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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When you *totally* fall off the wagon. Like, way off. Like, fall off the wagon and then get on another wagon headed straight down Gluttony Avenue.

This is the deal.

There are times it's awesome to be a weight loss blogger. When the scale is in your favor, your "after" pictures get accolades, or when people ask for advice and you feel like you have something helpful to share - it's great to be a weight loss blogger.


There are days moments when you fall completely off the wagon and you feel powerless to stop it. In the back of your brain you think, "I'm going to have to blog this crap," because you can't pretend it didn't happen, and you think about allllllll the people that you are accountable to through your little corner of the internet. Instead of feeling inspired you feel crushed by the accountability and guilty that you may be letting someone down.

But here it is: I had a terrible week, and I ate to cope. I ate a lot. And I ate a lot of foods I never eat. Like, once I ate a piece of leftover pizza while dishing out Chinese food because I couldn't wait the thirty seconds it would take to get fried rice in my pie hole. If you are what you eat then this last weekend I was Birthday Cake wrapped in pizza while wearing Lucky Charms and sweating Sweet and Sour sauce. (A.K.A. Everyone's Best Friend.) (Sorry. I know it's not funny, Kemper.)(But I joke around when I'm uncomfortable.)(IT'S A DEFENSE MECHANISM.)

So, how much did I truly eat? I ate a weight gain of four pounds in three days much. It was so bad that at one point Brian, who has never policed my food (even when I've asked), actually took hold of me by both shoulders, looked me in the eyes and said, "KEL. Snap out of this."

I am so disappointed in myself. I was at 143, so close to my Holy Grail of 140. Now I'm hanging out back at 147. This is literally the story of my life.

I hate excuses. An excuse leaves no room for responsibility. An excuse says, "Look at what happened to me," and not, "Look at the choice I made in response to my circumstance." Excuses cut out any opportunity for growth, and excuses foster weakness. They are a way to say, "Don't worry, you poor thing. It's not your fault. Anyone would have reacted that way."

That's a big fat lie. I am not powerless over my thoughts. I am not held prisoner by my emotions. And *I* am the boss of how I react to difficult situations. Huzzah.

I do believe in reasons. I want to know the reasons behind the choices I make. Knowing these reasons teaches me, and helps to prepare me for handling situations, should they reoccur. And they always do.

So, Reasons I ATEALLTHETHINGS last week:

1. I was discouraged. It can all be boiled down to that. I had some really crappy workouts last week. I felt weak, I felt tired, I felt fat, and I felt like I was sick and tired of working my tush off just to be "normal". (Can I get an Amen from all my FAT MOM sisters out there?!) I don't want to look like Barbie. I don't want to be a figure competitor. I just freaking want to *not* look fluffy. Why do I have to work so hard to accomplish this? (*the world's smallest violin is playing in the background*)

I came home from Wednesday's awful workout to indulge in the worst timed cheat meal in the history of the world. I cheat meal every Wednesday night. In hindsight following the plan was not the best decision this time. Next time I'm discouraged I will reschedule cheat meal. I already know cheat meals for me are a really sensitive thing. The occasional indulgence helps keep me on track, but they also have the potential to usher in a tsunami of binge eating, which is exactly what happened this time. My cheat meal turned into a three day nosh fest.

Then a friend's mom died very unexpectedly Thursday morning. She was only 49. Instead of being all, "Wow, I should look at life as a gift and live it to the fullest," I was like, "What's the freaking point of going to all this trouble to track my macros/deny myself pizza/work at the gym? At the end of the day I'm still fat and I could die at any moment." I didn't feel out of control. I felt defiant. I felt like no matter what I do I'm never there. There seems to be this mythical land where I am no longer the Fat Mom, and I work my heart out and it shows on both the scale and my body. I get momentary glimpses of there in my daily life, and normally those glimpses give me the hope I need to persevere. But feeling so discouraged made me want to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. It's like my brain decided to show my body who was boss by eating my rapidly gaining weight in Combos. Because logic.

"Kel, THEHECK is this?"
That, my friends, is a vegan vanilla LEGO cake with
vegan soy buttercream frosting. And it's purple,
per the birthday girl's request. This is what happens
when you try to get fancy because vegan cake
crumbles, my kids are allergic to fondant, and vegan
buttercream refuses to set.
2. Baking. One of my kiddos had her birthday party on Saturday. Since she is one of my sweet "food allergy" kids, I had to bake her cake from scratch. Then I had to make her frosting from scratch. Then I had to decorate her cake. (Which, I'm not going to lie, was a spectacular Pinterest fail.) Then I had to cut and serve cake and ice cream to 15 people. That's a lot of opportunity for bites, licks, and nibbles. (Or, giant slices of cake eaten when self-control finally reaches it's threshold after you've touched cake and ice cream fifteen times.) Next time I'll chew gum while I'm decorating and ask Brian to cut and serve.

3. I was physically in need of some rest and recovery. I needed to pay attention to my body and take some notes from Wednesday's workout. Eventually I did. I took two full rest days (Thursday and Friday) and went light on Saturday. I ended up squatting my 5x5 program, but only did 135 pounds. I lightened my leg press, hamstring curls, and lunges each to about 75%. I messaged Kemper about deloading, and he told me what I needed to do, which was not actually lighten my weight, but decrease my volume.

I actually wrote Kemper a joke about eating a ton of simple carbs being a part of a proper deload and he wrote back "Haha, I don't think so." I sat and looked at his response for five minutes wondering how I could communicate that I was serious and falling the heck apart. But at the end of the day Kemper is not my babysitter. He's not my AA sponsor. I am a grown-@ss woman and cannot cry to my trainer when I'm in a spiral. I can't expect him to drop his life to hold my hand and tell me not to eat crap food. (Although, now that I think of it, gyms really need emergency training sessions and/or hotlines for people in this situation. #milliondollarideaoftheday)(Kemper, you can have that one for BootKemp for free.)(You're welcome.)(Lollipop gift.)

I know - because I've read my share of weight loss blogs - that this is a common post to read, but it's not one I've ever had to write. It is scary, embarrassing, and shameful. And it's not okay. I know what I want. I know my goals. I know the path to get there. I am worth the time, effort, and hardship it will take to get there. It's not fair that I have to work so hard for something that comes naturally to other people, but that's life. Everyone struggles with something. This is my thing.

I feel like I need to announce, "My name is Kelly and I'm three days back on track," or something. Getting out of bed at 5:30 on Sunday morning to go do abs and HIIT was sooooooooo hard. But I did it, and everything else seems to be following suit. On Sunday I planned and prepped my food, and for three days now I've followed/enjoyed the plan. (*Check my new Pinterest board "dem macros doe" for the most amazing Parmesan Meatballs ever.*) Monday's bench day was awesome; I felt really good so I did my normal training plan, and even did 3x6 at 30# per dumbbell for shoulder press. I dropped in on a yoga class on Tuesday. I feel like I'm me again. It's still hard, but I think it always will be.

I survived this one, friends.

Thanks for the accountability, Internet.

Linking up today for Weigh-in Wednesday with Heather, Ash, and Erin.

Monday, July 28, 2014

That time I got put in Time Out at the gym

Saturday is my squat day. I mentally prepare for this, like, at least a day in advance. I daydream about the barbell on my shoulders, the weights I'm going to crush, and mentally rehearse the feeling of pushing up from a squat. What can I say? I'm a giant nerd I love to squat.

Last Saturday I slept in a little, drank some coffee, and headed to the gym. "SQUAT DAY," I may have been singing in my head. (Also, picture me twirling and doing heel kicks, because in my head I have both coordination and agility.) I felt so good as I walked up the stairs at Lifetime. Really good, I noticed as I was warming up with some foam rolling. In fact, as I prepared to find a squat rack I started to wonder about why I felt so good; I wanted to pinpoint the reason so I could repeat it in the future. My preworkout coffee was the same. Maybe the extra sleep? But man, I felt like I could FLY. Would simply having extra sleep have that effect? If only they could bottle that up and sell it in pill form ... ohmylanta.

I suddenly knew why I felt so good. It must have been the early morning muscle relaxer I took for my neck. The same muscle relaxer that would probably completely ruin my squat plans for the day. Maybe I was just being a drama queen; I could squat on muscle relaxers, right?

Powerlifter Sara was vehemently opposed to that plan. And unfortunately so was her trainer, who had the authority to ban me from squatting for the day. It was like I got put in time out but as a grown up. I straight up stomped my foot and probably announced I was having an internal tantrum. Trainer Corey did not care. I grudgingly substituted Sunday's Ab and HIIT workout for Squat Day and sucker-punched my bad attitude in the throat because First World Problems, anyone? (Also? My workout was AMAZING. Muscle Relaxers as Pre-Workouts 4 Lyfe (except on heavy lifting days)(which are actually the only days I take a pre-workout)(because Kemper tells me just to drink coffee)(but I already bought Cellucor C4 and that mess is expensive so Imma use it up)(but daaaaang, did I feel good doing Battle Ropes a tiny bit relaxed.)

(I came home from the gym and wrote a hilarious* (*this is subjective) post about how I'm an accidental druggie. I was all set to post it last Monday. But then I read Jennifer Weiner's book We All Fall Down and it is about a suburban mom who gets addicted to pills and it all hit too close to home and ruined the joke for me. So I trashed that post and now have this drivel up a week late. Thanks, *Addiction*. You've ruined it for everyone.)

The moral of the story is: Never let a trainer overhear you ask about muscle relaxers and heavy lifting. Also, "You're not the the boss of me," actually holds no persuasive power at Lifetime Fitness. You'll thank me for both of those tidbits one day. Probably.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fat Mom Brain

Did someone say, "RIVER OF CHOCOLATE?"
There are moments as a mother when you will completely lose your shizz past any level you ever thought possible. Like, kick a hole in the wall/throw gracefully toss a frying pan to the floor/screaming banshee lose your shizz. In those moments you will want nothing more than to walk away and pretend these little spawn of Satan are not yours, you have no responsibility towards them, and you are free to live in a bubble where, if someone is rude to you, or throws something at you, or ignores your instructions for the millionth time, or hits/bites/pinches his sister again, you have the freedom to just walk away without a care. Permanently.

But you can't. It's irresponsible at best and illegal at worst.

I'm sure a holier person, a Godlier person, a more grounded or centered or patient person would handle these moments better than I do. Maybe they excuse themselves from the room to "regroup" or grit their teeth and pray, "Jesus, take the wheel," as they handle the situation du jour.

But what really happens in those moments, if you are a Fat Mom (which is more of a mindset and less of a physical description, I'm learning), is that you will want to self-soothe with spoonfuls of the frosting in the refrigerator leftover from a recent birthday cake, or fistfuls of the Doritos allowed in the house because they normally don't tempt you, or entire cases of the 100-calorie snack packs you buy the kiddos as treats. (Fudge-striped miniature Keebler cookies? Why, don't mind if I do. Yes, I want all eight packs, thankyouverymuch.)

You will just want to take a fleeting moment and eat whatever you want, macros/calories be damned. Your mind will disengage from the chaos of whatever familial storm is raging, and you will take a mental tour through the pantry to see what you can cram in your mouth because you need to feel better right now.

Welcome to the Fat Mom's head.

In those moments you have a choice. A choice about what to feed. Do you choose to feed your emotions? They are quite demanding. They are loud. They are immediate. They are seemingly inescapable. They are also temporary. Or, do you choose to feed your body? Do you feed your goals? Do you choose to do the harder thing and suck it up, Buttercup, and don't settle for the cheap fix?

Today I compromised. I may have Augustus Gloop-ed the heck out of some junk food in my head, but I did not inhale a quart of ice cream in real life. I may have gone to McDonalds on a rest day and ordered a sugar free vanilla iced coffee, but I did not eat a Big Mac with fries. And today, I'm calling that compromise a Fat Mom Brain victory.

Now, if only I could stop screaming like a banshee.


Baby steps.

Monday, July 21, 2014


"How did she master the over the shoulder
pose at such a young age?"
Don't question genius, y'all.
Kelly@Sublurban Mama, class of '97
If you look up a little you may notice a new tab on my blog. For those of you that haven't been around for the whole ride, you may wonder "Who the heck is Kemper?" every time you read a post. Well, click on that tab and there is your answer. (Or, just click here.) I've included lots of pictures that I stole re-purposed from Kemper's personal Facebook account*, so there will finally be a face to put with the name for all you visual people out there.

*I guess I'd never truly Facebook-stalked Kemper before. I know, I'm a bit disappointed in me, too. I spent about an hour this weekend going through Kemper's photos to find some to use for this post and ohmylanta, what an education. Since he is 22 precious years old, high school was literally less than five years ago. People mature a lot** in that time, and Kemper is no exception.

(**For your viewing pleasure, and since this is a throw-away post that's really about another real post I'm sharing, here are some lovely high school pics of yours truly. Please, take a moment to enjoy the 90's in all their none- of-us-had-cell-phones-but-we-did-have-pagers glory.


Kristen, Corrie Beth, and me. And we are totally just posing like this, not dancing (this was way before teenage girls danced like they are starring in porn)
Homecoming circa 95(?)
If only I could find an outfit that summarized the 90's ... pffft, I'd probably need to find white denim overalls and then cut them off. Sibling love, y'all. Dressing alike, it's not just for toddlers.

This picture is really an accusation. All my friends and family = DOES NO ONE LOVE ME?!?! You all let me keep that haircut for YEARS. Also, holy weight gain, batman.
(Please note the dog tag necklace and gaged earrings as I was trying to stretch my ears)(Because I was sooooooooooo hardcore.)

There you have it, folks. For this week I'm working on another new tab with all the info about what I've changed in my diet and exercise since I wrote the "How to Lose 100 Pounds" tab, and a few other posts about assorted general awesomeness (totally a word). My friend Rachel Who Looks Like Meg Ryan is coming to the gym with me tonight which means two things: one, I'll have a bench press spotter!!!! and two, two hot mama's will be getting STRONGER tonight. Hoorah.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Don't cry for me, Argentina - The Bootkemp Sessions - July

I don't want to get too braggy, but since this *is* my
blog, I just wanted to let you know I was quite the
soccer player back in the day. Like, way back. When
I was five years old and played on an all male team
because they mistakenly thought "Kelly" was a boy's
 name. I never officially touched the ball, but I could
stand still inside the two foot diameter circle the
coach put me in and "play defense" like nobodies
Do you know how I know I'm finally getting really comfortable with Kemper? I was at his house for almost a full five minutes before I had to use the bathroom. I'm pretty sure that's a new record and an indication of beautiful days ahead.

I think stopping at McDonalds twice to pee on the way over helped I was distracted by my excitement to give Kemper the sympathy card I picked out; my poor Argentinian trainer was understandably crushed after Sunday's World Cup Final, and so, with the help of Hallmark and Google translate, I was able to convey my condolences with hearts, flowers, and the phrase "Alemania chupa*" (Germany sucks) all in one missive.

*Since my Spanish is limited to what I've forgotten from two years of high school instruction (don't worry, I've held on to the important words)(like, "tu mama es facil"), I had to spend a fair amount of time picking the perfect phrase to write in the card, and then translate it. I mean, these words would be the only personalized way I could communicate my heartfelt sympathy. Unfortunately, correctly translating grand verbose sentiments takes a hella long time, so I settled for the summation of: Germany sucks. (Hilariously, the first time I tried to translate, it gave me "Alemania inhala" which translates directly to "Germany inhales", so yeah, I'm pretty glad I'm a diligent fact checker**.)

(**Not a universally true statement.)

Kemper received this card with a gracious heart, and totally didn't drop it on the floor and give me an "Oh, COME ON" look. I giggled wildly and bounced on my toes in delight, much the way my children do when they've pulled one over on me.

Once the shenanigans were over we took a few minutes to talk. Kemper checked over my food diary and macro breakdowns for each day. I eat way more fat than I thought, but as long as I'm still losing (143!!!) he is fine with me sticking with it. (I swear it's all healthy fats - eggs, avocado, double cheeseburgers, nut butter, etc.) I still have problems eating ALLTHEPROTEIN but relearning to eat is a process, so, you know, someday. We also discussed things like short-term/long-term goals and came to the conclusion that I still have no concrete idea of what I would ultimately like to do. (Good luck coming up with a training program for that, Kemp.)

Dear Internet,
Thank you for this.
Love, Kelly
The real fun began with DEADLIFTING. (Well, first I had to warm-up with jogging in place and butt kickers and other things because Kemper is a slave-driver professional trainer who cares about my health.) We did a few warm-up deadlift sets, and then moved on to my current weights. I did 1 set of 5 reps (1x5) @ 135, 2x5 @ 145, and 2x5 @ 155. Kemper tucked my chin down a little (Apparently Miss Vanity Smurf watching herself deadlift in the mirror does not help her form). My biggest problem right now with lifting for strength is waiting between each set. Kemper wants me to wait 2-3 minutes between each set to give my muscles time to chill out. Do you have any idea how long 2-3 minutes is when you are waiting to do the thing you love to do?




Thankfully Kemper didn't suffer too much during this time because I kept up a steady stream of stellar monologue conversation because I can fill some silence if given the opportunity. I definitely didn't whine about how long 2-3 minutes are. Like, ever*. (*lie) Kemper used this time to try to sell me on music that wasn't made in the 90's. It's going to be a tough sale, dude.

After deadlift it was time for barbell rows. Powerlifter Tracy taught me how to do them a few weeks ago, and Kemper approved of her prescribed form. He wants me to change up where I'm rowing (either to boobs or to bellybutton) every other time I lift to work all the parts of my lats. I did 1x5 @ 75, and 2x5 @ 85.  85 pounds was a lot heavier at Kemper's house than at Lifetime Fitness. My working theory about this is that probably because at Lifetime I lift on the second floor, and the second floor is much closer to outer space, and in outer space there is no gravity, and, you know, because of osmosis, obviously, weights are lighter at Lifetime Fitness than at Kemper's housescience. My other working theory is that Kemper yelling urgently encouraging me to, "SQUEEZE" my lats together every time I rowed may have worked me harder than I was used to. I don't know. They are both working theories. You decide.

We moved on to the lat pulldown. This was probably one of my favorite moments of the whole session. Firstly, because Kemper busted me for cheating my lat pulldown, and I have been doing it that way forever without knowing I was cheating, and now it's been corrected; secondly - totally a word - lat pulldown exposed my lack of power which could be my next training goal; and thirdly, because Kemper ghetto-rigged the whole setup which was all sorts of encouraging to me.

I sometimes get stuck in the mind frame that everything has to be perfect in order to accomplish anything. If I'm going to run distance, I need *this* specific water belt, *these* specific shoes, and follow *that* exact route or I can't do it. If I'm going to do Thursdays HIIT workout and someone is using all the slam balls, I can't say I really did it when I subbed box jumps for ball slams. Like, in my head, there is a right way and a wrong way to do something, and doing it the wrong way doesn't count. (I know. If only Kemper offered therapy for my brain as well as for my body.)

Ohmygawd, Kemper, calm down.
I think you need a Snickers.
You're not you when you're hungry.
(Snickers = PROTEIN.)
Kemper trains in his garage. His gym is an awesome set-up. While he doesn't have everything Lifetime has, he makes it happen anyway. Kemper doesn't have a lat pulldown machine. Instead he hooked up a lat pulldown bar to his squat rack and a pulley contraption, and then belted me to a stool with a resistance band. (This part was hilarious. I was honestly too horrified at seeing the band cut through the fat rolls on my stomach to say what I was really thinking, which was, "Kemper just belted me in like I'm a toddler going on a car ride," which of course made me want to ask, "Are we there yet, Dad?" a million times.)

The takeaway is that it is better to get your crap done using some ghetto rigged mechanism than it is to not get it done because you couldn't do it the way your Type A brain thought it should be done. (And just maybe some dude named Voltaire said it better when he said, "Perfect is the enemy of good.")(To-may-to / to-mah-to, whatevs.) I freaking loved this lesson, and my perfectionist heart needed to learn it.

Next TRX band rows kicked my tush. They were harder for me than deadlifting. (Also, I've come to the conclusion that a lifetime spent being overweight has solidified that I will always, regardless of current size, worry that something won't support my weight. Before I would lean back to do the rows I subtly* glanced up to read the weight restrictions on the bands - 200 pounds - and even then I wondered if 57 pounds was enough of a cushion to get by without crashing to the floor.) (*subtly = lie. I announced that whole train of thought so Kemper could also enjoy the crazy. Because I'm a giver.) We superset TRX band rows with bicep curls and for all you meatheads out there - I got swole. *giggle*

We ended the workout with back extensions and me showing off that I can do real push ups now. (Coincidentally, this is when Kemper's Super Fine Brother Oscar made a brief appearance.)(Ladies, I will forward all your emails directly to him.)(But I will probably read them first.)(Because I'm nosy.)(But I'm a good secret keeper.)(And I'm loyal.)(So you totally don't have to worry about me being all up in your "workin' your game" business with Oscar.)(You're welcome.)

Kemper worked his voodoo magic on my hurt trap. Also, he discovered that it is not really my trap. It's some muscle in my neck. He did some manipulations and some other things that he took great care to explain but because he spoke it in his Science/Anatomy Trainer Language and I'm a visual learner I will never remember it until I see it written down. But I did pretend to do a cannonball belly flop (in my head) when he told me to lie down on the yoga mat because it looked just like the waters in the Caribbean, so rest assured there was something of importance going on inside my head during this time.

(Then Kemper's mom Renee came out and offered me some freshly made juice.)(And Renee appreciated my sympathy card.)(She's currently my favorite.)

Every time I meet with Kemper I AM SO EXCITED TO BE TRAINED BY KEMPER. This is followed by a crash the next day when I realize I now have a WHOLE 'NOTHER MONTH before I can train with Kemper. It's kind of like the day after Christmas when you are a kid. You know, when you now have 364 days until Christmas.

So. 29 more days until I train with Kemper. Look out for some GAINZ until then, y'all.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Five Things I'm So *Totes* Crushin' On

1. Youtube Fitness Vloggers - Omar Isuf and Chelsea Karabin

Omar's shirts
My allegiance to Elliott Hulse is still strong; however, he's starting to jump the shark a bit for me with his Lean Hybrid Muscle email bombardments. I mean, I know we both equally want for me to come and train at Strength Camp, but he's gotta lay off trying to sell me crap via email, you know?

Chelsea's shirts
Lately I've been binge-watching everything by Chelsea Karabin and Omar Isuf. Chelsea is strong and feminine, and she's everything I want to be when I grow up. It's really been helpful to watch someone live out counting her macros, even if they are really different than mine. Plus her home gym sometimes has twinkle lights, so there's that.

Omar is just freaking adorable, but he's also funny and smart (which honestly seems a bit overkill). I've learned a lot from his videos about training, form, and how to be a bro gym etiquette. Both Chelsea and Omar have apparel lines and I've bookmarked several things from each of their shops for when I don't have four kids and can experience disposable income again.

"I could train the mess outta Kelly. I'd probably be boyz with Kemper, too. Also, don't hate me 'cuz I have no calves."

2. Foam Rolling

Be still my heart - I have finally been seduced by the magic of the foam roll. As a runner I attempted to roll my IT band and it hurt so much I just quit. While it's still hella painful, I have noticed a huge difference in my glutes, hamstrings, and ... calves (who knew?) from when foam rolling and I started goin' out a month ago. I recently began foam rolling my lats and have been using a tennis ball for my left trapezius*.

*Remember my trap injury last fall (from my crutches)(the crutches that I had to use for my broken bone spur)(the broken bone spur that derailed my half marathon dreams and helped me gain 15 pounds)(the 15 pounds that ultimately led me to Kemper)(which was actually one of the best things to happen in my fitness life). Well, that trap injury has reared it's ugly head again. I'm hoping the next time I meet with Kemper he can use the same voodoo magic he used on my hip flexor to help my trap, but until then I've been doing everything I know to keep it from completely seizing up again including, but not limited to, a lot of drugs.

3. New Playlist 

Probably one of my favorite Kanye tweets of all time.
I think it's the "uuuuugh" at the end that seals it for me.
Apparently my master plan to mess with Kemper's head as much as possible continues because I've gotten sick to death of Rage Against the Machine and have moved on this week to some new music that I will play ad nauseam and then swear off for a year. Current lifting list includes (I didn't watch these links so they might be NSFW - heads up) P.O.D., Downset, White Stripes, Awolnation, BoySetsFire, and of course, Kanye. I'm running to Cage the Elephant, Weezer, and Harvey Danger. (Not to get too braggy, but once I invited myself on Harvey Danger's tour bus and scored both a pre-show interview and a photo pass for the show. Because I don't respect boundaries. BAM!)

4. Iced Coffee and fresh Peaches

Or, go to McDonalds. Or, even better, call Sister
Wife Rachel
and she will come over with her
home made cold brew iced coffee that will blow your
freaking mind and you will thank Jesus that she is your
Sister Wife.
This summer I am single-handedly keeping McDonalds in business with purchases of sugar free French vanilla iced coffee. OH.MY.WORD is that stuff amazing. (And please shut up about the laboratory of ingredients I'm dumping in my body with each gulp delicate lady sip.) Right now I am drinking them as a pre-workout before my big lifting days because that makes it seem healthier to me only.

Also, peaches. I don't eat a lot of fruit but again, after big lifting days or HIIT workouts from hell, I have been enjoying the mess out of peaches. I keep a stash of napkins in my car (usually from McDonalds, natch) strictly to catch the peach juice that dribbles down my chin as I inhale that fruit on the way home from the gym.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE summer?!

5. This picture comparison

25 years old, 253 pounds

35 years old, 145 pounds

There is so much about these pictures that I love. In the top picture is a woman who loves her kiddos. She reads them lots of stories and does puzzles and plays tea party with them. She likes to laugh, she likes to dream, and she wants a full life. But she's also hiding. She hides behind a child in almost every picture taken. She would never, ever be photographed with food or, heaven forbid, in any kind of form fitting clothing. 

The woman in the bottom picture just got done with a squat session at the gym. She squatted heavier than she thought possible, and is celebrating with a delicious dinner of brown rice, black bean burger crumbles, and lots of salsa. Her arm is still bruised from lifting a tire two weeks ago with Kemper (which she still maintains was crazy fun). She is sunburned from walking with her kids a half mile to the splash park where she wore her bathing suit in public so she could join in the playtime. She stacked the firewood in the background with her three year old son "for fun". She is distracted by her neighbors dog who just went FREAKING INSANE, and then laughing because life is crazy and wonderful.

Life is crazy and wonderful, everybody. Have a marvelous Friday and enjoy the mess out of your weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dorian thinks I can't read - my top 3 favorite moments during Week Two

I just have trouble with, you know, reading.

Just in case you were feeling like you could never hope to attain my admittedly stellar social skills, I am here to assure you it is much easier than it seems.

Example: being memorable to new people. This is how you do it.

Trainer at Lifetime: Hey. I've seen you around. What's your name?
Kelly: I'm Kelly.
*trainer sticks out his hand to shake mine* *I immediately start to worry about my palm sweat* *but remember I should be polite and continue with my part of this introduction* *but am too preoccupied with worry over palm sweat as I shake his hand and gaze at his name tag to make any sense of the letters there*
Kelly: And what's your name?
Trainer: *sees me looking at his name tag as I ask* *looks down in confusion at the tag* Uh, I'm Dorian. I didn't know if my name tag was upside down or something.
Kelly: No, it's fine. I guess I just have trouble with, you know, reading.
Dorian: *thinks I'm serious* *has now cataloged me as "The Girl Who Can't Read* *awkward tension ensues as I wonder how much more awkward it would be if I stammered out, "No. I can totally read. I was just worried about my sweaty palms and couldn't focus on the letters in your name."* *wisely decide I'd rather be "The Girl Who Can't Read" than "The SWEATY PALMS Girl" and stay quiet*

Nailed it again.

Week two of my new strength training plan has been hella fun. It's almost better than the first week because now I know what to expect. I've seen gains on both my bench and my deadlift, and survived a last minute trip to Chicago without my workouts suffering. It took some slight rearranging, but with Friday as a holiday and Brian home from work it really freed up time for me to fit it all in.

Here are my favorite moments in Week Two.

1. Partying with the Sara(h)'s

On Wednesday I deadlifted with new Sara. (This is Sara with no "H".) She is one of my powerlifting buddies. It is really great to lift with someone so much stronger than me because it changes my perspective about my own weights. Instead of going into my heaviest lift thinking, "Dude, this is going to be so freaking heavy," I can see it's nothing in comparison to what Sara is lifting, and that somehow makes it seem lighter to me. Lifting with Sara also gives me confidence that with proper training I can lift HEAVY someday. (Like, for real, this girl was throwing on 45's like nothing.)

On Friday I met Sarah (Ironman Sarah with an "H") to teach her how to deadlift. It was my squat day, so as soon as I finished squatting we started going over deadlift form. I channeled my inner Kemper and basically tried to recall everything I've ever heard/read/seen/been taught about deadlifting. I *think* Sarah enjoyed it; I know I loved hanging out with her because it's been a hot minute since that has happened. (She is nursing a foot injury that has drastically reduced her training, and has even taken her out of this year's planned Ironman in Canada.)(Of course she is making due with only a half Ironman a little while later.)(What.a.slacker.)

2. Making time for Chi-Town

back row: Stan, Brian, me, Steve, Natalia, Cassie
front row: Gary, Peggy
My baby brother used to live in Chicago, but moved to San Francisco a few months ago to pursue his tech dream. He just finished up the 12 week program at App Academy, and decided to make a brief visit home to Chicago to visit his lovely fiancee Natalia. All his Michigan family decided to make the drive (about 5 hours with pee breaks) for a pool party at Natalia's parents' house on Saturday.

I was a little concerned about fitting in all my workouts, but Friday is normally a rest day, so I did Saturday's squatting on Friday, and then got up super early Saturday to get in my Sunday workout before the drive to Chicago. It was so nice not to have to worry about getting anything done once we were home on Sunday. I could just take the day nice and easy as a rest day. (We also celebrated Ezra's fourth birthday. My BABY is four! Where does the time go?)

This kid is awesome. Probably gets it from his mom.

3. AB DAY!!!!!

This guy's hair turned all sorts of emo on the way up.
I use a weight plate, not a ball.
Because it's got handles I'm TOUGH.
If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know about my love/hate relationship with Ab Lab. Ab Lab was my favorite form of torture at my old gym; a twenty minute class of non-stop abdominal work that left me begging for mercy. Lifetime has a Core 30 class that is similar, but the timing isn't ideal for my schedule. Kemper's training plan has a whole day dedicated to abdominal work and I FREAKING LOVE IT. My favorite exercise by far is the weighted decline sit ups. This is where I am on a declined weight bench (so it's almost like I am upside down)(the stretch in my back feels amazing) with a 25# plate. As I sit up I reach the plate overhead and then lower my body back down over a count of four. I could do these forever. And by forever I mean I do 4 sets of 10 and self talk encouragement during the last set.

Captain's Chair
Dorian Who Thinks I Can't Read
showed me where to do this. Along
with being illiterate, I'm apparently
blind and couldn't find this contraption
even after 3 laps around Lifetime. 
I also superset the Captain's Chair with 1 minute planks, and do ab pulldowns*.

*Story for free: Kemper had me youtube some of these exercises since he somewhat trains me from a distance because I only see him once a month. The ab pulldown video looked totally easy, and I was all, "Pshaw. I got that." When I went to execute my new found knowledge of the ab pulldown, I totally didn't factor in the physics of counterweights and crashed right on my forehead before I even did one rep. So what I'm saying is that with enough clumsiness, ab pulldown works your abs and your pride. 

Keepin' it graceful, y'all.

Here are the stats:

Week Two

Bench press:
2 warm-up sets (1x8 @ bar, 1x6 @ 60#)
1x5 @ 75#
3x5 @ 80#
1x4* @ 85#
*this is the set I totally biffed my last rep and had to get rescued. But I upped my weight so, yeah, happy girl.

2 warm-up sets (1x8 @ 65#, 1x6 @ 95#)
1x5 @ 125#
3x5 @ 135#
1x5 @ 145#*
*This is the set I did with Sara. I did not expect to up my weight because last week was so hard, but I felt like I could have gone 10 more pounds at the end.

2 warm-up sets (1x10 @ bar, 1x6 @ 95#)
1x5 @ 125
3x5 @ 130
1x5 @ 135*
*this set was hard, I'm not gonna lie.

This week I also saw my weights for barbell row, leg press, and hamstring curl go up. I'm feeling strong and also operating on a calorie deficit. BOOM.

Have I mentioned how much I like this strength training program? Because I totally do. 

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The time I threw up Redneck all over my blog

I hope everyone had a fun safe Fourth of July filled with FREEDOM and bald eagle sightings. My holiday Facebook feed was filled in equal measures with pictures of pyromaniac celebrations and of animals quaking in their thundershirts (accompanied by pet-owner rants of the evils of personal firework displays). The Sublurban Mama household mirrored the conflicting views found on Facebook with the Matriarch of the homestead having an affinity for keeping all the digits God gave her and her offspring, and the Patriarch believing that the slight possibility of dismemberment is worth the rapturous joy of blowing crap up.

Below is actual real life footage of the festivities that took place at our home this past weekend. Neighbor Don was innocently trying to capture the cute little display he had going on in his driveway when, four seconds in, you can hear him remark, "They have four," and Brian's show begins. So really, we videobombed their home videos. (Haha. We literally bombed them.)(And almost our minivan.) Here is 17 seconds of the longest night of my life other than labor.


(Brian's response to this post: "Kel, you know the only reason I put on that show was so you would have something to blog about, right?" Totally, honey. I could tell it was a huuuuuuge sacrifice.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Learning the ropes - literally. My top 3 favorite moments during Week One.

(You might be a child of the '80s if you
 heard that in Pee-Wee's voice.)

I love the new training plan Kemper gave me. Like, "why don't you marry it?" a la Pee-Wee Hermann love it. There is something so incredibly freeing about going to the gym and not having to think about what I have to do. Every single time I start to worry that I'm not doing enough I'm all, "Self, Kemper is the boss of this rodeo. You just need to pony up and follow the plan, Cowgirl." (Yep. It's that fun inside my head all the time.)(Don't get too jealous.)

This doesn't mean I was completely on board with the schedule the first time I saw it. I'm pretty sure I wanted to throw up when I read through the email detailing all the new exercises and the weights Kemper wanted me to train with. In fact, I may have sent him a message asking him to clarify what he meant by the set and rep counts. Surely five sets of five reps at such heavy weights was a typo? He clearly meant I was to do five sets of one rep each because otherwise that would be cuh-razy.

Well, apparently Kemper is crazy. He confirmed that yes, he meant five sets of five reps. But while he is crazy, he is also right. And he knows more than me. And has better hair. And is probably a better cook but we are not even going there.

I was so nervous about the first day of this schedule that I lay* awake in bed the night before going over the math for the weight plates again and again. Because Type A. I also visualized doing the entire workout so I could memorize it and not have to carry some dorky sheet of paper around the gym with me like a note from my mo-om. Make fun of me all you want because *I* looked like I knew what I was doing (except when I failed my last bench rep and didn't have a spotter and the dude next to me jumped over super fast and rescued me by hopping in to spot me so I didn't have to totally biff and do the Scoot of Shame out from under the bar.)(Props to that guy.)(And props to you for enduring that run-on sentence.)

Here are a few of my favorite moments from Week One.

1. Learning how to wait for a weight bench

It took a bit of observation, but I'm starting to get a grasp on how boys hover but don't look like they're hovering when they want next up. This was a particularly important skill to master on Monday when everybody and their brother was bench pressing and I had no freaking clue how to "get in line" when there was no line. (If Moms Ran The Gym #6: Fellas - ever been to the deli? Or the fabric cutting counter at JoAnne's? They both have an excellent and proven "Take a Number" system. Just a thought.)

You can work in with me and my feathered locks.
I solved this dilemma by catching the first eye I could and asking how many sets he had left. This nice young man was all, "You can work in with me," so I didn't have to wait at all. (Another bonus? The nice young man is the guy I've seen around the gym and nicknamed "Kevin Federline" in my head because he looks just like long-haired Kevin. And since I had already given him a nickname in my head it was like we'd been boyz forever.)(However, the next time I tried this "waiting for a bench" trick the guy was all, "One more set," so I had to wait a minute or two. And that's how I found myself without a spotter and failed my last rep almost died bench pressing, so yeah, I'm more a fan of the former situation.

2. Making new friends

There is this woman at the gym who literally intimidates the pants off me (if she literally intimidated the pants off me I think I would find myself escorted off private property for indecent exposure yet again). She is this little sprite of a woman but built like a brickhouse - yes - that kind of brickhouse. This woman is all muscles and BRF and that combination for me = awe and fear. I found myself deadlifting next to her on the first DL day of the new schedule. She reached over to help me get a weight off the end of the barbell (Lifetime just got all new racks and weights to handle the Olympic lifters)(which is rad)(but they stick a little)(the bumper weights, not the Olympic lifters) so I took advantage of the opening to make a friend.

Her name is Tracy and she is a competitive powerlifter. She helped me with my form on barbell rows, and has been all sorts of encouraging since then. I also made a new friend (another competitive powerlifter!) named Sara and we deadlifted together last night. (She used my max weight as a warm-up.)(So awesome.) I feel so welcomed! The weight lifting community reminds me of both the running and triathlon communities. (For all those scared of trying athletic things because you are so out of shape - just do it. The people who love these things want you to love them too, and will generally go out of their way to help you get started.)


Totally me after Battle Ropes.
I suck at High Intensity Interval Training. My biggest weakness as an athlete (I just snorted when I wrote "athlete") is that I'm lazy. I do well with endurance sports because you have to pace your efforts. That translates into an easier pace for a longer time. I do well with weight training (even heavy weight training) because it means tiny bursts of harder moments with a lot of rest time. But HIIT training? HIIT training is filled with seemingly endless portions of time that are the worst thing in the world. Most HIIT training goes poorly for me because I don't go balls-out for the whole time. I start slowing down, even when I know I only have ten more seconds. I quit in my heart and in my body. That's why I do most of my HIIT training on the treadmill; I'm forced to keep the pace.

Kemper gave me a cardio circuit that included Battle Ropes. These are so good for me because if you slow down errrrrbody can tell because your ropes stop moving. They also make your heart rate skyrocket, so yeah, it's completely effective all the way around. I would recommend them to anyone with a limited time to live because Battle Ropes make 20 seconds seem like a decade.

I *know* y'all. But accountability and all that.
I owe you one.

So to recap week one, and because this is a strength program and some of y'all care about this kind of thing, here are my numbers. I'll post them every week so we can see if there is progress.

Week One

Bench press:
2 warm-up sets (1x8 @ bar, 1x6 @ 60#)
1x5 @ 70#
3x5 @ 75#
1x5 @ 80#

2 warm-up sets (1x8 @ 65#, 1x6 @ 95#)
1x5 @ 125#
3x5 @ 135#
1x5 @ 140#

2 warm-up sets (1x10 @ bar, 1x6 @ 95#)
3x5 @ 125*
1x5 @ 130
1x5 @ 135

*This is not what Kemper told me to do. But after my first set of 125# I couldn't even imagine next hitting 3 sets of 135 like he directed. So I went my own way, and guess what? I'm totally pissed at myself because I know I could have done it. Lesson learned noted.

Spoiler Alert: I've started Week Two and have already seen strength gains in both my bench and deadlift. It's working, y'all! Huzzah!

*Lay vs. Lie - because grammar is a jerk, did you know, to further confuse this issue, that lay is the past tense form of lie. WTHeck, Grammar?
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