where I've been

I haven’t blogged in a week, which is practically unheard of for me, so y’all will have to indulge me here and let me do one of these recappy things to cover what’s going on here at Chez PooBou.

* Catie hasn’t had a single potty accident since last Friday (as in, April 23rd). That’s 9 days ago. I think, I mean I’m reasonably certain, that this means she’s… potty-trained? Like, we’re done? Quick, somebody knock on some wood for me!

She still wears a Pull-Up to bed, but she wakes up dry every morning, so we could probably ditch that as well. But she asks for the Pull-Up at bedtime, I think it makes her feel more secure. And that’s fine. We made a BIG DEAL out of putting her diaper pail in storage the other day (no more putting stinky poops in here! All your poops go in the potty now, right? Right! YAAYY!), and she was pretty excited about that.

And on the one hand, I feel like, wait, that’s it? We’re all done now? That was too easy! But then I have to slap myself and remember that we started this process a full freaking YEAR ago. So, no. It has not been easy. At all. But I think she’s got it down now. Finally. Praise the lord.

Future's so bright...

Also? She is so proud of herself, y’all. Last night we went to TGI Friday’s for dinner, and she introduced herself to the waitress. “Hi! I’m Catie W[last name]! I poop in the potty!” Dave and I almost died laughing. (And thankfully, the waitress seemed to think it was funny too, she didn’t look horrified.)

* I’ve been exercising like a maniac lately. It’s bizarre because I’ve always hated working out, but now I’m finding that I actually look forward to it. The exercises for my knee that the sports medicine doctor gave me have really helped, and I’ve been able to really push myself to work out hard, which feels great. I’m doing the couch-to-5K (although I’m stuck on week three because no matter how hard I try, I cannot run for longer than 3 minutes without feeling like I’m going to fall over and die; I’ve tried to move up to week 4 on a few different occasions, and nope, sorry, my body cannot run for 5 minutes; hopefully I’ll get there someday?) and I’m doing “The 30-Day Shred” in there on alternate days.

Yesterday, just to mix it up, I did my “Weight Loss Yoga” DVD, which I haven’t done in ages (btw, that’s another “Biggest Loser” by-product, and I do not understand why I’m suckered into buying these things when I don’t actually watch the show!). And it was a great workout, so I definitely need to start working that one in more frequently.

So, yeah. I’m apparently becoming a workout nut. Bizarre. The diet part is trickier. I’ve lost about 5 pounds and I’m holding steady there. I know the foods I need to change in order to amp it up. I’m just having a hard time making myself walk away from the junk food. As usual.

* My job is busy. Trying to balance working full-time along with taking care of the house and the kid and all of that? It’s kind of kicking my butt. I think there are probably a lot of areas in which I’m failing right now – like, say, in the housekeeping division. But hopefully I’m going to be getting some help on that front very soon, because there is just no way I can keep this whole house clean on top of parenting my kid and working 40 hours a week. And Dave works even longer hours than I do. So I think a housekeeper is definitely in our immediate future.

* Spring means getting to hang outside more often, which probably accounts at least partially for my lack of blogging. Catie wants to spend every available moment playing outside with the neighborhood kids. And she’s too little to play outside by herself, so that’s where I am too.

Spring also means the return of Drum Night. The last Friday of every month, we go to see a band called Rhythmicity that plays at an outdoor mall near us. The kids love it.

Catie rocking the tambourine at drum night

Elizabeth boogies down with the belly dancer
(Catie & her cousin Elizabeth both liked the belly dancer, and I have to admit that she was pretty awesome. I admire anyone who can get up in front of a crowd and shake their stuff the way that she did.)

So, yeah. If you don’t hear from me as much on the blog here, don’t worry about me. We’re all good.

t-shirt headdress

In fact, I think we’re better than good.

My Patella-ella-ella

*Apologies if that Rihanna song gets stuck in your head.

So, I’ve been doing the Couch-to-5K workout for the past several weeks. It’s taking me longer than it’s supposed to, because I am… well, I’m pretty horribly out of shape, so I’m not advancing to the next level until I feel like I’ve gotten a handle on the current one. (Read that as: when I’m pretty sure that increasing the length of running time isn’t going to make my lungs pop out of my chest and leave me dead on the sidewalk.)

Oh, also, I gave up on working out in the gym because I realized that having to gather up my membership card, water bottle, etc., and the drive there & back added an extra half hour, and I’d prefer to use that time sleeping. So now I just run around the neighborhood.

Anyway, I was doing ok, but yesterday I hurt my knee again. It’s the same problem I always have with my knee; any sort of strenuous exercise always makes my knee hurt (see: the 30-Day Shred). Years ago, my mom diagnosed it as, “You got your Grandmother’s knees,” because my dad’s mom always had issues with her knees too. I was running with my knee brace on, and I was wearing my Vibram Five Fingers, which are supposed to help with joint pain. And I was totally fine while I was running; I mean, I felt like I was going to die, like I always do, but my knees were fine. Then I got home, took my knee brace off, and my leg sort of buckled and my knee tried to go backward like a flamingo. Dammit.

I was thinking that this new injury would mean the end of the Couch-to-5K, and I was really pissed because I honestly like it. I like running around outside when it’s still dark outside and seeing the sunrise. (I am not a fan of running past the teenagers waiting for the school bus, but you know, whatever.) So I decided to make an appointment with a sports medicine doctor. Which is sort of hilarious given how completely un-athletic I am. But I wanted an official diagnosis of exactly what it is that’s wrong with my knee, and what I can do to fix it.

My fear was that they’d just say sorry, you got some crap DNA, and tell me that I’d never be able to do any type of strenuous exercise. Which would pretty much be the end of the world for me because if the only form of exercise I can do is, say, swimming? No. If I’m required to put on a swimsuit to work out, it’s a pretty safe bet that I’m just not ever gonna do it. Then it’d be, hello 200+ pounds, nice to see you again.

Anyway, the news was much better than I thought. Turns out that my patella (kneecap bone) is slightly shifted (on both of my knees, although since my right leg is dominant, that seems to be the one that always gets injured first), and they gave me some exercises and stretches I can do to try to correct it. After doing these exercises twice a day, I should be a lot better in about three or four weeks.

Bonus: after my appointment, I got to call Dave at work and tell him that part of my physical therapy involves tying myself to our bed. It’s nothing that kinky, honestly, it’s just an elastic band that I have to attach to the foot of our bed and then tether it around my ankle to do some of the stretches. So it’s fine and totally G-rated. But man, listening to him do a spit-take with his coffee that early in the morning? Priceless.

So it was all good news. And in the meantime, since I don’t want to give up the progress I’ve made with the Couch-to-5K, I’m going to be power-walking in my new Skechers Shape-Ups, since those are also supposed to help with joint pain. (Aside: between the Shape-Ups and the VFFs, I feel like I’m starting an Ugly Shoe Collection. What is wrong with me? I used to buy cute shoes. Now I’m all about buying what’s “functional.” It’s sad, really.)

And when my knees are feeling stronger, I’m gonna jump right back into the Couch-to-5K. Only, you know, not literally jump, since that might screw up my knees again, and lord knows we don’t want that.

couch-to-5 wha?

In my (seemingly never-ending) quest to get myself back in shape, I started the couch-to-5K this week. Only this time, I got a nifty little C25K app for my iPhone to help me along. (Thanks, Danielle!) So on Tuesday, I got up at 5 a.m., threw on some workout clothes, and headed to the gym.

Now, theoretically, since I’m just walking/running, I could do that outside, but I prefer the gym. Something about it makes me feel like I’m “officially” exercising instead of just going for a stroll around the neighborhood. Don’t ask me why my brain makes a distinction, I know it makes no sense. And I suppose that I don’t have to work out before the sun comes up, but I work during the day, and evenings always feel crazy to me (juggling cooking dinner, cleaning up, and then Catie’s bedtime routine, which seems to take longer every night because good LORD that child can stall). So, early mornings it is.

Also? I’m working out in Vibram FiveFingers. If you’re wondering why on earth anyone would want to wear such hideous things on their feet, this article from Wired gives the best explanation I’ve read of why “barefoot” running is better for you. For me, I have always had trouble with my knees, and if this can help me run without knee pain? Then hey, bring on the ugliest gorilla-feet shoes you got.

(Man, I’m just full of links today, aren’t I?)

So, yeah, I did it. And I thought I was going to die because it’s been about 6 months since the last time I worked out. But I didn’t die! Yay! I was all sweaty and red-faced and scary-looking by the time I finished, but I was also really damn proud of myself.

But here’s the catch: running without super-cushioned sneakers means that your other muscles – likes the ones in your calves, ankles, and feet – have to work harder. So after I finished out my workout, my knees didn’t hurt, which was awesome (yay for no knee pain!), but my calves? Oh lord, my calves, y’all. I’ve now done this workout twice (on Tuesday and again on Thursday), and I’m pretty sure my calves are trying to kill me. The stairs in our house have become my worst enemy. And as I’m sure Dave can attest, when I’m in pain, I whine. A LOT.

But you know what? I’m gonna do it again tomorrow. Because I’m still trying to pull myself out of that rut. (Hey look, another link!)

Oh, and I have an appointment on Monday to get some bloodwork done and find out what’s going on with the rest of me. I have a suspicion that my thyroid is way off (I’ve been on medication for low thyroid since I was 9 years old, and after 25 years, I can generally tell when something’s wrong with it), so we’ll see.

and my lungs still ache

Note: I promise this isn’t going to become sort of exercise/fitness blog, but it seems like writing about it is one way to keep myself accountable, so here goes.

Today, I was planning to do my couch-to-5K workout again. Since it’s the weekend, I left Catie with Dave rather than hauling her along with me. I thought the gym’s daycare might be fun for her, since she enjoyed it last time, but the nursery is only open in the afternoon on Sundays. So no biggie, I set off for the gym by myself while Catie & Dave snuggled on the couch and watched cartoons.

I got to the gym, and the parking lot was… empty. I walked to the door anyway, and sure enough, there was a little sign stating that the gym doesn’t open until 1 p.m. on Sundays. It was 11:30 a.m. at the time. Sigh. That’s what we get for joining the YMCA, they’re closed on Sunday mornings because they assume everyone is at church. Even more annoying is that I thought ahead enough to look up the nursery hours online that morning, but not the actual gym hours. I’m clearly a genius.

I headed home, and decided since it wasn’t too hot outside (about 80 degrees, a lot cooler than it’s been over the past several weeks), I’d try to do my workout outside instead. Plus, Catie loves to ride in her stroller when I go for walks. So I headed home, loaded her & the jogging stroller up, and we drove over to our local community park. There’s a huge lake there, and the trail around it is exactly 2 miles. That’s about the length that I do during my 30-minute workout (5 minute warm-up, 20 minute walking/jogging intervals, & 5 minute cool-down), so I figured it’d be about the same, right?

Um, NO. Jogging outside as opposed to inside on a treadmill? TOTALLY different animal. Turns out that the added heat, plus the humidity, plus the hills (oh lord, the freaking HILLS) equals a workout that’s about a thousand times harder. I’m sure that pushing the 32-pound toddler in the jogging stroller didn’t help, either. I thought for sure I was going to pass out before we could get back to the car.

I wore Dave’s heart monitor/stopwatch because mine is broken and I wanted to keep track of my jogging and walking intervals. (Not that it did much good, I was only able to jog a full 90 seconds once, the rest of the time I could only do 30- or 60-second intervals.) And I’m pretty sure the heart rate jobby is busted because at one point it said my heart rate was 278. My resting heart rate is around 90. Um, pretty sure I’d be dead in that case, but thanks, stopwatch!

The good news, though, is that because it was so much harder and I wasn’t able to run as much as I was “supposed” to, I figured that it was going to take me a lot longer to go the full two miles. But I finished the course in 32.5 minutes, so it wasn’t much longer than my treadmill workouts at all. I’m pretty proud of myself for that, I guess I was running more than I thought I was.

Of course, now it’s three hours (and one lovely lukewarm shower) later and I still feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. But hey, that’s just proof of how hard I worked, right?

weighty issues

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. I went to my OB/GYN and had my IUD taken out. So, yes, this means that technically we’re going to start trying for baby #2 – or at least, we’re no longer preventing the occurrence of baby #2. And I know that’s exciting, and yay! Squee! Baybeees!! But there’s something else about this doctor’s appointment that really bothered me, so we’ll leave the baby talk for another time (like, I don’t know, maybe after I get a positive pregnancy test, which could be a year from now, given my previous track record).

The thing that upset me? My weight.

I knew I’d have to step on the scale at the doctor’s office. You always do, right? I hate the scale. I avoid the scale at home. I’m almost never happy with whatever the number may be. But I thought I was mentally prepared. I had done a little calculation in my head on the way there – sure, most of my clothes are feeling a little tighter lately, but I can still button my size 12 jeans, so it’s not that bad, right? I had an idea of what the number on the scale would probably be.


I’m not brave enough to type the number here, but let’s just say that I have a mental block around a certain number – a weight that I haven’t been since my gastric bypass surgery. It’s a number that for the past 7 years, I have refused to ever see on the scale again. And now I’m dangerously close to that number. Like, I’m less than 10 pounds away from it. I can smell that number from where I am. And I don’t like it one bit.

And I know – I KNOW! – that it’s just a number and it’s all about how you feel and how your clothes fit and blah-blah-blah, but the thing is? I feel like crap most of the time. I feel comfortable in very few of the clothes that I own. So it’s not good, and I need to do something about it. I started a diet back in January, but I think it was too radical – I cut out ALL refined sugar and white flour, which is insanely hard to stick with when you have a 2 year-old in the house. But I did it faithfully for a month and lost a whopping zero pounds. That’s when I got frustrated and quit.

Since January, I’ve gained about 10 pounds, and I think I know why: I snack too much at night. I have always “grazed” in the evenings, but lately it’s gotten out of control. I would estimate that probably half of my day’s calories are consumed between 8 p.m. and midnight. Pretty much the worst possible time to eat, right? So that’s the biggest change I’m going to work on for now. I’m definitely going to be adding in healthier food choices and snacks during the day (plus drinking more water & less Diet Coke), but I also know that it’s pretty likely that I won’t be able to stay away from the occasional cookie. So for now, the main thing I’m going to do is stop eating at night.

I started last night. After I put Catie to bed, I had a cup of chamomile tea – because hot liquids trick your tummy into feeling full, plus it helped me start to feel sleepy. And you know? I didn’t die. In fact, it was fine.

I also need to work on getting in shape. I couldn’t do the 30-Day Shred because it hurt my knees too much, and I love the Wii Fit, but it’s more for fun & doesn’t feel like it’s giving me a really solid workout. So I’m thinking about trying Cool Running’s Couch-to-5K program. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to jog/run a 5K; I have wonky knees, and I doubt they’ll hold up for something like that. But I can try. The program only takes up 3 days a week, which seems do-able. Throw in one or two yoga/pilates workouts too, and I should be doing fine in no time.

Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.