Monday, September 13, 2021

15lbs Down in 10 Weeks

Hello and happy Monday, everyone! After two weeks with no weight-loss to report, I finally have a loss to share and it’s an exciting one for me!

I lost 3 pounds last week, bringing my total weight-loss amount to 15 pounds in 10 weeks! I feel lighter and I am excited to keep going. I want to free my body of this excess weight and increase my state of health overall.

With all that said, tomorrow starts our favorite local Fair Week! I’m going to be realistic (because that’s important in any weight-loss journey) and in knowing it’s Fair Week, I am not expecting a loss on the scale. I am, however, hoping to at least maintain my weight-loss by practicing as close to an 80/20 balance as I can while eating all of our favorite Fair foods! 

What kind of Fair food you may be wondering? I’m planning on making room for monster cheese, a gyro and maybe a slice of pizza as big as my face. Not all on the same night, of course. I’ll report back on all of that later this week.

In order to try to maintain some sort of balance, I am going to hyper-focus in on my water intake (because I know my food intake is going to be highly indulgent) and I am going to give myself a 10,000 step goal for the days when we go to the Fair for dinner/treats. That shouldn’t be too hard since there is a lot of walking being done down at the Fair!

For the (few) nights when we won’t be eating dinner at the fair, I made sure to prep two big batch soups. I usually use Fair Week as an excuse to not cook dinner at all, but I think having these soups on hand will make eating at home a lot easier on those nights when we are just going down for a dessert.

I loved hearing about your personal goals in the comments last week. Since it’s the start of a new week, how are you planning on keeping balance for yourself? Cheering you all on! Your goals are worth prioritizing!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Two Weeks, No Weight-Loss + Brant's Trip

Hello, and happy Tuesday! I'm coming to you on a Tuesday because it's been a while and yesterday was Labor Day. The first week of school went really well for all of us. Piper loves going to school. She was a little bummed that it was a three-day weekend because she couldn't wait to go back with her friends! I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with Delaney during the day and, the time with Piper in the evenings felt even more intentional and good.

As for my weight-loss, I have had a couple weeks where I haven't been following the 80/20 rule. Instead, it has been more like 50/50. As the weather began to change these past couple weeks, we ate out more than we usually would; taking advantage of some of the last bit of warm weather we could. The reality from that is I didn't lose or gain any weight for the past two weeks.

I am partly kicking myself for this because I could have been down at least two more pounds by now, but on the other hand I am honoring what I decided to do these past couple weeks. Giving myself grace is a big part of whether or not I will be successful and so, this is me, giving myself grace.

Our most recent indulgence was when we went out to Brant's Apple Orchard. Ever since my sister and her husband brought us to this place a few years go, we have been making it a point to visit every season. It opens at the end of summer and stays open for most of Autumn. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and some of our favorite treats from them this weekend!

I think it's safe to say Delaney loves Brant's Apple Cider Donuts as much as the rest of the family!

Now that it's been a couple weeks, I feel ready to get back on track with living an 80/20 lifestyle. It's important for me to remember that the journey isn't meant to be linear. Also, for myself, I believe little bits of time off from the routine is important to sustain the long journey ahead.

This week, I'm recommitting to my water goal (120oz/day) and getting back to tracking everything I eat. What will you be doing this week to "get back on track" or "stay on track"?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

We Have a FIRST Grader!

Piper has returned to school as a First Grader this week!

On her first day of school, Piper was excited, nervous and brave! She wanted to take the school bus, even though she knew it would be filled with kids she might not know. I got a report from one of my friends who works at the school when she saw Piper get off the bus and walk straight to her classroom. Then, later I got a report that she saw Piper being brave and good in the lunch room. It was so nice to get those little updates because Piper wasn't the only one who was nervous for her first day.

When Piper came home, she was met by her dad and I with a little bouquet of flowers. We were all happy to have her back home. We shared some of the best hugs! We talked about her school day and went through all of the fun coloring papers she completed at school. She didn't know anyone on the bus or at her lunch table but she said she made new friends from both places. She had a good first day and we all were able to breath lighter that evening.

On her second day of school, Piper seemed like she grew older overnight. She wasn't as nervous, and she seemed to have gained a certain kind of confidence that you can only gain by practicing independence. My heart is so proud of her. 

We are praying for all of the kids, teachers, staff and families to have a healthy and safe time together this school year.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Smells Like the End of Summer

After a few weeks of researching and dreaming, I picked up a new hobby and it might be one of my favorite hobbies, yet. My husband and I began canning recently! I started by visiting 5 local produce stands, collecting goodies from each one. We started with dilly beans, and have gone on to do dill pickles and preserved green beans. It's definitely a labor of love, and I like it. Every part of the process is joy-giving for me.

Nick joked that Piper is going to remember the beginning of a new school year smelling like dill and vinegar. I hope we all remember the end of summer smelling this way, really. I hope this becomes a tradition for our family - something to share with our girls as they grow.

Now that we're into canning, we are already dreaming about what we should plant next Spring. Gardening and canning is for every season. Whenever you can't actually plant or tend to your harvest, you can plan and prepare. It's a process rooted in every season. It feels right and true.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Piper is set to start school this week. We are all experiencing that excited-nervous feeling of a new school year. 

I hope to share more blog posts on Wednesday and Friday but, if I'm quiet on the blog this week it's likely due to settling into our new routines.

Friday, August 27, 2021

ISO: Ordinary Moments

This is our last week of summer break, and we've been taking full advantage of our time together! When I began to think about how I wanted to spend this last week of summer break with the kids, I started thinking of all the places we could go and all of the things we could do. Of all the things I thought of, it still didn't feel like enough. I tried to think of things we'd miss doing together while Piper was at school. We'll miss going to the zoo, and the amusement park, sure. We'll miss going out for ice cream and swimming at the beach, definitely.

When I first started to plan out our last week of summer break, I was trying to avoid anything ordinary, until I realized those are some of the biggest moments we're likely going to miss. I'm going to miss sneaking back under the covers in my bed with Piper after getting Laney down for her mid-morning nap. I'm going to miss the silly tickle fights and the mounds and mounds of paper crafts on our dining room table. I'm going to miss the chance to sit next to Piper on the couch as she shows me something new on her tablet game. I'm going to miss holding hands with her as we walk down the driveway to collect the mail together.

So, while we might get out for one more zoo day or beach trip this weekend, it's not the extraordinary adventures I'm after for us at the end of Piper's summer break. It's the ordinary moments for us.

With that said, here are a few pictures from the other night when we did get out for ice cream and a park playdate by the lake.

These are the days!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Week 7: Weight-Loss Update

 As promised, I have a little weight-loss update for you all.

On July 5th, I weighed in around 244 lbs. Yesterday, I weighed in around 232 lbs. 

In 7 weeks, I have lost a total of 12 pounds!

I am really happy with my results. I feel good physically and I am noticing some physical changes in how my clothes are fitting, as well.

If you were here last week then you know one of the things that would always trip me up when trying to lose weight was night snacking! I tried for so long to avoid doing it but, I have finally come to terms with the fact that some (most) nights I just can't help it. Instead of trying to avoid night snacking, I have been accounting for it when tracking my nutrition for the day. I make sure to save some room for a night snack or two, and that has been working really well for me!

Having the right snacks and meals that make me feel full and satisfied is another important factor in my success, lately. Right now some of my top favorite snacks and lunch combinations include: buffalo wing pretzel crisps, peanut butter and chocolate rice cakes, fresh tomatoes from the garden, turkey sandwiches on low-calorie bread, blacked chicken and cottage cheese. For dinner, we always try to eat fish on Mondays, and we make our own pizzas on Fridays. I have been allowing myself to have treats as I want, especially on the weekends. I just try to make sure I'm eating well and within moderation 80% of the time. 

Those are just some of the rhythms and things that I've been using to help me lose weight lately. I haven't been doing any dedicated workouts aside from the occasional evening walk outside. I plan to incorporate dedicated workouts around the time when my weight-loss naturally slows down or plateaus, or when I'm feeling ready for it!

So far, this weight-loss has been fun and rewarding to work on. Probably because it hasn't felt like much work at all. It's been a very natural, relaxed and forgiving process so far!

Friday, August 20, 2021

Chatty Friday Update

Happy Friday! I hope you've had a good week. We have been having one of our better weeks over here, lately and I'm so glad!

The past few weeks had some bumps. First, Piper was sick and then the following week we had an emergency vet visit for our dog, Max. We weren't sure at the time if we were going to have to say goodbye to Max that night but thankfully the vet thinks we have a little more time with him before we need to start weighing things like "quality of life". He is still on medication, which seemed to help him move around, however he is starting to slow down again as we ween him off. In the back of my mind, I have been preparing myself for goodbye. We just don't know when, exactly. 

Oof, I didn't mean to get so heavy there. Let's move onto something else. Back to how this has been one of our better weeks, lately!

This was Piper's first week back on summer vacation after her 6-week summer program. We kicked off the week with the sweetest little tea party with friends.

It has been so nice to all be together again during our days. I feel especially grateful for this time with both of my kids at home. There is a lot of heavy stuff going on in the world right now and I've been having one of those "squeeze your kids and count your blessings" kind of day, every day this week.

I have loved having Piper back at home, especially during Delaney's naps. We have been doing fun things like making crafts, baking zucchini muffins, and cooking homemade pasta!

We are also doing things to get ready for school, like getting eyes checked and new glasses ordered.

As for my weight-loss journey, things are going incredibly well with all that! I want to sit down and process through exactly what is clicking this time around so I can share all of those things in a post or vlog with you (and with my future self for when I get in a rut).

I can say that one of the things that would always trip me up when trying to lose weight before was night snacking! I tried for so long to avoid doing it but, I have finally come to terms with the fact that some (most) nights I just can't help it. Instead of trying to avoid night snacking, I have been accounting for it when tracking my nutrition for the day. I make sure to save some room for a night snack or two, and that has been working really well for me! I have also been doing more healthier things before bed, like taking my vitamins and reading my new devotional.

I got a notification the other day that I have logged into My Fitness Pal for 45 days in a row which makes me incredibly proud. That is also helping my weight-loss this time around. I haven't been perfect with tracking or sticking within my nutritional ranges every day but, I have been doing amazing about 80% of the time which seems to be the correct type of balance for me right now.

I'll be back next week with a weight-in update and more! Make it a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Delaney Jane: Eight Months

Eight months! Oh my goodness! 

Similar to how she got her first tooth at seven months old, Delaney popped her second bottom tooth without us barely noticing at eight months old! We think she has a high pain tolerance because teething has been a breeze, so far.

Delaney started sitting up on her own this past month! She was so proud of herself when we came into her room to find her sitting up in her crib for the first time. That's when we knew it was time to drop the crib down. And just like that, another sweet milestone was completed. 

Delaney has been finding her voice! Her first word was "dada" or really,  "da da da da". Since then we had been working on having her say "mama" and "sis". She has had the "mmm" and "sss" sounds down for a while and so it's was just a matter of time before she chose her next word. I was pretty happy her second word was "mama"!

We have had so much fun with her this past month! Just take a look:

We love this sweet baby of ours!