Monday, March 27, 2017

I REACHED MY HEALTHYWAGE GOAL!

If you stopped by on Friday, then you already know: I lost 6% of my body weight and reached my HealthyWage goal! 

It feels so good to say that "I DID IT! I reached my goal!" By losing 6% of my body weight, I lost a total of 15 pounds in just under 3 months.










HealthyWage Progress - week-by-week:
January 6th: 253.8 lbs. 
January 13th: 247.5 lbs. 
January 20th: 246.5 lbs. 
January 27th: 246.3 lbs. 
February 3rd: 241.5 lbs. 
February 10th: 243.7 lbs 
February 17th: 242.1 lbs. 
February 24th: 241.6 lbs. 
March 3rd: 241.4 lbs. 
March 10th: 239.4 lbs.
March 17th: 240.3 lbs.
March 24th: 238.2 lbs.

Losing 15 pounds in 3 months was a good rate for me. Could I have lost more in that time-frame? Probably, but, I decided to not deprive myself of anything during my HealthyWage Challenge. I lost the weight slow-and-steady. {If you haven't heard, slow and steady wins the race!} 

Throughout these past three months, I have eaten a lot of the food I love. I ate out Chinese food, Mexican food, Chicken Wings, Cheesecake, Brownies, Cookies, and best of all; I ate Dark Chocolate almost DAILY! Another thing I ate almost daily? SALADS, lean protein, raw vegetables and fruit! Basically, I ate it all.

Since the beginning of 2017, I have tried hard to maintain a steady balance between the "good-stuff" and the "indulgences". I found that staying within or around my calorie range was essential to losing this 15 pounds, and; while I don't particularly advocate for eating processed junk food when you're trying to lose weight, I just wanted to share that I was able to lose this weight without giving anything up in particular. I just gave in and practiced balance. I made sure to let the healthy food outweigh the not-so-healthy stuff, every time.

The reason why my blog is titled "Goal of Losing: Losing Weight While Living Life" is because of this right here. I didn't put my life on hold while I lost this weight. I didn't have to give up the things that I loved in order to lose this 15 pounds; I just had to eat in moderation and practice balance. If I splurged a bit on one meal, I made sure to eat lighter and healthier at the next meal. 

The difference between me being on a diet and me living a healthy lifestyle really comes down to this: I didn't give up just because I gave in to temptation; no, instead, I just worked harder until I reached my goal. I overcame the diet-mentality {a battle I fight from time to time} and I won!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Are We Going to Make It?

Another week down, and one more to go! We're approaching the final week for HealthyWage, and my team is cutting it close!

{You can read more about my HealthyWage challenge, here: Betting on Myself.}

My husband and I are on a team together and together we need to lose 6% of our body weight.

I am thrilled to announce that I have reached my 6% loss, and Nick is so close, too!



Nick has been struggling with losing his 6% but, now that I've lost mine, I can direct more of my focus on getting him to the finish line! 

The thing is, Nick has been eating better than I have and is literally twice as active! However, he doesn't drink nearly enough water {sometimes only one bottle a day}. So, that's going to be my mission throughout our final week in this challenge. I am going to help remind him to drink his water and reach his water goal each day!

As for me, I'm not done yet. I still need to get my weight verified! I'm waiting to do that until the very end because if I end up losing more weight, it counts toward our over-all 6% goal. So, even if Nick can't make it to 6%, we still might be able to win if I can lose enough to make up for the difference. 

Either way, we are in this together, and it's going to be an exciting final week to see if we make it to our team goal, after all!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday: No. 8

It has been such a long time since I've done an official Throwback Thursday {um, two years} but, I am bringing it back this week!

Previous Throwback Thursday Posts:
Throwback Thursday: No. 1
Throwback Thursday: No. 2
Throwback Thursday: No. 3
Throwback Thursday: No. 4
Throwback Thursday: No. 5
Throwback Thursday: No. 6
Throwback Thursday: No. 7


For my chunky-baby fix: A Family Made Dinner


A recipe I forgot all about: Thai Peanut Curry Stir Fry


This one made me hungry for cheese and crackers: Armed and Dangerous


The pictures in this post made me wishing it were summer: Happily Ever After and Grillin' Kabobs


This post was a good one to reflect back on for my own personal growth: More to Goal of Losing


Finally, the pictures in this one: Best Detour Ever, makes me want to have a million babies, Amen.

I use to include a "LinkUp" at the end of my Throwback Thursday posts but, my LinkUp account has expired. If you are a fellow-blogger, you can just add your own link to your favorite throwback posts in the comments section! I'd love to read what you've got!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Failure and Regret

I'm on the brink of making a huge decision for my business, and in order to help make that decision I decided to picture myself both succeeding because of this decision and failing.

I am a big planner-aheader (yeah, I just made that word up) and because of that, I am continually trying to anticipate the future. I don't jump into things lightly; the possibility of failure is always heavy on my mind. While I try to stay positive in all of my thinking, I did allow myself some time to envision my own failure, just to get a taste of it's bitterness. That is, whatever "failure" really means to me, anyway. I guess a failure at this point to me would mean having to close up shop against my will, before I was ready to do so myself. So, let's go with that then.

So, if I had to close the door on my business {Anything Rustic} for good, whether it happened tomorrow, or a year from now, what would it mean for me? I started to think about that, to see how it would feel, perhaps to somehow save myself some pain should it ever happen. As if spreading that feeling of disappointment over time would somehow help lessen the burden of it in the future? I also needed to know, how bad would that failure really be after all. Would I regret spending all of this time working on a failing business? 

{my business is not failing, I am getting to my point very soon, promise}


That's when I realized what I've really be afraid of: regret. Will I regret spending those hours away from Piper as I worked on my bookkeeping for the business? Will I regret those long nights when I could have been sleeping, working on orders that needed to be out? Will I regret spending many date nights with my husband talking about the future of our business?

The answer is no.

How could I regret it? While I was away working on my bookkeeping, my husband and Piper were making precious one-on-one memories together; memories that would not have happened had I been at home. While I was working those long nights, I often had my husband by my side, working right along with me. We would spend that time not only working but talking, dreaming and laughing together.

If I had never started this business, I might have regretted not trying to chase my dreams. I might not have had the opportunity to talk with some really great people all throughout the nation. I might not have been able to see pictures of other people's kids with my banners displaying their name proudly in the background or been able to connect and console a customer from another state who also feels like their baby is growing up way too fast. I might not have been able to network with new people in my own community, which almost always ended up leading to new friendships. I might not have learned that I can be truly authentic in everything I do and still be completely accepted by others. Finally, if I had never started my own business, I might not have ever learned the true meaning of grace.

You see, when you're no longer afraid of failure or the possibility of regret, it can't hold you back anymore. I think this translates well in the world of weight-loss, too. Life is too short to let the fear of failure and regret hold you back!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On Praying with a Two Year Old

This is a blog about my journey of "losing weight while living life" and, this particular post is all about the "living life" part.

Around the time of Piper turning two, I started asking myself, "how do I teach Piper to pray"? How do I teach Piper about God? It's a little intimidating to think about teaching her a subject that I don't fully understand myself. I don't have all the answers. Then, I remembered nobody has all the answers, except Him. I guess that's the point. Faith is the point.

I was so concerned about how to introduce Piper to God. I prayed on it and came to realize that Piper didn't need to be "introduced to God"; she already knows Him. I decided I would just start praying with Piper but, I wondered, how do I start praying with my two year old?

The answer I came upon? Just start. 



I started by letting her see me pray. One night, after I layed her in her crib, I said, "okay, let's pray to Jesus". I put my hands together and she mimicked me. She watched me intently as I prayed for our family members and thanked God for our health and for one another. When we were finished I said "Amen", looked at her, and she said "Amen". Just like that, Piper said her first prayer with me.

I wanted to bring prayer with us everywhere we went so, whenever I would think about praying, I would let her know. One day in particular comes to mind. While we were driving around together, I told her to look at how beautiful the sky was that day. It was bright blue with big fluffy clouds. The sun was shining; it was idyllic. She looked at the sky, saw the big clouds I was talking about and she said "oh wow, amazing!" I told her, "let's pray to Jesus and thank Him for this beautiful day". I looked back and saw her hands were pushed together and she listened as I said our prayer. I finished with "Amen" and she repeated me happily. 

I can't explain how it makes my heart feel to see her begin her relationship with God, right there in the backseat of my car; while looking down at her laying in her crib, or; while sitting there with us at the dining room table. There is no right way to start praying with your child and there is no right place to start; it was just important to for me to start.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Drink More Water

Grab a glass of water and sit with me for a minute.

It's no secret that I am obsessed with Darin Olien's brand, SuperLife. I feel like Darin has the answers to so many questions we didn't even know we had. He uses food as medicine. He says things like "pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later". He speaks the truth and he's passionate to share it.

Today, I want to talk about water, and I'm using Darin's post on "The Simplest Way to Regain Your Energy" to help me out.
Darin says, "It really seems too simple, but when you stay hydrated, you instantly upgrade your health. We are all primarily made of water. This makes drinking enough water, or staying hydrated, a critical piece of staying healthy! Drinking enough water is the simplest way to regain your energy!"
Not only is staying hydrated good for your energy level, but drinking enough water has been key to helping me in my journey of losing weight! For example, this past weekend, my husband and I indulged a bit when we went out to eat {twice in two days}. Throughout the weekend, I made sure to keep my water intake in check. Come to find today, even though we indulged in Chinese and Mexican food, I'm actually down in weight because I pushed so much water this weekend!



Water is so important!

For those of you who have asked, my HealthyWage challenge is coming to an end soon. Nick and I are able to submit our final weigh-in anytime now through the end of the month. Here are my weigh-in's from the beginning of the challenge through last Friday.

HealthyWage Progress - week-by-week:
January 6th: 253.8 lbs. 
January 13th: 247.5 lbs. 
January 20th: 246.5 lbs. 
January 27th: 246.3 lbs. 
February 3rd: 241.5 lbs. 
February 10th: 243.7 lbs 
February 17th: 242.1 lbs. 
February 24th: 241.6 lbs. 
March 3rd: 241.4 lbs. 
March 10th: 239.4 lbs.
March 17th: 240.3 lbs.

I am so close to losing 6% of my body weight, and Nick isn't too far behind. We are going to work hard on staying on track this week; eating well, exercising and staying hydrated.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Just Thirty Pounds

Before I had Piper, I lost 40 pounds. I had gone from somewhere around 270 pounds down to about 230 pounds. I did it by eating within moderation {counting calories}, moving more, drinking a lot of water daily and getting a good amount of sleep at night. It didn't all happen at once. I would have minor set backs, a gain here, a bigger loss there, etc. I persevered through it all and right before getting pregnancy in 2014, I had lost and maintained my loss of 40 pounds.

When I became pregnant with Piper, I stopped counting calories, of course. I ate intuitively throughout my pregnancy and did so for a while after Piper was born, too. I had gained about 40 pounds during my pregnancy, going from about 230 lbs to 270, again {only this time for good reason}. Piper is two years old now and I am almost back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, for the second time postpartum.

I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight once before, very shortly after giving birth, but then I gained about 15 pounds throughout my first summer of being a stay-at-home mom. It was all so new, and I was learning a lot about being a new mom, a new stay-at-home mom, and then a new stay-at-home mom turned building-her-own-at-home-business-at-home mom. It took me a while to learn how to give myself grace throughout it all. I thought I had to do everything right; it took me a while and another 5 more pounds gained before I realized that there is no right way when it comes having your first child and starting a business from scratch all in the same year.

In the thick of it all, when I was first starting my business and mothering my ever-changing baby month-by-month, I wouldn't eat much throughout the days. I was so busy doing everything else that I didn't take the time I needed to take care of myself. By the end of each day, after Piper was asleep for the night, I could be found in front of the fridge. The night-time binge. It was a bad routine that lasted for months. Since I have PCOS, the weight came on fast, and I settled in at about 253 pounds for a while -- 20 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, and 17 pounds below my highest weight.


Piper is two years old now and I am finally back to losing weight on a fairly consistent basis again. I joined a HealthyWage challenge in January and it has given me a lot of motivation to stay on track. I have been counting my calories again, drinking all of the water I need and planning out my meals regularly. I have been focusing more on myself, and it's paying off. 

Just last Friday, I weighed in at my lowest weight in two years: 239 lbs. I haven't been in the 230's since that brief moment in 2015, shortly after giving birth to Piper. I wish I could say I was ecstatic, but it's not really the case. Instead of celebrating this milestone of being 30 pounds down from my highest weight, I found myself saying that "it's just 30 pounds". I thought back to when I had lost 40 pounds and said to myself, "now that's an accomplishment".

I'm not proud of these thoughts, but they did cross my mind. Of course 30 pounds down is a great accomplishment, if someone else were to tell me they lost 30 pounds, I would be so excited for them! Never would I say to someone else, "well, that's just 30 pounds". Never.

It's time to start being my own cheerleader, again. It's time to start treating myself with the same kind of love and enthusiasm that I share with others. So, here's what I have to say to myself:
"It doesn't matter how long it's taken you to get back down to a total of 30 pounds lost. What matters is that you did it. 30 pounds is a big deal! That 30 pounds lost is weight that is no longer bearing down on your joints. It's 30 pounds of mobility gained. It's 30 pounds lifted off of your shoulders. You did a great job! Keep up the good work and DON'T EVER GIVE UP!"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day in the Life at Two Years Old

I have been meaning to post this update since Piper turned two in January, but not much has changed in our daily routine these past two months. So, as I'm finding myself saying a lot more often these days, it's better late than never!

6:00 AM

I woke up on Monday morning knowing that I wanted to document the day specifically for this post, which gave me a little extra motivation to wake up the first time when my FitBit's silent alarm went off at 6:00 a.m.

{Side note: I am seriously in love with the FitBit silent alarm using vibrations. Prior to using the silent alarm, I swear Piper could somehow hear my phone's alarm going off despite both of our doors being closed and her sound machine being on. She would wake up right along with my phone alarm, every time, so having this silent alarm has been a serious game changer!}

Just like most mornings, Piper was still sleeping when I woke up to my alarm. I tip-toed past all of the loud creeks and pops that our floors like to make and made it down the stairs successfully without waking Piper up! Nick was still here at that time, getting his morning smoothie ready. I helped him pack his lunch for the day and after a bit, he was off to work. After Nick left for work, I made myself some tea and went over my plan for the day.


6:30 AM

With my tea and the baby monitor by my side, I worked on my computer for a bit; posting the link to yesterday's post on my Facebook Page and checking Etsy for any new orders. I printed out the new orders that came in over the weekend and put them in my inbox for later. By this time, Piper rolled around and let out a little whimper, so I knew she was about to start waking up for the day. It usually takes her a good 10-15 minutes to fully wake up, so I jumped right in the shower and got myself ready. By the time I was done with my make-up {not an everyday thing} it was 7:15 and Piper was sitting up in her crib, talking to her stuffed animals. I warmed up her bottle and went up to greet her with a big "good morning".


{Disclaimer: Piper gets about 8 oz. of warm, 2% milk twice a day; once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. We just recently switched from whole milk to 2%. She drinks water at all her meals and rarely has juice -- usually only at grandma's house. This is what works for us and may not suit everyone's standards.}

Almost every morning, Piper wakes up in a good mood. I think she gets that from Nick! Going up to get her in the morning is such a delight. I love to hear her say "good  morning" in her little voice as soon as I open the door. Like yesterday, she often has stories to tell me first thing, either from her dreams or replaying something that happened the day before.


Some mornings, Piper will ask to go to my bed to drink her bottle and other mornings she will drink it in her room; either with me rocking her in the chair or while getting her diaper changed. This morning, she wanted it while I was changing her diaper, and I snapped this picture as she was finishing up. I absolutely love this peaceful time of our mornings together. I think having Piper give up the bottle with be equally hard for the both of us.


7:30 AM

That peaceful time didn't last long. As soon as Piper was done with her bottle, she was ready to rock and roll! Like most mornings, we stayed upstairs for about an hour. I do this purposefully to try and keep her away from the T.V. first thing in the morning. Right next to Piper's nursery is her playroom. There is no T.V. in her playroom, and we like it that way! 


It's almost always a guarantee that Piper's playroom will be a disaster every Monday morning. {No judgement, please. Hah!} It's part of my routine to spend some of my Monday morning cleaning up from the play-room destruction that ensued over the weekend. Nick and I would much rather spend our evenings together doing anything other than cleaning up all the the toys in her playroom before bed. So, I leave it for mornings, when Piper and I can clean up together. And when I say "clean-up", I mean that I try and put the room together faster than she can tear it all apart again. It's a fun game for both of us!


8:30 AM

After cleaning up and playing in the toy-room, we went downstairs to let the dogs outside. Seeing the dogs reminded Piper of her current obsession: walking around with a "tail" hanging out of her pants. So, I had to put a boa in her pants {like we've been having to do quite often lately}.



When the dogs came back in the house, Piper ran for their treats. Piper loves to make the dogs wait for their treats {the power-struggle between the toddler and the dogs is real} so I often have to encourage her to give them their milk bones {all without me laughing at the situation, of course}.


On this Monday morning, I made us both some raw organic cacao smoothies with strawberries, bananas, whey protein, spinach and coconut milk. I have been trying to replace my morning cup of coffee with the natural mood-boosting benefits of cacao, and so far it has been going well. I still crave a cup from time to time {it's only been about 3 days so far} but thankfully, I don't get grumpy without having the coffee, like I use to. {Side note: I'm not giving coffee up for good; just trying to drink it less often.}



Piper loves "moohies", as she calls them! On this morning, she insisted that we both sit down on the kitchen floor to drink our smoothies. She really dressed up for the occasion, too. {I swear this kid hides hats all around the house. She loves to wear hats and is always surprising me!}



After a few minutes on the floor, Piper asked me to watch "The Bee Movie". So, I put that on for her while I fixed us each small plate of breakfast to go along with our smoothies.


9:00 AM

Piper had a plate of mixed berries, a hard boiled egg and cheese. I had a hard boiled egg and buttered toast. I let Piper eat her breakfast while she watched "The Bee Movie" so I could clean up some dishes and get some things together for our big excursion of the day.


After she was done with breakfast, I gave Piper her new daily vitamin and took my vitamins, too. I found these Animal vitamins for kids at Whole Foods during my last trip, and they have been a hit so far! She loves them!


10:00 AM

After getting Piper dressed for the day and out the door, we went to a local pharmacy to check-in. I am selling a few rustic wood signs and a few banners there on consignment. I like to check in at least once a month to see how things are doing, and to check out all the new things they have in store!


After the pharmacy, Piper and I went to the library. Our local library is only open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. This past Saturday, Piper, Nick and I all went together for a bit before lunch. That's when the picture below was taken.


Piper and I spent about an hour at the library on Monday morning. She played with some puzzles, we read some books, and she did a little running around before we went home for lunch.

12:00 PM

When we got home, I put together a quick lunch for the two of us. Piper had some fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, cheese and white beans. I had leftover chili from last Sunday's dinner.



After lunch, I started cleaning up the dishes. When I was finished, Piper asked me for her "binky". That meant to me that she was ready to go upstairs and start winding down for her nap. She requested to lay in the big bed with me instead of going straight into her room, so we read some books and played "this little piggy" on her toes in the big bed until she was finally ready to go down for her nap.



1:00 PM

Piper fell asleep around her normal time of 1:00, despite it being the second day of Daylight Saving Time. We basically practiced for a week ahead of time with the new schedule so the time difference isn't affecting us too badly. I never realized how big of a pain Daylight Saving Time really was until I became a parent.

As Piper slept, I began uploading the pictures for this blog post and typing some of it up. Once I got caught up to the moment in the day in this post, I turned on a T.V. show for background noise while I began working on some of my banner orders from Anything Rustic.

3:45 PM

Nick got home from work and Piper was still sleeping! This long of a nap happens every one in a while. She usually takes anywhere from an hour to a two hour nap, but on a rare occasion she will take a full three hour nap and it gets to the point where I start to miss her! Piper woke up around 4:00. We all caught each other up on how our days were going and after a bit, Piper and Nick went upstairs to play in the playroom while I got dinner ready for all of us.







5:00 PM

We all ate dinner together around 5. Nick and I had a chicken sausage stir fry and I made Piper a burrito bowl. We all had a great meal together and finished our plates.

5:30 PM

Since the library was open, I went back to the library after dinner, only this time it wasn't to play. I left Piper at home with Nick while I went to work on some paperwork for my business at the library. I have my own little designated spot there. I've been going a few times a month for many months now. Sometimes getting out of the house helps boosts my productivity and I can manage to get my bookkeeping done faster there.


7:00 PM

I arrived back from from working at the library to find Nick and Piper watching "The Bee Movie" {round two for the day}. Nick must have caved in to her endless requests for "Bee". I got some really good cuddles with Piper on the couch while Nick got some stuff done in the garage.


7:30 PM

Around this time, Piper gets her shower, books read and her night-time bottle. Nick and I sing songs to Piper and tuck her in for the night around 8:00.

On this night, Piper rolled around for a good hour before fully falling asleep. I blame it on the time change because she is usually good at falling to sleep within 15 minutes of being put in her crib. Nick and I watched some TV together on the couch, and took turns going up to soothe Piper until she fully fell asleep around 9:00 p.m.

10:30 PM

Nick and I binge-watched a few episodes of our favorite show on the couch after Piper went to bed. Before we knew it, it was already 10:30 p.m.! Once we realized how late it was, we let the dogs out for the night and headed upstairs for bed shortly after.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken with Turmeric

If you were here on Friday, then you must have read my post on the three things I picked up from Whole Foods last week. {In case you missed it, you can check it out here: 3 Things From Whole Foods}

One of the three things I picked up at Whole Foods was a bag of powdered turmeric. My husband and I couldn't wait to start adding turmeric to our daily diet after reading all of the health benefits on the SuperLife website! The first meal we added the turmeric into was a slow cooked chicken dinner last week.


After searching for some recipes that included chicken and turmeric, I came across a slow cooker recipe from "Kath Eats". I used her ingredient list as a base for my recipe, below.

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken with Turmeric
Serves: 6
Nutritional Information: 190 calories, 10 carbs, 4 fat, 26 protein

Ingredients:
3 - Chicken Breasts, chopped
1 tbsp. - Turmeric, powder
1 pkt. - Ginger, chopped
1 - Onion, chopped
2 - Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 pinches - Cayenne
1 can - Pineapple, chopped and drained
1/2 cup - Coconut Milk
Generous sprinkles of Salt, Pepper and Cajun Seasoning

Mix all together in slow cooker until chicken and pineapple are fully coated. Cook in slow cooker on low for 6 - 8 hours or on high for about 4 hours, depending on your slow cooker.


This recipe turned out to be a big giant win for my family, and with 6 servings, we had leftovers the next day for lunch! While we served this meal over rice initially, that's not the only way to go. 

My husband took some leftovers in a container to work with him the next day along with a tortilla wrap to make a burrito out of it all. He said it was really good dipped in sour cream! I like to top it all off with avocado, myself. Tomatoes might work, as well. This is a good base dish where you can really make it your own!

Readers, what topping would you add to this dish?

Friday, March 10, 2017

3 Things from Whole Foods

After finding my new health-obsession this past week {see: Darin Olien and SuperLife}, I have been learning so many new things! Reading a few of Darin's posts on SuperLife motivated me to check out our local Whole Foods store the other night before visiting my mom at the hospital.

Here are the three things that I grabbed while at Whole Foods to help improve our daily diet:


1) Turmeric (powdered) - Good for anti-inflamatory purposes and much more. Read the full article on turmeric from Darin Olein, here: "3 Health Benefits of Turmeric"

2) Chia Seeds - After seeing a tip from Darin, we soaked our Chia seeds overnight. We plan on adding the soaked seeds to our smoothies this weekend! Check out the benefits of soaking your Chia Seeds in a post from Darin, here: "What Happens to Chia Seeds Soaked in Water?"


3) Cacao (powdered) - We plan on using this in our smoothies, too! Did you know cacao has 40x more antioxidants than blueberries? That's just one of 7 reasons Darin says we should eat cacao on the daily. Check out his full list, here: "7 Reasons Why I Eat Cacao Every Day & You Should Too!"

If you couldn't tell, I can't get enough of Darin Olien and his work with SuperLife. The information he is sharing over there is life-changing -- seriously. If you are fighting with your health, he has the answers you need. I hope you'll enjoy his posts as much as I do. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Unexpected Emotions

My mom had surgery yesterday. For those of you who don't know, the last time my mom had surgery was when they removed some lymph nodes {right before my daughter was born} due to Stage 4 Melanoma Cancer. This recent surgery was much different, more like a preventative procedure, but it was still concerning for my mom and all of us, of course. The surgery yesterday went well, and we can all breath a little better now that it's all over.

My mom, Piper and I.





Having my mom go through surgery again stirred up a lot of emotions that I wasn't expecting; as if they were buried deep inside. I wasn't expecting to take it so hard.

Leading up to the surgery, I didn't feel much of anything. I didn't think too much about it, either -- to the point that the night before, I had made arrangements for Nick to help a friend with their furnace the day of my mom's surgery. My mind has been scattered lately. After I got the news that my mom was out of surgery and in recovery, that's when it all hit me. All of the emotions caught up to me, oh, and my memory came back! I remembered I had to cancel Nick's favor with our friend's furnace that night so he could help me with Piper while I go in to visit my mom in the hospital.

Surprisingly, my friend still seemed to want my husband to come out to check their furnace the evening of my mom's surgery {despite knowing what we were going through when I told her the situation} which initially made me upset. Thinking back, I was probably so upset because I had a rush of emotions finally coming back to me after feeling almost nothing leading up to the days before my mom's surgery. I'd say my level of "upset" was at a "how could you still want Nick to come help when I just told you my mom is in the hospital and I need to be there for her?" kind of upset. But still, I think their initial lack of compassion warranted my initial emotion. We ended up working it all out in the end, when I explained how hard I was taking my mom going through surgery again.

Once I calmed down a bit, I reminded myself that I can't control how others act; I can only control how I react. I ended up saying that if her husband got home in time for Nick to get there and check out their furnace before I left for the hospital, we would try to accommodate them.

Regardless of all that, my mom is doing well and I am doing better, too. I hope I don't get any more surprise emotions pop up now that's all over. Through this all, it made me remember how important staying positive truly is to our well-being. It's not something that always comes so naturally, either. It's a learned trait that requires practice. I have been practicing a positive attitude a lot to get me through this week! Yesterday was hard, but today is going to be a little easier. I'm positive!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Darin Olien and SuperLife

I'm not sure what took me so long to find Darin Olien but, I'm so glad that I did. It's actually funny how I came about finding Darin. My husband and I are big fans of the TV show "Happy Endings", and our favorite character is Jane. I decided to look up the actress who played Jane on Happy Endings, Eliza Coupe, and started following her on Instagram. My husband and I found a whole new world of content to laugh at as Eliza posts some really funny videos on her Instagram account; some of which included her husband, Darin Olien. So, I clicked on his Instagram account and found a wealth of information on healthy living and how to live your "super life". After following through to his website and reading a few of his blog posts, I was hooked. This guy is dedicated to sharing top quality information on super foods and how to live a super life!

{source}

Here's the scoop on Darin, straight from his website: "Darin Olien, founder and visionary for SuperLife, has been called “the Indiana Jones of superfoods.” Almost 20 years ago, he was an injured college football player fighting depression with no knowledge on how to heal his body. After graduating, he began to travel the world looking for answers. Based on his discoveries, he collaborated with Beachbody to create Shakeology, a scientific formulation containing 50+ superfoods to heal and support the body used by millions. Today, Darin is a widely recognized exotic superfoods hunter and renowned authority on nutrition and healthy living. His global travels discovering ancient health secrets have been covered by O Magazine, Treehugger, Business Week, and more; his superfood formulas have been sold to millions; and countless people have reached new levels of health through his research and advice. He created SuperLife to share his discoveries with the world."

I joined Darin's newsletter for SuperLife, and after doing so, this video popped up:


My favorite part of the video was when Darin identified one of the biggest excuses we often use for not eating the healthiest food we can buy; the high cost. That's when he shared his philosophy on that subject.

Darin's philosophy:
"Pay for it now, or pay for it later. You're either going to pay the farmer for the extra work he's done to make that food great, or you're going to pay that doctor later. Because your body has to deal with your choices. Your body is the effect of everything you're putting in your mouth. Be conscious of what you're putting in your mouth because your body has to deal with it. Most of what everyone is dying from and suffering from is chronic disease. Guess what, that's many choices added up over time. That choice is on you. So pay now or pay later, be proactive and don't use these little excuses to get in your way of living a super life."

This is just a small glimpse into all of the great resources Darin has to share on his website and Facebook page. His advice is life-changing. My husband and I have already started to make little changes in our daily lives according to some of the advice Darin has to share. 

Sometimes, coming across someone like this can be overwhelming -- in a good way. I know that my first thoughts were that I have to change everything in my life immediately, but, I know better. I need to go step by step, and only make changes that I know I can stick with for life. I needed to remind myself that every little change adds up; even if you can't follow all of his ideals {I know I can't go vegan}, try to find even one healthy change you can make and go with that. Even the smallest change can make a big difference when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tip For Tuesday: Dreadmill Workouts

Where are my fellow "dreadmill" workout people? And when I say dreadmill, I mean treadmill, naturally. It's just a fun term I like to toss around when I'm talking about my love-hate relationship with our treadmill.

Working up the motivation to workout on the treadmill can sometimes be hard, am I right? Even though it's March, it's still treadmill season, here. The days where I get to take my walks outside are still too few and far between to add up to any consistent workouts these days. So, for now, I am forced to love the treadmill and here's how I've been keeping our relationship alive!

A few times a week, I workout on the treadmill during Piper's afternoon naps. I've started looking forward to my time on the treadmill because it's become my own version of "me time". I've found a few ways to make the treadmill a treat for myself.

1. Read A Book: I have been book-crazy lately. I keep collecting books. I just can't get enough books and, unfortunately I just can't get enough time to read said books, either. That's where the treadmill helps me out! I've been walking with an incline on the treadmill during my workouts and reading a book while I walk. It's not an intense workout but it's still a good amount of activity all while treating myself to a good book! 

Here's the stack of books I'm currently working through:


2. Watch A Show: I have Hulu and Netflix on my tablet, and my time on the treadmill is the perfect time to watch one of my shows that I like to watch. My husband and I often use the time after Piper has gone to sleep to catch up on "our" shows, however, the treadmill is a time for the shows that are just "mine"; the ones that he is too nice to tell me that he really isn't interested in but still sits through them because he loves me. Those are the shows that I started watching during my time on the treadmill.

3. Make a Spotify Playlist: I have yet to do this one for myself, but I know it will come in handy eventually. I plan to make a workout playlist on Spotify and listen to that with my new fancy headphones {gifted from my husband for my birthday}.

4. Watch or Listen to an Informative Podcast: Lately, I can't seem to learn enough about how to live a better, healthier lifestyle. I love listening to podcasts and the like. Right now, I am hooked on listening to anything from Darin Olien. He's a superfood hunter with a ton of information to share on how to live your "super life".


5. Do a Combination of All of the Above: If you're really struggling to get through your workout, alternate between listening to music and reading a book or watching a show. Changing things up can sometimes make the time pass by faster!

So, by looking at my time on the treadmill as a time to spoil myself {by reading the books I never have time to read, etc.}, my relationship with our treadmill has blossomed into something really wonderful!

Readers, what books are you currently loving right now? 
What do you do to pass the time on the treadmill?

Monday, March 6, 2017

When Things Get Busy

Happy Monday! Anyone else have a busy week ahead? Well, if you've been reading my posts lately then you know I've had a busy couple of weeks. It's starting to become a trend, actually. This week, Anything Rustic is starting out with double the amount of orders that I'm use to fulfilling in a week's time, and this week has just begun! The weekend-order game was fierce this past weekend!

I am beyond excited to be so busy with my small business, however, with the increase of work comes the decrease in any "me-time" I could previously use to work on myself and my goals. With this being the third week of being extra busy with my business, I have come to realize that I need to better plan out the week ahead so I can stay on track with my weight-loss goals.

I spent a little time on Sunday making up a game-plan for staying on track with my weight-loss goals throughout this week. Here are the three things that are going to help me stay on track!



1. Meal Planning - I made a plan for dinner each night this week.

Sunday: Zuppa Toscana
Monday: Fish with Asparagus and Couscous
Tuesday: Chicken Sausage Stir Fry
Wednesday: Fish with Broccoli and Quinoa
Thursday: Ground Turkey and Brussels Sprout Skillet
Friday: Wings and Naan Pizzas

2. Grocery Shopping for the Entire Week Ahead - I stocked up on all the healthy food we need for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks {cauliflower, broccoli, blueberries, raspberries, apples - we have healthy snacks for days!}

3. Exercise Planning - I made a plan for my workouts this week. My workouts aren't intense by any means, but it's still important to get the activity in {especially during these colder days when we aren't getting outside at all}.

Sunday: Treadmill {done!}
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Treadmill or Walk at the School
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Treadmill or Walk at the School
Friday: Rest

The final weigh-in day for my current HealthyWage challenge is coming up fast! The earliest we can weigh-in is next Friday but we don't have to officially weigh-in until the end of the month. I am so excited! While I didn't lose any weight this past week (only like .2 lbs) I am still positive that I will reach my 6% body weight loss goal before the challenge is through.

HealthyWage Progress - week-by-week: 
January 6th: 253.8 lbs. 
January 13th: 247.5 lbs. 
January 20th: 246.5 lbs. 
January 27th: 246.3 lbs. 
February 3rd: 241.5 lbs. 
February 10th: 243.7 lbs 
February 17th: 242.1 lbs.
February 24th: 241.6 lbs.
March 3rd: 241.4 lbs.

Goal weight: 238.6 lbs.

January - March Weight Loss: 12.4 lbs.!

Even though I didn't have any significant weight loss this week, I am still proud. Despite being very busy and going off-track with some of my meals last week, I maintained my 12 pound loss! I am going to reach my 15 pound loss goal by the end of the month!

This week, on top of sticking to my meal and exercise plans, I am going to try and drink 120 oz. of water each day and stay within my calorie range. I haven't been posting all of my daily eats on my Instagram Food Journal lately, but I'm thinking that will be making a come-back soon, as well.

Make it a great week, everyone!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Throwback Thursday Style

I'm going to be real honest with you guys. My brain is kind of fried. It's been a busy two weeks with my small business, "Anything Rustic", and this week isn't even over, yet.

I know this too shall pass and that I won't always feel like I'm drowning in to-do's but, until then, I hope you can deal with some of my sporadic posting. I don't even have anything good to share with you today except for the fact that I wish I was able to keep up with my blogging more lately.

{Disclaimer: this is not me complaining! I am so happy that my business is keeping me insanely busy, I just wish I could "do it all, all at once" but, I'm working on balance!}

Since my brain is too frazzled right now to write a decent post for you, I'm just going to kick it back to this time last year, instead. Throwback Thursday style!

Throwback Thursday Post: 


Aww! I really enjoyed taking a look back at what we were doing a year ago, and also a look back at how little Piper was back then.

She still gives me that same sweet little smile, too. Except now, it's usually after she has does something she knows she wasn't suppose to do {typical-toddler-style}. 

I love looking back at where we've been and I love exactly where we are; my life may be busier than normal, but it sure is wonderful!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Burrito Bowls Save the Day

Aside from the occasional toddler-typical meal-time-boycott, my little Piper Grace is a very good eater. And for those days when she's feeling extra picky, I know there's one meal that she's never turned down before and that meal is one of our weekly staples: Burrito Bowls!



We're already halfway through the week, and I'm still trying treading water from last week. I am finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as my work-load goes, so now I feel like I'm almost ready to get caught back up on some housework. Almost! Until then, please don't expect there to be any clean eating utensils in the drawers. You can find those at the bottom of the sink and we're working on a clean-it-as-you-need-it basis.

These are the kind of weeks when the burrito bowls save the day. It's a healthy meal that's quick and easy to make. Plus, everyone loves them!

The best part about the burrito bowl is that you can completely customize it however you want. Our favorite mix is black beans, tomatoes and avocados over rice with shredded cheddar. Us adults add some sour cream and cajun seasoning to our bowls, too.


We had a burrito bowl night on Monday and I feel another one coming on soon. I am trying to keep my head above water, and having quick meals like this to go to when I'm in a pinch is one way to help keep me on track!

Readers, do you like burrito bowls? What is your favorite burrito bowl mix?