Monday, February 28, 2011

Carrying a Lighter Load

It's been 6 weeks of an 8 week program to lighten the load on this girl.  Sorry if you've read too much about health, nutrition, and exercise on my journey, but not so sorry that I'm writing an update.  You can skip this post if you're really sick of it!


I'm soooo thrilled to say that I weighed in this morning (before I ate anything except one of Bailey's animal crackers) at a glorious 131.3.  Yep, down 8.5 pounds from where I started (although since I gained first, I've lost 9.2 since week 2.)  Rock on.  I'm 1.3 lbs. from my 8 week goal, which is pretty much on track, so I'm ecstatic.

I know some of you are thinking, "How come it's so hard for people to lose weight?" while others think,"Sheesh, I wish I could lose weight, but I just don't have the self-control."

My answer to the first group: 
Besides what you already know about different body metabolisms, etc, the reason it's hard to lose weight for me is because I live to eat.  I love, love, love food.    I have a decent metabolism; I can't complain.  I mean, I'll never have a metabolism like Justin's, but hey!  I don't constantly move either.  (And by constantly, I do mean constantly.)

My answer to the second group:
I thought so too.  But I finally came to a point that I was really motivated.  I needed a little extra kick in the behind to do it, which is why I joined this "knock off" version of Biggest Loser.  I wanted some nutritional help.  I'm not stupid:  I knew I should eat less calories and work off more.  However, working with nutritionists gave me the tools I need to eat the right foods at the right times.  Overall, it's been easier than I thought, especially with the support I've had.

If you are trying to lighten your load, here's my advice after 6 weeks:
1)  Accountability is key.  I was happy with the success after 4 weeks; however, if I wasn't committed to 8 weeks, I would have started to slack off (and I did, which cost me 1.8 lbs. at my next weigh-in!)  I needed the motivation of knowing that other people were keeping track of my progress.  (My picture, along with 39 other people's mug shots are in our gym hallway which our progress marked in red.)  I also happen to teach classes at that gym, so hello!?  I want to succeed.  I'm competitive, which in this case, was essential to my success so far.  I really, really recommend Oakway Weight Solutions, but if you don't live in Eugene, Weight Watchers is also a fantastic choice.  It's everywhere; even online!

2)  Even if you are the most uncoordinated person ever, you should try a few group exercise classes:  spin, step, Zumba, lift/pump, boot camp, or whatever suits your fancy.  Why?  Because in the weight room or your living room, most people will not push themselves as much as they should.  In fact, my home work outs often end up with my butt on the couch, watching the person on the screen doing the workout.  When you are in a class, you are motivated by something we all know is very powerful:  peer pressure!  Who wants to leave in the middle of a class, even if it's hard?  Not me.  No way!!  This will push you and you will find that you can do more than you ever thought. 

Two more weeks left, and I'm pushing through.  I won't lie.  It's an up and down journey, but really--it's worth it.  I put on a pair of pants this evening that were snug even pre-kids.  Now they fit very comfortably--even a little lose, which is awesome and even more motivating to continue on.

Until next time, Ciao (on some good veggies!)

Menu 2/28-3/6

I've fallen a little behind on menu planning.  I will say it's sooo much easier to have something planned, for sure.
Later I'll post an update on Lightening the Load, best recipes I've used lately and on current sewing projects.  For now, just a menu!

Monday:  FIL's birthday--dinner @ their house!
Tuesday:  Salmon, salad and veggies
Wednesday:  White bean gnocchi & salad
Thursday:  Date night
Friday:  Burgers & Veggie Burgers, sweet potato fries
Saturday:  Talapia & salad
Sunday:  Brunch out before J leaves for Haiti?!  Maybe?!  (I love this place called Turtles in Eugene, although that's where I got eggs benedict, which may have contributed to a little hike in my weight last week.  Oopsy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oh! And a weight update. Bleh.

After indulging in chocolate truffles on Valentine's Day, (and after Valentine's Day) . . .

  and after devouring a croissant breakfast sandwich at Metropol Bakery . . . 

  and after enjoying Eggs Benedict at Sunday Brunch . . .

  and after savoring Clam Chowder and the Oregon Coast this weekend . . .

. . . when I weighed myself Monday night at 10:30pm, I was up 1.8 lbs from last week.

Now for the excuses:

1)  I have weighed in the morning in the past, and this was at night.  Totally different.
2)  I was sick for a week and couldn't work out. 
3)  I was down 4 ounces (133.6) only 2 days before.  (what?!?)
4)  I ate a bit more liberally than I had been, BUT still better than I had been eating before this.  

I'm back to a little more discipline this week.  While my clothes are looser and I definitely look thinner (pretty sure), I will say that this is a bit frustrating.  (sigh)  Why is it so easy to gain weight and so hard to lose? 

Hopitals, Ristorantes, and Country Roads

Me, Dad, Sister (Jenny), Bug, and Bee
Father's Day 2010

Last weekend was a little crazy for my family.  My dad spent all day Friday in the ER.  After an MRI and 2 spinal taps, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and admitted to the hospital.  Guillain-Barre is a rare disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves in the body, causing loss of sensation, starting in the extremities.  If the disorder goes untreated, paralysis moves up the body into the trunk, causing respiratory issues.  It can be fatal.  Thankfully, the team of doctors were diligent in diagnosing and treating his condition and he was sent home on Monday.  The Lord answered our prayers. 

 Mom & Dad

While my dad was sent home, he still has loss of sensation in his toes and some tingling in his fingers.  It can take a long time for his body to get back to "normal," but we continue to pray for complete and quick healing.

Anyway . . .

I went to visit dad in the hospital on Saturday.  My sister & I met up and went together.  He was in the cardiac unit in case he had respiratory problems.  His roommate, Harrold, was quite a character.  Apparently, he had chronic pneumonia and sounded awful.  The CNA sat by Harrold's bed and every couple of minutes had to give Harrold a warning like:

"Harrold, don't touch that."

"Harrold, lay down.  You can't get out of bed."

"Harrold, you can't take that off."

I hate to say that I was quite amused by Harrold, poor old guy.

After visiting my dad, my sis & I went to 2 bookstores where I sold books, earning a total of $42 of store credit between the 2.  How awesome is that?!?! 

We then went to a little hole-in-the-wall deli and had the most amazing antipasti and salad!

When you face mortality, (weird seeing my dad in a hospital bed), you realize the importance of spending time with family . . . and friends too.  I'm grateful for the relationship I have with my family.  My sister, mom, and I had a great afternoon window shopping and hanging out.  I'm so blessed.  So, so blessed.

My drive home was beautiful.  I took all back roads and I have to share with you the views from my car (yes, some where captured while driving!)  I was so grateful to be alive, to witness the beauty of this amazingly created world. 

I grew up in the country.  Every time I drive in the country, I miss it.  Don't get me wrong, I love that I'm walking distance from everything I could need--shopping, doctors, and coffee!  However, I love the beauty and peace I experience away from the cars and buildings. 

And finally . . . 

Thanks for your love and support of me and my family.  Please continue to keep my dad and mom (especially) in your prayers. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Food: Valentine's Day in the Making (Chocolate Truffle Recipe!!)

Valentine's Day for us included a lot of baking!  Of course Bee & Bug helped out . . . 

 Chocolate Truffles:  chocolate vanilla & mexican chocolate--delicious!

 Decorating was fun too.  I made these--super simple--a Martha Stewart tutorial referred to me from my friend Summer, who made beautiful decorations for her daughter's craft party!

I loved the chocolate truffles!  And they were so easy that you have to have the recipe and make them so you can impress all your friends with your candy making skills!  :)  (You don't have to tell them they were easy!)

Recipe for the Chocolate Truffles:

3 cups chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. Vanilla

Heat chocolate chips & milk over stove until chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla. 

For Mexican chocolate truffles, add 1 tsp. almond extract and 1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste!)

Refrigerate for about 1-2 hours, until dough is formable.  Form into small balls and roll in sprinkles, cocoa, cinnamon and sugar, coconut, or whatever your heart desires!  Enjoy--in moderation!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pneuma Yoga & Food: 4 week update!!!

 Yesterday I started teaching a free yoga class to complete my community service so I can be YogaFit certified.  14 people showed up and we had a great class, (I think!). 
Here it is--my ONE photo of a few participants. 

More to write on that later!

Update on my "Lightening the Load" competition:
I started eating well and exercising even more about 4 weeks ago as part of a competition at my gym.  I had my last weigh in on Monday and guess what!?!?  134 lbs.  I've lost just over 5 lbs from my starting weight of 139.8, which I feel really good about (especially considering I gained 2 lbs first!).  Granted, the last 2 days I've been a TERRIBLE eater!  Chocolate truffles and cupcakes were like the little red devil speaking in my left ear & I I did not resist.  However, I savored them and only ate a little.  I wanted to eat a lot, but I didn't!!  Anyway, I still have a way to go, but it's encouraging to see progress.  One of my NY resolutions was to run a 10k by the end of the year and I really need to get running.  Hmmmm.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bug with Hair

My youngest daughter lacks hair.  

The other day, when we had a bunch of college students over for the Super Bowl,
she found an awesome wig in my "dress-up" stuff. 
Now I know what she may look like with (a lot of) hair!

I'm thankful my husband actually picked up the camera to get this since I wasn't home.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tilapia Review & Menu 2/8-2/13

I didn't get any groceries yesterday, so I dug around to see what we had in the freezer.  Tilapia.  It's been there for a while.  I've been a little nervous to do anything with it because I had never really used it before.  I thawed it in lukewarm water, which only took about 5-10 minutes.  Score!  I was starving!

I used this recipe from Eating Well.  I love their recipes.  You HAVE to check them out.

I had a little salad with dried cranberries and fresh oranges  To add a little starch to my meal, I smashed a baked sweet potato (that I made in the microwave--shhhh, don't tell).  I didn't add any goodies to my potato, but my girls & husband enjoyed it to it's fullest with some butter and brown sugar.  Honestly, mine was seriously delicious with just a pinch of salt.  It was a simple meal that took hardly any time at all. 

Oh, a little note about the actual recipe:  I substituted about 1/2 tsp. ginger for some of the chili powder.  I would actually use a little more next time, but it was good.  Also, the recipe has you use 3 TBSP lemon juice when you cook the asparagus after making the talapia; don't use that much.  Oh, one more thing . . . a little lime (and maybe a Corona light) would have really brought the meal together for me.  I would have used lime on the salad and on the Tilapia. 

What's sitting around that you can make dinner with tonight without having to run to the store?!

Here's my menu this week:
Tuesday:  Justin is grilling (I'll be gone)
Wednesday:  Eggplant Parmesan (Eating Well style)
Thursday:  Out to eat for a friend's birthday--going wild!!!
Friday:  Progressive Dinner (a Snow Betty event)
Saturday:  Trout with grilled zucchini
Sunday:  Tacos

Yeah, I know.  A cheater week!  I hardly have to do anything.  Whooooohoooooooo!

What are you having!?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today's Snippets

 Today was amazing!  Here were a few things we did:

Bee & Bug pretended to be farmers.  Bee told Bug,
"We are farmers because we are planting things." 
[See, OPB is educational!]

Here they are watering the plants (with Riley's drinking water!)

Bee poured water into a hole she dug in the dirt.  She was creating a mud puddle.

 Farmers clearly wear hats.  It doesn't matter what the hat looks like, apparently.

 Displaying her dirty farming hands.

I noticed spring is coming!  ;)

Bailey got to paint!!!  For the first time!!! 
(I've been trying to avoid this moment.)

Best toy ever?  Dad.  Duh.

Me.  Yes, I'm posing.  Why?  I don't know.  Mostly because I'm a silly monster (according to my 3 year old.) I had wine at a new bistro and forgot to bring my camera.  I was feeling sassy.  So, here I am, just looking up at {you} as if to say,
"Aren't you jealous that you didn't just have a nice glass of red wine with a delicious chicken spinach salad and the most amazing garlic bread ever?"  
Oh, and not that you can really tell in this picture, but I'm wearing my nose RING.  I've had my nose pierced for 10 years, and have only worn an actually ring for about 3 days.  I do prefer the diamond stud, but sometimes my south Eugenian bohemian self likes to make an appearance and I bust it out.   And, if you don't know me well, this is my most popular hair style.  Not that other people think it's awesome; it's just that it's my fall-back hair do.  2 pigtail bun thingies.  Despite the casual, perhaps even juvenile look of it, I like it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sewing Room in Process

Saturday afternoon:
I was supposed to be at Black Butte Ranch.  

Rewind . . .
Friday early morning, around midnight:
Blood-curdling scream.  Bee had "spit up" in her bed.
(These moments are at the top of my list of parenting moments I loathe.)

Fast forward . . . 
Friday 10am:
Sick kid. Trip Canceled.  Boo.

Friday 12:30pm:
To soothe the pain of canceling retreat:
Target trip with Bailey.  Bought Brooklyn red shoes.  Love them.

Friday 4:00-6:00pm:
 More soothing:
Coffee @ Marche Provisions with friend Danielle.
Quad step class @ Oakway Fitness.

The next day . . . 
Saturday 1pm:
I was supposed to be at Black Butte Ranch.  
Or in Sisters, OR, at The Stitchin' Post (buying fabric that I didn't need.)

INSTEAD . . . 

I cleaned, organized and decorated my sewing room.  

So, in all honesty, it's a work in progress.  There are no curtains, just shades.  There is no beautiful light fixture, just a light bulb in the center of the room.  Here's what I DID do:
(I should re-take pics during the day.  It would look a lot brighter and nicer!)
 *Organized my fabric, by type and by color
 *This is my work space.  You have to love the light bulb reflecting in the window!
*I love this desk.  It hides a multitude of sins.
 *Oh, I think I forgot to tell you I got a dress form for Christmas!  More on that later!!
 *My tool have a place.  I've used various jars and tins.  Next project:  cover table with oil cloth.
 *Remember this little piece of advice.  This even goes for blogging, sewing, creating.  Spending time with family and friends should be more important that the other things we do.
*I [heart] Curly Gurl stuff.  Got this calendar for my birthday from my mom!

 *Magnetic Board I made.  Click HERE for the link to my tutorial.
*More Curly Gurl.  Love.