Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Getting Back on Track

Ok so I had a fabulous weekend visiting family in New York. It was a fabulous weekend full of visiting, chatting, and of course eating lots of New York bagels. We went out to eat a few times, and I tried to make generally healthy choices (well, except for pigging out at the pizzeria on our last afternoon there, but again, who passes up New York pizza? A crazy person, that's who). I had some fabulous orange roughy with a tomato/breadcrumb topping, and discovered a new (unsurprising) love for broccoli rabe. I also have a newly discovered love for balsamic vinegar on my salads (yum).

With all of the visiting and everything, I totally did not work out. I did my Friday morning workout, skipped Saturday cardio and Monday strength training. I did go to Zumba last night (because: Zumba), and then because I am totally EXHAUSTED from the busy weekend (and the INSANE traffic both ways), I totally slept through both my alarm and my fussing baby until 6am. What does that mean? No morning work out. Boo.

So in between mixed workouts, making it through the last of my New York bagels (one left on the counter which will likely be breakfast tomorrow) and yummy expensive candies (finished those up today), and being generally exhausted, it's time to get myself back on track. It's convenient that my last post was about making a habit. I'm in the midst of a "Fight Thru," and have to work hard at it. Hubby and I discussed  my missed workout this morning, and agreed that it's a priority for me to get it done tonight. I'm going to make up Monday's workout on Saturday morning, and hit the weekend cardio at some point. I'm at day 51, dammit, I  will finish this challenge!

Tonight's dinner plan: find a healthy recipe for the 2 lbs of cod that we bought fresh at a market in NY, along with some pre-cooked broccoli rabe from the same market, and probably a salad with chipotle ranch for the hubby and lavender balsamic with evoo for myself. (Points if you know what evoo stands for!)

I'm trying to find some interesting 5Ks to sign up for as well. I have my sights set on one in July, but I'd like a couple along the way too. I also need to start thinking about what to pick up when BBM ends in a little over a month.

And the last note for today: I am officially in love with candied pecans. I've been starting to look at recipes, but if you know of any good ones, please share.

Image credits: and

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BBM 45 Day Update and Making a Habit

BBM Update

So I am 45 days into Bikini Body Mommy, which puts me officially at the half way point. I did my weigh in this morning and I have lost 7 lbs (I was one pound lower on Sunday, so maybe I've really lost close to 8 considering fluctuations?). I'll do my half way pics tonight and I can't wait to see the differences.

I feel a little bit different in how my clothes fit. My work pants are tight as always, but maybe a little bit less? It's my jeans, however, where I feel a difference. I know I'm not ready for a smaller size yet, but I felt like I was pulling my jeans up all weekend. How is that for motivation to keep going? Also, I noticed my watch is super loose. I think it fit fairly well when I got it in December, but yesterday I actually went so far as to take a link off of it, because it was slipping around my wrist (it's a bracelet/watch, so it's supposed to be a little loose). It still slides back and forth pretty well, so I think even without a link it's still a little bit looser than it was when I bought it.

Other than clothing, we also had the Fit Test again today, which was the workout we did on Day 1 and Day 15. Today I did it with no modifications, which felt amazing. The only counts that weren't higher from the last two times were the ones where I removed mods, which is to be expected. Also, I feel better in Zumba, and I feel like I'm actually making it through really well. She pulled out the original song set from January last night and I felt like I was really able to make it through... until the second to last song, haha, but I pulled through in the end. :-)

I'm still doing fairly well with my eating. I am realizing that I am probably not eating enough, so I need to find healthy ways to up my calorie intake. It's a nice problem to have, though. I'm choosing healthy options when going out, and even able to "splurge" at a restaurant and still maintain my goals! Hubby and I went out last weekend for Valentines Day, and I figured I'd overdo it on the calories. We went out to Brewer's Alley in Frederick, which is one of my favorite restaurants. We shared some oysters on the half shell for an appetizer, which was super yummy (and healthy) as always, and then for the actual meal, I really wanted salmon, but didn't feel like having any of the sides that came with it. Instead, I ordered a caesar salad and had a salmon fillet on top, and it was like the best salad ever. We even split a brownie sundae for dessert, plus I had 2 glasses of wine, and I still was in a good range for calories when I got around to updating FitBit!

Making a Habit

When I got to day 30, a close friend of mine told me that it takes 21 days to make a habit, so I was already in really good shape to maintain the workout routine. Hearing that got my curious, because I still felt like I could fall off the wagon at any time. I did some research, and came across several articles.

There was a study done in the UK in 2009 that says that it takes on average SIXTY-SIX days to make a habit stick. That could be something as simple as eating fruit every day, walking for 15 minutes, etc. The blog post that referenced the article, The Happiness Project, posted on Psychology Today, states that there's variation in that number. Some people form a habit in more time or less time.

I also found a post on Forbes from last April that goes further into the "developing a habit" concept. This post breaks it down into 3 steps, The Honeymoon, The Fight Thru, and Second Nature. The author says that at first, the habit is easy. The Honeymoon phase is where you may take on too much and you feel like there's no problem in creating this new habit. The Fight Thru is the next step, where you start to experience set backs and lack of motivation. This is the important time to remember why you are making the change and keep overcoming the obstacles. The Fight Thru may continue to happen over and over. The author states that you will likely hit 2-3 fight thru phases before going on to the third phase, and you may even go back to phase 2 from phase 3, and have to get through it again before going back to maintenance. The third phase, Second Nature, is where the habit has really taken shape. It's easy to maintain it because it's what you always do. You'll hit setbacks, go back through a few Fight Thru's, and make it back to maintaining it.

The research snob in me loves verifying the claims that turn into fact from being passed from one person to another. This "21 day habit" is probably one that messes lots of people up, because they expect it to be easy after 3 weeks, and when it's not, it's probably disappointing. I know with myself, that I have to constantly push myself, or I will completely fall off the wagon. Last week, for example, we had a big snow storm. Zumba was cancelled on Thursday, and I had injured my calf earlier in the week. I decided to take the day off and not do cardio at home. Friday I did my BBM workout, and then Saturday I lost motivation again for cardio. After taking two days off last week, it was totally tempting to not do Monday's workout. It can happen at any time in the process to hit an obstacle and be ready to call it quits. What makes the difference is when you tell yourself that is NOT okay, and keep going. Don't take minor setbacks as the end of the road, just find a way to push through!

Anyone else working to change a habit? Share! Comment! :-)

Image Quote -

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Run This Year

So on one of the blogs I follow, Fitness, Health, and Happiness, there was a reference to "Run This Year 2014." The concept is that you run 2014 miles in 2014. Am I going to do that? Hell no.
However, there is an option to add your own challenge. As I'm trying to get myself into running, I decided I would log 100 miles in 2014. Notice, I said "log" and not "run." I'm going to let myself run/walk like I have been, because I don't want to set a goal that's too lofty starting out. I want to motivate myself to keep going and following along, and I want to keep these healthy habits.

Run This Year 2014 is free to join, and you just go to their page to keep logging miles. They will send out periodic mileage reports as well as have some giveaways and such during the year. I think with the custom challenge, anyone and everyone should join and at least try to do something. I'll be your accountability partner! Keep following along on here, and I'll make a point to post the "Run This Year" banner and link to the blog every time I log miles. As of right now, I'm only logging what I have in my RunKeeper app, which is 3.92 miles. If you decide to sign up, please comment and let me know! Follow along with me and we'll keep each other updated on our miles. Even if you decide to just do a half mile a week, it's great to step out of your comfort zone and set a goal!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The New Me

Does anyone else have this perfect image of themselves that they always hold onto? In my perfect world, I'd be totally fit (working on it), and I'd be a pseudo-hippie (I love the idea of eating clean, buying organic, and making my own stuff, but still enjoy using modern conveniences). I'd be totally active and outdoorsy, and I'd absolutely be a runner. I'd be babywearing (check) and cloth diapering (check), and I'd make AE's food (um, about that...).

I've always felt like this vision of myself was unattainable. There's no way this full time therapist could be a "crunchy" mom and also be active and healthy and all organic. After a month of focusing on health, however, I'm starting to feel like I can be the girl in my vision. I took a look at myself yesterday as I was running errands, and started to see the beginnings of my perfect world falling together. I'm still a long way off, and it'll take hard work, sacrifice, and probably some compromising from my plan, but the baby steps have started.

So here's my look at myself and my day:

A day in the life -- Monday 2/10

So Mondays are my day off. I work 10 hour days Tuesday through Friday, and get to stay home with AE on Monday. Being my day off, it varies. I could spend the day at home cleaning or, on days like yesterday, spend most of the day running errands.

I always start Mondays off with my Bikini Body Mommy workout. I always aim to get up before AE to do my workout, but being my day off, it's hard to motivate myself to get out of bed. Yesterday, AE hung out in her little car toy on the floor while mommy did her workout. Yesterday was "Love your legs and booty," and my legs are still feeling it today.

We then do breakfast. AE has a fruit/oatmeal combo and some formula, and mommy usually opts for a protein shake. Then time for AE's morning nap (my shower time).

After nap, we had lunch (leftover wings for me and formula/fruit for AE), and started getting ready to head out the door.

First step was to Martin's for some more coconut oil for cloth diapering.

Then I stopped to buy a used (new with tags!) hiking backpack from a local mom. Brand new $300 Kelty Kids pack for $100! Awesome deal! Now we just have to use it!

Got coffee (black, two splendas) on the way to the Board of Ed for fingerprinting and a badge. Did I mention I'm officially a school therapist on Thursdays? I work at a middle school through a grant that my agency got through the end of the school year.

Went into Shepherdstown, WV for some shopping. I LOVE Up On the Hill, and was trying to get my hands on a new wooden Spock teether for AE (dogs got a hold of the last one), among other things. I was deeply disappointed to find that they are no longer shipping to retail stores (boo!), but got a Beetles-esque submarine teether instead, a handmade toy that looks like one of the characters from Little Big Planet, some new cloth wipes, and some all natural balm for AE's dry legs.

While in Shepherdstown, I decided to check out some of the stores down there that I always drive by, and have never dropped in on. I went to Two Rivers Treads, which I didn't realize at the time is focused on minimalist footwear, and got fitted for some shoes. Now to decide if I want to go the minimalist route and actually buy some, or if I want to get some traditional shoes.

I also stopped at a neat little juicing shop (hence the green juice pic), and got a "Green Lemonade," which was kale, apples, and lemons. Yum! Not bad for a first green juice.

Final stop was to the outlets to get some cold weather running gear (let's not have a repeat of Sunday, shall we?). Got some neat cold gear at the Under Armor outlet. Also dropped into the Vitamin World outlet and chatted some with the girls in there about our area's sore lack of any kind of natural food store.

Home for a nap with AE before hubby got home and we got into our night time routine.

Anyone else notice a trend with my day? I was pretty pleased to see that I am starting to become the person that I've always wanted to be. I'm making healthy choices, choosing natural products, and staying pretty active lately.
Next steps? Looking into making my own cloth wipe solution and considering an invite to join a ballet class... Basically: focusing on being healthy and loving life.

Have you made any healthy changes lately? Tell me about them!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Trudging Through the Hard Days

So.. yesterday was rough. Even though Sunday is the Bikini Body Mommy rest day, I tend to have super busy Saturdays, so I usually rest on Saturday and make Sunday my cardio day.

During the week, I have my Zumba class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for my cardio, but on the weekends, I usually try to do a walk/run around the neighborhood (or on the trails if it's nice) with one of the dogs. We have two labradors. Miles is almost 5 and around 90lbs, and Molly is almost 2 and around 60lbs. I usually choose to run with Miles because he is a much better running partner, but then Molly usually flips out when he's gone. I usually go running during one of AE's naps, so if Molly is flipping out, she wakes the baby.

Yesterday we had plans in the afternoon, so I decided to run in the morning. I chose to take Molly with me for the first time, because AE was napping and I knew Miles wouldn't flip out on his own and wake her up. I didn't really think about the fact that it was 26 degrees and I don't have legit running gear, and I just put on some sweat pants, a thermal long sleeved shirt, and my sneakers and went out the door. Let me add that I have also NEVER been a runner, and actually even got myself excused from the 15 minute mile in gym class and did mine in more like 20-25 minutes.

So back to yesterday. I grabbed Molly and out the door we went. First issue: Molly is a PUPPY and I forget that. It was almost like every time I really got into it, she would see something interesting and STOP dead. Second issue: she kept tripping over her leash, so as we got farther along, I had to hold my arm out so that the leash was held straighter and she had less of a chance to trip. Third issue (yes, there's more): I start getting sick about a half mile in. Let me remind you, I am NOT a runner. I have never run in the cold like that, and I thought I could just go out there and make it happen. Bad idea. I started getting nauseous and my chest started hurting, so I already had decided to cut it short and aim for about a mile total, rather than the 2 miles I usually go for. Fourth issue: on our way back, Molly slams into my leg, and I almost completely trip over her. Ugh. Needless to say, by the time I got home, I was totally over working out.

Got home, felt really sick. Water didn't help, hot shower didn't help. I was wheezy and felt like I couldn't breathe. Finally, after a while, I started feeling better. Why am I going into the drama of my bad workout day on here? To keep myself accountable and Keep Going! It sucked, yes. It does not mean I need to stop running (or attempting to run) outside. I think I've finally figured out my 30 day reward. I am going to go out to the outlets today and try to find a cold running outfit for future cardio days. I also apparently need to take Molly out more often and train her to not kill me when running.

BTW -- What is it with labradors and trying to run into you? Miles always runs right in front of me too. I have to be careful not to trip over him too.

And for anyone interested in my pathetic "Fastest Mile Ever!" here is a screenshot from my running app.

Today was strength again, and we had a KILLER leg workout. My legs are burning just sitting in bed typing this. Got to keep the motivation going! :-) Anyone reading along have cold weather running tips, please share!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Inches and Pounds

Ugh. Weighing in. Part of day 30 was the 30 day weight and pictures. While part of the BBM philosophy is not weighing often, I have been doing a weekly weigh in to keep myself on track. This week I found that I went up in weight, though I'm still down from my starting weight. I've lost all of 2 pounds. Totally disheartening to see the scale not budging, or even going up from last week. I didn't do measurements, so I can't tell you if I've lost any inches, but I did take before pictures. I compared my day 30 pictures to the before pictures and can MAYBE see some changes. Again, total downer.

Despite the disappointment in the pounds and inches, however, I feel better. I need to focus less on what I weigh and how my clothes fit, and more on how much better I feel day to day. I'm not dragging as much anymore. I love going to bed before 10 (before 9 if I can make it happen). I have more energy. I feel stronger!

I'm hoping that the pounds and inches will start to disappear soon. I also know that I put on all of this extra weight in a year or so, and have maintained it for almost 5 years. It'll take some time for it to go. No one loses 50 lbs in a month.

I also have to remember that as a woman, our bodies fluctuate. It's hard to start seeing consistent changes when things like water weight come into play. Being up this week may have nothing to do with progress. It may be that I was retaining water this week, and next week I'll drop again.

Bottom line, it's not about being skinny, though that would be nice. It's about being healthy. It's about stopping the binges, reducing the sweets. It's about choosing water instead of soda, almonds instead of chips. And it's about being active, and a positive, healthy role model to AE and to anyone else who needs the inspiration.

Thank you to my few readers (and maybe to more as this blog takes shape) for the support and encouragement as I go along. Keeping a positive mindset is one of the best things we can do when trying to make a change. Change doesn't happen overnight. We need the motivation to keep going until we start to really see changes! Love you all.

Photo from:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getting Past the Hurdle of Hating Working Out

I hate being active. There, I said it. I hate working out, running, getting my butt off the couch.

When I finally start being active, I love it... for a second. A couple minutes in, I feel like I'm gonna die. At that point, I can either stop, and just totally give up for the day, or I can drink some water and push through.

After completing a workout I didn't want to do, I usually feel awesome. So for me, the challenge lies in A) Getting up and moving, and B) Sticking with it to the end. It's hard to get going, knowing I hate it so much. Particularly when my alarm is going off at 5:15 in the morning and I just want to roll over for another hour of sleep.

The last couple of weeks, I've had to try much harder to get my butt out of bed and do my workouts. Last week, I hated my BBM workout, so it was twice as hard. It's time to get back into it! Yesterday's workout was challenging, but fun. Today, I took advantage of the fact that Zumba is tonight and stayed in bed 'til the very last second. I am incredibly sore today, and in reality, I would have definitely benefited from getting out of bed when my alarm went off and doing some YouTube Yoga.

So today, I need to refresh my drive, get some motivation. I'm going to start a pinterest board of motivation pictures I can look at when I'm starting to fall off the wagon. I'll do what I need to in order to keep that spark going. Hopefully tomorrow I'll drag myself out of bed in time to work out, make breakfast, and get to work.

On that note, I am THIRTY days into Bikini Body Mommy. Am I drinking the Kool Aid? No. Am I totally happy with the program I'm doing? No. Am I going to do BBM again? Maybe, maybe not.

But I'm working out! I'm getting back into it! I cannot wait to finish BBM and figure out my next plan of action. I plan to treat myself to a Bosu when I finish, and I think I'll pick up some of the workouts from when I did physical training, and try to incorporate those on my strength days. I'm LOVING doing Zumba, and am hoping to be able to continue that with the Rec Dept.

I'm also eating better! When I have a snack attack, I reach for an apple or some nuts. I'm still a sucker for sweets, and totally ate way too much on Superbowl Sunday, but it's just one weekend. I can bounce back. Moderation is key.

I'm so proud of the changes I'm starting to see and the person I'm forcing myself to become. I can't believe I am one third of the way done with BBM, when I was sure I'd be quitting it just like everything else I've tried. Follow along as I find the new, healthier me.

Motivation image: