February Goal Roundup and Goals for March

Posted on 7:11 PM In: ,
February Goals and Conclusions:

Make the bed every day of the month
This was definitely a team effort. Joseph helped or made the bed himself more than once in the past month. Often times we made it right before getting in bed just so we can say we made it. Although technically, yes, this goal was met; it was fudged a little.

Do something super special for Joseph once a week
I don’t know if I did something super special for him every week, but I did make an effort. I helped out with the dishes more than once. I made his favorite flavor of cupcakes. I made him a great Valentine’s present and cake. And I discussed on here how much he means to me.

Work out 14 out of 28 days
I think I actually worked out 15 days this month. I’m sure that is a new record for me.

Cook 1 New Recipe a Week
I didn’t really keep track of this. But, considering how much I cooked and the variety we had, I’m pretty sure this was completed. We had 2 different mac and cheese recipes, chicken spaghetti, cupcakes, cake, random thrown together and made up foods.

Do 1 day of C25K outside (Weather Permitting)
Joe and I did this together yesterday. It was a beautiful, sunny, chilly morning; perfect for a nice jog. We ran to a little park that is near us and back again.

Complete weeks 1-3 in C25K
Done! I finished the last day of week 3 outside with real hills and stuff. I was really surprised and proud that I was able to do it. It’s amazing that in just three weeks I can go from feeling like I was dying for running 1 minute to flying through three minutes of running. I’m not going to lie though, I’m already nervous about

March Goals

Workout 16 out of 31 Days
I’ve really come to enjoy working out. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. I enjoy becoming strong, bettering my endurance and knowing that I’m making myself better.

Make the Bed in the Morning
Although I would love to do this every day, I don’t want to be so focused on fulfilling the goal that I miss feeling accomplished if I miss a day. So, I would just like to make a concentrated effort to make the bed every morning, but if I forget, I’m not a failure.

Continue with C25K
Now that I am progressing into the harder weeks, I don’t want to set a goal of finish week 7 by the end of March, because I might need to repeat a day or so. But I want to continue pushing forward with it and I want to progress.

Move to Level 2 of 30 Day Shred.
This is a great DVD for working on strength training. It has a lot of classic moves and it does push me to work harder. Although it is not strictly strength training only, it’s probably the closest I will be getting.

Hike a Local Park *weather permitting*
Ideally I would like to explore Sweetwater or a park similar. Something to just get outside and have fun with Joseph.

Enjoy my anniversary!
Joseph and I have our 2nd anniversary on March 21, but we are celebrating the Saturday prior. Melting Pot and a hotel room!

Make it to Church 2 out of 4 Sundays
This is pretty self explanatory

Taking Back the Weekend

Posted on 6:21 PM In:
I don't know when it became acceptable for my weekend to be consumed with watching television and playing video games, with little activity, even when we go visit people. That isn't living. I mean, it is really no wonder that I get so bored and restless during the week since I don't even take advantage of my time off to have fun, explore and live.

I want to explore our local parks and hike them and find out more about them. I want to play and hide and seek with my adult friends. It was so much fun when we were kids. What is it about being an adult that means we can stop having pure and simple fun? It seems like if it doesn't play on a screen of some sort, it can't be fun.

I want to move, every day whether it is "exercise" or just fun. I want to have a full, rich, adventurous, amazing life. I don't want to think back on my life and go "Oh yeah, that was a great show. What ever happened to it?" I want to think about everything I've seen and done, touch, tasted and felt. I want to think of the challenges I pushed myself to succeed and the things I've experienced.

I'm just tired of sitting around and letting my life pass me by. It's unacceptable, it's lazy and it's ridiculous. I've changed my mentality towards food, exercise and living so much in the past three months and this is something else I will change. Or else, I'm going to look back on my life and regret that I saw every episode of The Office but not thoroughly explored some of the great natural parks in my backyard.

Oh, and just a little moment of "look at me"... I've officially lost 21.4 pounds. In just 20 pounds I've managed to make real changes that I've embraced and love.

So, who's up for some Hide and Seek?

So with all this losing weight and exercising and heing a healthier gal, there are a few things that I just could not live or be successful without.

  • iPod Touch - besides the C25K app that I adore. There is a Weight Watcher's app taht is amazing, tracks points, gives values for foods and restaurants and I can search recipes without being online. It also tracks weight and gives me success stories to keep me motivated.
  • Headphones - I can't C25K without them! Not only do I need to hear music while I run, I need to hear the prompts on when I can *stop* running.
  • Girl Talk - an artist who does amazing pop/hip hop/rock mashups. If you want to get pumped up to exercise, this will do the trick. Locate a free copy of his most recent album here: http://illegal-art.net/allday/
  • Green Monster Smoothie - I've already waxed on about how awesome they are. But just to recap: Amazing energy, easy way to get in leafy greens and other vegetables, delicous easy and nutrious breakfast.
  • Sprint Vibrams - These "toe" shoes are amazing. I can run without getting shin splints and they are great for my feet. Who wouldn't dig that? Although they do require a learning curve for most people (apparently I'm a natural Vibram wearer because I've had no issues) I fully recommend them. I love my pair and when these run out, I plan to buy a new pair. Best part? They cost around the same as a really nice pair of running shoes. http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-Sprint-Womens.htm
  • Pretzel M&Ms - For 4P+ a bag, they are one of the friendliest chocolates you can eat. They are a great combination of salty and sweet and super fun to eat because they are M&Ms and all M&Ms are fun to eat. Duh.
  • 30 Day Shred w/ Jillian Michaels - Oh how that crazy woman makes me hurt so good. Just one session with her and I know I am getting a full body workout.

Body Appreciation Week

Posted on 7:44 PM In: ,
I've heard from various sources that this week is Body Appreciation Week. How do you appreciate your body?

I appreciate my body daily by feeding and hydrating it correctly and by letting it move.
I get a minimum of 5-6 servings of fruits and vegeables a day
I drink at least 6 servings of water and often times more.
I eat a variety of foods from lean meats, to dairy and some delicious starches.
I've worked in 4-5 exercise sessions in a week with a variety of cardio and weights.
I get 7-8 hours of sleep on average.

This has been my life for the past 3 months. They say it takes 3 weeks to make a new habit. I didn't just make a habit of eating correctly and exercising, I made a habit of appreciating the only body I will get. So I struggle through workouts so that my body can become strong and powerful. I pass up rich and fatty foods so that I can stop stressing my body with extra weight.

And by showing my body appreciation, I'm slowly able to find new appreciation for my body. Today, after doing Week 3, Day 1 of Couch to 5K, I stood in front of the mirrors, a weight in each hand to work on my arms and I appreciated how I looked. I was sweaty and smelly and my hair was a mess and I could appreciate the fact that slowly, my body is moving from a ball shape.

I work really hard to stay a positive person. When someone comes to me because they are having a bad day, I want to find a silver lining for them; something to help them get just a little bit of happiness and yesterday I didn't have that. To work out and eat correctly and to not lose any weight over a week had me down to the point where I just wanted to curl up and cry. And the amazing thing is, the very next day, I could look in the mirror, staring at myself looking absolutely horrible and appreciate my body.

So, even when it is hard, or it sucks to say no, it is worth it to me to keep appreciating my body. Any day that I can look in the mirror and see something positive staring back, I'll trade chocolate for that. I'll trade, ice cream, soda, you name it. Because first and foremost, I need to remember to appreciate my body.

So, again I ask: How do you appreciate your body?

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

Green Monsters - Miracle Food and a Recipe

Posted on 7:57 PM In:
Every single morning I wake up and have a smoothie for breakfast. This one smoothie is what I attribute for giving me gorgeous nails with a natural french manicure, tons of natural energy without needing to guzzle caffeine and making it super easy to get in a full serving of fruits and vegetables a day.

The Green Monster is the smoothie that will help you glow from the inside out. It was really first popularized by Angela at ohsheglows.com (who has an amazing vegan blog that I love even though I am so far from Vegan). She has the website http://greenmonstermovement.com/ that talks about the smoothie as well as shares different smoothie recipes.

The Green Monster is called such because of the fresh raw spinach you add to the smoothie, which, under the correct conditions might just turn your smoothie bright Green! Although many people balk at the thought of putting Spinach and a smoothie, I promise you that you will not taste it and won't even notice as long as you blend it really well.

Spinach, for those who care, has twice as much fiber as other leafy greens and is a great source of amino acids, iron, iodine, magnesium, potassium, protien and Vitamins: A,C, E, K and B complex.

With all that greatness, how can you resist?

PB&J Green Monster Smoothie
1 Serving, 7 P+

1 handful of spinach
1 cup skim milk
1/2 banana
2 T peanut butter
7 frozen strawberries
2-4 ice cubes (Optional)

Add spinach to blender (important to do this first so the other ingredients help weigh it down) along with milk, banana and peanut butter. Blend until smooth and spinach has been processed. Add frozen strawberries and ice and blend until smooth. Pour into cup, add straw and enjoy!

Working in Working Out

Posted on 8:41 PM In: ,
I get up at 5:30 in the morning. I leave my house at 6:45 to get to work by eight. I leave at five and get home between 6:00 and 6:30. I make dinner and it is usually ready between 7:00 and 7:30. Then I rest, I read my blogs, do some writing and watch some tv. That kind of schedule doesn't leave much time for working out, especially since if I do it too late at night it might keep me up.

Figuring out when you can work in working out is a common dilemna; whether you are a parent, a full time student or a full time employee and if you are a combination of any of the three, well you don't even have time to sleep. Yet, the past two weeks I have done C25K 4 times, Elipticalled 3 times, Clogged 2 times and Zumba'd one time.

It seems I've officially given up reading (or playing angry birds or shopping) during lunch, with the exception of Friday when I actually go out for Mexican. Mondays & Wednesdays have become my C25K day and I still need to figure out where and when I can do a day on the weekend. Tuesday and Thursday are my Zumba days unless P90X guy is using the tv in the gym then I hop on the elliptical for 25 minutes. Thursday nights are the one night I have clogging and I clogg my heart off.

I'm crazy because now that I've found my 30 Day Shred Dvd and I'm determined to fit it into my weekends and possibly Friday nights. And, I've learned that I don't mind giving up my reading time during lunch because something in me has changed.

I enjoy working out

I don't know how this happened or when or even why. I do know that a switch has flipped in my brain and every time I C25K I am happy and excited about it. Especially when I finish a new day and a new challenge. I will be going into week 3 next week and I have to run for 3 minutes straight. That's crazy, but I'm going to do it.

It wasn't until this year that I realized how important exercise is. I can lose all the weight in the world and I will still be fat unless I become strong. I want to build muscle every where. I want to feel strong and powerful and I don't want any athletic limitations to hold me back.

I rewarded myself for my working out by getting a cute gym bag and some new work out clothes and I realized that as much and hard as I work out I'm going to have to actually buy more work out clothes unless I want to start washing them everynight. Because, when I work out, I work out hard and I do not smell sweet like a flower afterwards.

Now, I just need to figure out when I can fit in some reading, because I do miss books!

Valentine's Day Review

Posted on 6:40 PM
So I've said before that I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day. It is a lot of work and I'm just sort of over it. Well, the universe was not happy with that statement and basically decided to change my mind. Even if I had been a single girl, I would have had a great day.
That iTunes gift card was from my beautiful coworker Karley. It was totally unexpected but wow, did it really make my day. And that heart box of chocolates, from another coworker who announced that "All girls deserve chocolate on Valentine's day. Well, I don't mind if I do!


The rest is from the husband. A home made coupon book, my favorite candy and beautiful flowers.

And a home made card! That was totally sweet and goofy, just like him!


Plus he made me dinner. Grilled chicken, home made mac and cheese and sauteed vegetables. Topped off with Chocolate cake I made.

I am a truly lucky girl and had a great Valentine's day!

Valentine's Day

Posted on 7:29 PM
So, considering Valentine's day is on Monday I know a lot of people are celebrating this weekend. I'm an old married lady loser who made dinner only for herself tonight and has conned my sister into making enchiladas tomorrow for dinner. Did I mention my husband is also having a wrestlling extravaganza weekend since our wrestling club is not only hosting their own tournament but a national tournament as well and he is coaching, all weekend, for most of the day.

Which is all fine and dandy with me because now that I am *not* single, I no longer really care about Valentine's day. I mean, I do have an anniversary in March that I actually do care to put thought into it, so caring about V-day is just a LOT of work.

But, my wonderful husband, Joseph, is super duper traditional. He loves to celebrate his holidays and do it right. Because of this, I do celebrate and will give him a gift. I can't share what it is yet, since he will read this, but just know it will be awesome.

Joseph also made me a gift, which I have no clue what it is. But more importantly he is giving me the gift of food. Originally he was going to come up to work and eat lunch with me, but Monday is a C25K day, and I'm supposed to be starting week 2, so instead he is bringing Subway nd we are C25King together.

And he is making me dinner.

And he doesn't know it yet, but he is also going grocery shopping.

And THAT is why he is my Valentine.

I love you Joseph!

How to Tell You Are Crazy?

Posted on 10:06 PM In:
(AKA: How to tell it is time to move on to Week 2 of C25K)

So yesterday I did Week 1 Day 1 of Couch to 5K. Which, for those of you who don't know, you do a five minute warm up walk and a five minute cool down walk with 1 minute of running and 1.5 minutes of walking in between (for a total cycle of 9 runs). In total this takes 31 minutes. In theory it sounds relatively easy, until you consider the fact that actual running for a minute over and over again is rather hard.

Way #1 I am Crazy: After two runs, I think "Hmm, sort of easy" and I bump up the incline.

Way #2 I am Crazy: With two runs left, I think "Hmm, still sort of easy" and I bump up the speed.

Way #3 I am Crazy: As the last cool down nears I start thinking, "I could keep going if I had the time."

Day 1: I feel like dying.

Day 3: Hm, bored, I will keep kicking it up a notch.

I didn't even want to go to the gym that day. I had talked myself out of it because I needed to run by Hobby Lobby (still do) and Walmart and you know, anything else I could think of to get out of it. I didn't feel well, allergies were starting to hit after all. Then, some switch in my brain flipped and I decided, "Nope, I'm going to at least try." I mean, if I didn't feel well enough to finish, that's cool, but I could at least put forth my effort. And not only did I put forth the effort, I freaking KILLED it.

I can't wait for Week 2 Day 1 to kill me next week!

Oven Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

Posted on 8:15 PM In:
This recipe is amazing. If you love the people you cook for, you will make this for them. This is the best oven fried chicken I've remembered having that is also supposed to be healthy. And the mashed potatoes are a great way to sneak in a veggie! Trust me, make this and if you have leftover chicken, it is great as chicken salad!

Oven Fried Chicken & Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients for Chicken 6 P+:

First you are going to brine your chicken

For Brine:
Water to cover Chicken in ziploc bag
1/4 cup Kosher Salt
1 t Sugar

Chicken:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded to same thickness and brined for 20 minutes
1 Egg
1/3 cup Flour
Salt & Pepper
Other Seasonings to Taste

Whisk one egg with 1 T water. Dip rinsed and dried chicken breasts into egg wash before dredging in flour salt and pepper (and other seasonings to taste).

Lay chicken breasts on cooling rack for 10 minutes. (This is KEY)

Heat oil in cast iron skillet and pre-heat oven to 350. Once oil is hot, cook chicken until browned on both sides and no longer trying to stick to the pan (and if it gets a little blackened, that is delicious also!).

Stick into oven and let it finish cooking, 10-15 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes 2 P+:
Ingredients:
2 oz potato per person
Equal amount of cauliflower as potato
Skim Milk
Land o Lakes Butter
S&P

Dice potato and boil over high until soft. While the potatoes cook, cut cauliflower into florets and cook until soft. Mix potatoes and cauliflower with milk, butter and S&P until it reaches the desired creaminess.

The gravy is just a mixture of cornstarch, chicken stock and better than bullion.

*Recipe kindly provided by my mom*

Excuses

Posted on 9:38 PM In:
Every previous time I've ever tried to lose weight, I always had a plethora of excuses of why I couldn't exercise, why I couldn't eat correctly, why I just couldn't do it.

Excuse 1: "I can't work out after I eat"

I'm sorry, come again? How many times have I let the excuse of not being able to get to take a lunch break early enough to work out before I'm hungry stop me from working out? I mean, it isn't Rocket Science, Sandra, eat and work out an hour or so later. Why would I waste a whole day because I can't eat before I work out.

Excuse 2: "I already screwed up, I will just start again next week"

That makes a ton of sense, I've screwed my eating for one day, so why don't I just really screw over the whole week? Perhaps, if I screw up one meal, I should make sure to bring it back to healthy on the next meal. Does that just make too much sense? Is that why I use to eat one bad meal and let it ruin the whole week?

Excuse 3: "I can't do what I planned, so I won't do anything"

Seriously? Does this make sense to anyone? So I can't use the eliptical, can I still do a push up? a squat? walk in circles? Variety is the spice of life, so why don't I just mix it up if my plans go awry.

Excuse 4: "My meal tastes horrible!"

Well, guess what, that is no excuse to order pizza! There is a subway right up the road, suck it up and be good!

So, needless to say that I am good at coming up with excuses, but what about now? I'm finally coming around to the ridiculous excuses that I use to hold myself back. If I have a bad meal, I move on, I go back to eating heathily. If I can't work out before I eat, I eat earlier and give myself some time to process my food before I eat. If I can't do what I wanted to do exercise wise, I figure out something else! Why have I let stupid excuses keep me from attaining what I want? If I'm smart enough to figure out how to be bad, why am I stupid enough to not just be smarter to begin with?

Mentally, I've changed how I look at weightloss. I've changed the foods I eat, how I enjoy them and how I move my body. I've come to realize that I am my own worst enemy but I can also be my most supportive person. I'm done with allowing myself to have stupid excuses and hating what I see in the mirror

Hindsight

Posted on 8:52 PM In:
Joseph and I were going through some old clothes to determine which to keep and which to give to Goodwill.  These clothes were all super old, before I had gained any weight, when I wore medium shirts and my pants were in the single digits.

Clothes from when I thought I was "fat".

It makes me sad to look at those tiny clothes and remember how badly I felt about myself. I mean, it doesn't help that all through high school I was best friends with girls who were natural size ones (if not zeros), so in comparision, it is easy to feel big.

I just really wish I would have believed people when they told me I wasn't fat. I wish I could have seen my body for what it was instead of feeling like I never measured up. I would love to get back to that size I was before, but, if I don't learn to love my body and myself, it won't matter what size I wear.

Aprons

Posted on 9:28 PM
I've had an obsession for the past week that I need a cute kitchen apron. I don't realy have a cute apron and how is a girl supposed to get her bake on without an apron?

My 2nd anniversary is coming up and Joseph is super traditional about gifts. We did paper gifts the first year and this year is cotton, so I figure a cute apron would be perfect, right?

Who doesn't want a cute Owl Apron?
Or a chic black and white one?
A Snow White Apron?
Or a ridiculously cute, frilly, cupcake apron?
I'm just sayin' *this* girl needs cute aprons.

Feel So Damn Unpretty

Posted on 8:16 PM
My outsides look cool, my insides are blue
Every time I think I'm through it's because of you

I've tried different ways but it's all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
I'm just trippin'


You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if you say so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty
Yeah, I'll make you feel unpretty too

How is it music can always give me insight to how I truly feel. I mean, ignore the fact that "unpretty" is not actually a word and the fact that I think this song is actually directed to another person.

I don't think it would be a stretch to say that often people are their own worst enemies, especially for females. I don't know how many times I've looked in the mirror and zeroed in on everything I felt was wrong with my appearance, things that noone else can see. Every blemish, spot, crease, wrinkle; they all just jump out at me, screaming "Ugly".

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do I do this to myself? I'm a smart, nice, young lady with great hair and a birthmark in my eye. I'm funny, patient, thoughtful, kind and other people think I'm beautiful. So, why is all I see in the mirror a body too big and a face too broken out? Why can't I see what Joseph sees? Or my family?

A big part of why I want to lose weight is so that I gain confidence in how I look, but I need to gain confidence in me or else I will always see what is wrong with me instead of what is right.

And because my thoughts towards myself are so ugly, it leads to ugly thoughts toward others. And, I'm not that person. I want to see the beauty in everyone, whether it is their laugh or their hair or the fact that they are the funniest person I know. I used to be a negative person and I've changed so much from that person and now I want to shine from the inside out. I want my thoughts about myself and others to be healthy just as I want my body to be healthy.
Losing weight is a constant work in progress but along with that, changing how I look at myself and others is a work in progress and one that I struggle with daily. So, instead of putting my own reflection down, I need to focus on the things I love. Instead of finding faults with others, I ned to look at why they are an amazing and special person.

And, perhaps remind other people that they are beautiful. Check it out: operationbeautiful.com

Why are you beautiful?

February 2011 Writing Challenge

Posted on 8:18 PM In:
Who are you most thankful for?
Wow, what a doozy of a question. It's easy to see how blessed I am because I can not figure out how to shorten my list of who I'm thankful for. So, I'm going to highlight 3 to keep it short..

1. My Parents

Besides being thankful for giving me life, they are just truly amazing people. Kind, generous, fun, are just a few of the ways they could be described. When I'm sick, my mom brings me soup. When the alternator in the Mountaineer goes out, my dad not only buys a new one, but he puts it in. Their love for me and the people around them is obvious in how they live their life in their actions and their words. Their house is always open to me, as is their kitchen. If they can help me or give me something they need, they do it with no hesitation. They have helped mould me into the person I am today and I think they did a great job.

2. Joseph

To think that just over 5 years ago I didn't even know him is bizarre. He is my best friend, my favorite person. He is one of the few people in my life that I feel just as comfortable talking to him about everything as I do just being silent. He is so amazing to me and he treats me so well. He does the chores I hate doing (and some of them he actually enjoys!) and he picks up the slack when I'm too depressed to want to do anything. He knows how to make me laugh when I'm upset and he honestly gives the best hugs. In a million years I would never have expected to be blessed with someone like him. I don't know how I was so lucky to have him fall in love with me, but I'm happy and thankful that he did. I don't know who I would be if he weren't in my life and I don't want to know.

3. Sarah (Bffl)

Sarah is probably one of the most amazing females I know and I've known her since high school. She is such a strong person. She has gone through things that I would never want to go through and it has only made her a better person. Her family is beautiful and wonderful and I love seeing them and I'm so happy she has been blessed with them. She is my best friend but she is more like family. She is such a positive, beautiful, smart person and she deserves so much in life. We hardly get to hang out, but when we do it is ridiculously fun and when we don't I miss her. I was her maid of honor and she was my matron of honor and I'm glad to say I made her cry at my wedding just as much as I cried at hers. I love her.

To everyone else:

Honestly, if you are in my life, I'm thankful for you. Sometimes I don't always get along with the people in my life, and I don't always like them, but I always love them and I know I learn from them. I'm blessed for all the people in my life and I don't want to lose a single one. I'm constantly motivated and inspired by the people around me, even if they don't realize how amazing they are. I could write pages including every single person that I am thankful for, but my fingers would fall off and blogger would probably kick me off their site for taking up too much space.