Karen is at a stage in her life where she is ready to make some real lifestyle changes. Like most of us, she has a great understanding of what healthy foods are and what she should be eating, but if only it was that easy! So far her biggest barrier is her busy schedule and making sure she finds time to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day! We are working on making sure Karen eats breakfast every day. This is key and will help kick start her metabolism. We are also stocking her office with lots of healthy whole foods so she always has snacks available if she is getting hungry throughout the day or working through lunch. This will prevent her from getting over hungry later in the day and overeating. Last, Karen has been working on recognizing her hunger and full cues and being more mindful when she eats, this is not an easy task to master, but once she does she will be well on her way!
We went camping this weekend and had a great weekend – beautiful weather and great friends. There were six adults and six kids. It was a great park for kids – lots of space, a playground, fishing hole, duck pond, volleyball, bocce and more. One of the highlights was Lindsay riding a bike without training wheels for the first time (on grass and for only about five seconds, but a milestone nonetheless)! I’m including our trip in my blog because I was really bummed and somewhat surprised how hard it was for me to participate in a friendly game of kickball with our friends and all the kids. I had the hardest time just running around the bases (I almost got lapped by another mom) and my only shot at getting the competition out was to catch the ball on the fly. I haven’t actually tried to run fast for awhile so I had no idea how bad my knees really are. I’m going to get in to see Dr. Chun (team doctor) when we get back to Seattle. I had MRIs on both knees several years back and surgery was not a consideration, but I need to have them checked out again, especially given what my goals are in terms of increased physical activity. Fingers crossed.
I met with Wendy (nutritionist) today during practice and turned in my meal planning for the week. I didn’t do so well eating breakfast; she thought dinners were pretty balanced (thanks to Mer). I definitely need to eat more fruits and vegetables. It was interesting (and helpful) to pay attention to my hunger scale. We put together a grocery list to help me stock up my office with healthy breakfast, lunch and snack options. I know a key to my success is going to be meal planning. Over the years, I’ve often talked about meal planning each weekend for the upcoming work week, but I haven’t been disciplined at all in following through on the idea. I’m so preoccupied throughout the day and often on the run which leads to bad choices; often not eating at all or eating poorly. I know the meal planning and stocking up at the office will help a lot.
I had my first workout with Brian today. We focused on some basic core, flexibility and hip mobility movements. Truly, it was pretty humbling. Pretty basic movements weren’t as easy as they used to be and I didn’t even like looking at myself in the mirror during the various exercises. I’ve got a long way to go to get to where I want be, but as they say, you have to start somewhere. I’m going to do the same workout at least one other time on my own before I see him again next week, in addition to my other exercise activities.
Karen comes to the table with all the motivation, desire and commitment of a competitive athlete. Unfortunately, she also comes with a lot of the orthopedic ailments that occur with many former athletes (especially one who now spends a majority of her day sitting). Of particular concern are Karen’s arthritic knees, her right shoulder (which has a history of subluxation or “popping out”) and her lower back. Karen and I both agree that increasing lean muscle mass (which will drastically improve her body composition profile) and strength training (particularly in the core as well as the musculature surrounding her knees and shoulders) will serve as priority number one in combating these orthopedic issues.
Karen’s cardiovascular “engine” test also showed an area of focus that will not only get her back to the more aggressive physical activities that she is striving for (pickup basketball and CrossFit), but once again help with her body composition profile. The usually gregarious Karen went through a “moment of silence” during her submaximal aerobic test as she pushed herself through the 9 minute and 30 second test. Following the test, she was very well aware that moving forward she needs to step up her cardiovascular game.
I am thrilled with Karen’s willingness to share her journey with the Seattle Storm family and to inspire others who wish to take their health to a higher level. As she begins her journey, her biggest barrier will be to accept that she currently isn’t the athlete that she once was, but to realize that with time, patience and a positive mindset, she can unleash the beast screaming to come out. Karen will need to take things slow and steady and focus on the marathon, not the sprint. Focus for her will be to get her joints healthy again before moving on to the “cool” stuff.
I spent some time this morning with Ty at Super Jock ‘N Jill today. Ty and owner Chet James were quick to jump on board when I called and told them about Take Your Health By Storm and asked for their support. I tried on four to five pairs of shoes and found a pair that felt like a glove and could accommodate my lift and my orthotics while still being really comfortable and providing the appropriate amount of stability. I have multiple factors that complicate shoe choices for me, especially athletic shoes. Ty took the time to watch me walk in several pairs until we found the perfect match. He really knows his stuff! We talked about doing an information clinic for Storm fans sometime early in the summer; stay tuned for more information.
I met with Brian Sutton today for the first time. We spent about 30 minutes getting to know each other. I talked about the campaign and also about my goals and motivations. I think he’s going to be a great fit for me – I really liked his energy and approach. I especially connected with him when he said he tries to find “the athlete in everyone.” I’m certainly looking to reclaim the athlete in me! We are going to do a fitness assessment next Thursday. I know it’s going to be humbling, but it will be good to document my starting place.