Body + Soul Challenge, Day Three

Here I am on day three of the Body + Soul Challenge, and I am already not keeping up with the writing requirements (but also not letting myself feel too guilty about it). Really, the biggest thing about this for me is eating better and exercising again. I think I actually eat ok, but I do have this wee chocolate habit. So the triumph thus far has really been having just one small square of dark chocolate a day rather than eight squares. Or twelve.

I also completely understand everyone saying they can’t cut back on coffee. I don’t do caffeine anymore (except for all that chocolate), but that sort of happened when I was pregnant and then I realized I was a lot calmer without it. (I have read recently that decaf coffee has all kinds of bad chemicals in it, so I stopped drinking that, but now I do really miss the taste and ritual of coffee, so I’m not sure how to get that back.) But I don’t think you really have to give up caffeine to do the Challenge. I’m sure some people are going to be all precise about it, but I think most people know what areas they really need to work on. Are you drinking too much coffee? No? Then don’t worry about it.

I will also happily report that I went running (jogging) for almost an hour on Sunday, for the first time in six years, and I didn’t die and I managed to keep up running (trudging) the entire time. And I was only moderately sore in the aftermath, which confirms my suspicions that my life is a bit of a cardiovascular workout all on its own. And then I went running (merrily bounce walking) again last night, and I felt almost springy and even vaguely runnerlike as I started off (a feeling that faded, but it was easier the second time than the first to keep moving the whole time).

My biggest issue with exercising is logistical: How do you exercise with a bevy of kids in tow? And snowbanks and/or subfreezing weather? I take them out in the stroller when I can, but I don’t want to freeze the little nose off of poor Zuzu’s face. I’m mulling trying the Y again. I love our local Y, but Eli most decidely does not, and tends to freak out and scream until they come get me, so then I am frantically doing the elliptical and getting more and more jumpy every time someone walks into the room looking around searchingly, thinking they’re looking to find me to come calm down Eli, and then finally someone does just that and I sigh and have to go calm him and assure him that I’m still there. Though at this point the whole thing is feeling frankly manipulative on his part. But also, I don’t want to traumatize him. And, not to bake up the world’s biggest excuse cake here, but the time the childcare is open at the Y directly coincides with Zuzu’s nap. My only other thought is doing some kind of exercise video in the living room. Have any of you tried that route?

Comments (22)

  1. Clog January 7, 2009 at 10:53 am

    And when, may I ask, were you going to do this exercise DVD? I have had several over the years but find I am not disciplined enough to do them on my own. I do much better paying for a class and having someone stand in front of me and instruct.
    We have exercise videos galore at our annual library book sale. Get a few out of the library and try them out.

  2. sarah January 7, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Being calm is highly overrated.
    The only way I found to pull off running (my short-lived 2 months of returning to running this summer) was to go at 6 before everyone woke up, by 6:20 latest, be done and back in the house by 7:20 latest, leaving plenty of time to still get ready for the day. It’s lovely in the summer, cool and quiet out, would be very tough now.
    I am really impressed at how well you returned to it It had been 9 yrs for me, and it took me a month to run a mile. Literally ran 2 blocks the first day. Had to run/walk for a long time. But, by the time I fell off the wagon I was running 3 miles. Good for you!

  3. Julie January 7, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I was thinking I’d do an exercise DVD with the kids watching me with curious anthropological speculation. Or maybe with them joining in. I did look for some at the library, but I couldn’t find them. They might all be grouped somewhere else, but I had tragically forgotten a sling for Zuzu, so was browsing while holding her, which isn’t easy.

    The running worked last night with Dave coming home early and making dinner while I went running. Though now that we are getting dumped with snow I don’t suppose that’s going to work for today.

  4. Emily January 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    yup, I like the doing exercise while they watch…for having them see you take care of yourself too, by the way, but with rules about, you know, giving each other space and not jumping on mommy’s back when she’s in cow pose doing leg lifts. I want to pause for a second and say, holy god, you RAN for an HOUR? I STILL have about 20-25 mins actual run in me, and then the next 30 are walking, and that’s after starting this summer too. NICE GOING fit girl!

    I am having my tea in the morning. I think that’s ok on this cleanse. Dumping with rain now so no morning exercise..but will walk when it clears up.

    I cannot spell exercise without first typing excercise. Last night I put some cheddar cheese on top of my black beans and steamed veg. Could you reassure me a little of that is ok? maybe it’s not on a cleanse…so maybe you should tell me no, and that I should not make the thai tofu and butternut squash stew I want to make tonight, that has some coconut milk in it. (alright, alright, also a teaspoon of brown sugar…but 1 teaspoon for WHOLE MEAL). ???

  5. Julie January 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Emily, that dinner tonight sounds perfect. Why not? I think that’s completely reasonable. I also think a little cheese is ok. Well, maybe you’re right, maybe not until Sunday when the official cleansing portion is over.

    Eli is begging me to make brownies. It’s tempting. But I’ll go outside and shovel snow and that will be my exercise.

    I’m not sure exactly how I managed to run for an hour, except I will tell you that it was a very, very slow run. At the time I wasn’t sure how much more than walking it really was, but my legs are happily sore so it appears it was more than that after all.

    Tonight I’m making shiitake fried rice for dinner ( which I made once before and thought it was delicious, and it deconstructs well for kid dinners (rice + egg + edamame).

  6. Emily January 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    wow! doesn’t THAT look good! that’s on deck, I think! thanks! my recipe comes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which you gave me for wedding, I think, so you have it too, on page 257. Let you know how it comes out!

  7. Anne January 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Thank goodness for the gym at my office, otherwise I’d never make it to a gym. It’s hard enough trying to fit in exercise around one little person’s schedule; I can’t imagine fitting it in around three!

    I do have a bunch of exercise videos/dvds that I love (and use!), and I’ll email you the list.

    Good for you for running! It’s just like riding a bike, isn’t it? You get right back into it! But I am not a fan of running outside when it’s cold and icy and slushy. Not unless I’m fully decked out in a lot of expensive wicking running gear, which I currently do not own.

  8. Julie January 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Luckily Dave used to be quite the runner so he has a stash of running tights and that sort of thing (they’re 12 inches too long, but whatever). I was slightly discouraged that my shadow, with a hat and my hair down, and running, looks exactly like Forrest Gump at the end of his running, with long hair and sweatband at the forehead. Not exactly my style icon. Though at other points last night my shadow was 20 feet tall and rail thin, which was better.

  9. Stacey January 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    On the caffeine thing…I’m a total addict which was very apparent when after my ankle surgery the nurse said “How’s your pain level?” And I said “You mean my foot or my head?” My head was absolutely throbbing from not having coffee that morning, hurting way more than the limb that had just been operated on. As soon as she hooked me up with a cup I was good to go. So since then I’ve been thinking I should cut back. I sort of tried last year, but quickly got back into the habit as soon as I was tired or headachy. Plus, I love the ritual. But..what I wanted to tell you was someone offered me a cup of this stuff recently: and I really enjoyed it. It doesn’t really taste like coffee, but it’s got a nice chickory flavor and it’s soothing and warming. He added some ginger crystals to it too which made it even better. May be worth a try. I assume you could find it at a local health food store.

  10. Julie January 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I found it easy to cut out coffee when I was barfing for four months when pregnant with Henry. But I don’t recommend that route, Stacey. Now I’m going to be all obsessed with Beyond Coffee. I try to limit my travels to Whole Foods, but I’ll put that on the list (I do make it there occasionally, since their tofu is like $1 less than anywhere else).

    Were the ginger crystals some special fancy thing, or just minced crystallized ginger?

  11. Clog January 7, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Uncle Jim gave up coffee once and thought he had a brain tumor. I also remember going into the ladies’ room at work one day and a fellow employee was lying down with her forehead on the tile floor trying to get relief from her caffeine withdrawal headache.

  12. Stacey January 7, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Yeah, the caffeine withdrawal headache really does produce a pain like no other! Since I’ve been sick the past few days and had no taste for coffee, I’ve just had black tea in the morning so maybe this will be a good time to start to gradually cut back. I’m not exactly sure what the deal was with the ginger crystals, but I did see that they came out of a special little packet he had that seemed to be more than just crystallized ginger. They somehow dissolved in the “coffee.” Maybe you can find them at Whole Foods too!

  13. LoriO January 7, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Sean swears by the Medicine Ball. You can do all sorts of exercises with it in the living room and you can get a total body workout. He swears by it, and, I must say, is lookin’ gooood!

    And, just the other day I was at the grocery store and they were offering samples of some type of coffee substitute made from roasted…nuts and berries… or… herbs or something. I only stopped because the sample person was using my brand of Half and Half and I thought she was giving out coupons for that. I took her sample non-coffee hesitantly, but it was actually pretty good!

    Unfortunately I don’t have any more info on it, but it might have been Teeccino ( but I’m not sure.

  14. Julie January 8, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I’m not allowed to keep any balls in the house for my own use. I’ve had various exercise balls in the past and they’ve all been co-opted for toy use, no matter how much I protest (and really, I feel pretty dumb saying, “That’s MY ball!”).

  15. Scott Douglas January 8, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    When are we going for an hour run together?

  16. sutswana January 9, 2009 at 8:15 am

    If you really need to get out and it’s just dark and miserable and icy outside, the indoor track at the community center is an option for a fix. It’s sometimes crowded, most often with slower-moving citizens (senior and junior), but there are a handful of people who run and a few who look like they know what they’re doing and who also would rather be outside. Twelve laps = one mile = tedium, but it’s better than being all frustrated from lack of exercise. The only other negative is that the air is pretty stuffy. However, there’s a scale right there and you can play mind games w/yourself and weigh yourself before and after. And it’s open from 6 am to 9 pm or some such hours.
    What about YakTrax, or whatever they’re called? They might aid an outside run…

  17. Julie January 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Scott practically made me do a spit take. Scott, I’ll happily go for an hour run with you, if by that you mean we go running at the same time but not in the same parts of the city.

    And I wondered about the community center track. I even had a brief thought about going with the stroller, but I realized I would be the World’s Most Annoying Indoor Track User if I tried to use a double stroller there. What was I thinking?

  18. Elizabeth January 9, 2009 at 11:53 am

    The jog stroller was a great investment for us, but I only have one child. Do they make double jog strollers? THAT would be a workout! Also, I was saved by the fact that our local yoga studio offers child care. In fact, this made me quite the regular there. Yoga = one hour break from rambunctious toddler/preschooler. Maybe a yoga place in your neck of the woods offers child care, too?

    And by the way, Scott Douglas of three posts ago, are you the Scott Douglas who wrote Advanced Marathoning? If so, I have your book. Small world.

  19. Julie January 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    They do make a double jog stroller, which we have, and which is quite a workout indeed, especially with 70 pounds of boy in there and a baby in a sling. Though it doesn’t quite count fully because I end up stopping every 12 feet to get them a snack or try to hear one of Henry’s whispered stories.

    And yes, it’s the same Scott Douglas. He is an official member of the World of Julie (that is, he’s a friend of mine) (and his wife Stacey is the Savoring Maine Calendar Stacey, and another friend of mine) (they also have nice pets who are also our friends).

  20. Elizabeth January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I was envisioning you pushing Eli and Zuzu while Henry is at school. Or on the way to pick him up. Is that possible? That would be considerably less weight. Actually, now that I think about it, I HAVE seen women running in the neighborhood, pushing a double jog stroller, and have thought, “Oh, that poor woman,” knowing what a challenge it was to run and push only one child. On another note, I have liked some of the Yoga Journal videos. Do you have any of those? Oh, and I am MOST impressed by the hour run. It took me months to work up to an hour when I began running.

  21. Julie January 9, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I can push Eli and Zuzu while Henry is at school…except at this time of year when the sidewalks are icy and the Greenbelt path is intermittently plowed. During the warmer weather I barely drive at all. And to be honest it’s not that hard to push the double stroller, especially with the swivel wheel in front also! So don’t feel too sorry for the double stroller pushers. Now the TRIPLE strollers — that’s crazy!

  22. Scott Douglas January 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Hello Elizabeth. It’s not a small world, it’s a World o’ Julie. Deal for you: Buy one or more of Stacey’s calendars, and with your order you’ll receive a copy of the second edition of Advanced Marathoning, which just came out.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *