Love Winning: TN Update

Thankfully, the sun is shining and the frost is melting. That in my household means that things tend to get better for TN. Things are the same. They are steady. The meds he is on have crushing side effects that disrupt our family dynamic. He is very fatigued and grumpy. Which makes us all very similar.

He tried playing with various dosages up and down hoping to help as directed and little changes in the side effects. They want him to remain on them until he heads back to see them here in a couple of weeks. So he is. He is really thinking he would like to go back to the original med he was on.

The new doctor didn’t like that one as much because it treats the overall nerve system. And he felt like this one is used to treat specifically the trigeminal nerve. He has never ever done well on it which is why we weren’t eager for the switch.

I am headed to the doctor with him this time because he struggles sometimes remembering some things that they ask. He does well in normal every day lives, but sometimes struggles with the details of life.

But overall, dare I say it…..Life has felt pretty normal. We also know that the warmer temperatures have the ability to lull us into a false sense of reality. Then the temps drop and we get the reminders.

Out to dinner on Friday where the high temp for the day was 32 degrees. He was eating and the pain was fast, sudden and painful. He is used to this. Me, no matter how long I have watched this I will never get used to it. I say, “What? Are you in pain?” He rubs the nerve. Smiles and tries to act like it isn’t happening. The mood is just different. It sucks.

I am not at all sure where he is headed. I am not sure what we even want. Another winter. Another cold day. Another barometric weather change….they scare me. Every single day.

But that is the update.

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Fixed and Then Some.

I am not fixing anymore, but I am trying really hard to eat similarly. I am basically clean eating with portion control. So I guess that is the fix. I haven’t really cheated. I hate that word though. It isn’t a cheat. You have to eat. You just have to be smart about it and I have been extremely smart about the eating.

I did go out to dinner with my guy the other night and I decided to get a burger that was fix38loaded with crap. Do you realize how long it had been since I had had crap?! Well I did. I am not gonna lie and say it didn’t taste amazing. It did. But what I will say is my body had a definite reaction. I felt horrible for about 8 hours. Basically, like I had a stomach virus without the ability to find any sort of relief. However, I was good in my decision. I immediately took my meal apart and made portions. Portions that I never did eat.

What did happen though that has me mad at myself….is I got suckered by steel cut oats. I have basically made this small 1/2 cup portion, a yellow, a part of my every day. I did so on the guise that it was 150 calories. Well, 1/4th cup is 150 calories. That is way too high caloric intake for the AM when I was eating a fruit and a protein. When I added it into my daily intake and I was at 520 by 7:30. I was not happy! It is my own fault and I should have paid better attention, but no! I really try hard to keep most meals at around 300 calories.

Thankfully, I have maintained about a 2lb weight loss a week this past week. We will see how this week goes since I am finally on spring break. It can either go really good or really bad. So far today because I had steel cut oats I have had really low cal foods. But I am still stuffed and eating well.

I did also bump down in my caloric intake (and 21 day fix containers) with the weight loss. Another mistake I made. I am just not ready for round 2. I am thinking I will keep doing what I do. I did decide to stick with the carb requirement (2 yellows) for my diet.

fix36You know this post? Well I want to share the picture. I can tell here that the weight loss is happening. I saw myself passing by in mirror and felt jarred by the change. I snapped a picture really quick and then felt ashamed like I am talking/thinking/obsessing about myself too much lately. As if I should be ashamed for my hard work. I hate that feeling or that I even let it get to me.

And can I just say how proud I am of Kpuff and myself? We are in T25 gamma. That is we are on week 12 of T25. For 12 weeks we have made working out a priority. Sure it is sometimes hard, but we do it. We do it faithfully. That is a commitment to self and to betterment. That is isn’t vanity. I am eager to see what we do next. My mind races daily with options. I am doing better in the KPuff gym and sometimes my living room than I have ever done at a gym. I feel a bit freer to work a bit harder and I will never ever say being accountable to working out with someone else is a waste of time because it isn’t. It keeps things real. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are grumpy. But we always have to check in one a day a least and say, “Today I am doing it.” I have loved every minute of that and am super grateful for the opportunity.

“Your current body is the only body that can take you to your new body—so be kind to it.”
Elaine Moran

All these irons and not enough fire…

Wonders to self why I committed myself to something so challenging when I knew I was already in over my head. For the last year I have been watching Two Writing Teachers and their Slice of Life Challenge and I loved the idea. And then my bloggy friend, Jackie, has been so inspiring at SOL Challenge 2015.

My revolution (diet/mental/health), musical at our school (our first one ever!!!), three kids, a hubby whose health is okay at best, golf season for the golf coach husband, end of grading quarter and I believed I could complete it how?

I didn’t even come close. I gave up day three because sleep always wins out around these parts. I gotta sleep somehow some time! I will finally participate in the challenge at some point or another. I am trying so hard at being better at recognizing things I need to be honest with myself with. I should have done that here. But can’t beat myself up.

The thing I have enjoyed the most about it is reading everyone’s Slice of Life posts. It is so nice to know I am not alone! Especially since it naturally draws people with similar interests because if the Two English teachers and such! And see it goes so far beyond that as well. Just a supportive writing community which I tell my students is so hard and so valuable to find.

Oh and other irons….I don’t mean to turn this blog into all food all 21 Day Fix all the time. But that is kind of what blogging is about for me. It is way less about keeping and maintaining a theme, but instead showing my life how it really is. So it naturally lends itself to the slice of life. My slice right now is full of teaching, parenting and teaching myself how to make me a priority.

That doesn’t mean the other things happening take a back burner, it just means it is being managed as it best can. I am so very proud of how life is going. The chaos is managed but in it I have clarity and peace. Something I didn’t have previously. There isn’t enough time in this world for all the things I want and need to do. But there is enough time for the things that are important to me and leave a lasting impression on this earth.

We went through an accreditation process this week at work and after reflecting on that process I began to see that I am getting so much better at voicing how I feel and owning my own priorities. Case in point, the question inevitably comes up why I would want to teach high school students as a college teacher. For years I gave the socially acceptable answers though I didn’t realize it at the time. Finally, I said, “Because I want to. I like the challenge. I believe in what we are doing here.” That is just a pinpoint example of the larger example of being okay in my own skin. That wouldn’t be taking place without my revolution. I own it.

That is love winning folks and me letting it. I love what deciding love always wins has done for me. It has literally touched every single part of my life and soul. It has allowed me to have so many irons in the fire and to be okay to let a few stay cold for awhile. There will be time eventually for it all….until then I continue on.

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You are doing it again!

Stop it! And stop it now and I mean it. This is NOT about them. Or them. Or even them. It is about you. It is about liking what you see in the mirror, it is about noticing that girl that has been hiding for awhile. Sometimes she hid in behind a pepsi can or fat laden food.

But most of the time she just hid from the hard stuff. Well because it was hard. But stop it now. Life is hard and how is it you have deal with a tough life in literally every single 3b0d49d6623e7dbaa94204fba1936a79breathable speak-able aspect but this one area.

The one area that is the most public and provides you the most notice…or lack there of. So quit hiding. And yes I noticed when someone pointed out your hard work that your first reaction was to try and hide it. As if losing weight is something to be ashamed of. Wasn’t it just you who said the 21 Day Fix isn’t about fixing anything? LIVE IT GIRL!

Less of me has never ever been about hiding who you are. Be proud. Be proud if you weigh 600lbs or be proud if you weigh 60. No matter what happens there is good there. But remember the purpose, the goal here is take a time of every single day to say to yourself.

You matter. And be okay with the fact that sometimes another work out feels like another work out. That doesn’t make it any less important or you any more likely to fail. The only way you fail is if you don’t show up and don’t do it!

And damn girl look at the picture again. You know the one…You passed by the mirror and you noticed. You saw the change. You felt pretty. You felt the efforts of your work. You didn’t just see it or feel it. You recorded it, so I know it meant something to you.

Be her. Be that girl. Not the one that followed 30 seconds later that told yourself you are so vain and the put the camera away. Yea shut her up. Journey on…..Love yourself because Love Always Wins! And girl get some sleep…you look tired!

Living by stats…

I kinda live by stats by now and I am kinda okay with it. I have to track my progress or lack of and if stats are a way to do it….SO BE IT! I know I am more than a number. In fact, I know I am more important than any number. But sometimes those numbers keep me going when I want to quit.

This week has been stressful. It is the mount up to Spring Break, it is our Spring musical and my first running lights and music stuff. Add in grading essays, just the general stress of a teacher in the spring and I am tired. I am doing great in the food department, but horrible in the motivation to work out department. I think that is coupling with the end of our Beta on T25. The downside to a program like T25 is the repeating exercise routines. Especially toward the end of the that cycle of a program, that is when I think Shaun T. decides to focus on ideal spots like abs. I just get bored. But are finished on Sunday with T25 Beta and we are actually going to move to Gamma. I am worried I may die, but I am also looking forward to fresh stuff.  I have done a few 21 Day fix routines and they are really good.

But this is less about all of that and about some stats. Tomorrow is the official last day of 21 Day fix and I see as a complete and utter change in my thinking. I see food and appreciate it much differently. Kpuff and I are taking our guys out to dinner tomorrow to celebrate the end of the fix. But I gotta be honest, I am struggling to imagine a life without my fix type meals. I can’t say I will be as strict, but I can and will say I have thoroughly changed how I will eat daily. I can’t really articulate that right now, but I will eventually.

Now stats for a few things…

  • 1st week of 21 Day Fix: 9lbs lost
  • 2nd week of 21 Day Fix: 3lbs lost
  • 3rd week of 21 Day Fix: 4lbs lost
  • 7 inches (edited to add 3/22)

I have inches, but I don’t have them tallied until tomorrow. I am just assuming I wouldn’t lose another pound by tomorrow. But The Fix didn’t fix me. I fixed me. I did this in January and when looking at those decisions in numbers you will see there has been a drastic change.

My Stats In Numbers

  • 653,477 Steps
  • 278 Miles altogether
  • I have walked the entire underground of London since January which is 250 miles
  • Daily Average for calories burned is 2500
  • Since starting the Fix my average caloric intake is 1100
  • My average caloric intake before the Fix was 2200
  • This means I am burning way more than I ever consume which equals loss…WAHOO!!! I know this but…..It is in real time numbers.
  • According to my fitbit I spend most of my days in fairly active (76%) and the rest except after 9:30 is spent in fairly active
  • From 10 to 5AM I am sleep and am usually inactive
  • I have lost 24lbs
  • My clothes are not even loose anymore they are falling off and I feel better, despite having more to go

My Caloric Intake since last go round of the blog:

  • Sunday, March 15 – 1103
  • Monday, March 16 – 1051
  • Tuesday, March 17 – 1144
  • Wednesday, March 18 – 1218
  • Thursday, March 19 – 1149
  • Friday, March 20 – 1242

And well…..I have found out one important thing. I love a lot of food I had no idea I loved.

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I am so in love with over roasted asparagus and it gives me a crunch I am missing. The recipe I have calls them ugly beans, but I have dub them ugly fries and actually switched from green beans to asparagus. I have had them about 7 times this week and they are amazing. You should make them. I have uglyfied sugar snapped peas and tried carrots. Blech! But asparagus is where it is at for sure! Green beans are good, too!

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And avocado, I have always known this was good, but now I really know. In fact, I was irritated because the FIX treated it as if it were a naughty step child. And I understand why, it is full of fat but I literally spent two hours last night researching the health benefits of avocados especially to working out and metabolism. I have no problem with just a half, but Fix only lets in a tiny small bit.

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Turkey burgers dressed up aren’t all that bad. You get the same taste and feeling from them as a regular burger but with half the calories and fat. Wahoo! That is good in my book. Although, I am looking for a yummy healthy and low cal bun because these are horrible. I have tried them twice and eww! They are healthy life something or nother.

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And guess what is 21 Day Fix friendly? Or at least I made it 21 Day Fix friendly…21 Day Fix Salmon Patties.  This is lunch tomorrow with a side of ugly fries. They are amazing. This would be 1 red and 1 green. I made three patties to have around. I love salmon patties. I used to love it with a huge helping of macaroni and cheese, but that won’t be happening despite quite a few 21 Day Fix recipes for it. I am trying to just avoid dairy altogether.

And with that I will end it. Despite knowing I am more than a number sometimes seeing it this way reminds me of how far I have come despite having much further to go. I am making strides.

21 Day Fix French Toast….

On Friday at work somehow our lunch convo turned into french toast and after said conversation there was a prominent image in my head. FRENCH TOAST, not only a favorite of my own but my family. This was the very first thing I ever learned to cook when I was teenager and it was the first thing I made for my guy. Need to say it is staple around my house. In my house we like it thick with powder sugar or peanut butter and lots of yummy warm syrup.

Well clearly that wouldn’t work so I set out on a quest to find a 21 day fix with pancakes. I knew I had seen several of those recipes. Some were simple and some were more complicated. So I woke up Saturday and tried to make one. I am not gonna share it, not because it was horrible but because I didn’t eat it.

I attempted to make it but couldn’t get enough browning on the bottom to flip it. I assume I messed up the recipe somehow. They smelled amazing but just couldn’t get them fully cooked. Here in enters my brain child….why can’t I have french toast? I can control what I put it in.

Now born: 21 Day Fix French Toast. A recipe I am guessing for most will feel like a cheat or too good to be a diet food. I just call it clean french toast.

frenchtoast

Ingredients:

  • Aunt Millies 35 calorie whole grain bread (1 slice = 1 yellow)
  • 1 egg (1/2 red)
  • Cinnamon to taste (this one is a freebie so go crazy!!!)
  • 1 splash of unsweetened almond milk – I have no idea how to even measure this but it was a dab so I guess I would say 1 tsp. Almond milk is technically a yellow but what I used would have barely covered the bottom of a yellow so I just did not count it and truthfully you could easily sub out water for it or even nothing at all. I feel like the good fat” gives your french toast the umphf you are looking for

Scramble the egg mixture with a whisk and then submerge your bread in it. The longer you let it soak the more souffle like your bread will be.  I dabbed olive oil on a paper towel and rubbed it on the surface of a non-stick pan and let it warm and threw in my bread. I browned it to my preferred consistency. Just make sure your egg is cooked thoroughly.

I topped mine with a 1 tsp of crunchy cashew butter and 1 tsp of warm 100% maple syrup. However, it would be just as yummy with some berries or apples topped with cinnamon.

Almost there!

I have the majority of the fix done and now I am in the last and final week of the fix. It’s purpose was pretty clear from the beginning. It was meant to bring clarity to the way you eat. Especially when it comes to things like “treats”. My best example was seeing Cadbury Eggs, a beloved favorite, containing 160 calories. It seems so small and harmless but when I compared it to my 305 calorie dinner last night of mahi-mahi, whole wheat wild rice, ugly fries (green beans) and roasted potatoes all the sudden you can see how that little “treat” is wrecking havoc on any sort of strides I have been making.

The best and proactive decision I have made to a healthier me was giving up on pepsi. I haven’t had one for almost two and half months I believe. I won’t even consider the idea because I fear I couldn’t control it. I may never feel strong enough again to have it. Before the fix, I had an occasional root beer or sprite. The only time I ever really want a pop is when we are eating dinner out. I hate water when I can’t control it. Maybe in time that will change. But I probably had three before the fix and never felt uncontrollable like I did with pepsi. Again when I place that in comparison to a meal I am currently eating. I was drinking basically a heavy fat meal in pepsi. This decision had nothing to do with a diet or work out program. It was the nagging feeling that I needed to do this and to stop making excuses. That is will power.

The notes I would like to point out that have changed since January 3rd when I made this decision is I feel better. I felt like I was constantly “chasing tail” basically chasing to stay away, get to the next period, next day, or next hour. I don’t feel like that anymore. My tired is a true tired. It is NOT a sugar low. As many of my readers know digestive issues have always long plagued me. I know I am diary intolerant. That feels almost non-existent at this point.

The biggest of all of these changes I have felt in the last three and a half months is the decreasing of migraines and migraine severity. My migraines are very much controlled and centered around hormonal changes. That will not change minus with aging. But what has changed is the severity with which they occur. I have had to take a half a migraine pill in the last three weeks and since January I have taken 2 including my half above. Before I was going between 4-6 pills a month and at 100$ for 6 I am grateful for that.

I also wanted to wait till I met my first goal for weight loss before I shared any stats and alas that goal came this morning on my weekly weigh in. It usually happens on Saturdays which Shaun T deems STATurday. But I forgot yesterday. I am so super proud of these things. Keep in mind not all of this weight loss came from 21 Day Fix. I have been doing T25 for 9 weeks. I also have added in making sure I walk 10,000 steps a day, and I gave up multiple pepsi a day and I had a nasty round of the stomach flu. Since January 3rd, I have lost:

Weight Loss: 20 pounds; Arms: 1 inch; Waist: 4 inches; chest 4 inches; Thighs 3 inches

Total: 20lbs and 12 inches

That is with making a conscious effort of what I am putting into my body. I wish it would come off faster, but when I look at how much that is over almost four months it doesn’t seem so bad. I wouldn’t be able to do any of it if I didn’t have people in my life who didn’t love me and support me no matter what. They accept me for who I am and what exactly my goal and purpose are here. They understand this is about so much more than weight loss for me. It is about focusing time and effort on me. I basically haven’t done that in a year. But I can’t love and support others if I don’t do that first for myself.

Weight

The difference didn’t feel real until I placed this picture from October and put it along side a picture from Friday. I look and feel healthier in the later one. My lady doctor told me I wouldn’t see the entire pepsi weight loss for at least 6-8 months. He said that it will naturally just decline as long as I don’t go back to it and replace it with another empty calorie.

“Eating crappy food isn’t a reward — it’s a punishment.”
Drew Carey

21 Day Fix – Week 2 Complete (Almost!)

Well this post will appear a little more differently than my previous fix posts. I haven’t had as many pictures of my food because I keep eating the same things. I started off the week wonderfully and did amazing. In fact, I finished the week the same way. But my attitude got progressively worse as the week went on.

A few things happened this week that tried to derail me. And let me just say that derailment came from my own brain. I find as a teacher in the K-12 system that the weeks leading up to Spring are some of the worst. The students are overly stressed and emotional and my home is the same with three kids and being married to a teacher. Add in all the other factors like musical practice, golf ramping up, a musical program for #3, a chronic illness for a spouse and just all the stuff that makes up life. There is massive amounts of stress at home and work. It gets better every single year, but it will never leave.

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The most important take away here is that I stuck to it and did not give in. Instead in indulging in sugar filled or high fat foods I opted for the other way. I starved myself. I didn’t eat enough of anything. I tried to live in tiny bits of protein, fruit and greens that I could steam. It got me through till Friday.

I did repeat of meat muffins, chicken…lots and lots of baked chicken. Salad. Lots of salad. Clementines, turkey bacon and hard boiled eggs. I am consistently finding that lack of planning kills my diet. I also am finding that my family eats very clean and my cooking is very clean, but with one minor issue we are carb heavy. I actually already knew this, but I was under the impression that since I don’t get into rolls and biscuits and breads like my family is that I somehow I was missing all the extra carbs that my baby birds and guy consume. Wrong. I find them in other places like sandwiches, pancakes, tacos and so on on. I needed to clean up that part.

I was not feeling any of this and was so close after a particularly bad day at work on Friday to saying I am done. I told my guy, “I am hungry and I can’t do this.” I brewed a cup of coffee and sat down and drank it in silence. My work out partner text ready for a workout and  I was so close to not going. But I decided all this work and that she was counting on me being there so I put on my running shoes and left. Eventually what happened was the workout reminded me I am doing all this for a reason. We remembered we only have one more week left of the T25 program and somewhere in me a fire began to burn again.

In fact, the exercise I don’t believe is the problem. It is changing how I cook for my family and myself. I love to cook and consider myself a really good cook. Some of those things are going to have to change because of my own faulty thinking. I also know I cannot be bored with cooking or I just throw in the towel. With sweat on my brow and a workout under my belt I felt some renewal finally and I made my way to grocery and decided I needed something different.

fix1I love fish, but have some late onset fish allergies. When I eat tilapia my throat swells up and it scares the crap out of me. Some other white fish do this to me as well. I am just not sure which ones. But I love fish. So I grabbed some Mahi-Mahi and knew I could use my oven roasted fish like I always have. I went down the rice aisle knowing that I could hopefully find a healthy carb that would help satisfy me and got into the produce aisle and my favorite asparagus was there alongside a new kind I had never seen…White asparagus. I knew this would be my renewal dinner. And I cooked away. I even added an over easy egg over my roasted asparagus because I love that. Something about it seems so sinful and lush and I needed to finish a protein for the day. The meal was marinated fish in aminos (similar to soy sauce but better for you), whole wheat wild rice with quinoa (1 yellow), roasted green and white asparagus (1 green) topped with a drizzle of olive oil and garlic powder and then an over easy egg (1/2 red) topping that.

The meal was amazing!  I followed it up with a long and hard pinterest search to get me through the last week of this. I don’t mean to sound like it is suffering because it isn’t. This is the easiest diet I have ever done. It doesn’t feel diet. I just get overwhelmed by the planning because of just the natural chaos that is my life. I used it as an excuse. But I will post my caloric intake for each day. Just know my meals were repeats because I did what I knew would work. I also found happy to be able to cut a piece of whole wheat bread into half and have turkey sammies. That saved me this week.

  • Wednesday – 1155 (clementines, turkey bacon, toast with almond butter, meat muffins, salads, baked chicken, corn and pea mix
  • Thursday – 1420 (pasta day) (same breakfast, meat muffin lunch, salad, fruit, sammy)
  • Friday – 1116 (clementines and scrambled egg, sammy and fruit, gigantic dinner pictured)

I am going to make some pancakes this AM. I am very excited for that. I need to just dive in and finish strong. I will let you know where I stand soon.

13 Down/8 to go!

SOLSC # 12: Solitude 



Very rarely do I get a few moments entirely to myself where someone doesn’t need something from me. That isn’t a complaint it is just a fact of life or better yet it is a season in life. It won’t always be this way. But I specifically get myself up at 5-5:30 very single morning, so I can accomplish everything that needs accomplished for the day. I want to be that mom and wife. I look forward to it each and every day. I usually finish up chores I ran out of steam for the night before. 

I find myself spread so incredibly thin during the day. Especially adding in a workout everyday. But that is exactly I need it because I feel like sometimes I kill myself to get it all done. Long days at work and short nights at home. Trying to care for everyone and myself. Getting done what needs done. If only I could seek out a few more hours, just a few. Or I could survive on a little less sleep. Last night it was four hours and 25 minutes. 

This is all without any caffeine in my day. I am not saying this to say I am busy. The whole world is busy. Look in on any life and it is busy. In fact, a busy life is a blessing. That isn’t wasted on me. But that busyness makes me so appreciate the solitude of silence in the air or music in my ears as I start the day. Sometimes I will work out, sometimes I catch up on DVR but most of the time I focus on being a mom and wife and making their days a little simpler and easier. 

I often feel like it is still not enough and beat myself up for what I don’t do. Alas this occupies my space in my head. Sure I would like another hour of sleep, but if I don’t do them often these things will not get done. But the solitude is nice and usually the kids are left with that magical feeling that this stuff just happens. But when they get older they will know the sacrifices that have been made. 

Today my muse is writing because I cleaned and did their homework and my own and finished two loads of laundry last night. Some days it is not that easy. 

SOLSC # 11 – Sucks to suck.

So woke up and there was too much fog. Like the scary kind of fog that kills people. I was pretty certain no school would be happening and I was right. So I sat here and all I keep thinking about is how much life isn’t where I expected it to be today.

I am supposed to be in my 2nd semester of graduate school working on a PhD. But I am not. My guy was supposed to be better, but he is not. My girls were supposed to have recovered from a traumatic year and they have not.

But alas the world keeps turning. Normalcy of a new sort returns. I know we are all right where we are supposed to be, but sometimes those moments they creep up on you and they kinda suck!