Posts made in July, 2012

My First Concussion

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Blog, Roller Derby | 2 comments

I went to my second practice last Sunday, and I skated a lot better than the first one. I was a little sad that there was another new girl there and she could skate much faster than me even though it was her first practice. I think my coach noticed that I was trying to keep up because she told me, “The only person I want you competing with is you,” and that made me relax a bit. I like that they’re not super competitive and have patience with my lack of experience. We did 15 laps in both directions and then the coach talked to us fresh meat. She told us the kinds of equipment we would need and showed us what we have to learn in order to pass the skills test. It’s mostly how to fall safely and how to stop. Of course, you also have to be able to look around while you’re skating and not worry about where your skates are. There’s no deadline or anything to pass the skills test, which is nice because I can learn at my own pace.

After we talked and decided to work more on skating, the coach was showing me how to steer without lifting my skates. She was holding my hands in front of me to steady me when I suddenly lost my balance. Instead of falling forward like you’re supposed to because she was in front of me, I fell backwards. As I was falling I thought I’d land on my butt, but then *wham* I fell all the way down and hit the back of my head. Did I mention I was not wearing a helmet? Yeah…I didn’t think it was necessary since I was just skating, not taking any hits. I mean, people skate in rinks all the time without helmets. Needless to say, the blow to the head hurt really bad and made me sick to my stomach. I decided to sit out the rest of practice after some fellow skaters told me that I probably had a concussion. That sort of freaked me out. I’m not sure whether I really had one because I didn’t lose consciousness or have any confusion. I was just nauseous, but I always get nauseous when I’m in a lot of pain.

I did get a big knot on my head and my neck was sore for the next few days. It finally started feeling better yesterday and I can hardly feel any soreness today. The coach said I could still practice this week, which I’m glad about. I took it easy and didn’t do any strenuous exercise until Wednesday night when I did my walk/jog for Couch to 5K.

I didn’t get to skate last night because my littlest sister is moving to Utah *tear* and it was her last day in Arkansas so I went and had dinner at my dad’s house with her. Now both of my sisters are living out of state, and I’m still here. :(

I did, however, visit the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s (WFTDA) website, did some reading, and watched a bout from their archives. I was very intimidated when I saw how well those women can handle themselves on skates! I asked my coworker how long it took her to learn since she started out with no skating experience, too. She said it took her about 7 months and it’s different for everyone. She also assured me that the WFTDA teams are really good and the local teams are not quite at their level. That made me feel better.

I was really pleased to find out that there are a lot of cute roller derby themed things on Etsy, and I made a board for all the stuff I want on Pinterest. There’s some really cute stuff out there, but for now, my priority is definitely a hemet.

 

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Dukan Diet {Week 30}

Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Dukan Diet | 0 comments

I never thought I would say this, but I actually like exercising now. Just a couple months ago I was talking about how I didn’t want to give up any more of my time to exercise, but now I miss it if I can’t do it. It’s totally weird. But I know why: roller derby. For the first time ever I’ve found a sport that I’m excited about. I’m not just doing it because everyone else is or because it’ll look good on my college application (like in high school). It’s a sport that’s unusual, quirky and fun. It’s also hardcore, and it’s going to take a lot of work and dedication for me to get good at it. But I’m ok with that.

In itself, roller derby is a good form of exercise. You have to constantly balance, which works your core, not to mention you’re moving your legs all the time so you get a good cardio workout as well. After practice on Sunday, I was dripping sweat! Then there are other “off skates” exercises you can do which will also help you in skating, like running and yoga.

As you know from my last diet post, I decided to start the Couch to 5K program to get my butt into shape. It’s been going pretty well so far. It’s not too hard but I feel like I’m doing a lot of work by the time it’s over. It kind of sucks that even though I run at night it’s still in the late 80s or 90s temperature-wise and humid as all get out. I think committing to running the One Step 5K in October has helped me to stick with it. It makes me feel like it really does matter if I don’t complete the program because then I won’t be able to run in the race.

Since I’ve been running and skating, I’ve noticed some changes in my body. I’m getting more muscle tone in my legs, and the cellulite I had on the insides of my knees is gone! My belly is also slowly shrinking, which is really awesome because it’s always been a problem area. My saddlebags are smoothing out. Even my hips/love handles are starting to slowly dissolve. All of this makes me really, really happy. I’m starting to have a figure that I can live with again.

I found the paper I’d been tracking my measurements on since day one of my diet the other day. I decided to measure myself again, and I was amazed. I’ve lost 6 inches from my waist and 4 inches from my hips. I’ve also lost 1 inch from both my arms and my neck. My thighs are 2 inches smaller. When I started this diet, I wore a size 16 and now I wear a size 12. And when I weighed myself this morning, the scale said 150. That means I’ve lost 41 pounds! *pats self on back*

That means, I’ve only got 11 more pounds to go! Woo hoo!

Another cool thing I discovered this week is Oopsie Rolls. They’re an amazing invention made out of eggs and cream cheese–no starch whatsoever-and it’s fluffy. It doesn’t really taste like bread but it does kind of look like it. It makes a great substitute hamburger bun. Here’s a picture of mine fresh out of the oven:

Oopsie Rolls

If you leave them in a plastic bag overnight, they get really soft like white bread, too. Now to make a sweet version…

Starting weight: 191

Current weight: 150

Goal weight: 139

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Cotton Gauze Baby Blankets

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Blog, Feature | 0 comments

Cotton Gauze Baby Blankets, angle

One of my coworkers is expecting her first child in a little less than a month from now. We had a baby shower for her at work, and I planned to whip up these light weight swaddle blankets for her. Unfortunately as I was sewing the first one, the needle on my machine hit a pin straight on and jammed it into the machine. I couldn’t get it to work that night (I was doing some last minute sewing, you see) so I ended up giving her a cute crocheted owl (really quick to make) and some soft blocks that Lex had outgrown. I didn’t get a picture of the owl before I gave it away, but maybe I’ll get a cute picture of it with the baby eventually. :)

So, without the looming baby shower deadline, these blankets got put on the back burner. This past weekend has been the first without any house guests or major cleaning or medical emergency in a looong time so I was finally able to get them done. Luckily, I’d already taken my machine apart and fiddled with it a bit and somehow got it working again. I got the idea and how-to for this project from my crafting idol, Dana from Made. She comes up with the cutest stuff and great tutorials. As for this tutorial, I went with option 2 and didn’t bother with ironing. This fabric keeps a fold well without ironing, so that saves you a step!

I chose neutral colors because they’re not 100% sure of the baby’s sex. They think it’s a girl but the ultrasound wasn’t very clear. At the fabric store, aside from these neutrals, there were only primary colors or pink and personally I’m not a big fan of primary colors. After she got them, the new mama said she really liked the colors, so I’m glad it worked out.

Cotton Gauze Baby Blankets

When Lex was born, I kept him swaddled a lot of the time because it helped him sleep. The standard swaddling blankets are made of flannel, which is nice and absorbent but also warm. Since the baby’s due in August and we live in Arkansas, I wanted to give her a lightweight alternative for swaddling. A couple of other great things about these are their size (45 x 48 in), which means they can grow with baby, and they have some stretch, so baby will stay nice and snug. I wish I’d had some of these when Lex was teeny tiny!

As for packaging, I tied the rolled up blankets together with a ribbon I had in my stash. See that perfect little bow? My husband did that! I was impressed. I just wanted him to tie a simple knot while I was holding them together, but he went and got all fancy on me.  :)

These were a great baby shower gift. They were really simple to make, they’re really useful, and they’re lovely. If you’re expecting or know someone who is, I’d highly recommend making some of these!

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Roller Derby!

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Blog, Roller Derby | 1 comment

If you asked someone to describe my personality (especially someone who doesn’t know me well), I’m fairly certain that the word “shy” would be in there somewhere. I’ve always been a very shy, nervous person. I like to stay in my comfort zone most of the time. I don’t have a very forceful personality. This is why I got some very surprised reactions (mostly from coworkers) that I’m going to join the local roller derby league, Faulkner County Roller Girls.

rollergirlslogo

I went to my first “fresh meat” practice last Sunday. I was very nervous because I haven’t put on a pair of roller skates since middle school. I’ve never been very good at roller skating, either, but a friend who’s in the league in Little Rock assured me that a lot of girls start out really wobbly. When I got to the rink, the ladies there were very welcoming. I found some skates and started out on the carpet.

I felt like an idiot slowly trying to figure it out on the carpet. I think I stayed on there about 20-30 minutes, just trying to get the feel of it. I decided to finally try it on the floor and carefully rolled over to the fresh meat coach, Shade, and introduced myself. She told me, “Ok, skate a lap and show me what you’ve got.” I nervously said, “Ok, but I’ll probably fall.” She said that was fine. So, I carefully made my first lap– without falling :). Shade gave me some advice, like don’t try to walk with the skates, try to propel yourself with one foot, alternating. She assigned one of the referees, Darlin’ Doom, to literally hold my hands and skate with me until I got the hang of it.

I noticed that I did better the less I thought about my movements. It’s very much one of those things you think about with your muscles rather than your brain. Darlin’ Doom told me to think about it like gliding on clouds, and that actually helped. To my (and probably Darlin’s) surprise, I didn’t fall. I almost fell about 50 times but my flailing helped me stay upright. I learned that when you do fall, to fall forward onto your knees, which are padded, rather that your bottom, which is not. I just skated for probably 30 minutes or so until the league practice started. Then I sat and watched.

I’ve never even been to a roller derby bout before but I caught on to the rules pretty quick. I was impressed by how well these girls (and guys) can navigate on skates. And when they fall (which they do), they immediately get back up with smiles on their faces and hurry to catch up with the pack. They’re also very fast. And the Conway league also does exercise without skates on– stuff like lunges, wall sits and crab walks. That’s a big reason why I decided to join- so I could have fun/be social while also exercising. My past athletic ventures haven’t been very fun because I’ve always felt out of place. I’m still very new to roller derby, but from what I’ve seen online and experienced so far, I feel like this is right for me. I feel like it’ll help me become stronger, both physically and mentally. Vinnie has been very supportive, too. He thinks I need to toughen up and that this’ll be a good way to do it.

Mom took this picture after I got home. Don't you love my new cute workout clothes?

Mom took this picture after I got home. Don’t you love my new cute workout clothes?

Ever since I went to my first practice, I’ve been eager to go skating again. I finally got to go last night, which is when some of the other roller girls also practice. I saw some familiar faces, and they remembered me. This time I tried speed skates instead of the normal brown ones. Since the wheels are wider and grippier, I thought they would make it easier to skate but that wasn’t necessarily true. I felt like I’d forgotten everything again. I tried to go directly onto the floor but after falling down twice (on my knees both times, thank goodness), I quickly resorted to the carpet again. I finally got a bit of a feel for it again and got back on the floor.

This time was very different from practice because 1.) it was dark with laser lights moving on the floor and 2.) there were little kids skating around EVERYWHERE. It was like an obstacle course! These little bitty kids, 4,5,6 year olds are using these walker type things to make it easier for them to skate, and they have no fear whatsoever. They’re going all different directions and not paying attention to anyone around them, so I’m trying not only not to fall on my ass but also not to take some little kid out with me. It felt like I was a kid magnet. I’d see one and try to avoid them but then they’d be going in the same way as me. I came really close to falling right in front of one. I instinctively tried to grab his little walker thing to balance but then felt really bad. It was awful.

When I first started out again, I was really scared of falling. I had to will my knees not to buckle. Falling was scary even thought it didn’t hurt. I heard that voice in my head saying “You can’t do this! You’re crazy for trying this. You’ll never skate good enough to be in roller derby–look at you!” But I fought back. I told myself that no one is good when they first start out and the people who can skate really well now (even the kids) have had a lot more practice. If I keep at it, I know I’ll get better. When I was younger, that negative voice would’ve won out and I would’ve quit. But by the end of the hour, I had my skate legs again, and I wasn’t scared anymore. It was comforting and almost relaxing to skate around at the end. It may take a while, but I know I’ll get there eventually.

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Dukan Diet {Week 28}

Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Dukan Diet, Feature | 10 comments

Wow, so it’s been 6 weeks since my last diet update. There are a couple of reasons for that. One, I took another break from the diet because I was getting into a slump and getting a bit depressed. Two, these posts aren’t very popular. However, I’m going to keep up with it until I reach my True Weight in hopes of helping someone else reach their weight loss goal.

When I last posted, I had given in to temptation and ate some delicious, yet fattening, food. I found it difficult to get fully back on track. Like I said, I was getting really tired of denying myself every day. I did end up gaining back about four pounds during my break. I blame a lot of that on stress eating and fattening cafeteria food while Lex was in the hospital. I noticed that my clothes were not fitting as loosely as before and that I was feeling very bloated all the time.

I also came to realize something about myself while I was on my break. When I don’t restrict what I can eat, then I’m more likely to eat out of boredom. I found myself looking in the pantry trying to find something yummy to eat even if I wasn’t hungry. When I’m on the Dukan, there’s not anything that I’m allowed to eat that I want to eat for pleasure. That sounds pretty sad, but it’s true. I think that’s part of the reason it’s so effective. I’m glad that I was able to learn this about myself now rather than later. I’ve been thinking about this as a temporary thing, but I realize it’s dangerous to think of it that way. If I don’t learn how to eat correctly, then I’ll just gain all the weight back later on. The third phase, Consolidation, is meant to teach you how to eat regular food again. Dr. Dukan says that when you finally reach Stabilization if you find yourself gaining weight again, then you can fall back on the rules in Consolidation to get back on track. I know now that I’ll always have to keep those rules in mind when choosing what to eat in the future.

After Lex was back at home for a couple of weeks, my husband said something surprising to me. He said, “Monday we’ll start up on that Dukan Diet.” Did he just say “we?” Yup! Having him on board was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back on. I must admit, I was a bit dubious that he would stick with it. This is the same man who’s gotten really upset because there wasn’t any starch with his dinner before. But, he’s proven that he really can do anything he sets his mind to. He made it through a 6 day long Attack Phase with almost no problems (that isn’t to say no grumbling). He hasn’t been as diligent as I have about recording his measurements, so it’s hard to say how good his results are so far, but he’s seen that it worked for me so he has faith that it will for him, too.

It’s been a bit easier to stick with the diet this time around because there’s no one constantly eating chocolate in front of me. At the same time, he’s frequently annoyed by the limitations on what he can eat. I know from experience that the first few weeks are difficult so I’m cutting him some slack. I hope that as it becomes a habit, he will be a little less grouchy about it.

As for me, I’ve been doing pretty well with the diet. I’m getting a bit impatient and eager to reach my goal. If I’d stayed with the diet the whole time, then I’d already be at my goal. As it stands, I have about 2 more months left on Cruise before I reach my goal if I don’t cheat anymore. I was able to lose those 4 pounds again and have been staying at 154 for the last few days. I decided that I should step up my exercise as a way to get over this 154 hump, so yesterday I started the Couch to 5K training plan. I ran cross country in high school, so I know that I’m capable of running a 5K, but I also know that I’m really out of shape. The Couch to 5K training shows you how to gradually work up to running a 5K by switching between walking and running at regular intervals. I just got an iPhone 4s (yay!) and there’s an awesome free app that tells me when to walk and when to run. It’s a 9 week program, so my goal is to reach my True Weight by the time I’m finished with the training. I like having both the Cruise Phase and the training ending at the same time.

As extra incentive to complete the Couch to 5K program, I’m signing up for the One Step 5K on October 13 in Little Rock. The proceeds benefit Rush Hour [Traffic] which raises awareness for and fights human trafficking in Arkansas and beyond. Actually running in a 5K race is a bit daunting for me now, but by then I hope running that far will be old hat.

Last night I squeezed into a pair of size 11 skinny jeans(!). They just barely buttoned, so I’ve still got a bit further to go before I can comfortably wear them. But I still feel good about how far I’ve already come. When I started my diet, I wouldn’t have been able to even get them past my thighs! Now I wish I’d taken a better before picture, but at the time, I couldn’t bear looking at myself, let alone taking a picture of it. However, here’s a photo comparison of how I looked right before I started and one I took a couple days ago.

beforeandafter

Starting Weight: 191

Current Weight: 154

Goal Weight: 139

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