The Monday Diet


Teaching is taking over my life guys.


I came upon this realization the other day while I was putting on my quotation mark earrings.


This isn’t the only questionable fashion choice I’ve made recently. I’ve also taken to wearing jeggings to work.


My normal pants are just a wee bit tight. Not tight enough to cause me to run to the store to buy more, but tight enough for me to want to avoid them. You see, I had been on the Monday diet for the whole month of February. You know how it goes, you decide that Monday will be the day that you will be super strict on eating. You make all of these plans and get all hyped up. Then Monday sucks, so you come home, eat cookies and drink wine. Then Tuesday rolls around and you are just one day away from Wednesday which is practically the weekend, soooo you might as well just wait start again next Monday…

I was on that diet.

Lately, I had been treading water just trying to keep up. Work life was kicking my ass, family life was kicking my ass, the size of my ass was kicking my ass. This doesn’t mean I’m not having fun. I just have a whole lot of life happening all at once.

It appears I am allergic to many things in life (stress, knee injuries, having babies, almost having babies, working full-time, surgery) all of these things make me fat.

I’m fat again ya’ll. True story.

For some people this may be a one time thing, but for me I have a trigger in my brain that causes me to get fat. I’m not alone, I know that, but it still bums me out.

Every time this happens (I hate that I have to write that phrase out) I go through the same cycle. It goes a little something like this…

  1. Oh shit I’m fat!
  2. How did this happen?
  3. Don’t worry it’ll go away.
  4. It’s not going away!
  5. Do something about it.
  6. What the hell do I do?
  7. Oh shit I’m fat!
  8. This is stupid, get it together.
  9.  I still don’t know what to do!
  10. Ok, I’m ready now.
  11. What was my problem? This is much easier than I made it out to be.

It takes about a month to go through all of that emotional turmoil. It’s exhausting, and kind of ridiculous. Which is probably why I didn’t want an audience while I went through it. (That and I didn’t have time to write it all out.)

I’m pretty sure this cycle has a little something to do with my own biological seasons. I have my own summer, fall, winter and spring. Having the predisposition to depression can cause any season to show up at any moment. For the past month I was plunged into winter… sluggish and unmotivated. But suddenly little buds are starting to pop up, and I just know that it won’t be long before I’m blooming all over again. In fact, I can feel it coming now.

I think it all started with a walk around the block.

I hadn’t exercised (other than my weekly physical therapy sessions) in months. Walking around the block was such a hard core workout. I was sweaty and my right leg was exhausted. But I finally got to just listen to music that wanted to listen to. I got to feel the fresh breeze on my flushed face. And I got to gulp down clean fresh air. It was divine.

After that, I started walking every day, going further and further.

Then I started waking up earlier than normal just to have a moment to myself before the day begun. I swapped my nightly wine for morning tea. I gave myself some time to read, or write. You would be amazed at what can happen if you force yourself to relax and be mindful.


Slowly I started to come a live again and in addition to my quiet time in the mornings I chose two days out of the week to go to the gym in the mornings before work. It took some bartering with Brent to make it work. He’s in paramedic school, so he works out in the mornings since he’s in school all day. I begged him to give me two days of his five days. He agreed but said that he would take them back the first time I didn’t do it. This only motivated me more.

I’ve also gone back to having my weekly sunrise walk with my friend Andrea. We switched it to a weekend morning, so I don’t have to rush to get to work. Last time we ended up walking for almost 90 minutes just talking and catching up. It didn’t even feel like a work out, but when I got home and looked at my fit bit I had already walked my 10,000 steps. I ended up burning somewhere around 3,400 calories that day.

After a while other things started to fall into place again. I guess all of my previous attempts at being healthy and losing weight weren’t a complete waste after all. It turns out I had developed some healthy habits before that I was able to jump right back into.

A few weeks ago I felt like I was missing out on life because life was consuming me whole. I didn’t think I could add one more thing to the equation. I was just too busy and too stressed out. But surprisingly, the key to my happiness was adding more and prioritizing it. I added more alone time, more self-reflection, more yummy clean food and fresh clean air. It is surprising how quickly the little things add up.

Before I knew it I was five pounds down and that much closer to shedding my jeggings.

It works the other way too. The little things can be what derails you from the life you want to live. I always forget this, but it really is a matter of deciding what kind of life you want and simply living it… one step at a time.

Being Organized Isn’t As Cool As I Thought It Would Be

***First things first: The winner of ZHENA’s Slim Me Tea is Tiffany Best! Email me at and I’ll have it shipped to you right away :)***


Do you have any idea how many posts I’ve written on this blog dedicated to getting my shit together?

A lot. 

This is because I am constantly on a mission to be better than I am. To be perfectly honest with you, sometimes I just suck at all things life related. I have this idea in my head that if only I were a bit more organized than all of my problems would magically be solved and all of my anxiety would cease to exist.

With this in mind, I woke up super early this morning, brewed myself a nice cup of coffee and settled down with all of my planning materials to plan out meals and workouts for the coming week…


Then I got bored and ended up reading this blog post that wants to help you have a more organized home in just 4 weeks. With visions of perfection dancing in my head I quickly moved on to this other blog post she wrote about creating a routine. It didn’t take me long to feel completely inadequate. You see, perfection isn’t my forte…

So, when Brent suggested I put aside my planning materials and take the girls sledding instead, I gladly ditched what I was doing in order to partake in some old fashioned family fun.

IMG_3200        1496134_10202773669843665_1659797368_o

After we got home and put Penelope down for her nap I finally settled down to plan out my meals and workouts for the next week. As I said in my previous post, I’m using this week as a dress rehearsal for the weeks ahead. For the next 16 weeks I will be completing my student teaching. This means that in order to accomplish everything I have laid out before me I have to be organized (even if I think it makes me a boring person). I’m hoping as the weeks progress this ritual of planning everything out ahead of time will become easier because it took me forever to decide what I wanted to eat and what kind of workouts I wanted to do.

So, here it goes… my attempt at being way more organized than I actually am.

Workout Schedule:

I haven’t lifted weights in nearly a month due to sickness and the holidays so I’ve decided to take it easy focusing on three movements back squat, push press and deadlift. 

Monday– (4 a.m.) 3 x 5 back squat, 15 min HIIT treadmill session, 30 min elliptical

Tuesday– yoga

Wednesday– 3 x 5 push press, 3 mile run jog

Thursday– yoga

Friday– 3 x 5 deadlift, 15 min HIIT treadmill session, 30 min elliptical

Saturday– off

Sunday– off

There’s a lot of yoga and cardio mixed in there this week because it helps me clear my mind. I’ve cried no less than 3 times today about my days as a stay-at-home mom being over. I caught myself sniffing Penelope’s head more times than I would like to admit because I’m super sad about not being able to have as much time with her as I’ve become accustomed to. (If you are a working mother and you kind of want to punch me in the face that’s okay.)

Planned Meals

I didn’t do any of the prepping that I will be required once student teaching starts because, quite frankly, I didn’t have to. 

MondayChicken Harvest Soup

Tuesday– New Year’s Eve Dinner (That means I’ll be having lobster tails if Whole Foods has them on sale like they did last year.)

WednesdayKale Fried Rice with pan seared chicken

ThursdaySpaghetti Squash Lasagna with meat sauce

Friday– rotisserie chicken with balsamic roasted butternut squash and onions with couscous (Just drizzle veggies with olive oil and balsamic vinegar add salt and pepper and roast at 400 30-40 minutes.)

Here are a few salads I want to try for lunch to see if they would be good for packing and taking to school with me later on.

Chopped Brussels Sprout Salad with Creamy Shallot Dressing

Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing

Lacinato Kale Salad

Okay, I’m tired now. According to my schedule I needed to be in bed forty-five minutes ago in order to ensure I had a full seven hours of sleep before heading out to the gym. Plus, I kind of want to take a shower and wash all of this nerdiness off of me. I feel like I need to do something reckless in order to regain my street cred… I might just live on the wild side and not even edit this post. What do you think of that Type A’ers?!

I’ll check in with you later to let you know if I actually crawled out of bed on time 😉

The Rabbit Hole


Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about where I was a year ago and the difference is astronomical. Fall is a slippery slope for me and it all starts going down hill from here.

When I feel the weather getting crisp and see the leaves start to change my inner fat kid starts to take over and decides that the only proper way to celebrate the arrival of Fall is to get a pumpkin spiced latte… and a cookie. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I did it every once in a while but this time last year I pretty much did it every day.

I knew it was bad so I’d start to search for healthy recipes before heading out to the grocery store with the best intentions in mind. But somehow I would take a wrong turn in cyber space and before I knew it I would be  swept away in photos of apple pie, cinnamon rolls and anything baked with pumpkin.  I would already feel deprived because I was telling myself I shouldn’t eat any of these things and the deprivation just made me want it more. I would start to feel sorry for myself because I wasn’t allowed to have these things (even though I had a cookie for breakfast) and I would lament over how unfair it was that I wasn’t able to enjoy the festive goodies of the season.

After drooling over these forbidden foods and having already given in to the pumpkin spice latte and a cookie I’d feel like I had already ruined the day as far as eating well was concerned. So, I’d head to the market with a shopping list in hand that only listed the ingredients for a delectable pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe that I had found on Pinterest.

During my drive to the market I would decide that I was just simply too tired to actually make anything from scratch. So I’d go through a drive through for dinner instead and swear that the next day would be better, only it wouldn’t be because I’d already fallen down the rabbit hole…

It was like I was Alice in Wonderland and that cookie I had with my coffee was the thing that causes Alice to grow until her face is plastered against the ceiling. The only problem was that I couldn’t find that little bottle that was supposed to reverse the process. My inner fat kid was the Mad Hatter who was steering me in wacky directions. Suddenly I was spiraling out of control…

Before I knew it,  I had found myself trapped in an “All or Nothing” mindset that usually ended with me stuffing my face with some horrible food item that I didn’t even want to eat but felt compelled to consume since I wouldn’t be able to eat it the next day when my “diet” started. Everything was centered around the next day… or the next, when everything was supposed to magically get better.

Fast forward through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and I ended up weighing ten pounds more than I did when I walked out of the hospital with an inflated uterus after having my baby. You’ve seen the pictures… you know.

Eventually I came to a point where tomorrow was today.

As the year has progressed I’ve managed to lose 40 pounds but not without it’s fair share of slip ups.  I’ve learned a lot and I’ve found that the times that I’ve screwed up the most were a direct result from being impatient. I also found that I ended up having the most success during those times when I just cleared my head and simply made the decisions that were best for me in that very moment. During those times things just seemed fall into place. I naturally made healthier choices because they felt good.

This Fall I feel like I’ve come full circle. I just got done eating a bowl full of roasted brussels sprouts for lunch and I’m about the head out the door for a nice long run in the crisp cool air.  I have every intention of fully enjoying this beautiful Fall day. Later on if I decide that I want to eat a cookie I’m going to eat the damn thing and I’m going to enjoy that too because it’s all about balance.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that the key to improving your life is self acceptance. Accepting yourself as you are doesn’t mean that you are settling.  It’s about appreciating where you are in the moment so that you can appreciate where you are going. You may hate where you are in the moment but at least you’ll know where you are so that you can start taking the steps to where you want to go.


And with that I’ll leave you will a song that reminds me of the queen of hearts. The video is weird but the song makes me dance my ass off.

Going Granola


Well folks, it appears I’m going to have to grow out my armpit hair and wear Birkenstocks (with socks) because I’m going granola on this bitch.

I’m a fairly laid back kinda gal so I never really buy into anything too quickly. It takes quite a bit to get me to join a bandwagon but the more I research healthy eating habits the more scared I get.

Example? Sure…

… this only names a few.

What the heck?! If I can’t simply buy stuff from the grocery store and feel confident that I’m actually getting what I paid for then what the hell am I going to eat?

It’s hard enough trying to keep track of the amount of food you eat and the amount of sodium it contains along with the amount saturated fat it might have without having to worry about the amount of toxic crap you might also be eating.

I really wish I could just bury my head in a hole full of Little Debbie cakes and pretend like I had never heard a word of this.

During this weight loss process I’ve gone on and on about how I have PCOS a hormonal issue that makes me fat, grumpy, pimply, depressed and… well, gross. I’ve done tons of research on PCOS trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with me. What I’ve found is that the medical community is still a little stumped by this “new” phenomenon because in truth it has only recently been given its own place in the diagnosis world.

They don’t know what causes it but I’m wondering if it isn’t due to all of the processed foods we eat as Americans.

Because of this Brent and I have decided to cut out processed foods and only eat meats and dairy that haven’t been treated with any hormones or antibiotics.

This isn’t cheap. In fact, my wallet cries…

Let me give you a little back ground on how cheap I am. I drive a 2001 Toyota Camry that has over 200,000 miles on it. It’s a looker with a dent on this side from where two firefighters got into a wrestling match over who would sit in the front seat AND the driver’s side door handle has been broken off due to a too strong dude (my husband) forcing it open when it was frozen shut in the mountains. My husband has been dying to get me a new car but I would rather drive a hoopty than have a car payment. These little choices have led to me being able to stay home with the girls a little while longer.

We had been toying with making these lifestyle changes for a while but really struggled with how expensive it was. Plus, I would really like to pretend like I didn’t know Cheetos were that bad for me so that I wouldn’t feel so bad about indulging every once in a while. We would start, only to back off due to the price of this lifestyle. Then I would stumble upon something else I didn’t know about and get scared into doing it again. All of the signs keep pointing to the fact that we can’t just simply keep turning a blind eye and eating the stuff we grew up on simply because change sucks.

It’s so sad, what kind of world do we live in that it’s not safe for a kid to enjoy Doritos with their peanut butter and jelly sandwich?! (look at the GMOs in your snack list)

It’s not a matter of buying into all of the hype. It is more about investing in the well-being of our family and our health, short-term and long-term. In other words… we’re going granola.

My friend Andrea was on the ball much sooner than I was. In truth, I always envied her resolve but also found it to be a bit weird at the same time. “What? You’re not going to eat that chip? Are you even American?” Now as I’ve stumbled upon all of this new information I flood her with questions on how she does it. That’s when she lent me her book, “Food Rules” by Micheal Pollan.

food rules

I read it one day during Penelope’s nap time. After getting through the first chapter you just fly through the rules that he provides for you. I have to tell you, it all makes sense.

Andrea has been following these rules for quite a while and I always wondered how she managed to bake goodies on the weekend and not gain any weight. I felt like she had found the perfect balance and was gracefully going through life with the secret that I would never uncover.

Now, we all know that it doesn’t matter what I read… I’m still going to be a hot mess. But it doesn’t hurt to add a little more knowledge in your arsenal of things to worry about. Okay, so it hurts a little.

In my quest for knowledge I keep stumbling upon information about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). The more I read about it the more I feel like I’m in a bad science fiction novel. This stuff truly scares me. I didn’t even know what a GMO was a year ago.

Recently my friend Tony informed me of a protest that is to take place in Denver against GMO’s. I keep asking myself if this stuff scares me enough to pull me out of the suburbs to participate in a protest.

March against

Honestly, when I first saw this flyer my first thought was, “Good I won’t have to worry about this for much longer because other people will take care of the problem for me.”

(What? I didn’t get overweight by being proactive.)

However, there is a big part of me that really wants to go to this. I’ve never been to a demonstration because I tend to be a pacifist. I don’t want to take the kids with me because Penelope is a teething nutcase and my odds of going depends greatly on Brent’s schedule for that day but the more I think about it the more I want to be there.

There is no telling if I’ll actually make it or not. If I do go I won’t be wearing Birkenstocks and I’ll probably shave my armpits if I have the time  because I was only kidding about that earlier. Regardless of whether I go one thing is for sure… Granola’s got a whole new look to it that includes strollers, yoga pants, and a little bit of suburban house wife swagger.

What do you guys think about all of this stuff? Are you going to do the march in your area?

Can You Come Out and Play?

When I was a kid I was the serious outdoor type. The thought of being contained in a classroom all day was torture.

I was constantly marching up and down the street knocking on doors in search of someone to play with. Even in the sixth and the seventh grade when you are supposed to be too cool to “play” I would be found touting the words, “Can you come out and play?”

I never outgrew this phase apparently. You can ask my brother-in-law Bryce who was surprised to find that I carry roller blades in the trunk of my car just in case the need arises. To this day I still wear shorts under my summer dresses. I never know when I’ll feel the urge to do a cart wheel or flip upside down on the monkey bars.

Today was one of those days where I couldn’t contain myself. I had to be outside!

It started off at 6:30 with a run. It was the first morning I didn’t have to wear a jacket all year and it was gorgeous out.

best morning

When I got home I was in the best mood. Being a pedestrian always does that to me. I whipped up a green smoothie for me and some rocky mountain toast for the girls. It was so beautiful, outdoor dining was a must.

After I dropped Bridget off at school and got Penelope down for a nap I decided to brew some sun tea.


Tea reminds me of home (Texas) and I couldn’t help but think that my friend Sarah would be super proud of my southern moment. Many years ago Sarah came out to Colorado for my wedding. During that time we had a dinner at my in-law’s house. During the dinner Sarah was shocked to find that the tea didn’t have any sugar in it. She turned to my mother-in-law and in her thick Texas accent asked, “Do ya’ll have sweet tea?”

Brent’s family got a kick out of her southern drawl. Sarah also tried to take a yoga class before the dress rehearsal and passed out because she wasn’t used to the altitude. She woke up to the people saying, “Oh my God! The Texas girl passed out!” Of course we teased her about that too…

But then during my first year of living out here in Colorado she came to visit me and made me fried green tomatoes to heal my homesick heart. She’s the best.

Anyway, as soon as Penelope woke up from her nap which took all of ten minutes we headed out the door for our first picnic of the year with her friend Lucy!


Penelope and Lucy have been best friends for years… they go way back to the fetus days.

Penelope spent most of this time checking out everyone else’s picnics, sitting down on other people’s blankets and helping herself to their strawberries and pretzels. I guess my strawberries weren’t good enough. I somehow managed to eat a grilled chicken salad while trying to keep Penelope contained. I wasn’t very successful.

I thought for sure that when we got home afternoon nap would be a breeze. She slept long enough for me to put on my bathing suit and spray on some “dry” tanning oil before picking some weeds in my backyard.

The “dry” oil was anything but dry. I ran my hand over my shoulder to find that I was dripping in it. I was nice and shiny for my neighbors viewing pleasure… hey, that’s what they get if they are peeking into my back yard.

Note: bugs drown in sweat/suntan oil. It’s gross.

After I was satisfied with the amount of weeds I had plucked I sat down with a snack and a book. I found the Casual Vacancy from J.K. Rowling at the library in the “Lucky Day” section.


I got about two pages in before Penelope decided to crash my party. It was okay I couldn’t help but want to snuggle with that little munchkin who still smelled like strawberries… and oranges.

The outdoor fun didn’t stop after I picked Bridget up from school. We ate dinner outside before going for a stroll through the neighborhood. Once we got Penelope down for bed Bridget and I snuck outside and jumped on the trampoline together. She was wanting to show me her front flip technique.

I used to do front flips all of the time so I gave it a shot too. Guess what, I’ve still got it 😉