Elena's Quest

Balancing family, fitness, faith, career and fun!

Post Christmas Clean Up December 27, 2011

Filed under: General — Elena @ 8:59 pm

Well – today was “clean up” day!  Time to break down boxes, sort presents and find new places for things.  Very enjoyable work and I was extremely happy I had today off from work (work at the office that is)!  I also got to go redeem my Apple Gift Card for my new iPhone 4S.  Exciting!

In addition to cleaning up the house it is time to clean up some other things.  I have tried to get back on track with fairly healthy eating the last day or two.  Additionally, I had decided that I wanted to exercise each day I was off work  for Xmas (Sat – Tues) and managed to do that – YAY!  I walked/ran Saturday and Sunday (with my daughters – one per day) and did the stationary bike for 45 minutes yesterday and 40 minutes today.  This is kind of a jump start on getting back in to shape – why wait for the New Year?!

In that spirit I also went up to Farrell’s to complete my health forms (I had already registered online).  For those not familiar with Farrell’s it is a 10 week workout/nutrition program – details Farrell’s .  I have several friends who have done this and were happy with the results.  It has been a challenge to get back on a regular regime since the ankle break so I figure this would give me some accountability and hopefully help me shed some of the weight I have put on the last few months (I think about 10 pounds).  The session ends mid March which is about the time I will resume running outside with my friends.  I will post regularly about how things are going with the program.  I am most worried about the nutrition part and this is going to have to be spot on in order to lose this extra poundage!

Well tomorrow is back to work but this week is going to be “work lite” as we will be getting off a bit early each day and dress is casual. The only bummer about this is that all my jeans, save one pair, are too tight right now:(  Let’s see if I can kick off the day with another sweat session before heading out the door!

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Welcome November 15, 2011

Filed under: General — Elena @ 12:04 am

Hello!  I am a 40 something married mother of 2 gorgeous girls.  I work full time as a technical recruiter and also enjoy fitness, running, cooking, reading and loads of other things.  Life is crazy busy and it is sometimes difficult to fit in everything that is important to me (can anyone else relate – LOL!) .  I am on a constant QUEST to achieve that elusive balance and hope this blog becomes a forum where I can share ideas,  thoughts, struggles and successes with others and they with me!  I have gained so much by reading others blogs and am anxious to get started on my own.  By no means am I an expert on anything so take everything I write as an opinion and not a “rule” or “expert advice”.

I grew up a competitive swimmer but have always been pretty terrible with any sport that required hitting, catching or throwing anything!  I am better at endurance and much to my dismay, when swimming, the longer the distance was the better I did.  I really wanted to be a sprinter (isn’t a 30 second race MUCH easier to swallow than a 5 minute one) but alas seemed to be limited on short twitch muscle fibers and had to default to long distances.

In my early to mid 20s I got away from exercise and drank and ate too much which, of course, resulted in some extra weight.  I met my husband and when we got engaged after 2 1/2 years I decided to lose some weight before the wedding.  At the time I think I weighed around 145 and I am 5’8″ so I wasn’t too big but definitely wanted to slim down for the wedding.  Through portion control and exercise I got down to about 125 I think.  This was a little thin but I think the last few pounds came off due to the stress of the wedding.  Once we were married I maintained a weight of 127-132 for several years.  I had two beautiful girls  and gained 33 lbs. with each pregnancy.  The weight came off pretty easily both times although I definitely could tell my body had “changed” a bit.

My husband traveled extensively (actually lived in another state M-F) beginning when my youngest was about 6 months old.  This continued for about 2 years and was extremely stressful as you can imagine.  My husband surprised me with a gym membership to a facility that provided free child care as a way to relive my stress.  This was a LIFESAVER!!!  We joined Lifetime Fitness in Novi, MIchigan and it was a fantastic decision.  Working out was a way to relive stress as well as get some much needed alone time – I was hooked!

I have been fairly active the last 11 years or so (sometimes more active than others).  I have done a figure competition, a 1/2 marathon, a 20K, a duathalon, a triathlon as well as some other events.  It has been a blast!  I LOVE having races or events to prepare for – it gets me out of bed on the challenging days!  I have mostly been loner with training but last year took up running in the mornings before work with a couple of co-workers.  This was a lot of fun and something I hope to resume in March of 2012.  I live in Iowa and will NOT run in the ice and snow although the cold (within reason) doesn’t bother me!

Food has always been more of a challenge for me.  First, I am an emotional eater (happy – eat, sad – eat, depressed – eat, celebrating -eat, bored – eat …..get the picture?)  Secondly I am addicted to Food Network and love trying new things!  Third, I like my wine.  Problem with this is that wine = 7 calories per gram, has no nutrients and goes well with CHEESE!  Of course, it lowers inhibitions so makes me care less about what I eat when consuming it.  I go in spurts on keeping it healthy but have always been active enough so that even if I was indulging I wasn’t gaining TOO much!

Well – that changed.  Two days after my triathlon in June 2011 I was on a morning training ride and took a fall – hello broken leg and good bye active lifestyle – at least for awhile:(  At first I was very conscious about what I was eating since I didn’t want to consume a lot being that I wasn’t moving much.  Additionally, it was just too much of a hassle to crutch around and get a snack not to mention difficult to bring it back to the couch with me!  Once I was able to be in the walking boot I could easily get snacks but still really couldn’t work out.  I also think I was feeling sorry for myself and thus “comforting” myself with food.  Net result – about 10 pounds up on the scale.  That doesn’t sound like a lot but there has been muscle loss meaning I am now a little “soft”.  A lot of my clothes are tight and I do NOT want to buy new things.  I need to take control and get back on track with exercise.  Additionally, I’d like to develop a healthy relationship with food (oh, and wine).

Short term plan – I am starting Farrell’s January 7, 2012.  This is a 10 week exercise and nutrition program.  I will be working on 6 days per week with it alternating between cardio and strength.  In addition, they have a nutrition component which will be AWESOME!

Farrell’s ends mid March.  At this point I will start running with my pals again and prepare for MY FIRST MARATHON which will be October 2012.  In addition to completing Farrells and running the marathon I will do some shorter races throughout 2012.  I have a couple of other ideas I am toying with and will post about them as I decide which direction I want to go.  (thoughts include golf lessons and/or horse back riding lessons as we just bought a horse for my daughter).

I look forward to sharing my journey and hearing about yours through comments and notes.  In addition  I think the blogging community is amazing and am excited to be part of it!