Besh Cup 5&6

My son entered the last 2 races in the statewide series of cross country ski races. They were held last weekend here in Fairbanks. He’s not done any of these before, and has been skiing against younger kids all season. However, you must race in your division for Besh Cup races, so he was racing other 14&15 year old boys that are the best in the state. The outcome of this weekend’s races determined Team Alaska for US Junior National races next month. Alaska is the only state to have their own team at Nationals. All other states are grouped into regional teams. So, needless to say, the competition was tough.  Anyway, Saturday was a 5k skate race. Sunday was a 3k classic. The skate course was tough. Read this quote from to understand why:

“The trails at Birch Hill are built on the side of, well, a hill (also, there are birch trees). The courses used for this weekend’s races were marked by an impressive Height Difference (the elevation change between the lowest and highest points on the course) of 89 meters within a 5-kilometer course. The World Cup skiathlon race that was contested in South Korea the same weekend, on the trails that will be used for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, featured height differences of only 58 and 41 meters on the two skiathlon courses.

In fact, a height difference of 89 meters is a greater elevation spread than was present on most of the traditional World Cup courses this season, including in Davos (84m), Lillehammer (74m), Falun (69m), and Ulricehamn (57m).”

So considering this was his first race at this level of competition and the difficulty of the course, I’m happy he even finished. He came in last (but not by much). He was mostly doing it for the experience, so I didn’t pay the extra to have him ranked. Plus, they were the last 2 races of the season. Still, that makes him unofficially 40th in the state.

Media influences

As if you need another reason to limit and supervise the media which your children (of all ages) are exposed to, Yahoo had this article today. Here’s a few relevant clips:

“Molly is the street name for a drug that is pushed as the pure powder form of a banned substance known as MDMA, the main chemical in ecstasy. In the last five years, Molly has made its way into popular culture, helped by references to it made by entertainers such as Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.”

“Grob said references in pop culture can fan misconceptions.” Grob is a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and an expert on MDMA.

However, just limiting the media isn’t enough. Show them how to make positive choices and explain why certain things are inappropriate. Otherwise, as they get older and peers have greater influence over them, they may see you as a dictator rather than guide. My children and I have had several good conversations about media. When we see, read, or hear an ad for an inappropriate media we sometimes will discuss what’s wrong with it. This helps strengthen their beliefs.

Let children actively participate in the discussions; don’t just preach to them. In fact, it’s often my children who are the ones who bring it up. I’ve been surprised a few times when I was thinking “this may not be too bad” but my children clearly thought it was totally inappropriate. LOL. In cases like that, we usually defer to them rather than confuse their beliefs by being hypocritical allowing some things and not others just because I (an adult) like them.

Afterall, a parent’s job is to guide a child to become a successful adult. Yes, we have to trust them, but we have to give them the strong moral base to make good choices. Limiting and supervising their media is one way to do that.

New fitness blog

I have finally started on the fitness blog I discussed earlier. It’s FITNESS, JUST DO IT!  I don’t have much there yet, but keep checking back in. I’ll post new fitness, diet, and health topics there including nutrition tips, exercise reviews, and personal fitness reflections. So check it out and let me know what you think. I’ll still post here too. I just wanted to break the fitness part away.

A year later, 7 pounds heavier

Ugh. Down. Up. Down. Up My weight has fluctuated over the same 7 pounds for the past year. 😦 Although I haven’t been following a fad diet, I now know why they call most diets yo-yo diets. My problem is lack of commitment long term. I know I can lose the weight. I’ve done it several times. I just need to stay with my plan long term and not give in to temptation as much.

I have all the tools and knowledge I need. Several of Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet books, a subscription to a fitness magazine, and 4 different exercise DVD programs and on my shelves attest to that. I need to take them off the shelves and put them in my life, permenantly. Not just a few days, weeks or month. No. I need to eat healthy and exercise daily.  That’s the same advice I’ve given countless others, but fail to follow myself. Let’s face it. I’ve become a hypocrite and hate it.

That realization yesterday sparked this post and determination to change (again!). I used to use my job as a fitness instructor to help manage my weight. However, since I quit due to personal reasons last spring, my weight has inched back up. I’m now heavier than ever. I know exercise will help not only lose weight, but also combat the winter blues.

I can already hear the old excuses raising their heads. I’m too tired at night. The house is too cold in the morning (54 yesterday because the fire went out during the night. Its 62 as I type this.) No convenient place to shower since I don’t go to the gym anymore. The kids. An unpredictable schedule. Family wants to watch videos together in the living room.

The good news is that I can fight many of these. Although there’s not much I can do about the morning temperature when fire goes out. We bought a DVD drive for the small laptop so I can exercise in my room while the someone is watching tv in the living room. Lack of shower is nasty but won’t kill me like being overweight will. The kids have started encouraging me to exercise since they know it helps my mood and they are old enough not to get into mischief while I do.

I read recently that of the people who make exercise a New Year’s resolution and actually start a program, only 40% will stick with it until May. That’s a disturbing statistic. I don’t want to be included in that, but fear if I continue as I have this winter that I will be. No more excuses. I’m going to reaffirm my motto: FITNESS- JUST DO IT!

It’s coming off!

Last week I started eating clean. That meant cutting out sweet, fried, processed, junk, and fast foods. Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies with each meal and as snacks instead of chips, cookies, crackers, bars, etc. No seconds. Drink just plain water or unsweetened tea. Switched to whole grains and smaller portion sizes for pasta, bread, cereal, and rice. I eat 3 small meals and 2 healthy snacks daily. It’s actually a lot of food, but not a lot of calories because of the fruits and veggies. My family loves this way of eating, including my kids (ages 7 and 9).

Another thing I’m doing which I’ve been talking about is dividing my plate into quarters. First fill half with veggies. The other quarters are for lean protein and healthy carb. No seconds. If I’m still hungry, I’ll have fruit later. Remember, it
takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it is full.

Then 3 days ago, I began The 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. It’s great for beginners, or people like me getting back into fitness. Just 20 minutes a day for a month. While I have trouble sticking to the longer routines, I can (and have) fit 20 minutes in my day though.

I’ve lost a pound and half and can feel my body tightening up already! I’m at 170.5 today. My goal for the month is 168. At this rate, I should make it easily.

New fitness blog

Hey everyone! I’m considering creating a spin off blog for fitness. I want to separate my fitness and homeschooling sites.  I’ll likely call it Fired Up Fitness or a variation if that’s already taken, unless someone has a better suggestion. So the new blog should be up and ready by New Years. I hope to have some of it in the next few weeks. Stay posted here for the latest updates on it.

On the site I’ll have all my product reviews, fitness and diet tips, healthy living advice, and even some yummy recipes.

Jillian Michaels ad ploy

In the July edition of Oxygen magazine, there is an ad for Jillian Michaels videos. The ad states you pay just $4.95 for shipping to get 2 of her DVDs (30 Day Shred and Shred It With Weights). It also says see her website for details. Today I finally did.

Here’s what the ad doesn’t say. These videos sell for less than $10 each, so they are not that expensive to begin with. In order to get the discounted price, you have to also sign up for her online program at $4/WEEK.

You’ll get 2 weeks free and can cancel anytime. However, marketers know that if you don’t cancel right away, chances are after just 2 weeks, you probably won’t. Then you’ll be billed $4 every week. That’s $200/year just because you wanted less than $20 worth of DVDs.

So unless you’re one of those savvy people who can remember to cancel memberships like this or you really want her online service anyway, save your extra money and run to the video store instead. Who knows, they may even be having a sale.

Falling into fitness

Well, fall is slowly arriving this year here in Alaska. The leaves are turning and nights are getting chilly. I’ve even had to burn a fire in the wood stove a few mornings. So while many animals in the north are desperately trying to put on as much fat as possible before winter, I am trying to get rid of my extra fat.

A month ago I started Turbo Fire. I completed the first week before my life got crazy complicated morning to night. Things are calming down, but I’m not sure I want to commit to it again right now. I think I will do this routine I found on YouTube for a few weeks instead. If I’m short of time, I can do this brief, but intense routine. If I stick to that, then I will start Turbo Fire again.

I have 2 weeks until my husband comes home. I know crash diets don’t work so I’m not even going to try that. I will eat very healthy with lots of fresh fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains following the principles of eating clean.  We splurged a lot over the weekend, but that’s enough! It would be great if I could lose at least 5 pounds by then.

Up for a challenge?

Today begins day 1 of my 30-day fitness challenge. This means I am going to do all the Turbo Fire workouts as scheduled (unless I decide to do the 5-day Inferno quick start) and eat clean every day. I’m hoping to lose 10-15 pounds in the process. My husband is gone on a business trip this month so it would be nice surprise to get in shape when he gets back.

I’m hoping to have others join me. It’s easy. Just pick your favorite workout program and eat healthy for the next month. Each week you must exercise at least 4 times and have no more than 1 sweet treat. Leave me a comment on this post telling me you’re in and what program you will use. If you are brave, you can tell me your starting weight. (I’m at 172) Otherwise just your how much you hope to lose or other goal. Drink lots of water. NO FAD DIETS. I’ll post weekly fitness updates where you can let me know how you are doing too.

Today we went grocery shopping for healthy stuff. I don’t have a lot of money so it’s not perfect. Breakfast was oatmeal with pineapple chunks. It’s not that bad a combination. It gave it a tropical twist. Lunch was turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread with a little cheese, hummus (instead of mayo), and spinach.  My son wanted ravioli so we had that for dinner tonight. He spent his allowance on a box of them as a treat for the family. I made a spinach salad to go with it.

After dinner, I did Fire30 workout. The kids joined in as much as they could. It was fun. Tomorrow is either HIIT 15 or Fire 55EZ if I start the Inferno. I’ll just see how much time I have.

Fitness update 2011 #5

I gained some weight over the summer, but now I’ve lost most of it. I know yo-yo dieting isn’t good for you, nor all the junk I ate on vacation so both are on the way OUT!

As for my diet, I must stop eating junk. I know it can be hard. I was addicted to junk for a long time. My brother still is and was recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes because of poor diet. That was a real wake up call for me as to the importance of eating right if you want to stay healthy.

I recently read the book The Eat Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno. It tells how to use healthy eating to get healthy and obtain your goal weight. It’s easy to read and understand. She was once overweight too so she’s writing from experience, not just theory like a lot of diet books. It’s not a fad diet, but a healthy eating plan you can follow safely for the rest of your life.

Several of the ideas in the book are things I’ve talked about before on this blog. Cut out sweet, fried, processed, fast, and junk foods. Switch to whole grains for things like pasta, rice, cereal, and breads as well as reduce their portion size. Have lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Divide your plate into quarters. First fill half with fruits and veggies. The other quarters are for the lean protein and whole grain or other healthy carb like sweet potato. Drink just water or plain tea. If you like juice, have the whole fruit instead. That will give you fiber and save you a lot of calories.

So, following the ideas in the book, I’ve lost 3 pounds this week without starving myself or even being hungry. Amazing huh? My family and I have more energy. The kids are better behaved. The only drawback is that I’m now COLD! I’ve started wearing a sweater in the house even though the temperature is the same (65 degrees). However, I’ll gladly put on a sweater if it means taking off fat.

I’m considering a spin-off blog devoted to just fitness. That would allow this blog (AK Homeschool Fun) to go back to being my homeschool and personal blog. I’ll still have these occasional fitness updates, but the bulk of my fitness thoughts would be posted on the new site. What do you think of this idea?