Thursday, October 14, 2010


So, I have once again injured myself.  This time it was from (accidentally) kicking a shopping cart wheel.  I cut my pinkie toe and removed about 1/3 of the nail.  It was mostly numb when it happened, but it did start throbbing later.  It doesn't hurt for the most part, but I am not looking forward to putting on tennis shoes.  But I am going to try it and try to work out today! 

So, this brings my current injury count to 3: tailbone (still sore and healing); shin stress (still resting from high-impact activities); and pinkie toe.  I almost feel like a "wounded warrior" ... but not so much the warrior part.  ;-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Where to begin?

It seems it has been a while since I blogged on here.  You might think that means I have been very unproductive.  Or you might think that I have been so productive that I haven't had time to blog about it.  But the truth is somewhere in between.

I have been exercising, but not as much as I would like still.  I haven't been doing much cardio either.  It seems that every time I think my leg is better I re-injure it.  It has been going on for about 3 weeks (or more) so I am going to the doctor next Tuesday to get it checked out.  After talking to lots of people (including my Bible study group and my trainer), I decided it was better to be safe than sorry.  So, I am still doing weights and strength training but would really like to be doing more cardio, too.

As for the food aspect, I have good days and bad days.  I am having trouble cutting soda out of my diet again.  I can't remember now why I started it up again, but I think it was when I was sick and the soda burn just felt so good in my throat.  Then it was a matter of convenience some days (when I was running lots of errands and would eat out).  I have been making some progress in better food choices in the last week or so, but the soda craving is still there.  I am also craving greasy hamburgers, chili, and french fries.  What's up with that?!?  I am not pregnant, so that's not it.  I have fought that craving so far, but it is still there.

So, I guess I am back in the middle of day-to-day struggles.  I am not feeling super-good about how I am doing, but I am not feeling super-beat down either.  I would appreciate prayers for my leg and that I can get on a cardio program that will work.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Balls

I have been talking about this recipe a lot, so I wanted to share it with everyone.  I decided this might be the easiest way.  I love this recipe and it is great for after school, lunch, or an after-workout snack.  Everybody in my family loves them, too!

Today I made a couple of changes.  First, I used agave nectar instead of honey.  If you do this, I would recommend using less than the recipe calls for.  Secondly, I put in a liberal splash of milk and decreased the amount of the powdered milk slightly.  I thought they were a little dry last time and you definitely had to let them thaw to eat them.  I was trying to alleviate those issues.

So, without further adieu - the recipe:

Peanut Butter Balls

for approx. 100
for approx. 50
for approx. 25

2 c. honey or agave
1 c. honey or agave
½ c. honey or agave
3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 ½ c. creamy peanut butter
¾ c. creamy peanut butter
5 c. dry milk powder
2 ½ c. dry milk powder
1 ¼ c. dry milk powder
6 c. quick oats
3 c. quick oats
1 ½ c. quick oats

Mix all together with hand mixer. Form into balls with hands and freeze on waxed paper lined cookie sheets until hardened. Store in freezer in ziploc bags.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Injuries ... aaaaaaaarrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

So, when I said that last week's "test" would not be the last one I would face, I didn't know how quickly my next test would be coming.

I was feeling bad on Sunday, it seems, because I was getting a sinus/upper respiratory/bronchial infection. As it moved into my chest (on Tuesday), I realized that I would need to take some time off from exercising. So, I went to the doctor on Tuesday to get loaded up on medicine and try to cut my "off time". Unfortunately it took longer for the medicine to kick in than I thought it would and I was not able to go back to the gym until Friday. I tried running, but for some reason (maybe not stretching) I messed up my lower leg and the back of my knee - on what is supposed to be my good leg. Saturday I tried doing water aerobics, and while I finished the class and got a good workout, my leg hurt again. By last night it was hurting quite badly. Yesterday and today I loaded up on ibuprofen, and today I started using "menthol patches" (which are a lot like Icy Hot patches). They seem to be helping. I had hoped to get in another workout today but decided in the end that rest was best. Tomorrow I might try an elliptical and/or the bike. I want to get something in, but I don't want to injure my leg any more!

So, that is this week's update. I basically had to take a week off of the Couch to 5K, but am really hoping that I can pick it back up this week.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get going so that I can hear my husband and 4-year-old son's concert ...

UPDATE ... the concert has ended and you can read about it here

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A test

So today was a test of sorts for me. I was sore from painting, my head is stuffed (from paint fumes, allergies, weather changes, or some combo), and I really just wanted to take a nap and stay home. Since we were working on the house yesterday, though, I didn't get in my last day of Couch to 5K training for the week. So, today was a test for me. Do I skip it or suck it up and do it anyway. I am glad to be able to say that today I passed the test. (I wouldn't normally go to the gym on a Sunday, but this was an unusual week.)

I also noticed this week that working out inspires me to make better food choices. I kind of thought it would be the opposite - that since I worked out I could "justify" a few more slips. Instead, I think about how I don't want to undo all that hard work.

Now, I would like to say that this will be the last such test, but I know in my heart that it will not be. I just hope that I can keep persevering - to make it through the 5K and to make it to a healthier me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's good to be sore!

And for the right reasons!

My first two weeks at the gym have been very effective for me. I have almost finished my first two weeks of Couch to 5K! I was supposed to finish today, but painting and moving furniture got in the way of my plans. Now I am planning to go tomorrow.

I also had two personal training sessions. The first one was a beating that I didn't even finish. I threw in the towel (or would have if I had remembered to bring it). That appointment was cardio with the head trainer. I couldn't believe that all of the stuff he had me doing was supposed to be for beginners! I had eaten about an hour before I went, which was apparently not enough because I thought I was going to throw up - for real. I also thought I might pass out a time or two. According to the heart rate monitor I was wearing I burned over 300 calories in about 30 minutes, though.

My second session was with a girl who might end up being my regular trainer. We did 30 minutes of strength training after I finished my c25k for that day. I did much better with her! I actually finished the exercises - 3 sets of each. I have been feeling all of those muscles that I am not sure I had ever worked out before, too.

Then we painted two bedrooms Friday. I am not sure if that helped me to be less sore from the workout or made me more sore. It did make me more tired! Steve finished the trim today and then we put the rooms back together. This included hanging new blinds, a new curtain rod, and a new mirror in our room. We still have the bathroom to re-paper and re-decorate (lights and mirrors) but that and the third bedroom will wait for another weekend. We are officially done and now we are going to get some much-needed rest! Right after I take some more ibuprofen ...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back on track ... or the treadmill, actually

This week Steve and I joined a gym. I am so excited!!!

I have been two times so far and gotten good workouts both times. I started the Couch to 5K program and it is going well. Tomorrow I will finish the first day of it and then spend some time in the pool and hot tub (at least that is my plan). I have heard great things from everyone who has completed this program and since I started this week I should finish the program in time to run in Will's Run in November.

I have been cooking healthier this week, too, I think. I have made some goodies from The Sneaky Chef for after-school snacks that have been well-received. I made some more purees this morning to re-stock my freezer, too.

So, I am feeling some positive momentum, and am looking forward to continuing down this road!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Summer break

I would like to think that the summer break I have taken in my "get healthy" program is about to end. The kids are getting back in school (one today and one next week), so I have more time on my hands. I even have a fitness program picked out (Couch to 5K) and a goal of running a 5K in November (Will's Run). Unfortunately, it is still SO HOT outside here, that I can't realistically run during the day. (Before you try to tell me how it can be done, I realize others can do it but I am starting from my couch and I know myself.) I think I am just going to have to do another program for now. I may not be able to do the 5K in November, but there is a Fun Run 1K that I should be able to do at the least.

In good news, I haven't really put on any weight over the summer, but I do think I have lost some muscle mass. I have been somewhat moderate with my eating, too. I have been eating out a little more and indulging in sodas, but that is about to end. (If I write it will it happen?) We have been eating healthier at home and not keeping the "bad" foods in the house. In fact, we had some leftover cake from an event Saturday night. After eating some yesterday, I made the rest into cake balls and put them in the freezer - in the garage. I was proud of myself for getting them out of the house! I also used the extra peanut butter frosting to make peanut butter balls (with oats), that have some redeeming value, instead of using it for another dessert.

So, my goal for this week and next is to get back on track with the exercising. Of course, this week I will have Joel with me every day so I will be easing into it and spending lots of time with him. We may do some special things together before he starts back to school, too.

In the words of Major Seth Adams. "Wagons, HO!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A new picture ...

Unfortunately, the latest picture of me is not very flattering, so I will not be adding it here. Instead, I am referring to a new picture for this blog. The message is still mostly the same - traveling a road. This pic doesn't show the mountains and valleys that are in the distance. In fact, it doesn't show a destination at all. Does that mean something? Hmmm ... I am still not sure about that. I am trying a different template to see if the updates will show up on my blog list on my family blog now. But I do like this picture.

Unlike the beautiful blue skies in this picture, I have had a stormy few days. I found a new thyroid doctor, and overall I am very pleased with him. He tested more things in my blood than I think I have had tested at one time - ever. He said everything looked good (even though I feel l like something is wrong somewhere in my body), except for my T3. There is a drug that is a synthetic T3, which I have never been prescribed before. (Apparently it is very "controversial" in endocrinology circles. Some people love it and others say it is unnecessary.) He put me on the lowest dose. Instead of giving me instant energy it made me sleep! And I was more irritable. And my heart rhythms seemed faster. And it made me itchy. And I couldn't sleep at night. And it made my brain fog worse. Basically, it made everything worse. Not what I was cheerily anticipating on Thursday. After consulting the doctor/nurses yesterday I am taking the med every other day now. I feel so much better today! Granted, not better than before I started taking this med, but better since I began taking it. I also did some research online yesterday, and some people reported worsening of symptoms for a week, and then improvement. I hope that is what happens with me!

I heard about a workout program from some friends at church last Thursday. I was wanting to start it this week, but since I have been so sleepy that hasn't happened. This is a program that works you up to running gradually. I have always been a walker, not a runner. Even walking I sometimes get shin splints. I am interested in trying this program since it builds up your bones and muscles to be able to run. As Steve reminds me, running burns more calories. And it seems to have given Kate Gosselin beautiful abs.

I am not sure how the diet is going. I seem to be doing okay during the day, but then (with this new med) I get really hungry right before bed. The first couple of nights I ate way too much. I have gotten a little better at putting some food in a bowl and eating just that amount, but it is still too much, I think. I am trying to eat a little to take off the hunger edge so that I can sleep, but I need to get better at portion control.

I tried to cut back on my iced coffees, but that didn't go so well, either. The past few days I have been drinking hot coffee, because it is quicker. I do think that I have consumed less coffee over the past week or so, but I have not gotten down to the level that I would like to be at. (Being tired makes me want to drink more coffee, too.)

So, not such a great week or two, but there is still time for this week to get better. I really hope that it does!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Moving in the right direction

When it comes to getting healthy any movement is in the right direction ... right?!?

I have been getting more movement (and exercise) in this week, although it has been in unique ways. One day I took the kids to the water park. One day I cleaned house (vigorously so that it was a workout). One day I picked blueberries. (Scoff at that if you will, but one of my arms is really sore from that). Today I took a walk with the family, but I am not sure how long it lasted. That is definitely an improvement over the last few weeks!

I realized that after a little trip out of town I had broken my soda fast way too many times. I managed to resist the sodas better this week. Unfortunately, I have also been drinking too many iced coffees in a day (homemade, but still not so good for the body). By the end of this week, I can say that I am doing better in that regard, too.

I am glad to say that I was able to recognize my destructive behaviors, and take steps to stop them. Unfortunately those iced coffees are still calling my name. I think I need more self-discipline, more prayers, more water ... but probably not more coffee. Until the morning. ;-)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I may be eating at this hour, but at least it's almonds

That does make it better, right? Please say yes!

Well, last week was the much-anticipated wedding weekend! We all traveled to Tyler where the boys and I got be in a wedding for our good friend. I was a little scared to put the dress on the day of the wedding, because it was a little tight when I got it back form the alterations. I hadn't really worked out a lot in the meantime, like I had planned, so I was nervous. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the dress fit really well! I didn't have bulges sticking out of the dress, and it didn't come down (since it was strapless). I actually felt very comfortable in it.

Of course, being out of town for the weekend - and for a celebration - meant that I didn't stick to my diet. I had gotten better about the number of iced coffees I drank in a day and I hadn't had soda in a while. That changed after last weekend. By the end of this week I was getting some better about my eating choices, though.

I am looking forward to playing in the pool with the boys this week more, too. That was about the only exercise I had really gotten before the wedding - and beating the stores to find new clothes, too. ;-) Anyway, last week we started swim lessons and the boys just weren't behaving that well. This week we already have plans for 2 playdates at the pool, so I am looking forward to getting more activity in at those playdates.

I also have found a new endocrinologist that I will be visiting for the first time this week. I think that my levels are quite off again, and that might be contributing to some of the weight loss. I am hoping that this doctor will be better, and that I can get my thyroid levels back on track. I am looking forward to a promising week!

Monday, June 7, 2010

No time for stagnation

A lot has been going on, and unfortunately my fitness plan was not one of those things.

I was trying to remain steady until after I got my bridesmaid dress back, so that I could see if I could lose any inches before the wedding while not losing my dress during the wedding (or reception). I got the dress back and found out I could still lose a little before the wedding and be okay. It would be nice if I could decide exactly where those inches were going to be lost, but that's not how it works with me.

However, the past few weeks have been a flurry of other activity*, and I put the plan on the back burner. I was still trying to be moderate with my eating on most days, but exercise just wasn't happening regularly. I might have snuck a few inches back on, but if I am very good the next two weeks, I think that all will be well by the wedding. After the wedding, I will hopefully be able to work hard to get those last pounds off by the end of the summer. (I can't believe that I just put that in writing, but now that I have I am really going to go for it!)

*In case you were wondering what some of these activities were: both boys were sick one week, Joel's spring program, Joel's last day of school, Evan's second field trip of the year, Evan's field day, Evan's final awards day, Evan's birthday, Evan's last day of school, Evan's birthday party, visitors at our house (extended and short visits - not bad things by any means, but just out of the routine), a day trip to Granbury, and maybe more that I can't remember right now. Again, a lot of these things were really good, but I just got out of a routine with the variety of activities.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I love bread!

I know that it can be bad for you - or healthy, depending on how it's made. That's one reason I have been trying to make it for our family. I like knowing exactly what is in our bread (and that there are no preservatives). I love smelling the bread as it cooks. I have a hard time waiting for it to cool, but I love smelling it while it does.

I was having a lot of success with the artisan bread. Unfortunately, it's not the best for sandwiches. It can be small, and the hard crust can make it hard to eat. This week, I tried some new recipes for softer, sandwich-style bread. I thought that both recipes I tried turned out well, but I absolutely loved the buttermilk bread. The recipes did not use any whole wheat flour, so now I am going to try to add some whole wheat to the recipes. If anyone has any advice on what else to adjust to compensate for the whole wheat, I would greatly appreciate it.

I would have pictures of my beautiful bread, but my house is a wreck (especially this week with the sick kids). Hopefully the wheat experiments will go well and I will have pictures to share then. Of course, smelling it and tasting it is the best. If you are in the area you should stop by for some! A courtesy call first would be appreciated, though.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How the time flies!

I should have posted more frequently than this, but last week I had a visitor at my house and we had too much fun playing together! I also got to introduce her to some fun foods (like chicken sausage) and places to shop (like Sprout's). I have been meaning to discuss recipes and cookbooks for a while, so I guess now is as good a time as any.

The books I have been pulling recipes from most recently are the Sneaky Chef books by Missy Chase Lapine. (I have the first two books that are linked to in that sentence. All of the books she has written can be seen my clicking on her name. The concept is similar to Deceptively Delicious, but these books explain the science behind the recipes and use some different purees.) My family has enjoyed them all, except for the mac & cheese and the boys prefer the blue box for that. My purpose in using these recipes is to get more variety of vegetables in our diets, more vegetables at all in MY diet, and to lower the glycemic index of sweets and desserts. I will give a little more info on some of the recipes that we have tried.

I made some of the granola bars for the post-game snacks for Evan's last football game and they were rejected by some of the kids outright. I think I needed to bake them longer, because they weren't all that crispy and were falling apart pretty easily. We all liked them, though. They would even make a fun breakfast.

Steve made some chocolate cupcakes from the book for me for Mother's Day and I really enjoyed them! The icing looked a little "different", but tasted fine. This recipe uses a purple puree which consists of spinach and blueberries. When I made the puree the last time, I had too many blueberries for the amount of spinach. You can taste a bit of the blueberries in the desserts that we have made with this batch of puree. Since they have been chocolate desserts, it hasn't bothered me too much. I actually like the bit of blueberry flavor. So, the cupcakes with frosting were fine, but they were also good without frosting. The cupcakes were a little more fudgy (like brownies) and we ate them with fresh strawberries. Yummy!

Another cookbook that I have been using lately is called Cook This, Not That, by the same people who wrote the Eat This, Not That series of books. It gives you healthier versions of restaurant dishes. It also has a wonderful 2-page spread at the front of each section that either gives you quick and healthy ideas for lunch, appetizers, etc. or gives you a reference matrix (like for smoothies and salad dressings). I pretty much don't buy salad dressing, since I can experiment and make up my own now.

I have made the spinach-artichoke dip and it is pretty good! It has much less cream cheese and mayo than normal, but is still tasty.

Steve's favorite from this book is the chicken tenders. They are so healthy and my boys love them, too. Steve likes them so much that I have had to issue a moratorium on making them for a little while. ;-)

I have also been making our bread again, thanks to Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I even tried to make hamburger and hot dog buns on Saturday. The recipe I am using makes crusty bread, so the buns weren't quite as good, unless you ate it "open-faced" like I did. I am going to try a new recipe later this week. There is no recipe for buns in this book, so I get to experiment a little. Thankfully, Steve is patient with me as I experiment with our food. ;-)

I am going to try to go to a farmer's market this week, too. I really need to go by myself and the one closest to us is only open on Saturdays. I have heard about another one that is open during the week and should still be fairly close, so I am going to give it a try this week.

I did a lot of shopping with my sis-in-law, so I feel like I got a lot of walking in last week! I am going to try to be more intentional and regular with my exercise this week, though. I will also try to write before the end of the week to you know how it goes. I am sure you will be waiting on pins and needles to find out. ;-)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Through the stomach

Is this the way to my heart? Or, my perceived happiness? Hmmm ... I have been pondering this question a lot lately.

Let me begin by saying that I always thought it weird when people would talk about their "relationship with food". I think of relationships as applying to people, God, and maybe animals - but not food. I also thought it a little weird (but less than the former) when people would talk about self-medicating with food. I mean, the food tastes good, but is it really medicating?

I do recognize that I can quite easily be a "mindless" eater. I eat when I am bored or when I am distracted by something like a tv show or movie and there is food around me. I read about this phenomenon in a book by the (oddly appropriate) name, Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. It really is an interesting book and gave me lots of food for thought. (Yes, that pun was intentional.) I try to be more intentional with my food, but still fall victim to mindless eating sometimes. At least I am more aware of and in control of my eating than I was before reading the book.

I have recently decided that I am an "emotional" eater, too. When things are going well in my relationships with God, Steve, and the boys I am less likely to crave junk food. I also am much more likely to eat only when I am hungry and eat until I am full. So, I have been thinking more about my "relationship" with food and how I use it to "medicate" myself. The bad part of this self-analyzing is that I am aware of what I am doing while I am doing it. Sometimes I can stop myself, but sometimes I still eat the junk food and it just makes me feel even worse. One thing that has helped is not buying the junk food. I know that is a radical concept, but it was Steve's idea. I have been really good about not buying (I think). I did get some Easter treats in an after-Easter clearance. (Some were for me, and some were for the Women's Retreat.)

So, I am trying to re-train myself that the way to my heart and my well-being (at least my physical well-being) is through putting the right things in my stomach. I feel a little silly discovering this at my age, but at least it is now and not later. Sometimes it's not fun to grow up, but the end result is worth it.

Note: That picture was from my birthday in December and one of the "motivating" pictures for me to get serious about my health. Although I still like a good hamburger!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kind of surprised ...

... at the ease with which my motivation can come and go. Since I had laryngitis this week I was on the low side of the ever-swinging pendulum. I didn't really exercise much at all. I picked it up some towards the end of the week, thankfully, when I started feeling better. I definitely need to be more serious and purposeful this next week, though.

I don't have much to say about diet about this week, except that I saw the movie "Food, Inc." Oh, my! I hit the farmer's market as quickly as I could and was disappointed that there weren't more fruits. I think my food buying habits will be making another drastic change.

Monday, April 12, 2010


So, I have posted about being up, and down, and now I am up again. (I am talking spirits and attitude here, not weight.) Last week was a pretty good one for me as far as choices went. I didn't buy a greasy burger or fried food all week long. I also successfully avoided sodas for the entire week. This is a first for me, I think.

I exercised more, but it was more strength training than aerobic. I want to focus on doing more cardio/aerobic work this week.

I also felt like I looked better by the end of the week. I didn't feel that I looked pregnant any more, which is definitely good (since I am not).

Now, everything was not rosy last week. My hormones and gi system seem to be really out of whack. This week is starting off better, so I am hoping that I was having as adjustment time and that I am now over the hump.

BUT, the best part of last week, is that I actually felt healthier! I was able to play outside with the boys more. I played basketball and football with Evan and felt great doing it! That is what this journey is really about and I am so happy that I am able to see progress in this area. I think that the rest of my family is happy about this change, too.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A better start ...

After Easter, I seem to be getting off to a better start this week. Okay, to be completely honest I had a lousy morning, including emotionally eating a (recently bought, after Easter-clearanced) Reese's peanut butter cup. BUT, then I actually exercised this afternoon, including some cardio and some ab-specific exercises. I am feeling a little bit of momentum that will hopefully carry me forward the rest of the week.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Keep pressing on...

Despite my sprained foot, I managed to get a workout in today.  I focused on my abs and think that I worked them pretty good.  Sometime before the workout I began having a pain in my upper back.  I don't know if I injured it last night or want, but it hurt and felt like it was about to "catch".  I persevered and did the workout, and I think it might have helped to loosen that sore spot in my back.  It is feeling better now.

I also weighed myself today and it seemed that some of the weight had come back.  Not good news!  I want to get discouraged by this, but I am going to keep going.  Keep pressing on - even with a still-recovering tailbone, a sprained foot, tight calves (probably because of the foot injury and/or compensating for it), and a sore back.  Don't think about the injuries or pains, just think about the prize that is waiting and keep pressing on!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pain doesn't always mean gain ...

I had a lazy start to the week in terms of exercise, but was trying to make up for it at the end of the week.  On Saturday we took a walk to the park as a family and most of us played basketball together, too.  I got a pretty good workout in, and then rested while the others played (basketball, riding bikes, etc.).  Just before we left I decided to shoot a few more hoops.  I want to say that was my mistake, but I think it should really the real problem was my choice of shoes.  I wore my "shaping" shoes to maximize the benefits of the walk.  They are not supposed to be worn when running, and a thinking person would know that applies to basketball, too.  Okay, so I knew it, I just thought it would be okay.  I started out gingerly and things were fine, so I thought it wouldn't be a big deal.  It was okay, until the very end when I turned my ankle going after a rebound.  I limped home where I promptly took ibuprofen, iced it, and propped it up.  I slept  with it propped up last night, too.  I am glad to report that I can walk on it normally (most of the time, anyway).  It is bruised and swollen below the ankle bone and up the side of my foot.  I am glad that it is not any worse than that!  I won't be able to walk (for exercise, or in those shoes) for a couple of days probably, but I did get a workout in tonight.  I used weights to work on my upper body, and my foot held up fine for that.  At least I didn't use this as an excuse to not do anything today.  I think I am making progress!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Closing in on 15 ...

pounds lost, that is!

I was not all that healthy this weekend, but I am still seeing improvements overall.  I think I am sleeping better.  (I haven't asked Steve if I am snoring less, though.)  I am still losing weight and inches.  I feel stronger.  I played airplane with the boys last night and it didn't tire me out like it did the last time I tried to play it with them.  (In case you aren't familiar with this game it involves me laying on the floor and holding the boys up in the air with my feet.  I don't have a picture of me playing it with the boys, but here is one of me playing it with my niece several years ago.)  It is a pretty good workout for my legs (and maybe even abs?) trying to keep the wiggly boys balanced.  (I don't hold on to their hand and my legs are fully extended when I play with the boys.)  Maybe I will work that into today's exercise routine.  ;-)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I know better!

But I still don't always do better.  I did get some walking time in today.  Unfortunately, I also probably consumed more calories than I meant to.  I forgot that I ate some dark chocolate at home, and enjoyed a few too many "goodies" while I was out running errands.  I thought I was showing some restraint until I realized how much I had actually accumulated.  OOPS!  Tomorrow is a new day - and one that will be spent at home, so there should be fewer temptations!

Pushing through - sort of

I haven't been feeling the best this week.  I am happy with the results I have so far, but have been "coasting" instead of making a concerted effort this week.  I did make myself work out some tonight, and I did feel better afterward.  Tomorrow I need to do more cardio.  I also need to go to sleep.  I think I will work on that now.  ;-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Back to the routine?

Not exactly.  I was able to stick to a better diet today, but I didn't get any real exercise in.  I did take the boys bowling (but didn't get to participate myself).  I also took them to a cake walk, where I danced around the circle, but not continuously or strenuously.  I found out that I can't hula-hoop anymore (thanks to a moms-only hula-hoop competition that I entered).  I think I might invest in some hula hoops for the boys and me.  I used to be good, and I would like to practice some more.  Exercise is about burning calories and having fun, after all.

Speaking of having fun, tomorrow we will be having some fun green foods to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  The coolest thing is that they will be made with spinach juice instead of food coloring.  (I am looking forward to trying more new recipes from The Sneaky Chef!)  I'll let you know how they turned out and what the boys thought of them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Best of Intentions ...

can sometimes get waylaid by real life. I am not trying to say that I am a victim of my life, but sometimes the unexpected happens (or the "planned" don't go the way I had expected). I had planned on posting to this blog every day Monday - Friday, but that's not what happened last week. We were preparing for a family camping trip and that took precedence over everything else.

I am glad to report that the trip did happen and that we had a good time. We were all a little wind-burned and chapped upon our return, but nothing too bad. At least, nothing that we aren't recovering from quickly. Steve and I have decided that camping is fun, but it reminds us of all that we have to be so thankful for! Things like a house, hot and running water at the turn of a handle, electricity for heating and cooling the house, etc. How spoiled we are compared to so much of the world!

Anyway, I did view this trip as a vacation, and did not stay to a strict diet. I did have some s'mores and banana boats. I also found myself snacking more throughout the day. Through some planning, I at least had better snacks than I would have in the past. By the time dinner was ready, I was pretty tired so I didn't overeat there, either. At one point I thought I could feel the inches reappearing at my waist, but I think it was just water retention. I actually feel pretty good this morning.

As for exercise - I thought I would hike some, but that didn't happen. Steve did take a nice long hike by himself one day. I took several hikes to the bathroom. (It felt like a workout!) We did a short canoe ride our last day there. It was so nice! I had been white water rafting before, but not canoeing. I wished we had had nicer weather for that earlier in the weekend. I have discovered something new that I enjoy doing with Steve though.

Well, today it is back to the "real world" - sort of. It's the beginning of Spring Break so we will have a different kind of week. Today I am planning a trip to the library to get some books and movies. Later we will have a movie viewing at home (complete with a dark room and air-popped popcorn). In some ways it might be easier to get some more exercise in this week. Right now Evan is outside practicing basketball. Maybe he and I can play some basketball together later this week!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No pain ...

and it could mean you're not doing anything. I realized that I hadn't done an ab workout in several days (like over a week?) so I did one last night. I am feeling it today. It reminded me that I need to have that feeling more often. I have to keep telling myself - cardio and strength training. And balance in all things.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still more progress

As of yesterday's weigh-in I have lost over 10 pounds. My jeans were loose the first time I wore them (instead of after they stretched out). My stomach looks flatter to me, too. Yay!!!

I haven't been able to exercise quite as hard as I would like because I am still having trouble breathing. That sounds a little melodramatic. I just have heaviness in my chest still from the bronchitis.

I did get out and enjoy the beautiful day by taking Joel and a couple of friends to the park after school. I also wore my "shaping" shoes, which do seem to be working my legs out. My legs felt like I had worked out this weekend even though I just walked around in the shoes.

Part of me is so excited about the progress, but my fear is that I will slack off and think I have "arrived" - instead of using it for motivation to keep pushing on. I will just keep reminding myself of my final goal - after I stop waffling about what it is. ;0)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting noticed

I will admit that I am not one to shy away from attention. At times I might even be known to seek it out. Today at church I was making some greetings and trying to get the boys to their dad so he could take them to their classes when I received some very welcome attention. I saw one of the ladies from my Bible study group last year and stopped to say hi. She complimented me on my hair, and then asked if I had lost weight. Woo-hoo!!! It felt great to know that someone noticed!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Starting better!

Today has started much better for me! I am not feeling constantly hungry, and I am staying at home where I have healthier choices to eat. I even played some Wii tennis for 30 minutes this morning - and got a shower afterward! Wow! I know that's not the most intense workout, but I am still taking it a little easier because of the bronchitis. I am feeling better, but I don't want to push it too hard.

In other workout news, I have been wearing my new "shaping" shoes from Payless this week. Have I mentioned those before? It took me a couple of days to break them in, which hurt my foot. So then I took a break for a couple of days, but now they don't give me any problems. I do feel different when I wear them while I am out doing errands or walking Evan home from school. The main area that I feel them is my inner thigh. That seems kinda weird to me, but I'll take it. My calves are also looking more toned. Is this all wishful thinking? I don't know, but we'll see. I decided that it was worth a chance for under $40. I wanted a back-up pair of tennis shoes anyway.

We have been eating pretty well at home this week. That is mainly due to my wonderful husband cooking lots of food over the weekend, so that we had lots of leftovers. I made some of my artisan bread this week, too.

Speaking of the bread, I was wondering if anyone had any tips on types of whole wheat to use. The only ingredients in the bread are water, yeast, salt, wheat, and honey. It tastes good, but it comes out so dense and doesn't rise very much. I have been using packaged whole wheat flour from the regular grocery store. I have tried active dry yeast and rapid-rise yeast. Any other suggestions on things to change?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rough day

Today was not a good day for me. Actually I just didn't make good food choices. The rest of the day was pretty good. At least I am towards the end of the steroid pack, so hopefully that will help with the hunger. Tomorrow's a new day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A picture is worth a few words

And I am going to expound on the picture in this template with a few words myself. If you look at the side, you will see a road. As you look at the header, you see that the road leads into the mountains. To me this was a good picture of this journey to better health that Steve and I are taking together. Here are some of the key points to me:
1. It is a journey (or process) that will take time.
2. The climb will get rough in places.
3. There will be peaks and valleys - or even plateaus.
4. The journey is taking us to a better place with a healthier view (of ourselves and the world).

As for the title of the blog, "Do or do not ... there is no try." This is a quote from Yoda, which Steve likes to use on me often. I do tend to get discouraged and make excuses for myself, so I am trying to remind myself that I have a choice to make when it comes to this journey. I may be limited by bronchitis, but it doesn't mean that the journey has to come to a standstill.

So, today I made the choice to walk for 30 minutes before starting my shopping at Costco - wearing my Payless version of "fitness" sneakers (the kind with the rocking sole that are supposed to do wonders for all sorts of things on one's body). My leg muscles do seem to be feeling it tonight, too. I will probably continue with that sort of exercise for a few more days until the bronchitis clears up. Unfortunately the steroids for the bronchitis are making me more hungry. I am working on choosing healthier snacks, but that is an ongoing struggle! In general, I don't crave the sweets as much anymore, but every now and then the cravings hit me full on. I seem to be in one of those periods right now. I think I need to buy some more fruit for the house - pronto!

Here's to healthy choices with a healthy goal in reach!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Down for the count?

I have been battling sinus problems for over two weeks and finally went to the doctor today. the diagnosis is bronchitis. It has left me feeling tired and unable to get a full breath. I still put in several hours at the spring carnival at Joel's school and made myself walk to Evan's school to pick him up, but that was about it. I had hoped to be more active this week, so I am praying that the medicine I have been given will kick in tonight and I can get some real exercise in tomorrow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Getting started

I was finally inspired by these pictures of me to get serious about getting healthy - again. I had started a couple of years ago with a gym membership but that didn't last long. I tried using a gazelle glider in my house, but that just attracted little kids and I was scared I would hurt them. It also had started making weird squeaking noises that WD40 wouldn't get rid of anymore. I tried taking walks in my neighborhood, but that was difficult with a 3 year-old tagging along. He complained if he walked and if I pushed him on his bike. Then just before Thanksgiving I totally wiped out on my kitchen floor and broke my tailbone. So, I just stopped trying to exercise for the most part.

Then came my anniversary in late December. For our joint present, my husband bought us some exercise equipment and developed a "get healthy" plan for us to encourage each other. My initial reaction was that it was not the most romantic present, but I have grown to appreciate it more each day since then. The plan incorporates exercise, healthy eating choices, and working on our relationship with each other. We started it in January, and this blog is going to be a sort of journal through the rest of the year and my progress on the plan.

My tailbone was (and is) still healing so the exercise was pretty mild at the beginning. I got a little more intense and the tailbone started hurting more. I am still trying to find the right balance with the exercise amount and intensity. For the most part I use the Wii to get my exercise in. For a lighter exercise I will play tennis for about 30 minutes. For a more intense workout I will do a routine on EA Sports Active. (I love that game, by the way. It gives a really good workout!) I also use a Denise Austin book, Shrink Your Female Fat Zones, for strength training routines.

I had already begun to work on our family eating habits. I have been making more food from scratch (or at least from less processed beginnings). I had been trying to cut out most of the high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Since the challenge began, I have also been trying to cut back on overall calories and reduce the amount of junk food in the house. For snacks, I usually have fruit now. I have really increased the amount of fruit that I eat, but I still have trouble getting more veggies. I eat out more than I should, but I don't eat as much when I do. Instead of soda I will drink water or sweet tea. I will skip the fries, have fewer of them, or have a yogurt instead. I still have several cups of coffee a day, but I use less sugar and milk than I used to in each cup. Thanks to a really cool book that my in-laws gave me for Christmas, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, I have started making more of our bread, too. I still have to buy some every now and then, but it has helped to make most of the bread. I haven't gotten the wheat versions down yet, but I haven't given up on them.

So far, I have seen some progress. I have lost a few pounds and my clothes are fitting looser. I was even able to tighten my belt a notch! We are not talking "Biggest Loser" numbers, but it is progress all the same. Considering that I am still struggling with my tailbone I will consider these first two months a success.

I still have a long ways to go, and am not ready for the after pictures yet, but I am encouraged by what both of us have accomplished so far. Ultimately, this is about being healthier (not skinnier), and I do think we are healthier now than we were at the beginning of the year. Here's to more healthy times to come!