Tuesday, June 13, 2017

71 days in

71 days into my journey. Weigh in #.....? I don't even know, lol. But it just keeps getting better!

At my first weigh in, my fat mass measured 38.5 and today it measured 31. It showed another 1 pound drop in fat today. I am very pleased with my progress.

In the beginning, I had wanted to lose 10lbs. It was just a number to go by, I had no idea how much fat I needed to lose to fit into my clothes better. But I am 1.5 pounds away from that goal that I had set for myself. And I am 22 days away from my deadline. I can see the finish line, it is within my grasp!!

But it won't end there. It will never end. Because staying fit and healthy is ongoing. You can't just hit a goal and go back to the same old bad habits. It's maintaining and continuing to improve every day. When you are trying to maintain good health and a stable weight, there is no finish line. I'm sure you have heard the quote, "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle." and it's totally true.

Although I will probably relax a little in regards to having cake on special occasions and a meal that I've been craving all week, just to stay sane and balanced. While eating healthy can be and is delicious, I don't want to give up cake and pizza for the rest of my life!! What fun would that be?

So there you have it. Just wanted to update you on the latest progress. I know I have really lazy posting (shock) but sometimes life requires you to get out from behind the computer screen and enjoy what's going on around you ;)

Have a wonderful week!
xo



Friday, May 26, 2017

week 7

I've been terrible!! Not enough hours in the day to do everything I want. I know you all feel me. Blogging is one of my favorite things, because I can pretend to write things people are interested in reading. But unfortunately a lot of the time, it gets pushed back behind other more important things.

Anyhooo.....I wanted to update you on my progress. I went for my 7th weigh in (I can't believe 7 weeks have gone by already!) on Tuesday and I dropped another pound of fat mass! So today that makes 8lbs lost! And my lean mass actually went up too, which is kind of the holy grail of fitness. Not sure how that is even possible, if I'm honest, but that is what the numbers reflect.

I was nervous for weight in, like every week. But I feel like even though I'm still tracking food and trying to eat healthy, I'm not quite as meticulous as I was in the beginning. Whatever I'm doing though, it's still working. I half expect it to come to a halt soon though, and have to drop my calorie intake a bit. That hasn't happened yet, thank goodness.

My niece got married over the weekend and my diet was good all day until dance time....which I knew and allowed myself. I was not about to feel guilty about having fun and celebrating with family. I had quite a bit of wine, but I danced all night too. Felt a little under the weather the next morning but once I got myself moving, drank some pickle juice, took some aspirin and ate, I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No harm done. And still a pound gone!

So, I will keep you updated as the weeks fly by. My clothes are fitting SO MUCH better and it is exciting to keep trying on old clothes that I haven't worn in years, and can actually wear! I am starting to feel like myself again and I don't see chub when I look in the mirror anymore!! I am getting my confidence back and I am loving the way I look! My arms are looking super strong and defined and I am excited to hit my goal by July 5th. 7 more pounds to go!!

Although I don't have an exact weight that I want to be, I figured if I lost 15 pounds I would probably look close to the way I want. The main thing now is to shave some more from my belly and hips and hoping to shape up my booty a bit. So far, I'm very proud of what I've been able to accomplish in 7 weeks!

Have a fabulous weekend!!

xoxo

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Update - weigh in #5



Today is day #36. That leaves 57 days until my goal date (July 5th).

Today is also weigh in #5.

Another 2lbs of PURE FAT gone! And another decrease in body fat by 1%

I am absolutely blown away. I just can't wrap my head around it. I have lost a total of 7lbs of fat in 5 weeks. At this rate, I will hit my goal of 15lbs sooner than July 5th!

Now I believe her when she told me she thought I would hit the 10lb mark by end of May with this new plan of keeping my calories at 1500. I honestly didn't believe that I could do it when I was sitting in her office. Thinking about losing 10lbs in 2 months when I hadn't been able to lose an ounce in 4 years seemed almost impossible.

It's not. I am doing it!!

When I felt like I had exhausted all the options. When I felt like I had done everything I possibly could. In the back of my mind I knew. I knew the ONLY WAY it was ever going to happen was to get serious in the kitchen. I was serious in the gym, but that was obviously not going to cut it. After training very hard for a year with no weight loss results (***mind you, I DID see results in the form of muscle gain, and that was also a goal***), it was apparent that everything you read about abs being "made in the kitchen" or not being able to "out-train a bad diet" is absolutely the truth.

But I also think that it depends on where you are in your journey. If you are overweight and usually sedentary, just starting an exercise routine will help you make changes in your body. Or just changing the quantity and quality of your food. At my stage of the game, I'm used to pushing myself in the gym. But I could never work harder and harder and harder to see fat loss. Nope, it had to start coming from diet. I am so close! And the closer you are, the more difficult the struggle. The tighter you need to get with nutrition.

Now, by no means have I been perfect. I have given in to temptation several times. I have not cut out wine entirely, although I have seriously cut way back. I have eaten no-no foods (in small amounts), I have gone over calorie budget a few times, and I have skipped several days of workouts in a row due to injury & illness. And yet I continue to make progress! See!! YOU DON'T NEED TO BE PERFECT TO SEE RESULTS!! If you did, no one would.

And after 5 weeks, it seems almost effortless. I hate to use that word, because it certainly isn't without effort. But it has been surprisingly easier than I expected. Because the longer I go, the more comfortable I am getting with this routine. New habits are forming and I don't feel like I am being deprived of anything (except feeling like crap). And when the motivation starts to wane, and it has (hello, 3rd week, big time dive), all I have to do is put on a pair of pants that used to be snug and bask in the glow of fat loss success. I am doing it! And that is the spark I need to reignite my motivation.

There is NO BETTER FEELING when you have been struggling for so long, than the feeling of your clothes fitting you better. It's pure bliss :)




Friday, May 5, 2017

Family Interviews

I thought it would be fun to interview my children with some random questions to see what they would come up with.

We'll start with the baby of the family....

Emma Christina, age 10, 5th grade
Favorite animal & why: snow leopard because it's a big and fast predetor with a cute fluffy tail
Favorite hobby: drawing
If you had a whole day to do whatever you wanted (no chores, no parents, no school) what would you do: invite everyone in the 505 over for pizza (the 505 is what they call their class)
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Bahamas
Where do you want to live: Paris
How many kids do you want and names: 4 girls, Jessica, McKenzie, Claire, Courtney
What would I say about you: I'm hilarious
Say something about me: Really hard working
Show of the moment: Miraculous
Favorite sayings or words: Nub and Jank
Must haves: Lizzy, family, the word squash

Moving on to the middle child.....

Eden Elise, age 14, 8th grade
Favorite animal & why: sloth because they are cute and unique
Favorite hobby: cooking
If you had a whole day to do whatever you wanted (no chores, no parents, no school) what would you do: go swimming with grandma
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Bahamas
Where do you want to live: with mom somewhere
How many kids do you want and names: 2 girls, Hollis and Skylar
What would I say about you: I'm a fabulous nub and I don't need no man
Say something about me: Best mom in the whole world, super pretty, super loving
Show of the moment: Miraculous Lady Bug
Favorite sayings or words: Janky nub, Jank hole, Merm (mom), Nurtz
Must haves: Blankets, Lizzy, Mom

And lastly, the oldest child......

Hanna Rae, age 19, senior
Favorite animal & why: wolves because they're pretty and misunderstood
Favorite hobby: drawing and art stuff
If you had a whole day to do whatever you wanted (no chores, no parents, no school) what would you do: watch movies
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Denmark again
Where do you want to live: Northern Minnesota
How many kids do you want and names: 0
What would I say about you: Nice & caring
Say something about me: Great sense of humor, very nice
Show of the moment: superhero shows (supergirl, fantastic 4, etc)
Favorite sayings or words: Wha cha, Oh my heavens
Must haves: Sketch book & drawing pencils, phone/internet, sweatshirt

There you have it. I suggest you try this with your kids sometime. I think I should do it again with more difficult questions. I love to experience their creative minds.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars - NO BAKE






I am really into things that make my life easier. Who isn't though, right? We all want quick, easy and DELICIOUS.




Also healthier. That's a big one for me these days. When I'm craving something sweet, I try to grab something I can feel good about putting in my body. These bars fit the bill.



Super fast. Super easy. Not terrible for you. I like that.




These have great flavor that will leave you satisfied without the guilt.

Recipe:

Stir together 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup + 3 TBSP *maple syrup
1/4 cup + 3 TBSP natural peanut butter

Whisk in 1/2 tsp vanilla & 1/4 tsp salt
Stir in 2 cups oats
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Put parchment paper into an 8x8 pan
Press mixture down into pan
Freeze until firm enough to cut.
Keep in refrigerator.

*I used sugar free syrup. It is 15 calories per half cup versus the 210 calories in regular. Although there is nothing wrong with 100% pure maple syrup, I just wanted to save on some calories.

Makes 16 squares

Nutrition Facts: (per square)

calories: 113.7
fat: 7.7
carbs: 9.4
fiber: 1.8
protein: 3.3


Original recipe taken from chocolatecoveredkatie.com



5 pound fat loss - how I did it in 4 weeks


Yep. It's official. I have lost 5lbs of FAT!!

I can't even tell you how proud and excited I am. If you only knew how long I have wanted to get the fat loss ball rolling.....well, maybe you already do know. I certainly have talked about it for a while. But I FINALLY decided to get serious and commit to it.

Yesterday I wore a pair of jeans that I haven't worn in probably 5 years. And that's only after 5lbs of fat loss! I'm sorry, I don't mean to say "only". It's a big deal. Especially coming from someone who was already on the smaller side to begin with. It took me 4 weeks to do it.

I remember thinking in the beginning that I would be happy with even 1/2 a pound loss per week. And I was ecstatic to see the numbers drop steadily each week. The second week I lost 2lbs! I don't know what I did differently to make that happen. But each week (with that one week being an exception), I have lost 1 pound. I am beyond thrilled.

****HOW I FINALLY DID IT****

So, people have been asking me how I finally did it. Well, one huge first step was, like I said before, finally deciding I was ready to commit to doing it. I knew it would take me out of my comfort zone, and before, I just wasn't ready to be uncomfortable. Uncomfortable (for me) being - not getting to drink wine daily, not getting to eat desserts daily, not getting to eat pizza, lavosh, French fries, etc at will. It meant that I would have to carefully watch what I was eating and how much.

This is not easy.

Fat loss never is.

So how did I end up feeling ready and finally deciding to commit? I had a metabolism test.

But that doesn't mean I hadn't tried to change other things first. I am no stranger to the gym and I workout 5 times a week. The decision to get tested came after two months of grueling circuit work that was designed to get your metabolism kicking and help the fat come off.

It didn't.

****#1****

So I went to get tested. And as I assumed, my metabolism is great. Always has been.

So what was the deal? How did that change anything?

Well, based on the read outs from my test, I was able to see how many calories my body burns every day and know exactly what I needed to stay under in order for fat loss to occur. To put it simply, I had just been eating way too much.

Online calculators and tools where you enter in your data (age, weight, sex, activity level) are great to get an idea, but it's just an estimate, and as I've found out, usually wrong. Every single *free* calculator I tried out was telling me I could easily eat way more calories and still lose weight. It was very eye opening to find out that wasn't the case.

So, the woman who tested me also told me how many of each macro nutrient to eat as well. So instead of (for example) eating all of my allowed calories in bread and peanut butter (I know, bad example), I have to make sure I'm getting a certain amount of those allowed calories from Fats, a certain amount from Carbs, and a certain amount from Proteins.

****#2****

The second thing that has helped, besides finally having a correct number to go by, is keeping track of my food. And I don't mean just writing down what I eat. I mean, going a step beyond that. I have a log book that I write down not only the type of food I eat, but how many calories, fat grams, carbs, proteins, etc. are in the food, how much I ate, and then I calculate what I have left for the rest of the day. So at each meal, I am aware of what I have left in the daily allowance, so there is absolutely NO GUESSING. I believe that has been KEY in my success.

Yes it's a pain at first.
Yes it's a bit time consuming at first.

But you get into a groove and it gets easier and easier. Because you find that you are eating a lot of the same foods. You can look back to past days to get the info instead of reading labels and calculating. Sure there is a lot of that in the very beginning, but I don't vary a whole lot. I usually have the same thing for breakfast, my smoothies are always the same, I cycle through maybe 4-5 different things for lunch and I eat a lot of the same veggies (no more buying a ton of stuff that spoils in the fridge because I don't eat it). You have to buy the stuff you like so that you know you will eat it. The only thing that changes more often is dinner, since that is the meal I will eat with the rest of my family, and I don't want them to get bored.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's an example of how I break things down for a meal:

Breakfast:
Egg - 1 whole.... 70 cal, 5 fat, 0 carb, 6 protein
Egg whites - 3.... 51 cal, 0 fat, 0 carb, 10.8 protein
Ezekiel Sprouted Grain toast - 1 slice.... 80 cal, .5 fat, 15 carb, 4 protein
Natural (no sugar or oil added) Peanut Butter - 1 tsp... 32 cal, 2.6 fat, 1.2 carb, 1.3 protein
Spinach - 1/3 bag.... 10 cal, 0 fat, 1.5 carb, 1 protein

Totals: 243 cal, 8.1 fat, 17.7 carb, 23.1 protein

Allowed budget for the day: 1500 cal, 50g fat, 100g carb, 112g protein

Left for the day:  1257 cal, 41.9 fat, 82.3 carb, 88.9 protein
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is true, there is a certain amount of willpower to be used. HOWEVER, if I am really craving something, say I want a glass of wine, I will make sure I allow room for it in my daily calories and carbs. A 4oz pour is only 100 calories and about 3 carbs so it's not going to set me back all that much. I might skip a piece of toast for breakfast that day and just have spinach with my eggs, for instance. Or if I want a piece of cake (and try to go for the healthier dessert options if you need a splurge), and I know the cake is 300 calories and 25 carbs, I have to make sure I have room for it in my budget.

It's as simple as that.

And one thing about splurging, just make sure you aren't doing it every day. Obviously the quality of the food you are eating has it's place. Which is why we can't say a calorie is a calories. You can't eat 1500 calories worth of cake every day and expect to see a positive change. 

I have even had a couple of "cheats". One of them being 2 days after starting, because there was a dinner party I had been planning on going to for over a month and I wasn't going to skip it. I also had Easter in there, where I didn't eat what I normally would. Although to make up for it, I skipped the wine that I would normally have during a holiday with family. And neither of those things set me back at all.

In fact, I can honestly say that there were a few other days that I was less than perfect. I went over budget a few hundred calories or ate something I hadn't planned on. Or just felt extra hungry one day. It hasn't impacted my efforts at all so far. Because overall, I am eating WAY BETTER than I was before. I am mindful of the amount of food I intake. And it has worked.

****#3****

The third and last thing that I can attribute to my success is I have added an hour long brisk walk to my daily routine. I usually walk 15 minutes prior to my strength training routine (which is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes)and then I finish with a 45 minute walk. I walk at least 6 days per week and leave 1 day a week as a total rest day.

Also, the strength workouts are less grueling. They are shorter and not so intense and taxing on the body. Because before, I thought killing myself in the gym was better, when really all it was doing was putting more stress on my body and leaving me tired and hungry all the time. While the new routine I have is still challenging and working my muscles hard (in a good way), I don't dread doing them. They are enjoyable. And the walk is also a feel good form of exercise that is very good on the body and the mind.

****AND THERE YOU HAVE IT****

This has been the key to my success. I have wanted to lose the extra little bit of fat that I've gained for  5 years. And I've finally done it. YOU CAN TOO!








Monday, May 1, 2017

The Flat Lay

Follow me on Pinterest!!

You know, if you want to.

I don't mean to sound bossy and tell you what to do.

But if you want to, click HERE to see my boards. Lots of fun stuff, promise.

I was busy trying out the "flat lay" photo (like the one I did in the above picture - which I think turned out ok). I saw a link called "How to master the flat lay photo like a boss". Well, I HAD to click on it!

I'm not sure if I did it LIKE A BOSS but I'm learning. And it's a lot of fun. I think I chose this particular composition because it represents me in a cozy, enjoyable part of my day.

coffee
computer
journals
readers

I get a calm, comfortable feeling when I look at this picture.

So, instead of baking and taking pictures of food this week, my new challenge is the flat lay photo. (My hips will thank me) I'm going to pick a different theme each day, something that represents something to me. Or, maybe just random stuff. You never know where this mind of mine will wander off to.

If you have any requests, feel free to share!