Monday, December 20, 2010

Like being sucked down a black hole...

That is what this month has felt like. I need to say this one more time, then you will just have to know, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I probably love it too much. I want to fill our time with it. I love tradition and non-tradition. I love the new and the old. We eat, we drink, and at our home we are Merry!

BUT I AM BEING SUCKED INTO A BLACK HOLE OF NON-HEALTHY! I swear I can't win, not even for trying. For the last three weeks our evenings have consisted of AT LEAST 6 out of 7 nights having some sort of major event in which our family has to dawn our December best. Our gracious hosts always offer delicious treats, and if they don't, well dinner on the run will have to do.

I fixed dinner at home tonight in the first time longer than I can even remember.

My body is suffering for it. I have actually gained weight the past 3 weeks, ugh! I really do hate the thought of that. I must confess it, or I am going against my weight loss beliefs that you must confess what is really happening, so here it is, oh God, this will hurt...

Since my dad passed away 6 months ago, I have gained 20 pounds. That's a lot. The gain has been slow up until the past two weeks. I usually gain some weight around this time, so I am praying that when I finish falling from the tree (January 1st), that I will only have about 10 pounds to get back off.

I think this is a sad time of year also. It makes me sad that my boys and I have to do this alone. Don't get me wrong, there are TONS of people around us who love and support us, but THESE people deserved to be here, and when my babies stand in front of others to perform a Christmas program, I can't help that think that life isn't fair, and chocolate will make that better.

I miss them a lot, and I take it out on the cookies, popcorn, etc. this time of year. It doesn't help that my dad loved to cook and it was part of the holiday tradition to make tons of stuff and to EAT it all through December. We would generally have no less than 16 types of cookies on the table in December, and when one would run out, he would stock it with something new. He loved to make goodies for us, and I guess a little bit of me feels like if I don't taste that in December some of the memories may slip away.

So, for 10 more days my hips may get wider, but it's not over for me. Although painful parts of my journey are because of them, I do take this journey to change the outcome for my kids, so twenty years from now I can still be toting them around to see Christmas lights, or watching Christmas movies with them. I journey because of all of them, and this black hole will not get me as long as I can see their faces.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's The Most WONERFUL time of the year?!?


I'm not a scrooge AT ALL, at least I don't think so, but this time of year my healthy lifestyle SUCKS! I try hard, but fail often. The goodies, the business, the stress, it all gets to me.

Here's how my month has gone... cookie baking, decorating, gift buying, something every.single.night., Christmas party, wrapping, more shopping, open a new business... what?, the list is absolutely endless. I finish one thing, and three more have added themselves to the end.

I am trying to eat well, but failing miserably. Trying to workout, but I'm exhausted.

Here's the good news... this happened last year. Then New Year's Day came, and I truly had a fresh start. I was sick of eating crap, and had plenty of time to workout again. So I did, and I regained some motivation, and I lost 35 pounds.

So maybe this is the most wonderful time of the year. Maybe it's just the break that my body and mind need to be ready to do this one more time. Does that give me permission to gorge myself on everything? No, but enjoy this time. Enjoy your family. Eat a little, workout a little, and love the moment that you are in. Then, January first, I'll meet you here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dip Away, and Day One Done!

So the first day of the rest of my life is over, and I am working hard to stick to the holiday plan. I have already faltered a bit, but maybe not... see, we made sugar cookies last night to decorate, and like I mentioned, each person only got enough to eat right then. No leftovers. However, part of the plan was to only bake once a week at my house, and then I baked 4 loaves of Christmas Bread, YUM!

Here's where I think I am still OK, I HAVE NOT CUT INTO THE BREAD YET. Therefore, the sin does not count. I have to get rid of some of the bread, but I had enough bananas to make more and more, and I just couldn't waste the opportunity. I did make it as healthy as possible using splenda instead of sugar, and applesauce instead of oil. I can't wait to eat it... do I have to wait until next week, or can I justify it as breakfast???

I had my first morning (extra) workout today. I'm not going to lie. I hit the snooze, hit the snooze again, then reset my alarm to get up at the normal time, aka, no workout. Then, I felt guilty that I wasn't giving the morning workout a shot. Then, I bribed myself with a skinny vanilla latte on the way home if I went (no, it didn't cancel the calories burned), and I really liked my morning workout! I felt accomplished by 6:30 in the morning. I have been more conscious of my eating all day because of it, and I feel good!

I also made a new discovery in the Walmart Salad isle this week. Otria Greek Yogurt Dips by Marzetti . They were located near the refrigerated salad dressing. Here is why I love them:

  • They are delicious. My favorite so far is the Cucumber Dill Feta.
  • They are made with Greek Yogurt. This means more protein, less salt, and less carbs... that is if you are comparing it to regular yogurt. Imagine the benefits of eating Greek Yogurt vs. Hidden Valley Ranch!
  • Way less calories. It is a thick creamy dip that has at least half the calories of dressings and other dips that we put on our veggies.
  • They come in Chipotle Cheese, Cucumber Dill Feta, Garden Herb, Salsa Cilantro, and Spinach Artichoke

So if you haven't tried Greek Yogurt yet, give this a try with some veggies. Dip Away!

There you have it, a little bit of random for your day!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Changing My Ways

So here I sit. Stuck at this weight again. Last year it was 200. This year it's 180. So stinking frustrating. I won't lie. I know why I am stuck here. It has something to do with holiday cookies, and drive thru dinners, and turkey, pear pie, cream cheese corn... you know.

Yet I get frustrated, every year when I get stuck. So I figure I have 2 choices
1. Wallow, and gain weight OR
2. Change my ways!

I am opting for #2 this year.

Here are my weaknesses, and here is the plan for each:

Weakness: I LOVE holiday treats!
Plan: First of all, I must always remember that I have done this without dieting, just by making good choices, so I will not be cutting treats out. However, at our home, we will be limiting our baking to one treat per week through the holidays, and it will only be enough to serve our family one time... for example, only 1 batch of cookies, not 5 dozen. I will also eat only half servings of any desserts that I am offered at parties, and if it's something that I can eat anytime like M&M's or chocolate chip cookies, I will pass it up all together. Hopefully by limiting treats I will drop some pounds (or not gain them anyways!)

Weakness: We are always rushed for dinner.
Plan: I am sure we all get in the habit of eating out from time to time, but our wallets and waistlines suffer greatly for this. So we will only be eating out for lunch Saturday, dinner Saturday (if necessary), and lunch Sunday. We love to eat out, and last week did it EVERY DAY (I am ashamed to admit), so 2 lunches and a dinner is a drastic improvement. Brian and I also always talk about sharing a meal, then never do it, so I will work harder to split meals with him. I am also going to make a menu for the week, so there is a plan in place.

Weakness: During this busy season, I WANT to skip workouts.
Plan: I capitalized WANT in the sentence because it is rare to actually skip them. We are pretty consistent about doing what we need to. This is why I generally maintain my weight instead of gaining. I know I have to work hard to eat like I do sometimes. What I would like to change is adding 3 more workouts per week in. I would like to start going to the Y on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings to offset things a bit. This would be on top of the other workouts we do each week.

There you have it, this is my holiday plan to lose weight. Wouldn't it be fabulous to start 2011 10 lbs lighter instead of heavier! Do you have weaknesses during the holidays, do you have a plan, I would love to hear your thoughts!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Update

So the first two weeks of the Self Discipline Challenge are over at our household, and we are still going strong. Brian's commitment to this challenge has done a world of good for me. He is so good about choosing healthy options and doing the right thing. He makes me really proud.

In fact, he won last week... if you are keeping track, that's one for him and one for me. I just had a rough week last week. I could not seem to let the birthday cake go, and this birthday just didn't end. Four celebrations... dessert, dessert, dessert, and dessert. Oh well, it only comes around once a year, and this was a big one!

So what was the weigh in last week? Brian lost a couple of pounds, and I was up half a pound from the week before (on the ranch that would be a big +1... gasp!!!!) . I FOUGHT TO THE BITTER END. I just wasn't able to put in quite enough work to redeem myself.

Finally, I have some issues I am working through weight loss wise. I feel very secure in saying I don't think I will ever be the girl I used to be, but lately I've been wondering if I'll ever be the girl I want to be? I have some things that I will discuss further this week...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Quickie!

Dirty minds ;)

This post has nothing to do with the bedroom. I just had a couple of quick things to share...

First off, I mentioned turning, ahem, 30 this week, so AGE has been on the brain. I read this article today, and liked it. I don't think it's the end all of workouts, but worth a read. I actually do circuit training 2 times a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and really love it. I also started taking Pilate's this week and I AM IN LOVE! It's very relaxing, but I can tell it will change my body over time. If you haven't tried it, do.

Secondly, I am LOVING this fall breakfast. It tastes like warm apple pie, and if you think this is any comparison to the dried fruit pieces you get in oatmeal, well... you have to try it.

Here's what I use.

1 packet of instant oatmeal. (Something like Maple and Brown Sugar or Plain. I use Quaker Oats Lower Sugar Maple and Brown Sugar.)
However much skim milk you like to make your oatmeal. I like mine really thick, so I only use about 1/4 of a cup. You can always add extra milk at the end if it's too dry.
1 small apple
2 tsp Splenda Brown Sugar

  • Peel your apple, then cut it into chunks. Put your apple in a microwave safe bowl, and cover with a paper towel. Heat for 3 minutes.
  • Mix your instant oatmeal and milk in a separate bowl, and heat in microwave for 2 minutes.
  • When both are finished, combine the apples and oatmeal. Top with splenda and mix it up.

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 255
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 52g
Protein: 6g
Sodium: 296mg

This yummy fall breakfast will keep you peppy and full all morning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Week 2 On The Ranch is Always Rough!

Week 2 sucks. Historically on the Biggest Loser, week 2 contestants lose NO WEIGHT. Some even gain it.

LIVING IT, right here! Last week I lost almost 4 pounds. This week nada. In fact, if the bod doesn't cooperate soon, I'm going to finish with a small gain. Worried, no. Pissed, a little. Surprised, not in the least.

I need to explain... this is how my weekend went:

Was it fabulous? Absolutely. Was there food, cake, and alcohol involved. Sure... there was also lots of dancing to burn some calories!

I don't do it every weekend, and I don't feel the least bit guilty for the celebrating I partook in this year. This was a once in a lifetime celebration (literally).

So if you haven't joined the giveaway, it's not too late. If you didn't gain weight this week, you probably beat me!

** Um, just so you know, I haven't thrown the towel in though. I have 2 major workouts left this week, and I will give it all I have. If I turn the bracelet over to hubby on Friday morning, it's not because I didn't try.**

Friday, November 5, 2010


Yep, you heard it correctly, I am having a little giveaway. More friendly competition if you will.

First off, we finished our first week of the Self Discipline Challenge, and the winner is...


It was a close race. I ended up losing 1.85%, while Brian lost 1.32%. That may seem like a large difference, but in the end, Brian only needed to lose 1 more pound. He was a great sport and I look forward to another week competing with him. That brings me to our giveaway...

Want to win a Self Discipline Bracelet? You can! I have decided to extend our competition to all of our readers this week. Here's how it's going to work:

Competition starts now, and end next Friday, November 12th at 10:00 p.m. Each reader will have the opportunity to compete against Brian and I to be the biggest loser. Sometime during the day next Friday, you must come back to this post and tell me what percentage of weight loss you had this week. The reader with the highest percentage for the week will win a bracelet.

Here's your advantage... If you post on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog that you are competing in this (and give a link back to this page), I will give you a .20% advantage for each one up to .60%! Just post a comment in the comments section letting me know where you left links.

How to figure your weight loss percentage: Weigh in now, no clothing. Then, next Friday morning (Nov 12) weigh in as early as possible, no food, no clothes. Take today's weigh minus next weeks weight. Divide that total over your first weight, then multiply it by 100.

Example: Start weight 200, Nov 12 weight 197
200-197=3 3/200= .015 .015x100= 1.5%

Let me know what percentage you TRULY lost was. I will add your advantages on myself. The person with the most weight lost for the week, plus advantages will win the bracelet!


Disclaimer: Please choose to lose your weight in a safe and sound manner. I take no liability for any injuries or illness during this challenge. If you do not need to lose weight, don't. You have already been given a better gift. All members who chose to participate will be trusted in their weight loss claims. I will not ask you to prove in any way how much weight you lost, be fair, be honest.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Losers Had No Control

** Biggest Loser talk if you don't want any spoilers..."

Biggest Loser quote of the week, "We had no control over our food choices."

Welcome to the real world! This week the Biggest Loser cast was taken off campus and dropped at Ft Pendleton for some marine boot camp. Workouts were tough, but the true test came when the cast had to learn to eat. I mean really eat. We all have to eat, but as I see it, there are 3 types of eating (this is totally made up by me, so don't google it later for more info...)

1. Comfort eating: Comfort eating is done in my home. I can take time to look at packaging, know my choices, weigh my foods, get on the Internet for more information, etc. When I comfort eat, it can take time. I take time not only to prepare my food, but I also work to prepare my mind. I work to teach myself about eating in the real world in the comfort of my home. I learn to look at my food. What does 3 oz of chicken look like for those times when I don't have a scale. How many calories does a serving of mashed potatoes have so I can figure it out when I'm out of the house. Take time to comfort eat. Enjoy the meal, and educate yourself.

2. Discretion Eating: The second type of eating is discretion eating. This eating is done usually at a restaurant. You are still in full control of this situation. The best way to head into discretion eating is with a plan. If at all possible, it is best to know where you will be eating, and pick some choices before you go. If you are one who tends to waiver towards a more unhealthy choice once the menu is presented, I recommend writing what you are going to eat on the palm of your hand. No one has to see it but you, but it is a reminder of your resolve to eat healthy. In this type of eating, you must exhibit some control. You must first make the best choice, and in some situations, you may have to even portion control your options since most restaurants make their dishes several servings.

3. Superior Eating: The last type of eating situation that I, and many of us are OFTEN put in is superior eating. That is, you must choose the most superior of the foods that are presented to you and make the most of them. This often happens at cafeterias, buffets, parties, etc. This is the time when all of your preparation of learning calorie counts and portion sizes come into play. When presented at a holiday dinner party with a cheese tray, a veggie tray, and cookies, what do you choose... I'm not trying to insult any one's intelligence here. I think the superior choice is quite clear, but it's not always that way. That is why you must be educated and confident before you go out and superior eat.

I logged on to a random campus website and here was there breakfast menu (a situation that the biggest losers were shown being put in):
eggs, bacon (2 pieces), hash browns, pancake, biscuit, sausage, muffin, burrito, cold cereal, hot cereal, orange juice, apple juice, coffee

Healthy, not necessarily, but not unbearable. The problem with most of us (me included) is not in the lack of healthy choices, it's in the lack of will power to resist the unhealthy (but often tastier choices), and the lack of knowledge to do better.

Eggs are a safe bet usually. One egg comes in at 70 calories, and is packed with protein. Eat an egg, with 2 slices of bacon on a biscuit, and you have a 340 calorie breakfast sandwich... better than that if you can get egg whites or turkey bacon.

The point is look at each food individually. Which foods are superior to the others? Which foods are just processed junk? When the contestants on BL were talking about eating french toast sticks, you just have to wonder what part of that food did they expected to meet their needs for weight loss and vigorous exercise?

So when they say they had no control, it really was not over their food, but over their choices. They had control over whether or not to put the food on their plate, or to put the food in their mouth. Some of them obviously took a week off from clean eating. They gained weight for it. Shocked? No. Concerned? Yes. I think it shows a major flaw in their weight loss journey, and it shows that some are not ready to be put into the "real world" where choices are put before them each day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Please Don't Diet.

I can't beg you enough not to diet. It won't work, it will eat you up, and spit you out.

I hate the word "diet". Whenever someone hears it they think: restriction, weight loss, "don't touch that"! And whenever you see someone on a diet (or if you are the someone on the diet) eat something that is "restricted", then suddenly they have no self control, they are a dieting failure. The failure eats to comfort, fail again, eat again, fail again... you get it.

I know that seems kind of rambley (pretty sure that's not a word), but I wish people would stop believing that a diet is the only way to lose weight. IT IS NOT! I know that I have gone over some of this before, but again:

To lose 1 lb OF FAT, you must burn 3500 calories more than you eat, 2 lbs, 7000 calories. That means AT MOST, you should only be burning 1000 calories per day more than you eat, AND you have to work to lose the fat and not the muscle.

Here's the important reason not to diet (other than burnout, failure, and restriction)... diets often cause you to lose weight FAST. Fast is not good. Your body can only keep up with a 1% per week FAT loss, so any weight you lose above that is muscle loss. Fat cells don't go away, but muscle will, so if you lose too much weight, you lose muscle, and when the weight comes back, the fat cells refill...

Now you have less muscle and more fat. Get it, dieting can actually make you fatter!

For example, if I were to go on a crash DIET this week, and lost 10 pounds by starving, and working my butt off, based upon my current weight of 181, I would have lost 8.2 pounds more than my body can reasonably keep up with, and most of that extra weight loss will be lean tissue and muscle. Since the weight won't stay off, it won't, go ahead, try it if you don't believe me, when I gain that 10 pounds back, I will actually be gaining more fat than I had in the first place because I lost all of that muscle.

Here are the key points:
1. Know your weight. Know that each weeks you should only lose 1% of that (in fat loss) to be truly healthy. Today I weigh 181 pounds. I should lose no more than 1.8 pounds to ensure good weight loss.

2. This can be done by creating a deficit. Losing weight is like balancing a budget. If I eat 1800 calories per day (which I do), I have to burn 2800 calories per day to lose 2 lbs per week. That's all. Yep, that simple.

3. Realize that some weight loss is water weight, and the only way to truly know if you are losing fat or muscle is by using body composition testing (those machines that check your BMI). You will see some dips in the scale, and there may be weeks when you lose over 2 lbs. Especially when getting started, your body will get rid of some water weight.

4. Make small changes. Eat a LITTLE less, find lower calorie alternatives, stand up more, go on walks that make you slightly uncomfortable (instead of leisurely), drink water, don't drink your calories, eat small snacks to stave off hunger. Cutting some calories here and there, and adding a little more movement to your life can create that 1000 calorie deficit you are needing quite easily without having to eat like a rabbit or workout like an athlete.

5. Most of all, don't deprive yourself. The only way you can make this change permanent is to know that you can live this way forever.

In an instant gratification society, I know that we all want to look perfect now, or as fast as possible, but what is wrong with losing it slowly? If you lost 2 pounds per week for 52 weeks, that is 104 pounds lost in a year. Not bad. Transformation, I think so. Permanent? More likely.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Self Discipline Challenge

I have had such a blah summer and fall weight loss wise. I have done a great job learning how to maintain my weight, but as for losing the last 30 I have to lose, I suck! I just can't seem to get into it. I've tried this and this. I've done this and accomplished this, but through it all, the 30 pounds are sticking around.

Then on Friday I ordered this:

I didn't think much of the bracelet at the time. I thought seeing the words may occasionally remind me to try harder, do better, etc., but I had no solid plans for it. Then, Friday evening Brian and I had a date night, and I had an "aha moment"! I can't really remember what caused the moment, but by the end of our discussion, we had formed the Self Discipline Challenge.

Here's how it works:

It is just the two of us competing against each other, a little friendly competition. For the next 13 weeks (because first we chose 12, then realized it would work better with an odd number of weeks), Brian and I are going head to head to lose weight. Each Friday morning we will weigh in. The person who loses the highest percentage of weight for the week will get the bracelet. The person who wins the bracelet the most over the 13 weeks gets $200, gas money, and the weekend away! LOVE IT!

I am so pumped for this. Brian and I are both pretty competitive people, and if you tell me I can't do something, it is only fuel to prove you wrong, so this challenge is just what I need. And I realized today that I am thrilled that he is back in the game with me! Brian works out, and eats well, but he's not out to lose much weight. I thought back today to the weeks when we first started at the Y, and we would get on the scales for each other to see the progress. I am so glad he will step on that white box with me again. I have to be honest that I would love to win a weekend off, but this final push of weight loss would mean so much more to me. So good luck honey, now I'm going to kick your ass!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oh I Hate You!

So I have become a very mindful eater I believe. That's not to say I always make the best choice, but when I am not making it, I know that also. I spend about an hour each day thinking about my plan for the day, logging it, and executing the plan (aka- making the food). All in all, that's not bad. I mean most of us probably spend near that doing mindless eating, so why not make educated choices, right?

Here is my constant failure... salt. I HATE salt. Actually, I love the taste of salt, as most of us do. Salt could probably make crap taste good. Well, actually that's what fast food is I guess. (Don't get me wrong, not a fast food hater. Just a salt hater today!), I digress. Salt is bad for your heart. Salt sensitive people are more prone to have high blood pressure. It causes you to gain water weight. In general, I can't find a lot of positive reasons to have much sodium at all other than to balance your bodily fluid levels.

Back to salt hate... So like I said I spend some time each day logging the foods I eat into this website. It is an AMAZING and FREE website, and if you truly want to be in control of your health, try it. Even if you are not overweight, it will teach you something. Here's my lesson:

After all of my foods are logged for the day, there is a little analysis button that you can click on. It gives you a total of all of your intakes for the day. It also gives you a recommended range to be within. I can be sure I am staying in an appropriate range for fat, carbs, protein, potassium, calcium, etc. If I get a GREEN box, I did good. A RED box, well, you get it. So most days I end up with a combo, but I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS get a red box for sodium intake.

Calorie count is recommending that I intake no more than 2400mg of sodium per day. I can't do it. I can't say I sit there and add up items before I eat them to keep my sodium count down, but I am eating REALLY HEALTHY foods, and I can't win.

It seems like in each meal there is a sodium bomb that I eat... canadian bacon, 60 calorie sodium bomb, cottage cheese, 90 calorie sodium bomb, going to have a healthy Subway Sodium Sandwich bomb? See what I mean? I eat a lot of foods that "grandma would eat" and I shop on the outside of the supermarket, but I am so frustrated. I wish I could make everything from scratch to control it, but I don't have the time to slow cook my oatmeal, or prepare homemade spaghetti sauce. I know I eat things off the "list" of bad sodium foods.

Do any of you struggle with sodium intake?
How do you lower your sodium levels?
What do you think an appropriate amount of sodium is?

I would really love some advice here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Breakfast Bagel

I have a new morning LOVE! This breakfast bagel makes me so happy, I will forever eat it instead of going through a drive through for something like it, and I can probably make it as fast as any restaurant can. I don't usually do step by step directions, but I wanted you to see how I cook the eggs for this. It is fast, and works well.

What you will need:
1 Thomas Whole Wheat Bagel Thin
1 Slice of Sargento Reduced Sodium Colby Jack Cheese
Spray Butter
1/2 cup egg beaters
3 thin slices of Canadian Bacon

I put 1/2 cup egg beaters into a baking ramekin that has some Pam spray in it, then I microwave them for 2 minutes. THIS IS IMPORTANT: Egg Beaters blow up like a balloon in the microwave- they look CraZY!, so at 2 minutes, open the microwave, and let them deflate. Push them back into the ramekin while they are lowering, and then microwave about 1 minute longer. Again, you will have to deflate, and push them back in.

While the eggs are cooking, I put some spray butter on a Bagel Thin, and grill it in a pan. In the same pan I brown the slices of Canadian Bacon. While the Bagel is warm, I put my slice of cheese on the bagel, layer on the bacon and egg...

Enjoy! It is soooo good, you really must try it once.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 300
Fat: 8.5g
Carbs: 27g
Protein: 31g

Monday, October 18, 2010

100 Calorie Snacks

You know we all have moments when we are hungry, and it's not meal time. This is an ok feeling, and in the "dieting" world really very good for you. You see, it's often encouraged that you eat 3 small meals, and 2-3 small snacks each day. This keeps your metabolism high.

I prefer to have 500 or so calorie meals which leaves me room for a snack each day. I generally need this snack in the afternoon. Often, we don't eat dinner until 7:00 (after our workout), which leaves a 6 hour gap between meals... too long! This is when I am constantly left wondering... what can I have that won't blow my calories out of the roof, won't leave me hungry in 10 minutes, and will satisfy me.

Here are some options.
**Disclaimer: not all snacks will be 100 calories even, but the first number in the calorie count will be no larger than 100 : ) **

* A Light Yogurt, 100 calories. Yoplait offers TONS of flavors. If you can spare a few more calories, sprinkle on some granola for crunch.

* Fruit dipped in a Jello Pudding Snack, 60 calories, plus the value of the fruit. I love dipping either a banana (90 calories) or strawberries (50 calories) in the chocolate flavored pudding, yum!

* A thin bagel with 1 serving of low fat cream cheese, 180 calories.

* A bag of mini popcorn, 165 calories. I am sure you can do this for less calories, but I must confess that I cannot give up the "butter" flavor. I don't walk on water!

* Sugar free jello, 10 calories. Eat the whole 6 pack!

* A Kashi fruit and grain bar, 120 calories. If you have not tried one of these, they are WONDERFUL! I have had the chocolate raspberry, and the pumpkin one. It's like eating a candy bar, or pumpkin pie with true health benefits.

* A small salad. As long as you stick with 1 serving of a low fat dressing, and don't put anything other than veggies in your salad... (i.e., skip the croutons and cheese), you should come in well under 200 calories

* A cheese stick, 80 calories.

* A slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 150 calories. Have you had warm peanut butter, oh my! Be sure to measure your peanut butter, it's a calorie bomb, and smearing it on will rack the points up quickly.

* This apple snack, 89 calories. Apples pack great fiber, so they will keep you full.

* Litehouse Ranch dip, 60 calories, plus as many raw veggies as you can eat.

* 1/2 cup 2% Lowfat Cottage Cheese, 90 calories. You can put this with tomatoes, sunflower seeds, pineapple, whatever. Be creative.

* 3 or 4 slices of deli meat (ham, turkey, roast beef) on whole wheat bread, with fat free mayo, 170 calories.

* 2 tbsp red pepper hummus with 1 oz pretzels, 150 calories.

* 1 oz black bean chips with 1/4 cup salsa, 170 calories.

I think this goes to show that most anything can be a snack if you keep your portions right. Always measure your foods, and stick to it. This is not a meal, just something to tide you over for a couple of hours. Snack time is a great time to sneak in extra fruits and veggies for the day, and I really can't think of one that would be out of the calorie range.

Be sure that when you have a snack that you are packing either fiber, protein, or both into the snack, as these are the items that will keep you full. Also, drink a glass of water with your snack. Often dehydration and hunger are confused, so cover your bases and stay hydrated.

I would love to hear if you have a great snack to share!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Going The Distance

So this weekend was the start of something great. I finished my first half marathon on Sunday, 10-10-10, and I couldn't be happier! I wanted to share some of the details of the events.

Saturday, Brian and I had a great day together. I wasn't feeling great, so a good friend offered to watch the kiddos so we would have one less thing to do that day. We ran to the Fitness Expo to pick up my registration packet, then headed out for lunch.

That afternoon Brian let me take a nap, then we got ready for the fun to begin. We had lots of friends and family over Saturday evening to celebrate with a carb up dinner. We fixed 2 kinds of pasta, sauces, meatballs, grilled chicken, bread sticks, and salad to munch on.

While dinner was finishing up, the party drove the race route to see where Sara and I would be running the next morning. When we arrived at the Hyatt, the race tents and markers were already set up, so we took advantage of a photo op. I love what this picture said...

That really was my goal of this half marathon. I wanted to run the entire race without stopping to walk, but mostly I wanted to finish!
After dinner, everyone made posters to hold up so they would be easier to spot in the crowds.
Rest is not something I got much of Saturday night. I hope that is eventually something I can overcome, but after a lights out of 12:30, and kiddos waking me up 4 different times, I finally rolled out of bed at 5:15, and my little sis picked me up for Race Day Breakfast!
We opened our neighborhood Starbucks, and powered up.

It really was fun to just sit there and chat before the race. We went early so there would be plenty of time to relax. I hope this is a new race day tradition... (and yes, this is as good as it gets at 5:30 a.m.)

I got back home around 6:15, and took a hot shower and got ready to run. My smiley boys are always ready to go, no matter how early.

**Photo disclaimer: My tattoo on my face says 13.1- not 3.1, and no, I am not wearing lipstick, the chapstick I put on just made it look that way!

I LOVE THIS PHOTO! It is so blurry, but we were SOOO wired that morning. Erin had already had 3 cups of coffee, and I was just high on adrenaline! The boys weren't so amused.

The race took off at 8:00. This is such a beautiful picture of our city and racers.

The race took us from the downtown streets to the College Hill neighborhood. Erin had been following me in her car, but this was my first chance to see my other friends and family.

I took a quick moment and kissed each of the boys before running on. It was well worth the time wasted. Brian was there each time I ran by to offer me whatever I needed. I love those 3 more than anything in the world.

Here were a few of my favorite fans! They are always there to cheer me on. I am so lucky.

The miles were going by quickly, and I felt really good. I struggled a little with the brick roads, but nothing I couldn't get past. They felt like I was running in grass, or sand. It was just hard to get good footing. I was relieved to hit the pavement again at mile 6.5, and head back downtown.

This sign says it all...

The trip took us back down Douglas. My family actually drove by me on the opposite side of the road honking a screaming. That was a pick me up. I was also passed around mile 8 by the full marathon leader. So stinkin' fast!

After a quick trip back down Douglas, we had some twists and turns to run.

At mile 10 I hit my first major hiccup. I was having BAD cramping in both of my calves. I had charlie horses in both legs, and could no longer fully straighten them. Brian took this pic of me before he realized how much pain I was in.

When I made it to him, I was hollering for water, but no one had any. Brian ran next to me for a block or so giving me encouraging words. Spectators were hollering that there was a water station around the corner. I took advantage, and downed a cup of Gatorade and a cup of water.

The cramping subsided, and I pressed on. If ever there had been a moment to stop, it was now, but I was not giving up on my plans of RUNNING THE ENTIRE RACE.

I hit another wall around mile 12. I was just exhausted. I felt like I was running backwards, and the race would never end. People around me were stopping to walk. I decided that no matter what, I was going to press on. It felt really good to pass people, one at a time, I just kept going...

To the finish. At the very end, (like literally within 500 feet of the finish line) I was struck with the leg cramps again. Worse this time. I could see the finish line. At this point I was not able to put full pressure on my right leg for fear of severely injuring it while it was cramped up, so with a grimace on my face, and a limp in my stride I ran to the finish. I did it!

I was so relieved. The goal was met, and my race was run. The clock says 2:38:12, but my official time was 2:36:12 based upon the time chip in my bib. I was thrilled with that.

Here's a pic of Sara and I at the end!

And quite possibly my favorite moment of all... These are the friends and family that were there at the end to cheer me. Do you see the smile on my face. I will do it again.

This is a map of the race route, and I have added my times and a couple of notes about the race. Sorry it did not come out more clear.

All in all this was a great experience. I had such an amazing time with loved ones, and look forward to doing it again.

Finish time: 2:36:12
Pace 11:55

Favorite memory: I think what will stand out the most is just finishing this one. I will also remember the Armour family being EVERYWHERE. They were always just a couple of minutes ahead of me, and ready to cheer me on! I was so thankful for that.

Worst memory: I hope to never suffer leg cramps like that again.

What I will do the same: I will always go back to First Gear for running shoes. Running without foot pain is worth every dime.

What I will do different: I was actually scared of over hydrating myself (and needing to pee during the race), but next time I think I will forgo that possibility, and drink, drink, drink.

What made me laugh: The W-O clan driving down Douglas with their van doors open screaming at me.

What made me cry: I cried on the way downtown when I saw police cars starting to block the roads for the racers. At that moment it felt real.
Turkey Trot, here I come.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Sweet!

So my family surprised me this week to tell me how proud they are of what I have done. I needed to brag on them for a second, and share my new goodies...

Monday night Brian, Cole, Carter, Erin, Chris, Felix, and Kaiser gave me this:
I have been drooling over the new nano for weeks. Come to find out, the colored ones won't be in stores for a couple more weeks, so they had to order this one, and pay express shipping. I love what the inscribed on it. I don't have to wear a band to hold it on, and it holds twice as much music as my old one. Sweet!

Then, this morning, JR Koontz showed up on my doorstep with these: (yes, 2 arrangements!) Flowers do make you feel loved. Two bouquets, well, I don't deserve them.

I know my family loves me, and stands behind me in all I do. This was just a bonus from a really thoughtful bunch.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm Glad You're Back!

I am so glad that one of my f.a.v.o.r.i.♥ Biggest Loser.t.e shows is back for a 10th season!!!!! I know it's been on for a couple of weeks now, but I just haven't had time to post about it.

This shows hits close to home obviously. Each season, there is a female on the show that weighs almost exactly what I did when I started this. It is such a constant reminder and eye opener for me as to why I did this. The young contestant that lost his 51 year old mother to obesity complications, the SAHM who has 5 kids and can't find time for herself... me.

I very literally have Bob and Jillian's chomping and yelling in my head sometimes at the gym. Sometimes it is the things they have said to other contestants that motivate me to move ahead. They may be hard asses, but what they make those contestants and others like me realize is that our bodies are usually stronger than our minds allow them to be. Exercise hurts. It probably always will. Maybe not always so bad, but if it were comfortable to exercise, we'd all be a size 2, right?

Each season the contestants come on the show and commit to change, and many of them do. Each season, I renew my commitment to the change I have made.

My only desire for the Biggest Loser would be for them to offer more education to the public. I mean they constantly talk about "what (they) learned on the ranch"... is it a secret? Why not tell everyone some of the things that are being learned on the ranch...

What does an average day of workouts look like?
How many calories should people consume?
Are there good resources out there?
What is the best piece of equipment to own?
Healthy recipes?

I don't mean to gripe, and I know that with some appropriate research, all of the questions can be answered on our own, but come on, we're talking about millions of viewers who are open books, ready to be written in, and the best you can come up with is a smoothie commercial, really?

All in all, I love BL. The contestants, the trainers, the change that is made, and I am GLAD it is back, and am looking forward to another big season. Do you watch BL? Do you have a favorite yet? Weigh in (no pun intended!)!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It Has Been a Journey

A runner. Not someone I define myself as. "It's not my thing." I often hear, oh how those words ring through my ears, and I think... "do I look like a runner, does it look like my thing?"

But here I am only 4 days out from the Prairie Fire Wichita Half Marathon, and I am excited. Slowly, I am making myself a runner. While on my 11 mile run Sunday night, I had time to ponder my running journey a bit, and I wanted to document some things that I remember... milestones if you will.

First I thought back to the start of running. It happened late on a Wednesday evening at the Y. I got on the treadmill only with intentions of walking, but I had read about Couch to 5K, and decided I would give it a small chance. I mean, there were only about 5 people left in the building, so falling off the treadmill would lead to minimal embarrassment. The process was to run 30 seconds, then walk a couple of minutes to recover. I nearly died. It was awful. 30 seconds NEVER lasted so long, but my personal trainer came over to tell me that she noticed that I had started running. I decided to keep trying.

Fast forward a few weeks...

I continued to putter through 30 seconds, a minute, a lap, a mile, until I started to feel confident about the fact that I could at least put one foot in front of the other without humiliating myself. Then one day out of pure frustration, I did this (it's the 3rd part of the post).

That lead to races. Some failures while others lead to pure joy.

And now the biggest hill of them all.

I have trained hard for this. Putting in sweat and tears (no blood to date, although I almost bit it hard in the dark the other night. There would have been blood.), and lots of miles.

I am so appreciative of those who have supported this goal. Brian and the boys have always allowed me to take the time I need to accomplish my goals. I come home from long runs to bathed babies and a clean house. I pray that everyone could have such a supportive partner.

My sister has literally driven next to me at top speeds of 6 mph to make sure cars see me. She turns up the radio loud, and carries on one-sided conversations to help me blur out the pain, and finish.

My brother-in-law, Chris, picks up late in the evening, in the COLD, to run my last 2 miles with me because it's dark, I'm tired, and it's not safe to go it alone.

The W-O's will watch my kiddos for hours so that I can get my run in for the day. I am so blessed to have so many loving friends and family in my life, who care about this with me.

On Sunday, I will set out. I have done what I can. I have run 131 miles training for this. I have bought new shoes and socks to prevent foot injuries (I still have 10 toenails... It's a miracle!) I have added hours worth of new music to my IPOD, and it's time... to set one foot in front of the next, to the finish of this journey, and to press on to the next.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sneaky Reasons You are Binge Eating...

I've wanted to share this with you for some time now, but it seems to just keep getting put to the wayside.

A couple of weeks ago I read this article in the September issue of Shape magazine. I thought it was very interesting. I will sum it up first, then some thoughts...

Here are the 3 reasons you MAY be binge eating:
1. You wait too long to eat. Basically by letting your body get over-hungry, you end up putting ANYTHING in your mouth instead of taking the time to find something healthy.

Their strategy to avoid this: Make time for breakfast every morning, and commit to something every 2-3 hours after that. Mix good carbs with slow digesting protein to prevent highs and lows.

My response: I think breakfast is ABSOLUTELY the most important meal you can eat. Coming from a former non-breakfast-eater, I have come leaps and bounds. The one catch to breakfast is that you have to get it right, it was my downfall for so long, and the reason I discontinued use until my lifestyle change. You see, toast and OJ, cereal and milk, doughnuts and coffee, etc will leave you hungry and cranky within minutes, and you'll be reaching for anything. Be sure to add protein to your breakfast... turkey links, cheese, milk, peanut butter. The carbs will raise your sugar, while the proteins will keep you full.

2. You're too strict with your diet. Having foods that are completely off limits make you feel deprived.

Their strategy: Build splurges into your diet.

My response: I totally agree that built in splurges are a must, but why call it a splurge, once again it sounds so minimal. I mean if I'm going to splurge on something, I won't do it often, right? Instead, eat what you want. Within reason. The trick to getting this really right is portion control. For example, I shouldn't have to splurge to have a cookie, or to eat a slice of pizza with my family. Instead I should check serving sizes, don't eat more than that (eat less if you can!), build it into my day, and enjoy. I also recommend purchasing or making portion controlled packages. 100 calorie packs, mini candy bars, small bags of chips, find your weakness, and help control it.

3. You expect perfection. Beating yourself up over every misstep cause you to feel discouraged and depressed leaving you wanting more food.

Their strategy: Put things into perspective. Bites of this or handfuls of that won't totally derail success, but you have to see if there is a pattern to fix it.

My response: This seems to be my binge eating weakness. I daily beat myself up over the small things that I put in my mouth that were unnecessary. At bedtime I will think, "Well, this would have been a perfect day (eating wise) if only I hadn't ..." I am constantly reevaluating, and trying to discover my reasons for putting these needless calories in my mouth. My latest strategy is drinking a glass of water while I'm feeding the kiddos lunch. I am so hungry while I am feeding them that I just want to eat their food, but I am working to recognize that.

What do you think? Do you fall into any of these categories? Advice?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Baja Salad

Recently I have become addicted to Wendy's Baja Salad. So much so that I probably eat it twice or more a week. At some point in time, I decided I should save myself some money, and make it at home. So I purchased the items I needed, and Voila!

Now, I have 2 tricks for you when eating salads that you love.
1. If you are eating out, ask for an extra packet or side of the dressing that you love. DON'T PUT IT ON YOUR SALAD! Instead, take the extra packet with you, and next time you want that taste on your salad you will have a spare packet in your fridge.
2. Stock up on little things that make a salad special... guacamole, pecan pieces, tortilla strips, croutons, special dressings that you love. When it comes time to reach for something high cal, or some roughage, it's more likely you'll eat that roughage with something special on top. It's nice to just have some things to take the flavor up a notch.

So here's today's salad:
150 grams romaine lettuce, 37 calories
3 campari tomatoes, 40 calories
2 tbsp Wholly Guacamole, 60 calories
14 grams mild cheddar cheese, 55 calories
7 grams Fresh Gourmet Tortilla Strips, 35 calories
1 packet Wendy's Creamy Red Jalapeno dressing, 100 calories
1 small Wendy's Chili, 220 calories

Calories: 547- The salad direct from Wendy's is 740 calories, so by making it at home I saved nearly 200 calories... that's a small candy bar! I tried to research and see what the calorie differences were, and all I could see was that my tortilla strips were half the calories, I am also guessing that maybe I either had a lower cal guacamole, or less of it.
Fat: 27 grams- the dressing has A LOT of fat in it. I may delete this item in the future. Also, you have to remember avocado has fat, but it is a GOOD fat, so it's forgiven.
Carbs: 47 grams
Protein: 28 grams- The chili in this salad will keep you full for hours. Promise.

All in all, the salad received an A rating from Calorie Count, so I am happy to eat it.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Only 16 days until the half marathon. I am preparing (mostly mentally) for a 10 mile run this weekend. Last night I got on the treadmill and ran through the entire episode of Grey's Anatomy, now that's multitasking.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Strawberry Chicken Salad

I created a new favorite today that I needed to share with you. This salad was restaurant quality, and it did not cost me $10.00. Woo Hoo!

Here's what it is:
3 oz Rotisserie chicken (I bought one precooked from Dillon's, and I've been picking it apart for lunch this week. TAKE OFF THE SKIN TO SAVE CALORIES.) 106 calories
175 grams of Romaine Blend Lettuce, 31 calories
50 grams of Strawberries (4 medium), 16 calories
10 grams of Shredded Parmesan Cheese, 40 calories
7 grams of Fresh Gourmet Pecan Pieces (found those on the salad aisle), 45 calories
2 tbsp Brianna's Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing (this is hard to find, I usually get it at Walmart, and is higher in calories than I usually use, but WELL WORTH IT!) 120 calories

So the totals for this salad:
Calories: 358
Carbs: 29 g
Protein: 29 g
Fat: 15 g

It was really very good, and good for you. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What to wear?

For weeks now I've been contemplating what I was going to wear to run the Half Marathon. I can't help it. It's the little bit of DIVA left in me that all of the testosterone running through the home hasn't sucked out yet...

I didn't want just any shirt. I wanted a shirt that would speak my mind. Tell people why I was going to run 13.1 miles. I needed a shirt that didn't look like everyone else's (standard marathon tee)...

So I made one. Here it is. If the design is approved by the company, I will have this in my hands by Tuesday, and will sport it at the Half on October 10th... I like it. It's me (it should be, I designed it). What do you think?

(In case you can't read it, it says: " Every day... just do it, for my boys, because I can, because I have to, to live longer, to be happier, I will finish this journey, One step at a time, Every single day.")

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Zumba in Review!

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on getting myself motivated. I had a little chocolate today, and put things into perspective. I really have come a long way... it's OK to not always strive for perfection. That has always been an issue for me. If it's not perfect, then I failed. Not true. AnYWayS...

Last night I decided to try Zumba for the first time. There has been a ton of hype around the start of this class, and I heard that last week over 70 people tried it for the first time at the East YMCA. I had NO IDEA what Zumba was. I was just going in with an open mind.

So what is Zumba?

My best descriptor of the class would be it's Dirty Dancing (you know Baby practicing with herself in the mirror?), Salsa dancing, and Line Dancing, with this Sweatin' to the Oldies undertone. I mean you essentially dance with yourself in a mirror to get your sweat on.

The class I took was 45 minutes, and I will admit, I had some fun. Awkward, but fun. I don't think that it helped that I scored a spot on the front row off to the side where all of the people working on stationary machines could STARE at me : )

The instructor was full of life. She had facial expressions, and zest, and energy to teach the class... almost too much, but I will forgive her for that. The other thing I found interesting about the class was that she never actually spoke to teach the class. She would clap her hands, teach a move, and then we were to imitate. When she wanted us to change, she would clap her hands again.

There were some Latin songs, a country song, one song had a tribal drum sound to it. Uplifting.

All in all, it was a good time. I left happier than when I got there. It's a mid-level workout. You definitely sweat, but I wouldn't call it high impact. I would guess I burned around 300 calories in my 45 minutes there, but that is only an estimate since I did not have my heart rate monitor on me. It left me enough energy at the end of class to run 3 miles, and I felt good.

So what's the verdict? I will try it again. I'm sure it becomes more comfortable with time, and I left with my spirits lifted. You should give it a try also. Here is a link to the YMCA, where you can check out the fall schedule to find a Zumba class that might work for you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Blahs...

So I seem to be suffering a case of the blahs. I don't want to downplay true depression, but I don't think that's it. I'm happy. Really. I just seem to keep trying, sabotaging myself, getting down on myself, determining I will try again, REPEAT. I'm working out, but not loving anything. Eating good, but not great for the most part, then eating something that blows all the hard work for the day.

I need something... a chart, a motivator, a prize, I don't know. I'm less than 30 pounds from my goal, and I WON'T QUIT NOW. There have been so many times in this journey that I have thought, " That's it, it's over, I'll be fat forever." I kind of feel that way now, but I know it's not true. What to do????

What's keeping me going for today:
1. The 1/2 marathon is only 26 days away, and out of the 6 girls who started training for it, I am one of two left!
2. I lost 1 pound yesterday.
3. The quote from my friend Sherri: "Don't let who you've been stop you from becoming who you want to be."... I think that should be my mantra for awhile.

Let me know if you have suggestions for getting over the blahs...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thanks Girls!

I wanted to thank Sherry and Heather for their breakfast ideas. Sherry left this recipe that I thought was worth leaving the comments section and making it's own page:

(It also left me with another question... has anyone had the Great Harvest Bread Company's Power Bars, and if so, do you have a recipe that is close to it? I LOVE eating them, but I believe that they are in the uppers of 750 calories a piece... sorry to put that in your head! I would really love to develop a power bar that is great for you and lower cal.)

BTW, exciting news! I have my hands on a baker... not literally : P Him and I are going to work together to develop some new low cal cupcakes and desserts! So excited : ) Who doesn't love dessert they don't have to feel guilty about.

OK, enough rambling... here's that great recipe:

On the Go Oatmeal Bars

2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 Tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups of milk (any kind of milk will work- rice, almond, cow, soy)
3 Tbsp agave (can substitute for Honey)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 large egg
1 Tsp vanilla
3/4 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, blueberries, or cherries)
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts, sunflower seeds, and/or pepitas)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place first 5 ingredients in a bowl, and stir to combine.
3. Mix milk, applesauce, egg, agave, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Stir to combine, and then add in the dried fruit and nuts.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased 7x11 baking dish.
6. Bake for 30 minutes until thickened and golden.
7. Cool, cut into squares, and serve.

* Allow to cool, cut into squares, and place in a ziploc bag. Freeze up to 4 months. When ready, allow to defrost in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

* Refrigerating the bars will make them last up to 5 days.

Thanks again Sherry and Heather for your input... I would love to hear more breakfast ideas!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let's Talk Breakfast

So we all know that breakfast is KEY to losing weight. (Not the only key, but a key :) However, a lot of us are short on time, money, and did I say time? in the mornings, so let's talk this through.

What should breakfast consist of?

I believe that all meals should be balanced. Consisting of some carbs, some proteins, and some fat. 25% fat, 25% protein, 50% carbs

Here are some breakfast ideas:

Egg beaters with cheese, whole wheat toast, and a turkey sausage
Egg beaters with Canadian bacon, and a slice of banana bread
Oatmeal with fresh fruit mixed in a turkey sausage
A fruit and yogurt parfait with whole wheat toast

That being said, my problem arises. Not that I need a TON of different things to eat, but I am feeling kind of low on ideas right now. I really don't L.O.V.E. cereal or "bars", so I need some good ideas that will get my groups in for around 300-400 calories... HELP!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's All Coming Together

So I have to face the reality that what happened to me, and our family this summer was hard and traumatic. Sometimes taking the time to realize that makes a lot of difference. I decided that I needed to offer myself a little grace. Stop being so hard on me.

Last weeks running went great. I had a 1 mile run, a 3 mile run, and a 6 mile run. Each one went well, no body snags (summer bugs are a different story...)

Monday night I had no desire to workout. I put in a half-hearted 30 minutes only to go home and go to bed.

Tuesday should have been better right? Wrong. I convinced Brian that instead of a workout, I needed ice cream, and bed early. Who would have ever guessed that was EXACTLY what I needed. We kicked off our running shoes, slipped on flip flops, and headed out for ice cream. Everyone enjoyed their creamy creations, then we headed home for bed... at 7:15. I was in bed by 7:45, and slept the night through to 7:30 the next morning... WHAT?!?!? I have not had 12 hours of sleep in years.

So yesterday I woke up a new person. With a new outlook. I can eat healthy. It does taste good. I can workout. My muscles do remember. This WILL come together in time. If I don't beat myself into the ground doing it.

Last night I took off to the Y. I needed to run 4 miles to stay on my training schedule. I took off, and felt great. I ended up running 7 miles which is my personal longest run so far. I was tired in the end, but felt such a great sense of accomplishment because of it.

So if I could teach you something about weight loss or healthy living from this post:
Give your body rest also. Work hard to get workouts in daily, but the best athletes listen to their bodies, and know when to say when.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It Sucks to See It...

It really sucks to see your calorie count on paper (or the computer screen). It really makes me more aware of what it going into my mouth counts for something.

For example, this morning I took Carter to the mall to play with some friends. He really wanted a treat, so we got popcorn, not your ordinary popcorn, CARAMEL CORN to be specific, but I only ate a little. Truly, I came home and actually took the time to measure out what I had eaten from what was left to see how many calories I consumed. It was only about 1 inch out of the smallest popcorn box they sell. 45 grams to be exact. 195 calories! What? Kidding, right? Nope. 1/7th of my daily calories were consumed in 15 bites of popcorn.

On another note, I am still training hard for the 1/2 coming up, and it's kind of funny to hear people's reactions.

On Saturday morning I had to help a friend paint, and she lives 2.99 miles away, and I needed to run 3 miles for the day. I called to tell her that I was going to run over there, and I would be there in about 30 minutes. When I arrived, she didn't realize I literally meant RUN over there. She and I just laughed.

Last night I did a 6 mile run, and on my way home stopped at my sister's house. My seven year old nephew came to me and said... " I don't understand why you bought that nice new car when you just run everywhere instead."

Ah, it makes me smile : )

Friday, August 27, 2010


So I have to be honest. If I am going to write this, and make my life believable AT ALL, I am going to have to moan, bitch, and whine sometimes.

I am so frustrated with my eating right now. It seems to be the one thing that I cannot get back on track with.

I get 2 really good meals in each day, and then at some point, stress overwhelms me, and I blow it by eating. It has been so long since I let stress and the refrigerator go hand in hand. Ugh. I am doing my workouts again, so thankfully I am not paying for the calories on my waist, except I can't seem to lose any because I can't get out of the rut.

I let myself have the summer off of my rigorous eating schedule. Trying to count calories while at the hospital was terrible. Then we started eating out a ton because we were SO busy working on the estate, but I just can't seem to turn it around. I am craving CRAP again, and usually giving in to the cravings... grrr.

So here are my eating goals for this week:
1. I will only eat dinner out on Friday and Saturday night.
2. I will not go out to lunch at all this week.
3. I will log every meal on Calorie Count for 7 days.

There, nothing too fancy. Just laying it out there. I will let you know how it goes. Does this happen to you? Do you have any suggestions for getting yourself motivated again? I would love to hear any advice you would like to offer...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mind Over Matter

It did it! My body remembered that it IS capable of running long distances!

I went to the Y last night. Honestly, I was exhausted from the day. I even told Brian, "My body is going to have to pull this out of nowhere." I just felt like I had nothing in me... except the twinge of excitement to try and pull off my measly little 3 mile run that was scheduled for the day.

I took off on the track. 33 laps... I didn't get any foot cramps. I reminded myself to take off slow. The music was good, and then I got into the run. Lap 33 complete! Why not try for another mile? Lap 44 complete. Another? Lap 55 complete! I finished 5 miles which was what I needed to do to be caught up with my training plan. I WAS ON A HIGH!

At times like that I have to remember that your body can only be as strong as your mind wants it to be. Running will always hurt somewhere. A muscle twinge, a cramp. Shortness of breath. Heat. Whatever you want CAN stop you if you let it... or you can press on and amaze yourself. It feels really good to amaze yourself. Try it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The New Adventure

So, I decided that this fall I needed something to really challenge me. My spirits were a little low, I was exhausted after a long, hard, summer, and my weight is up a few pounds... not much, just need to get everything back in check.

Time to refer to my bucket list. So, on October 10th, I will be doing this...

I am so excited, and so scared at the same time. I knew this would push me to get in my workouts, and to eat better for the sake of my body.

This brings me to the next part. I plan to update you weekly on how my training is going. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Starting with today.

Week 1: For most people this would be week 4 in their training, but since I was struggling with pneumonia, I lost out on a couple of weeks. Therefore, I have had to play "catch up". I jumped in last Tuesday night with new shoes on my feet. I set out to run 3 miles... holy crap those shoes KILLED my feet. I was getting cramps right in the middle of my foot. Made it through 1.5 miles, and decided to call it a night. Spent another 40 minutes on the elliptical.

Thursday night I did Turbokick followed by 45 minutes on the treadmill. Mostly walking.

Saturday I decided I would take out on a 3 mile run outdoors. I like running better outdoors. My mind can wander instead of counting laps or watching the time tick on the treadmill. I felt better, except the foot cramps again. Then, the humidity. Long story short, I gutted out about 2 miles of running. The heat did me in, even that early. I ate really well Saturday, and tried to focus for the next day.

Sunday, I got up at 7:00. Trying to beat the humidity, I took off on a 5 mile run, and put in about 4 miles before I was done. (I finished the 5th mile walking.)

Monday night, I went with the Do More Team to do a 4-mile power walk. This was a no frills workout. We did about 20 sets of intervals during the walk, including squats, lunges, butt kicks, high knees, etc. Believe it or not, I had a lot of fun!

So there you have it, week one of training. I really need to get my eating in check, so I started logging foods again today. I want to be down about 20 pounds by the run, so I have a lot of work to do.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Operation Re-motivation

So after a grueling summer capped of by a bout of pneumonia that kept me out of the gym for 3 weeks, I was feeling a little blah. I knew that I needed to get back to the gym, and sometimes nothing motivates you more than a new toy right...

Sunday I decided I was going to instate operation re-motivation- with some retail therapy to boot.

I found some new shirts: (I got different colors, but can't find pics of them)

And some new shoes. I really needed new shoes for 2 reasons. First of all, anyone working out regularly should replace their shoes every 3-6 months to prevent injury. This is just good practice. The second and more important reason that I needed new shoes was because I have started really enjoying running. However, each time a run for some length of time, I end up bruising my toenails, and losing them. This seasons toenail loss count:3! That's 3 too many if you ask me. So, I decided to bite the bullet and really look into this running shoe thing no matter what it cost me. I headed downtown to First Gear (they have no website, otherwise I would link it), and had a professional fit my foot... turns out I am an overpronator with no arch who needs a size 12 running shoe. Why not sell me a Uhaul box, I am most shoes in that size will be unsightly anyways, right? I don't think what I walked away with was too shabby!

And, as for price, I could afford both of these shoes for the price that I paid for the last pair of running shoes I bought. They were so friendly at First Gear. I even TRIED to sell myself a more expensive pair, and they firmly believed that I did not need to spend the extra money. That is a business that has my business from here on out. They were no more pricey than any of the huge retail stores, plus someone took the time to put the right shoe on my foot, not just sell me some shoes.

So there you have it. Operation Re-motivation has taken effect. I am back in business with some great adventures on the horizon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When the Going Gets Tough...

The beat down work to survive!

I have to admit that I had to raise the white flag this summer. I quickly realized that raising 2 babies, taking care of my parent's estate, painting 6 rooms, fixing broken air-conditioners, hot water heaters, clogged drains, planning an estate sale, and the list goes on... while keeping up with such a strict diet/workout regimen should only be left to superheros, and cRaZy women... (I almost qualify as the second)!

So, I decided that this summer was going to have to be about survival. I knew that my parent's estate had to be mostly settled before I started back to my day-job of caring for toddlers (LOTS OF THEM!), so I assessed the situation, and decided that a summer maintenance plan would have to go in affect.

I wish I could say I had some brilliant ratio of exercise to eating that I used to make my maintenance plan work, but I didn't. Sooooo.... here's what I did.... it's VERY unscientific, but goes back to why I weigh daily.

1. I decided what my summer weight was going to be. For me I decided I could live with 175. This is my old high school weight, so I shouldn't be that disappointed with it, and it only leaves me with 30 pounds to loose this fall.
2. I got on the scale each morning like always. If it was over 175 AT ALL, I would watch my diet closer and exercise more that day. Otherwise, I did not count calories. At all. I ate with my family, and ENJOYED it all.

I can't say I got a workout in everyday. I also learned to think outside the box on what constitutes a workout. For example, cutting and hauling limbs caused me to lose 3 pounds. So did painting rooms... probably not a full blown cardio workout, but sometimes we just have to survive.

So, it was not a stellar summer, but I made it through, still at my goal weight. Now I have BIG plans for the fall! More to come...

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm Back!

So it's been a long, grueling summer for our family. Most of you know the details, but for those of you who don't, I will share some...

My last post was written immediately following the River Run that I did on May 9th. If I had only known how much my life was about to CHANGE, but hindsight is always 20/20. Anyways, after my first 10K that morning, I called my dad. The person I always called when I needed to share anything. Since my mom passed away 6 years ago, I shared my joys and my trials... all of them... with him.

That morning he sounded like he had laryngitis. His throat was froggy. I asked him if he was OK, and he said he felt better than he sounded. I brushed it off, and went on with my day. Sunday was a busy day, and we did not talk. I called him Monday night after a big storm, and he still sounded bad. He said he had slept through the storm. I started to worry, but still only sounding froggy, I thought he had caught a bug.

Tuesday, May 11th, my dad's boss called me to tell me he had sent my dad home from work ill, and that I should go and check on him. I truly believe in God and his planning. Normally, I would have 6 daycare kiddos to worry about, but at the exact moment that dad's boss called, my aunt walked through the door. I immediately jumped in the car, and rushed to find my dad. When I arrived at his house, he looked as if he had had a stroke. He speech was slurred, and he was very lethargic. I immediately rushed him to the ER...

By the end of the day, dad was doing much better. They pumped him with saline fluids, and had started him on IV antibiotics to treat him for the "septic shock" he was diagnosed with. If only.

Wednesday morning, dad's "septic shock" was gone leaving the doctor's suspicious of something else. Dad's health is no longer improving. I call my little sister Erin (who was stationed with her family in Okinawa, Japan. She and her family jump on a 24 hour flight home.

Thursday morning, dad is diagnosed with cancer. The doctors still don't know the origin, type, or stage that it is in.... or at least they don't want to let on to every ones worst fears. Dad is taken in for more testing. His health is decreasing, and well, let's just say I really didn't need much more information.

Friday, our worst fears are true. Dad is in stage 4 of an untreatable cancer. They will never know the origin of it because it was all over his body. Dad is barely coherent anymore. The doctors are asking us to move him to end of life care, while I get to break the news to my sister fresh off her flight...

Monday morning we moved dad to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice where he lived 12 more days. Erin and I hardly left his side (only to eat and shower) we spent the nights with him, and did everything we could to keep him pain free, and to let him know how loved he was by all of us. We went through the toughest days that anyone could imagine.

So this is just one of a few posts to explain my summer.

This is in loving memory of a dad who showed up with chicken and noodles on sick days, the Christmas gift you always wished for, but knew was out of your reach. He brought bags full of Popsicles for grand babies (I mean MORE than anyone could eat), and his arms were always long enough to reach around you and hold you when you needed it. His hands could warm your ice cold fingers on a cold day, and his smile could melt your heart. Seventeen days will never be long enough to say goodbye, thankfully we will see him again.