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Pam Kirkbride's journal

New parents Pam and Michael Kirkbride are trying to find time and energy for the gym and their pre-baby active lifestyle.
New parents Pam and Michael Kirkbride are trying to find time and energy for the gym and their pre-baby active lifestyle.

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(CNN) -- During the eight weeks of the New You Resolution program, participants are keeping a journal. Experts recommend journal-keeping in helping to set goals and implement action for change. Below are excerpts from participant Pam Kirkbride's journal from the past week, with the most current at the top.

February 15-19

Exercise: Getting back on track and have scheduled out enough cardio this week and have done my home work-outs so far everyday -- even if they are at 9:30/10:00 at night! It helps when Michael and I do it together. I weighed myself today and on my scale I read 115 pounds. So, I have lost 6 pounds so far. Michael has done fabulous. I think he's lost 17 - 18 lbs. Men have it so easy! But, besides the numbers, I am feeling better. I can see that my stomach muscles have tightened up and I am actually wearing tops that I wasn't able to wear before because my stomach would stick out! I've gotten some comments from co-workers that I've been looking good, which helps keep me going as well!

Food: The hunger pains have subsided, and I feel like I am in a routine with my healthy food choices. It's automatic that I don't get fries, I don't eat fried food, and I choose more vegetables and fruit. Sushi and Japanese food have now become the staple fast food instead of pizza and burgers. Michael and I have found some dessert choices that have actually fulfilled our desire to eat sweets: juice pops and a surprisingly good substitute for chocolate is chocolate yogurt! Yummy, chocolate-y and good for you! We were quite surprised.

I am actually wearing a pair of pants that I bought post-pregnancy and they are now BIG on me! So, I know that I am doing something right. I may not have lost double digit numbers as Michael has (very jealous), but I am definitely back to my pre-baby active ways -- we both are!

Week of February 9

Again, an extremely busy, busy week at work, which really affects my exercise routine.

Exercise: I've only done cardio once this week -- on Monday. Michael started classes up again, so Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my nights with Olivia. Thursday was supposed to be my night at the gym, but just didn't have the energy to go after I came home from work at 7 p.m. I was actually supposed to take off from work on Friday (as part of my Alternate Work Arrangement that I planned through work since Olivia was born) but it was so busy, that I stayed a full day instead. Needless to say, both Thursday and Friday I did not go to the gym even though it was in the schedule. However, after I type this I am headed up to the gym, so that will make my cardio schedule 2 out of 3 this week. I have done Stacey's work-outs 2 times this week so far, so I didn't do so hot in that area either. Will make it up tonight.

Food: Again, I've been really good with the food. I actually went out for lunch one day this week with the sole intention of getting an eggplant parmigiana, and instead came back with a very satisfying salad! We even went to a child's birthday party today and we didn't have cupcakes! That was HUGE for me. They looked really good, though. Ever since New You started, both Michael and I haven't had pizza. I have had some soda (a cup at the birthday party and a ginger ale this week) but mostly its been water or seltzer.

However, just eating healthy doesn't cut it anymore. Lack of exercise and a very busy week has really left me feeling not so great. I wasn't feeling so lean as I had been the past couple of weeks. So, I am hoping that tonight's exercise will help me get back in the groove. The prospect of buying a bathing suit for my postpartum body is hanging over my shoulders, so I REALLY need to do this. Again, I am just so glad that I have Michael supporting me. As I write this, he is putting Olivia to sleep and has made me promise that I go to the gym. I have to keep that promise -- so, I gotta go!

Week of February 2

It was an incredibly rough week, work wise. And it has shown in my workout: I only was able to do cardio once on Saturday. And I left my sneakers at work, so I was only able to do cardio on the recumbent bike -- barefoot. I was exhausted mentally and physically most of the week, and my home workouts suffered as well. I was probably at 50 percent of my home workouts.

However, I have kept my healthy eating habits. I have eaten salads, egg whites, oatmeal, sushi, etc. for lunch -- still not having any desserts. Saturday night, however was my friend's birthday. I kept with the healthy eating: chips (I know, bad) with guacamole (good!); seared tuna steak with grilled pineapple (I did not eat the fried beans) and for dessert (YES! I had dessert!) I had bites (only bites!) of Mexican ice cream, a chocolate cake and an apple tart. I have to say it was pretty good [over] what I would normally have chosen to eat if I wasn't on the New You Resolution.

I have worked out both Saturday and Sunday, however, doing cardio and the home workouts. So, hopefully, I am back on track. I have mixed up my workout a bit, too: doing some Pilates moves I've learned in classes back in the day, using that big workout ball and those balance half-balls for more core work. I've added some light weights as well, just to mix it up a bit.

The eight weeks are closing up soon, and so far, I am proud of what Michael and I have accomplished. We have come light years from where we were a couple of months ago.

January 28

I ate so well today -- which makes up for the fact that I didn't do any of my exercises today. I had my normal healthy breakfast: medium light coffee, oatmeal with milk and a banana. For lunch, I ordered from this health food place called "The Pump" and had grilled chicken with vegetarian chili on top of brown rice. It was a huge portion, so I only ate about half of it, and am planning on having the other half for lunch tomorrow. I was hungry a couple of hours after eating, but powered through it. Like David Peck, I really hope my stomach starts to shrink.

Michael and I have taken the advice of one of the CNN viewers who sent us a supportive e-mail. She said that when in doubt, eat sushi -- so, when we don't have dinner planned and time is short, we order in sushi: low-fat and not too expensive! We do have to get the low-sodium soy sauce, though.

January 26

We got even more organized today. We went to the Container Store and got some shelving for our kitchen. ... Of course now, we have to get a stud finder, so our shelving is still sitting in a bag in the living room. But the bulletin board, magnetic board and swipey calendar that I also got at The Container store have been put up by Michael, so we are fully organized -- and it looks great, too!

Michael made me go to the gym tonight at 8 p.m. -- did my cardio and my home workout. Getting there was really hard, but felt great afterwards. My reward? TV's "Sex and The City."

We've been so good on the food front. We seriously haven't had dessert since we've started the New You Resolution. We were CRAVING chocolate all day, but we helped each other through the cravings. We had chicken and couscous (cooks in 5 minutes!) for dinner tonight and Michael will have leftovers Monday.

January 27

I ate so well today. I had a pretty big breakfast -- but it was healthy: coffee, 2 hard-boiled eggs (ate egg whites only), oatmeal with milk, whole wheat bagel with jelly. Lunch was a chicken fajita, carrots and celery and an apple for a snack. Dinner was more snack-y than a real meal as I went out for my friend's farewell party -- had some bites (and I mean bites) of chicken, mashed sweet potatoes then came home and had some split pea soup.

Michael and I did our home workouts. However, Michael was slated to go to the gym, but couldn't find his sneakers (for real! -- he couldn't find them this morning, either!) Hoping to continue the healthy eating tomorrow.

January 23

My body has healed from my Monday workout, and I am finally able to walk up and down stairs without holding onto the handrail, which means I can get back to the gym! Michael will have Olivia tonight, so I'll be able to do my cardio workout. After he puts her to sleep, we'll do our home workout together. Hopefully we'll get each other inspired to do it at 9 p.m. tonight.

Have a birthday party and a baby shower this weekend, which means my willpower will be tested again with the whole food thing. My biggest challenge is the fact that I never deny myself food. So, I will just have to practice the whole concept of "portion control" -- and allow me to taste things, but not have a huge portion (or seconds!). I'll let you know how it goes after the weekend.

I went to The Container Store yesterday and got some fun bulletin boards, magnet boards and a swipey calendar board to get Team Kirkbride even MORE organized! I can't wait to have Michael put it up so this weekend we can get started!! Next project is getting the kitchen more organized with Elizabeth's "vertical and horizontal" method. All in all, very exciting.

January 22

Some major breakthroughs: I was able to get out of the house this morning in less than 1 minute because I knew where the following were: my keys, my wallet, my metrocard, my purse, my coat, my gloves and my hat. Normally, what would've taken at least 10 minutes of searching through the house, only took literally less than 1 minute. Michael did not have to wait in the hallway for me!

Another was that I was able to take the pile of mail last night that was sitting in our "in" box on our new desk and go through it, pay the bills and recycle all the junk mail -- did that while Olivia was in bed. It was so nice to know that there was one place where I could look for all the bills instead of trying to look for them on the green dresser, on our old desk, on the dining table or on the coffee table!!! Very liberating!!!

January 19

Took [the trainer] Stacey's Willpower and Grace Class -- WHOAH. Totally turned the notch up in my exercise repertoire. The class was HAAARRRDDDD, never worked my body in that way, that hard for a really long time. But, I have to say, that two, three weeks ago, there was no way I would've been able to make it through that class. But now that I have had two weeks under my belt of Stacey's prescription work-out, the strength is coming back -- and I made it through the class. AND -- she weighed me -- 116.5 lbs! Which means I lost 4 pounds! Last Friday, two people at work asked me if I lost weight....AND MOST IMPORTANTLY -- I can feel my strength get back. Its amazing what two weeks can do.

On the food end, both Michael and I have not had dessert in two weeks, which is a huge feat for us. HUGE.

January 13

The fast food gods are testing me. My friend wanted to go to Burger King for lunch. I went, and got a side salad and a cup of their chili. See? You can do fast food without killing yourself! I spoke with my doctor regarding my blood tests and my cholesterol level is high: 224. Pre-pregnancy I was 168. I saw a Quaker Oats commercial that said that if you eat oatmeal for 30 days, it will lower your cholesterol. So, all week, I've been having cereal for breakfast. Hopefully with that, eating healthier and working out, I'll be able to get my cholesterol level down.

I have definitely noticed a significant difference in my strength since working out a week ago. ... The cardio workout that Stacey gave us on the treadmill isn't as daunting as it was a week ago. I still have issues with push-ups. The 20 she has me doing every day are still as hard as they were on that first day.

January 12

Fell off the wagon: went to McDonald's for lunch -- HOWEVER -- I got the cheeseburger kid's meal so they were smaller portions. Therefore, I got my McDonald's fix and I am inoculated for the next 6 months. ... I didn't work out, however, because we still had some organizing to do before experts from "Real Simple" [magazine] come by to do the organization make-over, and since Tuesday is Michael's day to go to the gym, I won't be able to do cardio until Wednesday. I am hoping to get back on track Tuesday night and do my home workout that Stacey gave us to do after I put Olivia to sleep.

The day was pretty good despite all the set-backs. I'd rate it a 7.

January 9 (Pam and Michael together)

Heck of a weekend. On Friday, we were savagely attacked by the [consultants from] Real Simple magazine, who came up with great ideas for our apartment that will make the place much more "user-friendly" in the long term, but required non-stop homework all weekend long.

Being organized requires getting organized. So Pam spent about 24 of the 48

weekend hours going through files and consolidating closets (even bought a paper shredder!) and generally tearing down so that our new friends from Real Simple

can build back up. In the meantime, Michael took care of the littlest Kirkbride all weekend long. Truly a tag team.

That said, we did all of our workout yesterday ... we both did the full 40 minutes and

gradations on the treadmill as well as our daily stuff. ... Today, however, there's just been no time because of all the prep work for Real Simple. And now we're both bone tired and need to sleep or else we'll start the week off all wrong.

[We] miss dessert. Michael longs desperately for a pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food, and Pam just craves chocolate cake, brownies and/or cookies all day. Going to bed unsatisfied --- and, no, meringue cookies just aren't gonna cut it.

We both feel "mid-project" at this point, especially on the home organization front. Pam put in so much time this weekend, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel (she even missed the second episode of Sex and the City!). But this week, the Real Simple folks will come in and put it all back together better than it ever was, and we're really excited about that.

On the exercising end: working out for a week and Pam already feels great -- she can definitely feel her strength increasing ... All the exercises that [the trainer] showed us are all feeling like that they are do-able now, instead of this huge obstacle.

Michael feels overwhelmed by the constant demand because of the daily requirements, but overall feels great being back at the gym and sweating again.

Workouts, too are getting easier. We both are still feeling the time crunch. It would be nice to be able to just relax one of these days instead of running around and "doing" things....

January 7

My treat today was being able to read a magazine (a treat for me!) while I was on the treadmill for 40 minutes. Reading a magazine is such a rarity these days that that will be my treat to myself whenever I go to the gym and do cardio. The fact that I even made it to the gym being all tired and anticipating Olivia's nighttime madness was a huge accomplishment. Michael was and always is a huge support and cheerleader.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the day as a 7.

January 6

Unfortunately , for dinner, Michael and I had no time to make dinner since we only had about 45 minutes with the baby so we had pizza for dinner -- but instead of drinking soda, we had water.

My biggest accomplishment today was sticking to a healthy meal plan for lunch and breakfast and for doing my exercises -- even if they were at 9 p.m.!

Most of the day I felt a little overwhelmed at work -- I was really tired from the New You's kick off festivities [the night before]. I just felt like I couldn't concentrate at work so I hardly got anything done. I wasn't focused enough at work. But hopefully eating well today and sleeping well tonight will make a better work day tomorrow.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the day as a 5.


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