Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009


What can I say? All the girls in my family really knew how to rock the mustard yellow, "I Heart Fig Newtons" shirt.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shengri Kuaile!

Today was my birthday. Hubs and childrens made me a delicious meal of his special lasagna served with salad and fresh bread and a lucious cheesecake for desert. The kids got me tanning oil and aloe, and C gave me a crocheted basket she has been working on for several months. I was instructed to put sugar packets in said basket (it is a small basket) that way I can carry them around and have sugar whenever I want. Such a thoughtful girl, my C! Hubs got me a Marshawn Lynch tee shirt. It was a very satisfying way to turn 23 ;)


So, as you all know, I have been diligently working at sticking to my Insanity routine. I am really, really loving this program. It satisfies my deep need to be dripping ball of sweat barely able to lift myself off the floor. Anyway, here's my stats 3 weeks later:

Switch Kicks - 72
Power Jacks - 54
High Knees (L) - 92
High Knees (R) - 96
Power Jumps - 30
Globe Jumps - 12
Suicide Jumps - 17
Push-up Jacks - 20
Plank Knees - 64

Not too shabby, eh? The only thing I didn't improve on was the suicide jumps, so that will be my goal for next time.

Kid Bits:

In other exciting news, the Hubs and female chil'ens decided to go boogie boarding on Sunday since the hurricane weather has had the positive effect of giving us lots of waves. As he and the girls we were wading out into the suspiciously empty waters someone from the shore yelled out, "Shark!" Hubs then noticed not one but two shark fins a ways out from the shore. Needless to say, it was a short beach trip.

C is very nervous to start school this year. She's started many a school (this will be her 5th elementary school), but for some reason she seems more anxious this time around. I think it might be the age she's at, but she insists it's because of the "butt ugly uniforms." J, on the other hand, is ecstatic about going to C's school. Yesterday she sang me a song about it whilst strumming loudly on her guitar. It went something like this: "School, school., schooly school school. I am goooooing to school. And I get to wear a ugly uuuuuuniform. And it is C's school. And it is my school. And there will be bears there. And maybe cats. Schooooooool! *pause* Mama! Stop dancing, I can't think when you dance!"

Today, however, J informed me that she was unable to sing because A was bothering her with his loud screeching. "It hurts my eyes," she informed me in a very serious tone, "and my hair."

Friday, August 14, 2009

In Defense of My Ranting :)

I started this as a response to my sister’s comment on my last post, but it got a little long *blush* This is definitely a topic that is a hot button issue with me for many reasons, but I think it’s mainly because fitness is such a part of my life that when I see something that gives credence to the idea that exercise isn’t important, it really makes me angry. Well known fitness guru Tom Venuto wrote a great article in response, as did Kathy Smith, but here's my off-the-cuff response for your enjoyment, lol :

The first fallacy is the title of the article, which is “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” not “Why Intense, Heart-Stopping Cardio Won’t Make You Thin.” MR is right that the author brings up the point that exercise has other benefits, but then he disparages those benefits and goes on to claim that we’re just going to eat more food to compensate for the exercise anyway. Plus, his journalistic evidence is pretty thin. First of all, he only refers to one major study in adults. That’s not exactly a scientific slam dunk in terms of making a huge assumption like that. Additionally he mentions the study hinged on the idea that the obese women participants were asked to exercise or not exercise and not change their eating habits (which he uses to justify his overall thesis that exercise does not affect weight loss). Yet in the same part of the article, he states that the women who increased their exercise regime also increased their food intake, which directly contradicts the conclusion. Also, in the study on obese children and their energy expenditure, he makes no mention of the role parents play in determining what and how much their children eat. If the children in the study are getting the same benefit from either short bursts of activity or longer, sustained periods of activity then what is separating them from their thinner peers?
The author also relates pushing people to exercise with a potential increase in the obesity epidemic. Really?? Making the excuse that we are psychologically unable to resist that bag of chips we want after a workout is like saying a person with anger management issues couldn’t help themselves when they committed murder. I doubt it would hold up in any court. And then he goes on to relate exercise to “stressing our bodies in a gym.” Well, I don’t know about all of you, but I don’t go to a gym, and I would never do an activity that didn’t feel good to my body. Exercise does not equal body-punishing activity, and it is that stereotype that really ticks me off. I guess what it comes down to is that I just fundamentally disagree with the statement, “Could exercise actually be keeping me from losing weight?” and respond to it with a resounding, “No, dumbass, you are keeping you from losing weight with your poor dietary choices.”*
I am also really sick and tired of people telling me they don’t have time to exercise, and that I’m so lucky to be naturally thin. There’s nothing natural about it! I have 5 kids and 2 jobs, and I still manage to exercise most days a week because I enjoy the benefits of it. I also try to eat healthfully and proportionally (those 100cal packs will do you no good if you eat 3 in a row). I was not blessed with a natural thin gene, and I don’t even think I’m that thin…it’s just that our perceptions have changed as the average American’s weight has begun to creep up.
The reason I think the article is irresponsible is because people looking for an excuse not to exercise will gladly latch onto articles like this to avoid taking care of themselves, and, honestly, I am just really tired of the excuses. Obesity takes a huge toll on the healthcare system, bigger than smoking or alcohol abuse or drug abuse combined (partly because there are so many more overweight Americans than there are of the other mentioned populations). He should have been more forthright and said something to the effect of: rigorous exercise may not be the best method for weight loss. That would have been far more accurate.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox, I promise :) Next time I will post something less ranty!
*Speaking of dietary choices, I saw that all my talk about eating well has affected my children's psyche when J told me that she was unable to eat spicy food because it wasn't healthy for her body, hee!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time - Thumbs Decidedly Down!

This article made me really, really angry. I cannot believe Time would publish such a moronic and ill thought out article. How many idiots are going to read this and decide they shouldn't exercise because it will make them fat? The benefits of exercise are so much more than simple weight loss. Even putting aside all of those benefits*, if you just want to lose weight it is really a simple equation, as my big sis likes to point out: calories in vs. calories out. If you exercise and burn more calories and you don't consume more calories, you will lose weight. It is really that simple.** To state (and I'm paraphrasing here) that you might as well not exercise because you're going to be unable to resist eating more food is completely inane. How about in addition to exercising, you eat more healthful foods (i.e. eat a baked potato instead of those McDonald's french fries). You certainly don't need to cut down on volume. In fact, most people could probably eat more if they just picked the right things. How completely irresponsible to give value to the excuses people use to not exercise.

Now I'm not saying everyone needs to go out and do the crazy shit I do. I do high impact plyometric cardio because it is enjoyable to me. That is really the key to incorporating exercise into your life. You have to find an activity that is enjoyable to you, like hiking or tennis or playing tag with your kids. Otherwise it will always feel like a chore, like punishment. Exercise is enjoyable. I feel great after my workouts*** because I feel so accomplished, and the endorphin rush is pretty great, too. If you hate exercise, it's probably because you haven't found the right activity yet.

Oh, and on the note of eating well. Here's another great foodie blog for us cheapskates. I can't believe I haven't discovered this one before!

* Combating chronic illness, boosting your energy level, and improving your psychological well-being to name but a very few. Also check out this article, interestingly, from the very same publication.
** Unfortunately no amount of exercise is going to get rid of the loose skin after having 3 babies short of completely starving myself...but I digress
*** Even though I'm a big sweaty ball laying on the ground gasping for breath

Monday, August 10, 2009

Going Dutch

My friend told me to google this poem. It is really an awesome way of looking at things. I am still grieving the loss of my Italian dream, but I happen to know a few folks who live in Amsterdam, so I guess a stop there won't be so bad, lol!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Life Goes On...

Back from Colorado/Dallas. It was a little sad this time around since my bff is PCSing soon, and I won't get to see her for a long time again :( I came back to a complete shitstorm at work. I know I've complained about many offices in the past, but this one really takes the cake on so many levels. I absolutely love my company, love my coworkers and love the mission set...the frustrating part is the gov't-contractor interaction. I really don't want to say any more in this forum, but it is really getting to be almost comical how little gets done at my place of business because of some seriously ridiculous roadblocks.

I am still pretty upset about the whole A situation, but I'm trying to keep it in perspective. There is this guy that I work with in CO who has a special needs child. His son has a very severe genetic disorder. In fact, he and his wife were told that their son probably wouldn't survive his 1st year. He's 5 now, and he's out lived a lot of his little friends from the NICU. He has the developmental level of about a 2-year old but he's alive and he's thriving. It's really an incredible story. I was really touched when he told me that he doesn't think of his son's difficulties in a negative way. He feels blessed and joyful when his son reaches any milestone. Those of us with non-special needs children take these for granted because they're expected, but with his son they never expected him to live so every milestone he achieves is a triumph. He is just grateful to have a beautiful son who he can put his arms around. He doesn't look at it from the point of view of what his son might be missing out on but what his son has been able to accomplish. I wish I could articulate it the way he told it to me, but I was so moved I almost started crying. It really made me feel like I shouldn't grieve for the normalcy A will miss out on but take these struggles as an opportunity to appreciate his achievements.

Of course then there's the whole insurance situation to just drag me back down. So I mentioned that we don't qualify for services since we have insurance and the insurance doesn't start paying until after we meet our annual $3000 deductible...but here's the real kicker: BC/BS* only pays $500/person per year for speech therapy. Do you know how many sessions that will cover? Approximately 5. A needs therapy 3-5x per week. So, thanks BC/BS! I'm so glad I'm paying out of the ass for the top tier health plan!

*what an apt acronym