Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Weight Loss Update! *AND* Weight Loss Math Explained

This is Eve during math.
Math was never my strong suit. While I'm pretty good at fudging my way through an essay question (a.k.a perfecting the art of bs), basic ciphering was never natural for me. In fact, the last time I took a formal math class was in 11th grade - my junior year of high school.

"Wait. Kelly, do you mean to tell me you have a college degree in education and didn't have to take a single college level math class?"

Yep. That's exactly what I am telling you. (Although I did have to stumble through one college level science class - Physics of Sound - which almost killed me.)

But lest you think I have poor computation skills, I offer the following argument to prove I am qualified to write this post. As it is currently my third and fourth go-around, as a homeschooler I am nailing elementary school math.

My subtraction? Totally on point. My times tables - I got 'em up until the twelves. This may be because I have reviewed them daily with various children over the last four years, but whatever the reason - I'm kinda a big deal when it comes to basic arithmetic. Don't get too jealous now.

I've found that when it comes to weight loss, there are two vitally important calculation techniques that must be utilized for success. One is knowing greater than > and less than <. For example: 65>34, and 25<78. If you do not have a strong grasp on how numbers relate to one another, you cannot employ the mind game Teeter-Totter.

I double dog dare you to call me a Heffalump.
(Does everyone remember the teeter-totter? Remember riding that thing in elementary school? The whole purpose was to have a grand old time pushing yourself away from the ground and going up and down on that thrill of a ride. What really happened was the fat kid was made aware of just how fat they were as they slammed into the ground, killing their crotch in the process. Happy memories, no?)

Teeter-Totter is a mind game I totally made up and is completely meaningless and stupid one hundred percent useful for making yourself feel better using comparison techniques. Teeter-Totter is simply picturing yourself on a teeter-totter opposite something heavier than you. When I finally weighed less than my husband, my reaction was, "NOW I'LL BE ON THE 'UP' SIDE OF THE TEETER-TOTTER!" Hey, small victories are still victories.

The other really important math skill you need for weight loss success is the skill of rounding numbers. As a quick refresher, any number less than 5 in the ones column rounds down to the nearest ten. (Ex: 13 rounds to 10 and not 20) Any number 5 and greater rounds up to the nearest ten. (Ex: 17 rounds to 20 and not 10) This concept works on larger numbers as well.

So it is with all this in mind that I can say today that my weight finally rounds to 100 instead of 200. Because this week? I LOST THREE POUNDS. I went from 153 to my current weight of


My body fat went down 1% to 26.1%

I spent the entire week hoping for a weight of 151 on my weigh in day. I don't even know what to do with these results. I'm so happy. (Andrew, my decidedly Not Kemper replacement, was all, *doesn't say anything, just writes my results down*. So I filled in Kemper's voice saying, "Hell yeah!" which is exactly what he wrote me when I facebooked him later.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go lift heavy and eat more protein. Huzzah!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Doctor Mario and the Super Heroes

I get a lot of emails from companies that mainly want me to hock their crap for free. I delete about 99 percent of them. I don't blog in order to sell wraps, or pills, or nutrition supplements. I blog because it's fun. I don't even pursue the possibility of this becoming a paying gig because I'm too lazy. I don't really market myself at all, and have relied mainly on word of mouth to grow the population on my little corner of the internet. (So far? Stellar plan.)

However. I received an email from a man named Dr. Mario Trucillo, the Managing Editor of a new health and wellness site called American Recall Center that I could not throw away. (Not an affiliate link, not a sponsored post.) My initial thought upon seeing an email from Dr. Mario was of course Nintendo, which encouraged me to read the first two paragraphs. After that, I then knew I was all in.

I was asked to write a post about my health hero as a part of their Who Keeps You Healthy? campaign. An entire post giving props to the people that have helped me lose and keep off one hundred pounds. What an opportunity!

I thought of all the obvious people.

These faces? Seriously.
My children, because what better motivation to be healthy than being able to stick around for most of their lives? What better motivation than making those years that I'm around be years of quality so I can be the mom who can run and play at the park, or get down on the floor to put together the Winnie the Pooh puzzle for the four thousandth time, or make up dances with the girlies after lunch? My children are definitely my Health Heroes.

still the only picture of us *not* in our lovely tri suits
Then I thought of Sarah. Most of you know Sarah as my friend/triathlon training partner. Sarah is so much more than that to me. Sarah is my family. She took me under her wings after we met in a triathlon swim class. She sacrificed her own training times in order to take me on my first road bike ride. She organized and got me through my first open water swim. She paced me during my first practice triathlon, all while letting me use her road bike. She is soooooo much faster than me, and yet she ran with me while I could barely breathe and even made stupid small talk (which she hates) during my first 10k so I could just get through it. She's gifted me in enumerable ways with equipment and other material resources that made it possible for me to enjoy one of the more expensive sports out there. And that's just our past relationship.

Currently, Sarah pushes me. Constantly. She meets me at the gym and tells me I can do just a little bit more. She encourages me and is interested in my fitness even if it's away from the sport of triathlon. (Although she is the only reason I am still swimming in that awful frigid water at Lifetime Fitness.) She's even started "lifting heavy" because Kemper is a drug I peddle to anyone who will listen. So Sarah is definitely my Health Hero.

But how can I forget Kemper? Anyone who has read this blog over the past two months knows what Kemper has done in my life. I met him in late February, weighing 168 pounds with a 37% body fat composition. He sat with me and talked about making changes in my diet because I was about to lose my mind in frustration. (You can read about that conversation here.) I often tell people that Kemper "adopted" me. He didn't try to sell me anything - training sessions, supplements, or detox plans. He just gave me the gift of his time and knowledge. He told me how to eat and he showed me how to workout. He introduced me to lifting weights (which I freaking LOVE). He took an interest in my health and I give him so much credit for my success. My last weigh in showed me at 153 pounds and 27% body fat. Those are huge results. Kemper continues to support me even though he's left my gym, and has made himself available to me if when I have questions. Kemper is my Health Hero.

But then I thought of one person who trumps everybody else.

Almost 13 years of marriage and 4 kids
Still mostly sane.
Still crazy in love.
This man right here is the reason I am able to chase after the dream of a healthy body. My husband Brian has loved me at 5'3" tall and 253 pounds. He didn't love me "in spite of" my weight. Honestly, when he looks back at pictures of the old me it's apparent that he didn't even see the weight at the time. He loves me now, at 5'3.5" tall and 153 pounds, and I know he will continue to love me whatever size the future (and my choices) may bring. My husband Brian is the sole reason that I can live the life I do. 

Brian supports my food choices even when I'm being a PITA about them it's not fun. He works to figure out how to buy certain foods even though they are more expensive choices because I feel it is important. He makes it as easy as possible for me to maintain my dietary lifestyle, asking if I have a plan about what I am going to eat if we go out or travel, and how he can help with it.

Brian also works 11-12 hour days and then comes home and does dinner clean up and bedtime with the kiddos so that I can go to the gym. On Saturday and Sunday mornings he gets up with kids because I am already at the gym. He has surprised me with money to go get new workout clothes. He budgets to be able to afford my gym membership. He never complains that there are dumbbells on our dresser, or foam rollers by our bed, or that I hang my swim cap and goggles on the bathroom door handle to dry.

He actively listens to monologues filled with details about deadlift form, protein sources, and my speedwork on the treadmill even though he cares NOTHING about any of those things. He can quote Elliott Hulse and Kemper because he always asks about what I'm learning. In short, he is my partner in everything I do - whether he actively participates with me - or not.

Brian is truly my biggest Health Hero.

So a great big, giant, fat THANK YOU to all my Health Heroes. I love you all to pieces, you are all in my heart, and I am forever grateful for all you have been and done in my life.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday: Muliebral* Musings (Or, why girls are confusing)

So, this happened at the gym this morning.

I was totally minding my own business while watching one of the regular bros in the meathead section deadlift close to 400 pounds. I may or may not have been chanting in my head "I think I can, I think I can" while this dude barely lifted the incredibly heavy load and I broke into a wide smile when he finally got it all the way up. I was internally cheering him on because I support my fellow athletes. He dropped the weight, caught my eye and said,

"Are you looking at my butt?"

Me, stammering, instantly purple, "Uhh, um, no."

Him, smiling, "If you like what you see, go ahead, I don't mind." *WINKS*




Here are five minutes of the internal musings that followed after that situation occurred.

Minutes One and Two: MORTIFICATION

This is the part where I pretend I'm totally cool and not embarrassed at all and my face totally plays along by exploring the rainbow of all the red and purple shades in the spectrum. I give him a bashful smile which I'm sure communicates that I am blown away not only by his physical prowess, but also his schoolboy face, and charming nature. In reality I am just struck dumb with embarrassment because I am super smooth. There are no coherent thoughts at this point. Only the desire to flee. Because I handle emotion well.


Needs some stretching.
You betta streeeetch, boy.
Actually, Mr. Meathead, I was really looking at your form. So yeah, I kind of *was* looking at your butt. Specifically how you could stick it out more ... but your ankles are tight. I know this because Elliott Hulse who I'm sure would totally respect me if we were ever in the gym together taught me about proper squat form and I can see that your heels come off the ground when you are getting ready to deadlift. Also? You wouldn't need that weight lifting belt* if you would just do the stomach vacuum every once and a while. I don't want to get too braggy here, but since I've had four kids, I'm preeeeeetty good at kegels, so I totally know how to stomach vacuum for all it's worth.

* "wouldn't need that weight lifting belt" = I don't even know if this is true. But ELLIOTT doesn't use a belt because he practices stomach vacuuming, and if ELLIOTT said it, it's probably a law somewhere.

Minute Four: Sassy Responses

Four minutes out I'm actually really good for responses. Each response is said thought with rockin' self-confidence (obviously) and adequately conveys that "Honey, I am so above your pay grade". In my head I am a social rock star. (And, apparently, a raging flirt, so it's much better for my marriage that I have terrible timing when I'm embarrassed.)

Minute Five: Joy. FREAKING Joy.

That guy just flirted with me. And I am 34. And it is 4:30 in the morning. And I have four kids. And I am twenty a few pounds overweight. And I am wearing a mom ponytail. And I am sweating.  I am in the meathead section and He. Just. Flirted. With. Me.  

It's about d@mn time.

And all that is why girls are confusing.

*Muliebral is your SAT word of the day. Meaning: of, relating to, or characteristic of women. BAM! You're smarter.

Linking up with Clare at Fitting It All In.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Brand New and Totally Effective Diet

This is my teenage life summed up in one picture.
I had a huge crush on the guitar player.
(Of course I did.)
"STAND DOWN" - Boy Sets Fire
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. I started the day with an early bird workout at the gym. It was leg day and also coincided with the first time I wore my earbuds while lifting. Apparently I feel much freer to grunt when I am focused on the music and not on the sounds I am personally making. I discovered this during a break between songs.

In unrelated news, I now listen to my iPod on a much lower volume.

(I have been pretend drumming for listening to Boy Sets Fire* for a two week stretch now. It's kinda impossible to fully enjoy Boy Sets Fire on anything less than the loudest setting possible. I've caught myself lip-syncing "SILENCE KILLS THE REVOLUTION" with all the passion it requires while on the treadmill. I don't feel ridiculous about this at all and instead choose to feel sorry for all the pretentious people at Lifetime who do not get to be pretend rock stars in their heads while exercising.)

(*I traveled to Chicago waaaaay back in 1998 with my friends Melanie and Josh to see Boy Sets Fire play in a bowling alley that also hosted late night rock shows.)(It was rad.)

(Brian hates Boy Sets Fire.)
(He also won't let me in his band.)
(The obvious conclusion we can draw is that Brian could not recognize musical genius even if it lived with him.)

After my Easter morning workout I hurried out to the parking lot because I knew in order to fully celebrate this beauty was waiting for me:

I know what you are thinking. "Kelly, you are a vision of loveliness first thing in the morning   are you naturally that white or do you work at it?  did you really sit in the parking lot of Lifetime Fitness and eat a Reese's Peanut Butter egg?"
Sure did, y'all.
#4gramsofprotein #Kemperwouldbeproud (Because I'm pretty sure Reese's is exactly what he had in mind when he told me to eat carbs after a workout.)

Easter was a struggle for me. I think the real problem was I had no plan on how to handle all the special holiday food. I knew I was going to allow myself some leeway (hence, the peanut butter egg), but I had to navigate a church brunch potluck and the actual Easter meal at my mom's house, and my only thought was, "Let's just see how it goes." Bad idea.

This is literally the only picture I have
from Easter. It's a blurry cell phone
picture of me and my sister. You're
welcome. (For the record, it's clear I
am taller.) 
When I take last year into account, I did fantastically well. But for this year, and knowing my current goals - blah. At brunch I ate ALLTHEFRUIT because I don't normally eat a lot of fruit, so kiwi and strawberries were like candy to me. I ate egg casserole that looked like it was loaded with spinach, but I also really really really enjoyed a homemade blueberry muffin. (To be honest, I enjoyed that muffin more than the Reese's egg.)(Please don't tell - I don't want to spoil the good thing going on between me and Reese's. We have a special relationship - it's eggselent.)(Oh no, she didn't.)

At my mom's I just ate too much. My stepdad is an amazing cook and he bought kielbasa and fresh pierogi at the Polish market. It was all so good. I also had a piece of cinnamon swirl bread and lemon cake for dessert.

At home that night I stood on the scale and was all, "Yep." Last week I weighed 154.3 at my weigh in. Easter night that scale read 157. ONE FIFTY SEVEN. Of course I totally panicked and began thinking all these disordered thoughts like, "I should totally go run at 4:00 tomorrow morning. And not eat all day. And hit Core Blast and lift before my weigh in. HEY! Maybe I can even skip my Monday weigh in and show up Tuesday. That would buy me a full extra day!" Thankfully I'm not completely stupid and the part of me that is rational was all, "Dude. Don't be crazy. You need a full night's sleep. You need to return to your normal food tomorrow. You need to drink a crapton of water. You need to do your normal workout, and then you need to SUCK IT UP AND FACE THE MUSIC and go get weighed on your normal night because you are not a cheater." Which? Is totally what happened.

I really thought most of that weight gain had to do with sodium and being bloated from all the crap food. So on Monday I pounded water like nobody's business. I spent most of Monday peeing feeling like while I enjoyed all that food, it certainly didn't change my life, and I'd much rather be down 15 pounds than eat like that all the time.

Monday night was upper body lifting followed by Core Blast. After that I went over to the trainer desk and tried to find a Kemper Replacement to weigh me in. (Which? TOTALLY won't ever happen.)(Because Kemper is completely irreplaceable unless Elliott Hulse shows up and then all bets are off.) Andrew, the trainer who offered to weigh me in, while being a fine young gentleman, totally didn't want to joke with me at all was all business because he had a client warming up on the treadmill. I had to tell him all the vital information that Kemper already knew - you know, the important things like my age and height - so I tried not to be bitter that I had to verbalize that info (*rolls eyes and enjoys her first world problems of missing the trainer that was so generous with his time*) while waiting for the scale to out me for my Easter noshing.

The damage? I lost 1.3 pounds. I weighed in at 153. I also lost .2% body fat. (Down to a solid 27%.)

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm now on the new Reese's Peanut Butter Egg diet because it's totally effective.

(Just kidding, Kemper.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five on Friday - Automatic Responses

Here are a few common situations I face in my life and the ways I automatically respond to them.

1. Scene: Entering Lifetime Fitness - Every time I enter the gym I see this sign on the glass in the lobby:

Automatic response: I think, "not these guns." *mentally flexes my biceps*

2. Scene: At least one child whines, "Mo-om! I can't find my ______."

Automatic response: I think, "It's up your butt and around the corner." You can take the girl away from the 80's, but you can't take the 80's from the girl.

A perm, a boombox, and throwing up peace signs? It's like the 80's puked allllll over this mess.
I think we can all agree the 80's were good to me.

3. Scene: Hears birds chirping before the sunrise.

Automatic response: I think of breastfeeding. This is mainly because the first time I consistently heard birds ring in the new day it was during the hellish period of adjusting to a newborn while bonding with the tiny life I'd created as I nourished her from my own body. Now it's almost a Pavlovian response.
(Now *you* will forever associate pre-dawn bird chirping with breastfeeding. I'm like the gift that keeps on giving.)

4. Brian's new favorite video - Jim Rome on Gym Guy:

Scene: I walk in the house upon returning from the gym.

Brian's automatic response: "KELLY! Hurry and get in your protein! YOU DO NOT MAKE YOUR MUSCLES WAIT FOR PROTEIN! GET THAT PROTEIN NOOOOOOOOOW."

(Don't worry - I totally did already in the car on the way home.)

5. Scene: Jason Derulo sings "Talk Respectfully* to Me" (*how this young man should speak to a SAHM mama) while I'm driving the Ford Flex.

Automatic response: My freaking hips take over my body and I become the best dancer in the entire world. There is something truly magical about Jason telling me my "booty don't need explaining" that makes me throw all caution to the wind and let it do it's thang. YOU DO YOU, BOOTY.
(Lest you think I'm exaggerating in standard Sublurban Mama form the driver of the car next to me last night totally affirmed my effort with a gigantic smile.)

See you Monday when I share the extensive report on how I enjoyed the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg I am saving for after my LEG DAY workout Sunday morning. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. (Almost like me, barely able to be on the edge of my seat after Leg Day.) Happy Friday! Happy Easter!

Linking up with Clare at Fitting It All In.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And I was like, "Baby, Baby, Baby, ohhh" - The Biebs

Because the world needs more selfies of me and Lauren.
My bestie is having a baby. She has an adorably round belly and is due in June and I'm so happy for her I could squeal. (I did, in fact, squeal when she told me which is how everyone in my house knew she was pregnant before I got off the phone with her.)

I asked if I could throw her a shower back in January sometime without thinking that I'm not really gifted in the art of party throwing. No worries, it turns out that a ton of people love Lauren and wanted to help, so before I knew it I was co-hosting with Lauren's sister-in-law who also has a job as an event planner. I got several phone calls from other friends/Lauren's family who wanted to do all the decorating, make the cake, and supply the party favors. Oh, and Katie (Lauren's sister-in-law) had it at her house. So, really, the shower I threw Lauren went off without a hitch.

I can't help but think this was all really for the better, because before I had any help I spent hours scouring Pinterest to find the best baby shower ideas available. I pinned quite a few gems.


Um, *yeah* that's Sperm Cornhole.

Pin the Sperm to the Uterus. Obviously.
Also, Eve is getting close to the age where we need to have The Talk, so this game could also be used as an educational tool - like a visual aid - that she could discuss in therapy someday.


I can totally picture Lauren feeding her baby in Somerset Mall using these.

Every girl needs a perfect pregnancy t-shirt

In the end I was only really in charge of some supplies, half the food, games, and prizes. Since Lauren's car broke down on the way to the shower (awwwwwesome) we only played one game in the interest of time. Sadly, it was not Sperm Cornhole. (That is a phrase I never thought I would utter.)(Like, ever.)(And now that's twice in one blog post.)(I'm weirdly proud that happened.)

The shower was a success. I was really glad to see some old friends (old in that I've known them forever, *not* that we are aged.) and we took a group shot of the girls fifteen a few years after our glory days. (Glory days = having an entire conversation without stopping to cut up food for a toddler or changing a diaper.)

Lauren, Katie, Yours Truly, Rosie, Mary, and Jackie.
Weird that we are all barely 25, right?

One of my favorite moments of the baby shower was standing on the porch in heels going over deadlift form with Rosie. We even borrowed Katie's broom to get Rosie's back in the proper alignment while I waxed poetic about my undying affection for Elliott Hulse. Other highlights included:

- having Lauren sit in the squishiest chair possible for present opening, mainly so that when she had to get out of the chair it counted as both her cardio and strength training for the day.

(*story for free* Whenever I'm pregnant Brian thinks it's hilarious to play a game he calls "Turtle". "Turtle" is played by pushing me onto my back and laughing hysterically while I struggle to right myself.)(Marriage is'all.)

- manipulating Lauren's husband into going to get my car from down the street because I didn't want to walk half a block in my heels after the shower was over. This was accomplished by asking, "David? Do you want to do something really chivalrous for me?"

- getting to snuggle Mary's new baby while feeling my ovaries explode and uttering sweetly to him, "You are so adorable and I am done having babies." I'm pretty sure it was really self-talk used to convince myself that I am done having babies.

I'm so happy for Lauren. I can't wait to meet her sweet Deborah Rose!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Aftermath - DAY ONE

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Kelly from Sublurban Mama.

Kelly from Sublurban Mama, who?

Kelly from Sublurban Mama who is GETTING! TRAINED! BY! KEMPER! ONCE! A! MONTH!

That's right, everyone can breathe a bit easier knowing I am not going to fall into a vat of melted chocolate and eat my way out of last week's depression over Kemper's departure. I know I sure can. I can not describe how much lighter life got when he succumbed to peer pressure commented on the blog yesterday and agreed to continue to train me. I was able to arrive at the gym last night with a happy heart, ready to bring it to Core Blast before my final Kemper weigh-in.

It's a good thing I was prepared, because Kevin decided not to teach Core Blast and instead settled on a class called Let's Do Squats Until We Puke, and Then We'll Do Some Lunges; And Just When You Think You Are Going To Physically Keel Over, We'll Do Jump Squats and Get Out the Medicine Balls and BOSU For Extra Fun. (I think the class schedule still said "Core Blast" because that other title wouldn't fit in the slot.) It's been a long time since I took a break during an athletic drill and stared at the instructor incredulously. But Kevin was on the receiving end of at least one such look.

After class I went to find Sarah. She was on the lat pull down. We agreed to meet up after my weigh-in. When I saw Kemper at the scale I actually skipped over because I was so freaking relieved. I told him I was glad Plan A to get him to train me was so effective (Plan A = beg), because I did not have a whole lot of faith in Plan B. (Plan B = finding out if Kemper had a brother (he totally does) and offering to marry him because I've seen what Kemper has done for his sister and girlfriend (both figure competitors) and if I were family he would be obligated to train me.)(Tricky parts of that plan include: my husband and kids (although polygamy is totally in the Bible, and I have enough Sister Wives to argue my way around that, and convincing a twenty-something single guy that he should totally settle down with a married mother of four in the interest of personal health. Specifically, her personal health.)

My weigh-in was a'ight. If I needed convincing that stress plays a negative role in weight loss I have a week of proof under my belt. Not only did I face the fear of being on my own this week, there were two other big things going on. One was throwing Lauren a baby shower on Saturday. (Honestly, not terribly crazy. It was just a lot more to do than usual.) The other major stress factor is our Other House.

(*minor tangent* Remember our old house? The house that sat behind the Meth House? Five years ago when the housing market tanked, we needed to sell it because we were moving. We got an offer on it right away, but because everyone and their brother were taking advantage of the FHA loans, the government had to come out and assess our home value in order to approve the loan. They assessed our house $40K below asking price because there were 5 foreclosures on our block we were competing against. (All priced $80-90K below our house.)(And? We still got an offer. BAM) We decided not to sell at such a loss and rent it instead.

We got amazing renters (or so we thought). They are totally pleasant people who always paid rent on time and didn't complain about much. We got a phone call that they were moving out this week because of financial reasons. This was a bit scary because we still owe money on that house and pay that mortgage out of the rent money we receive. We need income from that property. They moved out and I walked through the house on Sunday.

HO. LEE. COW, Y'all. The house is trashed.

It's so trashed we have a contractor coming to give us quotes tonight. (It's mostly a ton of cosmetic stuff - like doors and appliances that need to be replaced. And a lot of patching in the walls. And repainting the entire home. And the little surprise of seeing the sub-floor exposed in the bathroom. And the freaking mountain of garbage by the curb. And the fire they started in our wheelbarrow. Duuuude. We did not need this right now. But, whatever, life, right? *end tangent*)

So at my weigh-in I lost .7 of a pound. I also lost 2% body fat, taking my body fat from 37.1% at the start of the challenge, to 27.2% as of last night. If you can math, yep, that's one tenth shy of a TEN PERCENT loss of body fat. (Kemper was all, "If you stayed 154.3 and your body fat kept dropping I would be happy.)(I was all, "You are freaking crazy and a boy and I do *not* want to stay 154. I want to wear a bathing suit this summer, dude.)

Also on the agenda? Selfies. I'm pretty sure our internal
monologues included: Me = "Dude, how unfair that he has better
hair than me." and him = "Yep, it smells like Kelly just totally
enjoyed Core Blast."
After the weigh-in we went down to the cafe so Kemper could eat his dinner and I could ask ALLTHEQUESTIONS I had for that night. After he approved the next stage of my *fitness journey* (haha) we went back upstairs so he could show me how to use the machines I would need for the next phase. This was super fun and my new favorite machine is the one for assisted pull-ups because it feels like you are on a Ferris Wheel. Which? Is dope.

After thoroughly convincing me he does not see me as 34 years old - he sees me as closer to 64 years old since I don't text - we parted ways. Things only got weird that last minute and a half because I could feel myself starting to get teary because I do not do well with change and I just didn't want to leave. But just when you need him, Eminem will sing in your head and you will hear the opening strands of Mockingbird and Marshall will (personally) tell you, "Straighten up little soldier. Stiffen up that upper lip," and you totally will because you are a SWOLDIER. (One of my new favorite words ever.) Besides, I'll see Kemper next month when he destroys me with a workout and it will all be okay.

Me not smelling like Core Blast.
We clean up occasionally.
I found Sarah and we talked, and then I went home and ate the cookie that I have been saving since Lauren's baby shower. (I have been dreaming about this cookie for two full days. I passed on the shower cake and most of the shower food, knowing after my Monday night workout I could eat this one cookie. I only managed half, but it was delicious.)

Tomorrow I'll give you the recap of Lauren's big day. See you on the flip side.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sweet dreams are made of cheese ...

It's currently 4:15 Sunday morning and I can't sleep. I woke up half an hour ago from a dream with a racing heart. I was suddenly wide awake, fully alert, with all my senses engaged. It felt almost like I was having a nightmare, but then realized there was none of the terror I associate with bad dreams. Instead, I only felt ... euphoric.

I was dreaming about eating pizza.

That's probably a sign I should partake in that cheat meal Kemper has talked to me about.

So Monday night is my final weigh-in with the man. (Have I mentioned that yet?) I have prepared a list of eleventy-billion questions to ask him in order to squeeze every bit of knowledge from him while he is there in person. I may have spent Saturday night on a double date with both Google and Youtube because apparently I get around I needed a little bit of information to be able to plan my next steps. I'm going to ask him to look things over and see if I'm heading in the right direction.

(Also, I'm going to beg ask nicely if he will consider training me once a month. It's not how he does things, but I bet if we all left a nice comment for Kemper begging asking nicely if he would just think about it, my chances may improve.)(Feel free to comment on this post or on Facebook.)(I'll totally make sure he sees them all.)(For those of you that think I am playing dirty, it's simply because I need Kemper to teach me to clean.) (I'm.dying.)(Because weight lifting joke.)

I have a post coming soon about Lauren's baby shower because that totally happened on Saturday. I'll also update you on the stats from the weigh-in because I know you are on the edge of your seats over that. In the meantime, send this sister some love because Monday is going to be a hard (#firstworldhard) day. Please and thank you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

You thought Cedar Point was the roller coaster capital of the Midwest? That's cute. Welcome to my head.

Don't worry. I bought you a ticket. You get to ride
for free.
You're welcome.
Given the choice, I would totally choose to be a girl. Which is a good thing, you know, since that's what I am. I've always liked that girls are so much more relational than boys, and softer, and they smell nicer more nurturing. On the flip side, though, girls are freaking CRAZY. We are emotional, can worry a molehill into a mountain, and can make ridiculous decisions that sound absolutely rational (in the moment) to our messed up emotions.

I have never felt more like a girl in my whole life than I do this week. It's like I ate Crazy Train Salad for dinner Monday night and have been high ever since. Except, of course, when I'm low. This week has been such a roller coaster.

Hey girl, stretch out those hip flexers.
Squat like a mother.
After my weigh in Monday night Kemper may have implied that he would be leaving Lifetime Fitness soon. My definition of soon meant six months. His definition of soon meant a few more weeks. I honestly couldn't even process that information at the time, so I ignored it and asked him to walk me through regular dead lifts. I have been doing straight leg dead lifts up until now, but I have been faithfully attending the Youtube school of Elliott Hulse, so I hoped that my hip flexors were finally stretched enough to handle regular dead lifts.

Kemper took me into the meathead section (it was packed), and showed me how to set up the bar and weights. Then he walked me through dead lifts. I'm not going to lie - it felt pretty freaking hardcore, once I got over facing the mirror and having my rear end face the rest of the gym. I did a few to get comfortable with the feel of it and Kemper corrected my form. Afterwards I felt like I conquered something huge. I felt indestructible. I WAS THE DEAD LIFT MASTER OF THE WORLD.

Then I got in my car to drive home and lost my marbles because Kemper was leaving soon, and I was scared out of my mind because I'm not ready to lose the training wheels yet.

It was just like this except my glass case of emotion looked like a red Ford Flex.

On Tuesday I got a phone call from a friend who wanted weight loss advice. Our phone call ended with me feeling like, "Hey, maybe I do know what I'm doing here! I can totally do this without Kemper. I am the boss of my choices." Hoorah! Later that evening I talked about proper squat form with a bunch of the teen boys from church who workout together and felt even more sure that I know what I'm doing. KEMPER WHO?! I GOT THIS.

Wednesday morning I went back to the gym and dead lifted all by myself. I had a fantastic workout and then cried like a freaking baby all the way home. Because girl. And fear. And sadness. Brian met me in the kitchen as I was coming home and he was heading into work. He was all, "Are you crying?" and then we talked about Kemper leaving and why it was so upsetting and he was slightly late to work but that's okay because he loves me more than both his job and Taco Bell. (#signsofastrongmarriage)

My greatest high came Wednesday morning. Just as I was still weepy and being super emo, I checked Twitter and this happened:

That's right, Elliott Hulse favorited my tweet. It's pretty much like he publicly acknowledged how much he loves me back and that we are best friends and I should come down to Florida and hang out at Strength Camp that he received the tweet I tagged him in. I called Brian right away and he taught me how to take a screen shot, so I'm almost caught up to the 21st century there.

On Thursday I was feeling all strong about Kemper leaving. I mean, I always knew he wasn't going to be around forever, right? I decided I needed to put a plan in place for my remaining time with Kemper. I got out my calendar to figure out how much time was left in the weight loss challenge, and then realized I didn't know when he was officially gone. Y'all. His last day is one. week. from. today. The challenge is another four weeks. I get one more weigh in with Kemper.

With that realization, I lost my crap.

Of course I decided the best thing was to talk to Kemper and figure out if he could continue to train me after he left. I rehearsed all the important things I wanted to say so that I could do it without being a crybaby nutcase and that plan was carried out in stellar fashion. (Haha, Sike.) Thursday night I met up with him at the gym. He looked terrified slightly apprehensive when I asked if we could talk over by the window because just maybe I had an inkling I was about to unleash the crazy and didn't want to do it in the middle of the lobby of Lifetime Fitness. I mean, I know I'm totally good with an audience, but ain't nobody want to see the mess that is giiiiiirl tears. I got through exactly two sentences of my planned monologue and then snotted all over my face and had to whisper words so I wouldn't hiccup.

It was awesome.

Kemper was all, "Ohmygosh Kelly, don't cry," because he's a totally nice guy and to his credit he didn't wig out much on the outside. Over all it was horribly embarrassing and I left feeling not much better but at the very least I'd gotten to communicate that what Kemper has done in my life has been very meaningful to me.

Now, because it's FRIDAY and I have an amazing weekend scheduled (I am throwing Lauren a baby shower with her sis-in-law!!!!!)(because remember that my bestie is having her first baby?!?!?!) I need to leave you all on an upswing. Good thing something incredible happened at the gym this morning...

I'm pretty sure they will all chip in
and get me one of these for my birthday.
Just to make it official.
Are you ready for this? When I workout early in the morning there is the same group of guys that lift in the meathead section. I go early because those five or six guys are less intimidating than the legions that show up at night, but I still spend my time there being invisible and unwelcome and feeling like an impostor. However, this morning? This morning as I was in position to start my second set of deadlifts? The moment when my body was tensed to lift but I paused and checked my form (like Elliott Hulse taught me to do) I glanced up and caught the eye of the alpha male of the group who was totally watching me and he gave me a bro nod.

Awwwwww, snap.

I'll be drinking my protein shakes with the boyz before I know it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

One Fiddy Five

This week:


I was really nervous for my weigh in last night for a few reasons. One is that I am always a bit anemic. (Remember my post about iron supplements called Vitamin B is a Jerk? You should really check out my super scientific view of supplements. Totally worth your time to click over. I'll wait here.) Since I am so faithful with my iron supplement, the week after my period I'm a bit more anemic. This makes me tired, cranky, and also crazy hangry. Hangry like, "Nobody talk to me until I shovel some food in my yapper and can calm the heck down a little." I didn't want this little blip in my schedule (which, let's be honest, will probably happen every month) to set me back on the scale, so I tweaked my diet a little bit. 

for added iron
This was initially hard to do because I usually only bother the heck out of Kemper ask Kemper questions on Monday night and I didn't feel the first hanger pangs until Tuesday afternoon. So I had to fall back on previous conversations and chose to - are you ready? - add more fat to my diet. Homegirl ate avocado and homemade guacamole this week. She also snacked on bacon while cooking dinner one night. It was like a fat girl dream. But lived out in real life. Someone pinch me. 

The other thing that happened this week is that my exercise changed a bit. Some of this was out of my control (Brian got home late last Monday so I missed Core Blast) (*minor tangent* Kemper asked me once if that class was a good workout. I was all, "Um, I guess?" because Kemper and I had slightly different ideas about what constitutes a good workout. But I've since reevaluated and Core Blast kicks my TUUUUUSSSSHHH - so yeah, it's totally a good workout.) (Plus, the instructor's name is Kevin and he totally has one of the funniest laugh in the history of laughs but doesn't know it which makes it even funnier) (and last night he told me I could do the Running Man for one of the athletic drills) (I chose to refrain but let it be known that I am an award winning Running Man Champion) (award winning because maybe I beat my six year old nephew in a dance off with the Running Man) (by "beat" I mean really he won but it was totally nepotism because his mom was the judge)(#rigged #unfair #doover). 

at least we MOVED in the Chat Lane
So I missed Cardio Blast last week. I also changed up my runs - my Wednesday run was more of a run one mile/walk half a mile for three cycles (plus a warm up and cool down) because I ran it after lifting and didn't want to burn out. My Saturday run was speed work for two miles. It was crazy hard but super short. So my weekly mileage really took a hit. Also, my Thursday swim was a joke. I got in the water and kicked with Sarah for about a half an hour because we had a lot of Important Happenings to discuss. I ended up leaving the pool without even getting my hair wet. It was so old lady workout.

My lifting increased however. I raised my weight for lat pull down, shoulder press, leg press, and dead lift. I also started doing drop sets within my super set. (Thank you, Elliott Hulse, for proper terminology that makes me seem way smarter than I am.) It made me sore again, which I love.

So adding fat to my diet, decreasing my cardio, and upping my weights netted me a loss of three pounds. I've gone from 168.9 down to 155 in about six weeks. Kemper is a genius. I wish I could bottle him and make him stay with me forever.

In related news - guess who showed up to my blog? Yep. Kemper himself. This is probably because I've dropped the URL about a million times in casual conversation he internet stalked me and of course this little corner of the world turned up. The best part of this has been that I got to internet stalk him back and found this: BOOTKEMP,* his website. This dude has a whole 'nother life outside of Lifetime Fitness. (It kinda feels like when you are a kid and you see your teacher at the grocery store.) (Like, Kemper doesn't live at Lifetime Fitness?!) This discovery made me crazy proud of him and intensely jealous happy that other people can take the opportunity to CHANGE THEIR FREAKING LIVES, because Kemper has given me tools that are getting me so.stinking.excited about my body and what things are possible. And? I'm getting smaller to boot. 

If you are in the southeastern Michigan area, check him out. (Dude, check him out even if you just want to Internet stalk because I won't judge you.) I really can't believe the changes in my body that are taking place in such a short amount of time. (And? It hasn't been a crazy hard battle. WHAAA?)

(*totally not an affiliate link, y'all.) (Below is a video of one of Kemper's workouts that I stole borrowed from his website.) (As an endurance athlete, wrapping my brain around a complete 15 minute workout is ridiculous. But here's how it's done.)

Today is a full rest day so I'm going to celebrate with an afternoon nap. And also guacamole. Don't get too jealous.

Monday, April 7, 2014

I think the answer is, "Why *wouldn't* you wear Cookie Monster underpants?"

Subtitle = A precautionary tale of a non-scale ... victory?

Everyone needs a go-to friend for discussing their unmentionables. Me, I have Sister Wife Rose. This is mostly because not only does she have extremely passionate thoughts on the subject, she also has an Expert Opinion as a cheer leading coach. (i.e. underpants are a big deal to those who move a lot in teensy little skirts.)

Since I'm entering a new phase in my fitness journey (*snort* - for Kari) I have a fresh dilemma. Namely, what does one wear while squatting? After a solid twenty minute discussion with Rose about panty lines and other things of vital importance where Major Life Decisions were made, our conversation ended something like this:

Me and Rose being photo bombed by Brian.
Kelly: ... and all I could think while dead lifting was this, "Dude. Please don't let me be wearing my Cookie Monster underpants."

Rose: What woman in her 30's (who, let's be honest, could totally pass for her 20's - editor's note) wears Cookie Monster underpants?

Kelly: I think the answer is why *wouldn't* a woman in her 30's wear Cookie Monster underpants?

Rose: *the Rose look* (if you know Rose you totally know this look)(it communicates "you are a dumb@ss" really well)

It was with that conversation fresh in my mind that I took the kiddos to the park yesterday afternoon. The FUN Park (which changes routinely depending on the whims of my children) was only a quarter mile away and was a perfect afternoon destination. Traveling with a three year old slightly affected the overall pace of our walk (haha, that's a joke because I'm pretty sure there were snails that beat us there), but we made it and it was gorgeous out and there were a ton of families and other kids to play with and life was grand.

(I kept myself occupied by practicing box jumps onto the benches that surrounded the playscape because they were the perfect height for someone 5'3.5" who is terrified of jumping onto the boxes at the gym. I felt like a Crossfit rockstar while nailing the jumps (even landing softly - Elliott Hulse would be so proud) even though I realized after the first jump that I would have to hold on to my pants because they kept sliding down. This messed with my (admittedly awesome) form a little bit, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order not to, I don't know, get arrested for indecent exposure.)

It was on our return trip home that I finally had the answer to the question that up until then I only knew to be rhetorical. The question, "Why *wouldn't* you wear Cookie Monster underpants?" Ready? This is why.

Sometimes, when you are trying to hurry a three year old across a busy road before the signal changes, and you pick him up in one hand, and hold his three thousand sticks and pinecones and Special Rocks collected from your quarter mile walk in the other hand, you will quickly discover that you have no hands left to pull up your pants that are now seriously sliding down your hips in celebration of your recent weight loss.

You can't throw down the child, and if you are a mom worth your merit at all, you know you can't drop ALLTHESPECIALTHINGS collected because it will ruin your child's life for at least 15 loud minutes forever. You will try to outrun the rapid descending of your pants, knowing that there are approximately fifteen cars witnessing your Parade of the Unmentionables as they wait for the light to change. You will attempt to catch your pants around your hips with broadening your running stance while simultaneously sticking out your tush, which looks as cute as it sounds. And just in case all the drivers were missing the big show because they were distracted in their cars, your nine year old will yell, "HEY MOM! I CAN SEE YOUR COOKIE MONSTER UNDERPANTS!" just to encourage everyone to check out the situation.

Safe on the other side of the road you will gently set down your child, and calmly pull up your pants like you were totally okay with flashing the world because you are secure in your choice of underpants. You should get an Oscar. (Like, the award.) (Not Oscar the Grouch underpants.) (Though I can understand the confusion this post could cause.)

And that is why, just maybe, you *wouldn't* wear Cookie Monster underpants.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday - If Moms Ruled the Gym

Things I would say if Moms Ruled the Gym.

1. "Honey girl, go put on a t-shirt. There is too much boobs happening to attempt that run/elliptical/burpee."

2. "Watch your mouth, young man. I may have rendered myself invisible due to my Mom Ponytail and "birthing hips", but I am right freaking next to you and I don't want to hear about your junk."

3. "You sir, are grounded from the dumbbells for one week. Maybe that will teach you not to leave them in the middle of the floor for anyone to trip over."

4. "Thank you, People That Wash and Fold the Towels, for washing and folding the towels." "Thank you, People That Clean the Toilets and Showers, for cleaning the toilets and showers. Also, for restocking the toilet paper." (Also, totally random, but I find myself wanting to get Kemper settled down with a nice girl and give him long term financial advice. Because Mom.)

5. "Look at you lift that weight/finish that run/hold that pose/show up to exercise! You are improving every day - I am so proud of you."

Also, this conversation happened this morning:

Kelly: *upon returning from an early bird workout* BABE. I totally upped my weight on shoulder press, leg press, and dead lift. I also did drop sets for chest press and row. You are in the presence of a MOTHER FREAKING CHAMPION. *flexes*

Brian: *is still waking up as he puts on his shoes for work*

Kelly: *still flexing* BABE. Look at my bicep. It's totally like a little baby bicep that is happening.

Brian: *squints*

Kelly: Can you see it?

Brian: *squints* *reaches forward to squeeze*

Kelly: Don't touch it! It will go away.

Yep. Beast Mode activated.

*Linking up with Clare at Fitting It All In*

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