Thursday, February 26, 2015

Zumba rantings and daily challenges

I've been feeling pretty tired today.  After getting in over 20,000 steps the past three days I'm about ready to crash.  However, it's almost 6pm and I have in over 15,000 steps today so I definitely didn't slack.  This morning I took Chloe to the doctor and she had to get her final shot.  I always feel terrible when the kids get shots, like I betrayed them.  She was all happy and smiling and playing with the nurse and giggling and had no idea what was coming.  Then the "mommy! I got owie!" Kills me every time. 

I had a pretty hectic time around lunch time getting everyone's lunch prepared.  I was making myself a green smoothie with peaches, bananas, spinach, and almond milk out of my blendtec cookbook.  It was ok, but definitely needed some extra flavor.  I opted for splenda.  I really like the smoothies with pineapple in them because pineapple seems to pack a punch.  While I was making my smoothie I was also making mac and cheese for the kids.  I mentioned in my last post that I bought some healthier mac and cheese for them at Costco and this package had white cheddar mac and cheese in it.  Lily was ecstatic to try it and has been begging to make it since we bought it two days ago.  She cracked me up when we were making it because she kept jumping up and down shouting "this is amazing!" We totally blew her mind today.
While I was busying myself with that, Matt decided to make an appearance from the basement and proclaimed "I have to leave now!  I was unexpectedly bombarded with phone calls, what can I eat for lunch?"  He decided to have leftovers which I heated up for him while he scrambled to go.  Then while he was eating "Can you pack me a PB and Honey sandwich for dinner since I'm coming home late?"  So all at the same time I was: making a green smoothie, making mac and cheese with two kids on chairs staring at the boiling pot of water trying to make sure they didn't burn themselves, heating up leftovers, and making a sandwich.  *phew*  all in a days work (or more accurately all in an hour's work but that's not the correct phrase ;-)

Anyway, after the chaos of lunch, I put Chloe down for a nap, before I finished drinking my smoothie I might add, and then decided to play Zumba.  Smoothie down, greens ingested and Zumba world party on!  I love all the songs that I've played on Zumba world party, well except for one but I'm going to give that one another shot.  I have to play each song at least three times before I decide I hate it.  I tried a song today called "put the gun down" that I had played a while ago at my sister's house and I remember not liking it very much but today I loved it!  I customized my own playlist today and added in several songs I had never played before. 

There are only two things I don't like about the game but they are pretty minor.  First the songs are pretty short, maybe 2- 21/2 minutes and I'm used to dancing to songs that are about 3 1/2 minutes long, but that is pretty minor and only causes minor annoyance (because I feel like I switch songs so much during my workout and it's always going to the next song.  This could cause some more distress if you do the quick play and choose one song at a time as you won't get as many songs in a workout due to having to reload the song screen after each song plays, it adds a lot of extra waiting time, but I don't play quick play hardly ever so it doesn't bother me.)  Second, the custom playlist is only 10 songs long.  Due to the short song time 10 songs makes about 30 minutes worth of exercise.  The easy way to get around this is to make multiple custom playlists which is a great feature.  So I just made two 10 song playlists to get in my hour of Zumba today.  Since I tend to change my playlist every single time I play, making and saving two playlists does add a little bit of extra time to the beginning of my workout before I can actually start exercising, but again, minor annoyance. 

Overall I just love Zumba World Party and I will play it over and over and over and over again.  The songs are absolutely great, classic Zumba songs and I love the moves, I love that you can play songs by category (Caribbean, Europe, Brazil, etc) and you can create your own playlists (my personal favorite), there are a lot of pre made workouts for you too which I Like to do when I don't know what any of the songs are.  So I usually play those for the first 3-4 times and then custom make my lists from there on out.  They also have some neat videos that you can unlock adding to the "game" element and those are fun.  They have the Zumba dancers talking about the different dances they perform and you get to go behind the scenes of the making of the game.  You also get points every time you do a song so you can level up also adding to the whole game feeling.  I also love that as you play you can trigger more people to appear on the screen, and then as you continue you get a third level with more dancers and neon lights and swirls and all sorts of fun stuff to appear.  It makes it much more fun to look at and gives you some incentive to dance a little harder.  I really can't say enough good things about this game, it's totally my new favorite and I always look forward to playing it.

I have to say it is nice to look forward to working out again instead of dreading it.  When I started going to body pump and body attack and all the extra stuff that was really hard that I was doing I was making me not want to go to the gym and making me stress out and when I stress out I eat, and so I was doing a lot of stress eating.  I was definitely sabotaging myself with food, and usually in the afternoons.  I'm feeling really good right now.  Today I wanted to make popcorn because it was snowy outside and we were watching movies and I just really wanted to make popcorn popped in coconut oil, slathered in butter: (3 tbsp butter= 300 calories, 2 tbsp coconut oil=200 calories 1/2 cup popcorn kernels popped= (still haven't quite figured this one out yet) but I think it's around 200 calories.  For a grand total of about 700 calories). Yum yum.  But remarkably I resisted, and instead I decided to treat myself to one of my low fat frozen yogurt with honey and caramel bars that I have in the freezer: 90 calories.  Afterwards I didn't have any desire for popcorn.  Sore one for me!  I saved myself about 600 calories wahoo!  So I'm feeling pretty good about that tonight, albeit very tired and I just want to put the kids to bed and then go to bed myself, but I am happy with how the day turned out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Green Eggs and Ham

Wow, today was a very busy, and productive day.  This morning I woke up and made breakfast for me and Matt: Chocolate Oatmeal!  My favorite.  It's Old fashioned oats with some cocoa powder in it.  I eat one cup of the chocolate oatmeal and my add ins are: 1 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp PB2, some almond milk, 1 tbsp brown sugar.  It's how I like it best!  I think the PB2 adds a ton of flavor and really makes it great.  Afterwards it was time for the kids to take a bath, then they had to eat breakfast.  I have been reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss with Chloe so I asked her if she wanted green eggs and ham for breakfast and she was really excited about it, so we went downstairs and made some breakfast.
And then came the best part: eating it!

She had a great time and it was a fun morning.  You can see Lily photo bombing the video at the very end haha!  Afterwards we had to go to Costco and what a trip it was. We seemed to be out of everything, including diapers, toilet paper, dishwasher soap, sandwich bags.  Everything!  I had to buy Chia seeds, Quinoa, cheese, chicken, peanut butter, brownie mix, the whole nine yards, even things that I usually only buy occasionally because they last a long time (like Chia seeds and Vanilla) I had to buy today.  Fortunately I had a rebate check and got $87 off but still managed to spend over $300.  I hate those trips, it always makes me antsy spending so much money, but hey, you have to eat.  Remarkably the kids were really well behaved throughout the trip.  Chloe only had one melt down and that was when we were checking out.  After we came home I put a movie on for the kids while I spent the next hour and a half bringing in my haul, and reorganizing the food storage in the basement and the freezer (fortunately our freezer is small: it's attached to our fridge, we don't have a deep freeze).  I still have to go to the regular store tomorrow for the things I can't get at costco, like one lemon and one package of pasta.  That was a workout in and of itself!  I found some good stuff at costco though, I decided to compromise on the kids mac and cheese.  I found some organic mac and cheese made with healthier ingredients instead of the Kraft mac and cheese.  Lily is excited to try the white cheddar cheesey pasta.

I made myself a green smoothie for lunch out of ingredients we were almost out of so I could make space for all the new stuff.  It had: 1 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 2 cup spinach, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp flax seed, 2 tbsp splenda, a dash of vanilla, and some extra ice.  For a green smoothie not from a recipe and thrown together with spare ingredients I thought it turned out really good! (Except it was blue from the berries instead of green).  Surprisingly it kept me feeling satisfied all the way until 4:00 when I started feeling hungry again.  It must have been the chia seeds and flax seed.  I noticed that when I eat chia seeds for breakfast I don't feel as hungry later, but if I leave the chia seeds out of my oatmeal or whatever I'm eating, I get hungrier a lot faster.  I did Zumba World Party on the Wii today for my workout.  I love playing Zumba on the Wii.  I love going to Zumba class too :-) but playing Zumba games will always be one of my very favorite since that is how I lost 60 pounds in 2013.

I also did the laundry today, cleaned up the kitchen, and played tea sets with the kids.  I'm utterly exhausted and it's only 6:35!  The kids are watching a movie right now and then it will be time for bed.  My official weigh in today was 156 which I am happy with considering all the pancakes I ate on Sunday and our celebratory meal I ate with Matt on Saturday celebrating him finishing all his classwork for his doctorate (he still has dissertation, clinic, and two internships though, but one of the biggest pieces is now done!)

I have really been trying to be a nicer and happier person.  I feel like I have been really grouchy over the past few months, probably due to my poor nutrition.  I've been reading my scriptures more and listening to general conference talks and trying to be more level headed, now the only hard part is doing it for the rest of my life!

26 pounds to goal

Monday, February 23, 2015

Changing up the way we eat

I feel really good about how today went.  I was mindful of everything I ate and did a double hitter for Zumba.  This morning I ate a mix of cottage cheese with applesauce, cinnamon, chia seeds, and a few tablespoons of granola.  While the kids were busying themselves playing in separate rooms I decided to take advantage of the situation and I washed the towels and cleaned all the mirrors in the bathrooms.  By the time I finished that I had to get the kids dressed and fed breakfast so we could get to Zumba Toning at the gym on time.  It snowed here all weekend so the roads were pretty snow packed and I actually called ahead to make sure that they were still having class.  I guess everyone  had cabin fever from the storm this weekend because the gym was packed!  I just started going to the Zumba toning class and I really like it.  I went to a different instructor's class several months ago and I didn't like it as much as this one.  Risa's class alternates toning songs with cardio songs.  The cardio songs are geared towards toning so there are a lot more lunges and squats in them than regular Zumba songs and the last toning song we did killed my legs but I still had a great time.  I even decided to stay for regular Zumba class right afterwards!  So I managed to get in two hours of Zumba today.  I think I will make it a Monday regular, I really enjoyed it.  Before class I ate a Chia Seed Kashi Granola Bar to give me an energy boost because I knew I would probably go to both classes.  Afterwards I picked up the kids and we went home for lunch.  I'm trying to get the kids to eat a little healthier since I feel like all they want to eat is snacks and mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.  So they had to eat a yogurt and some fruit before they ate anything else.  Chloe had an avocado, Lily ate the yogurt.  Then Lily had mac and cheese and Chloe had chicken nuggets.  Typical.  I really need to change this up.  My husband and I were talking about how frustrated we were that Lily especially won't eat any vegetables, even the ones she likes and he decided we should take away sugar.  The kids eat way too much candy and treats and it's mostly my fault.  I think I have been giving them a lot because I feel upset I can't have it so I am living vicariously through them.  But no more!  Lily's behavior has been very defiant lately, and the kids fight like cats and dogs.  I know you aren't really supposed to reward kids with treats but we are kind of doing the opposite of that, we are taking them away.  They can have one treat a week if they behave.  We want to see if getting the sugar out of their system and getting them to eat better affects their behavior.

On that line, my goal for the rest of the week is to make green smoothies for the rest of the week.  That way the kids have a healthy lunch and get their vegetables in, of course they will be allowed solid foods too, but I want them (and mostly me) to have the drink at lunchtime.  This house need a major overhaul of what we eat on a daily basis.  I need to plan more vegetable side dishes.  The kids do pretty well with fruit.  Lily will eat apples, oranges, grapes, and strawberries.  She is such a picky eater, I often get frustrated with her.  Matt says it's because of her personality.  Chloe on the other hand east pretty much everything, even eggplant! I don't worry as much about her, I just need to make sure she has healthy options.  I think I am going to look for grilled chicken at Costco this time instead of chicken nuggets which are much less healthy.  So that is one of my major projects I need to tackle: fixing the food problem around the house.

The rest of the day went pretty well.  I was shot by the time we got home so after getting the kids fed, I put Chloe to bed and Lily and I played Mario Kart on the Wii for the next hour or so.  I ate a yogurt and two Mandarin oranges for snack and managed to not eat anything else for dinner.  Victory for me!  We ate the left over whole wheat artichoke pasta for dinner (with Zucchini strips in it) with Broccoli on the side, which Lily and Chloe both refused to eat (interesting because Chloe ate it really well last night and the kids usually love Broccoli).  I might start limiting their milk consumption as well and start giving them more water.  Most days Lily will drink 4-5 cup fulls of milk in a day and then not eat much else. 

We spent the evening together as a family since it was one of the rare nights that Matt was actually home and put the kids to bed by 7:30.  Now I am going to go relax. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Drunk on my own Success

A year ago I was rockin' it.  I had just lost 60 pounds, and was ready to zero in on my goal.  Half way through the year I got all the way down to 143, I was frustrated with myself because I wasn't losing weight faster even though I was exercising like crazy.  Then I learned about intuitive eating and decided to just go for it because I had lost nearly 70 pounds by that time and I didn't need all the tools I had used up to that point anymore.  I was below my healthy weight range and I was on top of the world, so to speak except I was still unhappy with myself for not hitting my goal weight yet.  I became prideful thinking that the rules no longer applied to me because I had been so successful up until that point.  I thought I could let it go and be immune to weight gain.  Well, reality has a way of smacking you in the face and humbling you.  Six months later, 15 pounds heavier I have been knocked low and humbled.  I'm going back to tracking my food.  I have to be careful what I eat, and I have to do this the right way and the slow way.  Back to the tried and true methods.  I'm starting my calories out a little higher and then will gradually lower them as I lose weight.  Even this last week I have had several slip ups where I wasn't as good as I would have like to be.  Being snowed in doesn't help either. 

It is interesting for me to look back on the past six months and now I can see how prideful my thinking was, claiming that I no longer needed to count calories, thinking that I could be perfect with my eating and exercise at the drop of a hat.  I was definitely drunk on my own success.  Reality is quite different.  In reality, I need to track what I eat or I will always go over, even when I track I go over quite often.  In reality I struggle with snacking and sweets and too much diet soda and not enough water.  Last week was not perfect, but it was progress.  I weighed in yesterday for a mid week check in and I was at 155.6.  That's two pounds down from Tuesday when I was 156.6.  Progress, not perfection. 

This coming week my goal is to focus on my eating and to drink at least 64 oz water every day.  Do my best every single day to stay within my calorie goal.  I have my calories set pretty high right now: 1750, so I am going to try not to eat all my exercise points, but as long as I keep losing weight I will allow myself to keep eating at least some of my exercise points if and when I am truly hungry.  I still have a lot to learn, and a long way to go.  I don't know everything.  I've learned a lot it's true, and developed some strong opinions on certain topics but there is still a lot for me to learn and to work on.  So on to the future, looking forward and feeling humbled.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


This week I have increased my calorie count to 1750 from 1450. The goal is to stay as close to 1750 as possible but if I need to add in some of my exercise calories then so be it.  I have been having such a hard time staying on track over the past 6 months and dreading getting back on track that I knew I had to change something.  I just can't right now commit to eating anything lower and my weight has been steadily increasing.  I am back up to 157.6 as of two days ago.  Why did I increase my calories?  Simply because it is easier for me to maintain at the moment.  Thinking about weight watchers they don't have you start out at a very low number for points.  When I started weight watchers I had 47 points a day!  Plus weekly points and activity points.  As I steadily lost weight my points decreased.  As I got more comfortable eating less food, my points dropped.  It wasn't a huge major change.  I didn't go from eating 3,000-4,000 calories a day to eating 1,200 calories a day.  I don't blame anyone who can't sustain that number because it literally is starving yourself.  Thinking about all the weight I have gained I proposed this question to myself:  "12 weeks from now when this facebook challenge is over would you rather weigh 5 pounds less or 5 pounds more?"  The answer was obviously weigh 5 pounds less.  I would rather make a little progress in the right direction than make no progress or go in the opposite direction.  Slow progress is better than no progress and if I had lost 5 pounds in three months over the past six months I would now weigh 133.2 instead of 157.6.  I would have lost 10 pounds instead of gaining 15.  So now I am focusing on making progress forward and doing something sustainable instead of something that just yields results.  If you can't maintain your weight loss then why bother going through all the pain and suffering to get there?

In other news my husband consented to let me buy a Wii mini the other day so I can play my Zumba games!
If you are wondering why I have Zumba Wii games without owning a Wii you can read this post HERE
And I finally got to play my Zumba game!  I have played it two times now, which means that is two more times I got in exercise this week that I otherwise wouldn't have gotten in.  I love these Zumba games, they are lots of fun and so convenient.  I lost 60 pounds in 2013 playing Zumba Wii Core with my sister and playing Zumba Dance on the iPad as my sole form of exercise.  I am excited for the next 12 weeks and I am finally ready to enjoy the journey instead of just looking at the end.
Someone posted this as their motivational post today on the facebook group and I loved it so I am going to share it here too .

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Would You Rather?

I am super excited today because I finally did something I have been wanting to do for a while.  I started a challenge for the Modestly Slim facebook group!  If you haven't joined in yet you should!  Ever since my Turbo Fire challenge ended last July I've been feeling lost, empty and out of place.  I loved having the online support, communication and accountability of the group.  I loved checking the posts all day long, posting my progress and my workout photos, posting motivation, commenting on people's posts, sharing my experience and helping others.  So I created my own challenge for our group!  It's a combination of the Turbo Fire challenge and another challenge called feel great in 8 .  However I think the feel great in 8 is too structured.  You have to keep track of how many servings of vegetables, fruit, fiber, protein you have each day as well as exercise, uplifting reading and a bunch of other stuff.  you get docked points for going over your calories and for eating too many treats etc.  It's crazy and some people love that structure but it is way complicated.  Anyway, I set it up so that I will track all the points like in the Turbo Fire challenge we had someone who was the administrator of the challenge and tracked all our points so I'm acting as the administrator but I'm also participating in the challenge.  I don't have very many categories since I want to keep it simple, and the points are low on purpose, It's simpler haha!  Instead of giving out 10 points I give out 1.  I get to throw in bonus points whenever I want and administer extra challenges for the week or day if I want to.  I'm loving it and we are only on day 2!  So make sure to join and read the pinned post which will give you all the details.  It's only day 2 and I feel just like I did back in the Turbo Fire challenge, if it goes really well I think I will do several challenges a year.  I'm still thinking up what to offer as the prizes, since my blog isn't widely known I don't make any money on my ads, and no companies give me free things to give away or to try so I have to spot all the money for the rewards... Meaning they will be small rewards, which I think goes right along with what I am trying to accomplish: Making lifestyle changes that will result in a thinner, healthier, happier person.  If you are doing something just for the monetary reward at the end, odds are you won't keep up the changes after the challenge. 

Join by clicking here!

So here is an interesting thought I had today.  My mind started down a familiar path that I'm sure you all have been on and I started asking the question "Why me?  Why does this have to happen to me?  Why do I have to struggle so much with my weight and my relationship with food?"  As I was pondering this another thought came to me "everyone has challenges, this is just your challenge.  It is a result of where you live: in a wealthy country in a time and place that has plenty of food.  Would you rather live somewhere or during a time when food was scarce?  Would you rather your challenge be facing starvation or facing obesity?" 

Put in that light, I don't think I would like facing starvation very much.  As much as I hate struggling with my weight, I would much rather prefer this challenge than the challenge of not being able to find enough food for me or for my family, watching people die because they couldn't put food on the table would be a much tougher challenge than watching people gain some weight from overeating.  Not that the problems that come with overeating and obesity are not hard to live with, or detrimental, just different and put in that light I am thankful for my own challenges. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Emotional eating and delusions

This weekend we are back at Crested Butte and this time my sister came along!  We drove here yesterday and stopped at our favorite Thai restaurant.  I ordered Chicken Pad Thai and spring rolls.  Even though I didn't fit in a workout yesterday, I was still given over 600 activity calories to use from my fitbit because of all the packing, loading, and unloading.  The condo is on the third floor so carrying everything up all the stairs is a workout in and of itself.  I got a new accountability partner, a friend of mine who is trying to lose weight after having a baby.  We've been texting every day and it has really helped.  I am not really surprised at how hard it is just to eat 1700 calories a day and not eat more.  I have really noticed how much I stress eat this week.  I couldn't survive on 1200 calories a day or even 1400, even at 1700-1800 I feel like I have to battle hunger and and stop myself from getting out of control.  I have done very good this week staying under my calories.  It is set to 1450 in MFP and I have been eating some, not all, of my exercise calories.  I'm remembering that I am trying to do something liveable and even though it is hard now, it will get easier over time.  I am not going to do anything too crazy to start off with.  If some days I don't feel like eating as much then I won't use all my exercise calories, and if some days I feel like working out longer then I will, but for now I have my hands full just trying to control my snacking, and making sure I am eating more fruit and veggies and less granola bars, chips, and goldfish.  I'm taking it slow this time and I don't have any deluded thoughts that it is going to be easy, or that I don't have to work hard, or that I can just plow through this and be done with it.  I'm now focused on something I can sustain for life.  I have given myself no rules to follow, just trying to stay within my calorie range, including my exercise calories, trying to eat healthier, and find foods that taste good and make me feel good and feel satisfied and energetic. 

Speaking of emotional eating here is a crazy experience.  So a few days ago I was working on my scarf, trying to finish one of my projects for this year, and I went upstairs to change Chloe's diaper and when I came back down Lily had taken my scarf, pulled the needle out and was walking around with it causing it to unravel.  I was mortified!  After sending Lily to her room I worked on putting the stitches back on the needle, but I ended up dropping five of them.  For those of you who are not knitters, dropping a stitch means that you lose one of the loops on your needle, If you don't catch it, that will then unravel down the length of your project, so you end up with a giant hole-line in your project.  I had to guess which row I was on since my pattern is 16 rows long.  I think she only unraveled one and a half rows thank goodness.  After assessing the situation I decided to just end the scarf where it was since all the dropped stitches had made several holes and it looked really messy.  I did end up finding all my dropped stitches and had to tack them down with needle and thread so they didn't unravel all the way (I am not very good at hand weaving them back to the top and then back onto my needle.  So my scarf is not quite as long as I would have liked it to be, but it is long enough and in the end, it's done!  It still looks great and finishing the scarf where the holes were created hides the mess since it's at the very end of the scarf and the border covers.  So that is one project down, and despite the unfortunate circumstances of it's finishing, I am still glad it is done. 

The main reason why I'm telling you this story is because after this happened, it was after dinner, and after I calmed down I experienced a very real, very sharp, and painful hunger.  As I was rummaging through the kitchen trying to curb this sudden onslaught of hunger I realized I was experiencing emotional hunger. I was surprised because it seemed so real, and in fact it was, I was experiencing a physical response to an emotional issue: Lily had nearly destroyed my project I had spent the last 5 years working on (working on and off on it).  This was before I came up with a solution to the problem and found all my dropped stitches.  Once I identified it as emotional, I told myself: "Eating is not going to fix your scarf, it won't solve the real problem".  So I had a glass of water and put the kids to bed.  Once I firmly told myself I was not going to eat because it wasn't real hunger and it wouldn't solve the real problem, I started feeling better and less hungry. 

What I learned from this was that 1. Emotional eating is a very real problem and it is not all psychological and that you can in fact experience a very real physical hunger due to an emotional situation.  2. This problem is identifiable, if you are aware you can realize you are experiencing emotional and not true hunger.  3.  This problem is treatable, solvable and fixable, and most importantly overcome able. I don't expect to succeed every time, but I now feel like I have some control.  It was hard not to eat, but it was possible and every success brings me closer to triumph and to change.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Bribe

I am excited because we will (hopefully) be getting a new TV soon.  Our TV is about 10 years old, it's a tube TV and still has the three prong hookup in the back (A/V cord).  Our DVD player is about to go the way of all the earth, it sounds terrible and skips the DVDs a lot.  We have to clean off each DVD before we put it in and blow into the DVD player to try and displace some of the dust.  I decided that I'd had enough and went out and bought a blueray player only to find out, our TV is too old to hook up to the player.  Bummer!  But we are hanging onto it because we will (hopefully) be buying a new TV soon.  (I say hopefully because we are waiting for an extra paycheck to come in =D

(Warning:  Geek Alert !!!!)  Of course the thought of a new TV got me thinking that I needed to get a wii to go with the new TV so I could finally play my Zumba Wii games that Majesco sent me when I wrote them about using their Zumba Dance app to lose weight.  (I wrote them a thank you email that basically said thanks for making the games, I love them and use them all the time and I have lost 60 pounds playing Zumba Dance).  They sent me some Wii games for free :-)  but I still don't have a Wii.  Anyway, I started looking into the gaming systems and found out that it is still pretty expensive to buy a brand new Wii (about $150) and that the new Wii U is $300 bundled with an expensive game (Super Mario 3D world).  To make matters more interesting, my sister came over the other day and we fished out the old Nintendo 64 and played Mario Party 2 (they are now on Mario Party 10 coming out for the Wii U next month).  Did I mention that I'm a gamer at heart?  Totally not hard core, but I do love video games.  Anyway, Lily has been loving Mario Party 2, even though she doesn't quite get the concept of everything (like moving around, she does really good at the games where she has to push one button haha!).  So I'm sitting here looking at gaming systems (I have never bought an at home system before.  When my parents upgraded to a Wii, I snitched the old N64).  I was reading several reviews of the Wii U just to see if it was worth buying, and it seems like the general consensus is that it will still be out for several more years and some great games are coming out for it, and it has received some good upgrades.  Now I can't go to the Xbox One or PS4 (which are generally considered to be better systems) because I remind you.... I have Zumba World Party on Wii.  Since the Wii U will play Wii games, and I feel a little weird about paying $150 on an outdated system I was talking to Matt about all this and said "So I think that if I win the challenge at the gym or in failing that, when I get to my goal weight, I will buy the Wii U".  *pauses and waits for response*    "Okay Jenna that sounds like a good idea."    Cue Happy Dance!!!!!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!!  EXCITEMENT!  That is something I am willing to work my butt off for! (Literally bwahahaha).

So the moral of the story is: A little bribe (or in this case, a large bribe) never hurts. 
Wii U with Mario Party 10, Mario Kart 8 and my all time fav: legend of Zelda.... Here I come!!!!  Woo Hoo!
Geek out.

Monday, February 9, 2015

What do you need to let go of?

I realized the other day that one of the big reasons why I have been struggling and why I have been avoiding fully committing to getting back on track is because I have been pushing myself to do things that I don't enjoy. I don't like lifting weights, I don't like running, and the classes I have been going to are just too hard for me right now.  While Body Pump and Body Attack are good classes, they are very hard classes.  I don't really find much joy in body pump (and a whole lot of pain), and body attack is very hard and I think I will enjoy it a lot more when I am about 20 pounds thinner.  I've been worrying about competing in a triathlon this summer, I've been worrying about running the 10k in the relay triathlon my father in law has planned and I was so worked up about it that I was self sabotaging myself.  I am taking the pressure off of myself and putting a triathlon in the "I want to do it someday" category.  Maybe next summer, but I'm not going to focus on it now.  After I get to my goal weight then I will start to think about doing a triathlon.  I'm going back to my roots, back to what I truly love doing so that I won't have to worry about keeping it up in maintenance.  I like Zumba.  Correction.  I LOVE ZUMBA!  I could do it every day, and it makes me happy.  I feel good when I do it, and I feel good when I am done.  I smile when I do it, and I look forward to it.  Zumba is definitely the activity I am going to be doing the most in maintenance, and it was what I was doing when I lost 60 pounds in 2013 so why did I stop doing it? Somewhere along the line I got sidetracked.  Well now I can honestly say that I have tried many different activities and Zumba is my all time favorite.  I have even discovered Zumba toning classes at my gym which focuses more on strength vs cardio!  So I don't even have to do body pump to work my muscles!  Now Zumba toning is nothing compared to body pump but guess what.  I like Zumba toning about a zillion times better than body pump.  It makes me happy, and so that is what I am going to do. 

I went to Sprouts today and stocked up on fruits and veggies.  I'm going to focus on eating my fruits and veggies, something I have definitely been lacking in the past several months.  I feel much better when I eat all my fruits and veggies.  I feel fuller, my stomach doesn't hurt, and I just generally feel better.  Another thing I am changing is my lunch.  For two years I have been eating sandwiches for lunch and for two years I have been starving in the afternoon around 2:30-4:00pm and I sit here and say to myself "Why do I get so hungry in the afternoon?!"  It finally dawned on me:  I don't get hungry after I eat breakfast.  I make it all the way to lunch without wanting to eat.  How did that happen?  I changed what I ate for breakfast because I was tired of feeling so hungry about an hour and a half later after eating cereal.  So. Obviously eating sandwich wraps for lunch is the wrong food.  It's like eating cereal for breakfast.  I just doesn't cut it.  I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out!  So I am going to be experimenting with my lunches from now on.  Today I ordered an Artichoke basil pesto grilled chicken panini on Ciobatta bread.  It had cheese on it, which was more fat than I usually eat for lunch, and more carbs in the bread which is more than I usually eat for lunch.  I felt really good all afternoon!  Granted I was pretty busy this afternoon, I had to go to the grocery store and I redid my nails and my sister came over, but I didn't feel light headed, I didn't crash in the afternoon and I didn't feel like I was starving.  Around 3pm I ate an apple and some string cheese. 

I am back in business!  I found myself an accountability partner and tomorrow you will get to find out what my big reward for reaching my goal weight is going to be.  I'm so excited for it!!! 

If you are avoiding getting back on track there is probably something wrong with what you have been doing.  Either your eating is too restrictive or your chosen exercise needs to change.  You shouldn't cringe at the thought of getting back on track, it should be something that fits you and your way of life.  It should be liveable, changeable, and perhaps one day you will love living your life that way.  That doesn't mean you won't have challenges and it doesn't mean it won't be hard, it means that you shouldn't hate doing it.  If you hate it, it's not right for you and you need to let it go.  Find something else, there is A LOT out there!  So go out and explore, get excited, and find what makes you happy.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Today I had a Pampered Chef show and there were three other people there besides me when I got there 30 minutes early to set up.  They all started talking about weight loss and I of course was very interested in what they had to say.  Mostly I was interested because two of the women were saying that they weighed 162-168 and they were trying to get down another 10 pounds.  I was curious what their height was because when I looked at them they looked really good to me and while it wasn't surprising to me that they were wanting to lose weight (I think almost every single woman in America is conscious about their weight and probably wants to drop a few pounds) I was surprised to learn that they are my exact height: 5'4".  In that moment my whole perspective changed.  Here I am, ten pounds lighter than them and thinking I look terrible.  For the first time I could almost see myself from the outside looking in, instead of the inside looking out.  I didn't think that those women looked fat, I thought they looked pretty normal, but they were 10 pounds heavier than I am and we are the same height.  That must mean that I look pretty good too, even though I am not where I would ultimately like to be.  Since I didn't look at those women and think "wow they are fat and need to lose weight" people probably don't look at me and think "wow, she is fat and needs to lose weight".  I realize now I've been holding onto my fat identity.  I still see myself as the fat girl, the fattest one in the family (which in all honesty... I still am the heaviest one in my family).  It was nice today because I was visiting a host who had a party for me two years ago, right before Chloe was born.  And they haven't seen me since, so to be reminded of how far I have come felt really good.

Today was very eye opening and I have taken some huge steps on the road to self acceptance, and to changing my identity so that I no longer identify myself as the lazy, food driven, obese person I once was.  I have changed, I don't need to go back to my old self, I am not my old self.  I can start to see myself in a new light, and I feel like for the first time I am truly on the path to finding peace. 

I occurred to me the other day that I haven't posted a picture of myself on my blog in a very long time.  Probably because I have been ashamed of the weight I gained over the last several months, so here I am, with all my challenges, all my bumps in the road, not perfect, but still willing to try to figure this out.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Illusion of Control

There are many things going on in each of our lives.  Some good, some bad, some okay, some could be going better.  We are sick again.  The whole family, and except for a one week reprieve a few weeks ago that makes us sick for a solid month and one week.  Poor Chloe seems to have gotten the worst of it.  It totally stresses me out, especially since I am also sick and tired and achy and grumpy, and to make matters worse it has been warm the past few days and my allergies have decided that it must be spring and so I am terribly congested, itchy throat, watery eyes, scratchy eyes.  My whole face just itches.  It's awful.  Even with allergy medicine my allergies are terrible.  Last year I got hives on my neck and my neck muscles were tightening and restricting my airways a little.  It wasn't anything too bad, but if it happens again I'm definitely going to see the doctor.  I'm thinking of trying the Dotera tri-ease caplets paired with my conventional allergy medicine and see if that helps.  Anyway, off on a tangent there. 

Control.  When we encounter situations we can't control it leads to stress, and we have to find a way to cope with the situation.  I bet for most people reading this their coping mechanism is food.  Mine certainly is.  It's something I am trying to change.  I thought maybe replacing it with exercise would be a good idea, but it just isn't something feasible for me.  When I get stressed and angry I can't just drop everything and go workout.  Especially if I have already worked out that day.  So I will have to find something else because no matter how out of control our world seems, there is always one thing we can control.  Ourselves.  I was reading on a blog called "It Sux to be Fat" and she was talking about how the one thing we can control is what we eat.  It is entirely up to us what we put into our bodies.  This is so true.  I can't control that my kids are sick.  I can't control my husband's crazy schedule, I certainly can't control the weather and despite my best efforts I can't seem to control my allergies.  Instead of allowing this to drive me to food in desperation, I should take comfort in the fact that amidst all this chaos there is at least one thing that I can control. 


I cannot make my kids play nicely together, I can try to stop them from fighting and encourage them to share but they are their own people and they will make their own choices.  I can't force Chloe to fall asleep at bed time instead of staying up until 9:30.  I can't stop the kids from waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes three or four times between them and waking me up.  I can't stop Lily from waking up and crawling into my bed in the middle of the night causing me to sleep poorly and be exceedingly tired the next day  Sometimes all we can do is try our best and hope for the best.  I need to stop letting all this stuff stress me out as much, plan activities, play games, and do my best.
But I can make sure I drink my water.  I can make sure that I get food that will make my body feel better instead of making my body more tired and feel sick.  I can plan my meals, I can only choose what I do, I cannot control others.  And there is a lot of comfort and joy to be found in that because think of the message it sends: I am in control!  I am in control of me and myself, it's the one thing that you well and truly do and can have control over.  So amidst all the turmoil, take comfort, be of good cheer, and find heart because you are in control of your own life. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Every day is a new adventure

Today I was 153.6.  Even though it is up from what I was a few weeks ago I am happy with that number.  It has been a struggle to get back on track and after doing well for a few weeks, I fell off again for a week.  That one week off reminded me of how terrible I felt when I eat poorly.  My weight shot back up to 158 at the highest, and since Friday I have been focusing on eating right.  The few weeks I had been eating well reminded me of how good I feel when I am doing what is right.  When I am eating healthily and eating frequently, and not filling my body with junk food.  Now I am more determined than ever to reach my goal.

At about 20 pounds from goal my mind has been drifting towards maintenance and I was thinking about exercise and eating in maintenance.  What should that look like? I don't want to plow my way there and then quit everything I've been doing.  So I decided that although my mind is looking towards the future, I need to focus more on today.  Since I have been focusing on today, and what do I want to do today, and what can I do to make today the best day not just for reaching my weight goal, but for me as a whole and for my family.  What should I be doing right now?  When I started thinking about it that way I realized that I want to go spend time at the gym.  The kids love going, and I enjoy the exercise.  I realized that I'm not giving up something and I'm not wasting my time going to the gym.  If I could never lose another pound I would still go to the gym because it benefits the family.  It is something we all genuinely like doing.  So I don't need to worry about wasted time or whether or not I should go or have to go.  In the moment, for each day, it is something that the kids and I both want to do.  So lets go do it!  I don't need to worry about that or regret time spent there anymore.

I'm trying to live now how I would like to live in the future.  I allow myself to eat when I am hungry.  Finding true hunger can be a challenge.  I am making sure that I am busy in the afternoon and I'm not hanging out in the kitchen, that is a death trap for me.  Today I made color swatches of all my nail polish (8 colors).  That was pretty fun, now I can see all the colors and what they will look like once applied.  It will make it easier when choosing colors for my nails and my family and friend's as well.  The kids are sick again so we stayed home today.  Those types of days are always more difficult because I am around my food and around the kitchen all day long and it is so easy to spend the day snacking.  I made sure to get in a lot of physical activity today even though I didn't leave the house.  I danced with Lily and then later I did Zumba.  I raked in 822 extra calories according to my fitbit and I was hungry today.  I ate 2,015 calories and still managed to be 287 calories under my calorie goal according to My Fitness Pal (My calorie goal is set at 1,480 and you add in 822 calories for exercise that you can choose to eat or not to eat).  I enjoyed some banana bread that I had made a few days ago, and I air popped some popcorn in the evening before dinner for the kids while they were watching veggie tales.  I put a few tablespoons of real butter on it and I had a bowl.  I didn't deprive myself.  That is going to be so key in maintaining.  I have been restricting and depriving myself for so long that it took a very long time for me to stop gasping for food out of fear that it would soon be on the forbidden list again..... It took me 6 months to get through that phase.  But now that I am, I know that I can't just eat everything in sight and in fact I don't want to.  I didn't like living that way for the past six months.  I didn't like the way I felt, I didn't like being subject to food, it wasn't fun because I could only eat when no one was watching because I didn't want them to know what I was doing.  I didn't want them to know how much I was eating and what exactly I was eating (which was usually everything I could get a hold of).  It was not a fun place to be in.  Even though the food tasted good what do I have to show for it?  More fat around my body than before, more money spent on junk food, I don't have any more friends, and I am not more emotionally stable than before.  Food cannot solve your problems. 

I love that I am focusing on each day as an individual day as well as keeping the big picture in perspective.  I have been tracking again every day and I have been eating many of my exercise calories.  My fitbit is always about 100 calories under what my heart rate monitor would say, but I love being synced to my fitbit because it counts all your activity throughout all your day.  Today when I looked and saw that I had 822 activity calories I earned I was floored.  My workout only burned 377 according to my fitbit but I still had 822 calories earned from other activities I had performed that day, not just my workout.  So it made sense to me that I was so hungry, because I had done a lot and my body needed fuel!  Before I would have ignored all the exercise calories I earned and suffered through the hunger.  That is not healthy and it's not sustainable. Who wants to starve for the rest of their life?  At first I didn't believe that I had earned so many calories, I couldn't even think of what I had done to earn that much besides dancing with Lily in the morning and doing Zumba which added up to maybe 500.  But after I put the kids to bed my body let me know it had worked hard that day confirming what my fitbit said.  My legs started to throb and ache.  Fortunately I had some massage lotion I could put on my legs that has peppermint oil in it and it helped a ton.  My legs still have a dull ache in them but nothing I can't manage now.  I'm feeling good, I'm on a high.  Hopefully that doesn't mean everything will come crashing down tomorrow.  I'm going to keep doing it this way, monitoring my activity and tracking my food and making each day the best it can be.  We will see where it takes my weight.  I have been going down steadily for the past 4 days, I know I am doing things right so I know my weight will keep going down.  Once I plateau we will see where that is and if I need to change something. Then I will.  I'm not saying I won't change in the meantime, I'm still improving.  I need to drink more water, make healthy choices and all that.  Every day is an adventure.  It's time to start living.