Back to work and real life

sunset

Vacation is all over.  I wonder why they go by so very fast.  We did have a wonderful time though.  We wrapped it up with our Sunday at Balboa where the kids went parasailing.  We couldn’t go on the boat with them so I only have the shot of them pulling away from the dock.  All three went at once with Abbie in the middle and they all came back smiling big and said it was lots of fun.  Abbie actually wished the ride could have been longer.

the boatThere they go.  Abbie has a smile.

tail gateafter the sail, we ate dinner off the back of the truck.

Yesterday back to the grind.  I got up early met my pals for our morning workout.  I had proclaimed Monday as meatless a few weeks ago so yesterday my oldest, his girl and I went shopping for our dinner.  They thought a nice meatless Mexican themed meal would be perfect.  Maddy made the salsa homemade and it was full of flavor and if you like spicy, it was for sure spicy and so very good.  I made the cowboy caviar or as Joyce calls it Texas caviar (either way…it’s amazing)  we used Maddy’s mom’s recipe because this is something they eat on a regular basis and I had no idea in fact I had the hardest time even locating black-eyed peas, I finally asked at the third market where I was told it was a canned vegetable.  I was looking in the beans…. I guess I should have known better? They look like a bean to me even though they are called peas.  But I suppose they really are peas?  I still have no idea.  I should though considering my mom sort of raised us on them and also I like to cook up a batch on New Year’s but I start from dry bean…. Or is it dried pea? My pictures were taken in a rush and with my iPhone so I’m a little disappointed in that part but the meal itself was very good.  Just good old bean burritos with lots of fresh toppings, lettuce, the homemade salsa, no cheese for the vegans but Dylan and Dad couldn’t have a burrito without it.  No meat.  Yes! No cheese. No.  Don’t mess with their cheese.   Austin made homemade guacamole; we had olives and chips to dip into the salsa or the cowboy caviar.  I could eat that stuff by the spoonfuls and it’s all pretty good stuff for you.

cowboy caviar

 the cowboy caviar that I will for sure make again and again, thanks Joyce for the suggestion

Maddy's salsaMaddy’s homemade salsa

cooking the beansAustin tending to the beans

meatless mondaythe meal

I’m disappointed in my progress with my healthy lifestyle journey but remember I have a problem with this instant result kind of world.  I expect my body to do the same.  Patience and persistence.  My two big P words to focus on this month.  Not giving up.  Nope I’m not.  My good friends keep reminding me of it being a lifestyle.  I have made much better choices with water over soda and sometimes salads with oil and vinegar type dressings but I did eat those fried cookie dough balls at the fair and I have dabbled in some not so righteous food here or there.  If I can get healthy and still dabble than it’s not all that bad. Cause I’m not giving up sweets.  I’m NOT.  I’m just a little stubborn.

photoThe support I have in my health, it’s really big.   I like getting up early because of the common goals we share and the fun we have.

37 days

52 days ago I was feeling very depressed, tired, not motivated and my jeans were really, really tight.  The scale read 179.

photo (1)

37 days ago not long after I wrote the post about being frustrated that my pants were feeling very tight I began a fit camp.  This camp motivated me to get MOVING again!!

35 days ago I was evaluated by my health coach.  She weighed and measured me, calculated my BMI and boy were my eyes opened WIDE!  For instance the one that blew me away the very most was my body age was that of a 59 year old woman.  I happen to know women who are 59 that have a body of that of a 30 year old, so I’m not knocking the age, but when I find out my physical body is 16 years older than my actual age, it’s a little freaky.  Well, a lot freaky. I found out that my body fat is at 46.8%, that means nearly half my body is fat.  I found out that my Body Mass Index is at 30.5 when normal  Body Mass Index should be anywhere between 18.5 and 24.9!   Um, not only do I need to be moving I need to add healthy eating into the mix.  My health coach who happens to be very smart and extremely motivating woman says it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  Oh, gosh. A food lover changing their diet??  Someone who lives for a good piece of chocolate cake?

shake

 28 days ago I decide to drink one shake a day using Herbalife products.  Filled with all sorts of vitamins and protein.  One shake is about 217 calories and is packed with stuff like Vitamin A, C, D, E, B6 and B12, it has calcium, zink, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, selenium and dietary fiber.  Since I normally skip breakfast I thought starting my day with one shake packed with all this stuff would be a good start. Now although having one shake a day was a good start it’s what Herbalife calls the maintenance plan.  Being I have a ways to go before I’m in a healthy range, I decided to add two shakes a day and a multi vitamin and something called a cell activator.

harvest

So….13 days ago I decide to introduce these two shakes which does include by the way real food.  between shakes I’m eating healthy, snacks.  I love fruits and veggies and I love to use things out of my own garden.  It’s recommended to eat a high protein snack but I eat lots of whole foods, fruits and veggies.  Like one ingredient type foods.  For example a raw zucchini, I have a ton of it.  Or a tomato, half an avocado…sometimes a whole avocado.  I try to up my water intake and also drink a tea made by herbalife.  When it’s time for dinner I make a healthy dinner or if I’m in the mood I eat In-N-Out or subway or if we are invited to dinner I eat what they prepare for us.  I want to be able to live normally and healthily.  If I go too extreme it will not last as a lifestyle.  My goal is to reach healthy weight and then only have one breakfast shake a day.

In total since I first began my movement which has been exactly 37 days, this is what has changed.

securedownload

I went from 177.6 to 172.8  that’s 4.8 pounds gone almost 5!

My body age went from 59 years old to 57 years old

My BMI went from 30.5 to 29.8

My chest went down a half an inch

my hips and butt nearly went down a full 3 inches, 2.75 but that’s close enough to 3 for me

my thighs shrank by .25

and my waist also .25

the fat around my organs isn’t so bad to begin with which means for the most part I eat healthy but that too went down one full number.

So this is not leaps and bounds but it has only been a little over a month and so as motorcycle man likes to say, slow and steady, it’s the way to go.  I get frustrated a little cause I want bigger and faster results but I’m also the person who runs on the treadmill 20 minutes and gets back on the scale and wonders why it’s not gone down.  My health coach tells me to give it at least a full 90 days, that’s when real results will be seen.  I’m feeling them now but 60 days from now I will probably see a big difference as well, hopefully I can hold that plank for even longer than a minute by then.

wonder powers

The support within my fitness group keeps me going, the people are so supportive and inspiring themselves. They are also a crack up.  My health coach is amazing and fit camp is free, I only pay for the product I consume.  I’m excited about my journey.  I love where I’m headed.  My goals are as follows:

gang

number one, I want to be healthy

number two, I want to heal

number three, I want to be strong

My body will find it’s healthy weight I really don’t care about the number but right now it’s a a way to see the change that’s happening by stepping on the scale every so often.

And btw, I still bake things like homemade Oreo’s, zucchini brownies and pies.  I just limit what I get to eat of it. Like one cookie out of the batch, or one brownie.  I can’t live without sweets.  I have tried.

what should I call this one. Circus? The Flood? Sexy Plumber? Zumba gone wild? The options are endless.

photo (10)

I will just begin with Friday.  Sometimes I don’t pull out my phone and take pictures then later when I sit to blog about my weekend.  I’m sorry I didn’t because our cousin Jeanie and her very tall husband had us over for dinner Friday night.  She made a yummy stuffed chicken breast with cheese and Ortega chili’s and the most nutrition packed salad I have had in a long time.  So many yummy veggies, like more than the lettuce part and I sure liked that.  Great conversation around that dinner table and even a slice of chocolate cake.  I sort of felt guilty after the cake so me and Jeanie decided to take  walk.  That cancels the cake right?

 

Then Saturday Abbie and I had a mother & daughter tea to attend.  We were excited but since we stayed up late the night before getting ready was sort of crazy.  Abbie pretty much had dreadlocks  because she had been swimming in our lovely awesome pool (more about that later) and for days had not combed her super fine long hair.  So what was supposed to be a pleasant morning of getting ready for an amazing mom and daughter tea got a little tense.  I kept thinking, “calm down mama, this is supposed to be a special day for us and here you go nagging her about how she doesn’t comb her hair”  and not just a little bit, I go on and on and on.  Till I realize it’s for sure NOT helping the situation.  So I say a little prayer between me and God in my head and then it turned.  It all just turned, I offered to help her comb her hair, I was gentle and it wasn’t all that bad.  She thanked me more than once, she told me she loved me and I her and whew! Able to head out the door in good spirits, her hair still wet, my hair not really done because of lack of time but none the less happy out the door.  We walked into a beautifully decorated, happy room of fun. It was such a great time, the food was great, the speakers even better.  I finally got to meet Nikki Bridgeford face to face, I have been a fan of her blog for quite some time and if you don’t know about it, you should for sure check it out.  http://thebford5.blogspot.com/ Oh and the welcome, a big huge embrace and beautiful smile.  You see a long, long time ago when I was only around 5 or 6 her husband’s mom used to baby sit me.  So you see all those common threads?  They are everywhere.  It’s a strange and awesome world we live in.  Just a really great day.  I especially loved the time I got to write a note to Abbie and tell her the things that are special about her and she did the same for me. It’s going in our memory book for sure.   Plus the company at my table was pretty awesome.

circus

Mother -n-Daughter tea.  one word. adorable.  yes, I wore jeans.  Kim said she would never let me live that down, then said “never mind, I’ll let it slide this time, cause you do have two boys”

So then…..after the tea. My friend invites me to Zumba, a fundraiser at Sonora High School.  And YES, I go because like I mentioned before if it doesn’t involve heights or small spaces, I’m usually in.  Oh and no snakes, if it doesn’t involve snakes I’ll be up for it.  And totally wish my camera or even better yet video made it into the gymnasium because it was INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE.  So fun.  We sweat like maniacs and we laughed and we had the best time.  So now my buddy and I are going to hit up Thursday night Zumba at our church.  It’s free!  She also joined fit camp with me and we went this morning and so happy to be back to that.

AND remember the plumbing problem?  It’s fixed!  Because Rich is handy that way and rented a 25.00 snake and we are back in full business.  ONLY…….then the pool exploded in the middle of the night.  I just happened to be awake and standing on the porch at 4:00 a.m. when I heard this crazy SWOOOSH sound and as my friend Sue reminded me this morning, find the good in that, “it gave your yard and garden a good watering” and that it did like 3 to 4 thousand gallons all at once worth! Rich is hoping the back fence can hold up.

plumbing

 All fixed now!

photo (9)

it only lasted one and half pool seasons:(

photo (11)

To be continued because we have family in from Indiana and I’m taking notes!  They are hoots and a half and I want more time with them before I write about their visit!

RANT…pet peeves. Do you have any? I do!

I will just share one today.  I have a few, like a short list worth.  However today, I will just share one.  Maybe tomorrow I will share another (hee hee)  Today it’s all about the shopping carts.  I pride myself on being a citizen who always puts their cart back where it belongs.  It’s how everyone should be, in my mind.  I almost get as angry when I see someone abandon a cart in an empty parking spot as when I see someone toss trash a.k.a. litter!   There often are times when I see a little cluster of carts that are not where they are supposed to be and I will not only put my cart away but also will collect up  all the stray carts I see.  At Fresh and Easy they have two sized carts which means they don’t stack into each other if they are not the same cart, which means I also take time organizing the carts.  All the high carts in one lane all the deep carts in the other lane.  The parking lots of American would be much more pleasant if everyone just put their CARTS AWAY!!  We could all use a few extra steps. And by chance if you see an older folk who has trouble getting around, perhaps offer to take their cart back for them. So just take those few extra steps. Put your carts away. please.

photo (1)I can’t leave on a negative note so I will share my complete joy over receiving a package of fruits and veggies delivered to my front door yesterday morning.  Like Christmas in July!  Rich got me a groupon for my birthday for organic fresh produce to be delivered.  He just couldn’t get the hang of why they deliver in the middle of the night and so he never hit GO.  He turned it over to me and I think it’s a great plan to be delivered in the middle of the night so it’s just like Christmas in the morning when we open our front door.  I remember back when I was a kid my mom had a milk man because my brother drank so much milk she couldn’t keep enough stocked in the fridge.  It was pretty awesome getting those milk cartons delivered straight to our door.  I’m here to highly recommend a company called http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com  If you are interested send me a personal message and I can give you a 10.00 off coupon for your first order. You can click on the website to see if they even deliver to your area and if they do,  I have a “secret code”  for money off.  My mid morning snack looked just like the picture below.  The produce is so FRESH and so YUMMY!  Thumbs up from me, not just one thumb but TWO!

Image-1

The history of my weight

The history of my weight the long and short of it.  The short of it….I have always thought I was fat even when I was 115 pounds in my high school days.

high school days

That’s Motorcycle man up there and me and my red mustang.  Loved that car. 

My young adult years were spent in the 120’s.

Scan 132000001

This is us with some really good friends back in the day, seeing them this Saturday in fact! Can’t wait.

By the time I married at age 23, I was 125 pounds, I felt strong and healthy although in my mind 125 was still not skinny.  My time was spent with Cindy Crawford and her workout tapes.  Probably my proudest picture below, on my honeymoon in my swim suit.  I do not expect to see 125 again, I’m not sure at this age 125 would even look healthy?

Scan 131990007

 I loved this bathing suit.

I quickly put on 15 pounds within the first year of my marriage.  I thought LOVE was southern, home cooked meals like mashed potatoes with gravy on top and fried chicken.  I bought lots of soda and boxes of ding dongs.  I felt being an adult I could bring in that junk food that I was not raised on.   I figured since I was an adult I could load up my cupboards and fridge with junky food, like it was one of the “perks” of being a grown up.  And still I was not fat by any means.  I seemed to maintain 145-150.

While I was raising the tiny kids I did lots of running around, carrying them around and hauling their things.  Somewhere along the way I crept into the 160’s but still active and always on the go.

child rearing

left/right Me 5 months pregnant with Aus, me a barely pregnant with Abbie and the last shot, I just love it’s me and Dyl (my now personal home health coach) 

In my mid 30’s I got tired of the weight in the 160’s, my feet hurt and I didn’t feel very good  I ate lots of red meat, I discovered rib eye!!  I love making homemade desserts, cooking and baking. In my world LOVE equals homemade food.  Because my feet were hurting and stuff I decided to join Weight Watchers, I lost my weight slow and steady and got down to 137 and maintained it only a few short years.  Then went right back to my old ways, soda, drive thru’s, red meat, cheesy bread, and lots and lots of homemade desserts. I have managed to maintain (if you want to call it that) 170’s.  However I will go up 10 or down 10 on rare occasions.  Up 10 when I’m completely not paying attention to myself or down 10 when I get all crazy and start extreme walking.  But for the most part a good solid 170 for the past 7 years.  I know my body frame is not meant to carry this amount of weight.  I’m 5’4″ and my bones are not very big, I have a small face and I often think my head looks sort of like a grape sitting atop someone else’s body.  below are some  non flattering pictures of myself.  The ones I would never show.  I hate full body shots and as some of you readers know, I have had eczema for the past 4 years and a high anxiety because of it.  Always picking and pulling away the scabs, it gives me a strange relief to pick at them.

now a days

 Just a bunch of none flattering pictures of me.  Yes, I have these skin issues, yes I’m over weight but I still like to enjoy life.

 I’m beginning to think that because I have not taken care of myself properly in the past 7 years that these toxins and skin problems have arrived.  Again, could be hormonal. I have gone to a list of doctors.  I do believe the smartest of all was the acupuncture doctor , he said in his broken English “toxins! toxins!”   He told me to lose weight! He wasn’t very nice about any of it.   I have been to  4 different Western medicine doctors, this acupuncturist, a homeopathic doctor, 2 dermatologist and a psychologist.  Nobody has been able to “cure” me.  I have been on a strictly veggie smoothie diet, I only lasted a think a week in a half on that one.  I did the Daniel fast for a period of 21 days where I also spent serious time with God in prayer and in study.  I have cut all sugar and ate only whole foods for about 6 weeks and the first few of those weeks I was a raving maniac.  NONE of these things I have been able to do for the long haul.  All these things feel and seem extreme in my world and not realistic as a life style.

I’m going to try herbalife for a while.  I’m thinking a life style out of this will not be a life long commitment either  but it will be something I can do for several months, taking vitamins and supplements to get my body healthy. A tool to use to reach my healthy weight.   I believe if I can get myself to a healthy weight that my health and skin issues will be resolved.  I could be wrong but it will be on the list of things I try.  I’m not going to stop trying things.  I know I’m not meant to live out my years like this.  I’m joining round 2 of FITCAMP which is free still and Dylan is exercising with me at home and is more than happy to be my in home health coach.

I will be posting updates here and also keeping it as a cooking, inspirational and even time to time guest spot space but in the meantime my head is into the FIT.  It’s where I need to be.

Reaching

IMG_5276Just like this pretty plant Sarah gave me reaches for the light I too am reaching.  I wrote a post not very long ago about obedience.  The word still sits in my heart.  I think of it every so often and I realize how important it is.  Lately health has been my main issue.  It has been about 4 years now that I have had a skin condition on my legs, itchy, scaly and as several doctors have told me, my anxiety and OCD issues do not help the cause.  All the picking that goes on.  Most people I meet would never ever know.  I always wear long pretty skirts and long pants.  However for all these years I have been seeking out a way in which they will heal.  I believe with my entire heart that they will not remain this way forever, it’s just a temporary bump in my road.  Also a few weeks ago I posted about my jeans being tight and my weight climb.  I shared how I met a great gal who invited me to a FREE fitness camp and I went, I have been going faithfully and I love it.  Dylan sometimes joins me too.  My goal is to get into shape, be healthy and strong.  TO HEAL, it’s top on the list. I’m reaching towards my good health and I’m fortunate because Rich is fully on board with me being healthy, always encouraging, Abbie is beginning to follow suit and last night as we ate our turkey tacos (my shells not fried) Abbie said, “I’m passing on the rice tonight”  later that night I walked with a friend and we brought our daughters along for the walk too, they had fun, we had fun.  It was a win/win.  I also have a 14-year-old very ambitious home fitness trainer.  We have had such fun working out together, he seems to beam while we are doing it.  We give the hi-five/fist bump at the beginning of our work out and also at the end.  We listen to some good music and we laugh lots.  So I’m still pumped up.  I have a count down on my page till end of the month to see what changes my body will make.  I have not seen the scale go down really but I can feel in my clothes my body measurements are adjusting.  It will be a long process.  I just need to STICK to it. I will be reaching towards that goal until I get there.  Once there.  I need to stay there.  That’s the HARD part.

That’s it for now.  I have a meeting with my fitness Coach Pam (the great gal), she doesn’t charge me anything, she runs a free fitness camp M, W, F at the park before work and now is adding T, Thurs evenings.  It’s free, it’s fun and I’m loving it.  She has a proposal for me, so I’m ready to hear about it, share about it later this week and excited about the possibilities.

photo (1)Last night with Dylan.  He has to make sure you all know we are the WEST’S living on the west coast.  Silly. 

photo (2)After our workout last night, he jumped in the pool. 

ONE LAST THING,  new to our nightly ritual, I read a chapter of a book to Rich called “The Love Dare for Parents” We have done it now 4 nights in a row.  I read.  He listens.  Then I say “thanks for listening” he laughs and we go to sleep.

A week of adventurous meals

photo (2)

I like shopping with this guy, he doesn’t even mind if I take pictures of our feet

I decided to pull out last years Everyday Food (summer special) this is the cutest, tiniest magazine.  A Martha Stewart publication and it’s pretty awesome.  My sweet Mama got me the subscription last year just cause.  She does that every so often because we both share a HUGE love of magazines.  I got my love of magazines from her, I’m pretty sure of it.  I grew up surrounded by stacks of them.  I often want to at least try one thing from certain magazines so it’s worth my while.  This time I tried a section called “Five Great Meals One Quick Trip”  the title reeled me straight in.  It included a shopping list and showed pictures of each meal.  I LOVE the pictures.  I reviewed the meals with Rich and Dylan (because they were the two around) and they were up for it!

Rich and I decided to run to Trader Joes and Vons to pick up all the ingredients for the entire week, Monday thru Friday.  This means I will be cooking every night this week and new, very different things from what I normally cook.  The menu is as follows:

photo (1)

 We cruised the yellow bug and loaded the back with GOOD FOOD

Mon:  Broiled Fish with Summer Salad

Tues:  Pork with Mozzarella and Tomato

Wed:  Grilled Steak and Vegetables

Thurs:  Zesty Pork Sandwiches

Fri:  Corn Chowder with Zucchini and Orzo

The grocery cost for all the ingredients was 87.06, this is for a family of 5 (we bought a little extra because all these meals were for serving size 4)  This averages out to 17.41 a meal and 3.48 a person.  I didn’t say it was cheap but it’s not too expensive for good food.  We have been severely tight in the past and I have been able to feed our family for like 99 cents a person but usually not the most nutritious meals.

photo (3)

Missing two cucumbers, cause I forgot to add them to table but I did buy them

I will take pictures of each meal and try and update throughout the week, if anyone cares (lol)  I like pictures so I think that’s important.  Plus I will tell you if it’s a thumbs up or down according to the family vote.

I wish you a good week, I wish you a healthy week, I hope you get to get out and move a little, go for a walk or something good for you, good for your body.  I’m set, I’m ready, I have not lost any weight really, in fact it’s that time of the month AGAIN.  I’m hopeful though and I feel better, my mental state feels better and I know it’s because I’m moving more.  I’m being much more intentional and I already have set a prize in sight after I lose my first 10 pounds.  It will be a LOVE t-shirt from my friend Lilly’s shop.  I  did decide to order some Herbalife, just one shake a day for breakfast, which will benefit me greatly since often I skip breakfast entirely. I even found an article Dr. Oz wrote about how beneficial a morning meal replacement shake can be for us non breakfast eaters.   The rest is up to me as far as making good choices for the rest of the day and fitting in healthy snacks between meals.