Bike Trainer

What I’m Doing Lately

My workout schedule has been a little wonky this week! Last Saturday they were predicting a little bit of snow so I got to the gym early and thankfully got in my workout. I stopped at the grocery store for essentials (chips and beer and baby food) on the way home and it was a MADHOUSE. I’ve never been to the grocery store when it was that nuts. I got home just as the snow was starting to get heavy and spent the rest of the day playing with Logan, watching Netflix, Michael did some painting…it was good.

Sunday I got up to not much snow, the rain overnight had melted it, but instead everything was a sheet of ice! I tried to go to the pool but decided it was a bad idea and turned around and went home. Instead, I worked out on the bike trainer in the living room. I did 35 minutes and burned 290 calories.

The weather improved and melted off. Fast forward to Tuesday. They were predicting more snow. I got to the gym after work (a little later than I planned) and ran 2.15 miles on the treadmill, watching the freezing rain/hail start to fall. I decided to cut my workout short and head home early because I had my car and not the Subaru and my car is NOT snow/ice capable.

I was bummed my workout was cut short. I had planned on running 2.5 miles and then doing some weight machines, but it was a smart move to just go home.

Dinner:

Chicken thigh, sauteed kale with bacon, cottage cheese and a beer! Dinner was around 700 calories. It was snowing a little bit. Michael and I watched an episode of Narcos and it snowed probably about an inch or so. We went to bed, pretty sure we weren’t going to be going to work on Wednesday…

….and woke up Wednesday to this:

SNOW DAY!

Kind of hard to tell but we have a TON of broken tree limbs. We’re going to have a lot of damage to fix once this is gone.

I know people reading this in the midwest are laughing at us, but this is a lot of snow for Oregonians! (And all over Oregon, there’s tons of snow accumulation!)

At like 4am we woke up to a big crashing noise. Michael was up in the kitchen making a bottle for Logan and I thought he dropped something in the kitchen, it was that loud! But it turns out it was the above giant tree in our yard and the sound was huge branches cracking and breaking. Scary!

8 years ago when Michael and I were first dating, I got snowed in at his house. I went to his house for dinner one Friday night after swimming and woke up Saturday morning to several feet of snow and it kept snowing–and we ended up being snowed in together for about 5 days!!! It was a true test of our new relationship. LOL Obviously, we lived through it!

So Wednesday we woke up to about 6 inches of snow and it was still falling. I fixed myself breakfast:

Scrambled eggs topped with cheese and hot sauce, toasted English muffin with cream cheese and avocado. Hot coffee and EmergenC. Logan had his breakfast:

And once he went down for a nap I got in my home workout.

Snowed In Workout:

Warm-up

Inchworms – 8

Pushups – 10×2

Squats – 10×3

KB swings with 20lbs – 12×4

Mountainclimbers – 30×4

Side Lunges – 10×2 each

Toe touches with ball – 15×4

Glute bridges – 15×4

Knee Raises – 10×2

Overhead triceps – 10×3

Biceps curls – 10×3

Cobra stretches – 10×3

V-Ups – 15×4

Biceps curls with strap – 10×4

Stretches – yoga and PT stretches

Foam Roller

End Result: 311 calories burned! I’ll take it!

I did some stuff around the house and then had soup and crackers for lunch. Spent the rest of the day kind of tinkering around the house. I think we were all feeling a little stir-crazy! I made Michael sit down with me and watch some of Twin Peaks. Can you believe he’s never seen it?!

Dinner was steak, sauteed peppers and a glass of this lovely wine:

Thursday I got up and weighed myself…to discover I’ve lost 2 pounds! It was quite the surprise. I was noticing that certain clothes lately have felt a little loose, which is why I got on the scale. I’ve started the weaning process and that’s the only thing I can think that might have helped me lose some pounds because I’ve been doing all the same things I’ve been doing for months…

We had breakfast and then I took Bella for a walk in the snow!

It was sunny and cool but not too cold to trek through the snow. Bella was LOVING it! And so was I, honestly, after being trapped in the house for a few days.

The snow was so beautiful! I walked around the neighborhood with B. I stuck with the snow because it was easier to walk in than the frozen car tracks. It was quiet and relaxing.

I am happy with my calorie burn for a trek through the snowy neighborhood:

Thursday workout done! The rest of the day is going to include some soup, tea and maybe a nap!

 

Desperately Seeking Dopamine

Recently I went to an all day training for work at PSU. It was called ADD/ADHD Coping Skills. I went to the class because I thought it would be beneficial for me in both my work and personal life. I have coworkers with ADD and the clients we service  are a very high risk group of people (antisocial behaviors, mental illness, drug addiction) and ADD is a huge percentage of their chronic conditions. Not only that, I have a few friends with ADD and Michael has it.

It used to cause conflict between Michael and I. Sometimes Michael had a hard time focusing on too many things at once–so if I email him with a bunch of stuff, several issues in one email, or offer him too many options he can get overwhelmed. I’ve learned the beautiful art of being succinct, using bullet points and asking very specific questions without offering options. 🙂

This post is about some of the tidbits I found interesting about the class but it is also relevant to my blog’s theme about weight loss. So here goes. ADD/ADHD was described as “the emotional frenzy” and a lot of the coping skills were about calming that frenzy and making simple, realistic, and achievable goals.

  • A daily planner that is followed every day sets structure for people suffering from ADD.Set a specific time and place each day to plan each day’s activities (including meal times, work, social, exercise, downtime, etc)
  • Instead of overwhelming people with ADD with big tasks or deadlines, set up START times instead.
  • Kids in the US are prescribed ADD medication 300% higher than any other industrial country.
  • Gym classes were cut from schools and there is a higher rate of ADD and mood disorders!
  • Belly breathing calms the frenzy down. Sit in a chair and put your arms behind the chair, hold your hands and take deep breathes.

Studies have shown that as we as humans moved culturally from the hunter/gatherers to the farmers to finally an industrial nation, we’ve changed. We are LESS active and that has resulted in having less attention. Our brains are being rewired and with the internet age, things are changing even more. We can’t concentrate. How many of us flit from webpage to webpage, skimming instead of reading and connecting? How many of us multi-task to an exhausting level (ME!)? We are always connected, always on, but our relationships are diminishing and our attention spans are shrinking even more. The more stationary we get as a society, the worse we get. [Steps off soap box.]

The Exercise Cure

What I thought was the most interesting parts of the class were the brain studies. If Dopamine levels are high in the brain, it’s hard to move out of that “pleasure zone.” People with ADD have 10% less oxygen in their prefrontal cortex BUT EXERCISE RESTORES IT!

People who suffer from ADD and depression have less dopamine in their brains. PET scans of the brain in people with ADD show that glucose levels are very low. Glucose is sugar, and also our body’s key source of energy. Glucose is in our bloodstream and carried to the brain. If we don’t get enough sleep, the glucose levels in our brain decrease!

Did you know that serotonin is stored in the stomach lining (90% of it). The serotonin is released when we eat, drink, exercise or belly breathe. Then it’s released into the bloodstream and heads to the brain. Why is this important? Because serotonin is what makes us happy. People with low levels suffer from depression and anxiety. It was a lightbulb moment for me. This is why FOOD makes me happy! Eating releases serotonin from my stomach, which surges through my bloodstream into my brain = HAPPY. Duh. It makes so much sense. That’s probably why food addictions are so hard to break. You have to have food. And if your body is naturally low in the chemical that makes you happy and the only thing that works is eating…it’s easy to see why food would be the answer every time.

Something else that I had no idea about: people who have gastric bypass surgery often suffer from depression because of the serotonin levels being stored in the stomach and part of the stomach being removed! I had no idea!

The instructor told a story about a 40-something woman who was struggling with ADD, obesity and heart issues. She had crippling depression and couldn’t exercise because was too tired. Her doctor said her life depended on exercise and she had to start. She just couldn’t. It was too much, too overwhelming. She felt too depressed. She was instructed by her doctor to go to the ADD group therapy that my instructor led and he asked if she had 30 minutes a day to go for a walk.

“No, I don’t have 30 minutes a day. I’m too busy. I’m too tired and depressed.” She was insistent. He tried to help her. He asked if she could do 20 minutes a day? No. 15? 10? Not even 5 minutes a day? She couldn’t do it. Finally, he said, “Can you walk for 30 seconds each day?” She said sure. So the next day she gave it a try. She went for a walk for 30 seconds and decided to keep going. She felt so good and positive after moving her body that she kept doing it! Each day she decided to go for a “30 second walk” and each time it turned into a 30 minute walk! Dopamine levels increase when you move your body and this woman discovered it on her own, and felt better.

I’ve talked about taking small, easy, achievable steps when trying to lose weight on my blog many times. I guess I never broke it down even smaller. If you cannot do 30 minutes a day, start with 30 seconds a day. Put your shoes on, plan a time in your calendar/planner and then go for  30 second walk. Or do squats and lunges for 10 seconds. Do jumping jacks for 20 seconds. Whatever you can commit to and start, do it. You never know, 30 seconds might turn into 30 minutes.

Exercise has helped me in so many ways. It has given me more energy, it curbs that winter depression that I struggle with living in Oregon, and gives me focus. One of the suggestions from the instructor was that people with ADD should try reading while on an exercise bike to find focus. I just love how a simple act of moving the body can be so beneficial!

QUESTION: Do you have anyone with ADD in your life? Has exercise cured anything in your life?