Monthly Archives: August 2012

View from the Middle of the Week

The days have been flying by it seems – so much to do at work, trying to keep up with email, projects – events. It feels like a whirlwind sometimes. My 11am appointment canceled, so I thought I’d take a quick moment to post here. I know I’ve become slack on posting regularly – but once the hectic schedule starts feeling normal again, I’ll find time. Just a little adjustment period!

They always have a mind of their own.

So I’m happy to report that I went for my walk on Monday as scheduled – even got the hubby to go with me despite him not feeling very well. I felt a little guilty because we just went and didn’t take the dogs – but sometimes they make going for a walk so very complicated and it becomes this huge production of barking, jumping, clawing and tripping over leases. Sometimes I just want to go for my walk. I know that probably sounds selfish – but if walking is going to be my “work out” a few times a week, then I have to have the perspective of – “Would I bring Yoshi & Peach to turbokick with me?” Nope. Okay, I’m feeling better already.

Yesterday, I taught TurobKick – and my leg actually felt better this time around! I broke it down into sections and did some individual exercises outside of the cardio – so doing some shoulder work, standing abs, squat series. I think that helped me not burn out my leg in the first 30 minutes. I’ll take it!

Today I brought my work out clothes and I’ve decided I have a date with The Ellen Degeneres Show on the treadmill at 5pm. Okay it will be more like 5:15 because I have to walk to the gym and change, etc. But I feel like I don’t really watch any “real tv” anymore since we cut our cable, so it’s a bit of a treat to watch the talk show and I find the commercials aren’t annoying because I haven’t seen them a million times already. Funny how that works. I am growing tired of seeing the same political ads and food ads on my Hulu account though. Apparently my dog Peach has started to enjoy TV. It all started with the Pedigree commercials that run on Hulu about “being a dog family.” For some reason, anytime this commercial comes on, she rouses herself from slumber to sit up and watch the TV. So now we’ve taken to telling her her favorite commercial is on and we get a kick out of watching her watch the screen with what LOOKS like rapt attention. I guess we’ll never know. 🙂 But since I’m tired of the actual commercials – watching her is more fun anyway.

I’m hoping the weather will hold out for me to ride with the road bike crew on Saturday morning, and the hubby and I are contemplating a hike on Sunday. He has Monday off for Labor Day – my place of employment takes the holiday literally (meaning I have to labor on Labor Day). But apparently my husband plans on being super productive with his day off so that we can enjoy a hike or something non-chore related on Sunday. So sweet, right? I’ll never complain about not having to do chores. I remember in college I would literally climb into bed with all my text books and note books and binders still on the bed. I just didn’t want to clean it up. I didn’t want to make my bed, or put away my clothes. It was pretty terrible. I’m a slightly less messy version of my college self now (almost a decade later) – but I owe that to the “Fear of things being eaten by dogs” motto I’ve adopted over the last 3 years.  Sometimes I seriously wish I had a magic wand to just clean things up. Mop the floors, vacuum the rugs, sweep the floors. Scrub the toilet. Ugh. I hate chores!

Lastly, it’s my other niece’s birthday this weekend, and she is having her party at the gymnastic place. I’m sort of hoping I can jump into the foam pit or try my hand at the bars and balance beams. I never did gymnastics as a child (I was way too chubby), and even though I’m still kinda chubby, I like to think I’m now “athletic” instead. Plus, I have perfected my cartwheel in my adult years somehow (thank you Capoeria training – check out the cool video if you’ve never heard of it  before!) and I’m pretty sure someone will be impressed if I get a little floor time. Seriously though, I was so not anywhere NEAR these guys in the video – but some of the people I practiced with were amazing and I did some pretty cool stuff while training.

Alright, hope everyone is having a good week so far! 2 more Days of Work – we got this!

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New Week to Reconnect to Goals

In an effort to break through some barriers, I’m giving up the drinks for awhile. I’ve talked about how they have gotten in my way in the past – one glass of wine turns into 3, and then all of a sudden I lose all self control and I’m eating pepperoni pizza dipped in ranch dressing. It’s a slippery slope – and I feel like if I can make it through without bread, pasta, rice and cookies – then I can probably dredge up the will power to cut out alcohol for awhile. That makes me sound like a big lush – which I’m not. But in my group of friends, that’s what tends to bring us together – grabbing a drink, Meeting for drinks. Let’s have a party and eat and drink and be merry!

It’s fun. But being stuck at the same weight (which is LOWER than i’ve been in awhile – not complaining about that) – but not being able to break through is frustrating. I’ve also slacked off on my exercising. The last few weeks have been stressful and I’ve found myself feeling exhausted after work instead of ready to tackle a work out. So I guess the next few months will be reconnecting to my goals in a sense. Trying to breakthrough this plateau despite a lot of stress at work on the horizon.

I do find that one good thing about not drinking at get-togethers is that I don’t wake up feeling like crap, and I actually go to sleep a lot earlier on the weekends for the most part. I’m not going to complain about that, either. Especially when I’ve been feeling so tired!

I”m looking forward to starting this next week with energy on my goals. Reminding myself of how far I’ve come and how many healthy decisions I’ve made for myself over the past year – and I’m not going to throw that all down the drain just because life gets complicated. I’m starting easy – planning to keep up my workout class (obviously), but want to try and walk/interval speeds 4 days a week for about 30-45 minutes. And of course, keep working on my pulls ups, push ups, squats and planks 2x a week. Keep laying off the sugar and unhealthy carbs – focus on eating my protein, healthy fats and lots of veggies. No empty calories – water, water, water, and okay, one coffee per day. A girl has to draw the line somewhere!

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The “because I haven’t posted in awhile” random update

Okay, so it’s been a few minutes days since my last post – my apologies. Life has been a little overwhelming over the last few weeks. As in, I’m a professional slacker by nature and all of a sudden everything I had put off doing all summer was due! On the other hand, it’s amazing how much I can accomplish in so little time. A little proud of that fact, not going to lie.

So today is first day of classes, and tomorrow is the big event/party I am in charge of for our office and I’m praying every since hour that it doesn’t rain since it’s an outdoor event. A tiny bit stressed about it since we’ve had SO MUCH RAIN that I’m seriously pouring water out of our deck plants every other day. How can we have so much rain here when the Midwest is in a seriously scary drought? Life just isn’t fair.

Chillin on the fire truck!

Our neighborhood had our first block party this weekend and it was a major success! Some of my neighbors were on the committee who planned it and we were all a bit nervous that it would be the usual crew who showed up and that would make for the most expensive hang out ever. But luckily, LOTS of people came out and we had a chance to meet other folks who live in the ‘hood and we realized that there are like 600000000 children in our neighborhood. Note to self: more kid’s activities for next year, right? We had a DJ and the fire truck even came out and the kids (and I) loved it (<— obviously).

But it was a long, hot day – and I’ll admit that I cheated a bit and had a cupcake and pizza. No worries – I learned my lesson because it made me super sick. As much as fresh pizza is yummy going down, it’s just not worth how it makes me feel later on. This week – I’m back to my Primal eating ways and it’s definitely not so bad.

On this week’s menu:

Hot Italian Sausage Meatballs with a squash/onion medley
Shrimp Fra Diavolo – sans pasta of course.
A fresh grilled chicken salad with tons of veggies!
Pulled pork with okra (no bun)

So really, I can’t complain as the food we’ve been eating has been super yummy. It’s weird not counting calories – if I’m feeling like I need more control, checking in on my carb intake has been a better option for me. But the longer we do this, the more natural it seems. That feels like progress.

I’ve really been digging on full fat plain Greek yogurt with a splash of local honey to sweeten it. It’s so rich and creamy, you don’t need much of it to get your fix. It’s a great way to sneak in some extra protein, healthy fats and at least the sugar is coming from a natural place.

Some of my biggest struggles are getting used to regular sugar in my coffee vs. something like Splenda or Equal. I realize now just how EXTRA sweet those artificial sweeteners are and how my taste buds have  been robbed of their natural senses over the year. I long for the day that a tsp of regular sugar is enough for me. In the same vein of thought – I DO recognize how sweet some foods are now. Like when I cheated on Saturday and had a cupcake – I literally felt like sugar was coursing through my veins. While it was tasty, I didn’t love that  feeling.

This is basically what I go through every time I try a pull up.

Last week, I pulled/strained something in my left leg during my TurboKick class. 😦 I’ve been stretching, trying to walk it out and avoid high impact sorts of stuff, but man – it still hurts. Not like just walking from my building to another building, but on my longer walks it starts hurting about 5 minutes in. *sigh* Tonight is my first TurboKick class of our new semester, so I really wanted to be high energy and amazing – so I’m hoping my leg holds out for ONCE a week high impact exercises. I’m considering bartering with the exercise gods because I don’t want any newcomers to think my class is lame! My goal is to walk 45 minutes 5 days a week, do turbo 1-2 times per week (my class and I’m hoping to be able to go to my friends’ class as well because it’s nice to go to Turbo and not teach it sometimes!), and of course, I’m still doing my LHT (lift heavy things) work out 2x a week. But that really takes about 20 minutes of my day – so it’s not terrible.

What IS terrible is my attempt at doing a pull up. I even bought some big resistance bands to help me out and I’m still unable to even do 1 assisted pull ups with the band. Why are they so hard!!! I guess I just have to keep trying and maybe one day (like after I die and go to Heaven and all things are possible) I’ll be able to do one. Insert my annoyed face…HERE!

Okay – this is such a random and rambling post today – which is basically how I’m feeling lately, so maybe it’s not so terrible. I promise to be better with my updates soon and have some HELPFUL content rather than just updating you on my rather boring life!

 

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Thankful Thursdays: First Days…

Things are starting to become “abuzz” on campus – some students have already started to move in, but tomorrow will be the “big day” – all our new freshman will be coming to campus and getting moved in, meeting their roommates, orientation leaders – and of course, me! 🙂 Okay, well only a select few will meet me this weekend as I do teach a freshman 101 type of course. Our first class meets on Saturday (school on SATURDAY!!??). Want to feel old? These incoming freshman were born in (ready?) 1994. I’ll let that sink in for a second. And that’s not just a random call out for Forrest Gump – that movie actually came out in 1994 to put things in perspective. (You’re Welcome)

 

Phew, back to the post now.

I remember my college move in day and that whole weekend vividly. I went to a college 8 hours away from my home town. I grew up in a small town, went to college in a big city. I knew no one, but I don’t remember being scared. I remember pure excitement! I met new friends immediately, and it was a whirlwind of adventures that first semester in college. I don’t really remember any of the homework assignments, or readings – what sticks with me the most are the friends I made, the decisions I was faced with that first semester of being on my own, and how much fun college was compared to high school.

I had a chance to reconnect with some old friends from my college last weekend. Unfortunately, the circumstances weren’t great – we had come back together to provide support for a college friend who lost his sister suddenly in a car accident. But, it was good to tell stories about the stupid adventures we all got into, the movies was watched on repeat, and we laughed and I thought that was better than crying for a little bit. It reminded me of just how much the people I met in college meant to me, and still do. How that experience connected us with invisible threads we often forget about until we’re together again.

College was this magical experience for me. The people I met, the lessons I learned (inside and outside the classroom) shaped who I am in my adult life. I often think because of my college experience – it made me want to continue to be in that environment as part of my career. Here I am, almost a decade later, still sitting on a university campus – nervous energy bubbling up about the adventures of yet another school year. Wondering what amazing things I’ll learn this year, what new students may darken my doorstep and if maybe I’ll have the chance to help them grow and develop the same way the faculty/staff at my college helped me grow into the woman I am today.

I have a role where I get to meet new people every single day, and they are often searching for something. Someone to help them figure out a game plan, find an internship, to share excitement about a job offer.  I’ve also had the chance to connect with students on a deeper level and that has lead to a whole host of other types of conversations about life, relationships, healthy behaviors, and so much more. I often get bogged down by the paperwork and process part of my job, and I forget what a wonderful opportunity I have everyday to make a difference in someone’s life. Sure, I’m not SAVING lives by any means – but it’s so awesome to be in a role where the people I work with are in this magical stage of their lives where big decisions are being made. When they are learning how to be independent, gaining confidence, learning to tread water gracefully instead of just splashing around.

My hope is that every now and then, I can make an impact – even if it’s a tiny one. We all have the chance to open our hearts to helping others – and while I’m not a huge “volunteer-er” I have a big heart for helping my students and people around me so they can be happier with the choices they make as it relates to their work, their careers, etc. It’s a big responsibility, but I know I owe it to them, because someone took the time to mentor me, to be-friend me, to challenge me, to train me, to knock me off my soapbox when I needed it – and mostly, just to believe in me.

Today’s post isn’t about motivating you to lose weight, work out more, eat differently or anything like that. It’s about taking pride in who you are, how far you’ve come, and giving back when you have the chance. No kind thought or words are ever too small to make a difference!

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Primal Meatloaf (with Brie &amp; Mushrooms!)

Not sure that everyone follows my food blog where I posted this recipe, so wanted to share it here as well! Enjoy!

I mentioned I was going to try out this recipe a few days ago and had several people ask for the recipe or to share how it went. We made it over the weekend and I ate it yesterday for lunch, so I feel more confident in sharing the recipe and results now!

 

I can’t take credit for the idea – I found the recipe at PaleoPot and you can see the original post here. As usual, we made a few changes so I’ll include the original recipe and our changes in Green so you can take it or leave it, or invent your own variation!

What you need:

  • 1.5 pounds of 90/10 grass fed ground beef. Leaner cuts work better as the extra fat simply runs off in cooking anyways. (We used a mixture of beef and pork for ours)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 cups of…

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Celebrating the BIG WIN

Last time, I talked about the little things along the way and how we shouldn’t overlook how important they are to us on our journey to being healthier. Today’s weigh in felt like a BIG WIN for me, and so I wanted to also properly celebrate that because all those little decisions I’ve been making this week paid off.

What I Did This Week:

I have been tracking my carbs a bit more – not writing down every single thing but paying a bit more attention to where I’m getting my carbs. I was surprised that one of the all natural fruit/nut bars I’ve been eating has like 23 carbs! That is a lot for such a small food item. I definitely want to be careful and not rely too heavily on those as a snack if I’m eating something starchy during the day (like my one allotted potato or corn based meal!). Just having that awareness has helped me make better decisions this week about what I should snack on based on what I had for lunch or what I’ll be having for dinner.

Apparently, it worked! I had gained a bit of weight last week unfortunately. But I sort of saw it coming because I just wasn’t on the bandwagon as much as I should have been. I had Mexican food twice PLUS a day at a baseball game where lunch was wings, popcorn and hot dogs. While I didn’t indulge in a bun with hot dog and  I passed on the cookies -there just is no recovery from so many off plan meals in one week. My weight REALLY fluctuated last Friday and it was depressing, but great motivation to pay more attention this week so I can meet my goals. So I was down about 4 pounds this week from my number last week which was a major win! I know a lot of it was probably just inflammation from eating the wrong types of food last week, but I think at least 1-2 pounds of it is reflective of my hard work this week.

Results

Either way, I am now about 7.4 pounds away from my first mini weight loss goal!!! 7.4 pounds away from my “wedding weight” as I like to call it. I’ve come a long way – I’ve lost about 10.6 pound since my initial visit with a nutritionist to do my metabolism testing back in December. My TurboFire program definitely helped light a fire under me again to take control of my situation instead of just being mad about it. And now my 30 Day Food Challenge has given me the tools I needed to make some life changing changes by really helping me focus on what I’m eating.

I’m finding that what Mark Sission (from marksdailyapple.com) says is true…80% of your fitness/health comes from your diet, 20% from exercising. I definitely think I had this ratio mixed up in the past. I was trying to work out all the time to compensate for some bad eating habits. Now I’m focused on making good decisions with my eating I can work out and not feel like I have to kill myself every time. I can be active in an enjoyable way – like on a hike, a walk with the dogs (although sometimes walking Yoshi is a nightmare!). Last night I wasn’t feeling that great so I didn’t do my strength training program (on the agenda for tonight!). But I decided to do a few sprint type things in the house – I did 50 jumping jacks and then jumped rope for 30 seconds. I did walking lunges and then quick feet drills. I ran up and down my stairs about 20 times as fast as I could (with my dog Peach running right along side me haha!). Something was better than nothing.

I feel like this new way of eating is very empowering. I am finally in control – and it’s a really good feeling. And today was definitely a reminder that all the little decisions along the way can pay off for a big win.

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This is my BIG WIN Dance

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Little Things and Big Wins

It’s easy to fall into the pattern of only recognizing the BIG WINS on your way to a healthier version of you. You know – seeing pounds disappear on the scale every week is awesome, but I know for me I don’t always see the big result I was hoping for and it’s easy to get upset about it. Sometimes I put on a pair or jeans, or a skirt from a few years ago and it still doesn’t fit the way I want it to and it’s a little depressing.

It’s easy to let those things deter you from making good decisions every day. But what are  big wins made of? Tiny little decisions along the way….and the more GOOD decisions you make, the more likely you are to see those BIG WINS elsewhere. I try to use this mentality on a every day basis and it helps me get through periods where I feel like I’m plateauing or just not making as much progress as quickly as I’d like. I’m here to tell you that it’s NORMAL to not steadily lose 2 pounds a week for 2 months. I’m here to tell you it’s NORMAL to have days where you do everything right, and your clothes still feel a bit tighter. I don’t know all the science behind it, but it’s perfectly normal to have fluctuations in your weight on a daily basis. Don’t get caught up in all the scale drama.

Celebrate Good Decisions

I want to encourage you to celebrate the little things each day. Like when you go out to eat and you order something that is better for you than you normally would. When you stop yourself after 2 glasses of wine or 2 beers instead of finishing the bottle or 6 pack. When you choose water over soda. When you take your dogs for a walk instead of going home and watching a TV show after work. All these little things are to be celebrated – these are truly the foundation of a better YOU. You cannot have the BIG WINS if you don’t do the ground work first. And you must remember, BIG WINS are not a daily thing for most people. Maybe not even a weekly thing for some.

Deciding to become a healthier you is a journey (I’ve said this a million times), and for most people – the reward is not just being healthier at the end of it, but all the amazing things you learn about yourself along the way. I have discovered I have way more self control than I ever knew once I made up my mind to do something (or not do something). I’ve also discovered some people in my life are going to be more supportive than others. That’s okay – I’ve made a lot of new friends along the way as well – and I’m excited to have people to share my successes and set backs with as I go. I have also learned I’m not as picky of an eater as I once was – I just had to find the courage to try new things every once in awhile. I still have a ways to go, but I’m making true progress here (as in I suggest we buy and eat brussell sprouts on a regular basis now…who am i?).

I’ve learned despite having a pretty hectic schedule, carving out the time to plan my meals and make them in advance is the absolute best use of a few hours on the weekend. It allows me the freedom to not worry about “what’s for dinner” or “what should I bring for lunch today” at all. I don’t stress about what I’m going to eat during the week because I’ve already made the decision in advance – I never thought having such structure in my life when it comes to food would be good, but it really works well with a busy schedule. And it helps me continue to make good decisions because I’m not in a rush to try and cook something for dinner when I get home and it means I have a healthy and filling lunch to bring to work 4 out of 5 days (I allow myself 1 eat out lunch a week so I can connect with employers, other campus staff, etc.).

All these lessons I’ve learned along the way are helping me build a solid foundation for my healthy future. I’m making big changes for my future by making good little decisions along the way. It’s really just a matter of DECIDING that you want to make a change. Then you have to start trading your bad habits for better ones. A few words of advice though – don’t expect to meet your goals 100% of the time. Life isn’t designed that way and you will set yourself up for failure if you have that sort of ALL or none mentality. Baby steps, people!

I will share a little win I had this morning – it came as a total surprise! I didn’t step on the scale or measure (that’s what my Friday’s are for!), but I put on a pair of pants for work that I haven’t worn in awhile and they were pretty loose. So i was like, that feels nice. I decided to wear a belt. I pulled out my belt and when I pulled it through the metal frame – it pulled WAY more than it has before. I was able to put my belt on the next to last smallest hole. I seriously was like “WHOA – is this my belt?” because it was such a strange sensation.

Make a few better choices today. Do it again tomorrow. And then keep at it for the rest of your life. After all, the reward of being healthier directly benefits YOU!

When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no “I’ll start tomorrow.” Tomorrow is disease. – V.L. Allineare

 

 

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