The Rabbit Hole

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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.

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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.

Week 37 Weigh-in

It’s weigh in day! I’m currently trying to write this post with a monkey on my back…

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Penelope says “Hi!”

I must say, I’ve had a pretty good week. I’ve basically been completely on my own since my husband has worked a ton of over time. Despite that I still managed to do all of my workouts and eat the way I was supposed to. It payed off… I weighed in at 187.2. This is about 9 pounds lighter than I was a few weeks ago. This morning I woke a bit earlier than usual for a crossfit workout with my friend KJ.

We were in full viking mode!

KJ and I got to play with a new contraption called trap bar at the gym today. We had to deadlift the weight and carry it across the gym and back. We had no idea how much the bar weighed so we just piled on the weights until our grip couldn’t handle it anymore. To our surprise the bar alone ended up weighing 100 lb..

When we added it up KJ ended up carrying 200 pounds! She’s the cutest badass I’ve ever seen but don’t let the pigtails fool ya!

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I managed to squeeze out 220 lbs but I didn’t look as cute doing it. That’s okay though…vikings don’t have to be cute.

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The rest of the workout included heavy prowler pulls (lots of them)

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We also did rubberband rows and banded straight arm pull downs…

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We ended with 3 one hundred meter row sprints. We were pretty much spent by the end of it but it was so nice to have it done by 8:00.

Friday’s are usually my free day. However, I had my cheat meal on Wednesday when Bridget and I had our Harry Potter movie night so now I’m all thrown off. My brain keeps telling me that I need something sweet to celebrate my weight loss but that sort of reward system is what has stalled all of my progress so far. So, I’ll be spending the remainder of the day trying to avoid the popcorn and candy trap because that’s what I’m craving at the moment.

Self-discipline sucks because as far as it’s concerned there is no such thing as instant gratification. You just have to stick to your guns and battle that inner brat in order to reap the benefits later. So, I guess that’s what I’ll do… even though it’s not as much fun.

How did your week go? Did you do everything you set out to do?

Week 36 Weigh-in

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Today is weigh-in day! I must say this is the first time in a few weeks where I wasn’t dreading it. I weighed in at 190 on the dot.

This morning was busy. I had to get up early and head over to a coffee shop to get some writing done before a meeting that I had scheduled. It was a conference call so I wore my most attractive workout gear so that I was ready to workout right afterward. And by attractive I mean I wore one of my husband’s t-shirts that smells like his deodorant no matter how thorough I wash it. (Is it strange that I’m attracted to the smell of Old Spice?)

The call ran over a bit so I was late. However, that didn’t stop me from being a bad ass for about thirty minutes…

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Told you that shirt was attractive, puke green never looked so good!

The workout we did entailed pushing around tractor tires and… well, each other. There was also lots of sprinting which I love because it reminds me of the old days when I played soccer. I may be chubby but I’m still pretty fast. In fact, I’m so fast you can’t even get a picture of me doing it. Check out this photo of me looking like one of the Incredibles.

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Okay, so maybe the real reason I’m blurry is because this was taken with my phone which sucks. But the upside to having a crappy phone is that someone turns it in every time you to lose it. Every. Time. (Even if I kind of wish they wouldn’t.) But it’s all for the best because my job does kind of depend upon it for those conference calls.

I’ve been focusing on balancing all aspects of my life this week. I’m a freelance writer, a grad student and a mom. Everything that I do is from home so I’ve been struggling with making boundaries. I still struggle with designating times where I focus on the task at hand instead of trying to do it at the same time. I want to be present with my girls and make sure that the time I spend with them is quality. I also have to carve out time to get all of my work done which usually depends on me leaving the house and everyone in it.

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And don’t forget those weight loss goals!

It’s my goal to weigh 180 by the end of September. I’m determined to make that happen. My motivation is at an all time high. I’ve got this strange competitive fire in my belly that I used to get when I played sports. It’s a gut feeling that urges me to push harder because I don’t want to be beat.  Deep down it tells me that if I just try harder I can conquer anything that comes me way and it challenges me to dream of going beyond the land of good enough and into the land of the great.

I’m not just talking about weight loss, though that’s part of it. I’m talking about becoming the person I’ve always dreamed I would be. It doesn’t just happen over night without putting forward effort. Thinking about it doesn’t make it happen but doing something about it does. So that’s where I’m at… I’m doing something.

What about you? Are you the person you always thought you would be? If so congratulations!!!

Get The Damn Thing Done!

Today has been great so far… it started out like a Prius commercial. The sky was super blue, there was a nice cool breeze and everyone who wasn’t at work was out walking their dog. I seriously felt like I was in a cartoon.

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I was out of iced coffee so I loaded up the baby (still in her jammies) for a walk to the coffee shop. She ate breakfast on the way and was more than willing to share her super slimy banana with me. It was cute.

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As appetizing as that banana was I passed because I was planning on making some eggs before my morning workout at Crossfit Bodywerx. I should have taken her up on her offer though, because before I knew it an hour and a half had passed and I only had ten minutes to get to the gym.

I got home just in time to transfer Penelope from her stoller directly into her car seat… still dressed in her jammies. The whole jammie thing wasn’t cute anymore since she was caked with regurgitated cereal and smashed bananas. I was a little shaky and jumpy from only consuming coffee  but I didn’t have time to eat… I had to go!

Brent had just gotten off of work and when I arrived he had announced that our workout was going to be a conditioning one. I was really wishing I had eaten some of that slimy banana before I got there. So I guess we’ll call this workout…

You Should’ve Eaten You Idiot!

Warm-up:

Toy soldiers and spiderman lunges

Part 1:

30 seconds on 10 seconds off of battling kettlebell swings. A battling kettlebell swing is when one person swings the kettlebell and another person stands in front of them and pushes it down as hard as they can once it has been swung to shoulder height. There were three of us so we rotated between being the bitchy kettlebell pusher, the swinger and the left out loser who has to sit in a squatting position during the 30 second exercise. We stayed in position for three sets and then switched. We did this for 5 rounds.

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(Brent still refuses to take pictures so I squatted and photographed at the same time… it was awkward.)

Part 2:

Next we did a series where we wore a weight belt connected to a resistance band connected to a pole. We had to push the prowler as hard and as far as we could against the resistance. One other person pushed it right back to you and the left out loser did planks. We also did this for 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off, three times in a row before switching. We did each exercise three rounds each.

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(Brent yelled at me when I took this picture because I wasn’t planking.)

Part 3:

We had a 12 pound ball slam and a 20 pound ball slam. We had to do as many slams as fast as possible in a 20 second period of time. Rest 10 seconds while simultaneously rotating. So we started off with the light ball, switched over to the heavy ball and then rested (tried not to puke). I think we did this for three rounds I don’t remember because I was on autopilot by this time.

Part 4:

Five rounds of resistance band sprints. They aren’t attractive when you’ve got some belly fat to lose but I love them all the same. I feel like an unstoppable freight train.

By the time I got home I was REALLY ready to eat. Luckily I had some left over avocado chicken salad on hand.

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My friend Amanda was telling me about this awesome chicken salad recipe that she had pinned on Pinterest. At the same time her husband was telling Brent about this recipe that they had tried… You know it’s good if dudes are sitting at the gym talking recipes.

They have these elements in common:

2 C. shredded chicken

1/4 C. light mayo

1/4 C. greek yogurt

lime or lemon juice

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 avocado

Other than that you can add whatever elements you want to it. One has cilantro and lime another has dill. In this one I added red onion. Basically, if you stick to the ingredients above you can’t go wrong. Then you can simply add what you like to it. I usually have shredded chicken on hand because I’ll stick the chicken that is about to expire in my crock pot covered with stock and a bay leaf. Then  I forget about it and go about my business until I remember that I was cooking chicken. It’s usually falling apart by then 🙂

Anyway… yesterday I mentioned wanting to set some weight loss goals that actually have numbers attached to them. I tend to shy away from this because I don’t want to become obsessed with numbers. I don’t like letting the scale determine my self worth.

At the same time I’ve found myself stuck in a comfort zone. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I think I’m pretty awesome. This wasn’t always the case. In fact, when I first started this blog I was miserable with myself. I was trying to lose weight out of desperation. That’s never a fun place to be.

I have gotten to a point where I still need to lose a good thirty pounds to be healthy but it’s hard to stay motivated when you can convince yourself that you look good where you’re at. Let’s be honest, the majority of weight loss motivation stems from a really shallow place of simply wanting to look good. Don’t get me wrong I have my moments when I can look pretty rough. But I clean up nice. As long as I’ve showered, fixed my hair and actually put makeup on. I can look GOOD. (Given I’m not wearing something with a tight waste band.)

However, just because I know how to hide my fat it doesn’t mean I’m in the clear. So that is why I’ve decided to make some concrete goals to strive for. Goals are good because they tap into my competitive nature.

So here they are…

Long Term Goal: I want to weigh 165 or less by Thanksgiving Day. 165 is a good healthy weight for me. It was what I weighed when I got married. Thanksgiving is significant because last November is when I started writing this blog. I didn’t actually share it until January but this would be the one year anniversary of writing this blog. I want to have reached my ultimate goal by then.

Also, the holidays are a slippery slope for me. Once Halloween approaches with all of it’s accessible candy I turn into that grimlin that I’ve already talked about. I kind of want to avoid that.

Over the course of the summer I have proven that I am perfectly capable of maintaining. That will be my goal during this year’s holiday season. For once I would like to spend the holidays thinking about all of the fun I’m having with my family and not about how fat I’m going to get.

Short Term Goals: So here is where the math comes in. I have exactly 15 weeks before Thanksgiving Day. If I lose an average of two pounds a week I will be beyond my long-term goal. But I need to set up short little goals in order to actually get there. I just need to get the damn thing done!

September 27, 2013- 180 lbs

October 25, 2013- 170 lbs

November 28, 2013 (Thanksgiving Day)- 165 lbs

I know where I’m going but I can’t really think of any way to reward myself when I reach a goal. That’s where you come in. Help a sister out! I need non-food related ways to reward myself as I reach these mini goals. I would love to hear your ideas.

I would also love it if you would join me. You may not need to lose weight, in that case you can make your goals fitness oriented or even organizational… or professional. Whatever your goals are I would love to hear them as well! Good luck!

*I’m wishing you luck because I want you to wish me luck.  Kind of like when you offer someone a bite of your food or when you tell your friend she looks good… Okay, I’m stopping now.*

Week 24 Weigh-in

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When I first started this blog I told myself that I would write it as if I were talking to my best friend. No holding back, no social graces just me being me.

Well recently I’ve been getting emails from several companies asking me to do product reviews. I’ve even had a few companies offer to pay me for my subscription list… which I rejected right away. If I’m following your blog and you take the liberty to sell my email address to some schmuck with greasy hair and gold rings on his fingers (that’s how I envision him) then you and I would have a problem because I would be pissed. I’m the only one allowed to share my private information.

As soon as these offers started piling in I couldn’t help but feel super excited because that is the first step to taking this blogging business to the next level. However, I’ve been a little apprehensive about this because I’m all about being brutally honest. My fear was that I would receive a gift from a business and be forced to say mean things about it. I don’t want to come across as ungrateful. At the same time my number one concern is that my blog stays authentic…. just me being me.

I’ve weeded through the companies by sending them the disclaimer that if they want me to review their products they better feel 100% confident about what they are trying to sell because I wasn’t going to simply give a good review  because I got some free stuff.

That being said, Scout got a package in the mail today from Purina Dog Chow.

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Purina asked me to be a part of their Healthy Hundred which is a family based program that focuses on getting outside with your kids and dogs and playing to your hearts content. I accepted immediately because playing outside is what I’m all about!

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I opened the box and it was like doggie Christmas in this place! Scout got a dog bowl, a leash, a puppy pedometer, his own travelling water bottle, and a bandana. (He’s been fixed but he still has to look nice for the ladies.) We also received a flip camera and a custom journal with family fitness tips. This is perfect because Bridget decided she wanted to start running with me in the mornings. Scout is the official running partner of choice at our house. When Bridget get’s older and wants to run on her own I’ll insist on him being her chaperone. Nobody is going to mess with a chick with a Dingo by her side.

We also received a 32 pound bag of Purina Light & Healthy dog food. It arrived just in time, Scout was running a little low on food. As I poured it into Scout’s food bin I became a little concerned. It was comprised of different colored nuggets with different textures. In history Scout has not been a fan of the variety dog foods like that. I think it confuses him. He would only pick out the hard brown pieces because that’s what he’s used to.

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I poured him a big bowl full anyway and at first he would take a mouthful and spit it out on the ground and eat each type separately. The green bits first, then the red, then the white… In my head I was thinking, Are you kidding me? Come on Nancy just eat the damn food. Then he stopped being so delicate and just chowed down on it. I guess he just had to make sure each piece lived up to standard. We haven’t had a problem with it since. He loves it! I’m so relieved because they sent us some pretty cool stuff.

We haven’t used the pedometer yet but I’m looking forward to it because I have no idea how far my favorite running route around my house is. I don’t know if you noticed but I posted a picture of my to-do list yesterday and the only thing that wasn’t marked off was “workout”. I haven’t quite gotten back into my groove since vacation just yet. In fact I’ve been putting off weighing myself since we got back. I usually do it first thing in the morning on weigh-in day but this morning I found myself watering the plants and playing with Penelope. Anything to keep me off the scale. Finally after Penelope went down for her morning nap I did it…

It said 191.8… What?!

My weigh-in before vacation was 192 and I told myself that I would relax and go into maintenance mode. I didn’t think it would actually work though! I think this is the first time in my life that I’ve gone on vacation and didn’t gain a pound. Yay me! This has got me so motivated to keep going!

What is your vacation strategy? Do you stick to your diet or do you say “to hell with it” and go all out?