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Wins and challenges as busy mom shifts lifestyle
Adrienne LaGier does a strength training workout in Atlanta.
April 14th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

Wins and challenges as busy mom shifts lifestyle

Less than a month from now, Adrienne LaGier of Maryland and six fellow participants of  CNN's Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge will travel to Kona, Hawaii, for a week of intense training. LaGier, a busy mother who teaches journalism, weighs her successes and challenges while simultaneously training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon and preparing for her wedding day - which is only two weeks before the competition.

One month until Kona, signifying the half-way point of my CNN Fit Nation journey. What have I accomplished? What do I still need to tackle?

Successes:

1. I’ve gone from sporadic walking on the treadmill to working out six days a week including three days of at least two-hour workouts. I’ve completed my first two 5Ks. I’ve gone from not being able to complete one length of freestyle to being able to breathe every five strokes doing four lengths of freestyle without stopping. Our family swims together three days a week.

2. My journalism students traded junk-food-laden deadline nights for fruit kabobs and salads (mostly).

3. Instead of going home to Buffalo over spring break and enjoying pizza and wings and mom’s chicken paprikash, I joined my sister at the gym for spinning.

4. I’ve lost 15 pounds.

5. I worked out in Central Park with my students.

Challenges:

1. I’m scared of my bike and have a lot of practice ahead of me to successfully ride around my neighborhood clipped in. Spinning bikes are not the equivalent of a racing bike. Not even close. This is the first bike I’ve owned that I can’t touch the bottom of my feet on the ground while on the saddle. That’s what freaks me out. I crave that sense of safety and control. The bike they gave us is this awesome sleek Cannondale machine. I make one rotation and fly down the street. The few times I’ve ridden it with just my running shoes on, I find myself gripping the brakes because I’m going so fast (not the front brake though, as a friend warned me doing that will send me flying over the handle bars). I need to learn how to shift gears. And I need to learn how to turn the bike around without basically coming to a complete stop. The few times I’ve tried this I’ve been completely wobbly. I also need to find a non-scary place to ride. A co-worker of mine says she only rides on bike paths because a friend of hers was killed after being hit by a car on Route 4. That means making time to drive 40+ minutes to a bike path to ride in complete comfort/safety. Making that kind of time right now scares me, too.

2. I need to get strict with my eating habits. I’ve let myself rationalize my eating choices: “I just worked out for 2.5 hours, of course I can eat whatever I want for dinner.” Our dinners are still rushed, as now we are fitting in two swims during the week and Pilates while juggling Girl Scouts, soccer 3 times a week, and piano lessons. I think we eat at Panera at least three times a week, plus we visit Ledos, the local pizzeria, Wednesday nights after swimming because it’s convenient. After watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "60 Minutes" segment on how addictive sugar is, I realize I’m way too lenient on what I let my six-year-old girls consume.

3. Round one of wedding dress shopping was a fiasco. I wanted to wait until July to try dresses on, but for a September wedding, I’ve learned that’s not advised. I imagined the bridal consultant having the super powers of being able to pick the perfect dress for me just by hearing about my wedding and looking at me. Guess that just happens in reality shows or fairy tales. She didn’t ask me about my wedding; she didn’t recommend any particular style for my body type. Plus, she had to tend to a few other people while helping me. When I was in front of the mirror in each dress she asked me what I liked and didn’t like. When I couldn’t give specific answers, she scolded me and said she couldn’t help me if I didn’t know what I wanted. I want you to tell me I look good. But that didn’t happen. The experience ended with tears in the dressing room and more time off of the dreaded “pick-a-dress-or-be-destined-to-buy-off-the-rack” clock.

What I’m going to accomplish by May 12th, our departure date for Kona:

1. I’m going to learn how to ride my bike. Not an option – gotta be ready for the 20-mile ride in Kona.

2. I’m going to make vegetables the main focus of lunch and dinner while cutting out red meat, dairy, and sugar as much as possible. I’m going to meal plan for the week ahead and will eat out no more than once a week. I’m going to write down what I eat and e-mail it to my trainer. I’m going to get rid of all the sugary, processed foods in our cupboards and only offer my girls healthy snack options.

3. I’m going to write down each day what I’m grateful for. It’s easy to take this amazing experience for granted, as now it’s a seamless part of my life. I want to savor every last moment of the next six months.

4. I’m going to create and design my wedding invites with my girls, and I’m going to mail them before I get on the plane for Kona (early, I know, but the resort has another wedding the night before and will sell out of rooms soon). I’m going to focus on enjoying the process of planning for our wedding weekend rather than worry about superficialities. The dress doesn’t matter. Enjoying the weekend with our family and friends and the process of getting there does.

One month. Four measurable action items. Totally doable.


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Robb

    You can do it -- have faith in yourself and remember that you are being a role model for your children. Best of Luck in Kona and in your marriage!

    April 14, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. S.

    way to go!

    April 14, 2012 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Peter Flagg

    Buffalo pizza and wings are delish, but only do them once in a while when I am back there. You can overcome your fear of the bike. Look at everything you have accomplished already. I have faith in you!

    April 14, 2012 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Glenn

    Love your blogs and think you are doing great.

    April 16, 2012 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. It's me

    Way to GO!!!! That's sooooo inspirational!

    April 16, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. maura

    way to go making positive changes in your life and your daughters

    April 16, 2012 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rebecca

    You're incredible!!! From one bride to be to another!!! You can do it!!!!

    April 17, 2012 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tony

    Hopefully better late than never...

    Some ideas for becoming more comfortable (and confident!) on the bike:

    1. Try an empty parking lot for practicing turning and braking. This is closer than your bike path, and you won't have to worry about hitting anything (or having anything hit you!)

    2. Do use the front brake; in fact, the vast majority of your stopping power comes from the front brake. Think about weight transfer as you slow down (a motorcycle rider will be able to explain / demonstrate this very well). Also, experiment in your car: when you brake, you feel the front end "dive" down. This puts more weight on the front, which means more traction, which means more stopping.

    The important thing is to engage the brakes gently. If you grab at the brakes and lock up the wheels, then your back wheel will slide out from under you, and your front wheel will either slide out the side, or you'll indeed go over the handlebars. In terms of vehicle control, though, that's no different than in a car: before anti-lock brakes, locking the wheels resulted in a loss of control. Same problem.

    I have some other suggestions to share, but I'm out of time for now. I'll try to add those thoughts later.

    Good luck!

    June 15, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.