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I am a real person who works out at a real gym, LA Fitness, eats real food (not from a box or a freezer), and has gotten real results. I reached a point in my life where I finally decided that feeling good, looking fit, having more energy, and setting a good example for my kids was more important to me than eating the junkie, fatty foods that I had come to love. My weight loss and get fit journey starts here.

 

Get Fit Now

 

I will be documenting ups and downs, new eating and workout habits I adopt, tips that help me achieve success, and lessons I have learned from an unhealthy past. Here we go.

 

In honor of Ricky Martin's new 'album'.......My blog is dedicated...... "To Whoever Wants to Listen"

 

Today

 

Month by Month

 

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

 

Day 1

 

I hate dieting, so I don't do it! I try to identify bad habits and drop them, replacing them with better choices. Much easier said than done.

I have completely changed my way of thinking about food in the past 5 years or so. When I owned my business and worked long hours, I ate out more meals than I ate at home. I ate lots of empty carbs and enjoyed many fountain Cokes. I also indulged on lots of hormone injected, antibiotic laden meats and processed foods.

Well, now I eat out less and shop and eat healthier than I ever have - lots of organics (fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, milk....), no whites (breads and pastas), more whole grains, lower sodium, fewer saturated fats, higher fiber, real butter, very few fat free or 'lite' foods, and I drink water, water and more water. I eliminated all soda except for one real Coca Cola (10 - 12 ounces) once per week. I don't believe in fad diets or 'get thin quick' schemes. A healthy lifestyle involves hard work and dedication. Do you have what it takes?

It's hard getting older, so I'm not letting one more day, one more month, or one more year go by without trying to be the BEST that I can be. I had never heard of most of this 'being healthy' stuff when I was in my 20's and now it seems essential to living healthier and staying active. How was I so oblivious? I'm not going to dwell on the past. I'm focused on what I've learned and on my future.

 

 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

So, here I am 2 months later. I have fluctuated up and down about 5 pounds. I have not been consistent and I have not given up my bad habits that keep me heavier than I want to be. Until I change that mind set, no noticeable and lasting results shall come.

 

 

It's Time.....

 

 

Get Fit Now

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

 

Day 1

 

Starting Over.......So that attempt was a Crash & Burn! But, the past is in the past.

I realized today that in 2 short months I will be basking in the sun and sand of Turks and Caicos.......and hiding behind the camera. I don't like that about myself. I would love to take family pictures more often and just be in more pics with my girls. They are so lovely and I know that when I'm older and they're older, I will want to look back at those memories, but they won't exist. I take pictures of them and I rarely get in. Sometimes my husband, Al, takes a picture and then I wind up hating it so it gets stored in one of the little black boxes (portable drives) on my desk with the hundreds of thousands of other pictures some of which are never seen again.

So today, I woke up and decided I needed to make some changes. I have been going to a different, more convenient, gym for the past few months. I don't really like it there but it's a closer drive than the my old comfortable favorite so I go. It's very different. I don't know anyone there. It's out of my comfort zone. I haven't really been working hard while I'm there. I barely break a sweat and I'm rarely sore after. So today I drove to my old gym and found my last trainer. His morning schedule was all booked but he hooked me up with a new guy who he had trained so their training styles are comparable.

I told them both that I'm highly motivated to make some changes and to drop about 20 pounds. That's the weight I was at when I looked and felt my best. They both thought that might be too much, but I know it's not.

 

Before & After

 

That's me 20 pounds thinner and at least 20 pounds heavier. In 2009 I lost about 40 pounds and kept it off for over 2 years. I let stress take over my good eating choices and gained about 15 to 20 pounds back - depending on the day.

I have also realized that just tightening up on good eating choices is not enough to actually lose weight. I will have to go on a diet until I'm where I want to be then continue healthy choices to maintain - not gain. I incorrectly believed that as long as I was eating healthy foods, I could eat all I wanted - it's healthy right? Very wrong. I need a new plan and I will work until I figure out what works for me.

I can do it this time!

 

Here's where I am starting. Both of these pictures where taken this summer and nothing has changed.

 

June 2014

Me in June 2014

 

August 2014

 

Me in Aug 2014

 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

 

Day 2

 

My 2 step approach:

Step 1: Cut out processed sugar and simple carbs. Sure sounds easy on paper, well my computer screen, but the truth is those are the 2 things I crave the most. I love cookies and brownies and Ritter's ice cream, well most ice cream. I love warm soft restaurant bread, especially with butter. I love crispy tacos from Chipotle - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 times per week! Yes, it's all true. I love Chipotle Coke too. There's just something about it. I would never drink a can or bottle of Coke. It must be out of a fountain and not all fountain Cokes are created equal. I would never order a Coke in a nice restaurant because it would be served in a glass and it doesn't taste good to me in a glass, so I only order Coke at fast food. So, it should be easy to give up Coke because I rarely eat fast food and now I'm giving that up. I really don't like most fast food anyway.

Step 2: Work harder at the gym. Make my time count when I'm there. No more strolling on the Elliptical or lounging on the recumbent bike. NO MORE!

 

TIP==> Make the most of your gym workout. Work as hard as you can for about an hour to an hour and fifteen. Don't linger longer. Do what you need to do and leave. Get your heart rate up and sweat. When you walk out the door, know that you've worked.

 

Get Fit Now

 

 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

 

Day 3

 

First day with my new trainer, Geoff. We worked hard then I went to spinning. I felt good as I drove home. Geoff gave me some reminders (things I know but have ignored) for my 'alone' workouts. He wants me to include both weight training and circuit training. I'm not afraid of hard work. I just need to include it in my routine again. I know I can do it.

 

 

Friday, October 24, 2014

 

Day 4

 

Having a specific goal with a deadline is very helpful to me. I think if I just set out saying 'I want to lose weight', it would be hard to stay focused and keep on track. My goal gives me two count-downs - one for weight to lose and one for days until swimsuit season. I think milestones are important and seem more achievable. If I had 100 pounds to lose, setting a goal too far into the future and too big, would seem overwhelming and unachievable. I'm sure I would still set 20 - 25 pound goals for every few months and work toward and celebrate each milestones.....not with 'bad' food, of course. Maybe I'll celebrate my milestones/achievements with a tirp to the mall and a new outfit.

 

 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

 

Measure Up

 

I didn't want to do it, but I knew I had to. I had to break out the tape measure in order to have a baseline. No matter how painful it is, you'll be glad you did it down the road. I just keep telling myself that. I documented all of my measurements and tucked them away for future review - by me and only me.

 

I remind myself every day that a diet is a temporary state but a healthy lifestyle is for life.

 

get fit

 

I cannot even express how much I truly believe in that.

 

 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

 

Who Dey!

 

On our way to the Bengals game - hope I won't eat too junky today......I'm going with a plan to eat a healthy salad for lunch and no snacks at the game. I do love ballpark hotdogs so I may have just one snack. I don't believe in giving up everything you love. I believe in 'everything in moderation'. I do beblieve that you must give up bad habits like finishing every dinner with a dessert or drinking soda with every meal, but a sweet every now and then - GO FOR IT! I know I will.

 

bengals game

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 

Fall in Love

 

First you must fall out of love with food and then you can fall in love with yourself and life.

Life is too short to just sit by and watch it happen. I don't ever want to have to pass up a trip or an adventure or even just an activity because I feel that I can't do it because I'm too out of shape. About 8 or 9 years ago, my husband got up on a Saturday morning and asked me and both of our girls if we wanted to go on the bike trail. They were excited and all I could think about was that I couldn't do it. I rarely rode my bike and I was too out of shape. They went and I stayed home and cried. NEVER AGAIN. NEVER!

 

 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

 

End of Week 1

 

I started documenting everything I was eating - every day. I had built my own database over 5 years ago with all my regular foods. I updated it with some new foods and checked labels to see if they still matched. Many didn't! Some had changed their serving size while others changed calories, fat, carbs, etc. Interesting.......

My main concerns are carbs, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.

I lost 7 pounds right away! But, now I'm stuck. What else can I try????

Here's a sample day:

food journal

 

Today was a real challenge. My friend wanted to have lunch.....where to go???? I needed healthy, real food; he needed low sodium. I thought Panera. We could have salad. Certainly that would be low sodium. WRONG! But we went there anyway. I arrived first and he was late which made me have to stand near the front counter and all those pastries and bread.....OMG! I kept thinking - just one - that won't hurt anything, but that's what always happens, right. First it's just one innocent little treat then that leads to another and another and then the healthy eating diet is blown. I focused on 'eye on the prize' and kept picturing our upcoming vacation. It worked!!! I waited 20 minutes and then ordered my half size salad.

 

TIP==> No one likes to do it, including me, but when you're starting a diet, weigh and measure your food. I have a little scale that I keep handy so that I can see what a serving size really is. I believe that we, as Americans, have forgotten what 'normal' portion sizes look like. With restaurants serving ginormous helpings and everyone ordering 'super-size', who's surprised that many (most) of us are overweight? When I eat tortilla chips with my soup, YES I count them out - either 1 full serving or 1/2, depending on what else I've eaten or will eat that day. When I indulge on a piece of Lindor chocolate, it goes on the list. I have to be accountable for everything. If I'm not honest with myself.....well, you can finish the rest.

 

Get Fit Now

 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

 

Believe

 

Monday, November 3, 2014

 

I LOVE CRISPY TACOS

 

For those who know me, I mean really know me......you know that I love Chipotle and have for many years (at least 15!) I love my crispy tacos, brown rice, chicken, hot, corn, mild, cheese, and extra lettuce, plus a little sour cream on the side, topped off with a fountain Coke. I don't want to give that up, so I've decided to make a change in my menu selection. Chicken bowl with a little brown rice, black beans, chicken, and half a serving of each hot, corn, and mild (there's a ton of sodium in these salsas), a little cheese and extra lettuce. According to Chipotle's nutritional guide, it's less than 600 calories.

 

TIP==> Brush your teeth after each meal. It sends a message to your brain that you are finished eating, plus you get free whitening.

 

white teeth

 

 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

 

Week 2

 

I'm over 2 weeks at -7 pounds. I'm getting frustrated. The first 7 were fairly easy, but now NOTHING. I need help! NOW!

 

get fit

 

I brought my food journals to my trainer and he suggested counting calories and swapping fat for complex carbs. What! That's not what I had done in the past, but I thought I would give it a try.

I traded my breakfast eggs for Kashi cereal with strawberries and fat free organic milk. Added a few more healthy carbs and cut some fat.

Here's a new sample diet.

food journal

 

Get Fit Now

 

 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

 

Week 2

 

When you're working out, always remember to breathe - in through your nose and out through your mouth. Never hold your breath. Proper breathing technique during exercise is important to make sure that your heart and muscles get enough oxygen.

 

 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

 

Week 2

 

My after-workout morning snack is usually a protein shake. I mix the protein powder with water and drink it as I drive home or wherever I'm going. I get in 10 - 12 ounces of water plus 20 - 40 grams of protein. Here's what I drink (1 - 2 scoops). You can only buy it at GNC.

 

protein

 

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

 

Feeling Great!

 

I've only been eating healthier and working harder for a few weeks and I can't believe how much better I feel. I have more energy. I don't get tired during the afternoon, and I sleep better at night. It's truly amazing.

I used to feel so tired between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, I could take a nap on any given day. I usually didn't but on those days that I did, I would fall right to sleep. I don't miss that tired groggy feeling - not one bit! I don't experience low blood sugar episodes any more either.

 

get fit

 

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

 

Week 3

 

Well, I hit 3 weeks at -7 pounds. Really frustrated. I have changed many things and no results!!!

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

 

Week 3

 

YEAH! 2 more pounds gone! I guess my body finally caught up the changes I made.

One of my tips.....I love fountain Coke - period. About 6 years ago, I figured out a plan to still enjoy an occasional fountain Coke. My favorite place to eat 'fast food' is CHIPOTLE. When I go there, I like COKE! I fill the cup to the top with ice. Whatever Coke fits in is what I drink - no refills. If I go to Chipotle more than once per week, I drink water. When we travel, especially outside of the country, I have found that the Coke is different and I really don't like it, so I never drink it. I don't even miss it.

 

Get Fit Now

 

TIP==> Don't go to the grocery store hungry. PERIOD. I sometimes take my protein shake in with me. It keeps me on track. Don't visit the 'processed' isles. Shop the outer edges of the store where the fresh foods are.

 

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

 

A Big Change

 

I went to Chipotle today and......wait for it......I did NOT order a Coke. WHAT! I drank water and it was fine.

So, after I left, I decided that I was not going to drink any more Coke this year. My last soda was Nov 8th.

 

 

TIP==> Be sure to drink lots of water after your workout and keep moving. This helps to prevent lactic acid from building up in your muscles which causes soreness. Some soreness in your muscles is good. It lets you know that you've worked hard. You should not be so sore that you have trouble sitting down or standing up. I sometimes eat a banana, which is a good source of potassium, if I think I might be sore.

 

get fit

 

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

 

Week 3

 

I've decided to cut my calories again. For the first 2 or 3 weeks, I ate about 1600 per day. I'm going to drop about 200 more.

 

 

Friday, November 14, 2014

 

Week 3

 

YEAH! 1 more pound gone!

I have been trying to drink 100 ounces of water a day. It's hard - really hard. My trainer wants me to drink at least a gallon!!! Does he know how many ounces that is????

 

 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

 

Week 4

 

Another pound down.

11 down.....how many more can I lose before swimsuit season - just 37 days from today! EYE ON THE PRIZE!!!

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> When you're working out, remember not to hyperextend or lock out your joints such as your knees or elbows. This takes the work away from the muscle and puts excess stress on the joint. I didn't realize this until a few years ago. So, take it from me, someone who has had bad knees and elbows for years, always use proper form when exercising and stretching. Your body will thank you.

 

 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

 

Week 5

 

It's been a slow week. I'm only down 1/2 pound and now Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I'm worried. I love all the holiday food. My husband is an excellent cook and no one ever goes hungry at our house.

I'm really trying to be strict this week. Hope it pays off.

 

get fit

 

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

 

Thanksgiving Week

 

YEAH! 2 more pounds gone. It's working. Just a few days to get through.

It all goes back to old-school. Weight loss or weight gain is tied directly to calories in and calories out. Sure glad I finally learned that.

 

 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

 

Week 6

 

With only 23 days until swimsuit season, I am up 8 pounds! OMG! Too many tasty goodies and too many leftovers. Whatever is left by tonight is going in the trash.

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> Buy Organic. We started switching over (fruits and veggies) about 5 or 6 years ago. We try to avoid the antibiotic, steroid laden meats, eggs, and milk.

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

 

Fitbit

 

My heart rate monitor hasn't worked in a while so I got out of the habit of checking my heart rate. For several years, my resting heart rate was somewhere between 70 and 80. My resting heart rate now averages around 55! I was so shocked, that I've been checking every day for about a week or so. Just one more way that I know my hard work is paying off. There is a new Fitbit coming out soon - I'm hoping by Christmas because I want one. It has a built in heart rate monitor among other things.

 

 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

 

Just 3 weeks until Vacation

 

Two of my Thanksgiving pounds are gone. Thank Goodness. I am really counting calories now. I try to hit between 1100 and 1300 each day. Some days it's harder than others. I document my food every day along with all the nutrition information. I know by lunch, what I can 'afford' for the rest of the day. I like this system. It keeps me on track.

 

 

TIP==> If you're just starting to eat healthy, or starting a new diet, or trying to improve your fitness, this should be your first step: Clean house. Go through your kitchen and pantry and throw out everything that might sabotage your success. Things to eliminate, from your kitchen and your shopping list, include sugary treats, empty carbs, processed foods, things that aren't real food (cheese slices, margarine, fat free substitutes......).

 

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

 

Count the Calories Every Day

 

I know it's a job, but most anything that you have to work for usually results in a payoff - hopefully a good one. I've been trying to stick to 1100 - 1300 calories per day. It seems to be working. I watch fat but as long as I'm sticking to healthy fats, I'm not too concerned. I do try to limit saturated fat. I stick to mostly healthy carbs.

 

eat healthy

 

 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

 

19 days until Beach

 

Seeing results makes dieting so much easier - another 2 pounds lost! I am now officially down lower than before Thanksgiving. This is my lowest weight since the Spring of 2011.

I have really stepped up my gym workouts too. I started going to classes about a month ago - boot camp and body works. I work harder in this type of environment. No one wants to be the weakest link and I was for sure in my first classes.

The classes I've added to my weekly routine are 60 minutes long and include cardio, full body weight training, tabata, and lots of abs. If you're just starting a workout program, be sure to select one that meets your style and your needs. You may find that you need a beginner class or an instructor that is okay with some students doing low intensity and/or modifications to certain exercises. A water aerobics class might be a great place to start. It is usually low intensity and low impact on your joints and muscles. If you're up for something more challenging, try the boot camps, body works, tabata, spinning, kickboxing, step aerobics, zumba...... Yoga is a great place to start also.

I think tabata is a fairly new term in the workout world. What is tabata??? It is a specific type of interval training where you do moderate to high intensity exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. This is repeated 4 times resting for 1 minute between each set. The exercises might include: pushups, squats, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees, box jumps, jumping jacks, high knees, jump ski, plank, side plank, crunches, side lunges, side squats, jump squats, step ups, jump rope, curtsy lunges...... Exercises may be done with or without weights. Make it your own. Work hard. Sweat.

 

get fit

 

 

Friday, December 5, 2014

 

Form.....It's All About Good Form

 

Good form while you're working out is more important than the weight you are lifting or how many reps you can do in 1 minute. Good form helps you build stronger, longer muscles and helps you reduce the risk of injury. What is good form??? Here's an example. For standard squats, feet are shoulder width apart. Do not bend at the waist. Lower your hips until your hamstrings are parallel with with floor. Keep your chest up. Don't let your knees get in front of your toes. I know, it's a lot to put together all in one move, but it will soon become second nature the more you do it. You may not be able to go 'deep' when you first get started, but make it a goal to strive for. You may even want to do assisted squats at first. Just use a hard chair or a bench. Eventually you will be able to use weights too.

 

 

squat

 

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

 

15 days until beach

 

I have lost so much of my flexibility. That's what happens when you don't work on it. I'm not sure that I will ever be as flexible as I was when I was young, but at least I can teach my daughters what I've learned from my mistakes. Now I stretch after nearly every workout and often during. I work on balance too. I have improved my balance quite a bit and hope to continue working on it for the rest of my life.

 

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

 

16 days until beach

 

How exciting.....2.5 pounds down. I rarely eat out any more. I need to learn how. I am still eating at Chipotle, but I have given up my once a week fountain Coke. I haven't had one in weeks and I don't even miss it.

 

 

TIP==> Be careful when buying low fat, no fat, sugar free products. These aren't necessarily better for you. In many cases, the substitutions include chemicals that are harder for your body to process or may even cause unwanted side effects. For example, eat real butter, just in moderation. Low fat or fat-free may just mean added sugar.

 

Monday, December 8, 2014

 

Not missing it

 

coke

 

 

Well, it's been a month since my last Coke and I don't even miss it. I used to crave it when I would walk by a fountain serving Coke or see the 18-wheeler drive by - you know the one.....with the bigger than life Coke logo and an icy Coca Cola just waiting for someone to take a sip. Soda is so bad for you, not to mention all the sugar, I may never drink one again.

 

 

TIP==> Add more fiber to your daily diet if you're not getting enough. I strive for 30 - 35 grams per day. Some days I blow that number out of the water, and far fewer days, I fall short. Very Important: Make sure that you add extra water. Fiber without water = major backup.

 

 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

 

12 days until warmth, sun and sand

 

18 pounds so far. I can't believe it, and I have almost 2 weeks to go. I am now focusing on my vacation plan and how to keep it off. I'm a morning person, so I always get up early and workout before the others are even up for breakfast. I just need to figure out what I'll do every day, but I know one thing - running on the beach will certainly be included.

Again, for those who know me, you've probably heard me say that I'm allergic to the cold or afraid of it. Well, I'm very proud to say that I have been taking Marly, my younger Golden Retriever, out every day - rain, cold, wind - we go out for at least a mile. The worse the conditions, the faster we go. I even got Marly a vest for those wet and windy days. It's pink polka dot.

 

Can't wait to be here!!!

 

turks & caicos

 

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

 

12 days until warmth, sun and sand

 

Worried about how to make it through the holidays without packing on extra pounds?

You can plan for a little extra eating, but make not overeating a big part of your plan. Remember you are making a lifestyle change, not just going on a diet.

Try to work in a few extra trips to the gym, or longer walks with the dogs, or even a few fast-paced strolls around the mall.

When you're at parties or get together, take a normal serving size of several items that you wish to try and decide that you will not be having seconds, no matter how good it might be.....and don't. Don't deprive yourself of all good things. You'll wind up on a food frenzy comparable only to one of my favorite shows 'Man vs. Food'.

Drink plenty of water before and during the event to help you stay full. Remember, alcohol and soda have lots of empty calories and soda has tons of sugar.

Don't linger around the food tables. Eat and move into another room or at least put some distance between you and the enemy - food.

If you're preparing the holiday meal, make sure that you have at least a couple of healthier dishes that you can turn to while your guests are filling up on mashed potatoes and stuffing. Have a small serving of each, but remember, no seconds.

Try to get in some kind of exercise during the morning of a heavier eating day, like Christmas or New Year's Eve. Believe me, I know those are busy days. I have kids too, but exercise actually reduces stress and helps relieve tension. Even if you can only get in a brisk walk for 30 minutes, it will get your heart rate up and help to increase your metabolism which will help you to burn calories and fat more efficiently throughout the day.

And lastly, keep a positive attitude about eating and exercise, and don't just throw in the towel over the holidays thinking 'I'll take it off after the New Year.' How many people have said that before?

 

 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

 

Date Night with Al & Abby.....translation.....home watching Christmas Movies

 

and updating this blog. It's hard to believe that the very first day I documented my food and stats for this weight loss journey had '62 days until swimsuit' at the top of the page and now I'm down to just 10 days. I'm so close to hitting my goal. I just need to keep my EYE on the PRIZE! I don't want to spend one more vacation hiding behind the camera. I want to take pictures with my family, not just take pictures of them.

 

TIP==> Spend as much time changing your mind set about a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise as you spend planning meals and working out. Use control to stop eating everything you want and learn to eat just what your body needs.

 

get fit

 

 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

 

Getting Ready for Vacation!!!!

 

60 push-ups - no girly ones. 200 lunges with 30 pound bar. 75 minutes hard core - Today turned out to be a great workout, especially since I considered for 1 minute not going.

Oh No! I had a moment of weakness tonight. We went to Abby's dance performance at the Christmas for the City in Beavercreek and they had hundreds of cookies on display just waiting to be eaten. Cookies are definitely one of my weaknesses. Somehow I only had one. I sacrificed my yogurt/pear/walnut treat for 1 small cookie - probably wasn't worth it, but it was in that moment.

 

 

TIP==> It might seem hard to imagine, but giving up your soda habit may be easier than you think. Soda contains so much sugar, chemicals, empty calories..... After a few weeks, you won't even miss it.

 

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

 

Still Counting Every Day

 

I'm amazed at how many new foods are now my favs. I don't miss my old bad foods and bad habits. I've replaced them with healthier choices. I have so much more energy every day. It's great!

 

eat healthy

 

 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

 

We made it here. OMG! It's beautiful. The weather is perfect.

 

Trying hard to not pack on too many vacation pounds.

 

turks & caicos

 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

 

Well, I'm back from a wonderful warm and sunny vacation! I gained 4 pounds - even after 2 weeks of livin' the all-inclusive luxury island life. Not too bad, but I still have the extra 2 I put on just before we left. So, 6 pounds to take off just to be even and then I have to start again.

 

 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

 

WOW!! I can't believe it's been a whole month since I posted.

 

Well, vacation was great! The island and our resort were beautiful. The weather was perfect.

 

turks & caicos

 

Well, to catch up.......My goal was to lose 20 pounds before leaving on vacation. Three days prior, I was down 18.5 pounds. I thought 'piece of cake'. Not literally. But then we had a giant lobster feast and a few other meals of over indulgence. When we left, I was at -16. Not terrible, but not my goal.

 

lobsters

 

After almost 2 weeks of eating, drinking, eating, and completely over stuffing with desserts, I came home weighing just 4 pounds more. I was afraid it might be 10! My clothes (smaller size) still fit, but I still thought it would be more.

 

Well it's Monday morning, January 5, 2015. Start of a new week, start of a new year, start of a new me.

By Thursday, January 8th, my extra 6+ pounds were gone. Very relieved. Now I can start on a new goal.

 

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

 

YEAH! I lost another pound. This is my lowest weight since 2011.

 

Unfortunately I have picked up a new bad habit since we returned. It needs to be replaced with a new healthier habit ASAP. I made a delicious trail mix for us to take on the plane and now I can't stop eating it. Every day I measure out 1/4 cup and then return 2 or 3 more times a day to dip in. It has cashews, pecans, pistachios, sesame stix, raisins, and yogurt covered raisins and almonds - very high in calories. I can't believe I've lost any weight at all based on how much of this I've been putting away every day. Today I finally put my foot down and decided that I was not going to buy the high sugar treats any more. Keeping the Nuts though.

I'm searching for a new healthier snack to replace the trail mix with. I completely understand that you cannot just break an old habit. You need to replace it with something better.

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> Be sure to eat enough protein each day. I strive for 80 - 100 grams and most of it comes from chicken, eggs, yogurt, shrimp, fish, and Kashi Crunch. It's filling and it fuels your brain, among other positives.

 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

 

Another exciting day.

Yesterday I got a call and I have a job interview! I have not been on a job interview since 1995! That's right, almost 20 years. So, today I tried on my dress pants - too big! YEAH! This will certainly require a shopping trip. Abby and I went to Kohl's after the gym today and she and I selected 3 pairs of pants for me to try on. She asked 'What size mom?'

'Size 6.' As I held them up, Abby said 'those look really big mom.' Gee, thanks kid! 'Well, sometimes clothes are deceiving. They'll fit.' I reply with confidence. I was so happy to be wrong! All 3 pairs - too big! Who would have thought???

Oh, Happy Day.......I left Kohl's with a size 4!

 

 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

 

Racquetball???

Al bought us Racquetball gear for Christmas which we opened on January 5th. So today we had the opportunity to try it out. I loved it. We played for an hour and a half. I hope it's a good workout. We both left pretty sweaty. I'm already looking forward to when we can play again.

 

racquetball

 

 

 

TIP==> Remember to keep your portion sizes limited to 1 or 1.5. I used to wonder why if I ate healthy most of the time, I was still overweight. It's really about calories in and calories out. Don't believe every fad diet you hear. They may help you lose some or all of the weight you want to lose, but they don't teach you skills for a lifetime of success. Learn to eat real food in moderation and you can eat anything you like and maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

 

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

 

Mud Guts & Glory

It's just 122 days away - May 23, 2015. Great reason to set a new goal. I am working diligently to decrease fat and increase muscle. I'm working on a new plan that includes healthy eating, strength training, cardio, boot camp interval training......finding just the right mix is key. I'll keep posting what's working for me and what's not.

We did MGG in Nov 2013 with no training and no prep. Our goal this time is to cut our times in half.

Got my Fitbit Charge today. Can't wait to get it programmed and start tracking my results.

 

mudgutsglory

 

 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

 

First interview that I've had since 1995!

Thanks Abby for taking this pic of me. My interview is for an adjunct professor position teaching Software Engineering/Development.

I'm feeling pretty good about my new look, but I still have more work to do. I'm in for the long haul.

 

 

interview

 

 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

 

No Soda Saturday

We went to the movie theater and decided to get some popcorn. I used to love Coke with popcorn. I tried 1 drink and it was so sweet and had such a strong syrup flavor, I didn't want any more. YEAH! I don't need to take up that bad habit again!!!

Last soda.....Nov 8, 2014

 

 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

 

Thanks for Making My Day!

So, I was driving to the gym today and feeling like I really didn't want to go today, but my car cruised on. I got there and started working out. Shortly after I got going, I forgot all about my negative thoughts. I did a very intense full body, mostly upper, workout. I was just a little over an hour into my workout and was starting to feel like it was time to go. Then a young man, maybe about 22 or so, came up to me said "You are in great shape. You are really killing your workout today."

I was stunned. WOW! Someone, a stranger, noticed my hard work. I replied "Thank you, You just made my day." Then of course I didn't feel like leaving, but working harder. I did continue working for a few more minutes, but we had to go and pick up Abby.

When I met up with Al and few minutes later, I told him about my compliment. He said 'I know what they call older women who like younger men, but what do they call younger men who are attracted to OLD women?"

OMG! I can't believe that came out of his mouth. He's about 2000 brownie points in the hole. He didn't say older women. He definitely said OLD.

I told him that I planned to tell everyone about his comment so that down the road when he's found divorced or dead, no one will be surprised. So here I am telling you!

 

get fit

 

 

Monday, January 26, 2015

 

Weekends are so hard for dieting:(

Weekdays just seem to be easier to plan meals and stick to them. Each day follows a routine. Weekends just say SPLURGE.

On a positive note: I have a job offer.

 

 

get fit

 

 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

 

Happy Birthday Abby!

Abby wanted me to make cupcakes for school and dance. Not good for me. I really don't like cake and cupcakes too much, but when they're around, I eat them, especially just out of the oven. I hoped to only eat one, but I baked both chocolate and yellow so I had to try one of each. Then the icing dilemma. I really don't like icing so I ate the first two without but definitely plumped them up with vanilla pudding. YUM! Then I decided I had to try each with the cream cheese icing I had selected to make sure that they tasted okay, so that meant eating two more. YIKES! Now I had eaten four cupcakes yesterday.

happy birthday

 

Then today, Abby brought home 4 cupcakes that were extras. Uh-Oh. They're gone. Now I've eaten eight cupcakes in two days. Sugar Rush. Sugar Coma. Will get refocused on Thursday - no more refined sugar! I will break this habit. I will break up with sugar. Sugar will not control me. I will control it.

I'm still at the same weight - fluctuating between 18 and 20 pounds off. My focus now is building muscle rather than losing weight, so I've added calories, cut some of cardio and started increasing the weights. I'm starting at 22.6% body fat. Would love to get to 18%.

So far, I've walked, run, climbed, aerobicized......over 26 miles since I got my fitbit last week. It doesn't seem to do well with the stair climber though. No matter how many flights I climb, I usually only get credit for a couple, if any.....

 

 

Friday, January 30, 2015

 

Kickboxing

Tried kickboxing this morning. Fun! But not enough on its own. It is fast moving and non stop. She doesn't even break for water.

A nice honest lady at the gym told me that I needed a little extra in my workout today after eating sushi and hibachi at Osaka last night and then topping it off with dessert from Chili's. She was right, so I stayed to try kickboxing even after I had already done the hour boot camp, 15 minutes of legs, 5 minutes of stair climber and ran a mile.

My stats were pretty good by 10:45am. Still didn't get credit for any stair climber activity - no steps - no climbing! It was as if I were sitting on the couch for that time according to my Fitbit.

 

 

fitbit

 

 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

 

Beware!

 

Beware of the 100 calorie snack packs. I know 100 calories doesn't sound like much, but if you're dieting and eating healthy, 100 is a lot. Most of the 100 calorie snacks have very little or NO nutritional value. So what does that mean? You are eating empty calories and will soon be hungry again and then you'll be searching for another 100 calorie snack. It all adds up.

 

100 calories

 

My favorite 100 calorie snack is.....Yoplait Greek Yogurt - Vanilla. I absolutely love it plus it's healthy. It has 13 grams of protein, Vitamin D, Calcium, no fat, and low sodium, carbs, and sugar. Not all fat free products measure up. This love affair sort of happened by accident. Al was out of town and Abby and I decided to turn on the tv. She wanted to check out 'The Biggest Loser'. The show was pushing this yogurt and Abby was sold. I agreed to buy 1 cup that we could both try. I had tried Greek yogurt before and it was absolutely disgusting! I really didn't want to try it but I agreed so I stuck to my word and bought 1 cup. I couldn't believe how much I liked it. So thankful that Abby made me look outside the box for a new snack.

 

100 calories

 

 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

 

SuperBowl Sunday

Since we really didn't care who won, my husband decided to make the game a little more interesting. We each picked a team to cheer on. Al and I chose Seattle and Abby chose New England. Each time your team had a penalty or a score, including the extra point, you had to draw a paper from the bowl and perform the exercises on it. Most papers had 3 activities like 20 pushups, 60 second plank, and 20 squats. Sometimes we had to lunge through the house or run up and down the stairs. I decided I needed a little extra so I did the exercises for both teams. Abby loved it and it kept us busy throughout the game. Thanks Al for helping us get fit!

 

fear mediocrity

 

 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

 

SNOW!

To believe or not to believe. Looks like it may stay north again. If it's going to be cold, we may as well have pretty snow. Hoping Abby's dance practice will not be cancelled so I can go back to the gym. But my heart is really in the Caribbean.....

 

 

love the beach

 

 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

 

I have finally lost 20 pounds today.....

and I wasn't even trying. Remember, I'm trying to gain muscle now. Oh well, I'll take it! I got a Nutri Ninja today. YEAH! I have one of the original Ninjas and really like it but it doesn't grind everything completely smooth - like nuts, seeds, skin.... Hopefully my new Ninja will. It got very good reviews. I'm looking for smoothie recipes now.

 

 

TIP==> Be sure to stretch throughout the duration of your workout, not just at the end. This helps avoid injury and sore muscles. If you think you might be sore after, drink extra water, eat a banana, and keep moving.

 

 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

 

Climbing, Chipotle, Circus.....

Sounds like a great day ahead. I have given up my tacos, sour cream (even though I ate just a fraction of a serving), and Coke, but I have found a way to still enjoy my favorite 'eat out'.

Now I order a bowl with a half serving of brown rice, black beans, chicken, half serving of mild, half serving of corn, half serving of hot, half serving of cheese, and extra lettuce.

I save over 200 calories and over 600mg of sodium. Plus I don't leave feeling stuffed and I don't have to make the hard decision to throw away uneaten Chipotle.

 

get fit

 

 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

 

Valerie.....

Rock Climbing was great. No one screamed like a girl:) YEAH!

I was good at Chipotle - half the rice, half of all the salsas, no sour cream, half the cheese, extra lettuce, NO soda!

Something bad happened at the circus.....roasted SUGAR pecans.....Yes, I ate the whole bag. I forgot to get on the scale this morning, so I guess it was worth it......

 

rock climbing

 

Valerie has been hanging in my laundry room since 2009. I love this picture and I want that body. I'm striving for Fab at 50! Maybe I'll make it by 49.....

 

valerie

 

 

TIP==> I love water, but I hear people say all the time that water is too boring. Today 'The Doctors' had some great ways to spruce up your water. 1) add thin slices of apple and cinnamon sticks; 2) add chunks of pineapple and fresh ginger 3) add chunks of watermelon and rosemary.

 

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 

Fresh

A few people have asked me what kinds of things I eat.

I try to avoid most processed foods and eat fresh fruits and veggies, lots of chicken, fish, shrimp, eggs, yogurt, nuts, a little lean beef.....

Here's a peek inside my frig. No soda, no juice; lots of fruits and veggies.

 

inside the frig

 

So last night, Abby and I made a delicious new smoothie (recipe below). When a cup has a Max Fill line on it, I think you should pay attention. We stuffed everything in our cup and then pressed on the lid and started blending. Our mixture squished out and got inside our blender. Cleaning up took longer than making or drinking our treat! Abby's the one who noticed the Max Fill line. "Look Mom, maybe we put too much stuff in....' Perhaps I thought the line was just a suggestion........similar to speed limits on highways and stops signs in parking lots:)

 

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

 

An Exciting Day

I lost another pound and a half! YEAH!

I am now down 21+ pounds. I haven't weighed this since....19xx.....wait for it.......93!

I'm not sure how many more pounds I want to take off, but I'm thinking about 5 - 7. My goal is spring break - 45 days from today. Not sure if we're going anywhere, but I want to be ready, plus it's always good to have something to shoot for.

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> I cook with oils all the time. It can be confusing to know which one to use. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good for cooking over low to moderate heat - maybe up to 350 degrees F. For cooking at 350 degrees F or higher, use Coconut Oil. Don't be surprised.....coconut oil is solid at room temperature.

 

 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

 

An Early Goal

I have been working to rebuild my upper body strength and had set a goal of doing 3 sets of 20 'real' push-ups by the end of Feb - HIT IT TODAY!!!

 

 

get fit

 

Friday, February 13, 2015

 

Too Cold for Me!

And it's only getting colder!!! At least it's warm at the gym.

 

cold in ohio

 

So glad to be planning our next vacation. It helps take my mind off of the cold.....at least for a few minutes. Can't wait to relax in the sun and sand. Now I have a new goal to work toward. I'll have to calculate the days and start the countdown. I'm going to start right now with Victoria Secrets Buns and Abs. Be back later:)

 

caribbean dream

 

 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

 

Happy Valentines Day!

So proud of my husband.....not only did he go to the gym with me this morning, but he arranged a special delivery for me - how beautiful AND BEST OF ALL - NO CANDY!!!

I got tired of spinning, so I gave up my 2 evening classes this week in lieu of 2 additional body works classes. By the end of today's class, I had done over 1200 squats this week and several thousand abs. Hope it pays off.

 

valentine flowers

 

I was a little concerned that maybe my hips and legs were expanding due to all the extra weights I've been doing, so I decided to try on my 'interview' pants today - remember, size 4 that I bought 4 weeks ago. My fear was that they would be tight. Good surprise - they are a little baggie! I couldn't believe it. I have about 2 extra inches around the waist. I guess all those weird crunches are paying off:)

 

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

 

Oh No, It's that time again.

I thought I better get out the tape measure again. I wasn't sure what I'd see but I knew I had to do it - milestones.....Good News! Inches gone everywhere - no surprise, but my favorite stat was......5 inches off my waist!!! So happy:)

 

get fit

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

 

Dedication or Insanity???

I thought I was crazy, but then I saw my neighbor out.......RUNNING!

I almost never skip my workouts now. Not the snow nor the frigid temperatures keep me home these days. Last year I looked for any excuse to skip the gym. School delay, better stay home and watch the road conditions. No school, better hibernate at home. Weekend, better sit at my computer until everyone wakes up. No excuses this year. I don't even look outside to see if it's snowy. Having a goal and something to work toward really makes a difference. If something comes up and changes my morning routine, I make every effort to go to the gym in the evening. I take off some Sundays.

 

cold temps

 

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

 

My Favorite Leg Workout

 

leg workout

 

 

If you love water, this next tip may be easy for you. If you're not a big fan of plain water, this will take some work to build up. My goal is about 100 ounces a day. I never thought I could do it, but once I set my mind to it.....it happened. I used to only drink about 30 ounces a day - on a good day.

water tip

 

 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

 

Cheat Day

 

We all need them every now and then. What they prove to me is that I don't like restaurant food like I used to - and I'm okay with that. I like cooking and trying new foods. The more I learn, the more I experiment with new recipes. I'm not afraid to 'mix and match' ingredients. I don't like everything I put together. I just make a mental note not to eat that again. I document the recipes I do like. I do my best to keep track of what goes into the dishes I make, but they are not an exact science.

Well, back to the cheating......today is another 'snow day' - #7 if we're counting. Today is very cold. It was -8 as I drove to the gym and 'my buddy, Jeff' on the radio said that it was -25 wild chill. At least there were no joggers out today. The gym was a little warmer, but not a lot.....about 60 degrees! What are they thinking??? Some people had jackets on while working out. That's ridiculous. Some people were warming up in the sauna. I ran more than a mile just trying to loosen up my muscles for the rest of my workout. I had my trainer - only 2 sessions left and then I'm on my own to continue practicing what I've learned. I can do it:) We did legs and upper body. I could really feel that I did a lot of legs yesterday. I continued on with upper body and could tell that I worked hard at last night's class. I like knowing that I'm working hard:)

So later, I took Abby and 2 of her dance friends to lunch - Five Guys Burgers & Fries. It was good - not great - not like I remember it from the past. I find that to be true about most, maybe all, of the places that I eat at lately. I find that I enjoy my home made meals more and more and don't need to rely on eating out to find gratification. That makes me happy. I used to love eating out.

On another side, we save a lot of $$ by not eating out so much. Even with all the extra spending at the grocery, we still come out ahead. Earlier this month, Kroger added 500 bonus points to our gas points just for being such good customers putting us up over 2200 points toward gas purchases. YEAH!

 

cold

 

WOW! I didn't know how dusty my car was. Maybe it will warm up soon so I can clean it.

More Cheating

After lunch, the girls and I made 'healthy' chocolate chip cookies. Even though they do not have butter or processed sugar in them, they still have a lot of sugar. They are sweetened by honey! I ate 4 of them. YIKES! Recipe: Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

cold

 

 

Friday, February 20, 2015

 

Another 'cold-day' school closure.....#8

 

It was -14 temp with -25 wild chill as I headed out to the gym. Most of the regulars were there. I worked hard but not at 100%. I have felt a cold coming on all week.

Really cold days make it hard for me to drink a lot of water. I have a battle going on in my mind.....drink water and be cold, don't drink water and feel dehydrated and thirsty. Hhhmmm. My brain is torn. What to do? What to do???? I have found a good middle ground. On these days, I grab a bottle of water right off the shelf instead of out of the frig. It allows me to keep drinking all day but not freeze from the inside.

Today was so busy. After the gym, Abby and I went to lunch with friends and then to the mall. By the time we got home, it was time to get ready for hockey. Abby's school choir was singing at the Dayton Demonz hockey game tonight. I'm so excited for them. The game was crowded (cancer awareness night) so they had a big audience. They sounded great....so proud! Unfortunately my girl was hidden by all the tall kids. About 3/4 of the way through the National Anthem, I saw about an inch of her red sparkly headband. Check them out here.

 

 

MLS Choir

Click on the image to see the video.

As you can see, I am a better photographer than videographer. I was watching the kids, not through the camera. When I would glance at the camera, I would notice that it had drifted. Oh well, we have it.

 

 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

 

Another Snowy Day in Beautiful OHIO!

 

Well, it finally happened. I skipped my morning workout today. I was busy all day yesterday and finally got home and went to bed feeling tired and bad about 11:30. My cold has finally caught up with me. DARN! I had a feeling there would be no morning workout. When I woke up, my throat was so dry and one eye was crusted shut. I actually feel much better now so I'm planning on Victoria Secrets buns and abs this afternoon:) I'm sure my girls will want to join in......even the furry one - Marly.

We are making our delicous fish tacos for lunch. YUM! If you had asked me to eat guacamole 10 years ago, I would have said NO WAY. Avocado seemed very gross to me. Now I absolutely love it. Funny how your taste buds change over the years and as you introduce new foods to them. I notice that the better I eat, the worse bad food tastes and makes me feel. I'm okay with that.

 

fish tacos

 

All of today's lunch recipes can be found by clicking the 'RECIPE' button below. We made Fish Tacos, Seasoned Fish (love love love this fish), Made From Fresh Guacamole, Made From Fresh Salsa.

 

 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

 

Kudos to my Hubby

My hubby did an awesome job at the grocery store today.

 

good health

 

He used to bring home white bread, bags of cheese, hot dogs, ice cream, chips, fatty burger.....I'm so happy. Now he shops just like I do.

When you're making a lifestyle change, it's so important to have your family on board and supporting you. Without the 'all in', it would be like trying to quit drinking or smoking while your spouse continues. I think that would be really hard just like starting a working regimen, eating clean/healthy, or cutting portions without the support of your family. If everyone is livin' the healthy lifestyle, it's so much easier to commit to it and stick to it.

In my family, we all enjoy finding and trying new recipes and foods.....plus we all enjoy adventure. We are working toward Mud Guts & Glory in May.

I would like to say that I rested all weekend in an effort to beat my cold, but we spent a good chunk of Saturday and all day Sunday cleaning our house from top to bottom for a house showing on Monday. So no rest here, but I feel pretty good. Usually if I keep going during a cold, it doesn't get too bad, but if I rest too much, I feel much worse - funny how that works.

Well, it's 9:15 and Al is still cleaning the floors. I should go and help:)

 

 

Monday, February 23, 2015

 

Another Cold Start

Spring, where are you???

 

weather map

 

YIKES! I'm up 2 pounds today. Perhaps it's the extra muscle I've been working hard to build or it could be the bad eating over the weekend. I did a photo shoot Saturday night for a big surprise birthday party and I had pasta and 2 delicious cupcakes. I am not a cake person, but they were sooo good. Plus I ate out for lunch on Thursday (Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Friday (Chipotle). I guess it's catching up with me.

It was hard going back to the gym today after taking just 2 days off. My cold is still lingering and my body is tired, but I made it through a short leg workout and a boot camp class. I did not have the energy I'm used to and my balance was off today too. Glad I went though.

Well Monday nights usually mean a trip back to the gym to kill time while Abby is at dance practice. Some of the people there know that I'm a morning workout gal and have been wondering why I'm there in the evening. I tell them that I have about 2 hours to kill and as I see it, I could go to Fleming's for happy hour, and do a lot of damage, or I can come to the gym. They mostly wonder if I should have my head examined. I bet they would make the same decsion:)

So I tried turbo kick. I think the instructor, Irene _ love her - should go just a little faster. I was only 5 steps behind for most of the class. lolI'll try it again next week:) She also includes some upper body weights along with lunges and squats. We did 2 entire songs of lunges - non stop. She even calls 1 exercise a screamer because your quads are screaming to quit. Actually my knee was screaming - too much damage when I was younger:( We also did an entire song of plank - regular, side, bear climb, and even some push ups mixed in. OUCH!

It's hard to step outside of the box sometimes and try something new. I'm so glad I did last November when I started the classes at my new gym. I didn't know anyone. Last night was the same. I didn't know anyone; didn't know the routine; and was definitely the weakest link. I don't like being in that position but it challenges me and makes my try harder and I DO like that.

Did you know that weight training actually helps prevent bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis? Women who lift weights consistently over time can increase their bone density and possibly have increased bone growth. Keep lifting.

 

 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 

YEAH!

Thanks Irene. I guess last night's workout was pretty good. I'm down 2.5 pounds for a grand total of 22 pounds - that's 22 pounds I don't ever want to see on this body again. Did I say ever?

My cold is definitely on its way out. So glad. I have a lot of energy today and hit 10,000 steps by noon.

A guy that I see almost every day, but have never talked to, at the gym came up to me today and said 'you look better and better every day.' What a great compliment. I told him that I was shooting for a bikini body by summer and he replied 'doesn't look like you have anything to worry about.' At least once a week, someone I don't even know approaches me with something nice to say. It's a great feeling.

I'm torn between building muscle and losing more weight. I'm leaning toward losing more. The thinner I get, the more muscle that I see. Looks like I'll be cutting calories again or adding cardio or both.

 

Don't let anything sabotage your quest to be fit and healthy.....not rain, or snow, or cold, or school delays, or work, or even life. Make your health your top priority. If you're not healthy, you can't enjoy life, care for your children, live every day to the fullest. I love the song 'I Lived' by One Republic.

 

burrr cold

 

 

Today is another MLS 'snow day', #9, so Abby and I are experimenting with recipes. We are trying Granola/Oatmeal Muffins. They are good, but need a little tweaking to help them bind together better. We put ours in muffin/cupcake papers, but the edges stuck. Next time I will try just putting them in the pan with a little Pam spray.

 

granola muffins

 

The recipe is posted under Sweets on the Recipe page.

 

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

 

Do you like to watch food shows?

Yes. I do. We all like Chopped, Restaurant Impossible, Man Versus Food... My daughter likes Cupcake Wars too. If you can eliminate these shows from your life - good idea. If you cannot, I suggest that you don't watch them after you have finished eating for the day or any time when you might become hungry and not be able to control your urge to grab a snack. I have cut out most of these shows, but if I do watch, I try to do it when I'm eating. This really helps to keep me from grabbing an additional snack. I'm already satisfied by what I'm eating.

Wednesdays are one of my 'work alone' days - no class, no trainer - just me to plan my workout and keep myself motivated. Some days are harder than others. Today was good. I did a 70 minute upper body workout with a few legs and abs mixed in including squats, plank, mountain climbers.....

 

get fit

 

 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

 

Another good start to the day......

 

I lost another pound! That's 23! YEAH!!!

I did not have a great workout this morning. My trainer workout was good, but then I started talking and used up most of my leg workout time. Good thing Abby has a long dance practice tonight.....I'll be back.

By the time I dropped Abby off at dance, I was in a bad mood. We had a hard time getting everything done and out the door on time, traffic was heavy, we were running late, it was soooo cold, my car was on E, I had to go Krogering at a store that I don't like (I can't find anything), I couldn't get to the gym I wanted to go to in time for the body works class, it was COLD......I almost didn't go to the gym. I wanted to go home....home to my warm office. But my car drove to the gym. I was just in time for a boot camp class with an instructor I've never had.

It was not like any boot camp I've ever been to.....no bench, no weights, nothing. It was almost all cardio - high intensity - no rest. Somehow I made it through. I was planning to run after, but soon changed my mind. Instead I finished my leg workout which included about 200 lunges. I felt so much better leaving the gym than I did arriving. No regrets!

Today was my last workout with my trainer. I was originally training 4 days a week and then dropped to 3 days. When I met Geoff in October, I trained with him twice a week. At the beginning of the year, I dropped to just Thursdays in an effort to 'savor' my last few sessions. Well, they've finally come to an end. Now I have another day to plan my own workout. I can do it.

 

 

Friday, February 27, 2015

 

I can't believe February is almost over!

Not that I'm complaining.....I am just NOT a fan of winter!

Great workout today - thanks Julie and Vern!

Today is Abby's first dance competition of the season so I'm busy today checking and double checking her bag, figuring out who's taking care of the dogs, making food so we can avoid the cafeteria food at the school.....so much to do. I like to stay busy though.

This is a snack I make periodically. No, it's not the healthiest thing I put in my mouth, but if you have a sugar craving and you are going to turn to cake, cookies, brownies, ice cream, a candy bar......, this is a better alternative. It does at least have some nutritional value and no processed white sugar.

 

sweet snack

This little snack really satisfies my urge for something sweet. I usually take a half serving of each (raisins, cereal, cashews) and 5 or 6 almonds.

Dance was Awesome! We couldn't have been more proud of our little dancers.

 

dancers

 

 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

 

Last day of February!

I love this shirt. One of my photographer friends posted this and I just had to save it.

 

camera shirt

 

Not much excitement to report today. It is going to be a bad eating day that I will have to make up for next week. All started out fine - cereal, strawberries, and fat free milk for breakfast, then off to the gym. My body works class was replaced with zumba today. I DON'T DANCE. I knew it was coming though, so I was prepared for my own workout - an upper body plus a little cardio.

Abby has been asking me to take her to get a Gyro (everyone knows that it's pronounced year-O, right) for about a month now, so as it turned out we were heading to the shopping center where the Gyros are - right at lunch time. We first had to stop by the Cakery (yes it's as bad as it sounds) to get a yummy treat for my older daughter's birthday. We of course needed a sample, or 2 or 3 or 4 cupcakes!!!! OMG - let's get out of here!!!! It's very tasty if you need a treat for a special occasion. Don't visit here just for fun:) Your hips, your thighs, your belly.....they will ALL tell on you!

My daughter, Stephanie, has chosen O'Charlie's for her birthday dinner. I used to absolutely love their bread/rolls, but they changed their recipe and I changed my taste buds, so I'm hoping 1 roll will suffice.

 

birthday dinner

 

 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

 

A snowy busy dance day

Also a day for looking back. It was 20 years ago today, a Wednesday......before I left work I told several people that I would be back tomorrow to finish all the documentation on a project that I had been working on for several weeks but that I would not be at work on Friday, March 3rd because I would be having my baby. She wasn't due until March 8th, but I predicted back in October that she would be born on 3/3/95.

After dinner that night, my husband and I went to Meijer to shop and just walk the store. My back had been hurting and it felt good walking, plus I had heard that walking 'encouraged' labor. We strolled for 2 hours. I had mild pre-eclampsia, so my feet and legs were really swollen. When they started to hurt, I had to go home. Will it work?

 

 

Monday, March 2, 2015

 

It worked!

A beautiful baby girl was born 20 years ago today! Such a happy happy day.

 

happy birthday

 

How do you make it through the grocery store when you're hungry? It's hard - really really hard. I have a few tricks. I avoid the areas that are weaknesses to me. I don't walk through the bakery. If I find myself walking near it, I don't make eye contact with anything that might draw me in. I know that I do not want to buy anything in the bakery. I walk quickly and keep my mind on the next item on my list. If I don't have a written list (which I usually do - it keeps me on track), I at least have a list in my head. I don't let my eyes or mind wander. I make a very strong effort to stay focused on just what I need and not let any old/bad habits creep into my cart.

Bad things happened over the weekend - especially Saturday. I ate a big Gyro, with the yummy sauce, and shared fries with Abby. Then we ate the cupcakes from the Cakery, then on to O'Charlie's for a birthday dinner. Sunday we headed to a dance competition and stopped along the way to grab a market fresh roast beef from Arby's - NO fries today. I chose not to get on the scale Sunday morning, but Monday turned out to not be pretty - up 5 pounds!!! WOW! I'm hoping at least a couple of it is water. Doctors say that you need to eat about 3500 calories to gain 1 pound - and remember that does not take into consideration the calories that you burn. I did go to the gym Saturday morning and worked out for about 90 minutes knowing that I was eating out for dinner. Lunch just happened.

 

Still can't get motivated to get fit and adopt a healthy lifestyle?

 

Check out this article on Alzheimer and how to reduce your risk.

 

Alzheimer Article

 

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

 

Hard work pays off.

I got back on my good eating plan and had a good workout yesterday. I am down 2.5 pounds today. Unfortunately it is off of the 5 I put on over Saturday and Sunday's bad eating. Glad it's gone though. Now for the next 2.5.......

One of the best workout investments I think that a person can make is a foam workout roller. They are only about $20! They are great for rolling out sore muscles, massaging the knots that sometimes build up when we work our body too hard, and just rolling out the tension that builds up in our muscles. I use my roller for tight hamstrings, which I ALWAYS have, occasional tight calves, sore lower back (chronic for me), and tension and knots in my upper back and neck area. You can feel it working from the moment you put pressure on. The first few moments might be a little uncomfortable or even painful, but don't give up. This feeling goes away and then you feel the loosening of muscles and tension leaving your body. AWWWEEE! Relief at last!

 

foam roller

 

I made a treat for Abby today. She just said 'I'm in love with this!' It is a frozen yogurt pop. I made 3 kinds to try them out.....strawberry, blueberry, and pineapple with vanilla Greek yogurt. We generally skip fat free products but we do eat fat free vanilla Yoplait Greek yogurt. Generally when the fat is taken out, something else must be put in to keep it flavorful. That something is usually sodium or sugar. In the case of our favorite yogurt, both sodium and sugar fall within my acceptable range. We eat this yogurt almost every day in either a smoothie, by itself, mixed with real fruit, or frozen with real fruit.

 

frozen yogurt pop

 

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

 

More snow is on the way. Who's ready for Spring???

ME!

 

bob ross

I always enjoyed and appreciated Bob Ross's work.

 

 

 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

 

How to break up with 'whites'

What could that possibly mean?!?!?!

If you want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, you MUST break up with 'white' foods. What are white foods? White flour, white pasta, white rice, processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup - I even add white eggs to my list.

What do you replace them with? Wheat unbleached flour, almond flour, whole grain pasta, brown rice, natural sweeteners such as fruit, honey, real maple syrup. I replaced my traditional white eggs with brown organic, steriod-free, anitbiotic-free eggs.

Why do you need to rid your body and daily diet of these 'white' products? They are empty carbs. They have very little to no nutritional value. They promote obesity and diabetes. They lead to cravings and addictive eating behaviors. They are less satisfying and leave you returning to the kitchen shortly after eating......in search of more bad carbs.

Do I need to say more???

 

Kudos to those who can workout at home. Days when I cannot go to the gym make me so thankful for my gym membership. I have tried several times over the years to workout at home, but I just can't stay motivated and I definitely don't work hard at all. My best attempt was Thanksgiving day. Today was a school delay and Al is in Seattle so I had to skip the gym this morning. I got up, got dressed like I was going, pulled my hair back, and tried to get started. I ran up and down the stairs, did jumping jacks, pushups, bicep curls, squats, then washed some dishes and started some laundry. Then back to run the stairs and more pushups, plank, vaccuumed, more laundry........didn't break a sweat. The house looked better than it ever does on a gym day though. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.

 

 

Friday, March 6, 2015

 

TIP==> Weigh yourself every day - at the same time. I weigh first thing in the morning almost every day. I don't like to let a week or a month or even longer go by without checking my weight. You might be surprised by how quickly a few pounds can really add up. That's a great way to get discouraged and give up.

 

 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

 

Spring is Near! I can hear it!!!

When I got up this morning, I sat down at my desk. The house was quiet and I could hear the birds chirping outside my window. What a beautiful sound:)

Spring Break is just under 3 weeks away. I need to crack down and work hard toward my goal. I would like to take about 5 pounds off - just in case we go somewhere warm and sunny! I'm crossing my fingers - for both.

 

 

Monday, March 9, 2015

 

Lots of Hard Work Today

Workin' hard toward my spring break goal.....plus I finally finished getting our tax docs ready for the accountants.

 

fitbit

 

If you look as good leaving the gym as you did when you entered, chances are you could have done a little more.

 

after workout

 

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

 

Recovered from 'Spring Ahead'

After a good night's sleep (almost 8 hours!) I woke up well rested and full of energy. Glad I'm not feeling the lag of spring ahead today. YEAH!

Even after all of my activities yesterday, I only lost 1/2 of a pound. I was a little disappointed, but I know that's just how the body works sometimes, so I'll continue to be patient and keep working hard and eating healthy. I also looked back at what I ate yesterday and while most of it looked healthy and my portion sizes were good, I did eat almost 400 calories worth of my little trail mix (yogurt covered raisins, cashews, and whole grain cereal). YIKES! Better cut back on that. I just LOVE it! But, I know that I need to limit the amount I eat each day as it is high in calories, so do as I say and NOT as I do in this case. Don't overeat any of your snacks!!! Remember, everything in moderation.

What do you do when you hear or see food ads? I don't know about you, but those are tough for me. Whether they're commercials on TV or on the radio, I have to approach them with a plan.

In the past I would let myself get lost in those savory food commercials, no matter what the food was, whether I liked it or not. My mouth would practically water. I would imagine eating it and it tasting so good. It didn't matter if I saw it on TV or a billboard, or a magazine ad, or just imagined what it looked like from a radio ad. They all had the same effect for me. I used to say that it should be illegal to put food ads on TV after 9pm. There you are trying to enjoy your favorite show and you're bombarded with food. You know that it's getting late and the kitchen should be closed for the night and then......a juicy steak or succulent lobster or a gargantuan dish of ice cream appears bigger than life on your television. They just keep telling you how good it is and how happy you'll be eating it, and then you see all those people in the ads just livin' the life eating a big juicy burger with fries chased by a creamy milk shake - and they're so fit and thin. How can all that be so persuasive, right? Well now we know why they're the marketing experts.

Well, now I approach these ads with a new attitude. I can type and read all of that without emotion. I don't allow myself to fantasize eating things like that any more. If I'm in my car and a food commercial comes on, I change the station. I would rather listen to another commercial or even a song that I don't like, or nothing at all, instead of being teased with food, especially when I'm hungry. I'm pretty good about resisting temptation, like driving by restaurants or walking by food in the store, but I'm not perfect.

If I cannot easily change the station/channel, I have learned to tune out these ads. My first thought is that the food being presented never looks as good in person and no longer tastes delicious and savory to me, so keeping these thoughts at the front of my mind helps to alleviate the cravings. I also find something else to look at and something else to occupy my mind for that minute or so. I get better at it all the time but some days I feel weak.

 

weakness

 

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

 

The Break Up

If anyone says that breaking up with sugar is easy, they're either lying or they're delusional. For me, even after the first few days without it and most of the cravings are gone, thoughts of sweets still enter my brain from time to time, especially when I'm tempted. The temptations are much harder if we have a sweet in the house or if we're vising someone who offers something that looks yummy.

I was raised on sugar. I ate cereal for breakfast, Frosted Flakes, Rice Crispies, and Sugar Pops, and added 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar to all of them. I also ate pancakes and french toast, doused with processed maple syrup and powdered sugar. I drank Coke by the bottle and who didn't love Choc-Ola. I frequented the local convenient store for penny candy and 25 cent candy bars. I did eat fruit! I ate strawberries, not sprinkled, but covered in white sugar. I never even knew what a strawberry tasted like until I was well into my 20s. I ate so many Little Debbie snacks that I thought she was a distant cousin who always sent us her baked goods. I never liked anything Little Debbie as an adult and couldn't even imagine tasting any of it now. Funny how our tastes change as we mature.

So as you can see, I had a lot to overcome and to give up. Most people are made up of about 60% water, I think I was made up of about 80% sugar. Somehow my blood sugar tests always come back good, but I was never tested when I was younger.

So back to The Break Up. It's hard to quit something you love, and are addicted to, cold turkey, but I think with sugar, it's the only way to go. Don't focus on just giving it up. Find a replacement for it. I can usually pass up candy bars all day, except at Halloween. I love the mini Twix and Kit Kat bars. As of today, I have half of a full sized Twix bar in my refrigerator from Halloween. Perhaps one day I'll decide that it's too old to eat and toss it, but for now, it continues to reside in the otherwise unused soda holder.

The candy that I do love is Lindor chocolates. I can eat them by the bag full. My new strategy is to keep a bag on hand, out of site of course, and I try to only eat 1 every now and then. Certain foods, like steak, really make me crave chocolate. I also keep real dark chocolate (60%, 72% and 86%) on hand for cravings also. These bite size treats are only about 40 - 50 calories and can really satisfy the urge to go for a bigger, fattier treat.

Another one of my favorites for an after dinner snack is vanilla Greek yogurt, which is pretty sweet but without a lot of sugar. Sometimes I mix in a little fruit. Pineapple and pears are my favs, but not together. Usually about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of fruit is enough.

 

I wrote this 'sugar break-up' last night and when I returned from the gym this morning, I saw this interview in my Yahoo headlines - very fitting.

 

Dr Mark Hyman - Quitting Sugar

 

 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

 

The Compliment

You know what 'they' say.....A compliment goes a long way. Well it was true today. A guy at the gym, whom I hadn't seen in about a month, came up to give me a compliment on all my hard work. Then we started talking about flabby areas and he asked "do you mind if I ask how old you are?" I replied "I'll be 49 in less than 2 months." His eyes almost bugged out of his head and he said "no way! Are you kidding me?" to which I replied "I'm going for Fab at 50." And then another great line from him "you're already there."

What a great start to my morning workout and my day. Thanks Dude!

After that, I continued on with my grueling upper body workout. I knew that I had really worked out my arms because I could not finish my last 3 reps of my final set of presses. My arms were spent. I decided to add in some more cardio and thought I would run on the track today since I hadn't done that in a couple of years. I normally run on the treadmill and running on the track really is a whole different ball game. I guess I should get off the treadmill every now and then and prepare for real life (running Mud Guts & Glory in 72 days).

Spring Break is 15 days away. I love saying SPRING!

 

Spring Break

 

Maybe more later.

 

Sunshine

 

 

Friday, March 13, 2015

 

Friday, the 13th

I'm not superstitious. Friday the 13th is just another day for me.

Summer bodies are not made in the summer. WHAT!!! Summer bodies are not made in May or even in April. Summer bodies are made in the Winter.

Better get started NOW.

The official first day of summer is more than 3 months away, but Memorial Day is only 73 days away. Change your diet, make a plan, set your first goal, start walking, run a little, pick up a dumbbell, hit the gym, jump on your bike, cruise around the mall, take the stairs, sign up for a fitness class, find a workout on youtube.....do all of these......do some of these......just do something. Get moving and start living a healthier lifestyle.

 

summer body

 

 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

 

SuperFoods

The term SuperFood may be fairly new to many of us or maybe you've never heard that term. A SuperFood is a food that is considered to provide healthy benefits to those who eat it. Once you start learning and understanding just how many health benefits these foods offer, it makes you wonder who wouldn't want to eat these foods.

I have my own list of SuperFoods - some that I eat almost every day and others that I eat weekly or several times per week.

                1) Fruit: Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas, Kiwi

                2) Leafy Greens: Spinach and Kale

                3) Red Peppers

                4) Coconut Oil

                5) Nuts: Pistachios, Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Cashews

                6) Greek Yogurt

                7) Onions and Garlic

                8) Avocados

                9) Spices: cinnamon, tumeric, oregano, cayenne, black pepper

                10) Seeds: Flaxseeds and Chia Seeds

                11) Organic Eggs

                12) Dark Chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)

 

These SuperFoods are packed with antioxidants and can help reduce or eliminate many conditions and diseases including:

                  lower your risk for heart disease

                  lower your risk for cancer

                  are anti-inflammatory which help to eliminate chronic diseases

                  lower blood pressure and cholesterol

                  reduce the need for insulin or eliminate diabetes all together

                  help to regulate blood sugar levels

                  help to protect organs from toxins

                  help to regulate metabolism

                  help to reduce depression

                  help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight

                  help relieve hypertension

 

To sum it all up.....these SuperFoods can help you to live a longer, healthier life with a higher quality of life than you may have ever thought possible. Isn't making a dietary change worth the risk? I decided it was.

You might be wondering.....with all the modern medicines that we have today to treat all these diseases and conditions, with all their side effects, what are the negative side effects of eating these SuperFoods? Would you believe NONE!

You might have noticed that none of these SuperFoods are processed or available through a drive-thru window. They are what I call 'real foods'. Foods that we mostly grow and they don't contain a list of ingredients that we can't pronounce.

There are lots of lists of different SuperFoods all over the internet. My list is what works for me and what I enjoy eating. I've lost 25 pounds, gained muscle, toned some flabby parts, have more energy, have started running again, don't need naps, wake up feeling refreshed, sleep better......I've seen so many positive changes since I started eating better and cut out the toxins. I was definitely a sugar junkie, so if I can do it, you can do it.

 

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

 

Happy St Patty's Day!

 

St Patty's Hat

 

Well I have not done a good job cracking down to get my last few pounds off before spring break. Now I have less than 2 weeks and I'm not sure I'm going to make it. Damn yogurt covered raisins, Good Morning Crunch, and cashews. I just love that snack! I have done pretty well maintaining, but that doesn't get the job done. I did have over 18,000 steps today.

Maybe hiking tomorrow.........

 

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 

Still think diet soda helps you lose weight?

Better think again.

 

I have moved my Get Fit Now Blog to its new home: GetFitNowBlog.com Click the image below to be redirected:

 

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Click below to see some of my favorite healthy recipes. I will only share recipes that I have actually tried and LIKE.