Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Chatter

Today is the last day of June...feels way too soon to say that tomorrow is July.  JULY???!!!  I always felt (and still do) that the 4th of July marks that speedy downhill slide of summer ending.  Before I know it (and before I'm ready, I'm sure) I will be back dropping off Jackie at daycare and heading to my classroom.

I have mentioned before that our dogs are escape artists.  This fact has cost us time and money trying to keep them contained.  I have always said that they would ignore pain just to escape out of a cage or fence.  (I have no doubt that they would run right through one of those "invisible fences.")  Well, this week Breck proved it once again.  While at the vet for her 6 month check-up, she attempted to escape from the metal kennel they were keeping her.  The ding dong ended up ripping off her dew-claw and needing antibiotics, pain killers, and a bandage for three days in order to keep it dry.  She never did get out of that cage.

It is a long-running joke that you'll have a nice workout after attending a Catholic Mass. Up. Down. Kneel.  Sit. Shake hands. Sit. Kneel.  You gotta be in shape for that kind of thing.  Now, just picture trying to do that with a VERY wiggly and mobile 15 month old, who not only doesn't understand why she can't run out into the middle of the isle, but also LOVES to hear her voice echo, or get in laughing competitions with kids sitting down the pew (even if they aren't laughing, all they have to do is look at her...Jackie will play).   Today I had to go fetch a plastic Easter egg out of the middle of the isle.  Don't ask.

Oh...and add to the list another baby girl who is even MORE active in my belly than Jackie was.  If there is a correlation between movement in womb and movement as a toddler, we could be in trouble...  

Totally had a pregnant mom afternoon.  Put Jackie down for her nap and enjoyed some yummy ice cream.  (Double Dunker from Turkey Hill.  Ohhhhhhhhh....sooooo goooood).  Then proclaimed to my husband that spaghetti sounded good.  No spaghetti in the house so I finished up the guacamole and chips from dinner last night. Spaghetti still sounds good.  Don't judge. 

Jackie has taken her love for all things babies even further.  Now if she even sees babies, she's making the sign for "please" and pointing at the baby with a loud grunt.  She wants to see the baby.  Pet the baby's head.   Attempt to give the baby a hug and kiss.  Now this is absolutely adorable when she does it around people we know, with other babies we know.  It can be a little embarrassing when she toddles over to a random family in a restaurant and tries to reach into their baby carrier to see the baby.  Still...we are hoping that this will make for a good and loving transition from only princess to older princess.

PS...I did try to take Jackie to the back of church when she was getting her loudest.  Guess what?  There was a baby back there too, who was sleeping.  That plan didn't work, back to the pew we went.

Ethan is off for the week from work.  We just love having daddy home with us.   A list of Honey-Do's and a trip to KC for our anniversary are on the list for the week.  Hoping with the drop in temperature we can get a fire or two in as well.  I could use a S'more :)

I could totally do the stay-at-home-mom thing.  The house always looks better, laundry isn't 6 loads behind, and I feel so much less stressed than when I'm trying to do all of the "at-home" things while working.  I love my summer routine.  I really could do it all year long.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let's Get Real: The Challenge

I am a realist.

Ok...maybe a dreamer with a realistic approach.

It has taken me a long time to add the "realist" title to describe myself.  Why?  Because it tends to sound pessimistic.

I am NOT a "Negative Nelly."

However, I do know myself.  I know what I am capable of and what I am willing to do, and probably more importantly I know what I am NOT capable of and what I am NOT willing to do.  (Half of the things I pin on Pinterest will NEVER get tried.  Hence, the dreamer part of me...)

So when I approach health and diet eating right, I do so realistically and knowing who I am.  (I think this is CRUCIAL to anyone wanting to make a lifestyle change and be healthy.  Not necessarily lose 15 lbs. for a trip, but to make LIFE LONG changes what will not only have a positive impact on you AND those who are closest to you.)

ME:  I like LOVE all kinds of food.  The good and the bad.  There's not much I don't like or won't eat.  My favorites include (but are not limited to), ice cream, bread, eggs, pancakes, salads w/ vinaigrette dressing, buffalo chicken, pizza, ice cream, veggies with dip, a medium-rare steak with baked potato, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and did I mention ice cream???  :o)

And I don't diet. I don't believe it in.

Any of the "diets" I have tried in the past restrict you from over half of those foods I just listed above, and realistically I am not going to stick to something for a LIFE LONG change that doesn't allow me to have each and every item on that list.  (Plus some...)

Therefore, those diets didn't work.  Or didn't last.

Which brings me to Advocare and the 24 Day Challenge.

Now, Advocare has a long line of products from everything to muscle building, weight loss, to skin care and chap-stick.  For me, the draw was the challenge.

Maybe it's the word "challenge" that got my attention at first.

I like a good challenge.  I am competitive.  I like to win.

The 24-Day Challenge is divided into two main parts.  A 10-Day cleanse and then a 14 day MAX phase.  I will be honest, before the challenge I had never done a cleanse and I wasn't a big believer in it.  I thought they were too restricting.  But the draw for me was the second half.  The MAX phase.  The last two weeks of the challenge are designed to bring LIFE LONG habits into your real life that you can stick to.  Making simple changes to everyday eating.

~  Protein for breakfast.  Always have protein with breakfast.
~  Drink water.  Lots of water.
~  100% whole wheat bread/tortillas.  A simple, but huge change.
~  Introduce your life to SPARK!  (The sugar free, energy drink that might just change your life...another post about that coming soon!)
~  Correct portion sizes.  (This one was big for me, for some reason I thought I had to feel very full after every meal...not true!)

And those are just a few of the simple changes to make to everyday life that will have LIFE LONG effects!  Plus they are changes that are easy to get family and picky eaters on board with.  Sometimes they won't even know.

For me, the real "challenge" part of The Challenge was the cleanse.  No dairy.  No wheat. was only for 10 days.

10 days.

That is doable.

That is realistic.

And it is good for you.  Someone once described it to me (in terms mom's can really understand) that it is like cleaning out the lent catcher after running laundry.  Or (for you guys) changing the oil in your car.  Something that helps get the "yuck" out and give you a fresh new start.  Reverse scenarios above if that applies to you :o)

Oh and BONUS! They have a 24-Day Challenge that is appropriate and modified for breast feeding moms. All my mommy friends should definitely check this out!

Now, the one thing that had me reluctant to get on board with Advocare.  Cost.

Not going to lie, the challenge can be a little pricey.  (Selling at 190.25 for a set.)

However, if there is ONE thing that is worth investing in, it is your health.  And if this can help jump-start a big change, that will continue to show the benefits well after it is completed.  It is WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.

Plus, if you are someone who eats out often, you will actually find that Advocare is cheaper!

Double-Plus, you will find yourself spending less money on things that aren't as healthy, like coffee and pop.

I still eat ice cream.  I still have bread (whole wheat!).  And I still have mashed potatoes.  But those items are portioned out appropriately.  Mostly I have acquired healthy habits that will be easy to follow throughout the rest of my life.  (Don't think I'm perfect, there are still areas I struggle...more on that later).

A challenge that is doable, attainable, and REALISTIC.

Enough said.  If you are interested, contact me and I can help you out!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day

I have started, and restarted, deleted and started again.

I'm just having a hard time putting in to words how wonderful, great, super, awesome and amazing Ethan is at being a Dad.  

So I thought this would be better.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Putting it all Out There

As a Senior in high school, I weighed 180 pounds.  To an 18 year-old young lady that number was mortifying.  I can't even begin to count the number of hours I spent in the locker room with other girls who were 60 lbs lighter (and complained about it...).

I didn't want ANYONE to know.

It was always on my mind.  

I even had a teacher one time say to me "great volleyball game last night, but wow, if you were 20 lbs. lighter, just think what you could do."  

Yeah, really.

I just couldn't escape it.  

And then I went off to college to play volleyball, and I was so excited. Not just for the volleyball, but because I KNEW that with the intense workout I would finally lose those 20 lbs. After the 14 days of incredibly intense 3-a-day practices, one devoted solely to conditioning, plus an extra hour of weight training, I was ready to get on the scale.  


Seriously??  Ugh!

I decided then and there to stop looking at numbers.  I started noticing that other girls around me would be a smaller size with a smaller number, but they didn't look as good.  It may sound self-centered, but it worked.  My self-confidence started to rise. Rather than compare numbers, I compared people.

Fast-forward another five or six years.  Ignoring numbers and comparing people had brought on a whole other set of problems.  First of all, I was still comparing how other people looked to me, but now I think in my head I was still comparing the 178 lb. athlete from college. 

Which I definitely wasn't.

Ignoring the numbers had allowed for me to let the number get out of control.  All the way up to 240 before I  finally did something about it.

What did I do?  What life-changing moment would "wake me up" and get me going?

I started dating Ethan.

This was HUGE.

Two rules I had for myself when we first started dating.  
#1:  Don't eat more than him.
#2:  If he tried to lose weight, so would I

For the first rule, that helped big time.  Ethan, is not the typical guy eater, at least not what I was typically used to. He didn't completely load up his plate with food, devour it and go back for more.  He didn't eat a entire pizza. He had two pieces.  My rule meant that I had to either eat less than he did or the same amount.  For someone who grew up with some very skewed portion sizes, this was probably one of the most beneficial things in life.  Training myself to eat less. 

He started to lose weight, so did I.  

I took up golfing and swam at least a mile a day.  

These two new rules alone helped me to shed 50 lbs in less than one year!  I then adopted another rule.

Get on the scale.  Pay attention to numbers again.  Numbers don't lie.

I stopped comparing myself to other people and how they looked and started to just be happy with where I was and what I had accomplished.  And being REALISTIC.  As long as I stayed within a little 5 pound bubble of 190-195 I was happy.  


What did the future hold?  The relationship progressed, we got married, kids were sure to come.  Ugh.  Looking into the future sure looked daunting.

Gain weight for baby.

lose weight.

Gain again for baby #2.

Lose weight again.

It sure sounded exhausting and scary.  (And it still does)

However, I now have a new tool in my back pocket to help.

A program that fits what I believe.  

Be realistic.  Make simple changes that have huge payoff.  And of course EAT.

I will talk a little more about this program another time, it deserves a post all to itself.

The point is.  12 years later, no longer 18 and I'm back to looking at numbers, but in a different way.  I keep track of the number just so I don't get out of control.  I no longer compare.  No longer do I look at someone and say "well her number is lower so she must be healthier" or "she's wearing a smaller size, but I still look better."  No more comparisons.  Just making sure that I feel good about myself and where I am.  How do I feel?  Am I setting a good, healthy, and realistic example for my kids?  

Because in the end if I am not happy with myself, only I can do something about it.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Everyone Has a Breaking Point

I've hit mine.

I have gone through boxes...BOXES of Kleenex.

My nose is so raw and chapped it hurts to smile.

I can't breath out of either one of my nostrils.

I'm losing sleep...hours of sleep.  At this point I would give ANYTHING to sleep a quarter of time time my daughter does.

I'm very tired of the "oh are you sick?" and "I feel so bad for you" and "oh you must be miserable" comments.

And I'm just tired.

So I give up.

I'm going to the doctor.

I better feel better tomorrow.