike my beautiful mother, I do not smoke.  Diet Pepsi is not my primary source of hydration.  What is increasingly obvious regarding my age is what I consider my uncontrollable hormones.  Monthly uprisings cause me to question and doubt myself.  Being awakened at night feeling like someone switched the air conditioning off and the heat on.  The ceiling fan is switched to full speed after flinging the covers from my dampened hide.  Dear God! Help me get through this.

What's most difficult about this ever present change of life is not the flashes and night sweats.  Not even the sudden urge to burst into tears moments after wanting to rip someone's face off is nearly as damning as questioning myself.  Self-doubt becomes a heavy anchor tethered to my being and drags me to the deepest, darkest, cavernous place.

Fear.

Logically, this lack of self-esteem is limited to the week before the dam breaks, if you know what I mean.  Hormonal surges get a choke hold on logic, unfortunately.  I'm not one who rushes to the doctor and begs for a magic pill to make me all better.  Please, don't immediately suggest it because I will toss a major league POO-POO! upon it.  Such things are a last resort in the Book of 'Riss.

Normally, I think I manage to have a handle on the overwhelming senses and urges.  The week of August 15-21 literally kicked my ass. Mentally and physically.  To put it bluntly, I felt like shit. From the roots of my hair to the tips of my toes it was crystal clear that it wasn't a case of mind over matter.  Not one spot of me was left out of the maelstrom.  Sometimes it sucks to be a middle aged babe. I had little patience for bullshit.  Give me a real problem to solve or offer consult, but don't whine, piss and moan about someone's petty crap! Mole hills turned into mountains!  I wanted to toss my cell phone into the river and shove my iPod earbuds in my ears so deeply to drown out the never ending parade of wah, wah, wah.  I had my own issues piling up and burying my spirit.

What stinks about the entire thing is that all I wanted to do was lock myself in a room and chill. That, of course, is not what could be executed. What did I do? I put on a happy face and tried to see my way through the chasm of my hormonal misfortune.  The throbbing, pulsating three day headache had to be ignored because missing work was not an option.  It occurred to me that working out the tension would be best.  Not this time around.  It weakened me and even with the minimal effort I felt consumed by perspiration and exhaustion.  Nausea set in.

WTF!?

My son was sick for the first time in over a decade.  We're talking full blown, call the haz/mat clean up crew projectile vomiting in the bathroom.  Poor kid wasn't even aware what that sudden urge to purge felt like.  Home alone, he ran to the bathroom with only a moment to spare his stomach contents from expelling in the dining room.  So, with that in mind I considered that I, too, was getting the bug he had.  He was overcome with fever. I was not.  Plus, I knew Auntie Flo was just around the corner.

With all of this being said it has been made abundantly clear that while I say age is nothing but a number, it is significantly more than candles on a birthday cake or a crow's foot or two around my green eyes.  It is official.  Marissa Rapier has reached the era of being hormonally challenged.  

Here's a bonus side note.  I received a free music download on the package of tampons purchased the other day.  Woo! That almost takes away the angst ...................................... NOT!

But I do dig freebie tunage.

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

Friday, August 20, 2010

Confessions from a Wildhair

I have a confession to make.

I've lacked motivation for two months.  Regardless of the wild success experienced in the first 90 days of my weight loss journey, I have lost the edge of ambition.  My workouts haven't eased up.  If anything I have pushed myself harder.  The reason? It seemed the best thing to get over the hump. Yet, something triggered the junk food junky in me.  The addict reared her fat, cellulite covered, sloppy, disgusting self.  I've been pretending that everything is hunky dory and nothing can get in the way of me and my goals.  I've lied to you. It was done as a means to convince myself that it was only temporary and if I talked a big game I'd believe it.  Wrong. I'm humbly sorry and ashamed. 

Wearing the mask is uncomfortable and I've got to be me.

Today, as with last three days, have held me under the weather.  Headaches and nausea abound as I force myself to workout each morning.  Although, today I succumbed to it.  Whatever it is lurking in my system has been relentless.  Sweating it out clearly is not the right choice.  That theory was tested yesterday.  Rather than pushing play on the intensity of Turbo Fire, I slogged through the less strenuous but mightily rigorous Turbo Jam 20 Minutes.  Even after a shower and Shakeology -- which combined with working out usually takes care of any bleah symptoms -- did not work.  The dull headache, instead of vanishing, climbed to an excruciating level.

What the hell?

My son called me late in the day Thursday to tell me he'd expelled the contents of his stomach in a violent, projectile manner all over the bathroom. He apologized incessantly for the mess as he groaned in agony on the phone.  He has not been sick in over ten years.  A decade of good health.  This is a boy who gets over a cold in 48 hours.  Sick. Not just feeling a little blah.  Full blown barf-o-matic accompanied by fever. 

I had my answer for why I'd been feeling downright crappy.

I'm taking a break from my workouts for the entire weekend and I'll start fresh with the Turbo Fire workouts on Monday.  Additionally, my eating habits will return to healthful choices no matter what my foolish food addict inner voice tells me.  Sabotage is not an option.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another day older and wiser (?)

Technically I'm a few days older than I was the last time I wrote on my blog.  My birthday came and went without incident.  Driver's license was renewed at the facility that time forgot.  I would swear that when the phone rang (a ring not unlike that of the avocado green colored phone that hung in our kitchen back in the '70s), the person answering would be greeted by Ernestine "One ringy dingy" the phone operator. 

Lavender and ivory roses were delivered sent to me by my 'dearest'.  Attached was a beautifully written, personal message -- hint: I'm not telling you. 

The rest of the day was spent with my Mancub.  His birthday gift from his dad finally arrived via Fed Ex and he was anxious to spend it. I happily obliged. Then we went out for lunch.  That brings me to the next order of business.  My diet has been absolutely dreadful for about three weeks.  Honesty is the best policy when holding oneself accountable.  Since being emotional on video about my 90 day achievement through Power 90 and Turbo Jam, I have fallen off the wagon.  Today is the first day of my restart.  While I have not gained extra weight, I have not lost any, either.  My workouts haven't lessened, however. Turbo Fire sets my soul aflame. It's addictive! My body and heart are thanking me, but when overall fitness isn't the sole goal, it's apparent that what I fuel my body with is ever so important.  Not an a-ha! moment.  It's more of a 'well, duh!' moment. 

Typically, I do not have a sweet tooth, but as of late, I have. Weird. Shakeology will often quench my desire. However, there are times when the need to sink my teeth into something supercedes my good sense toward health.  Sadly, I have succumbed to the call of badness in the last couple of weeks.  Rather than beat myself up, I've had to administer tough love on myself.  Additionally when that happens, I turn to fellow Team Beachbody members and coaches for recipes that amps up my favorite taste bud tantalizer.  Today's delicacy of choice was Shakeology no-bake cookies.  They remind me of the orb shaped treats most people only make and place in tins at Christmas time.  Chocolate Shakeology combined with oats, cashew butter and a touch of honey then rolled in chopped pecans. A couple nibbles suit me, but Mancub wanted a whole, super rich treat.  With all the goodness packed in the tablespoon sized spheroid, who am I to refuse him?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Birthzilla or just a girl who really needed a party?

I haven't kept it a secret that my 45th birthday is approaching.  Yes, I'm still pushing for it to be a national holiday.  Hey! Lofty dreams aren't a crime. 

It's a rarity for the scenarios that happen in my noggin to occur in real life. Therefore, I know I won't awaken to find a loin clothed hotty serving me breakfast in bed nor will that be followed with a chauffeured escort to a spa where I'll receive my first ever full body massage -- happy ending optional. 

Instead, my day will consist of one known detail: I have to renew my driver's license. It didn't dawn on me until last night that this is the year it expires.  How often do you look at your state ID? The only reason my peepers got a look at mine is because I took it from its hermetically sealed entrapment in my wallet.  Why? Because, now don't laugh too hard, I was going out and thought some silly ass might card me.  Shut! UP! The signs behind the bars always say if you don't look 99 then we'll card you -- or some goofy nonsense like that.  I haven't been mistaken for being under 21 since I was 19.

But I did go out last night. There was a shindig across the river not far from mi casa. I have no idea what it was for, but mai tais were the drink of choice at the boat club. Four of them to be precise. Mai tais, not boat clubs. Pain wasn't being felt.  They were strong but I managed to hold my own. Well, don't go around asking anyone who witnessed my antics. I might have been a bumbling dumb ass. Like my birthday fantasy, circumstances are often different inside my mind.  The excuse I used for just letting go and throwing caution to the wind was that it was my pre-birthday celebration. Surprising was that I ran into people I know!! And the people I thought I knew made a new acquaintance. HA!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sixteen Candles


Family and friends gathered to celebrate My son's 16th birthday. After downloading the photos to the pc, it dawned on me that no pictures were taken of me with my son. My sister Maureen was the first to see my 9 pound 2 ounce bundle of love. So, with that in mind it seemed fitting that she'd be next to him as he blew out his candles and made a wish. For the record, I managed to sing "Happy Birthday" without falling apart and becoming a sobbing mess. Hooray for small miracles.

Earlier that day we had to head out to his high school to register for his sophomore year. Weird! It conjured up memories of my own 16th birthday. I, too, was registering for school. My junior year. Unlike Mancub, after getting my student ID photo taken, my sister Mary and I drove to the Illinois equivalent of the DMV. We don't call it the DMV here. Anyway, I got my driver's license ON my sweet 16. My son is slotted to take driver's education first semester. EEP! Valium may be required.

It's a good thing I have a son rather than a daughter.  Planning a simple gathering was difficult enough for me. There's no way I could have ever pulled off a princess like sweet 16 birthday bash.  My family did arrange one for me on the weekend that followed my sixteenth birthday.  It was good, wholesome fun for me.  Nearly all of my siblings were present. They invited friends. The house was filled with song and laughter.  I didn't get a smooch on that evening but I would later learn how one particular boy who was present plotted to get me alone to give me a kiss. It would have been my first kiss.  His chance would come and go but he'd eventually redeem himself.  Swoon. That's a story for another time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Come out, come out wherever you are"

Check in time came August 5, 1994 at Olympia Fields Hospital was supposed to be 6 AM via the emergency room entrance. It seemed no one was alerted to this arrangement. By 7 AM we were filling out the necessary paperwork. Between the grumbling of hunger from having not eaten since the prior evening and the nervousness of what was about to happen, my stomach was a mess.

Once checked in and brought to the maternity ward around 8 AM, I was informed that the labor and delivery rooms were occupied.  Coincidentally with women from our Lamaze class. They'd elected to receive epidurals which was making their labor time longer.  I was assured that my grueling time on the thin mattress/gurney like bed wouldn't be all day. This would eventually become a bold face lie.  All the necessary IV hookups were made.  The waiting began.  It didn't take too long for me to see Pitocin aided contractions registering on the monitor.  Nothing major.  I figured this would be a piece of cake.  Still, I was starving and it didn't help any that my (ex) husband complained about his own hunger. 

Hours ticked by.  Several exams would come and go.  The perk was that a truly handsome intern would massage my feet after checking my vitals as part of his learning experience.  I can't recall the young man's name, but he asked if I didn't mind him being part of my birthing team.  He was kind and compassionate; a contrast to Nurse Ratchet who kept insisting (later) that my contractions weren't big enough to be painful.  After my head spun around 8 times and steam blew out of my ears like a cartoon cat, Ratchet stopped suggesting  the marvel of technology knew more than my vagina.  In an effort to keep this story in a positive light I will not mention the numerous times my (ex) husband vacated the room when it came time for a doctor to go elbow deep in my pregnancy zone to check my progress.  It made the poor baby squeamish and uncomfortable to see a man down yonder in my paw paw patch.  F*@ker.

I'd like to say time flew by, but it didn't.  I watched the clock and kept praying one of the labor and delivery rooms would become available to me.  The back labor I experienced was excruciating, but little ol' me was determined to keep things as drug free as possible. That would later change.  Still on the 2 inch gurney like bed, I awaited my sister Maureen's arrival.  She'd take care of things in a manner my son's father didn't seem capable of doing.

Once Maureen did arrive some time between 3:00 and 4:00, Father of the Year bolted to get something to eat.  Off the hospital campus, mind you.  The cafeteria was just across the hall but he left the premises in search of something else -- perhaps his manhood.  He was gone an extended period of time.

My contractions became stronger.  After another examination it became obvious my sweet little shmoopy wanted to greet the outside world sunny side up, as my dad would say.  This meant back labor was even more intense.  This is when I tossed aside my 'no drugs' in birth policy and begged for an epidural.  Too late! I was too far dilated.  All they could do was give me Demerol to ease the pain. I took it. Begged for it. Loved it. Wanted a hell of a lot more of it. It was at that moment in time I understood why people did drugs.  Oooooh, sweet relief.  If not for Maureen I would have passed out hyperventilating.  She got nose to nose with me and helped me breathe.  If necessary, she would have body slammed Nurse Ratchet for insisting my contractions weren't much to write home about.  The time came when they'd break my water.  Once again it was good to have my big sister championing for me.  The nurses and doctors thought they'd have plenty of time to dilly dally while I lay on that torture board of a bed.  Maureen told them to think otherwise and not to stray too far. She insisted that Rapier women dilate fast after our water is broken.  Her insistence made an impact.  She was spot on.  This event took place around 5:00 PM.

FINALLY! A labor and delivery room opened up.  All the time prior I could hear my former classmates hootin' and a-hollerin' like cats in heat.  I think they'd watched far too many movies of exaggerated birthing. They had freakin' epidurals and were screaming like banshees. I guess it made for good video taping to show friends and family at their next soiree. Anyway, I was high on Demerol and being wheeled into the LD room.  During that time I experienced a huge contraction and had to breathe myself through it. At least in my drugged up state of mind I recall letting everybody know, "I did it! I breathed through it!"  As I said, my memory of the entire thing is shoddy.  What I do remember is the nurse telling me what was going to happen on my next contraction and what amazing, relief I felt when she let me finally push.  Nothing in this world compares to the first time when I could just let it all go. 

In between contractions I managed to ask my (ex) husband if he remembered to feed the cats.  Then, there was a burst of laughter as I took on the persona of Max Cady (Robert DeNiro) in "Cape Fear" when he says, "come out, come out wherever you are" in that twisted southern accent.

At some point my suspicions that dear husband wouldn't be able to stomach the miracle of birth came to fruition.  He began to gag and became faint.  He switched places with Maureen who'd been up by my head coaching me.  Her loving touch was always felt with each contraction and push.  Like so many women, I had to have an episiotomy. 'Bee sting' my doctor would insist as he gave me a shot and made the incision. BULL HOCKEY!! It's like having a hive of hornets go to town in vajayjayville.

At approximately 7:10 PM my little boo-boo bear would be welcomed by the loving face of his Aunt Maureen, doctors, nurses and interns.  We had quite a cheering squad that evening. Remember, he couldn't be turned around because he was just too big.  With both shoulders popping out at the same time (yeah, big ouch) we learned that we could finally put a name to our bouncing bundle of love.  A boy. I had no desire to find out ahead of time the sex of our child.  Weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces, he let out a squawk.  I think I was too exhausted to cry, but it changed my life forever in the best possible way. My squishy faced little boy would bring me the greatest joys life can create.

Mancub and I have had our share of heartbreaks and struggles over the years.  Through it all we've had each other.  It was never questioned or argued that wherever I went; he went.  My little sidekick.  He's now about 6 feet 3 inches tall and 215 pounds.  I can rest my head on his shoulder when he hugs me -- he claims he'll never be too old to hug his mama ... and he does so very often.

My baby is sixteen years old today.  There's no greater reward in life than seeing him become such an amazing human being.  He makes motherhood effortless.  While I miss the days that he'd curl up on me to take a nap on the couch, it is an phenomenal reward to see him as a compassionate young man.  Rather than him babbling from the backseat in his car seat, he rides shot gun in the front seat and we have conversations about life or make up lyrics to songs as we motor along the highway.  No more is he a picky eater who hates milk.  Now, he goes through five gallons a week and manages to eat whatever I put before him and asks for more.

In a word, my son is AMAZING.

Lake Michigan, Michigan City, Indiana

Happy SIXTEENTH birthday, Mancub. "I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Growing pains

Sixteen years ago today I began experiencing contractions.  Since I wasn't due for another two weeks, I just assumed they were part of pregnancy.  With only one car in our possession, I drove my then husband to work at 6 AM. Unusual to all of my other doctor's appointments, that day was an afternoon visit. Having one car definitely created a crimp in our flexibility, but you do what you have to when financial constraints dictate your lifestyle. While waiting for the gate at my (ex) husband's employer, my breath was taken from me. Never had I experienced such a thing before. Oh, I had hiccup like contractions, but not one that lasted any significant period of time. Nor had my breathing been interrupted as a result. 

Throughout the day I'd experienced a few more contractions. Nothing consistent. So, I didn't fret since I'd be seeing my ob/gyn later in the day.  It's likely I called upon my sister Maureen for advice.  Memories are kind of foggy.  Each time a contraction came along I timed it and tried to use the Lamaze breathing we'd learned in our Saturday crash course. 

Once I arrived at the doctor's office, they asked me the same old questions.  Informing them of the contractions I'd been having all day, no one seemed alarmed.  What did send up red flags was my elevated blood pressure.  All through my pregnancy I'd had normal pre-pregnancy blood pressure readings. They'd asked if I had been experiencing any dizzy spells. In response, "Yes, quite often. I thought that was just part of being pregnant." 

Uh, no.

The nurse insisted I try to relax and take a bit of a nap.  Since most of my visits had been in the morning, they thought maybe the traffic and day's events had caused me some distress.  About thirty minutes after dozing off (it's so easy when a woman is 38 weeks pregnant), the nurse returned and took my vitals again.  No change.

A few minutes later the doctor came in to talk to me.  He'd eventually get around to examining me. It was then that he said my baby was more than ready to be welcomed into the world.  I stared blankly at him.  He assisted me in sitting upright on the table.  A dizzy spell.  I didn't know what he was talking about.  The combination of that and my blood pressure gave my head a spin.

"Marissa, you're going to have your baby tomorrow."

Blank stare.

"Honey, did you hear me? We need you to come to the hospital around 6 AM and we'll induce your labor. You can't eat anything after midnight. Make sure you eat a good dinner and snacks."

Blank stare.

"Marissa, it will be OK. Pitocin usually works nicely, but it is possible we won't be successful on the first round, but it seems your baby is ready to make his or her appearance."

Finally, I reply, "OK." and exit to the waiting area. 

Nurse: "Marissa, we just need to you to sign the form and you can go."

I signed the necessary paperwork for insurance and sat back down in the waiting area.

"Sweetie, you're done. You can go home," the nurse sweetly stated with a smile.

"No. I can't. I'm not ready."

"Are you feeling faint or sick?"

"No. I'm not ready to have the baby. I need to wait a little longer, OK?"

It was then that my doctor poked his head out of the doorway and invited me to come back in to the patient area.  With his arms extended, I fell into him and sobbed.

"I like my baby inside here," patting my belly. "I know that I can take care of it inside me. I'm just not ready for the baby to come out yet. He or she is safe here," pointing to my belly again.

By that point most of the staff had gathered around me to offer support and encouragement.  About thirty minutes later I finally climbed into our tiny Ford Fiesta and took to the highway and home.  By then, my (ex) husband was home -- he'd gotten a ride from someone -- and I broke down and cried.  He called his employer to arrange the day off.  I called Maureen to let her know I'd be needing her bedside care sooner than expected.  I knew we'd forget everything we learned in Lamaze class and, with my ex being a gagger, back up would be required during labor and delivery.  Besides, Maureen had been with me every step of my life.  I needed her to share in the most important experience of my life with me: The birth of my first and only child.

Thank God she was willing to be along with me for the ride. 

More tomorrow ... a celebration of my miracle of love.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Arms: Bands or dumbbells

this style available through Beachbody
As you know I am using the newest Beachbody workout program called Turbo Fire. It is intense. HIIT -- High Intensity Interval Training -- workouts fire up calorie burning like none other.  I love it.  Prior to using this program I used Power 90 (the pre P90X workout by Tony Horton) and Turbo Jam by Chalene Johnson.  Both programs provided effective sculpting workouts that really gave my shoulders, back and biceps definition.  Sure, there's a layer of fat so it makes me seem more bulky.  I have no doubts the muscles will be lean and sexy through diet and increased cardio workouts.  Turbo Fire incorporates sculpting and toning, too.  It's not all high intensity cardio, but that is a primary focus.  Here's the hitch:  On the DVD they use resistance bands.  I do not like them for arm work. They have a great place when I'm on the floor and using them for rowing or core strengthening, but, for me, they are wonky and awkward. Not only does the movement not feel right, they irritate my upper arms when I'm attempting overhead triceps work. Due to that it is discouraging to want to do that particular class in the series.  So, guess what? I'm modifying with dumbbells.  Yeah! You can do that!
B-Lines available through Beachbody
How many people give up when something doesn't seem to fit right? It's not like finding the cutest pair of shoes EVER and after twenty minutes of wear they give you icky blisters.  Since you spent a small fortune on them, you can't bear to part with the cuties for the footsies.  Instead, you put them on a shelf where you can admire their exquisiteness.  Don't do that with your workout DVDs.  Adjust it to suit your needs and comfort level.  No one ever got healthier sitting on the couch while staring at the numerous workout DVDs gathering dust on the shelving unit.