Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Pants

This morning was a mad dash to get all of the errands done.  Unfortunately that translates into spending money, but that can't be helped.  First stop was Wal-Mart to buy Lily some new shoes.  She needed summer sandals and new church shoes.  Wal-Mart got two strikes against them today because they didn't have kids cookies out making me buy a box of them for the kids because I am a sucker like that.  AND they didn't have any decent sandals or church shoes.  So I bought the cookies and left.  Turns out it was a good thing I bought the cookies because I could bribe the kids with them during the rest of the morning.  Next we went to Payless which turned out to be really great because they had half sizes and their sandals were on sale!  So I was able to get both of Lily's shoes for about $30.  Perfect!  I had to resist the temptation to buy myself some sandals and some flip flops since they were all on sale, but I reminded myself I still needed to buy a carseat, and shorts.  So of to Target we went, and the kids had another cookie in hand and I bought a carseat for Chloe.  I found an Evenflo carseat that was $80.  Perfect.  Much cheaper than the Graco one for $150 and nicer than the CosCos (?) one that was $50.  One last trip, kids are getting tired now and so I told Lily that if she was good she could have another cookie when we get back into the car.  TJ MAXX is the last stop.  I had a gift card for there so that is where we went to look for shorts.  I thought I was somewhere around a size 10-12 so I grabbed a bunch of each sizes and tried them on.  I tried on the size 10 first since I am always that way and always hope to be the smaller size.  Not only did they fit but they were loose too!  I didn't even mess with the size 12 and I went back to the rack to get some size 8s just in case.  I tried those ones on and they were perfect!  Size 8!!!!!!  Halleluiah! I couldn't believe it.  I was so happy I almost started crying in the store.  Single digits, can you believe it?
My victory pose
After all that hard work, and all the depression from not seeing the scale go down, there is only one thing on this earth in the world of weight loss that means more to me than the numbers on the scale and that is pants size.  This more than anything else solidifies how much progress I have made and that all my hard work is paying off.  For reference, the last pair of pants I bought was in September of last year and they were size 14.  (I weighed 175).  There is no way that 15 pounds equates to a three size drop in pants, so I know that I have been building lots of muscle and burning fat!  I am still reeling at the revelation that my pants size is now 8!

When we came home it was time for lunch and I put Chloe down for a nap and a movie on for Lily.  And since there was cake in the house I thought it was a just reward ;-)  This is not just any old cake, this is home made three layer dark chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting also home made!  This is the most amazing cake that I have ever tasted!  And I will post the recipe tomorrow for you to have and of course link back to the original website I pulled it off of. 
After about an hour or so of work I was feeling pretty good and decided it was time for my workout.  Chalean Extreme burn 2 to maintain my strength followed by Low HIIT 20 from Turbo Fire to continue on with the Turbo Fire schedule.  Here is my sweaty sweaty face after I finished.
If you look closely you can actually see a sweat drop near the top of my ear coming down, it's close to my hair line

Phew!  Now that I am all sweaty and exhausted I plugged everything into MFP and so long as I eat according to plan I won't even be over my calorie limit today!  woo hoo!  Happy happy day :-)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Vacations

Vacations always derail me.  I just get into the vacation mind set where I want to eat whatever I can whenever I can.  That being said, I don't think I did too terrible on this vacation, but mostly because we got in so much exercise that I was able to balance out what I ate.  We had s'mores one night, and I snacked on the graham crackers for both days.  I also splurged on cocoa puffs for the kids which was a bad idea because they are my favorite kid cereal and so of course I got into them and snacked on those too.  Not the healthiest, but at least it is fortified!  The drive out was long since we kept stopping.  We hit up the Dinosaur museum in Woodland Park and the kids had a blast.  Chloe kept going "what's that!" and then roaring at all the dinosaurs, Lily was really interested in the kid play area this time around and created her own dinosaur:
We also stopped at the Thai restaurant out in Salida and they have amazing food! It's a little place and nothing fancy, but they have the best authentic Thai food I've ever eaten.  We also had to stop in Gunnison for some groceries and gas.

The next two days were filled with exploring the ranch.  I was impressed with how well Lily and Chloe were walking around and they were both having so much fun!
Here is a cute picture of me and Chloe when we were going up the tallest hill on the property.  Chloe had to be carried every so often but she really tried to go up as much by herself as possible, she kept wanting to be put down.
We came back Saturday night so the kids could sleep in the car on the way home.  Sunday was a disaster because both kids were so wiped out and so tired.  We left church after sacrament meeting because both kids just fell to pieces, and they both fell asleep pretty quickly once we got home. 

Today was great!  I ate really well until about 2:00.  Matt made me make that amazing chocolate cake today because there were two stakes created in Cambodia and it is the first time there has ever been a stake created in Cambodia and there were two created at the same time.  He has been begging me to make that cake for him since I made it for his birthday


So of course that was a disaster.  Dinner was actually very healthy, lobster tails and stake with vegetables at my parent's house!  But then we had ice cream with berries for dessert so I ate three desserts today (two pieces of cake) yikes!  But I am staying out of desserts for the rest of the week!

Happy Memorial day everyone!  And in honor of Memorial Day I think it only appropriate that my Gratitude Journal be as follows:
I am thankful for those who are currently fighting in our military
I am thankful to those who have died in service to our country
I am thankful I live in America
I am thankful to those who were courageous enough to sign the declaration  of independence so that we could have freedom

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

13,282 steps

I'm titling this post with the number of steps I took today because I realized something this afternoon.  One of the many reasons why I get so tired in the afternoon is because (besides the kids getting up at all hours of the night) I am incredibly active during the morning!  We wake up between 6-7am and I have to make breakfast for four different people, and then get the kids changed and dressed for the day including hair and teeth brushing, and then it is time for Turbo Fire, 45 minutes of intense cardio exercise!  And then it's shower, and getting dressed all the while making sure that Chloe doesn't trash my room and the kids are not fighting.  After that it depends on how the day is set up, either I will take the kids to the park (weather permitting) or put on a movie and get my work done on the computer.  Usually the latter because if I don't get my work done in the morning most of the time it doesn't get done.  Then it is time for Chloe to nap somewhere in all of that, and of course lunch follows and running around with the kids, going grocery shopping etc etc etc..... And by the time we get back home around 1-2:00 I am so tired from the first half of the day that I just crash!  It's no wonder why I am always so much tired than Matt.  I used to get upset that he could get up at 5am, work all day and go to bed at 10:30 and not get tired, but he isn't moving much.  Just sitting on the computer or driving in the car.  Me?  I'm running around chasing kids all day, cleaning, cooking, and of course getting up countless times at night taking care of the kids.  Don't believe me?  (I'm sure you do, especially if you are a mom) Check out my sleep tracker:
That was from Monday, just two days ago.  Every pink line is when one of the kids got up and I had to go get them.  You can easily tell at the top: 7 times!  Monday was Chloe, Chloe got up seven times that night!  And the light blue lines is me trying to fall back asleep afterwards. 

How about this one:
I have Lily to thank for this night. Nice bold pink stripe right down the middle of my night.  Lily had some nightmare about a bug that bit her hand (probably due to the fact that a few days ago she was playing in an anthill and one of the ants bit her hand). 

So anyway, my fitbit has basically confirmed what I was pretty suspicious of before: I don't really sleep well at night. 

Okay, now I'm done ranting.  Here are some fun things that happened today:
My 310 shakes came in!  I got a chocolate and vanilla flavor, the shakes come out to $2.20 per shake, it's $64 for 28 servings which isn't too bad considering that the popular Shakeology by Beachbody is $129 per 30 servings! 
I love that you get to make a foo foo drink for breakfast (I made a pina colada drink this morning with coconut milk, vanilla shake mix, and pineapple!) and then the other shake is just plain and it's a snack instead of a whole meal!  I love that you don't have to replace two meals a day. 

Also, here is Chloe chowing down on the cookies I made the other day:
She is so cute! 

We are going to be gone for Memorial Day weekend and I won't have internet access so I won't be posting again until maybe Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Gratitude Journal
Today I am thankful for all of the hard work I have put in up to this point.  I am thankful that I decided to change my life and now I can play with Lily at the park (we went to the park today, just the two of us) and I can run around and be much more active with her.  I don't spend enough time enjoying my victories as I am always looking towards the next step lamenting the fact that I haven't arrived.  I know I will get there in time and I am thankful that I have not given up, and that I did not give up months ago.  My hard work is paying off.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Chick pea cookies

Wow!  That is all I have to say about these cookies.  I came across these cookies on THIS blog.  I use my small stainless steel scoop from Pampered chef and it makes about 33 cookies and each cookie is about 32 calories a piece!  I ate 8 of these cookies for dessert tonight and I only racked up 300 calories!  Do you have any idea how many calories it would be if I ate 8 chocolate chip cookies, even homemade cookies made with the same stainless steel small scoop.  Those are about 110 calories a piece, that's like 880 calories!  So I saved 580 calories with these babies! 


I made them in my amazing new Blendtec blender.  The recipe says to make them in a food processor or a blendtec blender, but I bet you could also do pretty well making them with a kitchen aid.  The thing is you need to puree the chick peas somehow.  I baked them on my stoneware and they turned out excellent.  The directions say to put parchment paper, or a baking mat down before baking them if you don't have stoneware.  The dough is very sticky. 
Here is the recipe from the original website

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel1
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter, SunButter Natural or almond butter - room temperature 2
  • ¼ cup (80 grams) honey (commenters have used agave and maple syrup with success!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder3
  • a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
  • ½ cup (90 grams) chocolate chips (use vegan and dairy-free chocolate chips, if needed)
Source

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they're combined.
  2. Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
  3. With wet hands, form into 1½" balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don't do much rising.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. My can of chickpeas was 400 grams, 240 grams without the water, and I used all but a few tablespoons.
  2. Don't even try with regular peanut butter! They'll come out oily. You MUST use natural peanut butter. :)
  3. If you need grain-free baking powder, you can use 1 part cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda + 2 parts arrowroot.
 
Gratitude Journal
In light of my amazing discovery with these cookies, I am incredibly thankful for my Blendtec blender!  I am grateful that I was able to get the blender by working at home a few hours a week.  I am grateful for people who have amazing blogs for me to try the recipes from!  

Monday, May 19, 2014

A New Scale

Today was grocery day and I went ahead and splurged on a new scale!  (Really it was only $40, so it wasn't that big of a splurge).  I honestly can't figure out why I didn't think of this sooner!  Now I really wish I had some before Chalean Extreme stats but at least I have something to go off of now!  I set up my profile on the new scale as soon as I got home and here is what it tells me:
weight: 150.2
BMI: 25.6
Body Fat: 29.7%
Muscle Mass: 58 pounds
Water: 51.3%

So much for my ability to gauge my body fat percentage with those calipers they sent me!  I asked my sister to look up my before stats from my herbalife challenge since Robert should have all my paperwork in my file, but of course as luck would have it, the paper has mysteriously disappeared.  But I know I was in the upper 30s for body fat percentage and I also know my muscle mass was less than 55 (who knows, it could have been 45 I really don't remember, but I know I have put on some muscle and lost some body fat!)  So I am super excited to have my new scale and now I won't get discouraged unless I am working hard and all the numbers are staying the same!

I'm trying to use up my Zumba classes before they expire and when I asked Matt when I could do Zumba this week (after my workout) he said "well you can go tonight".  So I ended up with a double workout again today!  Good thing the morning workout was weight lifting so it was really just a total body workout!  Zumba class was hard!  and so much fun!  The instructor was Mark, who is one of the owners of the studio I go to.  You can check out their web page here 

Well I'm exhausted, Lily was up ALL night last night so I am completely wiped out due to lack of sleep and too much exercise ha!  So wrapping up with my:
Gratitude Journal
I am thankful for Zumba.  Going to class tonight just reaffirmed my love for all things Zumba.  It is so much fun and I am also thankful that I completed Chalean Extreme.  I noticed tonight how much more I can jump around and also since starting Turbo Fire I can really take the intensity of my workouts up a notch!  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Feeling Better

Today I had much more energy than the whole week put together.  On the Turbo Fire schedule I was supposed to do Fire Starter again, but I didn't feel like doing that one.  So I did Fire 40, which is a more intense workout, but I like it better now that I have the hang of a lot of the moves.  After that my energy dwindled until about 12:00 and that is when I took the kids to the park.  I am not sure what happened at that point, maybe it was just breaking out of the cycle, or doing something different besides being cooped up in the house due to cold weather, but while we were at the park I got a new surge of energy that carried me through the rest of the day.

I am feeling much better today, Lily was also doing better today probably due to the fact that she pooped yesterday.  Hopefully with the miralax in her system now it will help keep her regular and I won't have to go through that again.  I was so hoping that we could just take her off of it, but no such luck.  That girl has an iron will. 

I talked to my older sister today and she mentioned that one of the reasons my weight might have jumped back up is because I am drinking a ton more water than I used to and my body isn't used to having so much water in it, and since I am more hydrated it is reflecting on the scale.  That is definitely a possibility since I have been drinking all of my 64 oz of water every day for two weeks now whereas before it was a small miracle if I got 16 oz down.  So that is something to think about.  This morning I was at 151, which I suppose is .7 down from what it has been all week, but with my track record it will just pop back up.  Besides it is still above 150 and the next time I drop below I am just going to be waiting for it to go back up.  Best not to get my hopes up so as I am not so disappointed.  I have also decided to only weigh myself once a week again and force myself to stay off the scale every other day.  I am way too emotionally attached to the numbers the scale reads.  I am thinking of getting a new scale that tells you your muscle mass as well as body fat % and water weight.  I sure with I had a scale like that for these past three months!  If I could see that my muscle mass was going up and my weight and body fat% was going down I would know for sure that I lost say 5 pounds of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle.  That would have really helped psychologically.

Anyway, this evening we went on a little walk and Lily totally ate it.  She skinned her knee up and tore a hole through her jeans.  She was a disaster for almost the rest of the time (until we arrived at a park) and when we got home she went to pieces.  I but some Balance oil from Doterra on her (after patching her up of course) and put her to bed and she was asleep in 5 minutes flat.  I sure love that balance oil from Doterra.  I still want to get the lime and orange oils for cooking.  I made a lotion mixture of peppermint and melaleuca for the hives on my neck and it is the only thing that has helped them to go down.  I am really loving those oils!

Anyway, tomorrow is pancake day and I have a choice to make, either I eat mine without chocolate chips and whipped cream or I am going to have to subtract points. hmmmmmm I am not sure yet what I am going to do, but tonight I am feeling pretty good.

Gratitude Journal
Today I am thankful that the weather was warmer allowing us to go outside and to the park to play.  I am thankful for my two girls, and I am thankful also for Deena who is always looking out for me.  I am thankful that she is my director, and my friend.  I am thankful for the doterra oils that have really been a big help for our family.  I am thankful for my husband and that I am able to stay home with the kids even if it drives me crazy sometimes.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Progress is progress

Matt says I'm too hard on myself.  Perhaps I am.  I need to work more on accepting myself.  As we strive to become better people, and strive for perfection, we are also our own worst critics.  So after much consideration I have decided to post a few of my before and after pictures from Chalean Extreme.  I need to be reminded that I have made a lot of progress these past months.  Even though my weight won't stay below 150 pounds I know I have lost fat, and become more toned.  Focusing too much on the number on the scale has led me to feel like a failure and become more depressed.  You can see a very big difference in these pictures and I know that I need to focus on the positive instead of focusing on the negative so much.  It was only after talking to my mom about these pictures that pulled me out of the depression and self pity cycle that I had wound up in.  Therefore progress is progress, even if it isn't the type of progress you are looking for.  The scale hasn't gone down, but my body fat has, and the inches have also gone down. 

So without further ado, here are four pictures, before (left): 153.7 (beginning of February), after (right) 151.7 (beginning of May)





And since I am still doing my feel great in 8 challenge, at the end of this post you get my gratitude journal
Today I am thankful for my Mom who is always supporting me and knows how to make me feel better when I get too hard on myself.  I am not finished yet, and no one said that this weight loss journey was going to be easy, I didn't know how long it would take, there was no definitive end date and as long as I keep moving forward and keep trying and don't give up I'm a winner.  This journey has been and continues to be grueling, difficult, and challenging not just physically but mentally and emotionally.  It has been hard to keep everything in perspective, it has been hard not to jump to extreme methods and to resist the temptation of short cutting my weight loss by adding junk like diet pills and other methods that promise quick results.  But slow and steady wins the race.  I set out on this journey determined to see it through to the end and that is what I am going to do.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

When It Rains It Pours

Over the past several days I have been feeling very depressed.  I have been very upset that I am still hovering around 150 and that every time I drop below 150, I pop back up the next week and stay there eventhough I am doing everything right.  On top of these feelings of failure, frustration, and despair I have been having a rough time with Lily.  Lily hasn't had a bowl movement in five days, so we decided to put her back on her miralax, but she is so fussy now and very cranky from not pooping in so long.  In addition, I spilled Asian salad dressing all over the inside of my car and that was incredibly difficult to clean up.  Then I noticed yesterday I have misplaced my $70 sunglasses clip that attaches to my glasses and is the whole reason why I got these particular frames in the first place.  I also still have hives on my neck and my throat was feeling very constricted today.  In addition to all that I pulled a muscle in my back picking up Lily yesterday.  Geeze it is no wonder I'm upset.  I have been so incredibly tired the last several days I don't quite know what to do with myself.

I was talking to Matt this morning about feeling like a failure with my weight not going down and I told him about some of the protein shakes that I was researching and he told me to go ahead and buy the one I wanted.  I decided to try the 310 shakes as they have the highest quality protein, the most fiber, no artificial ingredients, no added sugar or fructose, and they have a pretty good price for them.  I decided that my body just needs some help.  So I am planning on trying these.  The nice thing about them is that you get one for breakfast and then the second one is an afternoon snack and your breakfast shake you can spice it up with fruit so they have lots of recipes for different tasting shakes eventhough they only sell vanilla and chocolate, they have a blueberry recipe, birthday cake, banana swirl, etc etc etc.  I am really excited to give it a try and hopefully get the scale going in the right direction again.

Later this evening I showed my mom my pictures from my Chalean extreme and she was saying how great my after pictures looked and was pointing out the differences she could see in the before and after pictures when they were side by side.  She pointed out that my face looks thinner, my arms and back are much more sculpted, my waist has really shrunk and my legs have firmed up.  That really helped me feel better because I just feel like I haven't made any progress when really I have.  My body looks very different now than it did 5 months ago.  I am still stuck on the scale and probably always will be, but I have to take into account that I am stronger, and leaner.  Still I have finished almost two weeks of Turbo Fire and I haven't the slightest clue why I jumped back up into the 150s after going down to 149 and this whole 149 to 150 thing is driving me out of my mind.  So I am glad to give the shakes a try to boost my weight loss and get me hopefully into the 130s. 

Gratitude Journal
I am thankful for my wonderful husband who is being so supportive and just wants me to be happy.  I also am so thankful for my mom who encourages me and points out the positive things and tells me what a good job I am doing and that all my hard work is paying off.  I feel much better this evening than I have for the past three days because I have these two wonderful people in my life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sesame Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry



 
Lots of veggies in this and I usually double this recipe because it doesn't serve very many people.  I cut up some potatoes and baked them and had some quinoa and asparagus as my sides and it was amazing!  Sorry for the lack of a picture, maybe I will update this post the next time I make this recipe.

Sesame Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry

3/4 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch strips   

2 Tbsp cornstarch   

2 tsp canola oil, divided   

1 tsp dark sesame oil, divided   
 
1 small uncooked onion(s), cut into thin strips   

1 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, grated   

1 Tbsp minced garlic   
 
5 cup(s) uncooked bok choy, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick   

2 Tbsp water   

2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce   

Instructions
  • Toss chicken with cornstarch in a medium bowl until coated.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon canola oil and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Add chicken and stir-fry until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes; remove to a plate.
  • Heat remaining teaspoon canola oil in same skillet. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden and almost tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in ginger and garlic; cook a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Add bok choy and water; stir-fry over medium-high heat until bok choy is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
Add chicken back to skillet; pour in soy sauce and cook, stirring, until chicken is hot, about 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil; toss to coat. Add a few tablespoons more water if you prefer a thinner sauce. Yields about 1 cup per serving. 

Gratitude Journal
Today I am thankful for my house.  I am thankful that we were able to buy a house two years ago and I am thankful that we have a place to call our own and that protects us from the elements.  Since it has decided to be winter in the middle of May and it is freezing cold outside right now, I have been very thankful for the shelter we have.  Also, we just have an amazing house.  We spend a lot of time here and in our neighborhood and I am grateful we were able to afford a place in such a great location an neighborhood.   

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Just a gratitude Journal post

Today I am thankful for food.  I am grateful that I have this opportunity to learn about healthy food and to really put myself to the test to push myself farther than I have before to make healthy choices, get off so much sugar, and start drinking more water.  I love food and am thankful for the wide variety of food so that we never get bored.  I am thankful for chocolate which makes me feel happy, and fruit which tastes great any time and is always a great snack or addition to any meal.  I am grateful for Chia seeds because they help me get in all my required fiber in a day. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 2

Today is week 2 of the challenge.  Last week I only lost 10 points so I am excited to see where I am in the standing.  Scores don't have to be submitted until Wednesday so we probably won't know our rank until Thursday.  Last night I spent about an hour making my new detailed food plan for this week.  Everything that I am going to eat including snacks, and how many servings of fruit, fiber, protein and vegetables I will be getting so that I can make sure I am hitting my goals in each area.  It's really the only way that I can be sure to hit the mark every day.  On the menu this week are some new Green Smoothies to try, some shrimp pasta, Mexican chicken chili, and  a few stir frys!  This week has a great line up of food and I am excited for Thursday to see the standings.

I am going back to weekly weigh ins now that I am not doing weight lifting anymore and with cardio you really can see a change on the scale and especially combined with my good eating habits from the challenge, I have high hopes.  Yesterday I weighed in at 149.3!  Back under 150 and this time for good.  I lost a total of 2.4 pounds last week! (taking the start at 151.7 not at the inflated weight of 153 from the bad weekend)  That is spot on if I want to reach my goal of 130 by July 12th for the family photos. 

Here is the cutest photo of Chloe that we took at my parent's house yesterday
Gratitude Journal
I am thankful for the winter storm that passed through this weekend.  The snow has effectively cleaned the air of pollen and the hives on my neck have gone down.  This has been a bad allergy year and for the first time I have hives that broke out on my neck and my neck muscles have been constricted.  Crazy!  I am hoping that the sudden coldness will make the rest of the season better than the first part and I am thankful that for now my allergies have backed off, and hope that the hives will disappear completely soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Chalean Extreme Final Results

Three Months down.  I made it through my weight lifting circuit.  For someone who usually avoids weight lifting at all costs, that is quite an accomplishment.  I did not always do well with the nutrition portion.  Too often I splurged on cookies, cake, and candy (throw chips in there too, maybe I should just avoid all "c" words haha!  I could call them the "deadly c's" =D     ok, moving on now).  But I worked hard and I never skipped a workout.  This program revolutionized the way I thought about weight lifting.  I was used to lifting weights by doing three sets of 10 reps.  How incredibly boring is that?  This program has you lifting so heavy that you fatigue by 10-12 reps.  You don't have the strength to do three sets of 10 reps, and when you do lift a second set, it is only 3 reps and it is so slow and intense there is no possible way that you could be bored.  In essence, this program made weight lifting doable for me.  Also, the workouts were not too long.  Between 35-45 minutes in length.  The cardio workouts kicked my butt too!  I thought I was in pretty good shape until I picked up Chalean Extreme. 

The first two weeks of Chalean Extreme I was so sore I couldn't hardly walk.  Once I got over my soreness, the workout changed and I would find myself sore all over again!  I worked hard, it was mentally challenging, but I believe it payed off.  I only had weights that went up to 15 pounds so I couldn't do some of the lower body exercises to the fullest potential (especially in the push month where you are lifting so heavy you fatigue by 8-10 reps) but I still kept at it and gave it my all.  The most challenging part for me was that the scale didn't budge.  After seeing the scale go down for a year, having it suddenly stop going down was like psychological suicide.  I was in an awful state of distress and contemplated giving up several times.  So addicted to the scale and the need to see the numbers go down that I completely divorced my scale for the third month because I couldn't mentally handle it anymore.  I couldn't keep workout out as hard as I was and not visibly see the results of my hard work show up on the scale.  It was so damaging to me mentally that every week the scale didn't go down I would spiral into a pit of emotional eating which at its worst lasted a whole week.  I started the program at 153.7, and I ended the program at 151.7.  Two pounds.... Two measly pounds is all I had to show on the scale for all my hard work.  But changes were being made elsewhere in my body.  That is what I had to learn.  Becoming physically fit and getting in shape and being healthy is not just about the numbers.  It was a hard lesson to learn, but I can see the success I had in other areas.  For example:

My Results

Category                            Before                            After                                 Change
Body Fat %                          36                                 27                                       -9%
Waist                                   36 1/2"                           34"                                      -1 1/2"
Hips                                     41"                                 40"                                     -1"
Abductors                            40 3/4"                          40 1/2"                              - 1/4"
Chest                                   36 1/2"                          35"                                     - 1 1/2"
Right arm                             11 1/2"                           11 1/4"                               -1/4"
Left arm                               11 1/2"                           11 1/4"                               -1/4"
Right Thigh                           21 1/2"                           21"                                    -1/2"
Left Thigh                             21 1/2"                           21                                      -1/2"

Total number of inches lost: 5 3/4"
Not too shabby.  I do have some pictures but I just don't feel very comfortable posting them on the blog since I took them in my sports bra and swimsuit bottoms. If you know me personally and you wish to see the pictures, I will be happy to show them to you, just let me know.

Now, after a grueling three months, my foot has finally healed and I am ready to throw myself back into my beloved cardio.  But I have not forgotten the importance of strength training.  I am starting Turbo Fire, and I am going to be doing at least one strength training session a week instead of doing the cardio for that day.  I am going to focus on maintaining the muscle I have built instead of focusing on growing more muscle.  Once I reach my goal weight, I will once again turn to strength training and I will repeat Chalean Extreme.  Next time I look forward to not having to freak out that the scale is not going down. 

Gratitude Journal
Today being Mother's Day, I think it is appropriate to say that I am so very thankful to my Mom!  I am thankful for all the time, energy, and love she put into raising me from infancy to adulthood, and all the time, energy and love she continues to give and share with me.    Thank you Mom for everything that you do, have done, and continue to do every day.  I never realized exactly how much goes into being a Mom until I became one myself.  I love you Mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Trip to the Temple

Quite a hectic morning getting everyone ready to go up to the Temple for the Primary Temple grounds tour.  It takes a little over an hour to get to the Temple and we were meeting at 9:50am.  So waking up, getting the family fed, getting myself ready to go, and then the kids ready to go (in Temple appropriate clothing) and then also packing lunch and making Matt a lunch too (which he promptly left on the counter.  A whole lot of good it did him there)!  It was quite an ordeal to get everyone out the door on time this morning and quite a whirlwind.  But we made it on time and the weather was great!  Lily and Chloe were running around on the grass and it was difficult to constrain them.  The tour started by reminding us that we were on sacred ground even outside the Temple and that we should not run and we need to be reverent.  I was like "oh no, how am I going to get these two little kids to be reverent outside and not run!"  Fortunately we were only reprimanded once, and that was when they got too close to the windows.  Lily didn't pay attention to a thing that the tour guide said and I was just lucky that Chloe didn't wander off somewhere, but Lily did like pointing out the Angel Moroni and of course she loved the fountain.
I did learn a few things today however, like how the fountain is a symbol for the gospel because Christ offers us living water, and the fountain runs all year round.  I also learned that the Angel Moroni has a lightning rod sticking out of his head to protect him from lightning!  After the tour we went across the street and had a picnic, and while we were walking over there I ran into my grandparents and my Aunt Kim!  That was an exciting and surprising event.  I was really excited to see them because it has been several months since I have seen them and with Mother's Day being tomorrow I am glad I was able to wish my grandma a happy mother's day.  My Aunt Kim had a great time teasing my dad about it, saying how she got to see me at the Temple today :-)

After the picnic we went to my In-Laws house and spent the remainder of the day over there.  We had BBQ spare ribs with broccoli and mashed potatoes for dinner and it was amazing!  Much better than left over mac and cheese.  (Although the mac and cheese is pretty good).  While we were there we decided to go on a little hike.  We didn't get to go very far because Lily was pretty tired and didn't feel like going for a long hike.  I was bummed about it though because my friend Deena had taunted me on fitbit earlier and I was trying to get more steps in to catch up to her (she was 11k steps ahead of me).  Matt came up with the idea for me to walk home while he and Lily drove back in the car.  I thought that was a great idea and seeing as how Chloe had fallen asleep in the hiking backpack it would allow her some time to sleep as well.

After the hike I was still 9k steps behind Deena!  But I had caught up a little.  She was out all day today with her daughter and granddaughter at the berry farm in California.  Well I tried, and I got over 13k steps in today.  So far week one of my goal to get in 10k steps every day (except Sunday which is a day of rest) has gone just perfect!  I was able to get in at least 10k steps every day this last week.  Now to keep it up for the next 7 weeks so I can get my goal points for the challenge!

Speaking of the challenge, I did hit all my food goals for the day (I even doubled the amount of protein that I was supposed to be getting ha!  Overcompensating for yesterday, too bad I don't get extra points), and all that is left is, you guessed it.  My Gratitude Journal

Today I am thankful for the Temple.  I am grateful that we have a Temple so close to us and that I can go there to get guidance and personal revelation from the Lord.  I am grateful that He is watching over me and that I am living my life worthy to enter into the House of the Lord. 


Friday, May 9, 2014

Staying on track

Today was a stressful day.  It didn't seem like more happened than usual today, I just felt like I was on a shorter fuse.  I was pretty tired today from Lily waking up around 4am and deciding that she needed to sleep in our bed and then Chloe was making noise starting at 6am.  I did manage to do Turbo Fire but I don't think I will be doing it tomorrow as I have to leave pretty early in the morning to head up to the Temple for the primary temple tour which starts at 10am, and it takes just over an hour to get there.  So I think I will be concentrating more on getting myself and the kids ready.

Anyway, I loved using my blender to make a green smoothie for lunch.  Tiffany from the feel great in 8 challenge has an amazing recipe for a green smoothie here.  It was awesome!  I shuffled around my planned menu today and had to figure out how to fit all my servings of everything in again.  I didn't eat eggs for breakfast like I planned and just had oatmeal, and then I didn't have a sandwich for lunch, I had the green smoothie.  So I ended up with lots of fruit and veggies and only 2 out of 4 servings of protein.  Drats, today is the first day I didn't get all of my points.  I will have to be more diligent.   Dinner tonight was mac and cheese with veggies.

In the afternoon I decided that I had to get out of the house so I went on a surprise trip to focus on the family and let the kids run around.  We only stayed about an hour and that seemed to be enough for the kids.  I'm glad I went and let them get some of their energy out and get out some of their cabin fever.  We haven't gone anywhere for a few days.  Getting out of the house in the next few days is going to be nice.

I have been doing well on this challenge and I have noticed that I have said no to several things that I would normally just pop into my mouth without really thinking about it.  I am making sure that I don't eat any more treats this week since I have already had my two items off of the bad list.  Just tomorrow left though because Sunday is a free day for Mother's Day!

Gratitude Journal
Today was tough to think of something I was grateful for because I was pretty crabby all day, but I am grateful for this feel great in 8 challenge.  It is keeping me on track, and keeping me motivated to make healthy choices.  It is getting my sugar consumption under control and I am treating desserts as they should be treated: as a treat instead of as an every day meal!  I have enjoyed reading all the members posts on the group and finding more friends on my fitness pal to cheer me on. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A New Blender

Today I got my new Blendtec blender!
I have already made three smoothies with it!  I is awesome and I am so happy that I was able to replace my old cheap blender with a really nice one.  I am looking forward to all the things that I will be able to make with it!  It has pre-programmed settings so that you can just push the button and it will cycle through different speeds to blend up what you are currently making.  In one word: Awesome

Gratitude Journal
Today I am thankful for my younger sister Chase.  I am thankful that she is always willing to watch my kids for me if she is not busy with school.  She came over tonight to watch the kids so I could go to the Relief Society service activity with my Mom.  Matt had school tonight and so I would not have been able to go if Chase did not make the sacrifice to watch the kids for me.  Thank you Chase, I am so grateful to have you as a little sister!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Not giving in

Day three has come and gone. My goal is to have a perfect first week and today was very challenging. Lily was not easy today.  She was overtired from going to bed late and too stubborn to poop in the potty.  She soiled several of her panties and threw a few tantrums.  I wanted to cave into my addiction and just fall asleep with her when she went down for her afternoon nap. But 20 points was enough to prevent me from lying down and sleeping.  I amazed myself by not giving into my desire to drink a soda pop and not giving in to eating unhealthy foods due to stress such as chips and chocolate.  So I was able to finish the day accruing all of my points! Just have to do my gratitude journal.

Gratitude Journal
Today I am thankful for my children.  While I have to deal with all the crazy drama that the kids bring I am still grateful to have them.  With all the recent deaths in my church and tragedies in peoples lives that I know, a heavy weight has been on my heart recently and I am grateful that my family is safe. For all the stress that the kids put me through I would much rather have them here with me than to have to let them go.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blender drama and a double workout

Matt told me last night that I would be able to go to Zumba tonight.  I have a 10 class pass to one of the local studios but it expires at the end of June.  I have only used three classes so far and so I have to go once a week to get all my classes in before it expires.  Anyway, I decided to go ahead and to turbo fire this morning as well because you never know what is going to happen in the evening.  Matt might have some emergency at work come up making him come home too late for me to go to Zumba.  I couldn't leave it to chance and there is no reason why I shouldn't workout twice in one day, I'm not making a habit out of it! 

So today I did the Fire 40 class which I loved!  It was more fun than the starter class since it didn't break down any moves.  All the moves were pretty typical moves and once you get the routine down you are good to go.  I think that Chalean gives you really good cues throughout the program so it keeps you on track.  I can't wait to get the routine down good enough so I can fire up the music.  I love blasting music while I am working out, which is part of the reason why I love Zumba so much.  You can still hear Chalean talking in the background when the music is fired up, but it is much quieter, like her voice is drowned out by the music... which pretty much it is. 

Since I started the feel great in 8 challenge and I have to get four servings of vegetables in every day I decided that I would start making green smoothies.  I have several recipes to try from different sites.  Yesterday I made the green smoothie from the feel great in 8 blog.  And today I was going to make a green smoothie from a Doterra essential oils magazine I picked up from my neighbor up the street.  Apparently I left my brain somewhere else today because while I was mixing everything up I left my spoon in the blender.  I have absolutely no recollection of leaving the spoon in the blender, it's like I dissociated for ten seconds because when the blender started making funky noises I thought it was the motor or that the blender wasn't sitting on the base correctly.  After fiddling with it for a while and using the pulse button to see if it had been fixed, I blew a hole through the side of my blender.
That was not fun to clean up.  After putting some thought into what I wanted in a new blender I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to get the blender of my dreams.  Except that we didn't have that kind of money to spend on a blender.... or did we?  I think I have mentioned before that I work for Deena who is my Pampered Chef director.  That is how I was able to purchase the Chalean Extreme and Turbo Fire programs.  This month I was planning on buying the select tech adjustable weights.  However, I have switched from weight lifting to cardio and I am doing weight lifting only once a week and I still have the weights my parents loaned to me.  So I decided that a set of weights can wait another month (the weights I want are $300) and go ahead and get the blender now. 

So I am going to Costco to buy the Blendtec with Deena on Thursday!  Yippee!  Blendtec and Vitamix are the two blenders that keep coming up as the best blenders on the market.  I was originally thinking of getting the vitamix, but it is $465 on Amazon, and they had the Blendtec at Costco for $300.  In the end it was easy to choose.  Is the vitamix really worth an extra $165?  Is it worth working an extra 13 hours to get it?  Probably not.  I think that the blendtec will be perfect, and I am super excited to get it in and use it!  Thursday can't come fast enough.

This evening as you know, I went to Zumba and I was the only person who showed up!  So I got a private class with the instructor.  It was lots of fun, and the songs weren't very intense which was probably a good thing since I had already exercised this morning.

The bonus activity for today for my Feel Great in 8 challenge was to write out your possitive affirmations.  Basically you figure out what negative things you tell yourself all the time and write the opposite down.  Then you put them in a place where you can see them and read them back to yourself with feeling and determination as if you believe what it is saying twice a day.  Here are the four things I thought of and the affirmations I wrote down

1. I am still so fat and my body is ugly --> I love and appreciate my body
2. I am naturally lazy and I hate that I am so lazy-->  I live an active and healthy lifestyle
3. I am a bad mom --> I do a good job raising my children
4. I am unhappy due to xyz --> Life is full of joyful and exciting moments

So you just write the good part of that down (I wrote the negative so you would get the idea)  As I find myself thinking other negative thoughts I will add more positive affirmations to this list.

And with that, I leave you with my gratitude journal for the day

I am thankful for Zumba.  Zumba has helped me this past year go from 211 pounds to 150 pounds.  I am thankful to all the people who have put in time and effort in creating Zumba and the Zumba games so I can play them at home and get an amazing and fun workout.  I am also thankful for Turbo Fire, my new and exciting workout.  I am thankful for Deena and I am thankful for the job that I have with her so that I can buy new things that I or my family need such as new blenders and exercise equipment.  Thank you for supporting me in my weight loss efforts!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 1

So today I was up at 153.  I'm not surprised and I'm not upset.  I know the last three days were not great to say the least, and I know that my weight will go back down fairly quickly.  I think I am going to weigh in every other day or so and if it starts affecting my mood then I am going to back off to once a week.  I really want to win this challenge and I cannot afford any days where I fly off the bandwagon because of a disappointing weigh in.  Today is day 1 of Feel great in 8 and it is day 1 of Turbo Fire.  I love turbo fire!  It is kickboxing based, and high energy and still a little dancy.  Coming from doing Zumba so much, it is perfect for me.  I love it!  I finished my workout today and was sad that it was over haha!  Now that is a workout I can live with!  It is definitely high intense and I was struggling with cramps for most of it.  Probably because of how poorly I ate the last few days. 

Source
I stuck to the plan I made almost perfectly.  The only differences that I made was adding half a banana to my oatmeal instead of half a cup of berries.  I also nixed the tbsp of brown sugar that I usually put in my oatmeal since the challenge is about making healthier choices and adding extra sugar, while it may not count as a treat, just seemed wrong.  I want to make sure I am being fair and honest and I still intend to win :-)
I even drank all my water today and then some!  I downed two out of three bottles of water before lunch and then finished the last one somewhere around 3.  I used one of my two treats this evening on a diet Pepsi.  I plan on saving my other treat for Thursday when we have our church activity.  They usually have good stuff there.  And if there isn't anything there to spend my treat on, then I get to have it another time!  Also we got an email today and we get a free day on Mother's Day!  So we just take the average of the week for each category and use that.  I am going to still try to get in all of my points by eating fiber, protein, fruit, and veggies, but I'm not going to have to be penalized for having extra treats.

So for today, the only thing I have left to do is to write in a gratitude journal which I figured I could just do on my blog.  So here it goes:

Gratitude Journal
I am grateful for my husband who works all day and all night at two jobs and goes to school in order to earn enough money to provide for the family.  Because he tirelessly works away we get to live in this wonderful house, we have internet, cell phones, health insurance, heat, water, food, and all other necessities of life.  I am thankful that he was able to get a new higher paying job last year when we needed it the most and now I can go to Costco without worrying we won't be able to afford the things I am buying (such as diapers and lunch meat and vegetables, and fruit). (This being on my mind because I went to Costco this morning!)  So Thank You Matt for all the hard work that you do.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Out with the old, In with the New

Changing over.  Finishing one program and starting a new.  Chalean Extreme is over and I kind of messed up the last few days.  Finishing strong was never my strong point.  I tend to binge eat sweets right before I start a new program and this time was no different.  Friday and Saturday I ate until I felt sick.  Mostly all that Easter candy that I have been ignoring up until now.  I don't really feel bad about it.  It means my weigh in on Monday won't be as good as it would have been but I have learned that if the scale is up a pound or so after eating a lot the day before it doesn't really mean a whole lot.  It's just excess food.  Besides that I kind of cheated and weighed myself on Friday morning.  I was 151.2.  I was upset that I didn't go down any, and I am still stuck here at the 150 mark, but I also know that I have lost inches and built a ton of muscle.  I was talking to my neighbor yesterday for the first time in several months and he remarked that I had lost weight, so that makes me feel good because while the scale hasn't gone down, I know that I am looking different.  I also know that on Monday I am starting Turbo Fire and returning to a mostly cardio workout, and I even signed up for the Feel Great in 8 Challenge and I intend to win!

The feel great in 8 challenge is hosted by Tiffany at www.feelgreatin8.com   It costs $20 to join the challenge, and $10 goes to Tiffany for orchestrating and hosting the challenge, and the other $10 goes to a communal pot that you can win!  You get cash prizes for coming in 1st-4th and also for being the person with the highest percentage of weight loss.  The challenge is 8 weeks long and the way you compete is by tracking points.  It is rather involved so I will just briefly outline some of the sections you get points in. You get points for eating vegetables, fruit, fiber, and protein (servings per day are: 4,3,3,4 respectively and you get points for each serving you eat but don't get more points for eating more servings than required).  You also get points for sleep, uplifting reading, service, family time, exercise (points depend on the length of workout: 15 min, 30 min and 45 min, each amount of time earning more points as the time increases).  You get points for drinking water and keeping a gratitude journal.  You also have to subtract 5 points for every item you eat on the "bad" list.  Such items include but are not limited to: candy, cookies, fried foods, soda (regular and diet), chips etc.  You get two items each week on the bad list that you don't have to subtract points for.  This is to remind us that we are trying to live a lifestyle not a fad diet.  You can still eat the items on the bad list, you just have to subtract points for it.  You also select a goal you want to complete during the challenge and an addiction you want to overcome.  You get points for every day you don't give into your addiction and you get points for completing your goal at the end.

My goal is to get in 10,000 steps every day except for Sunday.  Since I just got my fitbit, and it is something I have been thinking about I thought it was an appropriate goal (it is also on the recommended goal list so I know it is an approved goal).  Your goal can't be anything covered by the challenge and it can't be weight loss either.  For my addiction I chose lying down on the couch in the afternoon and putting a movie on for the kids.  I get really tired in the afternoon and usually from 3-4 I put a movie on for the kids and pass out on the couch.  Your addiction has to be something that is hard for you to overcome and can't be covered by the challenge (for example I was thinking of giving up diet soda, but you already have to subtract points for drinking it so I couldn't use that as my addiction.  You also can't choose sweets either.)  I know this is going to be very challenging for me as I get very very tired in the afternoon to the point where I almost can't function.  It's not so bad if we are out of the house, but most often we are home.  So that is my addiction and my goal.

The average number of people in the challenge is 150 so usually the first place winner gets about $300 and the second place gets $270 and third gets less and fourth gets less.  You can read all about it on her blog and website.  Anyway, it's about making healthy choices and while it is focused on weight loss and improving health it also has a more well rounded view instead of the narrow view of just food.  Since it also includes the spiritual aspects and family time and service into the challenge it is about improving yourself as a whole.

I am ready for this challenge, and I really want to win.  I am hoping that 8 weeks from now (challenge ends June 29th-ish) I will look and feel even better, and have some money to buy new summer clothes!