Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cleanse-Day 2

It's the end of day two and things are going well. I decided to weigh this morning to see if there was any progress and even after only one day, I was down a pound! I'm hoping that is going to be a trend! :) My exercise this week has been severely lacking. It would be kind of hard to push Abigail in the stroller with only the use of one hand at the moment. I'm going to have to get back into a routine of getting up early and going by myself. Which means I need to also get back to going to bed early. See what I mean about having a routine?

I do have to tell you that I made an adjustment to the cleanse today. I just couldn't stomach the Greek yogurt parfait today so I ate a piece of string cheese instead. Hopefully the plan will work just as well with this substitution. We'll see.

It was good to be back at our on church on Wednesday nights again. I'm helping my friend Amanda with the three year old's. Boy am I tired now! Which is another incentive to get to bed!

Good night blog world!

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


Pageants, Choices, Reality Shows, and Obesity...huh?

I've been overweight for most of my 20's. I am equally embarrassed and astounded by the fact. In high school, I was thin, athletic, and pretty. I'm not trying to sound conceited but I definitely had no problem with my self-esteem back in those days. I even participated in pageants and loved it. My senior year in high school I won a local scholarship pageant. I was Miss Rattlesnake Roundup! Go ahead, laugh it up. Small, southern towns are known for their odd festivals and the Rattlesnake Roundup is a pretty big deal in my hometown. For some reason, typing all this makes me think of Miranda Lambert's song "Famous In a Small Town." Anyway, winning that pageant was a big deal for me back then. I NEVER thought I'd be blogging (OK, did blogging even exist 10 years ago?) about losing weight today. I haven't felt pretty in years. Instead of putting my face out there and getting to know people, I kept to myself and didn't make any efforts. My self-esteem had gone down the drain. I was no longer the confident, out-going person I had once been.

Society tells us we have to be thin to be beautiful, to be loved, to be confident, to be successful. It took me a while to figure out that, what was marketed as beauty or success was either fake or unhealthy. Being pretty or as small as I once was isn't the main thing. What size clothes I end up wearing doesn't really matter. It's about being healthy not skinny. I won't lie. The idea of being small excites me but as long as I'm not overweight, obese actually, then I'll be happy. I want to be around a long time, I want to see my daughter grow into a woman, I want to be able to play with her now. Just last year it was hard to do even that. I had no energy. I broke out into a sweat walking out to the car no matter what time of year it was. I felt bad all the time. Now, just taking a portion of that weight off has made a HUGE difference in the way I feel and the way I look.

I realize that you can't put everyone into the same mold and that there are people out there who are large by genetics and are truly healthy and there are people who are small who are unhealthy but for the most part a persons size is indicative of their health. Obesity is the norm these days in America. There are a lot of things at fault but it all boils down to a persons choice in how they live their life. No one holds a gun to your head and forces you to eat McDonald's. You choose that for yourself. Now, you can give me all the genuine excuses in the book but in the end it was a choice. Yes, we live in a world full of instant gratification but it's no excuse. Turn off your TV for 30 minutes, get in the kitchen, and do some prep work for your meals. I broke my finger this week. The old part of me wanted to use it as an excuse to forget the cleanse and just eat junk this week because it would be easier. But yesterday morning, I spent some time doing prep work. Yes, it took me a little longer than normal because of my splint but I did it. My health is more important than my convenience. Typing this post is harder but I had something to say, that I hope helps someone else who is facing the same obstacle I am. It's all about the choices you make.

This all may help you understand why I was sickened by a reality show I happened upon on TLC last night. I'm not sure of the name but it revolved around 4-5 obese girls living in New York City. Now, I am all for women and men loving themselves at whatever size they are and having confidence. What I am not for is glamorizing obesity especially when it's a choice. In one part of the show the girls were at a fashion show during fashion week and while I agree that a lot of models are on the other end of unhealthiness by being too skinny and probably malnourished, I did not like what they had to say. One of the girls was talking about eating a whole chicken with grease dripping off of it, etc. Not healthy in the least. Sounds more like a food addiction. I remember how I used to describe food and think about food all the time. I still struggle with my  views on food. Really the media goes from one extreme to another. Let me also say that I didn't watch the whole show but in one part the girls were being made fun of and discriminated against because of their size and that's not right either.

No matter where you are on your journey, remember, moderation is the best policy and what you do with your life and health is a choice that you make every day at every meal and every snack. I also have to remember that my identity and true worth only comes from who I am in Christ. Without Him I am nothing no matter what the image in the mirror looks like.

For your viewing pleasure (or not):

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cleanse-Day One..Again?

I type this with a gigantic splint on my middle finger on my right hand. :(

I started the five day cleanse yesterday but only an hour or so after I drank my banana smoothie, I broke my finger. I knew immediately that it was broken. I admit, I can be a bit of a drama queen. It's probably why I like acting so much. The only thing I miss about high school is drama class. Anyway, if I stub my toe the first thing out of my mouth is usually, "I think I just broke my toe" followed by wailing and moaning! :) But I knew I was for real this time even if my husband didn't. He's used to my antics so he immediately came out of our bedroom where he was sleeping and after assessing the situation, went back to bed! Can't you just feel the love? Anyway, I finally convinced him that I needed to go to urgent care. I couldn't completely move the finger, it was swollen, starting to bruise, and hurt like heck even with the ice pack on it. My suspicions were confirmed by the kind doctor on duty. What I did not expect was the need to see a hand specialist and the possibility that I may need pins in my finger. I go Friday morning for this appointment so say a prayer for me because if they have to put pins in, I'm probably going to need a Xanax!

I also started my new babysitting job yesterday. Way to start it off with a bang, right? So, after taking two children to urgent care and not getting home until way past lunch time, I decided that Monday was NOT the day to start a cleanse.

I had no choice but to begin day one again, today.

The banana smoothie is really good and very filling. It is also a larger quantity than what I normally drink so that may be why. Lunch consisted of a spinach salad with goat cheese, pecans, shredded carrots, and a homemade pomegranate dressing. For snack I did NOT enjoy the yogurt parfait! I'm just being honest. I love plain Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise and sour cream but I don't care how much honey you put in it, it still tastes nasty eaten as a snack. There is a reason you can substitute it for mayo. Yuck! I usually enjoy the Greek yogurt that is already sweetened and has fruit in it but I'm sure the sugar content has to be sky high to even make it tolerable. Supper was much better...a chicken wrap with black beans, brown rice, and salsa. I was supposed to add avocado chunks to it but the one's I bought weren't quite ripe enough. Oh and I drank several cups of hot, green tea today! Love that stuff!

Overall, day one of the cleanse has gone well. I could totally do without this gargantuan splint because it gets in the way of everything! It was impossible to eat my wrap tonight. I ended up having to use a fork. :)

Hoping to see some good results by the weekend.

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ready, Set, Cleanse???

I FINALLY made it back home to Slidell, Louisiana on Friday afternoon after a three week long vacation from reality! We first went and visited Ryan's family and our sweet nephew in Fernandina Beach, Florida. While we were there Ryan's dad offered Ryan a trade...Ryan's truck for the used Thunderbird his dad had recently purchased. Of course Ryan took the trade because the car was in way better shape and had less miles than his truck. So, on our way back to Louisiana Ryan decided that Abigail and I should spend some quality time with my parent's especially since I didn't have a job. I was not going to argue with that! :) Ryan wasn't able to get more time off to head back to Florida to trade vehicles with his dad for almost two weeks. Thus, the three week long vacation. Abigail and I had a great time visiting with my family. I was even able to get a run in with my friend  Clara. But, three weeks is a long time to be away from home, my husband (technically only two weeks), and my life and routine. And if you've read my last couple of blogs you know how I desperately need my routine.

While I was away I did really well with my eating and exercising. I can look back on the last three weeks and see how far I've really come. In the past, a vacation meant that no rules applied. I'm sure you've heard people say things like, "calories don't count on your birthday!" Talk about wishful thinking! I sort of had that mentality when it came to vacation time. Basically it was a free for all when it came to eating and lack of exercise. I mean, hadn't I earned the right to veg out and be unaccountable for my actions? I can see now how idiotic that statement is but when you're struggling with an addiction to food any excuse will do. It's all about justifying your actions and making yourself guilt free. Only the guilt still came, as uninvited as it was, only it came after the vacation was over and you couldn't button the shorts that had fit you just fine when you left home. It came when you resolved again, for the 52nd Monday in a row, to go on a "diet" and lose weight. But this time was different. While I did allow myself a few indulgences, I equally ate well and exercised. I did not exercise as often as I do at home but at least twice a week while I was gone. That my friends, is what I call a new lifestyle. This isn't some fad diet that I'm on. It isn't some quick fix. It's a lifestyle and it's a process.

So here I am, ready to face another Monday. But this time, I feel no guilt, no shame, no self-loathing. I feel grateful, strong, empowered, and healthy. I still have a LONG way to go but I'm not in a hurry. However, it is time to kick it up a notch and really get into weight-loss mode. I still want to meet my first weight loss goal of 30 lbs down by September. I only have 10 to go. So here's my plan:

1. Do a healthy cleanse - this one comes from a health magazine and instead of fasting and taking weird pills, everything is done by food. My friend Clara tried it a few months back and it really worked for her. The plan claims to help you lose five pounds in five days. I'm hoping it will work that well for me. Here is the gist of plan; drink a banana smoothie for breakfast, have a salad for lunch, Greek yogurt parfait for snack, and a black bean, avocado, brown rice and chicken wrap for supper. All the while consuming up to two quarts of green tea a day. The recipes for everything sounds super yummy and I bought all the ingredients for the week on Saturday when I went to the grocery store. You have to eat the same meals for all five days. I'm pretty excited to get started tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

2. Kick up my exercising a notch or two - this will include 10K training and hitting the gym regularly for strength training.

3. Blog more regularly than I have been - I've been a little slack in my blogging over the last month but it really keeps me accountable and all of your comments are a huge encouragement and incentive to keep going.

I'm signing off now. About to meet the little girl that I am going to be sitting for. I also start my new job tomorrow on top of starting a cleanse so say a little prayer for me tomorrow if you remember!

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Before and After: Part Two

A while back I showed you a picture of me with my SIL (sister-in-law) at Christmas which was a "before" picture and then a more recent "after" picture to give you a visual image of how much weight I have lost.

It's been a while since I've done comparison pictures and when I ran across a picture taken of me by my MIL back in October, I just knew it was time. I was hoping to edit the picture a little so you see mostly me but I'm at my parent's and my dad's laptop doesn't have any editing software on it to crop the picture. I also don't have a "recent" full body shot where you see just me so I'm using my current Facebook profile picture of me and my nephew Jad as my "after" photo.

Feel free to leave comments! :)

BEFORE (OCT 2010):

AFTER (AUG 2011):

Numero Dos


August is rapidly coming to a close and I've only blogged ONCE this month (besides this post)! You can thank my MIL (mother-in-law) for this one. She gave me a little nudge over on Facebook to put up a new post. So here it goes...

My life has been a little out of hand lately. Have you ever been playing in the ocean and a big wave comes out of nowhere, knocks your feet out from under you, and you find yourself tumbling feet over head under the water towards the shore? It's a really weird and sometimes panic inducing feeling. But that's sort of what life has been like over the last month. Nothing major has happened so don't freak out on me. I just never thought I was one of those, "I have to have my routine or my life gets chaotic" types of person. Apparently, I am.

Really, since the beginning of July things have been crazy. It all started with a planned visit from my parent's, and unplanned visit from my "outlaws" :). Things quickly proceeded to a week of VBS with three year olds, a sick child, a week long visit from my brother and his family, losing my job, and a trip to see Ryan's family. Things should be back to normal by now but instead of going home after our trip to Fernandina Beach, Ryan dropped Abigail and myself off in Graceville to spend a total of 12 days with my parent's before he comes back to pick us up.

So, now do you understand my ocean metaphor? I'm not complaining. I have loved every minute of my crazy summer. Family is extremely important to me so the more time I get to spend with family, planned or unplanned, the happier I am. But the chaos of it all has left me feeling like I'm tumbling under the water, desperate to reach the top and take a breath. My sanity and my healthier lifestyle needs a routine.

I know that reading about my weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey is what brings most of you to my page in the first place but I don't have a lot to say on the subject right now. I haven't weighed in a few weeks but even through the chaos, I've tried to stay as consistent as possible both with exercise and diet. But I do know that I haven't been as strict or as dedicated as I could and should have been. That's why I'm craving my routine right now.

I haven't reached my first weight loss goal of 30 lbs down by September yet so I'm planning on kicking things up so that I can reach that goal. I may not make it by the first of September but I will be there before it's over. Remember, it's all about making a plan and setting goals and then tweaking them when necessary. Which is where I am in my journey right now. I've been thinking about how I can best achieve my goals and taking a hard look at what's working and what isn't. I've found that having an actual exercise plan or training schedule like C25K really helped me stay accountable. I've still been running since my race back in July but I haven't been as consistent and I want to be. So, I'm looking into 10K training to help me reach my fitness and weight loss goals. I'll let you know more about that when I figure things out.

Not sure if you caught the earlier part about losing my job but I did. It was unexpected but I know that God was not caught by surprise and that He is faithful! And I may already have a job when I get back. So please pray for me that the new job works out and that if it doesn't that I'll be patient and wait on the Lord and what He has for me.

So there you have it post numero dos for the month of August!

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Need My Routine Back!!!

I figured that I've taken a long enough break from blogging. I'm sure you've been wondering what's going on with me over the last couple of weeks.

Not much really. My brother and his family stayed with us last week and we had a blast together. While I didn't go crazy, I'm sure I consumed more calories last week than I normally do. I did manage to get in two runs with my brother last week. I'm not going to lie though, my exercise has been lacking since my last run LAST Tuesday.  We intended on running again on Thursday but we ended up eating later than normal so we didn't have time for our stomachs to settle before a run and then it seemed like something came up the rest of the time. I wasn't too disappointed about it but since they left on Sunday, I just can't seem to get myself into gear.

Let me be clear: I have NOT fallen off the wagon but I'm pretty sure the wagon hit a bump and tossed me around a bit. I don't know why. My desires and goals haven't changed but I just can't seem to get it together lately. I think it has something to do with not being on my normal routine for the last couple of weeks. And now, we are headed out of town tomorrow for the next several days to visit Ryan's family and our nephew that was born in June that we still haven't gotten to meet! I am so excited about our trip but to be honest, I'm ready to get back to my normal daily routine and life. I seem to be more focused and dedicated when my plans aren't up in the air all the time. While I have done much better than I would have done in the past I still have room for improvement in that area!

On top of all of this, I lost my job last week. It wasn't some dramatic thing but the parent's of the baby I sat for decided to put him in a "learning center." So now I am currently looking for a part-time job or something that allows me to continue to stay home with Abigail or at least work the hours that Ryan is home in the mornings before he goes to work. Say a little prayer for me about the job situation if you think about it.

One good thing about not having a job though is that I can go to the gym during the day and even take some of the morning classes. The beginner spin class is on Friday mornings so I am hoping to start that as soon as I get back from our trip. Plus, I really want to start structuring the day for Abigail and myself so that we can get the most out of each day. I have a tendency to be lazy if I don't have something planned and I think this will be an even greater asset to my healthy living and weight loss goals.

I know I've missed my Recipe Wednesday posts lately too. I'll try and get one in tomorrow in between the packing and Ryan having a wisdom tooth pulled. If not, I'll be sure to get several in next week.

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,