Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Weigh a Day ~ Final Edition



Since Christmas, my weight has bounced from 221 to 224.8 and everything in between. A few days ago, I'd finally had enough! I cleared the leftovers out of the fridge, I made a green smoothie and I dug my water bottle out from under the car seat, and called my friend to meet me at the gym. I'm proud to say that for the last weigh in of the year, my weight has settled at 221.0.

This means I maintained over the holidays. I'm going to weigh in tomorrow as the first day of the year, and then I'll go back to my weekly Monday weigh ins.

I have some great goals for this year that I'll discuss in a post later today. Until then, have a great day and Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Derned Ipad!

It posted the entry to the wrong blog....Nothing to see here folks....carry on.

Looking forward to 2012


The last two weeks have been fabulous! I managed to maintain a somewhat clean house, I got all of my Christmas baking done, I managed to find time to sew most days and I actually got some sleep.

I'm looking forward to continuing on this path, but I'm nervous because I have to fit two more items into my life ~ homeschool & the gym. I know I can fit it all in, I just have to get myself super organized. If there's one thing I learned this summer with my testing is that I thrive on structure. My personality doesn't lend itself well to this, but my brain requires it.

I'm making myself little binders ~ one for quilting, one for workouts, one for chores & I already have one for homeschool. I have to learn to let go of perfection. Often times when I set out to get organized, I'm immediately paralyzed because I'm not sure exactly how I want everything. My brain doesn't seem to think I can start a project until I can see it completely finished in my mind's eye. Life isn't so cut and dry and I have to remember that.

When it comes to organization, evolution is the key. Just start. Eventually a system will evolve that works. I just have to repeat to myself (constantly) to just get started. The details will work themselves out.

A Weigh a Day ~ Christmas Edition

I hope you all had the Merriest of Christmases. I had a fabulous day, celebrated on the 24th, full of love, family, laughter & FOOD.

You know, it's just not Christmas until someone spills an entire glass of wine all over the kids' gingerbread houses. Whoops! Oh well. We dabbed up the wine as much as we could and we still let the kids eat a bit of them. Yea, I'm a bad mom like that!

Yesterday was a relaxing day around the house with the four of us just sitting and enjoying our new gifts.

I stepped on the scale yesterday morning and it reflected about a half a pound gain ~ I was at 222.0 No biggie. This this morning I stepped on and wowzers!! 224.0 That's a TWO POUND gain in 24 hours!! No, I do not believe I put on 2 lbs of fat in that short of time. I'm quite certain it's water retention and inflammation from all of the crap I've been eating! My joints are sore and my entire body aches ~ that's inflammation!!

Today I took some Advil just so I could get out of bed, I'm doing stretches off and on all day to get the blood flowing and I'll be drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of fruits & veggies. Indulging is ok, but I must remember to take care of myself and repair the temporary damage I've done, lest it become permanent damage.

It's all about changing habits and rather than saying, "Oh screw it! Bring on the rest of the cookies" I must focus on how I'm feeling and make my decisions based on that. This isn't to say that I won't be enjoying some of the leftovers, but I need to ensure I'm getting proper nutrition as well.

I hope you are all enjoying today working on your goals for 2012. I know I am!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A weigh a day

Ive been hanging out at 221.4 for quite a few days now. Today was our big family celebration, so I'm a little scared what I'll see tomorrow.

But that just means I have one extra day before Jan to work it off, right??

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Staying Healthy


This time of year it's of utmost importance to remember to slow down and take care of yourself. While I haven't been able to make it to the gym in weeks, I'm finding other ways to retain my mental health ~ I'm quilting. It's a tremendous stress relief and my family loves the results as they are the ones that get to snuggle up in my finished quilts!

Yesterday I went to get my brows waxed and my hair cut. I then spent the rest of the day shopping, taking myself out to lunch, running some errands and basically have a nice, relaxing day to myself. Today we're taking the kids out to see a reindeer at a local nursery, a chat with Santa, dinner out and then driving around to see Christmas lights while we sip on hot cocoa and sing Christmas Carols.

Don't get so caught up in everything that needs to be done that you forget to actually slow down and enjoy the magic of this season. Regardless of your beliefs, everyone has their own "reason for the season" and we need to keep that in perspective.

There ya go, that's my PSA for this year :-)
Cheers,
~Jess

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Weigh a Day ~ Day 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Phew....Christmas is in full swing around these parts and I'm also working on challenge, a little bet, if you will, that I have going with my husband right now. These two things combined have left me with very little down time. I'm behind on reading blogs and updating my own blog.

I know I have a few new readers and I wanted to just tell you, my blog isn't usually this monotonous. I can't promise that it's not boring, but at least there is typically a little more variety.

Ok, on to the weigh ins!

Day 16: 221.4
Day 17: 221.4
Day 18: 221.4
Day 19: 221.4

Consistency seems to be my thing this month. I woke up to a visit from TOM this morning, and I really wasn't sure what to expect. Imagine how surprised I was to discover I'd gone DOWN!

Day 20: 220.6


Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Weigh a Day ~ Day 15

Today's weight is 220.8

Back in the right direction. I'm exhausted. I don't sleep well when the husband is working. He's home now and home until Christmas. I can't wait to get caught up on sleep!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Weigh a Day ~ Day 10 - 14

Phew! I'm not dead. Although for a while I wasn't sure.

Day 10 ~ 220.2
Day 11 ~ 220.2
Day 12 ~ 220.2

At this point in the month, I had planned to write a blog post about one reason for doing this challenge was to recognize the slight variations in weight from day to day. Buuuuutt, that wasn't happening. Instead, I got sick and spent two days in bed. Then I had to spend a day and a half getting caught up on life stuffs. So, of course, I offered fast food for dinner. And then....

Day 13 ~ 223.0

Whoa!!! Can someone say salt overload and water retention?!?

Day 14 ~ 222.2

Well, it's going in the right direction. That's about the only positive thing I have to say at this point!

I got a comment from a dear friend the other day suggesting that maybe I shouldn't be so concerned about weight and to focus more on health. It's a great point and one that remind myself, often.

Originally I had given myself this challenge because I had grand plans of losing all kinds of weight in December. I was going to beat the odds. I was going to go to the gym everyday. I was going to eat salad and raw veggies for every meal except Christmas night.

Yea, well. Then Dec 1 and the funniest thing happened. Life. Boy 1 got sick, hubby went back to a normal schedule of pretty much just being gone ~ rather than home ~ and then I got sick. Here we are half way through the month and I haven't been to the gym once. Not once. Not even to run in and grab an ornament off the giving tree.

So, goals change. Thoughts evolve. This challenge is now about keeping me accountable. About not completely losing control of everything in Dec. It's keeping me grounded and at least keeping my choices about my health in the front of my mind as opposed to being pushed to the back.

It's about knowing that I have to face the scale the day after Christmas and planning my Christmas menu accordingly.

So, while I agree that health is always more important than weight, it's recognizing that the number on the scale is more tangible and more accessible than other health markers.

Cheers,
Jess

Friday, December 9, 2011

A weigh a day - Day 9

Today was 219.6 - took my body a bit to get going, but we seem to be moving in the right direction now!

And now that boy 1's lungs are playing nice again, we can start going to the gym and getting our sweat on!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A weigh a day ~ Day 8

Day 8 ~ 221.0 Well, we're going in the right direction. I woke up hungry this morning and I always know when that happens, I've usually dropped some weight. The hubs and I went out to dinner tonight after finishing up our Christmas shopping to celebrate our anniversary (Saturday, but he'll be gone) and I have to admit, I indulged. Over indulged. It didn't even taste that good. Blah.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A weigh a day - 6 & 7

A weighed yesterday and thought all day about a really cool post I wanted to write and boom - before I knew it the day was gone and I plum forgot!!

Today I remembered but have hardly had time to breathe all day. This the season!

Day 6 - 222.4
Day 7 - 222.4

I'm nothing of not consistent. I have a kick ass post written in my head. Won't have time to write it tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed for Friday!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A weigh a day

222.4 - yikes. What happened! I went the wrong way! A lot of crappy processed food is to blame. And the fact that ToM is just around the corner. Blah.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A weigh a day - day 4

I spent the morning in the ER with boy 1 and his asthma this morning. Grrrr...
But I did remember to weigh in.

221.6. I'm sensing a pattern here....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Weigh a Day ~ Day 3

Look at me...blogging from my new MacBook. SahWheet!!!

Today 221.6

I'm sensing a pattern. My eating has been ok, I just haven't been moving & sweating as much as I'd like at all. Bah Humbug. We're getting into the Christmas Spirit around here, but with that comes lots of business and the gym always seems to be the first to go when the busies come a callin'.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A weigh a day - Day 1

Day 1: 221.6

Ouch. We went out to dinner last night and although I ordered a salad with salsa and only ate half of it, I ate three onion rings and had three diet Cokes. I never drink soda. Never. I'm pretty sure that's why I feel like shit this morning and am retaining water. My nalgene shall be my BFF today.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A weigh a day

A weigh a day. A day a weigh. Either way. Who else wants to play?

I'll stop now.

Who here knows Ben Davis? See, if I had a computer I'd link to his blog. Then you'd all know him. You'll have to google him. Sorry.

Anyway, he's doing a weigh in a day. I think it's until his next marathon - oh by the way, he's running 52 marathons next year. Crazy, right?

So, I decided to copy him, because since discovering pinterest (pretend I linked to it) I don't think I've had a single creative thought of my own. Hello, overload

I'm going to weigh myself every day in the month of December - and post it here Who's with me?

Yeah, yeah, I know all of the experts say...blah, blah, blah. I know me. 1. I weigh myself everyday anyway. May as well blog it. 2. I need more accountability. I'm a hopeless procrastinator. If I don't have to post my weigh in until Monday, I don't actually start thinking about it until oh, Saturday?? But if I'm posting my weight everyday then I have to think about my choices everyday. And what better time of year to be fully conscious of your choices?

I weighed today and I am at 221.0. I missed my birthday goal, but I think (again, can't link or even look it up right now on my damn iPad) my next goal was 25 by my anniversary. That's Dec 10. That's 12 days to lose 6 lbs. it'll be tough, but I think it can be done.

Who's with me? Anyone want to make a button? I so don't know how to do that.

**I really do love my iPad. It just sucks as a blogging tool.

Friday, November 25, 2011

We ordered a new computer! It should be here sometime next week. Whoot!! Nothing like dropping an extra $1500 a month before Christmas! Ouch!! I'll be back online before you can name all of Santa's reindeer. Maybe....on blitzen, on dasher....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Still Here

.....the iPads are great for so many things, blogging though, not so much. The computer finally gave up the ghost the other day. It held on so tight for a few days, but it finally took its last breath and handed over the blue screen of death.
Sigh.... Anyway, I have some awesome things I want to share with you, but this just isn't right. We're getting a new computer in a few days. Until then I'll check in her from time to time.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blogging from the ipad

I've finally figured out how to blog from my iPad. It's not a great app, but it's free and my computer is dead again so this is better than nothing!
There are other apps out there, but they cost money. I hate spending money on apps! Lol.
I'll be checking in later to update you on my workouts, goals and simply life in general. (I can't create hyperlinks. That's annoying)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Compromises, Priorities & Putting Myself First

My husband has a saying that he's quite fond of: "Everything is a compromise." It's true, everytime we make a choice, we're chosing something in place of something else. I just turned on my bedside lamp; I chose lightness over darkness. I drank coffee this morning; I chose caffeine over crankiness. I ate a lot of candy this weekend; I chose instant gratification (that wasn't really even that gratifiying) over my health.


Several years ago I joined up with some friends and we tried to form our own little weightloss support group. We met at a friend's house once a week, we paid a couple of dollars, we weighed in, we got tickets for certain things (meeting goals, losing pounds, etc etc) and at the end of the month, the person with the most tickets got the money. It eventually petered out, but one meeting sticks out in my mind above all others: another friend of ours has acheived lifetime member status with Weight Watchers and she also works for them as a meeting leader. She came to one of our meetings to answer some questions and get us all going in the right direction. She asked us about some of our obstacles and I mentioned eating off my childrens' plates. Rather than throw away a couple of chicken nuggets and wasting them, each night I chose to eat them. She asked why I felt I had to eat them and I mentioned that they were expensive. She said, "Ok, so you are saying to me that you would rather chose a few pennies over your weightloss and your health." Well, HELLO TRUTH! Nice of you to make an appearance!


I was raised in a home where food wasn't wasted. Period. If I got up from the table and there was still food on my plate, my dad ate it. If we were at a restaraunt and I couldn't finish my meal, my dad ate it. Leftovers were repurposed and made into a new meal later in the week ~ or my dad ate them for lunch until they were gone. You don't throw away food. This has been drilled into my head since childhood.


When my friend pointed out that I was making a choice, it was like someone kicked me in the gut. It hadn't ever occured to me that I could chose differently.


I'm no longer afraid to toss out my kids' leftovers. If I find an item in my pantry and can't remember how it got there (or why I bought it) and I know it's not in line with my choice to be healthy, I'm not afraid to donate it (or toss it, if necessary). I do not intentionally waste food, but I'm no longer afraid to remove things from my kitchen if they aren't moving me closer to my goal.



Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm MAD

*source*


I'm mad and I'm tired. Tired of setting goals and not reaching them. Tired of just giving lip service to this journey I'm supposedly on. I'm tired of dreaming about being a healthy weight, about being skinny, about being a hottie.


I set some goals a few weeks ago: Two pounds by my birthday. Two fucking pounds. I was working out, but I wasn't pushing myself. I finally got pissed off enough at the thought of another goal just passing me by, so about four days before my birthday I decided to get serious. I was sweating bullets at the gym, burning almost 1000 workout calories a day, counting my calories, watching what I was eating. I was on fire. My weight was up each day, but it always is when I'm working hard. I knew after a rest day it would level out and go down.


Except it didn't. Saturday was a rest day, so I officially weighed myself on Sunday. It was 223.8 WTF?! It went UP? UP? So I spent yesterday feeling sorry for myself. I found myself with my hand in the Halloween candy more than once. I skipped my workout and I felt the self pity taking over.


But I woke up this morning with a new attitude. No more missed goals because I didn't work for them. If I miss a goal it'll be because I've done absolutely everything in my power to get to it and it just wasn't meant to be. I was in the gym today, back at a yoga class. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy yoga. It felt great and according to Livestrong, it burned about 230 calories. Afterwards, I hit the elliptical with my ipad. I watched an episode of Pan Am while sweating through an interval workout. According to Livestrong, that burned over 800 calories.


I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. I have every intention of meeting the rest of the goals I set ~ 215 by our anniversary and 210 by Christmas. My lowest weight since starting this blog was 212 and that was just over a year ago (Dec). I do not intend to start 2012 heavier than I started 2011, thankyouverymuch!


So, here's to pushing myself through the holidays. Won't you join me?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Schweady Schweady workout. Love having my iPad with a wifi gym. I can get caught up on Grey's Anatomy and not think about the fact that the workout I picked on the elliptical had the word "killer" in the title. Awesome. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

1 scoop Jay Robb Strawberry Whey Powder
1/2 c Trader Joe's Strawberry Orange Banana Juice
1 c Plain Kefir
1 c fresh pineapple, diced
1 banana
2 drops Sweet Leaf Vanilla Cream Stevia Sweetener

Delish!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Catching Up....


My computer done went and got the sick on me. We just bought each other new iPads for an early anniversary gift and then *BOOM* computer died. I've run several virus scans, I'm removed various softwares and uploads, I wiped it clean and reinstalled Windows and it still doesn't want to play nice. I'm ready to boot it out the window! The one thing stopping me? It is next to impossible to blog from the iPad/iPhone. So here I am. Let's keep our fingers crossed that my computer cooperates long enough for me to get this post out to the interwebs.

So, I have some catching up to do with you all. That real foods challenge? Yea, it was pretty much dead in the water, but it did introduce some interesting conversations around the dinner table with the kids. They are more aware of their food choices now and over all, we're all eating a bit more healthily. I'll call that a success.

I'm back at the gym. I've finally got our school schedule nailed down enough and I'm scheduling workout times around our school work. I'm planning to work out about six days a week with the following schedule:


  • MWF ~ yoga or intervals and steady state cardio

  • TTH ~ intervals and weight lifting

  • Sat ~ rest day

  • Sun ~ Reward myself with Aqua Zumba

I stepped on the scale earlier this week and was ASTONISHED to see that I was up to 222.0 again. I started to beat myself up over it and get down on myself, but it is what it is. I know it's because I let this fall get away from me, I was too busy and rushed and simply not making good food choices for myself and my family. Afterall, that's what prompted this food challenge to begin with. I'm not sure why I even expected anything different from the scale.


I have a few short term goals ~ below 220 by my birthday (Nov 5), below 215 by our anniversary (Dec 10), below 210 by Christams (Dec 25). They are slow and steady goals, but I do intend to continue losing weight through the holidays. I'm hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas and I have complete control over the menu. I plan to give myself free passes on those two days only, but the leftovers will be packaged up and sent home with guests.


Ok, I recognize this post is sort of all over the place (hhhmmm, that seems to be a trend around here these days!), but I'm afraid my computer is going to give me the big ole "F! You" any second now. I'm just gonna go ahead and hit publish. Proof reading and copy editing is for people with nice computers.......Maybe Santa will come through for me?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Should Have Known



~*~ WARNING: This post is emotional and a little all over the place. It is what it is. ~*~

We're two days into this challenge and it's been a smashing......FAILURE. I'm talking epic. Completely ridding one's diet of all things processed takes a lot of planning. A lot of planning. Being already behind on life in general, once I started planning out food for our challenge I immediately felt my blood pressure start to rise. I kept thinking I'd find time to do the planning, but who would have guessed that extra hours don't just magically appear on the weekends just because you need them. Pfft.

Each day I'd relax the rules a little bit more and by the time Tuesday morning showed up, the challenge was pretty much out the window. Going from zero to 60, for my family at least, was just too much at one time.

The fact remains, though, that my family is still eating too much processed food. Tonight at dinner, after fighting with the kids one more time about what they'll eat and how many bites and yada yada yada, we excused them to the living room and I broke down. (oh yeah, forgot to mention that I totally timed this challenge to start the exact same day as TOM, stellar planning on my part, wouldn't ya say?)

I am acutely aware that I've created this food struggle in my family. I'm not blind to the fact that my child will tell me whatever it is he thinks I want to hear simply so I won't nag him about nutrition anymore. I'm tuned in to the reality that said child will go back on his word once the food is actually in front of him, I do stop short of actually shoving nutritious food down my child's throat. I know, I'm just not badass enough.

My husband and I talked and we decided to start slow. Breakfast and snack times are easy to fix, so we'll start there. My kids used to be great snackers: cheese, fruit, yogurt, smoothies, etc...lately, though I've been so busy and stressed out that these snacks haven't always found their way into our kitchen and instead I simply throw a bar at them from the front seat of my van as we're driving from Art Class to soccer practice. I'm also usually trying to multitask and organize 50 things at one time while at the grocery store, emailing someone on my phone, texting husband and adding/deleting things on my grocery list while trying to wrestle the iPad from my youngest's hands. It's no wonder some of these less than healthy snacks have been landing in my cart. I can't handle an arguement with the kids on top of all of that, so I simply say yes.

For the next little while, until the kids "detxo" a bit, I'll be grocery shopping alone. Let me say that again. I'll be grocery shopping alone. Did you miss the important part? Alone. Aaahhhhh. I will be removing all junk from the house (or at least hiding it so they don't see it). If it's not here, they can't eat it. When they get hungry, they'll eat what's there.

Now, on to the emotional side of this ~ I have passed my food issues on to my child and I feel that pulling him so hard towards the other way and making this a big deal is simply compounding the problem. I'm the mom and I buy the groceries, so this should be a no brainer, right? One problem ~ I have food issues of my own. My child has learned these behaviors by modeling me. I'm working my ass off to address these issues, but fixing myself and fixing him at the same time is exhausting. Especially when he's not old enough to reasonably understand why things need to change.

In a nutshell, the no processed foods challenge is still on ~ it's just going a slower pace than anticipated. Stick around while we eliminate this junk one bit at a time....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My new Go-To breakfast



I have a confession to make. Our mornings are crazy. There, I said it. What? I'm not the only one? Oh thank goodness!! When the school year first started, I had grand plans of waking at 6 am every morning to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee while I perused Facebook (have you liked my page, yet?) and let the dogs out to stretch their legs. At 7 am, I would gently rouse my children and let them slowly wake from their slumber as they watched some quality, educational TV such as The Suite Life, The Wizards of Waverly Place or Hannah Montana. Then, at 8am we would all meet for a home cooked, family breakfast followed by chores, getting dressed & brushing our teeth. At 9 am we would all be sufficiently nourished and ready to start our lessons with smiles on our faces.


That lasted a week. To be honest, I'm surprised it lasted that long. But alas, I still dream of it happening every day. Some day, internets, some day.


In the meantime, on the mornings that don't run so smoothly I've come to count on smoothies to get me through that twitching hour ~ you know, the time between I realize it's 8 am and everyone is still in bed and deciding we really do need to squeeze in a full day of school before art class that starts at 9:30 am.


  • One scoop of Jay Robb Tropical Dreamsicle Protein Powder

  • One cup of milk (whole, raw)

  • Handful of fresh fruit (mango, melon, strawberry, grape & pineapple mix from Costco)

  • ice

  • One raw egg (only pastured, organic for this girl)

And that's it. Give it a whirl and let your tummy smile.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Faux Pho?



How's that for a multi-cultural title? Excuse the poor photo, I'm losing sunlight and I had to push all of our school books out of the way to find a clear spot on the table!


A friend posted a picture on Facebook a while back that inspired this dish. It is soooo gooooodd!! I saw Costco had Soba Noodles the other day and since they don't qualify for our end of the month challenge, I knew I had to make this dish now. Oh my. I don't know how I'm going to survive two weeks without this!


This is what you'll need:


  • Peanut Oil

  • Rotisserie Chicken

  • Julienned Carrots

  • Broccoli, chopped

  • Sesame Oil

  • Mirin

  • Soy Sauce

  • Sambal Oelek

  • Soba Noodles

  • Chicken Broth

  • Cilantro

  • Sriarcha

I swirled some peanut oil in a small sauce pan. I added the chicken let it sizzle just enough to get some nice brown spots on it (remember, the meat was already cooked), then I tossed in a handful of carrots & broccoli and let those sizzle for a few. A dash of sesame oil and few glops of mirin and a spoonful of sambal oelek and I let that all hang out for a few seconds. Then I grabbed a handful of noodles and threw them and let them chill for a bit and start to separate. Then I poured in the broth. Once it all came up to temp I poured into a pretty Pyrex bowl and sprinkled on some chopped up cilantro and squirted some sriarcha over the top. Can I tell you how hard it was to stop and snap a few pictures before diving it?


Next time I will use veggie broth. The chicken broth is just a little too heavy for this dish. I also added a little fish sauce to this and next time I'll leave that out. It doesn't need it. You could totally add mushrooms (I don't care for them), or cabbage (I didn't have any) or bean sprouts (again, not a fan), or anything else you fancy. Just go with it. And dig in.

The Rules



Do you remember that book The Rules? I bought it. I read it. I don't remember any of it, but I'm married now, so maybe it worked? When I typed the title of this post, I just remembered that book. Sorry, back to the task at han ~ hey look! Something Shiny!!


Ahem. Ok, back to the challenge. The rules of the original challenge, while fabulous and no doubt extremely healthy were a little too extreme for my family. At least for our first go 'round. After discussing it with my husband and my oldest son (my youngest doesn't know about it yet, but he'd live off of melon & tomatoes alone if he could, so I'm not too worried about him) we decided on the following rule:


~*~Basically only eat things that my grandmother could have made at home~*~


Ok, so it's not exactly that simple, but it's pretty close. Here's the thing: If I didn't allow any prepared foods into the house two things would happen: My children would stage a coup and I'd be stuck in the kitchen all day. I'm looking for health, not insanity.



  • Dairy: We will continue to consume our raw milk, all other dairy will be organic (when possible) and absolutely rBST/rBGH free. There will be no stabilizers, preservatives or other unknowns in any of it. We typically buy Tillamook Cheese and we'll continue to do so. In my opinion, yogurt is no place for "modified corn starch" (GMO), Gelatin, Artificial Flavors, HFCS or atificial sweeteners, so I'll either be making my own or buying locally made, small batch yogurt for this challenge. I read somewhere that most commercial yogurt is only "cultured" for a just a few hours, but I can't find the article now. To truly get the benefit of probiotics, yogurt needs to be cultured for quite some time. I simply don't trust most commercially made yogurts.


  • Fruits & Veggies: fresh is best, organic frozen is tolerable.


  • Grains: I'll make pretty much all of our bread products (I can't think of any off the top of my head that I won't make).


  • Fats: You will not find any vegetable oils or canola oils in my kitchen. Haven't for years. I use olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, animal fats & I'm learning to use palm oil.


  • Meat: all meat will be organic and pastured/grassfed and free of nitrates, preservatives and other nasty junk


  • Sweeteners: No HFCS, no artificial sweeteners. Maple Syrup, raw honey & organic evaporated cane juice in moderation.


  • Prepared/Packaged Foods: Ok, I know I said there would be zilch ~ but then I started to really think about that and well, at least right now, that's not possible in my house. So here's the standard ~ if the ingredient list is all recognizable and indicates that I could theoretically make the item in my own kitchen, it's a go.


  • Beverages: We'll drink milk, water and a very very small amount of 100% fruit juice.

This challenge isn't going to be about losing weight. I'm going to use sugar, I'm going to use flour (freshly milled), I'm going to cook (for the most part) the way the Amish still do today. This challenge is about breaking the addiction to preservatives & snythetic 'food'. It's about getting back to the basics. I'll deal with weight issues afterwards.....


I'll blog our food, my recipes, our moods, our medications, everything. By the end of the two weeks, you'll know more about my family than you'd ever wish to! My goal is to teach my children about real food and the connection nutrition has to our health. Ok, who's with me?!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Real Foods Challenge



The other day, I stumbled across this blog. This woman and her husband chose to take 100 days and eat nothing but whole, real foods. No processed foods at all. Zip. Zero. Zilch. I love this idea.

~*~

Let me back up a bit. I have a confession to make. My oldest son is a processed food carb addict. I take full responsibility for his food issues and I lose sleep over it nearly every night. I recognize that a lot of his pickiness is a direct result of his personality type, I had a huge part in creating this monster of a nutritional nightmare. It's not lost on me that this child is also the one with chronic asthma and allergies. I do not believe in fighting my child over food, as we are both control freaks and it quickly deteriorates into a battle of the wills, but I also do not want to send him out into the world as an adult with no knowledge of what these foods that he's so helplessly addicted are doing to his body. He's not old enough to understand it on a logical level, so I've been trying to devise a plan to show him in a more tactile manner.

~*~

Enter the real foods challenge. When I read this blog, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Why hadn't I thought of this? It's perfect! My family is going to do a trial run, a mini version if you will, of her 100 Days of Real Foods Challenge.


At this point, I'm not sure I could get my children on board with 100 days and with the holidays coming up and all of the parties and dining out that comes along with it, we will not have enough control over the food in front of us to take this on. We've decided to start with two weeks.


Starting on Oct 18 and ending on Oct 31 my family will eat nothing but whole, real foods. We will not buy or consume processed foods and I will blog the whole thing. Everyday, right here on this blog. Won't you join us?

~*~Stay Tuned for the Official Rules We'll Be Following~*~

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blah...BUT...

I haven't been to work out since I was in PIT, I have been eating like crap ~ anything I can grab to make my stomach stop growling. I feel fat. I feel puffy. BUT ~ our homeschool is coming along nicely. I'm organized. I'm excited and we're going to have a banner year.

Now, if I could just find some time to get back to the gym.....

I know it'll work it's way into my schedule. School officially starts tomorrow, we're going out of town next weekend and then we'll settle into a nice routine and all will be well. I swear. If it doesn't I fear my children will bear the brunt of a very crabby mommy!

That is all.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stressed Out!



We're gearing up to start our new school year next week and I couldn't be more excited! We've made some last minute curriculum changes and I think this year is going to be AWESOME! So why the stress? Well, I was planning out our days of the week and I realized that I have no idea where I'm going to squeeze in my workouts. Seriously. None. Not a clue.


My husband's helpful answer was "don't just say you'll go when you have time, actually schedule gym time like you would an appointment." Got it. I tried. I'm all booked up. Thankyouverymuch.


I know I'll fit them in somewhere, it'll just take a week or two for me to see how our lesson days are going to play out this year. I'm just freaking out!


So glad to have gotten that off my chest! Carry on.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why do we do what we do?



I've mentioned my friend, Karen, in the past several times. Slightly over a year ago, she and her family moved clear across the country and while we've stayed close through phone calls, facebook, and texting it just wasn't the same as the hours we used to spend chatting over our kitchen tables, drinking sweet tea and letting all of our boys run wild through the house. Until last week. My boys and I packed up our suitcases and headed across the United States on a redeye flight (the next time I decide to fly over night with two young children, smack me, OK?).



We showed up in PIT around lunch time on Tuesday and it was as if time had stood still and the entire last year apart hadn't occurred. Our boys were best friends immediately and Karen and I simply chatted away the entire ride back to her house. None of us had slept much on the flight, but that didn't matter, we were back with our friends and that was better than 10 espressos. The excitement was palpable.



Karen is a triathlete and she's also a Zumba and aerobics instructor. She knows that recently I've put nearly all steady state cardio on the back burner and have been focusing on strength training and she had a lot of questions about my workouts. I happily answered all of them, until we were on our way back to the airport on Thursday and she asked for my help in shaping a workout schedule for her ~ she said "I know you strength train and I know it's important and I need to do it, too. But, why?" "Why what?" "What do I get out of it? Will it make me faster in my tri's?, What will it do?" "It will make you stronger" "But why do I need to be stronger?" And then I was stumped. To be fair, I was also exhausted and functioning on about 50% brain power, but I've been thinking of her question ever since. This is what I've come up with:



For all of my adult life (and most of my adolscent one) my entire focus has been on losing weight ~ at any cost. I took diet pills in highschool, I drank diet shakes all through college, I started on caffeine pills during my first desk job and I tried every single fad diet known to man. Guess what ~ I was still fat. Not only was I fat, but I was tired all of the time, I battled depression and my blood pressure was going up.



Now, weightloss is secondary. I want to be healthy. Plain and simple. I've met a lot of skinny people that aren't healthy, but there aren't very many truly healthy people that are over weight. I decided to focus on health. I know the weightloss will come.



Enter strength training. There are so many benefits to resistence training ~ and I'm reading more and more articles about it every day. I can't ignore them. Weight training:


  • Increases your resting metabolism, which means you continue to burn more calories even when your workout is over

  • Takes the strain off of your joints & tendons and puts the pressure back on the muscles, where it belongs.

  • Builds stronger bones and fights against osteoperosis

  • Doesn't require you to spend hours at the gym, or on the pavement, trying to burn just a few more calories.

  • Builds lean body mass while at the same time melts body fat.

  • Has been linked to longer, healthier live spans.

  • And most importantly, weight training is BADASS!!!

One thing that is not on this list is heart health. Yes, one still needs cardio workouts to strengthen the heart. However, I'm becoming less and less of a steady state cardio fan and more and more of a high intesity interval training fan.


A few weeks ago, I came across this article by Rachel Cosgrove, in it she describes how training for an Ironman actually made her lose muscle tone, increased her body fat and basically turned her flabby. (Please click through and read her whole article, it's a fascinating, but quick read and she says it so much more effectively than I could!) She started to research this phenomena and found the following statistics and studies:



Learn to Love Intensity, Not Duration

Let's review some of the research:

• December 2006, Canadian researchers reported that just two weeks of interval training boosted women's ability to burn fat during exercise by 36%.

• In January 2007, a six-month study was published showing that adding aerobic exercise had no additional effect on body composition, over diet alone.

• In June of 2007, a twelve-month study was published which had the subjects doing six hours of aerobic exercise per week, training six days a week, for one year. The average weight loss was only three pounds for that one-year period.

• According to a British study, levels of Human Growth Hormone, which assists in building muscle and burning fat, skyrocketed 530% in subjects after just thirty seconds of sprinting as fast as they could on a stationary bike.

• Australian fitness researchers had eighteen women perform twenty minutes of interval training on a stationary bike — eight-seconds of sprinting followed by twelve seconds of recovery — throughout the workout, three days a week.

The women lost an average of five-and-a-half pounds over fifteen weeks, without dieting. Similar groups performing forty minutes of moderate cycling, three days a week, actually gained a pound of fat over the same period. Two of the heavier women who did intervals dropped eighteen pounds.

• In a side-by-side comparison, researchers at McMaster University in Ontario measured fitness gains in eight interval exercisers — using twenty to thirty minute cycling workouts that included four to six thirty-second sprints — against eight volunteers who pedaled at a lower intensity for 90 to 120 minutes.

After two weeks, the interval group was every bit as fit as those who worked out three to four times as long.


I'm a convert. I enjoy running and I'm not giving it up completely and I still have every intention of completing a triathlon ~ but I'm no longer looking at it as the fountain of fat loss. These activities are for pure enjoyment ~ the fat loss is going to come from the weight room and intense intervals. Period. So, THIS is why I strength train!


Our summer is winding down and while I'll miss the carefree days, spontaneous playdates at the park and the various traveling we've done, I'm looking forward to settling into our routine. We've had a busy, fun filled summer and we've made lots of family memories, but my workouts have taken a huge hit!

This is the first year that I'll be homeschooling both boys full time. While I know the work load will be much bigger, it will ease our schedule quite a bit ~ the boys will be doing the same activities on the same days now, rather than running from A to B and back to A again. Last year just about killed me! HA!

I'll be using the next two weeks to convert our current "arts & crafts" area back into our "homeschool" area (it seems to morph every single year!) and also sketching out a tentative schedule to see where I can fit my workouts in around the boys' activities. I'm not sure why we call ourselves homeschoolers as we're very rarely HOME!

Anyway, if there are still any readers out there, stay tuned ~ I'll be back to blogging more regularly. Thanks for sticking around and I hope your summer was a fun and full as ours (and I hope you had better weather! The NorthWest is the ONLY area that never got struck by a heat wave. BOO!)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We made a little detour for x-rays this morning, but we still managed to make it to the gym. Thankfully there are no broken bones, but he jammed his pinky pretty good. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Workouts



I workout in my bikini all of the time. Don't you? I headed back to the gym today and it felt AHmazing. The last several workouts have been very sporadic and usually pretty rushed. It was nice to go to the gym today and be able to take my time and focus on the exercise I was doing and not worry about having a time limit. I was afraid that my on again/off again schedule this past month would rear it's ugly head today, but I felt so strong and my muscles were ALIVE. I felt awesome. I'm pretty sure come tomorrow morning I'm going to feel pretty DEAD, but I'm going back for more! Today: weights. Tomorrow: Intervals



Today I did:



Squats: 3 sets of 10 reps ~ 32.5 lbs for the first two, 35 for the last set. I'm sssooo close to being able to squat the Olympic bar. I can't WAIT!


Pushups: 3 sets of 10. I hate pushups. With a passion. I have this horrible mental block against them. I do them at about a 30% angle ~ on the weight bench.


Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 10 reps at 90 lbs. My back is going to be CHISLED! Whoot!



Step Ups: 3 sets of 10 (each leg). Well hello glutes, there you are!! I stepped on a 12"(ish) step using just my BW. Using ONLY the leg on the step. Not using my foot on the floor at all. OUCH!


Prone Jack Knife: 3 sets of 12. In case you don't know what those are:



After my workout, I met up with a friend and we walked for half an hour. Tomorrow my plan is to do intervals using Jacob's Ladder. 30 seconds on the ladder as fast as I can and then 2 minutes walking. I plan to do that about six times and then sit and relax on the stationary bike for a bit until I have to get my kids out of their class. Then we're all going swimming! Yay!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rethinking A LOT of goals

Hi guys! I'm sorry for my prolonged absences lately. They weren't intential. It was a mixture of a crazy busy schedule coupled with a whole lot of soul searching about my goals, my plans, my workouts and my nutrition.

As you all know, I've recently taken up weight lifting and I love it. I feel great, I'm getting stronger, I'm losing inches and I'm able to complete a full workout without spending hours at the gym. As you also know, I set some lofty goals at the beginning of the year. Those goals centered around endurance training/races and to be honest, I'm really rethinking those. Obviously, I haven't met, nor am I going to, meet any of the goals I set for races this year. About a month or so ago, I got really really frustrated and down on myself because I realized those goals were out the window. I wasn't sure if I was more upset that I wasn't going to get to do the races I wanted to do, or if I was upset because I'd set goals and hadn't reached them.

After quite a bit of soul searching, and some prodding from my husband, I realized maybe endurace races just aren't my thing? I'm still not sure if that's right or not, but I do know that right now I'm getting more enjoyment out of strength training than I am out of endurance training. There is one thing I do know: If I enjoy an exercise I will do it. If I do not enjoy it I find excuses not to do it.... Hhhmm.....

I started doing a lot of research about strength training vs steady state endurance training for fat loss and I've read a lot of great information (and a TON of conflicting information), I'm still sorting all of that out in my head, but once I do I'll write a more detailed post on my thoughts on this.

I know this blog post is all over the map, and for that I apologize, but this is how my brain has been working lately. My thoughts are all over the map and I've been having a hard time figuring out exactly where I'm going and what goals I'm reaching for. So, I've decided to chuck ALL of my goals. For now, I'm just working out. I'm doing what I enjoy and I'll see where it leads me. So this is what I do:

I lift weights three days a week. Heavy weights ~ none of these pastel colored Barbie weights for this girl. I'm currently up to 80 lbs on my lat pull downs and my seated cable rows. I can't wait to get to 100 lbs!! I'm doing lunges holding a 20 lb medicine ball and I shoulder pressing 20 lb barbells (in each hand). I have to say ~ this makes me smile more than shaving minutes off of my miles ever did!

On the days I'm not lifting weights, I'm doing HIIT cardio ~ High Intensity Interval Training. All out sprint for one minute, slow recovery pace for two minutes. This can be done with any type of exercise and that's why I love it. Run/walk, jump rope, bike, swim, elliptical, etc.... Right now, my favorite is doing the Jacob's ladder (if you watch Biggest Loser, you've seen this!) for one minute (as fast as I can) and then I walk the indoor track for two minutes. The coolest thing about HIIT is that you only have to do about 5-7 repeats and then you're done. You get all of the great calorie burning benefits for hours after your workout without having to spend hours working out.

Again, I realize this post jumped all over the place. I'm still figuring all of this out, I'm always a work in progress and I know I'll find a plan that works for me soon. For now, I'm off to make my menu/grocery list for the week and for the first time in months, I'm actually looking forward to it!
Cheers!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Picture Place Holder










Gah....I can't belive I'm posting these (again!) But alas, I need a host so I can post them on the challenge thread. I'm not dead, just insanely busy. Things should start settling down (do they ever really "settle down"?) starting this week and I'll be back to regularly scheduled blogging AND working out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The trip was great! It didn't end exactly as planned, bit we're home now! Stay tuned for some more regularly scheduled blog posts!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm not dead and I'm actually working out consistently, too! My husband got an unexpected week off of work right before our big camping trip and we've packed it full of activities!! I've been so busy, but once we're back from our trip (Monday) I'll be back to regular blogging! Oh, and I've now got my husband addicted to lifting weights. Whoot!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Workout Updates


I'm back in the weight room and happy as a clam! How happy are clams anyway? Ok my week looked like this:


  • Monday ~ holiday, no workout

  • Tuesday ~ met with a personal trainer who mostly wasted my time...

  • Wednesday ~ Stage One, Workout A NROLFW* + 1 hour of Aqua Zumba

  • Thursday ~ 30 minutes on stationary bike + a few laps around the indoor track

  • Friday ~ Stage One, Workout B NROLFW**

  • Saturday ~ rest day

  • Sunday ~ heading in for Aqua Zumba this afternoon

*Stage One Workout A; 1st workout:



  • Squats: 2 sets x 15 reps with 25 lb dumbell goblet hold

  • Pushups: 2 sets x 10 reps at 45 degree angle on weight bench

  • Cable Rows: 2 sets x 15 reps at 70 lbs

  • Step Ups: 2 sets x 15 reps on each leg on a 6" step, body weight

  • Prone Jack knife on Swiss Ball: 2 sets x 10 reps

**Stage One Workout B; 1st workout:



  • Deadlifts: 2 sets x 15 reps with 50 lb preweighted bar

  • Shoulder Press: 2 sets x 15 reps with 12.5 lbs first set; 15 lbs second set (each arm)

  • Lat Pull Downs: 2 sets x 15 reps with 70 lbs first set; 85 lbs second set

  • Alternating Lunges: 2 sets x 30 reps (15 each leg) with 3 lb hand weights

  • Swiss Ball Crunches: 2 sets x 10 reps holding a 10 lb weight on my chest

So there you have it ~ my workouts for the week.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Before Pics

I cannot believe I'm posting these, but I need them for the challenge over at the fitness boards and I need a place to host them. These sure are eye opening. And all I can say is....at least I'm doing something about it, right? *sigh*













Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Starting Over

When a weightloss blogger suddenly disappears without warning, you can usually bet that she's not out burning calories, melting fat and seeing otherwise great success! As you've probably guessed, I'm no exception to this rule.

I've been overly consumed with the tests and doctor appointments concerning my TBI (more on that later), my dad has had major surgery, there has been a surplus of family drama and for a while, I was just completely and majorly overwhelmed. My workouts were put on the back burner. And like in the past, when my workouts suffer, so do my eating habits. *sigh*

I let my membership at the gym expire and we joined (as a family) the brand spankin' new YMCA in the next town over. It was *exactly* what I needed to find my inspiration! All of those shiny new machines have been calling my name. Indoor track? Yes, please. Lap pool? Why sure! Climbing Wall? Absolutely!!!

I've joined a six month challenge over at the JPFitness Forums (can't link because the site seems to be down right now. ggrrrr....). We post our starting stats, and our "before" pics and on the first of each month we update our info with pics and new stats. I'll be keeping a training log over there, but I'll continue to update here as well. That log will be just to track workouts. My thoughts, musings and everything else will still be posted here.

My plan is to lift weights three times a week and do cardio and/or yoga 2x per week (with some additional light cardio on my lifting days).

The pictures below were taken in June before I started weightlifting, and I'm using those as my before pictures for now. I'll have my husband snap some more this week (if I think about it). And here are my starting stats:


  • Height: 5'5:

  • Weight: 217.8

  • Body Fat %: 50.2

  • Wasit: 43"

  • Hips: 48"

  • Thighs: 23"

  • Biceps: 12"

  • Under Chest: 40.5"

  • Chest: 46.5"

  • Neck: 15"








Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whole Foods

This article explains beautifully why I don't eat foods with artificial sweeteners, artificial fat, artificial anything, for that matter. I have been seeing so much fat free/sugar free pudding, fat free/sugar free yogurt, fat free/sugar free coffee creamer, low fat cookies, low fat/low sugar ice cream, etc, etc, etc....around blogland lately.
I sometimes want to scream and rant to them that while their intentions are good and they think they are being "healthy" they are, in actuality, slowly killing themselves and their metabolism. Our bodies are designed to digest real foods that came from the earth. Not synthetic foods that came from a science lab.

"Why would a fat substitute confuse the body? Food with a sweet or fatty taste usually indicates a large number of calories, and the taste triggers various responses by the body, including salivation, hormonal secretions and metabolic reactions. Fat substitutes can interfere with that relationship when the body expects to receive a large burst of calories but is fooled by a fat substitute."

Is it always easy? No way. There are so many things I'd rather do than spend double the time I used to in a grocery store reading every label of everything that goes into my cart. Are there times when I give in and just say screw it ~ yes, absolutely. In fact, I'm going through one of those times right now and it's why I've been so silent around here lately. With the end of the school year, new routines to try to figure out, all the crap going on with my TBI, and deciding whether or not to jump ship at the gym and give up my membership and join the new YMCA, I don't have any brain power left each day to devote to nutrition and whole foods eating. But that's the catch ~ the longer I go eating like crap, the more it effects my brain power and more fuzzy, yucky & gross I feel.

This article is exactly what I needed to pull myself out of my funk. I hope it helps someone out there in blogland, too.

Full Article here: Fat Substitutes Linked to Weight Gain: Rats On High-Fat Diet Gained More Weight After Eating Low-Calorie Potato Chips Made With Fat Substitutes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving Forward...



Back in February, I posted about an accident I had when I was two years old. My accident resulted in a closed head injury, and if you've read the other post, you know that in 1976 there was little known about head injury so I did not receive any after care and everyone was simply thankful I was alive and functioning.


So much more information has come out about TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injury) and the medical community is really beginning to understand the lasting effects of what was once considered even a mild head injury.


No longer is there the belief that once the initial recovery period is complete that the patient goes about his/her normal daily life and all is peachy. Most symptoms begin to show fairly quickly and follow up appointments are scheduled over the next several years. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and a whole miriad of other therapies are often prescribed to help the patient deal with the effects of their injury.


Because my accident happened at such a young age, and very few notes were even written about it in my medical chart, no one can say for sure if I experienced any personality changes. A lot of the traits I exhibit are text book TBI symptoms, however no doctor or test will be able to point to a symptom of mine and say, with certainty, that it is a result of the TBI. I was simply too young and too much time has passed.


That doesn't mean, though, that I can't benefit from all of the research that has been/is being done. Yesterday I set my alarm for 5:00 am and made my way to the ferry boat to head over to Seattle and the University of Washington Medical Center.


After an hour long meeting with a neuropsychologist and answering 5,429 of his questions adn watching him take 382 pages worth of notes about my life, I met with a psychometrist (a technician) and spent 7 1/2 hours doing neuropsych testing. The WAIS - IV & the MMPI were by far the largest and longest of them all. I did other motor skills testing and grip strength tests and a few other cognitive measuring tests. I got home at 7:30 pm BEAT and went straight to bed.


Next Friday I'll go back and we'll talk about intelligence levels, we'll identify my cognative strengths & weaknesses and then we'll come up with a plan. Again, he won't be able to say "these are a direct result of your injury", but what I am hoping he will be able to say is "a lot of our other patients have symptoms similiar to yours and we've had great success treating them in this manner...."


Let me be clear here ~ I will not go on drugs. Psychopharmecueticals have their place in this world. I do not dispute that. However, they are not for me. I've been on Paxil & Prozac. I've been on Ritalin & a few others that I don't remember the names of and with all of those medications, I've discovered one thing: they don't work for me. I will not go down that road again. My doctor is aware of this and is fully supportive.


I'm looking forward to next week. If for no other reason than seeing my entire brain function all mapped out in pretty little numbers & charts. I'm kinda a dork like that! I'll report back after that appointment as well.


I do not intend for this blog to become a journal of my recovery from TBI ~ I'm considering using my other blog for that ~ however, it is all part of my becoming a more healthy idividual. Afterall, health is not only about the physical, but the spiritual and mental as well. It's all part of my journey.


~~~I will now return to the regularly scheduled blogging about exercise & weightloss~~~



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So, here's a funny story. My husband installed a new app on my phone today called "Guardly" (can't link to it from my phone). You program up to five people as emergency contacts and at the touch of a button it will call, email and text them. The message goes something like this: "Jessica M is experiencing an emergency near xxx location."
The funny part is that it sends a test message to your contacts. I did not know this. My poor mother was just going about her business today when her phone rang (from my number) and she got the above message when she answered. 
She thought my husband's plane went down. She wasn't a happy camper when I called to tell her it was a false alarm!  Whoops!  Sorry Mom!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Haven't stopped moving....or eating....

I seriously cannot remember the last meal that I ate sitting at my own table. Thursday evening my husband had a dinner meeting, so the boys and I fended for ourselves for dinner ~ I made pancakes (I'd promised them). We ate a picnic on the living room floor (not at the table).

Friday morning my husband and I decided we'd had enough of our crappy sectional sofa and decided to get rid of it. We bought it from Costco 5 1/2 years ago and it was truly a big, colassal piece of shit. My husband had emailed Costco about it, just stating that it was horrible and that the repair company never did come out to fix a recall from two years ago, and that we'd never buy furniture from them again. We just wanted to voice our frustration. We got an email back from Costco telling us to return it to the store for a full refund. Um, what? We've had it over 5 years.

We decided to head to our local Costco to talk to the manager there. While my hubby did that, the boys and I ate lunch at the food court. Sure enough, the manager told us to bring it in. No problem. We felt a little guilty about it, but everyone at Costco was so pleasant and didn't even blink about it. We made it perfectly clear that it was not our intention to have used a couch for free for the past five years.

We went home and loaded up the couch into the truck and drove back to Costco. I have to stop here and tell you: I helped load that heavy, awkward peice of crap and my muscles didn't even flinch. That new weight lifting program RAWKS! In the past I would have had to stop every few feet to rearrange my grip, set the couch down, stretch my arms, etc....not Friday. I could have kept going for five more couches. I was so excited. I might have babbled on about it for the rest of the weekend. Maybe.

So, anyway, we off loaded the couch back to Costco and were issued a check for our purchase price + tax. We headed to the bank and deposited the check, looked at one another and said "Now what?" We decided to head to the Lazy Boy store just to see what they had. We'd browsed their store room numerous times and liked a lot of their peices but they were often over priced or out of our price range.

There had been a set there several months ago that I'd fallen in love with, but it was super expensive and there was no way we were going to spend that much on a set while we still have two small boys and two dirty dogs... *sigh*

As luck would have it, Lazy Boy has been hit fairly hard by the economy (who hasn't, right?) and they are currently changing management companies. The new management company wants all of the old inventory cleared out so they can bring all new pieces.

That set I fell in love with? It was still there. It was marked down to stupid cheap and we were able to buy a couch, a chair and a half (???) and an ottoman for $50 less than that check Costco just gave us! Hello?!? Destiny???? So, we went home and measured to make sure it would all fit and then headed to dinner (you know, to spend the rest of that $50) and discuss our options to make sure this set is really what we wanted. Oh, and we had promised the kids ice cream earlier in the day, so we hit DQ on the way home.....

We called and bought the set and scheduled to pick it up the next morning. Saturday was already busy without adding in a new couch ~ so we woke up early and after drinking some coffee and fiddling on the computer I headed to the gym (I'd skipped my Friday workout becasue of the couch situation). I only had a small window of time to get my workout done, I was scheduled to change up a few things in the workout and increase my weights). My head wasn't in it. I kept looking at the clock, I kept thinking about everything that we needed to do that day and I wasn't focused. I quit my workout halfway through and headed home.

My huband left to get the couch and I hopped in the shower and drank a protein shake and ate a banana. When he got home, we unloaded the couch grabbed the kids and some snacks and headed out to country. The farm from which we get our raw milk was having a big celebration that day and we headed out to join the fun and meet the cows! The boys had sandwiches in the truck. I ate an apple and some Cheezits.

After the dairy farm, we headed home and were able to sit quietly for about half an hour and then we were off again! It was Date Night! Several families trade child care each month, where one family keeps all of the kids (11 total) and the other couples get a night out. We dropped the kids off and my husband and I set out to run a few more errands and grab dinner (we really know how to live it up on date night, don't we? HA!) We hit a mongolian bbq for dinner. You know, where you load your plate up with meats and veggies and sauces and they cook it up for you? My tummy was plenty full after my first plate, but I'd somehow messed up my sauce and my food was tasteless. My tummy was satisfied, but my palate wasn't. So I went up for plate number two. I only made a small amount and the sauce was much better. I felt sick as we left....ugh.

I was scheduled for a class here on Sunday, and it's about two hours from our house. I got up bright and early, drank some coffee and ate a banana and a smoothie. I packed my lunch and packed up my gear and headed out to the gun range for eight blissful hours. By the time I was heading home, I was starving and had to stop to get something to eat. Fast food drive thru....

Needless to say, I woke up this morning feeling like a fat, puffy, salt lick. In case you lost count ~ that was Friday: lunch at Costco, dinner at Red Robin & Dairy Queen for dessert. Saturday it was lunch in the truck and dinner at Mongolian BBQ, Sunday it was breakfast on the go, lunch at a gun range & dinner at McD's.

Yea, the weigh in this morning wasn't pretty. More on that later....right now, I'm heading to the gym!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How is it that I can spend two hours at the gym with no problem, but after 10 minutes in the pool I wanted to cry for my Mommy?  25 minutes done. I didn't die. 

Back in the pool today. Pray for me. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

I missed Monday. Long weekends freak me out. It didn't feel like a holiday to us because our schedule is so not normal to begin with. All day yesterday I thought it was Sunday. When I woke up today and realized it was Tuesday I felt like I was robbed of a whole 24 hours. Hmph.

I did manage to remember to go to the gym yesterday, so somewhere in the recesses of my brain I must've known it was Monday. Somewhere. In one of those deep, dark corners.

Anyway, my current weight is 215.4. That's a .8 lb drop from last week. I started my period right after last week's weigh in, so that could have been another reason that it was slightly up (that and the fact that I wasn't counting calories.)

I planned on upping my cardio last week, but it just never happened. Both boys were sick and Boy 1 ended up with a major asthma event and well, you know what happens when life throws curve balls.

I'm back to counting calories and also tracking my protein. I'm still positively in love with this new weight lifting program. I started Week Three yesterday and the results are astounding! Two weeks ago I started out on the cable row machine with 50 lbs. Yesterday I was at 90 lbs. I hope to hit 100 lbs next week. I know I'm losing inches all over and it's killing me to not measure myself. But not until I'm finished with this first stage. If all of workouts happene when scheduled, I should complete my final workout of this stage on June 24. I'll take my measurements on Monday, June 27. I can't wait!

I'm going to be trying some new recipes this week. If all works out, I'll post them here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Bookmarking....














































I need a place to host my pics so I can post them on a web board that I'm on. Please disregard this post.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vices

I talk a lot about eating whole foods. I drink organic, raw milk. I buy only organic apples; I make green smoothies & make most of our bread from scratch with organic ingredients. I've cut out nearly all processed foods from our house and I truly believe that rather than cutting out an entire macronutrient (carbs, fats or proteins) or an entire food group (meat, dairy, wheat, etc...), cutting out processed foods is the best way to find optimal health.

Having said that, I have to admit that there are a few processed foods that I simply can't give up. These are my vices.
Whey protein powder. Since I've started lifting heavy weights, I simply need more protein to recover. Whey has been used and cherished as a wonder food for thousands of years. If I were into making my own cheese, I would have my own whey. But it wouldn't be vanilla flavored. And I don't make cheese. So, powdered whey is where I turn. I did a lot of reading and a lot of research before I took the leap. Jay Robb has been getting his whey from grass fed cows since way before grass fed became the mating call for all primal & paleo devotees. He also uses stevia to sweeten his protein powders instead of sugar or splenda. Major kudos from me on that one. I'm comfortable with Jay Robb's products and I feel good using them and sharing them with my kids.


A friend asked me on facebook the other day if I make my own ice cream. You know, since I'm a "raw milk nazi" (her words). I'd love to make my own ice cream, however at this point in time I do not own an ice cream maker (been asking for one for years, ahem). I haven't found an ice cream that uses cream/milk from grass fed cows, so I go as natural as I can find/afford. I insist on the milk & cream being rBST free & I don't buy ice cream with artifical ingredients or colors. I never buy ice cream that uses HFCS. It's an occasional treat & Haagen Dazs just can't be beat, in my book!





My cereal consumption goes in cycles. I grew up on cereal, but as I became an adult I started having issues with milk & lactose intolerance. When I was pregnant with my second son, I had some pretty serious cravings for Frosted Mini Wheats and I think I probably went through two boxes a week for a few months. After the baby was born, my lactose intolerance came back and I stopped eating it again. After we switched to raw milk, I realized that drinking milk wasn't a problem for me any longer. My son picked out the chocolate frosted mini wheats one week and then decided he didn't like them. We had a whole box in the pantry that no one was going to eat so I decided to give them a try. Oh Holy Baby Jayzus! These things are amazing!!! It's been a few months and I've powered my way through quite a few boxes. They're a nice sweet treat that I can have and not feel to guilty about.


I know, I know. I could make my own red sauce, but I don't have a food mill and this is the only red sauce I've been able to find that my entire family will eat. So, Ragu it is....

Who isn't addicted to these little things? They sound healthy, but in truth they have very little nutritional value. I love to grab a handful of these with a little wedge of cheese. A great snack. Yum!

I'd read about these little gems all over the internet but hadn't ever tried them. Then I went to lunch at a friend's house a while back (Hi Nom!) and she had some and offered them to me. Oh boy. Thankfully, they are rich and I can't eat very many at one sitting. Just a small handful and I'm satisfied. But good gravy, they are good!


I know. I know. Ewwww, gross. It seems you are either Team Mayo or Team Miracle Whip. If you love one, you hate the other. There is no middle ground. I happen to be Team Miracle Whip. I've tried to switch to mayo, but I just can't do it. I don't eat sandwiches much, but I do use this stuff in my deviled eggs & egg salad/tuna salad. Can't help it. I just love it.



Cheezits. I love Cheezits. Pretty much end of story.


So, these are my processed vices. What are yours?

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Dress

I found out a few weeks ago that I get to buy a dress. A fancy one. Oh, and I have to wear it. In public. Oh dear. That means I actually have to fit into it.



As soon as the hubs told me about this event I grabbed the computer (quite possibly out of his hands) and immediately sent off an email to two of my most stylish and girlie girl friends (hi Ann, hi Cricket!). I mean, I love playing Cinderella as much as the next girl, but seriously, I haven't been this dressed up since my sororoity formals in college.

I started stalking store websites and asking my husband "Do you like this one?" "How 'bout this one?" "Oooh, look. This one's pretty, right?" He was over it in about 2.7 minutes. Then I started counting out the weeks. I believe it was about 25 weeks (at the time and I can't remember the date of the event now to recount). I figured I'd have no problem looking hawt by then. I won't be at my goal weight, but I'll be well past the half way point of my weight lifting program and I know I'll have quite defined muscles by then ~ even though it's in October, I'm so baring my shoulders!


So, I've started a collection of dresses here on my computer as my motivation for now. Every time I don't feel like going to the gym, I pull up my file and scroll through them. I barely make it through the whole file before I'm grabbing my water bottle & ipod and heading out the door. Funny how that works, huh?


Oh, and our 10 year anniversary is about 18 months away and we're talking about probably going on a cruise. This dress will also be going with me (assuming it's not too BIG by then!).


Y'all can be sure that when it actually comes time for me to buy the dress, I'll be here begging for your help. I doubt the hubs will go with me on that shopping trip, so I'll have to grab a girl friend to take with me.


You can be sure on that day, I'll take lots of pictures from the dressing room and send them here to you guys. I'll need input all day long. You guys would do that for me, right?



Because you love me. And I need love you. P.S. The black one below is hubs' favorite. Mine? I'm not sure I have a favorite yet. You?



**all photos are from Nordstrom website**