January 28, 2011

Feeling Beautiful

I started this year off on a mission to lose weight. I put together a plan that would span out for all of 2011 including mini goals, mid-year goals and final goals. There are rewards attached to 3 fairly big milestones that I thought would be pretty good incentives. All of them involve shopping and clothes and all of them required that I would not be allowed to buy any clothing until I reached those milestones.

Well... let's be honest here. This foodaholic has had to make a major lifestyle change in order to make any of this work at all. What's left of pleasure in my life if I axe my shopping addiction? I hit what WeightWatchers considers a "star" moment: I lost my first 5 lbs (5.4 lbs total to be exact). It took me a month which seems like an eternity when you want to see changes NOW. It was a nice moment for me to have my fellow meeting members clap for my achievement and was about as excited as my toddler is about stickers to receive my 5 lb sticker. Amazing that stickers as motivation actually works on adults too.

After a successful weigh in yesterday, I decided that I was going to break my original rule and buy a cute outfit to celebrate my success. It was a tough first month and I am insanely proud of myself for powering through it. I bought a super cute pair of jeans, cardigan & cami (and all under $100- thank you Gap for having such a wickedly awesome sale).

One of the reasons I felt as though I couldn't shop was the fact that if I lose the amount of weight I am PLANNING to lose (yeah, not just hoping, I am PLANNING), these clothes are definitely not going to fit me 6-12 months from now, so why bother? Here is my justification: I want to look beautiful and wear beautiful things. For me, beauty is a state of mind and wearing clothes that look nice and feel nice makes me feel beautiful in the now. I refuse to deprive myself of having beauty! What to do with all of these too big clothes once I reach goal? I'll likely donate the majority or bring them to a consignment shop. I'm sure I'll keep some of it around, perhaps as a reminder or to have around should I be so lucky to get pregnant again.

Losing this first 5 lbs is a big deal to me. I proved to myself that I can do it and having a good loss this week was just the extra motivation I needed to keep pushing forward. I deserved this little fashion treat.

Friends, don't deprive yourself of buying beautiful things. Be beautiful today.

January 26, 2011

My Kid is Fun, Even When He's Sicky

Last week was a long week. Jackson was home sick Tuesday-Friday with pneumonia. My husband took the brunt of the days at home with him and there were a couple nights of very little sleep as the little dude was running some pretty serious high temps.

I did get at least one day home with him. Let me say there is nothing worse than seeing your usually off the charts energetic little person not want to move. I'll confess though. I liked the cuddles. After his afternoon nap, he started snapping out of it a little and we had some fun. He insisted on wearing his winter hat which is a little out of character for him as we usually have issues keeping it ON him. He also insisted that I wear it for awhile and that the dog should wear it. The dog wasn't so happy about this idea but he found it to be totally hilarious.


After a good hour or two of pretty active play, he was ready for a break so I sat him down with the iPhone as he likes to play some of his apps and mine- he's a big fan of Angry Birds. I went to get started on dinner. Later that night, I was looking through my camera roll and discovered this:


I guess he figured out how the camera works.

If there is anyone in the world that can always make me smile, it is him. My kid rocks.

January 25, 2011

Just One Day at a Time

I heard some pretty sad news last night. Someone who was close to one of my family members died of an apparent drug overdose. I had never met him, but she and her fiance were obviously pretty close with him (he was a roommate) and she is broken. My heart breaks for them as I know this cannot be easy. A former recreational user, he had been clean for some time but the pressures of daily life struggle got the best of him and he went on a bender. A bender that cost him his life. Just incredibly tragic and so very sad.

This just got me thinking about the addictions in my life. I smoked for nearly 10 years until I met my now husband and he gave me an ultimatum- he said it's me or the cigs. You choose. I chose him. Good choice if you ask me :) I quit cold turkey 9 years ago and never looked back. I am addicted to caffeine. While I don't consume all that much, just a cup of coffee in the morning and 1 can of Diet Coke at lunch, if I quit either of those things I would endure painful withdrawal headaches. My toughest addiction? Food. I love food. I LOVE FOOD. It is why starting a program like WeightWatchers is a big deal. I am hoping that I can continue to love food but simply change my relationship with it. None of these addictions are necessarily going to kill me tomorrow, but they would continue to impact my health in negative ways over time. WeightWatchers for me is literally one day at a time. I am learning to be better about planning for how I'm going to eat for future events, but for the most part, it is waking up and just getting through the day being conscious of my choices. No lie. It's hard. Sticking to this program as I am in the here and now is one of the harder things I have ever done. It really does take amazing willpower not to indulge and to say no.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to be addicted to drugs. I am thankful every day that they have never been introduced into my life. I am thankful for parents who raised me to know better. I am thankful to be surrounded by friends and family who are always there for me- I am never alone. I am thankful. 

I'm feeling pretty sad today about this tragedy. It reminds me that life is fragile and precious. It reminds me to just slow down and savor each day. It reminds me not to sweat the small things and just be happy.

My whole heart and prayers go out to my family and especially to the friends and family of the man who lost his life. May they find peace and understanding during these sad times.

January 21, 2011

Happiness Is...

Despite the -20 degree temperatures, there is so much to be happy about today:
  • The sun peeked out today ever so briefly. A rare occasion to wear cute sunglasses that go so cute with my hat, gloves and thick winter coat. 
  • Two big wins for infertility. Two girlfriends of mine became mommies today after long and difficult struggles with infertility. Thinking of them and their beautiful baby boys brings tears to my eyes- I am just overflowing with happiness. Take that infertility! 
  • Getting healthy. I have only lost 3.5 lbs in the past 3 weeks since really diving into my new healthy lifestyle but I feel totally awesome. How can I not be proud of tripling my water intake, actually making smart food decisions, losing 3.5lbs and working out 21 out of the past 22 days? I'm am super proud and I'm not going to give up.
  • My kiddo is over his bout of pneumonia. Yuck. There is nothing worse than seeing your normally crazy busy toddler want to do nothing but lay around and ask for countless hugs because he feels so awful. Happy to be back to his nonstop energy and even a few well-timed tantrums.
  • Getting a text photo of your future neice/nephew. I may be confused and baffled at the rate of speed it is going for my sister-in-law, but I am hella excited to be an aunt again. 
  • Just a few more months and it will be warm again! I'm counting the days until I can slide open my sunroof.
Yes, it is going to be too cold to do things this weekend that most humans do but that's okay. I will enjoy some time by the fireplace wearing my warm jammies, eating turkey chowder, catching up on the DVR and cuddling up with my husband, son and dog. My dog is a great cuddler.



How will you be staying warm this weekend? 

January 20, 2011

I'm Going There: NKOTBSB

You laugh. You chuckle. But ladies... I know some of you were like me back in 1989. You were...

A New Kids on the Block fan.
Picture this... summer before 8th grade, my bangs taller than the Foshay and an NKOTB cassette playing on my Walkman. NKOTB graced every ounce of wall space in my bedroom. I watched the NKOTB concert videos until they completely wore out. Their concert at the Minnesota State Fair was the first concert I had ever gone to without my mom and dad there. My BFF and I sat on my aunt's front steps (she lived on Snelling Ave., right across the street from the Fair) and waited to see if the NKOTB bus would drive by. A bus drove by. We were sure it was them. Donnie D was my favorite. I carried a sign in that said so. I'm not even kidding when I say  I remember just about everything from that day.



Fast forward to 2011...

New Kids have already done a concert or two- I missed one back in 2008 as it was shortly after I gave birth. Yeah. Not going to any concerts ever within 6 weeks of giving birth. So, when I heard they were going on tour again with the Backstreet Boys I was freaking excited. Like, 1989 excited. My seats aren't great, but I don't care. I just want to get my dance on and pretend for one evening that I am a 14 year old love struck teenager. It is going to be epic.



Come on ladies... ADMIT IT. Who was your teen idol(s)? 

 

January 12, 2011

Choose Joy

I had a rough weekend. However, there were some highlights that I forgot to mention.

As part of my little Rochester excursion, we attended the Bridal Extravaganza and it was actually pretty fun. There was food & cake to sample, pictures in a picture booth and... Jason Mesnick?


As you all know, I'm a huge fan of The Bachelor. And for those of you who don't know, Jason was one of the Bachelors from a few seasons ago (he's the one who dumped Melissa Rycroft on national television who then went on Dancing With the Stars got engaged, married and is preggers and Jason married runner up Molly from his season on national television). Anyway, Jason was at this Bridal Extravaganza. In Rochester. We weren't really sure exactly why, but he was there and we met and talked to him and, yes, he is adorbs and very, very nice. And yes, that is probably the most hideous picture of me ever.

The best part of the weekend was coming home to my husband and kiddo. We took daddy out to dinner for his birthday. It was the best part of my day.


So even though I'm still carrying around a grudge in my heart over the whole bridesmaid's dress debacle, I'm going to continue to think happy. I choose joy.

January 10, 2011

Motivation Monday: Bridesmaids Dresses- Designed By The Devil

Today, I will tell you a tale that will curl your hair and make you shudder in fear.

I'm going to tell you about...

Shopping for bridesmaid's dresses.

Being one of those people who have pretty much been a little chubby my whole life, I have taught myself the art of self-acceptance. Yes, I am trying to get healthy (again), but I really do love myself. I do. Over the years I have learned how to ignore people who have put my down and not feel bad about my limited choices for shopping. Most of the time, I honestly could care less and am happy just being me.

Shopping for a bridesmaid's dress was a truly mortifying experience. It started with being given one dressing room for four girls plus the bride who wanted to sit in and watch. The sample sizes available to try on were indeed samples. For models. Or freaks of nature. Not for 30 year old women with boobs and leftover childbirth tummies. Did I mention one of the bridesmaids is the bride's 16 year old 2nd cousin? Don't get me wrong here, I love her. She makes me smile and remember sometimes what it's like to be 16 with friends and boys being the most important thing ever. She is, however 16 with the tiny little perfect 16 year old body. Suddenly, it became not "Pick whatever you all like the best," to "She looks so cute in that empire waist, skin tight dress. I love that one." I confess. I freaked out a little. I made it very clear what I was capable of wearing and not wearing. We found a dress that we all thought was beautiful, that I can live with. I powered through the rest of that agony that is being measured and told that you have to order a size 3 times what you normally wear because "That's what the book says."

I know the bride thought it was going to be a fun thing. A fun day for all of us. Besides freaking out a little, I really tried to put on a brave face. I cried all the way home. I've never felt so embarrassed and so ashamed to be me. I can't believe something that is meant to be so happy and fun could make me feel so incredibly awful.

I've risen from the ashes though. I am more determined than ever to see through my new healthy lifestyle and stick with my program. I am more determined than ever to make sure my alterations cost a fortune. As for the mental anguish? Well, I'm still working through that, but at least there is something I can do about it.


What is your Monday Motivation? 

January 07, 2011

The Weekly Wrap Up

To wrap up this first full week of 2011, here are a few discussion items I've been wanting to rant about:
1. Elminating the "N" Word from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn
2. The Man With the Golden Voice
3. The quest for my ultimate weight loss goal.

MARK TWAIN
I am absolutely floored, stupified and totally irritated that this brilliant piece of literature is going to be altered in any way, shape or form. One of my major's in college was English and that included a whole plethora of literature requirements including American Lit. This book is a STAPLE of American Literature and to alter it in any way is like hocking up a huge loogie and spitting on it. It feels like just another way we are over-sheltering the next generation of kids and you know I'm throwing a huge eye roll towards political correctness. Taking out the word "nigger" from this novel takes away what could be a TEACHABLE MOMENT. Remember those? Oh right. Those don't exist anymore thanks to the freakish parents out there who feel like everyone gets a trophy and we don't keep score because someone will feel bad. Do we not have the ability to teach right and wrong anymore? Taking the word out is like ignoring a piece of time that really existed in this world- it doesn't mean that is the way we are as a society now. Is replacing the word with "slave" really any better? Cripes. I feel sorry for this next generation. I really do. I swear I am going to do the best I can to make sure that my son is taught morals, the difference between what is right, wrong and appropriate as well as in this world, you don't always get what you want.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN VOICE
Most people have heard about this guy by now and is just a testament that God and the Internet works in amazing ways. Incredible.


MY ULTIMATE GOAL
I am proud to have completed a full week on WeightWatchers. Not going to lie, it was not easy. Like any other addiction, it is hard to break the addiction to food. When you have kids, you're running late, forgot to take the meat out of the freezer, etc etc etc, it is pretty easy to just stop and pick up something easy like a frozen pizza. I learned last night that my drastic change in lifestyle isn't going to affect only me, but my whole family. After a hectic day, my husband thought it would be a lot easier to pick up from the frozen section a Red Baron family size pasta bake. I kinda went off on him. Not even looking at the box, I knew the points would've been high and after working so hard all week, I wasn't going to blow it on convenience foods. I feel a little bad about flying off the handle, but this is exactly the reason I have gained so much weight over the last 2 years or so and I need to stop the cycle of unhealthy decisions if I am ever going to reach my goal. I feel a little bad about freaking out, but I don't know how to get this message across. Not to mention, I don't want to teach my son that this is the way to eat. We've been so good about pushing vegetables on him, but getting him to eat what we eat? Yikes. We'll just say that he's... 2. If he wants to eat organic pasta stars for the next two weeks, that might just be what we have to do.

I am most definitely a work in progress, but it is hard to force others to understand and live the lifestyle with you. I'm hoping my newly acquired good habits will be positive for those around me as well.

Wishing everyone a beautiful winter weekend!

January 06, 2011

Inspiration

Getting healthy and taking control of my weight has been a really big deal for me this week, obviously, since it is all I can seem to talk about. I don't think that is the worst thing in the world though. I'm one of those people who can get really obsessive and passionate about things. Some things that I've gone overboard with in the past (and present):

My wedding
Getting pregnant (took a hella long time)
Parenting
My friends' weddings
This Blog

I'm sure I can think of a few more, but when I really, and I mean REALLY put my mind to something, I don't quit until it is perfect and complete. Probably what makes me a good marketer. I kept wondering why I can't get obsessive about losing weight, so yeah, I'm going overboard.

I started writing a more detailed blog called Starting Over: Getting My Life Back on the WeightWatchers website to really document my experience and the day to day struggles with being on the program (stuff that I don't want to bore you with on Mixed Bag of Rant). I made the decision yesterday to start physically going to meetings and weigh in (in front of another human... GAH). I am in dire need of accountability and have finally admitted to myself that I cannot do this alone. I need the support. I need to be surrounded by people just like me. With the same story. I blogged about my decision to start meetings and I got a comment from someone who said,

"As I was reading your post, I was amazed at how much your story sounds just like mine. I haven't even told my husband what my weight loss plans are as I am afraid he will react in the same manner but I need a change. I only signed up for the online option of Weight Watchers so I am very interested in knowing how your meeting goes."

Then, I had a friend request from someone who said they decided to go to meetings because I inspired them. I inspired someone? For real? Now I really feel like I need to follow through with my words and my promises to myself- other people are looking to me for inspiration. They want to know they are not alone. They want to know we can do this, and do it together. Isn't it amazing how incredibly powerful your words can be? And here I thought they were just my thoughts barfed out on the computer screen. 


I'm not sure what has inspired me to live a more healthy lifestyle. Sure, I read success stories, but they all say: "*Results not typical". How can I be inspired by that? What if I'm the one that is just typical and I will never achieve great results? So, I look to other things to remind me of why I need to take this journey. 

Pictures: College pictures of me are skinny and cute. I avoid pictures now at all costs.
Words: A boy that called me "thunder thighs" in gym class when I was 13. 
Shopping: The ability to walk into any clothing store and buy anything I want.
Health: I worry that the weight will eventually start affecting my overall health.
Energy: To chase around my toddler and run just as much as he does. 
Freedom: The ability to not feel like what I look like will hold me back. From anything. 
Self-Image: I want to go to the cabin or on vacation without that self-conscious feeling. 

My long-term goal goes out for an entire year, so I have a long road ahead of me. If after a year I have learned how to make healthy eating decisions and have a regular workout schedule, then regardless of whether or not I lose weight, I'll have made significant changes in my life for the better. I have a good feeling that I'll be a hot mama by the time 2012 rolls around though.


I know many of you have made some New Year's Resolutions. What inspires you?

January 05, 2011

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Delicious Healthy Meal

This week has been all about getting healthy. I'm getting major serious about it and my dear husband is being thrown into it whether he likes it or not. I even stopped him from taking a second portion of tonight's totally kick ass dinner. We've been testing out new recipes and tonight's definitely topped the list of new favorites.

Thai-Style Peanut Noodles

Makes 4 Servings
1/2 cup Thai satay peanut sauce
1/2 cup almond milk or low-fat 2% milk (we used Skim)
1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 pound somen noodles (we used angel hair pasta)
1/4 cup very thinly sliced scallions

1. To prepare the dressing, puree the satay sauce, almond milk, ginger, salt and pepper in a blender.
2. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water until cool. Toss the noodles with the dressing and scallions in large serving bowl.

Per Serving (1 scant cup): 346 Cal, 5g Fat, 1g Sat Fat, 0mg Chol, 699mg Sod, 64g Carb, 4g Fib, 11g Prot, 43mg Calc. (7 WeightWatchers PointsPlus)


No... the picture isn't what we made, it is from the cookbook, but gosh darnit if it didn't look exactly like that.

Enjoy!

January 04, 2011

The Germ Reality

I had a cute little discussion on Twitter last night with our friends who are adopting and becoming parents in just 16 days. She was catching up on reading some mommy mags and commented on an article about keeping germs away from baby.

I'm not sure who wrote it or what magazine it was from, but a couple pieces of advice were:
1) When a pacifier falls on the floor, make sure it is sanitized before giving it back to baby.
2) Make labels/signs to put on the stroller that says to sanitize hands before touching baby.

I had a little chuckle about this. I will confess that in the early weeks, I was a little paranoid. I always washed off Nuks when they hit the floor and I wouldn't dare let anyone touch baby while out and about. It's amazing how you brush all of that stuff off after only a few short months (maybe even weeks), and especially, once they hit daycare. All bets are off when they get to daycare.

Nuks would fall on the floor and I would wipe them down with the end of my shirt (which was probably more gross than the floor) and eventually I would just make sure it wasn't covered in dog hair before giving it back to him. Let's face it, when we are out and about, we usually wouldn't come close enough to let strangers touch him anyway let alone who has the TIME to put freakin' labels on the stroller.

As we discovered, as does every working parent, daycare is a bigger hotbed of germs and disgustingness than anything we could've encountered walking around the Mall of America. Cold after cold followed by an ear infection followed by a stomach bug followed by croup followed by pneumonia... I remember picking Jack up one day way back when he was in the older infant room at the tail end of afternoon snack. The kids were eating each other's food, drinking out of each other's sippy cups, using each other's utensils. Let's not forget the amount of toys that are chewed on day in and day out. Jackson still put toys and stuff in his mouth.

I guess you do what you need to do to be cautious, but one way or another, the germs are going to catch up your babes. Guess what? They like to share them with you too. So nice they start sharing at such an early age.

January 03, 2011

Motivation Monday: I'm Ready- Here's Why

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my resolutions this year is to very seriously lose weight and not just for a little while, but for good. I compiled a list of reasons why this was important to me and it was super long. How can so many things not have been enough motivation all this time?

My weight loss goal seems crazy to me in my head. As in, I can't even remember the last time I weighed as little as what I'm shooting for. Even my workout goals seem insane but only doing a couple days a week will only make me complacent and more likely to skip.

My point? I'm ready. So ready. Here's why:
  • I want to be healthy- I'm afraid my weight is going to start affecting my overall health
  • I'm hoping it will make my snoring better (for my husband's sake)
  • I saw pictures from my brother's wedding and from Christmas- was that really ME? I want people to  take pictures of me and not feel like I should be Photoshopped out of them. 
  • I want to have more stamina to be able to keep up with my toddler. 
  • I want to have more energy- I feel so tired all the time. 
  • I'm in two weddings this year and want to be happy with the way the pictures turn out and feel good wearing a bridesmaids dress (did I mention I have to order one THIS SATURDAY? Talk about motivation...)
  • I want to walk into any store (i.e. Express) and buy anything I want without having to dig to the back of the rack looking for my size or without a store clerk saying "We only sell the larger sizes online." 
  • I want to wear shorts this summer and feel good about it. 
  • I want to wear a SWIMSUIT this summer. Period. Way off in the future: I'd like to wear a bikini again. 
  • I want to feel beautiful for my husband. He would never say otherwise, but I want him to know that he married someone who didn't completely let their body go to shit after saying "I do." 
  • I want to look awesome for whenever we take our 2nd honeymoon. 
  • Should I be so fortunate to get pregnant with a 2nd baby I want to be healthy. Sure, I expect to gain weight, but if I am fit before, getting fit will be easier after. 
  • I would really love to try and run a 5K at some point. 
  • I want to be more self-confident. 
  • I want to be able to make healthy choices without even having to think twice about it. 
  • I want to make a goal and actually see it through. 
I'm sure I could think of about a million more. I have this list in several places and I am going to refer to it often to remember why I am doing this and to keep my eye on the prize. When it comes to weight loss and fitness, I am easily distracted and get quickly discouraged. When I don't see immediate results I get bored and move on- why bother, right? To do this,  I'll need daily reminders so I put one into my phone to beep at me, like my own personal guilt trip. I have my workouts scheduled in my calendar including the Group Fitness classes I want to take (so yeah... my phone will beep at my to remind of what a loser I am should I try and skip out).

I will not fail!

Who's with me? Anyone willing to go on this journey with me? 

 

January 02, 2011

Let the New Year Begin! A Resolution Post.

The kiddo is finally taking a nap. The husband is out watching the Vikes with his old Frat brothers.

The quiet is fantastic.

I am so excited for what 2011 has in store. I have resolutions. I have plans. I try not to get too stuck on plans though, because plans can change. Sometimes those plan changes can be hard and nobody, especially me, likes to be disappointed. So instead of making myself crazy trying to make everything that I want happen, I will simply say that I have high hopes and that in 2011 I'll be... flexible.

1) There are two wedding events that I have to look forward to this year. The first is in May and is the wedding of my sister-in-law. Her courtship has been a little bit of a whirlwind and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't the slightest bit nervous and skeptical. She met her now fiance in September, was engaged within 6 weeks and pregnant just 5 weeks after that. The pregnancy was planned. It is in my nature to be cautious. I always have been- especially where men are concerned. I know there are plenty of love stories with short courtships. I truly hope she is one of them. The second wedding is that of a close friend of the past 10 years. She has been insanely picky about men but when she met this one? We just knew that this was different. She has a beautiful August wedding planned at a flower farm. Can you say romantic?

2) To celebrate my friend's wedding, our little 4 person clique is heading for a long weekend to Madeleine Island in July. Is there a word other than excited? I can't wait to get away for a weekend with my girlfriends. It hasn't happened in a very long time.

3) We decided that this year our little family is going to take a real vacation. Like a full week road trip to do something super fun. We haven't decided where yet, but whatever it is will be great. One of the things I was most excited for when we were finally able to become parents is taking a family vacation. It's a dream come true.

4) This is a resolution and a big deal. I need and want to lose weight. This is no secret and I have failed miserably at it over the past 2 years. For possibly the first time ever, it is real and I want it to happen. After seeing the pictures of me from my brother's wedding and from Christmas, I am dismayed at how I look and it has to change. I want me back. I NEED me back. It will be super hard. It already is. Day #2 on WeightWatchers has been torture. Rather than try and talk about it in this blog, I am planning to start a blog/journal through the WeightWatchers website that is devoted specifically to this journey. I desperately need the support of others who are going through the same thing in order to reach my goals.

5) I want to have another baby. This is the hard one for me because there are no guarantees. We can't just say "Let's have a baby" and then be pregnant the next month. For some reason, it just hasn't worked that way for us. I feel like our family is just not yet complete and want so much for Jack to have a sibling. I refuse to even give in to high hopes because I know how much of a let down it is to see month after month of negative pregnancy tests. I will continue to stay positive and have hope, I will say many prayers.

The most important thing I will do in 2011 is just simply be positive and happy.

Did you make New Year's Resolutions?

 
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