"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ending the Year Content

It's hard to come on here and recap my "goals" for 2015, because quite frankly I took down my goal sheet early in the year.  About a month into the new year the only goal I was committed to was completing my half marathon in May.  And that I did. 

But a personal issue occurring in early February left me reeling.  Compared to some it may not seem a lot, but in my little corner of the world it was the hardest thing I've ever been through.  It is still too personal for me to share publicly.  

As my world began to rock and roll in ways I never dreamed I'd experience I suddenly decided my weight was of little consequence.  A few times I wanted to quit my half marathon training, but I needed to prove that I was not a quitter.  Plus, my running became therapeutic.  Saturday long runs became time to think, to fight my emotions by pushing my body through mile after mile.  

I knew I did not want to gain any more weight and was conscientious enough to not allow that to happen, even losing a few pounds before our big summer move, but I couldn't seem to work on losing weight and work through this personal crisis at the same time.  

Then we moved, began settling in a new city and, my emotional upset from the spring had begun and continued to improve and I finally began to feel a bit inspired to start losing weight again.  So, I started a challenge for the last 100 days -- during which time I challenged myself to lose 10 pounds, among other things.

And as of today's writing not only did I not lose that weight, I gained a little more the week of Christmas.  Quite honestly by the week of Christmas I decided to simply enjoy treats and not worry about the scale, because I had been doing some reading and planning and knew I had a plan falling into place for January.  And I just wanted to enjoy things.  I wasn't feeling my best, but I just decided to let it go and worry about it after the holidays.  

Now here I am today.  The scale is up and I feel I should be judging myself and my success on that one thing.  I am a bit upset for not completing the majority of my goals for 2015, but I'm just not depressed about any of it. 

The situation that occurred almost a year ago has brought about a change in me greater than anything losing weight could've changed.  

Someday I may share it, or I may not, but please believe me when I say while I'm a bit upset I didn't reign things in physically, and I weigh a bit more now than I did at this time last year, the weight of some serious emotional and spiritual baggage has lifted and I feel lighter than I have in years.

And for that I wouldn't change a thing about this year. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Back at the Gym

Just like I planned, I went to the YMCA yesterday and took my first Bodypump class in a long, long time.  Whew!  

My son, who is 15, wanted to go and had to do an orientation first before being allowed to use the free weight area unattended.  So, I walked on the treadmill while he did that.  

Then he was cleared to get to work, but when I asked him if he wanted to join me for the Bodypump class he agreed.  I knew it was strength training and he was game.  

The class went well.  It was a full little room, but we were able to follow along pretty well.  I have my critique of the instructor, some direction was hard to follow, but overall she did fine and I'll let it go at that.  My son still has trouble with his knee from the ski accident he had in March 2014 and all the squats and lunges became difficult for him.  But he's good at only doing as much as his leg can handle and then taking a break. 

The class kicked our butts for sure, which (ahem, unfortunately) didn't take much for me just now and we were glad we went.  Although, my son informed me next time he'd just workout on his own.  :)  

Today one of my daughter's went to shadow at my husband's office and the other one joined us at the gym.  She and her brother did some weight lifting and then played basketball while I used the ARC trainer.  

Again, my quads were on fire and I felt so out of shape.  OW.  But, I know I'm on the right track to getting in better shape.  

It's fun having kids who like being active.  I am very proud of all of us for taking the right steps to be in better health. While it may hurt a little, it sure feels good to be back at the gym!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Healthy Holidays Challenge Update and the YMCA

Well, this week hasn't been the picture of "healthy" unless you count the emotional health that has been strengthened by time spent with family and preparing and enjoying a nice holiday.  If you judge my health by all that, then it has been a wonderful week for me!  I'm counting that as a plus and staying good with that for an update. 

However, I've enjoyed enough treats that I quite honestly am beginning to get sick of them.  Isn't that funny?  It's true. My poor body is ready for exercise and healthier food choices. 

So, that's why I was super excited when my husband agreed to an errand today... We signed up for a membership at our local YMCA. 

My son had to add his thumbs up of approval and excitement at having a gym membership again.
We looked into gyms and thought about the Y when we moved here, but with other financial priorities we decided to put it off.  I looked more into the YMCA and then recently saw they had a special dubbed "Play Now, Pay Later" special for December which waived the application fee and started monthly payments in January. 

After a few months of my husband working at the new practice we figured it was better for our budget to do a membership to the YMCA for the whole family than pay double the monthly payment for only the two of us to go to a larger, fancier gym.  The YMCA offers we really need to stay active and bonus..it's only 5 minutes from my house. 

While we are all excited to have a gym to go to I'm super thrilled to go to fitness classes again!!  They offer classes I love and at a time of day that fits well in my schedule.  I told my husband I woke up so excited this morning just thinking about it. 

So...Monday morning I will be going to the gym -- one week ahead of the New Year's crowd.  :) 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!

Card created using the Project Life App

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Oh, What Fun!

Christmas is almost here and I'm ready!  While this season I've been involved in a Healthy Holidays Challenge, I have spent more time doing non-health-related things.  And quite honestly, I'm okay with that.  

The challenge has helped by being in the back of my mind and reminding me to not throw caution to the wind this month.  I may not see a loss on the scale, but I won't see a gain either.  I'm good with that.  It's been a very enjoyable season and that means more to me this year than making sure I'm losing weight. 

Since I've been so slack in blogging regularly I'm going to do a little wrap-up post of what the holidays have been like around my house a.k.a. "Dental Floss Lane".  
As a family we started off the season by enjoying a light parade in our downtown.

 Then my husband was so sweet to put up lights for us this year.  We don't always do it and I was tickled he wanted to this time.  My son is a great helper, whether he wants to or not.  lol
 My daughter won a scholarship from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and it was nice to see her commended for all her hard work.  That particular application required EIGHT - 8 - essays and she was one of thousands of applicants.  These are the recipients for just our area of Texas.  (she's in the red argyle sweater on the right.)

As a busy "Mom Taxi" I have learned over the year to take advantage of waiting by bringing along something to work on.  So, while my girls took their drive tests to transfer their licenses from North Carolina to Texas I brought along Christmas cards to address.

(Notice I'm in cropped pants and a t-shirt here?? The weather is so up and down here.. it's funny.)

I haven't baked so much as I have this month!! It started with fudge and these peppermint brownies by request of my daughters.  The fudge is a recipe my mom always made and I'm pretty sure it came out good this year, well I know it has because I've had a piece every day.  ahem... let's move on...

One evening my husband asks, "Do you have time to come in tomorrow for a cleaning?"  Oh sure!  I'm not in the middle of sewing up 20 mini stockings for teachers or anything.  lol 

It's always nice to see him at his practice and I threw on workout clothes, a little bit of makeup and took him to work and then hung around for a tooth cleaning and a picture.  :)  

The next day I finished up the stockings.  I made my first bunch last year for the teachers.  They were so simple and the teachers loved them.  Our new school's colors are "Kelly Green and White", which makes for nice festive fabric choices.  

Homemade stockings filled with homemade cinnamon roasted pecans also make for frugal teacher gifts.  

And coffee.... there has been plenty of coffee to get through the busy days, or to simply sit and enjoy...like I did Sunday afternoon when my husband brought me my favorite Starbucks drink -- a Flat White.

That about sums it up for now.  Today I will cook a little in prep for our Christmas Eve and Christmas meals and either bake or clean.  I haven't decided which one I want to do yet.  Since I'm pretty much ready for Christmas I'm at my leisure to do what I want with my days today and tomorrow.  Whee!

I hope your holiday preparations are going well.  Thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit of our holiday fun with me. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Healthy Holidays Challenge Update #12

There is always one week during Christmastime wherein I am busy from sun up to sun down.  This was that week.  

My days have been full of sewing up mini stockings for teacher gifts, baking, running errands and enjoying some Christmas movies with my kids after school.  If I had a treadmill in my living room I would've gladly walked on it during the movie I watched each afternoon.

Or not.  My busy week is reaching the point of exhausting me.  

I've been enjoying my extremely full week and I'm glad I've gotten so many loose ends tied up in preparation for Christmas.  I know all my shopping, crafting, baking and everyday things I've accomplished this week have caught me up so that next week I can relax a little and get more intentional exercise in. 

My grandmother's fudge recipe also came out rather well this year.  I know this from *ahem* personal tasting.  And I must say... score one point for me for keeping the family recipe alive.  With both my mother and her mother gone it just makes it special to me if the fudge comes out well.  (It involves marshmallows and sugar and boiling and much care... my mom always had a special touch with the fudge. )

So, as for the challenge I have not done any exercise this week, nor have I drank much water.  Water is always a challenge for me during the cooler months.  But I have enjoyed treats in somewhat moderation and the scale is maintaining.  I'm pleased. 

I'm also pleased that I know I'm not going to throw in the towel and gorge for the next two weeks, but I am going to continue enjoying some Christmas festivities and foods I don't eat the other eleven months of the year. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Feel free to share how your holiday plans are coming along.  

Friday, December 11, 2015

Healthy Holidays Challenge Update - Going Well

Thank you for the well wishes about being sick and such.  I am feeling better;  now I'm trying to get rid of the annoying phlegm and cough that doesn't want to leave.  Thankfully, there are no more real aches and pains and more energy for holiday happenings.  :)

Not only have I felt better with regards to being sick, I have felt better with regards to my health.  I've made better food choices and gotten some regular activity in.  Nothing drastic, but enough to see the scale make a downwards turn.  I'm grateful.  

Officially ...

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  I'm getting it done.  For a split second I was tempted to feel bad because I wasn't running or doing anything intense and then I reminded myself my goal is to do intentional exercise 30 minutes, I am not committed to a race or a weight lifting match, so I shall not beat myself up if I am *only* walking.  
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  The scale is going back down and I'm grateful.  I've decided I probably won't share how much until I hit maybe 185, because I have been where I am today and not gotten past it lately.  I'll share when I feel it's more worth sharing and for sure on the last day of this challenge.  I do weigh myself regularly, so I'm not avoiding that don't worry.
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  This is also getting done.  Again, choosing water for a meal really helps me get more water in.  I'm a coffee drinker and that tends to make up a lot of my fluids, but I keep a 32-ounce water bottle on my kitchen counter and I am getting it down.  
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  This is a yellow, because I haven't tracked so great.  However, until yesterday, I have done really well staying away from the sweets.  As I was baking yesterday I felt the need to "snack" on some yummy pretzel/chocolate treats I had made.  I'm not overly concerned, but I am being careful.  I was grateful to feel true hunger by dinnertime despite my sweet snacks and made sure to eat a smaller serving since I had helped myself to some treats earlier in the day.  
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  THIS is going really well.  I think I've had an "ah-ha" moment again and I've finally become desperate enough to make the changes that will help me get healthier and stay healthy.   However, I have made the decision that while some sacrifices will need to be made to lose the weight I am not beating myself up for bumps in the road, like the sweet treats yesterday.  I have another post brewing on how things are feeling like my old (newer) self again and I'm so grateful.
Thanks for stoping by!  I'm going to get some presents wrapped while my kids are at school and then do a little baking or sewing, I haven't decided which yet.  :)

Have a good weekend! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Truth

Thank you for the well wishes.  I'm not 100% yet, but I'm sure feeling better today.  Now on to something I've been thinking about for a while. 

In recent months I've heard two instances where people were confronted with weight issues and they took offense.  One is obviously overweight, was confronted by a doctor and felt crushed when the pouring out of the heart was met with [paraphrasing] "Let's take care of your weight first."

The other has recently lost some weight while making strides to eat healthier and exercise regularly, so when the pastor of the church comments [again paraphrasing] "people are overweight because they eat too much" the person vented to me about it.  

I sympathize with the patient for the hurt feelings.  I do not know the doctor, nor the delivery in which this help was offered, except as shared by the patient.   I know there has been a struggle with weight for a long while now, so the fact that the emotional stress was linked directly and solely to weight just felt like a slap in the face.

As for the pastor's comment, I do know this particular pastor personally and he is very thin and has never had a weight issue, nor has he lived around any immediate family with one.  Over the years I've learned to take was is true in what he says and let the opinions go.  

What was interesting to me after both situations was how we don't like to hear the truth.  

Because whether we like it or not...most obese people are that way because they eat too much and exercise too little.  I have known a few people who were doing everything in their power to be healthy and had hormone related reasons why their weight was very high, but most people are overweight because they consume more calories than they burn.

Now add to the overeating hormones, aging and genetics and being healthy can seem very difficult.

I know this, because it's my truth as well.  

My genetics will not ever allow me to be skinny naturally, but I do have the capability to be thinner and healthier when I watch what and how much I eat and get regular exercise.  

In fact, a recent anonymous commented pointed out what a failure I currently am and all I could say was, "Yep!  You're right.  I'm probably not going to lose 10 pounds by December 31st now."

When I alluded to this comment on my Instagram many instantly came to my defense.  While I appreciate their concern, the truth is still that I need to change.  Not because I'm a horrible person and being 192 pounds makes me ugly or not worth being around, but because my health is important.  

In fact, our pastor recently mentioned something to this effect, "people don't change because they aren't desperate enough."  

There's that truth again.  

Some would say but they are so desperate, but I knew for me I hadn't truly been desperate enough to work on getting healthier again.  I was desperate to not be heavy and to fit into my clothes better, but not desperate enough to change what I was doing  

So, I prayed and I repented.  Honestly, facing the truth and acknowledging what needs to change is so freeing.  

Then I got sick and couldn't post and could barely eat...yada...yada.  

But I'm here now.  Still recuperating, but inspired.  Because this past almost two years has thrown me for an emotional loop and I know I allowed myself to get lazy because it all seemed too much to handle.  

I also know this is all part of life and I'm okay with that.  But instead of getting upset when truth hits I'm choosing to see it for what it is -- truth, that if embraced, can bring about good change.  

I've been there before, in a happy healthier place,  and I know I want to be there again.  It's not easy, but it will be worth it.  

Oh, and when I found this quote this morning I knew it was perfect, because facing the truth and changing doesn't mean I'm "bad" it simply means I have areas that need improving.  

Friday, December 4, 2015

Updates, Thanksgiving and Being Sick

***Note:  This post is a bit of everything and not as neat as I like, but it's been so long since I posted I wanted to at least check in.***

Well, I'm completely behind on updates for the Healthy Holidays Challenge.  Our Thanksgiving included a short visit from my brother, his wife and daughter and after all the cooking and eating was completed we spent time watching cheesy Christmas movies and then shopping for ornaments the day after.  

We had pouring rain pretty much most of the week, but a break in the weather allowed us to get our Christmas tree last Saturday.  The break in weather also allowed me to complete my Thankful Journey 5K.  I took a nice fall during my run, spraining my ankle a bit, which I planned on blogging about until I got sick. 

But back to more fun things...

 We had to leave our tree upright in the garage to dry out a bit before we could bring it in for decorating.  While the tree dried out I pulled out my bins of holiday decor and started changing out the fall for Christmas decorations.  

So, the tree got up and we decorated it on Sunday, then Monday was laundry day and my nose started to run, and run, and run. 

Then my throat felt like it was on fire and everything got worse and worse and I'm on day 4 of being sick.  It's been a pain because I'm hosting a party tonight and still had a couple things to do.  Thankfully, I planned way ahead and could afford a couple days of complete resting in hopes of getting better.  I'm not 100%, but I am doing better.  

No fevers or infections, so we're going on with our party plans (me doped up on Mucinex and Tylenol).  My daughters said they'd be happy to host it if I could be up for it.  lol  

Needless to say, all the hustle of Thanksgiving followed by getting sick hasn't helped me stay on track with my challenge.  I haven't eaten as much while being sick, so that is nice.  (You know it's bad when I don't even really want my morning coffee. *smirk*) 

So, the best of an update I'm going to give you is the scale isn't up or down.  Activities of daily living have been my "exercise" this week and I'm hoping to be back to normal asap.  

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and are enjoying getting into full holiday mode.  I know we are!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Healthy Holidays Update #8

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is in one week.  At first I was almost sad, because it didn't feel like the holidays were coming, but now things are settling into a more festive mood around here. 

My mother-in-law came into town this past Monday and I have had a crazy busy week.  So...my "dieting" hasn't really happened, but it's okay.  I had a feeling these two weeks would be good if I could not gain any weight.  Unfortunately, I had hoped to lose at least 5 pounds by now, but oh well.  

I can't be upset about my week when I've had this kind of fun happening....

My daughters have both been accepted to their colleges of choice and this past Wednesday I was able to go with one of them to her campus tour at the University of Oklahoma. 
 My husband attended the College of Dentistry at OU, so it was fun to go up and visit with friends the night before and then enjoy seeing Oklahoma again.  The OU campus is beautiful and it was a gorgeous fall day.  I was a Sooner wife and now I'll be a Sooner Mom.  Yay!

My mother-in-law is an amazing cook.  She is Mexican by birth and her love language is food, which we don't mind one bit.  Yesterday we went and finished buying fixings to make tamales and made a couple dozen in the evening. 
Today we are making up the rest of them ... I told her I'm blogging till the masa is ready and then we'll start assembling.  Woo Hoo!  It's not the healthiest of foods, but they are something we only eat once a year, so it's fun to have her making them for us here.  

I'm taking notes, because I really should try and do these on my own.  I'm so glad she enjoys teaching me how to make foods her family loved, because we all love it too.  

But...you really want to know about the update, so here it is...for official purposes: 

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  Um, I am determined to go run tomorrow and that will only be my second day of intentional exercise this week.  I walked for a couple hours on Wednesday at the OU campus, but otherwise I've been busy and seriously busy enough I just didn't get that 30 minutes done.  
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  The scale is not up this week and I'm glad for that.  I haven't eaten like I'm trying to lose weight, but I'm okay with it considering the circumstances.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  I've done okay with this, but not 100%.
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  M yes, enjoying within reason, but no tracking.  So yellow for this week.  My friend baked pumpkin rolls and I had some.  We are making tamales and I'm having some.  I haven't tracked at all though.  Honestly, I was busy and I've been trying to only eat when hungry.  
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  I have balance, because none of the red bothers me.  I have a post brewing about facing the need to care for our health.  I know I could've told my friend I'm watching my weight and skipped the pumpkin roll.  I also know I could be super careful and not enjoy the delicious food my mother-in-law is making while she is here.  But I also know these are not normal occurrences in our family and if I'm being careful to not overeat and the scale isn't moving up I'm okay with that for right now.  
Next update post will be after Thanksgiving.  I don't do Black Friday shopping, so I'm sure I'll hop on here and post a quick update.  My brother and his wife and my niece are coming on Wednesday and I'm looking forward to that. 

I hope you all have a nice weekend and don't go crazy getting those last minute plans done before the celebration.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Healthy Holidays Challenge Update #7

This has been the week that arrives monthly where everything goes up.  The cravings for sweets, the scale and the food.  So, unfortunately I wasn't really thrilled with, oh, pretty much anything.  I just told myself to wait it out and things would start feeling normal again.  

Today things are feeling back to normal, so that is good.    

Here's my update: 

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  This will be done.  I have enjoyed two runs so far this week and look forward to my third tomorrow.  I'm doing strength today.  I'm pretty slow out there running, but I love that I'm shooting for time goals right now and not distance.  It's been nice.  
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  Fail.  During my monthly this is rarely a successful week with food and the scale going down.  I don't want to post my weight because it jumped quite high early in the week, but as I ponder it I think I will so you can see how crazy my body is behaving.  I jumped to 194.5 over the weekend and am back down to 192 today.  So, either the scale being lower a couple days last week was a fluke or this month my PMS wreaked havoc on my body.  I actually felt bloated for days and that is rare for me.  However, I know I wasn't eating healthier options, so I wasn't surprised it was up... just surprised by how much.  Anyway, I'm embarrassed and frustrated to have to share that, but now you know.  I'm back to 0/10 lost for this challenge.  Sigh. 
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  This has actually gone pretty good. Yesterday was the only day I didn't drink any water at all;  I was very busy all day morning 'til night.  
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  I didn't bake, though sweets were eaten plenty of times, and only tracked maybe 50% of the week.  I did track a couple of higher days and it explained why my scale doesn't go down.  That is the point, so I really need to stick to this goal of tracking again.  It's a helpful tool for me. 
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  I'm temped to put a fail here, because I was very upset a few days over this weight I've gained.  The monthly hormonal fog always magnifies the depressing things.  However, I know what needs fixing and I reminded myself this week is always bad and to simply push through it.  So, it's not a total fail...I allowed myself to mess up and didn't beat myself up to badly.  :)    
All in all it was an okay week.  It was normal for my monthly (with the exception of the scale jumping so high), so I'm okay with that (..now that it's over and my monthly emotional fog has lifted).  It's life and life happens.  

Quite honestly, I have days I don't think I'm going to hit that goal of losing 10 pounds by the end of the year, but I won't let myself quit this challenge and put off losing weight until the New Year ... I'd probably end up gaining another 10 over Christmas if I did that.  

So, I'm here.  I'm not quitting and I'm looking for better things this week.  

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you all have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stride Through the Holidays Running Challenge

Have I mentioned we get a pretty nice autumn here in Arlington, Texas?  I'm so glad.  Even though I was willing to move back to the desert I'm secretly rejoicing I didn't have to.  The cooler days, changing leaves and smell of fireplaces being lit make me happy.
Autumn days also make me want to run.  I run best in cooler weather.  So, now that temperatures are steadily staying lower the last of my excuses for not running is gone. 
However, I seem to be one who is motivated only when I'm accountable to someone, even in the smallest way (read: blogging helps me stay accountable.)  I've looked over training plans over the past month, but nothing jumped out at me.
Then I received an email from the ladies at Another Mother Runner and I was hooked.  I pondered the Stride Through the Holidays Challenge before going back, at the last minute, and signing up.
This is a simple five-week training plan that focuses more on minutes spent being active than a distance.  It also combines my love of running with my love of giving.  All profits from this challenge are being donated to Heart Strides
So, there it is.  I am running again.  And I'm helping another mother runner at the same time.  Yes, it's a lovely time of year.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thankful Journey 5K

For the past few years I've participated in some sort of virtual 5K race Thanksgiving morning.  I've been wondering if I'll do it again this year.  I haven't been running as much, but the weather is becoming beautiful for it and the itch to run has begun.

Enter Alissa at A Journey to Thin.

She is hosting a Thankful Journey 5K this year, so I've signed up.  You can walk, ride, jog, run, do the elliptical, anything that takes you 3.1 miles.  The best thing is you have 10 days to complete it.  

So, feel free to pop on over there to sign up.  She has all kinds of prizes that will be given out through a random drawing at the completion of the "race".  

Healthy Holidays Update #6 - Doing Better

This week has gone much better.  There was no drastic dieting, but simply sticking to the goals I had set for myself.  There were still more higher calorie days than I need, but definitely more sticking to my plan.  

The best news, and ultimately where I want to see change, is... the scale is going back down.  I'm pleased with this.  

For the official check-in ...

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  I have been a busy beaver, accomplishing much, but not always getting my exercise in.  I will exercise today and if I get it done tomorrow, then I will hit my goal.  So, yellow...because it's not quite there.  
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  Weight is 188.5, down 4 lbs. from last week (and the week before).  This is only 2/10 lbs down, but I'm so glad I'm back down.  Woot!  And the eating has gone much, much better this week.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  Yes!  When the weather cools I want more coffee, but I've been making myself drink water down before I drink more coffee.  I've also been drinking water with meals and that is making a difference.  :)
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  Another yes!  The past couple of days I told myself I could have a sweet treat (this week it's Halloween candy) at the end of the day.  It's helped me really choose what to have.  Yesterday my husband's office gave him a large birthday cake for "you and your family"  [insert scary-I-don't-need-cake-in-my-house-face] Everyone had pieces in the evening and I had a couple bites.  I felt so proud of myself.  It's been a LONG time since I've said no or only-a-little to myself.
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  A fourth and final.. YES. Allow me to share....
This challenge has made me think about setting a good example to those that are following it.  As the hostess of the challenge I feel a need to be a good example.  If I'm going to tell people that I lost a lot of weight and I'm currently hosting a challenge, shouldn't I be living what I'm preaching?

It's been hard, because I just haven't felt like it.  

Honest.  I read a post on procrastination and the author mentioned, "Why are you procrastinating something you've been wanting to do?"  I originally started reading the article thinking of some projects I need to finish, but when I read that line my weight came to mind and I thought because I don't want to [eat healthy, watch portions]. 

I didn't dwell on the thought, but went on with my day.  I wasn't surprised by my internal response, but knew we don't always like what we have to do. 

This challenge has really been forcing me to think about my actions and whether I'm being a good example to those following.  No worries, there is no pressure to be perfect, but the pressure to at least follow what I'm preaching.  It's a healthy balance "between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.".

So, here's to another week.  If you're reading this and wondering who are the people following this challenge I'm talking about...they are all on Instagram.  I have 12 or so people on this challenge with me and I want to do better so they will be encouraged to keep it up as well.  :)

Thanks for checking in!  Have a good weekend!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Healthy Holidays Update #5

Well, this week went better than the last.  The scale isn't down, but I'm figuring some things out and I'm pretty sure I know what the problem is.  I've also decided I can't complain about my weight if I'm not doing what's necessary to change it.  

For the official Healthy Holidays Update Record: 

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  This will be done!  Woot!  I have a post brewing about how adjusting to working out at home has been a HUGE challenge for me, but it's getting done.
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  Weight is the same 192.5, so boo on that, but I did track most days.  It's been eye opening in a different way.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  Again, I hit this about 75%.  I did not buy any diet soda for the house, so I only allow it if I'm eating out.  It's forcing me to drink more water, as in with meals, and this is good.
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  I have not eaten till stuffed and I have tracked the majority of days even if the calorie count was high, but still not 100%. 
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  I'm almost afraid I'm allowing myself to "fail" too often.  Hhhmmm.... It's what I'm working on.  Things have been harder this time around and my darned lazy self just want to keep being lazy, or act like I'm in maintenance when I really need to be acting like I need to lose weight.  
So, there we are.  I still haven't had my "stellar" week, but I am figuring out some things.  When I get vexed I want to do something strict and drastic, but I keep reminding myself I need to make changes that can last.  

I hope you all have a good weekend!  I hoping for lots of trick-or-treaters -- I have candy for bunches of them.  Otherwise, it's all going into goodie bags to give the kids at church or for my own kids' lunches for the next six months.  :) 

Thanks for checking in!  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Healthy Holidays Update #4

**My internet router was blown in a major thunder storm last Friday morning, so I'm just getting to this post now. **

I'd like to write off this week and try again.  The gain from the state fair weekend never did come off.  Geez.  So, I'll do an update and move on with my challenge.  

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  Originally this was a fail, but after being so vexed with the gain I decided to get a third day of exercise done on Friday and then actually did make myself get my 4th day done on Saturday.  So...this turned out to be success after all.  :)  
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  I'm up and +1.0.  Sigh.  192.5  What the heck.  Whatever.  -1.0/10 lost. 
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  This was about 75%, but needs to be better.
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  I did not track most of the week.  There was no eating till stuffed, but I didn't track all my treats either.
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  Fail.  That's all I can say. I didn't try to stick to a healthier plan and I had a hard time allowing myself to mess up, especially when the scale jumped by more than I thought was realistic.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Was it The State Fair?

My scale is up... 3 pounds!! And it's not budging.  

Yes, I had treats at the state fair this past Saturday.  No, my water intake hasn't been all that great.  And no, I haven't eaten really strict since Saturday to make up for the fried snickers I tried or the other treats I sampled with my family.

But 3 pounds??  Good grief.  

One of the biggest things about this move that has changed for me is the lack of access to a gym.  Since I began losing weight I always had access to a  gym on base.  With two kids graduating high school this coming spring and trying to pay off some things before moving them both away to college in the summer we decided a gym membership is going to have to wait.  

And sometimes I really lament not having access to the one-hour body bump or spin classes I used to take.  Yes, I could run a lot again and burn lots of calories, but honestly I don't lose weight well when running.  That's another lesson for another time. 

For now, I'm learning for the umpteenth time that the food choices really do matter most.  I am exercising 4 days a week for at least 30 minutes and quite honestly I'm not always as motivated as when I would go to a gym.  I love my walks, I love my HIIT workouts and I've had a good run, but it's not the same as counting on those 1-hour workouts 4 days a week.  


Then to only gain half a pound when I'm on my monthly (and only exercised like 2 or 3 times and easy walks at that) and then see a 3-pound gain over the weekend  that won't budge since.... Such a vex.  

Anyway, I just had to vent.  I'm pretty sure I know what needs to change and I will change it.  Now I'm reminded why I only set a holidays challenge goal of losing ten pounds in the last 100 days of the year.  I don't do strict diets well and getting back on track is tough.  

That's all.  I'll be fine.  I won't quit.  

[end tantrum]

Monday, October 19, 2015

Choose YOUR Healthy

The Healthy Holidays Challenge is going well.  There is a range of success happening;  some are nailing all their goals and some continue to check in whether they are reaching their goals or not.

The participants are being honest and each is doing what is working for them right now.  This pleases me because, in my opinion, that's one of the main keys of weight loss.  

There are so many plans out there and a lot of them work, but each person has to decide what will work best for them.  When I started losing weight for the last time I was so scared of failure I decided my goal was to simply lose some weight and the only "plan" I was going to follow was to make two changes. 

  1. Start walking 30 minutes, three times a week.
  2. No more regular soda outside of mealtimes. 
It was that simple, but it wasn't long before other healthier habits started to form.  

As time went on I tried various strict eating plans, which worked but left me feeling like they weren't a lifestyle I wanted to live forever.  I decided making healthier choices in general and allowing all things in moderation worked best for me.  

I also began to love exercise, but outside of the two half marathons I trained for I've never spent more than an hour a day exercising.  During busier seasons of life I've been happy to get 30 minutes in regularly. 

Put those together and it meant my healthy body looked a little fuller than some, but I was okay with that.  I am okay with that. 

I'm 5' 4" and when I was at my lowest weight of 160 pounds I wasn't "skinny", but I felt strong and in control;  and I confess I also felt pretty amazing in my clothing.  I was active and I ate all things in moderation; cutting back in some places so I could indulge in others.  It was my healthy and it's what I'm working towards again. 

What does your healthy look like?  

Today I encourage you to figure that out and work on coming to peace with it.  Set goals that are both attainable and sustainable for you.   

If strict diet and exercise are what you love, then go for it!  If you are content staying moderately active and enjoying all foods in moderation like myself, that's okay too.

In my opinion, when you are at peace with what your healthy lifestyle looks like you have the best chance at success.  

Friday, October 16, 2015

Healthy Holidays Update #3

Good morning!  Well, my Sooners completely disappointed me last weekend... It was depressing since we didn't expect to lose at all.  Even a few locals said they expected Texas to lose.  Oh well.  

On with more important things... 
It hasn't been the best week for me on the Healthy Holidays Challenge, but there's always one week of the month that is a bit off from the others.  *wink* There was only a 0.5 pound gain on the scale and I'm okay with that.  

So, to update my goals for this week:  
  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  Nope.  I got two done.  I had one morning I was exhausted and one morning I was achy and just glad I stayed up to get other things done.  We had something going every night this week and it made my days "shorter" and busier. 
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  My weight today is 188.5.  I'm up 0.5 lb, but considering the time of the month I'm fine with it.  2.0/10 lost - 8 to go.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  This was okay.  Not 100%, but not horrible either.  
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  I don't feel bad for the small bowls of chocolate peanut butter ice cream I had nightly since it was a craving and I enjoyed every bite;  however, I didn't track hardly at all this week.  
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  This would be my "good thing" this week.  I knew I was allowing that ice cream and it wasn't the best choice, but it satisfied my monthly cravings and I was okay with that.  
So, that's that.  Looking at numbers it doesn't look so good that my scale was up, but I'm kind of proud of the fact it was not up the whole 2.5 pounds I've lost so far.  :) 

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a good weekend!  If I don't get an extra post in by Monday I'll see you then.  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Healthy Holidays Challenge Update #2

Good morning!  The challenge is going well.  Most of the participants are on Instagram and last week we had a good turnout checking in.  Everyone is off to a decent start and we even had two ladies whose weeks were "AWESOME".  :)

I'm enjoying motivating others and in turn being motivated to get back into weight-loss mode.  Quite honestly I still get vexed when I look in the mirror and see how the weight gain has affected me, but...the scale is trending down and the overeating has all but stopped.  So, things are going well. 

And now for my update:  

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  Done! I even got a run in one day.  The weather is cooling and it was beautiful out!
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  My weight today is 188.0.  Down 1.5 from last week and 2.5 total so far.  I'm good with it.  :)
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  Not 100% yet, but so close.  It's funny how simply having water with a meal really helps me reach this goal.  Since I've had days where I left a couple ounces in my water bottle I'm going with a yellow light on this one.   
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  The only holiday baking this week was "Pumpkin Oats" for breakfast and I measured and tracked everything.  They are yummy!!  I'll try and post the recipe later. 
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.   I am doing well with this.  Hosting this challenge has inspired me to set a good example by keeping my head in the game.  But I'm not beating myself up if I my calories are over-budget one day, because the eating till stuffed has pretty much completely stopped and I'm so happy with that. 
So, there is room for improvement, but I am pleased with how things have started for re-losing this weight. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a nice weekend! 

We are looking forward to THE GAME of the year (for us) tomorrow -- University of Oklahoma versus University of Texas tomorrow.  

We are going to a friend's house who also attended the University of Oklahoma with my husband and we will cheer our Sooners on as they kick some Texas butt.  

We *should* win, but we'll see...sometimes Texas surprises us and pulls out some great playing at the Red River Rivalry.  It's bound to be a fun game with lots of yelling and cheering.  :)  


Monday, October 5, 2015

After Love Comes Honesty

In working on losing the 30 pounds I've gained in the last year and a half I've really been thinking about what was it that lead me to start losing weight this one last time;  what began my new ending in life.    

Last week I shared how learning to love myself "even if I never lost another pound" played a key part in my weight loss journey, but today let me tell you how even love has to be honest for it to be truly effective.  

It was April 2009 and my friend and her husband had come over to drop off their son because she was going to be induced to have his little sister the next morning and I said, "You should weigh yourself!! See how much you weigh at your heaviest, in case you forget to check tomorrow."  

You know, because that's the kind of weird things us moms do.   Then we can add into our story, "I gained __ pounds!!!"

Then, for whatever reason that I still can't explain today, I weighed myself too.  Go figure.  I wasn't nine months pregnant and it was at night right before bedtime;  everyone knows you don't weigh yourself at night if you want to be kind to yourself. 

But apparently I was caught up in the moment and thought it would be fun.  

Until I saw 232.5 staring back at me and realized I weighed more than my friend who was about to deliver a baby.  She wasn't huge, but she wasn't a small pregnant lady either, which I think is why we were both surprised I weighed more.

I was mortified.  I felt so stupid for doing that.  And my friend was so kind to tell me, "Wow!  You look so good!  I never would've thought you weighed 230."  

I'm 5' 4".  It was obvious to anyone that I was overweight, but it was sweet of her to try and comfort me.  

The awkward moment didn't last long and they went on their merry way to rest up before the big day ahead.  I was babysitting two other little boys for a couple days and after everyone was in pjs I got an idea to do a group picture of my husband and I and our mixed-matched bunch, so we gathered together and smiled as the self timer went off on the camera.

I raced over to the stand, telling everyone to stay still, looked at the picture and quickly informed them we needed to take another picture.  My husband wanted to see and when he looked he said, "Oh!" I told him I looked awful and his slight gasp and 'oh!' confirmed what I felt.  I guess seeing me in person didn't have the same impact seeing me on film did.  Since I was just as shocked I wasn't upset and he never said another word about it.  

I made a mental note to hide behind the children for the next shot and tried to brush off the embarrassment at how big I'd gotten.

We took that next shot and I was happier with the kids kind of covering up what was the biggest version I'd seen of myself without being pregnant.

The "sleep over" was a success, but I couldn't forget that night. 

A few days passed and I couldn't quit thinking about that night.  Not only had I seen such a high number on the scale (and in front of a friend!!), but I also hid behind someone for the first time in my life in a photograph because I felt so large and wanted to cover up. 

I also took note this higher weight was 20 pounds heavier than I'd been the previous summer when I had decided to love myself as I was.  

I think that's when it hit.  I was continuing to "love myself" and eating whatever and however much I wanted and my health was taking a hit for it.

You see, besides seeing 232 pounds and hiding behind kids for photos I had been experiencing knee pain when standing for long periods or going up and down stairs. 

At 32 years old the only reason for the knee pain was my weight and I knew it.  

It wasn't easy, but it was probably the second best decision I ever made with regards to my health.  

I was honest with myself.  

Faced the truth and was honest about where my choices were leading me.  Honest about the fact that real love doesn't always mean getting what you want, but often getting what you need.  

So, I pondered what I would do to change and one baby step at a time I began to turn my life around. 

Looking back I smile, because it seems in the end love and honesty will often bring what you wanted in the first place.  It did for me.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Update #1

Good morning!  Well, nine days of our challenge is in the books.  It hasn't been the best week for me, but I'm happy to report progress in my goals.  Before I go any further, here's my update.

My goals for the 2015 Healthy Holidays Challenge are: 

  1. I will exercise at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  Done!  I've switched from walking to using HIIT 30-minute DVDs and I'm sore.  It's a good thing.  
  2. I will eat "weight-loss" portions and healthier options, tracking my food on My Fitness Pal, so I will see a loss of at least 10 pounds.  While my weight is down a pound this week (189.5 - woot!) I didn't make healthier choices a lot of the time.  I do know that my overeating is getting in way better control than it had been for a while, so that is good as well.  So, while not a complete fail this week, I don't feel a complete victory either.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 oz. of pure water a day.  Also a yellow, because I did not get this done every day.  Darn that Coke Zero.  
  4. I will bake and enjoy holiday treats within reason, making sure to track what I eat no matter how high the calorie count.  I did make an apple pie and I have been careful about how much of it I've eaten, but I've had other sweets and didn't track them all.  
  5. I will strive for a balance between challenging myself to stick to a healthier plan and allowing myself to mess up.  Even though my first week wasn't the best I could've done I did do well enough to lose a pound.  Green for go and for victory!  (Did you know I like to color code my progress? [grin])
How was your first week?  Whether you had an amazing start to our challenge or, like me, you only reached a couple of goals let us know how it went.  Remember you can check-in here or on my Instagram.

Note:  I've decided to leave the checking in open until midnight Sunday so that gives you three days to get it done.  You can either update in a comment about how you're doing or comment that you've done an update on your own blog or Instagram account.  

And since a majority of our challenge participants are solely on Instagram I think I'll come back here after updates are in and give a quick update on how everyone is doing.  

Have a great weekend!  I plan to...our temperatures are dropping ever so slightly, so I think I'll put my fall decor out.  :) 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Motivational Monday - Go Ahead, Feel Fabulous!!

Me in my new [larger] capris,
so I can look cute during football season...
even if I have some weight to lose. :)
Well, the Healthy Holidays Challenge is off to a good start.  There are about 18 of us participating and everyone has set some really great, realistic goals.  

I've decided to try and post something to motivate the group each week and today I'd like to speak on a subject near and dear to my heart.  

Self acceptance. 

Recently, I'm back on the path to re-lose 30 of the 70 pounds I lost a few years ago.  Most of my clothes have fit like sausage casings for weeks now and I've been miserable;  determined not to buy new clothes so I don't get comfortable in them and in turn not take care of this weight issue.  

However, in my miserable state, and realizing fall is coming and I haven't a decent-fitting thing to wear, I was reminded of the greatest lesson I learned before I ever started this final weight loss journey. 

Short Story:  
Learning to love myself at my current size was the first step towards taking care of myself and the true beginning of my weight loss journey back in 2009.   Upon remembering this lesson recently I decided to go ahead and buy a couple pairs of capris and tops to get me through the autumn.  I decided hating myself in too-tight clothing was doing nothing to help me get back on track and when I went to the high school football game in my new capris last Friday night I felt better than I had in months.  

Long Story: 
The summer before I began this blog (and my final attempt at weight loss) I read an article by Geneen Roth that to this day I believe was the turning point in my life and the true beginning of my journey.  In "Be Good to Yourself" she made the statement, 
  "True kindness is deciding right now that you deserve to feel fabulous — even if you never lose another pound."

Maybe she asked this question in an interview after her article, or maybe I came up with it myself, but none the less I remember going to my bathroom mirror and asking myself if I loved me just as I was -- if I never lost another pound.

I was 220 pounds at that time.  

And my answer was a very honest no.

I remember it made me sad to realize I felt that way because I'd always considered myself a very happy person.  I had a husband, family and friends who loved me as I was and I had come to accept my lot in life was to be the overweight wife, mom and friend.  I didn't let my weight stop me from enjoying life and was pretty content.  Yet the truth remained I couldn't imagine being completely happy with myself if I wasn't a smaller size.

So, I decided that mindset had to change and I made it my goal to learn to love myself just as I was.  I didn't go on a diet or begin exercising.  I simply began to accept myself for who I was, rolls and all.

Over the next six months I bought some new things, including new clothes for a family trip.  As I made my purchases at the shops for fuller figured women I had fun knowing I was going to look cute and stylish while visiting our family over the holidays...even if I was overweight.  I just didn't care about the sizes anymore.

I felt great!  Yes, I was aware I was wearing the largest size I'd ever worn, but I felt good about myself. 

In my confident state I also managed to gain 10 more pounds, and soon came to the realization that loving myself didn't mean letting my health go to pot, but that's a post for another day. 

Today I want to remind everyone that size should not be the gauge by which you see if you deserve to be happy and feel good about yourself.  

You deserve to love yourself just as you are -- a work in progress.  

You may be an older woman who's metabolism is slowing down or  a woman who body is growing a new baby or a lady stressed beyond belief or someone struggling with food issues.  Whatever situation you find yourself in I urge you to stop hating yourself because you are not a certain size or shape, but instead see that you are beautiful just as you are. 

And if, as was true in my case, you'll feel better getting some clothes that fit for now, then do it.  

Yes, set some things aside as rewards for reaching goals, but don't make those things a prize you allow yourself only when you're "good enough".  

Accept you are "good enough" right now and give yourself permission to feel fabulous as you are today.

Trust me, it's the most freeing feeling in the world!  

And, take it from me, when you allow yourself to be happy "if you never lose another pound [or inch]" you'll want to take care of yourself, because we take care of the things we love.  

Now go have a good week and thanks for stopping by!