Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eat it, All of it.

Happy Easter, everyone! What have you been up to this weekend?


Friday was a beautiful day! I worked from home and spent some time outside with our dogs. I also had my in-laws over for our annual Easter Egg Coloring.




My sister-in-law made an amazing treat called Texas Caviar. She always makes the best treats! Have you ever tried or made Texas Caviar before? If not, you must.

Mental note: Find a recipe for Texas Caviar, make it, and eat it. All of it. Okay, maybe not all of it.


Saturday was a great day, too. I spent some time outside, playing with my little brother, Evan, while my husband worked on my mom's car. First, we played on the slide at his house, then he came over to ride our tractor. It was a very exciting day for him, and I had a lot of fun, too!



My mom bought a new grill and celebrated by making us an awesome picnic spread for dinner, too. It was most definitely starting to feel more like spring, this weekend!


I also ran a (slow) mile on Saturday. I thought that I would want to work on my speed this past week, but thinking more about it, I should be working on running for as long as I can. So, I ran slowly for endurance instead.

Saturday's mile
Week one of the April 5K Challenge has gone well! I lost a total of one pound (less than I thought I would, but I forgot it was Easter weekend) and I ran my first mile straight, ever. It was slow, but I did it!

The April 5K Challenge

The Goals:

- Get down to 220's
- Develop and abide by meal plans
- Develop and abide by exercise plans

The Deadline:

- April 27, 2013 (Law Day 5K)

The Terms and Conditions:

- Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
- Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
- Exercise plans are to be posted for each week


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Weekly Weigh-in:

Start Date: March 24, 2013
Start Weight: 235.4 lbs.
Current Weight: 234 lbs.
Total Loss: 1.4 lbs.
Goal Weight: 229 lbs.
Goal Date: May 27, 2013
Pounds to go: 5 lbs.

Dinner Plan for this week:

Sunday - Easter dinner (done!)
Monday - Grilled Fish with Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday - Jalepeno Stuffed Chicken
Wednesday - Quesadilla with side salad
Thursday - Quesadilla with side salad
Friday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Saturday - "Homemade" Buffalo Chicken Ranch Pizza

Exercise Plan for this week:

Sunday - Rest (done!)
Monday - Treadmill - 5K
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Treadmill - 30 minutes
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Treadmill - 1 mile
Saturday - Rest

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This morning, my husband caught the Easter bunny (a/k/a my mom) in our backyard with my little brother, Evan, who was trying to hide our Easter basket. I ran outside and surprised them, and got the best Easter basket, ever! A healthy Easter basket!


Our basket had a bunch of strawberries in it, too. I will definitely be needing this fruit to make up for all of the chocolate I ate this weekend! We kind of ate a lot today.


Easter brunch at my dads was followed by Easter leftovers at my grandma's later. I am definitely going to stay away from the scale for a few days after all of the food we ate today. I didn't deprive myself by any means.

How was your Easter? Do you have any traditions for Easter?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday, Literally.

Good Friday, everyone. Literally.

Some of you reading this may be off from work today. The Agency that I work for is closed today for "Good Friday", however, I still have some work to do from home.

In case you don't know what "Good Friday" is, and why it is celebrated, I found this special link for you: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/good-friday

To me, Good Friday is a day of thanks. I am thankful for the sacrifice God made for us, and I am making sure to spend some time remembering what today is really about. Sunday is Easter, and it's important to me to remember that Easter isn't just about making an Easter basket for my husband and eating chocolate all day long. If you're current thought is, "Whaaaat?" Then, this link is for you: http://www.history.com/topics/history-of-easter

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Yesterday I had something else to be thankful about. I attended my first neurologist appointment since September, 2012 at which point I got the good news that I have graduated to annual appointments! My M.S. has been in remission for 6 months, now. I am super excited to not have to think about the neurologist for an entire year. There was a time, in 2010, when I visited his office way too frequently.

My husband and I celebrated this great news with a lunch at Panera.


We got our regular; half of a Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich with a side of Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Amazing! Of course we had to split the 99 cent bakery item, which is always a cinnamon roll the size of my face.

I don't feel guilty for our splurge at Panera because it actually filled me up for both lunch and dinner. Another reason being, I'm not on a diet, so there is nothing to feel guilty about! I'm just living healthier and I must say that splitting the cinnamon roll versus eating an entire roll myself is living healthier, in my book.

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Do you celebrate Easter?

What's your favorite bakery item at Panera?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Plants and Weight Loss

My Spring fever is in overdrive!


This past weekend, I planted all of my tomatoes, green peppers and herbs in hope that it would bring more sunshine and warm weather our way.



Although we haven't had much sunshine, the snow was beginning to melt. It's back again, now but hopefully not for long! I'll take what I can get! It's been a few days since I've planted my seeds and I keep checking each day to see if we have a sprout. It's silly because I know it's too early for that. This is kind of how my attitude toward weight-loss can be at times; I keep checking the scale even when I know it's too early to see results. Regardless, it's important to keep watering and tending the plants, just like it is important to keep working toward our weight-loss goals, whether there has been a sprout yet, or not!


If you've been reading my blog for a while, or if you have seen any of my Youtube videos, the plant in the picture above may seem familiar to you. This would be because I have kept it alive for an entire year. This is a personal record for me. I am not the best with plants and gardens, but it doesn't keep me from trying! Kind of like running... I'm slow, but I keep trying!

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Last night, my sister visited with me since my husband was at night class. Before I even got home, we were talking about getting McDonald's for dinner over the phone. I was craving a burger and fries, and she was feeling it too. I felt good to just be able to say what I wanted, but knew that I wasn't going to give in. I told her that I was going to stick to my meal plan for the week and make fish for dinner instead, she agreed.



I did switch the meal plan around slightly, making sweet potato fries tonight (since she told me she had never tried them before). If you could imagine, the fish didn't taste like a McDonald's burger and fries, yet we were still satisfied. I'm thinking I may have been even more satisfied than if I would have deviated from my meal plan. I can't say for sure, but I can surely say that I felt good about myself and satisfied after dinner.

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After dinner, I received a message from a friend. Her daughter is having health issues and as a result, is having unexplained weight gain. I can definitely relate. In 2006, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) after gaining 30 pounds the summer after graduating high school. I began a cycle of gaining weight each year, which brought me to my highest weight of 268 lbs. in 2010. My doctor told me that losing weight with PCOS was nearly impossible. That is when I had a choice to make; I could choose to hear my doctor tell me that losing weight would be impossible, or I could choose to hear that I had a chance. As many of you know, I chose to hear that I had a chance. I have been working with that chance ever since and have lost over 35 pounds throughout my journey thus far. Has it been hard? At times, yes. Has it been worth it? Absolutely.

Losing weight is hard, especially when you have a medical obstacle, but it isn't impossible and it doesn't have to be torturous. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed my life more during my weight-loss journey, than when I wasn't trying to live a healthier lifestyle. It has been so entirely rewarding in every way! Even when the scale doesn't move (i.e. the entire year of 2012) I felt good about myself; about my choices, and about the change I was making in my life.

My advice for somebody who is wanting to lose weight but think that they may have a medical barrier would be to:

#1 - Seek medical advice
#2 - Think positive thoughts
#3 - Focus on today, but also set goals for tomorrow
#4 - Never give up, and remember that YOU can do it!

Are you battling a medical obstacle while trying to lose weight? How do you keep yourself motivated through the process?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One for the Books

Big news, my friends... BIG news. This is one for the books... history in the making.


Last night, I ran for a mile straight without taking walk breaks or stopping.



It was a slow mile at 14:08 minutes but it is my first time running for a mile straight in my entire life! When I was in high school, I consistently failed the mile test. I couldn't beat a 16 minute mile to save my life, so this is kind of a big deal for me. I am definitely more strong in intervals (since I could get less than a 13 minute mile doing intervals) but this was a very proud moment for me!

If you were to ask me when I was in high school if I thought I would be working toward running my second 5K at 25 years old, I wouldn't have believed you. I didn't even know what a 5K was and if I had, I know I wouldn't have been interested. To be honest, I didn't even think about running for exercise until winter of 2008. I'll never forget the first night I ran, I couldn't even run for a minute. I felt defeated, disappointed and like I was going to pass out from lack of air. Five years later, here I am, running my first mile without slowing down; running for 14 minutes straight, no less.

Don't get me wrong, this would have been attainable much sooner if I would have stuck to training and had this as a goal of mine. It wasn't a goal, though. Instead, this is a reminder that when you stick with something long enough, you will get better. Your goals, whether they be to lose weight, live healthier or run a mile straight, can be met! You just have to start, continue and achieve!

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So, as you may have gathered, I finished my mile last night as planned. I also stuck to my meal plan for the third day in a row. When I got home, my husband had this awesome meal ready for me!


It tasted even better than it looks. My husband is a master with the grill; these steaks were awesome!

Speaking of my husband, I have to say that I am really proud of him. Since we got our new treadmill, he has done two 5K's at a pretty awesome time; 45 minute-awesome. He hasn't run in months and this was the first thing he did on the treadmill. This wife is super impressed!

Have you ever run a 5K, or do you have a goal to do so in the future? Any other kinds of fitness goals in your mind?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Bid You Farewell

For those of you who may have missed my post yesterday, I have begun a new challenge; with that challenge, I have the following plans for the week:

Dinner Plan for this week:

Sunday - "Breakfast for dinner" (done!)
Monday - Chicken Quesadilla (done!)
Tuesday - Steak with Corn and Salad
Wednesday - Grilled Fish with Yams and Green Beans
Thursday - Baked Fish with Corn and Salad
Friday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Saturday - Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries and Salad

Exercise Plan for this week:

Sunday - Treadmill - 5K (done!)
Monday - Rest (done!)
Tuesday - Treadmill - 1 mile speed work
Wednesday - Treadmill - 30 minutes, any pace
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Treadmill - 1 mile speed work
Saturday - Rest

Tonight, we are grilling steak and I am going to put a mile in on Nordi (my treadmill). Two days down, and doing well! Accomplishing things, even little things, such as following a plan for two days, feels good. It's motivation to continue! It's motivation to do better, too. Not only am I eating well for dinner today, but I ate healthy for breakfast and lunch, too!


Smoothie for breakfast.


Salad and leftover quesadilla for lunch.
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I stepped on the scale this morning, because I was feeling lighter and I was curious. I was surprised to see that I was already down 3 pounds in 3 days. Results not typical; I call that, water weight. Regardless, I am happy to see it gone. I am down to 232.4 this morning and hoping to get in to the 220's even sooner than I had originally hoped!

I'm thinking of 3 reasons why I lost these 3 pounds. What I've come up with is that...

1. I made a change
2. I made a plan
3. I stuck to the plan

I suppose I could elaborate more on number one. I made a change in that I began tracking my food intake more regularly, I began drinking the necessary amount of water each day, and I started exercising again. Another three important things for me to do in order to lose weight.

Month long plateau at 233 lbs., I bid you farewell!

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When making a salad, what kind of lettuce do you use?
- I love romaine, but I usually buy what is on sale.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The April 5K Challenge

It's been quite a while since I've given myself an "official" challenge. I think my last challenge was in August, last year. Now, don't get me wrong, I challenge myself often, but there is something different about having a challenge set up here, for you all to see.

A reader recently shared that they enjoyed reading about my challenges in the past, so I am happy to share my new challenge, which started yesterday!

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The April 5K Challenge

The Goals:

- Get down to 220's
- Develop and abide by meal plans
- Develop and abide by exercise plans

The Deadline:

- April 27, 2013 (Law Day 5K)

The Terms and Conditions:

- Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
- Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
- Exercise plans are to be posted for each week


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-- Stats for this week, beginning March 24, 2013 --

Weekly Weigh-in:

Start Date: March 24, 2013
Start Weight: 235.4 lbs.
Current Weight: 235 lbs.
Total Loss: 0
Goal Weight: 229 lbs.
Goal Date: May 27, 2013
Pounds to go: 6

Dinner Plan for this week:

Sunday - "Breakfast for dinner" (done!)
Monday - Chicken Quesadilla
Tuesday - Steak with Corn and Salad
Wednesday - Grilled Fish with Yams and Green Beans
Thursday - Baked Fish with Corn and Salad
Friday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Saturday - Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries and Salad

Exercise Plan for this week:

Sunday - Treadmill - 5K (done!)
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Treadmill - 1 mile speed work
Wednesday - Treadmill - 30 minutes, any pace
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Treadmill - 1 mile speed work
Saturday - Rest

I am so excited for this new challenge! I feel like it's just what I need to break my plateau of being stuck in the 230's. Also, it should be a great way for me to stay on track with 5K training. I plan on completing one 5K a week until the big race in April!

Yesterday I completed by 5K and had breakfast for dinner. Speaking of breakfast, we made breakfast burritos for breakfast Saturday morning. We used the George Foreman grill and they were so good!



 
Question: Have you ever had "breakfast for dinner"? What do you usually make when having breakfast for dinner?
- My husband loves pancakes, bacon and eggs for any meal. I had cereal for dinner last night... two bowls.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yeah, That Happened!

Hey there! Happy Sunday! If you left a comment on my blog post this past Friday, I want to take a moment to thank you. I loved hearing all of your feedback and for those of you who left a link for me to follow, I enjoyed reading your blogs. You are all truly great people!

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This weekend has been great, even with a bad weigh-in. I weighed in this morning at 235.4 this morning (2 pounds up from last week) and even though I am up in weight, I know it won't be for long. Besides, I was kind of expecting the slight gain after our late night pizza order last night. Pepperoni and cheese pizza with a side of breadsticks while lounging on the couch watching episode after episode of Dexter on a Saturday night? Yeah, that happened!
 
 
As for the rest of the weekend, our meals were pretty good! The salad pictured above for example, that was Friday's dinner. Grilled chicken, eggs, tomatoes, secret-homemade ranch and just a sprinkle of shredded cheddar; yum! I don't know which tasted better, that salad or last night's pizza, but I know which one made me gain a couple pounds.
 
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If you read the above paragraph and you are thinking, "Hmm, secret-homemade ranch?", don't worry; I'll share the secret!
 
 



 
Did you get all that? Good. Now, let's hope my husband doesn't read this post. He may be very disappointed at me for sharing our (not so) secret recipe.
 
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This morning, I finished my first 5K on our new treadmill a/k/a Nordi. I didn't run as much as I would have liked (my head kept telling me to stop), but I did try to keep my pace up enough to complete a sub-60 time. Mission completed (barely).
 
 
Thinking back now, I believe this is actually my first 5K since the one I did last summer. Since then, when on the treadmill or running outside, I usually aim to run for a mile or work on my speed at a short distance instead of the 5K goal. However, since my husband and I will be running a 5K in May, that is about to change, for sure.
 
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How was your weekend? Anything you are proud about that you would like to share?
-I was pretty proud to finish my first 5K on Nordi, this morning!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Planning A Vacation

Another couple of friends, my husband and I are all planning a vacation! This vacation is going to be much different than vacations past. My husband and I have been taking cruises for each of our wedding anniversaries (September 19th), including our honeymoon!

2009 - Honeymoon - Cruise to Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Nassau.
2010 - First Year Anniversary - Cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.
2011 - Second Year Anniversary - Cruise to Nassau and Key West.
2012 - Third Year Anniversary - Cruise to Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay.

2013 - Fourth Year Anniversary - Hocking Hills!


This vacation is going to be much different in that it is going to be a very ACTIVE vacation! My husband and I have been gradually becoming more and more active each year. I have been looking at the magazine for Hocking Hills while I stretch after some time on the treadmill, so I apologize for the poor quality photos.





During this vacation, we are going to be sharing this beautiful cabin with our friends!

image from Hocking Hills magazine
The cabin has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, pool and foosball tables, a hot tub, a fully furnished kitchen, satellite tv, wireless internet, over 2100 sq. feet, covered porches and is within 5 miles of everywhere we want to visit!

And, when I say that this vacation is going to be active, I mean it! We are going to be hiking in the woods, canoeing in the lake and we are even entering a 5K for the Saturday we will be there! If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would be going on this vacation, I could have believed you. What I wouldn't have believed is how excited I truly am to be going!

What kind of vacations do you prefer?

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Love to Blog

Happy Friday, everyone!

I have come to the conclusion that I love to blog (as if I didn't already know this). I have been blogging since about 2006 on www.sparkpeople.com, but when I started this website in 2011, I never expected to have such a following! What started as a personal blog, to help keep myself accountable throughout my weight loss journey, has to turned in to so much more!

I am very blessed to have such amazing readers, and I have so much fun reading everyone's comments, facebook messages and emails. I am nearing a total of 50,000 pageviews for my blog, and it wouldn't have happened without each one of you!


Since I feel it is such a gift to have so many readers, I have decided that once I reach a total of 50,000 pageviews, I am going to give away a gift to one of you! Stay tuned for more information on that!

Now, I want to hear more from YOU! Feel free to answer any or all of the following questions in the comments section below!

How did you find my blog?
How often to you find yourself reading my blog?
What do you like most about my blog?
Anything you would change about my blog?
What would you like to read more about in my blog?
Do you read other blogs?
What kind of blogs interest you?

I look forward to reading you comments! I, myself, read healthy living blogs. I love to read about fitness, nutrition and family!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Peer Pressure and Buffet Lunch

The other day, a coworker asked me if I was joining her and some other coworkers at a buffet lunch on Thursday, which is today. I said maybe, which was my first mistake. I should have said no from the start, but I was busy at the time and she isn't the type of person who takes no for what it is; I knew she would have definitely asked why, and I didn't have time for that.

So, the second time she asked, I said I was going to pass. I braced myself as she did what I thought she would; she asked why. I told her it was because I wanted to stay on track and bring in my packed lunch. This is where things got ugly.

I don't know why people feel like they have to pressure others in to eating something they do not want. Truthfully, it is hard enough to say no as it is, but it's even harder when people try to pressure you in to saying yes, when you've already said no.

Instead of taking my reasoning for what it was, my co-worker began pressuring me to change my mind. Unfortunately for her, I have heard it all before, because I've used the same "pressures" as excuses for myself far too many times.

The pressures she proceeded to put on me after I already had said "no thank you" went something like this:

Pressure: "But we're all going"
Answer: "I already planned to pack"
Pressure: "It's a buffet!"
Answer: "I know, I don't have enough control to make healthy choices at a buffet. I'm trying to do better."
Pressure: "It's cheap, only $6.00. And you can just get salad!"
Answer: "Why pay $6.00 for a salad that I can make and already have the ingredients for at home?"
Pressure: "It's just one time, you can take a break!"
Answer: "I don't need any more excuses to indulge, I do that enough on my own."

She eventually gave up. Even though I'm sure she meant nothing by it, it was incredibly frustrating that I had to even stand up for my choice to begin with. I have come across this many times throughout my journey, and while it isn't fun, it does seem to get a little easier over time.

Times such as these, make me really thankful for all of the supportive friends and family I have in my life. They know who they are, and I hope they know just how much I appreciate them!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I Am One Spoiled Girl

Life is just better after 10 minutes of cardio.


So, the countdown for our new treadmill (a/k/a Nordi) is over. My husband surprised me when I got home with it already set up in the spare room! It is better than I remember it in the store. I plan on doing a full review of the treadmill after I get a few miles on it, but as of right now, I am in love!


Even though I only spent 10 minutes on the treadmill, I did spend a good majority of my night in our new treadmill room. I put my yoga mat in there so I could stretch, do yoga, and have a comfy place to gaze lovingly at our new treadmill while also reading magazines.


I must say, if there was ever a good time to purchase a treadmill, now is the time to do it. It's mid March and we got hammered with snow. My legs have been itching for some action, and with this new treadmill, I can get my workout done, while staying out of the harsh weather outside!


It was really nice to watch the snow fall through the window as I walked on the treadmill. The snow isn't the only thing I can watch, though. My husband also made a laptop shelf for me so I can watch Hulu and Netflix while I use the treadmill. I am one spoiled girl, alright!


After my 10 minutes of cardio (I'm trying to break Nordi in slowly) my husband and I got to work on dinner. He made some amazing grilled chicken and I made corn and side salads to go with it.


Yesterday was day two of staying within my calorie range. I am feeling the spark again! Motivated to keep this up and put my new treadmill to use!


What makes you motivated to stay on track?
I've got a 5K race in May, and a lot of plans for the future!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Maple Syrup Tour

Today is the big day! Our treadmill should be in sometime this afternoon! It couldn't come in at a better time, too. Both my husband and I have been stuck around the same weight for about a month. I think having a treadmill in the house should help keep up motivated, and hopefully help get us out of our weight plateau!

Eating a bunch of maple syrup this past weekend probably didn't help our weight loss efforts, but we sure did have fun doing it! My husband and I joined his mom and step dad for the Annual Maple Syrup Tour! Below is a picture of all of the goodies we purchased:


This was my first Maple Syrup Tour but it certainly won't be my last! While I learned a lot about the process of making Maple Syrup, my favorite part was testing it for myself. We stopped at about 3 different sugar shacks in the area, and bought a jar of syrup from each stop. Unlike my husband, I don't usually have pancakes or waffles for breakfast, so this syrup should last him a long time!


My favorite sugar shack was far back in the woods. We had to visit the shack by tractor. It was a beautiful snowy day, and not too cold of a ride. My husband and I had a lot of fun, we can't wait for next year!






If you want to see more pictures from our tour, you can check out my Instagram account. I usually update Instagram before my blog, so if you decide to follow me, you'll see updates more frequently, too!

Have you ever been on a maple syrup tour? Have you ever tried real maple syrup? Which do you prefer, the real stuff or store bought?
My husband LOVES the real stuff. I could go either way.