Monday, October 29, 2012

Count The Small Things

When I started this journey I was stepping on the scale at least 10 times a joke. If I walked by it, I felt a compulsive need to step on it. And everytime the numbers were different. I learned as I worked through this that weight flucuates constantly, and is never the same. You weight can fluctuate 3-7 pounds depending on what you have eaten, water retention, salt intake, full bladder, you name it and it can affect your weight, I am sure of it. It is physically impossible to gain 3-5 pounds a day. You would have to eat a surplus of 10,000+ calories. The average adult female should only eat around 1500-2000 and the male 1600-2500(all dependent of weight).

After I stopped freaking out over the numbers jumping around all the time, I started to learn that measurements and NSV or non scale victories (for my MFP friends) are far more important. While your weight may not be changing you body percent may be. When I started in January I had a body fat percentage of 49%! Today my body fat percentage is 38%...I have lost over 10% body fat in as little as 10 months...but I have only lost 40 pounds. It doesn't seem like a lot but a good body fat percentage for a woman is 25-31%...and that ultimately means I only need to lose 7% more to be in the healthy range!

I would rather have a healthy body fat percent then be at a low weight anyday. And the slower you lose the fat, the healthier you are because you won't be losing lean body mass(the important stuff like muscles). My goal body fat percent is 28% so I only have 10% more to go until goal! Now that I am strength training my body fat will continue to go down and more quickly. Weight training is very important for maintaining lean body mass.

Another great thing to do is measurements! You should measure your neck, waist, hips, thighs once every 2 weeks to once a month. I have been at the same weight for almost 6 weeks now but I continue to lose inches, a NSV! This is another sign that you are losing fat. You might not see it, but seeing that measureing tape go in is solid proof that your hard work is paying off.

When I started these were my stats:
Neck- 17 inches
Waist- 39 inches
Hips- 47 inches

Here they are for last week:
Neck- 13.5 inches
Waist- 33 inches
Hips- 44 inches

That means I have lost 3.5 inches on my neck, 6 inches on my waist, and 3 inches on my hips! I have gone from a size 18W pants to a 10R, and a 2X shirt to a M ..amazing when I think of it in those terms. And I still have a ways to go!

I hope this helps you look at your weight loss journey as more than just a number on the scale..because it really is! I know if I can do it so can you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Eating More To Weigh Less

Sounds terrifying right?! It really is...but if you read this and think at the end you could do it...then there is no reason to be scared. The first time I read a forum titled "Eat More To Weigh Less" I thought pfffffftt...whatever, everyone knows you have to eat low calorie to lose weight..right??? I looked at it, laughed literally out loud, and went back to my low calories. I lost my first 25 pounds this way and I figured I would lose the last 50 the same.Then one month came the dreaded PLATEAU! *gasps echo through inter-world*

I tried everything, I doubled my exercise, stopped eating back my exercise calories, and not a single pound budged. So after doing a little reading I realized that I was under eating  This made me rethink eating more to weigh less. I revisited the forum. And I read a lot of forum posts where they had been in the exact same situation as me, eating low cal with no more weight loss. They then later went on to say after eating more they began to lose again. I read everything I could on this weight loss principle and decided I was going to do the calculations, find out what my true intake should be and try eating at that for 4-6 weeks and see what happen.

To figure out what your intake needs to be you need to find your BMR, TDEE and then subtract 20% from your TDEE. I have provided a link to great calculators as well as a link to my post about finding your calories intake.

I have been eating more to weigh less for about 6 weeks now and I feel amazing! I have a ton more energy, my hair has stopped falling out, I am not cranky anymore (poor Dustin), and I can go like crazy at the gym! I used to poop out within the first 30 minutes of my workouts, but now I can go high intensity for 80 minutes and still feel good the rest of the day. I have been losing a steady 1-2 pounds a week and I look twice as toned as I did. I look leaner, which is better than being skinny. I will take lean and strong over skinny any day. There is a fantastic group on MyFitnessPal for eat more to weigh less that has people going through the transformation with you. They break it down where it is easier to understand and how it works. They also have a Facebook page and personal web page. Check them out if you don't like starving your way to fit!

Proof in the pudding!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rykas Sneakers Review

I went on vacation in June to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and it was beautiful! I kept busy with my exercise even while there, because it was so nice outside,  I couldn't help but run. My poor old Adidas gave out...and I needed new shoes. My grandma and I took off to check out the local shopping, and the shops there were wonderful. We came across a shoe store that was having a BOGO half off sale, and what is better than a sale...nothing?!

This was the first time I ever put thought into my shoes, before I just bought a pair, and they lasted forever because I did not exercise(plus I am a flipflop girl..hello I live in the Sunshine State). This time I went to asking questions and doing a little research. I needed good quality shoes (not WalMart cheapness) , that could endure walking, running, and weight training. It is very hard to get all of these qualities in shoes. Most are either or and not in between.

I was eyeballing a pair of Nike's that were reasonably priced and were meant for distance. They were really light which was a selling point for me, I don't like running in clod hoppers, but something in my gut said they weren't what I was looking for. I always go with my gut. I ask one of the employees and she brought me to the Rykas.

There was an elderly lady standing there that told me her chiropractor had recommended them to her a couple years back, and she hasn't worn anything since. She said her aches and pains had lessened and she did a lot of walking without any problems. I figured I would do a quick Google search and found nothing but great reviews..why had I never heard of them before now???

What a heaven sent shoe! They are great! These shoes are designed specifically for women, I bought the Skylar which are for beginners or experts. They build shoes that are developed specifically to womens forms..."Ryka knows that a woman’s foot shape, muscle movement and skeletal structure are all inherently different from a man’s. The “Q-angle”(quadricep angle) – the anatomical relationship between the hip and knee – measures 5–7 degrees greater for women than men. As a result, women tend to shift more weight to the outside of their feet which leads to over-pronation, instability at foot strike and higher risk of injury. All Ryka sneakers, including Ryka walking shoes, are designed and developed taking into account a woman’s unique fit needs."

These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Granted they are not the prettiest shoes, or most female looking but I have no back pain, no leg pain, no hip pain, and most importantly they are light weight and durable. I run and walk around 15-20 miles a week, and I have had these shoes since June, and they are just now starting to break down, that's 5 months, and I only paid $25 with the sale prices! I recommend them to everyone that asks about good shoes. On the website they are reasonably priced and there are many choices! Check them out!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Tried this great recipe..and it is only 199 calories a slice. After I made it I took it this morning and made it into french toast..divine! Had to share!

3 bananas(mashed)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar (or sugar alternative)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn nutmeg
1/ cup crushed walnuts

Cream the butter and sugar together in a big bowl. In another bowl sift together the flour, nutmeg, and baking soda. Beat the eggs and add to the creamed butter and sugar. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Add in the walnuts. Pour into a well greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

When the bread is done and cooled slice into 12 even slices. To make the french toast with it you will need 3 beaten eggs. You don't need milk because the bread is moist enough. Dip the bread in the beaten eggs and cook on non stick skillet at medium to high heat until brown on each side. Serve with butter and syrup.

Enjoy y'all!

Tropical Strawberry Shakeology Review

Okay my friends, I tried the vegan tropical strawberry shakeology after finding I want the biggest fan of the super food chocolate version, and I liked it even less. I have provided a link to the website again. You can check it out for yourself, and contact a Beachbody agent if you want to sample it. I tried a different way of mixing it. I will share the recipe I used as well as my pros and cons again.

I reiterate that this is not a review of their weight loss program, just a sample of the shakes they sell. I am also not trying to start a debate over whether shakeology is good or bad. If it works for you great, if not that is fine too!

VeganTropicalStrawberry Mix: in blender cup
12 ounces water
1 pack of vegan mix
1 cup of blended ice

Here is my list of pros:
-It did not stick the the side if my cup like the chocolate did
-Didn't have to dirty the blender
-Convenient breakfast for in the go

And my list of cons:
-It tasted AWFUL
-It was very chalky and gritty
-Only managed to drink 2 ounces

This list is a lot shorter than my chocolate list, simply because I really did not like it. This is my personal opinion and not a reflection of Beachbody itself, please remember that. I also do not think that it is worth the asking price, when I can buy strawberries, pineapple, mangos, bananas, and make my own natural shake that is smooth and yummy. Sorry if anyone is offended.

On another note I had the second chocolate shakeology mix last night for dinner, thought I would give it one more shot. I mixed it in a shaker cup this time with ice, 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, 4 ounces of water, and blended ice. I still felt it was chalky, and it gave my horrendous heartburn again. It does taste good though. Still not for me.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shakeology Review

So a couple of weeks ago I was the winner of a fabulous giveaway on a fitness page! I was thrilled and anxious to test out everything I won. Inside the package was three packets of shakeology, a meal replacement shake that is supposed to be all natural. I have provided a link to their site. Check them out for yourself. There was 2 chocolate and 1 strawberry.

Today I decided to give it a go and have a chocolate shake for breakfast.

How I mixed it(in a blender):
1 pack of chocolate shakeology
1 cup of ice
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
half a banana

This is not a review of their program and weight loss promises because I have not completed the program, and don't really plan to. I know people that have had success with it but I prefer to eat my calories, and they are over priced for my budget. This is a review of the actual shake I had and what  I thought. I also am not trying to start a debate over the product. If you use it and have had results that is great! If you are totally against it that is great too! However I am not pushing nor slamming the product.

So for the pros:
-It had a good strong chocolate flavor, which I enjoy. I also haven't had any cravings for sweets today, so it has curbed my sweet tooth. That is always a plus.
-It was nice a thick so it gave me a sense of getting more than just a drink of something, kind of made me feel like I was getting sustenance.
-I drank it at 9:00a.m. and did not feel hungry again until 1:00p.m. so it does keep you full.
-It has a lot of protein so I didn't need a protein shake after my workout.
-It definitely got my digestive system moving.
-And the last perk would have to be the convenience of just throwing it in the blender, drinking it down, and walking out the door.

And now the cons:
-I prefer to eat my calories, and while it kept me full,  I wanted something to chew on for the sake of chewing.
-While it was thick and yummy, I feel like over half of it stuck to the sides of the blender. So did I really get all the nutrition it promised? Then even more stuck to the side if my glass. Seemed like a serious waste, especially considering what people pay.
-It was a little chalky, which you get with any shake.
-It gave me awful heartburn. I have burped the taste of it all day.
-While it did get my digestive system going, I would prefer if my food stayed in me until I am at least done with my workout! Yikes!
- It had quite a bit of sugar in it, 6 grams to be exact, and I don't like so much sugar in a drink. I only drink water and unsweetened almond milk, so sweet drinks aren't my thing.
-And the last con is the fact that it is so expensive. No I didn't have to buy it but if I was going to, I couldn't afford it.

My lists were fairly even, but in the end in my opinion I wasn't really a fan. It did taste good, and for some people it works great. I say whatever works for you and helps you lose weight so long as it is a part of  a healthy balanced diet, go for it, but I don't think after my samples are used I will ever use it again. Not my cup of tea. However if you are interested in trying it you should contact a shakeology agent, and give it a go for yourself.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Strawberry Pie

This is delectable and only 215 calories a slice (8 slices total)! First I will share my crust recipe then the strawberry filling recipe.

Flaky Crust

Preheat oven to 400°
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tspns sugar
1 tspn salt
2 tbspn milk
1/2 cup veggie oil

Place all ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan and mix with a fork. Pat it to the bottom and around the edges. Poke with holes and bake for 15 minutes or until light brown. Set aside to cool.

Strawberry Filling

3 pints fresh or frozen strawberries(cut in halves)
3/4 cup of sugar (can use alternatives)
2 tbspn corn starch
1/2 cup of water

In a medium sauce pan heat 1 pint cut strawberries and sugar over medium high heat. Mush the strawberries with the back of a spoon as they cook down to release juice and flavor. Mix the corn starch and water and put into the strawberry mix when it is thick and syrupy. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside and let it cool completely. Once it has cooled put into pie shell and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve cold with whipped topping.

This is a sweet dessert and it will taste like it is full of naughtiness..but it isn't horrible. Enjoy y'all!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My 10 Rules For Gym Time

Everyone that goes to the gym gets annoyed at one point or another by fellow members. Whether they are talking too much, smell too bad, or just starting at you there are things I just can't stand. Here are 10 rules I think everyone should follow while at the gym:

1) Do not judge others or talk about other people.
         This is most important to me because everyone is there to get healthier and judging them or criticizing them for that sets them back. I was at the gym one day and a younger (fitter) couple was bad mouthing a heavier girl for running on the treadmill. They were being rude and loud enough i could hear them over my head phones, which meant she could hear them, and so could everyone else. My heart hurt for her because that was me 9 months ago. After asking them politely to stop, and them refusing, myself and another man went to the desk and reported them. They were told to stop and if it persisted their membership would be revoked. She came to us and thanked us, and I work out with her now when I can. It is not our place to pass judgment on others, instead we should praise each other for bring there.
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

2) Please wear deodorant.
          I understand it is hot, we are sweaty, and working hard, but that is no excuse for stinking. If I can smell you, I know you can smell you. There is nothing embarrassing about needing to stop and refresh. In reality that just goes to show how hard you are working.
Smelling bad = no good.

3) Clean the equipment after you use it.
          There is nothing more gross than getting on a piece of equipment and someone left a sweaty butt print or hand prints. I don't like my own sweat on the machine, let alone another persons. They have towels and spray for a reason. To keep down bacteria and to help maintain equipment.
Keep your germs to yourself.

4) If you see my headphones, I don't want to chit chat.
          I don't mind working out with friends, sometimes I enjoy the company, however if I am alone, with headphones on full blast...I am in Beast Mode! Every time you stop me to say something, you interrupt beast mode, and it really annoys me. People don't put in headphones because they want to talk.
Music is my quiet time.

5) Perfume, Cologne, and makeup are not necessary.
          Ladies you do not need to bathe in perfume, or pile on the makeup to go to the gym and sweat. If you look cute while working out you aren't working hard enough. And I shouldn't have to hold my breath when I walk by for fear of choking to death on your perfume. Put that shit on after you workout and are leaving the gym. Same for you fellas..I'm not looking for a mate when I come to the gym. You don't have to wear a bottle of axe. They only do that in the commercial to market the product. Women don't want to smell that. If you are coming to the gym to impress the opposite sex and find a date, do it else where, some if us are there to work.
Keep sexy at the bars.

6) Don't stare
          I don't know how many times I look up in the mirror and someone is staring at me. Okay I get it, I look rough after an got of cardio, or maybe my boobs are bouncing to kingdom come, but staring is rude. Not to mention it makes others uncomfortable and self conscience. The mirrors are there to help you watch your form..not everyone else.
Keep your eyes on your own set.

7) Don't be afraid to ask for assistance.
          A lot of the equipment at the gym is dangerous and can severely injure you if not used properly  if you are a Newby ask an employee to give you a tour and demonstrate how things work. Do not lift heavy without a spotter. I cannot stress to you enough how important  learning the equipment before use is. If you twist wrong on an ab machine you can hurry your back, if you don't know how to get on the treadmill or change the settings properly you could face plant. Then you are out of the game until you heal.
Don't use what you don't understand.

8) The gym isn't a restaurant
          I see people eating all the time at the gym. I understand if you need a quick energy bar, or some carbs for fuel, but standing in front if the water fountain grazing is ridiculous. If you need to eat, there are picnic tables and chairs for a reason. I would like to get to the fountain for a drink.
Grazing is for cows not the gym.

9) Get your shower and get out
          I cannot stand it when the showers are packed and someone is taking their sweet time and sudsing up like they are going it for Miss America. Save your beauty routine for home. Wash the sweat it if your hair, off your skin and move on.
We don't have all day either. If you have engagements after you should account for that one your time somewhere else, not expect everyone else to wait for you.
This is like a car wash, get clean and pull through.

10) Be courteous
         There are a lot of people from a lot of different cultures at the gym. Don't say rude or racial things. Don't use one piece of equipment for hours. Don't take forever in the shower. Common courtesy is important to keep things going smoothly and no one likes a jerk.
Be nice and let's all get it done.

I know some people well read this and think I am out of my mind, or really agree. But these are things I think should be rules for every gym goer. Its a matter of personal opinion and I know we all have things that peeve us, these are mine. Now go get your sweat on, on you that is, not the equipment.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cruelty Among Our Youth

Okay my dears this is not weight loss related, but something you may have experienced because of your weight and something I feel the need to get out there. I read an article today about a young girl, Amanda Todd, that committed suicide after enduring years of cyber and physical bullying. This girl was victimized for making one mistake, flashing her chest to a pedophile, and it lead to torment. I have linked the article so you can see all the details for yourself.

What is wrong with youth today?! Since when is it acceptable to bully people to the point that it ruins their lives. I do not understand this mind set of cruelty that children have now. Are they so desensitized by television and video games, that they do not realize how cruel they are? Or is it simply a lack of parenting? What will become of these children when they are adults? I honestly don't see then amounting to more than criminals and thugs.

Since when do boys go around sleeping with girls just so their girlfriend can beat her up? What kind of stupid girl would want to be with a guy like that, and what kind of guy would want a girl like that? Where are their morals, self respect or sense of respect in general? I just can't wrap my head around any of it. And since when does no one stand up for someone else? When I was a child you stood up for the bullied children, and bullies were lame.

These kids want so bad to act grown, but I don't know any adults that act like that. Sure there are the occasional jerks that are adults but usually they are just miserable in life. Is that the problem with kids, is their life of cell phones, IPads, laptops, miserable and boring that their only source of entertainment is to drive others to commit suicide? And once they do, crack jokes about it. Suicide and bullying is no joke..because in an instant it could be you.

It breaks my heart and scares the life out of me to think these kids are our future, and one that my daughter will be part of. There needs to be severe punishment for kids caught bullying be it cyber or in person. Start making examples of these that bullied this young girl. She hadn't even had a chance at life yet. Its just sad. What kind of monster would push a young girl to that length, and still make fun of her, or bully her after she is dead. Is there no respect for the dead anymore either?

Shame on you that bully, and shame on us for not doing anything to prevent it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bar

To buy a protein bar in the store you are going to pay. I decided to attempt baking my own and what a great idea it was! so yummy that even Scarlett loved it! So here you go...

1/2 cup of instant oats
2 scoops of vanilla whey powder (or your choice of powder)
2 tbspn of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup stevia or artificial sweetener
2 tspn of cinnamon
1 tbspn of flax meal
2 tbspn creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup shredded coconut(personal choice)
1/4 cup walnuts(personal choice)
1/2 cup of milk of choice (I prefer unsweetened almond)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl(oats, powder, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, flax, nuts, and coconut). Mix wet ingredients in another bowl(peanut butter, and milk). Mix the two until thick. Place on non stick pan in rectangle shape about 2 inches by 3 inches. Should make about 8 servings. Bake at 360 for 15 minutes, or until fluffy.

Allow to cool and pack in individual bags four an on the go protein filed snack! They are around 240 calories with 28g of protein! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Who Am I...

I have been blogging for a few weeks now and other than snippets here and there..none of y'all have any idea who I am..or how I got here. I shall change this tonight.

I am a country girl, farm raised and taught to eat everything deep fried with batter. It is southern tradition, and so is having a big behind. I come from a very close and loving family of parents that have been marries almost 30 YEARS..with two older sisters that are my best friends. My Mom and Dad raised us right, and whooped our asses when it was necessary. And we are all productive citizens even though they did so. We woke up at the crack of dawn to tend the animals, get to school, come home, tend more animals, do our homework, hit the hay, and start all over again. This structure has been a defining feature of this journey. I can create a schedule and stick with it as well as having the self discipline to maintain it.

I met the love of my life in high school..yes I know cliche right? He is a great man, hardworking, and makes us a decent living. We have one beautiful daughter, and once I reach my weight goal we plan on having a boy if possible. We live on a little farm in what many deem the middle of no where, but it is home and it is ours. We are not married yet, but it is in our future. I am about to begin school to become a health care administrator..I want to take my fitness journey to the next level..without the ooey gooey part.

The reason behind my life style change was being titled 'obese'...traumatizing for anyone I know. But it was the inspiration and motivation that changed my life forever. I have since lost over 40 pounds..still losing with only 16 pounds until my goal weight. It has been 10 long months of eating healthy, making mistakes, and dedication to working out. No one said that this would be easy, but I know from experience it is more than worth it!

I am an open book and more than willing to share any part of my life with anyone. I have nothing to hide..just ask.


Best Workouts zone

When you start this journey you are going to be bombarded with tons of information about which workout is better for your body, which gives you abs, and which is best for fat loss. In reality the best exercise you can do is one you truly enjoy, and causes your heart rate to go up. Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Experts will never agree which is right but the tried and truest weight loss is achieved using cardio. Cardio burns calories while burning fat.

For the best FAT burn you should work at 70-90% of your maximum heart rate, but to be within the Fitness Zone or Fat Burn Zone you only need to be at about 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.

The difference here is anything above 60% is burning calories and some fat but burning above 70%  guarantees maximum calorie and fat burn. And maximum fat burn is what you want. However if exercise is new to you, do not push for the max. Start slow and build endurance or you risk getting injured or burning out.

Another great method for burning fat is with High Intensity Interval Training, out HIIT. This is a few second of max heart rate followed by a couple of minutes in the Fitness Zone. HIIT is also a great way to help build endurance.

Now while cardio does help lose weight and burn fat it does nothing for getting that 'toned' look. To lose weight while toning you really need to incorporate weight training. And ladies there is no reason to fear weights, you will not bulk up unless you are trying to. By using low weights high reps you tone the muscle and surrounding skin without building the muscle up. You also burn more calories the more muscular you are because muscle burns more calories than fat.

If you gave already built some endurance you should look into circuit training. This is a serious of workouts that include HIIT as well as weights, all in one session. This alloyed for max burn while toning. Great way to tighten up. I highly recommend Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. It has three levels, one being the easiest. I have made it through the first two levels, about to begin three. It is hard, you will sweat, but it is rewarding in the end. She also shows modifications for the more intense moved if you have injuries, out if you just aren't there yet. You can find it cheap online and at most department stores.

And again I reiterate how important it is to hat a great rate monitor that calculates calories burned.

Now go out there, find what you love, and get moving!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Today a friend posted this on her Facebook...

"Ohhh my geese the lady at the jiffy store just bought her already over weight children giant honey buns & Mt. Dew.... Why don't you try giving your kids a nutritional breakfast instead of a pound of sugar!!! & make them play outside every once in awhile!!!"

And instantly people began to agree and then disagree. Of course those that disagreed used the 'its genetics' excuse for being overweight themselves as well as the
Obesity epidemic that is sweeping across our youth. This is a pet peeve of mine because clearly those children were not overweight due to genetics, it is clear they are that way because of poor parenting as well as poor nutritional habits. I don't blame the children one single bit. They are only doing what they are taught and eating what they are fed.

I also have beef with using genetics as an excuse for being overweight! Obesity runs in my family and for a long time I blamed genetics because I was overweight. Then I realized, it wasn't genetics but the poor food choices I was making and the lack of exercise making me fat, which were all things I learned from my family. I learned from childhood to eat deep fried, sugar coated, and starchy everything. I spent much of my childhood overweight and I carried into my adult life. Then I woke up and changed the way I ate, and got moving, and guess what? Suddenly I started to lose weight! So long as we make excuses for the way we look and don't look within ourselves and realize it is out own fault we are overweight, we won't change, we will merely just begin to accept that we are predetermined to be that way. No one is born overweight, we become that way. Stop blaming genetics, and get to the real root of the problem.

Another thing that was mentioned was the 'I eat pretty healthy and I stay overweight'...bull! You can't half-ass eat healthy. Either you are or you aren't. If you were eating healthy food and appropriate portions you would lose weight and slowly get out of that overweight category. That state of mind irritates me. Its just another excuse.

Now I know people will get offended by this but this is being written by someone who was obese, and has worked her butt of to reach a healthy weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle. And I do understand some people have medical conditions such add thyroid issues, but there are thousands people who have lost weight successfully even with health issues. So that isn't a valid excuse either.

America needs to stop making excuses for overweight children, and take the necessary steps to make them healthier.

This concludes my rant for the day.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Noticeable Progress

Okay, so before I get into this topic I will start by saying this:

  I have fat girl complex!

Those of us striving to get healthier as well as shed those dreaded extra pounds, are our worst critics, enemies, judges, and allies. We are the first ones to tear ourselves down and the first to put us back together. It makes no sense why we are so hard on ourselves but it is also the driving factor in this battle. If you can't take all the harsh criticisms you make of yourself, and channel them into something positive you will have a difficult time getting through this.

That all said I will share some of my insecurities with you, the demons I battle most when it has come to and is still part of this journey. I have lost 40 pounds but when I look in the mirror I don't notice. I know I have lost it because I see it on the scale, in my measurements, and how loose my clothes are. But I use the most annoyingly critical eye when I look at myself naked. I see a baby belly that refuses to leave(plus stretch marks), upper arms that still don't look toned, and a butt that remains too wide. However when I look at pictures all I can do is stare in awe because then, and only then usually, do I see the remarkable difference. It really makes me kick myself in the butt for not taking before pictures. Take before pictures!

One of my other insecurities, and one that drives Dustin insane I'm sure, is how difficult it is for me to accept a compliment without making sarcastic comments. As I  have grown during this journey this is something I do less, but catch myself doing from time to time. When you go from fat and unnoticed, by everyone but your man, it takes a toll on your self esteem. Then to go to receiving compliments and come ons, it is surreal. I take them better as reach day progresses though.

The biggest issue I face every day is trying to see myself as I am now, not how I was nine months ago. I buy too big of clothes because it hasn't sank in I am smaller now, I feel like people judge me even though I know they don't, but in a crazy way I had a renewed sense of self confidence. I run with my head up, I am more comfortable in food related  situation(I used to think people thought I was being a pig), and most importantly I get noticed.

The take away from this is even though we don't see the changes that are happening be it physical or mental,  they are happening. Our bodies are blooming and out spirits are soaring. So tomorrow tell yourself you are beautiful because I know you are!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes

Made this for my whole family this morning! My dad despises healthy food but didn't feel like cooking and ate this with us..he really enjoyed it! My one year old had a pig out too. They are 111 calories each with 4g of protein. I love this time of year! Enjoy y'all!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
6 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 2/3 cups milk
3/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs - lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon melted butter

Mix all of your dry ingredients (flours, brown sugar, baking powder, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt). Mix all of your wet ingredients (milk, pumpkin, eggs, and butter). Slowly mix your dry ingredients into you wet. Measure out a 1/4 cup of mixture into non stick frying pan set at medium heat.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sounds yummy right..well it is. And amazingly only 180 calories, 28g of protein, and a perfect breakfast with a glass of almond milk! Here it is, just in time for fall...

1.5 cups of packed brown sugar
.5 cups of veggie oil
4 eggs
1(15oz) can of pumpkin
.5 cups of water
3 cups of all purpose flour
1.5 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of cinnamon
.5 tsp of salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together all dry ingredients (brow. sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg). Mix together all wet ingredients (oil, eggs, pumpkin, water, and extract). Combine the two mixing the dry ingredients in slowly. Add in morsels.
Fill cupcake papers up two thirds of the way
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.


Over Weight News Anchor

I read an article yesterday about an over weight need anchor that called a man a bully for criticizing her size and telling her she isn't a role model for young girls. She decided to call him out on national television and called him a bully. She did not call him by name. she received a ton of love and support for standing up for herself, while he had been torn down and publicly humiliated, which was her goal. In my opinion that makes her just as much of a bully since she publicly humiliated him. It was a conversation that should have stayed between them, she should have confronted him there, not used her power of TV to do so.

As to the subject of her weight, I am very torn on this matter. I am overweight myself so I know how it feels to have people comment on such. It hurts but instead of seeking pity, I took that and found motivation to change. To become healthy. She says she has had people tell her things like this for years. I think she should consider readjusting how she perceived herself a little. I'm not saying she should look down on herself, but instead look within herself.

In all honestly, he is not wrong. She is over weight and since she puts herself in front of thousands of viewers a day, she should expect some criticism. That's part of the package. However to say she is a bad influence on young women is very wrong. She is an independent woman making a name for herself, nothing to be ashamed of.

To get to my point, America has become so acceptable of over weight and obese people that to call someone such makes you the bad guy. Since when did it become okay to be fat and unhealthy? By supporting her, and saying she is fine the way she is, people are saying it is okay to be over weight. Its not.

I mean no offense to anyone in this, its just how I feel on the matter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Working Out With Children!

The biggest excuse we moms use to validate not working out is we can't find the time with children under our feet. I am here to tell you it is not a valid excuse anymore!

When you start looking for a gym, if planning to join one, make sure it has a daycare. For $1 a day there is a daycare at my gym that will watch Scarlett for me for 2 hours. In reality, who needs 2 hours at the gym? No one. I usually do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weights when I actually go. There are days when I like to swim or soak in the hot tub after just for a little 'me' time.

It is absolutely important and you have no reason to feel guilty for taking a little'me' time!

I know from experience if you don't find alone time you will start to resent those around you that aren't tired down with children.

Eventually it got exhausting having to pack up baby and drag her to the gym, for me and her. I felt bad asking Dustin to watch her because he works late hours a lot, so we invested in a jogging stroller, a few free weights, and workout DVD. This way a few days a week I could work out at home and Scarlett could join me. She looks forward to or walks and runs just as much as I do.

I hope that by including her in my workouts she will have an interest in doing them herself when she is older, and will know what an active lifestyle is.

Now when I do go to the gym it isn't as demanding on us either. Making for a happy Mommy that had time to herself, a happy Daddy that got to sleep in peace, and a happy baby that got to play with other babies. And I reiterate how it is very important it is to find fine alone time!

Now so making excuses and get those kids involved! Make a nightly walk a family activity. Make it fun by playing a game of good old fashioned 'I Spy' or make it your circle time where you discuss the days events or Weeks plans. Enjoy having that time while they are young enough to think you are cool, before you are just lame old mom who bugs them to walk with you!

Monday, October 1, 2012

From Couch Potatoe To Active!

Instead of active I wanted to say athlete, but I do not feel I am quite there yet. When I can run a full 5k without stopping I will upgrade that for sure!

When I started all of this back in January I literally had not done any physical activity outside of walking since I was in high school(5 years). The idea of working out intimidated me greatly. After some research, I love Google!,  I decided that I would be better of losing at least 10-15 pounds through diet first, so that there was not so much wear and tear on my joints, and I felt that would put me at a comfortable weight where I would not be embarrassed at the gym. After I lost that weight, Dustin bought me a gym membership and I started the next step in my weight loss journey. The first day I went to the gym I was a little scared, I did not know what half of the equipment did, what was best for a beginner, and dressing in the changing room...what a NIGHTMARE!

I figured the best approach would be to ask one of the employees what everything was and where I should start. I figured since they were all pretty, skinny, and fit they wouldn't be nice or interested in helping little fat me. I was wrong! They were they most encouraging and helpful people I could have ever imagined. The old saying don't judge a book by its cover really applied here. In reality they saw I was trying to improve my life and couldn't offer enough advice or polite words. The young woman  that showed me the equipment and how it worked was fantastic and spent more time helping me than she should have. She also informed me of classes such as Zumba, and water aerobics that they offer there that she knew many people had had great success with.

Once we were finished with the tour she set me up on the treadmill and told me to stay at a comfortable pace, expect some discomfort in my body, and if I was too uncomfortable to slow down or stop. She reminded me, like I read so many times, that I should start slow and build up endurance because jumping the gun will only end in defeat. That day I walked for 30 minutes at about a 2.8 pace. Boy was I sore the next day! And I am not ashamed to admit that because even though it was a slow pace, it was my first steps to a new me.

Over the course of the last few months I have worked up to running at a 5.0-6.0 pace for 10 minutes or so, and at home I run/walk about 3 miles in 35 minutes or so. I have come a very long way and I am proud to admit it. I was also afraid of lifting weights because of that old, you will look like a man, mindset. I researched weightlifting and found that it is great for weight loss because it builds lean muscle which in turn burns more calories, and makes you look better naked!

The whole point of this is to tell you it is okay that you may not be able to do much now, because a few months from now you will look back and realize that you have come the distance, literally! Do not let the idea of exercising intimidate you because even the little steps count, 30 minutes of walking a day can burn up to 500 calories depending on your stats. So get off that couch and go for a walk!