Monday, April 11, 2011

Pushing up Tater

I have a vague recollection of a random tweet from @annieology about push ups- doing one on 1/1 then two on 2/2 and I was thinking, hmm, she has a goal of a dozen push ups? Oh- kaay. Like I said the recollection was vague and I am a natural (and artificially enhanced) blonde. A week or three later, I paid more attention.

A push up for every day of the year. 1,2,3... 365 push ups?! In one day? Crazypants!

Yet, intriguing.

So, around the end of January I went for it. I did about ten push up all on my knees. Then I did a few more until I caught up with the rest of the crowd and then I did push ups every other day on my team's day (team odd).  Yesterday, even though it was an even day, I celebrated day 100 with 100 push ups. Yep, celebrated. With push ups. Our cult  fun group is wild like that.

What is amazing about the push up challenge is how it creeps into other areas of your life.  For me, it helped lead to other things. I have always struggled with my weight and for the most part the weight has won. When I started the push up challenge, I was half heartedly giving the weight loss thing another whirl. With the #2011pushupchallenge, I did my push ups if I did nothing else. I have more than once gotten out of bed at 1130 or 1150 (or 1230 am and I pretend I'm in a different time zone) and finished (or started) my push ups.  It inspired discipline for me and I found myself ready to do more things.

I never anticipated being able to do so many push ups at one time before so I decided to try something else I did not anticipate being able to do- run. I'm a fat girl, I have a bad ankle, and I'm truly klutzy. Running and I should not really mix.  That being said for the past few years I've wanted to be a runner. So,  I gave it a try. My first few days were not fun at all. My ankle did indeed hate me with a fiery passion that reflected within the joint itself.  Then my ankle calmed down and my hip decided to tighten up to within an inch of its life. Luckily, I'm in physical therapy and know really cool stretches that helped that out and was able to analyze my own gait to see what was bugging me. Now, a couple months later, I'm still not running a mile without pause or anything close to it, but I'm utilizing a walk/run method that works for me for two miles. I still walk most of it, but I'm running more than I thought I would.

The #2011pushupchallenge's method may seem very simplistic and not challenging to some of the more hard core athletes, but it builds a great base. Before I may have gotten frustrated with not being able to run a 5K in a month(I may have a bit of an issue with patience), but now I look at running in steps. In January I could not have imagined finishing 100 push ups, but that's what I did yesterday. Knowing that means, I know I'm able to reach my goals. I'll be able to run a 5K by mid May and if another of @annieology's crazy ideas comes to fruition, I'll run Beach to Bay with her next May and MAYBE a half marathon in December.

So this is my invitation, my challenge for all my friends and family, etc, join up with @annieology or @beccascrazyboys and push up.  Start today with one or tomorrow with two and end the year with 265 push ups! Or if you want to be hard core, catch up with us!

PS As far as the weight loss thing goes, I am down two sizes since the holidays. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Papas y Huevos (Potatoes and eggs)

Easter is my favorite. Not holiday, but my favorite for the candy it brings. Cadbury eggs, Reese's eggs, Starburst jelly beans, and a newly discovered favorite. Glorious, delicious sugary goodness and a few thousand calories.

I've mentioned before that I'm a brat. I get cranky and downright ugly (I'm from the south; we use phrases like that and we pull it off) when denied something I really want. With that in mind, I have bought Easter candy. My Starburst jelly beans lived in my cabinet for three weeks before I opened the bag.  Then I gleefully opened the bag of regular and the special bag of red fruit only and mixed them in a Gladware container. I will admit to days where I stop eating them because my teeth ache from the sugar, but my Gladware container is still over 80% full. I've also bought Reese's mini eggs and Butterfinger eggs. All of the candy I've bought has already lasted at least 2-3 weeks and there's still some left which is remarkable considering how quickly I used to plow through it. In general, I keep indulging, but am limiting myself to a piece or two at a time.

Until last night.

Last night, I left work with a headache. I popped three Ibuprofen as I drove down I45 and decided to stop at SuperTarget. My conditioner was nearly gone and I would need kitty litter by the weekend.  Maybe a quick side trip would also give me time for my headache to decrease and I could run as planned. I wandered aimlessly through Target. I picked up my conditioner, looked at the shoes, and checked to see if they had organic bell peppers (they do; but I held off). I decided I needed cereal as well and then thought it was absolutely necessary I check to see what flavors of Ben and Jerry's were available.  I picked up a pint of Half Baked FroYo (I am SO healthy). Then I spied an empty cart and grabbed it and picked up the kitty litter I had come in for originally.  On my way to the check out, I casually strolled through the Easter aisles. Then I saw it.

Coconut cream filled Dove eggs. In the time it took for my brain to register the words, the bag flew into my cart. I checked out and loaded the kitty litter in the back of my SUV and the other bag (with the stuff) rode shotgun. My headache still going I decided therapeutic chocolate might be the wise choice. At the stoplight I opened the bag of Dove eggs and unwrapped one. Delicious! One of the great things about where I live is location.  Supertarget is a mere two miles away. By the time I got home,  my headache was gone.  The miracle of chocolate coconutty goodness!

I got home, threw the bag of groceries on the table and changed into my running clothes.  I fired up my IPOD and started up the mapmyrun app on my Blackberry and hit the road. I felt better; the chocolate coconut eggs worked like a magic elixir.

To be honest, my runs are run/walk.  I'm a beginner; I've utilized the walk/run strategy; run for a minute or so, recover walk until you can run again, repeat. On Monday, I got my highest run time so far- 7.5 minutes. On Wednesday, after eating the Dove eggs, I ran even further- 10 minutes!

Maybe it was a coincidence. But, I think it was the power of the Dove coconut eggs.

That bag is so not lasting the week.

Monday, April 4, 2011


My hometown city has been number one for many things. When I was a teenager, we were number one for teen pregnancy for the entire country (and several times since; freaking Laredo tries to take our crown though). Most recently, Corpus Christi (ie my hometown city) has been named the fattest city and the city for the worst hair.  No wonder we don't have the highest teen pregnancy rate anymore.

I vaguely remember the mayor taking some offense to the fattest city title and proposed an initiative to get people moving. Health fairs, areob-a-thons, etc have popped up, but I'm not sure how the city's doing with the whole not being fat thing. Sadly, I added to the fat of the city.

In September, I moved to Houston and became a little more aware of my bad habits. But it wasn't until late January, early February that I really committed.  I've started running, I'm doing pushups (#2011pushupchallenge - join on day 100- peer pressure!), and I've started adjusting my eating habits. Everything's been working well for me. I've lost weight, my arms are not nearly as jiggly, and I'm in better shape than I've been in many years.

I have visited Corpus the past two weekends and I have to say I fell off the fitness track while I was there.  The weekend before last was jam-packed. I saw relatives I had not seen in years  (that's another sordid tale; listen to the banjos play a haunting melody softly in the background to give you a clue). For the first time, I missed my push-ups and all my intentions of running fell through with laundry, relatives, housewarming party, and talking about relatives with other relatives. Then I came home to Houston and felt uninspired. I did my push ups on Monday, but I didn't mix it up at all and I made myself go to the exercise room and get on the treadmill but after a measly half mile I was done.

I had been doing well with staying motivated and disciplined. What had happened to me?  Did I linger too long in CC? Was the fattest city a bad influence on me?  I felt sluggish and very unmotivated.  I didn't do much the next day, but then on Wednesday I got home and put on the exercise ensemble and hit the road. I  ran my usual route plus a little extra and something very odd happened.

I felt better. I had more energy and I slept better that night. I am a person dedicated to the couch. Lying down makes things better. This has happened to me in the past. I used to belong to the Y and was going two or three times a week and I noticed the increase in energy, but obligations got in the way and that habit died. Now, I feel a little more dedicated to my new changes.

I will do push-ups every other day and go for a run/walk/crawl several times a week. Part of it is for ego.  I like the way I look better and compliments are awesome. Moreover, I like the side effects. I'm stronger and have better endurance and have more energy. Also, in order to stay motivated, apparently I need to stay moving.