My first go at a Wordless Wednesday

He's 10 now

our puppy

First of all, I want to sincerely thank everyone who stopped by last week and left comments for me.  I had intended to reply to each and every one of you.  That clearly didn’t happen.

How’s my week been?  Insane.  Stressful.  A few hours after I wrote my entry last week, a phone call sent me into a cleaning frenzy.  It’s not something I can really talk about publicly right now, but just know that it is now imperative that my house is as cleaned out and organized as possible.   So the husband and I have been spending the vast majority of our “spare” time cleaning, decided what can go in the garbage, what must stay, what can ebay, and the rest is goodwill.  I have neither the time nor energy for a stupid garage sale.  Working out did not happen last week beyond the lifting of things in my house.

This cleaning frenzy is going to be going on some more this week.  The difference is that I have decided not to put myself last.  I deserve better than that, in fact I demand it.  I demand that my family support me in trying to be healthy and get through the ordeal that is facing us at the same time.  If we work together, we can do both.  The child and I had a long conversation about how he needs to support me and not sleep until 10am every day.  Mom still needs to lose weight.  In fact, now I have to lose 4 pounds that I already lost once before!

I’m not here looking for sympathy or anything.  Life happens, and I have to deal with it the best I can.  And that’s alright.  I let the stress get the best of me last week with food and a few adult beverages, but I’m not going to do that again this week.  I am decided that the stress can come with me to the gym and I’ll just leave it there.  The alcohol is a problem in the summer, and at least for now I have decided to go dry until July 4th.  Give me a few weeks off.

The child was my friend today.  He got up with a good attitude and we’re home from the gym.  Like I said, I have gained back 4 pounds and I am once again at 180.2 pounds.  It could have been worse.  My post workout snack/lunch was a baked chicken tenderloin, half a cucumber, and a serving of whole grain crackers.  I’m still kind of hungry but I’m going to drink up some more water and try to ignore the craving.  If it doesn’t go away then I think I will raid the freezer for some more veggies I can heat up quickly.

I have no idea how I’m going to do this.  But I’m just going to do it.  I don’t know if I can make it to the show for a while.  There’s just too much to do.  Speaking of too much to do, I really need to go take a shower and get to cleaning and organizing.

Much love to my team, my Mamavation supporters and motivators.  You ladies are the coolest and best.

P.S.  I can’t wait to go to Colorado and meet my new nephew!  I’m sure you’ve heard that my sister-in-law @bodhi_bear gave birth to her and my brother’s baby.  I’m a proud Aunt!

The last two weeks have been fairly awful health-wise.  I can’t go back and fix anything, I can’t change what’s been done already, but I can look to the future.  Lately it seems as though all my posts are going about the same.

Well school let out May 26th, and it’s been a challenge with my son home all the time.  Plus he just turned 10 and we’ve been celebrating his birthday, etc.  So it’s been rough going for me.  As always, planning is a huge issue for me.

I’m not going to be all “woe is me” about the situation.  I’m not too proud to admit that I have been giving in to my cravings and temptations lately and it all lies on me.

So I’m going to implement a better plan of action now that things have settled down with my son’s birthday celebrations and I’m going to include him in the planning process.

On a good note, I needed to buy a new swim suit for this lake season.  My one from last year looked ridiculous on me.  For the first time in a very long time, swim suit shopping didn’t shred my self-esteem!  It took the first store and only one trip to the fitting room to find a suit that not only fit nice, but looked nice on me.  Spending some time in the suit made me realize that I really do look different.  My arms are so much more fit, and my legs less flabby.  No longer is it difficult to tell exactly where my butt ends and my thighs begin.  There’s very clear definition from one to the other.  Now I just need to find a way to keep it up and not lose everything I’ve worked so hard for.  That’s what I’ve been trying to remind myself of over the last two weeks.

Welcome to another Monday and another report of me staying the same and not working hard enough!!  Well I ended up being sick most of last week and rebounded with a voracious appetite.  It wasn’t pretty.  I don’t want to talk about it.  Haha.

So moving along then!  It’s crappy and rainy outside right now; tomorrow’s forecast is the same.  So I am getting most of my work done today and tomorrow.  My employer is extremely flexible with my hours and days that I work, so that’s very helpful.  The rest of the week is for all the landscaping work that I need to do.  That’s pretty much my workout plan for the week.  I know it doesn’t sound like much but you really have no idea the condition of my yard.  It’s pretty bad and there will be lots of pulling, raking and digging.  Then if I can convince my husband to go fetch a lot of mulch for me, a lot of shoveling will be on the agenda as well.  I also commit to eating better this week and drinking less alcohol.  (What I mean is zero alcohol).

Looking to the future I am faced with another wonderful summer of boating (and eating, and drinking).  Every summer is a huge challenge for me as I hardly drink alcohol at all during the winter, but during the summer festivities (like every weekend), it’s really hard not to drink.  Also did I mention that I hate beer?  I enjoy other malt beverages like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff drinks, and OJ with coconut rum.  Yum.  Also loads of calories.  Planning healthy meals for boating is also challenging.  I made some progress last summer with chicken skewers in foil packets and bags of veggies, turkey burgers and Hebrew National Hot Dogs.

I am ALWAYS open to advice on things to eat at the lake, simple things to pack.  Sometimes a salad just isn’t reasonable for packing and ease of eating on a bobbing bouncing boat.  When we’re docked we have access to a microwave, but no fridge and no freezer.  Everything goes in a cooler all day, and lunch is always on the boat with a small portable grill to cook our food.  So if you have suggestions, please keep those things in mind!

P.S. I don’t much care for hummus.

Kim and Rachel, you two are seriously kicking butt, and I’m very impressed with you!  Keep up the hard work, ladies!

Stay tuned for more information on my summer weight loss struggles….

Welcome back to Monday.  If you keep up with my blog at all, you know I’ve had health and fitness on my mind the last few days.  If you don’t keep and you only read my Monday posts, that’s alright.  Haha.  Saturday I babbled on about speaking in the present tense about weight loss, and yesterday I encouraged you to make sure you know what you’re eating.

This last week was pretty good for me.  I was active most days, went to the YMCA a few times, and hiked with the family on Mother’s Day.

It was a great day for a hike.  We had cooler weather and some beautiful sunshine with a light breeze.

We even made a few friends along the way.  Saw some interesting things.  Lost the trail for a while.

I don’t know how well you can see the paw print, but it’s huge.

And the hubs took a good picture for me.

It was a nice Mother’s Day, and although I splurged on food and drink (the mimosas were delicious), I still managed to work in some activity.  I feel pretty good about that.  I did a lot better on water last week, and did well watching portions and eating mostly smart.  Still need to work in more veggies.

This week I plan to eat more veggies, stay up on my water, and continue to be active.  Today was my day of rest, but I’m heading to the gym first thing tomorrow morning after my little man gets on the bus for school.

Thanks to you all for your continued support.  I also want to take a moment to congratulate Rachel and Kim on their hard work and success during this campaign.  You two are total rock stars!!

People often ask me what I’ve been doing to lose weight.  Well there’s no magic pill, and I certainly haven’t just dreamed about it.  It takes a lot of hard work, and changing of habits.  One of the habits to change is the way we eat.  Even this seemingly simple idea can be far more complicated than we imagine. There are so many options, and so much misleading information.  I chose to eat real food.  I’m done with artificial ingredients, weird preservatives, and things I can’t read.  No high fructose corn syrup, no five different kinds of sugar in one thing, and no more “what is that?”.

Here’s an example.  I used to buy flavored “light” yogurt.  Here are the ingredients of one of my former favorites: Nonfat yogurt [cultured grade a non fat milk, modified food starch, fructose, kosher gelatin, vitamin A palmitate, Vitamin D3], water, strawberries, fructose, contains less than 1 percent of modified corn starch, natural and artificial flavors, , sodium citrate, aspartame, potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness, malic acid, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, red 40. Contains active yogurt cultures including L. acidophilus.

Here’s what I buy now: Cultured grade A milk. Contains active yogurt cultures including L. acidophilus.

So in the “light” version we have, in bold, FOUR different kinds of sugar/sweetener.  FOUR.  Why?  Artificial flavor (what is that exactly?).  Red 40.. why do I care how “red” my strawberry yogurt is?  Sodium citrate is basically a form of salt, I don’t need salt in my yogurt.  Today I ask you to take a look at what you are eating, and ask yourself how it contributes to your health.  Other than some vitamins and the strawberries, are any of the additional ingredients in the “light” yogurt really contributing to my health?  Probably not.  So what is it doing to me?

Why not just buy the plain nonfat yogurt and add my own strawberries?  And some honey.  Or some granola.  At least if I flavor it myself, I know what I’m eating.  I’d rather put a little more work into my food and know what I’m eating rather than eat something that has to tell me in bold it contains phenylketonurics (which is the aspartame if you didn’t know).

After an enlightening bit of research, I now use real food.  I read the ingredients in margarine and it looked like a foreign language.  I picked up the butter and it read “sweet cream.”  That’s it?  Sweet cream.  Does butter have more fat and calories?  Sure.  Am I smart enough to just use less?  Yes.  And is it really that bad when it’s real food that my body actually needs to digest as opposed to what-the-hell-is-that-in-my-margarine?  In my opinion, and the opinion of others, NO!  Butter is better.  It’s REAL FOOD!!

So my idea for the day is Eat Real.  Eat real food.  Eat real ingredients.  Most things are’t that difficult to make at home on your own, for those that are, find a new version or a new brand.  When it comes to what you put in your mouth, ignorance is not bliss.

“There is no try, only do or do not.” – Yoda from “Star Wars”

I was in a conversation with a very good friend this morning and was brought back to an old SparkPeople blog I wrote last year.  I read a good book that helped me change the way I think about weight loss.  I changed the way I talk.

So this morning, we were talking about garage sales and what to do with the winter clothes we just pulled out of the closet.  She says, “I want to go minimal anyway and I want to be smaller next year.”  I replied, “I want you to change the way you talk.  ’I'm going minimal anyway, and I will be smaller next year.’”

If you talk about weight loss in the future, it’s never going to happen.  To truly be successful, you must acknowledge what you are doing in the present.  This was KEY in helping me lose weight.  I am doing this.  I am losing weight.  I am making better habits.

It’s a lot about positive thinking and empowerment.  For me, it even adds to the accountability that I hold myself to each day.  Because it’s not something that I’m doing tomorrow, it’s what I have been and I am doing right now.

So from here forth, I expect you to stop and correct yourself when you say it the wrong way.  I can do this.  I am doing this.  I want to change.  I am changing.  I wish I could lose weight.  I know I’m losing weight.  I hope I reach my goal.  I am reaching my goal.

Be positive. Be present.

It’s a happy Friday here, despite some thunderstorms.  Storms don’t bother me much, although my Weimaraner isn’t too crazy about them.  Haha.

So I feel like it’s important to keep the big picture in focus on this weight loss journey of mine.  I’ve been slightly frustrated about the 2 or 3 pounds I have been battling for the last 8 weeks, so I pulled up my spreadsheet.  The frustrations is that I’m exactly where I was on March 2nd.  Blah.  The Big Picture is that I’m still down 28.2 pounds.  Is that something to be upset about?  Not at all.  Oh wow I haven’t done my measurements in over two months, I should probably do that.  I’m still shrinking, so the strength training is doing it’s part.  Again, I can’t be obsessed about the pounds.  I’m down a total of  SIXTEEN inches!!!! That’s an educated guesstimate because I only measure one arm and one leg, so I take that measurement and multiply by 2.  You get the point, though.  So that nullifies my frustration and keeps me moving and motivated and focused on my goals.  I feel all better now.

Remember my Bike ‘n Hike last Friday?  Well I finally went through my pictures!  I had a few requests from people to share the beauty that I enjoyed that day so here are a few of my favorites.  I hope they can brighten up your potentially gloomy Friday.

Cedar Creek Yellow Daisy dsc01793

And that’s all for now.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  You can click on the “Photos” link in the upper right hand navigation bar and check out the rest of the photos from my Bike N’ Hike for yourself.  We have so many wonderful nature preserves in our area, I think I am going to tour them all and do my best to share them with you.  I have at least three of them in relatively easy biking distance, so be ready.  I gotta use my gorgeous Trek, and this is an excellent way to do it.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Where oh where have I been?  Honestly kind of blah.  I lost my spark, my motivation.  And with summer creeping oh so close?

Don’t worry.  Have no fear, my new Trek Bike is here.  I have just returned home from our first adventure together.  I even had a friend come along! We biked (some hills even) to a beautiful nature preserve 2 miles from my house today.  Then, I parked my Trek, locked her up safe, and went hiking for approximately two miles.  And took a lot of pictures, which I will share with you later.  After the hike, I had a snack, drank some water, and biked 2 miles back.  The hills were mostly up on the way home.  It was tough, I can tell my cardio and strength have slipped a bit in the last few weeks, but this was a rejuvenating adventure.  It’s just what I needed.

There is some other exciting news, which I will also share with you later.  Today is a busy day and I must keep it short.

Much love to those of you who continue to support and follow me.  Much apologies for being scarce lately.  Shame has had its way with me, and now the shame is banished.

Sorry I missed last week.   I’ve been busy blah blah blah.  No excuses, I’m here this week and have some interesting things to talk about.

Weird things happened to me this weekend.  These things have happened once before.  They were terrifying.  Starting with my middle and ring finger on my right hand and then spreading through the whole hand was tingling then turned to numbness.  I also had a sharp headache in my left temple.  The numbness went away, and then returned.  A spot on my face was also numb.  It kind of came and went in waves a few times before finally disappearing.  The following day I noticed something flashing in my eye… a while later my right peripheral vision failed altogether.  It slowly returned and looked like everything to my right was in a complete fog and then everything was back again.  The first time I experienced this it all happened together, not 24 hours apart.  The first time was also about 3 months ago.  We were on our way to see Avatar in 3-D.

Needless to say, I went to the doctor today.  I explained the numbness and the eye weirdness.  He asked if I had a headache at the time.  Well you see I have some pretty bad sinus/allergy problems so I didn’t think much about it, but yeah I had a headache.  He said, “I am very confident that you have migraines.”  What?  Light didn’t bother me and I didn’t have an upset stomach.  Those are what I imagine when the word ‘migraine’ is spoken.  Migraines?  Oh great.  Just another thing to add to the list of all the things that are wrong with me.

Oh well.  ”Hey doc since I’m here will you look back and compare my heart rate today to previous visits?”  Of course he will because my doctor is so very awesome.  So he flips and his eyebrows raise, “wow. Your heart rate is MUCH better.  It is at 64 today and it was around 100 last time. VERY good!”  I explained to him that while I am on singulair and that high of a heart rate isn’t uncommon because of the medication, I just want to be healthier.  Part of being healthier includes having a healthier heart.  Rather than taking yet another pill to fix my heart rate, I wanted to learn how to fix it myself.  I owe a huge thank you to Kia (@bodhi_bear) and my husband for their help.  My husband gave me the heart rate monitor and Kia taught me how to use it to improve my heart health and efficiency.

This is my woohoo moment for the week.  My proudest accomplishment.  Today my weight is not important.  My heart is so much healthier than it was when I started this journey.  Although losing weight is also still important to me, I feel like my heart health improvement is a HUGE accomplishment.  It’s taken a few months of patience, and although I do not have the heart of an elite athlete, I do have the heart of  a healthy adult.