A New Starting Point: The Beginning of the Six Week Challenge


Are you guys ready for this?!

I’ve been so pumped for this challenge. There is nothing like leaping into action and actually doing the things you talk about doing to make you feel refreshed.

That being said, I did have to fight against the urge to eat like total crap for the past two days while I waited for the official start date of this little weight loss challenge. I caught myself eyeballing the fancy cakes in the desert case in the grocery store justifying why I should splurge while I had the chance. Six weeks Nina…. SIX WEEKS!

I am proud to say that my will power won the battle. That isn’t to say that I didn’t partake in a few guilty pleasure though…

Yesterday after I put Penelope down for a nap the power went out at my house. I couldn’t do laundry, or the dishes, or vacuum so I did what house wives do best… I drank wine. I had to make a few preparations for this big event and part of preparing meant getting rid of the remaining wine sitting in my kitchen and perusing through healthy food magazines.


It was awesome! I had the best time sitting out on my deck and having a little moment to myself. As I sat there a chill filled the air so I ran inside, put on my yoga pants and grabbed a blanket. Snuggling under that blanket while the cool breeze hit my face was probably the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time. Not to mention this months Eating Well magazine was FULL of awesome ideas for things to eat for the next six weeks. Most of the recipes included ingredients that will be coming straight out of my garden. There were also ideas for entertaining, all of which were healthy making me feel like I’m not going to miss out on anything while I partake in this weight loss challenge.

After Penelope got up from her nap I went and picked Bridget up from school and took the girls to our favorite book store, The Tattered Cover. It was raining by this point and the house just felt creepy without its usual electric buzz.

I thought for sure by the time we got home the power would have been restored but I was wrong. Luckily, I have a gas range so I was still able to make dinner.


Bridget and I pretended like we were French peasants while making this meal in our silent powerless house. This looks healthy but we dipped warm buttery bread in it just to ensure the we were being authentically French. Plus I drank the remaining wine to add to the Frenchiness of the experience.

Looking back, this may not have been a very good idea because wine makes me puffy. I forgot this little fact until this morning when I had Bridget take my before pictures for the challenge. My actual camera is dead (I wasn’t able to charge it due to the power outage yesterday) so I had Bridget take my pictures with my iPhone.

This didn’t really work out…

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We had major lighting issues so we went out on the back deck where it was about 38 degrees outside to take the shots… It was not pretty!


Holy Crap!!!

Not only were my feet frozen from standing in the frost but my ego was severely bruised when I saw what I looked like in broad daylight. (No more swimsuit gardening for me!)

I had no idea I had so many dimples! I let this slip out as I looked at the photos and Bridget said, “But Mom isn’t that what your blog is all about? Showing all of your flaws?”

Hmmm… I might have to rethink this whole blogging business.

All I have to say is that there better be some major improvements by the end of this six week challenge. I weigh about what I did in October during the last time that I took pictures. The difference is that I was lifting fairly heavy and had a lot of muscle on my frame. All of that muscle has been replaced with dimply fat…EEEEWWW!

There wasn’t time to waste. As soon as the pictures were taken Bridget and I headed out the door for an early morning run.


She was getting a little jealous when I would take Penelope and Scout out for runs early in the morning. I didn’t think she would want to go with me before school but apparently I was wrong. After we got done running we headed back home where I made green smoothies for breakfast. So far everything is off to a great start!

So… I guess we’re at the part where we have to see the stats of where I’m starting in this challenge. I purposely put them at the end of this post so that only the people who are dedicated readers would see them. I’m secretly hoping that at this point you’ve gotten tired of hearing about all of my random crap and have given up hope for finding anything entertaining to read. If you’ve made it this far I applaud you… and I kind of hate you.

Beginning Stats for The Summer Shape up Six Week Challenge

(Why did I give this thing such long freakin name?!)

Weight: 188.2 lbs


(I seriously debated on skipping this part, I actually had to stop mid blogging to strip down and record the results)

Bust- 43 in.

Chest- 36 in

Waist- 36 in.

Hips- 45 in.

Thighs- 25.5 in.

Arms- 13.5 in.

I haven’t felt this embarrassed in a long time. I feel like I did on that first fateful day when I started this blog. I just want to fall to my knees and scream…

WHYYYYYY?!?!? Why did I let all of my hard work slip away? 

The truth is I didn’t really gain weight during my stint as a student teacher. I just didn’t lose any weight either… and I didn’t workout… and now I’m a big ball of fluff!!! UGH!!!

It has become apparent that this is a very emotional time for me. I think it is best that we end this post before it gets too weird. Goodbye and good luck with the challenge.


The Summer Shape Up Six Week Challenge

Can I be honest with you?

I feel like I need a good ass kicking. No… seriously, I do.

Ever since student teaching ended I’ve been left feeling a bit incomplete. (Don’t get me wrong I’m really enjoying the amount of quality time I get to spend with my family.) But I feel like something is missing. Maybe I’m coming down from that high you get when you’ve faced a challenge and came out on top. Once you’re done you’re left wondering… “Now what?”.

I’m a weirdo, aren’t I?

You don’t have to be nice and lie, it’s true.

Why do I feel this way? Am I destined to chase a never-ending list of seemingly unobtainable goals? Maybe its the chasing after dreams part that I enjoy instead of the actually getting what you want part. Whatever it is it’s bugging me…

Since we’re all being honest here can I make another confession?

I feel like I’ve done a really shitty job of living this whole healthy lifestyle thing over the past few months and I think I might feel a bit ashamed about it.  (I’m not sure, I don’t think I’ve fully processed those feelings as of yet.) To top it off, last week Brent and I celebrated my graduation grand finale style with lots of bad food and tasty drinks.


Once I finally gained the courage to step on the scale after all of the debauchery I discovered that I had gained about 8 pounds within a week. Now I feel like a lard ass. Sure, about five pounds of that was water weight because the scale went down but what the scale doesn’t show you is how flabby I’ve gotten. Seriously, where did all of this soft fluffy tissue come from?  Where did my muscles go?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need to do anything drastic like join Body Haters Anonymous or anything like that.  I mean, I still work my magic… I’ve been gardening in my swimsuit all week long. You don’t get much more body confident than that, but I wasn’t out there in all of my glory because I thought I looked good. I just don’t give a shit…

Hi neighbor! Yeah, I just got a half wedgie from bending over to pull weeds and yes you just saw me pick it out with my gardening glove but that’s what you get for looking in my backyard… weirdo. How else am I supposed to get a tan? Laying out? pshhh… Hey good idea!


So, now I’m flabby and I have a red/orange sunburn tan. All I need is green hair and I will officially look like an oompa loompa.

Let’s see… what else do I need to confess?

Oh yeah, do you remember the ice cream I took a photo of in my last post bragging about how I never ate it? Well, I ate it. Not all of it, but I did polish off the last 1/3 of the container…in my jammies… while I watched five episodes of Long Island Medium.

Phew… that felt good. I feel like Chunk in the Goonies when he was confessing all of his sins to the bad guys as they threatened to put his hand in a blender.

Despite that I’ve made strides to straighten up my act lately.

I’ve started running first thing in the mornings…


I’ve tried to eat cleaner…


And I’ve resumed my favorite pastime of playing outdoors…


Not to mention gardening…


(So far I have lettuce, mesclun, potatoes, strawberries, kale (two kinds), brussels sprouts, broccoli, raspberries, red cabbage, sugar snap peas, rainbow carrots, beets, onions, chives, cilantro, parsley, tarragon and rosemary growing in my garden. )

All of this is great and all but what I’ve been trying to tell you is that I think it’s time to turn this weight loss blog into an actual weight loss blog. The kind where the blogger actually loses weight.

Therefore, I am going to issue myself a challenge. We’ll call it…

The Summer Shape Up Six Week Challenge

Now, I don’t know about you but I’m typically the type of person who likes to start challenges during the beginning of the week (preferably a Sunday or Monday). I also tend to try to issue myself challenges at the beginning of the month… neither of these things is going to happen this go around.


Because there is no use in waiting for the perfect time to challenge yourself. It’s never going to happen, all you are doing is coming up with an excuse for finding another time to challenge yourself.

That’s true, why do we do that?

Because challenges are… well, challenging.

Here are the stipulations…

  • Friday weigh-ins
  • Bi-weekly pictures and measurements
  • 100% effort

What I mean by 100% effort is that I will eat the healthiest foods I can stomach, I will drink tons of water and I will avoid processed carbs and sugars the entire time. (Not to be mistaken with eliminating all carbs… if you need clarification here is a link- How to Get Rid of Processed Carbs.) It’s that simple, there is no magic potion, pill or formula. We all know what to do. It’s just a matter of doing it.

Basically, giving 100% effort means that I can NOT make up some sort of lame excuse as to why I should be able to eat something tasty/crappy for the next 6 weeks. (Yes, this includes Mother’s Day.) I need to jump start my self-discipline… then once I’ve established my healthy habits I can go back to eating little tid bits of tasty/crappy goodness. Because lets face it, we all need a little tasty/crap sometimes.

I’m doing this because for some inexplicable reason I am in constant need of a challenge. And I’m doing this because my thighs are doing some inexplicable jiggling. It’s win-win! Plus, my neighbors will be a bit appreciative of the effort I’ve put in to ease their pain during my tanning/gardening sessions.

The challenge starts Friday, May 9th and ends Friday, June 20th, right in time for the first official day of summer. (I didn’t plan that.. but it works.)

I don’t have a specific weight loss goal in mind. I find this to be more of a hinderance than a help. If I see that I’m ahead of schedule I will slack off knowing that I can make up for it in effort later. That doesn’t really go along with my 100% rule. I’m just expecting to feel happier, healthier and firmer in my swimsuit before the first day of Summer. Who doesn’t want that???

***If you would like to join me please leave a message in the comments section and come back on Friday to check in!***


Chill the F Out!

I can’t take off my wedding ring…

I don’t really want to take it off but the fact that it won’t come off bothers me. I just got done going on my first run in forever and now my fingers are fat. Scout was super happy about being reunited in our favorite fair weather past time but it didn’t take long for us to be slapped in the face with the cold hard truth… we are in horrible shape.


Scout’s tongue wouldn’t go back into his head and my fingers blew up like The Nutty Professor. After our three mile jaunt we hobbled home…

I’m still going to the chiropractor for my twisted pelvis/hip. I’ve been going two or three times a week for the past 5 weeks and even though I’m feeling progress I’m getting really irritated with this whole situation. They keep calling it an “injury” and I keep asking myself how one gets “injured” while sitting at a desk for four months.

There are two doctors who work in the office that I go to. One of them told me not to run and the other one told me that if I ran they would work with it. Therefore, I chose to run.

I’m so tired of sitting on my keister!

I’m still adjusting to not being a student teacher. My life was pure chaos for weeks on end and then suddenly it stopped. My brain is running a million miles a minute and I’m still running around panicked like I have a million things to do. I haven’t quite adjusted to my new routine yet.

Since Brent and Bridget ruled the roost for the past few months my house is a complete organizational disaster. I can’t even cook anything without having to stop what I’m doing to try to figure out where they put everything. (This isn’t much of a problem because I still haven’t cooked much.) My kitchen and I need to have a get together so that I can start making healthy food again. The only problem with that is that I will have to clean out my fridge.

Do you know what lies in wait for me there?! It’s going to be scary.

A week has almost gone by and I still haven’t quite embraced the healthy lifestyle that was waiting for me to finish grad school. I’ve been celebrating every evening with approximately three glasses of wine and a few 10 squares of dark chocolate. My in-laws came to town to visit us on Wednesday and we’ve been celebrating with them as well.

Brent and I were going to go on a little staycation in downtown Denver while his parents were in town to take care of the girls for us. We were going to partake in some much needed R&R at a fancy hotel but unfortunately Brent’s mom fell outside of her work and broke her wrist and smashed up her face. It was horrible so we canceled our plans immediately. We were just grateful that her injuries weren’t any worse and that they were still able to come out and see us.

My consolation prize is a date with Brent tonight where I will proceed to drink more wine and let my fingers get even more chubbier. After this evening I’m going to go on a little cleanse.  I need to cut back on my coffee intake and my alcohol intake. I pretty much subsisted on it the past month trying to get everything done. Now I have a serious caffeine habit to contend with, not to mention the sugar habit that comes with drinking sugary lattes for nourishment. My family is in bad shape too. We are all in need of a health makeover. So that’s exactly what we are going to do.

We need to get back into those good habits I had worked so hard to develop before student teaching began…


1. Drink lots of water

2. Drink less alcohol and coffee

3. Eat more fruits and veggies

4. Eliminate simple sugars and carbs

5. Exercise regularly

6. Sleep more

7. Cook more homemade yumminess

8. Focus on the little moments that bring us together as a family

9. Play outside

10. Chill the F out!

There you have it… habits for a happier, healthier life.

It’s not freaking rocket science, but in order to feel happy and balanced you have to create some standards for how you want to live. During my student teaching I was pretty much living day-to-day, simply surviving deadlines. That’s fine on a short-term basis in order to achieve a goal but that is no way to actually live.

I’ve really been looking forward to spending quality time with my family, tending my garden, reading really good books and lying  in the grass under a blossoming tree.


Seriously though…I’m in the mood for getting lost in a good story. I want to read the kind of book that sucks you in and makes you feel like you just went on vacation. I’m totally open for suggestions…

Until then, I must get ready for my much needed date night!

***What are the habits you focus on the most when you are feeling as if you are in need of a healthy makeover?***

The Seven Week Challenge

Happy Daylight Saving Time!


I woke up today to find that I got to sleep in until 7:15! I was happy to be given the delicious opportunity to finally sleep in… A little bit later I realized that it was all a lie.

Daylight Saving Time, you either love it or hate it.

The good news is that I will have more time at the end of the day to squeeze in a run before the sun goes down! The bad news is that this also means that when I wake up at 4:30 it will feel like I’m waking up at 3:30… eew.

These past few weeks have been some of the most challenging/rewarding weeks I’ve had in my entire life. My “To Do” list has gotten out of control, sometimes I think of it as a beast that is threatening to swallow me whole. This sounds kind of miserable but the truth is as far as school and student teaching is concerned I’m totally kicking ass. I have so much fun with my students and I look forward to going to school every day.

That being said, I’m really looking forward to the end of April when I will be done and have more time to play outside with my girls!


I can’t wait for summer! I miss my garden so much. Every time I buy vegetables at the grocery store I think about it…







summer garden


I can’t wait to get started on it again! Penelope is really into playing outside with me. I plan on giving her a little spot just so she can play in the dirt… Let just hope she doesn’t try to eat it this year.

I’m just dying to have the time to play outside again!


summer girls





I’m pretty sure Scout feels the same way… he’s definitely looking forward to our early morning run routine coming back into play.

sunrise run      so happy

I only have seven more weeks until my student teaching is over. I just have to hang in there until then.

But one thing is for sure… I can’t wait until the end of April to try to get in shape for summer. I’ve got to start now! It doesn’t matter how busy I am. If I wait until the end of April I’m going to be so bummed about how mushy my body is if I keep going at this rate. By problem lately isn’t eating too much, but more along the lines of not eating enough. My body is so under nourished right now. I need more sleep, I need more water and I need more nutrients.

I’ve said this every weekend but then when the week takes off I get swallowed whole by all I have to do. That’s why I’ve decided to create a new challenge for myself. We’ll call it…

The Seven Week Challenge

(original… I know.)

I have seven weeks so I’m going to see if I can lose 2 pounds a week during that span of time. Today I weighed myself and I weighed 188. Therefore my goal is to weigh 174 by April 26th. In order to hold myself accountable I’m going to take pictures of everything I eat and the exercise I manage to fit in. (This might keep me away from the donuts sitting in the teacher’s lounge.) I have a lot of birthdays to celebrate during this span of time but I’m not going to let that get in the way.

You’re welcome to join me! Pick a goal to have completed in the next 7 weeks and post it in the comments section 🙂

It’s Daylight Saving Time you know… the time when you are completely thrown off from your routine and the perfect time to start new habits!

Week 28 Weigh-in

Things have been off kilter for quite a while but are just now getting back to normal so I should start making progress again. On Wednesday I finally did a crossfit workout. I can’t even remember the last time I did one. It was before vacation, my brother-in-law’s visit, my cousin’s visit and before Brent’s wildland deployment. (It’s been a crazy summer.)

I was nervous because I was pretty sure I was going to suck at it. I even took a little pre-workout supplement to help out.


I don’t usually do supplements because I think they taste gross but I knew Brent was going to kick my butt so I gave it a shot anyway. I took BLOX silk amino acid supplement which is supposed help you exercise longer, perform better and recover faster. I chugged down the fruit punch flavored drink on the way to the gym and it actually tasted pretty good.

I was coaxed into taking it because I was told that silk amino acids are good for people who are dieting and trying to lose weight without losing their muscle mass. It’s hard to lose a significant amount of weight without losing muscle mass along with it. That’s one of the reasons your metabolism slows down when you lose weight. However, if you can burn the fat without losing your muscle mass then your metabolism will be humming. You’ll become a fat burning machine…  that’s the goal.

I do have to say I felt surprisingly good during our workout but it’s hard to tell if the supplements worked or not. I kind of felt like a preschooler who was just given a new pair of iron man shoes… with velcro. If you aren’t familiar with the preschool world this means you are now officially SUPER fast and you have to run with authority on the play ground. That is precisely what I did during this workout.

A Quadtastic WOD

Part 1: Box Squats

5 x 10 at a fairly heavy working weight

(our working weight was 93 lbs)

Stack weights on a box until your legs just break parallel with the ground.  Keep tension as you lower down to sit on the box. Don’t bounce off of the box but sit for a second then stand as fast as you can with proper form. (note: you won’t be able to do as much weight as you normally would because you are working on your technique.)


Part 2

Sled Pulls (legs) x 3

Load up the sled at a heavy weight (we had 2 45 lb plates) sit down into your heels, straighten your arms and pull the sled backward as fast as you can to the other side of the gym.


Then turn it around, grip it behind you and sprint back.


Sled pulls (arms) x 3

Take a little weight off, sit down in it again but pull the weight toward your body rowing style only using your arms.


(It’s a little fuzzy but you get the point.)

Once again you sprint back pulling the sled behind you.

super fast

I’m obviously the fastest kid on the playground 😉

Part 3: AMRAP

(as many rounds as possible)

12 minutes

400 meter row

15 russian kettlebell swings

10 box jumps

I felt so good after this workout I woke up super early the next morning for a sunrise run.

sunrise run

Shortly after is when the quads started crying.

Later that night Brent and I went on our first date in a long time. We went to Jake’s Brew Bar and drank too many weird beers. One tasted like the incense you smell burning at shops that sell Bob Marley posters and another one tasted like balsamic vinegar… straight up vinegar.

We also sat at a big table lunch room style and made friends with a guy named Robert. After we left the bar to eat dinner we got into an argument over who Robert was attracted to most.

Brent-“He was staring at you to over compensate for wanting to stare at me.”

In other words, we had fun. A little too much fun because now I have a headache. Beer before weigh-in is never a good idea so I’ve put off stepping on the scale. In fact I’m going to have to take a little break to do it. Hang on…

I weighed in at 191.4… it could have been worse but I need to get out of the 190’s we’ve been hanging out there for way too long.

I’ve been issued a challenge from another blogger who does boot camps and develops clean recipes for her clients. It starts on Monday and lasts for 6 weeks… I think I’m going to have to take her up on it.

There’s nothing to boost your motivation like a good old fashioned challenge. You’re supposed to be able to do the workouts at home mainly using body weight so you guys can join me in the challenge if you are up for a little friendly competition. There will be three workouts a week and I’m supposed to try two clean recipes per week as well. I’ll post the workout and my time/reps and you guys can do the same in the comments section. I’ll also post the recipes if I find them especially delightful. It should be fun!

Now it’s time to get back into weight loss mode… who’s with me?! This is where you do the slow clap until we’re all pumped up. The only problem is that it doesn’t really work when you’re by yourself. So you can just go ahead and do that in your head.