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My name is Cyndi and I am a real person who works out at a real gym, LA Fitness, who eats real food (not from a box or a freezer), and who has gotten real results. I reached a point in my life where I finally decided that feeling good, looking fit, having more energy, and setting a good example for my kids was more important to me than eating the junkie, fatty foods that I had come to love and crave. If you would like to leave a comment or ask a question, please click on the comment tab above or at the bottom. My weight loss and get fit journey starts here.

 

Get Fit Now

 

I will be documenting ups and downs, new eating and workout habits I adopt, tips that help me achieve success, and lessons I have learned from an unhealthy past. Here we go.

 

In honor of Ricky Martin's new 'album'.......My blog is dedicated...... "To Whoever Wants to Listen"

 

Today

 

Month by Month

 

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

 

Day 1

 

I hate dieting, so I don't do it! I try to identify bad habits and drop them, replacing them with better choices. Much easier said than done.

I have completely changed my way of thinking about food in the past 5 years or so. When I owned my business and worked long hours, I ate out more meals than I ate at home. I ate lots of empty carbs and enjoyed many fountain Cokes. I also indulged on lots of hormone injected, antibiotic laden meats and processed foods.

Well, now I eat out less and shop and eat healthier than I ever have - lots of organics (fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, milk....), no whites (breads and pastas), more whole grains, lower sodium, fewer saturated fats, higher fiber, real butter, very few fat free or 'lite' foods, and I drink water, water and more water. I eliminated all soda except for one real Coca Cola (10 - 12 ounces) once per week. I don't believe in fad diets or 'get thin quick' schemes. A healthy lifestyle involves hard work and dedication. Do you have what it takes?

It's hard getting older, so I'm not letting one more day, one more month, or one more year go by without trying to be the BEST that I can be. I had never heard of most of this 'being healthy' stuff when I was in my 20's and now it seems essential to living healthier and staying active. How was I so oblivious? I'm not going to dwell on the past. I'm focused on what I've learned and on my future.

 

 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

So, here I am 2 months later. I have fluctuated up and down about 5 pounds. I have not been consistent and I have not given up my bad habits that keep me heavier than I want to be. Until I change that mind set, no noticeable and lasting results shall come.

 

 

It's Time.....

 

 

Get Fit Now

 

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

 

Day 1

 

Starting Over.......So that attempt was a Crash & Burn! But, the past is in the past.

I realized today that in 2 short months I will be basking in the sun and sand of Turks and Caicos.......and hiding behind the camera. I don't like that about myself. I would love to take family pictures more often and just be in more pics with my girls. They are so lovely and I know that when I'm older and they're older, I will want to look back at those memories, but they won't exist. I take pictures of them and I rarely get in. Sometimes my husband, Al, takes a picture and then I wind up hating it so it gets stored in one of the little black boxes (portable drives) on my desk with the hundreds of thousands of other pictures some of which are never seen again.

So today, I woke up and decided I needed to make some changes. I have been going to a different, more convenient, gym for the past few months. I don't really like it there but it's a closer drive than the my old comfortable favorite so I go. It's very different. I don't know anyone there. It's out of my comfort zone. I haven't really been working hard while I'm there. I barely break a sweat and I'm rarely sore after. So today I drove to my old gym and found my last trainer. His morning schedule was all booked but he hooked me up with a new guy who he had trained so their training styles are comparable.

I told them both that I'm highly motivated to make some changes and to drop about 20 pounds. That's the weight I was at when I looked and felt my best. They both thought that might be too much, but I know it's not.

 

Before & After

 

That's me 20 pounds thinner and at least 20 pounds heavier. In 2009 I lost about 40 pounds and kept it off for over 2 years. I let stress take over my good eating choices and gained about 15 to 20 pounds back - depending on the day.

I have also realized that just tightening up on good eating choices is not enough to actually lose weight. I will have to go on a diet until I'm where I want to be then continue healthy choices to maintain - not gain. I incorrectly believed that as long as I was eating healthy foods, I could eat all I wanted - it's healthy right? Very wrong. I need a new plan and I will work until I figure out what works for me.

I can do it this time!

 

Here's where I am starting. Both of these pictures where taken this summer and nothing has changed.

 

June 2014

Me in June 2014

 

August 2014

 

Me in Aug 2014

 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

 

Day 2

 

My 2 step approach:

Step 1: Cut out processed sugar and simple carbs. Sure sounds easy on paper, well my computer screen, but the truth is those are the 2 things I crave the most. I love cookies and brownies and Ritter's ice cream, well most ice cream. I love warm soft restaurant bread, especially with butter. I love crispy tacos from Chipotle - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 times per week! Yes, it's all true. I love Chipotle Coke too. There's just something about it. I would never drink a can or bottle of Coke. It must be out of a fountain and not all fountain Cokes are created equal. I would never order a Coke in a nice restaurant because it would be served in a glass and it doesn't taste good to me in a glass, so I only order Coke at fast food. So, it should be easy to give up Coke because I rarely eat fast food and now I'm giving that up. I really don't like most fast food anyway.

Step 2: Work harder at the gym. Make my time count when I'm there. No more strolling on the Elliptical or lounging on the recumbent bike. NO MORE!

 

TIP==> Make the most of your gym workout. Work as hard as you can for about an hour to an hour and fifteen. Don't linger longer. Do what you need to do and leave. Get your heart rate up and sweat. When you walk out the door, know that you've worked.

 

Get Fit Now

 

 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

 

Day 3

 

First day with my new trainer, Geoff. We worked hard then I went to spinning. I felt good as I drove home. Geoff gave me some reminders (things I know but have ignored) for my 'alone' workouts. He wants me to include both weight training and circuit training. I'm not afraid of hard work. I just need to include it in my routine again. I know I can do it.

 

 

Friday, October 24, 2014

 

Day 4

 

Having a specific goal with a deadline is very helpful to me. I think if I just set out saying 'I want to lose weight', it would be hard to stay focused and keep on track. My goal gives me two count-downs - one for weight to lose and one for days until swimsuit season. I think milestones are important and seem more achievable. If I had 100 pounds to lose, setting a goal too far into the future and too big, would seem overwhelming and unachievable. I'm sure I would still set 20 - 25 pound goals for every few months and work toward and celebrate each milestones.....not with 'bad' food, of course. Maybe I'll celebrate my milestones/achievements with a tirp to the mall and a new outfit.

 

 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

 

Measure Up

 

I didn't want to do it, but I knew I had to. I had to break out the tape measure in order to have a baseline. No matter how painful it is, you'll be glad you did it down the road. I just keep telling myself that. I documented all of my measurements and tucked them away for future review - by me and only me.

 

I remind myself every day that a diet is a temporary state but a healthy lifestyle is for life.

 

get fit

 

I cannot even express how much I truly believe in that.

 

 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

 

Who Dey!

 

On our way to the Bengals game - hope I won't eat too junky today......I'm going with a plan to eat a healthy salad for lunch and no snacks at the game. I do love ballpark hotdogs so I may have just one snack. I don't believe in giving up everything you love. I believe in 'everything in moderation'. I do beblieve that you must give up bad habits like finishing every dinner with a dessert or drinking soda with every meal, but a sweet every now and then - GO FOR IT! I know I will.

 

bengals game

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 

Fall in Love

 

First you must fall out of love with food and then you can fall in love with yourself and life.

Life is too short to just sit by and watch it happen. I don't ever want to have to pass up a trip or an adventure or even just an activity because I feel that I can't do it because I'm too out of shape. About 8 or 9 years ago, my husband got up on a Saturday morning and asked me and both of our girls if we wanted to go on the bike trail. They were excited and all I could think about was that I couldn't do it. I rarely rode my bike and I was too out of shape. They went and I stayed home and cried. NEVER AGAIN. NEVER!

 

 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

 

End of Week 1

 

I started documenting everything I was eating - every day. I had built my own database over 5 years ago with all my regular foods. I updated it with some new foods and checked labels to see if they still matched. Many didn't! Some had changed their serving size while others changed calories, fat, carbs, etc. Interesting.......

My main concerns are carbs, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.

I lost 7 pounds right away! But, now I'm stuck. What else can I try????

Here's a sample day:

food journal

 

Today was a real challenge. My friend wanted to have lunch.....where to go???? I needed healthy, real food; he needed low sodium. I thought Panera. We could have salad. Certainly that would be low sodium. WRONG! But we went there anyway. I arrived first and he was late which made me have to stand near the front counter and all those pastries and bread.....OMG! I kept thinking - just one - that won't hurt anything, but that's what always happens, right. First it's just one innocent little treat then that leads to another and another and then the healthy eating diet is blown. I focused on 'eye on the prize' and kept picturing our upcoming vacation. It worked!!! I waited 20 minutes and then ordered my half size salad.

 

TIP==> No one likes to do it, including me, but when you're starting a diet, weigh and measure your food. I have a little scale that I keep handy so that I can see what a serving size really is. I believe that we, as Americans, have forgotten what 'normal' portion sizes look like. With restaurants serving ginormous helpings and everyone ordering 'super-size', who's surprised that many (most) of us are overweight? When I eat tortilla chips with my soup, YES I count them out - either 1 full serving or 1/2, depending on what else I've eaten or will eat that day. When I indulge on a piece of Lindor chocolate, it goes on the list. I have to be accountable for everything. If I'm not honest with myself.....well, you can finish the rest.

 

Get Fit Now

 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

 

Believe

 

Monday, November 3, 2014

 

I LOVE CRISPY TACOS

 

For those who know me, I mean really know me......you know that I love Chipotle and have for many years (at least 15!) I love my crispy tacos, brown rice, chicken, hot, corn, mild, cheese, and extra lettuce, plus a little sour cream on the side, topped off with a fountain Coke. I don't want to give that up, so I've decided to make a change in my menu selection. Chicken bowl with a little brown rice, black beans, chicken, and half a serving of each hot, corn, and mild (there's a ton of sodium in these salsas), a little cheese and extra lettuce. According to Chipotle's nutritional guide, it's less than 600 calories.

 

TIP==> Brush your teeth after each meal. It sends a message to your brain that you are finished eating, plus you get free whitening.

 

white teeth

 

 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

 

Week 2

 

I'm over 2 weeks at -7 pounds. I'm getting frustrated. The first 7 were fairly easy, but now NOTHING. I need help! NOW!

 

get fit

 

I brought my food journals to my trainer and he suggested counting calories and swapping fat for complex carbs. What! That's not what I had done in the past, but I thought I would give it a try.

I traded my breakfast eggs for Kashi cereal with strawberries and fat free organic milk. Added a few more healthy carbs and cut some fat.

Here's a new sample diet.

food journal

 

Get Fit Now

 

 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

 

Week 2

 

When you're working out, always remember to breathe - in through your nose and out through your mouth. Never hold your breath. Proper breathing technique during exercise is important to make sure that your heart and muscles get enough oxygen.

 

 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

 

Week 2

 

My after-workout morning snack is usually a protein shake. I mix the protein powder with water and drink it as I drive home or wherever I'm going. I get in 10 - 12 ounces of water plus 20 - 40 grams of protein. Here's what I drink (1 - 2 scoops). You can only buy it at GNC.

 

protein

 

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

 

Feeling Great!

 

I've only been eating healthier and working harder for a few weeks and I can't believe how much better I feel. I have more energy. I don't get tired during the afternoon, and I sleep better at night. It's truly amazing.

I used to feel so tired between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, I could take a nap on any given day. I usually didn't but on those days that I did, I would fall right to sleep. I don't miss that tired groggy feeling - not one bit! I don't experience low blood sugar episodes any more either.

 

get fit

 

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

 

Week 3

 

Well, I hit 3 weeks at -7 pounds. Really frustrated. I have changed many things and no results!!!

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

 

Week 3

 

YEAH! 2 more pounds gone! I guess my body finally caught up the changes I made.

One of my tips.....I love fountain Coke - period. About 6 years ago, I figured out a plan to still enjoy an occasional fountain Coke. My favorite place to eat 'fast food' is CHIPOTLE. When I go there, I like COKE! I fill the cup to the top with ice. Whatever Coke fits in is what I drink - no refills. If I go to Chipotle more than once per week, I drink water. When we travel, especially outside of the country, I have found that the Coke is different and I really don't like it, so I never drink it. I don't even miss it.

 

Get Fit Now

 

TIP==> Don't go to the grocery store hungry. PERIOD. I sometimes take my protein shake in with me. It keeps me on track. Don't visit the 'processed' isles. Shop the outer edges of the store where the fresh foods are.

 

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

 

A Big Change

 

I went to Chipotle today and......wait for it......I did NOT order a Coke. WHAT! I drank water and it was fine.

So, after I left, I decided that I was not going to drink any more Coke this year. My last soda was Nov 8th.

 

 

TIP==> Be sure to drink lots of water after your workout and keep moving. This helps to prevent lactic acid from building up in your muscles which causes soreness. Some soreness in your muscles is good. It lets you know that you've worked hard. You should not be so sore that you have trouble sitting down or standing up. I sometimes eat a banana, which is a good source of potassium, if I think I might be sore.

 

get fit

 

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

 

Week 3

 

I've decided to cut my calories again. For the first 2 or 3 weeks, I ate about 1600 per day. I'm going to drop about 200 more.

 

 

Friday, November 14, 2014

 

Week 3

 

YEAH! 1 more pound gone!

I have been trying to drink 100 ounces of water a day. It's hard - really hard. My trainer wants me to drink at least a gallon!!! Does he know how many ounces that is????

 

 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

 

Week 4

 

Another pound down.

11 down.....how many more can I lose before swimsuit season - just 37 days from today! EYE ON THE PRIZE!!!

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> When you're working out, remember not to hyperextend or lock out your joints such as your knees or elbows. This takes the work away from the muscle and puts excess stress on the joint. I didn't realize this until a few years ago. So, take it from me, someone who has had bad knees and elbows for years, always use proper form when exercising and stretching. Your body will thank you.

 

 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

 

Week 5

 

It's been a slow week. I'm only down 1/2 pound and now Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I'm worried. I love all the holiday food. My husband is an excellent cook and no one ever goes hungry at our house.

I'm really trying to be strict this week. Hope it pays off.

 

get fit

 

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

 

Thanksgiving Week

 

YEAH! 2 more pounds gone. It's working. Just a few days to get through.

It all goes back to old-school. Weight loss or weight gain is tied directly to calories in and calories out. Sure glad I finally learned that.

 

 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

 

Week 6

 

With only 23 days until swimsuit season, I am up 8 pounds! OMG! Too many tasty goodies and too many leftovers. Whatever is left by tonight is going in the trash.

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> Buy Organic. We started switching over (fruits and veggies) about 5 or 6 years ago. We try to avoid the antibiotic, steroid laden meats, eggs, and milk.

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

 

Fitbit

 

My heart rate monitor hasn't worked in a while so I got out of the habit of checking my heart rate. For several years, my resting heart rate was somewhere between 70 and 80. My resting heart rate now averages around 55! I was so shocked, that I've been checking every day for about a week or so. Just one more way that I know my hard work is paying off. There is a new Fitbit coming out soon - I'm hoping by Christmas because I want one. It has a built in heart rate monitor among other things.

 

 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

 

Just 3 weeks until Vacation

 

Two of my Thanksgiving pounds are gone. Thank Goodness. I am really counting calories now. I try to hit between 1100 and 1300 each day. Some days it's harder than others. I document my food every day along with all the nutrition information. I know by lunch, what I can 'afford' for the rest of the day. I like this system. It keeps me on track.

 

 

TIP==> If you're just starting to eat healthy, or starting a new diet, or trying to improve your fitness, this should be your first step: Clean house. Go through your kitchen and pantry and throw out everything that might sabotage your success. Things to eliminate, from your kitchen and your shopping list, include sugary treats, empty carbs, processed foods, things that aren't real food (cheese slices, margarine, fat free substitutes......).

 

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

 

Count the Calories Every Day

 

I know it's a job, but most anything that you have to work for usually results in a payoff - hopefully a good one. I've been trying to stick to 1100 - 1300 calories per day. It seems to be working. I watch fat but as long as I'm sticking to healthy fats, I'm not too concerned. I do try to limit saturated fat. I stick to mostly healthy carbs.

 

eat healthy

 

 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

 

19 days until Beach

 

Seeing results makes dieting so much easier - another 2 pounds lost! I am now officially down lower than before Thanksgiving. This is my lowest weight since the Spring of 2011.

I have really stepped up my gym workouts too. I started going to classes about a month ago - boot camp and body works. I work harder in this type of environment. No one wants to be the weakest link and I was for sure in my first classes.

The classes I've added to my weekly routine are 60 minutes long and include cardio, full body weight training, tabata, and lots of abs. If you're just starting a workout program, be sure to select one that meets your style and your needs. You may find that you need a beginner class or an instructor that is okay with some students doing low intensity and/or modifications to certain exercises. A water aerobics class might be a great place to start. It is usually low intensity and low impact on your joints and muscles. If you're up for something more challenging, try the boot camps, body works, tabata, spinning, kickboxing, step aerobics, zumba...... Yoga is a great place to start also.

I think tabata is a fairly new term in the workout world. What is tabata??? It is a specific type of interval training where you do moderate to high intensity exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. This is repeated 4 times resting for 1 minute between each set. The exercises might include: pushups, squats, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees, box jumps, jumping jacks, high knees, jump ski, plank, side plank, crunches, side lunges, side squats, jump squats, step ups, jump rope, curtsy lunges...... Exercises may be done with or without weights. Make it your own. Work hard. Sweat.

 

get fit

 

 

Friday, December 5, 2014

 

Form.....It's All About Good Form

 

Good form while you're working out is more important than the weight you are lifting or how many reps you can do in 1 minute. Good form helps you build stronger, longer muscles and helps you reduce the risk of injury. What is good form??? Here's an example. For standard squats, feet are shoulder width apart. Do not bend at the waist. Lower your hips until your hamstrings are parallel with with floor. Keep your chest up. Don't let your knees get in front of your toes. I know, it's a lot to put together all in one move, but it will soon become second nature the more you do it. You may not be able to go 'deep' when you first get started, but make it a goal to strive for. You may even want to do assisted squats at first. Just use a hard chair or a bench. Eventually you will be able to use weights too.

 

 

squat

 

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

 

15 days until beach

 

I have lost so much of my flexibility. That's what happens when you don't work on it. I'm not sure that I will ever be as flexible as I was when I was young, but at least I can teach my daughters what I've learned from my mistakes. Now I stretch after nearly every workout and often during. I work on balance too. I have improved my balance quite a bit and hope to continue working on it for the rest of my life.

 

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

 

16 days until beach

 

How exciting.....2.5 pounds down. I rarely eat out any more. I need to learn how. I am still eating at Chipotle, but I have given up my once a week fountain Coke. I haven't had one in weeks and I don't even miss it.

 

 

TIP==> Be careful when buying low fat, no fat, sugar free products. These aren't necessarily better for you. In many cases, the substitutions include chemicals that are harder for your body to process or may even cause unwanted side effects. For example, eat real butter, just in moderation. Many low fat or fat-free products may have added sugar and/or sodium. Read Labels!

 

Monday, December 8, 2014

 

Not missing it

 

coke

 

 

Well, it's been a month since my last Coke and I don't even miss it. I used to crave it when I would walk by a fountain serving Coke or see the 18-wheeler drive by - you know the one.....with the bigger than life Coke logo and an icy Coca Cola just waiting for someone to take a sip. Soda is so bad for you, not to mention all the sugar, I may never drink one again.

 

 

TIP==> Add more fiber to your daily diet if you're not getting enough. I strive for 30 - 35 grams per day. Some days I blow that number out of the water, and far fewer days, I fall short. Very Important: Make sure that you add extra water. Fiber without water = major backup.

 

 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

 

12 days until warmth, sun and sand

 

18 pounds so far. I can't believe it, and I have almost 2 weeks to go. I am now focusing on my vacation plan and how to keep it off. I'm a morning person, so I always get up early and workout before the others are even up for breakfast. I just need to figure out what I'll do every day, but I know one thing - running on the beach will certainly be included.

Again, for those who know me, you've probably heard me say that I'm allergic to the cold or afraid of it. Well, I'm very proud to say that I have been taking Marly, my younger Golden Retriever, out every day - rain, cold, wind - we go out for at least a mile. The worse the conditions, the faster we go. I even got Marly a vest for those wet and windy days. It's pink polka dot.

 

Can't wait to be here!!!

 

turks & caicos

 

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

 

11 days until warmth, sun and sand

 

Worried about how to make it through the holidays without packing on extra pounds?

You can plan for a little extra eating, but make not overeating a big part of your plan. Remember you are making a lifestyle change, not just going on a diet.

Try to work in a few extra trips to the gym, or longer walks with the dogs, or even a few fast-paced strolls around the mall.

When you're at parties or get together, take a normal serving size of several items that you wish to try and decide that you will not be having seconds, no matter how good it might be.....and don't. Don't deprive yourself of all good things. You'll wind up on a food frenzy comparable only to one of my favorite shows 'Man vs. Food'.

Drink plenty of water before and during the event to help you stay full. Remember, alcohol and soda have lots of empty calories and soda has tons of sugar.

Don't linger around the food tables. Eat and move into another room or at least put some distance between you and the enemy - food.

If you're preparing the holiday meal, make sure that you have at least a couple of healthier dishes that you can turn to while your guests are filling up on mashed potatoes and stuffing. Have a small serving of each, but remember, no seconds.

Try to get in some kind of exercise during the morning of a heavier eating day, like Christmas or New Year's Eve. Believe me, I know those are busy days. I have kids too, but exercise actually reduces stress and helps relieve tension. Even if you can only get in a brisk walk for 30 minutes, it will get your heart rate up and help to increase your metabolism which will help you to burn calories and fat more efficiently throughout the day.

And lastly, keep a positive attitude about eating and exercise, and don't just throw in the towel over the holidays thinking 'I'll take it off after the New Year.' How many people have said that before?

 

 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

 

Date Night with Al & Abby.....translation.....home watching Christmas Movies

 

and updating this blog. It's hard to believe that the very first day I documented my food and stats for this weight loss journey had '62 days until swimsuit' at the top of the page and now I'm down to just 10 days. I'm so close to hitting my goal. I just need to keep my EYE on the PRIZE! I don't want to spend one more vacation hiding behind the camera. I want to take pictures with my family, not just take pictures of them.

 

TIP==> Spend as much time changing your mind set about a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise as you spend planning meals and working out. Use control to stop eating everything you want and learn to eat just what your body needs.

 

get fit

 

 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

 

Getting Ready for Vacation!!!!

 

60 push-ups - no girly ones. 200 lunges with 30 pound bar. 75 minutes hard core - Today turned out to be a great workout, especially since I considered for 1 minute not going.

Oh No! I had a moment of weakness tonight. We went to Abby's dance performance at the Christmas for the City in Beavercreek and they had hundreds of cookies on display just waiting to be eaten. Cookies are definitely one of my weaknesses. Somehow I only had one. I sacrificed my yogurt/pear/walnut treat for 1 small cookie - probably wasn't worth it, but it was in that moment.

 

 

TIP==> It might seem hard to imagine, but giving up your soda habit may be easier than you think. Soda contains so much sugar, chemicals, empty calories..... After a few weeks, you won't even miss it.

 

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

 

Still Counting Every Day

 

I'm amazed at how many new foods are now my favs. I don't miss my old bad foods and bad habits. I've replaced them with healthier choices. I have so much more energy every day. It's great!

 

eat healthy

 

 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

 

We made it here. OMG! It's beautiful. The weather is perfect.

 

Trying hard to not pack on too many vacation pounds.

 

turks & caicos

 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

 

Well, I'm back from a wonderful warm and sunny vacation! I gained 4 pounds - even after 2 weeks of livin' the all-inclusive luxury island life. Not too bad, but I still have the extra 2 I put on just before we left. So, 6 pounds to take off just to be even and then I have to start again.

 

 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

 

WOW!! I can't believe it's been a whole month since I posted.

 

Well, vacation was great! The island and our resort were beautiful. The weather was perfect.

 

turks & caicos

 

Well, to catch up.......My goal was to lose 20 pounds before leaving on vacation. Three days prior, I was down 18.5 pounds. I thought 'piece of cake'. Not literally. But then we had a giant lobster feast and a few other meals of over indulgence. When we left, I was at -16. Not terrible, but not my goal.

 

lobsters

 

After almost 2 weeks of eating, drinking, eating, and completely over stuffing with desserts, I came home weighing just 4 pounds more. I was afraid it might be 10! My clothes (smaller size) still fit, but I still thought it would be more.

 

Well it's Monday morning, January 5, 2015. Start of a new week, start of a new year, start of a new me.

By Thursday, January 8th, my extra 6+ pounds were gone. Very relieved. Now I can start on a new goal.

 

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

 

YEAH! I lost another pound. This is my lowest weight since 2011.

 

Unfortunately I have picked up a new bad habit since we returned. It needs to be replaced with a new healthier habit ASAP. I made a delicious trail mix for us to take on the plane and now I can't stop eating it. Every day I measure out 1/4 cup and then return 2 or 3 more times a day to dip in. It has cashews, pecans, pistachios, sesame stix, raisins, and yogurt covered raisins and almonds - very high in calories. I can't believe I've lost any weight at all based on how much of this I've been putting away every day. Today I finally put my foot down and decided that I was not going to buy the high sugar treats any more. Keeping the Nuts though.

I'm searching for a new healthier snack to replace the trail mix with. I completely understand that you cannot just break an old habit. You need to replace it with something better.

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> Be sure to eat enough protein each day. I strive for 80 - 100 grams and most of it comes from chicken, eggs, yogurt, shrimp, fish, and Kashi Crunch. It's filling and it fuels your brain, among other positives.

 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

 

Another exciting day.

Yesterday I got a call and I have a job interview! I have not been on a job interview since 1995! That's right, almost 20 years. So, today I tried on my dress pants - too big! YEAH! This will certainly require a shopping trip. Abby and I went to Kohl's after the gym today and she and I selected 3 pairs of pants for me to try on. She asked 'What size mom?'

'Size 6.' As I held them up, Abby said 'those look really big mom.' Gee, thanks kid! 'Well, sometimes clothes are deceiving. They'll fit.' I reply with confidence. I was so happy to be wrong! All 3 pairs - too big! Who would have thought???

Oh, Happy Day.......I left Kohl's with a size 4!

 

 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

 

Racquetball???

Al bought us Racquetball gear for Christmas which we opened on January 5th. So today we had the opportunity to try it out. I loved it. We played for an hour and a half. I hope it's a good workout. We both left pretty sweaty. I'm already looking forward to when we can play again.

 

racquetball

 

 

 

TIP==> Remember to keep your portion sizes limited to 1 or 1.5. I used to wonder why if I ate healthy most of the time, I was still overweight. It's really about calories in and calories out. Don't believe every fad diet you hear. They may help you lose some or all of the weight you want to lose, but they don't teach you skills for a lifetime of success. Learn to eat real food in moderation and you can eat anything you like and maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

 

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

 

Mud Guts & Glory

It's just 122 days away - May 23, 2015. Great reason to set a new goal. I am working diligently to decrease fat and increase muscle. I'm working on a new plan that includes healthy eating, strength training, cardio, boot camp interval training......finding just the right mix is key. I'll keep posting what's working for me and what's not.

We did MGG in Nov 2013 with no training and no prep. Our goal this time is to cut our times in half.

Got my Fitbit Charge today. Can't wait to get it programmed and start tracking my results.

 

mudgutsglory

 

 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

 

First interview that I've had since 1995!

Thanks Abby for taking this pic of me. My interview is for an adjunct professor position teaching Software Engineering/Development.

I'm feeling pretty good about my new look, but I still have more work to do. I'm in for the long haul.

 

 

interview

 

 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

 

No Soda Saturday

We went to the movie theater and decided to get some popcorn. I used to love Coke with popcorn. I tried 1 drink and it was so sweet and had such a strong syrup flavor, I didn't want any more. YEAH! I don't need to take up that bad habit again!!!

Last soda.....Nov 8, 2014

 

 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

 

Thanks for Making My Day!

So, I was driving to the gym today and feeling like I really didn't want to go today, but my car cruised on. I got there and started working out. Shortly after I got going, I forgot all about my negative thoughts. I did a very intense full body, mostly upper, workout. I was just a little over an hour into my workout and was starting to feel like it was time to go. Then a young man, maybe about 22 or so, came up to me said "You are in great shape. You are really killing your workout today."

I was stunned. WOW! Someone, a stranger, noticed my hard work. I replied "Thank you, You just made my day." Then of course I didn't feel like leaving, but working harder. I did continue working for a few more minutes, but we had to go and pick up Abby.

When I met up with Al and few minutes later, I told him about my compliment. He said 'I know what they call older women who like younger men, but what do they call younger men who are attracted to OLD women?"

OMG! I can't believe that came out of his mouth. He's about 2000 brownie points in the hole. He didn't say older women. He definitely said OLD.

I told him that I planned to tell everyone about his comment so that down the road when he's found divorced or dead, no one will be surprised. So here I am telling you!

 

get fit

 

 

Monday, January 26, 2015

 

Weekends are so hard for dieting:(

Weekdays just seem to be easier to plan meals and stick to them. Each day follows a routine. Weekends just say SPLURGE.

On a positive note: I have a job offer - adjunct professor!

 

 

get fit

 

 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

 

Happy Birthday Abby!

Abby wanted me to make cupcakes for school and dance. Not good for me. I really don't like cake and cupcakes too much, but when they're around, I eat them, especially just out of the oven. I hoped to only eat one, but I baked both chocolate and yellow so I had to try one of each. Then the icing dilemma. I really don't like icing so I ate the first two without but definitely plumped them up with vanilla pudding. YUM! Then I decided I had to try each with the cream cheese icing I had selected to make sure that they tasted okay, so that meant eating two more. YIKES! Now I had eaten four cupcakes yesterday.

happy birthday

 

Then today, Abby brought home 4 cupcakes that were extras. Uh-Oh. They're gone. Now I've eaten eight cupcakes in two days. Sugar Rush. Sugar Coma. Will get refocused on Thursday - no more refined sugar! I will break this habit. I will break up with sugar. Sugar will not control me. I will control it.

I'm still at the same weight - fluctuating between 18 and 20 pounds off. My focus now is building muscle rather than losing weight, so I've added calories, cut some of cardio and started increasing the weights. I'm starting at 22.6% body fat. Would love to get to 18%.

So far, I've walked, run, climbed, aerobicized......over 26 miles since I got my fitbit last week. It doesn't seem to do well with the stair climber though. No matter how many flights I climb, I usually only get credit for a couple, if any.....

 

 

Friday, January 30, 2015

 

Kickboxing

Tried kickboxing this morning. Fun! But not enough on its own. It is fast moving and non stop. She doesn't even break for water.

A nice honest lady at the gym told me that I needed a little extra in my workout today after eating sushi and hibachi at Osaka last night and then topping it off with dessert from Chili's. She was right, so I stayed to try kickboxing even after I had already done the hour boot camp, 15 minutes of legs, 5 minutes of stair climber and ran a mile.

My stats were pretty good by 10:45am. Still didn't get credit for any stair climber activity - no steps - no climbing! It was as if I were sitting on the couch for that time according to my Fitbit.

 

 

fitbit

 

 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

 

Beware!

 

Beware of the 100 calorie snack packs. I know 100 calories doesn't sound like much, but if you're dieting and eating healthy, 100 is a lot. Most of the 100 calorie snacks have very little or NO nutritional value. So what does that mean? You are eating empty calories and will soon be hungry again and then you'll be searching for another 100 calorie snack. It all adds up.

 

100 calories

 

My favorite 100 calorie snack is.....Yoplait Greek Yogurt - Vanilla. I absolutely love it plus it's healthy. It has 13 grams of protein, Vitamin D, Calcium, no fat, and low sodium, carbs, and sugar. Not all fat free products measure up. This love affair sort of happened by accident. Al was out of town and Abby and I decided to turn on the tv. She wanted to check out 'The Biggest Loser'. The show was pushing this yogurt and Abby was sold. I agreed to buy 1 cup that we could both try. I had tried Greek yogurt before and it was absolutely disgusting! I really didn't want to try it but I agreed so I stuck to my word and bought 1 cup. I couldn't believe how much I liked it. So thankful that Abby made me look outside the box for a new snack.

 

100 calories

 

 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

 

SuperBowl Sunday

Since we really didn't care who won, my husband decided to make the game a little more interesting. We each picked a team to cheer on. Al and I chose Seattle and Abby chose New England. Each time your team had a penalty or a score, including the extra point, you had to draw a paper from the bowl and perform the exercises on it. Most papers had 3 activities like 20 pushups, 60 second plank, and 20 squats. Sometimes we had to lunge through the house or run up and down the stairs. I decided I needed a little extra so I did the exercises for both teams. Abby loved it and it kept us busy throughout the game. Thanks Al for helping us get fit!

 

fear mediocrity

 

 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

 

SNOW!

To believe or not to believe. Looks like it may stay north again. If it's going to be cold, we may as well have pretty snow. Hoping Abby's dance practice will not be cancelled so I can go back to the gym. But my heart is really in the Caribbean.....

 

 

love the beach

 

 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

 

I have finally lost 20 pounds today.....

and I wasn't even trying. Remember, I'm trying to gain muscle now. Oh well, I'll take it! I got a Nutri Ninja today. YEAH! I have one of the original Ninjas and really like it but it doesn't grind everything completely smooth - like nuts, seeds, skin.... Hopefully my new Ninja will. It got very good reviews. I'm looking for smoothie recipes now.

 

 

TIP==> Be sure to stretch throughout the duration of your workout, not just at the end. This helps avoid injury and sore muscles. If you think you might be sore after, drink extra water, eat a banana, and keep moving.

 

 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

 

Climbing, Chipotle, Circus.....

Sounds like a great day ahead. I have given up my tacos, sour cream (even though I ate just a fraction of a serving), and Coke, but I have found a way to still enjoy my favorite 'eat out'.

Now I order a bowl with a half serving of brown rice, black beans, chicken, half serving of mild, half serving of corn, half serving of hot, half serving of cheese, and extra lettuce.

I save over 200 calories and over 600mg of sodium. Plus I don't leave feeling stuffed and I don't have to make the hard decision to throw away uneaten Chipotle.

 

get fit

 

 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

 

Valerie.....

Rock Climbing was great. No one screamed like a girl:) YEAH!

I was good at Chipotle - half the rice, half of all the salsas, no sour cream, half the cheese, extra lettuce, NO soda!

Something bad happened at the circus.....roasted SUGAR pecans.....Yes, I ate the whole bag. I forgot to get on the scale this morning, so I guess it was worth it......

 

rock climbing

 

Valerie has been hanging in my laundry room since 2009. I love this picture and I want that body. I'm striving for Fab at 50! Maybe I'll make it by 49.....

 

valerie

 

 

TIP==> I love water, but I hear people say all the time that water is too boring. Today 'The Doctors' had some great ways to spruce up your water. 1) add thin slices of apple and cinnamon sticks; 2) add chunks of pineapple and fresh ginger 3) add chunks of watermelon and rosemary.

 

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 

Fresh

A few people have asked me what kinds of things I eat.

I try to avoid most processed foods and eat fresh fruits and veggies, lots of chicken, fish, shrimp, eggs, yogurt, nuts, a little lean beef.....

Here's a peek inside my frig. No soda, no juice; lots of fruits and veggies.

 

inside the frig

 

So last night, Abby and I made a delicious new smoothie (recipe below). When a cup has a Max Fill line on it, I think you should pay attention. We stuffed everything in our cup and then pressed on the lid and started blending. Our mixture squished out and got inside our blender. Cleaning up took longer than making or drinking our treat! Abby's the one who noticed the Max Fill line. "Look Mom, maybe we put too much stuff in....' Perhaps I thought the line was just a suggestion........similar to speed limits on highways and stops signs in parking lots:)

 

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

 

An Exciting Day

I lost another pound and a half! YEAH!

I am now down 21+ pounds. I haven't weighed this since....19xx.....wait for it.......93!

I'm not sure how many more pounds I want to take off, but I'm thinking about 5 - 7. My goal is spring break - 45 days from today. Not sure if we're going anywhere, but I want to be ready, plus it's always good to have something to shoot for.

 

get fit

 

 

TIP==> I cook with oils all the time. It can be confusing to know which one to use. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good for cooking over low to moderate heat - maybe up to 350 degrees F. For cooking at 350 degrees F or higher, use Coconut Oil. Don't be surprised.....coconut oil is solid at room temperature.

 

 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

 

An Early Goal

I have been working to rebuild my upper body strength and had set a goal of doing 3 sets of 20 'real' push-ups by the end of Feb - HIT IT TODAY!!!

 

 

get fit

 

Friday, February 13, 2015

 

Too Cold for Me!

And it's only getting colder!!! At least it's warm at the gym.

 

cold in ohio

 

So glad to be planning our next vacation. It helps take my mind off of the cold.....at least for a few minutes. Can't wait to relax in the sun and sand. Now I have a new goal to work toward. I'll have to calculate the days and start the countdown. I'm going to start right now with Victoria Secrets Buns and Abs. Be back later:)

 

caribbean dream

 

 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

 

Happy Valentines Day!

So proud of my husband.....not only did he go to the gym with me this morning, but he arranged a special delivery for me - how beautiful AND BEST OF ALL - NO CANDY!!!

I got tired of spinning, so I gave up my 2 evening classes this week in lieu of 2 additional body works classes. By the end of today's class, I had done over 1200 squats this week and several thousand abs. Hope it pays off.

 

valentine flowers

 

I was a little concerned that maybe my hips and legs were expanding due to all the extra weights I've been doing, so I decided to try on my 'interview' pants today - remember, size 4 that I bought 4 weeks ago. My fear was that they would be tight. Good surprise - they are a little baggie! I couldn't believe it. I have about 2 extra inches around the waist. I guess all those weird crunches are paying off:)

 

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

 

Oh No, It's that time again.

I thought I better get out the tape measure again. I wasn't sure what I'd see but I knew I had to do it - milestones.....Good News! Inches gone everywhere - no surprise, but my favorite stat was......5 inches off my waist!!! So happy:)

 

get fit

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

 

Dedication or Insanity???

I thought I was crazy, but then I saw my neighbor out.......RUNNING!

I almost never skip my workouts now. Not the snow nor the frigid temperatures keep me home these days. Last year I looked for any excuse to skip the gym. School delay, better stay home and watch the road conditions. No school, better hibernate at home. Weekend, better sit at my computer until everyone wakes up. No excuses this year. I don't even look outside to see if it's snowy. Having a goal and something to work toward really makes a difference. If something comes up and changes my morning routine, I make every effort to go to the gym in the evening. I take off some Sundays.

 

cold temps

 

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

 

My Favorite Leg Workout

 

leg workout

 

 

If you love water, this next tip may be easy for you. If you're not a big fan of plain water, this will take some work to build up. My goal is about 100 ounces a day. I never thought I could do it, but once I set my mind to it.....it happened. I used to only drink about 30 ounces a day - on a good day.

water tip

 

 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

 

Cheat Day

 

We all need them every now and then. What they prove to me is that I don't like restaurant food like I used to - and I'm okay with that. I like cooking and trying new foods. The more I learn, the more I experiment with new recipes. I'm not afraid to 'mix and match' ingredients. I don't like everything I put together. I just make a mental note not to eat that again. I document the recipes I do like. I do my best to keep track of what goes into the dishes I make, but they are not an exact science.

Well, back to the cheating......today is another 'snow day' - #7 if we're counting. Today is very cold. It was -8 as I drove to the gym and 'my buddy, Jeff' on the radio said that it was -25 wild chill. At least there were no joggers out today. The gym was a little warmer, but not a lot.....about 60 degrees! What are they thinking??? Some people had jackets on while working out. That's ridiculous. Some people were warming up in the sauna. I ran more than a mile just trying to loosen up my muscles for the rest of my workout. I had my trainer - only 2 sessions left and then I'm on my own to continue practicing what I've learned. I can do it:) We did legs and upper body. I could really feel that I did a lot of legs yesterday. I continued on with upper body and could tell that I worked hard at last night's class. I like knowing that I'm working hard:)

So later, I took Abby and 2 of her dance friends to lunch - Five Guys Burgers & Fries. It was good - not great - not like I remember it from the past. I find that to be true about most, maybe all, of the places that I eat at lately. I find that I enjoy my home made meals more and more and don't need to rely on eating out to find gratification. That makes me happy. I used to love eating out.

On another side, we save a lot of $$ by not eating out so much. Even with all the extra spending at the grocery, we still come out ahead. Earlier this month, Kroger added 500 bonus points to our gas points just for being such good customers putting us up over 2200 points toward gas purchases. YEAH!

 

cold

 

WOW! I didn't know how dusty my car was. Maybe it will warm up soon so I can clean it.

More Cheating

After lunch, the girls and I made 'healthy' chocolate chip cookies. Even though they do not have butter or processed sugar in them, they still have a lot of sugar. They are sweetened by honey! I ate 4 of them. YIKES! Recipe: Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

cold

 

 

Friday, February 20, 2015

 

Another 'cold-day' school closure.....#8

 

It was -14 temp with -25 wild chill as I headed out to the gym. Most of the regulars were there. I worked hard but not at 100%. I have felt a cold coming on all week.

Really cold days make it hard for me to drink a lot of water. I have a battle going on in my mind.....drink water and be cold, don't drink water and feel dehydrated and thirsty. Hhhmmm. My brain is torn. What to do? What to do???? I have found a good middle ground. On these days, I grab a bottle of water right off the shelf instead of out of the frig. It allows me to keep drinking all day but not freeze from the inside.

Today was so busy. After the gym, Abby and I went to lunch with friends and then to the mall. By the time we got home, it was time to get ready for hockey. Abby's school choir was singing at the Dayton Demonz hockey game tonight. I'm so excited for them. The game was crowded (cancer awareness night) so they had a big audience. They sounded great....so proud! Unfortunately my girl was hidden by all the tall kids. About 3/4 of the way through the National Anthem, I saw about an inch of her red sparkly headband. Check them out here.

 

 

MLS Choir

Click on the image to see the video.

As you can see, I am a better photographer than videographer. I was watching the kids, not through the camera. When I would glance at the camera, I would notice that it had drifted. Oh well, we have it.

 

 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

 

Another Snowy Day in Beautiful OHIO!

 

Well, it finally happened. I skipped my morning workout today. I was busy all day yesterday and finally got home and went to bed feeling tired and bad about 11:30. My cold has finally caught up with me. DARN! I had a feeling there would be no morning workout. When I woke up, my throat was so dry and one eye was crusted shut. I actually feel much better now so I'm planning on Victoria Secrets buns and abs this afternoon:) I'm sure my girls will want to join in......even the furry one - Marly.

We are making our delicous fish tacos for lunch. YUM! If you had asked me to eat guacamole 10 years ago, I would have said NO WAY. Avocado seemed very gross to me. Now I absolutely love it. Funny how your taste buds change over the years and as you introduce new foods to them. I notice that the better I eat, the worse bad food tastes and makes me feel. I'm okay with that.

 

fish tacos

 

All of today's lunch recipes can be found by clicking the 'RECIPE' button below. We made Fish Tacos, Seasoned Fish (love love love this fish), Made From Fresh Guacamole, Made From Fresh Salsa.

 

 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

 

Kudos to my Hubby

My hubby did an awesome job at the grocery store today.

 

good health

 

He used to bring home white bread, bags of cheese, hot dogs, ice cream, chips, fatty burger.....I'm so happy. Now he shops just like I do.

When you're making a lifestyle change, it's so important to have your family on board and supporting you. Without the 'all in', it would be like trying to quit drinking or smoking while your spouse continues. I think that would be really hard just like starting a working regimen, eating clean/healthy, or cutting portions without the support of your family. If everyone is livin' the healthy lifestyle, it's so much easier to commit to it and stick to it.

In my family, we all enjoy finding and trying new recipes and foods.....plus we all enjoy adventure. We are working toward Mud Guts & Glory in May.

I would like to say that I rested all weekend in an effort to beat my cold, but we spent a good chunk of Saturday and all day Sunday cleaning our house from top to bottom for a house showing on Monday. So no rest here, but I feel pretty good. Usually if I keep going during a cold, it doesn't get too bad, but if I rest too much, I feel much worse - funny how that works.

Well, it's 9:15 and Al is still cleaning the floors. I should go and help:)

 

 

Monday, February 23, 2015

 

Another Cold Start

Spring, where are you???

 

weather map

 

YIKES! I'm up 2 pounds today. Perhaps it's the extra muscle I've been working hard to build or it could be the bad eating over the weekend. I did a photo shoot Saturday night for a big surprise birthday party and I had pasta and 2 delicious cupcakes. I am not a cake person, but they were sooo good. Plus I ate out for lunch on Thursday (Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Friday (Chipotle). I guess it's catching up with me.

It was hard going back to the gym today after taking just 2 days off. My cold is still lingering and my body is tired, but I made it through a short leg workout and a boot camp class. I did not have the energy I'm used to and my balance was off today too. Glad I went though.

Well Monday nights usually mean a trip back to the gym to kill time while Abby is at dance practice. Some of the people there know that I'm a morning workout gal and have been wondering why I'm there in the evening. I tell them that I have about 2 hours to kill and as I see it, I could go to Fleming's for happy hour, and do a lot of damage, or I can come to the gym. They mostly wonder if I should have my head examined. I bet they would make the same decsion:)

So I tried turbo kick. I think the instructor, Irene _ love her - should go just a little faster. I was only 5 steps behind for most of the class. lolI'll try it again next week:) She also includes some upper body weights along with lunges and squats. We did 2 entire songs of lunges - non stop. She even calls 1 exercise a screamer because your quads are screaming to quit. Actually my knee was screaming - too much damage when I was younger:( We also did an entire song of plank - regular, side, bear climb, and even some push ups mixed in. OUCH!

It's hard to step outside of the box sometimes and try something new. I'm so glad I did last November when I started the classes at my new gym. I didn't know anyone. Last night was the same. I didn't know anyone; didn't know the routine; and was definitely the weakest link. I don't like being in that position but it challenges me and makes my try harder and I DO like that.

Did you know that weight training actually helps prevent bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis? Women who lift weights consistently over time can increase their bone density and possibly have increased bone growth. Keep lifting.

 

 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 

YEAH!

Thanks Irene. I guess last night's workout was pretty good. I'm down 2.5 pounds for a grand total of 22 pounds - that's 22 pounds I don't ever want to see on this body again. Did I say ever?

My cold is definitely on its way out. So glad. I have a lot of energy today and hit 10,000 steps by noon.

A guy that I see almost every day, but have never talked to, at the gym came up to me today and said 'you look better and better every day.' What a great compliment. I told him that I was shooting for a bikini body by summer and he replied 'doesn't look like you have anything to worry about.' At least once a week, someone I don't even know approaches me with something nice to say. It's a great feeling.

I'm torn between building muscle and losing more weight. I'm leaning toward losing more. The thinner I get, the more muscle that I see. Looks like I'll be cutting calories again or adding cardio or both.

 

Don't let anything sabotage your quest to be fit and healthy.....not rain, or snow, or cold, or school delays, or work, or even life. Make your health your top priority. If you're not healthy, you can't enjoy life, care for your children, live every day to the fullest. I love the song 'I Lived' by One Republic.

 

burrr cold

 

 

Today is another MLS 'snow day', #9, so Abby and I are experimenting with recipes. We are trying Granola/Oatmeal Muffins. They are good, but need a little tweaking to help them bind together better. We put ours in muffin/cupcake papers, but the edges stuck. Next time I will try just putting them in the pan with a little Pam spray.

 

granola muffins

 

The recipe is posted under Sweets on the Recipe page.

 

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

 

Do you like to watch food shows?

Yes. I do. We all like Chopped, Restaurant Impossible, Man Versus Food... My daughter likes Cupcake Wars too. If you can eliminate these shows from your life - good idea. If you cannot, I suggest that you don't watch them after you have finished eating for the day or any time when you might become hungry and not be able to control your urge to grab a snack. I have cut out most of these shows, but if I do watch, I try to do it when I'm eating. This really helps to keep me from grabbing an additional snack. I'm already satisfied by what I'm eating.

Wednesdays are one of my 'work alone' days - no class, no trainer - just me to plan my workout and keep myself motivated. Some days are harder than others. Today was good. I did a 70 minute upper body workout with a few legs and abs mixed in including squats, plank, mountain climbers.....

 

get fit

 

 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

 

Another good start to the day......

 

I lost another pound! That's 23! YEAH!!!

I did not have a great workout this morning. My trainer workout was good, but then I started talking and used up most of my leg workout time. Good thing Abby has a long dance practice tonight.....I'll be back.

By the time I dropped Abby off at dance, I was in a bad mood. We had a hard time getting everything done and out the door on time, traffic was heavy, we were running late, it was soooo cold, my car was on E, I had to go Krogering at a store that I don't like (I can't find anything), I couldn't get to the gym I wanted to go to in time for the body works class, it was COLD......I almost didn't go to the gym. I wanted to go home....home to my warm office. But my car drove to the gym. I was just in time for a boot camp class with an instructor I've never had.

It was not like any boot camp I've ever been to.....no bench, no weights, nothing. It was almost all cardio - high intensity - no rest. Somehow I made it through. I was planning to run after, but soon changed my mind. Instead I finished my leg workout which included about 200 lunges. I felt so much better leaving the gym than I did arriving. No regrets!

Today was my last workout with my trainer. I was originally training 4 days a week and then dropped to 3 days. When I met Geoff in October, I trained with him twice a week. At the beginning of the year, I dropped to just Thursdays in an effort to 'savor' my last few sessions. Well, they've finally come to an end. Now I have another day to plan my own workout. I can do it.

 

 

Friday, February 27, 2015

 

I can't believe February is almost over!

Not that I'm complaining.....I am just NOT a fan of winter!

Great workout today - thanks Julie and Vern!

Today is Abby's first dance competition of the season so I'm busy today checking and double checking her bag, figuring out who's taking care of the dogs, making food so we can avoid the cafeteria food at the school.....so much to do. I like to stay busy though.

This is a snack I make periodically. No, it's not the healthiest thing I put in my mouth, but if you have a sugar craving and you are going to turn to cake, cookies, brownies, ice cream, a candy bar......, this is a better alternative. It does at least have some nutritional value and no processed white sugar.

 

sweet snack

This little snack really satisfies my urge for something sweet. I usually take a half serving of each (raisins, cereal, cashews) and 5 or 6 almonds.

Dance was Awesome! We couldn't have been more proud of our little dancers.

 

dancers

 

 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

 

Last day of February!

I love this shirt. One of my photographer friends posted this and I just had to save it.

 

camera shirt

 

Not much excitement to report today. It is going to be a bad eating day that I will have to make up for next week. All started out fine - cereal, strawberries, and fat free milk for breakfast, then off to the gym. My body works class was replaced with zumba today. I DON'T DANCE. I knew it was coming though, so I was prepared for my own workout - an upper body plus a little cardio.

Abby has been asking me to take her to get a Gyro (everyone knows that it's pronounced year-O, right) for about a month now, so as it turned out we were heading to the shopping center where the Gyros are - right at lunch time. We first had to stop by the Cakery (yes it's as bad as it sounds) to get a yummy treat for my older daughter's birthday. We of course needed a sample, or 2 or 3 or 4 cupcakes!!!! OMG - let's get out of here!!!! It's very tasty if you need a treat for a special occasion. Don't visit here just for fun:) Your hips, your thighs, your belly.....they will ALL tell on you!

My daughter, Stephanie, has chosen O'Charlie's for her birthday dinner. I used to absolutely love their bread/rolls, but they changed their recipe and I changed my taste buds, so I'm hoping 1 roll will suffice.

 

birthday dinner

 

 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

 

A snowy busy dance day

Also a day for looking back. It was 20 years ago today, a Wednesday......before I left work I told several people that I would be back tomorrow to finish all the documentation on a project that I had been working on for several weeks but that I would not be at work on Friday, March 3rd because I would be having my baby. She wasn't due until March 8th, but I predicted back in October that she would be born on 3/3/95.

After dinner that night, my husband and I went to Meijer to shop and just walk the store. My back had been hurting and it felt good walking, plus I had heard that walking 'encouraged' labor. We strolled for 2 hours. I had mild pre-eclampsia, so my feet and legs were really swollen. When they started to hurt, I had to go home. Will it work?

 

 

Monday, March 2, 2015

 

It worked!

A beautiful baby girl was born 20 years ago today! Such a happy happy day.

 

happy birthday

 

How do you make it through the grocery store when you're hungry? It's hard - really really hard. I have a few tricks. I avoid the areas that are weaknesses to me. I don't walk through the bakery. If I find myself walking near it, I don't make eye contact with anything that might draw me in. I know that I do not want to buy anything in the bakery. I walk quickly and keep my mind on the next item on my list. If I don't have a written list (which I usually do - it keeps me on track), I at least have a list in my head. I don't let my eyes or mind wander. I make a very strong effort to stay focused on just what I need and not let any old/bad habits creep into my cart.

Bad things happened over the weekend - especially Saturday. I ate a big Gyro, with the yummy sauce, and shared fries with Abby. Then we ate the cupcakes from the Cakery, then on to O'Charlie's for a birthday dinner. Sunday we headed to a dance competition and stopped along the way to grab a market fresh roast beef from Arby's - NO fries today. I chose not to get on the scale Sunday morning, but Monday turned out to not be pretty - up 5 pounds!!! WOW! I'm hoping at least a couple of it is water. Doctors say that you need to eat about 3500 calories to gain 1 pound - and remember that does not take into consideration the calories that you burn. I did go to the gym Saturday morning and worked out for about 90 minutes knowing that I was eating out for dinner. Lunch just happened.

 

Still can't get motivated to get fit and adopt a healthy lifestyle?

 

Check out this article on Alzheimer and how to reduce your risk.

 

Alzheimer Article

 

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

 

Hard work pays off.

I got back on my good eating plan and had a good workout yesterday. I am down 2.5 pounds today. Unfortunately it is off of the 5 I put on over Saturday and Sunday's bad eating. Glad it's gone though. Now for the next 2.5.......

One of the best workout investments I think that a person can make is a foam workout roller. They are only about $20! They are great for rolling out sore muscles, massaging the knots that sometimes build up when we work our body too hard, and just rolling out the tension that builds up in our muscles. I use my roller for tight hamstrings, which I ALWAYS have, occasional tight calves, sore lower back (chronic for me), and tension and knots in my upper back and neck area. You can feel it working from the moment you put pressure on. The first few moments might be a little uncomfortable or even painful, but don't give up. This feeling goes away and then you feel the loosening of muscles and tension leaving your body. AWWWEEE! Relief at last!

 

foam roller

 

I made a treat for Abby today. She just said 'I'm in love with this!' It is a frozen yogurt pop. I made 3 kinds to try them out.....strawberry, blueberry, and pineapple with vanilla Greek yogurt. We generally skip fat free products but we do eat fat free vanilla Yoplait Greek yogurt. Generally when the fat is taken out, something else must be put in to keep it flavorful. That something is usually sodium or sugar. In the case of our favorite yogurt, both sodium and sugar fall within my acceptable range. We eat this yogurt almost every day in either a smoothie, by itself, mixed with real fruit, or frozen with real fruit.

 

frozen yogurt pop

 

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

 

More snow is on the way. Who's ready for Spring???

ME!

 

bob ross

I always enjoyed and appreciated Bob Ross's work.

 

 

 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

 

How to break up with 'whites'

What could that possibly mean?!?!?!

If you want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, you MUST break up with 'white' foods. What are white foods? White flour, white pasta, white rice, processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup - I even add white eggs to my list.

What do you replace them with? Wheat unbleached flour, almond flour, whole grain pasta, brown rice, natural sweeteners such as fruit, honey, real maple syrup. I replaced my traditional white eggs with brown organic, steriod-free, anitbiotic-free eggs.

Why do you need to rid your body and daily diet of these 'white' products? They are empty carbs. They have very little to no nutritional value. They promote obesity and diabetes. They lead to cravings and addictive eating behaviors. They are less satisfying and leave you returning to the kitchen shortly after eating......in search of more bad carbs.

Do I need to say more???

 

Kudos to those who can workout at home. Days when I cannot go to the gym make me so thankful for my gym membership. I have tried several times over the years to workout at home, but I just can't stay motivated and I definitely don't work hard at all. My best attempt was Thanksgiving day. Today was a school delay and Al is in Seattle so I had to skip the gym this morning. I got up, got dressed like I was going, pulled my hair back, and tried to get started. I ran up and down the stairs, did jumping jacks, pushups, bicep curls, squats, then washed some dishes and started some laundry. Then back to run the stairs and more pushups, plank, vaccuumed, more laundry........didn't break a sweat. The house looked better than it ever does on a gym day though. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.

 

 

Friday, March 6, 2015

 

TIP==> Weigh yourself every day - at the same time. I weigh first thing in the morning almost every day. I don't like to let a week or a month or even longer go by without checking my weight. You might be surprised by how quickly a few pounds can really add up. That's a great way to get discouraged and give up.

 

 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

 

Spring is Near! I can hear it!!!

When I got up this morning, I sat down at my desk. The house was quiet and I could hear the birds chirping outside my window. What a beautiful sound:)

Spring Break is just under 3 weeks away. I need to crack down and work hard toward my goal. I would like to take about 5 pounds off - just in case we go somewhere warm and sunny! I'm crossing my fingers - for both.

 

 

Monday, March 9, 2015

 

Lots of Hard Work Today

Workin' hard toward my spring break goal.....plus I finally finished getting our tax docs ready for the accountants.

 

fitbit

 

If you look as good leaving the gym as you did when you entered, chances are you could have done a little more.

 

after workout

 

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

 

Recovered from 'Spring Ahead'

After a good night's sleep (almost 8 hours!) I woke up well rested and full of energy. Glad I'm not feeling the lag of spring ahead today. YEAH!

Even after all of my activities yesterday, I only lost 1/2 of a pound. I was a little disappointed, but I know that's just how the body works sometimes, so I'll continue to be patient and keep working hard and eating healthy. I also looked back at what I ate yesterday and while most of it looked healthy and my portion sizes were good, I did eat almost 400 calories worth of my little trail mix (yogurt covered raisins, cashews, and whole grain cereal). YIKES! Better cut back on that. I just LOVE it! But, I know that I need to limit the amount I eat each day as it is high in calories, so do as I say and NOT as I do in this case. Don't overeat any of your snacks!!! Remember, everything in moderation.

What do you do when you hear or see food ads? I don't know about you, but those are tough for me. Whether they're commercials on TV or on the radio, I have to approach them with a plan.

In the past I would let myself get lost in those savory food commercials, no matter what the food was, whether I liked it or not. My mouth would practically water. I would imagine eating it and it tasting so good. It didn't matter if I saw it on TV or a billboard, or a magazine ad, or just imagined what it looked like from a radio ad. They all had the same effect for me. I used to say that it should be illegal to put food ads on TV after 9pm. There you are trying to enjoy your favorite show and you're bombarded with food. You know that it's getting late and the kitchen should be closed for the night and then......a juicy steak or succulent lobster or a gargantuan dish of ice cream appears bigger than life on your television. They just keep telling you how good it is and how happy you'll be eating it, and then you see all those people in the ads just livin' the life eating a big juicy burger with fries chased by a creamy milk shake - and they're so fit and thin. How can all that be so persuasive, right? Well now we know why they're the marketing experts.

Well, now I approach these ads with a new attitude. I can type and read all of that without emotion. I don't allow myself to fantasize eating things like that any more. If I'm in my car and a food commercial comes on, I change the station. I would rather listen to another commercial or even a song that I don't like, or nothing at all, instead of being teased with food, especially when I'm hungry. I'm pretty good about resisting temptation, like driving by restaurants or walking by food in the store, but I'm not perfect.

If I cannot easily change the station/channel, I have learned to tune out these ads. My first thought is that the food being presented never looks as good in person and no longer tastes delicious and savory to me, so keeping these thoughts at the front of my mind helps to alleviate the cravings. I also find something else to look at and something else to occupy my mind for that minute or so. I get better at it all the time but some days I feel weak.

 

weakness

 

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

 

The Break Up

If anyone says that breaking up with sugar is easy, they're either lying or they're delusional. For me, even after the first few days without it and most of the cravings are gone, thoughts of sweets still enter my brain from time to time, especially when I'm tempted. The temptations are much harder if we have a sweet in the house or if we're vising someone who offers something that looks yummy.

I was raised on sugar. I ate cereal for breakfast, Frosted Flakes, Rice Crispies, and Sugar Pops, and added 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar to all of them. I also ate pancakes and french toast, doused with processed maple syrup and powdered sugar. I drank Coke by the bottle and who didn't love Choc-Ola. I frequented the local convenient store for penny candy and 25 cent candy bars. I did eat fruit! I ate strawberries, not sprinkled, but covered in white sugar. I never even knew what a strawberry tasted like until I was well into my 20s. I ate so many Little Debbie snacks that I thought she was a distant cousin who always sent us her baked goods. I never liked anything Little Debbie as an adult and couldn't even imagine tasting any of it now. Funny how our tastes change as we mature.

So as you can see, I had a lot to overcome and to give up. Most people are made up of about 60% water, I think I was made up of about 80% sugar. Somehow my blood sugar tests always come back good, but I was never tested when I was younger.

So back to The Break Up. It's hard to quit something you love, and are addicted to, cold turkey, but I think with sugar, it's the only way to go. Don't focus on just giving it up. Find a replacement for it. I can usually pass up candy bars all day, except at Halloween. I love the mini Twix and Kit Kat bars. As of today, I have half of a full sized Twix bar in my refrigerator from Halloween. Perhaps one day I'll decide that it's too old to eat and toss it, but for now, it continues to reside in the otherwise unused soda holder.

The candy that I do love is Lindor chocolates. I can eat them by the bag full. My new strategy is to keep a bag on hand, out of site of course, and I try to only eat 1 every now and then. Certain foods, like steak, really make me crave chocolate. I also keep real dark chocolate (60%, 72% and 86%) on hand for cravings also. These bite size treats are only about 40 - 50 calories and can really satisfy the urge to go for a bigger, fattier treat.

Another one of my favorites for an after dinner snack is vanilla Greek yogurt, which is pretty sweet but without a lot of sugar. Sometimes I mix in a little fruit. Pineapple and pears are my favs, but not together. Usually about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of fruit is enough.

 

I wrote this 'sugar break-up' last night and when I returned from the gym this morning, I saw this interview in my Yahoo headlines - very fitting.

 

Dr Mark Hyman - Quitting Sugar

 

 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

 

The Compliment

You know what 'they' say.....A compliment goes a long way. Well it was true today. A guy at the gym, whom I hadn't seen in about a month, came up to give me a compliment on all my hard work. Then we started talking about flabby areas and he asked "do you mind if I ask how old you are?" I replied "I'll be 49 in less than 2 months." His eyes almost bugged out of his head and he said "no way! Are you kidding me?" to which I replied "I'm going for Fab at 50." And then another great line from him "you're already there."

What a great start to my morning workout and my day. Thanks Dude!

After that, I continued on with my grueling upper body workout. I knew that I had really worked out my arms because I could not finish my last 3 reps of my final set of presses. My arms were spent. I decided to add in some more cardio and thought I would run on the track today since I hadn't done that in a couple of years. I normally run on the treadmill and running on the track really is a whole different ball game. I guess I should get off the treadmill every now and then and prepare for real life (running Mud Guts & Glory in 72 days).

Spring Break is 15 days away. I love saying SPRING!

 

Spring Break

 

Maybe more later.

 

Sunshine

 

 

Friday, March 13, 2015

 

Friday, the 13th

I'm not superstitious. Friday the 13th is just another day for me.

Summer bodies are not made in the summer. WHAT!!! Summer bodies are not made in May or even in April. Summer bodies are made in the Winter.

Better get started NOW.

The official first day of summer is more than 3 months away, but Memorial Day is only 73 days away. Change your diet, make a plan, set your first goal, start walking, run a little, pick up a dumbbell, hit the gym, jump on your bike, cruise around the mall, take the stairs, sign up for a fitness class, find a workout on youtube.....do all of these......do some of these......just do something. Get moving and start living a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

 

SuperFoods

The term SuperFood may be fairly new to many of us or maybe you've never heard that term. A SuperFood is a food that is considered to provide healthy benefits to those who eat it. Once you start learning and understanding just how many health benefits these foods offer, it makes you wonder who wouldn't want to eat these foods.

I have my own list of SuperFoods - some that I eat almost every day and others that I eat weekly or several times per week.

                1) Fruit: Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas, Kiwi

                2) Leafy Greens: Spinach and Kale

                3) Red Peppers

                4) Coconut Oil

                5) Nuts: Pistachios, Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Cashews

                6) Greek Yogurt

                7) Onions and Garlic

                8) Avocados

                9) Spices: cinnamon, tumeric, oregano, cayenne, black pepper

                10) Seeds: Flaxseeds and Chia Seeds

                11) Organic Eggs

                12) Dark Chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)

 

These SuperFoods are packed with antioxidants and can help reduce or eliminate many conditions and diseases including:

                  lower your risk for heart disease

                  lower your risk for cancer

                  are anti-inflammatory which help to eliminate chronic diseases

                  lower blood pressure and cholesterol

                  reduce the need for insulin or eliminate diabetes all together

                  help to regulate blood sugar levels

                  help to protect organs from toxins

                  help to regulate metabolism

                  help to reduce depression

                  help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight

                  help relieve hypertension

 

To sum it all up.....these SuperFoods can help you to live a longer, healthier life with a higher quality of life than you may have ever thought possible. Isn't making a dietary change worth the risk? I decided it was.

You might be wondering.....with all the modern medicines that we have today to treat all these diseases and conditions, with all their side effects, what are the negative side effects of eating these SuperFoods? Would you believe NONE!

You might have noticed that none of these SuperFoods are processed or available through a drive-thru window. They are what I call 'real foods'. Foods that we mostly grow and they don't contain a list of ingredients that we can't pronounce.

There are lots of lists of different SuperFoods all over the internet. My list is what works for me and what I enjoy eating. I've lost 25 pounds, gained muscle, toned some flabby parts, have more energy, have started running again, don't need naps, wake up feeling refreshed, sleep better......I've seen so many positive changes since I started eating better and cut out the toxins. I was definitely a sugar junkie, so if I can do it, you can do it.

 

Return to Today

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

 

Happy St Patty's Day!

 

St Patty's Hat

 

Well I have not done a good job cracking down to get my last few pounds off before spring break. Now I have less than 2 weeks and I'm not sure I'm going to make it. Damn yogurt covered raisins, Good Morning Crunch, and cashews. I just love that snack! I have done pretty well maintaining, but that doesn't get the job done. I did have over 18,000 steps today.

Maybe hiking tomorrow.........

 

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 

Does anyone still think diet soda helps you lose weight?

With all the research and media hype, certainly by now most of us know that the artificial sweeteners found in diet soda not only don't help us lose weight, but are actually harmful to our bodies. After all, they are chemicals that we are consuming. If you are trying to eat clean, there is no room for sugar or sugar imitators.

A number of studies suggest that drinking diet soda often prompts people to overeat. People often rationalize that the calories saved by drinking diet makes ordering fries or a dessert okay.

Just like sugar, these artificial sweeteners cause sweet cravings. The cravings are what cause most of us to fall off our diet or healthy eating plan. I suggest getting rid of most if not all of the sugary stuff and if you absolutely cannot, have it in moderation. I have not given up all sugar. I do not eat things that are artificially sweetened and I do not own a bag of white sugar. As you know if you've been reading every day, I do pop a piece of my favorite Lindor candy every few days or so.

In recipes that call for sugar, I substitute with real Grade B maple syrup or local honey. They both provide the sweetness I like and I don't even notice the difference. My recipes for pancakes and almond flour cookies proved that to me without a doubt.

Don't be confused about Grade A and Grade B maple syrup. Grade B is actually a higher quality and contains more essential vitamins and minerals that are good for us. One mineral is zinc which increases white blood cells and helps you fight off common illnesses such as a cold. Maple syrup also contains manganese which reduces inflammation in the body which helps to reduce your risk for cancer. Both of these minerals also act as antioxidants. I don't think we can say any of these positives about sugar.

 

 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

 

Got My FitBit Report

Every week FitBit emails me my stats from the previous week. Sometimes I don't even open it but I did today. It was a little surprising. I took almost 100,000 steps - WOW! And, that doesn't even count any time that I spent on the stair climber. I don't know why I don't get credit for those steps. It's a mystery. I also walked, ran, aerobicised...... almost 41 miles and burned 15,000 calories. I eat well under 2000 per day, why isn't my scales moving?????

Attitude adjustment......at least it isn't moving up!

 

be fit

 

Perhaps I spoke too soon.......Darn Girl Scout Cookies came home from school today. Why can't leafy greens taste like Thin Mints???

 

leafy greens

 

I keep repeating......'Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.' Nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I'm glad we only bought 2 boxes. I never promised that every day would be easy.

I took Marly hiking earlier and think we better go out again.

 

 

Friday, March 20, 2015

 

Is the Scale Working?

My scale has not moved, not even one ounce, all week. I even had my daughter step on it this morning to see if the number changed. It did, so I guess that's a good thing. While I am still eating my healthy food, maybe I'm eating too many calories. I am up around 1600 or so each day. When I was losing, I was eating about 1100 - 1300 so perhaps some adjustment is needed.

The Good News.....I ate 8 Girl Scout cookies last night (well that wasn't so good) but the scale didn't notice. I only intended to eat 4 but something happened. I already know what you're thinking before you say it......"Cyndi, I thought you had more will power than that?"

Well, sometimes I do have more will power. I can walk by nearly anything at the grocery store and not buy it. That's most of the battle for me. If it doesn't come into the house, I'm pretty safe, but once it's in the door, it's bad news for me.

I did allow Abby to buy 2 boxes of cookies from her friend, so I didn't stand a chance of getting through the Girl Scout cookie season without eating any. As for having will power......I actually demonstrated a lot. In the past, I would have eaten an entire box in one sitting.

Today was a great workout day so far. I started with 20 minutes on the treadmill climbing at an incline of 12. Then off to Body Works. Did a few legs and abs while waiting for kickboxing. I hit 10,000 steps before 10:30. YEAH! I wish the sun would come out so that I can take Marly out. It's a bit chilly for me.

 

 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

 

The importance of food and workout journals

I document 4 things nearly every day - my weight, how much water I drink, what I eat and its nutritional information, and what I do for activity. I do this to be accountable to myself and to keep a history of what works and what doesn't. Now that my weight is stuck, I find myself looking back at my journals to see what I was eating when I was losing consistently. My workouts haven't changed and I've even increased my activity level since we've had a few warmer days. Here's what my meal and workout journal looks like.

 

journal

 

According to my FitBit, I had 17,592 steps which equated to almost 8 miles. I burned 2353 calories. I like the stats and was down almost a pound (.8).

I really believe weight lose and gain is more about what we eat than what we do. Gym workouts and other physical activities help us build muscle and look toned, but what we eat and how much of it really determine our size.

 

 

Monday, March 23, 2015

 

The mystery of the scale.

So last night I decided that I can no longer have those Girl Scout cookies lounging around the house. It bothers me that they're here and I'm not eating them. So I ate them - ALL - of them. It wasn't as bad as you think. There were 7 Thin Mints and 1 Samoa, so now I don't have to be tormented by them. It wasn't bad enough that I ate those, then I had a serving of my delicious trail mix - you know the one - the one I'm trying to give up. I wasn't even hungry. I immediately brushed my teeth which tells my brain that the kitchen is closed for the night (about 8:30pm). Although I did eat healthy all weekend (except for those darn cookies), I had already eaten more calories than I had planned. We had company on both Saturday and Sunday. I went to bed later wishing I hadn't had all those snacks. Then I didn't sleep well. I woke up at 3:45 and didn't get back to sleep until after 5! Related????? I don't know.

And now back to the scale mystery.......actually the silver lining.......when I got on the scale this morning, I was down 3 pounds. Before you get too excited or mad, it was just the 3 pounds I had put on last weekend. Now I'm back to 5 pounds from my spring break goal with less than a week to go. Blah:(

I'm carefully watching and measuring what I eat this week and am hoping to at least take off 2 or 3 which will give me a little wiggle room over the break.

I was happy with the minus 3 pounds so when I got to the gym I really put in 110% today. I walked more than a mile on the treadmill at an incline of 12, then went to boot camp (lots of cardio today), then back to the treadmill to run. I know it will all payoff.

 

achieves

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

 

Good Workout Day

Step aerobics first, then upper body, then kickboxing. I hit 10,000 steps before 11am. Now I just need to focus on calories today. I ate a lot yesterday (1800 calories - all healthy except for my yogurt covered raisins), but my scale stayed put - YEAH! I had planned on going back to the gym during Abby's dance practice, so I ate a little extra, then practice was canceled, so no extra gym time for me:(

Got my FitBit stats for last week. They look pretty good considering it's still cold here and I can't get out and do a lot. Come on warmer weather.

 

stats

 

Do you ever think it's funny to hear what people think 'healthy' snacks are? Some believe that fruit juices are healthy because they come from fruit. What about all that added sugar? You can get all the nutrients and great flavor from just eating the fruit. Skip the juice.

What about muffins, bagels, English muffins.....all are highly processed, packed with simple carbs and loaded with empty calories.....not to mention the preservatives and unheard of ingredients. Skip.

Okay, who thinks veggie dip is okay because it promotes eating vegetables? Dips are loaded with fats, and not the good kind, chemicals, preservatives.......more empty calories and simple carbs that will leave you feeling hungry in an hour. Some are even high in sodium and sugar. Check the labels and skip them. Look for alternative ways to get in your veggies if you just really can't eat them raw.

What about high sugar yogurts or the yogurts and have you adding chocolate or candy on top? OMG! My Yoplait Greek Vanilla Yogurt tastes so good, it doesn't need anything added to it and I can eat it right out of its own container.

What about Peanut Butter? We always hear about what a great source of protein PB is. Well, that may be true, but unless you're eating all natural, you're getting a lot of unwanted ingredients including added sugar. Try the all natural. You might be surprised by how tasty it really is.

Fruit snacks, healthy? Yes, I have actually heard that. I'm sure there is no real fruit in that snack. Skip, skip, skip.

 

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

 

Early Spring Thunderstorm

I awoke to the roaring sound of thunder - a sound I haven't heard for months - and a charlie horse. Another sign that spring is so close - the thunder, not the charlie horse. Who came up with that name???? Crazy.

To relieve my charlie horse, I massage it and flex my foot as tight as possible. It usually passes within a minute or so. I used to have tight calves a lot, but not so much any more. I made sure to eat a banana and drink extra water today; although yesterday I drank 115 ounces.

Sore muscles are a part of getting and staying in shape. If anyone tells you differently, they are either clueless or are lying. It's that simple. Expect to be sore. You should not be so sore that you have excruciating pain, but some sore muscles let you know that you've worked hard.

So people have been asking me for more details on what I do for my workouts, so I will try to give more specifics.

I started out by walking a brisk mile at an incline of 12. I did 2 sets of my leg workout, posted on February 18th, and mixed in some push-ups. Lots of lunges today. I finished by running a mile.

I wanted to take Marly out today, but it was so windy I didn't go - too many big trees.

Wednesdays are dance days for Abby, so I kill time by going to the gym. I did a 60 minute body works class then did 15 minutes on the stair climber - intervals 95/75. Then I ran/walked 1 final mile before calling it quits.

I realize that not everyone can devote that amount of time to exercise, but you may have more time than you think. How about while your kids are doing a sport or activity or while you're watching TV in the evening? What about getting up early and working out before everyone in your house gets up and gets their day started? What about weekends? If you don't make time for caring for your health, you better make time for dealing with illness.

 

 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

 

Spring Break Starts Today

YEAH! Now bring on the warm weather, sunny skies, and green grass.

Well, it doesn't look like I'm going to hit my spring break goal. How many people would just give up? 'Oh, I failed. Better eat a pizza, or some brownies. It doesn't matter anyway. I didn't make my goal.'

NO WAY! It just means, time to set a new goal and be a little more aggressive. It's harder to lose the last few pounds, but there's no way I'm giving up.

My morning workout.....5 minute warmup on stair climber - intervals 95/75; 60 minutes upper body/abs (including things like rows, upright rows, presses, curls, more biceps, triceps, chest, and back); 5 minutes on stair climber - intervals 95/75; 2 miles on treadmill - incline up starting at 9 going up to 12 then back down to 9 for the last few minutes - 13:20 minute mile. I worked up a pretty good sweat.

Guess what I did tonight?

Luckily I learned a few years ago how to use my sewing machine. I'm not good at it, but I can make or alter a few little things. So here I am sewing - not just sewing - I had to take in some of my shirts. YEAH! Sort of...... I bought a few things at the end of summer last year for this spring/summer season and now it is all too big. Some things still have their tags on. I don't want to just give them away, so I thought I would at least try taking them in. Hope it works.

 

sewing

 

 

Friday, March 27, 2015

 

Friday Already, Where did the Week Go?

Today is the first full day of spring break and it's SNOWING! I need to find some warmth and sunshine - SOON!!!

Well a little snow and burrrr cold temps didn't keep me from the gym. I started on the elliptical and then moved to the treadmill climbing climbing climbing. Then it was time for body works/boot camp - new stuff today - YEAH! Exhausting but excellent. Next up.....kickboxing with lots of squats today, then more legs and finally some abs. AWE.....time to go home and hit the shower.

Today will be tough. Abby and I are going out for manis, pedis, and pizza tonight with some friends. Hope I don't overeat.

 

salon

 

Fun Night. I did overeat:( Usually when I eat out these days, I don't like the food like I used to, but tonight, the pizza was good - and not too salty.

 

nothing taste

 

Wish I had remembered to say this tonight.

 

 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

 

The Detox/Cleanse

Do you believe in all the hype going around about detoxing or cleansing your body? Would you be surprised to learn that there is no scientific evidence that they help you lose weight, kick start a diet, or actually rid your body of built of toxins?

People generally feel the need to detox because they eat a diet high in fat, sugar, and/or processed foods. The detox usually involves eating few calories (sometimes just a liquid diet) for a period of 10 days to 2 weeks which seriously limits essential vitamins, minerals, proteins.....all the good stuff your body needs leaving you feeling tired, fatigued, weak, and hungry. It is definitely not a sustainable plan. If those considering the detox just replaced some of the 'bad' food choices with more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, water.......there would be no need to detox.

Most of the weight lost during this period of starvation comes right back when you return to a normal eating routine. Most people return to the same ole bad diet they had before. What was the real gain?

My idea of a good detox plan (keeping in mind that I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist) would be to refrain from consuming all processed sugar and processed foods in general, alcohol, caffeine, and high fat meats and dairy. Adding lots of water and some sort of daily activity would be very beneficial. By following this for several days, your body stops craving the fats and sweets and your mind starts to think about how to maintain this new healthier lifestyle because you feel better, have more energy, sleep better and may even see a few pounds start to come off.

Still interested in trying a detox? As John Matarese would say 'Don't Waste Your Money'.

 

detox

 

Well my bad eating last night probably affected my morning workout. Did I mention that I let Abby talk me into Ritter's? I hadn't had ice cream since Turks & Caicos.

I was achy and tired this morning. My back really hurt. I managed to do stair climber, a short run, and my 60 minute body works. I did not have the energy I usually do. Related to what I ate? Who knows, but seems very coincidental.

I just realized yesterday that this will be my last post for a week. As you may know, I am always in search of warmth, sun and sand, so I'm off to find it tomorrow. So excited!

 

siesta

 

I am a recent Mac convert. Last year I was driving when a deer jumped out in front of my car and I slammed on the brakes. My laptop slid from the front seat right onto the floor - not that I was working and driving - he was just riding along. Well, he never worked right after that so my generous husband bought me a 'Big Mac', an awesome desktop and a monitor larger than my first TV and a great Mac Book Pro. Unfortunately I still have to write and update websites on the Windows machine and now he doesn't travel. He works just fine as long as he just sits on my desk, but when we move him around the screen becomes all pixilated and red and sometimes even distorted.

No worries. I'm planning to eat as healthy as I can while eating out for every meal and I plan to stay active too. I'll update when we return.

I have a saying I need to keep repeating this week - all week.

taste

 

 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

 

Home from Spring Break

Well, we came home. We left beautiful sunny skies and warm days to come home to gray skies, rain, and cool days. BLAH!

 

tampa bay

 

While we were vacationing in Florida, I did an excellent job of getting up early and going to the gym for a full workout plus cardio every day. BUT......I did a terrible job making good eating choices. I had lots of ice cream, donuts, fish (some fried), lobster, pizza........ I paid for it. I gained 3 pounds - not too bad considering how much I ate.

If I'm being totally honest, I would have to say that the donuts were worth it. They are made fresh when you order and we ate them immediately, warm. When I say 'ate', I really mean devoured - 8 donuts, 3 people, 2 minutes flat.

 

donuts

 

Did I mention that I stood in line for 90 minutes for them? YES. That's 90 minutes for donuts. I gave up beach time to get them. Then I had to walk to beach carrying them. I thought I would sneak just one bite since I stood there all that time watching them being made, mouth drooling. A lady caught me sneaking a bite while walking and I thought she might have a potty accident she was laughing so hard.

The first pound and a half came off Monday. YEAH! I forgot to keep my saying in the front of my mind. I let my feelings for food take over. It just shows me that I still have work to do.

 

taste

 

There was a brand new state-of-the-art LA Fitness right in our hotel parking lot - how convenient.

I stayed busy all week. We rode bikes, did lots of walking, and I even did some paddle boarding. I walked over 100,000 steps!

I allowed 2 pictures of me.

 

beach

 

paddle board

 

One day I'll live by the beach and have my very own paddle board!

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

 

Fiber.....Eat it Every Day

Do you eat enough fiber every day? Most people don't. The minimum we should get is about 25 to 30 grams per day. That's hard to do if you don't eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I heard about a study on the radio this morning. It covered 70,000 people over 10 years. None of them had any heart disease at the start of the study. Those who ate most of their fiber from fruits and vegetables rather than from whole grains were less likely to develop heart disease.

So, bottom line......eat your greens!

 

salad

 

Mix in some color to keep it fun and interesting. Doesn't that just make you want to go and chop up a salad? Make sure that you skip the croutons and bacon!

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

 

I'm Back!

I know I've been away for a while and I've missed blogging. Summer is such a busy time. I'm always trying to get in as many outdoor activities as I can before the cold weather moves in and forces me to hibernate.

Well I went into summer down about 23 or so pounds from last fall, but it didn't last. We went to Gatlinburg for Abby's dance Nationals and my healthy eating plan fell apart. I was so disappointed in myself. So many people there were eating all the junk food and sweets and ice cream and donuts and pizza.....and I followed right along. I know better. I lost my focus. I came home 5 pounds heavier than I went there.

 

gatlinburg dancer

 

Awesome Dancer!

 

gatlinburg

 

I stayed busy every day, but still managed to pack on the pounds. I started every morning with a workout - not like at home, but I got moving and got my heart rate up. Most mornings started with a hike through the hills in our camp ground. When I say 'camp ground', I really mean the neighborhood where our cabin was located. I don't camp any more.

 

gatlinburg cabins

 

I walked the strip every day in 90 to 96 degree weather - sweating. We zip lined, did a ropes course, chased bears - maybe that one was more with the car, but bottom line, I stayed active and still managed to gain 5 pounds in 1 week!

 

zip line

 

ropes course

 

bear

 

Once we returned from Gatlinburg, I had a week and a half before our next adventure - the beach - not just any beach - the Caribbean Beach - LOVE IT!

As always, it was beautiful!

 

Caribbean Beach

 

Eleven days at an all-inclusive luxury resort - how awesome! We ate and ate and drank and ate some more. Congrats to me......I gained NO pounds - not 1. I was so happy. I worked out almost every day at the gym. I did lunges, squats, upper body, weights, abs, stretching, running, walking.....and it paid off. I ate so much every day including many desserts. I drank grasshoppers and beach boys at the pool - thanks to Stephanie who kept bringing them, sometimes 2 at a time. They were so tasty:)

 

Grasshoppers by the Pool

 

We stayed pretty busy but had lots of time to relax. We drove 4 wheelers through the jungle, tried to maneuver Segways around the resort and even on the beach, surfed the waves, tried water aerobics, zip lined, and my new adventure for this year - Zorbing! What?

 

Zorbing

 

Zorbing is the process of stuffing yourself in a blow-up plastic ball and flinging yourself down a hill - end over end. I did it with my nephew Tyler - so fun. We decided before we left the platform that we would scream like girls all the way down - and we did!

So once we returned from vacation, almost a month ago, we have enjoyed BWs, pizza, ice cream, several festivals, including the Bacon Fest, and a number of other summer time favs - none of which help to take off pounds. I have to constantly remind myself that those yummy indulgences are fine once in a while but not nearly as frequently as I've been enjoying them. I really do believe in Moderation. I have stayed pretty active - brisk walks with my dog, biking, hiking, and my morning workouts. Now that summer is winding down, I've decided to get all of the bad eating out of my system and get back to clean, healthy eating.

Oh yeah, back to my new found 5 pounds, which I don't enjoy carrying around.....I've lost 3 this week. I can always see that hard work and dedication pay off.

 

regret quote

 

 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

 

YEAH!!! One more pound off.

Just one more and I'll be back to my pre Gatlinburg, June weight. Three more to my all time over 40 low. I can't wait! Unfortunately the weekend is just around the corner and weekends are harder for me to stay on track. During the week, we have a routine and routines and consistency are good. On the weekends we are out and about and if I don't pack my food, then it's eating out, which is always bad for me:(

I always enjoy riding my bike - well let me clarify when I say always. The weather needs to be nice - no rain, no snow, no ice. Not too cold; not too hot. Not too windy. Not too humid. OMG! I sound like a princess, which I am NOT!!!

I have recently discovered some new trails - Xenia to Cedarville; Yellow Springs to Springfield; Buck Creek; Xenia to Spring Valley; downtown Dayton to Miamisburg, Franklin to Miamisburg. I ride the Beavercreek, Beavercreek to Xenia, Beavercreek to East Dayton, and Yellow Springs trails a lot but I feel the need to venture out. I've been looking for someone to ride to Cincinnati with me...... Anyone??? It's only about 50 miles.

 

bike

 

bike

 

bike

 

Friday, August 21, 2015

 

BIG Day!

Today was back to school for my kiddo. She was so excited. She's been ready since June 4th! How many kids do you know that are that excited to go back to school? I only know one. I hope it will last!

 

first day

She was so excited when I picked her up too. She couldn't stop talking about her homework. She had to gather things that tell 'her story' and bring them to school Monday and tell why each item is significant in her life. Three of the items she chose involve me! What a great compliment.

She is taking a blanket that I made for her, a book that I published about her 'Journey from China', and the copy of 'Love You Forever' that I used to read to her and her sister. We all love that story.

 

memories

 

Today was a hiking day for me. I hiked from Clifton through John Bryan and all the way to Glen Helen - about 6 miles, with my long time buddy, Linda. It was such a beautiful day I didn't want to come inside, so I took my dog, Marly, the wild one, for a walk. By 4:00pm I had taken 21,000 steps, 149 minutes active (and that doesn't include my morning workout - not sure why, but Fitbit doesn't include weight training in active minutes), and 44 floors.. YEAH! Me. AND, I'm not even tired. Maybe I'll ride my bike after dinner and try for 25,0000 steps. It's a perfect day. I just want to be outside.

 

hike

 

Clifton Mill and the Gorge are beautiful this time of year - especially this year. We've had so much rain. The river has so many rapids and the water falls are, well, overflowing.

 

hike clifton

 

hike clifton

 

hike clifton

 

I made it!

 

25,000 steps

 

 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

 

My Favorite Post Work-out Snacks

A few of my favorite after work-out snacks include: eggs (scrambled or boiled - even deviled), protein drink, and yogurt - not all at one time, of course. They each have a nice amount of protein to help rebuild/restore those hard worked muscles.

 

fav snacks

 

 

 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

 

The Difference Between a Summer Week and a Winter Week

I am planning now how to endure another long cold Ohio winter. I want to be more active and not hibernate and hide from the cold. I don't have a plan yet, but I'm working on it. Ideas???? Suggestions????

This week in August, I took 96,092 steps or 41.07 miles.

 

96,092 steps

 

When I looked back 6 months to February, I took 64,824 steps. or 27.65 miles. On the 16,000 day, I did my regular workout plus played racquetball for 60 minutes. Maybe I need to schedule regular court time with my hubby for the upcoming cold season.

 

64,824 steps

 

A difference of 13.42 miles.

I feel like I could do more if I didn't have a hamstring injury and a nagging 'broken' back. I've had back problems for over 20 years - some days it's worse than others. I can't always tell what aggravates it.

As for my hamstring....I strained it almost 2 years ago, running. I rested it for several months - not 100% but pretty easy leg workouts. It seemed to be better so I stepped it up. All was good for a while and then the pain was back. It starts in my lower back and runs all the way down to my middle toes. It's very irritating.

I stretch, I use a foam roller, I ice.....both hamstrings are always tight and have reduced my flexibility tremendously. I always wonder if I had continued working out and stretching throughout my life, if my injuries/chronic pain would be quite a different.

 

 

Monday, August 24, 2015

 

What a great Stretch of Wonderful Weather

It's so much easier to ride my bike when the weather is perfect - and it was pretty close today. We had beautiful blue sky, cool temps (low to mid 70s) and low humidity, so I decided to ride my bike to the nail salon. The hill from the 9-11 Memorial up North Fairfield was tougher than it looked - especially after the slight incline all the way there with a head wind. My knees were crying just before I reached the top, but I made it!

 

bike to salon

 

I finished the day with almost 14,000 steps and 6 miles. YEAH! Bike pedals do not translate 1 to 1 for walking/running steps.

Unfortunately, I ate out twice today - Chipotle tacos for lunch and McAlister's Deli, chicken salad on crossiant for dinner. YIKES. Oh Yeah, Abby and I had ice cream after school. But, after that, no other snacking:)

Today we learned that one of our favorite instructors at the gym is moving to FLA - good for her - terrible for us. We will miss her, our 'fun' workouts, and her great sense of humor. Maybe our paths will cross again someday if I ever make it south.

 

melissa

 

After the after-school ice cream, Abby and I fell into a sugar coma. She stretched out on the floor in my office in front of my big windows where the sun was beaming in. It looked so relaxing - sun bathing without the bugs - so I joined. We both fell asleep and no dinner plans were made.

 

lovin' the sun

 

We just couldn't resist. The sun felt so good while we were waiting at the gas station.

 

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

 

Start Every Day on a Positive Note

 

success

 

 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

 

Start Every Day with Optimism and a Smile

Today is going to be an exciting day. After our morning workout - upper body only today - my friend, Linda, and I are biking to Cincinnati. I've wanted to do it for several years and I finally found someone to take me up on my offer. More later.........

 

bikes on the car

 

We finished our workout at 9:30 with hopes of being on the bike trail by 10am. BUT....by the time we drove to the bike trail, unloaded our bikes, had a snack, packed up our supplies for the day, pottied, and took our selfie, it was 10:45!!! Where did the time go? Well, I sort of know where it went. We took about 30 selfies trying to get one that was acceptable. Between each one, we had to go to the shade and put on readers to see them. I'm sure the 'real' bikers were cracking up at this process. We finally decided that for a good photo journalism image we should turn the camera vertically and include part of us, our bikes, and the train at the bike hub. YEAH! It worked and we were finally on our way.

 

bikes on the car

 

WOW! It looks like a long road ahead. The trail is marked every 1/2 mile, so we celebrated at .5, 1.0, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3......then it got old. We talked and laughed so much that the miles just few by. Before we knew it - mile 18! We thought about stopping for ice cream in a little town called Corwin, but we ate our snack and pedaled on. GO US!

 

map

 

ice cream

 

Made it to Morrow! We thought about ditching our bikes for a canoe, but we were on the wrong side of the river, so we pedaled on.

We finally made it! It feels good! We planned it; we did it; WE SUCCEEDED!

 

loveland

 

Our favorite sign of the day came about half way into our journey.

 

construction

 

Who could imagine a delay on a deserted bike trail? We turned around to get this picture and while we were laughing, 5 other cyclists came by. Maybe there could be a delay......

Several years ago, when I couldn't ever have imagined riding my bike more than a few miles, today's journey wasn't even something I would have dreamed of. I never would have wanted to ride this far. So glad I'm a different person today.

 

strength quote

 

 

American Authors say it all.......

 

Go Big or Go Home

 

Go Big or Go Home

 

 

Friday, August 28, 2015

 

YEAH! No Sore Muscles from Yesterday

And, I'm not tired. So happy. My left knee hurts though, so no squats or lunges for me today.

 

 

Monday, August 31, 2015

 

I can't believe it's the end of August!

I have not done a good job preparing for bikini season in December. I do pretty good during the week, but then the weekend happens - every week - eating out, festivals, parties, football (I know it's only pre-season).....It's all bad. So here we are starting a new week and about to start a new month. I need to crack down and get serious. I've done it before, I can do it again.

I need to stick to 2 of my favorite phrases. I believe them - sometimes I forget to live by them. We're all human, right?

 

NO Excuses

 

taste quote

 

Good news.....sort of. No more sore knees, so full workout today......until it was time to run. Then both knees hurt. Maybe tomorrow.

 

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

 

Calendar looks like fall; but the weather says summer!

Today was warm and humid - I don't mind. Marly and I hiked right in the middle of the day. I think she enjoys getting out of the neighborhood sometimes. I know I do.

People often ask me 'Do you come to the gym or work out every day? How do you get motivated to stick with it?'

I start by saying.....'I usually take Sunday's off.' Half of the time I think they think I'm joking - either they think that I don't take Sunday's off or I don't work out 6 days a week.

For me, it's not about getting motivated or talking myself into working out or going to the gym. It's about getting into a routine. I know I need to do it. I know it's good for me. I know that I feel better after. I know I get results.

I stick to my morning workout like glue sticks to paper or like brownies stick to your thighs. There's no question where I'll be once the school day starts. I don't plan other activities or appointments for the early morning hours. I get up, get ready, eat the same breakfast, and my car just drives to the gym.

You can make the same plan whether you workout during your lunch break, after work, or whenever. Don't let other things interfere with YOUR TIME. Make working out and taking care of your body a top priority. You will have more energy, sleep better, and have better health because you made the time for YOU!

 

shortcuts

 

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

 

Afternoon Nap

Do you sometimes feel tired in the mid afternoon - like you can barely keep your eyes open and your brain focused? I do. I notice it especially when I've eaten 'bad' foods - too much sugar, too many simple carbs.

Here are a few things that help get my energy level back up and keep me from napping which then ensures I don't get a good night's sleep.

1. Get up and get moving. If you are confined to a desk all day, it's important to at least stand up every hour. It's even better if you can walk around and stretch for several minutes. This not only helps to loosen up a stiff body, but it engages your muscles and wakes up your brain. It helps you get back in focus - back in the game. If you can take a short brisk walk or bike ride, 15 to 20 minutes, absolutely do it. Getting your heart rate up throughout the day helps to increase your metabolism. Great pick-me-up; bonus benefit!

2. Eat a healthy snack. Skip the caffeine and the sugary snacks. They only pick you up to let you down. Choose a protein and a complex carb - a little fat too. How about an apple or a banana with peanut butter or a Greek yogurt with a few walnuts. Maybe a boiled egg with a veggie like carrots or a sweet red pepper. I sometimes even eat a small bowl of cereal with fruit and fat free milk. Find what works for you, but remember, if you're watching calories, you may have to cut back somewhere else.

3. Do you hit your snooze button in the morning? Very bad habit. Those few extra minutes of sleep that you may get between alarms actually makes you more tired and drowsy throughout the day. I'm lucky. I'm a morning person. I usually wake up before my alarm even goes off. On most days, my eyes just pop open and I'm awake and have 30 things running through my head - and that's just in the 30 seconds it take for me to get out of bed and shut off the alarm that hasn't gone off yet. I realize that not everyone wakes up like I do so, if you need a few minutes to wake up and get moving, set your alarm 5 minutes early and use those few minutes stretching while opening and closing your eyes slowly until you're ready to start your day or your 5 minutes have run out.

4. Strive for a consistent sleep schedule every night. Try to go to bed around the same time every night (within about 30 minutes) and try to rise about the same time every morning. It's much harder for your body to adjust to a schedule if your nightly sleep routine is constantly changing. If you go to bed between 10pm and midnight during the week and stay up until 2am on weekends and then awaken at 7am during the week and sleep in until noon on the weekends, you will much more likely feel tired or exhausted most days. Do your body a favor, give it the consistent rest if needs and deserves.

5. Drink water all day long. Strive for 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150, try to drink 150 ounces of water. I know that sounds like a lot. I strive for 100 ounces every day - some days I make it. Many days, I hit 90 or so. Be sure to factor in potty breaks - you'll need a few if you consume all that water. Staying hydrated helps to keep you alert and reduces tiredness. It also helps keep you fuller longer which means less snacking.

 

stay alert

 

 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

 

Skipping Meals

Every thought about skipping meals as a weight loss solution? You and about a million others. You might change your mind after you read this article I found at womenshealthmag.com.

 

don't skip meals

 

So many dieters think that the way to cut calories is by skipping a meal and many skip breakfast. Breakfast is the meal that fuels your body and gets you moving first thing in the morning. Without it, you may start your day off slow and sluggish. Some people substitute caffeine for a nutritious breakfast and think that it's an equal trade. Guess again.

In order to lose weight, we need to cut out about 3500 calories. WOW! That feels like a lot. In order to lose just 1 pound a week, we need to drop 500 calories a day, but how? A good place to start would be to find out how many calories you consume today. For an entire week, log everything you eat and drink and total up your calories. Do this by day and see how much you fluctuate or how consistent you are on a daily basis.

By the end of the week, if you discover that you're eating 17 or 18 thousand calories, then 3,500 doesn't sound like a ton. If you're averaging 2,500 per day, then you know that you will have to cut out at least 500 each day. Look for sugary snacks and drinks that you can eliminate. Next look for simple carbs - probably some overlap with the first group but may also include white breads, white pastas, white rice, potatoes, crackers, cereal, and whole milk. Third, look to see if you can cut out some of the processed foods you might be eating - prepared box/bag meals, frozen foods...... What about eating out? How often do you dine out? We really don't know what we're eating when we depend on others to prepare our food for us.

Even my favorite Chipotle has recently been under fire from critics claiming that some of the products it serves are produced from animals that were fed GMO feed. Does that make the animal or the meat GMO??? I don't know. I wish more people cared about how our food was made so that we could all eat a little healthier.

 

chipotle

 

Chipotle - No GMOs

 

Better safe than sorry......buy real, whole foods and prepare them yourself.

 

 

Friday, September 4, 2015

 

What's Your Workout Like?

Are you working hard? Are you getting your heart rate up? Are you doing weight training? Are your weights heavy enough to fatigue your muscles? Are you sweating?

Make sure that you are getting a lot out of your time at the gym or your dedicated workout time - wherever you are. Use your time wisely. Change your workout routine often. Keep it interesting. Don't let your body or your mind get into a humdrum routine.

 

sweat today; smile tomorrow

 

Rinse and Repeat!

 

 

Looking for a cool refreshing treat/snack on these hot summer days?

I was feeling like having a cool fruit dip, but the store bought dips have lots of ingredients I don't care to eat plus lots of processed sugar I definitely don't want or need. So, I started mixing up some of my own ingredients and came up with a pretty tasty snack.

I started by chilling a banana and an apple. Then I took out a 1 serving cup of Greek vanilla yogurt (I like Yoplait), added a little less than a tablespoon of honey, about the same amount of ground chia seeds, 2 teaspoons of powdered fiber, a couple of drops of pure vanilla extract, and a few sprinkles of cinnamon and pumpkin spice and mixed it all together. I let it chill for about an hour and then added some pecans. I dipped my fruit and YUM! Just a little different way to enjoy some fresh fruit.

 

 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

 

I Feel a Bad Eating Weekend Coming - YIKES!

If you know it's coming, you can at least plan for it - right? Eat lighter the day of or a few days before the cheat day, drink extra water, workout more, get your heart rate up throughout the day to help burn more calories.....any other ideas???

So last night, my husband said that he wanted to have ribs tonight - sounds so YUMMY! He makes a delicious dry rub and slow cooks them. They fall right off the bone, so I have to make sure that I set some limits for myself. I requested little to no leftovers. It's bad enough to have 1 bad meal but then to keep having it over and over, is terrible. He agreed - not to the terrible part of eating it again and again, but that he would make a 'normal' portion size for 4 people.

To prepare for our big fatty meal, I went to my normal Body Works class, plus 20 minutes on stair climber, ran a mile, climbed at incline 15 at 5.0 mph on the treadmill - (I was almost running uphill), did 30 minutes of upper body, legs, and abs. Then my older daughter called and wanted to go hiking today. I think I'm ready for some BBQ. Bring on the ribs!

I've never claimed to be perfect. After all, I am a.........

work in progress

That's the attitude that keeps me working hard every day, and I'm happy to admit it:)

 

 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

 

If you can't do it for you, do it for your family.

If you can't get motivated to get fit for yourself, then do it for someone else. Do it for your kids. Do it for your spouse. Find a reason. You're worth it!

Set a good example for your kids by eating moderate amounts of healthy foods - no binge eating, no starving. Let them know that it's okay to indulge in a treat every now and then. It's just not a healthy habit to do it every day. For me, this guideline is so much harder to follow in the summer.

Get out and be active with your kids. If they see you sitting in front of the tv all day, guess what they'll learn? If they see you gardening, biking, hiking, running, working out, playing sports, guess what they'll learn? Whether you realize it or not, you are a big influence in your kids' lives. If you model unhealthy habits, they might never break the tradition of an unhealthy or inactive lifestyle that often plagues generations.

Learn and teach portion control. This is so important. If you're about my age, you already know that our generation was raised well before the fitness craze took off. We didn't learn to eat 'real' food and we definitely didn't learn to eat until we were satisfied. We ate until our plates were clean even if that meant we were stuffed. If the food was good, we had seconds or even thirds. Now, in the US, nearly three-quarters of our adult population is overweight and we are raising overweight children. Just because some children can eat all that they want now and stay thin, doesn't mean that will carry over into adulthood. Both my husband and I are victims of the myth 'once skinny, always skinny.'

Here are some images to back that up.

 

old and new

 

A Look Back.......

           Upper Left: Me at 17      Upper Right: Me, 2006       Lower Left: Al, in glasses, at 17       Lower Right: Al, 2015

 

Nuff Said? It can happen to anyone and more often than not, it does. Just look around.

If you're already active, stay active. If you've been inactive for a while, get moving NOW! It's never too late. If you've never been a runner and your 80 years old and overweight, chances are that you're not going to be a marathon runner now, but a few have done just that. But what if you started walking and worked up to 1, 2 or 3 miles a day? How do you think that might improve your health and how you feel? My point is, you can still change your future by doing something different today.

 

So, if you're ready to start making healthier choices in your daily life, let's get started!

STEP 1: Set realistic goals for yourself. It's fine to have one big goal, but set some smaller ones that you can meet and celebrate while on the road to your big goal. Whether you have 20 or 50 or 100 or more pounds to lose, set a long term REALISTIC goal, then set monthly goals to keep you on track and keep you motivated. People who set out to 'lose some weight some day' are usually not successful. Every idea needs a plan, and every plan needs a goal, and every goal needs a plan.

 

goal

 

STEP 2: Start Slowly. Spend today thinking about what you would like to change in your fitness health. Changing your mindset is often harder than changing your body. Tune in tomorrow and I will give you a few key things to do to jump start your program - the Road to a New Healthier YOU! It starts here!!!

 

 

Monday, September 7, 2015

 

Why Wait? Start Today!

Who says that a diet has to start at the beginning of the year, or on the first day of the month, or even on a Monday? Start when you've decided that you're tired of what you see or how you feel. When I decided last year to lose weight, I woke up on a Tuesday and said 'today is the day.'

 

get started

 

I don't really like the word diet because it usually means doing something that's nearly impossible to sustain for any period of time which then makes the goal seem unattainable. Many people give up before they ever reach that goal and most regain all of the weight they lost. Sometimes they even pack on a little extra.

So, are you having weekend regret over everything that you ate and drank? Maybe it has left you feeling tired or sluggish, maybe bloated? I hate when I feel that way and yet I sometimes still let it happen. We all get caught up in the moment at a party, or a cookout, or a tailgate, or a festival. There are just too many 'eating' occasions to count. I think that's especially true here in the mid west. We don't have beaches, or the ocean or the mountains, so we create 'eating events' to get us out of the house and socializing.

With summer coming to an end and the pools closing down for the year, you might be thinking that it's too soon to be preparing for next swimsuit season. Think again. I started working last November, and I still didn't feel ready by June, but I definitely have not given up. Seeing results makes me work harder.

So, if you're ready, really ready, I'm purposing a lifestyle change that will help anyone who wants a change. You will diet for a period of time to drop the pounds but once you've reached your goal, you will start slowly adding some calories back into your routine. You will never be able to return to the care-free eating habits that got you to where you are today, but your new found body image, increased energy level, and overall better feeling will make you want to stick to your new routine.

I am challenging anyone who is reading this to take my Get Fit Now 30 Day Challenge. Your first challenge will be tomorrow on Tuesday, September 8th. I will post it now in case anyone wants to get up bright and early and get started. I don't want anyone waiting on me!

My daily challenges will include getting active, making better food and drink choices, loading up on water...... you know, all those healthy things we're supposed to do anyway. These things have helped me see results, and I believe they can help you too. After just a couple of weeks of a more structured workout plan, eating healthier, cutting out sugar and processed foods, and drinking lots of water, I felt better, had more energy, and slept better. I started to drop weight quickly and could see changes in my body within a few weeks. It took about 4 months for me to see changes in my muscle tone. It was worth the effort.

All of the exercises I will give you, will be things that you can do at home. No special equipment is needed. You will need workout clothes - can be shorts or sweats, yoga pants..... and a good pair of tennis shoes. Remember to stretch after your workout to signal your body to recover and to help avoid muscle strain or damage. Always practice good form to avoid injury and to achieve the best results. If you don't know how to do something, ask me or look it up. There is tons of info on the internet about fitness these days - it is the craze. If you already have an old injury that limits you in some ways, modify the plan to avoid further injury. Remember, your health is number 1.

Here is your Day 1 Challenge.

 

day 1 challenge

 

To help alleviate sore muscles, drink plenty of water, eat a banana or something with potassium, and most importantly, keep moving. Don't just sit around because you're sore. That leads to more tightness and more soreness. Stay active. This may seem strange, but for sore legs, walking the stairs is good for me:) Find what works for you.

Make sure that you are healthy enough to start a fitness program and listen to your body when working out.

 

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

 

High Energy.....Some Have It; You Want It!

So today is the first day of my 30 Day Fitness Challenge. If you've never worked out or it's been a long time, don't worry. It's geared toward beginners. If you work out several times a week or every day, you can still join in. I work out every morning - except Sundays - and I plan to do my extra workout in the evening with my family. If you're up for more of a challenge, feel free to repeat the exercises 2 or 3 times instead of just once. Four sets would definitely not be unheard of! Remember to stay hydrated while you're working. Your body will work more efficiently and not tire as quickly if your feeding it a steady supply of water.

 

today is your day

 

Have you heard the saying that using or burning energy actually gives you more energy? People ask me from time to time 'where do you get all of your energy?' I really don't consider myself to be high energy. I like to rest as much as the next guy, I suppose. I sit in front of my computers too much - no doubt about that. But my reply is 'I get more energy from being up moving around, working out, riding my bike, going to the gym......I definitely don't get it from sitting around, resting.

I used to wake up on Saturday mornings and sit as quietly as I could at my computer hoping to not wake anyone up. Sometimes I enjoy a quiet house. By the time they were up, I had expended no energy, except whatever my fingers may have used typing, and then I was ready for a nap. If we didn't get up and get moving, I felt tired and sluggish for the rest of the day. I hate that feeling, so I don't do that any more. I get up at the same time as I do during the week and follow my same routine....get ready, eat, go to the gym. I feel so much better.

I came across this article on the web a while ago and thought I'd share some of it here.

 

energy

 

If you would like to read the full article, click here:      Web MD

 

 

This is one of my favorite WebMD articles on energy and exercise:

 

energy

 

To read the full article, click here:      Web MD

 

 

 

I love this article for understanding why you might be feeling fatigued or exhausted.

You know the drill, click here:      Web MD

 

 

That's enough reading for today. ENJOY! and then get to your Day 1 exercises and walking.

 

Here's your Day 2 Challenge.

 

day 2 challenge

 

Once you start feeling muscle soreness, hopefully you will because this will let you know that you're working, a foam roller works wonders to help roll out the knots. They come in various sizes, colors and densities. The foam roller that is, not necessarily the knots. Find the right one for you.

 

 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

 

Made It Through Day 1 of the Challenge!

Was it too hard? Too easy? About right for where you are in your fitness plan? Let me know. Click on the Comment tab at the top or bottom of this page and post a comment for me.

If you don't know my background and haven't scrolled to the top of this blog, I encourage you to do so. There are lots of workout and nutritional tips to help you get started on a new healthier you or maybe just jump start your old plan where maybe you've plateaued.

In a nutshell, I was always active when I was younger. Then I started a career, got married, had a baby, owned a business......I had a lot on my plate. I'm sure many of you know the routine. I stopped being active and just made it through the days working and spending whatever time was left with my family. That's when the pounds started to come on. I finally realized that I was at least 40 pounds above where I wanted to be, so I took it off. I did it the right way. I worked out, weights and cardio, I ate healthier, I sacrificed those things I didn't need.

I kept it off for over 2 years, but then life got stressful and I no longer worked hard at the gym, I ate out a lot, and allowed my junkie comfort foods to creep back into my life - and not in moderation. I put 20 pounds back on and believe me I was really disappointed in myself. I have now taken that 20 back off again and I'm working on another 10 currently.

Sometimes stress is unavoidable but how we deal with it makes a huge difference in our health and in our lives. I found this image online and I love it. It's so fitting for how I try to live my life.

 

don't worry

 

I added 2 new tabs today to try and make the Challenge workouts easier to follow. The tabs can be found at the top and bottom of this page (all pages on this site). The 30 Day Challenge page is where you'll find all the daily Challenges and the Technique page is where you'll find descriptions and images of the various exercises.

 

Here is your Day 3 Challenge for tomorrow. Enjoy!

 

day 3 challenge

 

 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

 

Who's Up for the Loveland Frogman Challenge?

 

8 mile bike ride, 5 mile canoe/kayak, 5K run/walk. Sound like fun? Does to me!

 

Loveland Forgman

 

So have you finished your Day 3 Challenge exercies yet? Pat yourself on the back. You've made it 3 days. Each day gets you a little closer to your goal. Don't give up.

Today, Linda and I met at a different gym to attend a different class. For cardio, we walked the parking garage ramp for 30 minutes while doing bicep curls with 5 pound dumbbells. Then we discovered that our class was cancelled so we needed a new plan. I suggested we set up for our own boot camp. We did lots of things, some of which I don't even know what they're called. We mixed cardio exercises with weight training and worked upper body, legs, abs......a little bit of everything. It was good.

For dinner, I tried a new recipe that I made up......Broccoli Salad - no processed sugar added. Check out the recipe page for a cool refeshing, fairly healthy, side dish.

 

Here is your Day 4 Challenge for tomorrow. Enjoy!

 

day 4 challenge

 

 

Friday, September 11, 2015

 

It's been 14 years......America will never forget.

 

never forget

 

I hope everyone who is doing the Challenge is 'enjoying' it. I know that might sound funny to many people, but once you get started on a Get Fit program and start to see results, you will be excited to get up and get moving every day. Just wait and see.

 

day 5 challenge

 

 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

 

Dinner & A Show

I know that it's hard to eat out when you're watching what you eat and trying to lose weight or get in better shape, but sometimes it's okay - just be sensible.

Last night we had tickets to the Illusionists show. It's a traveling Broadway show that came to our area for opening night. It's 7 magicians from around the world all performing different types and styles of magic. It was intense, funny, and entertaining. Great Time!

 

illusionists

 

So before the show, we were picking up both of our daughters and grabbing a bite to eat. Our older daughter was working late and our younger daughter was at a birthday party. Coincidentally, they were both finished at the same time. When I say grab a bite to eat, I literally mean grab it, eat it, and get to the show. I definitely didn't want to do fast food and sit-down and be served was out due to time constraints, so I thought about Chipotle. How do you eat 'healthy' at Chipotle? I follow their nutritional information online all the time. Their food is very high in sodium and can be high in fat and calories depending on what you eat. Avoid the wraps, cheese, sour cream, guac, and chips. So what's left? How about a modified bowl. If you've been reading, you have probably seen me post.....everything in moderation.

When you go out to eat, try to pre-plan what you're going to have. Try to choose something healthy. It helps to look at the menu ahead of time online, when you're not hungry. Make up your mind what you're going to have and stick with it. Don't even browse through the menu once you get to the restaurant.

When I go to Chipotle, I usually get the same thing......a bowl, 1/2 scoop of brown rice, black beans, chicken, 1/2 serving of hot salsa, 1/2 serving of corn, 1/2 serving of mild salsa, 1/2 serving of cheese, extra lettuce. I like it when my food is level with the top of my bowl, not heaping over or overflowing. I realize that you get more for your money when they fill up the bowl, but we pay for it one way or another. I'll pay in 'food loss.'

 

I got new shoes today. I hope they help my back. I know it's a shot in the dark, but I'll take a chance. Cross your fingers for me.

 

shoes

 

I hope everyone who is doing the Challenge is 'enjoying' it. I know that might sound funny to many people, but once you get started on a Get Fit program and start to see results, you will be excited to get up and get moving every day. Just wait and see.

 

day 6 challenge

 

 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

 

Popcorn Festival

I hope I won't eat anything too junkie. I am going to try repeating........

 

taste

 

No matter what you plan to eat during the day, try to start your day out with something healthy. This is how I start my days.

 

breakfast

 

We are almost a week in. YEAH!!! Hopefully you are noticing some changes. Perhaps you have more energy or you are sleeping better. Maybe your pants button a little easier. Maybe you've seen a change on the scale. Are the exercises getting easier or you feel more eager to get started on them every day?

Here is tomorrow's Challenge.

 

day 7 challenge

 

Get the best workout possible and AVOID injury. Remember to breathe while you are exercising. Do NOT hold your breath. Also, be sure to stretch after you finish. If you have a sore muscle or a strain, ice for 20 minutes several times throughout the day. Do not put the ice pack directly on your skin.

 

 

Monday, September 14, 2015

 

Weekend's Over; Back to the Routine

Well, our Monday morning instructor is really gone. Melissa left today for sunshine, sand, and sea.......Florida. Have a great life:) See you when I get there!

Anyways, back at the gym......Irene almost killed us this morning!!! Several of us had sweat flinging on the floor! OMG! So much cardio, so much non-stop action. Trying to keep up, made me feel like I was out of shape. To recover I went to the park and walked almost 4 miles. I'm up over 16,000 steps so far and I haven't done today's exercises or taken my dog for a walk.

Ready for tomorrow's Challenge?

 

day 8 challenge

 

I finished the day with just over 21,000 steps. YEAH! I'm resting now with ice (hamstring and knee) and American Ninja Warrior.

 

 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

 

1 Week Into My Fitness Challenge

I have been following my plan fairly closely, but I will admit that I ate out 5 times which is a lot for me. Four of the meals were lunch and one was dinner. I always do better if I choose to eat out for lunch and then eat lighter for dinner. A light dinner for me would include a meat such as lean beef, chicken, pork, fish, shrimp....., or eggs, and a side that is NOT a simple carb. Sometimes I finish my day with a Greek vanilla yogurt and a few walnuts.

A good morning snack after a hard workout contains protein. I sometimes like eggs with a little cheese and lean bacon. Usually about 3 mornings per week I have a protein shake. Sometimes I have a green smoothie or just a yogurt. I try my best to follow up my workout with something healthy.

 

morning snack

 

So I'm happy to report that after a week of eating somewhat lean and working out hard, I am down 4 pounds! I'm excited to keep going.

Here's the next Challenge. Let me know how it's going for you.

 

day 9 challenge

 

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

 

My Cute Herb Garden

I have had to move my herb garden indoors. I think Fall is near. Cool crisp mornings and evenings. Our days have been absolutely gorgeous! We couldn't ask for better weather this week - warm temps and sunny sunny skies. LOVE IT!

I love to spice my food with my own herbs, so hopefully I can keep these alive through the cold winter months. I have grown basil and rosemary before, so we'll see how my whole family of herbs does. I cut a few tonight and we made herb grilled Salmon. It was pretty good - definitely not a WOW! OMG I can't wait to have it again, but good enough to experiment with again. I diced oregano, cilantro, garlic chives, basil, lemon basil, garlic, rosemary, and fennel, and mixed it with olive oil, lemon juice, a little bit of onion, and black pepper.

 

indoor herbs

 

If you are following the Challenge, including the exercises, water and food recommendations and you are not seeing results yet, I'm going to have to throw out a 'bad' word......diet. You may need to start monitoring or counting calories. Just remember, it's not forever. Once you get used to what a portion size looks like and how to eat without overeating or stuffing yourself, you will have success.

I used to believe that eating healthy was enough to stay the size I wanted. I was wrong. I was eating way too many calories and the pounds crept right on. That's why I'm taking them off now.

Keep up the hard work.....stick with it.....believe in yourself......you will see results.

 

quote

 

Here's your Day 10 Challenge.

 

day 10 challenge

 

 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

 

Another Beautiful Day in OHIO

Why does it have to come to an end? I wish we could have about 300 days a year like this. I had a meeting that ended early, so I hiked in the Nature Reserve - NICE! The waterfalls are gushing because of all the rain we had earlier this summer. I should go back with my camera.

Continued from yesterday's topic of eating the right portion......do you know how to eat just enough of a sweet to satisfy your craving? It's hard. I'm not going to say "Oh, that's no big deal' or 'cutting out the sweets is so easy.' If you've been indulging in sweet treats for years or your whole life, it's not easy to cut them out. It's a process and it takes re-training your brain. All change happens in your brain first; then your body can start to change.

Instead of keeping the things I love and find really hard to resist on hand (easy to grab), I keep dark chocolate. I like dark chocolate but I don't crave it - ever. It satisfies my sweet tooth and for a lot less calories, sugar, and fat than my snacks of choice - cookies, brownies, ice cream..... Plus it has some health benefits too. I started eating 60% cacao and now I eat 72%. I have tried 86%, but it is a little too bitter for me unless it's mixed with something else. Maybe one day I'll work up to that. I have not tried 92% yet.

 

chocolate

 

One square of this chocolate bar has just 55 calories. That's a lot better than eating an entire candy bar that might cost you 200 or more calories. I break off 1 square, wrap the rest up and put it away. I walk away with my chocolate square and leave the kitchen. I don't leave the bars out in the open and I don't keep them at my desk. My philosophy.....out of sight....out of mind. I don't leave any food out in the open.

 

quote

 

Day 11 is here!

 

day 11 challenge

 

 

Friday, September 18, 2015

 

Hike, Bike, Golf

Hike the Reserve, Bike to lunch, on to the driving range. I love being outside.

Be sure to get a well-rounded workout. Do different kinds of cardio and be sure to include interval training rather than just a constant climbing or running pace. Your heart will thank you. Include weight and resistance training in your weekly routine.

I found this online and thought it really sums things up.....

 

reshape

Well, we had to drop the biking today - threat of rain, but the driving range was good as was lunch and the hiking.

Time for Day 12 already

 

day 12 challenge

 

 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

 

No Instructor......

I hate showing up for class and then it's cancelled due to no instructor. It's frustrating. When I know that there is no class, I prepare my workout on my drive to the gym, but when I'm prepared for a class, I don't have too much thinking to do. Today was different. We were set up for Body Works and when no one showed up to teach, I decided to run my own class....so for the next hour it was just me, my weights, my board, and Melissa's tibata.

 

empty gym

 

Melissa, this 'post' and my morning 'class' is dedicated to you girlfriend! I thought......what would Melissa do next??? Lots of lunges, squats, squats off the board, box jumps, mountain climbers, push ups, run on the board, run over the board, dead lifts, upper body with weights......Enough to make me sweat! AND, I did not forget my stretching!

I knew I couldn't take today off. I was there and ready to work - I absolutely would NEVER go home just because an instructor or trainer or workout buddy didn't show up. That is just not in my nature. Plus today may be a bad eating day - it is the weekend you know.

So I guess my point is, don't be discouraged or intimidated at the gym. Put your workout together and Just Do It.

 

Just Do It

 

After lunch, we are heading out in search of blue crab - YUM!!! I want to make my own crab cakes - more crab meat and less breading. They sound so delicious already.

 

Jungle Jim's

 

Speaking of lunch, I made a new sandwich today. I first mixed up the sauce from last week's broccoli salad and put a little of it on a high fiber wrap and filled it with turkey breast, broccoli slaw, and sweet red pepper. YES. It was processed Sara Lee turkey breast from the deli - high in sodium too. My original intent was to make this with grilled chicken breast but we had deli meat that needed to be eaten. It turned out great! I also planned to put lettuce, spinach and tomatoes on, but I added so much broccoli slaw that I didn't have room for anything else - good thing - I was full:) Maybe in a few days I'll try my 'special' sauce with the grilled chicken. I'm sure it will be good - the sauce is awesome - just enough sweetness for me.

 

turkey broc lunch

 

My daughter added the chips to my plate. They are sweet potato chips. YES they are processed too. We all love them and they are a lot healthier than regular potato chips - less sodium too.

Somehow Day 13 is here already!

 

day 13 challenge

 

 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

 

100 Calories

Have you ever thought about what it takes to burn 100 calories? According to my Fitbit, I burn anywhere from 300 to 400 calories while I sleep - seems like a good deal:). But, what about when you're up and active - just working at your desk, playing or doing a hard workout? Here are a few ways to squeeze in some different, not too difficult, activities to help you burn 100 calories. Imagine if you did several of these every day? The bottom line is.....when you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight.

 

burn 100

 

Whether you're just enjoying your day or you're in full workout mode....keep moving! There are so many ways to stay active. Many of these can be done in just minutes.

 

ways to burn 100

 

We are almost half way through the Get Fit Challenge. I hope you're feeling better and more energized. Maybe you've lost a few pounds too!!! Let me know. Go to the Comments page and write me a line.

 

day 14 challenge

 

 

Monday, September 21, 2015

 

100 Calories

Do you know what 100 calories looks like? Keep in mind that not all calories are created equal, so when you're watching what you eat, choose carefully. Your limited calories need to last you all day.

My example today is 1 juicy apple or 2 powdered sugar donut holes. Both are just over 100 calories. But, while the apple may not give you that mouth-watering feeling, it is packed with a number of health benefits which include anti-oxidants, vitamin-C, and fiber, to name a few. Meanwhile the powdered donuts are loaded with preservatives, addictive sugars, and nothing but empty carbs and calories that will leaving you craving more and more and feeling hungry within minutes of eating them.

 

donuts vs apple

 

Keep working hard. Results are within reach.

 

day 15 challenge

 

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

 

100 Calories

Would you rather grab a snack of 5 potato chips or almost 2 cups of fresh fruit? I know the thought of tasty salty chips might seem very appealing until you discover that only about 5 chips add up to 100 calories. It's really hard to eat just 5.

On the other hand, fresh fruit can be so very gratifying and can also satisfy your sweet tooth. Plus, fruit has so many health benefits - eat up!

 

So with fall quickly approaching - like tomorrow - soup season is here. My daughter loves to eat soup and to take it for lunch. I don't like for us to eat the canned soups, although sometimes they taste pretty good, because of all the preservatives (chemicals) and high sodium they all seem to have in common. My favorite soup, a chicken fajita, has over 1600 mg of sodium - almost an entire day's worth. So a few years ago, we started making our own soups. Every year we try to add a new one to our collection. My husband has been making chili as long as I have known him. I rarely eat chili anywhere else because none can compare.

Yesterday I decided to make chicken noodle soup. Before I even got to the part of adding the noodles, my daughter had sampled 3 smalls bowls of it and LOVED it. She requested that I just leave out the noodles - fine by me. She took it to school today and now wants more after school. YEAH! It's healthy, easy to make, low in calories, low in sodium, and passes the kid taste test with flying colors.

I posted my chicken 'un-noodle' soup under the SOUP tab on the recipe page. I will add more as time permits.

 

fruit vs chips

 

Challenge Day 16 already!

 

day 16 challenge

 

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

 

Hiking Day

I've been hiking several times a week. We have had so many nice days lately. I love being outside and I know that my outdoor days are numbered for this year, so I'm trying to take full advantage of the great outdoors. If every day was nice like this, I think after a while I would be totally exhausted or in really good shape.

 

hiking day

 

Today we visited the raptor center and was some owls, vultures, bald eagles, and a few cool birds.

 

owls

 

Wondering what foods to eat every day for an extra energy boost? Check out my list of some of MY favorite Super Foods and some of their health benefits.

 

Super Foods

 

Day 17 Challenge....try to do it 3 times!

 

day 17 challenge

 

 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

 

First Full Day of Fall

I love the cool crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons. Keep 'em coming!

I heard a stat on the radio that's really not too surprising, but definitely sad. Over 40% of women are too intimidated to go to the gym.

Ladies, there is nothing to be intimidated about - period. I think a lot of people think other people will stare or criticize or compare. A couple of things that I've noticed is that most people don't care who is there or what they're doing. They mind their own business. I don't think most people even notice what I'm doing and I really don't care what they're doing. I go there to work and sweat and I think others do to. Don't be afraid to ask someone if you need help with form or technique. I generally see that people are pretty helpful, if they can be.

Looking for a tough workout to really burn through some calories? I was, so I put together this boot camp for my Thursday morning 'Get Up & Get Going'.

      1) TRX ropes
      2) TRX inverted push ups
      3) squat jumps
      4) wall sit
      5) butt kicks
      6) surrenders
      7) inch worms with a full body push up
      8) plank (full body or elbow or alternate)
      9) curtsey lunge with dumbbell hammer curl
      10) TRX high Y's
      11) bicycles
      12) plie squats with dumbbells
      13) superman
      14) incline push ups
      15) walking lunges with dumbbell curls (1 minute first round; 2 minutes second round)
      16) calf raises with tricep extension
      17) mountain climbers
      18) overhead press
      19) side crunch with dumbbell
      20) skater slides (1 minute each round)

Do all 20 exercises for 30 seconds each, except as noted. Rest for 1 minute, then repeat all 20 again for 45 seconds, except as noted. Remember to breathe and drink plenty of water. A dehydrated body is a tired body.

For interval cardio, we, me and my workout buddy, walked the parking garage ramp curling 5 pound dumbbells. Put the weights down at the top, ran to the other side of the roof, ran back, curled back down the ramp and repeated a number of times. Our goal was 30 minutes but we ran out of time and had to cut it short by a few minutes. It was plenty.

 

Boot Camp

 

I still had lots of energy once I had my protein drink and got home, so I started looking for outdoor things to do. And, I must say......Today turned out great.....I spent the rest of the day with my girls. Biking, golfing, batting cages, fall shopping, visiting the owls again, cooking......FUN! And ended the day watching the Giants with my hubby.

 

bike and bat

 

fall shopping

 

Day 18 Challenge....Do you have 3 sets in you today?

 

day 18 challenge

 

 

Friday, September 25, 2015

 

Day of Rest

After my morning workout, I have declared today as a day of rest - other than walking Marly and doing the Challenge exercises. I did not get enough sleep last night and I think all of my nice-weather activities have caught up with me. We stayed up to see if the Giants could really win for the first time this season. YEAH! It took until almost midnight and then our old girl Mandy was woofing at 3:30 - short night for me. It usually takes me at least an hour to get back to sleep. I hate that.

 

giants win

 

Day 19 Challenge....We've come a long ways. Let's try something a little different this week. Keep eating healthy, drinking lots of water, staying active throughout the day, and working in those Challenge exercises every chance you get.

 

day 19 challenge

 

 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

 

5K

We got up early and headed to Cincinnati to help raise money for Pancreatic Cancer research and local families. This enthusiastic group raised over $208,000! WAY TO GO! It was a little cool with some drizzle, but overall, a great day. Glad we were a part of it. BONUS==> I surprised my old BFF from high school by showing up and joining her team.

 

PurpleStride 2015

 

fitness quote

 

Time for Day 20 already.

 

day 20 challenge

 

 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

 

Back to Cincinnati

We really enjoyed seeing the sights in Cincy yesterday, so we went back again today - different areas. Enjoyed spending the day with my favorite girls. Unfortunately, we found fresh made mini donuts at Findley Market and ate way too many. Better stay at the gym a little longer tomorrow.

 

my favorite girls

 

On a more positive note......both of our teams won this week. Cincy is 3 - 0! Great Start!!!

I added a few new recipes over weekend. Check them out.

Day 21 - Stick With It

 

day 21 challenge

 

 

Monday, September 28, 2015

 

Empty Calories

What are empty calories?

They are the calories we consume that provide no nutritional value - no protein, no fiber, no vitamins, no healthy fats......you get it. They are made up of sugars and simple carbs and include donuts, brownies, cookies, cake, candy, soda, caffine drinks.....

I may be guilty of lots of things, but very rarely am I guilty of drinking empty calories. I like water and.....well water. My eating menu is very diverse - I try many many things and like many many things, but my drinking menu is very limited. I look at that as a plus. There are not too many healthy drinks available.

I know that some people enjoy an occasional adult beverage, which is usually fine. Just make sure that you account for the appropriate number of calories. Here's a guide to help you.

 

adult beverage calories

 

Day 22 - Is your new routine a habit yet?

 

day 22 challenge

 

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

 

Fooled!

Don't you hate food that is packaged as healthy, but when you read the ingredients, they tell a different story. Not only is this bar being marketed as a 'Health Bar', it also has "Fiber' stamped across the front of the wrapper making us believe it's higher in fiber as compared to other similar products. The truth is the second ingredient in this bar is corn syrup, the fourth ingredient is sugar and after that every other ingredient contains sugar or corn syrup....all amounting to 12 grams of sugar. Healthy??? Seems like a lot of sugar for a snack. AND, only 4 grams of fiber, not terrible, but worthy of the large FIBER print??? I don't know.

 

fiber bar

 

On a different note.....some believe that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. Some believe that is a myth and habit building, good or bad, depends on the individual and the habit you're building. So, if the daily workout is not quite a habit or a routine for you yet, don't worry. It may take a little longer. Don't give up.

 

good habits

 

Day 23 - Steppin' It Up Again

 

day 23 challenge

 

 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

 

Processed Foods

I encourage everyone who reads this blog to give up processed foods - which is great advice; however, it's hard to eliminate all processed foods unless you are really disciplined. They're everywhere! Have you ever thought about how many processed foods and how many whole foods you consume each day? I don't focus on it, but I do think about it every time I put a bite of packaged food into my mouth. Many times these foods have so many ingredients, high sugar, high sodium, added chemicals.....so many bad things that we all want to avoid. Sometimes I eat it because it's a habit; sometimes because it's convenient; sometimes just because. So, today I decided to take notice and make a list.

 

Processed vs Whole

 

I know. I know. I'm not perfect. I'm sure I could cut out the Belvitas and add in more veggies - like eating some every day. Just remember, you don't have to give up everything you like to lose weight. You just have to eat those not-so-healthy things you love in moderation. These are a food of convenience for me. I can eat them in the car on the run. They last me about 2 to 3 hours so I can usually justify the 230 calories they cost me. I guess there are many other less healthy things I could choose. Right?

 

Belvita

 

Day 24 - Keep Rockin' It!

 

day 24 challenge

 

 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

 

Fitness Habits

 

This article, written January 27, 2015 by Lara Hudson, came across facebook yesterday and from its header, I just had to read it. It is so true. Be sure to read the whole story and see if you agree.

 

Fitness Habits Fitness Habits

Article by: Lara Hudson, January 27, 2015

 

Thank you Lara for such a great article. I'm not at 100% but I'm working on it. I do almost all of these things. The food aspects are still hard for me some days. Sometimes I cave. That's probably true for most of us. It doesn't mean that I'm giving up. It just means that I wake up tomorrow, go to the gym, and start my thought process about eating over again. You may have developed your way of thinking about eating and drinking and your food habits as a child - true for me, so to think that we can change many years or even decades of thinking overnight would be silly. Give it time.

 

My daughter and I spent the evening cooking and baking. We made veggie brown rice with cajun shrimp. She absolutely loved it. I must admit, it was pretty good. I made a mix between a thousand island dressing and a remoulade sauce - it was good too. I plan to make a seafood/crab salad with it tomorrow.

We baked another batch of granola. It is so good!!! It's hard to just eat 1 piece. I forced myself to wrap up the rest and store it away. This time we cut it into bars before baking and made it thicker. We baked it for about 3.5 hours. The top was crunchy and the bottom was a little gooey.

 

cookies and granola

 

We also made a batch of what we call Date Delight Cherry Cookies. They have no added sugar; just lots of real ingredients. Thanks Erika for the recipes. We modified both to make them ours. They are on my Recipe page.

 

Day 25 - Goin' Strong

 

day 25 challenge

 

 

Friday, October 2, 2015

 

Too Many Ingredients

Do some of the foods you buy have a long list of ingredients like this?

 

ingredients

 

If more of your foods have a long list of ingredients than your foods that are a single ingredient, you may want to rethink your eating habits and shopping list. I did. I'm not saying you can do it overnight. I didn't. It takes time to break old habits. I started by eliminating a few things at a time and replacing them with whole foods. I first got rid of a few things that weren't that important to me. If I think back several years to some of the foods I initially removed, I would have to say that I stopped eating out so much first. I used to eat out every day for lunch and most of those days included a Coke. I also ate out a few times a week for dinner - Coke again a lot of times.

Secondly, I got rid of in between snacks and other foods that were just empty calories - maybe things like potato chips, pizza rolls, pop tarts, OREOs, drop and bake chocolate chip cookies, packaged pb crackers, freezer meals, mac and cheese, stove top stuffing, white pasta..... I'm not sure if I ate anything healthy.

Then I started to look at things like baked potatoes with butter and sour cream that I ate nearly every week. I reduced down to maybe once a month and then dropped the butter and sour cream and added vanilla yogurt. Eventually, I switched to red potatoes and then to sweet potatoes. Same concept with canned corn. I used to add butter, salt and sugar. Then I learned to appreciate just the taste of corn, no add-ons. I do still occasionally add a little butter and salt to corn on the cob. I just don't eat it too often and I add far less butter and salt. I consider both of these starchy vegetables, corn and potatoes, 'occasional' foods to be enjoyed once in a while and not on a regular basis. I don't have to give them up. I just have to eat them in moderation.

Maybe you have a favorite food that you just really don't want to give up. Just figure out a way to make it healthier and then eat it in moderation if it is still too many calories or too high in fat or sodium..... I like PB&J. I never ate this as a kid, but I like it now. I used to buy regular Jif PB with hydrogenated oils, Smuckers jelly made with high fructose corn syrup, and white bread. Today, my PB&J looks like this.

 

PB&J

 

My PB has better ingredients; my jelly is sweetened with other fruits instead of processed sugar, and no more white bread for me. I love this sandwich. Who would have guessed? I even add unflavored powdered fiber to it.

 

Day 26 - Coming into the homestretch. That doesn't mean to quit after 30 days of hard work. I hope it's been motivational and inspirational and makes you want to strive for greatness.

 

day 26 challenge

 

 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

 

Need More Food!

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you can't get enough to eat? Well, I had one today. I'm not too worried as long as it's a once in a while thing. Glad I went to the gym this morning and had a good workout.

 

morning workout

 

Day 27 - Hope you're still going strong!

 

day 27 challenge

 

 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

 

Football Day!

Both of our teams are playing at 1:00 today and both are on tv. It's hard watching 2 games at once, especially when both teams are winning.

 

Go Bengals! Go Giants!

 

My husband can't quit singing the Peyton Manning Nationwide jingle to everything he wants to say. He's getting on the lawn mower soon.

YEAH! Giants have won 2 in a row. They looked good today. Bengals are 4 - 0! How exciting for our home town team!

Now it's time to cheer for the Peyton Broncos.

 

I made a special trip to the gym this morning (I usually take Sundays off) to try out Zumba. We have a new instructor and he's WOW! - so full of energy. He just makes you feel like you can do anything. I don't dance and I'm going to try it.

Well, it was good and bad. He was subbing for the Latin Heat class - which I would never consider doing. He assured me on Thursday that this Sunday class would be his regular Zumba and not Latin Heat. The regulars wanted more dance, so they won. I stayed and tried it. It wasn't too bad but I barely broke a sweat. I did get in some legs before and after, so it was all good. Most importantly, it got me up and moving today, which I needed. I woke up feeling lazy. Glad I went. I'll try Zumba again later this week.

For lunch, we made an egg and seafood frittata. It turned out really good. I already posted the recipe in both the breakfast and seafood categories.

 

Day 28 - Oh - We're so close!

 

day 28 challenge

 

 

Monday, October 5, 2015

 

Stretching

Many fitness experts believe that stretching is just as important as the workout itself.

What do you think?

I do think that stretching is essential for a healthy body. Stretching helps to improve flexibility, which most of will admit that we've lost some over the years as we age if we haven't kept up with a good stretching regimen.

Stretching helps to maintain good posture or might even help to correct poor posture. It helps to lengthen muscles after you've worked them. They become tight during rigorous exercise and good stretching helps to create long lean muscles. Who wouldn't want that? Stretching also helps to decrease your chance of injury and may reduce muscle soreness. Some studies dispute the latter claim.

When I did sports as a kid, we generally stretched first, usually with cold muscles. Now we know that a light warm up before exercise is essential to get off to a good start and to protect your joints and muscles during your workout. Did your coach ever encourage you to bounce in your stretch to help improve flexibility? That is definitely a no-no these days. That's a good way to strain or pull a muscle.

Here are some of the stretches I try to do every day. I generally spend about 5 to 10 minutes stretching at the end of a workout. I have had a bad back for most of my adult years and have had very tight hamstrings for about 8 to 10 years - not sure what happened, but if either are extremely bothersome, I add some extra stretch time in or do it several times a day.

 

stretches

 

We've been waiting a while for the sunflowers to bloom. Well, they're here!

 

sunflowers

 

Day 29 - I Can't Believe It!

 

day 29 challenge

 

 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

 

Final Day of the Challenge

 

I hope you stuck with it. The more results you see and the better you feel, the easier it is to make time for fitness. I hope it is a habit for you and you make it part of your daily routine.

If you don't belong to a gym and you're disciplined enough to workout at home, kudos to you! I am not. Save your money and spend it on a new wardrobe when the time comes. Change up your workout routine. Work in different rooms, work outside, go to a park, workout with your kids, with your spouse, with your dog, turn on music, work in front of the tv.....my point is, get moving; stay moving. Don't let yourself fall into the same ole boring daily routine that will end quickly. Keep it interesting. Keep it fun.

If you're like me and need to get out of the house and into a workout environment, then just do it. Memberships aren't very expensive these days and typically you get a lot for your money. Just because you go to a gym doesn't mean that you can fall into the same routine day after day and still stay motivated and get results. You have to plan your workouts just like you would plan for a day at work. Mix up what you do and how you do it. Have fun with it.

If you don't know what to do, look around and see what others are doing. Look up stuff on the internet. Watch youtube videos. Start over with the 30 day challenge. Do it in reverse order. Do it a random day at a time. Combine 2 days together. Add in more running or ride your bike. Hike at a park. Find a big hill and walk it up and down until you can't get up the hill 1 more time. If you're at a gym, watch the trainers. Watch the fitness instructors. Join a class. Get a trainer. Find a friend. Make a friend. There are so many options. Don't be too intimidated to try something new. It WILL pay off, if you work for it.

Make change happen for you! I'm not a runner, and this is what I do on vacation.

 

make change happen

 

Keep Everything in Perspective......

 

5%

 

Day 30 - I Can't Believe Tomorrow is the Last Day of our Fitness Challenge! I hope you've gotten a lot out of it and learned a few things along the way.

 

day 30 challenge

 

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

 

A Very Sad Day

I have no fitness post for today.

Today we had to say goodbye to our beloved Mandy Girl. She was the best pup we could have asked for. She came into our lives just over 12 years ago as an abandoned puppy. We instantly fell in love and so did she:) She became our Gym Mascot and was loved and adored by hundreds of little fans. In the past 5 years, diabetes and seizures robbed her of her carefree and active lifestyle and cataracts stole her sight. She never complained but kept her loving personality and gentle demeanor throughout. She deserved so much better. She will certainly be missed by all of us. We are so thankful that Mandy found us when she was lost, and so grateful for all the wonderful memories we have of her.

 

Goodbye Mandy

 

 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

 

Let's Try Zumba!

I never thought I would try a Zumba class. But, one of our new instructors at the gym teaches in a way that is not all dancy so it makes me think I can do it. I can do some of it, but some of the dancy stuff is hard for me. I kept moving the entire time so I definitely felt like I worked. I sweated. I think I'll go back. One thing that I noticed, barely, because there is no time to be looking around at what anyone else is doing, is that not everyone who goes to Zumba can dance, like I always assumed. I'm glad I tried something new. It's just what my workout needed - a change.

 

zumba

 

Get Fit

 

 

Friday, October 9, 2015

 

Happy Anniversary to Us!

10.9.1993.........WOW! That seems like a lifetime ago. 10.9.1992 was our first date, so Al wanted to get maaried on that anniversary.

He made a lot of our plans. We flew to Maui and were married in front of a waterfall. Then we hung out at the beach, took a few pics, and went out for a fancy dinner. Very low stress, beautiful setting, pretty day. Great way to start our new life together.

After 22 years, 2 kids and 5 dogs (all girls), we’re still going strong. Happy Anniversary to one great guy. My hubby is pretty amazing. Even though we’re having a hard week, he finds ways to make us laugh. He’s a great father to our girls, all of them, and he makes it possible for me to enjoy the luxury of retirement. He’s a great provider for us and makes sure that we always get away for family vacations. He does SO much for us and we LOVE him. I think I’ll keep him:) Happy Anniversary to My One and Only!

 

Happy Anniversary

 

All things considered, we had a nice day.....champagne and lobster dinner, yummy dessert, and ending with a movie:)

 

 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

 

Busy Weekend

Saturday......regular morning workout, long sleeve shopping with my Kohl's cash, Street Fair, junk food eating, lots of walking, very slow walking. We walked for several hours and at the end of the day I had only taken 10,000 steps but my feet we very tired. My feet always tire a lot more quickly when I'm just strolling along verses walking with a purpose. Even on the days when I exceed 20,000 steps, my feet feel better and not nearly as tired. Then we went home for 1 hour, grabbed 5 Guys for dinner and headed to a movie - The Intern - very cute - we both liked it. Sounded like the entire crowded theater did too.

Sunday......house cleaning, 5k Circle of Victory cancer walk, football, football, football. So far the Bengals won in overtime - YEAH! The Peyton Broncos won and the Giants are looking good.

The 5K was good. Our team raised the most money and definitely had the most walkers. The black and teal Team Besco shirts ruled the event. Here are a few highlights.

 

Circle of Victory 5K

 

Circle of Victory 5K

 

Even some of the dancers got into it. Great job girls.

 

Circle of Victory 5K

 

Marly was tired, mostly from all the excitement of the crowd and the noise. She devoured most of Abby's apple and then later she inhaled her dinner in record breaking time - 20 seconds flat! Now she's sleeping. I feel like I'm getting close. I hate to miss the Giants. They aren't on tv very often out here in the midwest. Plus I love Eli. He's so cute.

 

Circle of Victory 5K

 

 

Monday, October 12, 2015

 

Columbus Day....Holiday for Some

 

quote

 

 

Monday, October 19, 2015

 

Home from a New England Weekend Get-Away

We returned last night from a long weekend in Newport, RI and Boston. It was good to visit family and get in some sightseeing. We got lucky with a lot of beautiful sunshine and comfortable walking temps. The leaves were so awesome - very vibrant! We didn't have time to get out and take fall pictures so I decided to do an impromptu shoot with my daughter after school today. We hoped for at least 5 good pics, but we got so many more.

 

abby in the fall

 

We ate well on our weekend excursion, as we always do. Part of me believes in splurging on vacations, but part of me wished I didn't want to. I wish I could do a better job of eating healthy away from home. I did control myself when we ate lobster, but probably only because I had a big bowl of clam chowdah a little earlier. I indulged in way too many sweets and I definitely ate too much sodium. I can feel the swelling as I'm typing. I am trying to drink a lot of water today hoping to flush out the salt and I'm eating very low sodium today.

Life is about balance. Good mental and physical health = eat right most of the time, exercise your mind and body regularly......have a little fun the rest of the time:)

Here are a few pics from our trip.

 

Newport Sunset

 

Newport Sunset.......It was Awesome!

 

Newport Sunset

 

A Floating Lighthouse - How Cool!

 

Cheers

 

Our Favorite 80's Sitcom.....We had to check it out.

 

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

 

Do You Sweat???

Some fitness experts believe that if you don't sweat during your workout that you haven't worked hard enough. What do you think?

I keep reading how good sweating is for your body. I was really thinking about this today during my morning workout. I was already sweating when we went down to the mat on our hands and knees to do kickbacks with a band looped around one foot and anchored with our hands. My band felt so tight and it was such a strain to push my leg back. All of a sudden the sweat started pouring down my face and dripping from my nose onto the mat. All that extra effort really got my heart rate up which equates to breathing heavier which helps improve circulation and increases metabolism. Win Win.

Most importantly, sweating is your body's way of regulating your internal body temperature which keeps you from overheating. Sweating is Good! Let it Pour:)

Replenish by drinking plenty of water.

 

sweat

 

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

 

Back to the Future Day

 

back to the future

 

I can't believe it was 1 year ago that I started my quest for better health and fitness and began my goal to lose 20 pounds in 2 months. I've done a good job keeping it off, but I have not managed to take off any more. I hope to use this date to kick myself in the butt - 10 pounds in 2 months. I know it CAN be done.

 

 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

 

Marly's Turn

I just can't get enough outside time....walking, hiking, shooting. Our fall is turning out awesome. The colors are getting brighter and more vibrant every day.

 

Marly

 

Even when your out running around, try to remember to pack healthy snacks and lots of water. It's too easy these days to just run through a drive-thru and wreck your whole day of good eating - believe me - I know.

 

 

Friday, October 23, 2015

 

Winter is Coming......Oh NO!!!

The upside of having less fat is YEAH! Less Fat. I look better. I feel better. The downside......less fat means less insulation. Cold all the time. I have to layer up when it gets below 70 - multiple layers if it's windy. So, today I bought a new winter coat. It is thick and I think it will be pretty warm!

 

winter coat

 

 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

 

Too Good Not to Share

 

focus

 

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

 

I Love Fall!

I've been so busy taking Fall photos, I haven't focused on my fitness blog. That doesn't mean I'm not working toward my fitness goals. I'm hitting the gym every morning, except Sundays and twice in the evenings when my daughter goes to dance.

 

fall colors

 

fall colors

 

This park has become our gym away from gym. My friend, Linda, and I go here several times a week to walk the hill. It's pretty good for cardio. We are trying to get in as many walks as possible before winter gets here and forces us indoors. We both love the great outdoors.

We both walk a pretty fast mile. Linda is faster than I am - always has been. We walk a pretty good pace at the park and usually do the hill at least 5 times and as many as 8. We talk the entire time except when we get about 3/4 of the way up the hill. Then the conversation seems to get a little broken. The days we take on this challenge, I usually get 18,000 to 20,000 steps. I'm so glad that I'm out doing something as opposed to sitting at my desk. There will be plenty of time for that when it's cold and dark.

Just a few more of my fall favs.

 

fall colors

 

fall colors

 

fall colors

 

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

 

Healthy Snacks

It seems that everyone these days is making 'healthy' snacks. As soon as you flip your product over and read past the front label, where they tell you how healthy their product is, you'll see the real story. You'll see a list of dozens of ingredients......preservatives, chemicals, unidentifiable things we've never heard of and certainly can't pronounce. They often have added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, too much sodium, high carbs.......where's the healthy part, we wonder??????

It's frustrating when my daughter comes home from school wanting to try a new snack because a friend has been eating it and she thinks it's healthy. All this misinformation makes it really hard to shop and even harder to truly eat healthy. I spend a lot of time reading labels and trying to figure out what I can live with and what definitely stays on the shelf. Sometimes I feel like it is exhausting.

 

unhealthy snacks

 

Back to the park again today. I thought that Insanity ended at 9:30, but here we are. All the colors were so beautiful yesterday, we couldn't let a little rain, wind and cold keep us away. I think we need help.

 

walkin' in the rain

 

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

 

Rain Rain Go Away

Hurricane Patricia is dumping a lot of rain on us. We need it but I don't want it to knock all the leaves off.

I started a new class a few weeks ago. Actually I started 2 new classes. It's how I kill time while my daughter dances. It means that I workout twice a day 2 days a week. I actually have more energy when I do this.

Last week in boot camp, we had to do 36 tricep pushups. Earlier this year, I could not do 1! Tricep pushups make regular ones seem easy. I did them all. All real pushups; no knees. Yesterday I did 37 and today I did 38. I'm proud of what I've accomplished. It makes me want to work harder.

This evening we had rain and bright sunshine. It was so pretty. We looked for the rainbow all the way to dance practice. Then we came around the corner and BAM! It was WOW! So bright. So big. I wish I had my real camera.

 

rainbow

 

 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

 

Cupcakes & Yogurt

At 5:30, my daughter says 'Ms Teacher said today that we might be just staring at these nice napkins Abby brought if no one brings a treat tomorrow.' Next thing I know we're making cupcakes. Luckily we shopped early for the Halloween party, so we had cake mixes, icing and sprinkles. She did a great job!

 

cupcakes

 

Glad I really don't like them. Tomorrow we are making Graveyard Cake - YIKES! I do like that.

I recently found a new treat that I LOVE! It's my regular yogurt with Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, fiber, and Dates......yes Dates......well just one. It's sweet, crunchy, nutty......just good stuff. I just have to be careful not to add too many goodies - lots of calories.

 

cupcakes

 

 

Friday, October 30, 2015

 

It's Almost Here!

 

pumpkin

 

The Great Dayton Pumpkin Glow

 

pumpkin pumpkin

 

 

Saturday, October 30, 2015

 

Party Day!

My daughter's Halloween Haunt is today! We will be eating very badly.....pigs in a blanket, pizza rolls, tacitos, graveyard cake, cupcakes, donuts, OREOs, cheeseballs....Oh my! Then there is Trick or Treat later. Wishing I had time to go the gym this morning.

 

graveyard cake

 

 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

 

Time Change

I was up and functioning for more than an hour before I remembered that we moved our clocks back. That usually doesn't happen to me. I'm so tired right now and it's not even 10 yet. I definitely have not adjusted to the extra hour. How does 1 hour make that big of a difference?

 

time change

 

time for change......not only on the clock, but in my daily eating routine. I'm Ready!

 

 

Monday, November 2, 2015

 

Time Change

Well, I really was tired last night. I left my office just before 10pm to head to bed. The clock on my nightstand said 10 something, a time that obviously didn't register with me. I woke up to my alarm at 6:30, woke up my daughter, and started to get ready. The radio didn't seem quite right. Generally at this time, the morning show is talking, but there were 3 songs in a row. What's wrong with this picture???? I looked up at the clock and it definitely said 5:30! Oh no. I hadn't set my alarm clock back yesterday. Oh YIKES. I ran to tell my daughter to go back to bed, but the damage was already done. We are both tired today.

I have decided to make a list of foods that I am 'allowed' to eat this week. My list includes fruits and vegetables, proteins and complex carbs, yogurt and nuts..... I am going to try very hard to stick to these healthy foods and only each reasonable portions. I overate on both Saturday and Sunday, and felt like I had a big blob in my stomach for the rest of the day. I don't want to feel that way again.

 

quote24

 

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

 

Two a Day Workout Day

 

The days I workout twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, are definitely my most energetic and healthiest eating days. Tonight was a boot camp type of workout, which I really like. I can make modifications as needed for my back yet still work hard and SWEAT.

I did go to a chiropractor yesterday. Nothing alarming wrong with my back - that's good, but no real answers as to why it is and has been so bothersome for so many years. She adjusted for a rotated hip and found that both of my knees were 'out of place'. She was surprised at how extremely tight my hamstrings and IT bands are. That is always common for me too. I stretch quite a bit and use a foam roller. I'm going to try this chiropractor out for a month and hope that I get some relief. What I'm doing obviously isn't working. It is so hard living every day with back pain. I feel like I really have to watch what I do and limit some of my activities.

 

fit facts

 

 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

 

Let's Feed Our Children Right

Too many people sugar their kids up every day and then wonder why they melt down, or why they have trouble focusing at school, or why they are overweight.

It's not only important for us to take care of ourselves but to put our children on the right path for a healthy lifestyle - teaching them to make healthy eating choices when we're not around, making healthy food choices for them when we are shopping or preparing their food, setting a good example by being healthy ourselves and staying active and fit.

I do think kids need to be kids. We all enjoy indulging in sweets sometimes. Who doesn't like ice cream, or an OREO, or a piece of cake, a warm chewy cookie, a chocolate brownie.......It just can't be every day. Save these for special occasions.

 

kids

 

Drinks, to me, are the biggest waste of calories we can consume. It's easy for me to say that because I only drink water - no soda, no juice, no milk, no coffee, no beer, no wine, no energy drinks......just water. I do indulge on sweet speciality drinks sometimes with alcohol while on vacation, and I do pour milk on my breakfast cereal, but actually consume very little of it. I haven't always been so anti-drink oriented. I drank Coke, one a week, every week for years until last November. While I was in my teens and early 20s, I loved Mountain Dew. One day I just got tired of it and never drank it again - I know - weird, but true. I made a conscious decision to leave Coke - NO REGRETS.

On days when I know we are going to have a sweet, I let me daughter decide if she would like to have a dessert or a sugary drink. We don't buy sugary drinks so usually they have to come from a restaurant.

 

kids

 

 

Friday, November 6, 2015

 

South Beach Diet?

Would it work for me? Could it work for me? I have done a good job of maintaining, but I have not focused on taking off the few more pounds that I would like to. Now I'm getting close to Christmas vacation time and really need to get my mind conditioned on what I want to do vs what I need to do. When I got on the scale Monday morning, I was up about 4 pounds from Friday. I ate too much and too many bad things over the weekend. And, I can't blame it on Halloween candy because I only ate 2 bite size Almond Joys. My weight had not been that high since the first week in January, right when I returned from Turks & Caicos - all inclusive luxury.

My first thought was 'anger'. I guess that was my first feeling. I was mad that I let my eating take over and get out of hand. My next thought was 'make a change.' Do something right now before it's way out of hand. So I decided to cut out those not-so-healthy things that I had recently been eating too often. They need to be once in a while foods, not every day or even every few days. And that's what I did. No Belvita crackers. No Kickin' Crab Salad. No sweets. Limited fruits. No crackers with hummus. No crab cakes with remoulade sauce. No yogurt covered raisins and almonds with salted cashews. No tortilla chips. No sodium-enriched lunch meat.

What did I eat this week? Eggs, chicken, yogurt with dates and nuts, salad, shrimp, fish, Chipotle for lunch, banana with PB, avocado, a green smoothie, green veggies, Kashi cereal with strawberries...... Lots of good things that I love. Did I miss my fattier, less healthy choices from the past few weeks/months? I did miss some of them at first, but as I'm typing this I'm not craving any of them. I even went to the movies and didn't buy popcorn! I didn't let the thought enter my brain so I never had to make a hard decision. I continued as always with lots of water, although I must admit, I feel a little dehydrated today. Drink even more tomorrow.

So back to my headline......South Beach Diet? Would it work for me? Could it work for me? My workout buddy and friend, Linda, and I were discussing it Wednesday over Chipotle lunch and we decided that if we started it on Monday, we could finish the 14 day plan before Thanksgiving which would give us a day to indulge on some favs. She said that we would have to give up almost all carbs, nearly all sweets, caffeine, sugar, all fruit, my beloved vanilla yogurt....... After weighing the pros and cons, we decided we could DO IT!

Then I heard some scary words. "We will have to limit our workouts to 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week." The thought of changing my fitness routine stopped me in my tracks. Change is fine, but decreasing my days at the gym and what I do, seems scary. What if I replace that time with something not so healthy and it becomes a new habit? I didn't like that thought.

I did some research on South Beach and found that they encourage artificial sweeteners and processed foods. Sweeteners, I always try to avoid, and I typically eat very few processed foods. I have not completely given up things like ketchup, mustard, mayo, salad dressings, crackers, whole grain pasta, brown rice...... I have never tried anyone's published 'diet'. Over the years I have read several books and many articles on fitness and nutrition and then come up with my own plan that works for me, and that's what I've decided to do this time. I don't like the feeling of low energy on a carb-free diet.

Good news!!! What I'm doing is working. I hoped to lose 4 pounds this week, and so far I've lost 7! It seems so crazy, but I'm excited. That was just the kick start I needed to get focused. Now we're moving into the weekend and I hope I can keep up my good habits.

 

good habits

 

 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

 

What Are You Addicted To?

Have you ever thought about what behaviors you have that might be considered addictive? Good or Bad. I know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that I'm addicted to sugar and working out - the good and the bad. I talked to a friend today at the gym about sugar. She loves it at least as much as I do. Sometimes we don't realize how much of it we are eating. It's in so many things....fruit, veggies, yogurt, milk, juice, soda, many snacks, most processed foods......It's hard to escape the grip of sugar.

I've never been addicted to anything hard core before, but I can honestly say that the sugar addiction is hard to break. It takes about 3 or 4 days of refraining to end the cravings. Then if you're tempted, the feeling of wanting it comes right back. Even worse, if you eat it, you're right back into that vicious sugar cycle again. Then the cravings come and you feel like they must be fulfilled.

 

good habits

 

Does this sound all too familiar?

 

I overheard one of the instructors talking about dieting. She said that eliminating all or even most carbs is not the way to long term weight loss. Most, if not all, weight lost during this period will most likely come back. She went on to say that carbs bind to water, so most of the pounds lost are just water which leaves you feeling dehydrated. I'm glad that I had already decided against the full-blown South Beach diet in lieu of my own plan.

I plan to keep my morning Kashi cereal with strawberries and fat free organic milk. For an after workout snack, I like a green smoothie (spinach, kale, PB, banana, yogurt +....in my recipes), yogurt with nuts and a date, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs with cheese...... For lunch and dinner, I'm going to load up on veggies and protein. Hoping for a few more pounds down this week.

My good news for today.....I lost another pound!

 

 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

 

One Year Coke FREE!

I can't believe it. I had my last Coca Cola 1 year ago today. I didn't know that day that it would be my last, but I have no regrets.

 

coke

 

I don't miss it and I don't crave it. Before, when I would see a truck drive by with that bigger than life Coke logo and that icy Coke drink, I would think 'I've got to get a Coke today' and I would. No More.

I used to LOVE Coke with Chipotle. I never ate there without my favorite sugary icy fountain Coke. Now, I never even think about ordering one. I never ate pizza without Coke either. When I was younger, no one had better Coke than McDonald's.

Those who knew me when I was a young adult, might remember that I loved and lived on Mountain Dew. One day I just quit drinking it, but unfortunately I swapped one bad habit for another. I moved back to my first soda love - COKE, what I grew up on. For those of you who worked with me at the Valley, you might remember that I often started my day with a fountain Coke from the cafeteria and followed it up with another for lunch. By the time I owned my gym, I polished off 1, 2 or even 3 Cokes a day, nearly every day. I had convinced myself for years that I needed the caffeine. Eventually, I would get headaches when I didn't have my caffeine - real or perceived. Bottom line.....for many years I felt like I needed soda and it's big culprit, sugar.

It was about 8 or 9 years ago, when I decided to start living healthier, that I cut my Coke consumption to 1 per week. I started by deciding that I would only drink fountain Coke, because that was really the only way I liked Coke, so why waste the calories and sugar on something that's just okay? Then I decided with what meals I would include my Coke. I chose Chipotle. I used to think that I needed to refill my cup before I left so that I could get my money's worth. Then I realized that I paid for it one way or another. I was paying with my health. I eventually got to the point where I filled my cup completely full of ice and put in whatever soda would fit and that's all I drank no matter how hot or salty the salsa was. That worked for me for a number of years. I never thought of ever giving it up.

I have truly grown to love water. Who knew? Like a lot of people, I never cared for it when I was younger. For the past several years, it would be rare for anyone to see me with a drink other than water in my hand. If we're telling the truth here, I have to admit that I'm very particular about my water. My fav is fresh out of the bottle.

It was a few days after Nov 8, 2014 that I actually decided that I would not drink Coke for the rest of the year. This was a very easy addiction for me to give up. I'm not sure why. I had given up Coke when I was pregnant, but I went back to it before Stephanie was even 1. I didn't even like the taste at first, but I convinced myself to keep drinking it because I knew that I would like it again. I must have had STUPID stamped on my forehead.

I did not fall for that stupid gimmick this time but almost. Al and I went to the movies in January, a couple of months after my last Coke, and he bought Coke and popcorn for us to share. I devoured the popcorn (I think they put something addictive in it) and tried 1 drink of the Coke and it tasted like syrup and sugar to me. I knew I didn't need any more and that was really it for me and Coke. We 100% broke up that day and I've never looked back.

Just as I was typing this, Al came in and said that he hadn't had a Coke in a while and he tried one a few days ago and he didn't like it. Now he's decided that he can live without it. YEAH Hubby!!! I was talking to my dad this morning and he's shocked by how much he spends on cigarettes and is starting to think that he should cut back. YEAH!!! I wish all addictions could be broken as easily as mine was with Coke.

I've learned over the years that you definitely need to replace a bad habit with a good one. Otherwise it's just too easy to go back.

 

 

Monday, November 9, 2015

 

Never Give Up!

 

keep going

 

That's what happened to me on Saturday. I wasn't sure if I was going to puke, pass out, or die. I felt fine when I left my house. I got to the gym and did stair climber and abs waiting for class to start. Within 10 minutes, I was breathing hard and sweating, but it was more like a cold sweat - a very weird workout feeling and we were still warming up. I was even a little light-headed. I felt like a stranger in my own body.

Some Saturdays I know several people in class, but this day I knew no one. One thought that passed through my head was 'No one knows me today, so if I just drop over how will they know who to call?' I was a little nervous but pressed on. I didn't work to my full potential, but overall felt I it was worth my drive. I drank as much as I could during class then went on to do a walk/run/climb on the treadmill - then home. I felt fine for the rest of the day.

As I thought about it, I may have been dehydrated, even though I felt like I was drinking lots of water last week but I was limiting carbs, so I'm sure it was all related. Glad I was back to normal today.

Do you have days when you get ready to go to the gym and then just really don't feel like being there? I have those days occasionally. I do my best to mentally put a plan together so that I at least get something out of it. Many times, these have been super productive days. I really can't explain why but I'm always glad that I worked hard and I always feel better after. Planning to go and then skipping it just not an option for me.

 

 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

 

Work Hard - Today - Every Day

If you missed Boot Camp tonight, this is what you missed.......

180 jumping jacks; 12 minutes of wall sits; 4 minutes of lunges, 110 squats, 45 push ups, 75 abs.....and that was just half of the class.

Today was a busy day......Body Works; some Turbo Kick; Cardio......Christmas shopping all afternoon......Boot Camp. I finally sat down at 9pm. I didn't realize how tired my feet were until then, but I feel good!

 

warning

 

 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

 

Maintaining

I've done a good job maintaining my 8 pound weight loss from last week, but I have not taken any more off. I have eaten out several times. I've been trying to get my Christmas shopping done early before the cold weather gets here and when I don't plan for it, I find myself eating out. Yesterday I tried eating fairly healthy. My daughter and I went to Chipotle for lunch. The gals behind the counter were really loading up the burritos and bowls. I guess everyone was happy to get their money's worth. I had to slow them down on mine. I did not want a heaping bowl. I prefer not to pay for it on the scale. I'm doing pretty good with my shopping too.

I have eaten so many eggs in the past week and a half - glad I like them. I've also been eating yogurt and chicken and of course I could not give up my morning Kashi with strawberries. I am really trying to focus on eating for nutrition and not for pleasure during this 'dieting' time, plus build a few lasting habits.

I would like to go into Thanksgiving down a few more pounds. I plan to workout that morning and then eat my favs.....turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, pineapple soufflé, spinach dip with yummy bread and whatever pumpkin dessert, or otherwise. I decided to make. Our goal is to make only enough for very few leftovers. Eating all this bad food for one day is acceptable for me, but eating it day after day is painful. We are going to use most of the turkey to make soup - YUM. That will be a healthy treat.

 

lifestyle

 

 

Friday, November 13, 2015

 

Good Morning!

Do you wake up alert and ready to go? Do you wake up before your alarm?

OR......

Do you wake up tired and feel like you have to drag yourself out of bed? I hate those mornings - glad they are few and far between for me. Do you hit the snooze one or more times before you roll out of bed? Are you trying to get those last few minutes of sleep before you start your day?

I have been a morning person for as long as I can remember, but at some point, many years ago, I'm sure I hit the snooze once or twice. I soon realized that I had a harder time getting up and actually functioning after hitting the snooze. I prefer to pop right up. It's a bonus if I wake up 5 minutes before the alarm. Then I really know that I got enough sleep.

 

snooze

 

 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

 

Countdown to Thanksgiving

I've been looking for healthy pumpkin bar recipes, but so far I haven't found any. Maybe I'll make up my own. Here are a couple of the examples I found - don't seem very healthy to me.

 

pumpkin bars

 

 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

 

The Shopping Craze

I have been busy like crazy decorating and shopping. Linda and I go out looking for gift ideas, craft ideas........ several times a week. Today we decided to have lunch. You might think that since we workout so hard every morning, that we might pick something healthy, but somehow we drove to Smash Burger! OMG! Does it get worse than that??? On a positive note, we did NOT order the peppermint crunch shake that we both wanted. The greasy burgers with 60% fat content and the oily rosemary fries were enough. Now we've decided that a trip back to the gym is definitely in order - Boot Camp #2 for today. Hope it works. I have kept off my 8 pounds for almost 2 weeks now. I would like to get a couple more off before Thanksgiving. I'm eating out on Saturday, so I'm sure that will be all bad:(

 

 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

 

So Sorry I've Been Away

I have been so busy shopping, getting ready for Thanksgiving, planning a party, preparing for our trip, making our Christmas card, putting out lights, decorating our house, searching for light exhibits to visit, making gifts with Abby.......I haven't made time to write. Some days, by the end of the day I'm so tired that I don't even remember going to bed when I wake up the next morning. Crazy - huh? But true.

Speaking of Christmas cards......well one of our family members has gotten all of us in trouble. You know what they say......one in every bunch.

 

Christmas card

 

 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

 

The Calorie Burn

Are you getting the most bang for your cardio buck? I have not been. I tested 2 of my regular cardio activities tonight. I had just 20 minutes for cardio after my boot camp. First I ran, well a moderate jog (5.6 mph), and then I climbed on the treadmill at the maximum incline and at a fairly brisk pace. Which do you think burned more calories?

Did you make your guess??? The climbing burned more than twice as many calories as running - and is far less stress on my back and knees. YEAH!

I prefer to do cardio intervals which I will still do, I just won't stress if I can't run as far as I think I should. Climbing seems to stretch my back and I think my hips too - 2 problem areas for me.

 

treadmill stats

 

 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

 

Christmas Thieves

I admit it. I have not been a good blogger. I have been so busy that I have not made time to keep up with my blog. I have made time to eat healthy and workout nearly every day.

Unfortunate Event......While I was at the gym a couple of days ago, my car was broken into and my purse, including my wallet, was stolen. It wasn't completely hidden, but I thought it was out of harm's way. Another car was also broken into. I posted it on facebook as a warning to others. When I returned to the gym later that night, several ladies showed me their purses that they will no longer leave in their cars. So glad that a few are reading. It was an expensive day for us. Plus several extra things to do before we leave for vacation.

 

broken window

 

Don't let this happen to you

 

 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

 

Almost Time for Vaca

So far, I've only been able to replace 2 of my wallet contents. I bought a new purse and wallet today, but they are both pretty empty. I'm so glad that one of my banks rushed a replacement to me so that I don't have to leave with no credit cards. Glad my passport wasn't in my purse. I never carry it around except when traveling.

 

empty wallet

 

 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

 

Party Time

Today was our 'Murder Mystery/White Elephant' Christmas Party. It was great seeing everyone and lots of fun with yummy yummy good food! I set up a 'selfie cam' and a few took advantage of it. Thanks guys. It was fun looking through them. Here is a practice shot of me with my girls.

 

me and my girls

 

Some of my gym buddies came. Here are a couple of my buddies who I share my boyfriend, Gym, with. lol

 

me and my girls

 

 

Monday, December 21, 2015

 

5AM

We are up and on our way to the airport! So far, both of our flights are on time. Weather looks good all the way to Puerto Rico! Can't wait for sun, sand, and warm temps.

 

beach

 

Almost here!!!

 

We made it! It's so warm! YEAH!!!! The people are so nice and helpful. Our resort is small but pretty.

 

resort

 

We're on the beach, but it's definitely 'hotel row' but so much better than any beach I've ever been to in Ohio! I'll take it. The sand is amazing. It's so soft, I just want to roll around in it. I just don't want the after-effect - in the swimsuit. YUK!

 

resort beach

 

 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

 

Old San Juan

Today looked like it might be a cloudy day, so we decided to head to Old San Juan. WOW! What a cool old city. The building fronts are so colorful. The streets are narrow and most are brick or cobblestone. There are a number of old forts and historical sites to visit, plus a really unique and fascinating cemetery.

 

old san juan

 

old san juan

 

I know this is a fitness blog, but I don't focus on eating healthy and doing strenuous workouts. I do workout throughout my vacations, but they are certainly not the same intensity as my 'home' workouts. I consider this my body's 'resting' time. I did take over 26,000 steps today. Old San Juan is somewhat hilly too, so I probably worked off a good deal of calories, but I'm sure not what I put in. No worries. January is for getting back on track, saying NO to sweets and carbs, and working hard. Vacation is a time for resting, relaxing, having fun, finding adventure, and spending time with those you love!

We found out today that someone is using my ID and someone else's stolen checks to write checks to me and then pretend to be me and cash these bad checks through my bank's drive through draining thousands from our account. Extra fun to deal with while on vacation!

 

 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

 

Christmas Eve.....Our Family Style

We have been out exploring the island today. It's been nice getting out of the hustle and bustle of San Juan. We did lots of hiking and found some cool places.

 

Bay

 

salt flats

 

 

Friday, December 25, 2015

 

Merry Christmas

We are out exploring again today. Fun times and lots of laughs. We tried more authentic Puerto Rican food today. Everything we've tried so far has been pretty bland and unseasoned. Bummer.

We love our Naughty & Nice shirts. They were a big hit around the resort and on the beach. We had to ditch them pretty early - it's WARM here!

 

Naughty or Nice

 

Naughty or Nice

 

We promise to try harder to make the Nice list next year.

 

 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

 

Well, I did it

I bought 2 bikinis back in August/September hoping to wear them on this trip. I have not worn a bikini since my honeymoon in 1993! My husband didn't think I would actually do it, but I did. Nearly every day. I'm sure no one looked at me and thought WOW! look at her, but I also don't think anyone looked at me and thought OMG! cover up. Well, maybe some from the younger generation. At least I didn't see that look on anyone's face. Maybe they hid it well.

 

bikini at the beach

 

Somebody had too much sugar today and it wasn't me this time.

 

 

Monday, December 28, 2015

 

New Adventure

Tonight we kayaked through pitch dark mangrove tunnels out to see the bioluminescent bay, which was very unimpressive. I would have rather kayaked during the day and seen something pretty, but it was quite the experience. A number of people in our group did not know how to kayak. Our boats were equipped with 2 glow sticks - one on the front and one on the back. Some had already burned out. I now know what it feels like to be temporarily blind. I don't like it. We paddled for 45 minutes out and 45 back. Good News.....I must be doing something right in all my workout efforts, because I was not sore at all. I really enjoy kayaking, just not in the dark.

 

kayaking at night

 

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

 

Keep Drinkin'

When I told the Fam to make sure to drink enough so that we didn't get dehydrated, I think they got the wrong idea......

 

drinks at the beach

 

drinks at the beach

 

I said 'I didn't mean 'fancy drinks!' I meant drink more water.'

 

big drink

 

 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

 

Who Wouldn't Love to Start Their Workout Day Like This?

 

yoga

 

workout

 

yoga

 

Nuff Said?

 

 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

 

Last Day of 2015

This year has flown by. I know, everyone always says this.

This was one of our favorite breakfast meals and the healthiest thing we ate for our entire vacation. You'll be shocked to learn where we found it. It was at Crepe Maker. My girls and I did have a favorite crepe that we enjoyed several times......strawberries, bananas, Nutella, and whipped cream. It wasn't WOW, but we enjoyed it. Our favorite go-to sweet was coconut with chocolate flakes Gelato. It was quite DELISH!

 

yogurt

 

 

Friday, January 1, 2016

 

Happy New Year!

It's time for new goals, resolutions you'll really keep. Is it time for a new you?

 

new years card

 

 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

 

What's Next?

I'm already ready to start thinking about our next vacation. Where will it be? Warm and sandy? Wet and sunny, but not in the form of rain? Let's hope. I always hate saying goodbye to the beach.

 

sunset

 

This is the update I posted on facebook regarding my car break-in, ID theft, and stolen money from our bank account.

 

update

 

We didn't let this unfortunate event ruin our trip. We did have to spend some time dealing with it, but we didn't sit around worrying about what we couldn't control. I can't change what has happened, so I'm not going to dwell on it, but I can certainly learn from it and make changes in how I do things. Hopefully a few of my friends will take my warning and protect themselves and share my story to help others. I hate when the thieves win.

 

As much as I love vacation, it is ALWAYS a struggle for me to eat healthy or just make any good food choices. I am up 6 pounds. I'm sure at least a few of them are water. For my first full week of January, I am focusing on eating much cleaner, watching portion sizes, ridding my body of the sugar addiction that seems to always creep back in when there are too many sweets around, and trying some new recipes.

 

 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

 

Happy Weigh In

Well, I was right about 1 thing.......water weight. I am down 3 pounds today. YEAH!

I don't usually make New Years resolutions, but I try to find things to work on. With my back and hips being in such bad shape, starting way back in June, I decided just before my trip that I would start doing Yoga when I return. I have done Yoga in the past and it seems to hurt my back, so this time I am trying a new approach. Just because I can stretch my body to a certain point or hold a position for a long time, doesn't mean that I'm going to. I am going to stretch to where I can feel it, but not to where it is painful. Once I feel a cramp coming on or something feels too tight or painful, I'm going to do something different. My goal is to do 2 classes this week.

 

water weight

 

 

Monday, January 4, 2016

 

Back to Life

Well, it's up early, every day for me, and back to the routine. Back to my Monday morning boot camp workout, back to school for my kiddo, and back to work for hubby. Everybody's happy, right?

I am looking forward to seeing my chiropractor today. My back has been hurting since the first day of vacation - not sure why. I did not do anything to it, except sit on a very uncomfortable plane for several hours and then sleep on a very hard bed. I thought my back would like the bed, but it was just a little too firm for me.

 

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

 

Yoga Day

Yoga was pretty good. Very relaxing but painful. Both of my hips really feel like they are out of place - like they need to pop back in, but won't. I stuck to my plan - easy stretching. I took my time getting into and out of position and didn't care what my neighbors were doing. I'm coming back tomorrow. It will be a different instructor. People who know them both, like both of them.

I forgot about this lady. Next time I will imagine myself here.

 

yoga on the water

 

My plan was to go to the early yoga class and then do cardio. I did the 1 hour class and started on cardio, but I only made it about 15 minutes. I was so relaxed, both my body and mind, that it was so hard to workout in that state. Need a new plan for next week.

 

 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

 

Pounds are Coming Off

All 6 of my vacation pounds are gone. YEAH! I'm mainly focused on eliminating the sugar - I hate the cravings. drinking lots of water, finding some new foods, toning, working hard, fixing my back......

 

 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

 

New Recipes

We have found several new recipes this week that we really like. I added them to the Recipe page. Check them and others out here.    RECIPES
 
      Veggie Frittata
      Spring Mix Raisin Nut Salad
      Avocado Egg Toast
      Sweet Potato Carrot Puree
      Broiled Fish with Dijon Yogurt Sauce
      Blueberry Muffins
      Baked Chicken Stuffed with Kale and Corn

 

We also tried a wheat berry salad with strawberries and crumbled goat cheese, but it was not a big hit for any of us. The wheat berries tasted sort of like little rubber balls. Since none of us had eaten them before, we didn't know what to expect and we're not sure if we prepared them correctly. I went to 2 stores to find them and I'm not sure that I'll try them again. You will not find the recipe on my page. I only post recipes for foods I really like and will eat again and again.

My girl came over to have her little sister curl her hair for her night out and we all got in on the action. Fun. We did her makeup and she turned out so pretty.

 

snow

 

 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

 

Heartbreak in Cincinnati

The Bengals game was so hard to watch. If I have to find something positive to say about it, I'm so thankful that I watched from the warmth and comfort of my home and I didn't sit in the pouring cold rain to watch as they gave the game to Pittsburgh.

Eli and my Giants are already home for the season and probably looking forward to their 10th round draft pick, and maybe a new coaching style for next season that does NOT include 'Prevent Defense' as my husband calls it. So now I will focus my attention to cheering for the Peyton Broncos!

It's snowing today! It's a pretty sight. I love to see the snow coming down plus our grass is still so green. Pretty.

 

snow

 

 

Monday, January 11, 2016

 

Boxed Water

Have you ever seen this before? I had not, until Puerto Rico. I guess it's a good idea, but seems like it would take some getting used to. I like to see my water. Maybe that's why I never liked canned sodas.......

 

boxed water

 

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

 

Snow Day

I braved the cold temps and the falling snow to venture out to the gym. So thankful that Julie, our instructor showed up. Class was great - as always! The roads were bad, coming and going, and now we have high winds blowing the snow around and Baby, It's Cold Outside!

When I got to the gym parking lot, I realized that I had not put an ice scraper in my car yet this season - NICE!. I told a couple of ladies and then we went on with our workout. When I went out to leave, all of my windows had been cleaned off. Thanks to my mystery snow scraper. I appreciate it. I think it was Jerry. He was parked next to me.

My daughter and I planned to experiment with some new recipes today, but we couldn't decide what to make, so we signed on and downloaded a lemon cookie recipe. They are so good, but very bad for healthy eating - lots of sugar!

I ate a healthy breakfast, morning snack, and lunch and am planning a lean and green dinner, so I guess a few cookies won't kill me. My daughter did an excellent job creating this picture.

 

lemon cookies

 

Are you surrounding yourself with people who help you live a healthier life or hinder your efforts? Is it really that important? See what some fitness experts have to say about the #1 all-important habit..... Click on the image to read the full article.

 

fitness habit

 

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

 

Bitterly Cold

It was 1 degree this morning and felt like -12! It actually felt colder leaving the gym than when I entered. The wind had picked up. I had to stay in all day except for my driving duties and my gym visits. How many days until summer?

I'm on week 2 of yoga. It was pretty good today - different from last week. I like that. I like the classes to change every time I go. I can tell that my back is feeling better because some of the positions were easier for me to get into. My hamstrings and IT bands are still really tight. I have been using Magnesium lotion and I think that along with my chiropractor are helping. They are not as tight as they used to be. I also did my workout first today, thanks to our school's 2 hour delay, and then went to yoga. That is so much better for me. Wish I could do that every week.

Saw this online and had to share.

 

don't be afraid

 

Don't spend 1 more day being afraid to make a commitment to improving your fitness or you may spend months or years being afraid of the consequences of poor health.

Do you ever feel like you're invisible??? I was having a conversation with an instructor at the gym when someone, obviously someone more important than me, walked right past me and started her own conversation with the instructor. WOW! I felt like Burt from SOAP! Did I just date myself to the 70's???

 

burt from soap

 

WOW! 3 very different thoughts today. No, I don't have ADHD and I don't drink coffee, and no alcohol since summer vacation! Well, it's time for Criminal Minds and then the Powerball drawing. Will I be a millionaire???

 

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

 

Happy Birthday to Me!

 

burt from soap burt from soap

 

 

YEAH! My comment page is working finally! If you see something you like or have a question about anything you've read on my blog, please visit my comment page. I appreciate your feedback.

 

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Click below to see some of my favorite healthy recipes. I will only share recipes that I have actually tried and LIKE.