Friday, January 29, 2010

Pretty Princess Project -- Weigh-In #5

I'm getting even closer to my goal of reaching 143 lbs by the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon on March 7. Today was weigh in #5 of my Pretty Princess Project.

A small loss last week resulted in a bigger loss this morning. Last week, I was hoping to say "bye-bye" 150's ... and I did!!! Today the scale said 148.0!!!!!!! That's a 2.5 lb loss from last week and an even 10 lbs weight loss in four weeks!!

January 1: 158.0 lbs
January 8: 153.0 lbs
January 15: 151.0 lbs
January 22: 150.5 lbs
January 29: 148.0 lbs

Total Lost: 10.0 lbs
Goal Weight on March 7: 143 lbs
Normal Weight: 148 lbs
Lowest WW Weight: 143 lbs (January 2005)

Proud accomplishments this week:

- At the office, we had a birthday party this week and ordered out to one of my favorite sub places (not low-cal Subway!). I made a Weight Watchers meal, FF yogurt, SF jello and a 100 cal pack instead. I still joined the group , but I saved calories and money!!
- Pounded out 9 miles on the TM on Sunday, in under 1:20:00.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Running Jewelry Giveaway on Running Blog -- Lift Your Sole

Oh yes, another cool giveaway in bloggy-land!

Enter for your chance to win some cool running-related jewelry on Marlene's Blog: Mission to A(nother) Marathon

Lift Your Sole has the cutest stuff, whether you are in to accessorizing, or not!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tu Tu Giveaway on Tall Mom's Blog

Tall Mom on The Run is hosting an awesome giveway on her blog. Check it out!
If you have a lovely little princess at home, or are a princess yourself, YOU could win a tutu from My.Little.Pink.Dots website. Paige would love this!!!!!
Enter now through January 27.

Pretty Princess Weigh-In #4

I'm getting even closer to my goal of reaching 143 lbs by the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon on March 7. Today was weigh in #4 of my Pretty Princess Project. Small loss this week. But, a loss is a loss. I haven't been snacking in the evening. But, last night my daughter and I had a "sleepover" in the living room and I snacked on a high fiber bar and a 100 cal pack of kettle corn. Those high fiber bars are so yummy ... but, leave me terribly bloated!!! Hopefully the scale says, "bye-bye 150's" next week!

January 1: 158.0 lbs

January 8: 153.0 lbs

January 15: 151.0 lbs

January 22: 150.5 lbs

Total Lost: 7.5 lbs

Goal Weight on March 7: 143 lbs

Normal Weight: 148 lbs

Lowest WW Weight: 143 lbs (January 2005)

Proud accomplishments this week:

- I was home with both kids on Monday and Friday, since there was no school. I ended up getting TWO runs in each day, with both kids playing along side me. We also bounced around (yes I joined in the fun!) at Bounce U and I took them sledding and pulled the little guy up and down the hill.

- I went to a ladies-only brunch with my family on Sunday and loaded up my first plate with salad, the second with mostly steamed veggies and two chocolate covered strawberries. I was able to skip the decadent dessert table and passed on Grandma's birthday cake.

- I rented some fun workout DVDs from the library, including some fun ones for the kids to join in on. We all had a blast!

Children's Book Review: Running The Race

Paige and I were given another WONDERFUL opportunity to review another fantastic running-related book for Children.

Running The Race was written by Jeff Yosick. It follows Ashley's journey of discovering that her grandmother has breast cancer. Ashley helps support both her mother and grandmother throughout their journey. The book touches on love, support and dealing with the disase. Ashley and her family decide to run/walk in a race, to help her deal with her grandmother's breast cancer diagnosis. The book follows the reader through several US cities and landscapes, where participants are walking and running for the cause. The journey becomes a lifelong commitment for Ashley and her family, and eventually her very own daughter becomes involved.

Paige asked more questions during my reading of this book, than any other book I've read to her. She was really intersted in the disease of breast cancer, how it effects people and how people participate in various events and races, to support breast cancer research. We also discussed how scientists are trying to find a cure for this disease that effects so many.

Paige really enjoyed the illustrations and the mixed-items in the book. The book had such strong illustrations that were in black and white with highlighted pieces being portrayed in bright pink. Paige immediately noticed that some important items were actually photographed items in the book. There were also some really nice snapshots of Jeff and his family participating in a race. Paige thought this was really neat. She is such a girly-girl (like mommy!) and really loved the bright pink and contrast of colors, too.

The book is available at Amazon.com for $12.99 in paperback.

Please visit Jeff's website for more great titles: http://www.jyosick.com/

At the end of the story, there are several additional sections for you to review with your child, including this great list, outlining how children can make a difference and support the cause. There was also an extensive list of women "who have run the race before us". My daughter was in awe by the way I explained how many people are effected by this disease.

This is another great book, that I look forward to sharing with both of our children. And, I hope to get them involved in the cause.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

10 Things that Make Me Happy ... Pass it On

I was tagged by Westford Mommy to list some things that make me happy and pass it onto other bloggers in bloggy-land. I LOVE lists, so here goes a simple one.

1) My family; those two little terrors brighten my day

2) Achieving the goals I've set

3) Our annual trips to Walt Disney World

4) A clean kitchen with uncluttered counters

5) Grocery shopping solo, comparing prices/brands and analyzing food labels

6) Anything comfy from Victoria's Secret

7) Seeing my kids play together

8) My mini van

9) Pink

10) Melting snow

Now, I'm tagging YOU to make your own list. It will take two minutes to type out and just might brighten your day a little bit. Here's a little bloggy-love:

Nicole at Njoy Life at http://nsiscaretti.blogspot.com/

Brianna at Girl Who Loves to Run at http://balancedsteps.blogspot.com/

Jen at The Shape of things to come at http://www.jensjourney.com/

Heather at Gadget Girl Runs Chicago at http://gadgetgirlrunner.blogspot.com/

Chris at I Like to Move it, Move it, Running with Chris at http://running-with-chris.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pretty Princess Project -- Weigh In #3

I set my 2010 goals at the end of December. One of my goals for 2010 was to lose 10 lbs by the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon on March 7! By the time I did my first weigh-in on January 1st and assessed the damage from the holidays, I was up about 5 lbs (despite my crazy a** mileage to reach my 1,200 miles by December 31?!). 158 lbs, ick. After one week of being "on program" at home (following Weight Watchers POINTS on my own, journaling food and exercise, increasing my running mileage), I already lost 5 lbs of holiday flubber.

So, my new, obtainable goal is to lose 15 lbs and be comfortable at 143 lbs by March 7.
I'm calling these Friday Weigh-Ins the ... Pretty Princess Project.

Today was weigh-in #3.

January 15: 151.0 lbs
January 8: 153.0 lbs
January 1: 158.0 lbs

Goal Weight: 143.0 lbs
Normal Weight: 148.0 lbs
Lowest WW Weight: 143.0 lbs (January 2005)

Proud accomplishments this week:

- Thursday night is my daughter's dance class and we typically eat frozen pizza, since we're in a hurry to get out the door. The rest of the family had the pizza and I made myself a Weight Watchers frozen pizza.

- Went to my favorite family style restaurant for a gathering with my extended family. I did not take seconds on anything and skipped the pumpkin pie.

- I work on the fourth floor of the office building and made an attempt to use the bathroom on the first floor twice a day and walk up and down the stairs, to get me out of my desk for a few minutes each day.

- Resisted snacking after dinner most nights this week or had sugar-free hot cocoa to satisfy my sweet tooth (only 25 calories!).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Follow-Up: Decade in Review

I just wanted to thank all of you for your warm thoughts, in response to my Decade in Review post recently. After reading your comments, and re-reading my post, I really discovered somethings ...

Sometimes, I still feel guilty about my running and my "me time" (even though I am not always alone during my runs on the treadmill!). But, I've reminded myself through the post, that I truly have bettered myself as a person, a woman, and a mother. Doing something good for myself and sometimes taking a much needed break, really does make me a better mommy. I return to my family much happier and respond more positively towards my children and their actions. My transformation and ups and downs (weight and emotions!) have made me a better person. And, I truly appreciate who I am and what I have in my life. My journey continues, as I try new things and set new goals.

Through the post, I realized how the responsibility of having my children has changed my life, too. The vehicle trade-ins, the genre of concerts I've attend, the destinations we've traveled to. Adapting to "life" is a great thing. I. Love. It.

2010 is going to bring a lot of FABULOUS things with it this year. I just know it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Decade in Review (2000 - 2009)

I've seen so many other bloggers outline the last decade of their lives and thought I'd like to try it out, too. So much has changed. Heck, I started out the decade at a mere 19 years old for Pete's sake!!! And, now I'm approaching 30!!

I should note that in 1999, I joined Weight Watchers for the very first time at 198 lbs and got down to aroun 170 lbs during my first time on the program.

- circa 170 lbs
- Got engaged in the Spring
- Discovered scrapbooking
- Started working at the University of Wisconsin, in my current role
- Jason and I became first time homeowners, as we purchased and designed the interior of our condo

- Car accident one week before our wedding and totalled my Chevy Beretta
- Jason and I were married in August
- 160 lbs on our wedding day
- Honeymooned in Jamaica in August/September
- Purchased my Purple Mercury Cougar
- September 11, 2001

- Started trying to conceive
- Jason and I went to Las Vegas for an entire week in September

2002 - Las Vegas - around 165 lbs

- Went to Omaha, Nebraska for a friend's wedding
- Found out we were pregnant in April
- Traded in my Mercury Cougar for a family vehicle, a Ford Focus
- Gave birth to our first child, Paige, in December

2003 - with Paige - 195 lbs

- Rejoined Weight Watchers
- Reached initial WW goal in November (153 lbs)

- Became a Weight Watchers Lifetime member in January (143 lbs)
- Started my scrapbooking website/community online
- Purchased our brand new home (right up the street from our condo)
- Was inspired by our friend who competed in Ironman and took up running
- Ran my first two 5Ks in the Fall
- Reconnected with a few high school friends and am happy that we are now in touch again

2005 - Mother's Day - 145 lbs

- Ended my scrapbooking website/community to focus more on our family and my running
- Ran several 5Ks
- Ran my first half marathon and competed in my first duathlon
- Miscarried in November (at six weeks)
- Went with Jason and Paige to Walt Disney World for their first trip to the magical place
(my 7th trip) over Thanksgiving

2006 - 1st family trip to WDW - 145 lbs

- Found out we were pregnant in April
- Bailed on my second half marathon, due to morning sickness
- Ran several 5Ks and then took a break during the second half of my pregnancy
- Went with Jason and Paige to Walt Disney World in October for Halloween (my 8th trip)
- Gave birth to our second child, Jackson, in December
- Concerts: John Mayer

2007 - with Jackson - 195 lbs

- Cut off all of my hair and got the "mommy 'do"
- Bailed on another half marathon, due to really bad shin splints and underwent physical therapy (returned to running too hard/too fast after childbirth)
- Ran in several 5Ks
- Ran my first marathon and participated in the Chicago Marathon
- Reconnected with most of my high school classmates, and discovered the wonderful world of Facebook
- Attended my 10 year high school reunion
- ran 1,000 miles
Concerts: John Mayer, Jonas Brothers, Cheetah Girls

2008 - My First Marathon - 149 lbs

- Went with Jason, Paige and Jackson to Walt Disney World
(for my 9th trip) as Jason competed in the WDW Marathon
- Started my blog
- Traded in my Ford Focus for my Chrysler Town & Country Minivan
- Ran several 5Ks, a duathlon, and 5 half marathons (PR'd in my second marathon by almost 20 mins)
- Traveled a lot around the midwest for races (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa)
- Watched Jason train for and complete his very first Ironman
- Ran with Paige in her very first one mile race
- Ran 1,200 miles
- Concerts: Hannah Montana

2009 - Family Photo - 148 lbs

Friday, January 8, 2010

DVD Review: BeFit-Mom - Bounce Back Fast!

I was given the opportunity to review a great workout video for all mommies: BeFit-Mom's Bounce Back fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning with perinatal exercise specialist, Helene Byrne.

The DVD also comes with a free fitness band (mine was pink!). It is incorporated into many of the exercises.
Children are not Incorporated into the exercises in this program. However, you could certainly have your children workout with you. My two year old son actually enjoyed laying with me on my yoga mat and pretending to mock mommy's moves.
The tone of the video is soothing, calm and is geared towards mommies and mommy doing something for herself. Definitely a time of relaxation. The music is calming and not up beat.
This video is great for all mommies, no matter how far out you are postpartum. I had my second child two years ago, and I certainly could benefit from these exercises. One of my goals this year is to work on flattening my tummy and to incorporate ab exercises into my routine. I will certainly be using this DVD, even two years postpartum.
I like that the DVD is broken down into several sections. Since I log so many miles and hours running each week, I don't have a lot of time to do additional workouts and this way I can do 30 minutes or I can do less than ten minutes at a time. You can choose what you want to do. And, no additional equipment is needed. Just bring the DVD and your fitness with you anywhere and you are ready to workout!
I really enjoyed the DVD and am sure I will already be feeling the results tomorrow. Ouch!
Postpartum Exercise (6:30 min):
In the beginning of the DVD, Helene gives a lot of guidance for when you should start exercises and how much you should be doing, whether you have had a vaginal delivery, c-section or if you have had tearing and/or stitches.
Helene suggests the appropriate angles and if you cannot achieve certain positions on your own, she suggests other items you can incorporate into the routine, to make you feel comfortable.
Pelvic Floor Reconditioning (7:00 min):
Helene discusses kegel exercises and how they are important to the post-partum period. She demonstrates exercises in a chair. She also discusses imagery and how you can complete these exercises successfully with appropriate movements.
Abdominal Separation (4:10 min):
Helene sits down with a model to do floor exercises. Helene and the model work together to show you exactly what you should be doing to achieve the best results. She also discusses positions you should avoid, that will cause more problems to your abdominal wall. It was helpful for her to sit down with the model for each exercise and show you exactly what you should be doing and what you SHOULDN'T be doing.
Post Natal Abdominal Training (10 min):
Helene works with the model again and shows you how you should maintain a flat abdominal wall during exercise, instead of letting your tummy "bulge out" as you do ab exercises. You should train your muscles to do what you want them to eventually do, even during exercise.
Gentle First Moves (30 min):
The fitness band is incorporated into these exercises, which I found really helpful.
- Safe, restorative exercises
- Speeds recovery from labor and delivery
- Relieves aches and pain
Bounce Back fast! (35 min):
The fitness band was also incorporated into these exercise. A second model worked with Helene during the routine, who was four months postpartum. A lot of the moves were things I wouldn't even think about trying, but I really felt a difference when I did them. I'm sure they will target some of the problem areas, I didn't even know how to work on.
- Flattens and tones all four layers of the abdominal wall
- Strengthens deep core muscles
- Repairs abdominal separation
- Corrects posture
- Restores flexibility
- Builds upper body strength for lifting and carrying
- Separate workout for abdominal separation

Check out what other people are saying about this great video!

Helene Byrne was great at explaining everything throughout the entire DVD. She not only told you what moves to do, but explained to you why you are doing them and how your body will benefit. She has over 20 years in the fitness industry and I could tell that she was really knowledgeable about exercise and the birthing process.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Book Review: We Are Girls Who Love to Run

My daughter, Paige (6), and I have been given the opportunity to review We Are Girls Who Love to Run by Brianna Grant.

This bilingual book is also written in Spanish, hence the additional title, Somos Chicas y A Nosotras Nos Encanta Correr. As you turn each page, each verse is written in English first and then repeated in Spanish.

Paige is a six year old kindergartner who is pretty enthusiastic about reading right now. She was very excited to read through this fun book. Brianna also include a really thoughtful letter to Paige, regarding the book and the sport of running. I was so touched by what she wrote. Paige will be bringing her book and cover letter to kindergarten for show-and-tell sometime soon.

The illustrations are really quite breath-taking. Nicholas A Wright did a beautiful job with the paintings in the book. Since Paige cannot read full sentences yet, I read the book to her and she really enjoyed looking at the motivational illustrations, as I turned the pages of the book. I really enjoyed that there were so many different types of girls and women included in this book. There were young girls of different color and shapes and sizes and their running role models and coaches in the book were of the same variety. The book really represented "all women" and everyone could identify with someone in this book.

Even if your child does not run, he or she will enjoy it. This book does not follow one child's story or journey. Instead, it follows "all girls" and their passion for life and their confidence in themselves and the choices they make. It embraces making healthy choices as habits as well as introducing goal-setting. It also touches on involving your family, friends and community in your every day life and activities.

At the end of the book, there is a nice entry from girls and women and their thoughts on running. They were asked why they loved to run, which encouraged me to ask my own daughter why she has tried the sport. Her answer was, "Because running helps me stay fit and I get the chance to run with my mom during my 'training'. I like having people cheer me on at my races and say, Go Paige!".

The book shows young girls that goal-setting is important. As two girls finish a local 5K race, they prove to themselves that all of their hard work and commitment (to themselves) has really paid off and they have accomplished their goal. This can be applied to so many areas of life.

The discusses healthy eating habits. It is neat to see a young girl shopping with her mother at the local farmer's market. The book mentions that she is helping her mom pick out healthy foods for her healthy after-school snacks. I joked with Paige. Because she (usually!) is the one begging for me to pick up strawberries from the grocery store and is the girl taking carrots and dip to her school parties, instead of sugary treats!

There is also a beautiful forward included in this book, endorsed by the found of the Girls on the Run Program, which I love so very much! Molly Barker is so motivating with her message to young girls and young women.

My daughter and I both enjoyed reading this book together before bedtime. We will enjoy re-reading it for years to come. This book is truly awesome and will remind you and your child why you do what you do and how everyone benefits from it.
Pick up your copy today! Why not purchase one for your little girl for Valentine's Day?