Update day 52

“Be kind to yourself, be patient, you will find your answers. Love who you are right now—even if right now isn’t a place you want to be—you will always be you—start to appreciate yourself! You will feel so much better! And do not compare yourself to others. You are on your own special road. Be well my fellow travelers and know your path is a good one.”  -LINDA SILVA PALLESCHI-

 Remember this POST from 7 weeks ago?   This is what has happened in seven weeks by doing just a few things differently.  I have not had a soda in 52 days, this is a big deal!  I have taken to drinking lots and lots of water and this week 8 we are up to 64 ounces a day but honestly, I was downing this amount of water from the start of the challenge.  I LOVE water.  That’s the easy part.  Stopped eating after 9 p.m. which is very easy.  I ate mostly foods off the positive food list provided and it wasn’t very hard.  I did still eat dark chocolate here or there but it has to be at least 70%. No joke I ate one row of chocolate nearly every night after dinner.   I had to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and exercise for 30 minutes a day and on my good days, really great days I got in my full 10,000 steps which was probably like 80% of the challenge. What I really loved about this challenge was also the spiritual aspect.  I prayed, read my Bible and journaled during these 8 weeks (technically just past 7 weeks so far) We would also get a bonus challenge each week.  This week for instance we need to floss our teeth each night, rest before bed by turning off the t.v. and just sitting in peace of listening to music and lastly this week we need to leave a gift at someones door step.  I feel better, I think I look a little better.  I have not changed in leaps and bounds but at a nice slow pace.  Below are my new stats and before and after pix.  I’m proud of myself.  Yes, I wanted to lose more like 15 pounds during these 8 weeks but I’m very happy to be headed down.  It feels so much easier these days to order water to drink when we go out rather than soda, it saves money too.  Oh and for the record I still enjoy a glass of wine every so often.  We get 2 free negatives a week.  We have a neutral food list, a negative food list and a positive food list.

 

August 23, 2014 October 14, 2014
Weight 177 170
Hips 43-½” 40”
Legs 22” 21”
Arm 12” 12”
Waist 37-½” 35”
Bust 41” 38”

 

Total lost in pounds -7   total lost in inches -10

The weird part is, I lost all these inches half way through the challenge and not much after the halfway point, but I did shed more weight after the half way mark,  averaging about 1 pound per week.  In fact and I can’t really count it but three days ago the scale read 169 but each day after it has stayed at a solid 170 but that just means the 160’s are close and no it’s not about a number but I still want the spare tire to be GONE.  I can feel it flap when I walk.  It sure would be nice not to feel that when I exercise.  So my goal is to lose the spare tire.  Which has not happened yet so I continue.

week 1 and 7 frontI can see a difference but to be honest the pants do not feel much different, then again the before picture I had been wearing them a good long while, the after they are straight out of the dryer which are always more snug until I wear them a few days.  Yes I wear them more than a few times before the next wash.

week 1 and 7 sideI think side shows most the difference.  I love that my boobs are shrinking.

week 1 and 7 backI can’t tell as much from the back

I didn’t like the neighborhood I live in….but I do now

“Yesterday I found her among one of my hydrangeas. I sang the ladybug song to her as Basil watched, wondering what I was doing. Oh and he has hidden his turtle again, so all is well in the world ” CATHY SLY   she held a lady bug as she shared these words.

My friend Cathy always begins her blog post with a really, really great quote and I love how she has this consistency to her blog.  I also happen to love her.  She is one of those people I look up to.  She is very talented with her words and pictures and I love her outlook on life.  So the other day when I blogged about my health challenge I opened up with a quote from another friend of mine Linda and I think I have decided to honor the women in my life by sharing their words which are relevant to the now and I happen to think they have really great words to share.  I can’t wait to begin sharing quotes and other blogs I love in this way.

Yesterday I went for a walk.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  The temperature was just right, the breeze was soft, the sun was golden and I tried to keep my eyes wide open while I walked around the school.  The same walk , I walk over and over and it’s not very exciting you see.  But the last two walks I tell myself, maybe I will find a feather because finding my hearts are a given but finding feathers is a rare treasure but the last two walks I have happened upon feathers.  Yesterday in fact I found a feather with a heart.  I have found these kinds of feathers before but not on my walk.  My sort of boring walk I do.  Then I realized after also recently reading an article in Bella Grace about loving were we live.  And it’s so true, we need to love exactly where we are. feather heart

I didn’t choose this house per say.  It was a gift.  It was offered to us at a great price.  We knew it would be a lot of hard word but we also thought we may never own a house had we not taken up this offer that was given to us.  So we took it.  I never wanted to live in this city, I wanted to live in the city I grew up in.  I didn’t want to live in a 1950’s house without a big front porch or fireplace (we put in a fireplace).  I didn’t want a green bath tub (we put in a big white deep one) I didn’t want holes in nearly every wall (so we fixed them) broken doors and windows (all replaced every last one) I didn’t want a house full of dead cockroaches (thankfully that’s no longer the case).  I just didn’t want it.  Although I was grateful I thought I would be gone from here by now.  It was supposed to be a five-year plan and here we are ready to enter our 16th year.  I sure didn’t want power lines and traffic behind my house.  I didn’t want it.  But it’s what I got.  So in the spirit of loving exactly where I am I share our view.  Pictures from last nights sunset and I purposely kept the power lines in the background because guess what?  I truly, truly have learned to love them.  They are my view and they are like art.  They really are, all the lines above me, it’s like just like art and I love it now.  I have also described my traffic noise like crashing waves, its now what I know, it’s what comforts me and I have grown to love it.

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Besides finding a feather on my walk WITH a HEART, the other hi-light was the smiling blond boy in his stroller who widely grinned and told me hello as he waved.  So naturally I smiled wide and said my hello back with a big wave, he was tickled but I think I was tickled more.

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Hope Monday has been good.  I’m about ready to take another walk around my 1950’s neighborhood, which I have honestly grown to love.   I love how time and wisdom can change a mind.

Much love  and may you find feathers and hearts and smiley faces on your walks and the smell fresh-cut grass and laundry and your neighbors cooking dinner, these are the things that make my walks worth while. 

feeling blessed even when the body is stressed

photo(4)This weekend I had a birthday.  It’s a magic number too.  No, not one of the mile stones, I passed that one up in a blur but this one is number 44.  I like numbers like that, 22, 33, 44. I think 44 will be a good year.  I think my legs will finally heal, I think my mind will be more clear, I think I will get healthy once and for all.  It’s just a feeling I have as I’m entering my fifth year of sore legs that resemble bumpy tree trunks more than anything else.  I will be proud to show my thick legs off in short skirts once the sores go away.  I will!  I will not complain about how thick they are, I will just love them because they will be smooth again and they are good and they get me all the places I wish to go.

8803465257_3e612fbc3b_zI remember once in a SP (self-portrait) class that I took.  I for the first time ever shared in a private group the sores I have on my legs and shared about my OCD and how I can’t leave them alone.  It was a photograph that had a reflection on our hardwood floor.  One very observant woman her name Beth said “I love the way the light is glowing behind you and the way your legs are reflected in the wood. Did you notice that they look flawless in the wood?”  I was first of all terrified to post such a vulnerable photo and I remember when I pushed upload, my stomach got butterflies and my legs went weak.  Yet I knew in the privacy and love within this private group of women, I would get the encouragements and wise words I needed to hear.  I felt it was time.  I shared.  And the words came flooding in, lots of encouraging love filled words and I had not noticed the smooth reflection of my legs.  It made me smile when she pointed that out.  It was the glimmer of hope I needed.  It had been so long since I had seen them flawless and smooth.  It gave me HOPE! I will not give up, I refuse to believe the rest of my days will be spent with sores on my legs, sores I can’t seem to stop scratching causing to bleed and making them even more sore.  It’s such a minor inconvenience yet I feel like there is a lesson for me in this.  I have this “condition” for a reason.  It’s part of my life journey.

legs

I have tried so many things the most intense for me was when I gave up sugar, I gave up mushrooms, vinegar and even fruit.  I was on such a strict diet that within the 6 weeks I dropped 18 pounds when today on my more realistic life style change I have only managed to drop 10 pounds in four months.  I honestly couldn’t live that way with that intense eating structure and I know it probably would have taken more than 6 weeks but after 6 weeks and seeing the 6th or so doctor who assured me it was eczema combined with OCD and my eating didn’t matter, I quickly hung my hat up on the extreme diet that in no way could be my way living.  I felt as if I wasn’t living to be honest.  I find joy in the flavors and aromas of food.  I believe anything in moderation isn’t so bad.  There are extreme views on this.  This is my personal view based on what I choose to do.

I close with this. I have tried extreme diet, I have tried essential oils, I have tried herbs, I have tried prescription and non prescription medications and ointments, I have tried therapy, I have tried acupuncture, I have tried juice cleanses, I have tried meditation, I have tried detraction therapy, I have tried tanning beds etc.  But what I have learned in all of this, it’s NOT IN MY CONTROL, it’s part of the plan and He has this, He knows.  I just need to trust. I think it’s important that we are brought to places where we can realize, it’s not in our control and we are forced in a sense to let go and let God and then be patient because His timing is perfect. Lessons. We have lessons because if our lives were perfect how could we ever understand to help others, to empathize?  I’m putting it out there today, just in case there are others of you with similar feelings and thoughts.  So we can find comfort in knowing we are in this together.

Scriptures I find great comfort in:  Romans 15:4-5, Romans 8:25 just a few.  Romans is pretty darn good book and if you find some time, these two scripture references are pretty good stuff.

ALMOST FORGOT!!  the reason I began this post was to share the excitement of how I was featured on Mortal Muses blog today 4 in 24!! I was so honored to have been asked to share a few mobile moments and it happened to be the day of my birthday when all the moments were captured.  Then I went off in a totally different direction??  Totally normal.

Every day may not be good. But there is something good in every day.

bad days

It’s true you know.  Like yesterday for instance.  I nearly had a melt down and bought a gallon of ice cream when the dresses I was trying on looked so horrible on what I thought was my new and improved body. So I did what every social media junkie does.  I posted my frustration. And then do you know what happened?  A flood of positive feed back came in.  Friends even suggested things I could wear, some friends even offered their own clothes.  And in the end I realized it doesn’t matter what my body looks like, people don’t even see that.  They see ME.  I had just been taught the very same lesson I was teaching my girl the very day before as she was curled in a ball on her bed, crying because nothing looked good on her and her body was not “perfect” it’s not like “her friends” I told her this and I’m not even sure if I said the right thing or not.  I said “Abbie, sometimes my clothes don’t fit right and I feel yucky and I compare myself to my skinny friends, and then I realize my body is good, I can walk and I can jump and I can swim, I also know that my friends/family see me different from how I see myself, they see joy and love and they see straight through to my insides and they love me for exactly who I am and Abbie, that’s how I see you!  I see you as a beautiful girl with a big, big heart full of love and joy and so you radiate by just being you”  And then alas the very next day….I try on dresses and have a melt down.  Sigh….being human can be such a challenge.  But when I’m down God always seems to send the perfect people to cheer me up.  So we keep going, each day we just keep going.  Like “The Little Engine that Could” 

and when you have that attitude of I can and you just keep trying then eventually you will reach your goal.  So I’m not giving up and I’m going to continue to encourage my girl and show her how gorgeous she is by being who God created her to be, full of light, love and joy, with a pretty singing voice and sparkly eyes and she has the gift of touch and love, she gives the best hugs. Pretty soon, she will believe it too.

Guess what today is? Update time.

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as turtle man likes to say “live action” me now…doing what I do! (listening to White Stripes, song Jimmy the Exploder & blogging my heart out) 

Today is the last day of April.  I stayed home from work today because my littlest and only girl had the most terrible migraine headache.  Poor little baby.  No light, no sounds and she just felt horrible.  I feel helpless as she gets through it.  She is on the mend now and things are looking up.  It’s a wonder what a shower will do.  I took one before I picked up soccer player from school today and he agreed to be my photographer.  I decided today was a good day to wear red lipstick.  Why not, it makes me smile an awful lot because it’s completely out of the ordinary for me!  When I began this journey in January I weighed in at 180  and today I’m 170 pounds. I have lost 10 pounds since January.  Although that’s not a speedy weight loss it’s going down and at this rate by the end of the year I should be down at least 20 and that’s pretty awesome.  I mean I’m still quite enjoying myself when it comes to food.  I will eat frozen yogurt WITH toppings, I will have a glass of wine, I will even eat a cupcake.  So not bad for still eating things I like. I also eat a lot of GOOD things and my water intake has increased quite dramatically since I began this journey.  I drink more water than most anything else.  Miss Moonspinner introduced me to heart shaped ice cubes made up strictly of pure lemon and cranberry and this is my new refreshing way to enjoy my water.

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my happy ice cubes

I really, really, really LOVE my fitbit.  It has motivated me way more than I could have ever expected.  I mostly get in my 10,000 steps a day, burn 2,000 calories, get my water quota in, and make it to around just over 4 miles a day and for sure get in 30 minutes of what it calls active minutes in a day, some days even more than that.  Don’t get me wrong though, there are some days I don’t reach my goal and getting in 10,000 steps for someone who sits at a desk half her day is not easy.  It takes quite a lot of intention.  I also have had days of great failure and that’s being harsh.  Like today for instance as I honor my body, it’s tired and my cycle has a way of draining my energy to levels of nearly zero.  All I want to do is lay in my bed or sit in the recliner and do virtually nothing.  Rather than beat myself up over still being in the turquoise and with only 1,500 steps so far today at 3:00, I will say “some days are for rest, today is that day”  “tomorrow will be a new day”  Lasty I upped the protein just a bit.  I had received some great advice not only from my mom but even some friends and so I changed it up a bit and when I did, I began to lose again.

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170 End of April 2014

March 2014.jpg

174 didn’t lose a single pound in March 2014

weight174 end of February 2014

Feb 2014 beginningJanuary 2014 180

I’m half tempted to join a challenge that Prevention is having for the month of May.  This will be my change it up for May.  I’m thinking hard on it, so close to signing the contract;)

The eight P’s

Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.

William Arthur Ward  [1921–1994],
American Author, Thought Leader

 I just stumbled upon this quote by William Arthur Ward and not much is written about him that I could find but he wrote some mighty great quotes. I may sprinkle a few of them in here or there.

So Preparation. I’m going strong on my preparation. Which A) Is not easy B) hard work. And I would like to pat myself on my back for keeping this up for so long. You see on Sunday I made more glo bars for my snacks, I made heart-shaped ice-cubs of lemon and cranberry to spruce up my water. Thank you Miss Moonspinner for the fabulous idea! I rinsed my produce, cut it all up and stuffed my salad jars. I made my smoothie baggies for mornings, this week it’s a smoothie called “morning glory” and I must say, it’s pretty glorious. It’s very simple, just frozen banana’s frozen strawberries, 1/3 cup orange juice, a 1/3 cup coconut water and a dash of vanilla, this recipe is also from the “Oh She Glows” cookbook

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got super excited about this rainbow chard!

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Even this weeks kale was gorgeous

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My salad for the week.  I take Friday’s off to go to lunch with motorcycle man

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The glo bar.  I forgot vanilla in this batch but it still tasted good.  Turned out I had left over pumpkin seeds (a tiny bit) I added more coconut to this batch, she doesn’t do the coconut but I like it.

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My smoothie prep

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The morning glory smoothie.  It makes me smile and I like it better than the one with kale…of course, it’s all fruit!

I have also been walking my butt off, I wish it were that literal but really since I got the fitbit I have walked 10,000 plus steps a day, minus the two days I was working longer hours and out doing some notarizing. I have burned my calorie goals, I have been drinking 84 oz plus of water a day and I added some very light arm weights, sit ups and leg exercises to the mix (the past 3 days) Each day I jump on the scale ( I know, I know the scale is evil but a necessary evil for me) I’m not losing and in fact the past few days I have gone up and don’t give me that crap muscle weighs more than fat, I have only been focusing on my muscles for three days. In my little vent session this morning out loud (bad mommy) the littlest and only girl comes up with some fantastic and very wise advice and her words filled me with encouragement. She says and I quote “It could take you a year mom! So don’t give up” So again. I’m here to say as difficult as it is and as frustrated as I get. I’m not giving up. I just thought I would be much smaller by now and much stronger too but the process is LONG AND HARD…VERY LONG, VERY HARD.

When I do my muscle training, legs and arms I look at the bulletin board above my computer blogging station.  It inspires me!

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Off to WALK to the post office, it’s tax day and when one waits until the last day, well I think we all know what that means.

preparing for the week ahead

A wise woman once told me this,” we don’t plan to fail just fail to plan”  and it couldn’t be more true.  It’s not easy either when it comes to planning, maybe even more difficult for us mom’s raising a family, when our first instinct is to make sure they have all their needs met first.  However I also know that I will not change or can’t change until I put some real true effort into the transformation.  The Fitbit is amazing.  It motivates more than I ever realized it would.  I went the entire month of March gaining first three pounds then coming back down to even it out to a complete wash.  My first week of April wearing the fitbit I lost 2.8 pounds.  I got in all my steps and met every single goal every day from Sunday until Friday when I weighed in.  I just returned from a weekend with the girls Sunday afternoon and I returned refreshed and ready for a new week.  Good friends, and mountain air has a way of doing that to you.  I decided to try two new recipes from my awesome new cookbook called “Oh She Glows” also a great blog to visit. I made her “present” glo bar for this weeks snack.

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chopped and measured my pecans then toasted them up in the oven (giggle..I see a heart in the nuts)

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Measured all my dry ingredients for the barIMG_3886

Rinsed my kale for my salads this week and my smoothies in the a.m.IMG_3889

Is this not the cutest little owl measuring cup?IMG_3892

peeled my banana’s for the smoothiesIMG_3900

Figured it would be much easier to put a majority of the smoothie ingredients in a bag and toss into the freezerIMG_3902

And this morning, let me tell you!  It was so easy to toss this in a blender and just add, almond butter, ice and almond milk.  This is also from the “Oh She Glows” cookbook.  The getting ready part wasn’t a part of it but the awesome recipe part was. IMG_3907

The recipe for the glo bars made 12 bars, my model was more than happy to hold my tray for me, first he only had his underwear on and I figured that wasn’t very appropriate so he ran into to put some real clothes on and we took the picture again. IMG_3912

My salad jars once again are filled up and ready to go.  I know, I know kind of boring the same smoothie breakfast all week, the same glo bar snack, the same salad for lunch but it’s quick, it’s easy and it makes the most sense to my checkbook.  Then for dinner we make whatever comes to mind that’s where I get my variety.  I can tell you the bars and the smoothies are very, very yummy and I can’t wait to try more recipes from the new cookbook which I also highly recommend.  My friend Alice introduced me to this cookbook and the reason I’m most interested in it is because my oldest doesn’t eat chicken, pork or beef and his darling girlfriend is Vegan.  So This mama here wants to be able to cook meals she can share with them too!