Things have been quiet here, but…. I’M BACK!!

Hello all!!  I know that I haven’t been here sharing with you much lately.  I feel like I fell off the proverbial wagon of good health last fall when life got hectic with fall sports and I have stayed in my rut all winter.  Although I was in a rut, I am pleased that I have maintained my weight over the last 6 months!!  However, spring is finally here (the weather has seemed a bit confused at times though – LOL!) and I am motivated to get back on track and excited to start getting healthy with all of you again!

Here’s my plan moving forward:
1.  I am making a fitness challenge for myself each month and anyone is welcome to join in.  Be watching tomorrow for my May challenge!
2.  In addition to my personal fitness challenge, my oldest two daughters want to run our local Seaway Run this year and want me to run with them.  I agreed to do it but must admit that I have never run before so this will be quite an undertaking for me!!!  I am planning to follow the “Couch to 5k” training plan.  It’s just a short 8 weeks until the run so I need to get training!!  Considering that spring soccer and baseball are in full swing, this will definitely be something that I will need to stay committed to and have a plan to get it done every day!!  I don’t want to let my girls down!
3.  I will be improving my eating habits again.  I shared last year that I determined that my nutritional type is “protein” ( I get energized when I eat meat) (curious what your nutritional type is, check out this link).  So I will be returning my focus to protein and veggies as well as keeping my carbs in check.  This worked well for helping me lose about 20 lbs last summer, so I am hoping to drop at least another 20 this summer too!!

I will be doing regular check-ins for accountability on my FB page (www.Facebook.com/StraitToHealth).  If you would like to join me on my journey and/or would also like a place to check-in for accountability, I would love to do that with you through my page!!

August 2014 Recap

NOTE:  I just discovered that I never posted this last month – oops!  I didn’t do a September update because nothing really changed in September (weight and measurements were the same).

WOW!!!  September is already zooming by!  I cannot believe how busy the last couple of weeks have been for me.  I apologize for not posting this sooner!!  Here is my August recap:

Let’s start with the numbers:
6/11/2014    9/1/2014    Progress
Weight:                            217 lbs.        202 lbs.        -15 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″               14″              -1.0″
Abs (at fullest point)          45.5″            40.5”           -5.0″
Waist                               44″                41.5″           -2.5″
Hips                                 50.5″             48”              -2.5″
Thigh                               27.5″             26”              -1.5″

And here is my official picture for September 1, 2014:

I didn’t make much progress in August.  As I reflect back on the month, I didn’t focus as much on being healthy as I probably should have.  We had several birthdays (and I just can’t resist birthday cake and ice cream, even though I should), a week of yard sale prep where we lived in survival mode (eat what’s easiest and keep moving), and a camping trip as well.  Even though I did manage to complete the #MyAugustFit50 challenge of walking 50 miles, I still only managed to lose 3 pounds last month as well as some inches.  How do is it possible to walk 50 miles in a month and only lose 3 pounds; the only explanation I can come up with is that I just didn’t eat well.

So, here were my successes and challenges for the month:

1.  I don’t see that I had many successes. :-(

2.  My biggest challenge is that it seems as if the honeymoon phase of my health journey has passed.  What I mean by that is that it was exciting at first to eat different from my family, to experiment with new foods, to shop for new, fresh, healthy foods, and to weigh and measure my foods so I could track what I was eating (for carbs and sugar, not so much for calories).  Well, now all of that is becoming challenging to keep up with.  I get frustrated making one meal for Eric and I and then something different for the kids since they aren’t really wanting what Eric and I are eating (Eric is lovin’ the healthier options though).  I am now trying to balance what I am willing to eat and what they want.  I just have to be careful because I am so tempted by rice/potatoes/carbs; I have a hard time eating “just a little” rice… I want MORE (but regret it later)!

3.  I guess a continuation on the previous point it that so many traditional breakfast foods are so high in carbs – toast, French toast, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, rice, cereal, etc. are a carb nightmare!!!!  Eggs are a good option, but I have eaten so many eggs that they are losing their appeal.  I have tried to research some paleo-type breakfast ideas, but am having a hard time finding something that appeals to me.  I am open to suggestions if anyone has any – feel free to comment on this blog post or message me on Facebook!  :-)  So, I find myself eating high-carb options with the kids… not a great way to start my day. :-/

4.  I also feel like less-than-healthy options are faster and easier to prepare.  I try hard to not purchase processed foods, but some of those things seemed to make more of an appearance in August due to picnics, camping and the need to have something on the table that is fast and simple.  I need to work harder to be better prepared.

Sorry to be such a whiner this month, but I am frustrated.  September is already proving to be a challenge too.  With school and soccer starting again and with it getting darker earlier, it is proving very difficult for me to get my exercise in.  Tonight is the first night that I have been able to walk so far this month, and I was only able to get in 0.7 miles before I needed to return to “mom duties”.  Eric and I are also reworking our budget and that means we need to trim back our grocery budget (that is one of our only variable expenses).  It is difficult to eat healthy on a limited budget.  I am going to continue to work on keeping healthy food in the house, but it will be different than what I was eating earlier this summer.  Again, I find that foods heavy in carbs seem to be cheaper and easier to prepare… sigh…  I need to find a new normal that our whole family can embrace and be happy with.  I would love to hear how you do this for your family.

July 2014 Recap

Picture

Well, I am another month further into my journey to get healthy.   Here is a recap of my successes and struggles:

I am pleased to say that I am continuing to make progress!!  I am learning a lot about myself and about health and nutrition in general.  I wish that my numbers were going down faster, but when I realize that I have seen this progress in less than 2 months and that I have had some “oops moments” during that time, I think I am doing pretty good!  I know that I am doing better than if I had never started at all!   Also, some of my clothes are getting baggy so I know that I am making progress!

Let’s start with the numbers:
6/11/2014        8/1/2014    Progress
Weight:                            217 lbs.        205 lbs.        -12 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″               14.5″            -0.5″
Abs (at fullest point)   45.5″              41”              -4.5″
Waist                               44″                42″              -2.0″
Hips                                 50.5″             48”              -2.5″
Thigh                               27.5″             26.5”            -1.0″

And here is my official picture for August 1, 2014


As far as successes and struggles, here’s what I know:

  1. It is important to keep the fridge stocked with healthy food!  If I don’t have healthy choices then I make really bad choices!  I think I am going to budget my grocery dollars a little differently so that I know I have cash on hand to make regular produce purchases!!
  2. When I eat too many carbs and/or sugar I just don’t feel well!  I used to eat so much of it before that I am surprised that I felt well at all.  I really don’t know how I survived so long eating crummy food!  I wish I had started this sooner and hope that I can be a good example for my kiddos!
  3. I LOVE MEAT!!  I just feel better when I eat meat!  Veggies are good, but veggies alone do not satisfy me.  Carbs and sugar are bad and they certainly do not satisfy me!  I feel satisfied and energized when I have had good meat for dinner!  I especially LOVE steak!
  4. I still struggle to get enough water to drink.  I am trying different strategies to drink enough, but I am still not drinking as much as I should!
  5. I have also found that I need to PLAN my exercise.  On days when I know that I will be busy in the evening, I need to plan to get my walk or other exercise in earlier in the day.

Well, that’s my recap for this month!  I am looking forward to seeing my numbers continue to drop.  :-)  My goal this month is to break through the 200 lb. barrier (I am shooting for 195 lbs. by the end of August).  You may have also seen that I have accepted a challenge from trainer Tiffani Allamon of Lubbock, TX to do 50 miles in August (see this blog post for the details).  You can follow my progress weekly on FB to see how I am doing on this challenge.  I would also love to have you join me!! 

Until next time… stay healthy my friends!!  :-)

A Year From Now…

This saying has been on my mind a lot lately.  We have been making changes to be healthier and I want to look back in June 2015 and see concrete results of the work we are doing today.  I am committed to being healthier!  I really need to take a picture of myself so that next year I will be able to see the physical results.  I know that I should post my “before” picture here but am feeling insecure about doing that.  I remind myself that this is all about accountability AND that those of you who are reading this know me also already know what I look like SO I might as well just do it, huh!?  Okay fine… tomorrow I will post a before picture.

I am also thinking that I need to make an appointment with a family doctor for a general physical so that I can get my blood work done so that I also have a baseline for comparison a year from now.  My only doctor is my OB/GYN, so maybe I’ll just go through her to get that done.

Next year I will be healthier and stronger… but that all starts with today and tomorrow!  TODAY I have been healthier and TOMORROW I will be healthier too!!  I just may not see the results until next year…

Stay healthy my friends….

June 2014 Recap

Here’s a recap of my progress and struggles for June 2014.  Overall it has been a good month.  I think I have a good momentum going and am enjoying the process.  I am also enjoying feeling healthier!!  My family is being encouraging each night when I take my walk as well as when I do my floor exercises (except the dogs who think I am on the floor to play with and pet them).  They are also patient with me when I can’t sit down with them at the start of a meal because I am weighing and measuring my food as well as when I sit at the table logging my food so that I don’t forget anything.  My sweet hubby, has even mentioned that he’s noticed that I am carrying myself differently (that I am standing straighter, walking taller).  I also feel very blessed by the encouragement I have received from all my friends.  Many, many thanks to all of you for making my journey that much nicer!!  :-)

So, here we go with the nitty gritty details (I still can’t believe I am sharing these facts on the internet for all to see)…  First, I am down a total of 5 lbs. for the month.  Here’s a summary of my measurements:

June 11, 2014   July 1, 2014    Net difference
Weight:                            217 lbs.         212 lbs.            -5 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″                    15″               none
Abs (at fullest point)   45.5″                  42″               – 3.5″
Waist                               44″                    43″               -1″
Hips                                 50.5″                 49″               -1.5″
Thigh                               27.5″                 27″               -0.5″

And here is my official picture for July 1, 2014:

I am the most amazed by the 3.5″ lost off my upper abdomen.  I know that I have been much more mindful of holding my abs in while walking (both just in general as well as when I am on my walks).  So, perhaps that is helping to tone up those muscles.  Also, my daily floor exercises focus on my core so that is likely helping as well.  I am going to keep working on this area because it is my biggest problem area in my opinion.  (I will feel a lot better in my clothes when this area is slimmed down!)

Things that appear to be working for me:
1.  As you may have read on my FB page, I have been eating more good protein, healthy fats and more veggies.  I have found that I feel better when I limit my carbs and sugars.  (I have also learned a lot about insulin and hormone-sensitive lipase, but I will share that in more detail later in a whole separate post.)
2.  I have been walking and exercising more.  Thanks to the MapMyWalk app on my phone, I have been logging all of my walking and exercising.  Since June 14th I have logged 21.25 miles walked (11 walks) and 2 hrs, 41 minutes of exercising (10 workouts).  Funny, I really do feel better since exercising more.  I never would have thought that.
3.  My sugar cravings are down.  It has been 5 weeks since I’ve had any pop/soda!  That is amazing for me!!  This has been a continual struggle for me; I was always craving sugar and pop.  I had a hard time making it through lunch time and the afternoon without a glass of pop (or two).  I have tried a variety of things in the past without success.  This time I did one thing differently:  each day I drink 1 ounce of Young Living’s Ningxia Red and take 2 drops of Ocotea essential oil.  The Ningxia Red is made from wolfberry puree from China’s Ningxia province as well as other super fruits and is good for a variety of health issues. (If you want to know more, click here. ) As far as the ocotea essential oil, it comes from a tree in Ecuador and is beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels.  (You can read more about it here, if you are interested.)  Can I prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these two things are what has cured my sugar addiction?  No, I most certainly cannot; but this is the only thing I have done differently regarding sugar and it seems to be working… and I am going to keep doing it!!

But, all isn’t rosy, there are still some things I struggle with:
1.  I have a hard time getting enough water.  I have tried a variety of things but I am still falling short of 107 oz. per day (that is half my body weight in ounces).  I know that I need more water, I am just having a hard time with it.  I’ll keep trying though!!
2.  The other day we had a family afternoon at the beach and on the way home we stopped for an ice cream cone.  I had a luscious scoop of double chocolate almond  (yum!), however, since then I am craving that ice cream; not all sweets, just this particular ice cream (there are other kinds in the freezer for the kids and I have no temptation for any of those  – go figure!).
3.  I need to work on finding local, affordable sources for grass-fed/pastured meat. I know that grocery-store meat is full of lots of hormones and other yuck that is not good for us, so I need to get better quality meat… that actually fits my budget.  I also need to commit to shopping more at the local farmers’ markets, especially for produce that is grown organically and not sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4.   I’m having a hard time getting to sleep at night.  I wonder if my nightly walk is too late in the day and my body is having a hard time settling in.  I need to do some research on this.

Well, that’s my update!!  I am making progress and that feels great!! Thanks again for all the wonderful encouragement; it means the world to me!!!

Stay healthy my friends…