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Nicole Ludwig

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Keeping up with the Preschooler

My preschooler, the apple of my eye, the twinkle in my star (and sometimes the thorn in my side), is a Very Busy Person. In fact, she’ll tell you that.

Me: Okay, pumpkin, time to clean up your cars and then it’s shower time.

Shannon: In a minute, I’m too busy!

(True story).

She started walking at 10.5 months, and two weeks later walked around the entire Greater Vancouver Zoo. About a week after that, she forgot how to walk. She now runs, skips and dances everywhere.

Our solution to her boundless energy? Short of siphoning it off, bottling it and selling it (thereby becoming independently wealthy)? Lots and lots of outside time, especially during the summer when it’s hot and nice out.

Thrice a week, she’s at the water park. Twice a week she does activities at the rec centre – “Duck, Duck, Splash!” is her new favourite game. If she’s not at the waterpark, she’s in her blow up pool in the afternoon.

As someone who taught swimming for 20 years, I can tell you, there’s nothing like water to douse preschooler energy. After a late morning/early afternoon in the pool or at the water park, the Poptart is quite exhausted and will often just pass out on the sofa for a couple of hours.

The problem with this? It’s also exhausting to the parents. Particularly parents who have some extra weight to carry around.

Darren hopped on the bandwagon of fat loss and muscle gain in January. He’s down 40lbs or so and is starting to get lean.

I hopped on our new scale in January and didn’t like the number I saw. I’m down about 15 lbs but haven’t been motivated to do anything beyond that. I’m finding I just don’t have the focus. I started with the Isagenix system, which is okay, but worked for me for about 10lbs and that was it. Darren, on the other hand, can have two shakes and a large meal per day and drop 10lbs in a day (I exaggerate, but not by much). The Isagenix system includes two “super cleanse” days per week for the first two weeks, where all you get are “snacks!” (chalky crunchy things that are designed to give you some nutrients), water, and some sort of powdered drink that tastes better warm than cold. By the end of the first day, I had a raging headache. By the end of the second day, all I wanted to do was eat because my blood sugar was so damn low.

So partly because I am jealous of Darren, and partly because I want to keep up with my preschooler, I’ve hopped back on the weight loss and fitness bandwagon. I’m not actually concerned about weight loss, but want to firm up and wear a smaller size.

For me, it boils down to three aspects: accountability, nutrition and exercise.

Daily accountability has taken the form of a Jawbone UP! It’s a bracelet-like device that tracks your sleep and movement. It also tracks your nutrition and activity if you plug it into the app. Full review next week (not sponsored – I paid for it). Weekly accountability will be in the form of a blog post on Saturdays (which will also be a planned “cheat” day).

Nutrition: I’m starting with Dr. Oz’s two day cleanse. I know a lot of it is hype, but he has quite a few easy recipes with whole ingredients. And I tried his quinoa with prunes breakfast the other day and wasn’t hungry for most of the day. Although, because I forgot to get flax oil, I substituted ground flax and coconut oil instead.

Focused exercise at least three days per week. By focused, I mean a class or a video that gets my heart pumping and my body sweating. I have my own sandbag now (which Ivan kindly filled for me) and I can use that at home. I’ve also started the “You Are Your Own Gym” program, which teaches you to lift your own body weight as resistance exercise. I like those videos because it’s one guy, former military, and he’s actually working during the videos.

Unfocused exercise: Taking my preschooler for walk/run around the park after work as long as it’s still light out and not pouring rain. If it’s too late, we’ll go in the back yard and toss a ball around and blow bubbles. On weekends, we’ll go to the water park or swimming and splash around in the pool. I am determined to become the best role model I can for her. And I’m determined to keep up with her – at least sometimes.

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