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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ugh... oh yeah... it's that day again... Here's goes Wednesday

Well, we all have good weeks and bad weeks. At least that is what I'm telling myself. My body, or maybe it's just my mind, can't seem to get back on track since my loss. Today, I'm up from last week AND the week before. Everything in me wants to scrap the idea of blogging about such a tender subject. I intend to follow this through to the end though, no matter what the journey feels like.

Ideas of the Week-  
     1.) Eliminating foods that irritate your digestive system, making you feel bloated and sluggish. A few weeks back I eliminated gluten and dairy, because of knowing how they effect my sons health. My skin cleared up. I felt lighter and more alert. I've eliminated those things before with the same result, so I wasn't all that surprised but it really does make a difference and my tummy flattens out a lot. The problem is, it's hard, really hard. For the first 3 days all I can think about is doughnuts and ice cream and crusty Italian bread with thick pats of butter. Mmmm... After those three days, I feel so much better. What foods you may need to eliminate for optimum health will vary from person to person.

     2.) Preparing food ahead. Let's face it, whole foods often need preparation to eat. As a mom of a very busy 15 month old, there are moments when I am already way to hungry by the time I have a chance to find something to eat. If I walk into the kitchen and I'm faced with a choice of whole bunches of celery that need to be washed and then plated with hummus or a box of rice crackers, I am more likely to grab the crackers and eat too many. And, half a box of crackers is the caloric equivalent to like umm... a dump truck full of celery? All kidding aside though, it is far easy to make healthy choices if the healthiest foods are just as easy to grab as the less healthy options. Each weekday morning, I prepare my partner a healthy lunch to take to work. I make sure it is balanced and has lots of yummy options to eat throughout the day. As of yet, I have not put together a similar lunch and snack kit for my son and I to pick at during our day. Next week it is my goal to do this for us as well.


     I really struggled with my eating this week. I ate too many tortillas, with either hummus or salsa. I didn't eat as many of the lovely veggies and fruits that we had on hand. I ate granola bars and cereals. I found myself eating the way some people drink alcohol this week. The ugly, sad, angry feelings would start to bubble up and before I even really made the connection in my head, I would have eaten a bunch of food. Sometimes healthy sometimes not. I hate saying this "out loud" but I am a compulsive eater. I've started reading Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. I'm really hoping that it will help me let go of compulsive eating. 

     I only managed to get one regular strength training work out in and on one of my walks I carried a 40 pound pack and pushed about 50 pounds of stuff and kid in our jogging stroller. I am going to call that one strength training because it was really hard and left me with sore muscles (and probably a stress fracture in my foot). I did make it on four walks. So, over all I made 2 strength training work outs and 4 walks, compared to my goal of 4 and 4. For next week I am going to shoot for 4 strength training workouts again. I am pretty sure I suffered a stress fracture in my right foot, so I won't be going on walks this week. I'm going to shoot for 4 floor work outs (pilates and yoga) this week, in an attempt to avoid irritating my swollen and bruised foot. 

Weigh In-
So, I was pretty disappointed to get on the scale this morning and see 281.6. That is a 2.2 pound gain in the last week. Yikes. It did make me glad that this is the week to report my measurements. I saw some losses there.

                3/4/13     4/3/13   Lost
Neck             14.75      14.5    0.5
Bust             51.75       51     0.75
Chest            41.75      41.5    0.25
Waist            44.25       44     0.25
Midway           56.5        55     1.5
Hips(under pooch)50.5        51    +0.5
Upper Thigh      29.5       29.5    ---
Above Knee       24.5       24.5    ---
Calf             18.5       18.5    ---
Upper Arm         20         20     ---
Forearm          11.75      11.75   ---

I'm still in the same clothing size clothing. I also forgot to have my partner take my picture this morning. I will come back and add the photo later.    

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wednesday... Er... Friday Weigh In

I haven't posted in 16 days. I found out I was pregnant. Not long after I found out though, my pregnancy hormone began decreasing. Within a few days, I was getting negative pregnancy tests. With everything going on last week, I didn't even step so much as a toe onto the scale. Then there was the wait for my body to complete the process of the miscarriage.

I did weigh on Wednesday this week, as promised but waited to know for certain that I am in fact experiencing a miscarriage before mentioning the pregnancy.

Idea of the Week-
Take it one step at a time and focus on what you are doing in that moment. Don't think about how much needs to be done between now and your end goal, it can be overwhelming. Don't worry about the missteps you already made because you can't remake them and it can be discouraging to focus on our mistakes. For example, if it's lunch time don't think about being on a diet for the next 3 years. Don't even focus on how this is a life change and how you are making these new choices for the rest of your life. Focus on lunch. Find the foods that will fill your body with nutrients and fuel you, then enjoy them fully.

During that time I tried to make sure that I was eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I do find that food close to it's natural state (raw, lightly steamed or otherwise barely altered) as possible leaves me more deeply satiated without leaving me feeling heavy. I also have noticed that I feel much more full and nourished when I switch out conventionally grown green salad for a salad of organic baby greens. Thank goodness that we finally got a Costco membership. With the amount of fresh fruit, veggies and salad that we have been eating lately we could easily spend well over what we have budgeted for food.

As you may imagine my activity level has been less than ideal. I have taken C-man out in the stroller for walks a few times, but over all I have stayed home. Inside the home, I have been pretty sedentary. The one thing I have been working on is being conscious of my posture and my movements when I am out walking. I practice standing tall with my shoulders back, chin up, abs pulled in tight to pull my belly button in toward my back bone and then I squeeze my buttocks with each stride. During this next week I would like to complete 4 light resistance work outs and 4 walks with my son.

Weigh in-
This week on Wednesday my weight was 279.4. This is a one pound loss over the two weeks. Added to two the two pound loss from the previous 11 days, that is 3 pounds lost. While 3 pounds over nearly 4 weeks is a little slower than ideal, it is still progress so I'm going to call it a success.

Next week is going to be my monthly progress photo and my measurements. I'm hoping to make at least some noticeable progress by then. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Welcome to the Wednesday Weigh In

Once a week I am going to weigh in on the things I have learned about bettering my (and my family's) health, how well I am adhering to any new changes, my activity level for the week, how it made me feel and lastly I will weigh in with actual pounds. Once a month I will be posting progression photos and my measurements.

Something that has been coming up in several of my circles, lately, is the discussion on fat shaming. I won't get into that issue here but after reading all sorts of articles from all sorts of perspectives, I decided it was time for me to lose the shame. I think that every person out there deserves to be happy with themselves, regardless of the shape of their body or the number on the scale.

Another thing I've started hearing about is the concept of "fed and fit" as a great way to maintain optimum health and weight loss. Our bodies need good foods to function properly. When in starvation mode, so much of our system shuts down or reduces to absolutely minimal functions. Also, lots of "foods" readily available to us are more aptly described as "food like products." So, we are keeping it real (did it grow from the earth or eat things that grew from the earth) and listening to our bodies to help us make better choices. 

My son is unable to eat gluten or dairy. As a nursing mother, that means that I can no longer eat gluten or dairy. I had to choose between weaning my son and significantly altering my diet. For our family, the answer was easy and we quickly implemented the dietary changes.

I started making changes 9 days ago and took my starting measurements then.

As of March 4th when I started-

My weight was 282.4

My measurements (in inches) were:
Bust: 51.75
Chest: 41.75
Waist: 44.25
Midway (read: Mama Pooch): 56.5
Hips: 50.5
Upper Thigh: 29.5
Above Knee: 24.5
Calf: 18.5
Upper Arm: 20
Forearm: 11.75

My dress size was a 22/24 and most of my clothes are xxl and my one pair of jeans is a 24 and snug across my mama belly.

As of this morning my weight was 280.4... so 2 pounds lost. At first that seems like a tiny number, but it falls in the 1-2 pound a week range that is recommended and even a tiny bit of progress is still progress.

Sorry about the stained shirt, it's just an old shirt that I have that is tight enough to fully show my body shape... so this is where I started, now lets just see where I can go and how strong and healthy I can get to feeling.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Finding the new "Me"

It happens to a lot of people and it happened to me. I lost myself in motherhood.

It hurt when I realized that I didn't like the person I had become. I was a good mom but my life had become very one dimensional. It was time to take back a part of my heart, a part of my time and a part of my energy for myself.

I knew I didn't like where I was at but the more I thought about that the less happy and more stuck I felt. I needed a shift in my life and I didn't know where to find it. 

A few friends of mine mentioned that they had recently re-watched "The Secret" and were working on their new vision boards. I dismissed it but over the next few days more people, from different circles of my friends made similar comments. I realized these were some of the people that I looked up to the most.I decided to watch the movie and give it a chance. It really helped me to make a shift in my thinking, right away. 

I am starting to apply the concept in my life and even within a few days things have started to shift so distinctly. I am already happy to be myself again. I have goals again... instead of just dreams that I don't feel I can achieve. 

I am taking time to meditate again, if only for a few minutes of time. Meditating is changing my life.

I'm not writing much about this now but will be updating as changes start taking place.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Green Hair

No, no, no... not GREEN hair but "green" hair, as in going green.
So, if you are anything like me you have heard of several friend who have either heard of, or actually tried for themselves, going "poo free." Frankly, I love that feeling of thick lather in my hair, and running down my back far too much to have seriously considered ditching my shampoo in an effort to be green. Those other option worked so well I thought about it, for about a second and half though. Then I moved on with life, going 'poo free was NOT on this girls to do list.

A few weeks ago things changed. I was 16 weeks pregnant and trying to figure out ways to cut our budget down since I had been told that I will not be allowed to work anymore. Oh my, we were suddenly a one income house. Eeep! My hair has been fair oilier since I became pregnant. But, as I didn't have a job to be to everyday, I figured there was no better time to try to cut out the expense of my shampoo and conditioner.

I collected what I needed for the trial run. The list was short: baking soda, vinegar, a large cup and a spoon. Sound more like a science product that hair care? Yeah, I thought so too. I was unconvinced that this would do me any good. But, I had to try at this point, my partner was watching to see how this worked. So, I soaked my hair in warm water. Then I mixed a little over a tablespoon of baking soda and water in the cup. This was then poured over my hair and left to sit for a couple of minutes. I rubbed the solution into my scalp before rinsing. It felt a little soapy but no lather. Then I rinsed it well with more warm water. My hair felt tangled to me and I was supposed to pour vinegar over it? All I could thing about was how much that was going to hurt to brush out. So, I mixed my vinegar solution to the same strength, a little over a table spoon to a full cup of water. I poured that over my hair and QUICKLY rinsed it away. I am not a fan of the way vinegar smells and was afraid I was going to stink, thought I was calmly assuring my boyfriend that vinegar is odorless when dried.
A few minutes later I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror, holding a hair brush and DREADING having to put it to my head. Hesitantly I tried to brush through what looked like a snarled mess, and the brush slid right through. It didn't catch, it didn't pull. To brush my hair after my normal shampoo and conditioner I would need detangler since I have thick curly hair. I was shocked. Since my hair was still wet, I assumed it would look oily when it dried, after all if this was such a wonder cure to awful hair, wouldn't everyone know about it? So, I braided my wet hair and went to bed. My partner even commented about how good my hair smelled and that it didn't smell like vinegar at all, we were both surprised. The next morning, not only was my hair not oily but it wasn't frizzy either.

I had my boyfriend pick up condiment bottles for me the next day. I mixed up my baking soda "shampoo" bottle and my vinegar "conditioner" bottle. For the last two and a half weeks I have been 'poo free and my hair is just getting better and better. This is not because I am pregnant, because up until I went 'poo free I was ready to CHOP OFF my "pregnant" hair which had become unmanageable. I can now blow dry my hair and walk away without the extra 30-50 minutes spent with my flat iron. I've NEVER been able to skip the flat iron before.

So here's the deal, if you are very interested in Going Green, or living on a tight budget, or you have hair that is hard to deal with, or frizzy hair, or dry hair, or you just like a good science experiment you should try this. If you give it two weeks the worst thing that can happen is that you miss the lather of your shampoo, the best case is that you realize that you can save money, the planet and time spent on styling better hair.

All you need is two bottles I like the picnic style condiment bottles with the narrow spout though old shampoo or conditioner bottles would work too. Then mix your solution in each about 1 tablespoon of baking soda (for shampoo) or 1 tablespoon of vinegar (for conditioner) per eight ounces of water. I used 24 ounce bottles and a bottle of baking soda solution lasts me about 2 weeks and the vinegar solution loos like it will last me about twice as long. Make sure that you use baking soda first and always follow it up with vinegar which balances the ph of your hair. If you really don't like vinegar for your acid, I have heard of people switching it out for lemon juice.

If you decide to try this let me know how it goes! I know I was impressed. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Authentic Living... starting down your personal road to happieness.

     What is authentic living for you? I suspect that every person out there has a different discription of what is really "them" than I do. Afterall, if we all were meant to work from 9 to 5 in a desk job and eat a meat and potatoes dinner with a side of veggie everynight before watching the same show and turning in early for bed, the world would be a lot simpler and far, far less interesting. So, what is right for you? First let me tell you the things that are right for me, maybe it will get your wheels turning.
     For starters I had to think, what thing make me proud to be me? I was stumped at first. Afterall I have spend several years fighting so hard to be someone that I am not, that I forgot that I was proud of myself. So, I took some time to think. What used to make me happy, what used to make me proud. I was a good cook and a baker, that was always a good feeling, making wonderful food for the people I care about. I love to write, when I was a teenager I was writing a book, and my friends would always beg me for the next chapter. Yep, that made me proud for sure, I felt like the book wrote itself but it still made me feel good that others loved the story so much. I love my artistic abilities, so that too had to play a part. I also love helping people, it makes the whole world a better place.
     I now had somewhere to start. I opened an Etsy shop (I'll be posting a few of the first items later today.) I started blogging agian, with three different areas cover, since my interests are too wide to be easily summed up in one place. More than all of that I have started baking, in ernest again. The love of my life is allergic to wheat and I have begun to learn the art of gluten free baking. I also have taken a part-time nanny job to help make ends meet. It will be wonderful to work with a baby again, to watch another person come into themselves.
     So, what have I given up to live a happier and less stressful life? I live on a tighter budget. Sometimes it stresses me out and sometimes I feel guilty that my love is picking up the slack now that I am the one of us making less money. The gains though are so much more than that though. I am happier, less stressed and better rested. My relationship is blossoming as I am remembering who I am and happier with myself. There are tough moments when you  have to look at the vast differences between where you are heading and where you were heading and where you want to be ultimately in life.
    If you want to be happier the answer is simple really. It won't happen over night and it will take work and commitment.

1.) First sit down with a pen and paper and in a quiet place. I want you to think about the things that made you happiest in life (sorry, the double fundge brownie ice cream doesn't count.) Do you like to cook for friends, or run, or walk in the park, or draw, or write, or learn new things. I want you to come up with at least three things that are now or have at some point been very special to you.
2.) Find a little time each week to pursue these things. Also consider, in what way can you use one of your passions to help the people around you or a cause you believe in. Work on a plan to do so.
3.) Each day do something to help someone you know (they don't have to know it was you helping them) and help one person you do know. This could be as simple as holding a door for a mom with a couple of little kids in tow or more involved, like mowing an ill neighbors lawn for them. When other people respond to your kindness you will start feeling proud of being the one to help them.
4.) This may sound silly to some people but keep your chin up, look people in the eye and smile as much as you can. You have nothing to hide for, be proud of yourself and share yourself with other.

This is only a small start but these little changes will help you start changing the way you see yourself and the way you see your world. It's not going to get you to a rainbows and butterflies existance but it will add a little sunshine to your average day.

So here's to you being you and embracing who you really are!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When things look up...

My day was busy from the moment I woke up and now I'm so ready to crash. I woke up knowing I had an interview for a nannying possition and an appointment with a potential business partner all before noon. I sat down with my day planner (I have to admit running your own business means you and going to NEED one of these) and made sure I had every engagement for the next two weeks marked down. turns out my schedule is already getting pretty full. Everything went well and this is why I think that happened:

I have started going out into the world every morning wanting to know how I can help people. Some people think it's karma. Maybe it is but maybe it's just that people can see that you are out there working to benefit other and want to help you in return. What ever it is I know that it works.

A week ago I was beginning to feel hopeless in my latest business venture. I went out there thinking how I needed to make money and wondering who I could get to help me out with that. Truthfully people are turned off by this and I completely understand. I would be too.

So, I took a moment and reevaluated my outlook. I went on craigslist (I really didn't know where to start and figured it was as good a place as any.) I looked for people who were looking for something I might be able to help. I have a rather diverse skill set and a true desire to help people, I always have. Here's what I did. I'm not telling because I want people to know I'm out there "helping the world" but showing how you can find a few good fits for you that will change your life for the better and someone elses too.
-Last weekend I found a few people in need of things that I was storing. Giving my things away helped me and just as much I think it helped these people as well.
-I found a family looking for childcare for what I thought was a temporary thing. As it turns out they need someone long term. At first I wasn't sure if this is what I wanted but I got to thinking... how long have I been talking about working with kids again, about how much I miss that? So, I went on the interview. We just clicked. This couple and their family is a perfect fit for me. I can help them with very affordable childcare, even "nanny" care for less than day care. I will get to work with kids and still have time to work my "real job" or income earning business too.
-I set up a plan to spend more time with my neices and nephew that live in town. Their mom has her hands full as a parent with three small children and I know she needs more support. I miss these kids when I don't make it over often. So, I fixed these things, one day a week I will help with these beautiful kids, get to build a strong bond with them as their Auntie and give their Mom a little extra much needed time away.

With those few things I feel like a whole new person again. Working my other job I lost track of who I was and became just an extension of my job. Today, I saw myself in the mirror again. The family I met this morning and my future business partner commented on certain qualities I haven't heard mentioned in a long time.

So this is my one and only tip for the day. It's not "green" but it is healthy.

~Look for ways to help others everyday!~

It will make someone elses life better and knowing you did that will make you feel a teeny bit like a hero.
Now, it's off to bed for me, it's been a very, very long and wonderful day and I am exhausted.