Monday, December 31, 2012

13 for '13

Here it is!!  The long awaited 13 for '13.  That's 13 goals for 2013.  If you're not sure why I don't dig resolutions, you can check out my last post here.  I reviewed the goals that I made for 2012.  I'm looking forward to a new year.  I think it'll be a year of continuing to strengthen my body and renew my mind.

Without further ado, my 13 for '13:

  1. Continue to maintain my goal weight.  And, I need to give myself a 5 pound buffer even though it pains me to say so...I need that.  It's more about being up 5 pounds rather than down 5.
  2. I want to keep running...to remain dedicated no matter what!  It's hard, but I enjoy it far more than I ever thought I would.
  3. I want to spend time with my hubby at night at least once a week *I guess I should clue him in on this too, huh?*  I just bought Battleship *the game* for he and I to play.  We've also played Othello recently.  This is an adjustment over this year's goal of going on a date night 1x per month.
  4. Take time for myself.  I really need to continue to do this for myself.  I need to be vocal about it too.  I'm hoping that I can do this once every other week or so.  Hoping to.
  5. Spend less time on the computer.  I typically spend some time on the computer in the morning while I drink my coffee/tea; some time while I eat lunch and then again after dinner.  The goal?  I need to limit it a bit more.  I'm going to set the timer and spend no more than a half hour in the morning and at lunch.  Then I can spend a bit more time on the computer after the girls go to bed.
  6. Do more crafty things with my girls.  I did quite a few things with them just before Christmas and I'd like to keep doing fun things with them.  They loved it!
  7. Bake more with the girls.  They enjoy the baked goods that I make, so I'd like them to help more in the kitchen.
  8. Write one letter/card by hand a month.  I am modifying this one from this year as well.  A handwritten note can make someone's day so much better.  Have you tried it recently? *no I don't mean a personal e-mail either!!*
  9. Continue taking my girls outside to do things like sledding, bike riding, and walking.  I have a blast too.  We've gone sledding several times already.  We just love it!
  10. Express my feelings better with my friends, husband and girls.  *A repeat from this year.*
  11. Read at least 3 books this next year.  I enjoy it...I need to do it for myself.  I need to make time for it.
  12. Encourage others who are continuing their journey or starting a new journey.  It's a hard road, but one that is worth it!
  13. Laugh at myself, laugh at my children and roll my eyes at my husband *another adjustment from one for this year.*
Do you have some new goals for this year?  What do you want to work on?

No giving up!  It's not allowed!

And...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I hope and pray that you all have a very blessed and happy year in 2013!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Last Review

So nearly a year ago I wrote this blog post called 12 for '12.  You can find that here.  I'm going to also list them here in a minute too.  If you're new to my blog, I came up with goals instead of resolutions because, well...I feel like we make resolutions and then they get broken.  I feel like goals are attainable, achievable, and most importantly...believable!

So, my 12 for '12 were the following *I will add in my thoughts next to them in parenthesis*:

  1. Get to my goal weight *185* or less and maintain it.  (I've fluctuated off and on throughout the last 10 months since attaining goal.  I have not gained 10 pounds or anything, but I've been up about 4 pounds.  In all, I feel pretty good about the last 10 months.  It will always be a struggle, but I know that now.)
  2. Continue to work hard by strengthening my body.  (Boy have I been doing this!  Not only have I been strengthening my body, but pushing it too.  I never thought that I'd still be running, but I am and this morning was awesome!)
  3. Try to have at least one 'date' with my hubby per month *coffee date, dinner date, something!*  (Hmm, well, we did pretty good with this until summer hit and it all went down hill thereafter.  Our last date night was in August.  However, we did sit and play a couple of games of Othello last night after the littler two went to bed.  It was a lot of fun and we plan to play Battleship together tonight!)
  4. Keep trying new recipes.  (I do this a lot naturally anyway.  We've found some new ones that we love and some that are just 'eh.'  Since it has gotten cold, I've found that I'm choosing our 'old' favorites in regards to comfort food.)
  5. Read more.  (This has waxed and waned quite a bit this year.  I'm still reading a particular book that I really need to finish.  I find myself busy doing so many other things.  Today, the girls and I went sledding!)
  6. Take time for myself *outside of exercise & my book study*.  (This has been difficult too, but I'm learning to tell my husband that I *need* time for myself.  And I truly *need* this time for myself.)
  7. Continue to blog and share my journey with others.  (I don't blog as much as I would like, but I still feel like I'm sharing my heart with others when I can and that is the important part.)
  8. Do things with the girls that require going outside and being active.  (We have done quite a bit of this in the last couple of months *especially*.  When my hubby was away, I still wanted to get my runs in so the oldest pulled the youngest in the bike trailer behind her bike, and middle kiddo road her bike.  Going sledding is another activity that we've down now 3 times with other opportunities to do so again.  We've also gone on bike rides a lot too or just for walks.)
  9. Eat fresh fruits/veggies as much as possible.  (I'm still doing quite a bit of fresh.  I would say that more than 50% of my veggie/fruit intake is fresh, but the rest is frozen.)
  10. Write more letters by hand.  (I've done fairly well with this.  I still have room for improvement on it though.  It's just so convenient to sit down and write an e-mail.)
  11. Laugh more.  (I'd say look at #8...we did a whole lot of laughing as we were coming down the hill today.  Also, playing games with hubby or kiddos...also lends to laughing.)
  12. Learn how to better express my feelings to others.  (Oh boy...this is still hard.  I'm getting better.  It's improving, but I will be adding it on for next year too).
Overall, I feel like I've done pretty well on my goals for this year.  As we get ready for 2013, I will be adding a couple of these onto my new goals list.  In some ways, there's no reason to reinvent the wheel.  I have a few more days, but will be formulating my new goals list.
 
What will your goals for 2013 be?  Don't give up!  Just keep on keeping on!

And if you're curious to see my other goal reviews you can see them here, and here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

500 Miles

It has happened!  Wednesday as I ran in 20-some degree weather and the sun was setting, I hit my first 500 miles.  In my defense, I only had .2 miles to go before hitting that after my run on Monday.  I have to say that the weather has been less than desirable the past eight or nine days.  It started getting yucky last Wednesday with the higher winds and colder temperatures.  Then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday...we got snow.  We got quite a bit too.

I did in fact run on Saturday after all of our snow.  It was nicely packed on the streets which made using my hubby's Yaktrax a cinch.  Here's the sad tale of my hubby's Yaktrax.  I bought them for him a couple of years ago for Christmas.  They've sat in his drawer since then.  I'm not sure if he's just not a die-hard like me or what the deal is.  I know that he's had a membership to the gym, so that may have also played a part in it too.  He also didn't have much of a chance to use them last year due to the lack of adequate snow fall.  I digress.  When I got ready to go for my run, I told him that I was going to use them.  I'll give those babies a test run.  And...I did!  Amazing!  I didn't fall, nor did I slip on the ice.  I had two older gentlemen tell me to be careful on the ice, but I informed them that I had my Yaktrax on.  This is what I had on.

I don't intend on giving up my running unless something unforeseen occurs.  I also don't know how our weather will be.  When I ran on Monday, I ran the Route 66 loop since I knew that downtown would be clear for tourists, etc.  If you do the entire loop, it's 2 miles.  I did it twice!  I even got a shout out from my friend's boss, who happens to co-own the pizzeria downtown.  She told me that I am sure dedicated.  I think I'm crazy most of the time...not so much dedicated.

The other thing I've started trying to do is get myself active for a period of time every hour.  I have two pieces of music that walk to in the house and together they last about 7-8 minutes.  I've even done a dance party with the girls during that time.  I do set the time for 60 minutes.  When it goes off, I get up and get going.  It helps on my otherwise quiet days.  I know it doesn't seem possible to have 'quiet' days when you have a house full of girls, but I mean that we don't have a lot of activity happening.  It's not only good for me, but it's also good for the girls.  And...they enjoy it!

We are approaching Christmas and I hope that you have a blessed and special time with your family!  I'm not going to tell you to deprive yourself...all things in moderation!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's December!!!

There are only twenty-three days left in the month of December.  Can you believe that?  Nearly a year ago, I started this blog to be an encouragement to others.  I've tapered off a bit in the last several months, but I think about my blog almost daily.  It taunts me and tells me that I need to write.  I just don't always know what to write.  And last year, on the 31st, I wrote this post about my 12 for '12.  I'm not going to review those now, but I will when I get to the end of the month and get ready to write a whole new set of goals for the New Year.

My running is going great!  I've had a lot of interesting moments since August, but there is always a new challenge.  My pace is typically around 12 to 13 minute miles.  Today's training had me: warm up for 5 minutes, run at a fast pace for 10 minutes, walk for 5 minutes, and finish off with another 10 minute fast paced run.  The part that makes me laugh?  The fast pace part.  I don't do fast paced anything.  Let's just say that I ended up pushing myself more than usual.  The other part that had me laughing while running?  The strap for my HRM needs a new battery.  So even though I was panting and figured I'd keel over?  My heart rate was only registering at 70-something!  With all that, I managed to haul in 2.6 miles *even though my ticker to the right isn't letting me add it in*.  My pace *including my 5 minute warm up* was a bit less than an 11.5 minute mile.  Woot!

In addition to my running, I am sending spontaneous e-mails to a friend to remind her to get up and do:  jumping jacks, crunches, leg lifts, push ups, etc.  Not only is it good for her, but it is also good for me since I am also doing the same thing immediately after hitting the send button.  It is a reminder for me to keep moving.  Every little bit helps!

It is also that time of year when I get my new calendar.  I got it this last week.  It's still pretty stark looking, but I haven't sat down with it and added in birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  I also need to meal plan for the month of December--ick YAY!  I've usually gotten my grocery list put together and shopped by now, but it's been a bit chaotic this week.

Also, I finally got my birthday present this past week and I've been wearing it for nearly a week.  I have to say that now I know I slack on Friday's when the girls are home.  Yikes!  Oh yeah!  What is it?  It's a Fitbit One.  This is it:

It is pretty tiny.  And normally, it's clipped on my bra.  And no, I'm not taking a picture of it clipped where it should be.  So there!  I love this thing so far.  The picture above is showing how many steps I took today. 

It also tracks your mileage:




your calories burned,

your activity level *by growing a flower*,

and how many floors you've climbed.


The story on the number of floors I've climbed is this...we don't have stairs in our house.  The one floor that I got today was because of the elevation changes on my run this morning.  I even tried going up and down the stairs on our porch to get some more floors.  No dice.  Oh and it also has a silent alarm that you can set before you go to bed.

Speaking of bed...I need to go in that direction!  We have a fun day planned tomorrow.  We have friends coming over and I need to be peppy!  Don't forget to get your rest too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shame, shame...

I realized after my last post that I repeated myself.  A. Lot.  I'm sorry for that friends.  You don't want to see the same stuff written about...multiple times in a row.  For shame!  I appreciate each and every one of you that stops by to read my blog and I certainly don't want people bored with my ramblings.  Sheesh!

Well, I finished week 13 today.  I had originally thought I was going to finish week 14 today.  Somehow I miscalculated when I put it on my calendar, but I'm up-to-date now.  This was my last week of having a 1 minute walking interval thrown in-between my running intervals.  I had a 30-1-30 today *30 running-1 walking-30 running.*  When week 14 starts on Saturday, I will be running a straight 60 minutes.  And, for whatever reason, this intimidates me.

I never thought I'd make it through 14 weeks of training, but, I'm doing it.  I'm not the fastest girl on the block, but from what I've read elsewhere, I'm not the slowest either.  I've been tossing around ideas on what I'll be doing next, but I think I'm going to keep running  three days a week and filling in with something else on the other two days. 

Yesterday I did the "Tone-Your-Lower-Half Workout" that I found in my all*you magazine.  I tried to find a link for it on their website, but have come up empty handed.  This incorporated walking, reverse lunges, push-ups, and toes-out squats.  I managed to do the lunges and the squats in my own driveway, but my push-ups were done on the brick wall of the fire station up the street *it's a good thing they're volunteer down there, otherwise, I would have felt silly.*  I still felt silly doing push-ups out where other people could see me.  I wasn't really fond of doing the other two moves in my driveway either, but, it is what it is.  My total time for this workout was 54 minutes.  I appreciate that they put three different workouts in there for the different body types.  I am pear shaped, but there is a workout for apple and hourglass shapes as well.

As for my running days, I'm not sure if I'll do two longer runs and a short run, or if I should do two shorter runs and a longer one.  Decisions, decisions.  What would you do?  And, if you continue to run outside in the winter, what are your 'must haves' for running?  My long sleeved jacket isn't going to cut it for temps below 20.  This morning, I wore one of my hubby's sweatshirts that he wears to go running in.  I couldn't find my ear warmer *like a headband*, so I had to wear a hat.  I thought I'd hate the hat, but it wasn't bad.  I'm also trying to figure out what I could put over my face *nose and mouth* that won't make me feel like I'm suffocating.  I tried a light-weight scarf that a friend gave to me *done loosely over nose/mouth and tucked into my ear warmer*, but even that seemed a bit much.  Mittens or gloves?  I wore gloves this morning and was okay until the end of my run when I thought my hands were going to be permanently numb *I ended up pulling my fingers into the 'palm' part of the glove to make a fist.*

Not such exciting stuff going, huh?  We're coming up on Thanksgiving again.  Are you ready?  Are you making a plan now or are you going to wing it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

500 Mile Challenge

I'm still plugging away on my 500 mile challenge.  Today, I broke into my last 100 miles!  It is truly exciting and I never thought that I would log in that many miles, but it has become a reality.  I just completed week 11 of the Couch to 10K program and was totally in a zone this morning.  I woke up startled this morning at 5 thinking I had overslept.  I figured I'd just get up and get going.  There was no reason not to.  I checked the temp this morning and it was sitting at 25.9 degrees.  Brrr!  I've found though, that I enjoy the cold weather temps more than a 60 degree, sunny day run.

What am I wearing on these cold weather runs?  I've got on:  stretchy exercise pants, a full sports bra *covers my belly too-kind of like an undershirt*, a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeved exercise jacket, gloves, ear warmer, and my reflective vest.  I'm probably quite a sight to see.  But, at 5:20, who cares?  What is my motivation to get up so early?  Well, a couple of things.  1)  I don't have to push a 30ish pound toddler in a jogger stroller *not that I don't love taking her along, but it makes it a bit more difficult*.  2)  The above reason of not liking the warmer weather for running.

What gets me moving these days?  I've changed up my music list since last I posted.  I needed something that would keep me motivated and I keep tweaking it.  This is my list as of today:

  1. Voulez-Vous--A*Teens
  2. Windy--The Association
  3. Marry You--Bruno Mars
  4. Higher--Creed
  5. Holding Out for a Hero--Bonnie Tyler
  6. Invisible Touch--Genesis
  7. Eye of the Tiger--Survivor
  8. Be My Lover--La Bouche
  9. Firework--Katy Perry *at dark o'clock, it's easy to replay this one a couple of times...I love this one right now!*
  10. Boot Scootin' Boogie--Brooks & Dunn
  11. Karma Chameleon--Culture Club
  12. Bang Bang Bang--Christina Perri
  13. Sweet Dreams--Eurythmics
  14. Tainted Love--Soft Cell
  15. Mamma Mia--A*Teens
I have a good pace and I'm really enjoying this right now.  I have just 3 more weeks of 10K training.  It's amazing what you can push yourself to do with the right mindset.

A huge shout out to a friend who is beginning her journey at the gym today!  Go get 'em!  I'm so proud of you!

And lastly, if you're going to indulge in Halloween candy, count it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What a year can do!

You know, every once in a while, I whip out my trusty blue tape measure and do a few quick measurements.  I don't typically write them down, but I haven't 'written' them down since May.  In some ways, I really wish that I had written down my very beginning measurements so that I could look back and say, "Holy crap smokes!  That is a lot of inches lost!"  Alas, I did not, but I really started tracking them when I started P90X a little over a year ago.  A friend of mine let me borrow it and I did it religiously faithfully unless I was sick or was taking care of sick kiddos.

From then until now *the end of September until the end of October* I dropped 22.9 pounds and 22 inches!  When you mash it all together, it's pretty cool.  Does that mean for each inch lost it is equivalent to a pound?  It kind of looks that way.

I've completed week 10 of C210K and will begin week 11 on Saturday.  I slowed my pace a bit yesterday morning and I think my 'perfect' temperature is a balmy 41 degrees with no sun.  Meaning?  I had my reflective vest on for the darker portion of my run, until I got to the sidewalks of 'in town' and stuck to where there was plenty of street lights.  I felt amazing after my run and I feel like part of it was because I kept my pace slower.  We'll see how I do on Saturday.

On the GF journey, it's gone well this week.  I tried out the GF Bob's Red Mill Bread Mix this week and it is surprisingly very tasty.  Hubby and middle kiddo both liked it, so I guess it isn't just me.  When pricing out GF bread *pre-made* in comparison to the mix, it was nearly a couple of dollars difference *cheaper in favor of the mix*.  I'm also thinking about trying some of their GF all-purpose flour too.  I've been checking out recipes for stuffing/dressing for Thanksgiving as well as pumpkin pie recipes.  I think just about everything else that we serve is already GF.  I'm trying to be prepared.

Off to bed with me.  I'm hoping to sleep in, but I'm not going to hold my breath with two out of three kiddos who appreciate the early morning.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obsessed?

Oh great friends in the bloggosphere, I have been told that I am obsessed about my weight loss.  I'm not sure that I'm obsessed, but if I don't stay on top of things *logging my points/calories*, checking in here, and making my fitness goals, I feel as though it will all begin to creep back.  If by saying, "I don't want to go back there" makes me obsessed.  So be it.  I don't want to go back there.  I am happy where I'm at and I feel more like my peppy self...the one that my beloved hubby married nearly 11 years ago.

By losing the weight, I've been able to do things I'd never thought I would be able to do.  I don't post here to 'toot my own horn', but because I'm proud of what I've accomplished.  I don't post every day about things like that.  I most often post tips about things that have worked for me, things that I'm trying or tweaking.  Or I post about things that I tried, but that didn't work for me.  Everything that I post about won't always work for everyone.  The only thing I suggest to folks on this journey is to be sure that you pick something *diet food moderation program, or the like* that you know you can stick to for the long haul.  I say this, because, if you are anything like me, you need to feel like you're not restricted.  And if you struggle with food, a lot, then it can't be something you focus on for just 6 months or a year.  Make sense?
I don't bug people about their weight.  If you ask, I'll share from my experiences.  I've never blogged about anyone *aside from my hubby* and myself.  Oh and I did blog when I did the 'climb' with my friend.

Another friend of mine said that we all have to be a wee bit obsessed if we're going to make it to goal and stay there.  In the beginning of any journey, you are 'obsessed' with figuring out what you need to do, knowing the points values of your favorite foods, etc.  Once it's become a habit *of sorts* then it's like old hat.  You already know *without looking* what the points value is for your favorite food, you can fly a little more easily from the seat of your pants, and have fun playing with different recipes, etc.

In other news, I have completed 8 weeks of C25K.  I just completed week 9 of C210K (couch to 10k).  When mornings are going to be tight, I get up early to take to the road.  It also allows me to get out on my own without trying to push the jogger stroller.  And honestly, 5:30a.m. isn't terrible.  It certainly has been quite chilly at that time of the morning.  In the last week or so, it's been below freezing.  I am making it work because I'd rather run in the cold then during the hottest part of the day too.  Determination people.  Determination.

It is getting colder and we are approaching winter, what will be your go-to exercise get moving options?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Week One Recap

Here's a mini recap of the last week.  I started going gluten free on Friday, September 28th.  I had a flub on Tuesday *the 2nd* by taking a bite of the organic pop tarts I'd gotten for the girls.  Other than that, I've been on the straight and narrow.

How am I feeling?  Amazing!  My face has cleared up and my stomach isn't telling me how awful I am.  I've lost a little bit of weight and don't feel nearly as crazy as I normally do.

A couple things to note.  1)  It's amazing how many times I just grab a little scrap of bread *that's fallen off in the bag* while I'm making lunches 2)  How many times I've 'tasted tested for quality assurance' something I make for the girls for lunch *ie: pasta*  3)  A gluten free diet food modification plan doesn't have to be difficult.  I think it's only difficult if you make it out to be that way.  4)  Just like any low-fat diet food modification plan, the food doesn't need to taste bad...season it up with any seasonings you have on hand *provided that they are also gluten free*.

Last night we had rosemary roasted chicken with potatoes served with broccoli and a salad.  Yum!  We are having meatloaf tonight.  Tomorrow night we will have leftover meatloaf made into a Shepherd's Pie.  Fish is on the menu this week, pork, and a couple other things that I can't think of off the top of my head.

On another note, I've talked my grandmother into going gluten free.  She's had a lot of problems since February and while she hasn't tested positive for celiac disease, she's going to give gluten free a whirl.  I'm really hoping that it will make her feel better.  I will update on that too as time goes by.

And before signing off, I completed day 2 of week 8 in my C25K venture.  In my 38 minutes this morning, I did get a total of 3 miles, but that included my 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down.  I may not be getting the distance they want me to get *a 10 minute mile...ha ha ha*, but I am definitely running longer than ever before.  You will notice that I'm still logging my miles.

If you're still struggling, now is the time.  Don't wait to get back on the wagon.  Sometimes, circumstances may not change from one day to the next, but you can change how you treat your body.  Get moving!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Comfort Food and Sickness

Bleh.  It's hit.  The sinus gunk that I've been desperately avoiding has invaded my head.  It makes it difficult to think or function.  As a mother of three, with two that happen to be more mischievous than the other, this can prove to be difficult.  The neti pot and I have been friends for a couple of days already because I could feel it coming on.

The hard part?  I want...comfort food!  The particular kind of comfort food happens to be carbs.  What are most carbs made of?  Some type of gluten.  It's been a hard day.

I think what will make me happy is some kind of soup.  With that in mind, I'll pull out my chicken stock that's in the freezer, pull some mixed veggies, toss in some rice, some seasonings *bay leaves, salt pepper, onion flakes*, and cook it up.  I am currently baking a loaf of gluten free corn-like bread, but the recipe didn't seem right, so I tweaked it.  We'll see how that turns out.  And, in lieu of the lack of carbalicious type food stuffs in my house, I've eaten two additional pieces of dark chocolate *more than what I normally have* and a bowl of gluten free cereal with almond milk on it *I'm back to cutting out cow's milk on my cereal again*.  I guess it could be worse, right?

The girls are due to have pancakes tonight, but I think *this* momma will be eating soup and maybe a crust of bread.

Do you ever notice that when you don't feel good, nothing seems to satisfy you?  Why is that?  Is it some subconscious thought process along the lines of, "Feed the ______ "*fill in the blank-cold, flu, sinus infection, etc*?  Maybe you also feed the: pain, sadness, stress, frustration...  You get the picture now, don't you?

So, how can you cheat without really cheating?  I say tweak what you can...count the rest.  I'd love to sit and eat pancakes until my heart's content, but that won't solve much and I know it's not as healthy as my soup *which will also help with my sinuses*.  The chocolate and cereal I had today?  Doesn't help my sinuses, but it does help to keep me from going hog wild.  And, taking the time to write down my feelings and what I've been dealing with today...also helps to stop me in my tracks.

If you're sick, use whatever brain power you might still hold on to *because believe me I'm lacking a lot right now* and make some better choices.  If you can't make soup...go buy yourself some!  Then, resume your couch warming and feel better soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gluten Free--The New Adventure in Food!

So I've been having stomach troubles for a while now.  This is in addition to other 'symptoms' that have been mysterious.  When I questioned my doctor about some of these things *including difficulty with my teeth that I'm still having problems with* and my hair falling out, her reasoning was prediabetes.  She had a blood test to 'prove' that this was the reasoning.  So...I went with it.  I focused on better carb choices and losing the rest of my weight, but even though I've lost the rest and my A1C came back normal, I'm still having difficulties.  Why?

Doctor Google to the rescue!

I looked up information on gall bladder problems.  Nope.  Not it.  Then, I looked up gluten intolerance.  Jackpot!  Now, while I know that the symptoms listed for gluten intolerance can also be part of something else, I'm not completely 100% sure this is the answer.  In that there are so many symptoms that I'm experiencing, I'm willing to go gluten free for a month to see if it will make things better for me.

I started making a valid effort on Saturday.  I googled and pinterested to my hearts content, finding recipes and information about this new adventure in food.  In all honesty, it's not completely difficult to go gluten free for me since most of what I eat is meat, veggies or fruit.  It's just the grain part that I need to alter.  I'm thankful for our new store in town called Natural Grocers.  Yeah, I'm in love with that store...and, their awesome managers that will bend over backwards to help their customers.  I've pretty much found the things that I need to make this gluten free lifestyle a reality *without spending an arm and both legs.*  It's also interesting to me to see how often I pop something in my mouth while I'm fixing food for the girls.  Example?  I'm standing and making sandwiches and a piece of the crust falls off and I pop it in my mouth.  My oops last night...organic pop tarts for the girls.  I wanted to taste it since I'd given them each some and while they were organic, they were not gluten free.  DUH!  Within two hours, I was quite uncomfortable and thankful that I was going to bed soon.

If you're interested in seeing some of the recipes I've discovered *and you're on pinterest* you can check out my food board here.  And yes, there are things on there that are not gluten free and also not very healthy.  I like food...a lot.  So, it's no secret that my 'food board' is the biggest one on my page. *hanging head in shame*  I have to say that we've tried the pumpkin bread *a huge hit*, pumpkin coffee cake *SO good!*, pizza *also a huge hit*, and waffles *also delicious*.

I'll keep you all posted as to how things go.  It's a work in progress and I know that I'll slip up without even thinking about it *like I did last night*, but I guess that's what makes me human.  Onward and upward!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nearly two years ago...

In just a few short days, I will be celebrating two years of beginning my journey to healthy.  I can't believe it to be honest.  It seems like yesterday.  It all began on October 1st, 2010.  It was the year my youngest was born.  I was tired of being behind the camera instead of in front of it.  This is where it began.  The picture in this post, is as close to where I was at when it all started.

At some point, I was able to look over my journey and see it like this.  And in this post, I talk about why I feel like a 'former fat girl'.  I think some people never really saw me as fat.  I just had a bit of extra padding tacked onto my tall frame.  I know it had started to have an effect on my internal organs and on my knees.  Let's just say age and weight were starting to catch up to me.

Then there was this post that marked the difference a year can make. 

This is me now.  I took this picture on my 35th birthday.  Yes, it's been two years, but it still isn't as easy as I'd hoped.  Losing weight and keeping it off is hard work.  It's not for the faint of heart.  I think if people say it's easy...they're full of it!

The other part of celebrating two years...I have logged my food every day for two years.  I'm sitting here looking at my notebook that has today's food stuffs listed in it.  Will I ever be able to stop logging?  Most likely not.  Do I mind?  No, not really.  It is what it is.  By writing down what I eat, I can keep myself accountable.  Without it, I'd probably start adding the pounds back on.

The journey continues.  What about yours?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two Weeks & Happy 100!

Picture this on this fall morning:  alarm goes off at 5:20 a.m. *the sun isn't up yet and the streetlights are still on*; my feet are hitting the pavement at 5:35 a.m. *streetlights are still on and my brain is feeling a bit foggy*; I walk back in the door at shortly after 6 to stretch and at 6:25 a.m., I check the thermometer.  It is 39 degrees outside.  I knew it was cold when I walked out the door because I could see my breath, but wow!

I completed week 6 in my C25K journey *that is couch to 5K* just today.  I never in a million years would have imagined that I would be jogging/running for any length of time.  Today's training was 5 minutes of warm up walking, 22 minutes of non-stop jogging, and 5 minutes of cool down.  I'm not making the distance, but I'm not off by much *maybe 1/4 of a mile*.  I tagged my high school volleyball coach in my facebook status this morning.  Her response:  "Definitely not the girl I knew at Pembroke!!! You're definitely an awesome role model for your children! I always knew you had it in you! You just needed time to blossom and find yourself!!!"  Find myself?  Finally...just shy of 35.  Sheesh...it took me long enough.

I have just two weeks left in my training.  In some ways, I'm in shock that I'm nearly finished.  Starting on Saturday, each of my training days include:  a 5 minute warm-up, 25 minute jog/run *or 2.5 miles*, and a 5 minute cool down.  Then, it's week 8!  It's been basically two challenges in one.  I'm still striving for my 500 miles *did I mention I've hit 300?*  But, I'm also gaining strength in this whole running thing too. 

So Kati, what will you do next after finishing your C25K?  I think I'll keep going.  There is a 10k app that I can go on to and it will allow me to skip the first 8 weeks, so really, I will be moving towards 6 miles in another 6 weeks.  What's 3 more miles, right?

And happy 100 posts to me!  It's been nearly a year since I started blogging.  I know I don't blog very often, but sometimes less is more. :)

I encourage you to keep going.  There are no 'breaks' in the staying healthy game.  It is for a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stress

If you know me *and even if you don't* you would know that I love my children.  A lot.  Right now, they are ages 9, 5, and 2.  My 9 year old is for the most part, obedient and compliant.  My middle kiddo, while you could say she has 'middle child syndrome', there's more to it than that, but suffice it to say, she pushes the envelope on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.  My 2 year old is, well, two; she gets into everything and is very impish.

Where am I going with this.  Well, my middle kiddo stresses me out.  A lot.  She is the sweetest child in all seriousness.  She is in all honesty, strong willed and difficult.  I made a taco 'casserole' for dinner tonight.  She is not terribly fond of tacos in general.  But, I thought this particular dish would be a winner for sure.  Not so much.  When she saw me fixing it, she said, "Ewww gross!"  Then she came in for dinner, smelled it, and said, "It smells delicious."  She starts eating, "I hate this dinner!"  A couple of bites in, she wants a drink.  We don't allow drinks until after the main part of the meal is eaten.  She is given two choices.  She doesn't like either one and begins crying/throwing herself.  She is taken to her room.  She comes out.  It's more of the same...choices...doesn't like choices...fit throwing...room.  You get the idea.

My personality definitely clashes with that of my 5 year old.  And while some parents might be able to just let it roll, when you deal with this type of behavior day in and day out, it's exhausting and draining.  My go to comfort?  Food.  I'm just not sure how to stop the cycle.  My sweet hubby's personality is so much more capable in dealing with her personality than mine is.  And, while there is a name for what I'm dealing with in my 5 year old, I'm not so sure 'mom' is accurate for me sometimes.  Something more along the lines of 'crazy', 'nuts' or 'out of my mind' might be more accurate.

I guess one of the first steps in breaking the cycle is recognizing it.  So far, I've done that.  I now need to find something constructive to do instead of eating.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Climb to Conquer Cancer

Warning:  Picture heavy!  :)

So my friend and I did this really neat thing on Saturday, August 18th.  It was called "Climb to Conquer Cancer" and it's literally a 'climb' up Snowbowl Road in Flagstaff.  She picked me up at 5:30 a.m. to be there at the start by 6:30.  I was quite surprised at how many people had already started the climb when we got there.  They completely shut down the road to 'outside' traffic.  Everyone walks on the left so that the right lane is left open for the buses that bring you back down *or emergency personnel*.  You can see that here in the first picture.  This was early on.  *I just love photo documenting some of my walks.*


It is indeed a steep climb, but we kept a pretty steady pace.  We even passed a few people.

The views were amazing.  The light green area...that's where we parked the car...waaaay down there!

The sun was coming through these aspens juuuust right.  Heaven!

These were flags in memory or in honor of those who have battled cancer.

Amazing!

Yes!  We did it!

The puffy arch was the actual finish line!

These two guys took off running right here at the end.  I just happened to catch them! :)

Sweaty, but we made it!  Such a great victory!

One last look at the mountain.  This was just before we left.

It was 7 miles up.  It was worth every step.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Especially if it means we can be just two steps closer to finding a cure for cancers of every kind.  Would I have been able to do it last year?  Maybe.  But, I certainly am in much better shape this year than last.

Sometimes walking has a purpose other than being healthy.  Sometimes it's doing a 'climb' to remember.

C25K

I'm still plugging away on my 500 miles *if you haven't noticed by my ticker on the right*.  I did decide to try something because, well...just because.  My husband has always said that if I start running that I'll just love it.  Gag.   Riiiiiight.  Let me also say that I hated running when I was in school.  In soccer, we did sprints and sprint drills *everyone running around the very large soccer field in a neat little row...last person in row sprints to the front and so on.*  Yeah, no.  Volleyball...more running, but the 'field' was smaller.  Ask my coach.  Terrible.  I think I might have even been a pretty whiny player when it was in regards to running.  Dive on the floor to dig a ball?  Okay!

So, now I get to what the title of this post is all about.  I've had so many friends pick up running and have done or are doing the couch-to-5k program (C25K-get it?)  After doing some wogging and jogging *for about 3 minutes...going down hill*, I thought that just maybe, I might be able to give this a whirl.  So, I printed off the schedule and figured I'd start on Monday, the 20th. 

Week 1, day 1 is a 5 minute warm up walk and then intervals of 60 seconds jogging/running followed by 90 seconds of walking...repeat for 20 minutes.  Then there is another 5 minutes for cool down.  I dropped the girls off at the bus stop.  I started out, watching my timer on my HRM (heart rate monitor) for the intervals *what a pain in the rump!*  After making it nearly half way through, my hip cried out *yes, it really did.*  This is the same hip that the chiropractor has been working on diligently since July.  Bummer.  I didn't give up and pushed through.  I made it half way and looped back.  I'm just finishing another jogging interval and...BARK! BARK! BARK!  *low throaty growl* BARK! BARK! BARK!  The dog came at me and came up from behind *it was large and it looked like a golden retriever*.  After it nipped at the back of my leg, I yelled *at 7:40a.m.* BACK OFF *the dog stopped...still barked* and I continued...I DON'T KNOW WHOSE DOG THIS IS...  No one came out to get the dog or call to it.  I was rattled.  I still needed to make it the rest of the way home.  I got home and called the police department and the animal control officer was out sick!  I still told the officer on the other end of the phone the entire story because, by golly, I wanted them to know!

On Tuesday, I took a day 'off' from C25K, but still went for a walk.  I managed to jog for 3 minutes *again* going down hill.  It's pretty easy to get a jog on when you're going down hill and you have a 2 year old in a jogger stroller *who weighs about 28 pounds* plus the weight of the stroller.

Today was week 1, day 2 of my C25K journey.  I wondered if there was an 'app' that I could add to our ipod for the C25K training.  So, I searched.  I came up with this.  It's super and...it's free.  I like free.  One neat feature?  If you have a playlist of music *on whatever device you have that this app can be added to*, you can play it while you're walking and the 'verbal' reminders will talk over your music to let you know when the next interval begins.  It worked great.  I even just played it without headphones so that my squirt could hear it too while sitting in the stroller.  She jammed to the music and I got my work out in.  Win, win.

I do have to say that while we walked/jogged down the middle street where my 'close encounter' occurred, my 'spidy' senses were going NUTS.  I was waiting for that dog to reappear.  I *think* I heard it behind a fence this morning, but couldn't be sure since it was a privacy fence.  Argh!  I would have been even more angry if it had been out this morning since the squirt was with me today.

So, here I sit thinking about how much I'd love to finish out week 1 tomorrow.  But, I won't.  My hip is feeling much better with more stretching and a chiropractic appointment today.  I love the sweat that comes off and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I'm done.  It is truly enjoyable.  I never thought those words would cross my lips, but...there you have it.  Don't tell my husband.  He still thinks I loathe it.

All that's left now is to get a good arm band to tuck the 'touch' into.

Get out there and go...and have fun while you're at it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It happened today!

I reached my 2nd milestone tonight on a simple 'stroll' after dinner.

I hit 200 miles on my 500 mile challenge!!

My next mini milestone will be half way done.  I'm just 50 miles from that.

Friday, August 10, 2012

After a week...

I've been back to counting points for a week.  My week didn't start out so great after having some of my pancakes that I normally make on Friday night *it's our breakfast for dinner night.*  I wasn't exaggerating when I said that I was over by a lot.  It wasn't 20 points, but it was at least 10 points over.  Yikes!

So, after a week of hard work *and still dipping into my weeklies...not my activity points, but my weeklies*, I'm happy to report that I was down 1.8 this week at my morning weigh-in.  When I say my weigh-in, it's just me...and the scale.  I don't have anyone standing over me.  Well...I do have my children standing in the room most often when I'm weighing myself.  They don't really count though.

I'm sad that I haven't gotten in as much walking as I was in the prior month.  It just hasn't been possible.  I can walk with my shortest of the short people, but the older two don't like being 'held up' by me if I walk *and they ride*.  And if I have them walk, there's lots of whining *yes, even from a 9 and 5 year old*.  By the time hubby gets home, it's his time to run, and so I go without.  I have walked twice this week.  We have also taken a ride twice this week, so I'm not without any exercise, just not as much as I would like.  On Monday, I'll be back into it with vigor!  The oldest two are slated to get on the bus at 7:15 *or there abouts*.  The shortest of my shorts will be in the jogger stroller ready to go when we walk them to the bus stop that morning.  We'll be hitting the street as the bus pulls away.  She loves going for walks with momma.  She was with me when I did my first 10 mile walk.  If it's a longer walk, she ends up conking out in the stroller.  We'll see how she does on Monday.  She may chat the whole way and that would be okay too.

I'm ready for a new week.  A week from tomorrow, I'll be walking with my friend up Snowbowl for the American Cancer Society.  I can't wait!  It's about 7 miles up *and I mean up*.  And believe you me, I'll be wearing my heart rate monitor to log every morsel.  School starts.  A new amount of crazy begins.  Hubby and I are preparing ourselves for what could be some difficulty with our middle kiddo on homework.  Deep breathing.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.

Are you hanging in there?  Are you tweaking as necessary?  Are you getting out and getting your move on?

*A shout out to Granny...I know you're reading...and I miss you!  I hope all is well in your small neck of the woods.  Are you hanging in there?*

Monday, August 6, 2012

A-Ha!

On Friday of this past week, I decided to start tracking my Weight Watcher points again.  I'm not really sure what made me think to start doing it, but I did.  I have been having a hard time keeping those few pounds above off *the two to three above my goal*, even with drinking my water faithfully.  It was getting frustrating.  I logged everything into MFP at the same time I was counting my points.  Now, I know there are some people out there that do GREAT with MFP.  Counting calories is totally their thing and they have lost big.

The beginning of my day looked like this:


For my purposes, my day was going great.  My middle kiddo had soccer practice and I came home to make pancakes *with fresh milled flour*.  Uh. Yum!  When I entered them into MFP, I still had calories to spare.  I was doing great until I figured out how many points those bad boys were.  Yikes!  Let's just say I was over by a lot and while I counted every morsel, it was an eye opening moment.  All of this time I have been under my calorie goal, but was I within my points allowance each day?  I'm not really sure.

I have continued to count my points the last few days and it's almost been a bit more freeing.  I have a WW calculator that I'm using that I can also change days on as well as track my points for each day.  I am writing it all down like you see above.  And really?  It's okay.  It doesn't take me much time to do it and keeps things real for me.

After taking last week off from exercise, I got up at *cough* 5:15 to go for my walk this morning.  Of course, because I didn't lay everything out last night before getting up, I had difficulty finding everything I needed to get out the door.  I took my 'short' walk.  I say 'short' because people laugh at me when I say my 'short' walk is 3.25 miles.  That's not short for them.  Eh, it works for me.

As I'm typing this, I'm wondering how many activity points I got for this morning's walk.  I found this neat website.  Not only does it have an AP calculator, but if you look in the left-hand 'tool bar', they also have restaurant points, a food points calculator, and a points plus allowance calculator.  A-mazing!  I wonder if WW is allowing them to have these things on their site?  At this point, who knows?  But, it is benefiting me at this point in my life.

This post isn't to say that one can't lose by counting calories, because it is completely doable.  I'm just saying that something just wasn't working for me.  Today is my 5th day of being back to counting my points and I feel great!  Yay!

Keep plugging away friends!  The journey is never over, it just keeps improving!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fresh Milled Flour Equals...

...a-mazing bread!  We've used it in other bread.  You saw the last post about the multigrain bread.  I've also used it for our pizza crust.

But, I feel like the real test is making bread with only the fresh milled flour.  No, I didn't measure it by weight.  I did in fact measure it via the good ole measuring cup.  My oldest even helped me get it all put together.  I used my KitchenAid mixer to do the hard part for me *mixing and kneeding it*.  I am in love with the dough hook, that's for sure.

After allowing it to rise in a bowl *in my oven with the light on*, then separating it into bread pans, and allowing it to rise, it was time to bake it.

And it came out looking like this:
Isn't it pretty?  I just love it!  It couldn't cool fast enough so that we could taste test it for quality assurance.  My shortest kiddo stood at the ready when I *was* finally ready to slice it.

First?  Get it out of those pans!

No, I don't have pictures of it sliced, but maybe the next round.  It truly turned out looking like store bought bread.  The texture even resembles store bought.  The difference?  No preservatives or additives.  It's just good ole bread.  The bonus?  Not only do the girls love it, but my hubby thinks it's good enough to make a sandwich out of.  He has never and I mean NEVER said that my bread was good for anything other than toast.  Seriously.

What does that mean?  We won't be buying any bread from the store.  Woohoo!  To make these two loaves, it took a little over 1 pound of wheat berries *$.51* + $.12 *milk* + $.15 *sugar* + $.16 *oil* + pennies for salt & yeast = $.94 ish for my two loaves of bread.  I of course need to factor in usage of the mixer & oven, but what would that cost?  To get this quality type bread at the store, would cost a bit more.  The cheapest bread at the store is loaded with nastiness. 

Here's hoping everyone is still fighting the good fight.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Testing Out the Mill

I got my mill yesterday.  To say that I was excited would be an understatement.  I couldn't get it out of the box fast enough or read through the instructions any more quickly, but I did take some pictures along the way.

Here 'she' is!  Hmm...quiet design.  That was about to be tested.

When I first turned it on, just to get an idea, all 3 of the girls instantly had their hands over their ears.  It sure was loud.  In defense of the mill, I didn't have the lid on top or the collecting bowl beneath it.  The directions said to run 2 cups of berries through to kind of 'clean' it out from packaging.

So, I ran the wheat berries through.  You put them in the 'hopper' on top and put the lid on and away you go!

It doesn't take very long for the berries to run through.  After doing my first 2 cups, I ran 6 more cups through to get an idea of a couple different things.  #1--I didn't want to do the full 13 cups that I could do, but enough to give it a good work out.  #2--I wanted to see if the ratio was correct *1 cup of berries = 1 1/2 cups of flour.* 

When it is milling, the noise isn't any worse than me running the vacuum cleaner.  As it got to the end of the milling process, it was a bit louder than my vacuum.  After it finished, I pulled out my flour.

I measured it out into a 1 gallon size, freezer ziploc bag.  I put 6 cups of berries in and got 9 cups of flour.  If you multiply that out, you are in fact getting the 1:1 1/2 ratio that I had heard about.  The last test was to figure out the number of cups of berries in a pound.
After hubby and I got home from our date last night, I did some more figuring.  One pound of wheat berries measures out to 2 1/4 cups of berries.  Based on the above ratio, you would end up with 3.375 cups of flour.  After running the 1 pound of berries through and measuring it, I had 3 2/3 cups + a couple of tablespoons.  When I weighed my flour, I had 1 pound of flour.  The moral of this story, I need to start weighing my flour for recipes instead of using a measuring cup.  I have read that it's better to weigh your flour, but I've always been skeptical of this.  We'll have to give that a whirl too!

The first loaf of bread I made caved on me.  It's still good to eat though.  The bottom of the loaf is good for sandwiches and the top is good for toast.  The second loaf I made looks a bit more pretty.  I did measure my ingredients using measuring cups/spoons.  I do have to say that by using fresh milled flour, my loaf is mighty happy.


This was my second loaf.  Yes, it really is that tall *if you know bread makers, this is fairly common.*  I cut the loaf in half *from top to bottom* and it gives us two loaves instead of one.

I'd also like to make a straight whole wheat loaf.  I may even try out some of the recipes that were in the users manual.  So far, we're really happy with it.

We'll have plenty of new adventures with our new mill.  We'll be having plenty of pancakes and nummy things in the next few weeks.  The girls will be my test subjects. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Walking With Good Form

Did you know that when you walk for fitness purposes that you should have good form?  Do your hands swell when you go for a long walk *to the point where your rings may not come off?*  Are you getting shin splints?

I could certainly answer yes to the hands swelling.  I wondered why this happened and looked it up.  There is no precise scientific proof about the reason for it happening, but some say it's because when you swing your arms, you're forcing more fluid into your hands by 'centrifugal force'.  There are several 'theories' on this, some of which you can find here.  Since I read about some remedies for this 'problem', I have started walking with my arms at a 90-degree angle with my hands in a loose fist.  Because I am doing that now, I have had less hand swelling.  I can actually get my wedding rings off should I need to when I finish a walk.

I found an article about proper walking form.  You can find that here.  The article definitely has you think about your walking form.  I certainly encourage anyone who walks or runs to stretch after they finish.  It makes such a big difference in how you feel the following day.  No skimping!

Keep walking!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A new adventure!

I am starting a new adventure, once one very important piece of equipment arrives.  I'm not really sure what started me into researching it, but I started looking into milling my own flour.  We use so much of it, as we bake bread *a post devoted to bread making is here*, make pancakes/waffles, bagels, cookies, etc.  We do a lot from scratch.  I like to do it and the girls love it.  If I let them, they'd stand in the kitchen and eat an entire loaf of homemade bread...plain.  Of course, being a good momma, I don't let that happen...much.

So, I ordered my mill.  I was all set to order the Messerschmidt grain mill attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer *seriously, I had it in my virtual cart* when I was reviewing the specs on it...again.  The big thing that stuck out was that you need a Kitchenaid mixer with a max wattage of 325.  I had thought that all mixers were about the same, but I figured I'd look at mine to be on the safe side.  I'm glad I did!  When I flipped my beauty over, it said 250.  Then I went about looking to see if it was necessary to have 325 watts and out of all the sites I looked at, only one said 250!  Let's be clear about something, I love my Kitchenaid mixer.  My grandparents gave it to me *and hubby...I suppose* as a wedding gift.  And really, it's mainly mine.  I'm pretty sure the only time hubby has touched it has been to wipe the top of it or around it.  Moving on.  I use it A. Lot.  I use it for baking: cakes, cookies and bread.  I use it for canning:  applesauce, spaghetti sauce and ketchup.  I've used it for making baby food and grinding up chicken.  I have pictures of my oldest standing at the mixer, 'helping' momma, and she has the same stance I do when I'm working at the mixer *one hand resting on top of the mixer*.  I've got a couple of the attachments, so it seemed logical to order the grain mill.  It is not logical to buy the grain mill and then have it burn up my motor, then have to buy a new Kitchenaid mixer *I really don't want to live without it, so I'd want a new one.*

With all that said, I've purchased a Nutrimill grain mill.  Expensive.  That's what I have to say about it right now.  I've done my research on freestanding grain mills too.  I saw some that were over $400.  I saw some for about $30, but those were hand mills, and let's be honest, do I really want to try and hand mill my flour?  Probably not.  The price per pound for wheat berries is actually cheaper than buying the generic whole wheat flour from Fry's *aka Kroger*.  And since we go through a lot of flour *I figured we'd have gone through at least 10 pounds of whole wheat flour this month...maybe more*, this seems like a logical step.  At some point, we will recoup the cost of the grain mill.

My mill should be here by Monday.  In the meantime, we'll be using my store bought flour. 

Oh and our new favorite bread recipe can be found here.  It is so yummy!  I do tweak it just a little because I don't want to buy powdered milk right now.  So, I use half milk and half water.  I also double the recipe to have a bigger loaf.  I didn't have millet before, but I picked some up at our whole food store on Monday.  I also like to split the sugar into different kinds; sometimes I use brown sugar and white sugar.  Other times, I use honey, but you have to watch the amount of liquid you have in your breadmaker so you don't have 'soupy' bread.  I think I may try molasses in a future batch.  I'll keep you posted.

And one other thought about fresh milled flour.  Apparently, once you go fresh, you don't want to go back.  Hmm, we'll have to wait and see.  Stay tuned for more blogging regarding our new adventure.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The balance game...

I'm not one for trying to keep things in the middle.  I'd rather have it one way than the other.  Right now I'm struggling with either wanting to eat everything in sight or...feeling sick to my stomach.  My emotions are definitely playing a role in this 'game'.  I dislike this game.  When I first began my journey, the instant reaction to feeling overwhelmed was to reach for food.  I still have that reaction, but my tummy also revolts.

I guess being like this makes me a typical woman.  For illustration purposes, a lot of women lose weight before they get married.  They are stressed and busy.  It just happens.  This woman gained it.  I reached for the food that comforts me when things go wrong.  This instance is no different and it makes me typical in that when I reach for food in this state, I want it to be carb-ish and satisfying.  Carrots, lettuce, or any other green like vegetable, aren't my first choice.  They should be, but they aren't.  What can I say?  I'm still learning and growing in my journey.

I am also struggling with my morning time.  I have been getting up between 5 and 5:30 to get my walk in *on days that I can*.  This could also be a prime time for me to work on the study I just bought.  I need the walk, but I also need the study.  So, I've been choosing the walk.  I'm still not convinced that it has been the right choice.  My body needs the exercise *it even craves it now*, but my soul needs to be fed too.  It's such a fine balance in this area too and I wish I had the right answer.

I know it seems like I have my 'stuff' together, but mostly...I don't.  My life is not perfect.  My food choices aren't always stellar, my children are rarely well behaved aren't always well behaved, my house isn't immaculate, I always often forget things, I verbalize my thoughts better on paper *or blog* than out of my mouth, I generally have good intentions, and I often feel like my feelings/opinions don't matter/can't be voiced.  While these things aren't always visible to the naked eye, they are who I am.  If I seem quiet...I'm contemplating, hurt, and/or sad.  If I seem talkative and outgoing...I'm feeling good and am ready to take on the world.

So, I'm continuing to balance or seek to find balance. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

100 miles in!

On my walk this evening, I hit my first 100 miles *walking only*.  The best part?  It hasn't quite been a month since I started my challenge.  I began on June 8th and today is the 2nd!  Awesome!  It's been 25 days.  This is quite an accomplishment for me.  I've even logged a 10 mile walk in the last 25 days.  I would never have thought at this time last year, that I would be walking for as long and as far as I am.

What do I have left?  I have 398.1 miles left to go before December 31st.  It leaves me just about 6 months to complete my goal. 

I have just recently signed up for the American Cancer Society’s Climb to Conquer Cancer up Snowbowl in Flagstaff.  I am so excited about it.  It’s nearly 7 miles to the top, but I’ve got that in the bag.  My friend and I will be doing it together.  That is also awesome!

Since I started my walking challenge, I’ve had several people offer to go for a walk with me.  It’s kind of weird, but it is also good.  Maybe I’m having a positive effect on people.  The other interesting thing?  I have had so many people recognize me around town and will say, “You’re really out there walking, aren’t you?  How far are you going now?”  When I tell them that I’ve completed a 10 mile walk or that some of my routes include a 7 to 7 ½ mile walk, they’re amazed!  Some of them also walk and have encouraged me to keep walking, even during the winter time.  I appreciate that!

And one last little feel good moment.  When I was into our grocery store the other day, the gal that works in the bakery says, “You really have lost a lot of weight, haven’t you?”  I told her that I had and how much.  She was thoroughly impressed.  The odd thing?  She doesn’t know me by name and she only sees me when I’m at the store…getting milk!

There are little things that give you the boost that you need.  Some days are harder than others.  There are days where you would never think that it would be any other way.  I’ve had moments recently where I’ve thought about where I was and where I am…I don’t want to go back.  It’s a good reminder and always serves as a great kick in the pants.

Never give up!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Still walking and keeping busy...

Time seems to be slipping by this summer.  Here we are just 10 days from the end of June.  Amazing!  I'm hoping that monsoon season will prove to be a refreshing time where we get lots of rain!  One can hope, right?

I have parts of my garden that are super happy *the ones that happen to be under cover from the evil flying/hopping menaces* or that they don't particularly care for *like my tomatoes*.  I'm making every effort to have *something* to eat come this fall.  I have some nice looking spinach, romaine, and tomatoes.  The basil is struggling.  So far, my pepper plants are doing okay too.  We'll see.

As for walking, I'm sitting at 52 miles completed so far.  That just means I have 448 more miles to go.  I can do it!  I've been having some fun while walking *and still keeping my pace up*.  My last two 7 mile walks, I've taken my camera.  We live in an interesting area, but there seems to be a little something to see while I'm out and about.

This is the first thing I see when I come off my street.  We're pretty crispy around here right now since it was such a mild winter *read--not much snow*.


After a couple of turns *and a couple of miles*, I come to this lovely thing.  It's a cattle guard.  There isn't just one on this particular route, there's two!  It doesn't look difficult, but for me, it is awkward to walk across.  Whatever you do, don't come up behind me while I'm trying to walk over it or you'll have yourself a good laugh!


Just past the first cattle guard.  Wide open spaces!


Yes, the sign says, "Caution: Watch for Cattle".  They're free range in these parts.

If you look way off in the distance, you'll see where I'm walking to.  It's 3.25 miles one way.


No you're not missing the fence, the cows really are just wandering around out there.


I have to say, the views are pretty spectacular.


No, I didn't yell, "Hey cow!" or "Moo!" this time.


Do you see what I mean about the view?

I made it!  This is our little municipal airport.

Proof that they really are just hanging out.  Look at those mountains in the background!

These next few pictures are from today's walk.  This is Cataract Lake.  To me, it's like a large pond.

This is so you don't think I'm slacking.  This lovely hill is after I've turned around.  Also, I'm pushing my kiddo in the jogger stroller.

We got to see this train.  Had I been thinking when it initially went by us, I would have gotten a shot of it coming towards us.  Eh, oh well.

Lastly, prairie dogs.  Ha!

I also saw a ton of lizards, but man they're fast.  I still haven't snagged a picture of one yet.  I did see a squashed one in the road, but thankfully no more dead snakes *or live ones for that matter*.  Ick!  After my book study with the girls on Monday, I'm being extra cautious about possibly seeing a poisonous snake while out walking. 

It's good to have friends that live around town too.  Friends of mine saw me out walking...I waved as they went by.  When they came back through, they offered to snag me some water.  For whatever reason, I brought water for my little passenger, but none for me.  I gladly accepted the offer.  He came back with a zero calorie powerade and two bottles of water.  What a difference that powerade made! 

It has been fun seeing how far I can push myself.  I never thought in a million years that I would be walking 7.5 miles all at once.  I wasn't even walking that far this past fall.  Not only that, but I'm able to take my littlest one with me and not feel any different than if I'd gone alone.

If you're doing the challenge with me, keep plugging!  We still have lots of time and I'm aiming to get there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Five days...

It's been five days since my first 7 mile walk.  I don't think I've stopped much since then. 

I have to say that several of the songs towards the end of my list tend to be a bit fast when I'm rounding out the 7 mile walk.  I had good intentions of burning through those songs, but my hip was giving me grief yesterday when I walked it again.  Man, I feel old.  And really?  I'm not that old.  And I'm in better shape now than I was when I had my first kiddo 9 years ago.  But yeah, the hip bugs me.

Today was my 'rest' day.  Ha!  I did some swapping on the bikes to see if I could do 7 miles with my shorty in the bike trailer.  I hooked the bike trailer up to my oldest kiddo's bike *since hers has gears and mine doesn't*, adjusted the seat and handle bars, and off we went.  Between the wind and having my kiddo behind me, I wimped out.  *Hanging my head in shame.*  My total mileage was a little more than half of the 7 miles when all was said and done.

After a busy rest of the day, I took the girls on a ride this evening.  We scored another 5 miles.  I'm 40 miles in on my 500 mile challenge.

I know you want to join.  It's never too late.  And...ride it, walk it, or run it...change it to suit your needs, but just get moving!

Monday, June 11, 2012

I want to walk 500 miles!

That could really happen by the end of the year.  Could this be a new goal for me?  If I divide it out by the 7 miles that I've started walking, it would take about 71.4 work out days.  In 6 1/2 months, I think this is totally doable!  I'm so glad that when my sneakers started squeaking, I decided to get a new pair.  In defense of my old sneakers, they were 11+ months old, and I have done a lot of walking, exercising, and general every day living in them.

On Friday, I went for my first ever 7 mile walk in these:


I came home from said walk to find these on my doorstep:

Excuse the *baby* belly in the background. :) 

They had their first official walk yesterday, aside from general daily wear the last couple of days.  I took the same route that I did on Friday, just minus the jogger stroller containing the short person whose belly you can see in the picture above.

I did realize that after walking yesterday, that I needed to update my ipod because I'm at a point that I need some new tunes.  And, I need a longer play list since if I am doing the 7 mile route, it takes me about 1 hour 45 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes.

Here is my new list *I'm not sure if I'll be skipping any songs until I get out there and try it out*:

  1. With or Without You--U2
  2. Big--Qkumba Zoo
  3. Bad Romance--Lady GaGa
  4. I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)--The Proclaimers **This may or may not be where I got the idea for 500 miles.** :)
  5. Walk Like An Egyptian--The Bangles
  6. Twist and Shout--The Beatles
  7. Boom Boom Pow--Black Eyed Peas
  8. Super Trouper--A*Teens
  9. Jump--Van Halen
  10. Sweet Caroline--Neil Diamond
  11. Blue (Da Ba Dee--Radio Edit)--Eiffel 65
  12. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da--The Beatles
  13. Don't Stop Believin'--Journey
  14. Y.M.C.A--Village People
  15. Poker Face--Lady GaGa
  16. Pump Up the Jam--Technotronic
  17. Voulez-Vous--A*Teens
  18. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)--Dead or Alive
  19. Buddy Holly--Weezer
  20. Don't Bring Me Down--Electric Light Orchestra
  21. Baby Got Book--Dan Smith
  22. Light My Fire--The Doors
  23. He Mele No Lilo--Lilo & Stitch Soundtrack
  24. Just the Way You Are--Bruno Mars
  25. Mamma Mia--A*Teens
  26. The Hustle--Starlite Singers
  27. The Child (Inside)--Qkumba Zoo
  28. Loco-Motion--Little Eva
  29. Footloose--Kenny Loggins
  30. Take A Chance On Me--A*Teens
  31. When It's Over--Sugar Ray
  32. Girls Just Want To Have Fun--Cyndi Lauper
  33. Mambo Mambo *to be confused with Mambo No. 5*--Lou Bega
  34. Dancing Queen--A*Teens
According to my iTunes, this is a 2.1 hour long play list. 

So, I'm on my way to 500 miles.  I've got 7 down and I'm sure there is more to come!  Have you made a new goal? 

How about you join me in this challenge?  Modify it for yourself.  Make an attainable goal to shoot for by December 31st.  Maybe it's 250 miles.  Or, maybe it's 125 miles.  If you're in...let me know!

Edited to add:  Shortest kiddo and I went for a walk *a short one* and I can say that #2 & 5 were too fast for me and #12 was too slow.  I've made it through #16 and those have been the only glitches so far.