Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I should be studying... Sorry Christine!

I, in all honesty, should be studying for my exam in Fitness Leadership, but here I am composing another entry. I hope this is not reflected in my grade ;)

My friend at work just said "yesterday was 'working naked day', I missed that one"
I replied, "Well I think judging by the people around here, we dodged a bullet!"
I don't know why I find that so funny, I am just silly I guess.

Today has been a pretty good day. The baby was up at 130am to nurse, then back to bed by ten after two. My alarm went off at 5, and I got up right before the snooze alarm... I got out a ran this morning, nothing super great, I mean hell, I got out of bed, so even if it was any slower (which I couldn't imagine) - it was something! I was hesitant since Monday was 62 degrees at 530, and today was 42... ah burr! I am not really a fan of running in the cold, but after a little while it's ok.

I think I have a tapeworm, no not really, but I am starving today! I ate my lunch before my swim, which wasn't my best decision... I need to find more snacks to bring to work, I found out the hard way that 2 Fiber Plus bars in an 8 hour period is NO GOOD!

Anyway, I made it to the pool today during lunch, this was an internal battle for some reason. I guess some days you're more motivated than others, whatcha gonna do right? I did it though, and I actually kept track of my laps, which almost never happens! I am not a fast swimmer, and I am sure I am far from graceful, pretty confident that no one around me was thinking how much they wanted to emulate my The good news is, I am really loving the swimming! I am sure I won't be setting any records at my first triathlon, but I am enjoying the pool.

I really need to get this bike thing going. I mean I know how to ride a bike, so step one (on my is a CHECK! I don't have a real tri bike, nor will I rush out to buy one - let me see if I can complete this first, see if I get the triFever like I did with running after I completed my first race. I am wondering how people get started training for the bike portion of a triathlon, I guess I should have taken a class or something... I think I am most nervous about swimming and biking next to other people... I don't want to be 'that girl' who takes down a dozen bicyclists at this event!

Ok, well I guess I will have to study soon, hopefully Ms. Gabriella cooperates and I can get an hour or two of quiet time to review... Why do I wait until the last minute? I guess because it's my last course for my major, I have been doing this so long, I can't focus half the time! [Again, I apologize Christine, I really do enjoy the]

Oh and I am feeling a bit spicy so I leave you with this - If you haven't done some kind of physical activity today - get off your ass now before it's tomorrow!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Last week someone made a comment that really hurt my feelings. I am sure they didn't think anything of it, and I am usually not so easily bruised, but I just can't get it off my mind. I knew that it effected me more than I realized, when I was thinking about it on my run this morning. Man I love running, it really helps me clarify my mind, process my thoughts and feelings... besides I love listening to Eminem too!

So, I might not be a fast runner, or as skinny as I used to be, and I certainly can't seem to do a sit up, but could it be because I didn't workout enough when I pregnant? I am not really sure. I know I did what I felt I could. I swam and walked, and maybe my marathon training stopped after I had the first miscarriage, and with this last pregnancy, I put my PR's on the back burner and focused on having a baby. I know all people are not created equal when it comes to fitness, athleticism and body composition, usually it rides a pretty big wave amongst a crowd. I really thought I was doing fairly well considering my baby girl is just 12 weeks old, apparently in some peoples eyes, I am not.

What most people don't know is how someone like myself has struggled with body image and disordered eating from my early teens. There was a time when my daily intake was a diet coke and a pack of Marlboro Reds. I didn't exercise, just starved myself because I wasn't skinny enough - for who or what I couldn't really pinpoint. All 115 pounds of myself was a sad little mess, convinced that one day I would join the ranks of my obese family tree, or the guys wouldn't like me, or the girls thought I was fat, like I said, I couldn't pinpoint it. At one point I had what looked like little bruises, my grandmother thought I have leukemia, but it was just a vitamin deficiency - apparently there isn't any vitamins in diet coke...imagine that. I couldn't tell you what got me out of my funk, but it took me a long time to not look at food an as enemy. There are still times when I am not feeling so great about myself, I stand in front of the mirror and grab my fat, in tears, cursing food and fat and anything else. Of course instead of starving myself, I have gone the other way, I start eating... I guess the good news is, I can't bring myself to purge, so I leave bulimia to someone else.

If you think it is easy for me to be larger than I normally am, you would be sadly mistaken. Last night I was organizing my closet, those 4's & 6's from the past few years are now nestled away in bins just awaiting for the time, I can once again fit into them and I will fit in them again.

I just wonder how a health professional would approach a client who was coming back from a life altering event, perhaps a little out of shape, a little larger and a little less capable. Maybe making an offhand comment on what they should have been doing would be okay? It's not the approach I will take, that is for sure.

Perhaps I am a little too sensitive these days; maybe I am still hormonal? At the end of the day, I just need to let it go... It's what is best for me.

I will achieve my weight goals through healthy balanced eating and exercise. After all, I am not 16 anymore - I am a mother, and now I have a daughter. It's up to me to set a good example for her, so she knows self worth is not found in a number in your britches and validation is not found in the words of bitches.

Well time to head out for a swim... doing all I can, in a reasonable way, at a suitable pace.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Live and Die by the List

Lists... I love to make lists, I make a list for everything. If I don't make a list, I will inevitably forget something. I once made a list for the grocery store on a sticky note. I got out of the car, there was a big gust of wind and the list blew away... there I was heading into the store at a loss for what I needed. The other day I was cleaning out my desk at home and I must have found 3 or 4 lists. Now, I obviously cannot possibly accomplish everything on my list. Sometimes I will do something, then add it to the list just so I can mark it off complete!

When Gabriella started daycare, I had a list stuck to the door so I wouldn't forget anything on my way out. After a few days, I ignored the list, as if it wasn't even there... and I managed to forget her bottles - twice.

I think I continue making lists because in some way it is comforting. I am a control freak, so I believe making a list of everything I want to get done, somehow makes it more possible. My husband thinks I am crazy with lists, 'Oh no, not another list'... 'Whatcha doing there, making another list?'... yeah, I am pretty crazy with it, but hey there are worse things I could be doing, right?

Last semester I had mini-stickies on the inside of my pocket calendar, listing all the assignments that were due, organized by date of when I wanted to do them. Seemed to work out ok, I did hold on to my 4.0!

You would think with all these lists, I would have already gotten the thank you cards done from our wedding (May 2009), or the baby shower (Oct 2010), or even most recently, the birth announcements (Dec 2010)... I guess these are examples of things that didn't get crossed off the list? Yes, I seem to have a mental block on anything requiring postage! Would it be too late to send those? How about if someone gave a gift for the wedding, and the shower - should they get everything all in one envelope?

Last weekend I made a list of things to get done, normal procedure. I want to say maybe half of the things got done... maybe it's better than no list though... I am never discouraged when I don't get it all done, I usually rewrite it and date it for the next weekend!

Sometimes I think that I make lists so I can stop thinking about stuff. Lists of tasks, goals, thoughts, groceries, bills... all of that, off my mind because it's down on paper!

Anyway, I am sure I am not alone in my passion for the list - I see plenty of people walking around holding a list!

... about lists... CHECK!

p.s. If you were someone who should have received aforementioned thank you card, rest assured, you're on my list! ;)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's not All about Hope...

but I am the one writing here so...

Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to the future. I have been a computer programmer for about 15 years now but I have been working on this Bachelors degree for what seems to be eternity (actually since 2008) and I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My contemplation is, so what happens when I get to the end of the tunnel? History tells me, I find another tunnel...

You might think that programming is what I have been studying for - but you would be wrong. I went into a different direction, Exercise & Sport Science, with a minor in Health Promotion. You might wonder how does one get from programming to exercise science? I'd say simple, but really - nothing ever is. Programming happened quite by accident. When I was in the Army, I was in the IS Department, not sure how I ended up there, but I did. My focus there was more networking and system administration. In 1997, I finished with the service, and enrolled in a Computer Information Systems Associate Degree program. I sat in my first class and was completely startled when the Professor said, 'Welcome to programming.' I was dazed, confused and for the first semester - pretty lost! I guess it grew on me, it was a lot of logic, and anyone who knows me, knows I like the black and white of any situation. Anyway, I have always been interested in fitness, and I have always been active, so in 2007, I made the decision to go back to school to pursue a degree in something I was passionate about. The final push was when Coastal began the Exercise & Sport Science program - I was in.

Now, working full time and going to school full time was something I wasn't so excited for. I started part time just to get the hang of being a student again, after all, I was about 15 years older than the average student. I did discover how much I didn't enjoy being surrounded by late teenies/early twenty somethings, but I wasn't there to make friends. I attended full time for about a year, in which I completed another Associates degree, then transferred to Coastal and began my Bachelors. I went part time for all of 2008 and 2009. In Spring of 2010, I took a full time load with one class during lunch, two evening classes and an online course. I was fine with the work load, until March that is, when I discovered I was pregnant. I really believe your brain shrinks and the semester couldn't end soon enough! So now I am back to part time, with a tentative graduation date of May 2012. The scary part is, people ask me what I am going to do with this degree when I finish & honestly - I have no clue!

I plan on obtaining additional certifications with the ACSM, hopefully pick up some part-time, flexible hours here and there. Personal training, maybe leading some classes, working within the fitness industry. My heart is really in cardiac rehab, no pun My interest peaked as I watched my mom recover from a triple bypass in 2006, without the support of a rehab program. Then in 2008, my father passed away due to heart failure. I really do want to help people, whether it be to prevent disease, or recover from cardiac procedures. Unfortunately, the opportunities is this area are few and far between! So I will just keep on keeping on and maybe at some point and opportunity will present itself.

Right now I have a good paying job, in an established career. So what do you do when you are in this position. In an ideal world, I would go on for a Masters, or jump into position even if the pay wasn't great, but I am not 21 and I certainly have responsibilities. So I guess all I can do is enjoy the personal accomplishment of completing a Bachelors, oh and start paying off the loans!

It's Always Something... a Day in the Life

Team Epton - yes that is how we reference our little family... we are a team, working together to lift each other up, support each other, and always be the loudest cheerleaders for each other... It's pretty awesome. Our days are usually crazy, with work and school, our new baby girl, our teenage son, but it is interesting and of course, it is always something!

Stephen & I met in the summer of 2005, but we didn't exactly hit it off right away and by the end of 2006, he was completely off my radar. It took myspace to find each other again in March of 2008. We went out on a Thursday night to the driving range, which was followed by a night out together the next day. We quickly realized, this might just be crazy enough to work! It was only 5 months later we were engaged, and in May 2009, we married. In November of 2010, we welcomed our precious baby girl, Gabriella Hope, into the world and have been loving on her ever since.

Our days are filled with work, and Joshua, who is 15, who keeps us on our toes. He plays Varsity Lacrosse and is always at a loss for how he is getting to practice. I have come to terms with the fact that most teenagers just don't know anything, they have no information, and always answer a question with, 'I dunno'... << sigh >> Anyway, the evenings are like a blip, preparing for the next day, trying to get everything together, and catch up on what didn't get done the day before! Gabriella is an excellent sleeper so I am truly blessed otherwise this plate would not be so well balanced!

I will give big props to my hubby, he really is about the team, we are always working together to keep everyone going in the right direction. God bless him for putting up with my craziness, remember it is always something, and I always have something going on in my brain! I am a planner, I love to try to control all my situations. Good thing I am also a realist, I know I can't really control everything... but it doesn't mean I don't try!

The day in the life of an Epton is filled with carpools, sports, dirty diapers, school, work, and random errands - but at the end of even the craziest days, I look at my kids, I look at my husband, and I know, it doesn't matter what I have forgotten to bring to daycare or if the laundry is about 5 days past needing to be done, I love my life and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!