Switching Roles

This weekend was about switching roles for me. It started on Saturday when I played the role of the “trainer” and took my husband through some of my workouts. I’d like to say he could keep up with me… but well… he couldn’t and that’s ok. I’ve been much better at the exercise than he has because he knows right now the focus is on me. I’m helping though. 

So I put him through a mixture workout of some of my favorite and least favorite things. We started on the ski machine doing a 5 minute warm up. Next we did a quick stretch and then moved to the TRX. I actually hated the TRX when Jackson first introduced me to it but I’ve grown to love it now. Probably because I can do great squats without pain in my knee! 

Matt had never used the TRX and suffice it to say, he was NOT a fan by the end of the workout. After I tortured him with TRX squats, pull ups, push ups, roll outs and bicep curls, we went up to the track. 

On the track, we did a one lap warm up and then 3 more laps carrying 15 pound kettle bells. I’m still not a huge fan of this workout but it’s fairly effective so I decided to do it. After the quick sprints, we went downstairs to a series of weight machines. 

Downstairs I let Matt do his thing. I think he was tired of me bossing him around at this point. I did some leg presses along with some arm work and then I returned to do some cardio on the elliptical while he continued to work on weights. 

I love my husband, but I swear he’s afraid of the cardio equipment. He tells me it’s because of his heel spur, but I think there’s more. I try to push him, but I know his stubbornness will just win out. He’ll come around sooner or later. 

After I completed my cardio, we hit the showers and then headed out to run errands. 

Day 2 of swapping roles was today when I let my daughter play trainer (and for those wondering… she’s only four). I didn’t get a chance to go to the gym since they had short hours and my husband needed to go somewhere, so I made up a workout at home. With my light hand weights in tow (I really need to get new ones), I did 25 bicep curls, 25 weighted jabs, 25 weighted jumping jacks, 5 planks at 24 seconds, 25 seconds, 28 seconds, 30 seconds and 31 seconds, 25 push ups, 10 push ups with my daughter sitting on my back 90 seconds of ski jumps and repeated all but the plants twice. 

So how was my daughter the trainer, well – I had her counting and timing me with a stop watch. Now, for those familiar with how a four year old counts… sometimes they “lose their spot” and for me… well I’m certain I did at least 30-35 of some of the exercises because she simply started over at one. Oh well, I just ran with it. It’s not going to kill me to do a few more (though on a couple it felt like it).

For my daughter, she absolutely loved helping her mom. She’s been the inspiration behind my weight loss and she knows I’m working hard. She was doing some of the exercises with me… and for many she was doing much better than me (hey, she’s only 40 pounds)! It was nice to have the company and I certainly love instilling good habits in her. Since our lifestyle change, I’m committed to making sure she gets at least 30 minutes of some kind of physical activity daily… even if it’s just dancing around the living room.

To date, we’re blessed our daughter has not had any weight problems. If anything, she’s skinny as can be but eats like a horse. I’m thankful for that a hope that it never catches up with her.  

In a little bit of amusing news, my husband just walked into the room (as I’m writing this) to tell me that he had no idea that when I complained I was sore and hurting how much I actually did hurt. I didn’t grill him half as much as Jackson has grilled me or I have pushed myself in the gym and he’s sore and hurting. I guess the next time I whine about lifting a jug of milk because my arms are sore he won’t be so quick to call me lame and a wuss. Though he does remind me frequently that I put myself in this position. I know that… and I’m damn proud of it too! 

Well off to pack my bag for the gym in the morning! Bright and early with my favorite trainer… Jackson! 

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Inspirational and Moving Day

Person i want to beToday has been a very moving day. Not only physically, but emotionally and it all started at the gym.

I woke up a little later than I wanted to, but I didn’t let that deter my trip to the gym this morning. I was shooting to arrive for 8:30 or 9 and I actually arrived at 9:15 a.m. I didn’t have a plan, but more so just wanted to run with whatever my body was feeling. Sometimes, those kind of days produce the best workouts.

I started on the elliptical machine (one of my favorites) with a quick warm up and then 10 minutes of solid running. I had my headphones on and I was just going to town. It may sound silly, but when I have my music on …. I feel empowered. I’ve loaded my workout list with songs I love to dance to at Saddle Ridge and other high-energy pop tunes. When these songs come on, I really take myself to a new level imaging how happy I’ll be when I can dance without pain and without worry of how I look.

Never Too LateSo I was going about my workout when 30 minutes in, a lady came over and stopped me. Apparently she’d been watching me go to town on the elliptical and weights and was just so inspired by me. We chatted for a bit and she hopped on the machine next to me and told me about what she’s going through. I offered up some of the things I learned and gave her my contact information.

To be honest, I really never thought I was an inspiring individual but apparently my story is reaching more people than I realize. I don’t think I’m doing anything special, but this journey has been very special to me. It’s truly touching to see how total strangers react to me and my journey.

After the gym, I head up to the store to grab a few things. I took those home and then picked up Arabella. We had a date to pick out a Pillow Pet for our angel tree tag. We try to be good parents and I know we can’t to much, but I can certainly spare a few dollars to ensure some other child has a toy on Christmas morning.

This year, we’ve actually done a two gift programs. The first was sponsored by my daughters preschool where they had a giving tree. Each of the tags on the tree were not for toys, but food and other household items. The tags were meant for seniors in the area and homeless people who were desperately in need of simple things. Because of the nature of the items (and my stockpile of coupons), we let Bella select two. Her choices were Coffee Creamer and Kitty Litter.

This was several weeks ago so when the angel trees started popping up, we selected a tag from the gym. Bella’s tag was a 7 year old girl who wanted a pillow pet. It was a perfect gift for Bella to pick out at the store. So we headed up to Walmart armed with the tag. The bin for the Pillow Pets were overflowing with styles and Bella dug (and I mean literally) to the bottom to select the only multi-colored bear in the lot. She simply HAD to have it.

While so many parents will just grab a toy off the shelf and attach the tag, the entire process of picking out the toy was very special to us today. I talked to Bella a lot about why we were doing this and how it’s very important. While she kept asking what the little girl’s name was, I think she’s finally starting to understand. While she dug in the bin, she kept telling me she wanted to find the “perfect” animal for this little girl. With her love of unicorns, I thought that’s actually what she would go after immediately but she had her own agenda.

In the end, my little girl was happy with her choice. We purchased the animal and dropped it off at the gym so they could take it the center to wrap and present to the family. I know it’s not much, but it feels great to know at least one other little girl will have a happier Christmas because my daughter dug to the bottom of the bin in a quest for the perfect pillow pet. I hope she likes it, wherever she is.

It’s strange, although I’m on the journey to change my health – there is so much more in my life that has changed. I don’t look at things the same way, and I don’t just mean the food labels. My outlook towards my family and my entire life and being has changed as a result of the changes to my food and exercise habits. So many things I never thought possible are coming true and things that just “existed” in my life now have a purpose.

This weight loss journey is bigger than just pounds lost on a scale. I’m truly changing my entire life, my husband’s life and most importantly – my daughter’s life because through all the hard work Bella will have her mommy healthier, happier, longer and able to do everything she ever dreams!

For those that follow and see me as inspiring, thank you! I hope you realize how much your messages and following touch my heart. I hope it inspires you to make your own changes and see your life move to a better place.

Never give up on your dreams

Wow… it’s been an interesting day… but more on that in a moment. I think the best place to start today’s post is with one of my inspirational photos I found on Facebook a few weeks ago. I’ve returned to it several times (and shared it with several people) because it has such a deep connection for me.

Never Give Up On Your Dreams

This image has become my inspiration for the last few weeks.

When you’re heavy, it’s very common to see your self as an enormous animal – say a pig, hippo, elephant…. or even a rhino.It’s what’s been trained into our brains from mean bullies for as long as I can remember. Let’s face it, society is mean. I still remember many of the hurtful things people said to me growing up, but I had thick skin and let it roll off. Then again, I was never as heavy as I was this summer.

The first time I found this photo on one of the many fitness-healthy eating pages, I chuckled out loud (literally). All my life, I’ve felt like a rhino and I’ve always loved unicorns since I was a little girl. While at the time, I saved it and shared it with my friends, I had no idea how important this photo was going to become for me.

A few days later, I went back to this image to look at it again. I didn’t realize at the time just how much much I was like this photo. Here I am, the rhino running on the treadmill staring at photos online of people who’ve lost weight, reading inspirational stories and talking with people in my circle of friends who have actually succeeded in the process. I draw to them, usually on Facebook, to get me through and give me hope my dreams will one day become a reality.

While the reality of this photo isn’t possible, my reality is entirely possible and no matter how much life throws at me – I refuse to give up on my dreams. This rhino is going to be a unicorn some day and when that day comes, I know it’s because I worked damn hard to get there.

This photo isn’t one of the only images that inspired me. I’ve decided to include several more of my recent favorites in this post as well. This one struck me several weeks ago and it couldn’t be more true to my life. While I enjoy going to my gym, there are just some days that aren’t any fun. There are days I’m tired, cranky, sick and who knows what else is going on but I keep on going. I know if I don’t, my results won’t become a reality.

In fact, one of the things I’ve started doing is finding other ways to workout besides the gym. Like walking around the block with my daughter and our dog. I’ve also developed a great interest in participating in charity walks and races (hence my entry to the next one on November 3).

These changes aren’t by chance – but instead they are needed in my quest for results. I might not always love my work out, but I certainly love jumping on a scale each week and seeing that dreaded number go down, down and down more. I’ve surpassed the 30 pound mark since this summer and that’s huge for me. What’s even bigger though is the weight is staying off. After years and years of unsuccessful yo-yo diets, I’m proud to say my weight is staying banished forever!

While so many photos that I love are inspirational – some are just down right funny. Like this photo posted by a friend and inspirational mentor, Maria. I couldn’t stop laughing all day after seeing this. If it was only so easy, we’d all be skinny.  I now tell my body this daily, unfortunately it’s also the one body part I feel shrinking quickly.

I wish there was a way to pick the parts of my body that shrunk first because there are days I feel like I’m all out of whack because one part is shrinking faster than another. I’m sure there’s other women out there with the same problem. I want the weight to leave my stomach and hips … but it’s coming off my face and my chest. I guess the best way to look at it though is that the weight is coming off!

Of course the real point of this post (originally) was to talk about my mini success of the day. After getting off to a rocky start and making at least one bad choice (hey it happens), I got back on my feet and kept going. I didn’t let one little screw up ruin my entire day. I knew today was going to be tough when we decided to go to the Pumpkin Festival, but I had no idea just how difficult it would be until today.

This festival marked the first festival my family has attended since changing our eating habits. Normally these festivals are my favorite time of year when I scarf all the funnel cake, candy, sugar, sweets, desserts and carnival food I can get my hands on – but not this time! If I told you this day was insanely easy, I’d be lying through my teeth.

From the minute we walked onto the grounds, the smells just hit me. Kettle corn, corn dogs, funnel cake, candy apples, pumpkin pie and the list goes on. There were goodies lurking around every corner and boy did I want them bad.

We didn’t bring a lot of money (on purpose) so we would hopefully be thwarted from wasting money on food and rather

Me and my daughter with a 100 pound boa at the Houston Pumpkin Festival

let our daughter play with the overpriced children’s activities. It was well worth it too – she took a nice pony ride, several trips down the bouncy slide and my favorite part of the day, taking a picture with a 100 pound boa that drive her grandma crazy (she hates snakes).

These are things I should be spending money on, not overpriced festival food laden with calories and fat (not the good kind) and basically blowing my entire day out of the water. I’m so proud of myself for resisting the urge to give into the temptation of fair food.

In reality though, I know that I don’t need to take all the things I love out of my life. If I really wanted a funnel cake, I could have one. But I didn’t need it and I knew better. Today was not my day to cheat. I wanted it, but it simply wasn’t worth it.

Since I always like to justify with myself why I made such a great choice, when I got home today I looked up the stats for the average funnel cake….. WOW … JUST WOW…

Average Funnel Cake (per MyFitnessPal.com)

Calories – 760 <— nearly half my daily calorie allotment
Total Fat – 44g
Sodium – 200mg
Carbs – 80g
Sugar – 16g

Average Corn Dog (per MyFitnessPal.com)

Calories – 280
Total Fat – 19g
Sodium – 755mg <— that’s a LOT of Salt!
Carbs – 21g
Sugar – 5g

I guess you could say, this entire process has been making me more aware of my decisions and how much they will ultimately affect my life. Am I saying I’ll never have another piece of funnel cake again – fat chance! Do I think the next time I want one that I will be splitting it with someone (or possibly 3-4 someones), absolutely!! It’s all about moderation. If I must have a funnel cake, it would be best split between three to four people, which then brings the calories down to 250 – 190… that makes a big difference.

As far as the corn dog… there’s not much you can do with that. I think I’ll be avoiding those unless I know they’re less caloric in the future. I know they exist … and maybe we’ll get adventurous with some “clean eating” options. Hmmmm I’m sure we’ll come up with something useful.

So today was another small victory in my book. I know success is  an option in my life. I have realized the possibilities in my life are endless. That unicorn is in sight and one day I’m going to make it there. Each day I’m running just a little bit closer and getting a glimpse of what my life will ultimately be like.

The only way I can succeed though is to focus on what I’m doing and not what the world is doing around me. Every choice I make needs to be my choice, not someone else’s lifestyle. I have especially learned that when so many people discuss different diet plans – from Clean Eating to Paelo. At this point, we’re following something in the middle of the two because I pull recipes from both ends.

Simply put, I’m not going to banish everything I love from my life. I’ll never give up dairy products, I simply wont. If I do, I know I’ll relapse back to wanting them and screw everything up again. I won’t give up my grains either because damn it, I love them!

I believe my husband and I have found something that works well for the both of us. We’re avoiding processed food and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. We’ve limited the sodium and “white devils.” I truly believe our new lifestyle is going to make us a lot happier in the long run. It’s already helped us both lose significant weight.

Before I go, I’d like to share one final photo with you – I found this one to be extremely inspirational for my thoughts of the day. I know going to festivals may or may not get easier. My shopping budget is tight and expensive and it’s tough staying on track when all you want to do is bury a spoon deep in a half-gallon of ice cream, but I know with the results – life just gets better and that’s where the focus must be to move forward! It’s just going to get better with each day.

One final note – for those that personally know me and know just how much I love my ice cream – I am proud to say that it’s been over 40 days since I purchased a half-gallon of ice cream. I use to eat one full half-gallon a week (nearly 1 bowl a day). I’m not saying I haven’t had any ice cream – but it’s not in my house. That’s a little win in itself!

Thanks for reading!! Please leave some love!