Monday, January 7, 2013

My New Workout Love

I borrowed this image from a hilarious description written by a guy who took Bar Method with his wife...
click photo for his entry.

Pretty soon my buns will look like this.  Why? Well, I purchased The Bar Method Change Your Body DVD and Pregnancy DVD with some birthday money I received and am really enjoying the workouts.  Since I am only 15 weeks along in my pregnancy, I am still able to do most of the Change Your Body DVD.  They give a good workout if burning muscles and shaky limbs are enough to indicate you are working your body... if you need to be absolutely drenched in sweat, then these will not be high impact enough for you.  I really like being able to actually complete a full workout without feeling like a failure.  I mean, there is almost nothing worse than deciding you are going to be a workout goddess and then be huffing and puffing to the point you need to quit your workout!  The Bar Method allows me to modify for my fitness level and still feel accomplished.  I rather enjoy the burning, shaky legs... and since it incorporates dance-like moves with Pilates I get to pretend I am a ballerina just getting a quick workout in.  I might even get a dancer sweater and wear my hair in a bun.

Because I enjoy these as much as I do, I decided to commit to completing the DVDs at least 4 times per week.  Then, once baby makes her way to the world (that is me being hopeful for another girl), I might even treat myself to a real Bar Method class, since there is a studio in a city not too far from me.

In case you are interested too, I found my DVDs at the link below:
Bar Method Exercise DVDs and Accessories

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ringing in the new year!

So as I am sitting here in the car on my way to my husband's birthday dinner with his parents, I thought what a great time to write a blog update. I mean, what else is there to do without Ava in the car to sing Old McDonald's Had a Farmer to (I keep telling her it is FARM, but oh well!).

With the new year I have been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish this upcoming year, and I already have a few projects planned.

First of all, there is always that battle with my health and weight... I would really like for this to be the year that I try to concentrate a little more on truly taking care of myself.

Second is to work on growing a healthy baby :) yep, I am pregnant and about 15 weeks along. There is only about 1 person who still watches for posts from my blog, and this is how I thought it would be fun to tell you :) baby will be here the end of June.

Third is to work on being a little more frugal and less impulsive in my purchases... Whether that be groceries and working on meal planning, or in my trips to Target. I am even going to try to cut back on going out to lunch and my (decaf) Starbucks habit.

I am also wanting to improve my photography skills, and I would love to master Photoshop... I even have enrolled in a couple online classes in order to be Photoshop certified, as well as really learn digital photography.

Along the lines of doing things for myself, I want to get back into my hobbies. That includes blogging... My sister and I had planned to begin a new co-blog which I still have hopes for, but I don't think I am ready to give up this blog yet either... So I plan to continue blogging this year, especially as I learn more about photography and using photoshop for web design.

I also plan to scale back on my Goodreads goal for this year and set it at 25 books... In 2012 I read 67 (or was it 68) books. It was too much reading, especially since I frequently dipped into free or cheap e-books that did nothing to inspire the intellect :) don't get me wrong, I love fluff too, but I want to read books that make me say "now that was a good book" when I am finished.

As far as crafts/sewing goes, I have plans for a couple of quilts, using these adorable fabrics: Ruby by Bonnie and Camille for Moda and Children at Play by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. I decided to make the leap on these purchases pretty late in the game since they have been out since last summer, so I had to do some searching to find all the prints I wanted. Happily they are on their way!

Finally, and most importantly I want to be the best mother and wife I can be... I think working on the goals above will help, but I also want to remember to do something nice for my family each day, spend time with God, and make real time for our relationships. Events this past year have really hit home for me, and have made me realize how precious life is, and how precious my family is to me!

So that is it in a nutshell... Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 3, 2012


I lost 5 measly pounds in July... But 5 pounds is 5 pounds! Only a million
more to go.

Here's to a better August!

Monday, July 30, 2012

My love of Smoothies

I love breakfast food, but never ever have the time to make myself breakfast in the morning.  It has always been a challenge to get that first meal of the day in, which has obviously been super helpful to my metabolism.  Lately I have been so much better because I have been combining my morning protein shakes with some yumminess in order to create what I like to call Super Protein Shakes!  I have always loved drinking smoothies for breakfast, but it can be hard to make a combination that tastes good while keeping the calories in check.

In thinking about how I need to lay out my calories throughout the day in order to eat frequently while staying within my calorie range of 1100-1200 calories, I realized that I should aim for 200 calorie meals four times a day, with dinner being 300 calories OR 300 calorie main meals with two 100 calorie snacks.  Keeping those numbers in mind have been more of a guideline, because I also don't want to fall into the rut of eating pizza, and thinking my day is "ruined".

The Super Smoothies have been a perfect way to obtain that 200-300 calorie breakfast while also giving me more than half the protein I am aiming for in a day.  I have been experimenting with spices, sugar free/fat free puddings, and extracts.  As I get better at this, I will have to post more recipes, but for now... here is what I have been doing.

I always use my protein shakes as my base.  The ones I have been using have been from Costco and have 30 grams of protein and 160 calories per serving.  The brand is Premier Nutrition High Protein, in Vanilla.  When I use powder protein, I usually mix with unsweetened almond milk due to the low calorie content.  Then to add some thickness, I have been using cottage cheese (thanks to the idea I saw in a Cake Batter Shake on Dashing Dish) which is about 70 calories and another 12 grams of protein. I realize this sounds disgusting interesting, but when it is well mixed you cannot tell AT ALL that there is cottage cheese in there.  At times I also use Greek yogurt depending on the type of smoothie I am making.  This makes up my base to which I add ingredients for the smoothie I am craving.

My recent favorite:
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Protein Shake (or 1 scoop powdered protein with 1/2 cup** of almond milk)
1/2 cup cottage cheese*
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
12 ice cubes (use less for a thinner smoothie)

Cals: 270* Fat: 3.5g Carbs: 18 Fiber: 7 Protein: 43
*depends on protein brand

*I tried making this with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. Yuck! It added a sourness that I did not enjoy!  I find that Greek yogurt tastes best in fruit based smoothies
** I adjust this from 1/4-1 cup of almond milk depending on how much liquid I need to add in order to get to my desired thickness

Saturday, July 28, 2012

And now for my weekend update.

This week I have been using My Fitness Pal pretty regularly, and I feel good about my week.  Right now my biggest problem is my calf muscles and feet.  I have severe foot pain almost all of the time, and especially throbbing in my right foot that can keep me up at night.  So annoying!  Like I need more hurdles :)  But I suppose this isn't meant to be an easy journey for me.  If it were, I would have already lost the weight.

I had been planning on a new pair of shoes once I lost 10 lbs, as a reward.  But with the foot pain I decided to make the plunge.  My old shoes were Nike Lunar Glides, one of the first editions since I am pretty certain I got them for Christmas in 2009.  This time around, I got the New Balance 860 v2.  And they have pink on them! When I was being fitted for shoes, it was sort of funny because the lady told me I had the tightest calf muscles she had ever felt... hmmm, no wonder I have foot pain!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Weight Off My Shoulders {part two}

Sorry this is a little long... but I have had an epiphany recently... and feel like writing about my true thoughts and feelings is the only way I can overcome my weight obstacles.

I can finally say I have issues with food.  And I always have.  I have always, always had body image issues.  I can specifically remember thinking how fat I was in these photos when I was in High School (on my 1200 calorie/day, 10 grams of fat diet)...

And as I have gained weight... it is like I have just not been willing to do something about it anymore.  I have wanted others to look at ME and see that even though I am overweight... I am still worthwhile.  I am not "less", or "wrong", or "bad", or "gross".  I wanted to be appreciated for who I am and not what I look like.  But more about my inner craziness another day.

My recent success to be 100% truthful... wasn't even my idea.  I was all ready to NEVER eat bad food again, and only eat lean protein, fruit, and veggies.  I was explaining why I couldn't have a bite of a frosted cookie I brought for my nephews when my sister, Claire, in her quietly supportive way, said to me, "Why don't you just let yourself have a small piece?"  I told her that I felt I was only successful if I was severely restrictive in my diet.  And she said to me... I swear this was one of those Aha! moments for me... "But so far it doesn't seem like that has been working for you."

You could have knocked me over with a feather... and those words have really stuck with me.  I have written posts about how I need to change the way I think, and have even had some progress with that, but it just never resonated with me until she said that.  It isn't a matter of me being weak, or not having a will power... but those "I will start tomorrows" and those strict "I can only eat this and this" that doesn't last, not to mention those days of eating every "bad food" in sight in order to "get it all out of the way" have all stemmed from this thought that the only way I can loose weight is if I am PERFECT in the way I eat, all the time.  But nobody is perfect.  And that unattainable need to be PERFECT, has been at war with my other need to be ACCEPTED for who I am, for the past 8+ years.

Allowing myself to eat the foods I enjoy, so far, has allowed me to find the strength to start now, rather than tomorrow, eat a slice of pizza without the guilt and feeling ruined, and has helped me to actually want to work out... I feel like this is different... the anxiety isn't there as much, and I think, I think, I am finally ready to change.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Weight Off My Shoulders {part one}

I have been a little leery of posting any news about my little (well, big) battle with trying to loose weight... I feel like when I start talking about how I am gonna do this or that, or when I talk about what a good job I feel like I am doing, my brain is immediately like, "Ok time to eat pizza".  I just haven't wanted to jinx myself.

Well... today, I will have you know, I literally stood in my kitchen and had a 15 minute argument with myself about ordering a pizza.  And I got over it, and ate a sandwich instead.  Ok... it was 2 sandwiches, and a protein shake.  But it was all very carefully measured and planned out.

See, I have been really trying to stick with using My Fitness Pal and being very mindful about trying to stay within a certain calorie range and also increasing my protein.  What is that calorie range, one might wonder? 1100 calories a day.  Seriously.  And I have been sticking to it, while also managing at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

1100 calories seems really low, and frankly it completely and utterly sucks to be at that limit.  It is barely any food (well comparatively), but when I got my metabolism checked as part of my trip to the dietitian, in a normal day, my body burns about 1650 calories.  That really is not that many, and I remember having it looked at about 4 years ago, and my body burned 1800 calories a day... so clearly me and my metabolism need to have a chat.

Or else it is because I hit the dreaded 30, and my body is already acting like I am over the hill.  Either way... until my weight lifting pays off, the only way for me to loose the "safe" 2 lbs a week, is to have a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day, and then also burn 500 calories in exercise.

Truthfully, I am not hungry if I eat the right foods.  And my plan, as it stands right now... is that nothing is off limits, as long as I can figure out the calories... and as long as it won't put me too much over my 1100 calorie limit.

Case in point, today's list:
Protein Shake
Starbucks Americano with cream and Splenda

Pocket thin with tomato sauce and 1 mini Babybel light  (warmed... a 150 calorie Pizza pocket")

PB&J sandwich
PB& olive sandwich (yes, I got this idea from Stephanie Plum, and I am not ashamed)
Protein Shake

Mid-Day Snack:
Popcorn at the movie theater (about 1-2 cups worth)

So why is this working?  I think it is because I don't feel like binging in order to "get all the food in" that I MUST cut out completely and NEVER eat again if I am going to loose weight.  I even ate a wonderful 700 calorie piece of Costco Pizza the other day in their food court... I just adjusted my dinner appropriately, stayed in my range, and didn't feel even a moment of guilt about it!

Progress I tell you... this is progress!