Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 49/365 Life is precious

Over the past couple of days a lot of sad things has happened in the world around me.  Not things that directly impact me, but for people in my life.

A close friend found out that two out of her three children have genetic issues that may or may not severely effect her children for the rest of their lives.

My great uncle, suddenly passed while working out at the gym.  (Still doesn't feel like he's gone, probably won't until I am at his funeral later this week)

At church today I found out that one of the most healthy people I know, has a tumor in her intestine.

Just a few minutes ago, I found out that a friend of ours just lost her husband today while he was at work.

Life is precious, so so precious.  Be sure you don't take a minute for granted.  It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, it happens to the best of us.  We need to always remember that within a second, our life as we know it, or even the world around us, can change.  Enjoy everything you have been given, and find joy in every circumstance that is yours, because you never know when it's going to be gone.

What I did today:
50 crunches

Day 48/365

What I did today:
Elliptical Trainer: 15 minutes @ level 15

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 47/365 Pretzel Jello

At times when we are focusing on our weight loss, it's easy to deprive ourselves.  I know that for several years I thought if I ate something desserty, I messed up and then I would go crazy eating it with the comforting thought, "I'll do better tomorrow."

Now what works for me is that I allow myself to eat whatever I want.  NO RESTRICTIONS!!  A serving of dessert is not going to put on the weight, but several servings will.  Sometimes, when I feel I may loose control, I take a moment and think what it feels like after gorging on something good.  Really focus on the feeling, and you will remember that it never feels good after wards.  Ever.

Sometimes that visual is enough to keep me from going over board.  Often times, knowing that feeling is coming if I overindulge, I find myself content with a bite.  Nothing ever tastes as good as that first bite.

Here is a recipe of one of my most favorite desserts.  I don't try to cut corners and cheat weight gain by substituting all the fake, low-fat, artificial sweetened type foods, I use the real stuff.  There is a lot less chemicals if you do this.  As it is, there is plenty of fake color/flavor/chemicals in the jello and Cool Whip so don't add any more gunk by getting "sugar-free" or "fat free".  If I could find a better substitution for these two items, I would do it.  But for now, I enjoy a serving or less, one or two times a year. 

Pretzel Jello

2 2/3 c. chopped pretzels
1 1/2 cube melted butter
1/2 c. milk
1 1/4 c. sugar
1lg & 2sm. packages cream cheese
2-10oz frozen strawberries, sweetened
9 oz. Cool Whip
1 lg. package Strawberry jello
2 c. pineapple juice

Mix pretzels with butter and press in 9x13 baking dish.  Bake @ 400' for 10 minutes.

Mix cream cheese, milk and sugar until smooth.  Spread on warm pretzels.

Spread Cool Whip over cream cheese layer and chill.

Dissolve Jello in hot pineapple juice, add frozen strawberries and allow to partially jell.

Pour carefully over the Cool Whip layer and allow to set in the refrigerator.

Works best if you do this the night before or early in the morning to allow it to fully set.

What I did today:
Elliptical Trainer 15 minutes @ level 15

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 46/365 Chili Recipe

I love to cook!  I especially like yummy recipes that are made with real, whole foods that don't take a lot of time.

The following is a easy recipe for chili.  It's low fat, quick and tasty for the whole family.

We like to serve it topped with fresh green onions, grated cheese, sour cream (full fat doesn't have the junk in it like the low/no fat version) and a few Fritos for crunch.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a bag of Fritos?  Nothing but corn, oil, salt and NO preservatives!

Easy Chili

Brown together & season with salt, pepper & garlic salt
1 lb ground beef (I like the 7%fat kind.  It's more expensive, but you aren't paying for (or eating) a lot of fat.
1 lg. onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic
2-3 jalapeno, chopped
2 Tbs. dried basil

2 cans kidney beans (drained)
1 15oz can tomato puree
1 14oz can "petite cut" diced tomatoes (zesty)
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 oz. Chili Powder (abt.1/3 bottle of a 2.5oz container)
2 Tbs. sugar

Cook on stove top covered for 1-2 hours on low.

 What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 45/365

 What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 6 Day 2 (86 push-ups)

Day 44/365

What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 43/365 Challenges & Focus

Life is constantly changing.  We all know this, and we rarely prepare for it.  We get in our routines, our ruts, in our normal settings and when something comes up that changes the norm, we are actually surprised by it.  I know I am.

When I made this goal 43 days ago, I was gung-ho!!  I had all sorts of ideas and the days didn't fly fast enough for me to really see the habit forming, to actually document the journey.

Now, I am so preoccupied by my current project I find my self  suddenly remembering that I haven't done my workout yet.  Luckily, I haven't been so bad that I have missed one, but I can safely say, it's been close.

I am excited that I am back to the weight I have been maintaining since last summer.  Not gaining is good maintenance and I am always happy with maintenance.

I have found that when I really get wrapped up in a project, something to capture my focus, I find that I don't snack as much.  Usually, because I don't want to stop to eat.

Note to self: I eat when I am not focused on something.

So in my journey to health, if I can keep myself focused, it's not much of a challenge to maintain.  To loose on the other hand, I know that takes a little more focus.  When I am done with my project, I will focus on loosing that last bit better.

Who knows though, maybe I'll forget to snack all together and I'll loose that last bit while being busy?  One can hope.

 What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 6 Day 1 (85 push-ups)

Day 42/365

What I did today:
50 Crunches

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 41/365

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Day 40/365

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 39/365 Gardening Tip

 One of the best ways to improve your diet is to grow a garden.  If you have the space, I would highly recommend taking on such a project.  If you have limited space, learn how to do container gardening. I have seen amazing gardens growing in the littlest of places.  Limited space is never a reason not to garden.

We just expanded our garden and planted 1000 seeds!!!  We learned a very valuable trick when planting with seeds.  If you soak them overnight you greatly reduce the time it takes for them to germinate.

We had one type of seed that stated "14 days until germination."  We soaked them over night and they were sprouting 4 days after we planted.  It's a great tip and I highly recommend it!

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Day 38/365

What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 37/365

What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 36/365 Books & Authors

I love to pass the time on the elliptical while reading a good book.I am busy balancing too much on an over full plate and getting time to read is a rare thing.  For me, when I am on the elliptical, that is precious time to read and I take advantage of it.  Also with a good book, I can stay on for a lot longer than when I am just watching TV. The longest workout yet is 1 1/2 hours...it was a good book and I didn't want to put it down!!

There are so many wonderful books out there and most sequels seem to be coming out late summer/fall.  I am trying to wait patiently, but patience isn't my strongest virtue...

Some of the books I am patiently waiting for 
(In order of publication): 

Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce
The Short Second Half Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer
Linger - Maggie Stiefvater
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
Bran Hambric:The Specter Key - Kaleb Nation
The Scorch Trials - James Dashner

Something I have discovered recently that I have been enjoying is Twitter.  I know, I know, I too thought it was stupid and for the tweener generation.  I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG!  I am actually liking it more than Facebook right now too.  (Maybe because it's new to me)  I just like the way it's quick little blurps.  

I have met several people.  Some across the country and overseas others local enough that we plan to meet at Starbucks soon for a mommy date.  (My favorite Starbucks drink is the Vanilla Creme-it's hot, frothy milk with vanilla flavoring) It's been great to chat with them throughout the day.  I spend so much time on the computer home schooling my kids, that it's nice to take a few minutes to say hi and catch up with others.

The best thing about Twitter is being able to send messages to people who otherwise would never add you to their FB page.  If you have a Twitter account, you can tweet ANYONE else with an account.  To "follow" someone allows you to receive all their tweets.  It's such a wonderful way to network and great for any age group, not just the tweener Bieber fans.

Since I was talking books earlier, here are the authors I follow on Twitter. There are more I have yet to find, so these are just a few. Simply click the following names and you can follow them too.



What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 5 Day 3 (120 push-ups)

Day 35/365

What I did today:
50 crunches

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 34/365 Sweat

Today I didn't do anything different with my workout. I actually did it an hour earlier.  It must be the temperature change because I am sweating like CRAZY as I sit here typing.  

Although, since I have been doing shorter, more intense workouts, I am typically not on long enough to get a good sweat on.  With this type of workout though, I do wake up with soreness sometimes, which is great!!  It means I am building muscle/toning with my workouts.

Funny how I feel like I just did a more serious workout since I am literally dripping in sweat. 

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 33/365 Arm flub

Just had to share that I have noticed a change in my arms.  All those push ups are certainly paying off!  The back of my arms, are more firm then they have been in decades.

In my chest, I can feel that I actually have pecks!  With pecks being stronger and firmer, so are other things. :0)

I knew push-ups were a good thing, I never knew how may spots they worked on.  Even my tummy is firmer.

I am also not talking about girly push-ups either.  Now I am not knocking girl push-ups, they serve a purpose.  But if you want the full benefits of a push-up, do the standard ones.

Here is the site challenge I have been doing www.hundredpushups.com   

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Day 32/365 Seeding the new garden site

Today was a beautiful day.  Sunny and warm with a light breeze.  It was a perfect day to go out into the garden.

We have had a garden for as long as I can remember, and recently, we have grown out of it.  With the trees surrounding the garden getting bigger, the plot did not have direct sun and many of the full sun plants haven't been growing like they should the last couple of years.

So, in efforts to have a bigger and better garden, we planned a new, larger site.  Today, we decided to seed this new site.  We have about 100 mounds and each have about 10 seeds in it.  Yes, doing the math it would show that we are planting 1000 seeds.

I was tired before I even got to my workout today.  But it's DONE!

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 5 Day 2 (100 push-ups)

Day 31/365

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 30/365 Happy days and a partial secret.

I have been really busy recently with a new project.  People who know me personally always say I have too many things on my plate.  This is true, I will not deny it, but I just have to keep busy. I just don't feel good when I am bored therefore I tend to over schedule myself.

So with every free moment, I am working on this project.  There are 4 people who know what I am doing and only 2 that know the details.  (If you pay attention to some of my posts lately, you may even be able to figure it out) *Challenge*

The house chores have gone to the wayside, it's every man/woman/child/baby for themselves these days. (I am not proud of this) But when I am focusing on something, I need to run with it and finish it so I can get back into our normal routine and then move onto something else.

I often joke that I have OCD, I've never been diagnosed with it, but if you google the symptoms, I have EVERY one of them.

OCD isn't a bad thing to have if you can learn to manage it to your advantage.  Over the years, I have learned to manage it so that I can be highly efficient.  With extreme focus, you can accomplish many things in a short period of time, which is a good thing when you have a gazillion things on your "to do" list a day.

I do have to confess that although I can be highly focused, I am still learning to balance that when I have a million distractions too.  I am can be easily distracted too. With 4 children and a homeschooling lifestyle, I get a lot of distractions in our day.  I am human.  I am learning.  I am adjusting.  

So, I thought I would share with you why I have been absent for a few days.  What's the new project you ask?  I will share it with the world when I know it's going to work.  I am breaking out of my familiar zone with this project and I am not ready to share.  If it doesn't end up working to may satisfaction, I don't want to look stupid.  As it is, I still think I am borderline crazy for attempting it, thus all the secrecy.  I am excited for trying something new, something that is challenging to me, but I am not willing to share until I am feeling a lot more confident about it.

Oh, there I go with being distracted again...I didn't expect to start my entry being about OCD or even my reason for not blogging.  The reason for making a post with the title "Happy Days!" is that I weighed myself today and I have OFFICIALLY lost all my holiday/post New Year flub!  YEA!!  I am exactly what I weighed last July, and I am thrilled to see what the next few months will bring!

What I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Day 29/365

I am so sorry for missing a few days.  I didn't forget to exercise, I just didn't get to the blog and post.  I promise I will blog each day of my challenge, but sometimes I do get sidetracked on the way to the computer. (I honestly don't know how that happens) ;o)

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 5 Day 1 (86 push-ups)

Day 28/365

This is what I did today:
Brisk nature walk

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 27/365 Service Project

Today was our big California Park clean-up.  We got our yellow Mormon Helping Hands vests on and we got to work.  It was fun being out there with my family and working with others to clean up local parks.  We had about 100 people show up at the park we were at.  The nature trail is about a mile and we cleaned it up in about 1 1/2 hours.  It's great to see what can be accomplished when many people work together.

I wish we could gather again next week and do it again...but in my yard.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 4 Day 3 (100 push-ups)

Day 26/365 : Getting ready for Saturday

Since we have a big day tomorrow working on a service project, I thought I'll put off the push-ups for a day so I will be ready for anything.  The challenge is certainly beginning to feel like a challenge.  It does feel great to be stronger but I don't like the weak feeling you have when you completely wear out your muscles.

The interesting things about muscles is that they get stronger as you tear them down.  So by working to the point of failure, with a rest the next day, you will build muscle tissue and become stronger.

As wonderful as I would like to push out 100 push-ups in a row, I'll simply be happy by finishing the 6 week challenge doing whatever I am capable of doing.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 25/365

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 24/365 Gardening

Today we planted a bunch of vegetables in our garden.  I love this time of year because the dirt is all prepared, not a single weed in sight.  The plants are little, tender babies ready to feel the sun and grow.  Spring is great and I love being out in it.

I always enjoy having a garden because when it starts producing, it's so easy to get those five plus servings in a day.  Menu planning is so much easier too because you don't have to buy so much at the store.  More than half the meal is sitting right outside your door.

We grow an organic garden and we tend it. Tending a garden, having your hand in it's care, is part of the mind-body-spirit connection.  A home garden isn't just good for our bodies, it's food for the soul too.  There is just something about the whole process that makes our whole beings strong and healthy. 

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 4 Day 2 (140 push-ups)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 23/365 Baking

With the summer months upon us, it tends to get too hot in the house to use the oven so since today is probably one of the last cool days for spring, I thought I would do a little baking.

Oh, how I love homemade cookies made with butter.  They are one of my most favorite treats and they came out perfectly.  Soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside.  I have to admit, I did eat a couple more than I wanted, but nothing like I could have.  It's okay to enjoy the things you like.  I have been craving a good cookie for several weeks now, and now that I have had my fill.  I am done.

I did my workout tonight, and it felt great!  Tomorrow, I plan on bringing the rest over next door so that they are out of the house.  This way I won't make repeated trips to the freezer, because in the freezer, I like them even better.  Keeping in the house is NOT an option, because I don't have a safe spot to put them.  I only have so much self control and then I have a hard time so out of the house they go.  I know better.  I know myself.

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 22/365 Push ups and crunches

Surprisingly, my tummy isn't sore at all today.  I am super surprised since they were screaming while I was doing the crunches.  Maybe tomorrow?

As for the push-ups, they are getting brutal.  I was suppose to do 20 or so more then I did, and I just couldn't do it.  The first 2 weeks have a simple progression, then the 3rd week gets challenging.  The 4th week is going to kick my rear!  I'll keep doing what I can, that is for certain.

Another thing I wanted to share was about Calcium.  I am in my mid 30's.  I had four babies and nursed them all well over a year.  They have sucked all the calcium from me and I hope that I can recover in the next few years so that I don't end up with bone issues in my menopausal years.  

About a month ago, I thought I would start taking those chewy calciums they have on the market.  I opted for a generic bag from Target, caramel flavor.  (They were out of chocolate or I would have grabbed that)  I don't know how much it has effected my bones, but I can tell you that I see a huge difference in my nails.  They are much stronger then they were, so I guess they are doing something.  

I would like to research and find out the best way to get calcium.  I know there are better sources then others and I plan on finding it all out when I get the chance.  Right now, my little angel is entering his terrible two's and he's keeping me on my toes...

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 4 Day 1 (90 push-ups)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 21/365 Crunches

So I decided to do something different today. I have wanted to do something lighter on Sundays, but I haven't had any ideas, so I have been doing elliptical at a lighter pace.

Today though, the idea of doing crunches came to me.  It's a workout, it's light, and it's something different.

I have had 4 c-sections and needless to say, my tummy needs all the help it can get.  My last baby was born a year and a half ago and I can honestly say I haven't done a single crunch.  So tonight I thought I would see how many I could do.

I did 50 in a row.  I am not sure if that is a good number or not, but I don't care, that is what I could do.  My abs started to burn and I felt a little queasy in the 40's, but being so close to a nice number like 50, I pushed it.

We'll see how my tummy feels tomorrow...

This is what I did today:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day 20/365 Sleep is important too!

Today I had to get up early for a photo shoot in preparations for a big event next Saturday, May 8th.  My family and I are participating in a statewide park beautifying event representing "Mormon Helping Hands."

Since I didn't get to bed early enough last night, I felt tired ALL day.  When I feel tired I find myself not caring about things as much as I should.  I have a harder time keeping my resolve when it comes to making good choices about food.  I also don't feel like working out and have to literally drag myself to the elliptical.

Sleep is just as important as food choices and exercise when it comes to your weight loss journey.  Without enough sleep, your body can't do what it needs to do (repair, restructure, heal, etc.) and then you aren't able to do what you need to do.

Don't forget to get your sleep!

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15

Day 19/365 Down 2 Pounds!

You read that correctly, 2 pounds gone!!  It's always so wonderful to see some progress when you are working towards something!!  Not only does the scale confirm this, but I can feel it too.  Everything fits better, I just feel stronger, places are firmer.

But I have to say, I DO NOT focus on the scale!  I can't focus on the scale, because you can't trust a scale!  If you put all your focus on the scale, YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED!  When you are disappointed, it's much more easy to stop doing the positive behaviors and to start finding the negative ones again.

I am a woman.  I collect water.  There are certain times in a month, where my body is going to hold onto water. The scale does not differentiate the difference between water and fat.  So if you only go by the scale to determine your success, you most always will be let down. 

For me, with this goal, the scale is only one way to measure progress, not the absolute way.  Working out and eating good every day is the goal, and I know if I stick with it, I will get to my ultimate goal: an AFTER picture. 

This is what I did today:
Elliptical: 15 min @ level 15
Hundred Push-up Challenge: Week 3 Day 3 (106 push-ups)